Create Your Own Experience
You dont need paying clients to have gathered experience. Use your own home to practise and hone your skills. Whether you are interested in styling or design, use your own space to learn and find your style and that is equally as relevant if you rent or if you own your home.
When you start to get compliments from your own home, I bet youll get requests from friends and family for help too. These are your first clients!
What Is The Job Outlook For Interior Decorators
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is the definitive source for occupational information in the United States. Because the BLS lacks a separate entry for interior decorators, it isn’t possible to cite official statistics relating to job growth. Instead we’ll look at the job outlook for interior design, as the BLS description of the field strongly overlaps with the job description for interior decorating.
The BLS estimates the interior design sector will experience a 5% decline between 2019-2029. The trend is likely to affect interior decoration and other related professions. In fact, the art and design field is expected to decline by 4%, according to the BLS. Improving your skills will increase your prospects of securing interior decoration jobs. Your ability to network and sell yourself will matter as the industry becomes increasingly competitive.
How Much Do Interior Designers Make
An interior designers salary, or how much they make, will depend on a few factors, including whether or not they have a formal education. Additional considerations include how many years they have been in the business and whether theyre working as a sole proprietor or as part of a team, which may take a percentage of their income.
According to ZipRecruiter, interior designers make an average of $51,197 per year nationally. The lowest income falls at roughly $19,000, while the highest is $79,500 on average. California tops the list of top 10 interior design salaries, with most being California cities. Many find the average salary to be lower than expected
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Do You Need A Degree To Be An Interior Designer
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a degree to become an interior designer, though it certainly wont hurt. Obtaining a degree will help you develop a strong portfolio and a network to use upon graduation, but it is not necessary. If attending a college is not for you, there are many less-intensive methods to achieve an interior design education, such as a certificate or license, or even forgoing all education for more experience.
Perfect for replacing the traditional education route is an apprenticeship, wherever possible. Spending a bit of time to research local interior designers and reaching out to see if they will mentor you can make a world of difference in jump-starting your career.
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S To Become An Interior Designer With No Experience
The first step to how become an Interior Designer with no experience is to first learn and gain the knowledge. Knowledge is the beginning and foundation of your interior design experiences. To gain this knowledge, you need some form of education in interior design or in an environment that is related to interior design. This can be achieved by going to an interior design school , self-studying or just working in an interior design environment.
There are alot of Interior Designers started their education in other related or non-related areas such as accounting, science, law, fine arts, drawing and painting, interior decorating, graphic design and many others. There are also alot of interior designers started their career by self-studying as well.
You can start your education by taking interior design classes at a local interior design school or online. If there are no interior design school in your City, you may wish to take them online. However, most online interior design schools only offer basic residential interior decorating courses and not actual interior design courses for residential and more importantly commercial interior design.
Start with knowledge and lots of knowledge in anything related to interior design. This is the beginning of your interior design experiences
Rather you are self-studying or going to an interior design school online or in-class, you will need to develop and update your portfolio regularly
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Interior Design Licenseor Not
As a general guideline, no U.S. state requires a license to work in interior design, though thereâs an exception to this rule. In Louisiana, Florida, Nevada, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, you must be registered if you wish to work unsupervised in any commercial space. This could include hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, office buildings, medical centers, sporting facilities, and more. This might also include the common areas of condos and apartments, such as lobbies, laundry rooms, and rec centers. Within these spaces, unlicensed interior designers can still provide their services, but they must be overseen by a building professional with a license, be that an architect, engineer, or licensed interior designer.
While the above-mentioned states regulate commercial property, they legally allow both registered and unregistered designers to work unsupervised in any residential space. The rest of the states have no laws restricting the scope of practice or the settings in which any interior designer can work.
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How To Become An Interior Decorator With No Prior Experience
Want to know how to become an interior decorator if you dont have any prior experience? In the beginning, you might be overwhelmed on where to start. You know you have an eye for design, and you cant wait to put your creativity to the test. But you dont have any professional experience yet. So, how do you turn your passion into paid work?
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How To Get Interior Design Clients
When I was figuring out how to start my own interior design business, I knew I had to reach out to people within my circle and get them signed on as clients. I did that by sending newsletters.
For the newsletter, I used MailChimp. I sent a newsletter to friends and family, and to many others I didnt really know. I let everyone know what I was up to. I wrote something like, Hey guys, I started a new business. Please support me.
My first newsletter specifically stated that I was offering free services. I got a lot of responses, a lot of congratulations, and some replies from people that actually wanted to hire me. I took on those free jobs to get more photos that I can show on my website.
If you want someone to spend $150 on you per hour or more, or even a little under, times how many hours it takes to design the room, its a substantial amount of money. You want to give people the confidence to hire you, so youve got to have a lot of projects and photos.
Thats another reason to take on a free client. I took on everybody. I did it all for free, a lot of design clients for free, because I needed to show design photos. I did that, and then what ended up happening, as I mentioned before, was they referred me to people who paid me. Word of mouth is indeed huge.
Create a free profile by signing up on this page.
Train Your Eye To Pick Up On Details Instantly
A good interior designer has a natural talent for picking up what is right with the room, which stuff looks out of place and what needs to be altered to change the current look. No matter how good you are , it is only honing these skills will make you better. Whenever you walk into a room from now on, just observe what you like, what you would change and how you would improve its beauty. Start the practice for now in your own mind. Flip through magazines and the internet for more new ideas.
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Exceptional Sense Of Design
As an interior decorator, you must be able to view a space and plan ways to improve its appearance. For example, you need to know if a change of fabric can improve the feel of a room or whether an office space needs its furniture rearranged to achieve the client’s aims. Your ability to understand how to improve an existing design to increase its appeal is important in interior decoration.
Did You Go To School
I always get a little panicky when I receive the DMs that say youve inspired me to switch my major to interior design because Im not a designer and I did not go to school for decorating . Interior decorating, unlike design, does not require a license or degree. I just really love to decorate.
Fun fact: I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
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Get Your Name Out There
Its mentioned often, and thats because its so important networking. In todays world, networking is easier than ever, but that doesnt mean that it is easy. Whether you decide to smear your campaign across social media to gain new followers and eyes, or you stick to loved ones, youll need to network. Getting your name out there and in front of people helps to establish a brand, which has immeasurable benefits, even if they are not overtly apparent upfront.
You may find that a friend from high school on Facebook has a cousin that they recommended your services to, and youve just landed one of your first clients! Posting on social media, reaching out to local businesses, and petitioning friends and family for your services are great ways to grow your network and present yourself as THE interior designer they need to work with.
A Portfolio Is A Must
A business card is great a website is a huge bonus. But one thing you absolutely need is a portfolio. Your website can be your portfolioand if you have a website, it probably should bebut people want to see your work, even if it is limited. If you havent had much hands-on experience, start with your own home or family members. Most people will be happy to chip in some money for supplies if you are willing to redo a room for free.
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Continue To Enhance Your Design Learning
Once you graduate from design school and take the NCIDQ exam , your education should not stop there. Keep your design knowledge fresh and maintain your competitive edge by seeking out continuing education opportunities. Sign up for design or business courses online through sites like AEC Daily. Audit a class that helps you with practical application of design theory. Take the LEED exam and become a LEED accredited professional for Interior Design and Construction. Learning the ins and outs of environmentally sustainable design, building, and construction practices likely will make you a more attractive job applicant at a design firm over a candidate who lacks this knowledge.
Be conscientious to constantly evolve yourself as a designer by staying current with interior design trends. Subscribe to design mags like AD and Interior Design or specialized trade publications like Hospitality Design. Read designer and design association blogs. Follow tastemakers on social media. Download design apps, such as Houzz, which provides a vast marketplace of interior design products Hutch, which offers a daily design challenge and allows you to complete the design for a hypothetical client scenario and 1stDibs, Incollect, or Chairish, which are valuable resources for highly coveted vintage and rare artisan finds.
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Obtain An Appropriate Degree Or Certification To Get Started
While this is not a must, if you are setting big goals and wish to go completely professional in interior decorating, then this is a must. Schools such as devry university online offer courses that can assist in your career path. The education will not only polish your existing talent, but it will open your mind up to new ideas, past designing trends and latest in the world of style. Certification can be obtained at various skill levels depending on the goals you have set for yourself. Start modest and soon you can aim for the peak. A degree in this regard will also help you get a job at a designing firm.
CreativaStudio / Getty Images
You will need to study a lot beyond what meets the eye
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Interior Designer Salary Data
According to the BLS, in 2014 the median annual wage for interior designers nationally was $48,400. Professionals in the 90th percentile can expect to earn just shy of $90,000. Like other industries, experience, geographical factors and the type of interior design being completed also influence annual salaries. Interior designers in the architecture and engineering industry have the highest median wage.
States/areas with the highest yearly mean wages for interior designers are as follows:
Use the map below to compare interior design salary estimates by state:
Create An Interior Design Portfolio
Anyone who wants to become an interior designer needs an interior design portfolio. If youre fresh out of school and dont have examples of paid client work, use student work, internship experiences, non-client, self-initiated work, and side projects to help illustrate your design capabilities. David Sprouls, president of NYSID, says, We evaluate many portfolios at the New York School of Interior Design, and there are a few characteristics that make some stand out. First and foremost, we like to see a portfolio that demonstrates design thinking We want to see that designers understand process. He notes that a portfolio should demonstrate more than merely the finished project: It should also weave a narrative that showcases how you interpret the clients preferences, project goals, and challenges through the execution of beautiful designs.
A few points to keep in mind when creating your interior design portfolio:
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How To Become An Interior Decorator: All You Need To Know
Becoming an interior decorator is a difficult process. You need to learn many skills. You may mix the position of interior decorator and interior designer easily. But interior decorators generally don’t have the same background in architectural design that interior designers are required to have. These are two different fields requiring different degrees and certifications. Before you make decisions, you can read this article carefully as a reference.
Become A People Person
Spaces are designed for people to use, after all. Thats why so much of the success of a design plan comes not from how it looks, but from how much it fits in with the clients personality and lifestyle.
This applies equally to commercial and retail spaces that have corporate guidelines and brand values to abide by.
Developing an intuitive sense for what people would like is invaluable to your work, as is learning how to manage them and their expectations.
Clients can be indecisive or become difficult to work with. If you want to become a good interior designer, you need to be a good listener and pick up on clues on their personalities, tastes, and their satisfaction with how the project is progressing.
Communicate clearly and regularly, and deal with issues before they become crises.
Remember that the client has placed their trust in you and your vision, so its important to genuinely care about how theyll benefit from your design once its brought to life.
On the other extreme, bending to a clients every whim can result in a disjointed, impractical or unattractive scheme. A degree of firmness is needed when working with clients, since you are the expert in the situation.
In addition to clients, interior design also involves working smoothly with a variety of specialists like suppliers, project managers, graphic designers, marketers, as well as furniture, lighting and garden designers.
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Document And Share Your Work
Dont keep all your hard work to yourself create a portfolio and let people see it. And that doesnt have to be a portfolio in the traditional sense. It is SO easy now to do this as blogs and Instagram are perfect online forum that act like a portfolio. Build your portfolio including your best work and dont worry, it doesnt have to be perfect to begin with. Youll start to see yourself learn, grow and improve.
In my experience you need quite a bit of time to create a blog that gains traction , but something like Instagram is so easy just create a beautiful feed of your gorgeous designed/styled spaces and interact with like minded others.
Once you have built up a portfolio of work, get sharing it. Reach out to people who can really help you get to where you want to go. There is an amazing network and community of interior lovers on Instagram and you can befriend people from the industry with ease.
Do You Need A Degree To Be An Interior Decorator
There is no educational requirement for becoming an interior decorator. Though, if youre hoping to win over clients early on or want to join an agency, they may require that you have earned a degree.
If they do not require a degree for you to submit an application, they may still give preference to candidates who do possess degrees or certifications rather than those that dont. A degree adds a level of security and experience that those starting from scratch wont have.
On a personal level, you may find that an education will better prepare you for all types of clients and situations. While it may seem as though youre ready to take on the world because youve helped friends and family decorate their homes, schooling provides a new set of perspectives that will make a more well-rounded candidate.
If you wish to attend a school and obtain an interior decorating degree, youll find accredited institutions across the country offering coursework. You might also consider certification from places like Interior Design Society that will cost less than an official degree but offer similar benefits. Just be sure when searching for an educational program that youre choosing an interior decorating one rather than design as it may save time and energy if youre not interested in the design portion.
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