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How To Work With An Interior Decorator

What Do You Believe Has Contributed To Your Success

How To Become A (Self-Taught) Interior Designer / Decorator / Creative Professional

Determination! Failure was and is not an option and having a great support network. My background team Decorating Den Interiors and Guidant Financial both help me to run a great business, and with their help, I can offer employees excellent training, a good product mix to sell, and a 401 retirement plan with an employer matching contribution as an added benefit!

What Are Some Challenges Of Interior Design

Interior designers must keep ahead of current trends in creating a beautiful and comfortable home or office environment. They must also be aware of what clients are asking for and find ways to meet the clients needs even before they express them. The spaces they create must be a reflection of the times and also be unique enough to meet an individual client’s tastes.

Where Do Interior Decorators Work

Interior Decorators work in a variety of places, such as home and commercial settings. Some are independent contractors, running a decorating business on their own or with a small group of decorators and designers. Others find employment through larger design firms they may work with teams on both large and small-scale projects for homes and businesses. Also, Interior Decorators can find work in the retail field, designing displays in stores or assisting customers with design decisions when purchasing items from their stores product line.

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You Shouldn’t Work With A Designer If You Dont Play Well With Others

Rienne says working with an interior designer is a collaboration. They cant make every decision for you and you both need to work together. I got into design because I genuinely love creating experiences for people. Part of the process of working with me is that I truly work with my clients.

If you have an idea of what you like or want, that shouldnt deter you from using an interior designer. They will help you bring it to life in a way you probably wouldnt be able to on your own, she explains. Hiring a designer is a great call when you just want someone to help guide your vision

Interior Decorator Job Description

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Interior decorators help determine the look and feel of a clients home by selecting and placing decorative elements such as paint, textiles, and furniture. This client-facing role involves meeting directly with clients to get a sense of how they intend to use their space and how they want it to feel. Interior decorators work within their clients budgets to bring a room to life.

This role shares some similarities with, but also differs significantly from, the role of an interior designer. The primary difference is that interior decorators dont make architectural changes and instead work to improve the existing room. Most interior decorators work as freelancers or consultants, although some work within larger organizations.

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Give Us An Example Of How You Landed One Of Your First Clients

One of the great things about Decorating Den Interiors is their support. They helped me with my Grand Opening and that is where I got my first client from a mailed invitation. Bearing in mind that I started my business in 2007, and most of my early business came from newspaper advertising. I was new to Nashville and had very few friends, and no relatives to rely on!

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.

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Obtain Proper Certification To Practice Interior Design

Twenty-seven states require licensure for interior designers, which includes passing the NCIDQ exam. NCIDQ is the most common interior design certification, recognized in the United States and Canada as a benchmark for proficiency in the profession. In order to qualify to take the NCIDQ exam, you must first earn an associate, bachelors, or masters degree and complete a certain number of hours of work experience depending on the level of education. Comprising three partsthe Interior Design Fundamentals Exam , the Interior Design Professional Exam , and the practicumthe NCIDQ exam covers subjects such as construction standards, design application, building systems and codes, project coordination, and contract administration. You may take the first partthe IDFXonce youve graduated from design school even if you havent completed all the required work hours. The IDPX, meanwhile, is available to you once youve completed both your education and work requirements, and the practicum is the final exam. Fees for each part of the exam are paid separately. While this three-part test may sound arduous, you should have gleaned all the necessary information through schooling and practical experience to fare well enough to pass the exam and obtain your NCIDQ credentialsyou need a score of at least 500 out of 800 to pass. And this is certification thats definitely worth having , as it legitimizes your skill set and experience to clients and employers.

Bring Your Designer In Early:


Youll want to bring your interior designer in as early as possible on the project. Ideally, you want designers, architects and contractors to start coordinating from the beginning of the project to avoid miscommunication or design issues that could arise along the way. This is why the design-build method is on the rise.

With the design-build method, an interior designer is involved in the project from day one. This means that the designers education, experience and insight can direct the flow and layout of a space when its still in the ideation phase. From the beginning, designers are thinking through how youre going to live in the space, what space will be needed for the furniture they have in mind and what will be needed structurally to achieve your goals for the space. When a designer is initially on the project, a designer and builder can work in unison to ensure that the design and construction plans complement each other.

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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.

Taking Before Photos In The Interior Designer Career

After your clients have given you the information you need you can click on one of them and choose the‘send client away’ option. This will allow you to proceed to the next task, taking before photos.

Remember to take before photos before you enter build mode!

To take photos you can and navigate to the option through the career menu. You can also choose a camera or your phone as you would normally. Finally, you can actually in the room you want to photograph and select the option from a pop-up menu.

You can take as many or as few photos as you like. These will be used to form a slideshow at the end of the job when you can match them up to after photos.

Because you will be using them for comparison the easiest way to cover everything is to take one from each corner of the room.

The camera is easier to navigate than usual and the photos will look reasonable in-game where they are quite small. However, it’s worth noting that when viewed from your screenshots folder they can often look distorted due to the angle, especially if you have a widescreen monitor.

The camera has also been adjusted so that you can more freely move around, allowing you to stand in one place and zoom out to take both interior and exterior shots without moving. This doesn’t always work but appears to be the case for level extensions.

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Tell Us A Little Bit About Yourself And Your Entrepreneurial Journey

As a youngster, I was always interested in designing spaces, building things, and working with fabrics. I did all of this as a hobby, assisting friends across the country. When I did some design work for an employer, outside of the scope of my IT duties it rekindled the desire to pursue that line of work. The easiest and smartest way seemed to be to buy a franchise one with a proven track record, and brand recognition. Funding was another issue I had a pretty good 401, but, I needed a good way to access the money, without having to suffer severe tax penalties I used Guidant Financial, at the advice of a franchise broker, to set up my corporation and get my business started.

Communicate Clearly With Your Designer


Good communication will be a key to the success of your project. The interior designer you work with will communicate often and clearly about your project to eliminate any guessing on your end about where theyre at in the project timeline or what they need from you. However, its just as helpful for you to communicate clearly with them. For example, if there are furniture pieces that are sentimental and you want them to stay, let your designer know that from the very beginning. If there is something you do not love about their design along the way, tell them.

It might be hard to be open with your interior designer, as you might feel like youre not the expert, but the truth is that your designer would rather you be completely open and honest throughout the design process. Because direct and decisive design preferences can speed up the process, your honesty and feedback will always be welcomed. Youll be the one who needs to love the design and the decisions being made, so dont be afraid to communicate with your designer at any stage in the process.

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Jobs You Can Get With An Interior Decorating Certification

Your interior decorating certification can take you in a lot of different directions its a dynamic industry that lets you bring your best creative ideas to the table. Becoming an interior decorator is the most obvious career pathits in the name! But what other jobs are out there? When you know about all the different opportunities youre qualified for, youll be able to take on more challenging projects, allowing you to become a design expert much faster than the average designer.

Read on for 5 unexpected interior decorating jobs you should go for as a certified home designer!

What Is The Average Salary For An Interior Decorator

Interior decorators earn around $16.06 per hour in the United States. Using the typical 40-hour week in our calculations, we estimate a US-based interior decorator earns $33,404 per year on average. However, you should understand that individual incomes will vary according to experience, location, client, qualifications and marketing expertise.

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Should I Hire A Designer Or A Decorator

Who you should hire depends on your needs. If structural changes are needed , then generally an interior designer is the better choice. Designers can help plan for significant structural changes and help make them happen by working directly with architects and builders. On the other hand, if there are no structural changes needed but you need aesthetic helpdeciding on a style choosing wallpaper, paint, and furnishings picking window treatments, and choosing lighting and accessoriesan interior decorator will probably do the trick. Experienced decorators know what works together and can transform a room to suit a client’s needs and desires.

In the end, however, choosing the right professional depends largely on the skills of the particular professional, not the job title. A great many designers with formal schooling spend most of their time doing work that can be best described as decorating since it involves no renovation or structural work. And there are just as many professional decorators who, through long experience, are perfectly capable of working with contractors and builders in the same way as a designer.

What Does An Interior Designer Do

Become an Interior Decorator – Part 1

The amount your interior designer does really depends on you and your budget. You may just want help with mood boards or product suggestions and be happy to source everything and oversee the decorating and styling process yourself.

At the other end of the scale, an interior designer can do everything from creation of CGIs to show you how the finished room will look, to lighting plans, sourcing of materials and furniture, and working with the builders and decorators. As a team, we are able to offer an array of services be it small-scale furniture procurement, all the way through to a complete project starting from the ground up, says Ottalie Stride, Creative Director of Albion Nord interior design and project management studio.

Essentially, interior designers can be anything from a personal shopper to a complete renovation project manager. If youre planning a major refurbishment, extension or renovation, then your interior designer will work with your architect and builder to ensure your shared vision becomes a reality. Many interior companies, such as kitchen and bathroom suppliers, have in-house interior designers you can use, but if you want your whole house to have a cohesive feel, then its usually best to work with a freelance designer.

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What Your Money Buys

Hourly billing starts with the decorator’s first consultation. A decorator might charge you to shop for samples or do research. But she should be able to tell you how specific products performed for past clients in terms of durability, ease of cleaning and warranty coverage, and how responsive the manufacturer was to complaints. She should also warn you off bad practices, such as using absorbent carpet or cloth wallpaper in a bathroom, unwashable flat paint in a kid’s room or glossy ceiling paint in a small room, which makes the space look even smaller.

Then, as choices or changes are made, the decorator must immediately communicate with the contractor on the construction implications of each choice. If, for example, you finally settle on laminate floors but the contractor bid and designed for hardwood floors, the heightand costof the slab or joists may change. The contractor needs to know this. Design changes also have an impact on cost and schedule. For instance, perhaps you changed the molding planned for the bedroom because the original choice didn’t complement the final choice of curtains. Or maybe you picked a new color for the border tile in the kitchen since the initial pattern you selected would have clashed with the final choice in fixtures.

You Shouldn’t Work With A Designer If You Want Everything Done In One Day

Is the goal to move into a perfectly finished home? Either delay your move-in date or re-evaluate your plans. Good design takes time. Not just choosing items, but shipping and customizations can take a few weeks or even months. Issues can arise that are out of the designers control such as items being destroyed in the shipping process , delays from foreign suppliers, etc.

If you want to move into a new place with little leeway time and everything perfectly set up and finished, that just wont happen when you use an interior designer. Youre probably better hitting up a store that sells packages of rooms and throws in free lamps and a side table. Of course, it wont look as nice or have a designer touch, but youll have a comfortable place to sit. Alternatively, you can rent furniture and take your time deciding what you really want.

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What Type Of Person Is Successful In An Interior Design Career What Type Of Person May Not Be The Best Fit

The successful designer is one who understands how to run a business and has a degree in interior design from an accredited program.

As in most industries, a designer must respond to what the consumers are asking for. Not necessarily what kind of sofa or table, but contracts, liabilities, resources, pricing, and more.

The old saying “The devil is in the details” certainly applies to interior design! So if a person is hoping for pretty fabrics, wallpapers, and only yeses from their clients, this is not the business for them!

Apply To A Variety Of Interior Design Jobs

Interior Design Inspiration 01 on Behance

Cast a wide net as far as areas of interest, explore a host of interior design jobs, and remain open to all opportunities. If something sounds remotely interesting to you, apply to the post. You never know the connections youll make by speaking with people at various design firms.

This is an exciting time to be in interior design, the field is ripe for new thinking, imagination, and bold innovation. Being multifaceted and open to new experiences will be key, Ames Noble says. Sometimes having a specific career arc can limit yourself from what you can become and what you can offer. The future of the practice probably wont be as linear as it used to be.

When you are able to incorporate authenticity and passion into your work and have knowledge of multiple sectors and types of work, youre setting yourself up for success.

Arrange informational interviews to learn about firms and their areas of expertise. Research about different interior design jobs, and become well-informed about distinct roles within a design firm so that you see which types of positions are most in accord with your background and skill set. Learn about the company culture, the workforce, and upper management at the design firms you are targeting for employment, and pay attention when visiting workplaces for interviews. Ask yourself if you can see yourself working in this office among these colleagues.

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