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What Do You Need To Be An Interior Decorator

Bachelors Degree In Fashion

How To Become An Interior Designer [Without a Degree or Going Back to School]

If interior design and decorating are the application of art to interior spaces, fashion is the application of art to physical appearances in terms of clothing, accessories, makeup, hairstyles and more. Given the similarities, not to mention the way that home design trends come into and go out of fashion sometimes corresponding to clothing and accessory trends it makes sense that fashion is another popular background for interior designers.

Fashion students may study design principles, textiles and materials, drawing and computer-aided design and three-dimensional design technology, just as interior design students do. More specialized topics in the study of fashion may include pattern and draping design and the history of costume instead of art and architecture.

How To Become A Licensed Registered Or Certified Interior Designer

To become licensed, registered, or certified, almost every credentialing state requires you to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination. Even if your state doesn’t offer a credential, earning your NCIDQ Certificate can still be beneficial as you pursue your career.

There are 3 parts to the examthe Interior Design Fundamentals Exam, Interior Design Professional Exam, and the Practicum. You need to earn a score of at least 500 out of 800 in order to pass.

To be eligible to sit for the NCIDQ, you’ll need to meet specific requirements for education and experience. Keep in mind, however, that your state might have additional criteria, so it’s important to check with your jurisdiction to make sure you’re covering your bases.

Prepare Relevant Skills For Interior Decorator

1. Artistic and creative abilities

Knowing how lighting, texture, and color can be used most effectively within a space is the fundamentals of being an interior decorator. Thus, artistic and creative abilities are crucial.

2. Communication skills

Interior decorating requires you to listen to your clients, and to understand their expectations. This two-way communication necessitates great communication skills and empathy.

3. Planning skills

You will need to be able to present a plan to a client in a visual manner which includes a whole variety of details, such as a representation of the final product and a cost analysis and timeline.

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What Is An Interior Decorator

An interior decorator is a professional in the housing industry who helps improve the aesthetics of rooms and other interior spaces. Unlike interior designers, who need to be skilled in architecture, interior decorators focus solely on beautifying and enhancing the function of living and work spaces.

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How To Become An Interior Decorator: All You Need To Know

Do You Need DIY Interior Design Advice?

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.

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What Skills Are Needed To Be An Interior Decorator


Interior decorators create new designs or plan renovations to interior rooms in homes or businesses that improve their functionality or aesthetic appeal. They select the right materials, furnishings lighting and overall style to best suit the client’s needs. Some work independently, while others work for design firms. The 2019 median interior designer salary was $56,040, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A bachelor’s degree is a standard requirement.

Being Able To Admit Youve Made A Mistake

It feels awful to make a mistake, Britta admits. But that makes it easy to learn from. When things go wrong and people start to point fingers, that can dissolve the trust on a team, and even erode trust with your clients. Admitting mistakes maintains both the integrity of your team and the business.

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Note The Use Of The New Space

Most gigs will specify what the new floor should be used for. Take note of this and ensure that basic furniture for that purpose is present in your design.

Desks in offices, beds and dressers in bedrooms, toilet, sink and shower in bathrooms will all help you meet the criteria. Any extras are optional with maintaining the budget being preferred.

Research Best Colleges And Universities For Interior Designer


1. University of Texas Austin: UT Austin is a highly rated public university located in Austin, Texas. It is a large institution with an enrollment of 37,740 undergraduate students.

2. University of Florida: Florida is a highly rated public university located in Gainesville, Florida. It is a large institution with an enrollment of 31,384 undergraduate students.

3. Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech is a highly rated public college located in Blacksburg, Virginia. It is a big institution with an enrollment of 26,603 undergraduate students.

4. University of Wisconsin

5. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

6. Purdue University

8. The Ohio State University

9. Florida State University

17. The University of Alabama

18. Rhode Island School of Design

19. Oklahoma State University

20. Washington State University

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How Much Do Interior Decorators Make In A Year

The average salary for an Interior Designer is $59,952 per year, according to the Australian Governments Job Outlook website. However, your wage will increase over time as you become more experienced and build up your portfolio of work.

A full-time Interior Decorators working hours will be around 44 hours a week , according to the same website.

Do Interior Decorators Need Specific Credentials

You dont have to have formal certification. However, there are many programs and courses available to decorators that help with them hone their craft. They cover topics like selecting colors, furniture layouts, and understanding furniture styles. There are decorators who chose to pursue certifications from organizations like Certified Interior Decorators International .

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What Are The Requirements For Interior Designers In Canada


Do you have an eye for designing and decorating spaces? If so, a career in interior design may be a good choice for you. In this industry, you have the opportunity to work in residential or commercial areas to create safe, functional and beautiful spaces for your clients.

Interior Designer Job Growth Trend

Why do you need an interior designer to decorate your house?

According to Job Bank, between 2019 and 2028, Canada is expecting a total of 11,900 job openings in interior design. These will be a result of retirements from previous employees, as well as expansion in the industry. Canada is expected to have 12,500 new interior designers seeking jobs during this time. Because these numbers are so close, there could be a labor shortage in interior design. Job prospects vary by region. In Ontario, for example, the job prospects for interior designers is fair, while in Manitoba it is good.

Interior designers who are tech savvy and can integrate the use of technology into their work will have better chances of landing a job, according to Job Bank. Itâs important to keep in mind that interior design often sees candidates from other fields, such as graphic designers and illustrators, who bring their own unique skills to the market.


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Master The Skills Needed To Be An Interior Designer

Theres more to being an interior designer than creativity, impeccable taste, and a keen designers eye. Effective communication goes a long way in every aspect of a designers life, from landing the interview to getting the job and being promoted throughout your career, Headley offers. The art of storytelling is critical when it comes to explaining a concept or showcasing the design in the earliest stages. That is something that needs to start in class when students are presenting their projects.

Organizational, time management, project management, and communication skills are all prerequisites for the job, as is some very specific technical knowledge. While mastery of drawing and perspective are fundamental for every interior designer, computer-aided design now is as well. CAD technologyin the form of computer software such as Autodesk AutoCAD, CorelCAD, SmartDraw, ARCHICAD, DraftSight, and CAD Pro, among othersallows you to render your design ideas in 2D and 3D models with proper dimensions, colors, texture, and other design details.

Getting Really Comfortable With The Code

Interior design isnt just about assembling and decorating with beautiful things. Interior designers have to follow building and accessibility codes for the health and safety of people inhabiting the spaces they work with. Youll need to know the codes, or at least know where to look. Bielak says its normal for this part to feel really intimidating when youre starting out, but empowering yourself with that knowledge is important.

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General Interior Design And Interior Decorating Program Requirements

Many Ontario colleges offer complete programs or dedicated interior design schools to give you a leading edge in the industry. Often, all that is necessary to enter one of these programs is an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent, including a Grade 12 English and mathematics course, with a sufficient minimum average. Visual arts courses are often recommended.

Obtain Proper Certification To Practice Interior Design

HOW TO Become an Interior Designer in Canada

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.

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Licenses Certifications And Registrations

Licensure requirements vary by state. In some states, only licensed designers may do interior design work. In other states, both licensed and unlicensed designers may do such work however, only licensed designers may use the title interior designer. In still other states, both licensed and unlicensed designers may call themselves interior designers and do interior design work.

In states with laws restricting the use of the title interior designer, only candidates who pass their state-approved exam, most commonly the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam, may call themselves registered interior designers. Candidate eligibility for taking the NCIDQ exam includes having at least a bachelors degree in interior design and 2 years of full-time work experience.

California requires a different exam, administered by the California Council for Interior Design Certification . To take this exam, eligible candidates must have a combination of education and experience.

Voluntary certification in an interior design specialty, such as environmental design, allows designers to demonstrate expertise in a particular area of the occupation. Interior designers often specialize to distinguish the type of design work they do and to promote their expertise. Certifications usually are available through professional and trade associations and are independent of the NCIDQ licensing examination.

The Argument For Getting An Interior Degree

To start, theres an important distinction to be made between an interior designer and an interior decorator. Anyone who enjoys putting together furniture, accessories, fabrics, and paint to create beautiful rooms can become an interior decorator with just some experience in doing so. An interior designer, on the other hand, focuses on the whole space and how the occupants reside safely in it. So, part of the consideration is, where do you want to focus your personal expertise, and how will you obtain that knowledge? If you dont have it inherently, you may need to get it through the studies that would get you a degree.

In interior design curriculum, we focus on the health, safety and welfare of occupants, says Stephanie Sickler, assistant professor and foundations coordinator in the Department of Interior Architecture and Design at Florida State University. This doesnt mean that in school we teach the aesthetics out of it, or that theres not room for creating beautiful spaces, but there are so many codes and laws that we have to follow and those are the things that teach someone how to design for public spaces.

Beyond the component of optimizing health, safety and welfare, another element Sickler says that professional flexibility is another advantage of obtaining a degree.

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Do You Need An Interior Decorator Or An Interior Designer

First, we want to make it clear we dont get too attached to labels. Our team usually refers to ourselves as interior designers, but we definitely dont bristle when someone calls us an interior decorator. Weve often found the distinction to be a generational one. Many in the Old Guard call themselves decorators, while those in the New Generation of design prefer the term designer.

Technically, they are two separate occupations. Depending on your design needs, you may select to work with one or the other.

Earning Potential For Interior Designers And Decorators

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Considering the differences in both the scope of work in these two jobs and the training required for them, it makes sense that interior designers can generally expect to make more money than interior decorators. According to the salary research website PayScale, the average salary for interior decorators in 2022 was $39,746, compared to $51,754 for interior designers. Interior designers reported average base earnings that were 30% higher than interior decorators. The median salary the BLS reported for interior designers as of 2020 was $57,060 per year.

This significant difference in earning potential offers a clear path to improving your income. If you want to make more and dont mind expanding your areas of consideration in your work beyond the scope of decorating for purely aesthetic purposes, one way you can earn more money is by getting the credentials to work as a full-fledged interior designer.

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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.

Do Interior Designers Need Specific Credentials

Depending on the location, interior designers may be required to pass an exam and register with a governing council. One of the governing councils is the American Society of Interior Designers. Theyre the oldest and largest professional organization for interior designers, suppliers, and manufacturers. Several of the Laura U Design Collective team are ASID certified, including Laura!

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Five: Network With Other Interior Designers And Decorators

Networking will be your BEST FRIEND as you become an interior decorator and advance in your career. The home design industry is a pretty tight-knit community. It wont take long for you to meet and/or become acquainted with the other decorators in your local area, as well as contractors, suppliers, and other types of designers.

But wait, you might be thinking, why do I need to become friends with other interior decorators? Arent they my competition?

Yes, but in no way does this mean they arent also allies. Your career will be much better off if you establish positive connections with others in the community than if you tried to go at things completely solo.

After all, by networking, youll be increasing your chances of getting referrals. Those in the industry who are not also interior decorators can collaborate with you on projects or send potential clients your way. Heck, even other decorators can do this for you . Proper networking cultivates a mutually respectful agreement of you scratch my back, Ill scratch yours.

In the end, youll have a longer, more fruitful career if you network with other designers and decorators.

How To Be A Good Interior Decorator

Interior Design Course for Beginners – Learn Design from a Professional

A good Interior Decorator has product knowledge, creativity, and listening skills. You should become very familiar with interior design techniques, styles, furniture, lighting, color theory, and resources for unique interior decor items. It is imperative to understand your clients wishes, their budget, and to complete projects on time. Word-of-mouth referrals are often the way you connect with new clients in this field, so it is important to maintain a good reputation.

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