Because it doesn’t require the formal education that interior design does, the job title of interior decorator is quickly growing in popularity. If you’re someone that takes a lot of pride in your home decor and especially if you’re always getting compliments on your home, you may be cut out for this highly competitive line of work. But for every successful interior designer, there are a few that aren’t. Here are some things you should consider before you embark on this particular career.
It’s hard to get noticed
Because interior designers are required to have extensive knowledge about architecture, structural engineering, plumbing and electrical work, and building codes, a bachelor’s degree or higher is required. Interior decorating on the other hand only requires a good eye for color, texture, and spatial arrangements. But because the bar is lower for decorators as opposed to designers, there’s a lot more competition. You don’t need a license, a place of business, or a degree and you’ll find no shortage of people online offering their services in your community.
It takes passion
Standing out in such a crowded marketplace requires real passion for the work. If interior decorating is something you kind of enjoy or have a knack for but you don’t think about almost constantly, it might not be for you. The best decorators are the ones who are always thinking about interior decorating and different ways to do it. If you don’t have passion for it, you’ll burn out quick.
You have to read minds
Even though you’re the decorator, the homeowner gets the final say. Your job as the decorator is to figure out exactly what it is the homeowner wants even if he/she can’t put it into words very well. Good interior decorators know how to ask the right questions and even more importantly, they know how to listen and figure out what it is the homeowner wants so they can make it a reality.
You need a stellar portfolio
When you’re an interior decorator, nothing else matters as much as your reputation. That means to be successful you’ll need to build up an excellent portfolio. This will be harder at first since you can’t put together a portfolio without work and you can’t get work without a good portfolio. A good place to start is with high quality pictures of your own home. You’ll want to purchase a good camera so you can take pictures that do your decorating work justice.
You have to study
Just because you don’t need a degree doesn’t mean you don’t need to study. One of the challenging, but also exciting things about interior decorating is that it’s always evolving. That means you have to stay on top of ever-changing trends. A good way to do this is to subscribe to the top interior design and home decor magazines. The internet is also a great resource for interior decorating research.
Charge what you’re worth
When you’re an interior decorator, you set your own price. This is a very fine line since you won’t get much work if you charge more than you’re worth. But more often than not, decorators sell themselves short and charge less than they should. If you really want to increase your earnings, offer to actually do a lot of the work yourself, not just consult. Simple projects like installing baseboard heater covers or creating a floral arrangement are easy enough for you to do on your own and you don’t have to share the profits with anyone else so make it a point to learn to do a lot of decorating projects yourself.