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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Selling a Service > Become an Interior Decorator 

Start an Interior Decorating Business

What you will be doing.  In all of those home decorating magazines, the living spaces look so inviting and well decorated. 

Someone has a flair for putting together a room. 

If you can look at a room and see its potential, you may have what it takes to start a business as an interior decorator. 

Using the personality and desires of the clients, interior decorators provide them with living rooms, bedrooms, and offices that suit their needs.   

How to start.  Take a class in interior design.  Shadow an interior decorator by working as their apprentice or assistant.  Watch how they work and the methods they employ to choose the best features for the project at hand.  When you feel confident that you have the knowledge to proceed, try business on your own.  If your state requires certification to call yourself an interior decorator, gather all of the necessary information and apply. 

Starting costs.  Interior decorators travel with some essential tools:  fabric swatches, color books, measuring tools, and catalogs.  These are visual aids for the decorator to use to come up with a look for the client.  Clients also get to sample the material to see if they like it. 

The home office is where an interior decorator puts together the notes they have taken and the measurements and turns them into a preliminary sketches.  You’ll need a computer, fax machine, telephone, and design software.  Along with advertising, be prepared to spend around $3,000 to $5,000. 

Skills needed.  This business requires an eye for detail and creativity. 

You will take a previously decorated room or an empty room and turn it into the vision that a client has in their head. 

Learning to deal with a variety of personality types puts the clients at ease and keeps you from getting frustrated. 

Confidence goes a long way to convincing clients that you know what you are doing and can help them. 

Marketing.  Put ads in the newspaper and the Yellow Pages to get noticed.  Interior decorators don’t just work for individuals; they have corporate clients and builders on their list of customers.  Advertising in business and decorating magazines will gain the attention of companies and affluent people who read them.   

Join professional associations.  They can offer business advice and networking options to get your business started.  Create a portfolio that you can show to potential clients.  Let your work speak for itself. 

If you have the best looking house on the block year after year and you did it yourself, consider a career change to interior decorating.  You can make others feel just as satisfied as you are when you turn their home or office into a comfortable showplace.

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