For many people, becoming an interior decorator is something they choose to do as soon as they discover their passion for style, design, and coordination. For others, the choice comes later on, after other career paths and years of consideration.
The beautiful thing about interior decorating is that it’s never too early or too late to begin learning professional techniques. Age is just a number! As long as you have an eye for style, can work efficiently, can think outside the box, and are always willing to learn, you’ll be prepared for a career in interior decorating.
“Am I too young to become an interior decorator?”
When it comes to learning basic interior decorating techniques and building a good foundation for professional training, you are never too young!
Any person with a passion for coordinating details and celebrating style and expression should begin practicing whenever they can. In fact, the younger you start decorating your own spaces (or even the spaces in your family’s home), the more time you have to improve and explore your skills.
It’s true that many interior decorating programs or colleges require you to be at least 18 to enroll. There are some, however, that understand how the passion for décor can start at a younger age. Some programs accept students as young as 16, as long as a parent or legal guardian is willing to sign a consent form giving them permission to enroll.
In most places, interior decorating is an unregulated profession. If you wish to branch out into interior design and actually change the physical structure of a room, however, you’ll be required to complete additional training and become legally licensed. This doesn’t mean you can’t train as an interior decorator or begin developing your décor skills earlier to gain experience until you’re old enough to train and consider licensing.
If your local area doesn’t permit training until you’re 18, don’t be discouraged! Use online resources to help you begin practicing, or at least thinking about, basic décor skills. Google interior décor blogs or vlogs and read planning magazines to introduce yourself to themes, styles, trends, and decorating strategies. Use reputable resources as a research guide.
The best thing you can do is practice. Help your mom re-coordinate the furniture layout in her home office or give your best friend’s bedroom a complete decorative makeover. You can even build a small portfolio to present to the programs you apply to later. People might not pay you for the first few spaces you decorate, but your friends and family make great practice clients if they’re willing. The more experience you have before training, the higher your chances of being accepted into the program of your choice when you’re old enough.
“Am I too old to become an interior decorator?”
As long as you’re passionate about style and décor and willing to learn new things, you’re never too old to become an interior decorator. In fact, many decorators start their careers after years of working in other industries, raising children, or debating whether they’re ready to commit.
For some, a later start is actually beneficial because they’ve already achieved goals and reached personal or professional milestones. Many older decorators are prepared to devote their full attention to interior decorating. They’ve also had a chance to gain relevant life experience that might make them attractive candidates for training programs and potential clients.
Interior decorating programs and colleges have no age limit for seeking professional training. As long as you’re able to complete the tasks required by the decorating process, you are not cut off from training as an interior decorator just because you’ve reached a certain age.
Getting your first clients
No matter what age you are when you begin your interior decorating career, attracting your first clients can be intimidating. You can make it easier by knowing where your target market lies, which can be influenced by your age.
In the public’s eye, a young interior decorator might appear trendy, fashionable, and up to date on the latest social and pop culture trends. This doesn’t mean that older decorators can’t be these things too! It simply means that younger decorators might have better luck targeting a younger crowd of potential clients than they would with more mature groups.
For example, a young, single professional buying her first condo in the city might be more attracted to decorators who are closer to her age. Mature decorators are just as capable of planning chic, trendy spaces, but clients often like to work with decorators they can identify with. A 23 year old might be more excited to work with someone closer to her age who probably likes the same things as her.
Mature decorators often have the best luck working with clients in a similar demographic to their own age as well. An elderly married couple looking for help updating their living room will probably feel more comfortable hiring a mature planner with more life experience than they will hiring someone very young who perhaps hasn’t owned a home of their own yet. Once again, this isn’t because young planners can’t coordinate traditionally stylish spaces for older generations! Clients might simply see themselves reflected in the experiences of a planner closer to their own demographic.
Identifying your target market is a crucial step to building a client base in any business. Interior decorators are no exception. Don’t restrict who you’ll work with simply because of your age, but keep in mind which groups might be most keen to work with you. Who will identify with your experience and style?
A trendy young decorator could very easily be hired by an elderly lady looking for a fun, colorful new kitchen design and an older decorator might be hired by a young couple who want elegance and class in their master bedroom and see that capability in the decorator’s maturity. Don’t let yourself stress over whether or not you’re too young or too old to find clients. Instead, use your age to your advantage and market yourself to clients who will value your life experience!
Regardless of your age, pursuing your passion for interior decorating is worth the time and effort. You should never be discouraged by other people questioning whether you are too young or too old to become an interior decorator. Professional decorating is the type of industry where you are constantly learning and growing, no matter your age or experience level. If you have the dedication to develop your skills from basic to advanced, then you have the potential to excel at any point.
Join the discussion 24 Comments
I loved this article because I am a new student with QC but am starting out at 61 years old. This has been a lifelong passion and now I want to do it as a career. Have been slow to start but am encouraged because I have an Interior Decorator who studied at QC who has taken me under their wing and as soon as I have my course finished will be taking me on the road with her to do design projects.
How do you like QC Design School & how are you doing? Do they have online courses. I’m 57 years old and would love to get involved in interior design however I’m thinking that by the time I’m done with school, it may be too late for me due to age. Can you let me know what you think please!
Oh hi my name is Deborah, I just turned 60! Good for you Diane! Keep up the good work…
Diane, You are very lucky to have a mentor! Decorating has been a lifelong dream of mine as well, however, I spent the last 40 years as an insurance claim professional and was seeking my dream job. I can relate to your post as I am on my last unit of the interior decorating course and “soon to be 60”. I am currently working with my 5th client and have participated in a charity home decor project where I decorated a masculine den. I’ve never felt better about myself and I don’t feel my age is a factor at all. I try to keep current and relative with my fashion and hairstyle choices that are also age appropriate. Love red lipstick and I let my gray hair grow out and LOVE IT!!!! If you have the talent and stay current in the field, age is not a factor. My best to you for great success in your new endeavor.
I was thinking that age mattered also I love this article because it instantly gave me the added courage to continue my course. Very informative thank you so much and for this great course.
I am 60 and just retired. I have always loved decorating and now was considering a second career. This article was so inspiring. Thanks
Thanks for your comment – we’re happy you found this article so inspiring 🙂 It’s never too late to start an interior decorating career that you’re passionate about!
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about getting started in the industry. Best of luck!
Thank you for posting the article. I’ve taken a design course 30+ years ago at UNH, but unfortunately never finished to receive my certification due to a pregnancy. I’m 61 years of age now and excited to return and get my Certification. I may not work for an agency, but mostly for my own knowledge. We are building a home on the coast of Maine and this will help out immensely! Thanks again!!
I’m glad I found these posts, because I’m up there in age as well (58) and thinking “It’s too late…how do I get clients? Tons of self doubt! Maybe I should just JUMP IN!
best website for interior designers from here you can choose the best interiors and also compare between two or more interiors
This article was so encouraging for me. I can’t wait to begin my courses now. Thank you!
That’s so amazing, Edelmira, thanks for sharing that with us! We’re so happy that you enjoyed this article. 🙂
Hi, I am pramod from India, I am 36 now my qualification is plus two, I have a 15 years of academic gap. Meanwhile in this period I am working as a 3d visualizer. Now I am willing do a course in interior design, is there any possibility of getting admission??
Hi Pramod, thanks for commenting! You could absolutely enroll in with QC Design School! We don’t require any prior schooling as a prerequisite for our programs. 🙂 Please feel free to check out all of our course information here: https://www.qcdesignschool.com/online-courses/
If you have any other questions or would like more information about our school, courses, tuition, etc., please feel free to email our Student Support Specialists at [email protected].
We hope you have a wonderful day! 🙂
All the best,
The QC Team
I am only 8 but i love drawing,designing and art
very good u know i am 10 but i thought how i could do it in this much age but this article gave me hope
Did we read this right? You’re 10-years-old and want to become an interior decorator? That’s awesome!!! We love your ambition! Keep up the great work – you can absolutely make this dream become a reality, we’re sure of it! 🙂
All the best,
The QC Team
So I 13 I’ve been interested in interior design for 4 years now(since 9 year old). But I watch some series on “Netflix” so I can get an idea of what shades or what goes great together and what I could do differently on what they did. Also I have designed a room my home but I didn’t really have nothing to work with but it came out good. But when we all get vaccines for that virus hopefully I can get a client around my neighborhood.
I’m 14 years old. I don’t have the best grades because I don’t see a major point in school. I guess I understand as to why we have it but it is a constant argument in our house. I have been interested in interior design since I was 12 and a half. I believe id benefit more in a job and school if simply I were allowed to go to each job I’ve thought of doing to get a better understanding of it. Sometimes it feels like I’m stuck because I will be in school learning things I’m most likely never going to need in life when it should be more about helping teens figure out what they want to do for the rest of their life. My family always looks at me as the stupid one when honestly I am a bit stubborn when I truly believe in something. I know you said I can start with closer people who might let me but quite frankly, that is not going to happen. I can learn what they teach me in school in a year for a job because I am a quick learner but I am quite selective with things I see a point in and don’t.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article and for leaving such a thoughtful comment. 🙂 Everyone learns differently, we completely understand and respect that. In the world of design, there is definitely a major portion of the learning component that can only come from real-world experience. That being said, legitimate training is going to be expected of you – particularly if you want to make a legitimate career out of your passion. 🙂 Try to think of it from a client’s perspective: if they had to choose between two designers – one properly trained/certified and one not – they will always choose the trained, certified designer. While you are 100% allowed to pursue your future career in the way you most prefer, just know that if you choose not to get educated and professionally certified, you’ll likely be limiting yourself in terms of how far your career can ultimately go.
I’ll also point out, as someone who HATED a lot of their high school classes, that design training is a lot different than high school courses. It’s specifically tailored in a way that will help you in your future career. None of what’s being taught to you will be irrelevant; in fact, it will ALL be useful to your career in some way. Plus, the right design training will offer plenty of instructional videos and hands-on assignments, so you won’t be forced to strictly read textbooks and learn that way. 🙂
Ultimately, follow the path that you feel is best for you. All we caution is to be realistic and know what options are available to you, and how those options can benefit you in the long run.
Thanks again for reading! <3
All the best,
The QC Team
I’m 66 and just starting out but hey guys age is just a number seeing that in biblical history Adam was 930, his grand son Methuselah was 969 do you realize that we only live a fraction of what these people did and we call ourselves old?
Hey Alberta, thanks so much for reading and for leaving such a wonderful comment! You’ve hit the nail on the head! Age is just a number, and when it comes to following your dreams, there’s NO age limit on what can be achieved and when! <3
All the best,
The QC Team
hello! I’m 12 years old and my dad always wanted to be an interior designer and without knowing that he too wanted to be a designer I told him I want to be an interior designer but he wants me to prepare from now and it’s not that I don’t want to its, that he making me do UKG booster books which have connecting dots, writing 1-20 so that logical reasoning becomes good and I know how to connect and how to write numbers and I think there’s no need of that and yea also it’s a 110 pages book which wants me to finish in 1 day…
Thanks for commenting. Firstly, we think that’s really spectacular that at such a young age, you’ve already found something you’re so passionate about and want to eventually make a career out of! So many people out there go their entire lives without finding a passion like that. So, the fact that you have at just 12 years old is really special – and you should be very proud of yourself for having so much drive and dedication! 🙂
While the books your dad has given you to work on may feel a little overwhelming, it’s also really great that you and your father share a love for interior design. He seems to be supportive of your desire to pursue interior design as a career, and that’s really cool! Getting that kind of support from a parent is a very positive, encouraging thing. 🙂 We totally understand that the prep work he wants you to do right now might seem pointless – but one day, you might look back and realize that everything you were learning in those UKG booster books actually helped you refine some critical skills that wound up taking your interior design skills to the next level!
That said, on top of completing the books that your dad has given you, you can find other ways to continue getting creative, hands-on, and putting your love of interior design to use. For example, what if you tried to give your bedroom a bit of a makeover? Find small, doable projects you can complete within your own home (with the permission of your parent(s), of course). By starting to get real-world, hands-on training NOW, you’ll be setting yourself up for SO much success in a few years when you’re ready to launch a career in the design industry! 😀
We wish you nothing but the best, Kavya, and know the future has all sorts of amazing adventures in store for you!
All the best,
The QC Team