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. As long as you have an eye for style, can work efficiently, are prepared to think outside the box, and are always willing to learn, you’ll be prepared to take the first steps toward professional interior decorating at any age.

“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 is 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.

Young aspiring interior decorator looking for interior decorator jobs and interior decorating career

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.

Mature Interior Decorator starting interior decorating business

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 that 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.

Interior decorators common age and finding clients

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!

Get practicing!

Increase interior decorator salary by learning to be an interior decorator and gain an interior decorating certificate

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.

Follow your passion and make a successful career as an interior decorator! Get started with the best home design course suited for you!

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Diane Lyndon says:

    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.

    • Ingrid Cruz says:

      Hi Diane,
      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!

  • Darlene Ungaro says:

    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.

  • Yvonne Grady says:

    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.

  • Jackie says:

    I am 60 and just retired. I have always loved decorating and now was considering a second career. This article was so inspiring. Thanks

    • Katie Deck says:

      Hi Jackie!

      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!

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