It’s no surprise that many interior decorators aspire to be their own boss. The freedom that comes with running your own business, setting your own rates, and choosing your clients is seriously desirable (not to mention rewarding!).

In order to turn these dreams into a reality, you’ll need to build a foundation that includes completing an interior decorating course, possessing specific personality traits, and knowing which elements you need to launch your business.

Read on for our full guide on how to start an interior decorating business, and get ready to make your dreams a reality!

Education/Experience Requirements

As with any professional career, there is a certain level of education and experience required to be successful. Aspiring home decorators begin their career by enrolling in an interior decorating course, as this is an excellent place to start for those who have no prior training.

Your design course starts off with the basics of color theory and design styles, and move to more in-depth units that focus on color schemes, arranging furniture, and working with clients. A bonus for self-starters: a unit on how to start your own business, so you can become your own boss once you’re certified!

learn interior decorating online

In most places, interior decorating is an unregulated profession – meaning you don’t technically need a degree or certificate to pursue a career as a home decorator. However, never discount the value of a design certification! Employers and clients will be impressed to see that you gained knowledge and skills through a recognized program, and that you’re committed to learning more about the industry. An interior decorator certificate will set you apart from your competition in a big way!

In addition to proper design training, you’ll need a solid foundation of interior decorating experience. If you’re just starting out, you can volunteer your services to friends or family, or work as an assistant to an established interior decorator. The more hands-on experience you have, the better shape you’ll be in when it comes time to launch your interior décor business, so take every opportunity to hone those skills!

Business Launch Requirements

It goes without saying that interior decorators are detail-oriented – you need to have a sharp eye for colors, furniture arrangement, and style in order to create beautiful spaces! When it comes to starting a business, there are a multitude of pieces that need to be organized, so your keen eye for detail is going to be useful. When venturing into the world of business ownership, it’s important to recognize that you’re on your own (for the time being, anyway), and don’t have the luxury of administrative staff to help you out with daily tasks – that’s not to say that you won’t hire some help in the future, but right now it’s a one-person company.

home staging class

Some items you’ll need to check off your list to get your interior decorating business off the ground are as follows:

  • A business name
  • A website and strong social media presence
  • A designer portfolio
  • Office space and supplies
  • A business license, if required (do your research to find out if one is needed in your area)
  • Business insurance
  • A list of your prices and design packages
  • Templates for clients that have been checked by a lawyer and are all set to be used

All of these items, and more, should be part of your business start-up plan. And, as mentioned above, an interior decorating course will teach you how to organize these elements and put the wheels in motion to start your business.

Personality Requirements

friendly personality for interior decorating jobs

While education, experience, and business savvy are all important elements of starting an interior décor business, it takes a certain type of person to be a business owner and home decorator!

Outgoing nature

Interior decorating is client-focused, as decorators interact with people every day, either in person, over the phone, or online. An outgoing personality, and one that puts clients at ease, is vital to succeed as the owner of a home décor business.

Not only will you be able to get to know your clients on a personal level, you’ll also be able to establish a level of trust that is key to building your business’s reputation.


Any entrepreneur will tell you that it took a great deal of hard work, drive, and self-discipline to establish their business. Understanding how much you’ll need to hustle to get your interior decorating business off the ground is a huge undertaking that will require you to change your lifestyle and shuffle some priorities.

Managing your time well is also essential, as you’ll need to maintain your website, social media accounts, and client appointments on your own. Having an innate drive to succeed, and a healthy dose of ambition, are personality traits that will take you far as a business owner.

Thick skin

home design online

We’re not going to sugar coat things for you – starting an interior décor business (or any business, for that matter) is not an easy feat. Sometimes, things will not go according to plan, and you need to be both adaptable to that possibility, and resilient enough to keep going.

Creating a successful business will not happen overnight, so it’s important to have certain goals in mind and stick to them even when it seems as though nothing is going right. Take a step back, and try another way of doing things if it seems like you’re hitting a wall.

Also, maintaining realistic expectations as a business owner will help you manage stress and keep calm under pressure – you can’t expect to get dozens of clients right off the bat, so don’t beat yourself up if it takes a few years to get to the level you want. Enjoy the process!

The Key Takeaway

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Starting an interior decorating business will not happen without hard work. Knowing the education and experience required to set yourself apart as an interior decorator, as well as how to find proper business training, is a great start. Being organized about business requirements and keeping a strong personality about yourself will help you turn your dreams a reality!

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Jeri says:

    Very insightful piece and thank you for the advice. I will keep refreshing myself with these tips to apply them as I move towards actualizing my passion.

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