How To Start An Interior Design Business

By Kari Andrews

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Do you mentally dress up any room you enter?

Does coordinating colors, patterns, textures, furniture, textiles, and accessories rev up your creative juices?

If you can say yes to these questions, interior design may be the perfect career fit for you.

It doesn’t necessarily take a college degree to beautify and add functionality to a home, office or business setting.

The popularity of shows such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has piqued public interest and driven up the market for contracting professionals to create the perfect look and comfort for the people who use a space.

If you have a passion for transforming living and working spaces, the ability to discover and understand a customer’s vision and turn it into reality, and a head for business, starting an interior design business could be the career move of your dreams.

How Big Is The Interior Design Industry?

The American Society of Interior Designers reports industry revenues reached $9 billion in 2011 and have continued to climb. They project a 10-year growth trend of 3 percent between 2012 and 2022.

Why Starting An Interior Design Business Now Is A Good Idea

Home improvement reality TV has fueled a meteoric rise in public interest in interior design. However, many people lack the time or skill to do it themselves. They are turning more and more to professional interior designers to create the look of their dreams.. As a result, the potential for profitable opportunities in the business are better than ever before. The social media network of design professionals eager to connect and share ideas and advice, encourage one another and promote creativity and innovation. So you are in good company to get all the help you need from experienced professionals.

Interior Design Business Facts

Here are some facts and figures about the interior design business you should consider:

Interior design business startup costs

$1,000 – $10,000


How much do interior designers make?

Median income for 2014 was $48,400 per year or $23.27 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


How much do interior designers charge?

$45 to 75 per hour for a beginner, although quoting a flat rate for the expected time on project is a better way to attract customers. If travel is required, the rate can be as much as $250 per day. 20 to 100 percent markup on any materials and outside contractor services.


How do interior designers find customers?

 Social media and word of mouth, networking with real estate agents, builders, architects, cultivating personal relationships that morph into working relationships. Build a professional web page and have a blog to showcase your work. Write articles and speak at community events. Join community and professional organizations that put you in proximity to your target audience.


What skills are required?

Interior design training, artistic savvy, creativity, design software and negotiation skills.


What Do I Need To Operate An Interior Design Business?

Sample books, business cards, software, promotional materials, a design portfolio, budget for professional photographs of your finished works, insurance, office equipment, advertising and three to six months savings for personal and business expenses, and working capital.

Interior Design Business Ideas

Will you focus on work spaces? Or will you specialize in home design?

Struggling with what to name your interior design business, here are a few ideas:

Interior Passions                                                                                                         Enviro-Inside

Simply Beautiful                                                                                           Concept to Perfection

Beauty by Design                                                                                                Translated Visions

Perfect Fit Designs                                                                               Cultured and Comfortable

[Your Name] Design                                                                                   Kindred Spirits Design

Vision and Reflection                                                                             Organic Oasis Designers 

 Youtube Videos 


Related Content

Styled by Emily Henderson

The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillin Smith

Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating by Lauren Liess

The Inspired Room by Melissa Michaels

Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life by Erin Gates

Lovable Livable Home: How to Add Beauty, Get Organized, and Make Your House Work for You by Sherry Petersik

Home & Design

Interior Design

The Blogs that Bloggers Obsess Over

Certified Residential Interior Designer

The Interior Design Institute

Interior Designer Training and Qualifications


Entrepreneur: How to Start a Home Design Business

Fresh Home: Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Own Interior Design Firm

American Society of Interior Designers: Starting Your Business

BPlans: Home Interior Design Business Plan

Despreneur: 10 Reasons to Start Design Business Now

American Society of Interior Designers: State of the Industry

American Society of Interior Designers: ASID Research Forecasts Optimistic Growth for Interior Design Industry

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Interior Designers

Entrepreneur: Business Idea Center: Interior Design

More Business: An Inside Look on Starting a Home-Based Interior Design Business

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