Career Development

What Does an Interior Decorator Do?

Find out what an interior decorator does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an interior decorator.

Interior decorators are responsible for the design of interior spaces, such as homes and businesses. They work with clients to determine their needs and preferences, then use their expertise in design and aesthetics to create a space that meets those needs while also meeting any aesthetic standards or requirements set by the client.

Interior decorators may specialize in certain types of projects or areas of focus. For example, they may be tasked with designing commercial spaces (such as retail stores or restaurants) or residential spaces (such as single-family homes or apartment complexes). Interior decorators may also specialize based on the type of design services they provide—some may focus primarily on furniture and furnishings, others may focus on color schemes and paint choices, etc.

Interior Decorator Job Duties

Interior decorators have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Communicating with clients throughout the process to ensure they are satisfied with the progress being made
  • Collaborating with architects, designers, contractors, and other professionals to create a cohesive design plan
  • Presenting proposals to clients that include design plans and cost estimates for proposed renovations
  • Creating 3D drawings of interior space layouts to show clients different design options
  • Recommending materials and furnishings based on the client’s preferences and budget guidelines
  • Conducting market research to identify design trends and consumer preferences
  • Managing all aspects of a project from beginning to end—including client relations, hiring subcontractors, and overseeing construction
  • Coordinating with contractors and other industry professionals to ensure that all aspects of the project are completed on time and within budget
  • Determining which colors, textures, and styles will best suit the client’s needs based on their tastes and preferences

Interior Decorator Salary & Outlook

Interior decorators’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of company they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $52,500 ($25.24/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)

The employment of interior decorators is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

The continued popularity of home makeover shows on television and online will lead to more demand for interior decorators. However, the increasing popularity of do-it-yourself websites and mobile apps may limit the need for interior decorators in some cases.

Interior Decorator Job Requirements

There are a few basic requirements that are necessary to become an interior decorator, which include:

Education: Interior decorators typically need a bachelor’s degree in interior design, interior architecture or a related field. These programs typically include courses in art, design, architecture, business, math and technology.

Training & Experience: Interior decorators typically receive on-the-job training in the form of an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships typically last between two and four years and allow aspiring interior decorators to learn the skills and techniques they need to succeed in their careers. During an apprenticeship, aspiring interior decorators will work closely with experienced interior decorators to learn about the industry. They will also learn about the various aspects of interior design, including color theory, design principles, design styles and more.

Certifications & Licenses: Although certifications are not required to become an interior decorator, they can be useful for those looking to break into the industry. There are several certifications available for those who want to increase their knowledge of interior design and further their career.

Interior Decorator Skills

Interior decorators need the following skills in order to be successful:

Creativity: Interior decorators use their creativity to develop ideas for a space and create a cohesive design. They may use their creativity to create a theme for a room or a space, such as a beach-themed room with beach-themed decor. They may also use their creativity to create a cohesive design by selecting furniture and decor that match.

Communication: Interior decorators communicate with clients to understand their preferences and needs. They also communicate with architects and contractors to ensure the design and construction of a space meets the client’s needs. Effective communication can help you understand the client’s needs and expectations, which can help you create a design that meets their needs.

Organization: Interior decorators use organization skills to keep track of their schedules, client information and other details related to their work. Organization skills can also help you keep track of samples, orders and other materials you use in your job.

Time management: Time management skills can help you meet deadlines for projects and complete tasks efficiently. You can use time management skills to create a schedule for each project you work on and prioritize which tasks need to be done first. This can help you meet the expectations of your clients and employers.

Problem-solving: When working with clients, it’s important to be able to solve problems and find solutions to challenges. This can include finding ways to save money, finding alternative materials or finding ways to complete a project when you don’t have the necessary resources.

Interior Decorator Work Environment

Interior decorators work in a variety of settings, including homes, offices, stores, and other businesses. They may be self-employed or work for a decorating firm. Some interior decorators work for furniture stores, home improvement centers, or other businesses that sell products used in decorating. Many interior decorators work in an office setting, meeting with clients, drawing up plans, and selecting fabrics, furniture, and other items. Some decorators also work in showrooms, where they arrange furniture and other items to attract customers. Interior decorators usually work during regular business hours, but they may work evenings and weekends to meet with clients or to supervise the installation of their designs.

Interior Decorator Trends

Here are three trends influencing how interior decorators work. Interior decorators will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Technology in the Home

The use of technology in the home is becoming more and more common, as people look for ways to make their lives easier. This trend is leading to an increased demand for interior decorators who are familiar with using technology to create beautiful and functional spaces.

As technology becomes more prevalent in the home, interior decorators will need to be able to utilize it in order to create designs that meet the needs of today’s homeowners. They will also need to be able to help clients understand how to use technology to make their homes more efficient and comfortable.

A Focus on Wellness

The focus on wellness is a trend that is seeing increasing popularity among interior designers. As people become more interested in living a healthy lifestyle, they are looking for ways to incorporate this into their homes.

Interior decorators can capitalize on this trend by creating designs that promote wellness, such as installing features that encourage physical activity or providing access to fresh food. They can also work with clients to create a space that reflects their values and supports their goals.

More Collaboration Between Designers and Builders

There has been a growing trend towards collaboration between designers and builders in recent years. This is due to the fact that both parties have a lot to offer each other in terms of expertise and experience.

By working together, designers and builders can create better projects that are more likely to be successful. Additionally, they can save time and money by sharing resources and eliminating unnecessary steps.

How to Become an Interior Decorator

An interior decorator career can be a great way to use your creativity and passion for design. It’s important to have a strong portfolio of work when you start your career, so try to get experience in different areas of interior design, such as residential, commercial, and retail. You should also network with other professionals in the industry and attend trade shows and conferences.

When starting your own business, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want your company to stand for and what type of clients you want to serve. You should also have a marketing plan that outlines how you will reach your target audience.

Advancement Prospects

Interior decorators may advance their career by becoming involved in design education or management. Some interior decorators become teachers or professors at design schools. Others may move into management positions, such as store manager, design center manager, or purchasing manager. Some may open their own design firms.

Job Title:

Interior Decorator

Interior Decorator Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we understand that first impressions are important. That’s why we’re looking for an experienced interior decorator to help us design and furnish the public areas of our building. The ideal candidate will have a keen eye for detail and a flair for creating inviting and comfortable spaces. He or she will be responsible for selecting and purchasing furniture, artwork, and other decor items, as well as overseeing the installation of these items. The goal is to create a warm and welcoming environment that reflects our company’s values and culture.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Act as the primary point of contact with clients, developing strong relationships built on trust and mutual respect
  • Understand client’s needs, wants, style preferences, and budget to develop a personalized design plan
  • Source and select furniture, fabrics, lighting, flooring, wall coverings, window treatments, and other décor items based on the project specifications
  • Create detailed proposals for clients that outline the scope of work and estimated costs
  • Stay within budget while ensuring that all elements of the design are in line with the client’s vision
  • Manage installation schedules and deliveries to ensure that the project stays on track
  • Conduct regular site visits during the installation process to quality check the workmanship and progress
  • Handle any issues or changes that come up during the course of the project, keeping the client updated along the way
  • Take photographs of the completed space to be used for marketing purposes and/or to share with the client
  • Write blog posts, articles, or other content about the design process, featuring before and after photos of the space
  • Give presentations or talks about interior design trends, color theory, or other topics related to the industry
  • Stay up-to-date on current trends, new products, and industry news to keep your designs fresh and relevant

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in interior design, architecture, or related field
  • 3-5 years professional experience in interior design or decorating
  • Exceptional creativity and innovative design skills
  • Strong understanding of color theory, materials, and finishes
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Organizational and time-management skills for meeting deadlines in a fast-paced environment

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in interior design or related field
  • 7+ years professional experience in interior design or decorating
  • Proficiency in AutoCAD or other design software
  • LEED accreditation or similar sustainable design certification
  • Experience working on high-end residential or commercial projects


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