How to Become an Interior Decorator: All You Need to Know

Becoming an interior decorator is a difficult process. You need to learn many skills. You may mix the position of interior decorator and interior designer easily. But interior decorators generally don't have the same background in architectural design that interior designers are required to have. These are two different fields requiring different degrees and certifications. Before you make decisions, you can read this article carefully as a reference.

Step 1: Understand Interior Decorator descriptions and responsibilities.

A successful decorator does much more than pick out pretty fabrics and rearrange furniture. In a typical day, they may cope with cabinet spacing, steer a homeowner away from a budget-blowing item, track down a missing tile installer, work on a seasonal installation for a business storefront, make a presentation in front of an architectural review board and the list goes on.

Step 2: Think before you do: whether is it worth to be an interior decorator

Becoming an interior decorator is a smart career choice for creative types with a clever color sense, smart space planning skills and an appreciation for chic design styles. Here are the perks of being an interior decorator.

Decorating is a creative process in which you can flex your imagination. They are visionaries who can see beyond the decor that already exists in a space. When your clients compliment you highly, you can gain more satisfaction pride.

Besides, one of the most dominant discrepancies between interior decorators and interior designers are the latter need to deal with interiors during the construction or remodeling process and must battle to keep builders on schedule. But interior decorators are mainly hired to decorate existing spaces without hassling with construction crews.

Conversely, interior decorators are restricted to just decorating and they can't make any architectural changes.

When choosing a career, you must consider pros and cons. If you think pros outweigh cons, it is sensible to take it.

Step 3: Education and Degrees

Technically, you do not need a degree to become an interior decorator. The most common educational background for interior decorators is a certificate program offered through a community college. Some people who are setting big goals and wish to go completely professional in interior decorating usually choose to secure a degree. A degree will also help you get a job at a designing firm.

Interior decorating certificate programs prepare students for entry-level jobs in decorating interior spaces. Students who take part in the program often study the following subjects: Residential interior design, Commercial interior design, Elements of design, Furniture, Lighting, Meeting client needs, Principles of color, Interior decorating fabrics

Step 4: Apprenticeships and Certification

Experience is essential to become a successful interior decorator. Keep altering your own home constantly and also decorate the homes of your friends and relatives – even if it does not pay a dime. There will come a day when all this 'free work' will pay off in a big way.

Thus, apprenticeship plays an important role of your career. Many interior decorators complete an apprenticeship with a design firm, independent interior decorator or furniture store following the completion of their degree or certificate program. Apprenticeships typically last 1-3 years and equip aspiring decorators with valuable work experience under the supervision of decorating professionals.

And before seeking jobs, certifications should be obtained as a gateway to the career. There are two ways to become a Certified Interior Decorator (CID). Students can enroll in a CID-accredited interior-decorating program, which includes use of the CID study guide and membership exam; or they can complete a CID-approved course of study and apply for the exam separately. Interior decorators can choose to get voluntary certification from Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

To summarize, interior decorators, unlike interior designers, do not focus on the architectural design of interior areas, but on using lighting, color, carpentry, and accessory techniques to decorate a space.

Step 5: Prepare relevant skills for interior decorator

1. Artistic and creative abilities

Knowing how lighting, texture, and color can be used most effectively within a space is the fundamentals of being an interior decorator. Thus, artistic and creative abilities are crucial.

2. Communication skills

Interior decorating requires you to listen to your clients, and to understand their expectations. This two-way communication necessitates great communication skills and empathy.

3. Planning skills

You will need to be able to present a plan to a client in a visual manner which includes a whole variety of details, such as a representation of the final product and a cost analysis and timeline.

Step 6: Find relevant interior decorator jobs, and apply it.

If you plan to organize a successful job interview, you must prepare your resume and portfolio at length before. Here are some instructive suggestions for you.

Your portfolio can include many types of work. Not only photographs of all the projects that you complete, but also groups on Flickr, HGTV and other design sites as well as decorating blogs can add splendor. Remember to keep hard copies as well as showing off your work online. If you don't know how to accumulate work for your portfolio, you can take on jobs for free at first in order to expand your portfolio. You can create a website that highlights your work and keep an active blog to promote what you've done. You can also utilize any and all popular social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Wanderfly.

After you finish the step above, you can apply for jobs. Competition is high, so a high paying, professional job may not be easy to find. However, you can get started by working in a furniture store, design center, or local department store. When you have done some jobs which are related to decorating and visual merchandising will add to your experience and portfolio. And then this will help you find another job and broaden your career path inversely.

There is a wide range of career opportunities in the design field. The majority of decorators are residential designers, but many work in the commercial field, such as the hotel or restaurant industry. If you would like to specialize in these industries, you'd better consider additional education or experience.

Important Tools for a successful interior decorator

A successful interior decorator must use many tools. Here are 8 must-see online decorating tools to get your dream home: Home Styler, Decorilla Online Interior Designers, Magic Plan, SketchUp, Planner 5D, Room Sketcher, Visualize Color, My Pantone.

Develop your career path

The decorating field goes beyond being a designer. Many decorators enter the retail industry or work in sales. Furniture stores, home stores, fabric stores, window, and blind stores, and home supply centers are only a few examples of industries that decorators often enter. And many decorators also work in the specialized service industry and become decorative painters, window covering designers, and more. They are also called "interior design journalism."

Salaries for interior decorators vary greatly, depending on experience, employer and specialty. If you want to have bright career path, you can work harder towards experience and specialty. You can further your education and learn more knowledge based on multiples of industries.