To become an interior decorator, you typically need post-secondary education in a field related to interior design, visual arts, or a closely related field. You can also get into this career with work experience related to interior decorating or retail sales.
If you want to become an interior decorator, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for your skills, interests and personality traits. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for this career:
• You have a keen interest in fashion and décor
• You have a strong sense of proportion and visual awareness
• You have excellent listening skills and are able to determine the needs of others
• You have skills in sales, as well as making presentations
• You enjoy work that involves creativity
• You enjoy the idea of a career with a varied workload, including sales, interior decorating, data entry, and other duties
Interior decorators coordinate the decorative aspect of residential, industrial and commercial spaces. These may include private homes, hotels, restaurants, schools, universities, office buildings, factories and nightclubs. They may be involved in decorating new spaces or replacing the décor for existing ones. Interior decorators often assist with the décor for special events such as weddings.
In general, employers prefer to hire candidates for interior decorator jobs that have a post-secondary education in interior design, visual arts, or a closely related field.
Employers may also hire candidates who have related work experience in place of a post-secondary education. Related work experience may come in the form of interior decorating work, or retail sales experience. Ideally, the candidate will have an education and work experience that is related to interior decoration.
It is possible however, for interior decorators to get a job without education or work experience, as they may acquire the necessary skills by learning on the job, or by taking related training programs.
In order to become effective in a career as an interior decorator, and perform your job duties with competence, you need to posses a certain set of skills, including:
• Strong sense of proportion and visual awareness
• Imaginative in selecting furnishings and fabrics and in creating spaces that serve the client’s needs
• Understanding of how pieces of a design will fit together to create the intended interior environment
• Good spatial perception and the ability to visualize three dimensions from two-dimensional drawings
• Freehand drawing skills
• Proficient in the use of computer-aided design (CAD) software
• Excellent sales ability
• Excellent communication and presentation skills
There are a few different career options for those wishing to become interior decorators. Aspiring decorators can work as freelancers, start their own decorating company, work for a dedicated decorating and design company, or they can work as an in-house employee of an organization, such as a home builder.
The following types of employers may hire interior decorators on a part-time, contractual, or full-time basis:
• Department stores
• Event and wedding planning companies
• Paint and wall covering retail outlets
• General home improvement stores
• Furniture stores
• Real estate staging companies
• Property management companies
• Carpet outlets
• Fabric and window covering suppliers
• Construction industry suppliers (for example, kitchen cabinets, lighting or bathroom fixtures)
• Decorating, design and architecture firms
• Construction companies
• Hotels and restaurants
• Self-employment (as a freelancer)