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how to get into interior decorating

How to Get Into Interior Decorating: A Step-by-Step Guide

Do you have a passion for home interior decorating? If you want to learn how to get into interior decorating, this guide is for you. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your own living space or pursue a career in interior design, this guide will help you navigate the creative and practical aspects of the field.

Interior decorating is more than just choosing furniture and accessories. It’s also about creating a harmonious and comfortable environment that reflects your personality and style. To become a successful interior decorator, you need to educate yourself on the fundamentals of design, such as color theory, space planning, lighting, and materials.

But that’s not all. You also need to stay updated on the latest design trends, hone your creativity, develop technical skills, build a portfolio, gain practical experience, network within the industry, consider formal certification, establish your unique style, and market yourself effectively.

In this guide, we will cover each of these steps in detail and provide you with some useful tips and resources along the way. Let’s get started and embark on a journey into the world of home interior decorating.

1. Discover Your Passion for Interior Decorating

Interior decorating is a creative and rewarding activity that can transform any space into a reflection of your personality and style. Whether you want to redecorate your home, office, or any other environment, you need to have a passion for design and a vision for what you want to achieve.

The first step in your journey is to explore your passion for interior decorating. Take some time to reflect on what aspects of design captivate you the most. Do you enjoy playing with colors, arranging furniture, or creating harmonious spaces? Identifying your specific interests will guide you in your learning process.

The next step is to learn the basic principles and elements of interior design, such as balance, proportion, contrast, rhythm, and harmony. These are the tools that will help you create aesthetically pleasing and functional spaces. You can learn from books, magazines, online courses, or by observing other designers’ work.

The third step is to practice your skills and experiment with different styles, materials, and accessories. You can start by redecorating your own space, or by offering your services to friends and family. You can also create a portfolio of your work to showcase your talent and attract potential clients.

The final step is to pursue your passion as a career or a hobby. You can either work as a professional interior decorator, or as a freelance consultant. You can also join a network of other decorators, or start your own blog or website. The possibilities are endless, as long as you follow your passion and enjoy what you do.

2. Educate Yourself

Educating yourself is a crucial step if you want to get into interior decorating. You need to learn the design principles and techniques that will guide your work and make your projects stand out.

One way to educate yourself is to enroll in online courses that cover various aspects of interior decorating, such as color theory, furniture arrangement, lighting, and accessories. Online courses are convenient, affordable, and flexible, allowing you to learn at your own pace and from anywhere.

Another way to educate yourself is to attend workshops that offer hands-on experience and feedback from professionals. Workshops are great for developing your skills, networking with other decorators, and finding inspiration. You can find workshops in your local area or online, depending on your preference.

A third way to educate yourself is to pursue a formal education in interior design. This option is more intensive and costly, but it can also open more doors for your career. A formal education can provide you with a degree, a portfolio, and a certification that can boost your credibility and reputation as an interior decorator.

3. Build a Strong Foundation in Design Basics

Design basics are the fundamental concepts and skills that every interior decorator should master. They include color theory, spatial arrangement, and furniture styles, among others. Design basics help you create spaces that are functional, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing.

Color theory is the study of how colors affect mood, perception, and harmony. It teaches you how to choose, combine, and contrast colors to create different effects and atmospheres. Color theory also helps you understand the psychological and cultural meanings of colors.

Spatial arrangement is the art of organizing and placing furniture, objects, and accessories in a space. It involves considering factors such as size, shape, proportion, balance, and symmetry. Spatial arrangement also helps you optimize the use of space, create focal points, and enhance the flow and functionality of a room.

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Furniture styles are the distinctive features and characteristics of different types of furniture, such as chairs, tables, sofas, and cabinets. They reflect the historical, cultural, and artistic influences of various periods and regions. Furniture styles also help you express your personal taste and style, and create a sense of harmony and continuity in a space.

4. Stay Updated on Design Trends

Staying updated on design trends is an essential part of how to get into interior decorating. Design trends reflect the changing preferences, needs, and lifestyles of people. They also influence the demand and expectations of clients and customers.

One way to stay updated on design trends is to follow industry publications, such as magazines, blogs, newsletters, and podcasts. These sources provide insights, tips, and inspiration from experts and influencers in the field of interior decorating. They also showcase the latest projects, products, and innovations in the industry.

Another way to stay updated on design trends is to attend design events, such as trade shows, exhibitions, conferences, and workshops. These events offer opportunities to learn from and network with other professionals, as well as to discover new trends and ideas. They also allow you to see and experience the latest designs in person.

A third way to stay updated on design trends is to explore social media platforms, such as Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube. These platforms are popular among interior decorators and enthusiasts, who share their work, opinions, and recommendations. They also feature the latest trends and styles, as well as tutorials and reviews.

5. Hone Your Creativity

Honing your creativity is vital for interior decorating, as it allows you to express your vision and personality through your work. Creativity also helps you solve problems, overcome challenges, and adapt to different situations.

One way to hone your creativity is to experiment with different styles, materials, and color palettes. Try mixing and matching different elements, such as modern and vintage, wood and metal, or warm and cool colors. Experimenting can help you discover new possibilities and combinations.

Another way to hone your creativity is to think outside the box. Don’t limit yourself to conventional or expected solutions. Instead, look for inspiration from unusual sources, such as nature, art, or culture. Thinking outside the box can help you create original and innovative designs.

A third way to hone your creativity is to let your imagination soar. Don’t be afraid to dream big and imagine what you would like to create. Visualize your ideal space and how it would make you feel. Letting your imagination soar can help you unleash your potential and passion.

6. Develop Technical Skills

If you want to know how to get into interior decorating, one of the essential steps is to develop technical skills. This means acquiring the ability to use various design software that are commonly used in the industry, such as AutoCAD or SketchUp.

These software tools allow you to create digital models of your interior design projects, which can help you communicate your ideas more effectively to clients and collaborators. You can also use them to test different design options, materials, and lighting effects before implementing them in reality.

To develop technical skills, you need to invest time and effort in learning how to use these software tools. You can find many online courses, tutorials, and resources that can teach you the basics and advanced features of these tools. You can also practice by creating your own design projects and getting feedback from others.

Developing technical skills will not only enhance your creativity and professionalism, but also increase your employability and competitiveness in the interior decorating industry. By mastering these software tools, you will be able to showcase your talent and vision more convincingly and impressively.

7. Build a Portfolio

One of the key steps in interior decorating tips is to build a portfolio that showcases your best work. A portfolio is a collection of your design projects that demonstrate your skills and style to potential clients or employers.

Your portfolio should include before-and-after photos of the spaces you have transformed, as well as design concepts that illustrate your creative vision and process. You should also include any projects you have worked on, even if they are personal or unpaid.

Your portfolio should be well-curated and organized, highlighting your strengths and versatility as an interior decorator. You should select your most impressive and relevant projects, and arrange them in a logical and appealing order. You should also provide some context and details for each project, such as the client’s brief, the budget, the challenges, and the outcomes.

Your portfolio is your visual resume, and it can make or break your chances of getting hired or attracting clients. Therefore, you should always keep your portfolio updated and polished, and tailor it to suit the specific needs and preferences of your target audience.

8. Gain Practical Experience

Another important step in how to get into interior decorating is to gain practical experience in the field. This means getting involved in real-life design projects that allow you to apply your theoretical knowledge and refine your skills.

You can gain practical experience by offering your services to friends or family who need help with their interior design needs. You can also volunteer to assist with local design projects, such as community centers, schools, or charities.

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Practical experience will not only help you improve your creativity and confidence, but also help you build a network within the industry. You will be able to meet and learn from other interior decorators, as well as potential clients and employers.

Gaining practical experience will also help you expand your portfolio and showcase your work to a wider audience. You will be able to demonstrate your competence and reliability as an interior decorator, and increase your chances of getting hired or attracting clients.

9. Network within the Industry

Network within the Industry is a strategy to establish and maintain professional relationships with people who share your interest in interior decorating. It can help you learn from others, gain exposure, and find new opportunities.

One way to network within the industry is to attend industry events, such as trade shows, conferences, workshops, and seminars. These events allow you to meet and interact with other decorators, suppliers, vendors, and media representatives. You can exchange ideas, insights, and contacts with them.

Another way to network within the industry is to join online forums related to interior decorating. These forums are platforms where you can ask questions, share your work, give feedback, and join discussions with other decorators from different locations and backgrounds. You can also showcase your expertise and build your online reputation.

A third way to network within the industry is to connect with other aspiring decorators, seasoned professionals, and potential clients. You can do this by reaching out to them via email, social media, phone, or in person. You can offer your services, seek advice, request referrals, or collaborate on projects. You can also join or create local groups or clubs for decorators.

10. Consider Formal Certification

Formal certification is a way to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in interior decorating. It can help you stand out from other decorators and attract more clients. If you are wondering how to get into interior decorating, obtaining a certification can be a good start.

There are different types of certification programs available for interior decorators. Some are offered by professional associations, such as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) or the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). These programs usually require you to pass an exam and meet certain education and experience criteria.

Other certification programs are offered by educational institutions, such as colleges or universities. These programs may include courses on topics such as color theory, space planning, furniture selection, lighting design, and more. You may also need to complete a portfolio or a project to earn your certification.

Certification programs can vary in length, cost, and quality. You should do some research before choosing a program that suits your needs and goals. You can look for accredited programs that meet the standards of the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) or the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).

11. Establish Your Unique Style

Establish Your Unique Style is a process of developing and expressing your personal vision as an interior decorator. It involves finding your inspiration, exploring your preferences, and refining your techniques. It can help you stand out in the industry and attract clients who share your taste.

One way to establish your unique style is to find your inspiration. You can look for sources of inspiration from various places, such as nature, art, culture, history, or your own experiences. You can also follow the works of other decorators who inspire you and learn from their styles.

Another way to establish your unique style is to explore your preferences. You can experiment with different elements of interior decorating, such as colors, textures, patterns, shapes, materials, and furniture. You can also try different styles, such as minimalism, eclectic, classic, modern, or rustic. You can discover what you like and dislike, and what suits your personality and goals.

A third way to establish your unique style is to refine your techniques. You can practice your skills, learn new methods, and apply feedback. You can also challenge yourself with different projects, clients, and budgets. You can improve your quality, consistency, and originality as a decorator.

12. Market Yourself Effectively

Self-marketing is a key skill for anyone who wants to how to get into interior decorating. It can help you showcase your talent, attract new clients, and build your reputation. You need to communicate your value and your style to your target audience.

One of the best ways to market yourself is to create a professional website. Your website should include your portfolio, your services, and your contact information. Your portfolio should display your best work, with high-quality photos and descriptions of your projects.

Another way to market yourself is to use social media platforms. You can create accounts on platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter, and share your work with your followers. You can also interact with potential clients, answer their questions, and showcase your personality.

Social media platforms can also help you stay connected with the design community. You can follow other interior decorators, learn from their work, and get inspired by their ideas. You can also join groups, forums, or blogs related to interior decorating, and participate in discussions, challenges, or contests.

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Embarking on a journey into home interior decorating is an exciting adventure that combines creativity, technical skills, and a passion for design. By following this step-by-step guide, you can build a solid foundation, hone your skills, and establish yourself in the dynamic world of interior decorating.

Whether you aspire to transform your own living space or launch a career in design, the key lies in continuous learning, hands-on experience, and a commitment to honing your unique style. As you embark on this creative journey, remember that interior decorating is not just about creating beautiful spaces but also about crafting environments that resonate with the people who inhabit them.

We would love to hear about your experiences in interior decorating! Have you recently started your journey, or are you a seasoned professional with insights to share? Leave a comment below and join the conversation!


How do you become an interior decor?

To become an interior decor, you need to have a passion for creating beautiful and functional spaces. You also need to have some skills in design, color, lighting, furniture, and accessories. You can learn these skills through formal education, online courses, books, magazines, or by working with other decorators. You may also need to get a license or a certification depending on your location and the type of projects you want to work on.

How do you learn interior decorating?

You can learn interior decorating in many ways. Some of the most common methods are:

  • Enrolling in a degree or a diploma program in interior design or interior decorating at a college or a university.
  • Taking online courses or webinars from reputable sources that teach you the basics and the trends of interior decorating.
  • Reading books or magazines that showcase different styles, tips, and ideas for interior decorating.
  • Following blogs or social media accounts of professional interior decorators who share their insights and experiences.
  • Practicing your skills by decorating your own home or helping your friends and family with their projects.

How do I start interior decor?

To start interior decor, you need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. You can start by:

  • Defining your style and theme for the space. You can get inspiration from online sources, magazines, or your own preferences.
  • Making a budget and a timeline for the project. You need to consider how much money and time you can spend on the project and plan accordingly.
  • Measuring the dimensions and the layout of the space. You need to know how much space you have and how to arrange the furniture and accessories.
  • Choosing the color scheme and the lighting for the space. You need to select colors that match your style and theme and create the mood and atmosphere you want. You also need to consider the natural and artificial lighting sources and how they affect the space.
  • Selecting the furniture and the accessories for the space. You need to choose pieces that fit your style, theme, budget, and space. You also need to balance the functionality and the aesthetics of the space.

How to decorate your interior for beginners?

Decorating your interior for beginners can be fun and easy if you follow some simple steps:

  • Start with a focal point. A focal point is the element that draws the most attention in the space. It can be a fireplace, a window, a painting, or anything else that you want to highlight. You can then arrange the rest of the elements around the focal point.
  • Use the rule of three. The rule of three is a design principle that states that things that are arranged in groups of three are more appealing and harmonious than other numbers. You can apply this rule to colors, patterns, shapes, or objects. For example, you can use three colors for your color scheme, three patterns for your textiles, or three shapes for your accessories.
  • Add some personality. Your interior should reflect your personality and taste. You can add some personal touches to your space by displaying your favorite photos, artworks, souvenirs, or collections. You can also use your hobbies, interests, or passions as a source of inspiration for your decor.

Can I teach myself interior design?

Yes, you can teach yourself interior design if you have a keen interest and a willingness to learn. You can use various resources to learn the fundamentals and the techniques of interior design, such as:

  • Online courses or webinars that cover topics such as design principles, color theory, space planning, furniture styles, and more.
  • Books or magazines that provide information and examples of different interior design styles, trends, and tips.
  • Blogs or social media accounts that feature interior design projects, ideas, and advice from experts and enthusiasts.
  • Software or apps that allow you to create and visualize your own interior design projects in 2D or 3D.

Can you make money as an interior decorator?

Yes, you can make money as an interior decorator if you have the skills, the experience, and the network to attract and satisfy clients. You can work as a freelance interior decorator or join a design firm or a company that offers interior decorating services. You can also specialize in a niche market, such as residential, commercial, hospitality, or event decorating. The amount of money you can make as an interior decorator depends on several factors, such as:

  • Your location and the demand for interior decorating services in your area.
  • Your education and certification level and the credibility and reputation you have in the industry.
  • Your portfolio and the quality and complexity of your work.
  • Your clients and the type and size of the projects you work on.
  • Your fees and the expenses you incur for the projects.

About Alan Wilson

Adan Wilson, a skilled writer at Roundecor, contributes to this crowdsourced home design company renowned for its affordable and modern home plans. Formerly a staff writer at Curbed, he expertly covered architecture and design. Adan holds a bachelor's degree in English from Skidmore College, where his focus on creative writing and design laid the foundation for his nuanced perspective in the realm of home aesthetics.

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