Interior Design Business Ideas: How to Start an Interior Design Business

Home Design Services
Home design services are a subsection of interior decoration. It has to do with home improvement design and organization.
There are basically five home design services you can offer your clients. These are professional organization of the home, home interior redesign and interior design work.
Others services include property maintenance and restoration/preservation of homes and businesses. Under maintenance we have block work, carpentry and painting.
 Interior design is highly lucrative and attracts lots of entrepreneurs looking to make money from the industry.
Interior Design
Interior design work involves planning the functionality and beauty of an interior space within a private or business property. The design work revolves around furniture placement, accessories and decorative units.
The job entails proper aesthetic, beauty, functionality to improve residential houses and offices. Specializing in this sector is rewarding especially those that focus on high-end establishments.
The good news about the job is the self employment aspect of the business. Over 70% of interior designers are self employed while 38% work from home. This amazing statistics cut across most countries in the world.
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How to Become an Interior Designer
Are you creative with moderate knowledge of interior designs? Then you might have the making of an interior designer. Combining the two disciplines of business and home decor makes a profitable enterprise.
There are tough requirements and certification needed to become an interior designer. Some countries go further by organizing examinations before certification. Some add several years’ job experience as consideration for certification and registration.
A properly organized outfit will get regular contracts and jobs. You also need to do a visibility study, write a business plan and have a reasonable budget.
The good part about the job is that clients are compelled to pay upfront charges before commencing the job. This allows a new business owner with limited funds operate on the same level as established companies.
If you have proper creative skill of organization, color combination and god aesthetics you can forge a successful career in this industry.
Other advantages are knowledge of fabric, space utilization, furniture and accessories. Understanding current trends and the ability to carry out multiple assignments are recommended skills
Don’t forget to choose a business name that is simple and easy to remember. You can include keywords in the name for more effective branding.
The Business Aspect
The business aspect involves consultation, appointments, marketing and getting the actual contract.
Other things are installations, research, using subcontractors and agreements with furniture makers or contractors.
You need to do proper accounting and book balance including proper pricing to profit in this business. A good partnership with suppliers is also a good advantage.
Designers have a blank canvas to create their beautiful designs. The work is varied and covers custom interior, color choices and decoration. You might carry out architectural renovations, commercial interior and create modern aesthetic.
Start-up Costs
Make sure you obtain proper certification from National Council of Certified Interior Designers before starting your enterprise. You must pass several examinations and attend workshops or seminars.
This adds to work experience during application and certification of membership in credible associations. Different countries have different requirements for certification therefore register with only recognized and credible organizations.
Start-up cost is low because the client bares the cost of the decoration. You might need an office environment and a bus to move furniture.
Other expenses revolve around working capital, office equipment and maintenance, staff, marketing, insurance, and labor costs.
Pricing Considerations
There are certain services that attract a fixed price. However, most decor jobs are based on the vision and budget of the client.
A simple way of charging is adding a predetermined percentage to the total cost of decoration to arrive at a number.
Your charges are also determined by what other designers charge for their services. Keep your price moderate and competitive or fail to get the contract.
Setting a Price Estimate
You need to be extra careful in pricing your work. The price reflects the scope of work higher or lower than the perceived estimate.
A low price hardly guarantees patronage however setting a reasonable estimates works. You need to estimate the job properly to make profit.
Things to consider when estimating a job include cost of products and installation.
Others are man hour, labor, express delivery, deadline and your 15% mark up. Decide on your rates by either charging hourly or a flat rate.
Other methods are adding the cost of the items and an agreed percentage added to the total cost. Each designer has their own techniques they use to arrive at an estimate.
Hour rate charges differ depending on your work schedule and contractual agreement. Your flat rate is usually the multiplication of your hour rate and time needed to complete the project. Flat rate works if the client supplies all the furniture and fittings.
Another interesting technique to determine rates is square per foot. This is calculated based on the size of the square meter you are designing. Your past jobs are useful in this regard.
Building Partnership
Interior decor businesses have to build formidable relationship with high end furniture companies and accessory firms. For regular patronage you can negotiate discounts and other services to complement your business.
To succeed you should have a keen eye for aesthetic, straight lines and color combination. You need to master proper space utilization and functionality.

Showcase your Skill
Showcasing your skill is the most important aspect of interior decor business. How will your clients know your services if not a visual presentation?
Create a formidable portfolio of your past work to present to prospective clients. The portfolio should include glossy photographs, locations and video evidence.
The photographs need to depict ‘before’ and ‘after’ the transformation. Other marketing tools include a glossy brochure, handbills and business cards.
New designers can use their home as a canvas for the presentations. All the client needs is evidence of your proficiency and the location is immaterial.
You need to hire a professional interior design photographer or still-life photographer for best results. Try to keep the budget low and be innovative in your approach.
Bind your portfolio properly, preferably in leather and create a Power Point presentation for greater effect.
You can promote your business through newspaper advertisement on a half or full page. Carefully select the imagery, wordings and theme of the advertorial to attract high net worth clients.
Create a Website
Any interior design business worth its salt needs a dedicated website. Apart from the obvious advantages of running a website the site can be a reference point for prospective clients.
Try to include the websites address in your marketing paraphernalia and portfolio.
 Home Restoration and Preservation Business
People that engage in this business are top professionals with years of experience. Restoration is very popular and is a specialty field of home designs. The job entails wood work, block work and electrical fixtures.
The designer handles various projects on restoration according to the buildings requirements. Other restoration work to involve property is painting, tile replacement, beam construction, plaster and ceiling jobs.
The designer follows a contractual agreement that guides the scope of work. They carry out all the restoration and preservation but hardly delve into renovation.
Therefore reservation and restoration is a subset of home restoration. The job is highly lucrative and provides a good living for the business owner.
The restorer works on the structural integrity of the building so you need to be qualified. You can hire a qualified structural engineer on part-time or full time bases if you like. The restorer repairs structural defects, damage and carry out both major and basic repairs.
Restorers play a crucial role in society preserving important buildings for posterity. The restorer’s jobs entails repairs, refurbish, re-purpose building to gain structural integrity and beauty.
They are skilled at other forms of restoration like furniture, woodwork and plaster.
Scope of Work
You need to specialize in one aspect of the business because it covers electrical, wood work, plumbing and block work.
Trade contractors carry out general restoration while others focus on one area. They use professional artisans in different fields to execute the project.
They are highly organized and efficient in time management and equipment handling.  Many use subcontractors to meet deadlines and faster work schedules. This type of business is highly lucrative and rewarding.
Other business aspects for restorers involve writing bids, per-construction meetings, preparing invoices and frequent phone calls. Some jobs require meetings, purchasing orders, supplies, Structural permits, marketing and equipment rental.
How Restorers Estimate Costs
To get proper estimates you need the assistance of professionals such as electricians, plumbers, and wood work specialists. You can also use clever software, packages, instructional material and an existing list.
Your charges depend on your location, prices of building material and scope of work. Charge consultation fees on two hourly bases but refrain from charging hourly work rates.


 Start-up Costs
It is more expensive starting a restoration business than an interior design enterprise. The job entails owning a truck, tools and some important equipment.
Owning them will cut costs and improve your profit margin. It costs about $8000 to start a restoration business because you need a secretary to take calls, equipment, and an office.
Other cost considerations are materials used during construction, transportation and labor. A great side business that attracts lots of money is renting out the equipment to other contractors and builders.
Interior Redesign
The interior re-designer utilizes already existing furniture and accessories in a more practical and beautiful way. The job description covers both residential apartments and business premises. The re-designer might add a few items but generally uses what is at hand.
Professional organizers job is to simplify the functionality of your home and daily activity. They provide more practical storage, space and filling system for homes and businesses
Faux Painting
Faux painting is another arm of interior decoration business. The painter uses paint in a clever and decorative way on walls, floors and ceilings. They also use different media, glazes and complex colors to present something breathtaking.
They work on marble, patina and pavement stones. The job is highly technical and it pays well.


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