How to Tell If You Could Make It as An Interior Decorator

Personal Improvement


Being an interior decorator sounds like it might just be the coolest job in the world. Helping the rich and famous to make their homes more gorgeous, being able to run free with your imagination, shop ‘til you drop, and get to hang out in amazing houses… Well the reality of the situation is that it’s always not quite as glamorous as it sounds.

Could you make it as an interior decorator? See how you go with our quick checklist.

You get praised on your home styling a lot

When guests come around, do they praise you on your home styling? If you’ve just got a mish mash of the latest styles from an Ikea catalog, then they aren’t praising your personal style; they’re praising the brands. Your personal style can show through even on a budget, with quirky prints and vintage touches, even if the rest is hand me downs and cheap furniture.

You get praised on your personal styling a lot

Do you rock a good outfit? The same can be said for your personal styling as can be said for your home styling. While you might not want to become a personal stylist, a keen eye for what works on you as a person, or your friends or family, can often translate through to an eye for interior decorating, too.

You are great at colors, textures, patterns, and fabrics

These are the cornerstones of a great interior decorator. Matching unusual colors, textures, patterns, and fabrics together and making them work can make homes stand out, and wow clients and their guests. You should know the basics of what goes with what, at the very least!

You are creative

This is a given for an interior decorator. What you are given is a blank space, with perhaps a few pointers, that you will need to transform. Without the creative gene, you will not be able to sufficiently decorate a space in need.

You can listen well to others

This job is not just about doing whatever it is you please with a person’s house. You will need to really listen to them to take direction, and dig in to try and find out their personalities, to see what sort of concepts that you can come up with that will fit in with their style and way of living. The customer is always right, after all.

You are organised

Interior decorators have a lot on their plate. You will be managing multiple projects, and multiple rooms, with a million different ideas and items in each. Without great organisation skills you are bound to forget things, make mistakes, and disappoint waiting clients as well as management. If you are good with keeping diaries, plans, and lists in order, then this should be right up your alley.

You can stick to budgets

Most everyone will have a budget in mind for their interior decoration. If you’ve ever watched an episode of The Block, you will realize that budgets can be very hard to stick to, and you will have to make decisions about whether to purchase expensive feature items, or include more in the room. While there will always be amazing items to buy, it’s making sure that you have enough money left over for all the other touches that counts.

You have a formal education in design

While a formal education in design is definitely not a “must have” for this job, it certainly does make a difference when knocking on design firm’s doors. Unless you have interned for a design company previously, or have some other related experience, then it is expected that you should do a course either at TAFE, university, or some other tertiary institute. This way you can learn the basics of what is required in interior design without the people at a company having to bring you up to speed.

You aren’t concerned with a relatively low salary

Interior decorators don’t usually make the big bucks. This profession is one that should be followed due to an absolute passion, rather than due to seeking a large salary. In Australia, the starting salary for an interior decorator is between $40,000 and $45,000, with seniors averaging around $62,500. While this might sound like a lot of money to someone, this is around the same average salaries as hairdressers, or better paid retail assistants. You need to be committed to this career not for the glamour, but for how great it makes you feel while you are doing your job right.