HOW TO BECOME AN INTERIOR DECORATOR: Skills, Certification & Requirements

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You are interested in becoming an interior decorator, but you don’t know how to get started, truth is, you will need to have a thorough understanding of what the job entails. Interior decorators are experts that use their eye for color and creative abilities to enhance and beautify both living and working environments. But how do you become an interior decorator with or without a degree in California as well as Florida? Does it worth it to become an interior decorator considering their salary and need for certification? You may be asking yourself that too. This article may be all you need as we explain how you can become an interior decorator with no prior experience and how to get clients online once you’re good to go.

What is an Interior Decorator?

An interior decorator is an expert in the building industry who specialize in customizing a space to meet the needs and aesthetic preferences of the people who will be using it. They help enhance the aesthetics of residential and commercial properties’ interiors.

Interior decorators, as opposed to internal designers, are only concerned with the aesthetics and practicality of a building’s interior spaces. They’re not involved in the design or construction of a facility, but rather in the adornment and enhancement of an already-existing home or business.

Decorators can also use the space’s existing style to create a unified look. Patterns, colors, textures, and more will be taken into consideration by an interior decorator while designing a place. When it comes to interior design, the goal is to create a room that is both functional and visually appealing.

How to Become an Interior Decorator

If you’re a fan of decorating and have a talent for fitting furniture, it’s possible that a profession in interior decoration is right for you. But, how do you become an interior decorator with or without a degree? 

Decorators don’t need to have a college degree or substantial training to get started. All they need is an eye for detail and a desire for the work. However, if you’re considering a career in interior design, you’ll need to complete specific training and obtain state-issued credentials.

On the contrary, an interior decorator’s path to success and receiving certification includes formal schooling, on-the-job training, and certifications. The below steps cover everything you need to make it easy to navigate your career path as an interior decorator in California or Florida;

#1. Understanding the Profession 

Before you begin your career, you must be aware of what the job requires. For instance, it’s important to be able to distinguish between terms like “interior design” and “interior decoration.” The primary goal of an interior decorator is to make a space more visually appealing by increasing its aesthetic quality. Using furniture and other decors, an interior decorator can embellish or beautify the area. Interior designers, on the other hand, create new rooms from the start and pay close attention to the room’s architectural and structural aspects.

#2. Get a Degree or Certificate from an Accredited Institution.

While interior designers must have a degree, an interior decorator doesn’t need one. On the other hand, having interior decoration degrees and certifications will help show potential employers that you have a thorough understanding of the art form. Hence, it is a good idea to consider getting interior decoration programs that are accredited by professional organizations. 

The Interior Design Society and the Certified Interior Decorators International (IDS) are examples of these organizations.

#3. Gain Additional Experience

In order to become a great interior decorator, it will take some time and practice. Instead, you’ll need to gain experience and refine your abilities. Beginner interior decorators can practice in their own houses, but they can also widen their horizons to include the homes of family and friends. Making mistakes and learning from them while working on these freebies will help you grow as an expert.

Another way to obtain practical experience is to work as an apprentice for an experienced decorator. Working with an experienced mentor is a great method that can quickly help improve your abilities as you grow.

#4. Build a Strong Portfolio

Finding work as an interior decorator necessitates that you put together a strong portfolio of your previous accomplishments. The simplicity and professionalism of a well-designed online portfolio can’t be understated when it comes to attracting new clients. Instead of hiring a web developer, you can use social networking platforms to get your message out. If you want to put your work in the spotlight, image-centric platforms like Instagram are a great choice.

However, when it comes to building a portfolio, paid experience isn’t a requirement. It’s possible to include even work done for friends and family if it is well-documented.

#5. Try Creating a Network

Other interior decorators, local suppliers, and homeowners are all good places to start building your network. If you’re able to connect with a fellow interior decorator, you’ll have a wealth of knowledge to draw from. Also, building relationships with vendors can pave way for you to get better rates on decor items like furniture, fabrics, and tiles. Hence, you may want to keep this in mind when drawing up budgets for your clients.

Additionally, it is essential to build relationships with homeowners because they are your potential customers. Attend trade exhibitions and fairs devoted to home design and decor to meet potential clients and promote your products or services. The more connections you have, the more chances you have to succeed. When it comes to interior decorators, networking is a must-have ability.

Becoming an interior decorator requires more than just a degree. If you want to be a skilled interior decorator, you need to keep up with the latest design trends and consistently improve your drawing and computer skills. As an interior decorator, you need to have a strong skill set and up-to-date understanding of the latest trends in the industry in order to be able to help your clients achieve their goals. There are several ways to stay up to date in your field, including attending trade exhibitions, reading business periodicals, and following industry leaders.

#7. Be a Part of Professional Organizations

Continuing education courses offered by professional organizations are a great way to keep up with the latest developments in your field. The Interior Design Society (IDS) and Certified Decorators International (CDI) are the two most well-known organizations for interior decorators, and it is highly recommended that new decorators join one of these groups. A wide range of networking possibilities is available at both the IDS and the CDI. Being a part of one of these organizations also makes it easier to keep abreast of new advancements in the field.

What Exactly Does an Interior Decorator Do?

To ensure that interior spaces are both practical and beautiful, decorators are responsible for overseeing these efforts. They have the authority to make decisions about the design of the interior, including the selection and arrangement of furnishings and lighting. In both private homes and business settings, interior decorators work closely with their clients to realize their visions for a room.

The following is a rundown of some of the most critical responsibilities of an interior decorator:

  • Meeting with customers to learn about their wants and needs
  • Installing furniture and other design elements while overseeing the process
  • Selecting materials to use in the design of a room.
  • Managing and keeping tabs on purchases
  • Creating budgets for your projects
  • Creating a series of prototypes
  • Establishing timelines for a project

Can You Become an Interior Decorator Without a Degree?

An interior decorator does not have to have a college degree to pursue this career path. However, a degree may be required if you want to work for an agency or hope to gain clients quickly.

Candidates with degrees or qualifications may be given an advantage over those who do not, even though a degree or certification is not required for application submission. Likewise, an interior decorator walking this career path without a degree will lack the stability and knowledge that comes with a university education.

A formal education better prepares you to deal with a wide variety of clients and situations in your professional life. You may think you’re ready for anything since you’ve helped family and friends decorate their houses, but going to school gives you a more well-rounded perspective that can help you succeed in the job market.

You can obtain a degree in interior decoration from a variety of authorized colleges and universities across the country. Interior Design Society certification is another option that will cost less than an actual degree but yet provide the same advantages.

How to Become an Interior Decorator in Florida

An interior decorator has no requirement for professional schooling, qualification, or other credentials, and is thus limited to the design of private residences in the United States. To work as an “Interior Decorator” in Florida, all you need is a simple occupational license. The things that can bother an interior decorator in Florida are paint color, drapery and bedding, art/accessories, and other visual elements. This is because these pieces of stuff are always a concern when it comes to the design of a structure or its interior layout

Generally, you can become a Certified Interior Decorator(CID) in Florida in one of two ways. It is possible for anyone to take the CID exam after completing a CID-approved course of study. On the other hand, one can enroll in a CID-accredited interior-decorating program and use the CID study guide to prepare for the exam.

How to Become an Interior Decorator Online

The various Online Interior Decorator Career Diploma can help you prepare for the next steps in launching a career that you truly enjoy. You may achieve your degree in interior decorator from the comfort of your home, at your own speed, with online self-paced classes. An online interior decorator career diploma can;

  • Help you learn the fundamentals of home design, from choosing furniture and color schemes to adding accent lighting and other finishing touches.
  • This will give you adequate knowledge of the profession and better prepare you to land a career in the industry or establish your own business.
  • Let you finish your interior decorator programs at a fast pace, and the flexibility of the online programs will enable you to find a schedule that works for you.
  • Understand it’s important to know what a client’s goals and priorities are, as well as how much money and time they have available, in order to determine what kind of furniture style, color, texture, and pattern they want.
  • Learn how to use the color circle to identify different color schemes, the effects of different colors on each other, and the effects of light and different surfaces on color.
  • Understanding the three main types of house design layouts, their activity zones, and the specific problems in each room.
  • Understand what it takes to start an interior decorator business, including the financial side of it, employing, and building a client base.

Choosing Interior Decorator Courses Online

If you’re interested in a profession in interior decorating, you don’t have to pay for years of college tuition. For those who want to learn how to become an interior decorator, online training is a convenient option, and many courses will help you prepare for certification. 

It’s critical to realize that interior decorator goes well beyond what you might see on a home improvement show when getting started in the field. Starting an interior decorator career online requires education, and an education from a well-regarded institution can help identify an up-and-coming decorator.

Here are the best five online interior decorator courses for aspiring professionals and enthusiastic amateurs alike;

  • New York Institute of Art and Design
  • Udemy
  • The Interior Design Institute
  • British College of Interior Design
  • MasterClass

What is a Typical Interior Decorator Salary?

The average hourly wage for an interior decorator in the United States including Florida is $16.06. Based on our findings, an interior decorator in the United States can expect to earn $33,404 per year. Although individual earnings will differ depending on experience, region, client, and qualifications. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that marketing expertise also plays a role.

Where Can an Interior Decorator Work?

If you’re an interior decorator in Florida, you can work for professional designers, building and construction companies, retail outlets, or even start your own business. Depending on the assignment, a decorator may work in a number of settings, from a private residence to a retail store, and many do both.


Home repair shows may inspire you to ponder how you might make a career out of interior decorating like those you’re seeing on the show do. No matter what stage of life you’re in or what goals you’re trying to achieve, pursuing an interior decoration career may be a rewarding experience. And if you’re interested in a career as an interior decorator, you don’t have to pay for years of college tuition.

For those who want to learn about interior decorating with ease, online training is a convenient option, and many courses will help you prepare for certification.

How to Become an Interior Decorator FAQs

how long does it takes to become a professional interior decorator?

Online courses in Interior Decorating will get you up to speed as an interior decorator in as little as nine months.

In order to become an interior decorator, what are the necessary skills?

It’s important to have these talents when working on interior design projects:

  • Computer-aided design (CAD)
  • A keen eye for aesthetics
  • Ability to interact with others (Interpersonal Skills)
  • Abilities to manage money and set budgets

Is it possible to become an interior decorator without any formal training?

You will need The American Society of Interior Designers National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam to become a professional member of ASID. But if you are talented and ambitious, you can make it in the interior design industry without having studied interior design in college or school.

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