Interior design is a growing field and is especially suited to people who want to run their own business or work from home. According to the 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the number of interior designers was expected to grow 19 percent between 2008 to 2018 – from 71,700 designers to 85,600. This is faster than average for all occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which publishes the Handbook, expect that demand for interior designers will grow in homes and businesses, making this a great career option with a lot of scope for niche work.
Rather than purchase new furniture and decorations for clients, this type of interior design business uses people’s existing furniture and accessories, and rearranges them to give the space a different look. Some redesigners specialize in real estate staging, where the designer rearranges furnishings specifically for real estate viewings, and to help homes sell faster. Other redesigners work for residential or business customers, to give them a new look at a cheaper cost than a complete design.
Many people long to declutter and organize their homes or offices and live easier, simpler, more organized lives, but don’t know where to begin. A professional organizer tailors filing and storage systems for each customer’s particular needs. Organizers may also teach organization, goal-setting and time-management skills, and can help organize house moves and financial record-keeping. Organizers can also work with businesses to increase productivity by improving work-flow, filing systems, space design and time-management practices. The National Association of Profession Organizers offers careers advice, training and certification.
This area of interior design requires some skill or training in carpentry, painting, general construction or plastering. Restoration designers, also called conservationists, specialize in preserving and restoring vintage features and furnishings. Many restorers specialize in a specific area of restoration, such as furniture, plasterwork, period paints and painting techniques. Others may specialize in sourcing vintage accessories and materials to be used in restoration projects.
Many interior design businesses are product-driven – they offer clients design advice and sell them furnishings and other products to achieve a particular style and “look.” In this type of design business, the designer makes most of their money from product sales. However, interior designer businesses can also focus on consulting. In this types of business, the designer is selling their advice and expertise and is more often paid by the hour, or by the project. Some design consultants specialize in areas such as feng shui, or children’s rooms.
- coats in closet image by Leonid Nyshko from Fotolia.com