Many creative jobs require a talent for creating beautiful things like music and art, but decorating requires the ability to know which beautiful things go well together in a space. Becoming an interior decorator is a smart career choice for creative types with a clever color sense, smart space planning skills and an appreciation for chic design styles. Take a peek at the perks of being an interior decorator.
Making a living can be difficult for artistic types struggling to sell artwork or land a recording deal, but interior decorators work in a creative career that pays. While you’ll still have to deal with more mundane tasks such as balancing budgets and arranging installation schedules, the bulk of your workload requires you to be a visionary who can see beyond the décor that already exists in a space. Decorators get paid to flex their imagination while making over interiors.
Ditching Construction Troubles
An important distinction to remember is the difference between an interior decorator and an interior designer. To become licensed, interior designers go through extensive training that allows them to get involved in the designing and redesigning of a space’s architecture. As a result, interior designers are involved with interiors during the construction or remodeling process and must battle to keep builders on schedule. While interior decorators might make minor changes to a room’s interior, such as replacing doors or changing out trims, they are mainly hired to decorate existing spaces. Working with existing architecture means you won’t have to hassle with construction crews.
Shopping for a Living
If you’re considering a career as an interior designer, at least a part of you must love to shop. Aside from arranging the floor plan and picking wall colors or coverings, a good portion of your time will be spent shopping for furniture and accessories to feature in the interior’s design. But don’t expect to spend your days strolling the local shopping mall; most decorators avoid the mass-market offerings at big box stores and instead focus on finding one-of-a-kind items. This means scouring the town for antique stores and specialty shops that stock unique, custom-designed pieces.
The complaint creative types have regarding standard office jobs is facing the same imagination-draining work day after day. This pitfall of the daily grind isn’t a problem for an interior decorator because, thanks to client variety, no two days are ever the same. One day you might be decorating the bedrooms and common spaces in a private home, and the next you’ll be taking on the interior of a hotel or a restaurant. And every client comes with her own ideas regarding colors and design styles. Some jobs you’ll be playing with shabby chic pastels and others you’ll be knee-deep in jewel-toned Moroccan décor. Even if you spend several years decorating only private living rooms, you’ll always have the challenge of varying space plans and changing client taste.
A former art instructor, high school counselor and party planner, Christine Bartsch writes fashion, travel, interior design, education and entertainment content. Bartsch earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in communications/psychology/fine arts from Wisconsin Lutheran College and a creative writing Master of Fine Arts from Spalding University. She's written scripts for film/television productions and worked as the senior writer at a video game company.