Tips for becoming an independent interior designer

The interior design industry is worth an estimated £6.4 billion, and with Brit’s being some of the most houseproud, spending more than £40 billion making their house a home, becoming an interior designer could be a lucrative business.  

Photo by Huy Nguyen on Unsplash

Whether you work for a company already and you’re looking at going it alone, or you have a passion for interior design and are hoping to set up your own business, we’ve got some tips to help get you started.  

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Decide what services you’ll offer 

Before you launch your interior design business, think about the types of services you’ll need or want to offer. You’ll want to make sure you’re not taking on more than you can handle, which could end up jeopardising client relationships.  

You should also decide what sorts of budgets you’ll be working with. Will you be a high-end interior designer who specialises in luxury properties, or will your price points be more accessible. Perhaps you’ll only do commercial interiors like hotels or offices.  

Photo by Huy Nguyen on Unsplash

Find reliable suppliers and contractors 

It’s not just good client relationships you’ll need to build, but professional ones too. Find reliable and reputable tradespeople and suppliers who will deliver exactly what you ask for, on time, every time. Taking the time to find these people is an important step – and should be undertaken as early as possible.  

The more people you know and the more connections you have within the industry, the better.  

Invest in the right tools 

A lot of interior design work involves hard work. From painting to upholstering, stripping wallpaper to sanding floors, so investing in the right tools is imperative. You’ll need to acquire some essential tools as a starting point: a laser level, tape measure, hammer, electric screwdrivers, and retractable knife.  

Like any start-up, it’s important that you only invest in the essentials and stick to the budget you have. And once you’re up and running you can expand your tool collection.  

Photo by visualsofdana on Unsplash

Build a beautiful online presence 

Being an interior designer is all about showcasing your style, so making sure your website and social media channels showcase your skills are just as important. If you don’t have experience building a website, then hiring someone to do the job is a must. While it may be an initial outlay of cash, it will show potential clients that’s you’re serious about what you do.  

Don’t rush the aesthetics – as they’re a reflection of you as a designer.  

Photo by visualsofdana on Unsplash

Promote your business 

When you’re ready to launch, it’s time to promote your business. Social media is a great way to launch your business and find new clients, but you can’t ignore the old fashioned leaflet drops either. Contact estate agents and leave them business cards and flyers and offer them preferential rates or even referral fees.  

And don’t forget – building a business takes time.  


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