A Day in the Life of an Interior Decorator (in photos)
Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be a professional interior decorator or designer? Before you decide to rush into this career, have a look at a typical day in the life of an interior decorator:
7 AM: Interior decorators and designers usually start the day early. Interior Designer to the Stars, James Blakeley, for example, says that he usually starts his day with a good breakfast and the morning newspaper.
9 AM: Around this time, they usually head into the office or studio where they respond to e-mails, read up on the latest designing trends and news, and attend to other admin work before meeting with clients.
10:30 AM: This is the time by which they would usually complete the bulk of their admin work.Their next activities usually include meeting up with clients and taking on new projects.
I first meet with the client(s) and take a look at the house or the plans. I talk with them to see what their wishes are. I begin to create concepts with sketches and pictures – assemble it all in the office like a story board for a movie. Then have everyone in the office throw out their ideas. And it just evolves from there.
12:00 PM: When the client leaves, the interior decorator/designer usually starts working on and finalising other projects. To carry out these projects, and to be successful in the work that they do, interior decorators need the following skills:
- Communication skills
- Negotiation skills
- Visual awareness and creativity
- Customer service skills
- Critical thinking and problem solving skills
While carrying out their projects, interior decorators have to ensure that the correct orders are placed (for everything from the paint to the photo frames that will hang on the wall). This means that interior decorators have to have excellent organisational and admin skills as well.
Between 1 PM and 5 PM: Sarah, an interior designer at the Laura Ashley Design Service, says that after she has eaten lunch, she “will work on a room layout for the client creating a scheme that is tailored to their individual taste and lifestyle. This includes anything from curtains to upholstery, wallpaper to lighting, and even right down to the photo frames.”
After lunch, an interior decorator will generally see more clients, finalise orders, meet with suppliers, request pricing for furniture or material, do on-site inspections/supervision, etc.
6 PM: They tend to e-mails and make final calls before ending the day. Sarah says that she usually hits the gym after work and then goes home and cooks dinner. She will ease into the evening by reading her favourite interior design magazines.
Now that you have some sort of idea of what a day in the life of an interior decorator/designer looks like, you can decide whether or not this creative career is what you are looking for.
Please note that in practice, interior decorating and interior design are two different career paths – although there is often some overlap. An interior designer, for example, deals with the science of creating a functional living space, whereas an interior decorator uses furniture and other décor to beautify a space.