4 Ways a Student Can Turn Their Passion for Home Décor into a Job


Do you spend hours watching home décor shows and YouTube tutorials? Have you meticulously redecorated your room – and loved every second of the process?

If your answer is a resounding “yes,” there’s no denying it: home décor is your passion. But it doesn’t have to remain just another hobby. Why not mix business with pleasure and turn your passion into a full-fledged career?

This is where you might get a bit skeptical. Turning your passion into a job is one of those cliché things that Forbes writers advise. But it sounds more and more like a fairytale instead of something achievable every time you hear or read someone say, “Do it, and you’ll never work a day in your life!”

This skepticism is understandable. That said, there’s nothing impossible about turning home décor into your day-to-day occupation! Here are four main ways you can make it happen.

Become a Home Decorator

Let’s start with the most obvious option you have: you can be hired to bring style to someone else’s room(s). Here’s what you’ll do in practice:

  1. decide on the color scheme and visual style;
  2. find the right wallpaper or wall paint;
  3. choose the furniture or hire subcontractors to make it from scratch;
  4. pick lighting and accessories or have them custom-made.

Here’s a thing, though: being a home decorator isn’t the same as being a home designer. Decorators come into an already built space and whip it into visual shape – without any structural changes like removing or adding a wall. Designers, on the other hand, can do both the structural changes and the decorator’s job.

Alright, let’s say you’re sold on the idea. How do you get started? Well, it’ll take a long while – so, prepare to tell yourself “I’m going to pay someone to write my research paper” to free up as much time as you can. Then, you can go on and follow this roadmap.

Find Your Specialization & Target Market

What kind of spaces do you want to be working on? Most decorators focus on revamping residential living spaces. But you don’t have to limit yourself to that: businesses also need decorators!

Why is it important? Well, if you’d rather spend your time working with restaurants or stores, you’ll need a different kind of portfolio – and a different skillset, too.

Start Small & Build a Portfolio

Before you can make a living from your passion, you need a convincing portfolio to find your clientele.

Finding your first projects will be challenging, but you can always use your social network and find someone who wants their room or the whole home restyled. It can be your friends, your parents’ friends, or your friends’ friends. Your living space is also a good place to start.

When you’re a beginner, you might be tempted to offer your services for free. But be careful: if you do, you risk devaluing your work – and the work of all other home decorators, too. So, avoid giving in to that temptation. You can barter your services or ask for a symbolic payment instead.

Consider Investing in Certification

Yes, it’s not free. Yes, it can be hard on your wallet. But it’ll be easier to find your first clients if you have at least a certificate to show for your skills.

Here are two main certification options you should look into if you decide to invest in it:

  1. Certified Interior Decorators (C.I.D.) Certification Online Course ($895);
  2. Interior Design Society courses for various expertise levels (prices vary).

Spend Some Time in Retail or Sales

Yes, it doesn’t sound as exciting as revamping whole rooms as an independent contractor. But since you’ll need to play the long game to become a successful one, why not get a job in retail or sales?

The perks are obvious: you’ll get a stable income out of it, for one. Plus, you’ll still be involved in home décor, just from a different angle – you’ll be helping customers find a piece that suits their current room style.

Here are some retail businesses that typically hire decorators:

  • Furniture stores;
  • Home stores and supply centers;
  • Fabric stores;
  • Window stores.

Start a Home Décor Blog/Vlog

Can’t help giving advice or one-of-a-kind explainers? Then you can combine your passion for home décor with your desire to help others! Here are just several ways to go about it:

  1. Do you have a knack for writing and storytelling? Become a home décor journalist, guest writer, or blogger!
  2. Are you into video making? Create your own YouTube channel or TikTok account!
  3. Do you have a talent for making engaging content on social media? Start posting about functional home décor on Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media platform!

How do you become a successful blogger/influencer/vlogger? That’s a story for another time – every platform and niche has its own recipe for success. There’s one rule that rings true regardless, though: your content should be compelling for your target audience.

Sell Particular Items or Services

In case you’ve always loved making one-of-a-kind curtains, why not start selling your curtain-making services? Or, if you love making wall decorations, you can list them on Etsy or open a small online store!

The same goes for any other items or services that home decorators – or just people looking to decorate their living space themselves – can be interested in.

Here are several more examples of services you could offer:

  • Decorative painting;
  • Window covering design;
  • Custom carpet making.

In Conclusion

Whichever path you decide to venture on your way to a dream job, remember to create a roadmap for it first. This journey will be long, and you’ll need a plan to guide you throughout it.

How do you create it? Set goals – and remember to use the SMART technique when you do. Then, break them down into smaller actionable steps. Put it up somewhere you can see it every day. And don’t forget to review it from time to time!

And here’s one more thing. Your journey probably won’t be a linear path straight to success. You’ll probably have your ups and downs, and you might feel like a failure at some point. In those moments, remind yourself: you need to fail in order to succeed.

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