Interior Decorating Information

Starting Your Own Redecorating Business: The First Key Steps

Are you a compulsive furniture rearranger? Do you make distinctive vignettes with accessories? Been complimented on your beautiful home? Give friends and family decorating suggestions even if they didn't ask for your help?

Have you ever wondered if you could make your decorating passion into a business? There is a fast growing area of interior decorating called interior redesign or one-day decorating. Varieties of this type of decorating include real estates decorating and home staging. This niche in the decorating world focuses on using what the homeowner already owns but making it better. This unique field is growing in popularity thanks in a large part to HGTV.

I own a wonderful business specializing in doing what I love to do - redecorating. Many people over the years have contacted me to ask, "How can I do what you do?": I tell the people who contact me to do three things.

1. Do your research.

The first step in any research is to increase your knowledge about the subject. The easiest way it gets knowledge is to purchase the recommended reading list or borrow them from your neighborhood library. The first book, and probably the most important, is to get a book on starting and running your own home based business. "The Complete Idiots Guides" and "For Dummies" series both have great books on home based businesses. (Don't get the book on how to start a small business because you won't need the employee hiring section or the store front location sections etc) These books are good at describing all the steps you need to take to make your business "real" and not a hobby. There several good decorating books that focus on this type of decorating that you will also find helpful:

  • Decorating for Good by Carole Talbott
  • Dress your House for Success by Martha Webb and Sarah Parsons Zackeim
  • Use What you have Decorating by Lauri Ward
  • Easy Decorating Makeovers edited by Vicki Ingham
2. Make an appointment with the Small Business Development Center near you.

These are government-operated programs focusing on helping small businesses get started and flourish. They will help you make a business plan and budget - very critical steps. Now the best part is that appointments are usually free. Ask them to send you a kit on how to start your business because each state may be different in where to file legal papers. The SBDC will help you with the easiest order of steps such opening a commercial bank account, where to file your business name, getting listed in the yellow pages, etc. Find the SBDC near you by going to

3. Take a training program

Now the first two steps have not cost you too much but the third step will. I highly recommend that you take a hands-on professional redecorating training program. Yes, I know that they are a lot of money (can be 2 to 3 thousand for the week) but I would not even think about going into this business without a strong background in not just what makes a house looks good, but how to market this niche area, how to work with clients (like how to tell a client that the lime green carpet and moose head have to go) In your favorite search engine type in the phrase "Interior Redesign training" or " Home Staging training"

When I took the training programs I was mental and physically exhausted at the end of the week, I felt it was well worth the money. I still refer to my training manuals and network with my creative classmates. Just like any other consumer purchase, be sure to research the company and check references. (There are people who claim you can download their book and start a thriving redecorating business. I do not recommend that method)

My biggest advice is that decorating may be your passion but you need to treat it like a business to get paid for it. Once you get paid for it then, believe me, you will love to decorate even more!

Julie Dana is a professional Interior Redesigner and Accredited Staging Professional. Her company, The Home Stylist, offers online decorating consultations, do-it-yourself decorating plans and real-estate staging. Visit to take a fun style quiz, vote on a color poll, and sign up for free decorating e-newsletter.

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