How to Start Your Own Home Decoration Business In 5 Easy Steps

It may be that you've recently decorated your house or helped conceive ideas for friends but if you've discovered you have a natural flair or real passion for home decorating it might be worth considering taking it one step further and starting your own home decorating business. Success, very rarely, happens overnight and before you even consider venturing out and obtaining clients you need to be sure that you are as prepared as you can be. Here are our five steps for achieving your home decorating business goals.

1. What do you want to provide for your client base?

There are two agreed upon approaches here. One is that you set yourself up as a design consultant; you create the design based on your client's preferences and that is all your job entails. The other option is to do this and also sell the necessary products that your client will require. Sole consultants are normally well established designers who already have a book of clients on a semi regular basis. It is recommended that you start off as a product driven designer. This will obviously require some research. You'll need to:

  • Determine your budget.
  • Consider your client demographic.
  • Do initial market research and implement a marketing campaign to reach your desired clients.
  • Source the best deals for your start up inventory and the products you wish to sell.

Bear in mind you will also need to consider additional startup costs like insurance and possible administrative fees for acquiring a business license.

2. Know Your Competition

It's well worth doing your homework and finding out what other home decorating businesses are out there catering to your client base. Ask yourself: Do you want to emulate their success and provide a similar service? Or do you want to try a fresh approach that may equally appeal to your client base? Are you able to obtain costing from rival companies? Can you see (if it’s important) any possible way of undercutting them to provide more value?

3. Getting Set Up

You are about to go professional, so it's key that you look the part. First up is your business name. This is crucial. It's best to avoid puns or anything too cute if you want to be taken seriously - keep it simple. If you don't have access to a home office, you may need to rent a space to work from and to store any necessary supplies.

Your work space is going to reflect to your clients who you are so it's vital that everything is well presented. With this in mind, it's worth investing in the best design software that you can afford. Most clients don't want to be presented with sketches designed on the spur of the moment on the back of a napkin.

When presenting your designs to a client you want to have samples at hand: Wallpaper, carpet books, paint, etc. And it's worth trying to negotiate with reps to try and get a good price for a bulk of samples. Going into your local depot and buying off the shelf is going to cost you a small fortune.

4. Start to Build a Portfolio

Try ideas out on your rooms and your friends. Be sure to take before and after shots and have them enlarged and added to your portfolio with letters of recommendation. This will give your clients an idea of the type of designer you are and whether you fit with their own aesthetic values.

5. Start Making Contact with Suppliers and Tradesmen

You can find electricians, plasterers and carpet-fitters on Plentific. But also, don't forget about networking with architects and realtors who could pass on potential clients your way.

That's it. You're pretty much ready to go. Home decorating is a competitive market but with a smart marketing campaign and useful contacts there's no reason why you can't be a great success - Good luck!


Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on

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