Interior decorators design interior spaces such as homes and businesses. They perform functions like overseeing the furnishing, arrangement and painting of a space. Some decorators complete this work themselves and others hire outside vendors to complete the work for them. If you want to be an interior decorator, high school isn’t too soon to start planning for your goal. There are many high school classes that are applicable to becoming an interior decorator.
Many of the basics of interior decoration are taught in family and consumer science class, including sewing, home furnishing and money management. Although high-end interior decorators don’t usually make their own drapes, slipcovers and pillows, most know how to do so, and knowledge about the construction of home goods and accessories is important to make sure you are providing quality items for your clients.
Interior decorators don’t have to know how to draw or paint, but knowledge about complementary colors, light, shading and perspective are needed to furnish a room beautifully. Art fundamental classes will give you an overview of basic techniques and concepts. Studying art history is also useful for interior decorators. Art is not just paintings and sculpture; the designs and styles of various time periods are reflected in their buildings and furnishings. Interior decorators must be knowledgeable about historical periods to replicate them or borrow from them for clients.
Interior decorators need to know how to measure properly. Fabric, flooring materials, window shades and shutters are all costly, and small mistakes can add up. Knowledge of area, circumference and radius, as well as basic addition and subtraction skills are necessary.
Many interior decorators work for themselves. This means that they are responsible for finding, communicating with and billing clients. You should learn business skills like accounting and marketing. Business classes will teach you how to write a business letter, design business cards and communicate professionally with clients. You’ll also want to learn how to create an invoice to bill clients once you finish a job.
Interior decorators need to be comfortable speaking with clients. A big part of the job is discussing a client's wants and needs, and communicating clearly about what can be achieved in a space. Making presentations can be frightening. Speech and debate classes will give you a chance to practice in front of your classmates. By the time you have your first client, you’ll feel like a pro.
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