How to be a Freelance Interior Designer

freelance interior designer

A freelance interior designer is a self -employed interior designer who finds clients on his own rather than working for a company as a permanent employee. These individuals are independent of the restrictions of a permanent job and generally do not have an employer or company’s backing. The job of a freelance interior designer is a little more flexible in terms of work timing choices, project preferences, designing style and freedom to state own service cost.  The duties, however, remain more or less the same as that of a permanently employed interior decorator and include planning, designing and implementation of commercial and residential buildings.

Freelance interior designers may specialize in a particular field such as hotel interior designing, residential interior decorating or styles like modern, traditional, country, etc.  To remain in the game, a freelance designer needs to constantly find work, develop a list of clients and do proper marketing to increase business. If you are interested in becoming a freelance interior designer, then you may find the following information useful:

Freelance Interior Designer Job Duties

As a freelance interior designer, you may be responsible for performing a large number of duties on a day to day basis. The following are some of the main job duties associated with this field of work:

  • To find clients by advertising, sending out sales letters, sending job proposals, etc.
  • To understand client requirements, budget requirements, taste, preferences to build a solid interior designing plan.
  • Share decorating ideas with clients and confer with them to move forward in the designing process.
  • Provide advice and consult with clients regarding space planning, organization, layout, and utilization of furniture and decorative pieces.
  • Provide an estimation of material, designing, and other costs.
  • Use computer-aided design to develop blueprints.
  • Collect payment from clients after work has been completed.
  • Coordinate and arrange for other workers and technicians.
  • Suggest changes for better functionality or visual appeal of an indoor space.


If you are interested in becoming a freelance interior design, then taking formal education or having an interest in the field won’t suffice.  You would also need to possess or inculcate certain skills without which finding success in the work would be difficult.  Here’s a list of some of the skills needed to be a freelance interior designer:

  • A freelancer interior designer must possess strong creative skills and artistic skills to design interiors in such a way that is pleasing to the clients and is appealing enough.
  • Knowledge of materials, decorative, textiles, fabrics, colors and other things is highly important for this job.
  • Market sense, negotiating skills and strong interpersonal skills are also needed for a job of this nature.
  • The ability to understand the needs of clients is also highly vital to do well at this job.
  • Good presentation skills and the ability to work for long hours either at the client’s property or at home are needed due to the demands of the job or nature of work.
  • Strong computer skills to present blueprints or do online research are also required.

Freelance Interior Designer Career

To be successful at any job, apart from hard work and dedication, many other things are required. For starting, one has to have a passion for interior design and should be able to bank on opportunities by delivering the best possible. The following are some other trade secrets to be successful at this kind of job:

  • It is very important to constantly polish your designing skills by reading a lot about the latest designing trends, in-trend materials, new fabrics, interesting colors, etc. in magazines or in the newspaper.
  • Order magazine subscription of popular interior designing projects magazines such as Good Homes, Inside Outside so as to keep yourself updated about the latest fad in the industry.
  • Make sure you choose your fee structure carefully. Some freelancers may keep their fee below average in order to attract more clients but this can play badly on your image. Hence choose your mark after finding out what others are charging.
  • Learn how to be very organized and manage different projects uniquely.  Avoid losing fabric samples, designing plans and keep yourself highly well managed.
  • You must also learn how to say no. if your client puts up unreasonable demands, you must know how to decline in a polite way rather than accepting any demand.
  • Read the client’s mind and adjust your design to suit the requirements. Avoid doing everything for its visual appeal and use designing to add functionality to indoors.

Freelance Interior Designer Salary

In the field of freelance interior designing, you are to be paid on a per-project basis which further depends on time given to a project, your experience, skills and the amount of work that was needed to be done. Thus determining the salary of a freelance interior designer is difficult. But job prospects in this field of work are very bright. Interior designers are needed at hotels, corporate buildings, residential spaces, governmental offices, galleries, malls, retail stores, and so many places. On average, the annual salary of a freelance interior designer is $52400. Many factors can affect this figure and some of them are a place of work, employment experience, and your own personal rate.

Finding Work

In this day and age where freelancers are valued, searched for and sought after, finding work as a freelance interior designer may not be as difficult as you think. The first and most basic way is to start with your friends and family and ask them to refer you to their friends and relatives. Start with small jobs wherever you can find and then move up the ladder.

Create a strong portfolio on online freelancing websites (1) like PeoplePerHour, Elance and others and try to send strong and convincing proposals to those looking for work.  Use the medium of social networking websites or professional channels like LinkedIn to market yourself and find work. You can create a Facebook Page to showcase pictures of your work so as to win potential clients within your social network and even outside it.