Do you run an interior design business and want to earn extra income on the side? If YES, here are 50 best small business ideas for interior designers in 2020.
Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interior of a building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment. Interior designers on their part make interior spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials.
While interior designing is a job or business on its own, but there are other businesses that can be found in the value chain of the interior decoration line of business. So for someone who necessarily don’t want to take up the whole chunk of interior designing for one reason or the other, there are yet businesses that you can delve into while still living your dream of being in the industry.
We have listed below 50 of such business ideas for you to take your pick of the one that suits your interest and financial ability.
50 Best Small Business ideas for Interior Designers in 2020
A home restoration business is a business that restores failing houses. Reservation and restoration is a subset of home restoration. The job entails carrying out wood work, block work and electrical fixtures. Restoration is very popular and is a specialty field of home design and people that engage in this business are professionals that have bagged years of experience. If you have such years of experience, then you can delve into this business.
A home restoration and preservation expert handles various projects on restoration according to the buildings requirements. Other restoration jobs in this area include; painting, tile replacement, beam construction, plaster and ceiling jobs.
The restorer works on the structural integrity of the building so you need to be qualified and certified. You can hire a qualified structural engineer on part-time or full time bases if you like. The restorer repairs structural defects, damages and carry out both major and basic repairs.
To get proper estimates you need the assistance of professionals such as electricians, plumbers, and wood work specialists. You can also use clever software, packages, instructional material and an existing list. Your charges depend on your location, price of building materials and scope of work.
- Interior Redesign business
Interior redesign is another special area in the business of interior designing. The job of the interior redesigner is to utilize already existing furniture and accessories in a more practical and beautiful way. The re-designer might add a few items but generally uses what is at hand. The job description of the interior re-designer covers both residential apartments and business premises. They provide more practical storage, space and filling system for homes and businesses.
- Faux Painting business
Faux painting is another arm of interior decoration business. Faux painters apply decorative finishes to walls, ceilings, floors, furniture and accessories. They use paint, glazes and other media, and must be masters at mixing colors and applying them with just the right touch. Among the types of faux finishes popular today are marbling, precious stone, patina, trompe l’oeil and stenciling.
This purely decorative art form is usually practiced by true artists, although it is possible to achieve a certain level of competence through hands-on instruction. The job is highly technical and it pays well. Because of the specialty nature of the job and the technical skill involved, faux painters can earn $400 a day or more, or around $60 by the hour.
- Sell Fashionable Home Decor
You can start selling fashionable home decor that easily catch the eye of interior designers. There are several do-it-from-home direct sales companies that focus on decorating and design. Starting with one of these companies can be a good way for beginners to break into the decor sales business.
Before you begin any home-based business, do your research. Check out the history and integrity of the company you are interested in representing to make sure you would be making a sound investment. Research the home business tax laws in your state because an independent consultant, you’ll be responsible for your own taxes.
- Sell artificial flowers
Nowadays artificial flowers are widely used in interior decoration. There are used in domestic houses, on events and occasions, in hotels, restaurants and to decorate commercial places also. You can start your artificial flowers business from home, but you will need to have a catalogue you can show your clients for them to make their choice.
Any individual can initiate this florist business by two ways. You can initiate it as home based and part time basis. Another way is opening a flower shop.
- Antique Furniture refurnishing business
Antique furniture is costly, and their owners always look for professional and experienced hands for it to repair them when they get worn out. You can start and operate this business from home if you are creative and have good carpentry skills. This kind of business is quite lucrative if you are good at what you do.
- Windows Installation business
During the makeover of a building, there is usually need to change the windows. This need has provided a unique business niche. By only replacing old windows, a whole makeover of a room is possible. Modern manufacturing methods and materials can be accredited for this booming industry. This is one of the most demanded interior designing services globally. You can maximize your income by also selling the windows you install.
- Open a Fabric Shop
This is a very lucrative retail business in the interior designing industry. Fabrics and linens are very important materials in the home. In addition to fabrics, sewing patterns, buttons, zippers, curtain rods, sewing machines, other sewing notions and craft items can be sold to increase revenue.
- Become a professional Organizer
This is another field that’s still in its infancy but growing fast. Professional organizers cut through the clutter in people’s homes and businesses to help them live simpler, more organized lives. They also develop customized organizational plans using filing and storage systems that their clients can live with and maintain easily.
While there aren’t any available statistics on the number of professional organizers practicing today, what is known is that the National Association of Professional Organizers, which was established in 1985, counts 3,200 people among its membership. Because there are no educational requirements, few equipment/tool costs and no licensing issues, this is one of the easiest home design businesses to establish.
- Become a Design Consultant
Many interior design businesses are product-driven – they offer clients design advice and sell them furnishings and other products to achieve a particular style and look. In this type of design business, the designer makes most of their money from product sales.
However, interior designer businesses can also focus on consulting. In this type of business, the designer is selling their advice and expertise and is more often paid by the hour, or by the project. Some design consultants specialize in areas such as feng shui, or children’s rooms.
- Cabinet Door Making and Repairing
Cabinet and doors are very important part of an interior look. Most times, interior decorators may think that a new building needs new cabinet doors or if the doors it came with are antique, may request to have them repaired and refurbished. You can start this specialized service providing business. You can help the people to get a new cabinets or repair the old ones they have and give it a new look.
- Ceramic Tiles Sales and Installation business
The fact that most homes during remodelling would need new tiles makes this business related to interior designing. To start this business, you must have construction expertise and knowledge. People nowadays prefers tile instead of marble or mobile floor. Selling and installing ceramic tiles is a profitable business idea.
- Start a custom furniture cover manufacturing business
Furnishing would always need covers to add that extra beauty and elegance to the room. For furniture covers, everyone needs to depend on custom made, because the covers must be fitted to match with wall colours or the other furniture of the room. You can also work on a subcontract basis for an established furniture upholstery service or retailer of home furnishings. Note that it is your ability to market to the right clients would make you successful in your business.
- Open a Lighting Shop
Lighting fixtures are one of the things that give a room ambiance and grace, and when done right, these fixtures can help to uplift the look of a room. When redecorating a home, lights are among the important things to be considered. Starting a business that sells interior and exterior lighting products is a wise choice for a new business enterprise. This sort of retail operation does not require a lot of floor space and as a method to reduce startup costs, you may even consider forming a joint venture with an established retailer in your community.
15. Become a Home Office Planner
With a lot of people transitioning from working outdoors to working at home, the need for a cozy place in the home where someone can concentrate has increased. The Home Office Planner is the perfect resource for transforming any space into a functional work area. With the resource available, he or she can create a comfortable space for people where they can stay comfortable for hours working. This is another good business an interior designer can start.
- Set up Home Theater Rooms
Home theaters are becoming very popular. People want to enjoy movies within the comfort of their home. With the right installation and with other construction aspects, you can convert a room into a home theater room. Knowing that not everyone may want or be able to afford home theater rooms, you should know the kind of people to market this service to so you do not waste money doing random marketing.
- Hot tub sales and Installation business
Hot tubs are luxury items that give a home extra value. Starting a business that specializes in the delivery and installation of hot tubs is quite profitable and it can be started from home. You can learn this business from scratch, but you have to be knowledgeable about plumbing and fixtures to run the business.
If you do not have this knowledge, you can just stick with selling the tubs and then have installers you can recommend at short notice. If you cannot afford a full store that stocks different makes of hot tubs, you can sell online or dropship.
- Sell designer lamp shades
Designer lampshades are always on demand. People prefer the lampshades that match with the other aspects of their space like the furniture, wall colour, and arrangements. You can start this business as home-based also. So as not to limit your client base, because clearly, not everyone can afford designer lampshades, you can stock general lamp shades too.
- Open a mattress and beddings store
Homes must have mattresses if they are to be livable, and those mattresses must have beddings. In fact, most home usually change their beddings at regular intervals even without needing full interior decoration. Mattresses and bedding products have the demand not only for domestic uses but also commercial uses in hotels, hospitals, hostels etc. The gross profit margin is very lucrative if you can sustain the business.
- Party Balloon Supply
A party balloon service business is certainly not limited to only children’s birthday parties. Yes, people open their homes after they have tastefully furnished it. These are sometimes called house warming parties. If you know how to use balloons to make great decorations, you can start selling your services in the interior decoration sector. You can establish business tie-ups with catering services, party planners, and wedding planners etc. to get more business.
- Paving Consultant
Before a house is finished, its paving have to be perfect. This is one of the niche ideas in landscaping, and in fact, for you to become a great pavement consultant, you need to be on the landscaping business for quite some time. Paving consulting business opportunity demands adequate knowledge in mechanical and civil construction sector. The business is all about providing advice, design and creating pavements at your client’s budget and scheduled time.
- Start a skylight installation business
A skylight is a light-transmitting structure that forms all or part of the roof space of a building for daylighting purposes. A window on the roof lets in significantly more light than a vertical window, so even a small skylight can make a room feel larger and airier.
Installing skylights are the great way to have a glow in the room, but it must be installed in the right places, so ensure to take into consideration the sun’s path. Skylights on the south- or west-facing portion of the roof will collect direct sun—skylights facing north or east may not get any direct sunlight.
You can start this business from home with small startup capital. Be sure any skylight you intend to install will meet local codes for load, wind resistance, and related factors. Building permits are required for installation in most regions.
- Start a wallpaper business
Wallpaper is a material used in interior decoration to decorate the interior walls of domestic and public buildings. It is usually sold in rolls and is applied onto a wall using wallpaper paste. Nowadays, wallpapers are becoming very popular.
It is more cost-effective than wall painting. You can start wallpaper selling and installation business from a retail space and also from your home. You would need to have a very detailed catalogue to show your clients so they can make their choice.
- Manufacture Window Shutters and Blinds
Blinds are window coverings that have slats or vanes that enable the raising and lowering of the blind to cover the window but also to adjust the aperture of the vanes when the blind is down to let in more or less light. A shade is either open, exposing the window or closed, covering the window. Window shutters and blind are very essential items in interior designing. The manufacturing process of window shutter is very simple and it doesn’t demand much spaces.
The demand for wooden window shutters and blinds is enormous, especially with recent news that plastic miniblinds can give off toxic fumes into a home. The profit margins can be terrific on this type of product, as there is not a lot of competition in the industry.
- Start an Online Home Repair service
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans spent nearly $43 million on home maintenance and repairs in a single recent year. The advantages to this business are that you can work from home, you can start on a shoestring, you’re always doing something different, and it’s gratifying.
People are delighted when you can save them money by doing the job yourself. You’ll need a variety of home-repairs skills–everything from minor plumbing to minor electrical to painting and carpentry.
You’ll want people skills because you’ll be dealing with a variety of personalities on their home turf. If you have right knowledge and expertise, you can start this business from home. With the help of the internet, you can connect with your customers in real time.
- Mirror Art and Installation business
Mirror art is simply small pieces of mirror in varying colors and shapes that have been assembled together to resemble a picture, landscape or even abstract design. Nowadays mirror production is easy and relatively cheap. Mirror-like surfaces can be manufactured using different materials, in various shapes and sizes. Therefore, they are often used by artists and architects.
If you are an expert of mirror art, then start your own business of creating and installing mirror art as per your client’s choice. You can earn handsome revenue from this business as the equipment needed to create the art is inexpensive and includes a few hand tools and a glass grinder. Also, patterns are available to make the mirror art or you can create your own.
- Create and sell Junkyard Furniture
If you’re looking for a unique home based business that has minimal competition and potential to generate a six-figure income, then look no further. Starting a business that manufactures and sells junkyard furniture is a very interesting.
The key to its success is to create funky, yet functional furniture from discarded items typically found at a wrecking yard or junkyard. You can make good looking furniture out of those junks and sell them to people that need them for their homes.
This is an innovative business that has minimum competition as yet. The business is very profitable and your creative abilities can stand you out from your competition. You may need a little space where you can display your furniture, and you can decide to sell them online exclusively.
When you think of landscaping, you probably think of the outdoors – taking existing land and making changes by adding flowers, plants or various structures to enhance the appearance of an outdoor space. Indoor landscaping, also known as “plantscaping” or “interiorscaping,” does the same thing – but inside. Interior plantscaping, otherwise referred to as interior landscaping, is a branch of interior decorating that focuses on indoor plants and containers inside buildings and offices.
An interior plantscaper will design, arrange, and care for plants in a walled space. Plantscapers need to have an understanding of angles, horizons, colour, sculptural elements and focal points, just like landscapers would. Apart from domestic houses, there is a great demand of interior landscaping for commercial places. This green business allows you to start with a small startup capital.
A house painter and decorator is a tradesman responsible for the painting and decorating of buildings, and is also known as a decorator or house painter. The purpose of painting is to improve the appearance of a building and to protect it from damage by water, rust, corrosion, insects and mold. House painting is a very simple business to start. It only requires a small investment to get going and even a smaller learning curve to master.
Self-storage is an industry in which storage space, also known as “storage units” is rented to tenants, usually on a short-term basis. Self-storage tenants include businesses and individuals. Self-storage facilities rent space on a short-term basis (often month-to-month, though options for longer-term leases are available) to individuals or to businesses.
Home storage is a real challenge. People always look for an arrangement that serves their purposes of storage with a stylish manner. You can help them out by offering boxes, locks, and packaging supplies for sale to assist tenants in packing and safekeeping their goods.
Interior decorating refers to the art and science of making an interior space more aesthetically pleasing and functionally useful for its inhabitants. While the exterior of a building can sometimes also be included in interior decorating, the term usually refers solely to the interior design.
Anyone who has ever decorated a home or office has taken part in interior design, so you can easily start this business. People want to decorate their houses and even business places on holiday or events. You can help them for this temporary decoration requirement.
- Create and sell Headboards Art
A headboard is a great way to visually frame up your bedroom. But the thing is, your headboard doesn’t have to be a headboard at all. An oversized piece of framed art can do the same work for you, giving your bedroom or guest room tons of unique style in the process.
The headboard art is one interior decoration fad that has hit the industry, and it is quite beautiful and always on demand. If you have the skills, you can use your creativity by using different types of materials like wood, glass, leather etc.
- Design throw pillows
A throw pillow, or toss pillow, is a small, decorative soft furnishing item made from a wide range of textiles including cotton, linen, silk, leather, microfibre, suede, chenille, and velvet. Decorative pillows are the most creative way to add style or introduce fresh ideas and life to your home.
They are commonly used to tie in color accents within a room, often drawing on the colors in drapes, walls or area rugs. From a functional perspective, throw pillows may provide back, neck and head support. Designer pillows are mandatory items for not only the bed but also for sofa and any type of sitting arrangements. The business is profitable. You can operate from home.
- Become a Home and Gardens Exhibitions Organizer
A home and gardens exhibition is a usually a show where varieties of home and garden designs ranging from flooring and cabinets, to hot tubs and fireplaces, to landscapers and greenhouses, and much more, are exhibited to an audience.
The show focuses on an eclectic collection of products ranging from antiquity to contemporary – focused on craftsmanship and quality, design, interior and garden trends and luxury lifestyle. You can charge guests an entrance fee to get in. To make the show more enticing and get more people involved, you can schedule meet-and-greets with local celebrities and provide mouth-watering treats. May be invite a food truck or two.
- Sell Specialty Rugs
Specialty rugs are unique and unusual one-of-a-kind custom printed rugs. There are a lot of ways one can approach this business, and the first option is to locate and secure a foreign supplier for the carpets and negotiate an exclusive sales and distribution contract to represent their products in the U.S. The second option is to purchase secondhand, high-quality carpets and resell them for a profit.
Regardless of the way the business is approached and established, the fact remains, handmade specialty rugs and carpets are in very high demand by consumers and professional decorators, and often one single carpet can retail for as much as $10,000.
- Become a Patio Furniture Retailer
Garden furniture, also called patio furniture or outdoor furniture, is a type of furniture specifically designed for outdoor use. It is typically made of weather-resistant materials such as aluminum which does not rust so that the weather does not destroy it.
Great patio furniture brings comfort and function to outdoor spaces. With a spacious table and easy-to-use, comfortable chairs, a basic brick patio is transformed into a sensory-rich dining destination. If you know a lot about patio furniture, you can start retailing them. This is a good and profitable niche area in the interior design industry.
- Become a Nursery Designer
A nursery is a very important part of the home especially if the home owners are still within child bearing age or if they are expecting. Knowing how to decorate a nursery that would be comfortable for the mother and as well help to develop the early cognitive skills of the child is a very valuable skill to have. If you have this skill, you can become a nursery designer to help parents plan a home for their new born.
To sell your skills, you can advertise in your social media pages and as well as your blog if you have one. You can also frequent where expectant mothers gather such as birth classes and baby stores. Leave your flyers and cards in these places and you can start expecting the calls.
- Sell Mosaic Tile Creations
Mosaic tiles are the proper choice for interior and exterior floors and walls, and it has steadily held down the market. Creating home decoration items featuring mosaic tile designs is an exceptional business venture to set in motion. Not only can this enterprise be started and run from a home based location, but this business is also very inexpensive to initiate.
Mosaic tiles can be purchased ready to install or you can create your own simply by buying discontinued styles and colors as well as collecting broken tiles from local building and renovation companies, or you could create them yourself. Marketing the mosaic tile creations can be by way of traditional advertising media, as well as by renting a weekend sales kiosk in a market or mall.
- Start a Kitchen Facelift Service
Kitchen facelift involves a simple replacement of the doors, drawers and worktops in an old kitchen and replacing them with new ones, so they fit like a glove and make the kitchen appear to be brand new. A lot of time, people desire to give their kitchens a facelift and this service is listed under interior decorations.
To start this business, you must have had some training and practice in the industry. Your customers would also appreciate it if you can save them some money by reusing things that are not so bad but giving them an entirely new look. This business would not cost you anything to start, you just need to come along with your experience and ability how to market your business.
- Sell futons
A futon is the Japanese traditional style of bedding. A complete futon set consists of a mattress and a duvet. Both elements of a futon bedding set are pliable enough to be aired, folded and stored away in a large closet during the day allowing the room to serve for purposes other than as a bedroom. To maximize space, a lot of homes buy futons. You can start stocking these home essentials for sale. You can equally make them if you have the skills.
- Framing Service
As people go ahead in life, they accumulate pictures and most times they desire to put these pictures into frames. This is a very good business to start as it is also quite profitable. The cost for custom framing varies greatly, depending on the materials. The frames themselves can range from $16 per foot to $200 per foot. A 7×5-inch double-mat, clear-glass mounting for a photograph costs about $120, while an 8×10 conservation-glass frame for a college diploma averages $200.
- Provide Fireplace Installation
Fireplaces add a host of benefits to a home. They not only increase your home’s value, but can also reduce your heating costs and provide a nice, cozy focal point in any space. A great fireplace usually indicates that an interior decorator has done a great job. To carry out this service, they usually reach out to fireplace installers. Fireplace installation is a popular business in the industry and its services are widely sought after.
- House Preparation Service
Every seller wants her home to sell fast and bring top dollar, but for a house to sell, it has to be made ready for the market. Indeed they are people whose jobs are to do this and they are called home preparators. These people clean, touch up, paint an do everything else that would make a house appealing to a buyer.
The main focus of this enterprise is to source buildings, stores, and offices to list for lease, and find suitable tenants to occupy these locations. In exchange for your services you can charge the landlord of the building one month’s rent as your fee, or leasing commission.
- Drapery Studio
Drapery is a general word referring to cloths or textiles. It may refer to cloth used for decorative purposes – such as around windows. The interior of every home needs drapes and decorators would always scout high and low for the best drapes at a great budget. This is another niche business in the interior decoration industry.
- Bed and Bath Business
A bed and bathe business is a business that stocks beds and baths of different types and specifications; think bed bath and beyond. No home can do without beds and baths and these necessities take up most of the budget when decorating a house. This is a very good business to start because most times people usually don’t compromise on the quality of their beds and baths.
- Become a Closet Organizer
A closet organizer simply put is someone that brings some sanity to a disorganized wardrobe. People always say they do not have what to wear even with their closets overflowing with clothes. Professional closet organizers offer tips, unique methods and organizing systems that can help people get organized and, more importantly, stay organized. To be successful as a closet organizer, you should have years of experience under your belt. You should also be able to provide numerous references and pictures of completed projects as your clients want to see these.
- Start a bathtub refinishing service
Bathtub refinishing also known as bathtub resurfacing, bathtub reglazing or bathtub re-enameling is the process of refreshing the surface of a worn, damaged bathtub to a like-new condition. This process typically involves repairing any damaged areas. Instead of tossing out old bathtubs, a lot of people prefer to refurbish their old bathtubs in order to save money. To start this business, you should be able to reinstall the tub after repairs.
- Open an Online Interior Decoration Shop
An interior decoration shop is a shop that stocks all things that pertains to decorating a house. Because this business would stock a wide variety of things, it is capital intensive to start. But to help yourself, you can just stay away from the very expensive items while selling them on pre-order, and move everything online. Selling online would save you a lot on overhead.
- Pool and Garden Designer
Swimming pools and ponds are a popular feature in many of our larger residential gardens. A pool is a lovely thing and a beautifully designed pool can be the jewel in a garden, a harmonious addition to the landscape. If you are great with decorating a space, you can start designing pools and gardens for people to create an exquisite look.
- Manufacture Office Dividers
One office furniture that is often overlooked when planning to refurbish an establishment, are office dividers. With the increasing popularity of open plan offices, dividing partitions and office screens are becoming increasingly forgotten about.
The right office partition solution can help strike a balance between collaboration and concentration by sectioning off areas for special uses and reducing interruption in the workplace. This is a viable niche in the office interior design and decoration industry and it suits entrepreneurs that have carpentry skills.
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