How to Start an Interior Design Business from Home?

. 7 min read
How to Start an Interior Design Business from Home?

Youngsters, freshly graduated from college and with an entrepreneurial mindset often wonder how to start a small business at home?  The answer is simple -When your passion, skill and interest combine, you can quickly embark on a home-based trade of your choice. If you are skilled as a designer and have a basic degree or certification in designing, you can quickly start an interior design business at home.

Interior designing is a skill-based profession; to be successful, you need a clear understanding of colour, form, light, line, pattern, texture and space. These seven elements constitute the basis of interior design. To be successful in your interiors business, you need an overt aesthetic sense and technical knowledge on space utilisation and suitability of materials.

One must remember that interior designing is not just decorating a place; designing involves planning out the entire layout.  The location could be an office, a commercial complex, a doctor’s chamber or an individual’s house.

Your talent may drive a business, but the desired results will not come without a professional approach. Determine the scale of business you want to start and work out the investment required. A business plan is the next priority.

For preparing a detailed plan, you need to find out first how to start an interior design business from home.

Infrastructure Requirement

1. Equipment: A computer, 3-D design software, other design tools, basic furniture. The investment would be in the range of Rs. 5 to 7 Lakhs. The monthly variable cost will be around Rs. 10000 – 15000, including electricity and part-time support staff (one).

2. An Office: A separate room/place in the house for meeting the odd client who may decide to visit.

hand holding the registration stamp

3. Registration: You may form a proprietorship company and get it registered. Some people may view that one can always start as a freelancer and develop an enterprise later once the business picks up. This business will involve office and institutional clients, who will prefer to deal with a registered firm.

4. Membership: You should join the membership of the professional institute of interior designers. When you operate on your own, establishing credibility is a critical factor and membership of a professional body of interiors designers will help you achieve that. The best way you can develop your brand value is through your work, but that takes time. Support activities are essential, and associating with a professional body will add to your credibility. Besides, you can participate in seminars and exhibitions (arranged by the association) to enhance your knowledge base. Listing on the official website of the association may also bring in clients.

5. Execution: The interior design business has two parts- one part of the job is creating the design, execution is the other part. Proper execution of the creative plan is a critical task and can impact your prospects considerably. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers and their support staff all have a significant role in your success. Clients will always look at the finished job and scrutinise whether it meets the projected requirement aesthetically, to their satisfaction. Initially, you may tie up with a local firm (contractor) offering all these services. Once your business increases, you should concentrate on building your team.

Tips on Starting an Interior Design Business

1. Type of service

Decide on the services you will offer, whether full-fledged contracts (plan and execution included) or only the design (planning) part. Your setup and business pitch will depend on your decision. A full-service program (design + execution) will have a better business prospect.

2. Business segment

If you wish to focus on your skills for a specific work segment (home, small home, offices, commercial space and the like), decide on that.

People usually prefer to operate in all segments at the beginning of their career (or business). A clear understanding of the operating segment will help you in selecting the most suitable promotional strategy.

3. Building a portfolio

Once you are through with the drawing board planning to start your interior designing business, it is time to prepare for the launch. Start with building a portfolio.The obvious question will be, how can there be a portfolio for a budding business?

Every business or profession has some specific requirements and practices. A work portfolio is an essential requirement. You can develop one based on the work done in your friend’s and relative’s or, even in your home. Tools like a mood board (a digital collage of your ideas), 3-D images can also showcase your ideas.

4. Decide on the fees

Finalise your rates and terms of business. Sharing clear concepts on policies help both clients and the business owner. Finalise the unit measure of your charges -- is it per assignment, a percentage of the total project cost, or a per-square-foot rate.

Along with fees, clarify the service terms; will you offer more than one option? How many reworks will you do? What will be the charges for 3-D prints, and other similar issues.   Clarity of terms makes the foundation of a business more robust.

5. Name for your business

With the background essentials over, you are about to make your appearance in the market. It’s time that you finalise a name for your business and get it registered (proprietorship in most cases).

The name chosen must be easy to pronounce and preferably have words that connect with the designing business (spaces, designs, pattern, interiors and similar).

beautiful interior of a room with couch, almirah, pot, etc

6. Promoting your venture

The first significant move that you need to make is planning your promotion. Get a website - if you are well versed with designing a website you can do it yourself. This will save some initial investment in hiring a professional web designer. Launch the website only when it is complete in the way you want it.

Use digital tools to identify your potential clients and connect with them online. Use offline methods like participation in seminars/exhibitions to build connections. Get into social media promotion and content marketing; start a blog on exciting design innovations/suggestions. Become a member of all relevant professional associations. Consider promotional expenses as a necessary expenditure and include it as a part of your investment plans.

7. Support team

Developing your team of workers/contractors will always be a plus point in your business. You may find it difficult initially, but you should gradually develop a team as the business grows.

Working with your people will boost your confidence level and give you the confidence of trying out specific design variations based on the relative skills of your team.


If you want to start a business, you must be prepared to embrace uncertainty. When you opt for a small venture from home, the risks are more diminutive.

Starting an interior designing business from home is an ideal option for a qualified and skilled interior designer. A keen interest in the different aspects of business and a desire to grow can open new avenues to success. However, a few timely business tips can make the journey comfortable.

Also Read:

1) How to Start a Car Detailing Business?
2) How to Start a Small Business in Patna?
3) How to Start a Fertiliser Wholesale Business?
4) OkCredit: Simple, Paperless & Secure solution for businesses


Q. How to get clients for my designing business?

Ans. Interior designing is a skill-based industry; networking, word of mouth, and recommendations plays a significant role in increasing the business.

It would help if you were listed on all the digital design platforms. Participating in industry events is another measure. Besides, you should be present on social media, particularly the business forums. Writing articles in trade journals is another way to go about it.

Q. Is it possible to start a designing business without a degree?

Ans. Interior designing is not only a skill-based profession but requires an understanding of several technical issues. Managing  a designing business without the requisite knowledge may  be difficult for you .

You can always hire qualified people, but you have to assess whether the business can absorb the additional overhead.

Q. What is the investment required to start a designing business from home?

Ans. The investment is linked to the scale at which you wish to launch your business.

Assuming you already have a computer, the business will require several tools and software for your daily work. You have to arrange 3-D prints for your clients.

When we take the software and essential promotion cost, the investment range will be from Rs 4 to 5 Lakhs.