Niche-Specific Interior Design Career Opportunities

So, you want to be an interior designer. That’s wonderful. Interior design is a great profession, it is exciting and enlightening, but it is also hard work. However, it can be a lucrative venture if you approach it in a strictly business-like manner, no matter the scale.

It is so delightful and satisfying when an interior concept you develop on paper is brought to reality. It is also fulfilling when you see the expression of delight and satisfaction on your clients face. But the interior design profession goes beyond home decorating, interior upgrades, renovations, and procurement of materials on behalf of clients.

There are a great number of top-earning niches in the interior design industry; call them sub-categories if you wish. Some of these niches are best described as specialized fields and each field has its own sub-niches too.

Many aspiring interior designers fail to recognise them. They fail to realise how profitable a niche or sub-niche might be for their interior design business. And for the Jill (or Jack)-of-all-trades, avoid getting enmeshed in every aspect of the profession by doing anything from general interior d├ęcor tasks and window treatments to choosing furniture, lights, and gutting an interior for remodelling purposes. When you lack focus and accept any interior design or decoration job that comes along, it may become a sure-fire way of working under stressful conditions and losing revenue.

In this book, “Niche-Specific Interior Design Business Ideas”, you will find many career and job opportunities you can choose from. So, forget the not-so-true fact that interior design is strictly limited to the interior spaces of buildings. There are many more viable and gainful ways interior designers can increase the profitability of their businesses.

Think of the dozens of things that come to play in residential and commercial interior design and find the one you think you’ll excel most in. Focus on a couple of related areas, or better still, on a standalone niche. Remember; some of the best job opportunities in the industry remain mostly for interior designers working in specialized interior design niches.



Importance of Interior Design Contract Agreement Between Client and Designer

Many interior designers are guilty of not drawing up and signing a contract agreement with their clients before a project begins. And some of us who have been in the interior design business for many years still overlook this very important aspect of client/employer relationship. Well after a few nasty issues, I’ve wizened up to the fact that ignoring this advice is “at your own peril”.

The interior design business is just as important as any other business but some designers seem to forget this because the profession is an exciting one and are therefore prone to work on tasks with an I-enjoy-doing-this mind-set. But this is wrong because you are not only in the business to make money, you are also in it to ensure the successful execution of every job you do, big or small.

From experience, I find that most clients are great to work with, and some fabulous client-designer relationships have developed into long-lasting friendships too. However, while some clients can be overtly difficult or outright impossible to work with, some interior designers don’t deliver as promised either, and this after much sugar-coated selling to a fascinated unsuspecting client.

To avoid running into troubled waters and potential litigations, it is best to have a signed pact between both designer and client. This way, everything is well documented and clear-cut before the project begins.

The contract agreement need not be anything complex that’s full of technical mumbo-jumbo. All that’s required are a few important clauses that are interior design-related, and if you have ever been in doubt about the importance of contract agreements and what clauses are vital to add, this book “Important Clauses to Add to An Interior Design Contract Agreement - Significance of Signed Pacts Between Interior Designers and Clients” explains what is required and why.

Some of these clauses protect not only you as a designer, but also your client as well. So, in the event that there is disagreement or dispute between both parties, a formal letter of an agreement becomes the saving grace. And as long as everything is spelt out in clear terms and both parties have signed it, neither of you will be held legally responsible for any action or inaction.

Interior Design Contract Agreement Templates Online

And, you don’t have to draw up an interior design contract agreement if you don’t know how to. You don’t need to employ the services of a legal practitioner if you aim to save a lot of money either. Most of today’s interior designers now opt for downloadable ready-to-use interior design contract agreement templates. They are affordable, simple to adapt, and print-ready. There are free ones available too but I’ll advise against using the free versions as they have many limitations.

Interior Designer Contract Template
100% Customizable Templates - Instant Download in all File Formats and Sizes

These ready-made contract agreement templates are also editable in all versions of Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and PDF and can be shared and signed digitally, so it doesn’t matter which part of the world either party lives in, as long as the contract can be signed and work commences.


How Do Interior Designers Bill their Clients for Design Services?

How interior designers charge for their services? This question is relevant to both interior designers and their clients’. To an interior designer, knowing how to bill a client for a potential contract that they hope to get, without over-billing or under-charging can be somewhat challenging. As a professional interior designer, I know the dilemma of trying to charge reasonably without shooting myself in the foot. I know I am not alone.

And then there are the clients. Most clients don’t know what to expect. Many people believe that interior designers come very expensive and would not even dare to think about employing the services of one. Some ask why they need a designer’s input when they can do it all by themselves; the DIY enthusiasts of course.

But what happens when you have a project that does require the input of a professional designer? Something more complex like renovations or partial upgrades; interior design works that require design layouts, blueprints, 3D drawings, etc...? How about the not-so-complex tasks like a kitchen or bathroom upgrade on a budget or upgrading a dull drab living room?

There are many ways that an interior designer can charge for services rendered and this eBook “How Interior Designers Charge for Their Services - Fee Structures and Guidelines for your Interior Design Business” will show you how. In this book, you’ll find different billing structures. There will be at least a couple of pricing structures that will work best for you and your interior design business.

So whether you are a client who wants to be sure and happy about the way you are being billed, a designer that plans to start up an interior design business or you are already a practising interior designer who wants to avoid costly mistakes that will either make you lose revenue (despite your hard work) or, at best, allow you to just break even, you will be glad you got this book that comes in both digital and paperback forms.

Books of Interest:

Slate Kitchen Worktops: 16 Reasons Why They Are Getting Popular

Slate kitchen worktops are one of the finest traditional natural stone countertops that have been used in kitchens for hundreds of years. It is very attractive, has a surprisingly modern look, is very durable and non-porous, and is now highly desired as kitchen worktops and bathroom counter surfaces.

The handsome and elegant look of natural stone makes this slate kitchen worktop look stunning - A modern look using a classic material.

Reasons Why Slate Kitchen Countertops Are Popular

  1. Slate worktops have a distinctly handsome appearance with its elegant and classic look.
  2. The natural stone which comes in hues of blue-black, grey, and muted black blends beautifully with any style of decor - traditional, contemporary, or ultra-modern. Slate also comes in a variety of shades of red, brown, deep purple, blue, and dark green.
  3. Slate is known to be non-porous, which makes it resistant to oils, food stains, and juices. Its surface is impermeable.
  4. It is estimated to have a life-span of close to a century. 
  5. This material does not encourage the growth of bacteria. This quality makes it an excellent anti-bacterial kitchen worktop material.
  6. It is a much better alternative to marble kitchen counters because it does not absorb stains and does not dull with age.
  7. Slate can’t be shined or polished to a glazed finish like marble or granite. Rather, its beauty really lies in its unique natural rustic look. 
  8. Slate is a hardy material and will not easily chip or get scratches.
  9. If you use soft-slate as opposed to the hard-slate, scratches may occur but if or when they do, it can be rubbed out easily with a smooth hard surfaced implement.
  10. It a dream choice of architects, interior designers and many homeowners for high-end kitchen designs.
  11. It is very easy to maintain and only requires cleaning like you will for other natural stone worktops. There isn't any need to use special cleaners (mild soap and a damp cloth are best used).
  12.  It stands up very well to heat, so you can place your hot pans on its surface without worrying about marring your countertop.
  13. Compared to granite and marble kitchen worktops, slate countertops are much less expensive.
  14. If you don't particularly care for granite or marble worktops because of their bold (sometimes subtle) streaky patterns which can be overtly busy-looking, the slate stone with its stellar looks is a great alternative.
  15. It has a more uniform appearance than its close relatives - granite, marble, and quartz.
  16. It is now an on-trend kitchen material with its rising popularity. With slate installed as your kitchen countertop, you will find it becomes a conversational point when people walk into your kitchen.

Blue-black shades of slate will transform any kitchen into a sophisticated food preparation cum family hub zone.

  • There are numerous cheap slate materials on the market that not only stain fairly easily, they also tend to fade and de-laminate, especially if they are at cut-throat prices, so it is good to beware of the cheaper versions.
  • To get the best quality slate kitchen worktop that will stand the test of time, it is best to buy natural slate that’s been smoothed with diamond edged machines (using fine diamonds to abrade). These types come out in a beautiful matte finish.
  • If you want to create that wet-glazy look that's typical of granite (slate has a soft matte sheen), you can rub the surface with lemon or coconut oil.
  • Slate worktops can have slightly brittle and sharp edges so it is recommended that you have them rounded-off to avoid household hazards or injuries.

What is a Roman Shade?

Roman shades are modern and stylish window treatments made from fabric. Categorised as soft window treatments, Roman shades can be used to add a stylish minimalist theme to an interior space.

Unlike blinds, shades have no adjustable vanes or slats that help you adjust for daylight filtering, rather, they came in various types with different levels of opacity.

Roman shades offer a clean, smooth look that is elegant without being overbearing, like heavy curtains and drapes. Its streamlined look works well with rooms that have small to medium sized windows. This doesn’t go to say that you can’t use them for wider windows. However, with wider windows, you may need to install two or three Roman shade panels.

How you install Roman shades depends on the type of windows you have. If you have beautiful window openings with mouldings, trims, and elaborate sills, then it's best to fit them inside the window. This will keep the architectural details in view. However, if you have non-descript or plain windows typical of modern homes, it is better to mount the shades on the outside of the window frame.

Types of Roman Shades

There are different types of Roman shades. The variety of fabrics and opacities means that these shade offer a choice for every kind of window and every type of interior design concept. It also means that there is always a choice available to suit everyone’s taste and style. The different types of shades include:

  • Cascade Roman shades
  • Pleated Roman shades
  • Cassette Roman shades
  • Waterfall Roman shades
  • Flat Roman shades
  • Relaxed Roman shades
  • Cassette Roman shades, and,
  • Hobbled Shades

Features of a Roman Shade

1. They stack up evenly in horizontal folds when opened.

2. They are visibly smooth with a clean uncluttered look, and without bump or creases.

3. New innovations in liners and operating systems.

4. Can be raised or lowered with the help of a cord system and rings sewn on the back of the fabric.

5. Gives a clean, streamlined look to the window

6. Roman shades are available in both rolling and stacking options.

7. Durable and easy to clean.

8. Available in an array of colours, textures, patterns, and dramatic designs,

9. They usually have a neutral colour back lining for a smooth consistent view from the outside of the building.

10. Roman shades can be customized to feature curved bottoms, embellishments, tassels, embroidery, fringe, or other types of bottom trims.

11. Thermal or blackout liner for energy efficiency, light blockage, and complete privacy.

12. Can be equipped with a cordless operation for both convenience and child safety.

Roman shades have a wide price range, from the cheaper versions to the much more expensive ones. Prices tags will depend on the fabric used, the features they have, and the type of operating system they possess.

Further reading:
Energy Saving Window Treatments - Honeycomb Window Blinds
How to Clean Honeycomb Window Blinds
How to Clean Bamboo Window Shades the Easy Way