How to Run an Interior Design Business Professional Development for Interior Designers

The Importance of Building Your Reputation in the Interior Design Industry

In the competitive world of interior design, reputation is everything. It’s the cornerstone of your brand, influencing how clients perceive you and your work. Building a strong reputation in the interior design industry can lead to increased client trust, more referrals, and ultimately, business growth. This article will explore the importance of building your reputation and provide practical tips to help you achieve this.

The Significance of Reputation in Interior Design

A strong reputation in the interior design industry can set you apart from the competition. It can:

  1. Attract Clients: A good reputation can attract potential clients. When clients see positive reviews and testimonials, they’re more likely to trust your services.
  2. Increase Referrals: Satisfied clients are more likely to refer you to their friends and family, leading to more business opportunities.
  3. Build Trust: A strong reputation builds trust. Clients are more likely to entrust their projects to designers with a proven track record of success.
  4. Enhance Professional Growth: A good reputation can open doors to new opportunities, collaborations, and partnerships, fostering professional growth.

Strategies for Building Your Reputation

  1. Deliver Quality Work: Consistently delivering high-quality work is the best way to build a strong reputation. Ensure every project you undertake meets your clients’ expectations.
  2. Seek Client Feedback: Regularly seek feedback from your clients. This can help you identify areas for improvement and show clients that you value their opinions.
  3. Maintain Professionalism: Always maintain professionalism in all your interactions. This includes being punctual, respectful, and honest.
  4. Network: Networking with other professionals in the industry can help you build your reputation. Attend industry events, join professional associations, and collaborate with other designers.
  5. Leverage Social Media: Use social media to showcase your work, share client testimonials, and engage with your audience. This can help you build your brand and reputation online.

Building a strong reputation in the interior design industry is crucial for success. By delivering quality work, seeking client feedback, maintaining professionalism, networking, and leveraging social media, you can build a reputation that attracts clients, increases referrals, builds trust, and enhances professional growth.


  1. Why is professionalism important in interior design? Professionalism in interior design is important as it builds trust with clients and enhances your reputation in the industry.
  2. What is the most significant thing must be considered in interior design why? The most significant thing in interior design is understanding the client’s needs and preferences. This ensures that the final design meets their expectations.
  3. Why is confidence important in interior design? Confidence in interior design is important as it allows you to effectively communicate your ideas and convince clients of your design solutions.
  4. What personality traits do interior designers need? Interior designers need to be creative, detail-oriented, problem solvers, and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
Financial Management for Interior Designers How to Run an Interior Design Business

Tips for Streamlining Billing for Your Interior Design Clients

Billing is a crucial aspect of running a successful interior design business. It’s not just about getting paid; it’s about maintaining a professional relationship with your clients and ensuring transparency in your business dealings. This article will provide tips on how to streamline billing for your interior design clients, ensuring a smooth and efficient process.

Why Streamlined Billing Matters?

  1. Enhances Client Relationships: Streamlined billing processes can enhance your relationship with your clients by ensuring transparency and avoiding any misunderstandings related to payment.
  2. Improves Cash Flow: Efficient billing practices can improve your cash flow by ensuring that you get paid promptly for your services.
  3. Saves Time: Streamlining your billing process can save you time, allowing you to focus more on your design work and less on administrative tasks.
  4. Reduces Errors: A streamlined billing process can help reduce errors, ensuring that you’re billing correctly for your services and avoiding any potential disputes with clients.

Methods for Streamlining Billing

  1. Use Billing Software: There are several billing software options available that can help you streamline your billing process. These tools can automate the process, making it easier and more efficient.
  2. Set Clear Payment Terms: Be clear about your payment terms from the outset. This includes when payment is due, any late fees, and the methods of payment you accept.
  3. Invoice Regularly: Regular invoicing can help improve your cash flow and reduce the chance of late payments. Consider invoicing bi-weekly or monthly, depending on the size and scope of the project.
  4. Offer Multiple Payment Options: Offering multiple payment options can make it easier for your clients to pay their invoices. This could include credit card payments, bank transfers, or online payment platforms like PayPal.
  5. Hire a Professional: If you’re not comfortable managing your billing, consider hiring a professional. An accountant or bookkeeper can help you manage your billing effectively and ensure you’re following best practices.

Streamlining your billing process is a vital part of managing your interior design business. By using billing software, setting clear payment terms, invoicing regularly, offering multiple payment options, and considering professional advice, you can create a smooth and efficient billing process that benefits both you and your clients.

Financial Management for Interior Designers How to Run an Interior Design Business

Tips for Creating Accurate Interior Design Project Estimates

As an interior designer, creating accurate project estimates is a crucial part of your job. It not only helps you manage your time and resources efficiently but also builds trust with your clients. Here are some tips to help you create more accurate interior design project estimates.

Understand the Scope of the Project

Before you can create an accurate estimate, you need to understand the scope of the project. This includes the size of the space, the complexity of the design, the materials needed, and the client’s expectations. The more detailed your understanding of the project, the more accurate your estimate will be.

Break Down the Project into Tasks

Breaking down the project into individual tasks can make it easier to estimate the time and resources needed for each part. This can include tasks like initial consultations, creating design concepts, sourcing materials, and overseeing installation.

Track Your Time

Keeping track of how much time you spend on different tasks can give you a better idea of how long similar tasks will take in the future. This can help you create more accurate estimates for future projects.

Consider Material Costs

The cost of materials can significantly impact the overall cost of an interior design project. Be sure to consider the cost of all necessary materials when creating your estimate.

Include a Contingency

No matter how well you plan, there will always be unexpected costs in any project. Including a contingency in your estimate can help cover these unexpected expenses.

Communicate with Your Client

Communication is key when creating an accurate estimate. Be sure to discuss the estimate with your client and explain why certain costs are necessary. This can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that the client is happy with the estimate.

Use Estimating Tools

There are many tools available that can help you create more accurate estimates. These tools can automate the estimating process and save you time.

Creating accurate interior design project estimates is a crucial part of running a successful interior design business. By understanding the scope of the project, breaking it down into tasks, tracking your time, considering material costs, including a contingency, communicating with your client, and using estimating tools, you can create more accurate estimates and build trust with your clients.


  1. How do you make a good estimate for an interior project? A good estimate for an interior project includes understanding the scope of the project, breaking it down into tasks, tracking your time, considering material costs, including a contingency, communicating with your client, and using estimating tools.
  2. How do I estimate my interior design budget? Estimating an interior design budget involves considering the cost of materials, labor, and any additional expenses like shipping or installation. It’s also important to include a contingency for unexpected costs.
  3. How do you write an interior design quote? An interior design quote should include a breakdown of all costs associated with the project, including materials, labor, and any additional expenses. It should also include a timeline for the project and any terms and conditions.
  4. Why is it important for interior designers to understand how to estimate for materials? Understanding how to estimate for materials is important because it can significantly impact the overall cost of a project. Underestimating the cost of materials can lead to budget overruns and client dissatisfaction.
Financial Management for Interior Designers How to Run an Interior Design Business

The Benefits of Utilizing Paid Advertising for Your Interior Design Business

In today’s digital era, paid advertising has emerged as a powerful tool for promoting businesses, including those in the interior design industry. It offers a targeted approach to reach potential clients, increase brand visibility, and drive business growth. This article will explore the benefits of utilizing paid advertising for your interior design business.

Why Paid Advertising Matters for Interior Designers?

  1. Targeted Reach: Paid advertising allows you to reach your specific target audience, ensuring your ads are seen by the people most likely to be interested in your services.
  2. Immediate Impact: Unlike organic strategies, paid advertising can deliver immediate results, driving traffic, leads, and sales right from the start.
  3. Brand Visibility: Paid advertising can significantly boost your brand visibility, helping you stand out in the competitive interior design market.
  4. Measurable Results: With paid advertising, you can track and measure your campaign’s performance, allowing you to make data-driven decisions and optimize your strategy.

Steps to Leverage Paid Advertising in Your Interior Design Business

  1. Identify Your Target Audience: Understand who your ideal clients are and tailor your ads to reach these individuals.
  2. Choose the Right Platforms: Consider where your target audience spends their time online. This could be on social media platforms, search engines, or industry-specific websites.
  3. Create Engaging Ads: Your ads should be visually appealing, with compelling copy that encourages viewers to take action.
  4. Set a Budget: Determine how much you’re willing to spend on your paid advertising campaigns and distribute it wisely across different platforms and campaigns.
  5. Monitor and Optimize Your Campaigns: Regularly review your campaign performance and make necessary adjustments to optimize your results.

Paid advertising can be a powerful tool for interior designers. It offers a targeted reach, delivers immediate results, boosts brand visibility, and provides measurable results. By identifying your target audience, choosing the right platforms, creating engaging ads, setting a budget, and monitoring and optimizing your campaigns, you can effectively leverage paid advertising to grow your interior design business.

How to Run an Interior Design Business Marketing Strategies for Interior Designers

The Future of Marketing in the Interior Design Industry

The interior design industry is evolving rapidly, and so are the marketing strategies that drive its growth. As we look toward the future, it’s clear that digital marketing, personalization, and sustainability will play key roles. This article will explore the future of marketing in the interior design industry.

Why the Future of Marketing Matters for Interior Designers

  1. Digital Transformation: The future of marketing in the interior design industry is digital. From social media to email marketing, digital channels offer a cost-effective way to reach a large audience and engage with potential clients.
  2. Personalization: Personalization is becoming increasingly important in marketing. By tailoring your marketing messages to the individual needs and preferences of your clients, you can increase engagement and conversion rates.
  3. Sustainability: With growing awareness about environmental issues, sustainability is becoming a key factor in consumers’ purchasing decisions. Marketing your commitment to sustainability can help you attract environmentally-conscious clients.

Predictions for the Future of Marketing in the Interior Design Industry

  1. Increased Use of Social Media: Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok are becoming increasingly popular for showcasing interior design projects and connecting with potential clients.
  2. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): These technologies offer exciting new ways to showcase your designs and help clients visualize their projects.
  3. Content Marketing: Creating valuable content, such as blog posts and how-to guides, can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field and attract more clients.
  4. Data-Driven Marketing: Using data to understand your client’s needs and preferences can help you create more effective marketing strategies.
  5. Sustainable Design: As sustainability becomes more important to consumers, marketing your commitment to sustainable design can help you stand out in the market.

The future of marketing in the interior design industry is exciting and full of potential. By embracing digital transformation, personalization, and sustainability, you can stay ahead of the curve and ensure the continued growth of your business.

Designer Spotlight

Lexi in Paris

One of our designers, Lexi Fields, recently got back from the trip of a lifetime. At Highpoint Market this past October, Lexi won the StyleRow giveaway and an invite to Paris Déco Off. Read more to learn about interior design trends, brands, and excursions she experienced while exploring!

Paris Déco Off takes place from January 18-22nd in St-Germain-des-Prés and expresses decor and design through fabrics, wallpaper, trimmings, and wall coverings. Lexi stayed in the heart of St-Germain-des-Prés, which allowed easy daily access to the Parisian vendor and designer showrooms. Lexi had the chance to see new collections and signature lines first-hand!

Favorite Showrooms

L’Atelier 55 was Lexi’s favorite of the Parisian vendors. She had the chance to connect with representatives in the states while visiting the showroom. L’Atelier 55 is known for its mid-century furniture and modern contemporary art. Lexi was fascinated by how they use many similar materials as our design team in a fresh, unique way. L’Atelier 55 displayed an array of funky lighting, table lamps, and chandeliers – things you would not see in the United States. L’Atelier 55 had everything from furniture to lighting and accent tables, several of which incorporated unique shapes, colors, and textures.

The de Gournay showroom was next! This showroom had an extensive selection of pretty hand painted wallpaper and impressive murals. Lexi stumbled across this textile designer for the first time in Paris, and this showroom had all the latest collections. One of the most prominent trends throughout the showroom was textured wallpaper. Not the typical Grasscloth we see, but rather tons of embroidered and embellished wallpapers. Ranging from beading to hand-sewn embroidery. Incorporating this type of wallpaper would add much dimension to any space.

Saving the best for last, Dedar Milano, based out of Milan, creates everything from abstract textiles to wallcoverings. Lexi loved the twist that Dedar puts on neutral, simple fabrics; they take average white linen and add texture through boucle or herringbone. Dedar has genuinely innovative ideas seen throughout wallpaper and fabrics. Such as velvet wallpaper. Additionally, they had a performance wallpaper that mimics rattan- and several other outdoor wallpaper selections such as velvet and boucle. Dedar has simple whites and neutrals but also several cool bold patterns allowing for a unique combination of colors and fabrics – unlike anything Lexi has ever seen!

Schumacher Opening Party

Schumacher is a Megan Molten favorite! Our design team often uses their stunning wallpaper in our design projects. Lexi was able to attend the Schumacher Showroom opening in Paris. The showroom had tons of classic wallpapers and fabrics that everyone loves and recognized as well as several new releases. The most captivating wallpaper Lexi saw was the feather wallpaper- made out of real bird feathers how cool!

Lunch at Bambini

Lexi dined at Bambini, an Italian-themed eatery while participating in a design-thought leader lunch. Hosted by StyleRow leaders in design from all over the states were invited to participate. During this lunch, all the participants shared trends commonly seen in design, architecture, and much more. The restaurant is beautifully embellished with muted colors and a mixture of patterns. The atmosphere was so lively and inviting!

Seine River Sunset Cruise

The most relaxing moment of the entire trip was the Seine river sunset cruise. Floating slowly down the most scenic river during sunset was a reflective moment. The boat offered a new opportunity to see the Eiffel Tower from the water.

Lexi was so grateful for the opportunity to travel abroad and explore new design opportunities she brought back to share with the Megan Molten team.

Link to original article: Megan Molten’s Blog: Lexi in Paris

StyleRow TV

Scale & Drama at Eichholtz

Join Erinn for a tour of the dramatic Eichholtz showroom in High Point, where the visual styling and layers of luxury will pull you in and a new collection from Philipp Plein will leave you wanting more.

StyleRow TV

Desert Inspiration: Laura Kirar for McGuire

Laura Kirar walks us through her first outdoor collection and discusses the importance of functional materials, rich texture, and the touch of the artist’s hand.

StyleRow TV

StyleRow TV coming January 10th to HOME+ by aspire

So many shows, so little time… what’s a busy designer to do? Gain insider access to the best product launches, showroom tours, and exclusive design industry interviews with Erinn V. and StyleRow TV, premiering January 10th on HOME+ by aspire. 

Join Erinn for whirlwind tours of trade shows and design happenings, as well as intimate conversations with some of the top names in design. Tune in and never miss a moment of great design again. 

StyleRow TV – streaming exclusively on HOME+ by aspire.

Events & Happenings

Top 25 Interior Design Trade Shows & Fairs to Attend in 2023

Another year, another slew of trade show opportunities to meet other professionals and discover products and trends in the design industry! Most interior design shows are back in full force and an exciting year of in-person product discovery, innovation, and new faces awaits. 

Ready to pencil in dates and book flights? From High Point Market to Milan Design Week, there are many shows for designers, brands, and other industry stakeholders. We compiled a list of our favorite interior design trade shows and fairs to visit in 2023. Where will the year take you?

Atlanta Winter Market

Atlanta Winter Market

January 10 – January 16
Atlanta, GA

Housing the nation’s largest gift product mix with a wide selection of home décor and furnishings, Atlanta Market features more than 8,000 brands across all categories, including seasonal, gourmet, tabletop, outdoor and more.


Maison&Objet 2023

January 19 – January 23, 2023
Paris, France
One of the world’s largest events focused on household products, Maison&Objet has two annual editions in Paris. The January edition is guided by the “Take Care” theme, which will be organized around four main axes: taking care of oneself (physical and mental health), taking care of others, taking care of the planet, and taking care of heritage and venerable skills.

Design & Construction Week

Design and Construction Week 2023

January 31 – February 2, 2023
Las Vegas, NV
The mega Las Vegas event is the largest annual gathering of residential construction and design industry professionals with three of the leading trade shows: NKBA’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show® (KBIS), NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS), and the National Hardware Show® (NHS).

Stockholm Furniture Fair

Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023

February 7 – February 11, 2023
Stockholm, Sweden
After three pandemic-related cancellations, the world’s largest platform for Scandinavian design, the Stockholm Furniture Fair, is back as part of the February edition of Stockholm Design Week. For 2023, the event’s “Guest of Honor” is the Swedish Studio Front, scheduled to set up an installation at the fair’s entrance hall.

Nomad St. Moritz

David Gill Gallery at NOMAD St. Moritz 2019

February 23 – February 26, 2023
St. Moritz, Switzerland
NOMAD, the glitzy traveling showcase for contemporary art and design, returns for its winter edition in the alpine resort city of St. Moritz. Other cities where NOMAD travels throughout the year are Capri, Cannes, Venice, and Monaco.  

TEFAF Maastricht

TEFAF Maastricht

March 11 – March 19, 2023 (March 9 & 10 by invite)
Maastricht, Netherlands
With over 275 dealers from 20 countries, TEFAF Maastricht is a showcase for the finest Old Master paintings, antiques, and classical antiquities on the market – as well as modern and contemporary art, jewelry, 20th-century design, and works on paper.

PAD Paris Design + Art

PAD Paris Art + Design Spring

April 2, 2023 (March 29 and 30 by invite)
Paris, France
Launched in 1998 with a unique focus on eclecticism and connoisseurship, PAD was the first design fair in the world and has two sister editions in Paris and London. The Paris edition is held in the Jardin des Tuileries public gardens where Queen Catherine de Medici once built a royal palace in 1564.

Salone del Mobile

Fiam, Ghost Chair, design Cini Boeri and Tomu Katayanagi

April 18 – 23, 2023
Milan, Italy
April is headlined by the 61st edition of Salone del Milano — one of the world’s most famous furniture fairs — and its city-wide design festival Fuorisalone. And after a four-year hiatus, Salone del Mobile’s biennial lighting design show Euroluce is returning for its 23rd edition.


Coverings 2023

April 18 – April 21, 2023
Orlando, FL
Coverings is the largest event for the ceramic tile and natural stone industry in North America with 800 global exhibitors from more than 30 countries. Attendees include distributors, retailers, stone fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders, and remodelers.

High Point Market – Spring 2023

High Point Market Fall 2022

April 22 – April 26, 2023
High Point, NC
With about 75,000 attendees and over 2,000 exhibitors, the semiannual, trade-only HPMKT is the largest home furnishings event in the world — a great place to tap into industry styles, trends, and products. 

HD Expo + Conference

HD Expo + Conference

May 2 – May 4, 2023
Las Vegas, NV
The largest single destination for hospitality product discovery in the U.S., the HD Expo + Conference showcases 600+ product suppliers spanning 25+ categories.

Melbourne Design Week

Photo: Tobias Titz

May 18 – May 28, 2023
Melbourne, Australia
An annual 11-day program includes talks, tours, exhibitions, launches, installations, and workshops in Australia’s design capital.


‘Groovitational’ by Sunshine Thacker at Love House, 2022. Image credit: Joe Kramm

May 18 – May 25, 2023
New York, NY
After the 10th anniversary of New York Design Week in 2022, the NYCxDesign Festival — an “official celebration of design” — returns with city-wide exhibitions, public installations, trade fairs (including ICFF), and dynamic programming.

International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF)

International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF)

May 21 – May 23, 2023
New York, NY
Held at the Javits Center in New York as part of New York Design Week, ICFF focuses on original and sustainable design. Over 10,000 architects, interior designers, retailers, distributors, developers, and press head to the event every year.

IMM Cologne

IMM Cologne

June 4 – June 7, 2023
Cologne, Germany
Ordinarily scheduled for January each year, the trade visitor-only IMM Cologne returns in June after a two-year break.

Design Shanghai

Design Shanghai

June 8 – June 11, 2023
Shanghai, China
Asia’s premier design event, Design Shanghai is an opportunity to network and establish relations with the region’s architects, interior designers, property developers, retailers, and private buyers.



June 12 – June 14, 2023
Chicago, IL
For three days in June, major manufacturers and emerging companies from the commercial design industry will showcase thousands of new products and services in categories including furniture, fabrics, flooring, interior building products, interior finishes, and technology.

Design Miami/ Art Basel (Summer)

New York-based Tuleste Factory’s winning installation; Photo by James Harris Photography

June 13 – June 18, 2023 (Preview June 12)
Basel, Switzerland
Accompanying the original Art Basel fair is Design Miami/ Basel, the flagship event focused on collectible design.

Atlanta Market (Summer)

July 11 –  July 17, 2023
Atlanta, GA
Housing the nation’s largest gift product mix with a wide selection of home décor and furnishings, Atlanta Market features more than 8,000 brands across all categories including seasonal, gourmet, tabletop, outdoor and more.

High Point Market – Fall 2023

October 14 – October 18
High Point, NC
The fall edition of the semiannual High Point Market, the world’s largest home furnishings event.

Maison&Objet – Summer

September 7 – September 11, 2023
Paris, France
One of the world’s largest events focused on household products, Maison&Objet has two editions in Paris each year. The September edition falls in the ten-day “fringe event” that is Paris Design Week.

London Design Festival

Into Sight by Sony Design

September 16 – September 24, 2023
London, UK
Founded in 2003, the London Design Festival (LDF) was born to celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world.



September 25 – September 29, 2023
Bologna, Italy
Last year’s edition of Cersaie, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings, welcomed a whopping 91,296 attendees from 157 countries. The Italian trade show is one of the largest destinations for ceramic surfaces, wood floors, wallpaper, surface coverings, and bathroom furnishings. 

PAD London Design + Art

PAD London Design + Art

October 10 – October 15, 2023
London, U.K.
Launched in 1998 with a unique focus on eclecticism and connoisseurship, PAD was the first design fair in the world and has an edition in Paris and another in London each year.

Dutch Design Week

DDW22 Ambassadors Dinner hosted by Nul Zes ©

October 21 – October 29, 2023
Eindhoven, Netherlands
The biggest design event in Northern Europe, Dutch Design Week takes place across more than 110 locations with exhibitions, lectures, prize ceremonies, networking events, debates, and festivities.

Boutique Design New York (BDNY)

The Opiary booth at BDNY; photo by PWP Studio

November 12 – November 13, 2023
New York, NY
For two days each November, BDNY brings designers, architects, purchasing agents, hoteliers, owners, and developers together for hospitality interiors.

Design Miami/ Art Basel (Winter)

Sarah Myerscough Gallery (London) at Design Miami/ 2022; Photo by James Harris Photography

December 2023 (dates TBA)
Miami, FL
Along with Art Basel Miami Beach, Design Miami/ is one of the flagship events of Miami Art Week 2023 and attracts thousands of visitors to the Sunshine State to celebrate collectible design.