Becoming an interior stylist takes a little bit of blood, sweat, tears and a lot of mood boards, but it’s a journey I would not change for the world. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about the process of becoming an interior stylist and turning your passion into a successful career. Let’s get you started on your journey!!
But first, what type of person is best suited for interior styling?
Interior stylists are usually people who have an artistic flair, who love exercising their creativity and thrive in a flexible work environment that encourages self-expression. But in my years of experience in the profession, the personality trait that separates good interior stylists from great ones isn’t who is the most creative. To become a successful stylist requires an enterprising mindset- you must learn to be confident in your worth, trust your gut when you take risks & never shy away from a challenge! If you’re yearning for a career where everyday is different, you’ll love interior styling.
What does an interior stylist do?
An interior stylist’s job is all about creating spaces that feel captivating and unique. If you’ve ever wondered why the homes in glossy lifestyle magazines seem so effortlessly beautiful and personal, it is the work of an interior stylist that brings them to life! An interior stylist will make every corner and angle of your home burst with personality and vision.
There’s many reasons a interior stylist may be needed from styling a home to appeal to potential buyers, showcasing the best of a new homewares product line in a magazine to giving a home a new and fresh feel for its owners. Whether it’s for commercial or residential purposes, an interior stylist’s task remains the same - balancing beauty and practicality to make a space that feels truly authentic and unique.
What qualifications do you need to be an interior stylist?
Like many creative industries, a specialised degree or diploma is not necessarily needed to become an interior stylist. If you have a knack for it, your portfolio and reputation become equally valuable - so there’s no requirement to go back to school. However, demonstrating you’re committed to learning and upskilling by enrolling in a course is very attractive to potential employers or clients who want the confidence that you can do the job.
You don’t have to quit your main job to work out if interior styling is a career for you - try out an online course and learn the valuable skills that will provide additional income, creative fulfilment and daily excitement as a full-time career or on a casual basis.
After a decade of working with the UK’s best glossy magazines like Livingetc, The Times, Homes and Gardens, House Beautiful, Country Homes, Sunday Times Style and YOU, I have put my heart and soul into forming a number of 5-star interior styling courses, designed to be completed in your spare time with zero stress. It can be tricky starting out in a creative industry like this and I found so many courses didn’t prepare you on the aspects that matter - like how to submit creative concepts to clients or creating a portfolio from scratch. That’s why I worked my hardest to provide the tips and tricks for students that I wish someone had told me starting out!
Where should I start if I want to be an interior stylist?
If your goal is to style other people’s homes for a living, what better place to start than your own? It’s a low-cost, low-pressure environment to start experimenting with the products and furniture you already own. As soon as you start playing around with combinations of different colours, textures and lighting, you’ll naturally begin developing your own personal touch by deciding what you like and what you absolutely hate.
Nothing has to be permanent - you can style and restyle your bed, your kitchen, your coffee table, even your closet, again and again and again! If you love looking at Pinterest but can’t imagine your home looking that beautiful, you will love my online course on How to Style Your Home Like the Best Interiors Magazines - revealing all the secrets professional stylists use to make their homes look unique, interesting and magazine worthy.
Do you need a portfolio to become an interior stylist?
A portfolio is often the first place potential clients and contractors go to look when deciding if you’re the right fit for the job. For those looking to dive right in, starting a blog can be a great way to create a digital portfolio and develop your digital presence. Building your personal brand is critical as it’s the representation of YOU and your style that you want to project to prospective clients. In the world of digital, your personal brand takes a new importance online as it’s where the majority of leads and connections will look to find you. It’s important to keep a record of your work across a diverse range of briefs and spaces, so even if you’re just starting out and don’t own a fancy camera, grab a smartphone and get shooting!
I highly recommend using sites like Pinterest or creating an Instagram page to share your work with the world and grow your following. They are also fantastic sources of inspiration! In my course How to Become a Professional Interior Stylist, you’ll walk away with a presentation-ready portfolio from scratch that’s ready to WOW any prospective client.
How much experience do I need to be an Interior Stylist?
Breaking into the industry is all about getting as much experience as you can, but you can truly start from anywhere and any knowledge. If you’re looking to gain more experience, my biggest tip is never say no to networking! Get stuck into the creative space and connect with other interior stylists - they can be the best client introductions, confidants, inspiration, problem solvers and tip-sharers!
If you’re just starting out and want to make a full-time career out of interior styling, emails and Linkedin will be your best friends. Try politely reaching out to your favourite stylists and ask if they have any jobs they need assisting on coming up. As long as you know how to take a hint they’re not interested, you never know if you’ll send a message at the right time, to the right person - what’s the worst that can happen? Taking jobs across a range of industries is only going to build your confidence and reputation as a diverse interior stylist.
Feeling motivated to kickstart your interior styling career? Join me and countless other aspiring students in learning the skills and industry tips and tricks to undertake any interior styling challenge. Browse course options here.