Hi There! I'm Kati, Principal Designer and Owner of K Carter Interiors - WELCOME! With the design and organization seed deeply rooted, I started this blog to share with you all my passion for creating beautiful & functional interiors. Here you'll find content that celebrates design's simplest pleasures and serves as inspiration for you to also decorate and organize your home with beautiful affordable finds. I also share my business tips and successes garnered over the years of running my firm. Stay awhile and ENJOY!
Earlier this week, I was driving into work reflecting on my blog and how I had every intention in serving this little community I’ve built through consistent content. The honest truth, the holidays, projects on hold and no new prospects really put me in chill mode. I took advantage of every slow Saturday morning with my family. No client meetings, consultations, furniture/accessory shopping or installs – this down time was good, ya’ll! Now things are picking back up and I’m feeling energized and ready to serve you guys with some good stuff.
Shortly after I published my first blog on how I became an interior decorator and organizer, I received questions on how to begin pursuing interior design. So I figured, why not share my story and some tips that can help you in yours! So many people (I was once there) allow fear and the overwhelming process of getting started cripple them. It doesn’t help that there are an array of titles in the interior design field: designer, decorator, stylist, specialist and the list goes on. It doesn’t matter what title you choose in pursuing your passion, getting started is hard and I want to make the process less stressful for you.
I remember vividly many design school conversations with my husband; should I go, should I not and after a couple of years, I gave up battling myself and enrolled in my community college design program. I completed two semesters and I can honestly say that I don’t regret my decision. I regret the pesky loans I incurred (I paid majority of my loans off before this) but I don’t regret my decision. Why? No, not because it taught me a lot. But because those two semesters helped me in confidently knowing that I didn’t want any part of school. Nope, none of it; not anytime soon anyway! The long commute from work to campus, getting home late a few nights a week, assignments and the incurred debt drained me in that season of my life even if it was a temporary sacrifice. It may look differently for others but for me design school didn’t work in my everyday. I finally admitted to my husband that I wasn’t interested in the formal training. I just knew that I enjoyed decorating – electing color schemes, purchasing new design items, styling accessories, arranging furniture layouts, and hanging wall art. So I quit school and I began setting up the administrative requirements to make my business legit. Now it was just about doing my research on branding, marketing, and gaining clients and through prayer and consistency, I started to gain confidence in my success without a formal education.
Want to know how to become an interior decorator? Here are my top 3 tips for guiding you in your journey.
Whether your hope is to side hustle this thing or make it a full-time gig, first things first, it’s important to feel confident in knowing that you have a passion for design and serving others. In my opinion, there is no finding out as you go along; you either have a natural talent, a love for design, a heart of servitude, or you don’t – why waste your time! Its important to know that you will be successful in the design field but most importantly, happy doing it! I’ll ask you this, what is your why for pursuing this field? Figure out your why and write it down. Your why will be your motivation and drive as you experience the peaks and the lows of pursing your passion. The world only sees the sourcing of pretty furnishings and accessories, some in between and backstage peeks but it takes a lot of hands on work, dedication and focus, management skills and commitment to see it all come together before the final gorgeous reveal!! It’s an extreme amount of hard work but I personally have a deep appreciation for every stage of design. I can go all in about this but I’ll spare you and just say this – if you go to sleep thinking about it & wake up thinking about it, and you can clearly state your why then just take the leap! This goes for anything you’re passionate about.
Here comes the most asked question – interior design degree or no interior design degree?!? I’ll just share my honest opinion on this. Interior designers have a formal education and certain credentials to enhance their skills in areas such as computer-aided design (CAD) training, drawing, space planning, furniture design, architecture, and much more. These are also skills that a decorator can acquire on their own path of learning certainly with a larger learning curve but it can be done! Not to mention that a lot of these skills are being hired out by businesses that specialize in those areas. There are talented decorators that leave no skill untouched when you compare decorators to designers. Decorators are project managing all phases of the renovation and structural planning design process. Deciding if you want the formal education is just a matter of personal choice and then backing it up with research on your state laws. If you believe it takes more than a good eye for design and an education and credentials is needed to support your endeavors, then go for the degree. If you feel like you’ll do just fine without a degree, you’re skill and your hustle is enough, then go for it. If you feel like you need more exposure and direction, a more simpler route are options such as professional certification classes or taking core interior design courses to gain knowledge on the foundational principles of interior design. Consistently learning and improving your skills will always be a part of your design path, its just how you go about doing it.
Look into interning and offering your assistance to other decorators or designers in your area to get your feet wet. Whether you have little to no experience in the design field, many established independent decorators and designers just want someone who is confidently available and willing to learn the in’s and out’s of the design process. I was completely taken back by a number of you who have reached out to intern and assist with my design installs. I just recently had a great girl assist me with #projectvantageview master bedroom. She has a desire to purse decorating but has no previous design experience and I told myself I’m either going to regret this or love this and it was definitely the latter. Plus, I know my husband is more than willing to assist during my installs but how long will that last! Ha! Interning will give you the opportunity to see what you might prefer; renovations and structural planning or just aesthetics. Another great option is to reach out to local or out of the area decorators or designers for virtual mentoring. I wholeheartedly believe that as a community we should share our skills and knowledge with anyone that is interested.
No doubt, becoming an interior decorator requires patience and consistency. Everyone has their own parameters to gauge their level of success and how quickly they want to achieve it. The time I spent building the foundation of my company and now that I’m elevating in to three years in business, my confidence has only grown in the decision I made. These few tips only scratch the surface of how you can begin achieving your dream design business.
GOOD NEWS!! I’ll be sharing a free guide that will be crucial when you’re just starting out in your design business. The best way you can get this GUIDE is to make sure you subscribe. I only wish I had something this good to help me when I was struggling with where to put my focus. I’ll be dropping it soon so get ready to work smarter not harder!!
No journey will be same but perhaps these 3 tips and more goodies to come will be a guiding hand in your story. Sending you all lots of love.