Once you have decided you want to become a well-known interior designer, you need to start your journey towards niching down and specialization. That usually starts with that you define your signature interior design style.
- Personal Style Importance: Developing a signature interior design style reflects your values and creativity, attracting clients who appreciate your uniqueness.
- Niche Down Reasons: Niche down to stand out, become an expert in your chosen style, attract specific clients, and build a consistent brand.
- Defining Your Style: Define your style by understanding your likes, dislikes, and values, and creating mood boards. Continuous learning and experimentation contribute to its development.
- Income Potential: Niching down doesn’t necessarily limit income potential; it helps attract clients who resonate with your style. Consider the pros and cons based on your client base.
- Flexibility in Style: While a signature style is essential, occasional deviations might be necessary, but these projects need not be heavily showcased.
Why is personal style important when building an interior design business?
Developing your signature style allows you to create interiors that truly reflect who you are. It helps you attract the right clients, the ones who appreciate your senses and creativity, appreciating your values as a company and brand.
Your personal style is often what got you into this business in the first place – most interior designers, decorators, stagers, and creators usually get started with their careers because they have a passion for the design aspects of this business.
Your signature Interior design style allows you to
- stand out and become the one and only. Clients, media, and partners will recognize your style and remember what you do.
- attract the right clients. The people who appreciate your signature style are more likely to invest at a bigger scale to get the look you are known for. Most clients know what they want visually, even if they cannot articulate it. Then they go to social media or Google and look for the style, but if you’re not popping up, they don’t know to come to you.
- build trust faster. If your style is all over the place, your clients won’t believe that you can pull off a certain style like a pro. So, they most likely go to someone who is an expert in that particular style. Having a signature style gives potential clients a point of reference for what they should expect and builds trust in your expertise.
- to be more creative. When you are working in your creative zone, you will be more creative.
- have more enjoyable work. Again, when you get to create the types of interiors you love, you will enjoy your work way more than if you created work that you really don’t even like.
- insert your values into your work. Your personal style often has a basis in your value system, so when you get to deliver that style, you often also get to make material decisions that are aligned with your values.
- create clarity in your marketing. When you have a strong personal style, you will find it easier to create marketing materials to communicate that.
- build your brand. While all your projects are different, these should have a certain brand feeling to them, allowing you to build a solid brand.
- get published. Yes, editors are always looking for that special point of view, so you need to communicate that through your designs.
Why do you need to niche down?
If you are just getting started as a designer, you might ask: “Why would I niche down? I want to create interiors that are based on my client’s styles, not mine”. You would think casting a wide net and being adaptable to all possible styles would result in more inquiries and projects, but that’s often not the case.
First, yes, you are creating interiors that your clients love, and perfectly fit their styles. But, to become known for the work you do, you need to niche down to a specific type of work, and that usually also means your signature style.
Second, niching down allows you to focus on becoming the best of the best in your own category, allowing you to become a highly sought-after business and brand for the clients who can afford you.
Third, you’re not necessarily limiting your income potential by niching down, but you also need to be sure that there actually is a need for your style within your service area!
How can you define your signature style as an interior designer?
Developing your signature style is fun, and often a very organic process. The more work you do, the more you start noticing some patterns in your designs. But if you’re unsure how to develop your signature look, here are some great tips:
- What do you like? Define that first.
- What do you dislike? Define that too.
Visualize it, for your private purposes
- Create a dream mood board. You most likely create mood and design boards all day long for your real customers, but this time, create one that communicates your signature look.
Learn as much as possible
- Learn about materials and looks. It’s important to always educate yourself on how styles evolve, and how you can develop your signature style.
Define your take
- Find your point of view. What matters to you as a brand? As a business owner? As a human? Think about your values and point of view, and figure out styles that match them.
- Don’t be afraid to take some risks. You and your clients will love the results of your experimentation.
- It’s okay to change your style. Just don’t change it every day!
Enjoy the development of your signature style. It should happen organically, and not by pressure.
Will niching down limit your income potential?
Simply, no. On the contrary – it will help you attract the ones who really love your style and repel the ones who want something way different. But, there’s a but too.
To determine whether or not niching is right for your business, it’s important to consider both the pros and cons. On one hand, targeting a niche can help you build a loyal customer base who is passionate about what you do.
On the other hand, if you don’t have access to people who love your style, or your client base is very limited, then niching down might not work for you.
Even if you love, and excel at, a certain style, if you don’t have enough clients who love it too, then you need to make some hard choices.
How to communicate your signature style (particularly if you’re a beginner)?
In the world of interiors, or any design really, it’s very easy to communicate your style – you use visual cues to show exactly what your style looks like. If you are a beginner, then you most likely haven’t done many of those drool-worthly projects yet.
Tips: To communicate your style, you can create lookbooks of your favorite colors, wallpapers, materials, furniture, and decor. You can also create a Pinterest board consisting of interior spaces that you admire – just be upfront that it’s not your own design.
Then again, you most likely have a home, or know someone who’d love to have you design their home, if not more than just one room. That investment is great to have some original design work in your portfolio.
Should you never deviate from your signature style?
Never say never – sometimes we just need to make ends meet, and that might mean that you take on clients and projects that are exactly your style. Deliver the projects, but you don’t have to have a photoshoot and publish those jobs!
What kind of styles are there?
There are so many styles to choose from, you could become a specialist in the Mediterranean, modern farmhouse, midcentury modern, boho, or Asian fusion. Here are some popular styles listed:
- Transitional Interior Design
- Contemporary Interior Design
- Traditional Interior Design
- Modern Interior Design
- Eclectic Interior Design
- Shabby Chic Interior Design
- Chinoiserie Interior Design
- Minimalist Interior Design
- Mid-Century Modern Interior Design
- Industrial Interior Design
- French Country Interior Design
- Scandinavian Interior Design
- Mediterranean Interior Design
- Art Deco Interior Design
- Modern Asian Interior Design
- Bohemian Interior Design
- Modern Farmhouse Interior Design
- Coastal Interior Design
- Old Hollywood Glam Interior Design
- Southwestern Interior Design
- Rustic Interior Design
- Ski Chalet Interior Design
- Cottage Interior Design
Who’s Doing Signature With Success?
Actually, almost every successful designer has their own signature style. Here is some inspiration!
All these masters of design have very different styles, and they stand out because of that. Of course, the signature style is not the only recipe for success, but it’s one of the key ingredients if you want to build a strong brand voice.
FAQ – Signature Interior Design Style
Why is developing a personal style important when building an interior design business?
Developing a personal style in interior design is crucial because it helps you stand out in a competitive market.
Your style reflects your creativity, values, and unique perspective. It attracts clients who resonate with your aesthetic, leading to better client relationships and a distinct brand identity.
Why do I need to niche down my interior design focus?
Niching down allows you to specialize in a particular style, creating a clear identity and expertise. This makes you more appealing to clients who seek a specific look and feel.
While it may seem counterintuitive, niching down can actually attract more clients who appreciate your style, ultimately leading to a more successful and fulfilling business.
How can I define my signature interior design style?
Defining your signature style involves self-discovery and exploration. Start by identifying what you love and dislike in design, and visualize your ideal aesthetic through mood boards.
Learn about different materials and looks to refine your preferences. Consider your values and perspective, and develop a unique point of view that resonates with you. Experiment and take risks to refine your style over time.
Will niching down my style limit my income potential?
Niching down doesn’t necessarily limit your income potential; it refines your target audience. By focusing on a specific style, you attract clients who are willing to invest more in your expertise. However, it’s important to assess whether there’s demand for your style in your service area before fully committing to a niche.
How do I communicate my signature style, especially if I’m a beginner?
Even as a beginner, you can communicate your style effectively. Create lookbooks showcasing your favorite colors, materials, and furniture. Curate a Pinterest board of inspirational spaces, clearly indicating they’re not your own designs. Consider designing spaces for your home or for friends to build a portfolio that reflects your style.
Should I never deviate from my signature interior design style?
While maintaining a consistent signature style is important for branding, occasional deviations can be necessary. Practical considerations or client requests might lead you to take on projects outside your style. Just ensure these projects don’t dominate your portfolio and dilute your brand identity.
How do I choose the right signature interior design style for me?
Choosing the right style involves a blend of personal preference and market demand. Consider your own tastes and strengths as a designer, but also research the local and broader design trends. Select a style that aligns with your passion, and expertise, and has a viable market.
What are some popular interior design styles I can consider specializing in?
There’s a wide range of interior design styles to choose from, including Transitional, Contemporary, Traditional, Modern, Eclectic, Minimalist, Mid-Century Modern, Industrial, Bohemian, and more. Explore these styles to find the one that resonates with your sensibilities and potential client preferences.