Finding a way to make a career out of your design training can be tough. Your success or failure depends entirely on you, and not just on your talent, either. You can paint the most beautiful murals and still fail if you don't also have a knowledge of business. This is especially during an economic downturn. But don't despair. When a door slams closed, it usually jars a window open. The window that is open now leads to a rewarding career running your own home staging business.
For those of you who aren't familiar with this field, home staging is an increasingly popular method of increasing interest in a property for sale by staging the home to showcase the features. Sellers and sometimes their realtors hire a stager to make their home look like a page from a catalog - nice but unlived in. The point of the exercise is to remove the homeowner's personality and allow the buyer to see themselves living there when they come through on their tour of the property.
Staging a home allow you to use your design skills to make the best possible use of the room, choose new color schemes for the wall and furniture, and make or select new decorative pieces and art prints to give each room a special touch. You can either do the designs and then hire painters for the walls and movers for the furniture, or you can do it all yourself if you're confident in your skills and want to save money. The buyer pays for your services whether the home sells or not. The only drawback is that your designs are temporary - they are dismantled and returned once the house is sold.
Most businesses are leery of hiring full time staff when the economy is still not at peak efficiency, so in all likelihood you will have to go into business for yourself as a one-person operation. To get started, you can create a portfolio of spaces you have created in your friends homes or even your own. Emphasis shouldn't be on bold and original but on simplicity, elegance, flattering the size and shape of a room, and appealing to the most people possible.
Getting started in this business can be tough if you don't have a family member or friend lined up to be your first client. To generate client leads, you can speak to other professionals who might be able to recommend your services in exchange for the same courtesy, such as HVAC installers like Builders Choice Air Systems, building supplies store, or a decorator's store like Homesense. Once you get the first handful of clients things will get easier, as word of mouth will help you out.