7 Reasons You Need an Interior Design Side Hustle

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What do creativity, interior design and side hustles have in common? The answer might be – You!

Every day people all around the world consider starting a side hustle. In fact, recent studies show that more people than ever before have a side hustle these days.

For example, a 2021 survey by Bankrate found that 45% of American adults have a side job in addition to their full-time job. Another survey by Upwork and Freelancers Union found that 59 million Americans freelanced in 2020, representing 36% of the US workforce. Additionally, a survey conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 31% of employed adults in the US have a gig job or a side hustle.

With economic conditions on a relative downturn over the last couple of years it’s clear that having a side hustle is becoming increasingly common, as people seek additional income streams. Don’t forget that many also choose side hustles as a way to pursue their passions outside of their main job!

Depending on your personal circumstances, there’s a good chance that you might not have considered interior design as a serious option for a side hustle before. In actual fact, however, interior design and entrepreneurship go together like peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots or.. design and decoration!

In this post we give your our seven best reasons to consider interior design as your ultimate side hustle, and who know? Maybe even the entryway to an exciting new full-time career!

List of Contents

  1. Interior design makes for a fun hobby or side hustle
  2. Online interior design is easy for solopreneurs
  3. Virtual interior design is low cost and low overhead
  4. Online interior services are low-commitment for design startups
  5. Opportunities in the virtual interior design field are exploding
  6. Tools for online interior design are getting better all the time
  7. It’s never been a better time to start a creative side hustle!

1. Interior Design Makes for a Fun Hobby or Side Hustle

If you’ve never done interior design before, that means you have some learning ahead of you, but here’s the great news: Learning interior design and starting a small residential interior design practice can be a super fun side hustle.

Here are some of the reasons new entrepreneurs and solopreneurs love interior design:

  1. Interior design offers a creative outlet: Interior design allows you to use your creativity to come up with unique and functional designs for clients. You can experiment with different color schemes, furniture layouts, and decor to create visually appealing spaces that reflect your clients’ personalities and lifestyles.
  2. Interior design offers a lot of variety: No two interior design projects are the same, which means you’ll have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and styles. This keeps things interesting and allows you to constantly challenge yourself and learn new things.
  3. Interior design gives you a chance to do creative problem-solving: Interior design involves solving problems related to space planning, functionality, and aesthetics. This can be a rewarding and enjoyable challenge for entrepreneurs who enjoy finding solutions to complex problems.
  4. Interior design work offers a lot of personal interaction: As an interior designer, you’ll have the opportunity to work closely with clients to understand their needs and preferences. This personal interaction can be a fun and rewarding aspect of the job.
  5. An interior design side hustle allows you to work when it’s convenient: As a side hustle, an interior design business allows you to choose your own hours and take on as much or as little work as you want. This flexibility can make it a fun and enjoyable way to earn extra income on the side.

2. Online or Virtual Interior Design is Easier for Solopreneurs

One of the reasons that interior design can be a good side hustle, is because you have the option of working entire virtually and remotely through an online decorating practice. Recent innovations in interior design project management software, better online furniture retailers and access to other remote tools are making virtual interior design a reality for many designers.

Even designers who once ran larger firms are embracing the virtual model, and it’s helping to streamline the job. If you have a design education, it’s easy to go virtual. If you don’t have the education, but you are creative and have a knack for residential work you can start with decorating and learn from there.

Here’s why an online or virtual interior design or decorating practice can be a good option for solopreneurs:

  1. Low overhead costs: An online interior design business typically has lower overhead costs compared to a brick-and-mortar business. You won’t need to rent a physical space, which can save you money on rent, utilities, and other expenses.
  2. Flexibility: With an online interior design business, you can work from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows you to have more flexibility in terms of where you work, which can be especially appealing for solopreneurs who may not want to be tied to a specific location.
  3. Wide market reach: An online interior design business allows you to reach a wider market, as you’re not limited to serving clients in your local area. You can work with clients from all over the world, which can be a great way to diversify your client base and increase your income potential.
  4. Time efficiency: By using online tools and resources, you can streamline your workflow and be more efficient with your time. This can be especially helpful for solopreneurs who may have limited time to devote to their side hustle.
  5. Easier to scale: An online interior design business is generally easier to scale. As you grow and take on more clients, you won’t need to worry about finding a larger physical space or hiring additional staff.

When I took up learning interior design I did it with solo-preneurship in mind. Let’s just say that I watched enough of the “Million Dollar Decorators” show to know that working for myself was a strong possibility, and that’s even truer today.

Did you know that at least a quarter of all registered interior designers are running their own practices? According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 25% of interior designers are self-employed. The more you know!

How to Become a Virtual Interior Designer – 3 Ways!

3. Virtual Interior Design is Low Cost and Low Overhead

Interior design is actually quite easy to get started with, even if you don’t have a lot of money to invest from the outset. The reason that virtual interior design in particular is a low-cost and low-overhead is because it requires minimal upfront investment and has relatively low ongoing expenses. Some specific ways in which virtual interior design is low cost and low overhead include:

  1. No need for physical space: With a virtual interior design business, you don’t need to rent or maintain a physical storefront or office space. This can save you significant costs on rent, utilities, and other expenses associated with a brick-and-mortar location.
  2. Limited need for physical inventory: As an online interior designer, you won’t need to maintain a physical inventory of products or materials. This can save you money on storage and handling costs.
  3. Low marketing costs: Marketing an online interior design business can be less expensive compared to a traditional business, as you can use online marketing techniques such as social media and search engine optimization to reach potential clients at a lower cost.
  4. Efficient use of time: By using online tools and resources, you can streamline your workflow and be more efficient with your time. This can help you reduce your overall expenses and maximize your profitability.

As you can see, virtual interior design offers a low-cost and low-overhead option for entrepreneurs who want to start a side hustle or small business in the design or decoration industry.

The Story of How Interior Design Went Virtual

4. Online Interior Services are Low-Commitment for Design Startups

When it comes to starting a side hustle, you want something that offers you flexibility and isn’t going to be stressful and high commitment. Virtual or online interior design might be just the ticket. Online interior design services can be low-commitment for design startups in several ways:

  1. Low startup costs: Remember our point on low overhead earlier? The same is true when starting up. A virtual interior design business typically requires minimal upfront investment. You may need to invest in some basic tools and equipment, such as a computer, design software, and measurement tools, but these costs can be relatively low compared to other businesses.
  2. Low commitment: An online interior design business allows you to choose your own hours and take on as much or as little work as you want. This flexibility can make it a low-commitment option for entrepreneurs who are just starting out and may not want to commit to a full-time business right away. If its not working out or you need to take time off, you’re the boss!
  3. No long-term contracts: With an online interior design business, you generally don’t need to worry about long-term contracts or leases. This allows you to take on projects on a project-by-project basis, which can be a low-commitment way to build your business.

An online interior design business offers a low-commitment option for design startups that want to test the waters and see if the interior design industry is a good fit for them. If you have always wanted to do design for a living, this might be something you should test out for yourself!

5. Opportunities in the Virtual Interior Design Field are Exploding

Depending on who you talk to, the interior design profession is experiencing a decline or is holding steady with some minimally expected growth. In fact, I think it’s the opposite. There are several reasons why opportunities in the virtual interior design field are set to explode:

  1. Increased internet access: As more and more people around the world gain access to the internet, the potential market for online interior design services has expanded significantly. This has led to an increase in demand for virtual interior designers.
  2. Convenience: Virtual interior design offers a convenient option for clients who may not have the time or resources to meet with a designer in person. They can work with a designer remotely, using online tools and resources to communicate and collaborate.
  3. Cost-effective: Virtual interior design can be a cost-effective option for both clients and designers. Clients may save money on travel costs and designers may save money on overhead expenses such as rent and utilities.
  4. Increased use of technology: Technology has made it easier for virtual interior designers to communicate with clients, share designs, and make changes in real-time. This has made virtual interior design a more viable option for both designers and clients.

Don’t forget that there are new opportunities emerging for people with interior design and decorating skills, particularly in virtual worlds and online design settings. The intersection of real estate and interior design is another important emerging use case. Overall, the combination of increased internet access, convenience, cost-effectiveness, and the use of technology is contributing to the explosion of opportunities in the virtual interior design field.

Why Interior Design for the Metaverse is the Next Big Thing

6. Tools for Online Interior Design are Getting Better All the Time

The times are changing and every industry, including the interior design and decorating industries, have to keep up or get left behind. The good news here is that interior design tools are becoming more intuitive and easier to use. There are several ways in which tools for online interior design are getting better all the time:

  1. Improved software: There have been significant advancements in design software in recent years, with new tools and features being developed all the time. These improvements make it easier for virtual interior designers to create professional-quality designs and communicate with clients.
  2. Virtual reality technology: Virtual reality (VR) technology is increasingly being used in the interior design industry to allow designers and clients to visualize designs in a more immersive and realistic way. VR tools allow designers to create 3D models of a space and allow clients to “walk through” the design and get a better sense of how it will look and feel.
  3. Online collaboration tools: There are many online collaboration tools available that allow virtual interior designers to work with clients and other team members in real-time. These tools make it easier to share designs, make changes, and collaborate remotely.
  4. Mobile apps: There are numerous mobile apps available that allow virtual interior designers to access design tools and resources on the go. This can be especially useful for designers who are always on the move and need to be able to work from anywhere.

On the whole, the continual development and improvement of these types of tools has made it easier for virtual interior designers to provide high-quality services to clients. Not only do they work incredibly well, but they are a lot of fun to learn and use! Win-win.

How to Get Started in Web 3.0 and the Metaverse for Interior Designers, Artists and Creators

7. It’s Never Been a Better Time to Start a Creative Side Hustle

Our last point comes with some final motivation for you that now is a good time for you to get started with virtual interior design. There are several reasons why it’s never been a better time to start a creative side hustle than now:

  1. Increased demand for creativity: In a rapidly changing world, there is an increased demand for creativity in all areas of business. This creates opportunities for entrepreneurs with creative skills to start a side hustle or small business.
  2. Minimal upfront investment: Starting a side hustle has never been easier or more affordable, thanks to the availability of online tools and resources. You can often start a side hustle with minimal upfront cost, making it a low-risk way to test the waters and see if your idea has potential.
  3. Potential for high income: Depending on your skills and the demand for your services, you may be able to earn a significant income from a creative side hustle. This can be a great way to supplement your regular income and pursue your passions at the same time.

I hope this wrap up gives you the confidence you need to get started on your design and decoration journey. We believe that the combination of increased demand for creativity, low startup costs, flexibility, and potential for high income make it an ideal time to start a creative side hustle.

Please remember to do your own research before starting an interior design or decorating side hustle to make sure that it is right for you and your personal situation. Best of luck with your endeavors!

Thank you for reading 7 Reasons You Need an Interior Design Side Hustle. We hope this has helped you get started. If you are interested in learning interior design, starting a virtual interior design business or using the latest technology for interior design you can find a lot more on this site. Feel free to browse around and drop us a line if you have any further questions. You can also follow Design Baddie on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Happy interior design side hustling,


We are on a mission at Design Baddie to make basic interior design information accessible and free to all! We will be giving away our future introductory interior design e-books absolutely free.


Designer, writer & educator living in East Asia since 2001

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