Managing Your Finances as an Interior Designer

Working in the interior design world is more than picking out paint colors and coordinating fabric swatches.  In order to maintain a successful interior design business, managing the financial aspects is critical. What may seem like an impossible task between client meetings, sourcing products, site visits (the list goes on!) can be managed if you have the right tools!

“Genevieve, you’re telling me that I can be creative and money-wise?” you ask? It’s true! Put your financial fears to rest and read on for best practices on how to manage the finances of your interior design business successfully. The first step to financial freedom is only a scroll away…


Are you early in the stages of your design career?  Or are you growing your team and seeking to pass off the task of budget management? Perhaps, you are an established designer working to refine and restructure your budget systems?

Say hello to the Circaphiles Budget Template! A great place to begin managing your finances is by tracking your expenses through the life cycle of your projects. Building trust with your clients is established through discussing their goals, creating a plan to achieve them and outlining the associated costs. Once a budget is set, careful tracking of expenses and consistent invoicing shows a client you’re in control of the project and you care about their investment in your talents. To keep your head in the fanciful fabrics and furniture, a template tailored with configured formulas, developed and based on a cost-plus pricing model will avoid reinventing the wheel and provide a plug and play outline, so you are prepared to budget properly for every project you onboard.


When I launched my own design business, I knew I needed a contract that outlined all the dirty details that (let’s be real!) protect my business from misunderstandings and lawsuits. Take the guesswork out and avoid learning the hard way (we’ve all been there!): deliver a contract you are confident clearly outlines your business model and (drum roll, please!) your fees. By showing your clients up front how your business is structured, you open the lines of communication. Even if you think your contract is “good enough”, you might be surprised to discover things you overlooked. Internationally acclaimed designer, Timothy Corrigan joined us to create this powerful Expert Guide for an Ironclad Contract. With this contract in hand, start your first day on your new project knowing that you will get paid on time!


Aside from financial tools of budgeting and contracts designed to aid in the interworking of your client relationships, interior designers also need to manage their own business finances. Diligently keeping track of your receipts for everything from mileage, travel expenses, office supplies and more is extremely important. Get organized by finding a system, online app or software program, that works best for you and stick with it by scheduling time in your calendar. 

We love Studio Designer, a software that manages your interior design projects from start to finish with fully integrated project management, time billing, product sourcing, and proprietary accounting tools. The cloud based application is available wherever you are, whenever you need it! With a user-friendly software system, you can spend less time crunching numbers and more time designing, to maximize your profits and find true success for yourself, your team and your clients. The possibilities are truly as endless as your overflowing swatch bins.

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