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The New Real Estate Barons Series: Monetizing Interior Design

someone monetizing interior design at home

(Editor’s note: Welcome to the New Real Estate Barons, a Bold mini-series examining some out-of-the-box angles of real estate. Today’s installment dives into the monetization of interior design.)

There’s little question that the pandemic has had some lasting effects on lifestyle and social trends. Being locked in one’s home and having limited options for activities forced us to explore new ways to entertain ourselves. For some, this meant turning to social media and content creation as a means to keep our sanity. Others invested time and energy into their own cribs, making their in-home existence as pleasant as possible. And some did a little of both, ushering in a new breed of interior design influencers. A select few even realized the potential for monetizing interior design through social media as a new career. Interestingly, this is one trend that has persisted and actually grown even in the pandemic’s aftermath.

A person monetizing interior design with a camera
Monetizing interior design when you don’t own your home is… pretty ingenious?

(New content creations apps are determined to help monetize a captive audience–read how in this Bold story.)

Within the real estate market, interior design and décor have always occupied a sizable share of revenues. While construction and architectural designs are important, it’s interior design that truly makes a space. But the traditional ways of monetizing interior design involved sitting with clients and helping them choose the right look. But today, many are learning tricks and techniques from interior design influencers. And even some would-be designers are gaining insights from social media on how to launch their own career. As a result, interior design content creation has become huge with many doing this as their full-time gig.

“Many people might be using their Instagram channels to share posts of their home, but don’t realize the money they could potentially earn from doing this.” – Lucy Askew, Spokesperson for  Hillarys

Trends and Anti-Trends in Interior Design

Even before the dawn of interior design influencers on social media, there was a persistent interest in how others lived. Television shows that showcased the homes of celebrities and the wealthy were always popular. But recent trends have shifted attention to social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. It also doesn’t have to be an existing celebrity’s home either. Anyone with a strong design sense and with something insightful to offer can gain a notable following. This is especially true for those living in urban apartments and condos where a little décor change goes a long way. Because most Gen Zs and Millennials rent in such places, posts from influencers have a sizable audience. And as it turns out, such an audience provides an easy way for monetizing interior design advice.

A nice home probably in the Hamptons
Want to be a real estate baron without owning property? Go the interior design influencer route and make money off of someone else’s property.

In terms of design trends themselves, most interior design influencers promote what has become known as aesthetic apartments. Even if renting, it has become popular to enhance one’s living space out-of-pocket to make it more pleasant. As a result, doing this on a budget is key for many, and influencers offer tips in this regard. Aesthetics today tend to go with more neutral tones as well as whites. And the more spacious and brighter a space looks, the better. Interestingly, while this is the predominant trend, others are monetizing interior design styles that are more “real.” Rather than looking pristine and museum-like in appearance, these spaces actually appear lived in. Thus, there is also a group of interior design influencers embracing a non-aesthetic look. Either way, both sets have the potential to gain followers and make a living in the process.

“If vendors are following you, and vendors are willing to work with you, we might be able to create exclusive content where I could potentially be in conversation with them regarding their product.” – Rydhima Brar of R/terior Studio

Going After the Big Bucks

interior design influencers pointing camera outside
Got a camera? Join the ranks of interior design influencers and monetize your pad.

Like many influencers on social media, those monetizing interior design content creation have several ways to earn incomes. Instagram and YouTube, preferred sites by most interior design influencers, allow revenues from advertisers. TikTok, on the other hand, provides money from pooled creator funds for influencers. But by far, those earning the most from their interior design expertise do so through big brand deals. For instance, getting IKEA, Walmart, or other home-shopping sites on board can be very lucrative. Not only do they offer direct payments, but they also provide demos and products for free to interior design influencers. This is how some monetizing interior design content on social media can earn into the six-figure range.

(Uncle Sam wants TikTok gone. Read this Bold story and decide if you agree or not.)

In addition to these revenue-generating strategies, there are other ways for monetizing interior design content. Some social media platforms now offer subscription-based revenues for influencers. This has been particularly beneficial for interior design influencers who provide advice and guidance to other would-be designers. Educational and informational videos and posts can earn individuals a nice income supplement for nominal subscription fees. Thye also can gain additional revenues by selling design guide downloads and curated product lists. This is particularly useful in getting the attention of vendors and brands whose products are showcased. And as always, the larger the following, the better the chances a deal like that can be brokered.

“Getting to connect with a designer on a personal level and understand their opinions, and their approach to how to design or decorate a space, it opens up another level of connection.” – Alexandria McKinley, Canada-based Interior Designer

Leveraging DIY and Self-Education Preferences

One of the changes fueling the rise in interior design influencers relates to economics. The cost of graduate education has increased substantially over several decades. Likewise, recent inflationary pressures have caused professional services to increase as well. At the same time, online and social media educational opportunities have grown substantially. And many Millennials and Gen Zs prefer DIY projects and learning to formal options. As much as anything, these trends have also helped when it comes to monetizing interior design content. And it is why many who love interior design have left the corporate world for a social media one. Thus, for the foreseeable future, it appears interior design influencers will play a notable role in the real estate world.


If you want a job heavy on remote work, read this Bold story that offers up six important tips!

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