The Struggles of Interior Designers Caused by the Shifting Market

interior designer

What does an interior designer do to keep up with the changing market?

In the past 10 years or so, consumers’ appreciation towards good design has increased, prompting the competition to rush in finding the right formula that would determine what consumers want and the amount of money they are willing to spend. With this, designers were induced to lower their charges and have smaller budgets to work with, resulting in reduced profitability and, in most cases, put their businesses to a close.

Does this mean luxury is the only feasible market for designers today?

Before, interior designers only cater to a small portion of the overall population, as they offer their services exclusively. Until the economy went to a decline and the demand for housing increased, a number of designers were able to successfully conduct practices that relied on having business with wealthy clients. It didn’t take long for a lot of changes to happen.

Lifestyles and values have changed. Views toward luxury and consumerism have changed as well. It even reached to the point where longtime clients no longer have the interest for more design services. Yet with today’s younger affluents, though they look for living environments that are well-designed, they have their own ideas as well as options on how to apply them to their ideal home. The number of millionaires and billionaires skyrocketed, and custom home and luxury markets rebounded, causing the expansion of the potential market involving wealthy clients.

Interior designers have observed and been responding positively to these changes but in various ways.

Some focus on the luxury market by entertaining ultrarich clients and attending to their preferences, which is to make it as a retreat away from their social and work life. It led to the conclusion that for these current clients, luxury is all about taking a break, spending some time alone, and prioritising their health and well-being.

On the other hand, some interior designers choose to alter their business model and make it enticing to younger clients. And since these clients can’t afford that much or don’t wish to pay for full design services, the designers decide for service packages and offer them for fixed fees.

In reality, an interior designer is challenged by its competitors, shifts in the market, and demanding clients. This is why change is inevitable for them, as it is their only way to find greater opportunities. And targeting the luxury market is no longer practical. For them to succeed in the market, it is best to choose a client base they think their business model will trigger the interest.