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So you’ve taken the leap and started your own interior design business. You’ve created a website or social media page and are ready to begin taking on clients.

But there’s a problem… you don’t have any previous experience to showcase your talents.

So how can you create a design portfolio from scratch that shows potential clients your abilities?

Here are three simple strategies to help you get started:


1. Use your own home.

If you are interested in interior design enough that you’ve started your own business, chances are your home is where you discovered your passion. Take a course on interior photography or hire a photographer to come take photos of how you’ve decorated your home. You may be wondering, “It’s MY house, does it count?” Absolutely it does! Your home is a display of your talents. Use it! You can also use the homes of friends or family members you’ve helped- just because they didn’t pay you doesn’t mean it isn’t work that validates your skills.

2. Create mood boards and sketches.

This is a great way to show your capabilities to clients viewing your page or website. Show the layout of a room and then virtually design it! Not only does this give you practice, but it will show your potential client your abilities and how you present designs. I would recommend sticking to a limited number of styles at first rather than trying to showcase everything you can do- stick to branding your image first.

3. Free design work

This is something that beginners need to be open to doing. If you are needing work to showcase in your portfolio, be willing to do some design jobs for free, knowing your payment will be in testimonials and branding images. Look for model homes or a parade of homes needing designers and offer to do the work for free- this is a major way to get your name out there! This is not the most fun part of starting out, but I call it paying your dues. You won’t need to do this for very long or very often, just get what you need to start off your branding!


Starting an interior design business from scratch requires you to work really hard at first, especially when building a portfolio that will give potential clients the confidence to hire you. But listen, once that ball starts rolling, you’ll have more and more design jobs to showcase and validate your talents!

So if you’re just starting out, use these strategies to help you build a fantastic portfolio! You can do this!!!


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