American Style Interior Design: Best Cities in the USA
Dollar bills can't buy you style, but they can pay for somebody who has style – an interior designer. These trained professionals are the only ones capable of transforming dull homes into masterpieces. They come equipped with fabric textures, rug patterns, and a ton of paint swatches – ready to upgrade your home from floor to ceiling. If you are one of them, you may want to pick one of the best cities for interior design in the US to call your home.
Most interior designers have bachelor's and master's degrees. However, some are just born with a knack for design. But, even that latter group of interior designers must have a license if they want to be chosen by clients.
And, speaking of clients, working with them can sometimes be ‘less paint, more pain'. Some may be too stubborn, others may be too feisty, and some may be too indecisive. However, according to experts, dealing with these clients is easier in some US cities than in others.
If you had to deal with all sorts of people (including their styles, wishes, and preferences) all day long, doing that would be much easier in a city where you can cash in your talent. Those are the cities where there is a constant demand for your skills, and the cost of living is not higher than your monthly and yearly incomes. So, where can one interior designer expect these conditions? Which US cities are the best for interior design?
By analyzing the number of employed interior designers and firms, the number of open interior design job positions, median salary, and the cost of living index, we came up with the following cities suitable for the interior design business.
1. Los Angeles, California
- Number of employed interior designers – 4780
- Number of working interior design firms – 201
- Median salary – $70,850
- Number of open jobs – 166
- Cost of living index – 80.20
The city of Angles loves interior designers the most! Its residents hire them to make their homes more beautiful and more functional. They need a professional to improve their homes' look, feel, and overall vibe.
They also hire them to make their homes more “sellable.” Selling a home is not easy in Los Angeles because it's the buyer's market. Only the houses that look top-notch will sell quickly and for the best possible value. So, it is no wonder why designers are so desired and appreciated here.
2. New York, New York
- Number of employed interior designers – 4,770
- Number of working interior design firms – 200
- Median salary – $75,362
- Number of open jobs – 212
- Cost of living index – 100.00
The Big Apple, especially Manhattan, represents a dream-come-true for many people. This place is all about success, prestige, and fame. Here is where you will find the rich, the successful, and the ones wanting a home like no other.
We believe that New York is one of the best cities for interior design in the US. It constantly offers new job positions, either for designers who like to fly solo or for those who have (or are a part of) an interior design company. That's why many hire professional movers and relocate to Manhattan.
So, if you too are an interior designer in need of a job, why not make Manhattan your home? This is the only place in the world where you will be able to find work instantly. And, do not worry about relocation and the high cost of living. Professional movers can relocate you in no time, and your high interior design salary will enable you to live and work in the City of Dreams easily.
3. San Francisco, California
- Number of employed interior designers – 2,570
- Number of working interior design firms – 178
- Median salary – $78,306
- Number of open jobs – 120
- Cost of living index – 93.06
The next on our list of the best cities for interior designers in the US is the one and only San Francisco, or Golden City. It is in San Francisco where you will be able to get the best bang for your buck! This is where an interior designer can expect to get the highest salary in the entire USA! But, to earn as much, they must compete with a ton of other employed and unemployed designers.
However, interior designers have such an enormous salary because San Francisco has some of the most expensive real estate properties. Some are unique, some are historical, and some are huge. Putting your stamp on homes such as these will not be easy, but you can easily say that you succeeded once you do.
4. Chicago, Illinois
- Number of employed interior designers – 1,730
- Number of working interior design firms – 197
- Median salary – $66,459
- Number of open jobs – 157
- Cost of living index – 78.1
This may come as a surprise, but Chicago ranks high on the list of the best cities for interior design in the US. It is mainly because the median salary is relatively high compared to the cost of living index – a lot higher than in all other US cities!
All interior designers who want to beautify Chicago homes must have a master's degree in interior design. It means that “being born under the designer star,” having an interior design certificate, or even a bachelor's degree will not do the trick. So, don't be surprised if your Chicago client asks to see your diplomas – because they will.
Whether this is because Chicago has some of the most educated people in the USA or not, we do not know. But, what we do know is that you have to be the best of the best if you want to make it here. It means having your bachelor's and master's diplomas, experience, rich portfolio, and a ton of recommendations.
5. Dallas, Texas
- Number of employed interior designers – 1,930
- Number of working interior design firms – 198
- Median salary – $62, 238
- Number of open jobs – 103
- Cost of living index – 65.11
You know what they say in Texas – go big or go home. Yes, we can all agree that everything is bigger in Texas – their homes, yards, cars, etc. But, one thing that is certainly not big is the number of open job positions for interior designers.
There is simply a lack of jobs, whether in specialized design services, architectural and engineering services, furniture stores, merchant wholesalers, residential building construction, etc. But, do not let that discourage you – we have strong reasons to believe that things will change soon.
Many residents of Texas are slowly starting to realize the importance of interior design. Those are usually people who think they can mix old furniture with a new home or combine different styles and end up with a hot mess. Some people also want and need their home or company to look its best.
6. Miami, Florida
- Number of employed interior designers – 1,570
- Number of working interior design firms – 200
- Median salary – $60, 985
- Number of open jobs – 84
- Cost of living index – 76.76
Miami is, just like the previously mentioned New York City, one of those cities to either make it or break it. It applies to all people and all positions, including interior designers. And, according to people who already live and work here as interior designers, it is incredible!
The salaries are high, and the cost of living is low – what more can one ask for? Well, one can also ask for a job position or two. There are not many companies or individuals currently looking for interior designers.
However, just because there are not enough job positions, it does not mean that there is no demand for interior designers. Miami is also one of the best cities for interior design in the US because designers from all over the world are more than welcome to come and open their companies.
Not only will the government support these kinds of small businesses (with incentives) but so will the people. According to recent research, the people of Miami are tired of old designs and designers and need fresh ideas and talents.
7. Washington, DC
- Number of employed interior designers – 1,670
- Number of working interior design firms – 65
- Median salary – $69,736
- Number of open jobs – 136
- Cost of living index – 82.58
The last on our list of the best cities for interior design in the US is Washington, DC. This may surprise people who believe that Washington is only suitable for politics and economics. But, law and economics are not the only wanted degrees here.
This can be proven by the rising number of interior design schools and colleges opening every year, right here in Washington DC. Some experts believe that this city is best for interior design in the US as it offers some of the best education (plus a provided, mandatory 2-year work experience after graduation) in the entire state of America.
Interior design students can specialize in everything from kitchen design to outdoor furniture design.
However, do not hesitate to look for a job here even if you have a diploma from somewhere else. Washington residents indeed love local, but if your portfolio is good, they will love you too! And, they will be able to pay for your services well. After all, a city full of lawyers and politicians will give anything to have a home (and especially an office) that is nothing less than breathtaking.
Do You Know Where You Are Moving To?
As you can see, there are many great cities for interior design in the US. This article provided you with some factual data. Your job now is to do some digging and find out everything about the way of life in a particular place. Consider the climate, too. Whichever city you choose, we are confident you won’t be disappointed.
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