How to Name Your Interior Design Business - A 5-Step Guide
It’s true, picking a name for your interior design business is not a task that happens overnight. Making such an important decision will take time. Here are five steps to get started on your naming journey.
1. Consider your long term business goals
While you may not know exactly how the future will play out, spend some time considering your dreams and goals for upping your design game over the next few years. Then, pick a name that does not tightly limit your option. For example, if you choose to use home interiors in your name, expanding into other interior design types such as commercial or retail will be more challenging because your name will not reflect your services.
2. Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm
Creativity should know no limits when you start making your list, and it should even be fun. Think of it as the naming version of a mood board. Don’t over edit yourself in the beginning; just start by making a list of names. The best brainstorms involve a whiteboard, some sticky notes, and an unfettered imagination. Just have an eraser and wastebasket nearby for when you reach the point of narrowing down your choices.
- Use your name or some version of it: Some interior designers use their initials and creatively combine them with a business descriptor, such as interior design. Maybe you want to use the name of a favorite grandmother or friend. Avoid this option if your name is so common that your business will fade in a sea of similar names, or is too hard to remember, pronounce or spell.
- Make the design business descriptor broad: consider using phrases like Interior Design, Interiors, Design Studio, etc. to avoid being boxed in.
- Evoke emotion & good energy: Consider what type of feelings you want your work to be associated with. Some to consider: excitement, surprise, calm, natural, industrial or modern.
- Replace a design descriptor with words that mean something special to you, and of course, sound good. But choose wisely - the nickname you have for your partner might be special to you, but it is unlikely to resonate with your clients.
Here’s how one designer from the Washington state area combined a sense of emotion and the region she serves by picking a name that has meaning to both her and her clientele. “We live in this great community called Fairwood. We thought about trying to incorporate the town name, but there’s a lot of businesses with Fairwood in the name,” says Jolene Irons.
“We looked for something else that represents the area. There are a lot of Cedars in Western Washington (we’re known for them) and we live by the Cedar River. We were working at a dining room table, and in the corner was a fiddle-less fig tree, which is how we came up with Cedar & Fig. It clicked, and it felt right. Whether we decided to get into staging design, if we had a storefront or even if we moved and took the company somewhere else, it could still work. It just really evokes a Pacific Northwest feeling we felt." -Jolene Irons, Interior Designer at Cedar & Fig in Renton, WA
- Highlight a niche if you have a specialty. (Residential interiors, modern designs, etc.)
- Be a wordsmith: Use words creatively. Alliterations are easy on the eyes and ears and puns can make people smile. One warning: Done badly or overdone cliches, and puns have the opposite effect of making people roll their eyes.
- Use words that resonate with target clients whether it is an aesthetic or style such as luxury, modern, traditional.
- Shake it up: Make a list of potential words - think throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks. Then play with the words like a set of Legos, arranging and rearranging in different orders and phrases and lengths to see where you land.
- Imitation is the best form of flattery: Be a detective and see how other interior designers picked the name for their business. The goal, of course, is not to steal their name, but to understand the anatomy and taxonomy of their choice.