Growth Trends for Related Jobs

What Is a Model Home Designer?

careertrend article image

Model home designers help complete the appeal of a model home by selecting furnishings and decorations. These designers have a strong background in interior design, along with artistic skills and the ability to create calm, appealing atmospheres. Home builders and developers hire model home designers to decorate the homes before the public views them. The intention is that prospective buyers will be able to visualize living inside the home, with window treatments and beautiful furniture, once the house is decorated.


Model home designers are interior designers who offer this specific service to home builders for a fee. Their clients are building firms, subdivision developers, architects or real estate owners. Model home designers work for companies, while other interior designers often work for individual homeowners who want their houses redesigned


Model home designers begin by planning spaces. Then they present their ideas to clients and install the designs. At times, they prepare construction document details. They select finishes, furniture, art and accessories for the model homes. The designers may need to meet with clients, tour houses with them and explain design ideas.

Differences from Other Designers

Model home designing, also called home staging, operates on stricter budgets and time constraints than traditional interior decorating. Builders consider it a necessity to stage new homes for potential buyers, while home interior redecoration is considered a luxury. Home redecoration is subject to the whims and taste of the homeowner. Model home designing follows general design guidelines and the model home designer’s tastes and wishes.

Job Statistics

Although the U.S. Department of Labor doesn't track model home designers specifically, it does track the interior designer field as a whole. Median annual wages for all interior designers were $44,950 in May 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 65,000 jobs in 2004. About 10 percent are self-employed, and about 20 percent work for specialized design services.

Reality Competition

An competition for model home designers called The Nation's Next Model Home Designer was held via in 2009, and a second contest was announced for 2010. On the web-based program, interior designers compete to decorate model homes on a $5,000 budget within 28 days. Visitors to the website then vote on which designer they think did the best job.


Lottie Goff became a fulltime professional journalist in 2005. She has written freelance content for "Space City Spors" in Houston, Texas and "Coast Magazine" in Galveston, Texas. She earned a journalism degree from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas in 2005. She also worked for the student newspaper, "The Battalion," from 2003 to 2005.

Photo Credits