Authenticity is key. Richardson advises finding your own voice to stand out in the sea of content, “so you begin to build a following, then you can perhaps start to look at being paid”. Davies combines images in bold colours with self-mocking captions to reflect “a life that’s easy to achieve”. Next to the lime-green Roger Oates runner on what followers have called her “stairwell of dreams”, she posts: “Any tips for getting bright orange Play-Doh out of stair carpet?”

Longer captions that are “just being real” foster engagement, says Amanda Start, 48, whose @onlinestylist Instagram account is a study in minimalist calm, attracting partnerships with the White Company and Amara Living. “When I grow up, I want to live in a pristine monochrome house with a glossy back door,” she tells her 20,000 followers in between snaps of her New Forest home office, with its #elevatetheeveryday print and Kinfolk magazines.


Lightbulb moments: Campling is a fan of moving items around – ‘we call it #faffing’

Start, the mother of Holly, 12, was made redundant from her finance job 10 years ago and set up her blog,, “to keep my brain alive. I only found my passion late in life. I’m like a kid, I can’t wait to get to my desk in the morning.”

Yet it’s hard work. “We get a lot of people asking, ‘I’ve been doing this for two years, why isn’t my blog as big as X’s?'” Hart says. “Most successful interiors influencers either held jobs that meant their networks were strong, got in early or are in a position to devote a huge amount of time to getting their ‘brand’ in front of the people they want to work with.” They post two or three images a day on Instagram, with more detail on at least one of these in an Instagram Story that disappears after 24 hours, and blog up to three times a week. After each post, they take time to answer questions.

When it comes to shooting images, use a good camera in natural daylight, Sterling says. “Check all the details in a room and take a few test shots – mess really stands out.” Choose a filter you like and stick to it, so your style is consistent. She brightens her shots and applies a “gingham” filter. And think about the order in which images will appear on your feed, Davies adds. “I don’t want three in a row of me in an outfit.”

To build a following, tag every photo with all the brands in it. Include up to 30 popular hashtags that act as an index to help people find that topic, such as #styleitdark, #slowliving, #instahome and #houserenovating. Follow other accounts, “like” their content and leave meaningful comments: “not just emojis or ‘great post'”, Start says. People will then often comment back.


Splashes of lime punctuate the inky-hued home

Dee Campling, 49, has ratcheted up 59,000 followers in less than two years by inviting Instagrammers to share their interiors in a themed weekly competition under #myhomevibe. The former project manager from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, realised American hashtags dominated interiors on Instagram, so created her own with a friend and asked homeware start-ups to offer prizes. “We stumbled across a niche that hadn’t been created yet,” she says.

Posts on her four-bedroom Victorian semi, with its bohemian edge, also took off (@deecampling). “I like to move things around – we call it #faffing. On Instagram, everyone is so nice. I’ve never had a negative comment.”

Amanda Start

Amanda Start, who has 20,000 followers, says long captions foster engagement

Though Campling had découpaged a bedroom wall aged 12, her creativity fell by the wayside after having Anna, 15, Imogen, 13, and Theo, 10. As her children entered their teens, she rediscovered her passion after turning a vintage caravan into a glamping shop called Huddle, which has now – thanks to her Instagram success – morphed into an interiors styling and workshop business (

Whereas interior design had been seen as something more exclusive, Campling says Instagram has made it “something for everyone”.