One of the most prominent and favored business models for those with a desire for self-employment is franchising, according to Dean Zuccarello, CEO and founder of The Cypress Group, a privately owned investment bank and advisory services firm.
Similarly, interior decorating and residential design has long been a popular career for those seeking self-employment. So it seemed logical for someone to merge interior design with franchising.The late James S. Bugg, Sr., was a franchising expert whose success earned him selection to the International Franchise Association’s Hall of Fame. His wife, Carol, an ASID designer, had her own successful interior design business. She was frequently asked by talented and creative individuals for advice on starting their own design business and suggested to her husband that they franchise interior design.

While exploring the possibilities, they discovered a drapery and wall covering company that had already begun franchising, but needed leadership to take it to the next level. The Buggs invested and eventually became sole owners and grew Decorating Den Interiors into North America’s leading in-home decorating service and largest home furnishings and interior design franchise company (


“Jim liked to say that our franchise concept is simple: we provide our franchise partners with all the tools necessary to run a rewarding interior decorating business,” says Carol Bugg, vice president and director of design, who is authoring her sixth book on interior decorating. “The training we provide is comprehensive and ongoing, involving product knowledge, design, sales, marketing, and business systems. Whether someone joins us with just an “eye for design” or already has a design degree and experience, our education staff supports the needs of every new business,” she adds.

“We represent more than 100 suppliers of a full range of home furnishings, with each of our franchise partners and decorators providing complimentary interior design services, all in the home or office of clients,” she explains. Franchises are located throughout the U.S. and Canada.


A bright future for franchising

“Today the method remains robust, with more franchise concepts alive and thriving than ever before,” writes Zuccarello in Franchise Update. “While multi-unit restaurants continue to be the most widespread in the franchising world, this model has spread across a variety of industries, from early childhood education to doggie daycare.”

Why are we continuing to see such positive momentum?

Here are three of the reasons he cites:

Branding. One key factor is consumers’ strong reliance on the power of branding. Franchising leverages the power of branding by providing mass scale in terms of advertising market penetration, and customer recognition. There is also the power of legitimacy (whether perceived or accurate) that accrues as a benefit.

Entrepreneurship also plays an important role in franchising. A large and growing number of people aspire to run their own business, but there is great uncertainty about creating an entirely new concept. Franchising provides an opportunity to be self-employed while mitigating the risks of an independent concept.

Individual equity also has greatly contributed to the ongoing success of the franchise model. In today’s economic landscape, individuals are less enamored with investing in securities (stocks, bonds, annuities) and instead are looking for investments where they have more individual return opportunity. This comes in the form of control-adjusted risk. If an owner-operator risks their treasure, but has the means to oversee that capital and an ability to voice their opinion about the business and its operations, this can become an appealing lifestyle and investment alternative.

“Considering all these dynamics, the future of franchising is bright,” concludes Zuccarello.


If you have the talent, creativity and desire, why not explore how a Decorating Den Interiors franchise can help you live your dream with a beautiful business. Visit (