Work Activities

Nostalgist, are interior designers who recreate living environments for people after they have retired. These new living spaces will be based on an individuals special memories. They will help to create the retirement village of the future - by focusing purely on the past. The Nostalgist will combine the role of Interior Designer with Historical Researcher and Therapist.

You may be helping people who suffer from mental or physical illnesses. Their memories might be a great comfort for them. Nostalgists work with these memories to recreate a special era of their life. They might use a variety of different media to achieve this, including photographs, film, and music. They will also need to carefully consider furniture, wallpaper, and carpets. All these elements add to the overall experience.

As a Notalgist, you will need to talk to your your client and their family to find out their needs. Then you can start designing their living space. You might have to take measurements and note any special requirements they need. This includes hand rails or wheelchair facilities for example.

While you are designing the room, you might need to look for specific items that belong in your clients chosen decade - and they might not exist today. If you cannot find a businesses who sell what you need, you will design and produce your own reproduction. This may include period furniture from your clients favourite era, for example the 1950s.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Nostalgist, you will need:

  • to be interested in design
  • problem solving skills
  • to be interested in design and history
  • an understanding of colour, shape and form
  • an eye for historical detail
  • to like working with others who might have mental and physical disabilities
  • good communication skills

Self-employed or freelance Nostalgists will need business and marketing skills.

Pay and Opportunities


The pay rates for Nostalgists are not currently known.

However, these are the rates of pay for Interior Designers, which is a similar role:

  • Starting: £24,000 - £25,000
  • With experience: £26,500 - £31,000
  • Senior Interior Designers earn £33,000 - £35,500

Hours of work

Nostalgists might work 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Working hours for self-employed Nostalgists may be irregular, depending on the project they are working on. Late finishes and weekend work may be required from time to time, especially as deadlines approach.

Where could I work?

Nostalgists will probably work in retirement communities and care homes. Opportunities within design consultancies might be possible.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes and training

The entry routes to become a Nostalgist is unclear. However, a degree might be needed.

Useful degrees might include:

  • interior design
  • history
  • spatial design
  • art and design

A way into this career could be through an internship. Take a look at our article ‘Internships’ for more details.


Once you have your degree, you will probably need to enter a trainee or apprenticeship position to gain some experience.

An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship could be an entry route into this career. Take a look at our article ‘Apprenticeships – How do I apply?’ for more details.


As this is a career of the future, the qualifications needed to become a Nostalgist are currently unclear.

However, having a background in interior design could be very useful.

Further Information

Nesta - Future Skills

Tel: 02074 382500



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