This is a question I get asked quite regularly when talking to new people who are intrigued by my line of work – “what is it that you actually do?” and “It must be so much fun designing and re-doing people’s homes!” are the most frequently asked questions and used phrases! Many people think it’s just designing houses and decorating rooms… Paint colours, picking cushions and fancy wallpapers but there is so much more to it than that! Honestly, that is just one small niche of interior design (that is actually interior decorating) that has somehow become the stereotype for the industry.
It’s through this blog that I aim to delve deeper into the details of the industry and role of an interior designer. I will be sharing my experience as a designer, what skills I believe it takes to be a great one, provide advice to students who may be just starting out and ultimately my aim is to help you think about your own home as if you were a designer yourself and ask, “if I were an interior designer, how would I improve this room?” or, “how would I style this room?” I want to share my knowledge and experiences with you so you can apply it to your own home or career in design.
If you ask Wikipedia, it will tell you that Interior Design is “the art and science of enhancing the interior of a building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the people using the space.”
Whilst cushions and fancy wall coverings is one aspect of interior design (what I call the decor and finishing touches), it’s actually quite a small part of the job! What I call “real” interior design is about improving the use of space already available and enhancing the way its used by its occupants. If that means knocking down a few walls or completely restoring a building back to its former glory then that is only the beginning of an interior designer’s work. One day you might be doubling up as a lighting designer, other days you’re problem solving a number of circulation or spatial design issues…
For me, interior design has always been about creating that “woah” moment for someone walking into a room or building for the first time. For example, when you walk into a cathedral (for me particularly it was the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona) you suddenly get an overwhelming feeling of grandeur and get completely taken away by the grand presence of the space… It’s awe-inspiring and gives you goose bumps.
It’s this tingling feeling from other interiors around the world I have visited that informed my manifesto. Most designers will have one, as it’s a way of stating what they stand by and strive to achieve through their work. Mine is this:
I am a designer, a thinker and writer.
I am responsible for creating the human sensations an interior can evoke.
I am passionate about quality and detail.
I believe textures should be felt without having to physically touch them.
I like clean lines and straight edges.
Although this was originally written as part of my final year at uni, this is still relevant today as a qualified interior designer and the work I strive to achieve on a daily basis. Having worked in the industry for two and a half years now this could do with a little updating, but more on that later!
It is this design manifesto that I took with me from University into my first job working for a Global Design Agency in London. I originally joined as an intern planning car showrooms but quickly progressed to working on luxury automotive brands and started to assist in the design of events (product launches, world tours, studio / brand experiences etc)
After two years in London, I decided to relocate back to my hometown in the countryside. This was for a number of reasons but what I learnt from my time at the agency and living in London will stay with me forever and I know has already had a massive impact on the way I approach my work today.
Until next time,
Do you have a design manifesto? Or motto you try to live by?
Share below in the comments!
*** All views shared on this blog are my own, and are in no way connected to any current or previous employment.
** All images shared within this post are snippets of my personal signature style as an interior designer.