I have been self-employed since 1991, running a small business which supplied curtains and blinds to residential clients. I taught myself how to make all manner of curtains & soft furnishings and being from a family of self-employment it was a natural step to run my own business.
Over those coming years other areas of interior design began to interest me, and it became apparent that I wanted to take my creativity further and study Interior Design. I had previously completed half of a Rhodec International course but, looking back, I probably started it at an inappropriate time in my life, after just having my first child in 1994 and I was unable to finish the course.
I was first introduced to the NDA through an advertisement in a magazine in 2002. By this time my children were a little older and I once again started my studies in Interior Design, starting first with the Diploma in Interior Design, then the FdA Interior Design and finally completing the BA (Hons) Interior Design course. I graduated in 2012 with a first and was absolutely delighted. Readers may be interested to know that I had no idea that I would be completing the degree level when I took the diploma, so beware this is how it grabs you!
I enjoyed the course immensely and would highly recommend the NDA, particularly to people who are endeavouring to perform a career change or people with young families, as the studies can be worked round any commitments that you have. The NDA has undoubtedly helped my career, mostly by providing me with a certification of my abilities to prove to clients that I am fully qualified, but perhaps most importantly, it has given me the skills both practically and aesthetically to work in the Interior Design Industry. Truthfully, from the bottom of my heart, it is a fantastic experience and a great achievement on my part, I feel very proud to have successfully completed my degree. Throughout my studies I have to say that there was a definitive attitude that I would accomplish the course to the highest of my ability. I had to win and not fail, and it was 100% enjoyable and worth it.
I was recently selected, as one of 6 designers, to produce a room set for Ideal Home at Christmas. The brief was to design an inspirational room set for the perfect Christmas interior and that all the products within the set were obtainable either on the internet or from high street stores. My theme was entitled Nordic/Baroque which embraced the two opposing styles in an eclectic mix. I was delighted to be chosen and the experience was amazing. I enjoyed the initial challenge of having my design selected and then the following stages, which entailed a lot of negotiation in obtaining products and securing them, and double jeopardy that they arrived on time! The planning and making of the set spanned from the start of June 2014 until November 2014 and involved extensive preparation, organisation and endurance, but I would definitely design another one tomorrow if asked! The set was well received and I have received a lot of positive feedback from it.
Today I am enjoying building up my business and have a prosperous outlook for 2015 with some good projects poised in production. My plan is to open an online furniture, lighting and accessories store and dream of owning a shop one day. I also aim to become an accomplished writer and blogger for the interiors industry which encompasses one last dream of mine, which would be to work for a magazine as a stylist and journalist. Watch this space!
My signature style is definitely on the eclectic radar, but of course enjoy designing for whatever a client desires. My advice and design mantra is to adhere to the following: Listen intently to a client’s needs, think out of the box but sensibly, trust your first instincts as regards establishing design ideas because they are probably always going to be the designs you come back to, pay immense attention to detail, and when dealing with your clients employ a natural rapport. Most importantly be yourself!