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Professional Interior Design Student Spotlight: Kate Coslett

After having children, it can be hard to pick up your career where you left off. If you’re a stay-at-home parent it can be just as hard to retrain when your kids are still young. Online courses are a fantastic way to fit your studies in around your family life and our Professional Interior Design Diploma is one of the most popular with parents of young children.

Kate Coslett is mum to 3 year old Tommy and wanted a career which would mean she could spend as much time with her young and growing family as possible. 

Having trained as a primary school teacher, studying Interior Design was a complete change of career direction for Kate. She’d always been quite creative but didn’t consider interior design until she moved into her first family home…..

Meet Kate from Bamboo Interiors.....

Hi, I’m Kate and I’m the owner of Bamboo Interiors, a business I started after completing the NDA’s Professional Interior Design Diploma. I’m mum to 3 year old Tommy and wife to Matthew and we have another baby on the way this Spring. 

After graduating with a degree in Psychology, I became a primary school teacher. It was only when Matthew, Tommy and I moved into our first family home and I started considering schemes and DIY projects that I began thinking about interior design as a career.  

As a way of taking my Interior Design skills further I decided to complete an Interior Design course. I came across the excellent Diploma in Interior Design with the National Design Academy and thought the course looked fantastic. The sound of each of the modules made me feel so excited to get started. The flexibility of the course also appealed to me as I knew I’d be able to do the course around my other commitments.

What made you want to get into interior design?

I’ve always loved being creative, but it was when my little family and I moved into our first home that I really realised my passion for interiors. I started to realise how my surroundings impacted my mood and really yearned to understand how to put a space together properly and what makes a space ‘work’.

I love the idea that your home should spark joy and tell a story of who lives there. I definitely go by the rule of wanting everything in my home and designs to be either beautiful or useful. I love to create a perfect balance between beautiful spaces which are practical too.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I absolutely love following beautiful home accounts on Instagram and seeing what other people have done to make their homes a beautiful place to live in. I love to get inspirational ideas from this platform and to see what people have done themselves in their houses… my recent foliage hanging branch and panelling project in the back wall of our bedroom were inspired by some ideas I got from Instagram.

I also get a lot of inspiration from Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company. I love the classic timeless look of the The White Company and it would be my dream to one day renovate a Victorian London townhouse.

If you could describe your style in 3 words?

Classy, stylish, modern (with a glam twist)

Which was your favourite unit of the Professional Interior Design Diploma?

I loved the technical drawings unit. I loved the challenge of mastering a new skill and the ability to then be able to communicate my vision for designs on paper. I also found the module on colour invaluable. Knowing the theory behind colour has allowed me to understand which colours will work well together and why.

Being new to interior design, how did you find the course?

I absolutely loved doing the course and felt it really taught me how to approach the design process. The flexibility of the course appealed to me hugely as I knew I’d be able to do the course around looking after my toddler. I was able to complete the modules during the evenings and at weekends.

I found having access to the VLS and its resources incredibly helpful. I particularly enjoyed being able to see upcoming events in the interior design field as well as having access to the forums and discussion topics.

Who was your tutor and how did you find communicating with them virtually?

My tutor was Sarah Wilkinson. She was super helpful and friendly and I always got swift replies to my emails which was very useful when completing your work at odd times of the day.

7. You’ve just finished your Diploma, what are you doing next?

I finished my Diploma last summer and a few months ago I launched my Interior Design business, Bamboo Interiors, which provides affordable, online interior design services. Bamboo Interiors was born after realising from designing my home that beautiful home decor does not have to cost the earth. I loved the idea of being able to create affordable interior design service for people who love their homes but want to spend high street prices.

My organisational skills, along with my creative eye and obsession with beautiful homes, makes me absolutely love this career and I’m so glad I went for it and did the course. What better career and life can you have than making everything around you beautiful?


Who would be your dream interior design client or what would be your dream project?

My absolute dream project would be to transform a London townhouse from start to finish. I’d keep the beautiful original features of course but add beautiful modern elements too to give it that timeless look.  

If you could give someone considering studying interior design any tips what would they be?

Go for it! At best you’ll come out being able to form a career from it. Even if you simply want to get a bit more in touch with home styling and how to make a space work then I’d still recommend. It’s win-win!

And finally, can you tell us about the projects you’re most proud of?

Unit 2 of the Professional Interior Design Diploma – Natural Scandinavia

This was one of the first presentation boards I had ever completed and it was so wonderful to see my ideas all down in one place for the first time. I loved the ease of being able to see which elements and colours worked together and seeing my vision of a space come together. We were given a brief and I chose to focus on the Scandinavian elements for the clients as I felt I could channel my own style through this too.

Unit 3 of the Professional Interior Design Diploma – Emerald, Pink & Gold

This was one of my favourite units! We were tasked with creating a mood board comprising of three colours. I absolutely loved being able to be so creative for this board and injecting some fun into it. I, personally love this colour combo and this unit really allowed the glam to come through!

Unit 3 of the Professional Interior Design Diploma – 1950s Pastels

I had fun with this unit too; creating a presentation board based on 3 main colours which were used in a certain era in time. The 1950s has such a fun element to it that I couldn’t help but enjoy putting this board together.

My passion project - Tommy's room

I’m so proud of the work I did for my Professional Interior Design Diploma but I’d also like to include another one – my son’s jungle-themed bedroom. I had so much fun putting this together and he absolutely loves it!

Find Out More About Kate & Bamboo Interiors

Kate’s blog is a great read, offering up lots of hints and tips for aspiring interior designers. Head over to her website.

You can also follow her on Instagram or on Facebook 

Student Takeover on Social

Next week, Kate will be taking over our social media channels to share her favourite interior design inspiration and projects. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for tips and the latest interior design trends each week! 

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