Student of the Month – Kaitlyn Harvey

Kaitlyn Harvey – Diploma in Professional Interior Design

Kaitlyn recently opened her own Interior Design business in Stratfford Upon Avon after completing her Diploma with the National Design Academy (NDA). She took some time to talk to us about her experiences studying at NDA and setting up her business.

Kaitlyn originally trained as a hair designer and beauty therapist, running her own salon at the age of 22. She said: “The salon was just an empty shell when I acquired it, with bare plaster walls and a concrete floor. This was my first interior design project and where my passion for it all began.”

Five years later Kaitlyn purchased a large Grade II listed residential property with the aim to convert it for commercial use as a day spa. It took three planning appeals over a period of five years: “It was both the most rewarding and frustrating experience I have ever had, working with planning officers, conservation architects, English Heritage and the fire department; all with a strict criteria of what could and couldn’t be done to the building.” The property had been empty for seven years and the renovation was a big project. During this time Kaitlyn also bought her first house, a cottage, which she also decided to fully renovate, pulling down ceilings and exposing beams.

Kaitlyn was working as a Spa consultant, designing health and beauty spas when she changed direction completely and trained to be a psychotherapist: “I missed using my creativity and realised that continuously redecorating my house wasn’t really fulfilling my passion for interiors. So that is when I decided to get some formal training and embark on my interior design career with the National Design Academy (NDA).

“I was very apprehensive about doing the Diploma and went through all kinds of self doubt and worry, thinking: ‘Will I be good enough?’ I had fears about not being able to draw free hand and technical drawing terrified me! However, once the course started, I was able to put my fears behind me. It is broken down into manageable sections so you can fully understand the material and if you need clarification, the tutors are very helpful and quick to respond to emails and calls; the tuition I received could not have been better.

“I love the whole process – sourcing products and finding that ‘just right’ something that fits into the design scheme. Seeing the finished product is always so rewarding.”

With her passion for Interior Design and an NDA Diploma under her belt, Kaitlyn has recently opened her own Interior Design shop in the centre of Stratford upon Avon.

“At the shop we sell lighting, furniture, home accessories, art and gifts. We also offer an interior design and home styling and staging service. The shop has a boutique feel to it and stocks an eclectic mix of stylish contemporary on-trend statement pieces.”

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