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Student Spotlight: Hayley Fellows-Prior, Professional Interior Design

From Corporate HR to Interior Designer

Hayley Fellows-Prior has always had a creative mind. At the age of 7, she reimagined her bedroom, drawing out floorplans with optional decoration styles until she settled on the perfect scheme. Since then, Hayley has gone on to have multiple careers whilst raising her family.  

Read on to discover how and why National Design Academy student Hayley decided she needed to move from a career in HR to interior design.

What made you want to get into Interior Design?

I’ve always been creative. When I was little, around 7 or 8, I used to draw out floorplans of my bedroom and experimented with different decoration styles. I also really enjoyed looking at art and drawing, so it made sense that I’d get into interior design or something creative…. eventually! 

In 2021, I left my corporate HR role after realising I was feeling stifled and a little unhappy with the rigidness that can come from working in a corporate environment. I knew I needed to make a change. During lockdown in 2020, I started upcycling old furniture and loved it! So, when I left my job, I bit the bullet and set up my own furniture artistry and restoration business. I have since started a family too. It was during my maternity leave this year, that I decided to study Interior Design and dip my toes into that world. I loved it, and I haven’t looked back!

Who is your biggest design inspiration?

That’s a tough one! I’m forever being inspired by new influences and people. I tend to take inspiration from nature, Pinterest, travelling, and art. I also love interior magazines and enjoy discovering new trends. I based the colour of my family kitchen snug on purple hydrangeas in the autumn – so I take inspiration from just about anything that catches my eye! I really like Sophie Robinson’s bold use of colour and pattern – I like brave designers.

How would you describe your style in 3 words?

Currently, it’s bold, earthy, and warm. I’m very fluid; I feel like my style changes all the time and I’m sure it will change again soon.

What was your favourite unit/module of the course?

I really enjoyed Unit 08: Professional Interior Design Project. I love working to a client brief and adapting my designs to fit around the client’s wants and needs. I enjoyed pulling together a room scheme, creating different concept boards, and furniture planning! I loved being able to bring everything together. 

How did you find studying with the National Design Academy?

I studied the Professional Interior Design Online Fast-Track course in between working and caring for my toddler. It was challenging, but I loved the course so much, I was willing to fit it all in! The Virtual Learning Studio was easy to use, and the resources given were brilliant.

You've now finished your Diploma, what are you doing next?

Since finishing the course, I have launched my Interior Design services to my small business. I’m super excited for the journey and I’m looking forward for things to come.

What would be your dream project?

I love residential design, but I would love to design a commercial space, such as a restaurant or hotel lobby. I’d get such a buzz from lots of people enjoying one of my designs.

Which projects are you most proud of? Can you describe them?

Unit 08 – Young Couples’ Bedroom

I needed to merge both MCM and Victorian Maximalism for this client. I loved the way the design came together and how creative the brief allowed me to be. I went for a Romantic Maximalism concept, and used luxurious, rich colours with a statement mural wall, whilst incorporating MCM elements within the lighting and furniture.

Kitchen Makeover

I have recently designed our kitchen after undertaking a home renovation. I used a colour palette of greens, dark woods, plum, warm white, and gold accents. I’m really pleased with the result.  The colours are very warming in the autumn, and still fresh and zingy in the spring/summer. I decided to use open shelving instead of wall cupboards, which really opened the space.

Living Room Makeover 

I love a painted ceiling. I believe it adds a whole new dimension to a room. We recently painted our ceiling a deep terracotta colour, and it makes the room really ‘pop’.

Anything else you would like to share?

If anyone is thinking of doing the diploma course, but they’re undecided, my advice would be to go for it!

Study Our Professional Interior Design Diploma Online, In-Studio or Via Zoom.

Hayley decided to fast-track her Professional Interior Design Diploma and studied on Zoom. We have flexible options of study, to suit everyone’s needs!

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