- Start young and see what excites you
We hard an old room in my parents home which was suppose to be my senior sisters room, but she nerve made use of it so I took it over decorated it, furnished it and even put wallpaper up, so I sort of started interior design at quite a young age.
2.Believe in yourself
l got into university at an older age (22yrs)and then I did a year of retakes. It is so important to believe in yourself, and tell yourself that it is going to be ok. Hard know form of encouragement or pointer from families so I made a lot of mistakes while growing up, in Africa hardly will any parent tell you they love you (at lest not mine) or point you to the right direction without condemning you first (please don’t get me wrong my parent love me) so I made a lot of bad friends and wrong decisions. So that meant I wasn’t particularly confident when I started out and I didn’t feel great about myself then. I was quite badly dyslexic and everything was a bit of a struggle, apart from the arts. Reading, writing and spelling were all a bit tricky.
3.Practice your maths, it’s not all choosing lovely curtains
I think it is very competitive now. I would always encourage people to stay in education for as long as they can, really. I think it shows staying power, demonstrates a certain seriousness about things and allows you to get your thoughts in order.
Getting some sort of grounding in architectural interior design is a very good thing to do. You need to learn to do things like scale drawings and maths is very important too. It’s not all choosing lovely curtains and fabrics!
- Consider an internship
I would totally encourage people to go for internships. They give you an experience of the industry that you want to be in and allow you to find out if it is the right one for you. It means that you start from the bottom and you get access to amazing talent in the real world.
- Don’t blow the budget
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make a room look and feel good. Time frames and budget constraints are probably the most difficult thing to manage about the job. People don’t want to spend too much money and if you go over budget, then people understandably get upset.
I’ll make suggestions and put together a mood board using images from books and magazines. Try and get all your ideas in one place visually, from bits of fabric to tiles to floor finishes, put all the bits you might want to use together and see if they work together on paper, that is always a good place to start.
I get my inspiration from all over the place; books, magazines, the internet, shops and my relatives of course!
A long time ago, when I first had my flat in surulere, I painted my sitting room yellow and blue. I thought it would be a good idea, but it wasn’t and it was hideous! I was 26 years old, I was brave and I thought this could work, this could be fabulous.
It didn’t and it wasn’t, but some of the other things I tried did – and I think it’s important to be brave. When you’re spending someone else’s money steer clear of something you think might be a mistake, but do try and be brave. Otherwise we’d all live in a very grey world, wouldn’t we!
7.Don’t aim for perfection
Things don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. If you go into a room and it’s all perfect, you don’t feel comfortable. A home interior is not an abstract thing, it is about people, it’s about the way you feel, the way you interact. It’s about family and friends; it’s the backdrop to your life.
If things are too perfect then it is without character, it’s not good to be too precious about something. The more you strive for perfection, the more it disappears. Don’t aim for perfection, try to create a relaxed environment, that’s what I think is important.
8.Look for inspiration in everything and get to know your clients
I get my inspiration from all over the place; books, magazines, the Internet, shops and my relatives of course!
My husband has been incredibly supportive of me and encouraging and it’s lovely.
Thinking about how a room is going to make you feel is essential. That is what good interior design does. It’s about creating an atmosphere. You absolutely have to know something about the people you are designing a space for. You need to find out about the way they lead their life, which rooms they use the most and you must always consider form and function.
When it comes to making decisions about colour, my advice is to do it slowly. Try colours on a small area of the walls you want to paint and look at them at different times of day. It’s about instinct and how it makes you feel again. Always try things before you make any final decisions.
Lighting is also essential because it’s all to do with mood. I like to have lots of different light sources, low level lighting as well as ceiling lights and I like to have quite a lot of control over them as well, with lots of different switches and dimmers.
The functionality and the atmosphere are the most important things to get right. The fabrics, the floor coverings, the furniture the lighting are the tools that you use to create that. Don’t make rushed decisions if you can help it, apply a process of elimination approach if you can. The more you do it, the more confident you will become in your decision making.
- Be empathetic and think about how a room makes you feel
You’ve got to be able to empathise with your client. Being an interior designer can mean lots of things, there’s a little bit of being a nanny in there, a little bit of psychology and lots of empathy.
When you have designed a space or an object or anything really and the client loves it, that is why I do what I do. That is the best feeling and the best thing about the job. If you create something and you put it out there and you know that somebody else is genuinely thrilled with it, then that is your reward and there is no better feeling!