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On my path to being Nigeria’s top Interior designer, I have a learned a few things along the way that every interior design schools in Lagos should know, teach their students and inculcate into their interior design syllabus. Below are some of my personal take when it comes to teaching interior design in schools in Lagos.

Rule #1: Understand construction. As an upcoming interior designer I would advise as an expert that if you ever want to truly understand good interior design and decoration, you MUST understand the basic principles of building construction (both exterior and interior). How can you design anything if you don’t understand how it was built? Also, it never hurts to be familiar with the newest building trends, processes and technologies. If you pick one rule to follow on this list, this should be the one.

Rule #2: To us Interior Designers less is always more. For me, my key motto in life is ‘LESS IS MORE’, this I have adhered to and this, I have always taught my students at Simplinteriors School of Interior Design and Entrepreneurship. Have you ever seen a project where you walked away asking yourself, “What was that interior designer thinking? In your strife for simplicity, it forces you to think outside the box in order to achieve the desired design. Hence, forcing you to make intentional design choices rather than just filling up the space with visual clutter. Simplicity does not have to mean minimal, sparse or boring. It simply means that the design is true to itself by achieving a consistent design expression throughout.

Rule #3: Good Interior design does not have to always subjective. Do you remember those interior design principles you learned about during some of our introductory design blog posts on becoming a professional interior design? They are important! In my School of Interior Design and Entrepreneurship, my students know how importance the following are: Balance, Emphasis, Movement, Pattern, Repetition, Proportion, Rhythm, Variety, Unity; all of these design principles matter a great deal and we have all seen what happens when these principles are not followed or understood. If you follow these basic principles as an interior designer your chances of success will be exponentially greater.

Rule #4: Never spend more time selecting products than you do designing space. Creating and designing space is the single biggest opportunity you have to impact on any project. That’s why we Interior designers work hand in hand with architects, students and upcoming interior designers to create functional space. Once you create the space, selecting the materials to finish it comes naturally.

Rule #5: Respond to the architecture. Where you find yourself working with (or for) an architectural firm, the worst thing you can do is let your ego push you into thinking that what you alone want to do is paramount on a project. Instead, work closely with the architectural team to ensure that your interior design is consistent with the overall architectural design. If you do this, I promise you that your working relationships with architects will greatly improve.

Rule #6: Be a good steward of resources. As much as it pains me to say this, most of the top interior designers in Lagos are essentially “super consumers.” Because of this, each of us has the responsibility to think about the life cycle of our designs and to allow for future flexibility wherever possible. Also, we all need to make sure that our designs are based on sustainable principles and that we use as many sustainable products as possible. Anything less is simply wasteful and irresponsible.

Rule #7: Do your research. In Simplinteriors School of Interior Design and Entrepreneurship we teach our students the importance of an in-depth research to give them updates. The Interior Design area is flexible and ever evolving. Change, we know is constant and this is so in interior design world. Luckily, information about new trends, new technologies, and new products is everywhere and thanks to the Internet, easier than ever to find. It’s so easy to find the information you need that ignorance is simply not an option.

Rule #8: Lighting, Lighting, Lighting! Without good lighting, even the best designs will fail. This, I always emphasize on, on my blog posts as well as in my interior design school during interior design training with Interior Designers. No exceptions. Getting the lighting right is absolutely essential. If you don’t understand lighting it’s time to start doing your homework.

Rule #9: Stay inspired. The vast majority of Interior Designers in Lagos are in this creative profession by choice. You owe it to yourself, your employer and your clients to stay inspired. Figure out what inspires you to be at your creative best and make sure that this activity (or activities) is an integral part of your life experience. Just staying in the creative thought process will help ensure you will be vastly more creative when you need to be.

Rule #10: Be the expert. You are the expert and your client hired you for that reason. Though they say the client is always right when they are paying you for your time and expertise, it is very important to speak up when they need a nudge in the right direction. Never be afraid to advise your client. But also remember they are the ones spending the cash. LoL!!!! For more on this you can subscribe to my channel on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Also enroll for any of our programmes at Simplinteriors School of Interior Design and Entrepreneurship situated 71, Falolu Street, off Akerele rd, Surulere, Lagos.

I look forward to writing you more amazing pieces.

Joy Ofili Yebovi

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