Blog | The Home Design School

How to Get an Interior Design Portfolio When You’re Just Starting Out

Back in the olden days, when you wanted to find a local tradesperson or professional you would grab your copy of the Yellow Pages. 

Remember that?

A giant yellow directory, filled with telephone numbers of all of the businesses in your local area.

Or instead, you might speak to a friend and ask for a recommendation.

Or you might look for a card in the window of your local post office.

(Yes, young 'uns, that's how we used to roll!)

Today of course, things are radically different.

Thank goodness.

If you want to find something, what do you do?

You google it.

And you click on the first few links that come up on page one right?

If someone is looking for some help with interior design, this is exactly what they do. They open google and they type something along the lines of:

interior designer <INSERT NAME OF TOWN THEY LIVE IN>

This means three important things for your interior design business:

  1. You need to have a website
  2. You need to get it onto page one of google
  3. Your website needs to be enticing enough for people to contact you.

Setting up a website and ranking on google (getting to the top of their search results) are huge topics, which we're not diving into today, but we are going to look at how to make your website enticing enough to make people want to call you.

So how do you do this?

By having a portfolio of course!

Actually, your whole website is essentially a portfolio. Your potential customers will be judging you on the look and feel of your site, the words you use, and (most importantly) the imagery and photography you use.

Photography- examples of your work- are top of the list when it comes to someone deciding whether to make contact with you- or not. The client wants to see what you can produce, and what you will create for them. They want to know you are a good fit.

Now, that's all very well for those designers who have worked on lots of projects, and have wonderful photos to show. But what do you do if you are a newbie?

What if you've never had an actual, real, paying client before?

What if you don't have those wonderful after shots?

In an ideal world, of course, you will have those images, but if you don't, here's what you can do to bring a portfolio together:

1. Be clear in your branding

Your website is a showcase of what style of interior design you offer, and what sorts of services you offer. It can be really tempting when you are starting out to think that that you will serve anyone and everyone, but that's a seriously bad idea. (Click here to see why).

Let's say you want to design modern country interiors. Your branding needs to show this: from the fonts you use to the colour schemes you choose, to the images that you present.

If you want to design modern country interiors then make sure that every image you have on your site fits in with that style. If you designed an art deco room for your friend as a favour, don't put those images on your website, no matter how impressive they are, as they send out a confusing message. 

Your website visitor will click away within seconds if they don't think that the look and feel of your website suits them.

2. Use your own home

If you've never had a client before and you don't have any photographs of projects you've worked on, using images from your own home can work well. Most people who go into interior design are passionate about what they do, and they will have 'cut their teeth' on decorating their own home. You may also have been asked by friends and family to help them with a decorating project, so use this work to showcase your designs.

Just because it wasn't paid, doesn't mean it isn't valid!

Remember, you don't have to take photographs of a whole room. You can create small vignettes or style a small corner of a room to give a taste of your style.

3. Hire an Interiors Photographer

The thought of hiring a photographer may seem a bit scary at first, or like an unnecessary expense. However, a good interiors photographer is worth their weight in gold. The angles that they see, the way they use light, the quality of the equipment (and hence the results they get) are not easy to replicate by yourself. If you can stretch your budget to hiring a photographer, it is highly recommended, but make sure that you do your research first. Just because someone calls themselves a photographer, doesn't mean they're good. And how do you know if they are good? By looking at their portfolio of course!

4. Create Design Boards & Sketches

Even if you have never worked with a real live client before, you can still show off your design skills, on designs you have created. Professional looking design boards, floor plans and elevations showcase your work, and they are easy to create from the comfort of your own home.

Try to show the whole process, with examples of client briefs, concept boards, design boards, floor plans and elevations.

5. Testimonials

Testimonials are a little trickier to get, but not impossible! Think about who you could ask for a testimonial. Perhaps you have given a friend some interior design advice that was helpful, or maybe you went shopping with a relative to help them pick out fabrics. 

If you'd like some help to get your interior design business up and running, why not come and join our community, where you get coaching, support and training to run your UK based interior design business.

Click the image below for more information.

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WHEN INTERIOR DESIGN SCHOOL FINISHES… What’s next?

When I finished my interior design qualification, I was pretty pleased with myself.

I was now the proud owner of an official piece of paper, a certificate that was my proof that I was now an interior designer.

Only there was a problem. 

I didn't know what to do next!

I mean, the piece of paper said that I was an interior designer, but I didn't really feel like an interior designer.

In fact, I felt like a fraud.

And scared. 

Like real scared.

What did I do next? 

Should I go and get a job to see how a design firm operates? Should I contact some interior designers and ask if I could do some work experience with them? Should I just dive in and start my own business?

But I don't know anything about getting customers. Or how to set up a website. Or how to use social media for anything other than keeping in touch with my friends. 

Or even, if I could have admitted it to myself, whether I was even good enough at design to work for a client. #secretconfessions

I had all of these ideas whirring around my head, and no-one to show me what to do. 

I was in a panic. 

Can you relate?

You see, I've met many people who are struggling with exactly the same thoughts. And it doesn't just affect new designers, it can affect designers who already run their own business, as well as people transitioning from other disciplines like soft furnishings into interior design. 

We second guess ourselves, we doubt our skills and knowledge and we let the FEAR get the better of us.

But it doesn't have to be like this. 

Let's get started by getting clear on your strategy. Grab my free download, which is a roadmap, outlining the first steps you need to set you on the path to success in your business. 

GDPR for Interior Designers

​We've been hearing a lot about GDPR recently. In fact it's everywhere. My own inbox has been littered with emails from different companies, all talking about GDPR. But what is it, and why do I need to know about this for my interior design business?

What is GDPR?

GDPR is a new EU law, which comes into force on 25th May 2018.

GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulations. The aim of the legislation is to protect the personal data of individuals, and to make sure that any businesses that deal with people's data have the right permissions to do so. 

What's this got to do with me? I'm an interior designer!

Every business that deals with the data of anyone who lives in the EU needs to make sure that they are compliant with the legislation by 25th May.

So if you run an interior design business, you are a freelance interior designer, or you run a related business, like a soft furnishings or painting and decorating business, and you gather data about people, you need to be compliant.

I don't live in the EU so it doesn't affect me, right?

Wrong! 

Even if you live outside of the EU, the legislation still applies to you!

So if you have anyone from the EU visiting your website, where you have cookies installed (uh, that's most of us!) or you have EU members on your mailing list, you need to comply.

Sorry!

​​​​What does it mean by 'personal data'?

Personal data includes anything about a person. So that can be their name, their email address, their photograph and even their IP address.

It includes personal data not just about customers, but also about suppliers, former employees and so on. Basically, anyone whose personal data you hold.

I don't gather personal data about my customers so that doesn't affect me, right?

Even though you may not think you gather data about people, it is likely that you do! If someone visits your website, for example, it could be that your website stores a visitor's IP address (the unique code that tells you where the visitor is located). 

Even if you don't look at this data, it's still there, and you still need to comply with the legislation.

What happens if I don't comply?

There is a lot of scaremongering out there about what will happen to you if you don't comply.  

The official line is this: if someone reports you to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for non-compliance, you could end up with a hefty fine. Fines are discretionary (so you may just get a warning at first) but fines can be up to 4% of turnover, or a maximum of 20 million euros.

Yikes! 

However, in reality, there's not exactly a queue of people lining up to police what you're doing, so the chances of you getting caught are probably quite slim. And if someone does make a complaint about you, you are likely to get a warning first of all, especially if you have taken steps to try to comply with the legislation. 

However, if you haven't taken any steps to comply, then you may not be treated as lightly. You really can't bury your head in the sand about this!

OK, I get it. I need to comply. So what do I need to do?

Let me give you a few pointers to get you on the right track. Please note that this advice does not replace legal counsel, and you should seek professional advice to ensure you are compliant. This is simply my own interpretation of what you need to do.

1. Hold a data audit

If you are not clear on what data you hold, it might be time to hold a data audit. Data includes information stored anywhere: on a computer, a phone, a cloud storage system or on paper. 

Answering these questions can help:

  1. What types of data do you hold?
  2. Why do you hold this data?
  3. Do you need to store this data?
  4. How do you store this data?
  5. Do you have consent to store this data?

You should document what data you collect, how you collect and process it, and how it is stored and protected.

If you find that you are holding data which is unnecessary, or for which you have not obtained consent, you need to delete it. 

2. Review your Website's Privacy Notice

If you already have a privacy notice on your website, that's a great start! However, you now need to check it to make sure that it is GDPR compliant. And if you don't have one already, make sure that you've sorted this out by 25th May!

A privacy notice tells your site visitors what sorts of data you collect, why you have collected it, how it is stored and how it is going to be used.

According to the ICO, your privacy notice must be "concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible ... written in clear and plain language... and free of charge".

To make your privacy notice easily accessible, most people place a link to it in the footer of their website. This link should be on every page of your website, every landing page and every opt in form.

To check that your privacy notice covers all bases, check out the ICO's checklist >here<.

There are templates that you can download to help you to create a GDPR compliant privacy policy, but remember that it is your responsibility to make sure that you are meeting the requirements of GDPR, and you cannot blame a third party template if you later find out that it did not meet the requirements.

3. Have a Cookie Policy in Place

No, we're not talking about biscuits...

Cookies are pieces of information that are stored on your computer when you visit a website. Cookies are used to gather information about a visitor, such as to identify whether a visitor has visited that website before, and they can be used to serve specific adverts to people, to 'remember' what was in their shopping basket and so on.

If you use Facebook advertising, or Google analytics, you will be using cookies on your website, and so you will need a cookie policy, in addition to your privacy policy.

You can have a link to your cookie policy in the footer of your website.

If you are using a WordPress.org website, there are various plugins you can use to notify visitors that you use cookies on your site. I'm sure you've seen these on many websites you have visited. They just ask you to click that you know they are using cookies, and that you consent. Catapult Themes Cookie Consent, Cookie Notice by dFactory or CookieBot are good options.

4. Obtain Consent

If you gather information about people (for example their name and email address) to put them on an email list, you must make sure that you receive consent.

According to the ICO, consent must be "freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous". 

This means that someone has to actively opt in, with the emphasis being on the word actively. You know when some websites have a box which is already ticked, and you have to untick it to take your consent away? That's not going to cut it in the new world of GDPR. A tick box is fine, but it needs to be blank, and for the visitor to actively tick it to give their consent. A double opt in (where the visitor also has to go to their inbox and confirm their address is also a good idea).

There also needs to be a way for someone to remove their consent. Most email service providers deal with this for you, by giving an 'unsubscribe' link at the bottom of the email. 

You may wish to check with your email service provider (e.g. Mailchimp, Convertkit, Activecampaign) to see how they are complying with GDPR.


So, if you run an interior design business, make sure that you get compliant by 25th May!

If you've found this useful, and you'd like to come and join our monthly membership, click >>here<< to read more about it. 

WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER GIVE A FREE INTERIOR DESIGN CONSULTATION

I often see interior designers offering free interior design consultations, and, quite honestly, it makes my heart bleed when I see it happening. 

I totally get the thinking behind it.

If the client can book you with no obligation, they will be more inclined to make an appointment. After all, it's a no risk strategy for them, right? You know that when you get to the client's home, you can charm them with your wonderful insight and skills, and they will hire you in a heartbeat. It's a low-risk strategy for you too.

Right?

Except it doesn't usually work that way.

Here's what actually happens a lot of the time... 

You spend time speaking with a client, and you book a visit to their home. You pack up your portfolio, some samples, your camera, perhaps your measuring tools, and you head out to the client's home. You arrive, you see the space, you talk to them about what they want to achieve.

So far so good.

But then come the questions.

Which colours would you recommend? Do you think this furniture is too big for the space? I can't decide between roman blinds or venetian; what do you think?

And all of a sudden, you find yourself in a sticky situation.

What are the options here?

Option 1: Answer the Questions

If you answer all of the client's questions, you are likely to have solved the exact problem that they would have been paying you for. 

You've spent the best part of your afternoon preparing your resources, travelling to and from the client and spending an hour or more delivering the consultation. For what? For nothing! 

And not only have you done yourself out of income, but it has actually cost you money because you have used your time (which equals money), and transport costs to see the client in the first place!

There is an opportunity cost too, which means that if you hadn't been visiting this time-waster client, you could have been making money seeing a better client. One that was going to pay you!

Option 2: Avoid the Questions- be vague!

Some designers deal with these questions differently, of course. You could try to dodge their questions, giving vague answers and sort of alluding to the fact that the process is mysterious but that you have all the answers.

Good luck with that one!

This strategy clearly isn't ideal: it leaves the client frustrated because you haven't helped them at all. They may be left wondering whether you have the skills and know-how to help them out. They will certainly think you are being avoidant or, even worse, being 'salesy'. Yuck.

So, what do you do instead?

A better way to deal with initial consultations is to charge a fee for your time. This filters out time wasters and only gets clients to book you, who are serious about investing in their project. If they won't pay your fee to have your expertise, then they are unlikely to value the service you provide. 

I'm going to say that again.

If they won't pay your fee to have your expertise, then they are unlikely to value the service you provide.

Expertise. 

That is what you bring. 

Your expertise has been acquired and honed through years of studying, research, and experience, and that expertise is valuable. 

Commit to working only with customers who recognise your specialist skills. 

When you offer a 1:1 service like interior design, your time is a valuable resource. There are only so many hours in a day, and therefore there is a ceiling to the time that you can give.

The amount of time you have available directly affects the income you can earn.

If you are wasting those hours speaking with people, emailing people, visiting people who are not going to pay you, then you are wasting your limited resources.

By charging for an initial consultation, you filter out the time wasters, you value your expertise, and you invite in a better quality of customer. 

Of course, another great strategy is to offer the consultation fee back to them if they hire you and spent a certain amount. But it still means that you are not wasting your time on people who never had any intention of hiring you in the first place.

If you'd like some help with your interior design business, why not come and join our monthly membership, where you get coaching, support and training to make your business profitable. Click >>here<< for more details.  

Until next time x


WHY IS BUSINESS BRANDING SO IMPORTANT FOR INTERIOR DESIGNERS

Let's talk branding.

Branding is important for any business, but it's tenfold more important for interior designers.

Why?

I'll get to that in a little minute.

But first, let's just make sure we're all on the same page here.

What is branding?

When we think about branding, we think about colours and fonts, and what imagery we use, right?

Well, that is right, but there's so much more to it.

Branding, essentially, is the way that you communicate what your business is all about. It's about your values, what you want your business to represent, what you want it to say about yourself and the things that are important to you.

That's pretty deep right?

So why is this so much more important for interior designers than for other businesses?

Essentially, it's because Interior design is a visual business. People employ you because they like the look of the stuff you put out into the world.

People will judge you by the look of your website, what you post on social media, the work that you do in other people's homes.

They correlate what your website looks like with what you will do with their home.

And so your website, and everything else you put out into the public sphere has to be a living, breathing display of the style that you hold dear in your heart.

Sound a bit dramatic? Well maybe, but let's take a look at a few examples.

Here is the website of one of the UK's most famous designers, Kelly Hoppen:

KELLY HOPPEN

As you'd expect from Kelly, her website is neutral (taupe, anyone?), it is classic, clean lined and understated. The fonts are simple, the shapes and uncomplicated and patterns are scarce.

But let me say that again in case you missed it.

As you'd expect.

You see, you are already so familiar with Kelly Hoppen's brand that you know what you will get if you employ her.

When you think "Kelly Hoppen" you think "neutral", "clean lines", "minimalist".

That is her brand.

You wouldn't employ Kelly Hoppen if you wanted a loud and proud flambouyant design would you?

 Talking of which...
Lawrence Lewellyn Bowen

Yep, you can guess without being told that this is the site of Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen. He's loud, he's flamboyant, he's quirky and his designs match his personality. And his brand reflects all of those qualities. Do you think if you employ this designer, you're going to get an understated scheme?

No way!

Let's look at a final example. This is the website of Sophie Robinson (she of The Great Interior Design Challenge fame).
Sophie Robinson

Sophie is renowned for her use of bright colours, bold patterns and quirky accessories.

And so how does her branding look?

Of course. It's brightly coloured, it uses bold patterns and quirky accessories. It is a showcase of her style.

What Kelly, Lawrence and Sophie all achieve is congruence. Congruence between how they like to design, and how they brand themselves.

And you need to do this too.

Why do I want to brand myself?

Understandably, people get a little scared when I say that they should brand themselves in this way.

Won't it put people off?

Won't it mean that I won't be able to serve everyone?

Well yes!

It will indeed put people off!

But that's a good thing.

You want to put the wrong people off, and attract the right people.

Your ideal clients.

The Holy Grail of Interior Design.

You see, if you are a Kelly Hoppen type designer, and you are contracted to design a Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen type scheme, are you going to feel comfortable? Are you going to really "get" your customer? Get into their groove? Are you going to deliver the best possible design for them? Will you really enjoy designing a scheme that grates with your own style?

No, no and no.

The best designers set out their stall, showcasing the type of work they do, the look they achieve, what their design style is.

If you'd like to know more about how to achieve congruence in your branding, come and join our monthly membership, where I hold your hand to create a winning brand for your business, and so much more. Read more about it >>here<<.

WHAT TOOLS DO YOU NEED TO SET UP AN INTERIOR DESIGN BUSINESS?

WHAT TOOLS DO YOU NEED TO SET UP AN INTERIOR DESIGN BUSINESS?

Starting up a business can be expensive. In most businesses the overheads can soon stack up: premises, council tax, rates, and of course stock. Start-up costs can be so expensive that it puts many people off from starting.

However, the age of the internet has made it more accessible than ever to start your own business, and the once-prohibitive costs are becoming increasingly less.

So what do you need to get going?

1. Training

I always recommend that people complete some form of training in interior design. Even if you have a knack for design and an “eye for it” there is so much more to learn, about how to manage clients, how to advertise your business and how to maximise your profits for example.

2. Tech Tools

Quite simply, I mean a phone and a computer. As well as being the main tool you will use to create your designs, a computer will enable you to have a website, run your social media and to manage initial consultations from clients. A mobile phone allows you to speak to clients directly, which allows you to build rapport.

3. A Web Presence

Whether you are a techy or not, the first place that people will go to find out about you and your business is the internet. You need to have a “shop front” on the internet; at least a Facebook page but more ideally a website with examples of your work. Using social media to attract clients is a key tool, and something that I teach in my monthly membership.

4. A portfolio

And talking about examples of your work, most potential clients will want to see a portfolio of your work. If you have studied with me, this is not a problem because you build a portfolio as you complete the work. You can also use images of rooms that you have decorated in your own home.

5. Confidence

You don’t start your own business unless you have a certain level of confidence about your skills and what you are doing. Now don’t worry if you don’t have that to begin with. Through your studies, you will begin to gain confidence about your skill level, and by joining our supportive community you get access to advice and trainings to help you with client questions, as well as business and marketing questions.

If you’d like to train with The Home Design School, >>click here<<.

If you’d like to join our membership site, >>click here<<

DO I REALLY NEED AN INTERIOR DESIGN QUALIFICATION?

Want the short answer?

It’s No!

… and Yes!

Huh?

Let me explain…

You see, in the UK there is no formal requirement for anyone to study interior design. You can start up an interior design practice tomorrow and start serving clients immediately, without a qualification to your name. Indeed, many people do, and some people make a big success of it.

And yet, if you want to go and work for a big interior design firm, you are usually expected to have some form of formal interior design education, if not a full blown degree.

But if you simply want to start up a small practice of your own, or work for a smaller local interior designer, is there any point in spending time and money to get yourself trained if there is no legal requirement to?

 A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that because they are good at decorating their own homes, they will be a good interior designer. But there’s a lot more to it than that!

Let’s have a look at some of the ways that an interior design qualification can help you:

1. Problem Solving Skills

Interior design is mostly about problem solving. Clients come to you often because they have tried- and failed- to solve a problem in their home, and they are looking to you for your specialist skills to help them. An interior design qualification gives you the framework you need to problem-solve, making sure that you don’t miss out any steps in the process.

2. Sensitive Communication

Secondly, interior design is about good communication. It’s about understanding what can and can’t be achieved, as well as how to manage that communication sensitively with your client. An interior design qualification gives you the skills to handle these situations.

3. Credibility

Credibility for an interior designer comes from the projects they have worked on, but what do you do if you are just starting out? How can you get that credibility? Being able to show that you have some formal education gives you a base level of credibility with your clients, until your portfolio speaks for itself.

4. Portfolio

And speaking of portfolio, an interior design qualification is usually a practical course and throughout your studies, you will be creating your portfolio as you go. The concept boards, design boards, drawings and elevations you create during your qualification can all be used as a starter portfolio to get you going once you qualify.

5. Contacts

Studying interior design puts you in contact with people who are at the same stage of learning as you, as well as putting you in touch with your tutor who has a whole network of professionals. In addition to this, your training should see you putting together a ‘little black book’ of fellow professional contacts from within the industry, such as upholsterers, decorators and so so on.

6. Confidence

And last but not least, an interior design qualification can give you the confidence you need to get started on a career in interior design. Having some knowledge and a network of contacts stands you in good stead to make a success of your business. And of course, The Home Design School also offers a monthly membership, where you can get advice, coaching and support to help you grow your business and make it profitable.

If you’re thinking of toying with studying interior design, I am running a high quality interior design qualification (accredited by Ofqual, the UK body for qualification) starting on May 1st 2018. Come on over to our Facebook group to ask me more about it.

COULD STUDYING INTERIOR DESIGN BE THE START OF A NEW CAREER FOR YOU?

I recently attended a careers’ evening at my daughter’s secondary school, and I was blown away by the number of different career options that were available to her. There were stalls from companies in all sorts of walks of life, and so much choice. 

It made me think back to the careers’ guidance I’d had at school which was woefully lacking, and how I’d had no idea what direction to take my life in. I ended up going to university and coming out with a foreign language degree before eventually training as a teacher.

It wasn’t until much later in life that I realised my passion for interior design, and then later still that I was bold enough to make a change.

In fact, I was in my mid thirties by the time I came to study interior design, rejecting every career move I had made before then!

But you see, the funny thing is, I wasn’t the oldest on my course. And for the students that come to study with me in The Home Design School, most people are in their forties, fifties and beyond. 

Some people question whether it really is possible to change career later in life, and I’m here to tell you that it is indeed possible, and I’m here to support you through the process. You see, it’s not age that’s the barrier, it’s the mindset. 

Once you get your head around the fact that you’re never too old to change your path in life, a whole new wonderful world can open up to you.

At The Home Design School, we are running our first ever accredited ceritficate course starting on May 1st 2018, and the doors are open now for registration. This will give you the qualification you need to forge a new career in interior design. 

And not only that, once you’ve finished your studies, you can then join our monthly membership to get help and support in how to set up and run your own business. 

If you’d like to dip your toe in the water and see if this is for you, why not head on over to our Facebook group to ask me all about it.

7 TELL-TALE SIGNS YOU SHOULD BE AN INTERIOR DESIGNER

Interior Designer Samples

Before I became an interior designer, there were so many clues that this was what I was meant to be doing with my life that I now can’t believe it took me so long for the penny to drop. You see, not everyone is as mad passionate about interior design and good looking homes as I am, and I had no idea that this was something I should pay attention to.

It seems glaringly obvious in retrospect, but not at the time.

So here are some of the tell-tale signs that I should have spotted beforehand. which were staring at me square in the face. How many of these can you relate to?

1. THE VISITOR QUESTION

When visitors come to your house for the first time, they often ask, “Are you an interior designer?” or at the very least they comment upon how lovely your home is. This is not normal! Most people do not have gorgeous homes. If people say this to you, it should be ringing some bells for you.

2. YOUR PINTEREST BOARDS

Your Pinterest boards are full of photos of gorgeous rooms, and possibly the odd colour scheme thrown in. Oh yes. In fact it wasn’t until I was looking at my friend’s Pinterest board that I realised this. Hers was full of cats! Until that moment, I had no idea that Pinterest could be used for anything other than interior design pictures.

3. YOU NOTICE RESTAURANT DECOR

Whenever you go out to restaurants or nice hotels, the first thing that you notice is the decor. Again, this isn’t particularly normal. If you do this, pay attention to why this might be!

4. YOU CAN’T WATCH A COSTUME DRAMA

Similarly, if you are watching a costume drama (or in fact any other programme on the TV) you are more interested in the design of the houses and the backdrops of the stately homes rather than the costumes the actors are wearing.

5. YOUR FACEBOOK FEED

Your facebook feed is full of blogs and comments from interior design bloggers, DIY and decor groups.

6. INTERIOR DESIGN PROGRAMMES

You get excited when you realise that the next season of The Great British Interior Design Challenge is about to start (even though most of the designs are a bit iffy to say the least).

7. YOU ARE OBSESSED WITH DECORATING YOUR HOME

If your partner groans that you want to decorate yet another room- again- and your idea of a fun day out involves looking at the haberdashery in John Lewis and the paint aisle in B&Q you sure as hell need to listen to this. Most people get their homes to an acceptable standard and then stop. Not us!

How many of those could you relate to?

If, like me, you are starting to get some alarm bells ringing, and you would like to dip your toe in the water and see whether interior design could be the start of a new career for you, why not come and start your journey by joining us for our level 2 qualification starting in Spring 2018?

Find out more >>here<<

MY JOURNEY INTO INTERIOR DESIGN

 

Kate Hatherell Interior Designer Teacher

Back in 2010 I was working as a school teacher in a local primary school. I was teaching classes of 30+ children, I was a member of the Senior Leadership Team with a responsibility for curriculum development and quite frankly, I was as miserable as sin.

I loved teaching, and of course I loved the children I taught. Unlike most teachers, it wasn’t just the constant bashing from Ofsted, the long hours and the tonnes of paperwork that were dragging me down, but a nagging sense that I wasn’t doing with my life what I was meant to be doing.

Can you relate?

For well-meaning reasons, I’d taken up this career, but I had always felt as though there was something else I was meant to be doing with my life. The trouble was, I didn’t know what that was!

I knew that I wanted greater flexibility in my life, and I also knew that I loved teaching. I had a mad passion for interior design, I was a whizz with computers and I had a supportive husband who just wanted to see me happy.

Combining my strengths and passions

What I hadn’t realised at the time was that I could combine my strengths and passions and carve out a career for myself in a different direction.

It had never occurred to me that I could start a whole new career in my late 30s, that seemingly had no bearing on what I’d done before!

For me, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to step out of teaching and spend some time working out what I wanted to do. 

Initially I signed up for a few different short courses to ‘dip my toe in the water’, but it was the interior design course that really caught my imagination. By taking the time to study a short course, I knew that this was something I wanted to do.

And so I took on the full interior design course, and gained my qualification. I then started to offer design consultations, I started a blog and I learned a whole load of stuff about marketing.

And sure enough, but by bit, my business began to grow, and I was delighted when I was able to start offering courses, training other people in my passion, interior design. It was the marriage of my skills and passions all in one bundle.

Fast forward to today…

Fast forward to today and I now run an interior design school, which seeks to take the mystery out of interior design, and help people just like you to discover a whole new career and a whole new way of living. 

Did it take a lot of courage? 

For sure!

But it’s also the best thing I’ve ever done.

My journey started by committing to some studies, and this is a great way to find out whether this is a good fit for you.

If you are toying with the idea of a career change into interior design, but you’re not yet ready to take the leap, why not come and join me for my diploma course, starting in the Spring. You get my help and support throughout the course, a bunch of other students to bounce ideas off, and you come away with a UK recognised qualification.

For further details and to get on the waiting list, click >>here<<

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