What I have learned after three years in interior design

by Ana Pachon

All journeys are different. I want to share with you a few lessons I have learned in my journey. Maybe they might help you with yours. Three years ago, I started in the world of Interior Design. I remember reading so many blogs and searching for information online for hours. Questions were flooding my mind. How do I start? Can I study as a working mom? Am I too old to begin? What is the quality of the online education? 

Three years have passed since then, and I have experienced so much since then. I graduated from an online Interior Design course. I started my own design studio, Pampeliška. I have worked in almost 30 big and small décor and interior design projects, and I began studying the Online Certificate Residential Interior Design with KLC. Lots of learning, good and bad, has since happened, so here are some lessons I would like to share with you about this journey.

A good foundation is essential for greater results. It sounds a little bit like common sense, but when you are making a career change to follow your passion and you are not in your 20’s, it may not be your first thought. You may be thinking about time, money, or your age. After taking a basic online course and graduating, I have learned that, if you want to go further in your career as a designer, you need to invest into a good Interior Design course online or on-site. Invest in yourself! 

In my case, after graduating from my first online Interior Design course, I started my studio, Pampeliška, and began working in small décor and styling projects. But after some time, I knew I needed more in-depth education. So, after searching more carefully and looking at the reputation of some schools in the industry, I found KLC in London. One of the best decisions I have ever made was to start studying at KLC. The depth of materials, tutorials, and projects are fantastic. And what I love most, is that KLC’s education is very accurate to the industry. Over time those small décor and styling projects in my studio became Interior Design and renovation projects. KLC’s course has taught me so much valuable information that has taken my career further than I ever imagined in such a short period of time.

Get your hands dirty (soon!). Another advice I can give you, is that if you like Interior Design and want to move forward with your passion, you need to get your design muscles moving. Stop just looking at Pinterest and dreaming about beautiful places. Stop just watching Interior Design shows on TV. Get your hands dirty. Start at home, be your own client. You do not have to go crazy, just start looking at your home in a more creative way. Ask yourself questions about your spaces, move furniture around, play with color and why not? Paint a wall or two! Another way to get your hands dirty is to expose yourself to design. Visit galleries and museums, admire the architecture in your city, go to design fairs and tradeshows. There is a lot you can do to start your education, even before you actually start. The important thing is to begin! 

Another method to get your hands dirty, is to help family and friends with small décor projects, or volunteer in your community. Free small décor projects, while you learn interior design, are a great way to get your creativity going. It is also a way to be actively learning. Projects like this help you learn and develop your skills and start building your experience. I started volunteering in décor projects since day one! Yes, I made mistakes, but I also learned so much. I met trades people and suppliers that helped me later. I started learning how to communicate my ideas, how to organize a project and, most importantly, people started noticing my skills. Free small décor projects are actually where I got my first paid clients. 

Interior design has a snowball effect. Lastly, as I grow as a designer, I am continuously blown away by how important networking and people are in this business. When we start tiny, with free smaller projects for example, they often grow with time and experience. Word of mouth is a powerful tool in this industry because Interior Design is about trust. People trust their homes, businesses and families to you. If you work on every project with passion and excellence, people will trust you, recommend you, and trust you again. Before you know it, you have snowballed into your next career step! 

Over these years, the projects I have worked on have often grown in unexpected ways. Most of them were from people I knew or people that recommended my studio through friends and family. So never disregard a project, even if is tiny or does not look like a big progress in your journey. Always remember that you are pursuing a very important part of who you are, your passion!