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Confessions of an Interior Designer

Tip and Tricks to Starting your Interior Design Career

Confessions of an Interior Designer
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Hi, I'm Faye; an Interior Designer. I am not a wiz at Autocad; (there's an app for that). I did not start as an Assistant Designer and work my way up, and I do not have a show on HGTV...Yet.

As a young girl, everyone turned to me for style tips; in hair, fashion, makeup, and occasionally, throw pillows! Friends and family would text me photos from Pottery Barn and Target asking, "What do you think of this? You have such great taste!" It hadn't occurred to me that this was a career path. Yet, here I am, and so are you!

Confession: I am not a pro at Autocad...

I took Autocad in school while studying lighting design and it was the bane of my existence. I got 76% on my final at the end of the semester, and I was not pleased; Especially as a creative millennial who just wanted to get my idea's out in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

I daydreamed about the finished product of beautiful beams of light cascading across period costumes and ballerina tutus as performers graced the stage. I could hear the orchestra, and the applause of the audience all before I clicked save my draft at the end of each class. Meanwhile, my professors sought to teach me the process of placing lights on a grid and calculating electrical currents. I swore never to deal with Autocad again and I am sticking to that.

Pro Tip: Hire out the tasks that don't bring you joy.

As the owner of an Interior Design firm; you can hire someone who scored 97% on their Autocad final to draft your design and get out your ideas. Imagine that! I am a firm believer in everyone doing what they love, and I love to design.

I'm obsessed with fabrics, and wallcoverings; antique shops, and art galleries; taking clients through the latest collections from market at showrooms and learning about their emotional attachments to the purple leather recliner that must stay after the renovation. (Pop of color Anyone? ;)

Confession: I am not formally trained...

Who have you worked with? Boy oh boy...what a question. Because I came into interior design by divine intervention and a life-altering accident, (I'll tell you more in my memoirs). I didn't study under the stewardship of an iconic designer, or intern with an award-winning firm. But, I did do what I could with what I had. After my accident, I had to restructure my entire life plan, because God was laughing at me. So, I ventured into interior design.

Pro Tip: Ask yourself, Who do you know?

The closest person I knew in the industry was a local painter. So I called him up, told him what I was trying to do, and became his apprentice. I learned about interior vs. exterior paints, glosses, flats, and sheens. I also was able to incorporate my knowledge of color theory from lighting design study, so I got to use my degree after all!

You see, if you are really dedicated and take one small step, it will lead to the next and you will begin designing a life you never even imagined, all at the stroke of a paint-brush.

Confession: I currently have 102 followers on my Instagram @FayeWLiving.

I would love to co-host a show on HGTV where myself and a group of esteemed designers travel the globe in search of the next design superstar. Yes! Dream Big folks! Just because you've never designed a celebrity Villa in Malibu, doesn't mean you never will. Or, maybe you just want a design career with longevity, and a brand that consumers trust 40 and 50 years from now, i'll take that too!

Pro Tip: Just Do It!

There is no blueprint for creative entrepreneurship. You've just got to get out there are show the world what you're made of, one follower at a time. I am currently designing virtually during a global pandemic. Clients have toured me through their homes via facetime and zoom, husbands have double confirmed measurements from mislabeled floorplans, and delivery men have dropped out custom sofas curbside, but the work is getting done.

Do the research, be present, and put the best version of yourself into every design. I shared some of my confessions, what are yours? Share below!

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Faye Whitaker Design
Faye Whitaker Design
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Faye Whitaker Design

Faye W. is a motivational writer, business owner, and Interior Designer servicing Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Visit FayeWhitakerDesign.com to learn more.

See all posts by Faye Whitaker Design