Interior design home truths
Interior design is an over-used phrase which is often misunderstood. Home renovation television programmes focus on the scene ‘before’ and the big reveal afterwards. They pay little regard to decisions made in the interim. Interior design is about making the right choices, a process that is time-consuming. In an edited half hour it’s impossible to show the breadth and depth of the business, but over the years the public begins to believe that magical results can be achieved with virtually no budget.
Three things to bear in mind when watching these shows: 1) Retailers often donate their items – you need to question whether their goods appear in the final budget tally. 2) Trades people, and the crew, work hard. From removing and demolishing to repairing and assembling. From preparing and painting to styling, their time is not accounted for. 3) Someone has to make all the decisions beforehand, the interior designer, and there is never a price put on this.
I’ll tell you a few secrets about designing interiors for a living. It’s April. I’m no fool. But as a mature student at Design School I had no knowledge when I entered of what interior designers were paid. The calling was so strong it didn’t matter at the time, but I assumed it would be good. It was shocking to learn about the rock bottom wages prevalent in the industry. It’s one of those professions that people go into because they love it and it seems to me that employers take advantage. There are two ways to earn: one is to join a firm and work your way up, the other is to go solo and set up your own business. I did the latter and at no time have I regretted it. However, looking back, it would have helped to discuss my career aspirations with a professional designer. I would have entered the profession with a more rounded view.
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Image credits – Feature image: Cult Furniture. Second image: Essential Home. Third image: Boca do Lobo.