Continuing my the wrap up from Monday, I'm sharing a few more lessons learned from my first quarter in design school--Enjoy!
1. Planing is Imperative!
As I touched on here, successful design doesn't take place without a plan, and what a designer is really paid for (in addition to the creative expertise) is the hours of sourcing, scouting, space planning, and that go into a design. In my introductory class, we did a lot of design boards (thinking of sharing my final project tomorrow . . .), and while there aren't many designers (or firms) that do traditional boards, they're a great way to help conceptualize a project and assist a client in visualizing how a finish space will appear (many designers also make use of e-design, though it's not something we explored in depth). Measuring for drapery and reupholstered items seems simple, but it takes on another life when a client is paying you to do the work--incorrect measurements, poor installation, or large overages (fabric, tile, wallpaper, paint, etc.) can result in wasted money for your client and a bad reputation for you, which can kill your business before it gets started! Checking backorders, sizes, schedules, references, deliveries and egos is the best way to ensure a successful business.
2. You're only as good as your resources.
A hallmark of great design is a showstopping piece to define a space, and that means that a designer has to know where to go to find what's needed. One of the biggest perks of design school is the golden ticket to access sources that you may not have otherwise known about. I try to stay relatively well-versed with the design-related sources available around Atlanta (or so I thought), but the past few months in school have allowed me to connect with people and places that I may not have known about otherwise. Skilled upholsterers, painters, workrooms, drapery installers, tilers, (and interior designers) don't come easy, and inspiring design can't happen without them! The network I've gained in school has been invaluable, and it's great to have a wider community (in addition to my blog friends!) with whom to share resources and "insider" info.
3. It helps to talk the talk, if you want to walk the walk.
Like most foreign countries, interior design has a language all its own and it's helpful to know the language if you want to visit the "country"! Sample fabrics are often called "memos", and curtains are known as "drapery" throughout the design world. Colors are often referred to by their hues, and because we're in a visual business it's important to make the verbal distinction between hues like lavender and eggplant 'cause calling it plan ole' purple just won't do! Sure, some of it can seem a little silly, but more more often than not it's been great learning the correct verbiage so that I can not only understand other designers, but also communicate more effectively with my own clients.
I over the past few months I've received some great emails from readers about my school experience, and whether I feel like I made the right choice. The answer is a resounding, yes! For those of you considering design school, tell me, what keeps you from making the jump? For those of you who attended school, I'd love to hear whether you feel like it helped or hindered your career?? Either way, what advice do you have for me?