A degree in interior design ends up giving you a crap ton of options when you finish. I had a friend in college, let’s call him John (cause that’s his name), who wanted to design furniture. He decided on interior design because he felt it was important for him to understand his industry. Another lovely lady wanted to go into Accessibility design but you have to get the broad degree before you can specialize. Mandy does corporate store planning; I do residential and small scale commercial (for now) so really the sky is the limit.
I’ve always been more attracted to residential than commercial. When I pictured myself as an adult, I was always creating beautiful homes for my clients as these renderings from college show.
After graduation, I was able to do Studio SLK, a hair salon, in Evanston (http://studio-slk.com/).
I’ll talk about that project at some point I’m sure but suffice to say I am now TOTALLY open to small scale commercial projects. Can someone open a restaurant and let me design it PLEASE?
I have a full time job that has lots of nothing to do with the design industry. I started working this particular organization right out of high school and never looked back. I don’t love my job but I also don’t hate it and I think that puts me ahead of the game. So while I slowly chip away at my dream of being a designer full time, I make a decent salary and get full benefits courtesy of my employer.
I think it warrants mentioning that I didn’t plan on starting my own business; it just sort of worked out that way. I went to school thinking that I would work for someone after graduation. My super detailed life plan saw me working for a big firm like Gensler, for the experience, and then I would work my way to a position with a small but successful company in the ‘burbs before striking out on my own and becoming fantastically successful in my own right. Alas alack! You know what they say about best laid plans… I totes don’t work at Gensler but I do have a super crappy phone photo of me there for a class! So there’s that. Sigh…
So for now I work 40 hours a week for someone else which supports me while I work and addition 20-30, sometimes more depending on the project, for Patricia Shevane Interiors (http://www.patriciashevaneinteriors.com/). It’s exhausting and often times ulcer inducing but when I start to see one of my designs coming together… I don’t know… it’s magic. After spending so much of the project doubting myself- rooms almost always get worse before they get better- I see what it is I’m working toward and I get excited all over again. I have no idea where time and opportunity will take me and my business but you’ve got front row seats to this monster truck show, my friend.
P.S. Every once in a while, I also do some coolish stuff like stalk artists and get them to come drinking with me! I’m gonna post my interview with the super talented Molly Roth (http://mollyroth.com/) in the near future.