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A Peak Inside Design School From a Student’s Perspective: PART II

Continuing my the wrap up from Monday, I’m sharing a few more lessons learned from my first quarter in design school–Enjoy!

Living Etc. 
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.  
Elle Decor
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.
Lonny

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?
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12 Comments on A Peak Inside Design School From a Student’s Perspective: PART II

  1. BeTransformed
    August 11, 2010 at 7:24 am (7 years ago)

    Dayka your experience at school and the principles of design have a powerful application to life. As a life coach I see the importance of (1) Planing is Imperative! In order to live a fulfilling life one must have a plan (2) You’re only as good as your resources. To make changes and have an impact in life, you need the right resources. (3) It helps to talk the talk, if you want to walk the walk. To have a profound presence in your circle of influence, you must embody the message in speech and in action. Your blog is wonderful!

    Reply
  2. JIN
    August 11, 2010 at 8:01 am (7 years ago)

    I love these posts about your school experience…best of luck to u

    Reply
  3. Tonia @Chic Modern Vintage
    August 11, 2010 at 9:03 am (7 years ago)

    That language is reserved for discssion with other design professionals, you still want to use layman terms with your clients. You don’t want to speak French when your client may only understand English. Sometimes, you don’t get jobs when you can’t relate to your clients.

    Reply
  4. Jade @ Flip Flops + Pearls Design
    August 11, 2010 at 10:10 am (7 years ago)

    Design school is something you will never regret! Interior design is an industry where you can have a design degree or not and still be successful at it. But I am such a BIG proponent of going to school & getting the proper education for it. There is so much more about interior design thatn just making something “pretty”…you need to know about codes, accessible design, why you would choose one fabric over another based on fiber content, etc…

    It can be frustrating explaining everything that you know and do to the average person but the client you really want is the one who knows what all goes into it and respects the time you have put into your education and experience!

    You can tell I am passionate about this πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  5. niki.mac
    August 11, 2010 at 10:24 am (7 years ago)

    You know I’m one of your biggest supporters! An education is never a waste – you will be so thankful later! πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  6. Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle
    August 11, 2010 at 11:50 am (7 years ago)

    I just went back and read the first post. I think we forget how much time is involved-and math! The more I become interested in design, the more I’ve tried to learn about resources like you mentioned. When I was having my draperies made, the seamstress and I took a day trip to a fabric warehouse in Detroit. It blew my mind that I had never known such a place existed. I’ve since mentioned it to a few salespeople at furniture stores and they too didn’t know of it.

    Reply
  7. autumn
    August 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm (7 years ago)

    i love this post…both parts of it! it is so great that you are so aware of the “real” industry while you are going to school. i think when i was going to school, i was just focused on graduating. i didn’t spend time researching what i would do once i graduated. after working in office design for several years, with new construction for nearly a decade, i feel like my eyes have been opened to this amazing world of home/personal design.
    you definitely have an edge if you already have a goal of what you want to do once you are done with school.
    πŸ™‚

    Reply
  8. Bailey@ peppermintbliss
    August 11, 2010 at 9:16 pm (7 years ago)

    I haven’t decided I need design school…yet…I am sure I will get to a point in my career where I hit a wall and feel like what I could learn in school is necessary, but for now I feel like going to school would stop the momentum I have been building…But I love hearing about people having good experiences in design school, because I am pretty sure I’ll make my way there one day!
    Congrats lady!

    Reply
  9. Dayka (Life +Style)
    August 11, 2010 at 11:26 pm (7 years ago)

    Thank you for all the wonderful and detailed comments! I’ll continue to share my experiences as I progress through the program. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  10. Averill
    August 12, 2010 at 12:21 pm (7 years ago)

    Great post, Dayka! I’ve always imagined that the biggest plus of attending design school was the networking and access to trade-only resources…but it seems like another huge benefit is that you’re given the tools necessary to design in a structured, thoughtful way. All too often I find myself skipping ahead to the fun stuff without considering the foundations, like, layout and space planning.

    Reply
  11. Kim@Chattafabulous
    August 12, 2010 at 6:28 pm (7 years ago)

    I wish I had the opportunity to go to design school but when I was younger I had no idea how passionate I would be about it! I am self-taught through trial and error and a voracious appetite to learn more, so I read and research everything I can get my hands on. Your education and experience in design school cannot be given enough importance. Just found your blog and can’t wait to read more! I used to live in ATL and sometimes make trips their to shop Lewis & Sherron and Forsyth Fabrics (and Scott’s)! Wishing you all the best…

    Reply
  12. theLENNOXX
    August 13, 2010 at 7:28 am (7 years ago)

    I really love these insider posts of yours! Thank you for sharing your experience and tricks with us!

    xo Linda

    Reply

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