From hobby to business, interior design is something that we all do at some point in time: we arrange our new house, we decorate our little office space, we feel the need for a change even if it is about just one room. To be honest, the moment I’m entering somebody’s house, I look at the furniture and the decorations. Sometimes is totally embarrassing as people might think that I’m evaluating their possessions but for me is just the pleasure of seeing something different and why not, stealing some ideas. Going in the big furniture shops or getting the catalogues is like Christmas time: I want to buy half the store and my rooms to look like in the new catalogues.
Interior design can be a profession and a way to make a living but what I like most about it is the flexibility that it offers. You don’t have to study for long years, you don’t have to justify gap years. All you need is talent and passion and of course, some selling skills, to be able to enter the market. It’s a business that it can start as a hobby or just by having a nice house and friends asking for your help to set up theirs. It’s one of those businesses where recommendations are very important and can come easy if you have happy clients.
Since we started DubaiMums with the bi-monthly coffee morning (different small businesses, especially run by mums were invited to present their offers), we got many messages from interior designers, mainly mums who were trying to work around their kids schedules. Nothing new here, this is the dream of every mum and building an interior design small business can actually work.
I have never thought of taking interior design classes but once I met and talked with Sharon Conneely-Donaldson, the owner of Full Circle Design, I realize that such classes can be fun, useful and don’t need a real justification: just do it for yourself, do something different, do something creative. And Sharon has courses for everybody, from complete beginner to the most professional ones. I was interested in the Residential course, split in three levels, that will teach you the A B C of decorating a home (house, apartment, studio).
On the day I went to the course, Sharon class was discussing a project of decorating a living room for a bachelor, 30 years plus, working and living in DIFC, in an apartment with glass walls, who likes art pieces and to have house parties with friends. Yes, they go for as much as possible real requests. The team that was assigned this project chose to go for a gray color scheme, with sofas and stools and a coffee table in the middle, on a small rug. Two art pieces were added and a big TV screen. A bar could not have missed from the picture and as normal seemed to be placed in a corner, actually it has to be placed in front of one of the windows so people can have the view of Burj Khalifa while getting their drinks.
But what if living in a house with dining area? How would that one should look? One thing is certain: if you decide to have a rug under the table, it has to be big enough so that the chairs should still be on the rug once they are pushed back. Of course, not ideal for families with small kids where they will have to clean the rug several times per day. The dining area should be suitable for the age of people who live there and how often it is used. What kind of table would you like? It can be rectangular, square or round, serving 4, 6, 8 persons, in a regular household. Do you have only chairs at your dining table? What about a combination of chairs and benches? Or just benches? And if you prefer to have a hanging lamp, make sure it is placed at the recommended distance above the dinner table so the shade should not be bigger than the table.
Sharon’s most important advice or tip is: always try the furniture. Sit on the bed, lie in it if possible. Sit at the dinner table, sit down and stand up, push the chair back and forth. See how smooth is everything, feel the texture, make sure it is what you are looking for. You might be stuck with that furniture for a long time and it needs to be very comfortable. “Don’t get excited about the look, but pay attention to the practicalities. Try to create a mock-up in the showroom, the sales assistants will understand and be willing to help” says Sharon. I was glad to be there on the day as I left with some tips regarding the dining area and “coffee table area” that needs a bit of re-decoration in my house.
Another good thing about Sharon’s courses is that they are of short duration, maximum 5 weeks per level. The next Residential Interior design course will start on the 19th of February, at DUCTUC. The course fee is AED 1,890 (VAT included). If you’ll successfully complete the final course project/test/course activities/ homework, you’ll receive a ‘Letter of Completion’ Certificate which is a useful starting point into a new career of Interior Design or Decoration. The final project work will be graded by the tutor and one other assessor.
For details and registration, contact please contact Vanessa, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 04-4449567 / 052-4221670.