Victoria McNair interior designer headshot
“[The course] gave me confidence in this space, and, by the end, I had a portfolio that was relevant and a series of document templates that have been so useful in the “real world” – I haven’t looked back.” – Victoria McNair

A flip in careers

I had always wanted to be in the interior design space however, I thought it would be more lucrative to be trained as a graphic designer. After many years in corporate life, I needed to do something for me.

Researching the available courses, I decided The Professional Interior Design Course offered by The Interior Design Academy wrapped up the theory and processes in the areas I wanted training and delivered a course in a flexible format that suited my full-time employment and home commitments.

I wasn’t disappointed.

The course was practical and challenging with each unit built on the learnings of the last. It gave me confidence in this space, and, by the end, I had a portfolio that was relevant and a series of document templates that have been so useful in the “real world” – I haven’t looked back.

Now armed with renewed confidence, passion and new skills, I resigned from my job, styled our Sydney home, sold it for a record price in the street, and made the sea-change dream a reality.

What I didn’t factor in was that people living in small Australian coastal towns 5 years ago were not ready to invest in styling, nor design consultants to help with their home renovations.

To flipping houses

Undeterred, I decided this was an opportunity to go-it-alone and build on my limited portfolio!

So, I began flipping houses. It took a while to understand the local market, buy a house ripe for my yet-to-be tested skills, develop a professional and reliable tradie team, and then work out what I was doing.

After selecting a house, I consulted my course notes again. Following the process I was taught, I designed and scoped the improvements to my tight budget, only making improvements that would maximise my profit. After discussing my plans with my team and listening closely to their feedback, I would then work alongside them as their “TA” (tradies assistant) so I could add practicality to my design approach – or in their words – learn from my mistakes.

Each time I have tried to select a house that was different from the last one, and so the theming/design would need to be different to ensure that my learning curve is steep and my portfolio now more diverse.

Five years on, I am thinking of expanding into consultancy projects with my website being developed but I am not going to push into it hard just yet as I am still loving the thrill of the “flip”. The reality is however, what happens when I can’t run up and down ladders anymore?

What ‘flipping’ next?

I have just started on my fifth design challenge. This will be my first two storey – a really ugly, brick house. I plan to turn it into a home by the end of the year and then flog it and start the next. I am not sure what comes after a Californian Bungalow, a 1920s seaside cottage, a garage conversion, an old 2 bed/1bath apartment (I haven’t sold that), a 60s double brick monstrosity, and now a brick veneer double story… Only time and my hunger for challenges will tell!

The training I undertook through The Interior Design Academy was the perfect foundation to launch myself out of the confines of corporate into the wonderful world of colour, form, furnishings, and fabulous tradies!

Victoria McNair

Check out a couple of Victoria’s amazing home transformations below (click image to enlarge)

A house designed and tranformed by interior designer Victoria McNair

A seaside cottage gets a makeover by interior designer Victoria McNair