“I would recommend this course to anyone looking for a new career path in design and decorating as it was thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding.”

I had worked for 25 years in hospitality as the Department Manager of Accommodation in both New Zealand and Australia.

Through these years I had the pleasure of being involved in five hotel refurbishments. Some of them were well done, but others… well, let’s just say there were a few bad choices made that did not work in a commercial environment. I decided it was time to develop my skills so that I could be the one doing the designing and advising to the hotel owners. I saw the Professional Interior Design Academy’s course advertised in a House & Garden magazine and that it lead to a Diploma of Professional Interior Design.

I was so nervous when I rang to enquire, but the lady on the phone was so helpful and advised me of how the course was self-paced, that I could pay the course off over a few months and that I would have my own tutor who would be happy answering any questions along the way. I was so excited – this is what I had been looking for.

I signed up and waited with anticipation for my first assignment. I received my first tutorial and it was full of information, breaking down styles that I had always had a little trouble understanding; it had websites, books to read, exhibitions to attend, pictures of rooms and designer furniture and of course my first assignment.

I really liked the way that the academy had put the information together. It was easy to read, nothing was too daunting and it was the same with all the assignments. It was satisfying when I posted off my first completed assignment. I couldn’t wait for the feedback and the next assignment to arrive. Simon Savage was my tutor, I had been so concerned that I would not live up to his expectations, but Simon was very informative and he had a relaxed manner that made me feel comfortable. He shared many interesting true life experiences that made me realise that, I was no doubt going to make some mistakes, just as he had. As each new challenge came with successive assignments I found my confidence building. I thoroughly enjoyed doing the assignments and building relationships with local suppliers.

After receiving my diploma it gave me the confidence I needed to leave the hospitality industry and start my own small business. Within a couple of months I had completed three consultations with neighboring properties and have just completed a 16-year-old girl’s bedroom makeover. Word of mouth is amazing – I can’t get my business cards and flyers printed fast enough. I am about to work along side a Real Estate Agent who will refer clientele to me for property makeovers, pre-sale presentations, rental makeovers and consultations.

A while ago a business advisor said to me that if people can work out what it is they really enjoy doing and pursue it as a job; you will be happy, content and totally satisfied in your life. I would recommend this course to anyone looking for a new career path in design and decorating as it was thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding.

Vivienne Treacy-Chandler