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.
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?
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!