Job title: Interior architectural lifestyle designer and decorator
Job description: High end residential interiors, commercial interiors and lifestyle brand designer
How did you get into your line of work?
Watching my mom work in interiors as a child.
What's the first thing you do when you get into the office?
Turn on my computer, then while it is warming up and configuring, I head for the kitchen for a bowl of muesli and yoghurt! I usually drink coffee first thing at home.
To do my job, you have to love... follow through! You can't expect anything to happen just by waiting for people to get back to you.
I spend most of my day... doing admin. I think any business, even a creative one, is 90% administration and 10% creative work. I would love for there to be a better balance, but with running your own business this is the only way to stay on top of things.
What is the worst aspect of your job?
Mistakes that are my or our office's fault or bad workmanship by our manufacturers: little niggles like incorrect measurements, wrong colour and finish, etc. That's why you always have to follow through. Finding people to work with who are consistently good in what they make or do is difficult. We are often only the middleman; coordinating and producing an end result that relies heavily on the work ethic of others.
What is the best thing about your job?
A happy client who loves their space when they open the door. We have even had a client who paid us a bonus they were so impressed! That was such a high point in my career – totally unexpected.
The next job up from yours is... signing off a skyscraper.
What's the one thing no-one knows about your job?
How full-on it is. It is not for wallflowers! Many women think they can be a housewife decorator. Doing your own home is radically different from carrying the weight of responsibility of spending some else's money, whether on a home or a commercial project.
What is the starting salary of an interior designer?
You would start as a junior and it would be from R5000 to R7500. After 5 to 8 years, you're almost middleweight and 12-15 years later a senior. No amount of studying can teach you what you learn working in the design trade. I did a 5-year BA Hons in interior architecture and when I entered the design arena there was still so much to learn. There still is – and I love learning it. I honestly learn something new every day.
For more information about Resort Lifestyle, take a look at their website here.
What creative field are you thinking of stepping into? Tell us in the box below.