September 2nd, 2015

From Classroom to Reality and Back

It seems like just yesterday when I was anticipating the summer – long warm days and a change of scenery – but just like that it has gone by in the blink of an eye. It’s hard to believe that after sixteen weeks of being a Junior designer here at Area3, I will be switching hats, trading spaces and going back to being an Interior Design student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Wilson School of Design. It has been an incredible experience being a part of the Area3 team this summer. Each project I have had the opportunity to be a part of has been a collaborative effort. This includes writing the blogs!  For those of you who have been following our weekly posts, I hope you have enjoyed them and found them to be a source of inspiration and help!


In my first blog post “The Real Deal,” I talked about what it is like to be a student. Now I will give you a glimpse into my experience as a Junior Interior Designer. I have mentioned before about the business of interior design – the coordination, communication, teamwork and creativity. Over the last few weeks, I have learned about how important that aspect is. Yes, Interior Design is about creating functional and beautiful spaces for clients, but before there is a finished space, there is all the behind the scenes work. Those Instagram and Pinterest stunning photos don’t show how you what is involved to get a beautiful image.


Most of the time you would think Interior Designers are on site or meeting with clients, but that is only a small part of the design process. Typically, I would spend most of the day on the computer sending out emails, sourcing finishes and products for specific projects. Sometimes I will be designing a custom millwork piece or helping with the actual construction drawings. Before a client ever sees a preliminary design concept or color scheme we have created, there would have been many hours in research and sourcing multiple variations. There are many ideas and finishes that we weed out and the client will never see.  After the initial concept meeting with the client, this concept will become even more refined or revised based on feedback. I have learned that whole process can take months!  This means that I have probably helped order in countless samples, requested pricing and have been in contact with many reps just to find the perfect fabric, tile, carpet etc. for a project. Does it get confusing?  Indeed it does, but that is part of being a designer, being able to juggle many projects at a time and always making sure there is clear communication. Behind each and every project we are involved with there is a team which we coordinate with. Depending on the size and nature of the project, we will be working with contractors, project managers, marketing, millworkers, and product reps. As you can see, coordination and communication is key!


Of course, there is a lot of hard work that goes into every design, but it is also a lot of fun!  This is where the team work and creativity comes in. Often as designers, we have many ideas but in order for them to come to life they have to fully form outside of our minds. It is always wonderful being able to bounce ideas off of another fellow designer – which we do on a daily basis here at Area3. Together we are able to come up with solutions that are best for our clients. Sometimes we have to get creative in order to carry out a concept through with the budget we are limited to, but that’s what makes design interesting. With every new project I have been a part of, I have learned something new, making each and every day I come into work exciting!


I will definitely miss coming into the Area3 Design studio on a daily basis – especially seeing everyone’s smiling faces as they come through the door each morning!  Going back to the interior design studio at Kwantlen Polytechnic University will take some adjusting to for sure. Hello crazy concepts and unlimited budgets!  Although the summer is over, I won’t be pulling a complete disappearing act. Keep following this blog as I will continue to contribute to future posts!  We have many more exciting blog posts coming up, which I am quite excited about, so stay tuned!



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