I have completed my first year of Interior Design school. *Huge sigh of relief* I cannot believe how much I have learned – not only about design, sketching and concepts, but also about myself and about others. It’s crazy for me to think that years ago, Interior Design was merely a hobby and just an interest of mine. I remember measuring my bed room with a banana and scaling it onto a fresh piece of printer paper when I was little. I’d grab my crayons and measure my space, “My bed is 14 bananas long so, that’s gunna be 14 cm…” *Scribbles with the blush pink crayon* Honestly. That was my kind of fun, well, when my Barbie’s were napping at least. But now I am going to school for this! Studying interior design has been wonderful and I wouldn’t change a thing. In a nut shell, I was taught everything from drafting to rendering, shading to sketching and imagination to reality.
Right off the bat, my teacher taught us different rendering mediums with numerous tips and tricks. She taught me how to create unique looks by layering multiple pencils and markers and how to use negative and white space to my advantage.
In my History of Architecture and Design class, we were given a sketching assignment. As a class, we were all given the freedom to chose one piece of architecture that we personally enjoyed. Earlier in the semester, when we were studying Gothic design, I fell in love with gargoyles. If it were not highly frowned upon due to their freakishness; I would probably have a couple on my own house. Sooooo I obviously chose to sketch one. Next best thing, right? It actually took me WAY longer than the average person to draw this, but in the end I was super excited with how it turned out! God totally gave me the patience to keep working on it. To erase and redraw. To erase and redraw again, and perfect it. Even still, after I finished it, I know it’s not perfect. None the less, it made me happy to draw!
Later on we told to find an image of a design style that we enjoyed and to recreate the image in an ink sketch. This one I also really enjoyed doing because it forced me to focus on texture and to show the different textures in the space using a simple black pen. Not gunna lie, I found it difficult because there were so many textures and I had to think of different ways and strokes to convey it all but in the end I was excited with how the final piece turned out!
As we learned more through out the year my instructor began adding more room for creativity in our assignments. In this rendering we had to find several different fabrics that we enjoyed and source a couple different pieces of furniture we would like to see with our chosen fabrics. We then had to scale and draw the furniture we chose with the fabrics we picked out and render the space.
One of my favorite assignments was the custom kitchen sketch! We were given a sheet with 3D boxes and told to make a kitchen out of it! So each student had to source the style of kitchen they wanted and find all the materials and furniture they wanted to be in their custom kitchen including light fixtures, the sink and faucet, island chairs, etc. I popped in my earbuds and started scribbling!
After a lot of tweaking and shading I finally finished!
Next up we had another rendering project. This one was to help us use negative space. For example, by not drawing and filling the entire picture with colour, it allows a persons mind to fill in the blanks themselves and actually picture the room in their own mind with out being given the full image. So, by looking at this partial drawing you can imagine the full room yourself.
A lot of the time, my assignments were given to me like this one and then we are given a list of requirements. These assignments are used to enforce visualizing a room before it actually exists. It helped me to really picture a piece of furniture in a room or to visualize how multiple items would look together. Immediately looking at this assignment I saw a beautiful backyard.
This was my finished product! I saw two swinging chairs hung from a tall tree with a patio couch and miniature coffee table. I wanted the exterior of the house to be a rough, red, river rock with a matching outdoor fireplace.
In my Construction class we studied how to build a house. Everything. From pouring concrete and laying foundations, to constructing walls with different sized studs. We looked at different ways to efficiently build walls depending on location and climates. Windows, doors, stairs and calculating the length for the rise and run and the clearance opening. I feel like I could go on and on with what I learned in that short semester which is incredibly exciting because, at the beginning of the class; in January, my construction teacher asked us to whip out a piece of paper and write down all that we knew about building construction. This way he could get a better understanding of where our class was. I mean, if all of us already knew how to properly install a window – he obviously wouldn’t have to teach us as thoroughly than if we had no idea. You know? Anyways, so I whipped out a piece of paper, wrote my name at the top… aaaaaannnnnnd gave it to him.
At the end of the class I was stoked to look back and see how much I had actually learned about the construction process. I don’t know how to fully convey this; I want to fully understand exactly how much work goes into installing that marble slab counter top. I know very well that it isn’t a simple, click and drag in AutoCAD! I want to work on a construction team; getting dirty and contribute to the build – even if it’s just running around the site doing tacky little jobs. I don’t want to be just an interior designer that runs around with a clip board making sure that everything is done the way I wanted it to be. I want to understand the trades and help where I can – we can all learn from each other! It was interesting, earlier in the year we had a contractor come in and share his experience with us and he suggested that we learn as much as we can about all the trades. Now, I know I won’t become an expert in any of them, but knowing and understanding the basics about all of them is a way to a) better connect and understand my trades men when they’re working on one of my designs b) gain a little respect with my trades guys since I actually know and understand the work they do, I’m not a ditz running around in heels, fussing about getting dirty and c) for my own knowledge when I’m designing a building and why or why not a layout would work.
Over all, this apartment complex assignment was one of my all time favorites! I really enjoyed it because it was practical and allowed me to express a concept I love! We were given the basic floor plan of the apartment and got to design the rest!
My teacher introduced us to “Quickie” space planning. She would give us a client and a list of their specifications and requirements and we then had to sketch a concept of what we would design for them. In this quickie, the clients were just married and wanted a welcoming main floor, where they could easily entertain guests but also simply relax when it was just the two of them at home. I pictured a very open floor space where they could host football game parties and everyone could be a part of the fun no matter where they sat. I also envisioned the couple drinking coffee together every morning before each of them started their day. He loved to cook and she enjoyed playing the piano – hence the large kitchen and piano beside the large window.
I am thankful for my instructors who had the patience to teach me this past year. I am thankful that God lead me to this school to take Interior Design. I am thankful for the people I met and spent time with; studying, sketching, crying, stressing, laughing and crying some more. To say that I’m excited for my next year would be a complete understatement and I’m even more excited to experience all that The Lord has in store for me!
– Stay Satisfied