“So can I get a window seat /don’t want nobody next to me /I just want a ticket outta town /a look around/and a safe touch down” ~ Window Seat by Erykah Badu
I have a bit of a problem. As an aspiring interior designer, I’m having difficulty deciding what area to specialize in. There are two types of interior design: residential and commercial. Under those categories the career possibilities are almost endless. My problem is I have too many interests. Residential, Commercial, Set Design, Visual Merchandising and Green Design all appeal to me in some way. I can see myself being successful in each of those areas. How does one decide what direction to take their career?
Residential design was the reason I decided to become an interior designer. I wanted to design homes and make the people living in those homes feel safe, secure, comfortable and loved. Plus, it’s easy to make a name for yourself and start your own business in residential interiors. But I feel like that’s already been, well, done. Most designers go into residential design. Therefore, the market is highly saturated and becoming very competitive when it comes to finding a job. In my opinion, commercial interior design is a little more challenging. You have a bigger budget, longer project schedule, and a different type of clientele and materials. In commercial design, you have the option of going into hospitality, office, retail, institution, education, or healthcare. I prefer hospitality or retail. There’s something about walking into a restaurant or hotel and being captivated by the aesthetics. I’m the person that sits at a restaurant and looks up at the ceiling and lighting fixtures while eating my meal. I may not remember how good the food tasted but I will remember the decor. OK, that’s a bit of a stretch but you get my point. I believe that good design always makes you come back. I would like to enhance someone’s experience at a spa or retail store with my design. My dream job would be in set design. Whenever I watch a movie or my favorite television show, I always notice the decor and layout of the set especially if the scenes take place in a house. Girlfriends was one of my favorite shows on television. I literally wanted to live in Joan’s house. The decor was warm and inviting. Watching the show made me feel like one of the girls, sitting on the couch, chatting it up. The set design drew me in. That’s powerful! Unfortunately, I live on the east coast and I do not wish to move to LA to become a set designer. However, as an alternative to moving, I would consider visual styling for a furniture magazine or catalog. I have subscriptions to Crate and Barrel, CB2, IKEA, Design Within Reach, and other catalogs because I enjoy looking at how they display their products on the cover. LOL, yeah I know. I’m a design junkie. *lowers head in shame* A Designer’s Intervention may be in order. Finally, there’s Green Design. I already live a natural lifestyle. I’m conscious of what I put into my body and on my body. Sustainability would be a natural fit for an undercover tree hugger such as myself. I would probably have to take a Green 101 class because there’s so much to learn in this field. And new information and products are coming out daily. To sum it up, I have too many interests and not enough lives. *sigh*. I need a mentor.
What is your speciality and why did you decide to go in that direction? Do you specialize in several areas? Did you work in one area of design and decide to try something new?