Hey! I’m Claudia, I am a freshly graduated student from QUT now working full-time here at Darren James Interiors as an Interior Design Assistant.
I started here at Darren James in March of 2020 as a student intern. After 100 hours of work experience and a sad goodbye, it was only a few months later I was asked to come back with a paid position! After studying for 3 1/2 years I was so excited to start my career in the industry working with such a hands-on team!
The definition of interior design seems to be quite misunderstood and I often get asked “So what exactly do interior designers do?”
So for my fellow students, or simply for anyone reading that is genuinely interested in the interior design industry. I thought I’d share a more in-depth ‘day in the life’ style blog in hopes to give you a better understanding of the interior design profession and what is involved in a design project.
Interior Design is SO much more than having taste and picking colours, fabrics and materials. A design project mostly consists of (the not so pretty) problem solving, strict deadlines, time-consuming documentation and numerous challenges and obstacles along the way.
No day is the same, in fact as an interior design assistant I am often jumping from one end of a project to another. For example; last Thursday I attended an initial client briefing to kick start a new design project, then later today I will be heading with the team to a project hand over where I get to see the end result of what has been a 6 month renovation. In between all that, my days are pretty crazy and can be filled with everything in between!
If you should know anything about me, it is that I am a list person and this is the only way I manage to organise my work days. I swear by my diary – it is seriously my work bible!
So, with that being said, I couldn’t think of a more fitting way than to give you an inside scoop into a day in the life of my diary.
I typically start off my day checking my emails and following up with suppliers regarding projects, being in the industry I have learned very quickly the importance of having strong connections with fellow industry partners. You’ll find yourself emailing, calling or meeting up with them nearly every day, and they often are the ones working through those ‘not so pretty’ tasks I mentioned to you earlier.
Quality Check Delivery
Quality Checking is another job I do quite often. For most furnishing projects we will have smaller items delivered to us here at the studio in order for us to quality check the item to ensure any damages or ordering issues are resolved prior to installation day. This involves opening every delivery to check the correct items were delivered, ensure material/colours are correct, check for any damage and ensure all parts of the items have arrived.
Another role I have been involved in is documentation. We use Revit which is a program I am familiar with because of uni. I am grateful that here at Darren James Interiors we are both a design and build firm. I feel I have learnt an immense amount of knowledge about how a kitchen, bathroom etc is actually built because of this. This was definitely a grey area at uni which made me very curious and eager to learn more about when moving into the industry.
Post office & Supplier runs
Some days I might be out of office from one to a few hours at a time. Trips to the post office is a frequent task for me. Ordering in fabric and material samples for the designers to see in person is super important for a project so I usually will be collecting or sending back samples to suppliers. Other tasks outside of the studio usually involve visiting supplier showrooms to collect samples the designers are interested in for their current projects.
Tidy sample room
Part of my role is to manage the sample room, having a functional space for the designers to work together and create their look and feel for a design project is super important! Now, there is a method to everyone’s madness but after a session of brainstorming and designing it can get pretty crazy! I always try to set some time aside every day to tidy up the room and harass the designers about whether I can move their ‘work-in-progress’ material palettes (sorry guys!)
Write up new blog
Over recent months I have been collaborating on marketing and social media with Elissa, which is something very new for me! I must say that writing a blog is very different to a 1000 word formal essay (more fun too!). I have learned so much about interior design by brainstorming topics and I have enjoyed learning more about the structure of blog content. I also love getting creative with IG stories to promote content.
So as you can imagine, I have gotten up to quite a lot these past few months, and with that, I have learnt so much and I am so excited for what the future holds! I hope this gives you a better insight into the interior design industry and just some of the daily tasks that make up the beautifully designed spaces that we get to share with you all!