Career Change into Interior Design
Vivian Panagos is an interior designer and author of design blog, ish & chi. She shares residential, retail and architectural tours, interviews with creatives and decorating and style ideas along with the makeover of her Sydney home.
I have studied quite a bit! I hold a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Masters in Information Technology. While I was studying I worked in the IT industry and I still do today as a Project Manager. In 2008 I was renovating my home and I enjoyed the process so much that I started a design blog, ish and chi, to document the process. Through this, I discovered that I really enjoyed design and wanted to take it seriously, so I studied to become an interior designer completing a Diploma in Interior Design and Decoration.
As an interior designer and design blogger, I work my own hours and accept projects based on my availability. The work has been consistent over the years and I haven't had to actively look for work, much of it has been word of mouth or people contacting me directly having seen my work online.
I have a portfolio of work on the Houzz website and I also share my work on my blog, ish and chi.
Balancing my time between the various jobs I do. I'm still working on it! Mainly I find this difficult because I want to throw all of myself into each project and it can be all consuming but also very rewarding.
Network with other people within the industry and build contacts with suppliers, contractors etc. Also look for a mentor - don't be afraid to approach someone whose work or business-savvy you admire.
Approach each project with confidence and be honest with clients upfront if something won't work (budget / ideas etc). Once you set expectations it makes the entire project and process easier to manage and avoids disappointment.