Friday, June 7, 2013

What I Learned in College: Interior Design School Knowledge

Today is day four in my What I Learned in College series!  Read the other posts in my series here, here and here.



1. Interior Design is Not HGTV .
It took all of three minutes for my favorite professor to let us know "if you're here because you like what you see on HGTV, this is not for you!" This was day one of design class and I was already scared. I did love what I saw on HGTV, and still do, but I came to find out it doesn't happen like you see it on TV. Nope, not one bit.

While in interior design school, I learned that design is a process; it doesn't happen over night or in a crazy five day timeline. Design is one part working with people and being a psychologist, one part beautiful and functional spaces, and one part business. That's the recipe for success!  While we love to think that everything on HGTV is real and amazing, and trust me I still watch and love lots of shows, a lot of it is made up for some good ole television. House Hunters? 90% of the time, the couple has already purchased the home prior to filming the show. Love it or List it drama? Yeah, that's definitely staged. Sorry to break it to you ;)

Interior design is hard work and it takes a long time, but you know what?! I sort of like it that way, because the reward is so much greater.

2. I am a Designer.
The second thing my professor said on our first day of class was to never refer to ourselves as "decorators."  Sure, we can decorate and style {and in fact, I love those aspects!} but there is a true difference in a designer vs. decorator. Before attending school for this, I knew there was a difference but didn't really care, nor did I fully understand it. The difference comes in the technical knowledge we learn when in school.  We went to school for four years and are trained in CAD, sustainability, which materials are best for certain applications, rendering, scaling, Photoshop, SketchUp, structural aspects and foundation issues of housing, and the technical side tot lighting {don't even get me started on all the things you don't want to know about a light bulb}.  Contrary to what a lot of people think, I don't learn about how to choose a cute chandelier, rug, or pillows.  Hopefully that is just a natural talent of mine, because there were no classes on this aspect {I'm pretty sure it's a skill I possess, thankfully}.  There is much, much more than that! 

This being said, I'm not trying to say we're better than decorators, because some of my favorite women in the business are self-proclaimed decorators and they are so, insanely talented. They are just two different things, that is all.  Alright. I'm going to stop there before this turns into an essay :)


Speaking of HGTV, can we talk about the fact that the network has hardly any actual interior design shows on anymore?! Yes, there's a lot of flipping, house hunting, and renovating shows, but none that really teach interior design. So sad, if you ask me! Agree??

Happy Weekend!
xoxo
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23 comments:

  1. YES about your sidenote on HGTV! But I think Sarah Richardson has a new show coming out soon so we will get a little bit of interior design back in our lives.

    And I have to admit when I started design school I thought it would be fun and easy. Wrong on so many levels! This is the hardest I've ever worked....good thing we love it right?!

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  2. love hearing about this as i didn't know much of a difference either (between designer and decorator)! :) thanks
    kw ladies in navy

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  3. You just crushed me on House Hunters and Love it or List it on HGTV.....my 2 FAV shows on there....and to know it's all staged and they have already purchased the home prior to the show, what??!!! Ha! Happy Friday!!

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  4. I think it's awesome that you've worked so hard to be a DESIGNER! I think you are crazy talented too just by what I see here on your blog. I'm so excited that Tiffany said Sarah is supposed to have a new show soon. I just love her!

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  5. In regards to your side note, one time I was watching House Hunters, the couple pulled up a home they wanted to look at on their computer screen, the camera zoomed in and the house was already listed as SOLD. What a rip off!

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  6. Yes, I totally agree with you about HGTV! It is sad! I am in interior design school also, and it is more then people think and harder then I thought. Thanks for sharing, I have really enjoyed this series. :)

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  7. Thanks for sharing this. I didn't know much about the difference of designer vs decorator nor about HGTV!
    I didn't have the HGTV channel for a couple years and I really missed it, but when I got it back I was surprised to see a lot of renovating shows. I thought that bc of my schedule I was missing the designing shows, ha! Hope we get some more this season!
    xo,
    Marcela
    http://tucasablogonline.blogspot.com

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  8. I definitely think HGTV needs more design shows! But Design Star is coming back (I guess it's HGTV Star now) and one of my favorite bloggers ever is on it!

    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

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  9. It's true!! House Hunters always seems to be HGTV - although I will admit the International version is fun to watch :) We sometimes get new Sarah Richardson or Candice Olsen shows, but it's so true! I definitely miss the more design centered shows! xoxo

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  10. I was in the States early May and was surprised at how much better HGTV Canada is. Every time I tuned in House Hunter's was on! I checked the website and currently HGTV Canada has 30 shows playing, I think that is quite a bit more than what I saw in the States.

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  11. yes yes to ALL of this!!! And speaking of HGTV, agreed. I miss my candice? Is she still even on anymore?

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  12. I'm in love with HGTV!!! Sometimes it keeps me up until 2am because I can't stop watching :) I love your designing and decorating, btw!! You're so talented!

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  13. I am three weeks away from finishing interior design school, and everything that you mentioned is right on point! I especially laughed out loud when you made reference to the light bulb...it's so true. I know more than I ever cared to know about them, but knowing the technical things truly makes us better designers and a much better help and resource to our clients. I just found your blog, and I am so happy that I have!

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  14. I went to Design school 11 years ago and on the first day of school they told us "if you are going into design to make a lot of money you are in the wrong field." Ha ha! They also told us only half of our class would actually finish the whole program. That ended up being true. And they also talked to us off on and about the difference between a decorator and a designer. While working at a design firm after finishing school, we were very quick to correct people that referred to us as decorators. :)

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  15. You're so right Michaela. I can remember telling people I was going at an art school and they'd always say "all you do there is draw right"....ummmmmmm.....lol. While I wanted to do interior design I'm glad I went with marketing and management but I'm always careful not to call myself an interior "designer" (maybe one day I'll get another degree) but right now, put me in front of CAD and I'm going to look at you like you're crazy, I am a decorator lol. I'll leave all the designing to you missy!

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  16. Very informative and interesting post, Michaela. Congratulations on your graduation this weekend!

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  17. I know!! I love watching "Sarah's House" but now the only place i can watch it is on AMI. So i watch all my design shows in described video lol

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  18. I love this post! I am in my final year of Interior Design and I find that the learning process is so rewarding, but sometimes explaining that Im not just learning how to pick a pretty lamp is hard.. they just dont get it. But I love when I get to explain all the "technical" things that I am learning and they say " I had no idea that was involved," so rewarding :)

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  19. I totally agree about HGTV. Bring the real designers back!

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  20. haha! YES! House Hunters, omg. My sister-in-law and her hubby just filmed their episode on HH, and gave us all the nitty-gritty "reality tv" details. There is definitely some movie magic going on over at HGTV:-) xoxo

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Thank you for stopping by! If you have a specific question, please email me at hello@michaelanoelledesigns.com. I always reply to emails! Have a blessed day! xoxo

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