More than a decade ago, I chose to pursue marketing as a career. Although I consider this field to still be a good fit for me, sometimes I think I could quite happily be an interior designer. I certainly have the passion for it! Deciding to pursue a career as a professional interior stylist would likely involve me going back to school. At the moment, the time and money required to get another degree is just simply not in the cards (I just finished paying off my student loans!). Luckily we live in an age where it’s possible to hack your education. It just takes a bit of free time and the Internet.
Are you an aspiring interior designer like me? Here are eight resources I find incredibly useful. Do they take the place of formal education? Well no, however they certainly keep me up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in the industry.
Pinterest – As a novice in any field, it’s important to get a mentor. If you’re not lucky enough to know someone in your desired field in real life, then the next best thing is to find one online. Pinterest is not just a pointless time suck; it’s a great place to follow and interact with some of the most influential and talented interior designers in the industry. Do you have a favorite interior stylist? Then I encourage you to follow them on Pinterest. What they pin will give you important insight into home decor trends, top brands and their style inspirations. One of my favorite designers to follow – HGTV’s Emily Henderson.
Houzz – This site is like a master class on interior design. The homes and spaces featured on Houzz are created by some of the top designers and architects in the industry. If you’re serious about one day pursing a career in design, then Houzz is a great resource for creating a roster of design firms to target for future job opportunities.
Craftgawker – It’s no secret redecorating is expensive. Luckily there are numerous DIY sites like Craftgawker that feature easy design projects to help offset costs. Spending just 10 minutes on the site will certainly get your creative juices flowing, encouraging you to look at everyday items as potential supplies for your next DIY project. Your future clients will be grateful you can think outside the box when it comes to styling their home.
Apartment Therapy – Some of the most helpful and practical decorating advice I’ve ever read has come from Apartment Therapy. This site is a wealth of information, helping homeowners solve their decorating woes, while at the same time inspiring them to create their dream spaces. Considering most design projects stem from a decorating challenge, this site will be a great resource for finding a solution.
One Kings Lane’s Resource Guide – We all love One Kings Lane for its fabulous selection of new and vintage goods at ridiculously affordable prices. But did you know the site also has a robust resource guide for interior designers? The purpose of the guide to educate home decor enthusiasts on the history of popular vintage furniture and antique pieces. As a professional designer, it would be pretty embarrassing if you called a baroque-style chair mid-century in front of a client!
Design Sponge’s Design Icon column – Similar to the One Kings Lane guide, Design*Sponge’s Design Icon column chooses a single textile, product or piece of furniture and gives you a brief overview of its history, including its designer, dates of manufacture, country of origin, etc. It’s fascinating to learn the backgrounds of some of the most iconic pieces in home decor.
Doodle Home – Founded in my hometown, Doodle Home is a virtual studio for interior designers to run their businesses more efficiently. The site features a number of great resources, like an extensive directory of manufacturers and the ability to create a designer’s profile. You can also request product quotes, samples and place orders through the site.
Etsy – As a designer, sourcing affordable housewares can be a challenge, which is why sites like Etsy that feature handmade products are a great resource for design elements that won’t break the bank. The next time you’re creating a mood board for your home or client, make sure you stop by Etsy for high impact, one of a kind pieces.
What sites do you consider great design resources?