You heard it right. Many many many months ago, I shouted that “I’m going to design school” and then there was radio silence. No updates. No posts. Not a peep. What’s up with that?! Yeah, I’m a slacker, I could say “life” got in the way, but we all know that’s a cop out. I promised “design school antics” in my blog ethos.
For years and years and years, I was thinking about going to design school, making the jump from corporate life to creative life. Instagram gave me the final push I needed. Reading all the personal stories of others doing the same exact thing. Giving up traditional day jobs, following passions, taking risks, and giving it a go. It is inspiring, encouraging and even though I’m at home alone, I feel a connected.
The backstory … I had a glam career, I enjoyed it, I travelled the world, I worked with big global brands on exciting projects. It was also stressful. It was long hours. I was never home. It was all consuming. It was unhealthy. I missed me. I was a strategist in innovation and corporate branding. Sounds cool, right? I helped companies (Starbucks, Wrigley, Pepsi, others) come up with new product ideas, I helped them figure out their vision, their purpose, what they stood for and then helped them transform to deliver this new vision.
The first step is always the biggest … I left the big job – moved to Edinburgh – had a baby – moved home – massive renovation done – started design school – new career. Sounds simple, right?! No. I’ll admit at times, I thought I’m crazy to give up the stable career and salary. It is hard at times, as a family we’ve had to make sacrifices. I keep reminding myself to look forward, not back! yes. yes. yes. A few inspirational images always get me back on track.
So, how did I get started? This is the boring, yet essential stuff you’ll need to think about when deciding to go back to school:
Full time student or part time. For me, part time was the only option. I’m raising a toddler, I started a blog, and I work freelance. There are only so many hours in a day.
Certificate, diploma, or degree. For me, diploma felt right. It provided the amount of depth I was looking for. Most diploma programs are based on 10 modules that cover: 1 the history of design, style & architecture – 2 colour theory & colour schemes – 3 floor plans, scale drawings & spacial planning – 4 interior design briefs & budgeting – 5 lighting plans – 6 flooring & wall – 7 furniture & accessories – 8 textiles & soft furnishings – 9 kitchens & bathrooms – 10 starting your own business. (or something like that)
On site or remote study. For me, remote study gave me the flexibility to adjust my studies based on what was happening in life (read: if I get stuck in a Instagram or Pinterest worm hole, we’ve all been there). I have a schedule and dedicate a few hours every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday to my coursework. I try to do more if I can. My goal (I say this loosely) is to do one module a month. It gives me something to work towards.
Schools. Beyond university programs, I also looked into: British Academy of Interior Design (BAID), British College of Interior Design (BCID), Interior Design Institute (IDI), KLC School of Design, and National Design Academy (NDA). Of course, there is no simple “like for like” chart to easily compare the pros & cons of each. The program at BAID was right for me. It has the right balance of theory, technical, and inspiration. It also has the option to continue studies with post graduate, HND, and full degree programs. Beyond the program, I also looked into the tutors, the accreditation, the design software used, trade associations I could join, and of course their Instagram & FaceBook sites.
Student life … So, that’s me a BAID interior design student and yes, I have a student ID card with a big cheeky grin on my face. I’ve already used it to get a student discount at the Design Museum. <eeek> I’m seriously excited – like a kid in a candy shop. My first assignment has been all about different ways to communicate with clients, getting inspiration from Pinterest, reading blogs, getting loads & loads of samples and creating a “dream lounge” mood board. I’m in my happy place.
That’s a wrap for Inspiration Monday. Watch this space to see & hear all about my assignments, what I get up to, and I promise some funny antics too.
Cheers – Liz xx
Hi Liz, can I ask you why did you choose BAID over KLC? The comments I heard about baid are mixed bag. So I am not sure which one to choose?.
Hi Balsam. Great question. It was a hard decision and at the time, the only program KLC offered required 35 hours a week for two years. I wasn’t able to dedicate that much and needed a program that had more flexibility. I’ve enjoyed the program I’m on at BAID but there are aspects that can be improved. I also think what you put into the program is what you get out of it. I’ve made sure to do my own research & reading beyond what BAID has advised and I’m also attending local industry events to build up my own network. I hope this helps. Cheers, Liz
Thank you liz, at the moment KLC is providing an online certificate which would require at least 15hrs of work per week. I think I will go for it as it has a very good reputation.
I hope you have finished your studies now and you are enjoying your new career.
Hi Liz! I was geared toward your blog by Carrie Cotton, & I’m loving reading it! I’m also looking into the BAID & KLC programs, however I’m wondering if you looked into any American accredited programs as well? I’m also living in Edinburgh but will return to the US in 2 years, so wondering what the best decision would be. Thx for any help!