Often I get asked about how I became an interior designer. As law isn’t a natural spring board into interiors, my first career as a commercial litigator seems to flummox people.
As a child, I loved reading and drawing. Art was one of my Leaving Cert subjects (the Irish equivalent to A levels), but it wasn’t considered a “proper” subject to pursue. As the middle child of 5, I was always pretty outspoken and feisty. And I was adept at holding my own, so when I was applying for university, law seemed a natural fit.
Once we got on the property ladder, my love of interiors came to the fore again, as our flat was a project (plywood kitchen; avocado bathroom with pine panelling on walls, floors and ceiling. Grim). As was the house we bought after that. And the one after that… I started to detect a trend, and to think that maybe my heart wasn’t in law.
So, I signed up with KLC School of Design for a short course called Introduction to Interior Design, and spent the week looking terribly serious as I learnt as much as I could, and tried to figure out if this was the path for me. I decided to bite the bullet and signed up for their Open Learning Diploma, while juggling the latest project we had taken on.
Our architect gave me a crash course in how to use AutoCAD, and after I’d finished tearing apart our house and putting it back together, a friend asked me to help with her children’s rooms. And then another friend asked me to help with her master bedroom and en suite. And then another. So, I got my website sorted and a friend steered me in the right direction on how to run my business efficiently.
There were times when I felt like I’d gone in the wrong direction by becoming a lawyer, but there’s so much I learnt that applies to my work as a designer and it means that neither dealing with problems nor negotiating with builders phase me. As a lawyer I enjoyed solving problems and helping people. And those skills are an important part of being an interior designer too. Law was a great training ground for the organisational side of design. I just needed to get those skills under my belt before I could come back to my first love.
So on paper, it may seem an unorthodox route. But actually law was a great foundation to interior design, and though it didn’t seem like the most direct of routes, I’ve ended up exactly where I was meant to be.
If you would like some help with your interiors, get in touch here or give me a shout on 07801 364 238.