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Weekly Warmth: Tips for Aspiring Designers

The Weekly Warmth is a reminder to take time for yourself. Here, I share a weekly collection of fashion, cooking, lifestyle, and design favourites, along with uplifting stories, helpful tips, and more. With the Weekly Warmth, we can all come back to a creative space and find special moments in the everyday.

My passion for interior design was driven by a lifelong creative bug. When I met Sacha, who is deeply creative and passionate about graphic design and photography, I started to explore how I too could pursue a creative career path. I saw an ad for an online staging and decorating course and then got a job at a paint and blind store offering colour consultations. From there, our side hustle began and the rest is history! The route into the interior design industry is often unconventional. As we launch our second annual LD Design Education Scholarship for BIPOC students of interior design and interior decorating, I’m sharing a few tips for aspiring designers looking to break into the industry. I hope you draw inspiration from the little things that brought me warmth this week.

1. Hone your craft

The only way to improve your design skills and refine your aesthetic is through hands-on experience. Seek out internship opportunities, offer design assistance to family and friends, work on projects in your own home—anything that will build your portfolio.

2. Capture it!

You NEED high-quality images of the spaces you create. Take a photography course or seek out an aspiring photographer you can collaborate with. We started building our portfolio with images of our own home and then added spaces we redesigned for family and friends to continuously refresh our content as we grew the business.

3. It never hurts to ask

You never know when you might make the right connection. Even if a design firm you admire isn’t currently hiring, reach out and ask if they’d consider taking on an intern. If you can prove how you’d be an asset to their team, you just might get a foot in the door! Our first employee, Grace Doyle, reached out to see if we needed an intern six years ago—and now she’s our COO!

4. Professional skills and personal qualities

A few important skills, and keywords, to add to your interior design resume include understanding balance, scale, budgeting, timelines and scheduling, space planning, and specifications. On our team, we look for designers who are creative, kind, team-oriented, welcoming of feedback, and always striving for growth. Teamwork is a key element in providing our clients with the most innovative designs and the best experience.

5. Seek inspiration

If you’re new to interior design, I recommend researching industry groups in your region that align with your aesthetic. When we were starting out, we would frequent our local home show and the Interior Design Show in Toronto to learn more about current trends and innovations. We also gathered inspiration from local shops, tile stores, museums, and boutique hotels. I also recommend LuAnn Nigara’s A Well-Designed Business podcast. She hosts a variety of interior design industry professionals who provide insight and guidance relevant to anyone’s journey in this business.

6. Just start!

If you’re thinking about launching your own interior design business—just start! Curate your portfolio, put together a website, create social media accounts (Instagram being top priority) and embark on your journey. Patience and persistence are key. I’ve always referred to it as an incredibly rewarding job rather than a dream job. It’s my passion, but it’s a ton of work! It can be complex, challenging, and quite the mountain to climb—but the view at each stage is well worth the climb.

With love & gratitude ♥,


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