Everyone thinks they know what interior design is about… it’s just avant-garde lamps, cushions and throw rugs, right? Wrong. That’s interior decoration, and even within that realm it’s a bit of a reductive imagining of what’s involved. No, interior design is concerned with everything from the basic bones of a room – its built structure – right through to the fine details of fittings and furnishings.
Why am I so keen to make this distinction? I guess it’s because I’m from a family of interior designers, so I’ve witnessed these misinterpretations first hand. My mother works with upscale hotels, designing things like ‘concept lobbies’, while my father designs internal acoustic structures for university lecture theatres. My sisters, funnily enough, have both ended up as bathroom designers, working for competing residential architecture firms.
Me? Oh, I’m not a designer. I’m actually an accountant, which I like to think of as a form of design in an abstract sense, although I’ll concede that that’s stretching the terminology a bit. But, yeah – ever since I was a kid, when people ask what my folks do for a crust and I tell them, they’ll be like, “Oh yeah, throw rugs, am I right?” It’s not that I’m on a mission to defend their profession on principle; it’s just that I’m officially over having to explain it to people. I guess I feel obliged to do this to defend my family’s honour or something… I don’t even know.
On another note, having so many family members in this field does come in handy for things like, say, laundry renovations. Not only do I have a natural eye for the marriage of form and function, but I’ve got the right contacts to realise my vision without having to slog through a massive list of possible design and installation specialists. Admittedly, Dad can get a little caught up in the acoustical aspects at times – I mean, managing bass frequencies isn’t really that relevant to laundries – but I appreciate his input all the same.