Gender & Identity, Life

20 things you’ll only understand if you’re an interior designer

Do you question a doctor that suggests your medicines? No? Then please trust me too, because destroying your house will not give me any kind of pleasure.

Four years ago, had someone asked me what I thought “Interior Design” was, my answer would’ve probably been the same as everyone else: it’s where people choose colors, redecorate, and move furniture around.

However, four years and a degree in Interior Design later, my thoughts have completely changed.

1. During my time in uni, my professors expected us to know EVERYTHING.

From the very first day when we started out, it was as if we had studied it all our lives. Spoiler alert: WE HADN’T.

I didn’t know about anything to do with Interior Design before stepping into that class!

2. The same professors also told us “YOU KNOW NOTHING!” about a million times.

Is it really that important to put us down like that? We already knew we didn’t know as much as they did, but come on. Rude.

3. People are always fascinated every time I mention the words “Interior Design.”

It is like music to people’s ears. It REALLY isn’t what you think it is. The color picking and furniture arranging is the very last thing of the whole process.

4. I’m an Interior Designer, NOT a decorator.

“Oh wow! Haha please come design my house too!”

If only I had a penny every time I’ve heard this sentence. If only.

5. Assuming that my suggestions/opinions are facts.

No, they are not. I can only suggest things; the rest depends entirely on the client.

6. What I start off with is almost never the same as the end product.

I can have the most adorable and creative idea ever, and I can assure you, it will be something entirely different by the time I’m finished with it.

7. The blatant sexism, even in something as simple as this industry.

Apparently, it is considered “feminine” for men to be interior designers. Because arts is clearly a field exclusively for women, right?

8. Female designers are asked, “who is the man in charge?”


9. “Designing is a job where you have to look good.”

I can’t tell you just how many times I’ve been told this sentence, over and over again. What the hell does my appearance have to do with my skill set? Sure, I should look presentable, but what is this nonsense about looking “creative?”

10. The difference between an architect and an interior designer is lost on people.

“So you’re an architect? No? An engineer, then? No?”

NO. I want to smack a sign on my forehead with the following words: “An architect takes care of the structure. An interior designer looks after literally everything else.” Please and thank you.

11. The words “interior designer” do not get me free material samples.

My material boards are some of the most crucial parts of my work, and it is beyond frustrating when sellers refuse to give me materials.

12. “So is that a course that you’re doing? Can I apply for it too?”

Please no. I did NOT spend four years, putting in blood, tears, and sweat for you to ask if it was just a course.

13. It is in no way a liberal arts degree.

Actually, Aunty, my degree is a technical one, like an engineer’s or an architect’s.

14. Your work cannot be ready in two days time, no matter how much you pay me.

People, I’m going to need to see your floor plans, individual floor plans, furniture layout, as well as your current color scheme. So unless you’ve brought all that with you, don’t bother ordering me around.

15. Insisting on expensive materials, then complaining about the budget going overboard.

Please tell me I don’t need to explain this. I repeat: I am an interior designer.

Not your personal genie.

16. Insisting on cheap materials, then getting upset about them not working.

Just another reason why your work cannot be finished in two days.

17. I am a professional. Please listen to my suggestions/opinions.

Do you question a doctor that suggests your medicines? No? Then please trust me too, because destroying you or your house will not give me any kind of pleasure.

18. Taking opinions from one designer, and then hiring another.

Why the hell would you do that? Just why?

19. Wasting time without having an idea of what you want, and expecting me to do that for you.

You must communicate with me and let me know what you need. Just like every other field, I need something to work with.

20. I do not only give out color schemes or arrange furniture. This is my full-time job.

I work with specific softwares like AutoCAD and 3ds Max; these are what I use to bring my ideas to life with. So if you expect me to give you mood boards and color schemes for free, I’m sorry but: NEXT!