Studying the Online Certificate in Interior Design
Online Certificate student Michelle Johnson shares her experience on the course so far…
"As an interior designer I could have my own
business, still be creative and be a mother."
Before the course Michelle worked as a fashion knitwear designer for many years in London and New York, designing for brands including Topshop, Next, Whistles and Calvin Klein. We spoke to Michelle about her decision to change her career and study interior design at KLC.
Q. Why did you decide to pursue a career in Interior Design?
I had been doing fashion for 15 years and felt that I had stopped learning. I had two young children and we decided we didn’t want to live in a big city anymore. My youngest (now 3) was born in New York and had complications and needed surgery. She needed a lot of medical attention, trips to Great Ormond Street Hospital and I needed to be there for her. I wanted to be a mum and be my own boss. As an interior designer I could have my own business, still be creative and be a mother. My husband commutes to London from Canterbury so I needed to always do the school runs. My daughter is now in perfect health but she still needs a couple of check-ups a year.
Q. What made you choose to study with KLC and why an online course?
I found that it is a very reputable course and I did my research. I wanted an online course to allow me flexibility to work around my current life. I have already done a degree and an MA from the Royal College of Art so I didn’t want to spend many more years studying as I felt that I had transferable skills. I also communicated with British Interior and Textile Designer, Sue Timney, who is a guest lecturer at KLC, and she highly recommended the course.
Q. What are you enjoying about the course so far?
After being a full time mum for 3 years and having a break from my fashion career, I feel that the course is giving me my confidence back. I am also learning new skills (e.g. Vectorworks) and learning how to use my old skills in my new career (e.g. Photoshop).
Q. What has been the most challenging or rewarding part of your first section?
By far for me the most challenging and rewarding was learning Vectorworks. I love that I have a completely new skill under my belt. I also love that if I have forgotten something I can just open the relevant video clip and remind myself which I would not have been able to do if I was on a course that I was present in a classroom.
Q. Have you found it easy to fit the course around your personal commitments?
Yes! My children had a 9 week summer holiday and I did as much as I could before then as I knew I wouldn’t be able to get much done although I am picking it up again now.
Q. Have you got any study tips for new students?
Don’t underestimate the need for headspace. I couldn’t do half an hour here or there as I needed thinking time and space to lay out all my fabrics and sketches. Also I have found it really helpful to talk to as many people in the industry as possible in my area.
Q. What are you hoping to achieve from the course and what would you like to go on to do?
I am hoping to build my confidence, learn a new trade and skills, and start my own business as an interior designer.
Michelle shared with us some of her recent design projects she has been working on alongside the course.
Raphael & Serena's Bathroom:
Whitstable Dressing Room:
See more of Michelle’s projects here: www.michelleshakallis.com
To learn more about KLC's Online Residential Certificate Interior design, click here!