Yes, design is about style and fashion and sophistication.
To me, though, that is some surface level stuff. The entire foundation of good design is technical and it’s about simple intuition. Maybe it’s the intuitive application of technical principles.
Interior design is a learnable skill. It’s grass roots and basic, salt-of the-earth stuff. It’s absolutely concepts that can be applied to any space with what’s available.
Are you curious what this interior designer hates about interior design?
Here’s the truth: I hate the superficial snobbery. The brands. The overpriced nonsense. The frivolous stuff and the materialistic showing off. And often all of this is happening while basic design principles, like good, simple scale or balance, are being ignored.
How did I get past that? I got down to business. I refused to buy in. I never once rolled my eyes at what clients had to work with. I rolled up my sleeves, got creative and put my knowledge of the basics to work. And you can do that, too.
Don’t for one second think that you, person who just wants to have a nice, stylish home and make the best of what you have, is the only person who has felt that eye-rolling, half-smirking look cast on them by someone who deems themselves ‘tres chic’ in the design world. Nope, sister, it’s happened to me, too. And I’m a decent* professional interior designer. I’m just also down to earth and put my focus on making a well-designed space however my clients want to get there.
*Maybe I’m decent, maybe I’m damn good, maybe I’m a solid 8/10, it’s really difficult to objectively rate yourself, am I right?
It's possible that by sticking to good, well-thought out design principles, by making the best use of what my clients own and love, that I'm missing out. Maybe I’m not making as much commission on overpriced furniture as I could be. It’s possible I’m not handing out invoices for styling purchases that make people faint. The bottom line is that I really don’t care what anyone other than my clients think about that, I’m going to keep being me because I think it's being true to what I believe in. And if that’s you, too, then hold your head up and keep on being yourself, too.
I know the principles of design: scale, harmony, rhythm, balance, focus. And I think you can know them, too. I can transform a room with that knowledge. Anyone can.
I sometimes say that I am an advocate for ‘design for the people’. I’m partly being cheeky but there is truth there.
Interior design is about loving where you live or work or wherever you ‘be’ and that has nothing to do with style or fashion or sophistication. It’s your home and you deserve better than that superficial nonsense, don’t you think?
Ready to love where you live?
Join over 15 000 others for instant access to my library of free, practical, and down-to-earth interior design resources!
Looking to Pin to save for later?
Here you go!
Hi, I'm Tara. I'm a professional interior designer living in rural Canada where I help the practical & down-to-earth to love where they live. I offer professional interior design services in person and online and am the author of a design & style guide to Living With Oak.
I believe you can become a happier person in a more beautiful home and I’m here to guide you in creating a practical plan to pull it all together. I’m here to offer interior design advice and inspiration to help you make that happen.