Ever wondered what it’s like to be an Interior Designer? Read on and find out!
Hello there and welcome back to the blog!
So we had Christmas since I last posted, which came and went! (It was tough here in Kent as we were fully locked down and unable to see anyone). I must say that I’m very glad to be in January and heading towards Spring. We need the sunshine and colour of nature to give us all a bit of a pick me up I think!
Regular readers will know that I was part of a blogging series with the lovely Sophie of Golden Feathers Interiors towards the end of last year. We are back today with a post about the reality of home life during lockdown!
Is your home perfect?
I often get asked if my home is ‘perfect’ because I’m an interior designer. Is it always clean and tidy, beautifully styled and decorated impeccably? No! I, just like everyone else, am trying to do the best I can in running my own business, being a wife and supporting a husband who is also working from home and looking after our two sons, aged 2 and 5. Oh yes, and trying to homeschool my 5 year old too. It’s challenging! Whilst I have a vision for each room in our home and have designed everything in my head, we only moved in 2 years ago and so are slowly decorating each room one by one, as and when we have saved the money. (I’ll do a house tour of our progress so far in a couple of weeks).
What my day looks like…
So this is what a typical day might look for me at for the moment.
I start early! My eldest wakes between 5 and 6am and so although it’s early, it’s also kind of good. There’s a lot on my plate at the moment and I find that if I get up and start the day early, I’m much more likely to get things done!
I drive to our local Tesco at 6.30am as it takes me 25 minutes to get there (we live in the countryside). I can then shop from 7-8am in the peace and quiet and get home by 8.30am, ready for the nursery run. Nursery starts at 8.45am and my husband will have got the younger two dressed and fed whilst I’m out. If I’m not running an errand or working, then I’m usually out running with my friend Mel from 8-8.40am. She’s amazing and has really kept me going during lockdown. My husband does the nursery run on my running days. Yippee!
Then it’s back home for 9am to take over from my husband in time for his first Zoom call of the day. I grab a drink and some breakfast and sit down with my 5 year old to do a bit of learning for 30-40 mins – usually English or Maths.
At around 10am I stop, put my son onto a BBC Bitesize game and head off to start my work. I’m still at the kitchen table with him so can answer questions about Dinosaurs and ‘what does this say’ whilst I’m answering emails or doing some marketing for my Interior Design business.
At 11.15am I stop and head out the door again to pick up the youngest from nursery. When we get home it’s snack time in front of Cbeebies whilst I clean up around the house downstairs. I have a quick tidy in the kitchen and whizz the vacumn around. We have a cordless one and whilst it’s not great for a deep clean, it’s perfect for picking up crumbs in the kitchen and living room.
My youngest has a nap over lunchtime, so I’m able to get some more work done in that 90 minutes and also sit with my son whilst he does some handwriting practise or reading. It’s really hard doing both at the same time though. If I’m honest, I never feel like I’m doing either job to the best of my ability but then I’m doing both at the same time so why would I be?! I’m trying really hard not to beat myself up too much about not doing everything amazingly well and instead celebrating the wins when they occur!
By the afternoon I’m starting to flag and so I have an hour on the sofa with the children whilst they watch TV and I read. I read a lot about interior design or another aspect of my job that I could as CPD (continuing professional development). Sometimes I’ll watch a tutorial on how to improve an aspect of my business like book keeping or marketing on my Ipad whilst sitting next to the boys. I find that whilst I’m sitting with them, they are fine. As soon as I move…well, we could have an argument, a falling out or someone will just go crazy with a burst of energy and start tearing up the living room.
In late afternoon we go out for a walk or into the garden if we possibly can. The weather has been pretty miserable in the UK the past few weeks but it’s important that we try to get out. I try and plan a really simple game from the ‘5 Minute Mum’ book, which is related to my son’s learning from school. We do really easy things, like read numbers off of car number plates or collect 20 stones and take 2 away etc. Nothing fancy and nothing you need to prep for really but it’s still learning!
My husband finishes work anywhere from 5.30-6.30pm and will come and join the boys whilst they are eating their tea. He then takes them off to play (which is usually some sort of ‘fighting game’ upstairs) and I get some time to myself for half an hour. Then it’s the scrabble for bathtime, stories and bedtime which all finishes off around 8-8.15pm. I usually do some more work for an hour in the evening and have a lovely Zoom call on Monday evenings with my students at The Interior Designer’s Hub. They are studying for their diploma in interior design and I’m their assessor and tutor. Most of my client Zoom calls are also in the evenings at the moment as that suits people’s working from home lifestyle a bit more.
I finish off work by 9pm and then have an hour or so to relax and unwind. I should stress that I don’t work until 9pm every night – just a few times a week.
This is what life really looks like at the home of an Interior Designer
Sophie and I asked some of our fellow interior designers to share some candid shots of their home during lockdown. As you can see, their homes are gorgeous but also realistic. You’ll also notice the carnage that is my work desk when it’s not organised!
Image credits: 1 and 2 via Agi from Angle Room Interiors, 3 and 4 via Gillian Cooney; 5 via Philippa Sale and 6 via me – my messy desk!
If you fancy joining Sophie and I as we share real homes during lockdown, then upload a ‘behind the scenes’ shot of your own home using our hashtag #therealityofhomes. Don’t forget to head over to Sophie’s blog now to read more about life behind the lens!