Designer Teaches Function and
participants seek out the classes for their personal home projects or
because they are interested in starting an interior decorating business.
Kelleher notes that the field has really taken off with the help of the
HGTV network, home design reality shows, and design magazines.
As part of the introductory class, students complete their own design project, which Kelleher critiques along the way. "I ask them to establish a design concept, select furniture, arrange it in their room, and create a color scheme. At the end of the session, they present their designs to the class." Even students who are unsure of their tastes and preferences always manage to complete the project. "To identify tastes it's helpful to look at interior photos," Kelleher said. "My goal is to help participants envision a design that will work for them - one that is both beautiful and functional. I want them to be able to make design decisions with confidence."
For those interested in interior decorating as a career, Kelleher acknowledges "you have to have a natural interest and talent in design. You have to be able to relate to clients, and be ready to let them take you in a direction that suits their taste and lifestyle." A good designer also has reliable sources for furniture, fabric and accessories. "I encourage those interested in the field to work in a retail setting first to learn the business and how to deal with customers." She notes that interior decorators often gain new clients through word of mouth from other satisfied customers. The pleasing design of a room or even a single piece of furniture can lead to a job. "Part of starting out in the field is accepting even small jobs, which can often lead to larger projects," Kelleher said.
What's the style of the new century? According to Kelleher, the design of the times incorporates clean lines and a contemporary look, relying on earth tones such as beige and chocolate browns, with accents such as turquoise, blue and apricot. She notes, "These are not the muddy earth tones of the 1970s. These are soft, beautiful colors." But then again, Kelleher advises, just as in clothing, don't throw anything out. "If you wait long enough, it will come back in style."
To register for "Basic Interior Design" or other noncredit summer classes offered through MCCC's Continuing Education Division, call (609) 570-3311 or visit "noncredit courses."
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