the intern diaries {week one}…

so, as promised, with week one behind me, here’s a few notes i put together as a journal of sorts on my interior design internship…

suffice to say i got quite lucky on this one as there’s a whole slew of projects on the go for me to help out on, both corporate & residential… but i am, understandably, committed to confidentiality when it comes to client names & project details, & to keep myself on track i’ve decided not to disclose the name of the studio & head designer i’m interning for…

so, for what it’s worth, here goes…

day one: mucking in {& nirvana}…

the most amazing thing about day one is my complete & utter lack of nerves… i put it down to the fact that i’ve temped on & off now for the past 15 years so there’s been many a ‘first day at the new job’… but secretly i tell myself it’s because finally i’m on the right track, today i’m exactly where i’m meant to be…

a quick meet & greet & i’m impressed that they took the time to introduce me to the entire team from the managing director down… i can’t tell you how many times have i started a temp job & not even been formally introduced to my immediate team… things are looking up!

next on the agenda, a tour of the sample library… hello N*I*R*V*A*N*A…. this place is like heaven on earth to me…. an entire room pretty much dedicated to samples, samples & more samples… drawer after drawer laiden with tiles in every colour & finish imaginable, lavastone & polished concretes, woods of varying grains, glass tiles & metal finishes…

and then there’s the fabrics… box upon box of silks & linens, velvets & wools, leathers & mohairs… the list goes on & on & on… lush, lush, lush! & it would be remiss of me not to mention the walls lined with shelves bowing under the weight of hefty design tomes, magazines & paint swatches…

but no time to linger today… it’s straight into rolling up the sleeves & mucking in…

first on the agenda, styling some furniture boards for a residential project… the initial sourcing has already been done & my job is to put together some presentation boards featuring the furnishings & fabrics that have been selected so far in order to take the scheme to the client…

mid-afternoon & it’s time for a quick sprint to snatch & grab some last-minute fabric samples & then it’s back to the office for more furniture boards…

day two: leave your coat on…

more of the same on the residential project {it’s a big one} & i’m told i’ll be on it all week… i’m continuing where i left off on monday… it’s a hit & miss process really, trying to cram a floor plan & endless images of furnishings & fabric samples onto a meagre A3 page… you’d think my background in desktop publishing would help me out here, but it didn’t teach me how to read minds, so there’s a few iterations to try & get this to work!

then i’m given my next {concurrent} mission… sourcing a handful of “found” items for a commercial project {“found” meaning vintage & antique pieces… ie, items that are not specifically made “bespoke” for this project}

i’m sent on another quick dash this afternoon for “urgent” samples with the instruction “don’t come back without them” {seriously… am wondering how i can magic up samples if they don’t actually exist, but ho-hum, guess i’ll figure that one out if & when required}… no sooner am i back at the office then i’m told to leave my coat on: another dash, this time in the opposite direction, for yet more “urgent” samples… & i’m beginning to appreciate why most people intern when they’re fresh out of school {i’m gonna have to up my gym visits!}

day three: the multi-tasking diva…

more & more of the same… juggling sourcing furnishings & rearranging boards & all the time struggling to keep up… the pace at which pieces get swapped in & out of schemes is positively head-spinning & i wonder if i’ll ever get the hang of this… sofa fabric becomes curtains, curtain fabric morphs into cushions & cushion fabrics get the chop choppity chop… and so it goes, seemingly endlessly… & all this before the client even gets to see the first run-through… positively head spinning indeed!

day four: playing with the big boys…

a mini-breakthrough… i’m invited to sit-in on a run through with the head designer… they’re discussing fabrics for a residential project & there’s a lot to go through… it’s a constant juggle of colour, texture, pattern, suitability of use & mood evoked {casual, formal, rustic, etc.}…

it’s a pleasure to see an expert at work & i’m amazed how efficient the entire process is… samples are whipped on & off boards before i can even take stock… adding one fabric to the mix, means another two get pulled as they no longer “work”… the process is relatively decisive & instinctive… i’d love to know what’s going on in the head designer’s mind right now! how much of the decision making is formulae & how much just gut feeling or personal preference? time will tell i guess… for now i’m keeping my head down & concentrating on not making a complete tit of myself!

late afternoon & it’s another urgent fabric dash… this time a remnant of linen lands on my desk: no product code, no name, just details of the shop where they think they got it from… time to wave my magic wand & not only track down the very same fabric, but bring back various colourways! oh, & did i mention it’s a plain cream linen? ie, absolutely no pattern or distinctive colourway to go by, just the weight & the weave, which i later learn can be quite distinctive indeed… who knew!?! {a bit of investigation & i’m successful in my pursuit… am considering changing my name to “wonder woman”}

day five: tgif…

i’m exhausted… i want to limp through the day feeling sorry for myself as a week’s worth of learning on the job has left my brain fuzzy & unresponsive to stimuli… but there are seemingly insumountable deadlines piling up around my ears so i grin & bear it {note to self: schedule all self-pitying in after hours}…

my key takeaway: it’s starting to dawn on me that interior design is a business like any other… a design factory, if you like!

i guess in my head i’d always romanticised what certain professions would be like… you know, if it’s artsy you fit “work” in somewhere around sipping tea & philosophising, flipping through inspirational journals & pondering the marvels of the universe…

mmmmh… hello reality check: there’s absolutely no time for procrastination or day dreaming…

time = money

after a long day {which, like the four before it passes inexplicably quickly}, i pass on friday drinks and it’s straight home to the comfort of my couch to take stock of what i’ve got myself into!

{ps: apologies, i had intended to take arty, if not insightful, instagrams as i went about my week… but the work took over & i completely & utterly forgot all about it… maybe week two!}

{pps: wish i looked half as stylish as the lady in this pic, but i’m working on it: just as soon as i can loose the frazzled look!}

image by via: this is glamorous

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3 thoughts on “the intern diaries {week one}…

  1. Oh, reading this gives me such déjà vu! Good for you for taking the plunge. It may seem like a hard slog at the moment but looking back, you’ll be so glad you gave yourself this gift. 🙂

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