the intern diaries {weeks 5, 6 & 7}…

i’m back, as promised!

& as i approach the half-way mark of my four-month internship, every week i discover there is still so very much to learn… but, almost invariably, not always the kind of lessons one might expect… i try to approach every task i’m assigned {or volunteer for} with an open mind & a steely determination to take from it whatever lesson can be derived {as much from the process itself, as the end result}… in this way, jobs that might otherwise seem mundane or meaningless, instead become an adventure: a challenge to myself to rise up & find the hidden value within…

weeks 5 & 6: quietude…

as it turns out, these two weeks have proved as much an exercise in the importance of keeping oneself healthy as it has in issues of interior design…

first i’m struck down by a flu, and then a two-day migraine which knocks me off my feet…

humph…

but, in the time that i have been able to put in at work {5 days over a two week period… so not a good look, especially when you’re trying to impress}, the lesson that has stood out, above & beyond anything else, is this: the need for quietude in design…

when designing a space i have always, always been drawn to those furnishings & finishes with character, charm, an edge & a presence… strong forms & finishes, emotive colours or jaw-droppingly exquisite detail… i’m a sucker for a piece that dazzles & delights and is a show-stopper, as much from up-close as it is from afar…

but what i have learnt through first-hand observation of a true maestro at work is this: those quiet, calm & unassuming pieces {&, to be honest, even those that sometimes border on being downright insipid to my novice eye}, well, they are as equally important in a scheme as the show stoppers themselves…

why?

quite simply, because if every furnishing or finish or fabric that you choose is a stand-out in its own right, then the end result is that NOTHING actually, errr, stands out…

think of it, if you will, in terms of a play, a film or a damn good book… what makes the lead characters shine? what gives them depth & context, light & shadow? what indeed, if not the way they interplay with the supporting cast…

& whilst this might seem like a really obvious point to make, sometimes the more obvious something is, the more likely it is to be overlooked…

week 7: and then there was one…

so my first week back from a week-long holiday and i’m greeted by the news that my fellow ff&e intern has flown the coup… she’s opted to take a paid role with the offer of some long-term job security over finishing her four month internship here…

&, on balance, who can blame her?

interning is not for everybody & it’s a constant, constant case of weighing up the pros versus the cons… quite simply, like most things in life, if what you’re getting out of it isn’t worth that which you’re putting in, then it’s a no brainer really…

luckily for me, the good outweighs the bad & for now i intend to continue on…

& so to this week’s lesson: i can safely say that anyone who says interior design is 10% creative & 90% planning, well… let’s just say they’re soooo not lying!

case in point: the week before my holiday, we were charged with compiling an ff&e budget for our ongoing residential project…

this not only proved to be a huge undertaking, but also a fabulous lesson in the merit of being organised: i had two days in which to catalogue & source trade prices for more than 160 fabrics {no mean feat for a lady with a mild case of phone phobia}

where to start?

step one: catalogue every single fabric selection in an excel spreadsheet, including the fabric name & code, the distributor’s name & contact details, the room in which the fabric is to be used &, of course, a column to input the costs…

step two: filter the suppliers & start dialling… 100+ phone calls & a dozen follow-up emails {to verify i was calling from a trade account} and at 5.27pm on day two the job is done!

let’s just say my years of spreadsheeting in financial firms has come in handy…

it truly never ceases to amaze me the range of skills required to successfully undertake this role: i feel the left & the right sides of my brain may be firm friends by the end of this four months!

image by tim walker via: image amplified

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6 thoughts on “the intern diaries {weeks 5, 6 & 7}…

  1. Honestly I can’t believe you’re half way through already. That’s gone so quick (for me, anyway!). Any ideas what you’re gonig to do when you’ve finished….?

    • hiya, not sure to be honest… this takes me through to the end of summer and then i’m away and spending time with my mum… i guess i’ll start looking around soon to see what’s out there!

  2. When I first considered Interior Design an architect friend of mine told me, in no uncertain ways, that it’s 10% design and creativity and 90% planning and execution. He knew me well and warned me I wouldn’t last… he was right:)

    Glad you’re having this experience! Good Luck with the rest of the internship.

  3. Sounds like you’ve found your feet at last, week off notwithstanding – go you! 😀

    I am constantly amazed at the skills (life and otherwise) that I draw upon to do what I do for a living. The best part about working for myself is that I can shoehorn creativity into the more boring bits.

    Can’t wait to see where you go from here – I wish you the very best of luck with it all! 😀

    • i agree… every day i draw upon something i’ve learnt somewhere else… it makes me wonder how the hell i got by before i had all of these years experience doing one thing or another… no doubt i just didn’t know what i didn’t know!

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