What's It Like to Be an Interior Designer? An Interview With Elizabeth Swartz
August 27, 2014
•Interior Design, General
• 0 Comments
With more than 30 years of experience as a designer, Elizabeth Swartz knows what it takes to be an interior designer. Her Boston-based firm, Elizabeth Swartz Interiors, and projects have been featured in magazines including "New England Home," "HGTV," and "Trends." Her, she talks about what it's like to be an interior designer and the challenges she faces in the industry.
Question:What's it like to be an interior designer, and what's an average day like?
I assist clients in creating homes that function well, are aesthetically pleasing and fit their unique visions. Essentially, I try to make their lives better through problem-solving to optimize the experience of being in their homes.
Part of what I love about design is that my day-to-day work is so varied. One day, I'm meeting with clients to discuss their dreams, ideas, budget and time constraints; the next, I'm on a construction site with builders and craftspeople brainstorming the best way to solve an unforeseen problem.
I spend much of my time finding or designing furnishings that are just right for a particular space: a wonderful antique to match a family heirloom, custom-made contemporary furnishings or lighting, the perfect fabrics to pull a room or house together.
Q: Have there been any big surprises about a career as an interior designer?
The wonderful relationships that I have formed with my clients. Part of what drew me to design was the interpersonal aspect, but I did not anticipate that some of my clients would become close friends. I spend a lot of time with my clients, helping them realize their dreams, and it's a wonderful experience.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges for you?
Not everyone has the same high standards or cares as much about the clients as I wish they did. It can be frustrating to work with vendors, tradespeople and others who do not feel that we should do everything possible to make our clients happy.
Q: What do you most enjoy about your career?
Creating spaces that not only work for my clients, but exceed their hopes and expectations. The satisfaction of seeing clients love their new home is enormous.
Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?
If you know you want to be an interior designer, the best way to start is to enter a CIDA-accredited program. Then, find a very good experienced designer — or several — to mentor you. A professional with years of practice, particularly in a specialty you want to pursue, can offer invaluable help and recommend things you might never consider on your own.
Hopefully, these insights from Swartz will give you some direction if you're wondering, "What's it like to be an interior designer?"
Photo credit: Elizabeth Swartz Interiors