Changing Career to Interior Designer

Changing Career: How I Became an Interior Designer

I can honestly say that changing career to become an interior designer was one of the best decisions I have ever made. At the time, it was a huge call to make but I trusted my instincts, followed my dream and haven’t looked back since. I do hope my story gives some insight for those considering the leap!

I have always loved to create and construct.  Looking back at my school days, my subject selection allowed me to nurture this passion, whilst keeping my academic options open. Finishing A-levels in Art, Economics and Geography, however, presented my first real dilemma as to next steps. Should I study for an Art Foundation Course and take time to explore alternative and unknown career paths. Alternatively should I choose an academic degree at the University of Bristol, which would help ensure a more conventional career.  After much deliberation, I chose to read for a Bachelor of Science in Geography.

 

Following graduation, I spent four years in account management at The Brunswick Group and BMP DDB. The world of corporate communications gave me a fast paced insight to the real world of business, most notably the importance of client servicing, estimating and scheduling. I thoroughly enjoyed work, but desperately wanted to explore and fulfil my creative passions further.  After much assessment of the opportunities available, I decided to take a risk and change my career. I set my sights on a career in Interior Design and headed back to the classroom to study at KLC School of Design.

I immersed myself in an intensive year of study. The Diploma course provided a huge and varied number of topics including Lighting Design, the History of Style, technical drawing, inspirational lectures from leading industry experts, individual and group project work, as well as invaluable work experience with Todhunter Earle. I learnt so much from every element and from other students who each brought a wealth of knowledge from a global plethora of diverse experiences, both socially and professionally.

Bedroom Detail

After graduating with Honours, and with the support of KLC, I was lucky enough to find employment with Lifestyles Interiors, part of the exclusive Northacre Group. I hit the ground running and worked on a number of show apartments at Kings Chelsea, amongst other private projects.  I drew on everything detail I had learnt at KLC, as well as my previous practical business experience.  To consolidate my old and new skill sets was incredibly rewarding and I felt truly fulfilled, both professionally and emotionally.

 

Having completed a number of prestigious projects with Lifestyles, I went onto work at Fox Linton Associates with Martin Hulbert in London and then Federica Palacios Design in Geneva. I was incredibly privileged to work at these renowned interior studios and have worked on a number of high-end residential and commercial projects, which have included a town house in Cadogan Square, the Grand Park Hotel and ski chalets in Gstaad, a family house overlooking Lake Geneva, as well as global apartments in New York and Dubai.

 

Returning to live in the UK with my husband and our three young boys a few years ago was the catalyst to creating our own design studio. Camilla Bellord Interiors was established in 2016, a family run business with the aim of providing a complete interior design service to both private and professional clients.  With a harmonious blend of aesthetic and function always in mind, our ethos is to create timeless interiors, infused with an eclectic elegance.

 

Business is thriving with both local and international projects.  Most recently we launched an exclusive online shop, which offers a unique collection of accessories, art and furniture from trusted sources all around the world.

 

Looking back over almost 20 years in the world of interiors, I am so pleased that I took a risk and changed my career.  Each project is totally unique, presenting new opportunities and challenges.  No day is ever quite the same!  Some are spent on a building site sporting a hard hat and fluorescent vest whilst clambering up a ladder; others are spent preparing spatial concepts, sourcing exquisite materials from unique artisans, as well as the inevitable excel spread sheets detailing schedules and estimates.

 

I feel enormously privileged to work in this unique industry, which never ceases to entice or excite and I couldn’t recommend it more highly!

 

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15 comments

  • Zoe Everett 11th April 2018  

    What an interesting story, great to see that you followed your passion and it’s paid off for you! Congratulations on your success 🙂

    • Camilla Bellord Interiors 11th April 2018  

      Thanks so much Zoe! It really took a leap of faith…but deep down I always knew it would be the right move for me!

  • Evija 11th April 2018  

    What an inspirational story, and what a change in the career! I think the creative people sooner or later have to escape the everyday jobs to fulfil their passion in one way or another.. I am so happy to read your story as it shows, following your dreams does pay off!! Well done 🙂

  • Sam 11th April 2018  

    What an interesting post, I always love hearing how people got into the industry! Such an inspiration.

  • Lauretta Wright 11th April 2018  

    At one point in my life I wanted to be an interiors designer, so this is a great insight into how and why you wanted to choose this career path.

  • Jenny Kakoudakis 12th April 2018  

    I loved this story! Very inspiring and goes on to show that with a little faith and a lot of effort you can achieve so much – as long as you are doing something you truly love! It’s so important to spend our life doing things that fulfil as as opposed to a 9-5 that never gives us pleasure. Personally, I worked over 14 years now in the financial services. I am a lawyer by trade but have never practiced law; instead went on to specialise in anti money laundering compliance and countering financial crime. It sounds boring to some (and sometimes after 14y, it is!) but it is also so rewording when you help individuals, stop crime in its tracks and help the regulators and the law enforcement authorities… as for the interiors blog? It’s what balances the creativity that is missing from my day job!

    Bottom line? Keep doing what you love!

    • Camilla Bellord 12th April 2018  

      Jenny thanks so much for your comment. You have a truly inspiring story to tell! So great to hear that you have found the right balance too!!

  • Stacey Sheppard 12th April 2018  

    What a lovely post. It’s so easy to go with your head and choose to study something more academic that should lead to a more stable career. But I applaud your courage to pursue your dream and change direction. That is a scary move to make and one that not everyone is brave enough to make!

    • Camilla Bellord 16th April 2018  

      Thanks Stacey. Yes it was scary and hard work along the way…but so worth it in the end.

  • Tamsin Allen 13th April 2018  

    Just goes to show that no matter what your earlier choices in life, it’s never too late to change and follow your dreams.

    • Camilla Bellord 16th April 2018  

      That’s right Tamsin! It’s never too late!

  • Anne Marie 15th April 2018  

    What a great , inspirational story. It only proves that although it’s a risk, it’s always good to follow your dream as it can turn out to be a wonderful life 😉😊

    • Camilla Bellord 16th April 2018  

      Thanks so much Anne Marie!

  • Despina 19th April 2018  

    Dear Camilla, I came to London last year because I did not want to settle and just survive. I wanted to find my true calling. I think that I had already, before I came here, but it’s just too scary sometimes to try and do something that mlst people think is reckless. I read your story around 2 months back. I searched for KLC, I went there, and I have an interview in less than a month! I’m terrified to be honest because trying to finally invest in myself will mean sucrifising some of the “comforts” more secure jobs have offered me. But, it just feels right! You are inspiring and I wish that one day, somebody will take a leap of faith from my own story too!
    Have a good day 🙂

    • Camilla Bellord 19th April 2018  

      Dear Despina
      Thank you so much for your kind message. I’m so pleased to hear that you too are taking those first steps to fulfilling your dream.
      Believe in yourself and you can achieve anything.
      If you do need any advise, please do get in touch directly and I would be only to pleased to help.
      C