Student Success - Deborah Brady

By Sarah Van Arsdale on October 31st, 2015

NYIAD students are out there in droves decorating clients' homes, serving as consultants in department stores, and re-designing everything from metropolitan penthouses to lakeshore cottages. If you've started your own business, if you've been hired by a decorating firm, or if you've achieved success in some other way in the field of interior design, we want to hear from you! Click here to let us know about the waves you're making!

Like many NYIAD students, Deborah Brady was first drawn to NYIAD's Interior Design Course because of the flexibility inherent in the study-at-home format. Once she enrolled, she quickly found that she was on a roll with learning everything about interior design from lighting to color coordination — and the results were showing in her interior design work.

One of the things she found most helpful about the Course was the individual attention she got from her advisors, who would carefully look over the work she sent in with each package.

"My course work has been helpful in many ways," she said. "The work is reviewed by a designer with many years of experience."

The NYIAD students are taught that each time a designer — or a NYIAD student — looks at a room, she or he should make a list of every element in the room, and the condition it's in. Are the outlets in good, safe working order? Do the windows need to be replaced? Will the room need to be repainted before the new furniture is brought in?

Each student enrolled in NYIAD's Interior Design Course is also taught to use a Lifestyle Questionnaire for each client, so that the designer can better assess the client's unique, individual needs. Does the family congregate in the kitchen? Are reading lamps needed in the living room?

In her studies, Brady found working with these checklists proved to be very helpful with her interior designs.

"The Room Condition check list helps you keep focused, and the Lifestyle Questionnaire is very helpful when you have more then one project going at a time," Brady said.

Now, Brady is working as a professional designer, with a current project of designing a teen's bedroom for a new client.

NYIAD Student Postcard

"What I like best about what I am doing now is that I can select the quality of the products I use," she said.

This quality is clear in the photos Deborah sent us to illustrate her interior design work. The first is the "before" photo of a kitchen Deborah was hired to re-design.

"The house was being put back on the market, and without all the lights on, the kitchen was very dark," she explained.

"When I started, the walls were white and there was a ugly ceiling fan over the eating area. The wainscoting was dark and the door to the garage was dark brown," Deborah said.

First, she removed ceiling fan and replaced it with hanging lanterns. She added red, green, and dark yellow checkered wall paper with Americana theme border.

The cabinets are actually the same cabinets; they were in good structural condition and didn't need to be replaced, so Deborah just sanded them down and painted them in "Melted Butter" by Behr.

NYIAD Student Postcard

Next, Deborah put on blended metal draw pulls and handles to match the buffet, and painted the wainscoting with Ralph Lauren "Country Dairy."

"We left the ceramic tile counter tops, and put in a stainless steel dishwasher with a built in garbage disposal," she said. "We removed the round dining table and added a farm table from Broyhill. The clients kept the odds and ends chair for a little eclectic look.

The rectangle area rug echoes the same colors that are in the wall paper, but with larger checks. Finally, Deborah pulled in odds and ends that she found around the house, so that although it's professional re-done, the kitchen still reflects the personality of the family living in the house.

You can see the results. Now, the kitchen practically sells the house on its own!

Even though Deborah loves her work, she knows that there is no interior design job that is without its challenges.

"Every project has a challenge to over come," she said. "But the biggest challenge is keeping the client on track. Often after a project starts the client will see something that they want to add to their project, but it is often out side the scope or to expensive to add unless they want to increase the budget."

To get clients to articulate their desires, Deborah finds it helpful to encourage them to collect photos of rooms they like from magazines. "I have found that those pictures reflect the clients true choices. They are helpful putting a room together."

It's clear from Deborah's photos that all her hard work in completing the NYIAD Interior Design Course is paying off, both financially and in terms of allowing her creativity to blossom.

Deborah worked hard and truly improved her design skills with our online interior design courses, taking full advantage of the amazing personal touch our advisors offer all our students.


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