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How Work Experience changed my Career Life!

#ApprenticeWay by Christine Omorere, Interior Designer & former Design Apprentice.

London, UK.

My name is Christine Omorere, and I am a former United in Design (UiD) Apprentice, now an Interior Designer. I have varied working experience within the High-end Residential, Retail, Showhouse, Arts and Crafts sectors. My projects have been for trade and private clients within the UK, Europe, North America and Asia.

After graduating from Middlesex University in 2020, I was fortunate to undertake an apprenticeship with United in Design in 2021. UiD is a charitable organisation set up to address the lack of diversity within the industry. The aim is to grant a one-year paid placement across four prestigious London-based companies for a graduate or young designers.

The companies I had the pleasure of working at were Portia Fox Design, CP Hart and Son, The New Craftsmen and Design Stories. The entire experience was quite positive and supportive. The participating companies wanted me to get the most out of my three months with them, and I certainly did!

Starting with Portia Fox, I was hired as an Interior Design Intern to work on a variety of luxury properties, one of which was in Singapore, where I assisted with the design of the bespoke furniture, generated renderings of the space, and worked on client presentations. In addition to site visits to their projects in London, England. The departments I worked in were FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment), Interior Architecture and Bespoke Furniture. This placement taught me the value of bespoke furniture and how it can transform and mould a project, genuinely making it one-of-a-kind.

Next, I worked as an Apprentice Bathroom Designer at CP Hart & Sons on luxury bathroom projects, sales, product sourcing, showroom styling, along with social media motion graphics for promotions and product launches. This client-facing placement gave me insight into the operations of a large-scale luxury bathroom company that offers services and products to the luxury interior design industry. I learned the importance of executing the client brief to a high standard, being solution-prone, having innovative ideas, and possessing product knowledge that leads to the success of a project.

Third, I got the opportunity to work in the trade and private client, marketing, and products departments at The New Craftsmen as an intern. Here I learnt about the studio's storytelling approach and contemporising craft for luxury interiors. I was able to work with both interior designers and end clients, which gave me a unique perspective. I took part in maker workshops, client commissions, and meetings. Amazing artisans and TNC products changed my outlook on design, in terms of how personal and meaningful it can be. This sparked a desire in me to include art and craft in all of my interior design projects.

My year-long placement came to a close at Studio Design Stories, where I worked as an Interior Design Intern. I worked on early design concepts for a product for their online shop and retail project, as well as producing video edits of an estate and boat home in Surrey, England, a 3D model of a project in London, England, and attended several supplier meetings, and sourced new suppliers for new and active projects etc.

What stuck with me was the significance of increasing your visibility as a designer through networking, media exposure and the emphasis on using actual materials rather than veneers. For me, this tidbit of information has been a valuable commodity!

I’ve been able to create a network of professionals in the interior design industry while obtaining vital knowledge and experience in various companies, all of which have helped define my future ambitions as a designer, for which I am grateful. This apprenticeship led to an incredible opportunity for me to design in collaboration with de Le Cuona the living room at the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour's first-ever WOW! House. I am excited for it to be revealed come the 1st of June!

Instagram: @theladyinthemustardgloves

LinkedIn: Christine Omorere

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