It’s amazing to constantly have the opportunity to see the transformation of designs from paper and digital through to real-life design.”
I’m Réa Laudat, a 27 year old Interior designer at a top 100 Interior Design firm based in Chelsea London & the Founder of RL Deesigns. I am a creative that loves to travel, eat well and enjoys an array of sports.
I’ve been working within the Industry for 5 years professionally and 4.5 years studying in the USA. I’ve always had an interest in Architecture, as I also come from a family of creatives, so once the opportunity to study Interior Architecture and Design arose, I jumped at it.
"I affect people’s environment, whether it be at home or a commercial space. As an Interior Designer, I help to transform a space into a more peaceful and tranquil environment for people to enjoy and feel comfortable within."
What route did you take to becoming an Interior Designer?
For A levels, I took up the subjects PE (Physical Education), History and Art. For university, I studied an undergraduate BA Hons degree in Interior Architecture & Design at The Academy of Art University based in San Francisco California, USA.
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As a Interior Designer, what does a typical day at work look like for you?
I usually start my day going through my emails, in which I received confirmation on product’s to which I may find confirmations on products that have been presented to clients. I then have conversations with supplier’s to set up deliveries for the projects. During the day I usually engage in other tasks such as technical drawings and presentations that illustrates ideas for the client to see, using Vectorworks and Indesign programs. Another part of my day may consist of updating project schedules and to do lists. Lists and schedules are everything as an Interior Designer! We have to stay on top of many elements within a project.
Towards the end of the day, my colleague and I do a handover so that we can keep on top of what has been done. This is helpful when someone may be on annual leave or takes a sudden sick day, as it helps us keep on track with each other allowing the project’s to run smoothly.
What kind of people in other professions do you get to work with within your role?
As a Interior Designer, I work with Architects, Engineers, Project Managers, vintage furniture suppliers & buyers, Joiners/Carpenters, Furniture Suppliers, Material Specialists, Lighting Specialists, Artists, Furniture Makers, Photographers and Accountants.
What’s the best thing you like about your role?
I love designing and being able to be creative and problem solve. It’s amazing to constantly have the opportunity to see the transformation of designs from paper/digital through to real-life design. I also enjoy photoshoots and being a part of the final styling on a shoot.
I would like for my designs to be recognized internationally and to design more sustainably."
What are some main skills you’ve picked up within your role/work experience?
Project organisation and joinery design, as well as a better understanding of upholstery, joinery and curtain/blind making. I also have better knowledge of vintage furniture, mainly Scandinavian mid-century design.
Do you think there is a stigma or misconception preventing young women from joining the Construction Industry?
I think in terms of class there is - although I believe social media is helping to give women the platform to show off their skill set, which is naturally inspiring the younger generation.
What advice would you give a young woman thinking about a career in your role?
Go for it! There’s a lot to learn, but if you enjoy making things, problem solving and are attracted to beautiful and exquisite aesthetics then go for it. It’s your role as a designer (in most companies) to keep track of every item that has been ordered for each project so learning how to schedule is very important. This involves making sure that it arrives in time with the correct specifications (size to fit within each space), not to mention working to your client’s budget.
The job is not all at a desk, we do get to go on site, visit various supplier showrooms and be client facing. The days are long - usually 9-6pm Monday-Friday - and overtime is expected by most companies, commonly when you have a deadline for a project. So, working efficiently is important. Be prepared to think on your feet and chase many suppliers.