Introducing the latest member of the Layrd team
Updated: Feb 22
We’re delighted to introduce you to our new Junior Designer, Bella Elsworth. A recent graduate from Norwich University of the Arts, she tells us about her passion for interior design and the challenges of starting a new role during the coronavirus pandemic.
When did you join Layrd Design?
In November 2020. I was very fortunate to get the role. I applied for a variety of jobs after university because I wanted to get out there and interact with people. I worried that if I was cooped up in the house for too long I’d forget how to speak to people!
Starting a job during the pandemic has been interesting. It’s challenging for Will [Mayes, Layrd Design Director] to teach me his ways of working via Zoom but we’re getting there. In fact, I think it will be a great experience in the long-term; when we have face-to-face contact everything will seem so simple!
Thankfully, I already have experience working remotely. The final four months of my degree were remote, while I completed my final project. That experience has helped me adjust to a remote working environment.
Tell us about your degree. What did you study?
I studied Interior Design at Norwich University of the Arts. It was a really good course. It pushed me to move on and get a job as soon as I could.
Have you always wanted to be an interior designer?
Originally, I was inspired by my uncle to become an architect – I was about 7 years old! Then, when I was 13, my mum asked if I wanted to decorate my room and I thought it would be brilliant.
I realised that I prefer focusing on the interior of the building; understanding what creates an atmosphere, either in a restaurant or a hotel, is fascinating. I’m very much about commercial design rather than residential too. Residential is much more personal and, although I love that, I find commercial design more free; I can do more with it. It’s more about the company culture.
What have you been working on since joining Layrd Design?
At the minute [January 2021], I’m focusing on organising the details for the Taank project. I’m picking artwork and plants and the items that go on shelves. I love the nitty-gritty aspects because, without those little details, a project doesn’t feel complete.
I also really enjoy the research aspects of design. At uni, we focused on users, researching who will use a space, how will they use it and their needs. You have to think about everyone when you’re creating designs and research helps to back up your ideas and concepts. I love doing research. I feel like it’s a key element in successful design.
What have been your biggest learnings so far?
Time is such a big factor. When you do a project at uni, you’ve got a deadline but you never see the project become reality.
In the real world, so much goes into every project. It’s not just the interior designer, it’s the project managers, the architect, the builders. So many people are involved in bringing the designer’s vision to life.
There was a recent episode of Grand Designs where the project took four years to complete and they wrapped it all up in an hour. You just see the highlights. Until you’re standing on a site, you don’t really understand how long it takes. That has been a real eye-opener.
I’m really looking forward to using the knowledge to get stuck into new projects in the future.
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