How to get started with interior design

Many things go into becoming a designer – I think back to my growing up days and the things that surrounded me and shaped the person I would eventually become.

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By Linda Brooks | For the Pioneer

Many things go into becoming a designer – I think back to my growing up days and the things that surrounded me and shaped the person I would eventually become. My parents encouraged the creative bents in their 8 children and we flourished under their openness and willingness to support us.

My first thoughts of colors, artwork, and design began with Crayola color crayons. As a wee child I marveled at each color. The names of ones I had never heard of before so intrigued me. Every color was my friend, and, as my color world expanded I was captivated by carnation, cornflower blue, brick red, and periwinkle. Today every 64 set of Crayola crayons contains purple mountains majesty, wild strawberry, cerulean blue, wisteria, and tickle me pink. What a rainbow of marvelous possibilities! Color was the springboard for all of my future art and design work.

During my school years I had opportunities to try many different art forms. Melted wax for batik, ink over color crayon prints, woodblocks and wood burning, calligraphy and silk screen printing on fabric, to name a few.
These years also saw the development of my sewing skills – my Mom taught me how to follow a pattern and how to choose fabrics and colors. All the skills she taught me would be incorporated into what I learned as a student of Interior Design.

Interior Design revolves around interior built spaces and what you do in that space. The final outcome in any space is dependent on how the space will be used. When my Mom rearranged our bedrooms I would have the sense that I was living in a different space. Awakening in the morning to find myself in a new area of the room was startling and yet refreshing. And walking into my room felt like a door had opened in my life.

The idea of rearranging the items in a room always held great interest for me. When we visited the homes of friends and relatives I often came away with ideas on how to rearrange their spaces and all the possibilities that would encompass. I guess this was the beginning of me seeing others’ spaces with “new eyes”.

In my college days I had a chance to study Interior Design and how it affects everyone’s lives. We looked at how rooms developed through history, we studied color and all its varied uses, we learned about the functions of lighting, the history of furnishings and fabrics, and we learned how to develop interiors that allowed people to function comfortably regardless of their capabilities.

We studied many different artists, sculptors, and architects, learning from them the skills we would need to help clients with their interior design questions. We toured factories and homes on the National Register of Historic buildings. We honed our observation skills, learning to see the bare bones of spaces and to build from there.

That learning has not stopped as I read, sketch, observe and ponder all kinds of design ideas. On any day I may be studying the play of light on a water surface, a watercolor and it subtle shifting shadows, the textures and colors in a rug, or the beauty of wood surfaces. These things are components of my life as a designer.

I hope you have enjoyed the journey of learning where I came from and how I became an Interior Designer.

Linda Brooks, owner of Design Consulting, has an Interior Design Degree from NDSU. She lives in Bowman. Contact her at

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