24th April 2020 | IN EXPERT INSIGHT | BY SBID ShareTweetPinterestLinkedIn SBID delved behind the scenes with SBID Accredited Designer, Katie Malik, founder and creative director of Katie Malik Interiors to find out about her journey in the interior design industry, and how proper training and experience helped her get there. What is your current job? I’m a creative director at Katie Malik Interiors. I manage a small team of passionate, dedicated design experts, who help me bring our clients dreams to the reality. What is your background and how did you get into interior design? My background is in linguistics, but as a daughter of a very talented furniture designer and maker, design has always been a big part of my life, My career in interior design started in 2011 when I decided to retrain. I have always wanted to run my own business, but I knew I needed to train first and gain hands-on knowledge and experience, so important in the design industry. After I gained my qualifications at Chelsea College of Art, I was lucky to have my first internship in a high-end interior design studio based in Mayfair. After that, the door to other interior design studios opened to me, and I was offered the second internship and then a position at 1508London, which specialises in high end residential and hospitality interiors. Then, I was ready to move on to work on residential projects under my own brand: Katie Malik Interiors. Describe an average day in your job role.. I typically start my day with a good breakfast at home, and of course with an Instagram flick through and Inbox check for anything requiring urgency or priority. I typically arrive in the studio quite early, as I like to make a head start. Then it’s the order of the day, setting tasks, checking the order of priorities, communicating with my team, and depending on the day, it could be a lot of very focused designing, building schemes, client meetings, site meetings, procurement etc. Which elements of your profession do you enjoy the most and/or find the most rewarding? I love everything that being an interior designer encompasses, but there are two parts I enjoy the most, one of them being designing, coming up with design solutions to meet and exceed clients’ expectations, and the second one being the final project installation, when the designs become the reality and our clients’ dreams come true. Is there anything new you are excited to be working on? We are working on a number of exciting projects at the moment, and each of them being very different, provides a lot of creative stimulation, but I am also very excited about finalising my first book ‘Love your space’ which I have been collecting the material for for the last 4 years. What do you find the most challenging aspects of your job? I would say the job itself is quite challenging, which I enjoy, but one of the most challenging aspects is managing procurement aspect of the job, ensuing everything arrives on time, in the right condition, and is installed correctly; there’s a lot of time involved in this part of the process, and however wonderfully rewarding, it’s also one of the most challenging aspects for someone who is a perfectionist. What do you wish you knew before working in the field? That being an interior designer is so much more than the design, and that in order to run a business, one must also learn about how to become a businessman/businesswoman. What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance? Follow your path and what you love doing for hours without looking at the clock- that is your true calling. What has been your favourite project to work on? I really don’t have a favourite one because all my projects make me genuinely proud and I enjoy working on all of them. However, if I had to chose one, I would say a redesign of a kitchen with dining and a conservatory which gained quite a lot of attention and landed its own editorial in the Ideal Home magazine in February 2016 and on Houzz in April 2017. I also loved working on a costal redesign project, which was a refurbishment of the whole property located in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. The project received a UK Property Award 2019 for the Best Interior Design Residence in the South East. What do you think is the biggest problem the interior design industry faces? I think there’s a lot of misconception about the profession and what interior design experts can do for homeowners and business owners. Also, I believe there’s a lot of potential issues that can arise in connection with products that interior designers specify from trusted trade sources and which homeowners can find online for less. If you were inspired by Katie’s story, click here to learn more about the role of an interior designer. Want to become SBID Accredited? Click here for more information.