Why Should We Take Interior Design Seriously?


Why should we take interior design seriously? Rosanna Alicia Design Blog


Apologies in advance for the saucy title, I know it’s a bit provocative, but I couldn’t think of a good way to introduce this topic. I bet you guys could give me 100 reasons! Which is kinda what I’m hoping – please get involved in the discussion below! I decided a month or so ago that in addition to posts on interiors & styling, I wanted to start writing more about bigger questions in interiors & design as these are the things I find myself pondering in my down time. This week I’ve been thinking about why we should take interior design seriously.


interior design - modern lounge with statement wallpaper


This question has been on my mind a lot over the past few weeks. I decided over Christmas that I am going to start an interior design course with KLC (I’ll post all about the course once I start), and since making the decision and beginning to tell people about it, I keep getting the same reaction. I’m sure some of you guys are familiar with it. It goes along the lines of “…. Oh. Oh well that sounds nice. Wouldn’t it be nice to match curtains with cushions for your job! You’d be good at that.” And while I think everyone I’ve spoken to means well, I can’t help but be a bit irritated that a lot of people seem to think that a qualification in interior design is about as rigorous and useful as a certificate in petting kittens. (Though that does sound like something I’d do if it existed haha 😂)


I guess for people outside of our little bubble, that is what it looks like. And to be fair to them, a lot of their observations are probably right: we do love moving things around the house, spending hours in H&M home Stratford, and agonising over wall colours. (Call me pathetic, but treating myself to a new set of cutlery gives me a buzz.)


the imprtance of interior design - vignette of a modern living room with books


But that isn’t at the heart of why I love interior design. I have always been very introverted, and that has gone hand in hand (as I’m sure it does with lots of you) with being a homebody. As much as I love a girls night out, I’m definitely a nester at heart. When I was young, my bedroom was always a psychological as well as a physical sanctuary, and I spent a lot energy begging to be allowed to design it how I envisioned (I’m mainly thinking about the time where I wanted everything to be hot pink. Literally everything. My poor Dad even painted the curtain pole! Nightmare.). When I was sad I made dens out of the sheets, and somehow, sitting in there was a better cure than anything else.


I think that many of us are just naturally more sensitive to interiors. This one might ring true for some of you: one of my most prevailing memories from the weeks spent in and out of hospital visiting my wonderful Nanny before she passed away in 2010, is of how oppressive the environment was. I was 15 at the time, and the first time I went on my own, I got lost and spent what felt like hours pacing down corridor after corridor into wards and wings that looked exactly the same searching for her. Everything about that hospital depressed me: the strip lights, the industrial beige terazzo floors, the plastic-covered arm chairs, the scuffed magnolia walls. It goes without saying that I have some sad memories connected with that place, but the impact that the physical space had on me is something that I have thought about a lot since then.


should we take interior design seriously? Rustic shelf with magazines


I really believe that interior design has an incredible power to transform the experience we have of spaces – both ergonomically and psychologically, for the better and the worse. Admittedly, I think some people are more sensitive to this than others. I have plenty of friends who produce amazing work from 90s-style office environments with small cubicles and stark fluorescent lighting. I couldn’t spend 40+ hours a week in a space like that. Even as I write that, it seems very superficial and princessy, and it’s not lost on me how lucky I am to be in a position where I have a choice about that. I want to work in interior design because I think that it can be transformative to people’s everyday wellbeing, and by extension, to their lives. Living and working in spaces that make us feel comfortable, secure, engaged, and creative should be something that everyone is entitled to.


If this topic is of interest you guys, I’d definitely recommend the interior design episode of Netflix’s Abstract series. It follows the life & career of designer Ilse Crawford, who really pioneered a new way of thinking about interior design. It is largely due to her that interior design is now taken more seriously among other forms of design. Her book, Sensual Home, was ground-breaking in the late nineties in that way that it approached interior design from the perspective of the senses, and intertwined the ideas of interior design and environmental psychology. It’s still at the top of my book list!


What do you guys think? Why is interior design important to you?



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  1. I totally agree with this post! I had a very similar experience with the hospital environment with my dad when I was 16 so completely understand how spaces can be oppressive! As an ex-dancer I feel such a physical connection to the space around me and my blog and business was set up so I could encourage other people to be creative in their homes (not match curtains to cushions!) and that well-being comes from expressing ourselves in our homes. Must try to watch that series. Good luck with your course x

    1. rosannaalicia

      How interesting! I suppose a lot of people must share our feelings about hospitals. When you’re there with someone, you spend so much time sitting around noticing every detail I guess it’s not a surprise that the feel of the space is imprinted on you forever. I love that you business is built around these ideas! x

  2. I know what you mean. For the first year I was studying interior design with NDA I didn’t even tell anyone. Of course they were fine and supportive about it when I finally told them but it was like : Why haven’t you gone into marketing or something more real?” Well, it’s definitely real for me 🙂

  3. So so true! The perceptions that interior designers are simply people who like putting colours and materials together. Such a blissfully ignorant stance.
    However once you have been through the blood sweet and tears of the brilliant KLC school of design, all of your clients will then “get” what its all about. The detailing, precision, the thought processes, the science. It is a remarkable talent and skill to be a good interior designer. KLC will be as good a starting point as any out there. Best of luck with your course.

    1. rosannaalicia

      Thanks so much Tom – it’s nice to have that reassurance! I think I’ll start feeling more confident to back myself up once I start learning the nitty-gritty technical aspects. Bring it on! x

  4. How very true! I have always loved looking at interior design magazines but really got into it when we first bought our house.. It is such a great way to express your style and personality.. I would love to study Interior Design, it is very REAL if you ask me 🙂

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