Student Profile // Meet Rhianna Waterhouse
Rhianna found her passion and talent for interior design after doing some soul searching during her previous job as a Pharmacist Technician. She’s currently upskilling with an IDO short course and has put her design skills into practice in her own home. Rhianna and her husband Luke have recently completed a fantastic renovation of their home in Yarraville, in Melbourne’s inner west.
Why did you decide to study interior design?
My job as a Pharmacist Technician involved dispensing medications and packing them for nursing homes. It was a highly detailed, regimented and monotonous role which played well for my detail oriented and perfectionist nature but did nothing whatsoever for my creative drive. I needed to re-focus so I quit my job and did a giant mind map to work out the path I was going to pursue. After studying at TAFE I found that interior design was the perfect blend of all the technical and creative skills I already had, it built on those and also gave me new ones to master.
I’m currently doing the SketchUp, AutoCAD and Revit course with IDO as a form of professional development so I can refresh my computer presentation skills for clients. I chose to do this course online because of the flexibility it offers around my other responsibilities and commitments in life. The content is heavily computer based so it doesn’t matter whether I’m sitting in a classroom or in my home office.
Tell us about your fabulous renovation
My husband Luke and I make a great team: I’m an Interior Designer and he’s a Project Manager. Together we get things done!
This project was way beyond a reno – it was essentially a rebuild. The scale of the undertaking was significant with the entire house either upgraded or restored and the addition of a 70m2 extension to the back of the house. The extension includes the new bathroom, laundry and open plan kitchen, lounge, dining room spaces and study nook. The 3 bedrooms are at the front of the house – one of them was previously the lounge room.
Our aim was to create a modern, functional home while maintaining its period charm and we utilized the orientation of the house to maximise natural light and passive energy efficiency.
What advice would you give to others who are taking on a major renovation?
Consider the Project Management triangle. All projects have 3 constraints, and these are: time, quality and cost. Typically, you can have one and at times two but rarely are all three achieved. On this project, we only compromised on time as we were not prepared to compromise on either cost or quality. Keeping this in mind can alleviate a lot of unnecessary stress.
Luke’s advice would be to take comprehensive meeting minutes and document everything as the project progresses. Also take lots of photos and plan every detail prior to commencing.
Where do you source inspiration?
I like to be creative and do justice to the project without the possibility of recreating others’ ideas or being a slave to trends. So when I’m in the conceptual stage of designing shutting myself off from Instagram allows me to remain focused on incubating my own ideas. When I want to see a product, or the application of a material or product, I research that as well as how to make my ideas become a reality.
What would you say to anyone considering studying with IDO?
Be disciplined with your studies, self-discipline is the key to online study. Everyone I have dealt with from IDO has been helpful, passionate about their work and kind, which really helps!
What are your career plans?
I am hoping to develop properties with my own business Studio of Design. Having updated my CAD skills I’ll have a far easier time submitting drawings to council for approval and my clients will be able to visualise their designs much easier.
Photos: Aspect 11
What are you passionate about? I know this is probably going to sound cheesy but it’s honestly interior design. After renovating/building my own house and designing it for my family (not just for clients) I know firsthand how much good design can improve your lifestyle.
A holiday in New York or Maldives? I’d much prefer to get stranded on a remote island in the current political climate, so Maldives. I’ve been there twice and would still cherish the opportunity to go back just one more time – it’s heavenly.
Dressed up or casual? Casual
Tea or coffee? Coffee
Phone call or text? Text. But I know when to pick up the phone if I need to. Some things just cannot and should not be sent in a text.