Category Archives: distance learning

Interior Designer Karen Lane’s new up-cycling project!

Following on from her ‘Flower Chest’ project, Interior Designer Karen Lane, has rescued an old cabinet from her local second-hand shop and given it the love and attention needed to turn it into a beautiful piece of furniture. Here’s how she did it!

  1. The cabinet was first rubbed down and then undercoated.
  2. After another light sanding two top coats of emulsion were painted before the flower (cut from wallpaper) was applied using PVA.
  3. The whole body was then painted with several coats of clear satin varnish to protect it from wear and tear.
  4. Finally the inside was lined with an attractive but practical, scrubbable wallpaper.

Karen, “I am very happy with the finished result and now have another item to add to my range of hand decorated, recycled furniture.”

If you would like to contact Karen regarding commissions or for an interior design project, please visit her website!

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Filed under Bedroom Interiors, distance learning, Eco-friendly, higher education, The National Design Academy, Up-cycling, www.nda.ac.uk

Not got the A Level grades you wanted? There’s still hope!

Today for many students will be one of the most nerve racking times of their life. I went through the experience myself, driving the six miles to college to pick up my results felt like the earth had stood still for ten years. Butterflies were fighting in my stomach and my mind was racing,  just hoping I’d managed to secure a place at my first choice university.

Clearing was a thought a little to scary to ponder on! The worst part was seeing students from across the country live on television, opening their white envelopes and screeching the letters “ABB!”

The pressure young people are under to excel and perform within our education system is choking, especially with the prospect of our future generation leaving with an average of £50,000 debt strapped around their neck! It’s shocking to learn that over a quarter of a million students will be without a place this academic year and universities on average only offering 80 places through clearing. But there is hope…

The removal of government funding has had a positive effect in exposing alternative routes to higher education to students, which have been available for many years and arguably offer higher levels of support to students compared with traditional universities.

One of which is the National Design Academy in Nottingham, who’ve been providing Diploma to Degree level Interior Design courses through distance learning, for over twenty-two years! They’re also the first and only UK educational provider to offer BA (Hons) in Retail, Heritage and Outdoor Living Design. It’s also the last chance to secure a place with the NDA before all funding disappears.

So if you’ve had your heights set on studying interior design at university and haven’t quite got the grades, this could be the perfect, less costly and equally recognisable way to gaining that qualification you want. All you need is one A-Level in art to be able to enrol on the Degree program which consists of a Foundation Degree course (equivalent to years 1&2 of a university degree) and then the BA Hons level (equivalent to year 3).

There’s no need to panic, you will reach your goal! All the Degree courses provided by NDA are fully accredited by Staffordshire University, internationally recognised and delivered online. Not to mention that they have a team of highly skilled tutors available five days a week from 9-5 to give you advice over the phone or through email.

Studying with the National Design Academy gives students the opportunity work at a pace that suits them and also offers those wanting to gain valuable work experience the opportunity to do so. It’s widely understood that industry experience is highly regarded by employers as very important.

To find our more about how you can still achieve a Degree in Interior Design contact the NDA on 0115 91234 12 to speak to a member of the team or visit their website www.nda.ac.uk.

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Filed under BA in Interior Design, distance learning, higher education, home study, News, The National Design Academy, workshops, www.nda.ac.uk

A treasure trove of design gems at New Designers 2011

Well I’ve made it back from the New Designers Show 2011 part 2 which is being held in London’s Business  Design Centre, feeling shattered after two whole days of intense interviews and general press duties – but well worth it! I’ve come away totally inspired and have huge admiration for design students everywhere.

The level of work was exceptional, from furniture to textiles and product designs to Interiors, if I was a robot I’d definitely have a design overload!

Firstly I’d like to say CONGRATULATIONS to all the New Designers 2011 winners, they’ve worked so hard to gain recognition from the UK’s freshest student design event and of course their peers.

Here are some of my favourites and the names of the other winners can be found on the New Designers Website.

Luke Diaz Habitat Innovation Winner - Bucks New University

Judges thoughts: “We admired his innovative construction and use of material. We enjoyed his overall charm, warmth and character. The low storage with woven sliding doors is a product with soul.”

Oksana Akishyna - Interior Design Association Winner AIU London

Judges thoughts: “Oksana’s portfolio showed refreshing clarity and at times mesmerising presentation that was refined and at a professional standard.”

Northumbria University - Best Stand Award

Judges thoughts: “Northumbria have a huge variety of inspirational products on display. The graduates have made clever use of recycled materials-creating a highly polished and professional presentation.”

Brinley Clark - Business Designer of the Year winner University of Hertfordshire

Judges thoughts: “Brinley has got design in his bones. Passionate, inspiring and intelligent, with a wicked  streak of humour. His pigeon project is ‘shit’ – go and find out more!”

The event was split into three floors and then sub divided into specific design sections so it was easy to make your way around. Although, it wasn’t easy walking around each section without stopping to look every few steps and swooning over another fantastic design.

The One Year On section, curated by award winning designer Jethro Macey, showcased 50 specially selected designers who’ve set up a business in the last 12 months. In this wonderful room, I came across Imogen Heath who launched her first ever collection at the show. Her mid-century patterned wallpaper and fabrics instantly dragged me in. Imogen was just as colourful and sweet as her designs which are inspired by her love of geometric composition, art deco and contemporary art.

If you’re just as head over heals in love with Imogen’s designs as I am, you can bag a cushion from £48 – £55 and wallpaper for £100

As I  was interviewing Imogen, just opposite us a group of talented artists and illustrators under the name of Secret Wars, were doing a live graffiti demonstration on their white stand. Their creative flair attracted the attention of lots of visitors who stared in amazement at how effortlessly they drew – I couldn’t take my eyes off them!

After, finally pulling myself away from the One Year On section, I had a good gander on the first floor and came across a product which The Design Hub had already featured as a Design of the Day – the Tweetingseat. Created by Product Designer Chris McNicholl, who’s recently graduated from the University of Dundee in Product Design, the Tweetingseat has caused a huge stir.

The seat takes reality and combines it with the virtual world by taking pictures of anyone sat on the seat and uploading the image to a live Twitter feed. This is done by one camera in the shape of the blue Twitter bird which can be mounted above the seat and another camera inside the seat that takes an image of anyone standing in front. So in the end you get two images uploaded to Twitter – genius!

Chris McNicholl speaking to Kellie Hill

As well as the tweeting seat causing a buzz with social media lovers, some feel this idea of sharing images on Twitter of people unaware they have been papped is unethical. When asked, Chris told me he welcomes the debate and encourages it. Listen to Chris’ interview!

Innovative furniture makers

The level of talent and skill shown by the students at New Designers was breathtaking and one designer rom Plymouth University certainly took the biscuit. Michael Carroll had created a chair without using glue or nails.

Named “Tankard“, this chair is held together with…. well you’ll have to watch his interview to find out!

The young furniture maker also made a table using metal bars which resemble the shape of a mouse trap.

Another talented chap, Luke Diaz from Bucks New University, won the New Designers 2011 Habitat Innovation Award for his Eco cabinet that he bound together with hemp twine. Like Micheal Carroll above,  he didn’t use a single nail or drop of glue. I see a trend developing here!

Diaz taught himself how to weave the twine and create the doors of the cabinet, which I think make it look beautifully organic and earthly. He also designed two stools, a smaller cabinet and hanging stand to complete his sustainable furniture range.

Interiors

We’ve all had to live in a boxy apartment or a ground floor flat that resembles a dungeon (like myself) when starting out on the career ladder.  Having to cook, sleep and shower in the same room is something which the majority of yuppie’s (young professionals) put up with until the day comes and a promotion lands on the table.

And if you’re like me and LOVE to decorate but also rent, it’s fair to say that the landlord wouldn’t be too happy at the next inspection to find two walls knocked out and the living room changed into a bedroom. Renting makes it near impossible to flex those creative fingers.

Well, I met young innovative Interior Designer, Henry Parker at New Designers 2011 and he has come to the rescue with a city apartment perfect for the hard-working yuppie’s, that want to make their flat into a home.

Adaptaflat is an apartment which is flexible, moveable and totally brilliant! These living spaces are the same size as a two bedroom flat but have maneuverable walls. Yes, you heard right, you can move the walls  in the apartment to suit your needs, lifestyle or make space for Saturday night’s party. Somebody PLEASE commission this!

How does it work? There are a series of custom made tracks on the ceiling of the apartment which the walls are connected to and this allows them to be moved in the desired place and clamped down when positioned. Want one? Then listen to Henry Parker’s interview with The Design Hub and learn more about this clever design or click HERE to go to his website.

 
 
 
 
 
Images: New Designers 2011, Imogen Heath, Kellie Hill

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Filed under Chris McNicholl, courses, distance learning, Eco-friendly, higher education, Home Acessories, Interviews, Kitchen Interiors, lighting, Living room Interiors, modern design, new career, New Designers 2011, News, Quirky, sustainable interiors, upholstery

Want to get the most out of your Interior Design course? Check out these top tips to springboard you to success.

Former student and Interior Designer Karen Lane has created a list of her most important tips that students should do to ensure they get the best out of their Interior Design course and create a secure foundation to springboard them to a successful career.

Check them out and let us know if you have any more to add to the list. Continue reading

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Filed under BA in Interior Design, courses, diploma, distance learning, help & support, higher education, home study, News, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

Hear first hand from interior design student Felicity what distance learning is really like

Good morning folks! I hope you are all well. I feel like I’ve been pulled away from blogging the last week or so because of a side project, so I’d like to post something today which I’m extremely happy to show you all.

I’ve had the pleasure of following bubbly and energetic student, Felicity Dainton from Wiltshire, through her Professional Interior Design Diploma studio course at the National Design Academy (NDA) in Nottingham. It was great to see first hand how she went from strength to strength and thoroughly enjoyed every task, every day.

The studio course is made up of one week at the NDA learning about colour theory, technical drawing, rendering, how to set up a business and lots more. Then the students have four weeks at home to complete their assignments and have a final week back in the studio to go over the course again and brush up on the skills learned.

Hear Felicity’s experience for yourself and how she progressed throughout the weeks. I’d also like to say thank you Felicity for letting me join her through this journey!

If you fancy flexing your creative talents, want to build on a hobby or make the first steps to changing careers like Felicity, you can visit the National Design Academy website www.nda.ac.uk, contact them by phone on 0115 91234 12 or visit their Facebook and Twitter page.

This course is also available to international students and can be done solely at home instead of in the studio, just contact them to find out more!

Take the leap of design! It could be the best thing you ever do!

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Filed under Careers in Interior Design, courses, diploma, distance learning, home study, Interviews, new career, News, Success Stories, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

Sourcing materials for a client brief exercise

As part of the NDA Diploma in Professional Interior Design studio course, students must understand how to effectively carry out a client brief analysis and create a design which meets their need and lifestyle.

These students chose their desired client brief and had the challenge of sourcing appropriate fabrics and materials to use for their sample boards which they will present to the client.

The National Design Academy have a huge collection of wallpapers, fabrics, accessories and carpet samples from various designers, which give the students a large range of choice. However this can make chosing one print very difficult!

The students also had a chance to see how a design practise can be set out and organised, as well as the various ways samples and work can be displayed. James Pilling, Manager of NDA Private Clients Interior Design Service, has a magnetic wall where sketches, images or sources of inspiration can be pinned up for clients to see or as references.

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Filed under courses, diploma, distance learning, home study, News, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

Adult Learners Week open day goes down a treat!

To celebrate Adult Learners Week, the National Design Academy, who specialise in Interior Design distance learning courses, held a special open day on Saturday which went down a real treat with visitors and received a huge amount of positive feedback.

The team were thrilled with how many people came along to find out more about our range of courses and how distance learning works. The atmosphere was buzzing and people were really keen to know more about what they would be studying, how the courses are delivered and what students have achieved since studying. Continue reading

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Filed under Adult learner's week, BA in Interior Design, courses, diploma, distance learning, help & support, higher education, home study, new career, News, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

Update! NDA National Design Award 3D Video simulation of penthouse

The response to the NDA National Design Award 2011 competition has been fantastic and people are really excited to start designing and hopefully grab that £3000 cash prize and see their design come true.

To help you with the dimensions and spatial planning of your design, here is a 3D video simulation which you can play as many times as you like.

Remember to your design to the RENTAL market, but this doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, original and eclectic as you like. Push yourself and the boat out because you never know, your design could take the biscuit!

If you haven’t already entered you can do so for free by visiting www.nda.ac.uk/competitions

Good luck folks!!!

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Filed under BA in Interior Design, Competitions, diploma, distance learning, higher education, NDA National Design Award 2011, News, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk, youtube

Isle of Wight designer brings interior design services bang up to date with 21st Centry living

The usual practices of being a freelance Interior Designer such as; meeting clients, understanding their lifestyle, presenting sample boards, working out a design scheme and project managing, can be a little difficult to say the least, if your client lives in Durham and you’re based in the Isle of Wight.

Well, Interior Designer Jo Acheson wasn’t fazed by this hurdle and set up a clever design service which meets her clients every need without having to leave the island!

The design bug first hit Jo when she re-decorated her first home, she then started a Professional Interior Design Diploma course at The National Design Academy in 2004. After the success of her interior design business based on the island, Jo aimed for new heights and is now re-designing homes all over the country.

We don’t want to give any more away, so to find out how Jo challenges the traditional practices of  interior design and brings it bang up to date with twenty-first century living – carry on reading and get stuck in!

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, business, courses, diploma, distance learning, home study, Interviews, Kitchen Interiors, Living room Interiors, new career, News, small businesses, Success Stories, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

Snap shots from April’s NDA Interior Design Diploma studio course

For information on studio based and distance learning interior design courses offered at the National Design Academy, please see their website www.nda.ac.uk

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Filed under courses, diploma, distance learning, new career, News, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk