Welcome to Design Student Savvy! I started this site because I wanted to share all of the technical knowledge I’ve accumulated with other interior designers and design students. I started using my first home design software on our old Dell PS2 when I was in seventh grade. My dad bought it so he could play around with designing an addition to our house. I would spend hours and hours on the software, creating houses, laying out rooms and accessorizing them. Somehow I never made the connection that this was something you could actually do for a living.
Fast forward over a decade…I was living in Phoenix and thinking about changing careers to interior design. I enrolled in the program at Arizona State for one semester and took a part time job in the kitchen department at The Great Indoors in Chandler. If you haven’t been to The Great Indoors, it’s like a combination between Home Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond. My favorite part about working there was using the 20/20 CAD software for laying out kitchens and watching them come to life.
In 2006, I was back in Pennsylvania, where I grew up, and planning to remodel my own kitchen. I taught myself how to use SketchUp so I could plan out the space in 3D. I built all of the cabinets in SketchUp myself using the dimensions on IKEA’s website. I loved the versatility of SketchUP and found it incredibly easy to use.
One of my first Revit renderings post-processed in Photoshop
During graduate school for interior design, I learned so much more about the technology available to designers. I became obsessed with improving my skills at both modeling and graphic representation. I worked on my Revit rendering skills constantly so that I could perfect both lighting and materials – in my mind the most important aspects of a successful rendering.
Now that I’m teaching in that same interior design program, I always seem to be running out of time to help my students learn all of the tips I’ve picked up to make their visual communication more successful. I decided to start documenting all of my knowledge here so that they could reference it on their own, and I thought my techniques would be helpful for people interested in transitioning into interior design from another career or for interior designers who are looking to improve on their technical skills.
I’m very excited to get started and hope that you’ll learn something and find my tips and tutorials useful.