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An interview with Insight School alumni & interior designer Liza Beighley

Former Insight School of Interior Design student and interior designer Liza Beighley talks about life before and after studying at Insight School. After working for 10 years in the luxury fashion brands, Liza discovered her true passion and went on to co-launch her own interior design company.

What is your background? What were you doing before coming to Insight School of Interior Design?

I worked over 10 years for luxury fashion brands CHANEL, Celine under LVMH Fashion Group, and DFS Group Limited mainly as a training, merchandising and product manager in Asia, North America and the Mid-Pacific regions. Soon after becoming a mother and moving back to my island home, I worked for the Bank of Guam as Quality Assurance Manager designing customer service and product programs. During this time, we renovated our beach condominium and I fell in love with interior design. We eventually moved to Hong Kong (for the second time) and I went through the process of redecorating our flat with the help of Australian based designer, Melissa McShane. It was showcased in Expat Living Magazine upon completion and I thoroughly enjoyed the process. I decided to indulge my passion for design and researched interior design schools in Hong Kong. Insight School of Interior Design was the choice for me.

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Working with clients and making design proposals throughout the course really helped to simulate what it is like to work in the real world.
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What did you study at Insight School and what key skills did you learn?

I was a mother with young children and decided to take the short course Textiles for Interiors as a start. Shortly thereafter, I enrolled in the Introduction to Interior Design course which confirmed my passion for interior design.  I decided to continue with the part-time course and earn the Certificate in Interior Design Level 1 (Residential).  I often wondered prior to the course how inspirational ideas were developed into working concepts and Insight School helped me to develop the key skills to implement ideas into design. We studied interior architecture, interior decoration, drawing skills, the design process, history of styles and put it all into professional practice. Working with clients and making design proposals throughout the course really helped to simulate what it is like to work in the real world.

Certificate Award ceremony with teachers JJ Acuna, Enrique Moya-Angeler and Eve Mercier.

Liza’s personal style mood board

Insight School project: Bruno de Caumont book-shelf proposal by Liza

Insight School project: Bruno de Caumont book-shelf proposal by Liza

Insight School project: Liza’s mood board for an art gallery conversion into a residential apartment.

Liza’s design projects at Insight School

Where are you working now?

With this knowledge and learned tools of the trade, I felt confident to take the necessary steps in opening BV Designs with my classmate and design partner, Sarah Vanica.

What have been some of the biggest challenges in starting your career?

Aside from the regular challenges of starting a business, making the necessary connections to export/import home goods overseas has been a big challenge. Also, it takes time to create the perfect logo to reflect who we are as interior designers and set-up our social media sites which should be available for viewing in the coming weeks.

What is the big project you are working on right now?

We are in the process of finalizing an executive home in Deep Water Bay in addition to having furniture made for a flat in Repulse Bay and sourcing furniture/fabrics for homes overseas.

As an interior designer, how do you stay current in the industry? What newsletters/blogs/social media tools do you read each week?

I love to stay current in the industry by reading international and Asia based design magazines such as Architectural Digest, Design Anthology, Home Journal, Home Solutions, and Expat Living.  I especially love to read about projects completed by established and new designers focusing on what motivated and inspired them.  Since my roots are in the fashion industry, I gain inspiration from fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and feel it’s important to think out-of-the-box.  My favorite thing to do is look at my Instagram feed on designers I follow which leads to links with more details on their websites, blog, and newsletters.  I especially love to view projects and inspirations from new, up-and-coming interior designers.  My design partner and I share this information with each other and bounce ideas around to remain current and catch onto upcoming trends in the industry. Insight School of Interior Design is one we follow on our social media feeds.

Can you give any advice to students looking to start a career in the Interior Design Industry?

Don’t hesitate!  If you are passionate about Interior Design have the confidence to move forward and find the right interior design career for you.  Listen to your clients and always keep an open mind.  Continue to make connections in the industry and bounce ideas around with those you trust.  Above all, think outside the box. Inspiration is everywhere.

Liza studied the Certificate of Interior Design Level 1 (Residential) at Insight School.