Thinking back I’ve always loved colour and pattern. From an early age, our mum and dad allowed my sister and I to decorate our bedrooms, the walls were always covered in mad colours, and my taste is now more refined.

I worked in fashion retail from the age of 16 until I went to university. A few years later my career led me into fashion retail marketing where my role was filled with colour and creativity.

Fast forward a decade (or two) after getting married, having a family and developing in my career here at Teesside Uni. During the Christmas break in 2019, I was planning my next New Year challenge. I needed to get my creativity flowing again and having a passion for interiors and making things I signed up for TU’s Winter Uni course – Intro to Interior Design.

We started in January, the course was taught by a professional Interior Designer we learnt how to survey a room (I got to grips with accurately using a tape measure after breaking a few ). We created mood boards, sourced fixtures, fittings and equipment to a budget and presented our ideas to our ‘client’ as part of the assessment.  That was when everything changed…mind blown. My confidence and love for creating fabulous interior schemes grew and grew after this. I also met some lovely like-minded people.

Since completing the course, I’ve progressed to a HND at the British Academy of Interior Design studying online part-time and building up my portfolio.  More recently I have founded Colour Brave Interiors (@colourbraveinteriors) offering affordable interior design services to people who need a helping hand with colour and pattern in their homes, I empower my clients to be braver and more confident with their colour choices and I’ve received some lovely reviews from happy customers.  I enjoy bringing my clients’ visions to life and my aim for every project is to create a space they never knew they wanted whilst creating moments of joy throughout every interior scheme.

If you want to try something new my advice would be to follow your passion and enrolling on a Winter Uni course is a great first step – it’s never too late.  A lecturer at TU Business School once said to me “If you have an itch, you need to scratch it, it’ll never leave you otherwise” I took that good advice and I’ll never look back now.  This was the best move I ever made and I’m enjoying my day job so much more after finding my passion outside the office.  You won’t regret investing time and energy in yourself and it might even lead to something incredible like mine did.

By Michelle.

If you’re interested in a Winter University short course check out