Cristina Riley, Senior Interior Designer

05 March, 2021

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What is your role within Pick Everard?

I am a Senior Interior Designer at Pick Everard, based in the Derby office. My main responsibilities are to ensure the interior design projects are running smoothly and also assist with the mentoring of other team members to ensure we are all producing up to date information for BIM project expectations. We regularly complete bids for potential opportunities and arrange business development meetings with new and existing clients. We do this whilst also leading interior design schemes on our own projects as well; the role is diverse and varied.

You recently won a Being Pick Everard Award. Tell us about what you won, why you won it and what it means to you.

I won an award for ‘Being Fun to Work with’. This was not expected at all and so I am grateful to the person/people who nominated me. It makes me happy that my colleagues enjoy working with me. I always aim to lift people’s spirits and I think this is important when forming a relationship with colleagues. It makes life easier if you can have a positive working environment with colleagues who can talk about topics other than work – we are human after all!

Positive relationships with colleagues improve productivity and provide a better service/product, I believe that is reflected in the work that myself and my colleagues do, and I think it is especially important to keep that positivity up during these difficult times.

Tell me about your career development at Pick Everard/what has been a key highlight from your career with Pick Everard so far?

I joined Pick Everard in early June 2019 as a Senior Interior Designer with 10 years’ experience in the discipline gained at other architectural and interior design focused practices in the Midlands.

I have worked on some great schemes so far, one of them being our own Head Office refurbishment in Leicester. I am biased, but this has been a transformation and I am really proud to say that the interior design team has done a fantastic job of enhancing the office environment for our colleagues with a view to improving amenities and wellbeing amongst staff.

Other architectural projects that I have worked on include the Avanti Performing Arts Centre and NTU Clinical Skills Centre which I look forward to seeing complete this year.

What top tips would you give for a graduate or trainee starting their career now?

The advice I would give to a young aspiring interior designer is that its not just ‘fluffy cushions and painting walls’ as some might say! Designers should be prepared to be involved in projects on a much more architectural level. The role involves producing technical drawing packages as well as attractive presentations to sell our services and concepts.

Having a vision is one thing, but you must be prepared for the process to get there. I would say commercial interior design and what you see on Instagram these days is a very different ball game! My advice would be to make sure you understand the profession that you are entering into and the expectations the career has. A professionally qualified interior designer will understand building regulations, health and safety measures and learn how to manage client expectations through budgets.

There is a lot to learn, but we never stop learning and this is the key to a successful career.

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