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Dave designs award winning interiors

Emerging interior designer Dave Harvey is making a name for himself with his unique award-winning design style and keen eye for detail. 

The Diploma of Interior Design (MSF50218) student credits his TAFE Queensland training for giving him the confidence to enter the Kitchen and Bathroom Designers Institute of Australia (KBDi) Designer Awards 2023, with his bathroom design winning the Student Award.

"My entry was judged on the same criteria as industry professionals and had to produce technical drawings, compliance documentation and presentation boards showing colour swatches and tiles and finishes as well as what the designs were inspired by."

"I submitted everything an interior design required, other than it being built, to KBDI, and I went on to win the national award for the student bathroom of the year, which I'm thrilled about."

Dave's award win also saw him receive judges' feedback, giving him even more confidence that his career was on the right track.

"They commented on the high quality of my technical drawings, thanks to working with my teachers. I'm not a draftsperson, but my teachers' feedback over the last 18 months is why my entry was at an industry standard," he said.

He credits his training to meeting the competition's brief, thanks to having access to industry-standard tools in his classroom.

"I've learnt Revit, an industry-standard 3D architect drawing package, and SketchUp, a popular software for interior design firms. I've also learnt how to use InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator to compile presentations for clients."

Dave decided to retrain after spending most of his professional life in software development, programming, business process analysis work, and project management.

"I worked in IT for the best part of 15 years, then after remodelling an apartment I bought, I realised I wanted to change careers."

"Putting holes in walls started me down the rabbit hole of wanting to learn how to compose a space and what to look for, what to do with different property types, and it resonated with me in a way that I wasn't expecting."

"I never cared about interior design until that light bulb moment, and it was fun and creative that I could do professionally. It led to a huge discovery to a whole new world."

His decision to change careers and become an interior designer was made easier, having studied with TAFE Queensland previously and knowing about the quality of the training and job outcomes.

"I've studied through TAFE Queensland before, and it was my first port of call. You learn practical job skills that result in real job outcomes because the training reflects the real world."

Dave also credits his teachers' industry connections for accelerating his learning and giving him the ability and confidence to change careers to a creative one.

"TAFE Queensland is extremely practical, and I feel prepared to start work because my teachers are active in the industry. They share what they're experiencing daily, and it's beneficial because it goes hand-in-hand with the content they deliver."

"They also give you space to experiment and breathe. It's a creative field, and getting their feedback is similar to having a workplace mentor who looks at your work to ensure it meets the brief."

Dave's confidence is soaring so much that he's started his own business where he can apply his creative prowess and innovative approach to the design industry.

"I've worked for myself in the past, in different capacities, but I'm hoping to establish my little studio, and it's my hope for the future. I'm working on kitchen and bathroom projects and doing property staging."

"TAFE Queensland gave me both a sense of freedom and creative expression. My training has enabled me to start work, but has taught me still so much to learn."

"Thanks to my training, I've started my own business, and eventually, I'll expand to include a couple of others and help educate customers to make some beautiful interiors."