Aruna Latulip loves decorating, so much so that three years ago she enrolled on a course in interior design so that she could properly turn her passion into a business. She chats to Cosmocreole about her journey to becoming an Interior designer.
Let’s start with you telling us a little a bit about yourself -I lived most my life at Mt Fleuri and I am presently residing in Providence. I grew up with a younger sister. I started my career in the tourism industry- I studied Travel and Tourism in Australia and worked for STB for some years as a marketing coordinator. I left in 2009 when my mum got ill. I had to take over the family business, which was basically a home decorating store where we sold bathroom accessories, tiles and other home décor items. I closed the shop about 4 years ago and went into selling marine goods, which is totally different from what I really love. In the last three years, I did an Advanced Diploma in Interior Design with the Institute of Interior Design in South Africa.
How has your career developed in the interior design sector and when did you start out?
I have always loved designing, I love paints, mixing and matching things together, moving stuff around. I hate keeping unused items in the house. When I left home and moved to my apartment, I decorate it beautifully, and a lot of close friends and family complimented me on how good I was at designing the interior of the house. I have always had an eye for details. I will walk into a place and automatically I will be stripping it down and fixing everything in my mind.
Was there a particular event that turned your attention to interior design?
Everything changed when I built my current home. My friends and family loved my space and they kept saying that the house looks like a house in a magazine. Eventually, I realised that this is what I want to do. This is me. So, I turned my passion into a career. Like I mentioned, I completed the course in June of 2019, so I have done a few projects for close friends and family; giving advice on picking out furniture and fabrics. I have set up my business- Tulipe Interior Design and have started working on a big project which unfortunately is now on hold due to the COVID19 economic situation.
What is the most rewarding thing about working in design?
Seeing a happy client. Interior design is not cheap, and neither is it easy. We have to consider tastes and practicalities. Most clients just want a beautiful home or office, but it has to be more than just a beautiful place. Sometimes, you just have to negotiate on how to make your ideas work for the client. The most important thing is to have a happy client.
As for me, seeing the place completed gives me a sense of accomplishment and happiness. It’s really hard to explain this kind of happiness.
Can you describe your interior design style and what is unique about it?
I love neat and clean design. They call it the Scandinavian design- everything is neat, simple, and functional. I love natural colours, as you can play around with them. I can say that I am a minimalist designer. With this kind of design, you can accessorise your home by adding a tint of bold colours. Less is better.
What was your favourite project to work on and why?
I worked on a project on Cerf Island. The client was building his home for the first time. He wanted a home that was a bit of a bachelor pad. Practical, but at the same time his home needed to be able to cater for all his gadget. We spoke about it and did the architectural design. I started working on this project from conception. This is what is great about it. I could say this wall is not practical, the bathroom is too small, and we need more lights in the kitchen etc… He was very cooperative as a client and easy to work with. We travelled to South Africa to source the furniture, lights, cushions, kitchen appliances and accessories. The best part of a project is the sourcing part. I feel like a kid in a toy store. The project has now been completed and he moved in at the beginning of this year. He is a very happy client.
Does your own home reflect your personal style?
Totally. My home says everything about me. Everything in its place. I hate clutter. Simple and nice- I believe. Most of the things are in natural colours. One thing that I love in the home is fresh flowers- they make the home vibrant.
Would you say that design is all about the lifestyle? How we live?
It is about the lifestyle. How you dress yourself should also be how you dress your home. Mixing and matching things together. Your home should always be clean, neat and tidy- just like us. Our physical appearances should reflect our home. Interior design is not difficult; we just need to put some effort into making our homes comfortable. It is not easy to maintain your home, some would say, when you have kids or don’t have the time to pick up after everyone. It is not entirely about time. It’s about training the people at home. This is the key. Make your bed in the morning. Put nice cushions on the sofa. Tidy your home before going to sleep. Waking up to a tidy house will help start your day on a positive note. Organise everything the night before or on the weekend when you are at home, and this will leave you more time to do other things.
Your business is relatively new, what are your future plans for it?
I don’t compare my business to others. Everyone has their style and their way of doing what they do best. In business, I have found that consistency, a good dose of personality, my passion and drive can take me far.
There are a few things I want to do. I am currently working in collaboration with some furniture stores and a fabric company to assist their clients by giving advice on how to fix their home. You do not have to spend a lot of money to make your home beautiful.
I also want to work with construction companies, so we can offer this service to their clients, for example, help with picking out a new kitchen- designing a functioning bathroom is imperative, as space is very important.
The economic situation is not in my favour, so right now I have to tread very carefully. Interior design is not a cheap service, as it’s time-consuming. Right now, I am concentrating on offering the basic service.
What advice would you give other women who would like to get into interior design?
My advice is to believe more in themselves and their business. It can be scary sometimes, but be flexible, pay attention, and always asks as many questions as possible. Seek advice when needed. Keep visiting new places and do a lot of research. Interior design is ever-changing. Keep up with the latest trends, such as what the colour of the year is, the latest print for wallpapers, fabrics, and interior magazines and websites are perfect for inspirations.