Interview with Dina Caruso: Hospitality Design Consultant
What led you to start to become an interior designer?
Here is the honest, non-flowery answer: As a college student, I did not know what I wanted to study. I started in psychology, then changed to marketing, and started to pursue a minor in business. Perplexed, I pulled out my 7th grade aptitude test and saw “interior design” as a top career choice for me. I called to tell my mother and she said “well…you were always good at rearranging your room and creating a lot of different outfits out of very few clothes so maybe interior or fashion is the answer…” Since I lived in sweatpants and baseball hats at that stage of my life, fashion was not the answer. Hence, I chose interior design. Little did I know that Interior Design would be a career requiring some knowledge of psychology, marketing and business. God knew what he was doing. I wasn’t flailing, I was preparing!
What is your favorite aspect of being an interior designer?
I love having the ability to create “feel good” environments. We can influence mood and behavior via interior design. We can use our talents and skills to truly help people feel a certain way.
What have you learned the most from your career in interior design?
I have learned how to work in a team, how to work solo, how to work quickly, how to focus, how to manage time, how to communicate with people from different cultures and socio-economic conditions, the list is endless. The best learning experiences have come from the travel portion of the job.
What tips and ideas do you have for other’s who would like to be interior designers?
Take the time to learn the business aspects of the profession sooner than later. It will help whether you decide to work for yourself or for someone else. If you are interested in any type of commercial design (hospitality, healthcare, office buildings, etc), enroll in an accredited program at a school where you will learn the necessary software skills.
What are your favorite features of being an interior designer?
My favorite perks are meeting people, traveling to new places, seeing new things.
Photos 1-3 courtesy of Dina Carusso
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