iscd graduate story: Heidi Mo

Posted by rachel on July 17

From a working background in Accounting and Finance to becoming a Qualified Interior Designer. Heidi Mo is a recent graduate of the Diploma at iscd. She talked to us about how she made the decision to study Interior Design, her favourite thing about studying, where she gets her inspiration from and how to keep up with trends. Plus her work is absolutely stunning and she’s shared that with us too!

Heidi at iscd tiny homes styling event with Nifty Home, Domayne Hire and Caroma.


What originally sparked your passion for interior design?

I styled and decorated my home in Vancouver, Canada and have always admired beautiful homes and people with immense personal style that you can see in their homes and fashion style. My grandmother is a singer and an artist and from an early age, I learned to appreciate works of art. 

What is your background before attending iscd?

I have a background in Accounting and Finance but felt it was time to explore and develop my creative side. I’ve travelled a fair bit and lived overseas in New Zealand as well.  When I moved to Australia, I decided to learn about interior design in more depth. A friend in the field encouraged me and said that further education really gives you additional confidence in interior design – for example, rather than just pointing at an image or furniture piece and saying you like it, you can now look at the object, think critically and speak about why and what you appreciate about it based on design principles. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience at iscd in terms of my own personal journey – despite some of the long hours we put into the projects.  


Your favourite thing about studying at iscd?

I have learned so much more about my personal style and aesthetic, which has dramatically evolved since I first started the course.  The exposure to a variety of interior design styles has allowed me to deepen my own understanding of the industry and has pushed me out of my own comfort zone. I have also learned to appreciate the thought process and elements of other peoples’ work, even if their style is vastly different from mine. The knowledge and the ability to understand why I appreciate an interior, art, image, or fashion outfit based on design principles has been invaluable. In addition, over the 2 years studying part-time, you become so close with fellow students on your course and it has been amazing to see everyone progress and develop throughout the last few years.  Finally, my most important learning was understanding the importance of a strong concept and how it relates to your client since that one concept will continually influence every single idea and decision you have from that point onwards, from designing the floorplan layout and use of materials to furniture and fabric design to the choice in interior decor – which really makes the project, whether residential or commercial, feel cohesive.

What are you most excited about now you’ve graduated? / what are you plans job wise?

I’m excited to start my own business and help friends out with their interior design projects as their homes evolve!  I plan to stay with my full-time career because I find it interesting, but I definitely plan to nurture my interior design business in the meantime.

How do you stay on top of interior trends and where do you get your inspiration from?

I read Est Living, Yellowtrace, ArchDaily, Kinfolk, The Design Files, and follow Vogue Italy, Arch Digest International & France and Design Milk. Inspiration honestly strikes anywhere and anytime, but Pinterest and Instagram are really great conveyors of inspirational images. I also draw inspiration from textures, personal experiences, fashion, photography and artists – for a while I was obsessed with Alexander Yakovlev’s explosive dance portraits and his artworks featured in all my projects at one point. Another example is when I met Maegan Brown, a photographer from Melbourne, at a design fair and I fell in love with her stunning photography and that became an inspiration for a colour palette of another project.

What tips/advice would you give to anyone thinking about studying design?

Go for it! I’m a firm believer that what you get out of an experience is equal to what you put into it. The knowledge, experiences and friendships you get out of studying design will be invaluable – regardless of whether you’re in the industry or just want to renovate your own home.

(All work by iscd graduate Heidi Mo)


Are you inspired by Heidi’s story? Do you want to know more about our interior design courses and flexible study options?


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