Tamara Cuthbert Daley had a passion for painting from the age of five. Drawing on this unique creativity, she became fascinated with home and garden shows via television and social media. It’s no wonder she became an interior designer.
“I was watching so many house makeover videos on repeat and it slowly cultivated a desire to do more than just watch,” she recalled to Saturday Living of her early days. Unofficially, the interior designer has been in the industry for five years and entered the field three years ago.
Breathing life into familiar and new spaces, Cuthbert Daley has already carved out a place for himself by bringing technical art, architecture and technology to his work. “There aren’t many interior designers in Jamaica who work from the design or illustration side of the game; they focus more on decoration and style. In fact, I design technically as in computer design, from space planning to three-dimensional rendering. This is my experience. I design a space in which you can virtually walk; a bit more like architecture,” she shared.
That being said, it’s safe to say that his artwork is much more than just decor.
Asked about the obstacles encountered along the way, the interior designer confessed that she likes to call her experience a growth factor. The pandemic has brought with it a few hiccups. For example, during her course, she had to work with and evaluate a client who was redesigning a space. Due to the Covid-19 climate, she was unable to visit in person and had to rely on her virtual acquaintances. “Fortunately, many well-known designers were also expanding their skills at that time, so I rushed online for ideas. This idea has given me most of my clients to date,” she added .
Inspired by posts on Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram, she leaves the rest up to her clients when it comes to color palette and design style. Usually she has the freedom to create to wow them with her plans.
“My favorite clients to date are the Plummer family in Ontario, Canada. They wanted their bathroom to be like a main event. The toilet was in an enclosed space designed like a wet room, there was a walk in glass shower, a huge double sink vanity then there was a raised area for a tub which seemed quite separate from the rest of the bathroom Most of my clients tend to get their designs in three dimensions before construction,” she pointed out, adding that she rarely does makeovers.
The idea that interior designers are solely decorators continues to be an age-old misconception among the public. Although the area of expertise includes aspects of decoration, there is much more than meets the eye. From floor plans and mood boards to 3D renderings, product research to budget aids and labor sourcing, she said the field is much more technical and construction-based.
Apart from the financial gains, the ultimate goal is to attract a large number of satisfied clients who love and appreciate his work and benefit from his skills from all over the world. Outside of interior design, this consummate professional is a brand strategist, author, and illustrator. Her advice to budding interior designers is to think smart to work smart.
“Don’t think you have to start big and don’t think you know everything. Everything you think you know is just a surface, so be open-minded. Getting help, asking questions and getting formal training on this helps a lot. It doesn’t have to be a degree or diploma, but the right short course online or otherwise could do wonders. My degree is from the Institute of Interior Design, Canada. This is a self-paced online course. There are also local options you can explore.
True to the fashion of interior design, Cuthbert Daley gave some tips for others to renovate their homes:
1. Bright colors are accent colors for a reason. Unless this is your chosen strategy for a whimsical feel, be careful not to use too much of the same color in a room, as it could become overbearing and lose its effect on the design.
2. Sample your painting. Don’t just pick and use; it may look different in your space than it does in the paint shop or online.
3. Start with lighter colors first when decorating, then add texture and patterns.
4. Lighting is important. Decide what kind of ambiance you need for the space, think about natural light, and think about the placement of artificial light to enhance it. If you don’t mind a dark room, choose less artificial lighting and vice versa.
5. Make sure the items have common characteristics. It’s much easier to be harmonious when similar characters are around. By no means does this mean that everything has to match in terms of color or style: just tie everything together with basic similarities like silver or black hardware in a bathroom or kitchen.
6. Some trends are still going strong, like minimalism, rough stone and wood patterns in the interior, warm neutrals, unique fixtures, textured layers, and modern and traditional design mixes. So choose the design that speaks to you, no matter what is trending or not. At the end of the day, you come first.
7. Make sure the bedroom matches your personality and style. If it is a space shared between roommates or romantic partners, the rooms offer neutral tones so as not to oppose or balance with the colors of the two parties. An array of both colors and theme, a patterned carpet in two colors in this case, even the curtains. A
8. For the bathroom, invest in floating shelves. Add a decorative piece like a picture frame to the shelf. Yes, you can put your photos in your bathroom. Add flowers or other plant pieces. Update your bathroom rugs with something that makes you feel good when you step out of the shower. Get an open shelf with baskets for your tissues, extra towels and cosmetics. Matching all your hardware is a small but effective strategy. And air fresheners are essential: vaporizers, candles, reed diffusers, etc., go for it.