Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/customer/www/thechaiseloungepodcast.com/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-theme-json.php on line 1714

Today we welcome Phyllis Harbinger, a professor at FIT and Principal designer at Design Concepts Interiors. A mentor as a professor and ASID member, Phyllis has all the advice from design strategies to presentation. Trish and Phyllis talk about the importance of hand drafting and drawing, using color, enhancing your portfolio, and ASID.

Who is Phyllis Harbinger?

Phyllis earned her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in international relations and marketing, then attended FIT after several years working. She is going into her 20th year as a professor of design at her alma mater, FIT. Find her latest book, The Interior Design Productivity Toolbox, for a checklist of all you need to know when being a designer.

Keep Hand Drafting and Drawing

Hand Drafting needs to stay in schooling, says Phyllis. Drawing to scale is critical to being a designer and should be taught with pen and paper, not a computer. More than for your understanding, clients still want the artisan touch that watercolors, hand drawings, and renderings bring. Let drawings assist your entire design process!

Don’t be Afraid of Color

Many can be scared, but feature walls and pops throughout spaces can take projects to the next level. Jamie Drake, The Prince of Color, and Caleb Anderson from Drake/Anderson and Tobi Fairley are known for experimenting with color and don’t use it quietly in designs. For more about color theory, visit The Munsell Color System to look in depth through charts, tests, and videos.


  • When managing time, always double your budget and leave room for error.
  • Take critiques and record them to learn for the future.
  • Document your work and revise old projects for portfolios.
  • Visit design centers if you can. Seeing things in life is entirely different than through a screen.
  • Most importantly, enjoy the journey! It’s a gift to create every day.

To learn more about the business of interior design and life as a designer after school, visit The Chaise Lounge Podcast.

The Student Lounge Updates

Feedback? Questions or Concerns? Need to connect? Reach us here.


Learn more about Phyllis online at phyllisharbinger.com, on Instagram, and Facebook. Get her book, The Interior Design Productivity Toolbox, on Wylie or Amazon.

Visit NEWH Scholarships to learn more about scholarship opportunities.

A big shout-out to Porcelanosa and Benjamin Moore for sponsoring The Student Lounge! Click here to learn more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *