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A Teesside University graduate has reached the summit of her industry after being appointed to one of the most prestigious roles in interior design.

Diana Celella came to Teesside to study interior design in the 1980s at a time when professional courses in that sector were few and far between.

She has now been appointed President of the Society of British and International Design (SBID), the standard bearer for the accreditation of professional interior designers, product suppliers and educational institutions.

Diana, who served as President Elect for two years before becoming President, said: “It is such an honour for me – a fantastic achievement and a really exciting time.

“I am particularly interested in further developing the organisation’s work with education, inspiring the next generation about the career opportunities that interior design can bring.”

Originally from Liverpool, Diana graduated from Teesside University with a BA (Hons) Interior Design (3D Design) in 1986.

“At that time, there was very little known about interior design as a profession and not too many courses available,” explained Diana.

“Initially I wanted to be an architect, but I would often find myself becoming more interested in the interior layout of buildings. The course at Teesside was such a positive experience and certainly gave me the confidence to pursue a career in interior design.”

Diana secured a position as a Junior Designer with Claude Hooper after impressing the company during her university degree show. She then served as a Senior Designer for two years before moving to Harrop Design Consultants as Design Manager.

With a desire to set up her own business, Diana then launched The Drawing Room Interiors, which she has successfully ran for over 30 years. She specialises in healthcare projects, including care homes, dental practices, assisted living and retirement villages. She is recognised throughout the industry as an expert in retirement living design and implementation of evidence based design.

The Society of British and International Design, (SBID), was founded in 2007 and its members now span 45 countries. It aims to provide its members with the insight to ensure their career or business is sustainable and robust enough to achieve long-term success.

Diana said: “I joined SBID at the beginning and, at the time, there were a lot of television programmes which I felt gave the wrong impression about interior design as a profession.

“They implied that it was something that could be done really quickly, without too much thought, planning or preparation. SBID is a professional body and I am really looking forward to working as President and building further on the excellent work which has already been done.”

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