What Makes Her Tick? An Interview With Darja Coko Mihajlovic
Ever wondered what an interior designer gets up to each day? Or perhaps you’re a budding creative aspiring towards a new career? I was recently interviewed by freelance writer, Hannah King – read on to learn more about me:
Tell me a bit about your personal and professional background
‘’I was born in Croatia, however, Serbia was my home for more than twenty years before moving to London. From a young age, I was very focused on artistic subjects and I especially loved assisting my father with tasks around the house. Architecture became the obvious choice in terms of career and I finished my Bachelor and Master studies at the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade. While today almost everything is done on the computer, for me, the best part is preserving a project in hand-drawn sketches.’’
What’s a typical day like for you?
‘’From the moment I wake up in the morning, I’m already planning my day and always thinking about my next step in a project. There is never a dull moment, it’s always fresh and exciting and why I love my job so much. Each day is nicely varied and typically starts with a cup of tea and a stroll with my husband. This gives me the energy I need for my usually long hours and means that I am more than ready to tackle anything. As no two days are ever the same, it keeps things interesting – I couldn’t imagine doing the same thing over and over. Typical duties will depend on the client but generally include site visits, design-related activities or networking events.’’
Do you have any hobbies or passions in life?
‘’Pretty much all of my hobbies are connected to art, creation and general construction. I love sketching, photography, building furniture and travelling – oh, and chocolate more than ever this year. My passion is also helping others, so I often volunteer for different opportunities. When I first moved to London, I volunteered at Leighton House Museum and we are still collaborating over two years later. I also feel incredibly lucky because my particular field is another huge joy of mine.’’
Describe yourself in three words
‘’I am a problem solver, organised and friendly.’’
We’re in a bar, what are you drinking?
‘’I love anything sweet and intriguingly packaged so it would have to be an exotic cocktail!’’
Finish the sentence. On weekends, you can usually find me…
‘’My husband and I both love to explore and so before the pandemic, you would always find us out and about where we live. Near our house, there is a lovely walk by a canal which connects to a lake, the birds are always singing and it’s so special to be surrounded by nature in London. Of course, the situation is a little different now but our walks are still there, usually around the local neighbourhood.’’
What is your biggest accomplishment (personal or professional)?
‘’So far, I’ve been involved in a couple of large scale projects from the Hilton Hotel to Construction Site Camp which accommodates around 1400 people. I feel my biggest accomplishment, however, is yet to come in the form of society and helping local communities. I would love to be a part of a socially engaging project as I truly believe it is up to us to contribute to the world around us.’’
What is your personal motto?
‘’I’m a really big fan of the saying, ‘be yourself – everyone else is already taken.’ Today, there seems to be a big focus on image and I’ve worked with many clients whose main concern is this. It’s an unenviable position since there are so many people – not everyone will be impressed as you with your home. Instead, think of it as your safe haven and a place for just you, not the person who others want you to be.’’
Finally, what are your plans for 2021?
‘’2021 has started great and for me, this year is all about continuing the growth of DCM Designs. So far, we’ve signed a couple of interesting architectural projects in Serbia and I aim to focus on expanding my interior design portfolio in the UK.’’
Thank you for reading – whilst we’ve got you, why not check out some of Darja’s work?