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AU News

SID Graduate Melds Creativity, Professionalism as an Interior Designer

February 15, 2021
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Tanya Logan, a 2009 graduate of the Anderson University School of Interior Design, works to create effective workspaces for her company’s clients.

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For as long as she can remember, Tanya Logan, a 2009 graduate of the Anderson University School of Interior Design, has been interested in art. Unfamiliar with interior design as a career option as a high school student, she initially thought of teaching. 

“You always hear about that stereotypical ‘starving artist’ and how you’re going to make money,” Logan said. “I felt that interior design was where I could still be creative and it’s a profession where I could make a living.”

Logan is director of design at McWaters, a contract furniture dealership, working with locations in Augusta, Ga., Columbia, S.C., Charleston, S.C. and Savannah, Ga. She joined McWaters in 2013 and was promoted to director of design in 2019.

At the Anderson University School of Interior Design, Logan learned much more than just design. Under the direction of Dean Anne Martin and other professors, she developed the professional standards essential for daily interaction with clients, contractors, vendors and other stakeholders. As a student, she served as an officer in the Anderson University chapter of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and was involved in the Anderson University Student Government Association (SGA). She also went on to earn her master’s degree at Florida State.

Logan stresses that it’s not enough just to sell office furnishings. She works to understand the needs of McWaters’ corporate, education, government, healthcare and technology clients. She adds that interior designers should be prepared to meet often-demanding deadlines. 

“Any time a tight timeline is involved, we’re going to jump right in. We’re going to strategize on the best vendors to use that we know can get the product in quickly, making sure we’re working through the design process and getting the answers we need,” Logan said. Another challenge she pointed out is helping clients with workplace decisions related to bringing employees back to the office as pandemic-imposed restrictions alleviate. 

“We’re primarily in workspaces,” Logan said. “We also do a good bit of work in the healthcare industry. We have a few hospital systems in Augusta we work pretty closely with, and we also work in education, both in higher education and K-12. We have corporate clients in the Augusta market with multiple office locations. We do a good bit of government work as well.”

“What I enjoy the most about my job is knowing at the end of the project we exceeded the clients’ expectations,” Logan said. “That’s what we always strive for at McWaters; building relationships with clients and really showing them that we’re striving to understand what their needs are, what their business drivers are and then putting together a solution that hits all of those points important to them.”

Logan’s advice to anyone seeking an interior design career is to try to “shadow” a designer or seek an internship to see first hand what the field involves. 

“Keep an open mind,” she said. “Interior design opens the door to so many possibilities where you can go with your career. Where I work at a furniture dealership is a good bit different from a designer working in an architecture and design firm, but we still have the same background and education. There are numerous other avenues you can take with your career.”

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