Before I became a designer, I wanted to be an artist. I knew I wanted to create art, display in galleries and earn my place in the art world. I always knew my life was going to be creative in some way. So I studied art in college and made that my goal in life. Of course, life had other plans in mind and led me into interior design instead. While I may not be making much art these days, I am still very much in love with art, artists, making art, seeing art and how essential it is to any space. Today, I'm sharing the work of artists I have met recently whose work is too good not to share. Check out who I am currently crushing on
Burnell Drive: Kitchen Remodel
Out of all the projects I have worked on, Burnell Drive is my favorite and will always be very special to me.
I was hired to design the kitchen. It was a small space, roughly 13' x 9', the smallest I have ever worked on. It had its challenges due to its size and it was difficult to get the essentials in without compromising on the storage. So I had a lot to think about and not a lot to work with as I started working on this kitchen. As a designer who was so used to working on huge kitchens, this was a head scratcher. But ... I love a challenge, especially a design challenge. Game on!
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So besides a good design challenge, here's also why this project is so special ...
I was so excited to take on this project mainly because who the client is. The client was my favorite teacher from my days as an interior design student at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. We had been out of touch for some time so when he reached out to me, I was honestly touched and honored. He was the instructor who taught me computer-aided drafting or AutoCAD. Now this is important for two reasons.
For one, I struggled the first time I took an AutoCAD class with a different instructor. I didn't know if it was the instructor, the program or me but I was not getting it and that was frustrating knowing this was the foundation to any project and here I was, failing miserably! I barely passed but the perfectionist in me wondered if I was cut out for this designer life. It was required to take two classes to learn AutoCAD and that's when I met Andre and everything changed. Andre was the instructor this time around and he had a teaching style that took all the seriousness out of the program without sacrificing a full-rounded understanding of the program and its capabilities. AutoCAD was easy for me at the end of the term - I so got it! - and I was helping my fellow classmates too! Because of Andre, I became proficient in AutoCAD which has been pivotal in my career. It's the reason I was hired by prominent designers and showrooms and given the opportunity to work on so many amazing projects. If not for Andre, who knows what would have happened?
Which brings me to the second reason why working on his kitchen was so important ...
I'm a big believer in paying it forward. When Andre reached out to me about his kitchen, I was more than happy to help him and take on his project. I would not have gotten as far as I have professionally without having a solid grasp on AutoCAD, and for that, I have always been grateful to Andre. This was my chance to pay it forward and say "Thank You" by giving him and his wife the kitchen of their dreams.
Lately, I've been obsessed with neutrals. I always use neutrals as a base for any project like a blank canvas. But recently, I have been so inspired and I'm sharing my love for neutrals with you today!
Here's why I love neutrals. There is depth in the design, the materials and the textures when working with neutrals. All those elements are heightened and you tend to see more detail to every element than you would have noticed initially. These spaces invite you to touch and feel, to look closer and engage with the space. They invite you to come in, relax, breathe and just be. With a neutral foundation, you can add as little or as much as you want. So it works for modern spaces and it also works with classic, traditional spaces.
To Beginnings & Being Personal
One of my favorite movies is You've Got Mail. I can recite that movie word for word (almost) if that is any indication of how much I love it. The one part that really stuck with me is when Tom Hanks' character visits Meg Ryan's character after she has closed her shop. He apologizes for the shut-down by saying "It's not personal, its business." To which she replies, "Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal." Oh so true! That line has stuck with me and has become the foundation for pretty much everything I do, especially as a designer. I work with people one on one on their homes. I learn who they are, how they live and how they want to live. It's an intimate process and getting to work with people on such a personal level is one of the reasons I love my job.