When I think about my passion for interior design, it always brings me back to the 80s—the early 80s. During this time, interior design was interior "decorating." An interior decorator was a fancy term for a woman that came to your home and suggested you lay down some wall-to-wall carpeting, heavy drapery and mirrors.
I'm not kidding. The 80s was a decade when we were OK with kelly green shag carpeting, round bathtubs and these ULTRA GLAM mirrors. What a time to be alive!!
When my parents bought our house on Long Island, NY my mom thought she had to hire an interior decorator, and got EXACTLY what she payed for. When she realized that our newly "decorated" home had jumped off the set of a cheesy 80s movie, she freaked out. At that moment, WE REVOLTED! We realized that we were great collaborators, and spent copious amounts of time scouring antique shops and boutiques. We designed a home that was right for us and broke from the mold.
Anytime someone asked me what I wanted to be, I'd say "decorator."
Fast forward a few years and by my 20s I had diverged from that path and instead, I wanted to save the world. I pursued a career in social work and public health. I traveled the world and studied in France (an excellent place to dabble in fashion and design, too). I went as far as a masters in social work and public health before realizing that I wouldn't be able to explore my creativity. I couldn't find a job that really spoke to me. Most importantly, I didn't find passion.
After being home with three boys, I found my love for designing, both helping myself and others. I found that I had superpowers! Like Superwoman, I could look at a space and literally see through walls. This wall is going to have a giant bay window! This wall is coming down! These floors are extending! This space is going to open up!
I transformed our first home with these newfound powers:
I loved putting together these design projects, finding a neighborhood carpenter, painters through Craigslist, plumbers, contractors — managing every detail. After I had done this to two houses, I felt confident in my skills.
It didn't fully click for me until I read the works "Rethink" and "Happy" by Australian designer Amanda Talbot. These two books resonated with me and brought me serious inner peace. It's hard to summarize what these books have taught me but if I had to, I'd say they've helped me to understand how to help people find authenticity in their lives. The importance of sourcing local materials, inspiring sustainability, and inspiring genuine happiness and joy.
DESIGNING AUTHENTIC INTERIORS
I've gone from "decorating" in the 80s to finding my passion as a designer (a fancier word for a person with an artistic eye and serious Revit Autocad skills). I'm a mover of walls and a supporter of feng shui — using colors and blending modern and vintage to brighten my soul and the souls of many.
So here I am now, running a woman-owned local business doing what I love and feel truly passionate about. Taking my time doing creative, authentic work to help people find the same joy in their homes as I have.
"Though people follow different paths, their main goal is to be happy. It’s such a simple thing — we live to be happy.”
- Amanda Talbot