When I was a little girl I used to dream in blueprints. Immaculately designed Barbie dream-homes, crafted from cardboard boxes and glue-gunned to completion with aluminum foil mirrors and wall-to-wall wash cloth carpeting. My grandmother, Mommalou, was often re-laundering the fresh bed sheets I claimed to devise my tent cities that sprawled from living room to dining room. Weekends with friends were spent re-arranging their twin beds, taking down their posters and storing away all of their clutter. (I am sure my Mother often times wondered why I didn’t do this for my own room. I still wonder the same thing myself about my current apartment.) I even presented dimensioned floor plans for a treehouse to my Father, pleading with him to build it just so I could decorate it (the design had lots of room for sodas under the kitchen sink...). After harping on and on for years about “wanting my own store”, my parents obliged and allowed me to open a retail space. At the age of thirteen in my small hometown of Buckingham, Virginia, I opened Mommalouz gift shop. For three years I would enjoy my evenings after school ordering and selling small gift trinkets from my eight foot by eight foot storefront when really all I could think about was “Hmm. What color should I paint the back room this week?” Several years after I closed Mommalouz’ doors to pursue more important things, like volleyball and boys, the time came for me to snap out of teenage life and into the real world. I had to sit down and pick a career. Duhn duhn duhnnnn.
I remember at first the decision didn’t come easy. What do I want to do? Which school do I want to attend? I really hadn’t given any of these life decisions much thought, considering while majority of my peers were spending their first semester of Senior year taking S.A.T s and applying to colleges, I was in Hawaii lathering up in Maui Babe and taking one English course via email. My semester abroad, I like to call it. (Who knew life would circle around and I would eventually wind up back in Oahu, the island I didn’t want to ever leave and, in fact, sobbed the entire plane ride home from?) Once I came back home, and back to a cold and dreary December reality, I knew I didn’t want to stay in Buckingham (or at least at my parent’s house) for the rest of my life, so I had to make a choice. I rented a book from the library titled “U.S. Colleges 2003”, drove my red 1998 Camaro (oh, you know!) down to the James River, took the t-tops out (it was cool then, I swear it) and began mindlessly flipping through. “I could go to Virginia Tech. Wait, no, everyone goes to Tech. And I don’t really care for cows. I could go to JMU. No, too close. Hmm. USC sounds cool. Oo! What about Louisiana? Or there is always University of Hawaii...”. Realizing that making a decision based solely on location was a very eighteen year old thing to do, I figured I would give it some time. Sort out what it was I wanted to do before I picked where I wanted to do it. Let me tell you, nothing came to mind. And I mean nothing. I was stumped. It wasn’t until my Mother said a few encouraging words to me that I am 98.9% sure she got from Oprah but would later claim as her own wisdom. ;) She said something along the lines of “Pick a job you would do even if you didn’t get paid for it.”
So that was that. I wanted to be an Interior Designer because, well, why not? I had been doing it for years for my friends, they seemed to think I was good (when their parents weren’t around), and they sure as heck weren’t paying me, so this must be it! I didn’t have to stay in the same shell as my friends and family, looking at careers in psychology or communications, I had so many ideas and creative brainstorms, I had found my perfect fit. As my career goals developed, I began typing up my entrance essay to the Art Institute of Charlotte.
It’s been over three years since I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and although I have developed passions in other creative fields, I have to say that no matter where my endeavors take me, I will always burn a flame for Interior Design. And Hawaii. And who knows, maybe the two of them together!
Featured is one of my latest projects, a Master Bedroom and Bathroom for my exceptional (and seriously, way cool) client Patty Comer. Somehow I can just walk into someone else’s room and see a design pull together (but as the Designer’s curse goes, I can never re-create this phenomena my own home!). Immediately inspired by her expansive and suite-like space, she and I both agreed that the bedroom could use some vampin’ up. We replaced the bedroom suite with a custom headboard (inspired by Sex and the City 2, of course) and substituted a footboard for a clean and functional bench. A linen front bar used as a T.V. cabinet hides the electronics and gives the room a luxurious hotel vibe. Patty, I know I have asked you already, but your verdict may have changed....can I move in now? ;)
Before...and Patty, Please don't kill me for this!