My thoughts on design.
I'm often asked when I first knew I would be a designer. Truth be told, I was never one of those kids that knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. My senior year of high school I had narrowed it down to surgeon, chef, and jewelry designer. My passion has always been making life beautiful. That to me has always included home décor and design. Looking back now, there are a few defining moments that shaped me for my career in interiors.
My first memories come from elementary school. I would get off the bus and sketch floor plans and room designs for hours. Of course, nothing was drawn to scale and there were entire rooms for cats, but I can still see those spaces in my minds eye. There is one in particular that stands out-a room entirely based on vanilla ice cream with raspberry and chocolate sauce (another passion of mine.) It was elegantly designed with fluffy shag, creamy sofas, deep rich chocolate leather chairs and pillows with fresh pops of framboise. I would still love to see that room come to fruition (If you too drool over 99 cones... call me, we'll make that room happen.)
Finally, in 3rd grade all that designing paid off. In art class we were tasked with creating a shoe box diorama of a room. I loved that project. I scoured the house for tiny objects; spools that could be turned into tiny tables, scraps of fabric and toothpaste caps for cups. I became obsessed. After it was turned in, I came home and built a shoe box mansion fit for fairy-kings. Thank you, Mrs. Pallotti.
Occasionally mom would bring home magazines from the exchange at work. I would pour over Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple, every word biblical. I created blown egg centerpieces, learned to fold napkins and wall collages of art. I was probably the only kid horrified when Martha was later hauled off to jail. My family teased me mercilessly for weeks. Whatever, I still create a gorgeous tablescape, complete with swan-shaped napkins.
My parents built the house we grew up in. It is a beautiful log cabin set deep in the woods. However, they moved in before it was finished. There was sub-flooring beneath our feet and no true interior doors. I always joke that this is what makes me so good at my craft- I spent my entire youth redesigning our home in my head.
The year I turned 13 I was allowed to paint over the stenciled bears and mint walls in my room. The color choice was mine alone. I briefly considered psychedelic purple-blue walls and lime green accents but, in a moment of teenage clarity I picked a warm cream. Thank God, because the room is still that color. That was also the year I acquired my very first piece of furniture. A friend of the family was selling an heirloom mahogany dresser. It is a gorgeous carved antique with rope drawer glides. The hand-hewn piece was created for the daughter of the Jell-O empire. My parents bought it for my birthday! One day soon it will make the trek from my parents house to my new home to complete the master bedroom. There is something unique about a well-loved piece of furniture that allows the space to feel curated and collected over time.