Drawing on my forty-plus years of working in various creative fields, I've added another hat to my rack-that of interior designer and decorator. My art career started in 1979 as a display artist for a department store, dressing mannequins and decorating mall windows. During those years, I also worked as a fashion coordinator, putting together seasonal wardrobes for customers and coordinating fashion shows when the new fashions were introduced at the start of each new season. I later went into management, but my love remained with coordinating those colors and patterns. For a few years, I managed an art gallery where I frequently worked with corporate clients to decorate their spaces. I also designed custom frame jobs, cut mats for prints, and did the actual custom framing.
As a young wife and mother, I took great joy in always making sure that our home felt inviting and interesting, always infused with color, and surrounded by things that were loved and collected. I also learned during our early years with young children to work within a budget and with practicality in mind. I became the queen of DIY, and painted my own artwork. I learned to upholster furniture, refinish antiques, sew curtains and whatever else I needed to do to get that "look" I wanted, and I enjoyed every minute.
Twenty years ago, I designed our current home and had an architect draw the plans for construction. As a child of a builder, construction was something that I had grown up around, so we decided to build our own home, with supervision from my dad. My husband took a year off work and we started construction. Today, we still call that house "home" and I still enjoy changing the look from time to time. Our home is colorful, vibrant, whimsical, and a reflection of who we are. My silversmithing studio is downstairs adjacent to our living space, and I can frequently be found there cutting, filing, texturizing, soldering and polishing my little works of art to wear.
A few years ago, I was asked to do a corporate decorating job. This was new construction and all wall colors and flooring materials had already been chosen and installed. I simply needed to decorate with artwork and purchase a few pieces of accent furniture. I enjoyed it immensely and the client was happy with the outcome. Fast forward a couple of years and this same client built a second larger state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. They contracted with me to do the entire job this time to include design concept, style discovery, selection of all colors and finishes, artwork procurement, artwork hanging and final styling of the front office, customer service and break room areas. What I discovered is that it came easily to me. It doesn't really matter whether it's a wardrobe or a room...it's all designing and coordinating colors, patterns, textures, and shapes, and I love it all.
I've often stated that I think my purpose for living is to make things a little prettier. I'm fortunate to be able to do the things I love.