I remember noticing little and special details in the various homes we visited over the years. My love for them wasn’t solely about how they looked but even more about how they felt. The homes I adored most were welcoming, comfortable, warm, eclectic, lived in, full of life stories, mementos and never too perfect. At age six I began to learn about the greater world at large from the personal interests expressed through home and it was those exposures that led to my deeper curiosity about art history, color, textiles, craft and ultimately design.
Later as a teen I was known to redesign my room to the resignation of my mother who had her own ideas about the old Victorian she was reviving. A hands-on kind of gal, one Saturday she came home to find me hauling a massive 13 foot wide carpet roll over the banister 20 feet up. Easily over a hundred pounds, I could have seriously hurt someone or myself but at sixteen I was determined to live in a raw artist’s/dancer's studio flooded with natural light. I pulled everything out to expose romantic and rough wood floors, took down the drapes and painted the walls canvas white. It was my perfection. It was also the beginning of an interest in manifestation and change with the idea that one’s environment is primary in support of personal life endeavors and desires.
While interested in interiors, I headed to undergrad at Clark University in Massachusetts. There I explored my interests in Archaeology, Art History, studied English Lit, Psychology, Writing, Communications, worked in the library archive department, wrote for and co-edited the school newspaper, and continued the decorating antics, redesigning every spec of a college space I lived in over the four years. I graduated in 1997 with an open mind about a career back in New York and floated into advertising. Over four years in account management on large brands by Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola, I gained solid work experience and had interesting travel opportunities but it wasn't a fit. Designing for friends on the side, as it so often goes, I finally heeded the call and went back to school for formal training.
In 2001 I attended the Parsons School of Design, Interiors AAS program and reset my career path working for Sheila Bridges Design. As an Office Assistant, I picked up on the day-to-day interiors business and learned resources for specialized client projects, assisted with a Hudson NY storefront and helped proof read a book project. While brief, the experience was an excellent primer from a singular eye, author, talent and multifaceted designer. Eager to learn more about architectural design, I joined the family business, Aberdeen Properties - a residential building business in Connecticut. There I spent two years as a Design Project Manager on private residential projects alongside architecture firms Roger Ferris + Partners and Shope Reno Wharton — both experiences served as excellent on-site educations with architects and building trades, and put a few more practical tools on my belt.
In 2004, the entrepreneurial spirit took hold and I opened Studio K Interiors in Brooklyn. With the rise of design blogs and very new budget friendly internet resources like Apartment Therapy, decor8, Design*Sponge, domino and Style Court, the idea was to offer clients more accessible and affordable renovation design, advice and decorating service. Four years in, business was good, fun and growing with positive notice until the financial crisis of September 2008. Wall Street crashed, the recession hit and Studio K Interiors shut down.
By Spring 2009 I was refreshed and enthusiastic to join the talented pool of designers at Lillian August, an inspired retailer and large design center in Norwalk, Connecticut. Located in a converted 100,000 square foot Bauhaus warehouse, LA is filled with incredible furniture, homewares, textiles, art and decor; any idea was possible because there was access to everything. The range of projects was diverse including city pied-a-terres, townhouses, beach cottages and country estates. Lillian August is also where I honed my styling eye, learning skills from some of the best designers and merchants in the business. After three Designer to Trade Manager to Store Co-Manager years, I was ready to run an independent creative business again and this time with a name that described my organic, eclectic design approach clearly.
Freestyle Restyle, an interior design and styling service that celebrates the personal lifecycle, purpose, comfort, beauty and sentiment of home by reshuffling, rehabbing and restyling the pieces clients already own and adding new where needed. Seventeen years later, I'm doing work that is inspired by spirit and what I've confirmed with each passing project is that home is definitely where my heart is and I truly love making clients happy in theirs.
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Current Instagram photo projects are: #littlecitylove Exploring my adopted Hudson River town of historic Hoboken, New Jersey with Hubs and rescue mutt Jonesy; #countryhousecrush Capturing my favorite historic homes in the beloved Catskills/Hudson Valley region of Upstate New York where we abscond on weekends to renovate a cabin, build a veggie garden, hike, bike, and commune with family and friends whenever we are lucky and able
Interior Design, Redesign, Decorating, Styling & Project Management
Hoboken NJ, New York NY, Ulster County NY, 2012 - Present
Lillian August Furnishings & Design
NYC Trade Manager & Private Interior Design Services
Norwalk CT, New York NY, 2009 - 2012
Studio K Interiors
Interior Design, Decorating, Styling & Project Management
Brooklyn NY, 2004 – 2009
Aberdeen Properties, Inc.
Design Project Manager
Greenwich CT, 2002 - 2004
Sheila Bridges Design
New York NY, 2001 - 2002
Parsons School of Design, New York NY
Interior Design AAS, 2001 - 2002
Dean's List, Spring 2002
Clark University, Worcester MA
Bachelor of Arts – English, concentration in Communications & Writing, 1997
Living Arts Writer & Editor, The Scarlet, 1995 - 1997; Copy Editor, The Scarlet, 1994 - 1995