Renovate (v) :
1. to restore to good condition; make new or as if new again; repair.
2. to reinvigorate; refresh; revive.
My love for interior design started young. As a kid, my dad had a weekend gig installing insulation in new homes and I would often tag along and hang out on the construction sites. It was the ‘70’s, so it made perfect sense for a kid to play at a construction site - no helicopter parenting back then. I would use my imagination to figure out which framed areas in the new construction were for which rooms and I would play “house” on the job sites. Ahh, the things we came up with to entertain ourselves before smartphones and video games.
When I got older my mom became a real-estate agent and I would help her with open houses and tag along on property walk-throughs. Here I was able to hone-in on what appealed to me about interiors and architecture. I also realized that for an interior to shine it had to be clean and styled to appeal to buyers. It never really occurred to me that I could parlay my love of aesthetics and architecture into a career, duh!
Fast forward a bit to college...
I studied History at UCLA which has helped me out enormously with architectural research. I am always looking to weave the history of a space into my designs. For example, the Franklin Street Loft was a textile manufacturing building so we used a ton of reclaimed industrial elements in the design.
Fast forward again to married life…
In 1994, my husband and I bought our first apartment in Hoboken, NJ. With the support of both of our fathers, we decided to renovate it ourselves. Slowly but surely over the course of 5 years, we renovated the kitchen and bathroom. This is when I realized not only did I love space planning, materials, furniture and decor, but I had FINALLY found my calling!!
I ditched my first career as an insurance broker, moved to the UK and with the full support of my husband, did an intensive interior design program at the Inchbald School of Design in London. Immediately after graduating, I sold our first London renovation and moved onto my next project - renovating our 1,200 square foot Mews House in Notting Hill.
I had my daughter right after finishing that project and I took off a few years to concentrate on raising my kids.
How time flies…Sydney is now 14 and George is 11!
We had so many projects during our time in London, but that's a whole other blog post (next week)!
Thanks for checking in on my first blog post!! It's been so fun thinking back and looking through pictures of these early days. Tune in next week as I continue to reminisce on my love story with design and family.