Design professional who is transitioning from fashion to a career in Interior Design.

So that's the opening sentence and reality of my world! I have been a Children's Wear Designer, in NYC, for the past 23 years. I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology and received a BFA in Fashion Design. It has been rewarding and considering I have worked 4 days a week much of my career, and make a good living, I shouldn't complain. BUT personally it feels like Groundhog Day! I should warn you now I will proof read this but English/ Spelling (thank goodness for spell check) and grammar have never been one of my strong points. 

Going back to my childhood, my mother for the first 12 years of my life was a stay at home super creative mom. She wallpapered, painted, sewed and could make whatever she wanted. My father had an aluminum siding and roofing business. Both my parents came from large families. My mom was the oldest of six children, while my dad was third youngest out of eight. Most of my uncles were in construction from small jobs, to full house remodels and rental properties. As a child I was up on the roof and always around some sort of remodel/ construction job site. If my families houses were being improved my uncles did the work themselves. I loved seeing the mess turn into beautiful spaces.

In High School, I was in the Fashion Design program and we had an annual fashion show, where I made several garments from scratch. I didn't know that Interior Design existed as a career option back then so my creative outlet was fashion. I took classes at F.I.T. on Saturdays and then during the summer for High School students. When I graduated (a year early), I ONLY applied to F.I.T. so THANK GOODNESS I was accepted!! I was married and had a baby from the age of 16 so I can't imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn't been accepted. Luckily "it all worked out" and I graduated F.I.T. in 1996. I was only 5 years into my career when I realized  I wasn't going to want to do this the rest of my life. I owed a house by then and loved decorating and remodeling. I also pretty much only watched HGTV which is when I realized, I wanted to be an Interior Designer when I grow up!!

I attended night classes in Interior Design and in 2004 I received my degree. Around the same time we took on a huge remodeling project of our home. We added an entire second floor and extended the house out 10 feet. With the help of my step father and brother-in-law, I designed the entire remodel, which was given to the architect to draw up for the permits. My uncle was the contractor that did the remodel so I had hands on experience though out the entire process. Every morning at 7am we went over the plan for the day. The house went from a 1975 sq ft ranch to a 3800 sq ft 2 story home (including the basement). With my degree out of the way and the distractions of the house, I faux finished, applied venetian plaster, painted and designed my house. I LOVED every minute of it. Life happened, my son attended college and a career change was just not an option. So I continued on as the not so glamorous "Fashion Designer".

Fast forward to today.... Finally after dabbling here and there over the years in Interior Design projects, I am in a position to make a career change! I am super excited for what the future will bring. I hope you will follow me in my journey as I transition from Fashion Designer to Interior Designer : ))) I hope to aspire everyone to follow their dreams because I truly believe that if you put your mind to something and work hard ANYTHING is possible!!!


Nicole de la Cruz

(my alter ego since my husband spells it Dela Cruz but I told him de la Cruz is more glamorous lol a la Oscar de la Renta ; ))

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10K Glam Room Makeover

I am learning that most people have no idea what it actually costs to makeover a room. From a few pieces to a complete design I’ll be doing a series of blog posts to give everyone an idea of the costs for a design makeover. Furniture ONLY this is not including design fees, taxes, freight, shipping costs, white glove delivery OR any renovations. Transparency is key these days so let me enlighten you.

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The above design was inspired from my own sitting room makeover shown below which was completed for the One Room Challenge. You can read all about it HERE.


When designing I like to mix high and low-end pieces as you can see from the items sourced in the 10K Glam Room Makeover. For this design, the teal velvet sofa was not expensive so if I decide later to change it out for a neutral color I won’t feel guilty about doing so. On the other hand had the sofa color been cream or grey I may have invested more money in it so it would last longer. Usually, you are going to want to put more money into those investment pieces that you will keep longer.

What I have found in my experience working in retail is that most people have absolutely no idea what things cost, they look at each individual piece not the complete design as a whole and like to know the cost of the room makeover upfront. Most people do not realize that one of the first steps in a design is to establish the budget. A talented designer can then play with hi’s and lo’s to get an elevated “look and feel” while sticking within your budget. It’s ok to have “show stopper” or investment pieces mixed with those that are maybe more trendy that you can change out when you get tired of them.

One of my favorite designers Cheryl Eisen does this in all of her luxury designs. She has even mentioned that in most of her staged designs there is a piece from Ikea that may or may not have been hacked to change the look.

Items that can cost less are cute little side tables, rugs, and pillows. There are definitely higher-priced versions of the ones shown in this design concept but you will be able to achieve a similar look with the ones sourced here.

If you are local to the Long Island/ NY Metro area and need help figuring out what your room makeover will cost reach out HERE. I’d love to help!

As always please continue to follow the journey through our Instagram Stories and Facebook updates where we will continue to share behind the scene videos and findings.

Have an Inspired day!