IQ DESIGN
INTERIOR DESIGN • WANTAGH, NY
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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!!!

xoxo

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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Before and After Teen Bedroom Transformation

AFTER PHOTO

AFTER PHOTO

It’s been a while since my last blog post but I was really struggling with finding the time and choosing the topic. That said I've decided to spend my train commute time writing in an effort to post at least once a week with updates of my journey. This post is long over due since my daughters room has been finished since late December but here goes!

BEFORE PHOTO

BEFORE PHOTO

My daughter, Isabella, outgrew her love of purple moving onto a sophisticated gray color palette. This is the before picture of the room which was only completed two years ago ombre purple walls and all! I need to mention that I painted over the previous pink and crème stripe walls that had a pearlized finish over them. I was a bit obsessed with painting wall techniques for a while in case you didn't notice. The stripe walls got a skim coat prior to the the three shades of ombre purple. You will understand why I am mentioning the history of the walls later in this post. The only element of the previous design that stayed was the lighted crown molding feature and Martha Stewart Living closet organizer. 

To get started the room was emptied of the mostly Ikea and Pottery Barn Teen furniture. I knew better than to spend a lot on that Stora loft bed because at thirteen I had a feeling climbing up there would get old fast, which it did! Not to mention we had to cut a foot off the bed because if not my daughter would have been kissing the ceiling every night lol. Once emptied the next step was to remove all hardware, plate covers, nails and screws. The closet was also emptied since I had painted that purple in the last room design. One thing I have learned from this process is to never paint the closet anything other than white unless you plan to repaint it every time you change the wall color!

Before and After Teen Bedroom Transformation

After everything was out it was time to patch up all the holes. Next time for the BM primer to go on. The progress was smooth up till this point. Once the first coat of gray paint went on however is where the drama began. Remember all those techniques under the primer?! Right that caused the wall to bubble. Thinking it was just an imperfection I painted over it only for all three layers to peel away from the wall down to the brown layer of the sheetrock.

Damaged Wall

Damaged Wall

After some research on youtube of course I discovered Gardz Problem Surface Sealer. The walls were primed with this watery substance that created a seal over the damaged area. I applied this to the entire room to avoid any other areas that may become an issue. Next I applied a skim coat of spackle. After allowing this to dry 24hrs, I then sanded and wiped the walls of dust. I then applied the Gardz again over the spackled area, let that coat dry and then applied another skim coat and went thru the same process a second time. The end result was a wall that I applied two coats of BM Metallic Gray 2132-60 to. This was the process that worked for me to fix the walls.

Painted Room BM Metallic Silver 2132-60

Painted Room BM Metallic Silver 2132-60

Martha Stewart Closet from Home Depot

Martha Stewart Closet from Home Depot

The next step was the furniture. I had already worked out the new floor plan layout and had my daughter sign off on it lol. 

Floor Plan

Floor Plan

Since Bella will be off to college in three years, again I wasn’t investing a lot into this new room design. Most of the pieces were bought at my love HomeGoods. The nightstands are from Joss and Main. The dresser is a white version of the black one my daughter had from Ikea. I got the glass top add on to protect it and changed the knobs to glass ones from HomeGoods. This helped to elevate the dresser from the Ikea look.

Ikea Dresser with Rhinestone knobs from HomeGoods

Ikea Dresser with Rhinestone knobs from HomeGoods

The drapes in the room are from Pottery Barn Teen, the same ones from the purple room design. I changed the trim from purple to gray by ordering grosgrain ribbon from Ribbon Retreat Warehouse (my go to supplier when I was making Cheer Hair Bows). I used Pellon Wonder Under Paper-Backed Fusible Web which I ironed onto the gray ribbon. I then pealed the paper liner off and ironed the gray ribbon over the existing purple ribbon. Next I sewed the ribbon down. It probably would have been fine with just the ironed ribbon but I like doing extra work and know how to sew lol. Putting to use all that Fashion Design training from my years at FIT and designing children's clothes ; )

TV inside the closet so it can be hidden when the drapes are closed.

TV inside the closet so it can be hidden when the drapes are closed.

The capiz chandelier and floor lamps were replaced with a beautiful Chandelier fan with hidden blades from Amazon. My daughter insisted on a fan and I wanted a a chandelier so this was the perfect compromise. 

Before and After Teen Bedroom Transformation

For the gallery wall my daughter picked out prints from Wayfair, Society 6 and Deny prints. Only the Deny print came framed. The other frames and matts that I cut to size were purchased from Micheals. The shelving picture wall is a combination of shadow boxes from Micheals that I spray painted white. I wanted the shadow boxes with my daughters metals to be part of the gallery wall and the design was based around them. Those where arranged with the Target shelves and again pictures my daughter picked out with a California beach and Greece theme. For both areas I cut craft paper to size and taped them to the wall for a visual before ordering.

The end result was a room personalized to my daughter that she loves to be in!

Here are some more photos of the completed project (click to enlarge):