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 ; ))

INSPIRED DESIGN TALK

ORC Week 3 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

Hello again everyone!! It is now Week 3 of the ONE ROOM CHALLENGE. I just returned back from HPMKT which I have to say was an amazing experience! Last week I shared with you the key vendors/ pieces for the Dining Room to Sitting Room makeover. If you missed that blog post you can read Week 2 HERE. This week I will be sharing progress shots of how the room is coming along.

Before I get into that I just realized I left out one of my favorite pieces in the room! It is the Horizontal Reef Flush Mount 38" from Dutton Brown. Since the ceiling height in the sitting room is only eight feet I needed a cool fixture that was flush mount and this one was perfect! I discovered this vendor from Instagram of course. Their story very inspiring and you can read about HERE.

Horizontal Reef Flush Mount 38”

Horizontal Reef Flush Mount 38”

This image was taken right before I decided that the odds of the wallpaper coming in time were slim to none.

ORC Week 3 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

So I decided to paint the wallpaper wall while I wait for it to come in which is taking forever!!

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I did have a few imperfections in that wall since it was prepped for wallpaper and needed to spackle those areas before I could paint.

ORC Week 3 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

Next I decided I would work on getting the window treatments up.

ORC Week 3 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

Since the molly provided was too short for screw provided I did have some issues.

ORC Week 3 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

As you can see here I had to patch up the hole from the molly issue.

ORC Week 3 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

A combination of joint compound and Plaster of Paris was used for the repair. Once the area was dry it was then sanded, primed and repainted with two coats of the BM Classic Gray. I think I failed to mention the room paint color previously lol. Classic Gray is considered a Greige color since depending on the lighting it can have either a Gray or Beige appearance.

Room Color Classic Grey OC-23

Room Color Classic Grey OC-23

I should also mention the moldings at the window sills also had to be repaired after removing the shades.

ORC Week 3 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

Back the the window treatments.

ORC Week 3 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

Since the purchased panels were 96” long and the ceiling hight is 8’ I did need to shorten them about three inches.

ORC Week 3 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

They are being hung just under the crown molding to draw the eye up and make the walls appear taller. This is where I brought out my FIT Fashion Design sewing skills.

ORC Week 3 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

Hemming drapes is quite the process especially when there are three layers and the rods are already hung. It basically was as if I was hemming a dress. I first hung the drapes on the lucite rods.

ORC Week 3 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

Then I pinned the length. Next I pressed the hemline, re-pinned and then hung them to double check before sewing. When I sewed the first panel without double checking I realized I needed to check the length pushed back and also straight. This is because when you push the drapes to the side they get shorter by about a 1/2”. Me being a perfectionist (to an extent) I took the seam out and dropped the hem down so it would just brush against the floor.

ORC Week 3 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

I have to say it was quite the process hemming the three layers of drapery panels myself but they are finally complete. This is definitely something I will out source to a workroom for clients but for Willow House we are on a budget so I need to cut back wherever possible!

ORC Week 3 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

Please check back next Thursday for the update of where we are at with the ORC Sitting Room makeover. As usual to see all my behind the scenes follow along on my Instagram Stories and daily Facebook Live videos.

Also be sure to follow the other amazingly talented Featured Designers and guest participants here, as they transform their spaces.

xoxo

Nicole

week 1 | week 2

@oneroomchallenge | @betterhomesandgardens |@homelovenetwork