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 ; ))

Inspired Design Talk 2.jpg

Note:  My blog periodically contains affiliate links. Purchases made through them are greatly appreciated.


As I mentioned a few weeks ago I entered as a guest participant in the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge. This will be my second time entering and I have to say I truly enjoyed the process in the fall. Doing the challenge was definitely the push I needed to finish off the Willow House Sitting Room!




If you missed the Fall ORC you can get caught up by clicking on the links below:

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | FINAL ROOM


For additional information and details click this LINK . If you would rather not get lost in the black hole of inspiration (which I promise you will) here is a brief summary from the ORC website…

One Room Challenge™ Mission Statement

The One Room challenge™ will provide participants with a supportive, enthusiastic forum in which to share the process of transforming a room. The ORC is not a competition, but rather a celebration of creativity, inspiration, and original ideas. Welcome!

The One Room Challenge™, currently in its fifteenth season, is a widely anticipated biannual event every April and October. Each round, twenty design influencers are selected to take the challenge, as Featured Designers, and transform a space. Every Wednesday, the designers document their process while sharing their sources and professional advice over six weekly posts. 

In addition to following along, everyone with a blog or Instagram account, is welcome to join the fun as a Guest Participant by linking their own room transformations up during the six weeks. Each Thursday, the internet and social media are flooded with interior design inspiration, ideas, and encouragement.

To date, more than 3,000 rooms have been transformed through the One Room Challenge™. The event, and many of the spaces, have been recognized and featured.

Now for the moment you have been waiting for! The Room for the Spring One Room Challenge will be my office! Only it will not be staying an office, instead it is transforming into a guest room/ airbnb!


We had this idea since I recently, like last Thursday, officially retired from a twenty three year career as a Children’s Wear Designer! As I enter my “Second Act” as an Interior Designer I am super excited to FINALLY be following my true passion. I obtained a degree in back in 2004 always knowing this day would eventually come. Dreams do come true my friends and I am excited for the path the Universe takes me in on this new venture!


Here is the left side of the office during the holidays set up with all the food. No I have not thought about where that will go but I have until December for that lol. We like to take life one day at a time!

Here is the room after we emptied everything from this side.

Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 9.13.59 PM.png

This door leads from the office into the first floor bathroom which has a double entrance. This bathroom is in desperate need of a makeover but babysteps my friends. The day will come soon enough!

This is the other side of the room where the desk used to be set up.


Here is a blurry bad picture of the other side when it was still an office. I’ll try to find a better picture but for now this is what I could find.

Be sure to come back next week as we share with you the Inspiration and Design Plan for the new Guest Room/ Airbnb. To see all my behind the scenes follow along on my Instagram Stories and daily Facebook Live videos.


And don’t forget if you have a project you are considering working on, know your budget and like cool things reach out HERE so we can help!

Have an inspired night everyone!!