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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ORC Week 5 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

Hello again my friends!! It is now Week 5 of the ONE ROOM CHALLENGE and I’m beyond excited for this room to be nearing completion!! It has been quite the process but I am extremely happy with how it is turning out.

If you are new to the ORC or my blog you can get caught up by clicking on the links below:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Now back to the room so most of the pieces have already arrived. The Caitlin sofa from Interior Define is just gorgeous in that dark teal velvet with her gold legs. She’s super comfy too! As you can also see we have the TOV marble coffee table and Hands Vase from Arteriors shown as well.

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On the opposite site of the room the TOV Velvet Chaise is chilling out lol. My family is absolutely loving this spot.

ORC Week 5 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

Now I was going to end the blog post here but then the universe came through for me and I received the call that the Canton Road silver metallic grasscloth wallpaper which was on back order since the end of August was in!!


Now remember I thought the paper would not come in time so I had painted the wall? Well now I had to prime the wall with Shieldz Wallcovering Primer since my wallpaper installer said this was better than the RX-35 I previously mentioned. Good thing I was unable to return it!

ORC Week 5 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

Luckily I have the most amazing wallpaper installer who was able to fit me in on Friday morning when I am off from the day job. This was was amazing! I am so grateful to him and my designer bestie Darlene who recommended him to me.

ORC Week 5 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

Here is the wallpaper being installed using Roman Pro-880 clear adhesive. The paper was trimmed down so there would be five even pieces instead of having a random thinner piece at one end which would have looked really bad.

ORC Week 5 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

The installer was extra careful to not get any glue or water on the grasscloth as it would have stained the paper.

ORC Week 5 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

He also made cutouts as he went along and left extra paper so the sconce on the right side would not have that gap it previously had.

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Lastly he had to trim the wall to the left at the corner. The head installer came by after to see the finished job and he mentioned being careful at this area because if it was brushed against often it would lift from the corner. Fingers crossed we do not have any issues but I do have an extra sheet of paper in case.

ORC Week 5 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

This is the finished wall which I am absolutely in LOVE with and was well worth the wait! I am so glad I have patience and waited for the right paper to come in.

ORC Week 5 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

Later that night we had the electrician come back who is my husband’s friend and always comes right away!

ORC Week 5 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

In more great news the replacement Kelly Wearstler Strada Small Sconce from Visual Comfort also came in which was perfect this time!!

ORC Week 5 - Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

So there you have this weeks update. Please check back next week for the final reveal of the ORC Sitting Room makeover. Don’t forget to follow my Instagram Stories and daily Facebook Live videos to see the behind the scenes videos. Also if you have a project you are considering working on, know your budget and like cool things then reach out HERE to see if we are a fit for you.

Lastly please don’t forget to follow the other amazingly talented Featured Designers and guest participants here, as they reveal their spaces next week as well as well.



Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

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