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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The One Room Challenge is officially complete! Dining Room to Sitting Room Willow House makeover // IQ Design

On November 30, 2018 two weeks after the ORC reveal I received the long awaited Leftbank Artwork!

Want to know the best way to hang the artwork?!

Great! I’ll be sharing that information along with links to purchase.

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 | Week 5 | Week 6


I had been waiting on “Her IV” since High Point Market which was when I was able to see the art in person on display. Once I returned back to NY I went to the showroom and ordered the piece along with others from Kenna at the NYDC.


Kenna was also in HPMKT where we discussed the options of the pieces I would be ordering to make sure I made the opening minimum order. She was awesome, super knowledgeable and very helpful. Of course in the end I had no problem making the minimum! It was also great because I brought my husband with me as well on my first experience at HPMKT. He was very supportive and went with the flow.

Since I do NOT believe it’s possible to know it all I always like to ask the expert in the field for advice!

i don't know it all
one room challenge

That said when I received the email that the art was shipped and my delivery date was scheduled I went back to the Leftbank Showroom. Since the art was for my house I planned to install it myself instead of getting an installer. I knew Kenna was the one who handled the art installation for the showroom so I paid her a visit to ask what was the best way to hang the art.


Front and Back of artwork.

The new way they have some art hung in the showroom is with heavy duty velcro strips which was interesting. On the walls without the velcro backing the art is hung using Heavy Duty Picture Hangers. I bought mine HERE from Amazon.


The above image can be used as a guideline for placement of art above a sofa.

In my case I hung the art centered between the sofa top cushion and the bottom of the crown molding. For me this was about 3 1/2” from the top and bottom of the art. Typically I like the center of the art to be at eye level which for most is about 58” above the ground. My ceiling height in this room is just under 8” including the molding. The center of this piece from the ground is at about 60” because it’s large and centering it between the cushions and molding looked ideal.


The Picture hangers Kenna recommended worked out perfectly! I was able to hang the art entirely by myself and these hooks do not require making holes in the walls like wall anchors do. I was really happy with the result and the artwork looks amazing!


I used the above Heavy Duty Picture Hangers 100 lbs for this artwork but there are several other sizes available for artwork with less weight.

I did also buy this Value Pack:

Me holding the artwork to figure out the placement of the art. My daughter was assisting me and took this shot.

Me holding the artwork to figure out the placement of the art. My daughter was assisting me and took this shot.

There are also these sizes available for smaller artwork you may need to hang. Again for me the beauty was they did not damage the walls the way the traditional anchors do.

Side image of the Picture hanger on the wall with the artwork hanging.

Side image of the Picture hanger on the wall with the artwork hanging.

My experience ordering from Leftbank Art which is a to the trade only designer resource was truly amazing! Kenna was so helpful with my first order and extremely knowledgable on all the techniques available. The entire process was about 4 weeks from the ordering stage to delivery. This is because each piece is custom and the artwork is not stocked. There are multiple sizes of art and finishes available for each piece you see online. The delivery process was smooth as well. I was able to choose the time that worked best and the delivery company called when they were thirty minutes away. They brought the boxes in the house and then I unpacked them. The packaging was very done extremely well with foam and plastic wrap for added protection. There were not any damages on any of the pieces. I will definitely be using Leftbank Art as a resource in my Interior Design Business going forward!

This was the last step to completely finishing my first One Room Challenge experience. I could not be more thrilled with the final outcome and my extended family absolutely loved the room when it was revealed during the holidays!


My excitement shared on Instagram after She IV was hung!

Please continue to follow my journey through my Instagram Stories and daily Facebook Live videos where I will continue to share behind the scene videos. Also if you have a project you are considering working on, know your budget and like cool things then reach out HERE so we can help!

Full Room Makeover

Full Room Makeover

Have an inspired week everyone!!


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