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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How to create an inviting elevated AIRBNB

So you have some extra space in your home that is unused OR you just want to make some extra cash. An AIRBNB rental may be the perfect solution for either of these scenarios.

One of the things I have discovered recently in my self-discovery journey which I am currently on is the fact that my parents had it wrong all along! It’s NOT working harder and you will be successful (whatever your definition of that is) NOPE it’s actually working SMARTER. I have come to discover a little thing called passive income which is finding ways to make money for you while you sleep or are maybe enjoying time with your family. Now, this is not to say that you don’t have to put time and energy into whatever it is you are doing for passive income beforehand but the point is after you do the work you can continue to make money off it after the fact. While many people may already be doing this with the compound interest they receive from stocks or from rentals they have from real estate there are other options aside from those, like an AIRBNB. You can click HERE to find out more information on the process to get started. Now let’s say you are in my current phase of life where you have a large house that many of the rooms are underused and maybe you’d like to bring in a little extra money. For whatever reason, you may not be ready to downsize just quite yet. Whatever your situation this post will cover some of the beginning design necessities to make your AIRBNB appealing to the masses.

Since most homeowners who are looking to set up their AIRBNB are not interested in spending a ton of money. Here is how you can create an inviting and elevated AIRBNB rental using products sourced mostly from you guessed it, Amazon!

Something things to be aware of before we get started is that aside from location two of the most important features of an AIRBNB for most is a separate entrance and bathroom. Also, most renters want a clean clutter free space so remember to clear out your personal belongings. Since we are going to want to appeal to the masses a neutral color palette layered with textures is going to be the best bet.

That said let's dive into the overall concept of the space and then I'll list the products individually with links to purchase if you are interested in doing so.

Our inspiration for this AIRBNB design is from Hotel White Lisboa located in Lisbon, Portugal which can be viewed HERE.

For this design, we have chosen Classic Gray OC-23 from Benjamin Moore for our walls which is a neutral greige color.

The overall look and feel of the space have a contemporary glam vibe to it. The color scheme is Gray, Black, and White with touches of gold. Since mixed metal is definitely on trend this will help attract those looking for an updated current space to rent for their stay.

Below you can see the main products we have sourced for our space. The bed for this space is full size but adjust according to your floor plan and space you have available. A useful tool to help you create a floor plan to scale for your space is Icovia which can be located HERE (promo code 38c3232214817b5ee).

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1. Head Board: Modway Lily Upholstered Tufted Linen Fabric Full Headboard Size In Gray

The headboard we have chosen is in a medium tone grey which contrasts nicely against the greige Classic Gray walls. Using a linen tufted upholstered headboard helps create an elevated hotel feel for your space.

2. Lamp: Possini Euro Leala Faux Marble Accent Table Lamp Set of 2

This lamp is on trend with its marble accents and gold details and is super cute! It will pair nicely with the black side tables.

3. Side Table: South Shore Gravity 2-Drawer Nightstand, Ebony with Satin Nickel Finish Handles

The rich black of the side tables will add contrast against all the white and gray that will be in this design. The only thing I would personally change here would be the silver handles only because I am so in love with gold and the way it pops off of black these days. Like how cute would these Solid Brass Cabinet Pulls look?!

4. Desk Lamp: Rivet Modern Gold Globe Table Lamp 22" H, Integrated LED Light, Opal Glass Shade

Love this modern gold globe lamp for on top of the white desk for added task lighting.

5. Desk: Convenience Concepts Newport Desk with Drawer, White

Having a small desk area in your space if room allows will attract business executives or those clients who may need to jump on their laptops during their stay. This is also a great place to store the welcome binder which includes useful information for your guests to get around and know the rules of your home.

6. Chair: Modway Casper Modern Acrylic Dining Armchair in Smoke

The chair I linked is acrylic in the smoke colorway but the clear acrylic option in here too. The chair shown in the concept board is in a clear version. I do like the contrast of the smoke acrylic over the clear but you can decide after checking both out.

Fur Throw: Super Soft Sheepskin Chair Cover Seat Cushion Pad

Adding this faux fur chair throw will add a bit of warmth to the otherwise cold acrylic chair.

• Welcome Packet

As mentioned above your desk is a great place to store your Welcome Packet. Now again since we are working smarter and not harder these days click HERE to purchase the template shown below from JannaLynnCreative who has already created this for you!


7. Duvet Set: Beckham Hotel Collection Luxury Soft Brushed 2100 Series Microfiber Duvet Cover Set - Hypoallergenic - Full/Queen - White

All white bedding is going to appeal to the majority of renters for its clean sterile hotel feel so we have sourced that for our design here.

• Down Alternative Comforter: Duvet Insert or Stand-Alone Comforter - White - Full

As a vegan designer, I have sourced a down alternative for the comforter which is cruelty-free and better for those with allergies.

8. Sheets: Performance Sheet Set Solids 400 Thread Count - Threshold™

I did not source the sheets from Amazon because after reading a lot of reviews I found many homeowners recommended a sheet set from Target as being the most comfortable as well as durable.

• Bed Skirt: SmartBase Easy On / Easy Off Bed Skirt for 14 Inch SmartBase Mattress Foundation, Full, White

Having a bed skirt to cover the bottom of the bed is best especially if your frame is metal or you need to have anything stored under the bed. It also helps create a more elevated look for your space.

• Mattress cover: Remedy Bed Bug and Dust Mite Mattress Protector in White

This was sourced from Bed Bath and Beyond after researching where others recommended purchasing from. Since we want to prevent and not have any issues with bed bugs or any bugs for that matter (I DO NOT like any bugs at ALL) a mattress cover is recommended.

• Bed Pillows: Hotel Collection Gel Pillow (2-Pack)

Start out with new pillows for your guests and replace these as they wear. Remember how you would feel laying your head on pillows that are worn down, Not so good right?!

• Pillow Cover: Remedy Bed Bug and Dust Mite Queen Pillow Protector in White (Set of 2)

The pillow covers are also from Bed Bath and Beyond and help your renters know they are sleeping on sanitary bedding which is important to most.

9. Drapes: Belgian Flax Linen Curtain - White

These drapes are from West Elm and have a blackout liner for guests who prefer to sleep in.

• Curtain Rod: Adjustable Curtain Rod for Windows

Gold curtain rods, of course, to tie back to the accents in the room!

10. Bench: Elle Decor Giselle Bench Gray

Having a place for your guest to sit and relax or put their shoes on is a nice added feature.

11. Fur Throw: Luxury Oversized Faux Fur Throw Grey 

This throw is perfect to add warmth and should be laid folded at the foot of the bed. this will also help break up the white of the bedding.

12. Velvet pillows: Decorative Throw Pillows Covers Cases for Couch Bed Sofa, Solid Color Soft Pillowcases,26x26 

I would purchase three of these pillows and have them place in front of the white pillow shams.

Pillow Fill: Foamily Premium Hypoallergenic Stuffer Pillow Insert Sham Square Form Polyester, 28" L X 28" W, Standard/White

Since the Grey velvet pillows are liners only you are going to want pillow fills that are at least 2” larger than your cover. These are hypoallergenic again for allergy purposes.

13. Lumbar Pillows: Allover Crosshatch Jacquard Velvet Lumbar Pillow Covers

Two lumbar pillows should be placed in front of the three grey velvet pillows for an elevated look with added texture.

14. Gray rug: Hand Tufted Ombre Bernetta Area Rug

The gray ombre rug is perfect to add contrast against the white bedding and light greige walls. This will also add warmth to your space.

• Rug Pad Slip Area Rug Pad 8x10 Ft 

To protect your floor a rug pad is recommended.

15. Wall Mirror: Large Rectangle Bedroom Mirror Floor Mirror Dressing Mirror

Your guests are going to want to be able to check themselves in the mirror and this one will be perfect for doing that.

16. Alarm Clock: Digital Alarm Clock with Snooze

Just in case your guest are not attached to their cell phone as an alarm clock it’s a great idea to have one for them to use if they prefer.

17. Artwork: Modern Premium Canvas Art Print

Since artwork is super subjective for most and this contemporary piece pulls the color palette of the room together while remaining neutral in subject matter.

18. WiFi Password: Oliver Gal "Wifi Password" Framed Whiteboard - 16 X 16

This is absolutely perfect for a cute way to display your WiFi password. I actually have this hanging in my Kitchen currently and I must say it was perfect this Holiday Season as none of my guests had to ask me “What’s your WiFi”?

19. Inspirational Artwork: Wall Art Inhale Exhale Repeat Print Set of 3

I love inspirational artwork and quotes and this one just reminds your guest to remember to breathe!

Decals Inhale Exhale Art 

Another option here would be this decal version of the same saying which is also super cute!

20. Luggage Rack: Acrylic and Leather Luggage Rack

I’m absolutely in LOVE with this lucite luggage rack from CB2! This is for anyone looking to have that star element that just adds that extra wow factor.

Extra-Wide Luggage Rack

For those who want the less expensive option here, it is my friends.


• Coffee Maker: Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker K-Cup Pod, Single Serve

Always needed especially if you love your coffee as much as I do!

Mini Fridge: Midea WHD-113FSS1, 3.1 Cubic Feet Stainless Steel

This is a great idea if you prefer to NOT share your Kitchen with your guests.

• Iron: Steam Iron

Because every hotel has one and so should you!

• Iron Board: Ironing Board Cover with Iron Rest

Needed unless you want your guest to iron on the bed which would not be great at all!

• Garment rack: Heavy Duty Clothing Garment Rack

If you don’t have space in your closet for the guest or if the room doesn’t have a closet.

Lastly, I’m assuming you have a TV, Cable, Roku, and/ or Firestick setup for your guest so I have left that out. In a later post, I’ll cover some bathroom essentials but going to end as we have already covered a lot of information. I hope anyone considering hosting an AIRBNB rental finds this helpful. I especially think this is a great idea for the summer months as it can help cover the cost of some of those extras you’d like to spend on.

As always 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.

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!

Have an inspired week everyone!!