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 an INTERIOR DESIGNER can help you execute a STRESS FREE AIRBNB experience!

In this blog post, we will continue our discussion from last week where we talked about how offering an AIRBNB can bring you passive income (click HERE to get up to date).


This week we will discuss how hiring an INTERIOR DESIGNER (like myself) can help you have a stress free AIRBNB design experience. Now while many of you may be able to execute this process yourself I’m pretty sure there are many out there who either don’t have the time or desire to do so. If that sounds like you then this post is PERFECT for you!

One of the many services we offer is our Turnkey design package which is perfect for the client who prefers to NOT lift a finger and wants our design team to manage the entire project. We are committed to facilitating a worry-free and enjoyable design experience so you can sit back and relax while the MAGIC happens!

The Turn-Key package consists of ALL Phases of the Design Process which I will be explaining today. A presentation with your floor plan, concept, final design plan, and list of items is included. We source from a large network of trade professionals to create a curated ORIGINAL design for your space. Obviously for the AIRBNB space will not source high end but rather quality budget-friendly pieces. We will create purchase orders, track, receive and deliver everything to you. We collaborate as a team with the various contractors, fabricators and/ or tradespersons (if needed) to successfully turn the design vision into a reality. This package includes an HGTV style reveal and Photography.

Now let me walk you through the four phases of this service but before we start here is a brief bubble diagram of the steps in each phase.

The first phase of the process is the project kickoff.

During this stage of the project, NO actual design drawings are being done but this is a WORKING SESSION. We are also going to go through several pulls with ideas for the overall VIBE of your space and will go over your design pain points. It is crucial that we really nail the LOOK and FEEL you are after so we execute your vision FLAWLESSLY. Remember our GOAL in the process is to really connect with you so we are able to make selections and create a space that you will LOVE! It is truly our MISSION is to design ORIGINAL, ELEVATED and LIVABLE spaces on time and on budget so that our clients come home REFRESHED and INSPIRED after a long hard day. Now your AIRBNB should give the same experience to your guest so they SLEEP WELL, WAKE UP HAPPY and leave you a GREAT REVIEW, Right?!

Now onto the second phase which is space planning and design.

During this phase, it is imperative that we are on the same page for the Vibe, Floor Plans, and Concepts before we move onto the Design Execution stage. That said we may have several meetings to go over ideas and progress so we really nail that Design Presentation where we present to you the options and vision of your space.

The Concept Board will have many of the products shown for your space to give you a visual of what’s to come. Not every piece will be shown as this is just to get your first impressions on the overall Look and Feel of the space.


We will also show you Floor Plan options to make sure the flow of the space is working for your needs.


Once we are sure we are on the same page we then go back and source the rest of the products so we can present to you out finding on at the Presentation Meeting. This is when we will have many of the fabrics and materials for sure space for you to touch and feel.

During the Design Presentation, we will also show you a computerized rendering of your space so you can really begin to see how it will look transformed.


Once all items are approved, the contract signed and the deposit paid we move onto the third phase which is when products are purchased and project management happens.

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It can take a few weeks for retail products to arrive or several weeks if you have chosen custom products. Either way, we will stay on top all items to ensure they arrive and are checked for damages. This can be a time-consuming process and we are happy to take this off your hands to ensure you have a STRESS FREE experience. We will update you weekly as to our progress because we don’t want you to have any surprises at the end.

Lastly, the fourth phase is absolutely our FAVORITE because this is when you get to see that HGTV REVEAL!

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We strongly believe TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK and getting to this point is definitely a team effort. There is no I in the team and we strive to collaborate without the ego, with the best design professionals in the Long Island NY metro area.

That said if you need help with your AIRBNB space or another project please do reach out to us so we can help you create a home that makes you HAPPY and you LOVE coming to!!


As always please continue to follow the journey through my Instagram Stories and daily Facebook Live videos where I will continue to share behind the scene videos.

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Have an inspired week everyone!!