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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7 Lighting fixtures we LOVE and how we used them!

One of the many things we updated in the Willow House Makeover was the Lighting. We didn’t originally plan to update ALL of the lightings but once we started it was a domino effect. You really can’t make a dramatic change if you try to keep lighting that is over twelve years old. Luckily my husband was completely on board and was actually willing to spend even more than I planned in this area. Since I really consider the lighting the jewelry of the room I was happy about that. Together we chose all the new fixtures and I am lucky he has two friends that are electricians. They literally came over as soon as he called that a new fixture arrived which was awesome!

We will start off with the Living Room which was inspired by my favorite designers Kelly Hoppen and Cheryl Eisen of IMG. The lighting was updated to gold since I’m loving that these days and really helps create a Neutral Contemporary Vibe.

Now on a side note YES I am fully aware of the fact that we have a ridiculous amount of hi-hats in our house but in all fairness, we originally remodeled back in 2014 when I received my degree in Interior Design. I may have just finished a Lighting course at the time and went a tad bit overboard with the lighting plan! I Know! Again mistakes are here to teach us what not to do in the future Right lol?!

Now for the Lighting we used in the makeover!

The chandelier was purchased through the Jonathan Adler sight although we realized at HPMKT in October that it was manufactured by Robert Abby and we probably could have made the minimum opening order for the trade account. Oh Well! You live and you learn!



Modern Glamour- A groovy classic with our own twinkly twist. The Sputnik Chandelier is perfect for making your pad feel like a Parisian parlour. Our riff on the design staple features custom laser-cut crown cups that halo the bulbs for a modern glow. Tiny stems with crystal accents further reflect the galactic light and lend a ladylike grace to any room. Available in antiqued brass or polished nickel.

This chandelier is really the STAR of the show and I think my husband may love her even more that I do lol!

We purchased four of these sconces which can be seen on either side of the back doors and on the fireplace. Keeping them all the same helped balance the space and highlighted the chandelier.


Jonathan Adler Parker Collection 15" High Brass Wall Sconce- $215.05

Park Ave Twinkle With a Graphic Twist- Our Parker Sconce features our classic Nixon pattern in a sleek, laser-cut metal iteration, further illuminated by the clean backdrop of the frosted cased glass interior shade.


Bourne Collection- $294.40

Hudson Valley Lighting Hudson Valley 9808-AGB Contemporary Modern One Light LED Wall Sconce in Brass-Antique finish 6, Aged Finish

This semi flush light is even more gorgeous in person! So in LOVE with it!!

Here is the room from another angle where you can see all four sconces.


We discovered this Flushmount light in the Robert Abby Showroom in HPMKT and fell in LOVE!! She is just what was needed to tie the spaces together in the hall.


Robert Abbey 535 Three Light Flushmount- $627.90

This 3 light Flushmount from the Michael Berman Bond collection by Robert Abbey will enhance your home with a perfect mix of form and function. The features include a Modern Brass finish applied by experts.

Below is a picture of this Flushmount light in the hall.

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Here is my son the photographer Arquimedes “Quimes” DelaCruz in action as well!

We have two of these pendants in the Kitchen which is off the sitting room. In LOVE with the mixed metal which ties into the overall design we have going on throughout.


Arteriors 42413 Mason Small Hammered Iron Pendant, Dark Silver- $355

Mixed metal hammered iron pendent with dark silver exterior and interior accented with a brass welds. Taupe cloth cord.

Next we have the Sitting Room which was designed for the ORC this past fall.

If you missed the Fall ORC you can see it by clicking on the links below:

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


We have gotten so many compliments on these sconces. Kelly Wearstler is one of my favorite designers and I’m so glad to have here lighting represented in my portfolio.



The Strada collection is delicate and ethereal. Each sculptural piece, with a seemingly random array of radiating quills, plays with cast shadow to evoke a soft sophistication. Available in Aged Iron, Burnished Silver Leaf, Gild, and Polished Nickel.

This Flush Mount Chandelier looks amazing as you walk up to the house from outside as well as in the room! Be sure to go to the Dutton Brown website to read their story! You will find it truly inspiring!


Horizontal Reef Flush Mount 38"- $749.00

The Horizontal Reef Globe Flush Mount 38" is the perfect statement lighting for lower ceilings and above rectangular tables, islands, and bars. The fixture comes preinstalled with a short rod to install on lower ceilings. Two of the chandelier's globes can also be positioned down as shown in the photos or up to the sides to raise the height if necessary. Each fixture is crafted from solid brass hardware combined with hand blown glass globes. Each of the fixture's six globes are affixed with screw-in open-bottom style holders that add an organic, open, airy feel to high-end light fixture.

We hope this helps inspire you to get creative with the lighting in your next project. As you can see there are so many amazing options out there so DON’T BE ORDINARY or afraid to step outside your comfort zone!

If you are in need of some help incorporating new lighting in your next design reach out to us HERE so we can help! We believe everyone deserves a space that makes you feel inspired and reenergized after a long day of work!

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Have an Inspired evening everyone!