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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11 Subway Tile options from TileBar that are NOT Boring!

I had someone who follows me on Instagram reach out to me the other day. She is working on a Kitchen project and mentioned that her husband does NOT want Subway tile. Since I just recommended it for the Artisan House Kitchen I ordered samples from my favorite TileBar. I told my client there are so many options available in Subway Tile these days and don’t knock it till you see the samples. The samples I ordered from TileBar came super quick and I wanted to share with you some of the options I received. I think you will be surprised at how pretty they are. It’s definitely more than just your average ceramic subway tile that first made their debut in New York City's subterranean train stations in the early 1900s. 

This beautiful kitchen Designed by Sita Montgomery Interiors is from the TileBar website featuring Lancaster Bianco 3x6 Polished Ceramic Tile . Along with a clean beautiful look Subway Tile is also quite timeless as seen here.


Here are some of the options we sourced for Artisan House. These are ALL Subway Tile! Not what you were thinking was it? There are different sizes, textures, edge finishes and colors. For this project we need a white or ivory base but the options in color are endless! Click HERE to see all the options.


My first choice for this client since they are looking for something a bit unique and raised is the Byzantine Bianco 3D Ceramic Subway Tile paired with the Byzantine Bianco 2x9 Ceramic Subway Tile as shown below.


This is how the two look together but I have also seen the raised tile used alone. I like the look of the flat and raised alternating on the backsplash.

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Here is what the Byzantine Bianco 2x9 Ceramic Subway Tile would like like if applied in a chevron pattern.


This Montauk Gin 2x8 Ceramic Wall Tile is so beautiful in person. It has a pearlized appearance which adds beauty and warmth. The top color is GIN and the bottom is Sand Dune.


Description from TileBar: Inspired by lazy summer weekends spent down at the shore, the Montauk Collection evokes memories of sand between your toes and the smell of saltwater in the air. Available in 5 neutral colorways, Montauk is the perfect choice to add a serene, coastal feel to your space. Each colorway is offered in a 4x4 and 2x8 format making for a plethora of design options.

*Please note that there are two variations of gloss within a box, causing fluctuation in color. For best results, mix the shades before grouting


The top tile here is Basic White 3x6 Polished Beveled Ceramic Wall Tile shown below.

The middle tile is White Thassos 3x6 Beveled Marble Tile shown below.

The bottom White Thassos 2x4 Beveled Marble Tile is shown below.


Since I wanted my client to see other size options I ordered these as well.

Seaport Arctic 2x10 Polished Ceramic Tile


About the Collection:
Easy. Breezy. Those are the two words to describe the new, luminous Seaport Collection. Taking inspiration from the metropolitan seaport of Boston, the brilliant sea-inspired colors come alive on these high-gloss tiles. Available in 6 colorways and has corresponding chair rail, liners, and bullnose trim pieces. 

About The Tile: 
The Seaport Arctic 2x10 Ceramic Tile encompassing the briskness of a chilly day in New England with its whiteish gray coloring. This polished, high gloss tile has slight textural grooves that are felt to the touch. It's perfect to add as a backsplash in the home wherever you want to create an element of cool. Matching ceramic bullnose, pencil liner, and chair rail available.


Here are two options in the 3x12 size.

The top is Bayou White 3x12 Matte Ceramic Tile

Bring some cool, coastal vibes into your space with the Bayou Collection. Inspired by the Gulf Coast, Bayou incorporates many of the trademarks of seaside architecture to form a breezy, barefoot-in-the-sand series of ceramic subway tile perfect for your next project. Looking to bring a bit of the beach into your bathroom? Bayou has got you covered. Stagger & stack or mix & match from 4 versatile colorways and a unique weathered-wood format to create the backsplash or accent wall of your dreams.


Manchester Vanilla 3x12 Ceramic Tile is shown at the bottom in the picture above.

The Manchester Collection is a series of glazed ceramic tile that offers a modern approach to traditional subway and geometric tile. This simple selection of handmade ceramic tile is perfectly suited to beautify your backsplash, accent wall or any space calling for a classic touch. Manchester is available in 7 colorways and 2 formats, along with corresponding chair rail and bullnose trim pieces.

Lastly below is the Santa Monica White 4x12 Tile.

Utilizing subway tile for your backsplash will add some dimension and style to your kitchen decor, or any decorated room within your home. These ceramic tiles will also give your room a more distinct look and add a mixture of traditional and contemporary feel to your surroundings.


As you can see from the options above Subway Tile should not be thought of as boring or ordinary.

We hope this post helps inspire you to think creative with 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 any thing shown above 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!

Please comment and share this blog post with anyone you think will enjoy it! #sharingiscaring

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Have an Inspired evening everyone!