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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Quick Holiday Bathroom Makeover!!

This past Holiday Season, like right before Christmas, we did a QUICK Bathroom Makeover at Willow House. This bathroom is original to the house but over the twenty years we have lived here we have done some quick fixes to make it as updated as possible without gutting it. When we first remodeled the house back in 2005 we left this bathroom as in during that huge project. This was because a few years before we had changed the lighting, countertop, faucet, painted the blackout on the Formica cabinets and painted the floor. Yes, I painted the floor and grout too! The lighting and waterfall faucet came from Home Depot Expo which was the higher end division of the traditional home store and a favorite place to visit. I would go there on the weekends the way we now stroll through HomeGoods. That was also during my Candice Olson “Divine Design”. My mentor, in my head, that lead to me discovering my LOVE of Interior Design!

Now as mentioned in the last post about the One Room Challenge which can be read HERE. This bathroom has double doors and is off the soon to be guest/ Airbnb the Spring ORC chosen room.

Here is what the bathroom looked like just before the update. Clearly part of the Tuscan trend especially with that lovey copper glazed venitian plaster that I did myself.


This was also during my “try to incorporate brown” in my life phase because I am really an “all things black girl” from my wardrobe to my Home Decor.


Here are a few more lovely view of the BEFORE Bathroom.


Here is a closeup of that lovely Venitian Plaster with the copper glaze over it which took me HOURS to apply to the walls with a spatula.


The walls with the tinted Stix primer.


More views. You might be thinking Black walls in a small bathroom? Are you crazy? BUT as you are about to see with all the white and cream in the bathroom the Black appears lighter and comments over the holidays were “Wow! The Black looks great and it doesn’t feel smaller!” So Don’t be afraid to go BOLD with paint especially in your next bathroom remodel.


Here is the paint that was used for the bathroom makeover. As shown above, first tinted Stix primer was used on the wall and then Matte Onyx 2133-10 Black was painted on top which is a softer black with a bit of a greyish hue. The matte finish was used since the Venetian plaster was painted over without applying a skim coat first. It has a very textured surface which actually gives it character. I like that!

Yes it would have been cheaper in time and energy to buy a new curtain rod, hooks, toilet paper holder and towel rod but NOPE I spray painted those like a crazy person because that’s just who I am lol but at least I am fully aware of this right?!


Then we spotted this artwork in HomeGoods of course, which was perfect for the bathroom Makeover!

Here is the after shot with the shower curtain I had in storage from the second floor bath.


BUT then I spotted this one in H&M for $16.99 on sale and a steal! So we had to get it naturally!! The black rug on the floor was a gift from an IDS CEU event at Pakar which works perfectly.

Here is another view…


Last shot of the QUICK FIX Makeover at Willow House until we are ready for demo and the full remodel. Hope some of the inspiration here will give you some ideas for your next project.

BUT if you are not quite sure where to begin and just want a designer to come in and do it all then REACH OUT HERE ! We’d LOVE to help you get started.

Have an inspired night everyone!!