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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Spring 2019 One Room Challenge- Week 4: We have Window Treatments!!

Yes, we have made it to week 4 of the One Room Challenge! This week I share with you how to elevate Ikea drapery panels! I was originally eyeing panels from West Elm for this project but then while in Ikea for other things I checked out their selection. To my surprise, they had the LENDA Curtains with tie-backs in bleached white and those bad boys were $34.99 for the pair. This was amazing since they are 118” long and 55” wide! That said this weeks post is all about just that. Before I show you all things art here are the previous week's posts so you can get caught up:

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3

Here is what the panels would have looked as is.

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As you can see from the images below the panels had exposed tabs.

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Since I wanted the tabs to be hidden the FIT Fashion Designer skills along with my sewing machine needed to come out! I first pressed the tabs back and then ironed them at the fold line pushing them slightly towards the back side. Using tape I placed a guideline on my sewing machine the distance from the top edge of the panels down to where I’d be sewing. This helped keep the stitch line even as I sewed across.

The panels were hung on the drapery panel which was purchased HERE. The rod was placed high up at the ceiling to carry the eye up and show off the 9’ ceiling height. I hem drapes the same way I hem a dress. I’m sure the professionals have a better method which is why for client projects I will leave the window treatments to the workroom! Once the panels were up on the rod I pinned across the bottom the length so the hem just grazed the floor. I turned it back pressed a 1/2 clean finished edge and hemmed the panels up 3 1/2” up from the bottom edge.


Next, I wanted to add a gray grosgrain ribbon border at the sides of the panels. I had this ribbon already but here is the link to purchase it as well. For those who may not know for a while, I made cheer bows for my daughter and other teams so these skills came from that little hobby side business I had.

To attach the ribbon to the panels I used Wonder Under 805 heat and bond material.


I cut the width to about 30” and then cut strips just under 2 1/4” wide which was the width of the ribbon.


The strips of heat and bond were then ironed onto the ribbon and the backing was peeled off. I then pressed the ribbon to the panels using the side stitch lines as a guide placing the ribbon just over the edge of the stitch line.


The ribbon was cut and burned with a lighter to seal the polyester edge and pressed down at the back side of the panels as shown.

Below is the finish panels with the ribbon attached. I’m so in LOVE with how they came out!


While I was at a NYC chapter IDS event at the Shade Store I won a gift certificate for $500. I later visited the Garden City store where Liz was super helpful and knowledgeable! She informed me that the most popular shades right now are roller shades since designers like Nate Berkus, Alexa Hampton and Jonathan Adler all have licensing deals with the Shade Store are using them. Roman shades are next and then the new Double Roller shades which are shown below. Liz let me know unlike the Hunter Douglas Silhouette shades bugs do not get caught in between the folds of the new double roller shade design.

For my selection I went with the Rosette pattern in the light filtering roller shades which are in the lowest price point since this is for an Airbnb and we are trying to keep the costs down for this project. I did not just want solid shades so this subtle pattern worked out perfectly. The whole process of ordering was very easy and took only about two weeks from start to finish. The Shade Store also has draws full of complimentary fabric swatches and finishes so designers should definitely check them out for future projects.

As you can see from this image prior to ordering the roller shades I had temporary peel and stick blinds from Ikea.


When the installer came for my free measurements I asked him how to install the shades since I would be doing it myself. He let me know that he measured from the edge of the molding since the panels would cover the brackets and that way I would hit wood when attaching the brackets to the wall. He was right and the brackets were really easy to install. Once up the roller shades just popped right in. If I did not have the panels covering the sides of the shades he would have measured so they the shades just covered the molding. They would then need to be installed with mollies/ anchors. If you are not handy the Shade Store does have an installation team to install the shades for a minimal added cost.

The roller mechanism was then attached to the molding as shown.

Since the room is pretty sunny I decided to keep the temporary shades behind the roller shades in case guest want to sleep in. I may eventually take them down but for now keeping them up. You can see the difference in the above pictures.

Here is what the final window treatments look like complete. They came out great and I'm super happy with the results.

That’s it for this weeks update on the One Room Challenge update. As mentioned previously don’t forget to check out the other amazingly talented Featured Designers and guest participants here, as they transform their spaces.

At Home With Ashley | Casey Keasler | Dorsey Designs | The Farmhouse Project | Home Made by Carmona

 House of Funk | House of Jade Interiors | House Seven Design | House That Lars Built | Inspired by Charm

 Jana Bek | Jessica Brigham | Kelly Golightly | Murphy Deesign | The Pink Pagoda | Sarah Gunn

 Sherry Hart Designs | Sugar & Cloth | Veronica Solomon | Vintage Revivals | Media BH&G | TM by ORC

Hopefully this post will give you a bit of inspiration for your next project. DON’T BE ORDINARY or afraid to step outside your comfort zone! If you are not sure where to start or need help with your next design project reach out to us HERE! We believe everyone deserves a space that makes you feel inspired and reenergized after a long day of work!

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As always please continue to follow the journey through our Instagram Stories and Facebook updates where we will continue to share behind the scene videos and findings.

Have an Inspired weekend everyone!