I love a good DIY project. There’s something gratifying about sanding, painting, and just plain getting my hands dirty. But if I ever want to work with “real” people one day to make the most of their spaces, some more hands-on learning needs to happen.
That’s where my classes at NYSID fit in. I just wrapped another semester, where I’ve been chipping away at a degree in interior design. While it’s exciting to create spaces for my own home, or sketch out floor plans for friends, the classes give me structure and training for tackling real-life client demands. And I do love me some structure.
But yes, my day job in digital media is still very much in tact, and I love it. But switching gears at night and tapping another side of my brain is exhilarating. But hard. And humbling. I’ll go from knowing a good deal about media during the day….to rolling up at class at night, feeling like a greenhorn undergrad just getting her sea legs.
But I’m learning. And like any good student, I have my little sketches to prove it. We completed two big projects this semester, envisioning spaces for “faux” clients. The first was a Dumbo loft I designed for a NYC transplant finding her roots in the city after relocating from the south. (Imagination seems to be a definite prerequisite).
Over the course of 5 weeks, I carved out a 30′ x 120′ space into specific rooms, paying homage to my client’s woodsy roots and the surrounding neighborhood. Reclaimed wood mixes with more industrial materials inspired by the neighborhood, like steel and brick. They all come together in my favorite feature, a “floating” kitchen (below) that brings the elements together, with openings to allow light to permeate the space.
Our final project was a full house, two floors of empty space that needed to accommodate two people “aging in place.” I remember moaning to myself imaging a space fit for old folks, complete with shower handlebars and hospital-like touches. But it was a refreshing exercise, and we learned that accessible design can be both functional and beautiful.
My space for two 60+ roomies, situated on the water, and positioned to make the most of the natural light. For inspiration, I pulled from their nautical pasts. Some rooms (like the one above) were designed to evoke the feeling of being on the airy, upper deck of a boat. Others were designed to feel like the cozy inner cabins, maximizing space and providing lots of storage.
The full exercise required we choose inspirational images to dictate our designs, as well as all furnishings, fixtures and fabric palettes to round out each room. A full look at each design board below. Ahoy!