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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Brazell

When Did You Realize Your Wanted To Be An Interior Designer?

Updated: Jul 23, 2021

Surely you’ve watched a movie or read a book where a character suddenly cries “It was always there!” Maybe “it” was the ability to fly or read minds or the power to heal people. Whatever “it” was, there is something to be said about talents and interests revealing themselves early on in our lives, well before thoughts of careers and supporting a family take over. When I think back to my childhood, I can (now) clearly see a love for interior design. I didn’t know it at the time and it took me a couple decades to formally begin studying interior design, but for sure, “It was – a love for interior design - always there!”

What stands out for me:

I have a vivid memory from around the age of eight. A friend was over and I asked her to help me move some of my bedroom furniture. As we pushed a desk around and I saw her face. "You're not having fun, are you," I asked. I wasn't terribly surprised when she replied no. But I did feel a bit sad seeing how I loved changing my room to see its possibilities. (Moving that desk was a great improvement. It now ran at a right angle to the wall and created a little niche to sit in… genius!)

What else I remember:

At my best friend’s house, in their living room, was a gorgeous sofa covered in a slightly faded split-pea green velvet and trimmed with a light cream-colored fringe. I honestly could have spent hours running my hands back and forth not only over the velvet nap, but the fringe too. At once the velvet felt luxurious, cozy, and sophisticated and the fringe, no matter how you braided it, it always came undone and fell as straight as soldiers in a line. I remember thinking that if you took away the fringe the sofa lost something – it was still pretty, but not memorable and no longer the focus of the room. And the cushions – they felt like you were lying on a cloud. It was the perfect marriage of form and function.

Going to the hardware store and coming out with a fan of paint colors. Each chip of paint had a different name that added to their intrigue. I would rank the colors, thinking about the rooms where they would go, trying to figure out which colors would complement and contrast one another. What colors would make for an elegant room or please a young boy? (When I took a class at Parsons, the instructor urged us to take a floor plan in question. He said that for each room, you should take a paint chip with the main color and trim it to fit into that floor plan. Once you had done that for each room, you could get a great sense of that home’s color scheme. I still think about that little trick.)

Getting a copy of Victoria magazine each month. I couldn’t believe that such cozy and inviting rooms exited. By and large, these rooms looked as if they had been created over time with the addition of a tapestry here or a jug there and I really loved that look. In fact I think the notion of decorating by slowing adding as things strike your fancy, rather than shopping for everything all at once is at the heart of how I decorate. Now I love it when the shelter magazines arrive in the mail - AD, Elle Décor, Traditional Home, Veranda, Southern Living…..

Decorating my bedroom door and walls. Moving Scholastic posters around so they were hung at the right level, overlapping art prints and cut out cartoons so the overall effect looked right to me. I just loved it and moved stuff around so often that I had to use tape rather than keep marring the doors and walls with nail holes.

Babysitting at a home where there were lots of design books and realizing that I could implement some of the looks in my own room. One house had a gorgeous guest bedroom with an accent wall where the twin beds rested again. I remember feeling so charged that I could do the same thing. It’s silly now to think about but realizing that I could also try to get that look was energizing for me.

"The best rooms have something to say about the people who live in them." -- David Hicks.

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