September 10, 2010
Here we go...
I was lucky to land this job... they didn´t really need a designer and being fresh out of college I obviously didn´t have the qualifications, but they must have liked me because they hired me as an assistant to help the three senior designers on staff.
When I started they had several projects already in the works so I got thrown in head first and started helping the designers shop for fabrics and trims to complete the schemes (collections of materials and feel of space for each room) they were working on. They could show me some of the fabrics already picked out and ask me to look for coordinating fabrics that would be nice for pillows or curtain trims or whatever. It was so much fun. I walked crosstown every day from our office on the corner of 58th street and 6th avenue, right across to 58th and 3rd where the D & D building was located. This building, the Decoration & Design building housed 17 floors of pure textile bliss. Every showroom imaginable was in this building so everything was under one roof, making it all very convenient. High heels on and shopping bag under arm, I started from the top and made my way down. One floor at a time. After a few months I had learned which showroom was best for what items and could better manage my time and maneuver around getting the right stuff to bring back to the office. At first I decided, the more the better, right?! The more fabrics and trims I brought back the higher the chance of the designer approving it. It went in stages, as I was the girl running around finding the pieces (stage 1), then had to show them to the designer (stage 2) who then narrowed it down to show Brian (the boss) (stage 3) who finally gave his yay or nay.
more on my first project later .... stay tuned!
Photo by : Sibel Guner, Stockholm
Coming to New York!
I had just graduated from URI, University of Rhode Island, and had packed up my little house that I shared with my two roommates and jammed all my things in my beat up gray Honda Accord. I was on my way...
The drive down to New York went by faster than it ever had on my usual weekend trips to the city... cause this time I was moving there.
Coming to New York City was so exciting... I had been there countless times before, almost every weekend, to visit my boyfriend who lived there and had graduated a year before me. We started out living in a one bedroom apartment in Bay Ridge, in one of the nicer areas of Brooklyn. I knew very little about decorating at that time, but made the most of the space and made a cozy home for us there. I remember vividly going to Bloomingdales to buy my first sofa. I laugh at it now.. because I would never ever buy that kind of sofa again.. arm-rests way too big and generally way out of proportion... but it was so comfortable. The next big purchase was the bedroom set which we bought at some funky futon place in the village and even though I thought it was great then..I never would have bought that today. Times change and styles and taste change with it... thank God.
I had always loved design and decorating, but even though I new that´s what I wanted to do with my life, I figured it was safer to start applying for jobs in the field that I had a degree in. I had never been super fashionable.. never really had the trendiest clothes or the best makeup brands, but it appealed to me and I thought it would be fun to work for a company that marketed those type of products. So I applied to Revlon, LÓreal and similar huge corporations where I could put my marketing skills to use.. and maybe enjoy the New York corporate environment.
After several interviews and starting to realize that marketing wasn´t at all what I wanted to do, I took a shot in the dark and began looking for jobs that had to do with interior design. Magazines, Interior Design firms and anywhere I could just get a foot in the door since I had no experience or background in the field.
One day I had an interview with some mossy old firm in Midtown and was shown their portfolio which appeared to not have been updated since the 70´s. I was ready to give up, even though I had another interview with a small firm the next day. I had gotten the names of these places from the yellow pages ( I had no clew who was who in the design world at that time) and I thought the next place would be just another wannabe design firm with pointless projects and horrific taste.
With (a lot) of convincing by my boyfriend to just do one more interview... I went to 58th Street on the corner of 6th avenue for my first interview with Brian J. McCarthy Inc.
I have a lot to thank my ex-boyfriend for... and pushing me to not give up and to go to see this firm is definitely one of them.
That interview changed my life! One month later, I was hired and starting my very first day... as Design Assistant!
New Page : Diary of a Decorator !!
I have written many times that I have worked as a decorator in New York but I haven´t really shared with you the process and my experiences working there.
So now I am starting a new page that I hope you will enjoy reading.
In "Diary of a Decorator" I will share with you how my day to day life as a decorator was in the "Big Apple".. from the first client meeting to the final installation and all the exciting steps in between.
Follow me as I tell you how I shopped for fabrics and furniture on Manhattan, flew business class to LA, dined at fabulous restaurants while on location in Bel Air, and how nothing could beat the bliss of working as a decorator for one of the best interior design firms in the country.
Feel free to comment and ask me questions...I´ll be happy to answer them.
I hope you enjoy it!