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I’m a Great Listener.


This point is proven by the fact that I just actively listened to my 12-year-old’s 30-minute monologue about a Swedish YouTube prodigy who apparently builds giant Minecraft meatballs and water sheep. Yes, I just said water sheep. My point is, I was listening enough to be able to repeat that.


All jokes aside, I really think that the first step to understanding what you, the client, are looking for is to simply listen. I’ve often read that empathy is the cornerstone of design, and I whole-heartedly believe in that statement. It’s important for me to be highly receptive in order to understand your needs, wants, and objectives.


I’m Flexible.


All that being said, if you’re like, “Hey Nicole, I don’t really want to discuss all the details. Can you please do your thing and make my space awesome?”—I will happily do that too.



I’m a Great Finder of Things.


Cello player, knife juggler, Scrabble champion? No. My secret talent is finding things. My husband’s keys, the unopened ice-cream maker Santa brought my daughter 5 Christmases ago, a rare 1950s vintage sputnik light fixture. I can find it all. Luckily, I’ve also found a career in which I can finally put this talent to good use. Design is often about finding things, whether it’s art, furniture, an alternative solution, or everything in between. And if I can’t find something, I will find someone who can.   


I Get My Hands Dirty.


I’ve laid floors, I’ve helped frame walls, I’ve caulked windows, I’ve cut rafters. In other words , I have experience in building things. I know my way around power tools, and my drill and toolbox have found a home in the back of my Honda. I’m really interested in how things go together, and that has proven to be a really useful tool in my design tool-belt.  



I Know That I Don’t Know Everything.


I currently have a client who has way more knowledge about antiques than I do. And that’s okay. I learn from her every time we get together. In other words, I have no problem putting my ego aside and saying, “Oh! I didn’t know that! Tell me more.” A willingness and eagerness to learn is (in my opinion) one of the tell-tale signs of a great designer.  


I Will Not Sell My Soul for A Commission.


As designers, we sometimes get commissions off of what the clients purchase, and sometimes that can cloud judgement. But a HUGE part of hiring an interior designer is about trust. Designing a space can be a very intimate process, and it is important that the client trusts that we, as designers, are working with their best interests at heart. I can sleep well at night knowing that I have never coerced a client to buy something based on what was in it for me .

If It Doesn’t Work Out, It Won’t Hurt My Feelings.


Listen, I understand that sometimes, for whatever reason, personalities don’t vibe (a word I learned as a 36-year-old undergrad). If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. Simple as that. If there’s anything I’ve learned from being barraged by unimpressed design professors in first-year studio, it’s to not take things personally.



I Absolutely Love What I Do.


I know, I know, the cliché is oozing, but what can I say? It’s true. I take immense pride in what I do. I think that the spaces we occupy become part of us in a big way. For me to be able to help shape that, even in the smallest way, is something I truly feel honored to do.   


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