Making your own design rules

When she was seven years old, Andrea visited an uncle in Washington, D.C, and was overcome with interior design and architecture.

Granted, at the time, she didn’t know what either of those things were, but she was captivated by them all the same.

“There was a staircase I remember that had really long treads and a really shallow rise,” she remembers. “As I walked up through it, I felt it change the whole rhythm of how I walked, and I felt myself gliding up through the space that was moving all around me.

“The idea that you could change how people walk, their rhythm, movement and perception just gripped me. It was so clear.”

After that experience, she felt compelled to start working with her hands. Her mother taught her how to sew and her father showed her how to use tools. She appreciated the craftsmanship that went into making everything from clothing to the most elegant building in the world.

While pursuing her master’s in architecture at UCLA, one of her professors challenged her to expand her architectural notions into interior spaces. To  Andrea, that was an invitation to break all the rules.

“One of the most important things I’ve learned is that you can be irreverent, and it can have really successful results,” she says. “Nowadays, I encourage my clients to do their own thing in terms of design, even if it’s weird. It can be a challenge to truly express yourself without going overboard, but that’s where I come in. I help people figure out their personal style and what elements are important to them. I show them how to restrain themselves but give them a little outlet for expression.”

Andrea’s irreverence has inspired her clients to be true to themselves and create an enviroment that speaks to them. It also landed her a spot on Bravo TV’s inaugural season of Top Design, an interior design reality competition.

Just goes to show that breaking the rules will take you places way better than jail. To add an artful edge to your quarters, check out Etsy, an online shop featuring handmade crafts from people all over the world. Talk about a personal touch.

MORE TIPS & TOOLS

Andrea’s Magic Touch
Feeling inspired, but don’t know where to start? Contact Andrea’s design firm to help you tap into to your design personality.

Oh, So Cute
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Just Do It Yourself
Earth-friendly and wallet-conscious, ReadyMade helps you claim your corner of the world and decorate it just the way you want it.

The Gift Closet
Looking for crafty gift ideas? The Gift Closet is a great place to find ideas for clever gifts you can make.