insights on creating innovative spaces

Hello world!

I’ve been designing residential and commercial spaces for over 25 years and I still get asked, “Pat, how did you get started in this business?”  To be honest, I chuckle every time and say “It was an accident!”

When I was in high school I enjoyed my art classes, but always felt that there was something missing.  There was always something I could do better – something that would hold me back from being a success in fine art.  I wanted to be the best in class at whatever I tried to do.  So, while art was the class I enjoyed the most, I decided I needed to be more ‘practical’ and I went off to junior college and ultimately became a legal secretary.

Yet, I did not abandon art.  I continued taking classes.  Then, I reached an unexpected turning point.  I was fortunate enough to have friends with a sailboat.  While we were enjoying a beautiful day sailing, we began discussing my friend’s living room and what color it could be painted.  This was the moment!  I shared my thoughts on color and furniture placement.  My friend was amazed at my suggestions and declared that I should be in the design business.  After an initial moment of silence, I realized that this appealed to my creative side.  Perhaps I could create beautiful places even if I didn’t feel that I could have a career in fine arts.

Over the next few months I investigated my options, pulled my art portfolio together and won a place at Parson’s School of Design. Parson’s was undergoing a shift in its thinking and wanted serious students who were determined to ‘make a difference’ in whatever field of design they chose to pursue.  I worked very hard, competing with students with far more serious art backgrounds than mine.  I learned about interior design, product design, landscape design, architectural design and more.  While it was more challenging than I anticipated, I loved it and learned to keep my eyes open for design inspirations.

I’ve been designing spaces for over 25 years.  My influences come from all around me.  I love texture.  I’ve recently returned to painting and find it filling a gap I hadn’t realized was there.  There is art in so much of what we do.  I feel lucky to have found a career that appeals to my creative side and allows me to create beautiful spaces.