- Stephanie Donnelly
Sometimes beginnings happen in the most unexpected ways... Sometimes new beginnings can be disguised as heartbreak, finding your own path can be hidden in redirection, and set-backs can actually be set-ups. Everyone has a unique story to tell, and you might be surprised what you learn! If you take the time to truly listen to an individual with no other motive than to simply learn more about them and their story, you'll find that you're more similar than you are different.
With that being said, here is a little bit of mine!
What led you to interior design?
While I was growing up, I loved rearranging my childhood bedroom to find the best layout. I also loved rearranging, or lining up, furniture and decor objects to find what works and what doesn't based on balance, perfection, and functionality of a layout. I'd go to friends' houses and visualize thoughts such as "If they just put that chair, sofa, table, etc. in this spot instead, it would create such a better layout..." I remember looking at homes, not just for what they were, but what they could be. I would come up with ideas on how to renovate their kitchens, or I'd visualize different styles for each room for how they could redecorate or change the colors to completely transform the space. I didn't know it at the time, but I had a huge passion for interior design.
One amazing benefit of my dad being a contractor was growing up around the construction industry. This led to me having an incredible advantage in the interior design world as I not only understood the aesthetic aspect, but I also had a thorough understanding of how things are constructed and the why behind everything that I designed.
Where did you go to college?
After living in northern Illinois for my entire life, I wanted a drastic (and sunny!) change that pushed me outside of my comfort zone, so Arizona State University quickly became my second home. When I first moved to Arizona, I didn't know anyone there, so it was both terrifying and exciting. One of the reasons I chose Arizona State University was because they have a very competitive, accredited interior design program that creates incredible designers with stunning work. One of my favorite design styles is actually historical architecture. I've always been attracted to historical architecture and design, and I even have a minor in architectural history! All of these factors impacted my decision to go to Arizona State University, and I'm so glad they did.
How did you get started with interior design?
When you're in college, it's common to hear people talking about how they thought they knew their WHOLE lives what they wanted to do, but then they ended up changing their major. Naturally, I felt like the same thing might happen to me, so I took several introductory courses in other majors just to make sure interior design was the right one for me. These introductory classes consisted of psychology, hospitality, business, construction management, and art history just to name a few! As it turned out, these courses were actually all very helpful to know for interior design as there is a lot of relevant information that can be used in the field. Individually however, none worked for me. Interior design flowed so naturally for me, and simply was a perfect fit. I especially loved learning about design history and the study of how both good and bad design affects people. From there I've since worked under a couple designers as well as a construction company, and today I get to run my very own interior design company!
How have you grown over the years?
Over the years I have had the opportunity to consistently hone and practice my skill. Having opportunities to learn from experienced designers who are professionals in the field has been so valuable to me and my style development. I've had the chance to work on projects that I've loved and deeply resonated with, and I have also been presented with design projects that have stretched my typical design style and helped me to grow. I love learning about new products and solving problems through the use of innovative strategies. Every aspect of interior design presents a unique challenge as well as incredible experience. Combining timeless beauty and functionality will always be my favorite signature style.
What is your story? How did you come to arrive at the place you are now in your life, and where are you going? What is something that you've always been passionate about that burns brightly inside you? Tell me something that you're doing to take a step forward in your goals.
We all have a story to tell, but we get to write our future. How will you write yours?
~This blog was brought to you by S. Donnelly Interiors. Learn more about the interior design project process by following Stephanie Donnelly and her interior design services in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and the surrounding areas!