Thursday, July 15, 2010

our passion for design...

my favorite project of Lauren's
a blown up print on her dining room wall

Did you hear the Skirted Roundtable's recent interview with Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home? I highly recommend it; she gives awesome home design tips, and she sounds as fun and lovely as she seems on her blog. She mentioned that she graduated from college with a degree in Communications, I believe, and only after spending all her time at work doodling interiors did she realize that her real passion was in interior design.

Does that ring a bell with you? It really did with me. I am not a designer but it certainly is my passion. Yet I ended up with a degree in English and working in the law field. I have a good friend who would make a top notch architect, yet her passion and clarity for that field surfaced long after her college days.


Lauren's entry

What about you? Were you attuned to your passion for design early on? Or, was it 'discovered' or 'uncovered' later, after another career?  If so, why can't we tap into these leanings earlier? Is there a  growth process that leads us to our true passion?

Thanks so much for your input! Since I began this blog, I have been fascinated by the number of folks/bloggers who come to design from another area, especially law...

Photos from Pure Style Home  

40 comments:

M.A said...

I love to read about other people's passions. When people talk or write about the things they love it's so true and genuine and most of the time very inspiring. The chandelier in the first picture rocks my world, it is amazing.

anita @ a dreamer's den said...

those two photos of Lauren's house speak to some serious talent! beautiful.
you put so eloquently how I feel about passion, growth process, careers, etc. A very gentle questioning as opposed to my sense of wanting to kick myself for not tapping into this love for beautiful spaces earlier in my life.
xo

My Interior Life said...

I can totally relate. My degree as well was in Communications (Journalism), but I didn't realize how much I loved interior design until I got my own place to decorate after college. Then I promptly got married, soon thereafter moved to a new city, got a job, then had two kids.

After I stopped working and stayed home with my children, my passion for interiors really blossomed. Now, I'm wondering if I should go back to school to pursue a design degree or just blog about it? That's what I'm curious about. How many people (at the age of 37 or beyond) are totally changing direction and following their passion?

Great post!

la Brocanteuse said...

o yes- me too, started the grown up world with studying law...fell in love, got married... traveled the word and never gave law a chance..maybe because since I can remember as a little girl I used to move things around in my childhood home. Once I had my "own" home, I so enjoyed that , it became my passion. I fell into styling for decor magazines- yes I consider it luck,and now I choose to "live" it..love your blog. Colette x

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Hi Donna. I can't wait to read all the comments on this. My passion for design was discovered after getting married and building our first home. It exploded as my husband and I launched our historic home restoration business and I haven't looked back! It consumes my thoughts every moment of every day! This love is here to stay.

Cara said...

I don;t know what it is, but I LOVE slipcovered dinning room chairs :)
<3

I would love for you to come on over and enter my giveaway!

Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

I spent most of my childhood rearranging the furniture in my bedroom, so I'm guessing it was quite early on!

Razmataz said...

I studied Psychology in Uni, got a job in the accounting department of a major bank. I then worked in the medical field for 10 years for a rectal surgeon and a paediatric oncologist. When I was 44, I quit and went back to college to study interior design. I had taken the first course of the program 15 years before. Now I want to study photography.

Milk and Honey Home said...

This girl has some major talent and confidence. I dig her style! I have an M. Ed. in English Ed....so no wonder you and I get along. I don't regret at all all of my studies in English prose and verse; I feel it translates to interiors. I think it was necessary for me to teach English first. Although, looking back, I was always the one with the funky green room and the different outfit...always.

creekside rummager said...

As a kid, I wanted to be a clothes designer. Circumstances intervened and in adulthood I became a licensed therapist working with kids & families. But always that other side of me - the creative or design part came through in many forms. It has been refined through the years. I have no degree in design, but I am always studying what I see. My home and yard are my canvases and I'm always trying to clarify and improve how I express beauty and creativity.

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

I think it is because at a certain point we are encouraged to be realistic and pursue interests that will provide a decent living, etc. In college so many of my friends were pursuing a field because it was pushed on them by the parents paying the education bills. I was fortunate (?!) to be paying my own college fees and studied whatever I wanted, always focusing on creative fields!

Suzanne said...

Same scenario here...I have a B.A. in History and when I was in my thirties went back for a degree in Interior Design. The clues were always there, but never given any serious thought--I was constantly rearranging/redecorating my room, my friend's rooms, my parent's home, etc. as a kid. When the time came to go to college, I really believed that I had to study something "academic", so History it was. I don't regret it. That background has definitely informed my design aesthetic--just wish I was younger when I finally allowed myself to be me.

Elizabeth said...

i love lauren's style. i'm going to have to go listen to the interview. thanks for sharing

Christina @ greige and My Sparrow said...

I love how design is a "not real" job to so many people.. which is one reason I think early on most designers don't go into school thinking that is what they want. I was unsure but with my NEED to design every space I was in since I was about 14 it has really worked out well. I love design and even if I did not work in the field, I think I would be thinking about it all of the time..

La Dolfina said...

That's so funny Donna, I've noticed the same thing and was just talking about it the other day. I'm definitely not a former lawyer by any stretch but I definitely came into my passion later in life. I've always been creative and loved design but never considered doing it for a living. I majored in poly sci and french in college and wanted to work in an embassy. Now at the ripe old age of 51 I know what I want and I'm pursuing it with enthusiasm. Wouldn't it be great to find your passion earlier in life? I'm constantly telling my son to find his passion because that's what brings true happiness and contentment. The money will follow. I love this post Donna... we've definitely been on a similar wave length:) Have a great day!
xo

Pamela said...

I have had a passion for interior design since i was little girl. I was house crazy and rearranging my room at 7!!!! I dreamed design day and night.
When i was 10 for halloween i was an interior decorator.
My mom said to me "You can't do it it is too hard!" I was a very insecure child and teen ...dominated by my mom so guess what i never pursued it.
So my blog is my creative outlet.
Pamela from French Buttons

alison (semi-fab lane) said...

oooh,i love that chandelier!
as for me, i went to school for fashion and it is still a passion for me along with interior design, but i really do not like working in the fashion industry...i wish i could just blog for a living. maybe some day!

Kris said...

Thanks so much for this post. I can totally relate to it in so many ways. I majored in English/Women Studies, got a Master's in Education, then went to work for a law firm. Now here I sit, a stay at home mom to a 2 year old boy, and I've only just now realized my passion for design. I've always been into design but its only now that I have my own house and a little more money than I had before (which still isn't much to speak of!) that design has become a real love of mine.

I so wish I would have realized it much earlier, so that I could have gotten involved with it then. At the same time I was young and so many things don't come to us until we're older. Before I know it my son will be in school and I just hope I have the guts to try to do something design-related. I imagine it will be really hard to get my foot in the door but I guess its all part of the journey.

I could write a ton about this, I think about it quite a lot. Thanks so much for this post though, it really rings true.

On a design note we're getting ready to paint our Living Room Stonington Gray (so funny that you just did a post that uses this exact shade!). I'll let you know how it turns out!

A Country Farmhouse said...

I did hear the interview and it was great! Yes, I could absolutely relate to doodling designs while working. I majored in Music and Art but neither were the perfect fit. I took a design course my last year and I realized that it was everything I was interested in.
It is a shame that it can sometimes take us awhile to narrow in on what our passions are...but perhaps all the other side interests just help us realize it all the more.
Trina

Tricia Rose said...

Oh yes!

I have degrees in English and Theology, went into film the easy way (married a director/producer) and now do lighting and second camera as well as research and writing. However most time is spend editing, so while my husband sits at his computer I make things in the next room, and a business was born! I make Rough Linen for my website and a few shops, and it has grown bigger than me.

The best thing though is that I still write, I have learned that I LOVE camerawork, I am a serial re-modeller, and I enjoy it all, not in a 'have it all' way, but as a varied and balanced way of life. I want to grow old like this!

deardesigners said...

It so often happens. My 'day job' is in finance and when I did decide to study interior design most of my classmates were from other areas such as banking and law.
I think you're probably right but I so wish I had decided earlier that I wanted to be a designer!

Kerri said...

I can completely relate. I was originally a financial planner, specialising in superannuation, and all of my artistic/design aspirations were put on the back burner in favour of a more 'realistic' career path. But it was never a good fit - I'm a creative person through and through, and once my daughter was born I started painting again, which in turn led to interior design. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what we want to do in life, and I try to reinforce to my own children that, no matter what, you can do whatever your heart desires. We spend so much time in our lives working, so why not spend it doing something we love? Great post, and I'm really enjoying following your lovely blog! K xx

kelly giesen said...

I started out antiquing and refinishing furniture in high school and moved into renovations when I bought my first place. I started out being my own client and then others came calling - it all went from there. Each renovation is a learning experience and it's the best boot camp design school a girl could have. I just love design and would not trade it for the world. Great topic and great blog...

Ivy Lane said...

GOD is this post on time! for me.. I am 45..going on 46... and KNOW my passion..yet don't follow..why is that?? with some of us!! Great THOUGHT PROVOKING POST..

P.S... I totally thought you are/were a designer!!! so.... what are you waiting for? !! :) hugs!

Kerry said...

What a great post. As someone on the wrong side of 50 (just!!) with a lifetime spent working in either the military, the public service or now in HR in my own company, I have only just started to give myself permission to do what gives me the most pleasure. Hence a reduction to 4 days a week in the job that pays the bills and the other day spent creating things that will hopefully lead me in another business direction. Point is I guess, it's never too late and time spend doing other things isn't wasted either. Our experiences are what make us us! I actually tell my kids that even if you don't have a 'passion' then at the very least do work that gives you pleasure.

Renae said...

Great thought provoking post! I have a B.A. in Music, 'cello performance. Married the military, and spent almost 20 years in the fitness industry. Always had a passion for decor and not only did my house but friends. Then took some design courses at 50 yrs and here I am! Love it...
xx

Mona Thompson said...

I listened to the interview last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am 51, had a Marketing degree and had been in sales and business all my life. My sister and I have just always loved beautiful things and decided to start a small antique business 8 years ago. At friends and clients requests we slowly moved into the design world. We are having a ball. Its not work when its your passion.

My home is my Castle - by Kari said...

I love your blog and I`ll soon be back ;)

Hugs rom Kari in Norway

Rachel Joins the Fray said...

Why do we only have to have one career/passion in life? I've had one so career far, and I'm hoping to have at least two more, with maybe a little stay-at-home-mom time thrown in! We're so lucky that in this day and age we can be entirely in control of our futures! It just takes courage to make the change!

for the love of a house said...

My older sister (who was in college at the time) has a letter from a 9 year old Me where I go on and on about how I had rearranged my bedroom! Design has always been a passion of mine. Sadly, when I was at UTAustin, the school of interior design was in the HomeEc Dept., and in the eary 80's when everyone seemed to be getting a business degree I just couldn't/wouldn't walk away with a HomeEc degree..... BIG mistake. It's so silly now, but at the time it mattered. It is probably my biggest regret, as I was one of those people who needed a degree to validate my talents. I have always felt strongly that you can not teach someone to have a good eye or a good sense of scale, but yet I would have greatly benefited from the power of the degree. It really has been through blogging that I have come to realize that there are many fabulous designers out there who do not have degrees. I wish I had had more confidence earlier, but such is life!

Interesting post!
joan

Towne said...

Great post! I can completely relate - In 2007 I graduated with a Finance degree and got a job as a Financial Analyst. I remember crying to my mom after my first day of work telling her I refused to go back. I'm still working full time as an analyst but only to pay my way through interior design school. It's been a crazy couple of years but I'll be finished with school in August! Now comes the hard part....finding a job :)

Splendid Willow said...

Interesting discussion, Donna! (And yes I agree, Lauren is wonderfully talented!).

My passion started very early on but I did not start doing anything about it until a few years ago. Why? Perhaps I wasn't ready. Or I did not put all my energy into it. Who knows. But now I am, and it is interesting how one thing leads to another!

I don't think it really matters when your passion starts as long as your heart is in it - 100%.

And yes what's up with all those brilliant lawyers looking for a career change!(:

Love to you.

Mon

Dumbwit Tellher said...

It is truly amazing how many great design bloggers (& some now interior designers) come from the law field. I had wanted to be an architect at a young age. My parents were not supportive and I was told that my math skills would prevent me from my dream. So at 18 I abandoned that dream & having zero guidance, decided to (what else) get married. *DUMB* I remember clearly my choices we secretary, & teacher. I guess that's what makes life so fascinating?! Great, thought provoking post Mimi x

camdesign said...

I always designed rooms, as a child my parents let me move the house around a lot...later I would always help friends with their new homes...when my kids were little my hubby never new what he was coming home to, one day I moved the kitchen around (it had been set up with movable pieces)...at the age of 40 after working @ the airport working on jet fuel inventory for years I decided to go to design school on a friday, interviewed on monday, started on the tuesday (the Semester had started on the monday)... finished school 4 years later, moved to a new city (asked my hubby to get a transfer, we lived in quebec and I do not speak french) and started working in the field of design...I say it is never to late to start over, I have the best job, all the hard work paid off....

camdesign said...

oh and I forgot to mention... my student loan of 33,000.00 is about to be finished in Sept, thank goodness...that will be one big dinner out with wine...lol

24 Corners said...

Oh, I'm so late to this conversation but it's an amazing one so I just have to chime in. I had always been obsessed with design and especially architecture to the point of being teased by my family and friends for all the images and magazines I would collect...if only I had known about this blogging community sooner! I had no idea there were so many like minded peeps out there and feel like I've found a long lost family...I'm not so strange after all!

Actually...the designing & building of our house kind of proof that it wasn't all for naught...but I still hear "so, are you gonna get rid of all those magazines now?"...they just don't get it(big sigh).

But YOU all do and I'm so happy about that...(big-smiling-sigh)!

Thanks!!! xo J~

24 Corners said...

Oh, I'm so late to this conversation but it's an amazing one so I just have to chime in. I had always been obsessed with design and especially architecture to the point of being teased by my family and friends for all the images and magazines I would collect...if only I had known about this blogging community sooner! I had no idea there were so many like minded peeps out there and feel like I've found a long lost family...I'm not so strange after all!

Actually...the designing & building of our house kind of proof that it wasn't all for naught...but I still hear "so, are you gonna get rid of all those magazines now?"...they just don't get it(big sigh).

But YOU all do and I'm so happy about that...(big-smiling-sigh)!

Thanks!!! xo J~

Bromeliad said...

Useless journalism degree. Currently working in IT. Hobbyist designer.

Charlotta Ward said...

I definitely agree - on all accounts - Lauren, lawyers and rethinking ones career!
I caught onto the fact that I loved design early and completed a degree in interior design in London. I worked in the field for a couple of years, then headed off to do a Masters in Scotland only to get cold feet. I was one of two 'aliens' accepted into the college via a scholarship - I the Swede and a guy from Tanzania. After having thought long and hard I returned to London to do another BA degree, this time in Business & Marketing. I slipped into fashion - did London and Graduate Fashion Week for a while then got into Advertising. Loved it. The perfect mix of strategy and creative madness! :) Got headhunted and transferred to Sydney where I had the best career run. Then after having babies I cut the umbilical-workaholic-cord and pursued my art and eventually slid back into design.. Funny how it works.

xx C

Brooke @ Blueprint Bliss said...

Great post! LOVE Lauren's entryway. It is one of my favorites.

I grew up in a design oriented family... so I think my obsession was there from the beginning!