Colleen shared some intriguing insights on a variety of subjects in our brief interview with her. For instance, she dispels some popular misconceptions about working with designers and reveals what inspired her to pursue a career in interior design. Find out what her most unique design task has been and how her daily routine isn’t routine at all.
Colleen: I first fell in love with interior design in high school when an art teacher assigned a project that involved designing a local commercial space. It was my initial exposure to the intricate details of design work at the very beginning of a project. The assignment and encouragement of my art teacher led me to pursue a career in interior design at the Kendall School of Design in Grand Rapids, MI. While there, I discovered the Chicago Merchandise Mart. It was so inspiring to witness market week in Chicago at age 19!
That experience validated my desire to continue this path. We still attend market week and I feel the same rush every time.
Q: How long have you worked at Collins DuPont? In what roles? What degrees / certifications / accreditations do you hold?
Colleen: I have worked at Collins DuPont Design Group for eight years now as a project leader and interior designer. I’m both ASID and NCIDQ certified. Having the proper education to earn these accreditations means I am qualified to design spaces rather than just fill a home with accessories. Collins DuPont’s high standards for knowledge in construction and architectural elements of design provide the avenue for me to put those favorite aspects of my education into practice.
Q: As a Project Leader & Interior Designer, what does your day-to-day look like?
Colleen: With active projects at different stages of design, our days are never boring! Being heavily involved in the design of the conceptual space requires regular job site visits from inception to completion. Daily site inspections give me a deep understanding of and appreciation for how the various materials, including ceiling details, millwork, tile and flooring come together as the foundation for the entire project.
Q: In your eyes, what are the biggest misconceptions about interior design or working with an interior designer?
Colleen: We find people who’ve never worked with Collins DuPont are surprised by how early in the building process we get involved. In tandem with the architect, we share our construction and architectural concepts. Over more than 30 years, we’ve cultivated strong relationships with architects, builders and other trade partners who produce quality results together as a team.
Some also believe that a high-end interior design firm is more expensive than it really is. Your designer actually keeps your expenses in check. For example, managing construction decisions on their behalf alleviates costly mistakes clients may make on their own. Different spaces and lifestyles translate into varying price points, so we work closely with our clients to establish a comfortable budget at the beginning of the project to guide us through the selections process.
Q: What stands out to you as one of the most unique features or items you’ve incorporated into a design?
Colleen: We have interesting clients from all over the world and many of them have existing furniture, treasures or family heirlooms they want to include in their new home or remodel. Designing around someone’s lifestyle makes what we do fun because everyone’s story is unique.
Q: Where do you spend most of your time in your own home?
Colleen: We love to gather in the family room and kitchen, catching up on our days and having quality time with each other. My daughter designed and created a beautiful garden with a pond in our backyard that serves as a daily Zen moment for me. With the fast-paced environment here at Collins DuPont, it’s great to pause and reflect on gratitude there. Being in nature is the ultimate inspiration for me and I spend my free time outside enjoying the weather as much as possible!