The Academy of Home Staging & Design graduate, Trisha Elena Guillen of Trisha Elena Designs LLC, had a tip from a friend that Columbia University was looking for an designer for a remodel project for a student area on campus.
New York, NY (PRWEB)April 19, 2016
Trisha Elena Guillen of Trisha Elena Designs,LLC, a recent graduate of The Academy of Home Staging & Design’ s Interior Design Certification Course, was given a tip by a friend that Columbia University was looking for a designer for their large remodel project for a brownstone on campus.
After communicating with the clients, as well as, Columbia University contacts, interviewing, presenting a portfolio and providing a plan of action, all skills that were enhanced and refined during the Academy’s 5 day Certification program, Trisha was hired for the project, beating out 3 other Interior Designers. Trisha jumped in with both feet.
In a recent interview, Trisha explains the parameters of the project “The job included a redesign plan for six main spaces, including a living room, dining area, foyer, hallway entry, study room, and basement. The redesign plan included new flooring, paint, furniture, rugs, window treatments, artwork, and accessories for these spaces. The goal was to keep all redecorating within a budget of around $30K, a separate budget from the structural enhancements and changes with flooring and paint. “I am so happy that I had finished my program at The Academy so I had the confidence and tools to complete an amazing look for this client.” The client asked Trisha to design a space that was light and modern with plenty of seating. Trisha said, “They liked glass, very light neutral shades, and delicate fabrics, however, we had to make sure that the space would be durable for groups of students to use frequently and comfortably as well as provide upholstery within the standards of fire and safety codes.”
Trisha’s design solutions included incorporating mixed metals for a light, modern look yet durable structure, neutrals in concrete, wood, and lacquer as well as for décor, and navy accents for upholstery in performance fabrics that would resist wear for longer. The main challenges of the space included the lack of seating for large meeting groups, storage, and natural light. Trisha comments, “In a common meeting area, it is crucial that the space inspires creativity and participation while fostering a collaborative environment.”
In the foyer, Trisha created a seating nook with small settees and a tiny coffee table from Worlds Away. For the dining space, Trisha chose fashionable Eames chairs, perfect for long hours of meeting and studying and comfort, and used these same chairs in the large study room so that they could be moved in for meetings. In the living room, she chose steel coffee table pieces that double as seating and added in an extra corner study nook with x shape stools. Trisha lightened up the space by choosing new Benjamin Moore paint in a crisp white for wainscoting and very light gray for walls, as well as neutrals throughout the decorating color scheme. Upholstered furniture pieces were chosen with legs to provide an open airy look versus heavy pieces. Concrete and steel made up her material choices throughout the design, allowing durability along with a contemporary, light space. Mirrors played a huge role as well – The mirrors by Ballard Designs used in the living room opened up the room and bounced natural light into the space!
Trisha managed all aspects of the project including onsite management and double checked every step. Following The Academy’s core training, she believes that communication and organization are the most important aspects of any successful project. Throughout the project, Trisha provided weekly and/or as needed updates with regularly updated budget charts, detailed steps of the plan, and next steps in order to keep the client in the loop as well as the university. “I also utilized many of the programs and techniques that I learned while at The Academy of Home Staging.”The tools, documents, advice, and processes taught and provided during the course were used throughout the full project.”
Kim Kapellusch, owner and founder of The Academy’s 5-day Interior Design intensive for beginners in Los Angeles, CA. says The Academy teaches strong client communication and transparency with standards in business that provide a clear vision to the client, tracking client satisfaction and needs, and how to efficiently move the project forward.
“These strategies and software tools taught at The Academy, were essential in the progress of communicating my vision and staying organized” said Trisha. The Academy of Home Staging & Design is proud of their students and of Trisha Elena Guillen.
Trisha, and all students of The Academy of Home Staging & Design are able to be successful in their Design businesses because of the tools learned from these hands-on courses.
For More Information on Home Staging or Interior Design Certificate programs call 800-574-5576 or click here: The Academy of Home Staging & Design.
For more info on Trisha Elena Designs, LLC, please click here: Trisha Elena Designs, LLC.
This week’s Designer Spotlight Series features a very special guest…someone who is certainly no stranger to the “spotlight” and has become a new (and very welcome) member of the iHomeRegistry community.
That’s right…it’s Wanda Colón, from HGTV’s “24 Hour Design” and TLC’s “Home Made Simple”— and she’s here to talk to us about her experience working with famous private clients, the key to staging homes, who she admires in the design industry and more!
1. What attracted you to iHomeRegistry?
As a busy Interior Designer in Los Angeles, I’m always looking for the next new software and/or tool that will allow me to communicate my design vision to the client. Time saving and one stop shopping for this tool is a key factor for me and the entire staff at Style My Space & The Academy of Home Staging and Design. iHomeRegistry allows us to create a fluid design plan with visuals for our client, including a 3D rendering.
2. How did you get started in the interior design/decorative arts business?
After graduating from college, my first big design job was a restaurant redesign in Reading, PA. It was called The Firehouse Bar & Restaurant. Then I made the move from PA to CA in 2001. I started working for a design firm called Interior Motives, where I also did murals and finishes for our clients.
3. Tell us about your time at HGTV and TLC. How did that come about?
I lived in the same building as Lee Snyders from Design on a Dime. I spoke to his then talent manager and gave her my portfolio. She had me shoot a reel and we started submitting my photo and reel to HGTV, TLC…I auditioned for 24 Hour Design and had 3 call backs to re-audition for the show. Initially they went with someone else. I remember I thought “What, this can’t be” I really felt like it was mine to lose so I followed up with a thank you note and to keep me in mind for anything else. They called a week later and said they reconsidered their first pick. I did HGTV’s “24 Hour Design” for 4 seasons and then had the opportunity to go to TLC’s “Home Made Simple” where I did 6 seasons.
4. You’ve had some pretty well known private clients, including Kelsey Grammer, Paul Stanley, Cher and Johanna Carson. Tell us about working with them.
Of course, the initial meeting, I would ask myself “How did I get here?” and “Am I good enough?” But, what I quickly realized is that they have the same concerns as my client down the street. I would have to say meeting Kelsey for the first time, I called him Frazier on accident. I was mortified, but he assured me it wasn’t the first time. My favorite famous client is Paul Stanley. He is super creative, an amazing artist and gave us a lot of creative freedom. I’m a breast cancer survivor and during my treatment, he ran into a mutual friend who told him I had cancer. He called me asked me if I needed anything and donated a huge painting to my cancer fund.
5. Where do you find your inspiration?
Literally everywhere! When designing someone’s home I want to know where the client has traveled, what they are interested in…it’s super personal to create a space for someone. My goal is for my clients, friends, and family to come into the space and say, ”Wow, this is really you!”
6. If you could design a home for anyone in the world, who would it be?
I would have to say it would have been a blast to collaborate with Frank Lloyd Wright. I just recently toured the SC Johnson house and building in Wisconsin. I was so impressed not only with the overall design but the creative spirit he brought to everything from structure to the functionality of the office chairs.
7. How does the Academy of Home Staging & Design distinguish itself among competitors?
First of all, we are a full service design company. Our sister company is Style My Space where I am the lead interior designer. Kim Kappellush, founder of Style My Space and the Academy, runs the Home Staging part of the business. We have our own warehouse of furniture and have the ability to stage over 100 homes at a time with our own inventory. Kim founded the Academy of Home Staging and was open to us developing the Interior Design aspect to the academy. So what makes us different is that we are successful at what we are teaching. So, anyone coming to the academy is learning from our experience.
8. How have YOU distinguished yourself in such a rapidly growing industry?
I minored in fine arts. I consider myself an artist first and I bring that to the table. Teaching at the Academy also keeps me on track with anything new in design. New software, programs, trends and I get to work with the professionals at the design centers like LA Mart. Being in the know is really important in this industry. So I have a relationship with everyone from my vendors and contractors to the employees in retail stores. When we shop I have a first name basis mentality. I want my clients to be able to go back to Crate & Barrel and be able to ask for the rep that I like to work with.
9. What are the top one or two keys to staging a home?
Create a space that has mass appeal to the market and make it special. Personally, I like having that statement art piece.
10. What is your favorite home you’ve ever staged?
Early in my career I designed and staged a model loft in Marina Del Rey. I had a decent budget and total creative freedom.
11. What is the most important room when it comes to home staging?
First impressions are always great so the first room people see really sets the tone for the house.
12. Who is your design “role model”?
Once again Frank Lloyd Wright…his conviction to his designs is what we all aspire to.
13. What does the future hold for the design/decorative arts business?
The sky is the limit. I love the way design changes and the exposure on TV shows has given interior design the access to everyone. Interior Design is no longer just for the wealthy. It has become available to everyone. Which in turn makes us grow as designers.
Learn more about Wanda and her work with the Academy of Home Staging & Design HERE