Krista's Lives by Her Own Design

[caption id="attachment_1154" align="aligncenter" width="304" caption="Krista taking in the sites in Santa Fe"][/caption]

My closest friend, Krista, is a talented interior designer with a long successful career in restaurant design. She's a constant source of laughter and inspiration in my life. One of the traits I most admire is her ability to move forward in her life in big leaps full speed ahead, face to the sun.

Recently, she traded her career designing high profile restaurants for an ever expanding position at Lutron, a lighting controls company who's founder invented the dimmer switch (the original contraption lies in the Smithsonian museum today). I just had to check in with her to find out how things are going:

SK: You're so curious and passionate about design, is there anything you miss now about designing a space?

Krista: Mostly, I miss being the author of an idea. Now I sell to and support the people envisioning the space.

SK: Are you surprised by some things that maybe you don't miss?
Krista: I don't miss the psychology involved with satisfying clients. Don't get me wrong, I really like working with my clients. There was just a fine line sometimes between the vision and comfort level of the client. That could be frustrating at times.

SK: What strengths or traits have served you most through this big change?
Krista: Being able to multi-task and understanding the design process from concept to completion. I've had to dig deep for patience and confidence through this transition, but I'm getting there again.

SK: What have been the highlights so far?
I've met some incredible people. And being considered an expert by the designers I idolized early in my career has been really rewarding. Design is a solution based practice and now I'm providing solutions that help make an idea a reality. That's pretty cool.

SK: Do you have any advice for someone looking to make a big career shift?
Krista: Practice confidence and patience while you're building it in your new arena. Having a secure support group that reminds you of your strengths and goals can get you through the more difficult patches.

[caption id="attachment_1158" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="Your home is a reflection of where you are in your life. Read on to learn about the sparkling reflections dotting these walls."][/caption]

SK: When you first bought your condo near AT&T park in San Francisco (another big move!), you stepped out of your color comfort zone and painted a deep blue accent wall in your bedroom. You felt so unsettled by the color that you quickly repainted with warm taupe and dark cocoa.

Krista: Yes, it seemed like a good idea at the time because everything about that move was about change. But I realized that to pull everything together with such a new color I'd have to let go of too many of the things that were comforting to me. I needed the space to remain my nest. In other words, I was making a lot of change and happy about it, but this was a little too much.

SK: Would you recommend stepping outside of your comfort zone when it comes to designing your home?
Krista: Your home has to be a reflection of who you are and where you are in your life. To step outside of your design comfort zone you have to be ready to make major changes in your life too and embrace it. It's not for the lighthearted. I knew immediately that it was one too many changes for me, BUT I also knew I could change it, and I did right away. That was a good decision. My room is my nest and I love it now.

SK: Your design skills and color sense are inspiring to me. What or who would you say are your design inspirations?

Krista: The feeling is mutual, my friend! I'm inspired by something in almost every room I enter. That keeps me interested to this day. Of course, I'm inspired by nature. My dining room is soft blue with shiny green chairs. Hiking one day I realized that those are my favorite colors- together! I let the thought drive me and came up with a room I absolutely love. It's very glamorous, but very natural at the same time.

[caption id="attachment_1155" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Shannon had an Inspiration Board party. I've been using mine ever since!"][/caption]

SK: You answered my question about your favorite colors. So lastly, do you have a favorite object, room, or collection in your home?
Krista: My inspiration board that you encouraged me to make, and my collection of mini disco balls. The inspiration board makes my thoughts and aspirations tangible.

[caption id="attachment_1159" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Mini disco balls gathered under a window throw dancing light across the room when the sun hits them just right. Who could be in bad mood with light effects like that?!"][/caption]

When the disco balls sparkle across my room in the morning light I remember my drive through Virginia with fireflies flickering all around- it was breathtaking.  But truly and simply- they just make me happy.

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