Phind out Phriday: Renee DeBeary- The Woman Who makes The House a Home (or any space what you want it to be)

It’s been a crazy week. I’ve spent a good amount of it packing, booking movers, and when trying to escape the stress of moving…daydreaming about how to decorate my new space. So, this week, it was absolutely wonderful to get to know Renee DeBeary, an interior designer that I met this past spring at an art show. As you know, the fourth Friday on the blog I like to feature a not so local creative independent. Renee is from Delaware, and at age 37 she decided it was time to go back to school, get some education to pursue her passion, and is taking steps toward running her own design firm. If she could take a bank and virtually turn it into a lush nightclub and serve up the lay out at the art show (see below), I have no doubt that in the next few years she will indeed be a household name.

Phreedum: Who are you in 5 words?
RD: Fearless, honest, social, grateful, intuitive! 

Phreedum: When did you first know you wanted to do interior design?
RD: I, like most in my field, was always told I had a good eye and a talent for decorating rooms. At my last job as a secretary, I had to help furnish a few offices including a new space for myself and another secretary. I picked out everything and decided what would go where. Everyone loved the new offices. The light finally went off and I was like, this is what I should be doing for a living.
Phreedum: Where do you find inspiration and motivation?
RD: I find inspiration by looking at the environments around me. I examine every space I enter and note what I like and what things I would do different. What motivates me is how endless the possibilities are to create spaces that people find appealing even if they don’t know why.
Phreedum: What has been a highlight for you as an artist?
RD: I would have to say the Senior Show at Moore College of Art & Design was a pinnacle in that it allowed me to present my designs in a completely artistic manner. Before we show to public we have to present our designs before critics for the thesis review. Everyone pretty much has to show the same types of drawings. For the show, I was able arrange what are really supposed to be technical drawings into a more artistic form.
Phreedum: What has been one of the biggest lessons you have learned as an artist?
RD: That everyone is a critic and that it is impossible to please everyone.
Phreedum: How does your work change the lives of others?
RD: Interior designers are unique because people LIVE in our visions. Think about it, every place you go into, you are experiencing interior design. Interior design affects every human being. We design for you. We have to ask ourselves things like, how will they enter the space, what is the first thing they see, when they turn a corner what is there, does the layout make sense. All of these questions ultimately affect you the user and how you feel.
Phreedum: What are some of the sacrifices artists make?
RD: Many of us may sacrifice the security of a steady paycheck. Most times, in an artistic field, you are paid by the job and what goes into making it happen. You have to present your vision, know what it is right for the client and make the idea(s) a reality. But the payoff is great when you can see what was initially in your head come to life. That is the reward and what makes it all worthwhile.
Phreedum: What would you consider your greatest resource?
RD: My greatest resource is other artists. While in school I was a part of a creative center where we bounced ideas off of one another and traded knowledge. It really doesn’t get any better. Everyone has something valuable to add to the pot.
Phreedum: How have family and friends shown their support?
RD: OMG! When I decided to go back to school full time I was 37! My family was behind me 100% and excited every step of the way on my journey. My mom has been a constant source of encouragement and my husband not only held down the forte financially for the past four years, he has always built me back up when I thought I could not be pushed much further. I love them!
Phreedum: What one piece of advice do you hold on to as you continue to pursue your work as an interior designer?
RD: Don’t be afraid to be different or do things differently. Do what feels right for you! I trust my instincts and even if they go against the norm I present them anyway. You might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
Phreedum: What do you think people just don't get about the work you do?
RD: Another OMG! Interior decorating and interior design can be intrinsic but the distinct difference is an interior designer plans the layout of a space. We decide were walls, stairs, kitchens, bathrooms, etc, and special structural features of a space will go. And while we also help select color schemes, furnishings, materials, fabrics and accessories, the interior designer’s main goal is really your interior architecture.
Phreedum: Are there are other art forms you enjoy? If so what are they?
RD: Most of the interior designers’ presentations are graphically driven. We spend a lot of time designing sheets that utilize applications such as Photoshop or Illustrator to stimulate our vision. Learning these programs has given me a deep appreciation for graphic design. I also love Illustration especially for children as well as 3D artwork and textiles
Phreedum: What advice would you give to other designers? 
RD: Don’t be afraid to express yourself and have fun doing it. Show who you are through your designs. That’s what makes art and design fun and always evolving. 

Phreedum: What interior designer(s) would you hope to be like?
RD: Although my degree is in Interior Design, our curriculum was very architectural so I tend to be a fan of architects especially old classics like Frank Lloyd Wright. I also love the work of Adam Kalkin whose Bunny Lane House inspired my thesis. That house is my favorite house ever! But as far as interior aesthetics, I would love to be the female Miles Redd!! He has a classic style that is always punctuated with fun, unexpected twists. 

Phreedum: What are your favorite types of spaces to design/decorate? 
RD: I had a great time designing the supper club for my thesis but I think professionally I would like to work on residential projects. I like doing kitchens, baths and bedrooms. And right now with it being summer, I’m really enjoying learning about creating outdoor rooms and hope to start on my own backyard soon.

Phreedum: What can we expect to see from you in the next 5 years? 
RD: I’d like to be running my own successful design firm. That is the ultimate goal, so look out for me.

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