Interior Design holds its own in today's business climate

Interior Design holds its own in today's business climate

Image: Fairfield University In a business climate where "non-essentials" are being cast aside, the field of interior design is proving its mettle with the wide range of business and community interests it serves. Robert A. Hardy ASID, director of the Interior Design Certificate Programs at Fairfield University, sees it time and again, he says, in the graduates of the program who are making significant contributions in business and in their communities.

Several have found outlets for their talents as they combine their interior design expertise with careers in real estate, work with architects to design homes and offices or find success by establishing their own businesses.

Hardy says it all begins with the high caliber and passion of the students, " most of whom already have undergraduate degrees but are here because they want to make a career change and they are intent on pursuing an area of study about which they care deeply."

Sue Quinn had a bachelor's degree in psychology from Cornell and a master's from Rutgers when she entered the Interior Design program, a time she calls "one of the most demanding and exhilarating periods of my life." Today she drafts construction and floor plans both by hand and through computer aided design and determines everything from a lighting and electrical plan to color schemes while working with contractors and homeowners.

Faced with the prospect of starting a whole new career after her company was down-sized, Jeryl Caliern said she decided to pursue her dream and passion through Fairfield's interior design program. In a short period of time, she had gained entrance into the design community and now has her own business, Jc Design LLC in Fairfield.

Patty Tomasetti wondered how her husband, an architect with his own business, Tomasetti Architects in Wilton, would react to her pursuing studies in interior design. She was thrilled when his enthusiasm for the program soon matched her own and today Patty is part of his team, helping clients early in the process with a full range of interior design services. At the same time, Patty enjoys working with her own clients on everything from small design problems to major interior design projects.

Ginny Moffitt, who already is a professional member of ASID, displayed her talent early on when she took up Hardy's in-class challenge to design the fa├žade of a new Manhattan building and her design was selected and executed. As a realtor with The Riverside Realty Group, she uses her gifts for interior design and home staging to make properties more appealing. Through her own firm, G. Moffitt Interiors LLC, she helps clients select and plan for furnishings, installations and other embellishments.

Gilles Clement, a native of Paris, France, who had success in the music business but was looking for another way to express his creativity, has created great enthusiasm with his own store, "House of Clement," which he opened at 181 Main Street in Westport in February. The clean lines, fine furniture and luxurious accessories, accented with bold colors, have drawn rave reviews.

Carey Dougherty, inspired by an HGTV show that focused on designing space for deserving people, developed a plan for a non-profit organization, called Her Haven, that performs volunteer design services for deserving and inspiring women in the community.

Hardy could not be more pleased with the impact his programs are having. The Interior Design Program at Fairfield has been his passion for more than 30 years. He applauds the highly credentialed faculty he has assembled and says the personal attention they give to each student has contributed greatly to the program's success. Several are members of the American Society of Interior Designers, including those certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications. But he also credits the students themselves. "They are the most illustrious students and they have been very supportive and integral to developing our program's reputation."

For more information about the Professional and Residential Certificates in Interior Design please contact Sandy Richardson, program coordinator, at (203) 254-4000 ext. 2911 or .

Posted On: 07-20-2011 11:07 AM

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