Yesterday my youngest looked at me and asked “Is designing kind of like art?” Yes design is like art… you sweet creature. “Mommy did you like art when you were a kid?” I said "I loved art as a child and still do." But it took me a while to find my way back to art. Sadly, my early pursuit of design ended abruptly following a semester long struggle in an undergraduate Art History course. Instead I pursued criminal justice which is basically the opposite of art.
I certainly used my creative side as a crime victim advocate discussing personalized safety plans, trial strategies, anticipating systemic gaps, or exploring unique resources for under served communities. I was competent in crisis situations and at the time it fed my intellect. It also stole my heart. It took moving overseas and resigning from my long professional career to see the toll direct public service had wreaked on my light side. I am so happy to be back in the light.
My slow return to creativity began in 2013 with the renovation of our “new to us” but severely dated home. I loved planning, sourcing, hiring and project managing while still working as an advocate and raising three children under the age of five. My husband would joke “I’ve never seen anyone so engrossed in researching lighting.” I truly do enjoy lighting. Designing was intuitive, exciting, laborious, emotional, but never draining. In the end, our home came together better than my vision which is exactly what I strive for in all my designs.
Shortly after that home renovation we moved to Switzerland. Once again I sourced and designed our entire home while navigating a foreign language and new culture. This drastic move felt like the right time to reset and explore new career options. My plan was to find a path that would allow more flexibility and less stress than a career in justice. I wanted to do something I intuitively love which is interior design. As a linear thinker I fought the desire to dive into another long academic pursuit as I already held a BA and MS.
Therefore, I researched very specific interior design programs and picked one that fit into my life. I was terrified to submit my assignment on Art History. I had spent years in school and in all that time I never felt that nervous or excited to submit an assignment. I guess that’s how you know you are on the right path: excitement and fear intersect. I nailed the assignment which validated my future. Take that Art History!
We eventually returned to the US and I formed Zimmer Design. I chose the name Zimmer (which is the German word for room) as an homage to my Swiss transformation. That substantial move led me to living a more creative mindful life and Zimmer Design was born.