As a girl growing up in central Connecticut my dream was to live in New York City. After high school, I began my studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Though only three hours away from where I grew up, I felt like I was in a different universe. In New York, inspiration was everywhere, and for the first time in my life I was where I wanted to be. In my time at F.I.T., I had teachers that were leaders and icons in their fields, however it was my peers who left the greatest impression on me. Their fearless approach to design and fierce sense of individuality were an inspiration and helped me to gain confidence in my own design instincts.
After F.I.T., I was further able to develop these instincts by moving to northern California to work in a small theater, where I learned all aspects of theater production, everything from set and costume design to lighting and acoustics. In Los Angeles I continued my experience in the arts by working on film sets, and from there I moved back to New York to work with Emmy award-winning producers in television and documentaries. This background helped inform and lay the foundation for my career in interior design by showing me how all art, whether manifested via fashion, theater, music, photography or film, overlap and influence each other.
In 2007, I embarked on a gut renovation of my first apartment. It was equal parts thrilling and maddening and when it was done I found that though it was the end of the project, for me it was a beginning: the design bug was back. Confirming this was the fact that my friends, after having seen what I had accomplished with my apartment, began to ask for my help with their own renovations. I found that I relished the shopping trips to pick out furniture, fabrics, wallpaper and artwork, but more importantly I discovered that helping people to make their homes a place of balance and beauty was something I felt passionate about. That’s when I knew that what I wanted in my life had changed. Not only was it the start of my career in interior design, it became the beginning of Christine Livingston Home.
Designing a home is an exploration, one that necessitates an open dialogue with the client so that the designer can get to the source of what is most needed. Often when I first meet with a client, they express anxiety about their upcoming project. They say they know nothing about design, or they are distressed about making the ‘right’ decision. The truth is that there is no one right decision, and all they need to know about design is how they feel upon entering a room because this first impression is the very foundation of interior design. For example, if I have created a place for a client that is beautiful yet intimidating, then I have failed them as a designer. Clients are often surprised at how quickly their home can adapt to them. After all, a well thought out interior should cater to the needs and lifestyle of the individuals living there and not the other way around.
Ultimately interior design is an evolving process, and by keeping in mind a client’s goals as well as budget, a good designer can seamlessly weave together the most important aspects of their client’s desires, resulting in the creation of a beautiful and comfortable home of their own.
BEFORE & AFTER
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