Brooke Schuldt is one of the lucky ones. She found her professional home before she even completed her Interior Design degree, interning with and then joining Selden’s Home Furnishings in Washington. That was 20 years ago! Today, Brooke is a senior designer, accepting new business and also engaged with “clients for life.” Get a pro’s advice on the secrets to design success in today’s blog.
CHADDOCK: When did you first know you wanted to be an interior designer?
BROOKE: I was really very young. I can remember looking at House Beautiful as a child and feeling that spark of inspiration. I didn’t know about careers in design – that came later – but I was drawn to the wonderful environments.
CHADDOCK: Have you had a mentor in your life – past or present?
BROOKE: My mom is very creative. We had our own “house beautiful.” On a professional level, I have to credit my first Selden’s manager, Warren Echternkamp. Warren really guided my professional growth. He’s still in my life. Warren is the Chaddock sales rep in the Pacific Northwest. Small world!
CHADDOCK: You’ve been designing for over twenty years. Have today’s clients changed?
BROOKE: I’m happy to say that I have clients for life. Yes, clients, design, and styles change over time, and I’ve been part of that process with many. Take my client Teresa, for example. We did our first project 20 years ago, and we have been through a number of houses in Seattle, and more recently Arizona. I’ve also helped Teresa’s mom, two sisters and a few best friends! “Clients for life” is about design relationships over time.
CHADDOCK: What do you like best about the Chaddock lineup?
BROOKE: There are many great designs, and I trust Chaddock quality, but I have to say Chaddock’s amazing custom options make the line a go-to for me – the fabrics, and most especially all the finishes. When you change the finish, the whole look of a piece changes. This is so creatively empowering for a designer.
CHADDOCK: Tell us about your favorite room in your own home?
BROOKE: You’ll have to call be back next year! We just bought a house and are getting ready to rip it down. I’m very excited about plans for my great room/kitchen area, however.
CHADDOCK: Is there a piece of Chaddock you’d love to have in your own home?
BROOKE: I love the Catalina upholstery series – and it may make an appearance in my great room. With all the options, it’s never the same sofa twice. I also love what I call Chaddock jewelry pieces. These can be larger statement pieces, or even scaled-down accent pieces. Interesting detail and workmanship set them apart, and elevate a room.
CHADDOCK: As a creative person, can you tell us what’s up and coming Do you see any design, color or fabric trends about to take off?
BROOKE: I’ll be happy to see gray cycle out at some point, but it’s still popular in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe it’s the climate! I do see blues on the rise – all hues – I love the dash of color.
CHADDOCK: You’re a pro. Can you share what advice you might offer to a young designer at the very beginning of his or her career?
BROOKE: I’ll credit this interview with inspiring my answer! I would encourage designers just starting out to find a mentor. It was a happy accident for me – finding someone to show me the ropes and help shape me as a professional. A great mentor can help you learn how to engage with clients and demonstrate your value as a designer. Creativity, training and the guidance of a mentor are the ticket for beginning designers!