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Most of us can remember our childhood homes. We might not remember every detail, but certain colors, rooms and pieces of furniture stick in our minds. From the time we’re born, spaces hold our most important memories — and interior designers like Nicole Roe help make those spaces memorable. 

Although Nicole wasn’t always focused on interior design, it was always her calling. From an early age, Nicole was interested in all things design.

 “I was the child that would pick paint colors based on my current mood, paint and repaint as often as my parents would allow,” she remembers. “Growing up, I had a friend’s dad that was a custom home builder, and I always loved tagging along and seeing the progress. Construction drawings were mesmerizing. I loved figuring out what they all meant and really visualizing the completed space.”

This interest in construction compelled Nicole to major in Building Construction at Georgia Tech, where she first learned about interior design. While in school, Nicole interned for a luxury multi-use developer in Atlanta and witnessed what life as a designer looked like.

NOT QUITE NAUTICAL: French oak wood flooring provides a neutral base for this soothing design. Moody blue wallpaper and blue fabric add a pop of color against neutral fabrics, while medium chip terrazzo with a pink base allows the colorful variety of glass tiles to shine. Photo by Jordan Randall.

 “The attention to detail, the organization and the end result were stunning. I knew that it would be the path I would someday take,” she says. “I continued my Building Construction degree and took every design, art and structures class I could take and dove into design books and classes in my free time.”

After graduation, Nicole moved to Lakeland, Florida, with her husband. She kept a few jobs in the construction industry, but it didn’t last long — as Nicole still had an itch to design.

Nicole and her assistant Bo at a recent renovation of a relaxing primary bath in Winter Haven.

“I briefly worked for my in-laws citrus packing house after I had my first child, and rather quickly turned my position into renovating their office,” Nicole recalls. “That was the sign I needed to know that I was still deeply drawn to interiors.” 

This small step led to small projects for friends and family, which “almost overnight” developed into full service, high-end commercial retail projects. Now, Nicole provides residential, commercial and new-build design services.

“When you are a creative, it doesn’t matter the phase of life you are in: you must create. Add in entrepreneur blood, and you can’t stay still for long.”

Crafting a beautiful, cohesive space is an in-depth process—and it all begins with a consultation. 

Nicole takes two hours with her clients to view the space and discuss goals, floor plans, colors, lighting, scale, and function. The company also offers DIY consultations, which help homeowners who may not have the financial means to hire for the entire project gain confidence and knowledge. After the consultation, the creative process begins.

TIGER SPLATTER: Wallpaper from Jungalow serves as the base of this bright, fun design. Walnut wood and deep turquoise grasscloth are layered with dyed fabric and yarn from Four Purls in Winter Haven. Bold trims, metallic accents and an original painting from local artist Blair Updike pull this adventurous look together. Photo by Jordan Randall

“Every design must have a starting ‘this is it’ item,” Nicole explains.  “It could be a rug, a piece or art or wallpaper–but something everyone gets excited about. There will be stacks of fabrics, tiles and wallpaper and then it clicks and everything else falls into place.”

TIGER SPLATTER

“Scale may be the most important [objective.] Too often people stay too small, and, even with great finishes, the space will fall flat.”

Every space has a unique purpose, and therefore a unique objective. At the top of the list: function

“The design has to function with the client’s daily life and the purpose of the room—and the vibe is very important to us,” Nicole says. “How does one want to feel when they walk in? How do they want their guests to feel? Do they use the space at night or during the day? [For example,] my home office was designed to be used at night: deep moody blues, heavy velvet drapery and layered lighting allow me to settle in, light a candle and dive into designing.”

The elements of a room — color, furniture arrangement, decor — have a significant impact on the energy a space provides.

 “An elevated home improves one’s daily life, [while] elevated commercial spaces bring joy and excitement to staff, guests and clients,” Nicole says. “We want to create spaces that you can’t stop thinking about. The best compliment is when a client throws a party after we have finished their project — [when] they want to show it off and share it with their friends.” 

“Interior Design affects all the senses when done well. It gives the owner of the space a sense of purpose and something to be proud of.”

For those looking to upgrade their space in a simpler way, Nicole has a few suggestions. 

GEOMETRIC GREEN: Rich brown leather wallpaper is the base of this dramatic combination. A metallic, geometric wallpaper against the moody forest mural serves a striking juxtaposition of styles. Dark wood, textured fabrics and painted brick tie the patterns together. Silver mop shell alongside a brass finger pull elevates the look. Photo by Jordan Randall.

“If you were going to do one thing to your space, I would say update your light fixtures,” she recommends. “This simple swap can change the vibe of the entire room, especially in bathrooms. Paint is the obvious second choice, followed up with art. Our first choice is always something handmade and can include vintage finds, but getting [any] art on the walls will make a space feel elevated.”

It’s clear that Nicole has a passion for many aspects of her job — but more than anything, she loves the process of working with her clients. The main goal of interior design, after all, is to help people.  

“I love working with the contractors and the trades, troubleshooting issues, agreeing on creative solutions and seeing our designs evolve into a completed project,” she says. “We love seeing the impact our projects have on our clients’ lives.”

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