Design Your Own Life

By: Berkeley College Alumna Lauren DiGenova, Interior Design

As we stopped, yet again, to pick up a piece of furniture from someone’s front lawn that was destined for garbage, I thought to myself, “Here we go again Mom.” Little did I know these frequent antique hunting excursions were where it all began for me; picking up another man’s trash to create my treasure. I grew up watching my mother and grandmother collect antiques of all eras; this taught me to appreciate the details and history behind each piece. As I got older I started rearranging furniture constantly, begged to paint my room a different color every two years, and most importantly started to enjoy our curbside pickups. When it was time for college I did not realize that this passion for interiors and furniture was something I could make a life out of, and continued on a different path. Three years into a different major later, a light bulb went off, and I asked myself “Why am I not doing what I know I love?” That is when I found Berkeley College, and the Interior Design Program. I chose to move forward to get my BFA in interior design and I have never looked back.

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The first day of the beginning came, I remember sitting down in Professor Fong’s drafting class and thinking, “I don’t know any of this, what did I get myself in to?” By the end of the class I walked out with my head held high and ready for what was to come. From that very first day, I have grown as an interior designer and a person. My professors gave me their all; they made sure that not only did I understand what I was doing, but also why it had to be done in that way. The various projects and presentations that I created throughout my time in the interior design program primed me for what to expect for the road ahead after graduation. These presentations to our professors and peers were the most exhilarating and nerve-racking experiences; I was able to showcase my thoughts, feelings, and creativity through design. I took every word of my professors’ reviews about my project presentations home with me, and constantly evaluated what I could have done differently and how to apply that for my next project. Because they truly wanted to see me grow as a designer I took not one word for granted.

a4227a15-0a4b-44ae-a076-4bb0cea9e00cDuring my time at Berkeley College I created an LLC for LRD Design Studio; knowing that one day I would take all the knowledge that was given to me to create my own journey. It has now been almost two years since graduation and I am the proud owner and principal designer of LRD Design Studio. To this day while creating designs for my clients, I still hear the voice of Professor Torino telling me to edit, refine, and minimize. He taught me that sometimes we need to take a step back from our designs and truly understand them again, to stay on the path that our concept is taking us, and to always be true to that concept. I can say, without a doubt, that Berkeley College along with my professors gave me the opportunity to create my own life’s design. Who knew that picking up curbside toss a ways would one day lead me to Berkeley College, and owning my interior design company.

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