Today we’d like to introduce you to Nadia Gordon.
Nadia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It has been a long road to the world of interior design for me. I was born and raised in Ukraine and although I always knew that I wanted to be able to express myself creatively in my professional life, I had no idea how to get there. I was aware that I perceived spaces differently from my friends. I often imagined what a certain interior could become and always noticed the positive impact a well put together place would have on me. I remember that as a child I had to have a say in the way my room was laid-out and decorated. I would often move the furniture around into new layouts and found different ways to decorate my bookshelves and make my own wall decor. Because our financial situation was a bit tough when I was growing up, I had to be creative to do more with less and was often amazed how far it would sometimes take me. Still, at that time and place I never imagined that designing spaces could become my career one day. Back then very few people in Ukraine thought twice about how their homes were designed, one just had to have the necessary things – whatever could be afforded – the rest was for the few prosperous ones. There was no demand, and I knew that becoming successful in something like interior design would have been very difficult if not impossible. I eventually ended up with a degree in contrastive linguistics – I was set to become a translator. I have always found it fascinating how some people could speak several languages — I imagined it would give me an opportunity to travel and see the world.
Surprisingly as soon as I graduated I got a chance to move to the United States. The transition was far from easy – the language, the way of life, the complete culture shock had made me feel so out of place sometimes that I often contemplated going back home. This transition had made me forget about my dreams and aspirations of what I wanted to be, of what I wanted to do. After a few years of acclimation, and too many jobs that had made me feel miserable, I knew it was time for a change — I had finally decided to pursue my dream. I enrolled in an interior design program, and three years later walked out of that school a new person — with a master’s degree in my hand and full of hope! The training I received was way more demanding I could have ever imagined, but it was also so inspiring. It was not that we were just taught how to decorate spaces, or coordinate color palettes with textures and materials, it was about sustainability in design, about creating spaces that served their function in the best possible way, it was about making people happier. Soon after graduation I started working as an independent interior designer. There was a lot of doubting myself in the process, but with each completed project, and each grateful client in the end – I grew more and more confident in my abilities to transform spaces in a way that was unique but also aligned with my clients’ vision and taste.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely not a smooth road – it was quite bumpy at first. School training was very intense at times and I had to balance it with my job (I worked as an insurance rep at the time). I also remember being somewhat lost right after graduation. That feeling of an accomplishment was overshadowed by fear of being completely on my own. Then, it being a full career change for me, made me feel like I was in a rush to get somewhere, to get ANYWHERE fast. That realization of playing a catch up game was very stressful. I was aware that apart from a degree I had to have experience, but I was not sure how to get that useful kind of experience (not just on paper) in a short time frame. I contemplated applying to some entry level positions at large interior design companies, but I was afraid that I would spend years in the back of their office drafting floor plans before anyone would expose me to the real deal. It reminded me of days when I was so unhappy at work and I did not want to have it happen to me again. Eventually I got an opportunity to test my skills on my own. I was scared and ecstatic at the same time — my only hope was to make as little mistakes in the process as possible. I was blessed with an amazing first client that was aware of my lack of experience. They were willing to trust my judgement and listened to my ideas. Aside from some unexpected delays, the project was a complete success in the end. Not only it gave me confidence, I have learned so much in the process – it was just unbelievable! It was better than any classroom training I could’ve ever imagined. As soon as I had the project featured in my portfolio, I was amazed to find out that more clients were lining up to seek my help. The more I worked, the more I learned. The more I learned – the more I loved it!
Nadia Gordon Designs – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We mostly work with residential clients, however we have had a few small scale commercial projects in the past. No job is too small for us though. Weather it is helping with just decorative touches in your living room, or a complete gut renovation of your home, we are there for you!
I think what our clients appreciate most about us is our flexibility and guidance when it comes to sourcing products for them. We always give our clients a wide range of options to choose from. We will make sure that they make an informed decision whether we shop at the high end designer showrooms, or look for best possible deals at discount stores online. We are always respectful of our clients’ budget and we are there to advocate for them. There are things worth splurging on, but not everything has to be high-priced for you to get a well-balanced, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing interior as a result.
Our latest feature became Online Interior Design service that now enables us to work nationwide. We now design spaces for an affordable flat rate fee per room or entire residence/facility entirely online. It is a new way of thinking – not suitable for all, but it is right for someone who wants their space have a professionally designed look without the higher price tag. It is also convenient for someone who is willing to save time on one-on-one meetings with the designer and work completely online at comfortable for them time and pace. It involves concept boards, layouts, furniture and decor specifications and sourcing information to all finalized pieces in the end.
Is there anything you would go back and do differently?
Not much actually. My only regret is that it took me this long to finally turn that corner in my life and finally give in to my passion. I rarely feel like what I do is work – I enjoy it so much!
- Website: www.nadiagordon-designs.com
- Phone: 773-420 9901
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nadia.gordon.designs
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nadia.gordon.designs
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/nadia-gordon-designs-chicago