Spanish mediterranean chic interior design dining room, by LMB Interiors, Bay Area best interior designer, 2015 and 2018.

I’m often asked what drew me to interior design. The answer is simple: I love beauty, and I consider witnessing or implementing transformation for the better of any-kind — be it a home or a human — one of life’s greatest joys. Optimizing anything thrills me, and I am lucky to be in the position of being able to facilitate improving homes and lives through my work as an interior designer.

To be truly honest (with myself) and a little vulnerable (with you), I admit that my urge to create a transformative experience of home comes from a much deeper place. When I look back on what drew me to do this work, I can see the origin of my drive in my childhood.

As the family of an enlisted Navy man, we moved a lot. It always felt like we had barely settled into a new neighborhood before we had to move again. How I longed to put down roots. I didn’t mind the first couple of moves when I was very young, but these constant changes got old as I got older; I grieved deeply each time I had to leave my home, my friends, my town.

I can also see that my habit back then of decorating and redecorating my rooms, with new opportunities presenting themselves as we went from one house to the next, also planted the seed for my doing this work for others.

Cambria countertops Mosaic House tile custom painted cabinets
My color and design acuity were further honed by witnessing my mom’s failed attempts at color and design. Looking back, I can see how having a skilled, professional designer at her side would have benefitted her, if she could have afforded that luxury.

Even as a child I was so sensitive to color that once, when my mother painted our bathroom without consulting me on what shade of orange it should be — upon seeing the result, I burst into tears. (You should have seen the color; it was almost like a neon apricot. You would have cried, too!)

When my family finally settled down in one place after my dad retired from the military, I was in the 5th grade.

Award-winning Interior Design for Piedmont Historic Tudor Home by LMB Interiors, Oakland interior design firm
My parents were going to build this home from the ground, up. I was young, yet I still got to weigh in on the plan. My parents had witnessed enough of my enthusiasm with decorating my rooms over time that they also invited me to select some of the finishes.

During the building process, we lived in a mobile home on the property. I spent as much time on the construction site as I was allowed to, helping out where I could, sweeping up the sawdust.

I loved wandering through the rooms as they took shape and envisioning what it was going to be like when our family moved in.

But the property was large, and as lovely as the home was, it was in the woods. I wanted to be in a neighborhood. I longed for connection with other humans. Even today, while I feel that spending time in nature is the best salve for the soul, I still prefer living in community.

In recent years, as I have had the pleasure of working with many clients in Piedmont, I have experienced up close how beautifully this town and its people collectively exhibit tremendous civic pride, neighborliness, and warmth. I have been in dozens of Piedmont homes, and in each one I have noted an appreciation for quality, for family, for connection, for neighborliness.

It also touches me to see the multi-generational families here; many of our clients hire us when upon moving back to Piedmont to be close to their parents as they bring their own children into the world.

So, now that you know my history a bit more, you can understand why I adore Piedmont.

And why I adore designing homes, especially for people who strongly support their communities, who want to entertain, who are looking to create welcoming spaces for family and friends, and spaces that welcome them to come home to themselves. When we have beautiful sanctuaries that nourish our hearts and souls, we are resourced to live our best lives.

A version of this article appeared in the Piedmont Post