Monday, June 6, 2011

Good Shepherd Center Interview: Vanessa De Vargas

Good Shepherd Center Interview: Vanessa De Vargas

This is the second shelter project I have worked on with Vanessa and her dedication to giving back to the community can be seen in each one. I was very interested in finding out how she got involved with the Good Shepherd Center and what she is most looking forward to while coordinating her latest charitable endeavor.  

TP: How did you hear about the GS Design Project?  
VDV: Last year I project managed and participated as a designer on my first homeless shelter for Upward Bound House in Culver City. This year I wanted to give back again so I looked to Vanessa Kogevinas my business partner and dear friend to see if she could help me organize another project. Turns out she had a fantastic contact at Good Shepherd and the timing could have not have been more perfect to make this all work.

TP: Why did you choose to design a room?
VDV: Because of my experience of giving back and providing beautiful spaces for the last project, I realized that what I decorated was a vision I created for a family was based solely on my donations. For this project the room is for single woman. So I am exploring (again based on my donations) the type of resident that would live there. It could be someone 25 or 70? I also want to play with colors that I normally don't use and patterns that might seem unexpected together. So lets just say, there is going to be a lot going on.

TP: What do you think the biggest challenge of the project will be?
VDV: Time, nope. Donations, nope. Room size, nope. Its making the person staying in my room happy. That is why I am a designer I am hired to create happy and inviting spaces for clients. It’s my unknown client, who I HOPE will like it. And most importantly be happy.

TP: Do you have an inspirational photo for this project?
VDV: I have a fabric sample. And this it for now. Not sure how it’s going to be used. But I will find a fun way to use it. I am not a fan of orange. NOT AT ALL. But guess what I’m making an “orange” come back. Watch out.

TP: Why did you choose it?
VDV: I honestly chose it to challenge myself. I want to do use colors and patterns that are not familiar to me. I want to experiment. This is a project where I can take advantage of that.

TP: What are you most looking forward to with the project?
VDV: Working with everyone and laughing and having fun all the way through the process. I am so incredibly lucky to have all these talented designers as my friends too. Everyone is so willing to share, help and chip in. We are all there to work together and make this project one that we never forget. We will create memories and be rewarded in our own way of giving back.

TP: All the rooms at Good Shepherd are dorm size, what advice or tip do you have for someone decorating a space this small?
VDV: My advice is: I always tell people go with your gut, don't change your mind about things because you might be setting yourself up for possibly making bad choices. Small spaces can be creative too, so limit areas as you see fit like a dressing area (hang hooks, mirrors, add trays to a dresser), a work area (great lamp, holders for pens and files for organization), the bed area (a water pitcher, good lighting- a DIMMER, books and magazines, large comfy pillows). Make the room cozy and always make it reflect who you are.


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