We’re all friends here, right? Which means that it’s a safe place to confess that I am SUCH a nosey neighbor. I sneak glimpses into every room I pass, I look on the bottom of soap dishes to see who made them. I ask about every last detail I see and I can’t wait to hear the story behind each and every piece. Which is why when we spotted Nicole’s home –  photographed to stunning perfection by Ashlee Raubach –  well, the nosiness was literally boiling over. Thankfully, Nicole graciously obliged and ponied up all of her inspiration and design secrets. Scroll down to read + click here to see even more.

SMP: How did you get started in the interior design industry?
Nicole: I have always had a love for design and the arts. I grew up going to construction sites and model homes with my dad every weekend. I think it is there my love for interiors started. I went to school for visual design but took a two year break out of state. I landed a job through my good friend at a small interior design firm. Aside from working as an assistant in a design studio, this was my first associate designer work with interiors. I learned a lot about client relationships, fine tuned my drawing skills, and about the business in general. From there I was able to go off on my own and start into designing spaces for my own clients.

SMP: What was your jumping off point for this project?
Nicole: This project is my home. My family of three, at the time, was moving into our space and it was so important to me to make it feel like our own, to be a true reflection of us.

SMP: From where do you typically draw inspiration?
Nicole: Everywhere! I am constantly finding myself taking in spaces, colors, textures, and the feel of my surroundings. I am also incredibly inspired by creative people, fashion, movies, arts and of course images from beautifully curated magazines and blogs!

SMP: What was the biggest design challenge in your home? How did you overcome it?
Nicole: Definitely the budget! Which was pretty much non-existent. That design challenge made me slow down, work hard on giving old pieces a new life, and really focusing on the select pieces that I did get to splurge on. This challenge made me push myself creatively – it was key to be innovative and smart.

SMP: Your favorite room in your home?
Nicole: That is a hard one. My favorite piece in my home is the dining table. My first splurge that, well, made me feel like a woman! Ha! I had never spent that much on a piece of furniture before, and I am still just as in love today! I had to use old dining chairs I had. I found fabric, monogrammed it, and created slipcovers to update them and loved how it all turned out.

SMP: If you had to predict the next design trend, what would it be?
Nicole: Right now I’m loving high gloss floors with dark painted walls. I love a good glossy lacquered look! I would love to see more of that.

SMP: Your favourite colour?
Nicole: I usually get a laugh when I answer white! I really am a girl who loves white, black, grey. But a bold deep green gets me every time.

SMP: One design rule you always abide by?
Nicole: It has to be reflective of the client. I don’t worry about following specific design rules, but I always want a space to be genuinely reflective of my client!

SMP: Any tips for young designers just starting out?
Nicole: Start a blog, don’t be afraid, take a few jobs for little or no pay to build confidence, and be true to your aesthetic. I love the saying, “Never let your fear determine your fate“ and often have to remind myself of it! We are our toughest critics, and I sometimes let my fear of putting myself out there get the best of me. Nelson Mandela said it best, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

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Interior Design: Nicole Davis | Photography: Ashlee Raubach