Designer Spotlight – Cheryl Sweeney
Loaded question…All over! (Laughs) I was born in Illinois, lived in England, moved to Pennsylvania, Arizona, New York, Los Angeles, had a brief stint in North Carolina for a few years, then I hired a recruiter and ended up in West Palm Beach, Florida with Decorators Unlimited!
How did you get started in interior design?
When I was about five years old! As soon as I could draw floor plans of my bedroom, I’d make to-scale plans and cut up little furniture pieces and move them around…it’s honestly, the only thing I’ve wanted to do in my entire life.
I went to Arizona State for a couple of years. They have a good design school, but Arizona 20 years ago was not a very design-centric place, so I decided to go where the center of design is. I picked up and moved to New York, and that’s when I attended the New York School of Interior Design.
Where did your love for design come from?
It’s so funny because it’s always been there for literally as long as I can remember. I don’t know if it’s because I wanted to make my house look better growing up. (Laughs) My father is very artistic, but I just feel like I was just born with it. I love to make beautiful spaces. I was a makeup artist while putting myself through school. I like to make both homes and people beautiful!
How long have you been a part of the DU team?
I came to Florida in 2017, and I’ve been a part of the Decorators Unlimited team for about two and a half years. I moved here not knowing a single thing about the area or anyone who lived here. I set foot for the first time in Palm Beach Gardens when I came to interview for a position at this design firm.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned since being at The Decorators Unlimited?
I think being at Decorators Unlimited has improved my time management skills. I’ve never had to juggle as many projects at one time, so you definitely need to stay organized, and find a system that works for you. It may not be the most glamorous attribute, but in this business, you need to have very good time management and organizational skills. It’s paramount in order to be a successful designer.
Where do you gain inspiration from?
Oh, everywhere! Other fellow designers, designers that I follow on Instagram, trade shows, blogs that I receive via emails. I love seeing what other people put together and their different styles. I think my biggest inspiration comes from travelling; whether it’s a cool hotel or new restaurant; I try to find inspiration wherever I am! I just try to keep things fresh and new. It’s easy to repeat the same design, but it’s exciting when you get to design outside the box.
What style do you tend to lean towards?
I tend to lean more to the transitional or soft contemporary side with pops of color throughout my designs. I really try to design a unique space for each client, but still have my signature touch in each. I’m not into the super modern aesthetic, as I feel it’s very cold and not” livable”. I like to create spaces that are warm and inviting.
What advice do you give your clients when you are working with them?
TRUST ME! (laughs)
Honestly, some clients are very trusting and open to ideas and suggestions, and then you have other ones that like to do a lot of research and shopping on their own. I sometimes have to remind them to sit back and relax and let me do my job. Know that it’s all coming together and that they hired me for a reason. It’s all about gaining trust with my clients, and having a good relationship with them. This allows me some flexibility to select certain pieces that I know will really “make” the space complete and pulled together. Let it be, and it will all come together beautifully in the end!
What is your favorite project you ever worked on here at DU?
My very first new construction project, which is located locally here in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. We demoed the existing house and built a new house from the ground up. It was my baby because I designed every single detail from top to bottom in that house -inside and out. it was a very fulfilling project! The clients were beyond happy with the end result once we did the final install. A client’s reaction to seeing everything finalized and installed is one of my favorite things. They are finally able to see how beautiful everything is when it all comes together.
If you designed your dream home, what is one thing you would need to have in it?
A huge, walk-in closet!! A very well-designed walk-in closet!
When you are not designing, what are you doing?
Working out at the gym. (Laughs) I live in the gym, that’s my second job! I compete in bodybuilding, and have been competing for about six years, so that’s what fills a lot of my free time.
Published By: Caitlin Kader