By Marissa Lada
August 31, 2017
Hello, B&V Blog Readers!
I’m Marissa, a member of the interiors team here at Board & Vellum. I’m so grateful to be working at this amazing firm with all these unique and talented people! Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, it truly is a dream come true to be now living in Seattle and to be a part of such an exceptional company.
My introduction to interior design began early in my childhood. Growing up, I would spend hours, even days, with my best friend creating homes for our stuffed animals and dolls. It was actually more enjoyable setting up “the scene” for our toys than it was sometimes getting into the “acting” part of our playtime. As I became a tween, instead of flipping through the latest GL or Teen People magazine like many girls my age were doing, I was perusing and ogling the spreads in the latest IKEA catalog or PB Teen.
Growing up in a creative environment, I always knew I wanted to have a career that allowed me to express this, though I didn’t know what that was at the time. I had no idea interior design was even a job until I took an elective class in high school. It was at that point that I knew I’d found my calling. I started working at my local Pottery Barn on the weekends as a Sales Associate to gain some exposure into the world of interiors.
After high school, I enrolled right away in the interiors program at William Rainey Harper College in Illinois, where I completed my Associate’s in Interior Design and received a certificate in Perspectives & Renderings. Upon completing my Associate's degree, I transferred straight away to Illinois State University, where I finished up my Bachelor’s in Interior and Environmental Design. Since then, I’ve gained a variety of experiences at different firms, ranging from corporate office design to model homes.
The evolution of myself as a designer has gone through multiple stages, all of which gave me a deeper appreciation for my passion in design.
My path took an unexpected turn after college, where I experienced a lull in the job market and returned to Pottery Barn, working part-time as a Design Specialist. To fill my time, I applied for another job that pertained to another passion/interest of mine, the metaphysical. I worked as a Sales Associate at a crystal/rock shop that dealt with alternative healing modalities. It was through working there that I gained a better understanding of energy and holistic health, which I incorporated into my love of design.
For me, interior design is another branch of holistic health. We spend 90% of our time indoors, and the way our space impacts us is directly related to our health and wellness. Great design is not only beautiful, but functional as well, and a harmonious design can improve our quality of life.
I’ve also found another overlap in passions... my love of nature. Fascinated by the emotional reactions one gets by overlooking a vista, or when cocooned by a grove of evergreens, I discovered how the natural world plays its part in design and architecture. This led to my interest in sustainable design, and the innovation and symbiotic relationship associated with it.
With all of these interests mixing together, there was one missing ingredient: my location. While the Midwest and Chicago had been my home all my life, I knew I needed to live in a place that encompassed more of my interests and ideals. It was during a road trip in the summer of 2014 when I first discovered the gorgeous and magnificent city of Seattle. While this leg of our family vacation only lasted a day, one day was all it took for me to know this was where I wanted to start the next chapter of my life. The opportunity to move here presented itself in the fall of 2016, and it’s safe to say that Seattle is the place for me!
Since moving here, I’ve been quite taken with all that Seattle and the Pacific Northwest has to offer! When outside the office, I’ve enjoyed hiking and exploring the natural beauty of the area, practicing yoga, searching for the perfect crystal to add to my growing rock collection, experimenting and broadening my culinary skills, being creative through my watercolor art and photography, and working on my blog, Honey Lune Hivery (can’t you tell I’m a writer?). Plus, I'm eager to start writing for the B&V Blog, so keep an eye out for more!