In a sea of a million and one designers...what sets me apart from the rest?
How can I possibly describe my complex self in a short and sweet ‘About Me’ section?
I have such a story to tell, as my life has been pretty intense. Interesting. Outrageous. Fun. Exciting. Adventurous.
This one short paragraphs describes me well.
Are you up for learning about me? Here we go:
I was born and raised in a small, yet picturesque town called Lake Bled, Slovenia. This is a photo taken by my Dad who is an excellent photographer.
While I love my homeland, I needed to escape it after I had a traumatic and difficult adolescence.
Since I had always dreamed of living in America, my escape plan from Slovenia was straight to sunny Florida.
That was quite an adventure for a 19 year old. On a snowy, cold December storm in 1998, I flew from Slovenia to London, and later landed in a hot and humid Miami. I had the most amazing vacation ever. America was incredible - everything I ever thought it would be and more! I didn't want to leave, but it was time to go back. My friend and I were invited to one last party two days before we would fly back home. It was at this party that I met the man of my dreams!
(I thought these kind of things only happen in fairy tales and cheesy romance novels!)
Although Joe and I had a wonderful, amazing, and one-of-a-kind connection, I had to return home once my visa expired. I knew immediately that I would be back, soon. A few months later, I gathered a few of my belongings and said goodbye to my family and homeland for good. When I came back to Florida, I almost immediately moved in with in with the man I met only a few months before.
We married about three years later, and have been married 17 years now, and counting.
Over the last 20 years we lived in Florida, CT, and NYC.
I was a housewife. We traveled a lot. I have seen things I used to only see in movies. I had to pinch myself many times because my life was so exceptional. So happy. Full of love.
But with all the glitz and glamour, I was missing something. I needed to find myself and figure out who I am. What I want. What makes me ME.
My husband and I had so much fun together, and let me tell you, I truly feel like I was a Cinderella...I went from being very poor to living in the life of luxury.
I remember well not having money for food or basic clothes. My sister and I had to work during summers from a very early age so we could afford to buy books for school. I had to beg my biological father to buy us winter pants as we had outgrown them. I always wore hand me down clothes. My mom (who was a single parent) had to stitch and make clothes for us because we couldn't afford to buy anything new. Life was definitely hard.
I went from being a poor little girl with nothing to my name, to living the kind of life I used to fantasize about. I had traveled first class, stayed in presidential suites, mingled with the rich and famous, drove in limousines, shopped in designer stores, and truly lived an American dream. My husband was (and still is) in every way my prince charming.
But yet, I lacked something. I longed for more fulfillment.
I wanted to be a boss babe. Own my own money. Make my own way. Contribute financially to our family. Although I had worked for my husband’s companies and helped contribute with my skills, it wasn’t what I WANTED to do. I needed more work PASSION.
Being a creative soul, someone who had always loved interior design, I decided it was what I wanted to pursue. It’s what I knew would fill a void in my soul. After my 34th birthday, I went full force to fulfill my goals of becoming an interior designer.
I had never been much for school before that. In fact, I hated it and found it boring. I was always a total slacker, and barely made it through high school.
But once I set my goals of being a designer, I have aced every single test I have taken.
I actually had to start school from scratch, since my Slovenian education wasn’t recognized in America. I obtained my GED, went to college and obtained my AS in interior design. I also obtained a real estate broker’s license, as well as accreditation with LEED. Phew. That was a LOT of studying in just a few short years.
I now have a love for learning - and I am not afraid to ask a million questions. There is so much I still don’t know - and I want to learn all that I can, especially in my field.
I am a doer. I love getting my hands dirty on a remodeling job. I can do many tasks myself. I have learned how to install lights, replace receptacles and switches. I know how to install drywall, baseboards, laminate floors, how to frame for a new wall. If I can do it - I will do it, and do it well.
I am a perfectionist. I have OCD. It luckily does not interfere with my life much, but I need symmetry. Perfection. Precision. And when it comes to design….this is a good problem to have.
I am an unconventional designer. I love mixing high end and low end. I am a great bargain shopper, and I will stop at nothing to get the best deal for my client.
I believe that beautiful design does not have to cost a fortune. Growing up poor and having to work at a young age truly taught me the value of money. I believe that I can create magazine worthy interiors on a tight budget. Try me.
I have a good sixth sense. I have had excellent luck with knowing how to read people and hiring the perfect crew for my jobs. I trust my intuition.
I am relentless when it comes to design. Although I am an introvert and can be shy - when it comes to my work (design), I will stop at nothing to get what I want.
I trust my gut implicitly. Over the years I have learned that my heart and my gut will never lead me wrong. When it comes to design, my gut reactions are truly visceral. I trust my opinion and know when the design solution is right….and unless I feel this gut feel about a project, a selection, I will search until I get it right.
I am a mom to my two dogs. Although we tried to have children with the help of IVF, this wasn’t in the cards for our family. I am ok with that. I am very happy with having fur babies. They are our life and we’ll do anything for them. In fact, we joke sometimes that they live a better life than we do! They have at least 6 beds to lay in, spoiled little girls.
So this is ‘About Me’. There is so much more depth to me, but of course, who wants to read a novel? I am a spiritualist, a traditionalist with a twist, I love serenity and peace, and my design style reflects this well.
I am a lover, not a fighter.
I believe in me and my ability to design beautiful interiors.
I have grown to love who I am and accept my flaws.
I love learning about other people and I am always intrigued about other people’s life stories.
I am a terrible singer.
My family is my life and I will protect them with my life. (My family includes my dogs).
Sonja Capasso, LEED AP ID+C, Allied ASID