Interior Designer, Founder and CEO of Design for a Living, Design Coach and Mentor
"I know that interior design can be like an addiction"
I can't drive past a great looking home decor or furniture store without going in to see what's new. I struggle to make it through grocery store check-out lines without buying the latest design magazine. When I walk through a fabric store, my heart beats faster, my step quickens, and I need to touch every fabric.
I think I've always been this way, but it took me awhile to realize how I could turn that passion into a career.
Hi, I'm Chelsea Coryell
I graduated in 1992 from Western Washington University with a degree in Interior Design and Merchandising and I've been working in facets of the design business ever since.
I've lost count of how many homes I've worked on over the years, but I know it's in the hundreds.
I've learned that each project presented me with new and valuable lessons to be learned, and I pray that I never stop learning.
When I was just starting out I went to work for a large design studio in Seattle. I was the youngest designer they had ever hired, and I began to realize why; College had only taught me a fraction of what I needed to know in order to be a successful designer.
Luckily I was a quick learner and began earning awards and top rankings within our company. I was surrounded by seasoned professionals, and I studied these experienced decorators and designers who taught me
invaluable "tricks of the trade.
My life changed course when my oldest son was born. I thought I could go back to work like nothing had changed. I went back to work for only two hours when I had a revelation; I couldn't stand the thought of missing that first step or first word, and I realized that something needed to change. I had to have more freedom and I had to be able to work out of my house so I could be close to my family.
I made the decision to go out on my own and become an independent designer. It was the best and scariest decision I have ever made. My husband was in college at the time, we had a new car payment to make, and our family was dependent on my salary to pay the mortgage. I was terrified that I wouldn't know enough to go out on my own, but I quickly realized that I had nothing to worry about. I had everything I needed in order to create a thriving business of my own.
In the following years, I surrounded myself with talented and successful people from all aspects of design. Like that first firm I worked for, I absorbed information, tips, and advice from powerful businessmen, skilled craftsmen, and most importantly, wonderful decorators and designers. I had gained a skill set that allowed me to have the freedom I needed. Best of all, I was making more money than I had ever made working for someone else!
That seems like a life time ago. Since then I've worked all over the county as a designer and a coach. While in Texas, I was honored to be chosen as the lead designer for the Home Expo Design Showhouse.
I appeared on an ABC affiliate Morning Show to discuss our "Green" themed home and promote toxic free and environmentally sound building practices. My work has been published in numerous newspapers, as well as being the cover article in a special Home Section publication featuring my home and design work.
These first accomplishments opened doors for lectures, management opportunities, and coaching that continues today.
My true passion has been managing large design teams, as well as doing one-on-one mentoring with individual designers and decorators. Some of my proteges have even gone on to work for celebrities and huge international design firms. I have also been an independent consultant to retail design store owners and helped them reach seven figure sales in their first year. I evaluate their teams, readjust them based on needs, and then train and coach them to success.
After all of my experiences in the design world, I truly believe that the most rewarding chapter in my life is yet to come.
Once again my life is changing course. I want to show designers that this is the greatest job in the world. It's simple to make a wonderful living as a designer. You get to enjoy the freedom to create your own schedule, work with wonderful families and enrich others lives with your design talent. Subscribe to my newsletter and learn how your passion for design can be turned into huge profits.
Design for a Living