Chelsea Alvarez is one of the newest members of the team at JAI. Chelsea is an incredibly talented designer who holds a BFA in Interior Design from IADT in Tampa, Fl. Chelsea is passionate about chasing ‘that certain feeling’ a masterfully-designed space can evoke and looks for purpose in every detail.

Here’s a look through The Glass Wall into the design mind of Chelsea:

When did you know you wanted to be an interior designer?

As I was growing up, I felt like the universe was giving me signals to be an interior designer. I would always rearrange my room or pick a new theme every three months. It would drive my parents crazy! It wasn’t until my first year in college that I realized I could have a career as an interior designer.

I had been studying marketing and advertising and unsure of where I wanted to go in life. My mom offered to take me on a tour of IADT (International Academy of Design and Technology). I saw the student projects and was very inspired. That’s when I realized the design industry was way more than decorating. I applied for IADT, was accepted, and graduated with a BFA in Interior Design.

What projects have you worked on at JAI that make you feel proud?

Every project I have worked on has been significant, but I am very proud of the current project I am working on for JAI. This project is a Courtyard by Marriott located in beautiful Miami, Florida. I am most excited about this project because it allows me to start from the very beginning and be my most creative self. It was initially supposed to be a renovation project, but the hotel had become severely damaged in the hurricane so now it is mostly a new construction project!

What are the most important things to remember in your work?

It is so important to proof your work, no matter the size of the task. Asking someone to review your work before you submit it allows for any mistakes to be fixed. It also allows a fresh perspective on the art. There are so many details that go into a project, so having a few eyes on it can be very helpful!

What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned in your profession?

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is always to ask questions. Especially, in my case being relatively new to the industry, I have tons of questions, and I still make sure to ask them. You’ll never know the right answer until you ask about it, and you will feel more confident once you do!

Which architect or designer has inspired you the most?

This answer may sound cliche, but Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper inspires me. She always looks for ways to incorporate the history and original structure of the house into the interior design rather than letting it go to waste. I share the same appreciation towards historic buildings as she does.

Is there an industry outside of your field that inspires you?

I think that the fashion industry ties in well with the interior design field because it allows for people to speak their minds and show their passion. Fashion, along with interior design bases a lot on color palettes, design, and trends that change quickly.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you want to pursue? 

To be honest, if I weren’t a designer, I would love to be a travel blogger. I have a huge passion for adventure and creating new experiences. I try to take at least one vacation a year to experience different cultures that inspire my work as an interior designer. I’m grateful for those memories created while traveling.