Julanda is a trailblazing alumna of Heritage School of Interior Design, whose passion for design has led to a thriving career in Bend, Oregon. Since graduating from the Fundamentals of Interior Design program, she has not only flourished as an accomplished designer but has also successfully carved a niche for herself in the dynamic world of interior design. From student to business owner, Julanda shares some memorable moments as a student and her path toward opening her own thriving Interior Design business.
Getting to know Julanda…
I was born and raised in Germany. From a young age, I knew I wanted to work in Interior Design. It isn’t a profession in Germany unless you become an Architect and specialize in Interior Design – so that was the goal!
I was enrolled in school but decided to take a year off to travel and that was when I met my now husband. Long story short, I moved to the United States in 2017 and had to figure out a new path. I found out about Heritage School of Interior Design, signed up for the spring course in 2018 and moved to Portland two days before the school started. It was quite the journey!
What inspired you to pursue an Interior Design career?
I always had such a passion for architecture and Interior Design. Growing up in Europe I got to see some of the most amazing buildings and designs. I went to Sweden for a high school exchange and the school I went to was focused on architecture and Interior Design. It was incredible and really sparked a big interest in me.
Besides my passion for design I also love to work with people. I really care for my clients and nothing makes me happier than seeing someone fall in love with their new home.
What were some memorable moments as a student at HSID?
Two things really stand out to me looking back at my time at Heritage School of Interior Design.
First, you need to be comfortable presenting your design choices to your classmates. To some people that might come easily (lucky you!!) for me, it was really difficult. I was worried about what other people might think and that limited me immensely in making design decisions. The time at HSID gave me the confidence to present ideas without overthinking it.
The other big advantage I saw in my time at Heritage was the field visits. To know different showrooms and get to know different reps is so important when you start your career in Interior Design. Overall HSID was a wonderful experience for me.
Where did life take you after graduation?
Right after I graduated from HSID, I got a job as a design assistant. After doing that for about a year, I applied to a design position in a showroom here in Bend, Oregon and got it! I worked in the showroom for 3 years and decided it was time for me to start my own company “Julanda Shannon Design”.
Now that I’ve had my own company for a little over a year I can say it was the best decision of my life! I am currently working on 14 beautiful new custom residential homes here in Central Oregon and I also recently designed the Cascade Lakes Brewing space in Bend which was so fun!
We’d love to hear about a challenge you’ve faced as an Interior Designer. How has it shaped your work?
The biggest challenge I had to overcome was to learn that not everybody is going to like what you design. People have different preferences and like different things. But that is the great thing about Interior Design, there are no rules! Don’t let perfection get in the way of performing is what I like to tell myself.
What does the future look like for your practice? Are there areas you’d like to explore and grow into?
I am really hoping to create a niche for myself and my preferred design aesthetic. Currently, I am taking on lots of different projects but ideally I want to focus on a specific look.
I am also currently building a home together with my husband. I designed the floor plans and we are building it ourselves! We have a beautiful property outside of Bend, Oregon with 5 acres and an incredible mountain view. I am looking forward to being able to show what “my design style” looks like and I am hoping to attract future clients with that.
Besides that, I am looking forward to many more projects, getting to know my clients and hearing their stories. It is a big part of this job and one of the biggest reasons why I love it so much!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
I think the best advice I have ever received was from another designer. It was early on in my Interior Design career she looked at me and said “If you want to work in this field and enjoy it, you need to learn to leave work behind at the end of the day.”
Back then it didn’t necessarily make sense to me but today I understand it. It is so easy to take work home and continue to think about your jobs, design challenges, budget issues etc. It’s easy to browse through Pinterest, Instagram or furniture websites late at night but it doesn’t necessarily benefit you in any way. My best and most creative ideas come to me when I am “not thinking about work”.
We were so inspired by Julanda’s journey from Interior Design student at Heritage School of Interior Design to business owner with her own Interior Design company! Follow along her journey and stay tuned for the extraordinary interior design projects she will undoubtedly bring to life on her Instagram: @julandashannondesign and website www.julandashannondesign.com.