In this week’s #DesignerFriday, we meet a designer who has a knack for repurposing vintage artifacts along with local artworks to create lovable living spaces: Brooke Nelson, founder of Transformative Spacing. Her unique, humorous sensibility draws from a talent in storytelling she developed in theater and film background. In an interview with Andrew Joseph, Brooke peers into the future as she opens up about her recent divorce and the indelible impact that change has had on her life and work.
This kitchen is imbued with a story of elegance in art and nature.
Andrew Joseph: What are you most excited about at this time in your life?
Brooke Nelson: I’m currently going through a big transformation in my life. Less than a year ago my 16-year marriage ended and I moved into a place of my own. I’ve never lived solo before which has been a huge adjustment but a much-needed one. I’m turning 40 in January and feel I’m at a point in my life where I’m really looking at myself in the mirror and reflecting. What are the lessons I’ve learned up until this point? How can I live a more fulfilling life? What are the ways I can be more kind to myself? Surrounding myself with positive people and putting my needs first are just a couple of the things that have brought much joy. I’m so excited for what’s to come!
Andrew: Where is your favorite city to recharge?
Brooke: Man… tough to choose one. It would be a toss-up between San Diego, CA and Sedona, AZ. I spent my summers as a kid in San Diego. The waves and beaches are so calming. I love the familiarity of it and the memories I had there. Sedona, on the other hand, is a very spiritual place. There you can hike through 7 different vortexes (if you are into that) and have multiple yoga and meditation classes to choose from. Not to mention the views of the beautiful red mountains. So peaceful!
Andrew: What’s the best advice that you’d give your teenage self?
Brooke: Oh man, so much. Don’t sweat the small stuff would be the biggest one. I used to make mountains out of molehills. I tend to put pressure on myself and the littlest thing would turn into a big problem and one I would constantly analyze and think about. I’ve recently started meditating and working on trusting all that comes in my life. The good and the bad. I’ve learned to reflect, realize the life lesson and then move on. So far this has been good for me and my anxiety is almost non-existent.
Brooke’s haunting and clever decorative sensibility transports this living room into timelessness.
Andrew: Do you have a dream project you’d like to take on?
Brooke: A hospitality project for a client that is a fan of vintage and repurposing. Creating spaces people love to be in and making it an experience is obviously the foundation but I like to take it a step further by making it playful and memorable.
Andrew: What’s the single most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
Brooke: After my marriage ended I flew to Europe for a 10-day silent meditation retreat in Finland and a week-long solo road trip in Ireland.
I’ve never taken a trip that long by myself before so it was a self-esteem booster for sure. I’d be interested to do that again. I feel I’ve grown so much since that time in my life and might approach it a little differently next time.
About The Designer | Brooke Nelson is the founder of Transformative Spacing, a redesign, and styling company that creates unique interiors customized to the needs and lifestyle of the individual. Brooke started in the field of theater and film before entering into the world of interior redesign. She believes this background along with incorporating one-of-a-kind pieces and work by local makers gives her clients a truly special design.
As a Tucson, Arizona native, Brooke is in awe of the historical architecture found in upstate New York’s Hudson Valley. Whether it’s in her staging inventory or in her designs, Brooke aims to incorporate local history with modern trends accentuating the positive elements of the space through furnishings, placement, and color. In order to create unique personalized designs, Brooke re-uses, recycles, and repurposes existing pieces in addition to sourcing new pieces from local makers. Supporting the local community is a common thread both in her personal and professional life. Brooke serves on the board of directors for local disability advocacy and is an active member of local organizing that raises money for children in need.
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