Gillian Rose: Color Science
Today in The Lounge, I am joined by Gillian Rose, a Canadian transplant whose New York-based interior design and color science consultancy draws on over two decades of professional design experience, emanating from her formal training from Parsons School of Design.
Getting to know Gillian Rose
Gillian is calling into The Lounge from Canada. She is a cat person and loves beach vacations. Gillian likes to wear scarves in order to make a statement with color. She likes to have personal connections with people, and if she weren’t an interior designer, Gillian would likely work in jewelry as there are six generations of jewelers in her family.
How did Gillian get into design?
Growing up, Gillian’s step parent was an interior designer. This made her always aware of design and form. Gillian ended up studying business at The New School. At the time, she was interested in photography and enrolled in a class at Parsons. She fell in love with art school and landed in interior design.
After Gillian graduated, she decided that she wanted to work for John Saladino. Through many resume submissions and points of contact, she ultimately received an internship. From there she moved on to a full time position with Jay Spectre. Gillian always researched who she wanted to learn from and went for it. She did whatever it took to get an interview.
At the time the economy was rocky, but the corporate world was more stable. Gillian then applied seven times to Kohn Pederson Fox and got in. She said that big business was booming and budgets didn’t exist. From the corporate world, Gillian worked in hospitality, which was less stable. Gillian never had a big desire to own her own firm, but there came a point in her career when you can do what the heads of the company can do and ended up starting her own business in 1997.
Gillian’s first client was a new construction project referred by an architectural firm. She created the layout and flow with the architects and the interior decor with client. Gillian found that there wasn’t much difference between the level of responsibility she took on as a business owner and an employee, however her relationship with the client was more of a partnership.
What the business looks like today
There are two sides to Gillian’s business design and color. Obviously, the design side designs and manages projects where the color side aids in new colors for projects for all kinds of clients both commercial and residential.
Gillian and her team started focusing on color after 9/11. Clients weren’t looking for interior design. People needed healing and soothing, so Gillian educated on color to help her clients make selections. She made it less intimidating by putting paint in nail polish bottles.
It was a slow start, but The Science of Color is thriving now. Gillian fields speaking engagements, press, and even calls from branding companies. She said that we think of color as an object, but it’s often bigger than we are.
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