Gillian Rose: Color Science
Today in The Lounge, we are 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 enjoys having 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 this time, the economy was rocky but the corporate world was more stable. Gillian applied seven times to Kohn Pederson Fox until she finally was accepted. She said that this was an era where big business was booming and budgets didn’t exist. Though, Gillian worked in hospitality, which was less stable. She never had a big desire to own her own firm, but there came a point in her career when she could do what the heads of the company could do and decided it was time to start her own business in 1997.
Gillian’s first client was a new construction project referred by an architectural firm. She worked with architects to create the layout and flow and joined forces with her client to create the right decor. Gillian found that there wasn’t much difference between the level of responsibility she took on as a business owner and as 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. Frankly, the design side designs and manages projects and the color side aids in creating new colors 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. Instead, people needed healing and soothing, so Gillian educated on color to help her clients make selections. Color can really make or break an environment. Gillian explains how our brains react to and remember specific colors, why introverts and extroverts like different colors, and how corporate offices might not want to paint their walls the same colors as their logos. Gillian made choosing a color 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.
Learn more at The Science of Color and Gillian Rose.
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