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    Posted February 13, 2014 by

    Speaking with Debby Speelziek about Making a Transition to Interior Design

    For over twenty years, Debby Speelziek has been building homes and residential communities in the Brantford, Ontario area of Canada. With a father (Jack Speelziek) who was also a very successful Canadian homebuilder and two brothers who have made names for themselves in the business in addition, it can be said that Debby Speelziek was almost born to build homes.

    Which makes it all the more interesting when, after twenty plus successful years in the building business, Ms. Speelziek chose to retire her building career in favor of pursuing another long-lived passion of hers – namely, interior design. It’s a pretty bold move, but as we discover when sitting down with Debby Speelziek, it’s one that proved almost irresistible.

    First off, congratulations on making such a bold career change – it must be a very exciting time for you!

    Debby Speelziek: Thank you very much. It really is.

    So, when did you first begin to have an interest in interior design? Is it pretty new or has interior design always been a passion of yours?

    Debby Speelziek: Great question. Although I’ve never actively pursued interior design, I’ve actually had a passion for the subject matter for years now. Probably since I was in my twenties, in fact. In many ways, I think interior design works hand-in-hand with home construction. There’s of course the similar aesthetic interest. But, there’s also the goal of creating a living space that is comfortable and pleasant to be in. Interior design has that as a goal and so does home construction, albeit from a different angle. I’ve always had a passion for creating spaces that people want to live in, and I think that’s why I’ve had a passion for interior design for so many years. What inspired your career change then? Is there any particular reason why you decided to make this career change now?

    Debby Speelziek: Well, I’ve spent more than twenty years in the home building business and I have to say, I’ve loved every moment of it. However, I’ve always had this interest in interior design. And it’s always been nagging me that I haven’t been able to find the time to pursue it. So, finally after achieving a fair amount of success in the home construction business, I made a self-realization several years ago that I couldn’t keep my passion for interior design on the back burner any longer. I had to pursue it – and pursue it fully – in order to make myself happy and feel truly fulfilled! So, I made the career change and here I am, just about to graduate with my Interior Design certificate.

    Coming into the field of interior design from a home building background is definitely unique. How do you think your construction experience will shape your perspective in your interior design work? Do you think it will give you a unique perspective?

    Debby Speelziek: You’re right – entering the interior design field after so many years in the home building business is a little uncommon. I personally haven’t encountered many interior designers who have that kind of experience in home construction. But, yeah, I think having a home construction background definitely helps. What I’ve actually found is that my construction background helps me figure out what kind of interior design elements fit best with a given living space. After spending so many years building and designing homes, I think I’ve developed a certain acumen for seeing living spaces not only through a visual or aesthetic lens, but also through a structural lens. And both these elements – not just the visual – play a role in creating strong interior design that works naturally and seamlessly with a given living space. I also think having a home construction background provides me a certain amount of knowledge about developments in home design technology. That kind of knowledge does actually prove useful in interior design. For example, through my home building experience, I know quite a bit about the latest window design technology, and though I would hate to second guess another contractor, with that knowledge I can make sure that my clients are making the wisest, most appropriate design choices for their home.

    Those are both good points. So, how about designers then? Are there any particular designers who inspire you and your perspective in the field right now?

    Debby Speelziek: Glad you ask that. Yeah, several designers immediately come to mind. Kimberly Seldon is one. And Sarah Richardson. And Brian Gluckstein is a third designer who comes to mind. The way he mixes really classic elements with contemporary design I’ve always found to be very inspirational.

    Good luck in the new venture! Any other news you can give us about your interior design plans?

    Debby Speelziek: Thank you. Actually, yes – I do have one thing to add. I plan on creating an interior design website soon, which will feature examples of my work. More to come on that!

    Thank you, Ms. Speelziek.

    Debby Speelziek: It was my pleasure.
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