Let me tell you something…

When I was three, living in the Philippines, I remember telling my mother that I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. I dream big, yet I was never satisfied with the goals I set for myself and my plans and ambitions constantly changed. I wanted to try every profession out there that sparked that curiosity inside of me.

I then entered community college in January of 2009 and was still clueless on what I wanted to do with my life. I decided to pursue a degree in nursing because I like helping people and it would have been a great stable job. However, out of curiosity, I took an introductory course to Interior Design my first semester and I liked it. When I told my professor that design was not my intended major and I was here to pursue nursing, she said that it would be sad to see me go because I had such great potential. For a year I took classes that would help me get into a nursing program as well as volunteered at a hospital in different departments, shadowing nurses. I realized that nursing was not for me. I did not want to do that for the rest of my life, and I knew I would not be happy if I continued on. I then remembered what my design professor had told me, and decided to switch my major to Interior Design.

I never realized it until now that Interior Design was my calling. I used to draw my houses as a cross section cut, because that made sense to me. When I was twelve, I had drawn a floor plan to accompany a script I was writing – for fun.


As you can see, I understood the logic behind creating a floor plan, but I had no sense of scale (obviously, because my bathroom is super small, among the other mistakes) and I made up symbols for everything – yet I provided a legend for myself which is good.  I found that last week, wedged in between the notebook where I wrote the script. I like find little treasures like this. Maybe it’s the universe telling me I’m going towards the right path. Ok, back to school…

It was never my intention to transfer and pursue a Bachelor’s degree. My original plan was to finish with an associate’s degree and go from there. Throughout the years, my design professors saw something in me and pushed me to do better in my projects. They saw me as a promising designer and advised me to transfer to pursue a BFA (big dreams, right?). This made me want to push myself even further in my work. I decided to finish the program because I wanted to prepare myself for the next step.

For 5 years, I chose to stay at a community college. Here, my skills and knowledge about design have developed and I still want to learn more. The program grew, and I along with it. I started to notice students asking me for my opinion on their projects. That’s something I never expected. I’m the quite one who observes, now people are asking me for help and I liked helping them. I then became the President of the Interior Design Club for a year and a half. I also competed with my classmate at the 21st annual AIA 1:2 student competition and we received honorable mention. Interior Design became something I was passionate about and now I’m ready for the next step. It took me a while to get here, and I did stay at a community college longer than most students. However, I always think that even though I did stay longer, I’ll be happier in the long run. I know that people in my generation have trouble looking for what they want in life or they’re never content with their job. I believe that I won’t be like that. I’m already happy with what I’m doing and I’m excited for my future.

There are a lot of Interior Design Programs out there, but my top choice has always been the program at CSULB. They have an excellent program, and tuition would be cheaper for me rather than studying in a different state. I applied to transfer last November and I’ve already been accepted into my back up schools.

Today, I got this in my email (here’s a portion of the letter). This is it. All the work I’ve done throughout the years, all leads to this moment and I’m glad I can share it with you. 




We were assigned to design an accessible kitchen 2 weeks ago. I’ve been working on my design throughout the weeks, and did not procrastinate; but somehow I still ended up staying up the night before it was due to finish everything! I was so stressed. This project confused me, gave me headaches, and irritated me. In the end though, I was proud of the overall design. This is for my Codes class, so all we have to do is design spaces that are up to the building codes and such. Our teacher always tell us that we don’t have to design things in detail, like aesthetic wise, just make everything simple and standard. Of course, being myself, I tend to make everything harder for myself. I’ll go that extra mile to make everything pretty or detailed. My classmates already know that I have something “crazy” in mind to do for projects. (Even though I don’t think it’s that crazy…) I tend to design high end looking spaces… fancy.
I just wanted to show you guys where I got my inspiration from and I wanted to show you my finished colored design. (Things to keep in mind: Yes, my lines aren’t straight. We’re suppose to freehand all the inking and I think I did alright. Not my best though. Whenever I ink my lines, I NEVER  breath. I hold my breath when I’m drawing a line so I don’t mess up. Doesn’t work sometimes though. hahah :) )
Needham Kitchen traditional kitchen
VP Interiors 2010 contemporary kitchen
Russian Hill modern kitchen
Kitchen traditional kitchen
Paton Terrace Kitchen contemporary kitchen
Bhatia contemporary kitchen
so here’s the floor plan. We were given that space to work with, all while thinking of the necessary clearances and such for the wheelchair to able to roll comfortably around.

here’s the elevations for the floor plan above. The top one is of the north side of the floor plan. It’s actually the one I was really excited about because of the backsplash that I did. The detail of the tile is off to the side but it got cut off, but at least you can somehow see it :). I showed my teacher and she was like “It’s Beyooootiful!” (hehehhe) Bottom left is of the west side which has the floor to ceiling windows. Bottom right is of the east side which has french doors. (pretty simple)

And last, here’s the elevations for the island. Pretty simple as well, I had no room to add any extra drawers and cabinets because I had to put seating for four. And If I put it in the side of the microwave and cooktop, it would have collided with those appliances.

Did you like it? I hope you did :) Even though this gave me headaches, and I literally wanted to trash my trace paper.. I love doing this.

So now off to my next project! Hotel suites!

– Francis