The owner of EML Interiors LLC (Lancaster, Ohio) shares the design revelation from her first project, a stress-relieving item on her desk, and what career she’d rock if she wasn’t an interior designer.
What drew you to a career in interior design for the healthcare sector?
I always wanted to be an interior designer, but it wasn’t until my internship at architecture and planning firm Karlsberger, in Columbus, Ohio, that I realized healthcare design would be my passion. That summer internship ended up evolving into a full-time interior designer position. Working with Lisa Frasure, a senior interior designer at the firm, forever changed the direction of my design career, showing me the importance and the impact healthcare designers can make in this world. She’s still my mentor, 24 years later.
What was your first healthcare project?
The McConnell Heart Hospital and Emergency Department at OhioHealth—Riverside Methodist Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio. The building design focused primarily on reducing the time when a patient arrived with chest pains in the emergency department and vertically transporting them to the cardiac catheterization lab.
What lesson from that project do you still carry with you today?
The importance of installing resilient sheet flooring down long corridors in the order the rolls were manufactured. The dye lots can vary throughout production, and putting together two pieces that were made at different times of the production process can create a visible difference in color in the flooring.
Three healthcare design projects and your role
1 Knox Community Hospital, specialty infusion clinic, Mount Vernon, Ohio, lead interior designer.
2 Lima Memorial Health System, welcome center, Lima, Ohio, lead interior designer.
3 West Virginia University Medicine—Reynolds Memorial Hospital, behavioral health unit, Glen Dale, W. Va., lead interior designer.
What do you like best about working in healthcare design?
The opportunity to work in all types of spaces. It’s like a mini city under an enormous roof. A typical day is never finishing your to-do list. Every day is full of dedication with some challenges, but you’re always advocating for the best possible healing environment for the patients and a supportive space for the staff and families.
What challenges about your work keep you up at night?
My non-stop designing brain. Turning it off is almost impossible, especially when deadlines are approaching.
An unexpected item on your desk
My mini-Himalayan salt rock lamp is always on. Anything that brings me health benefits while working on my computer all day is a bonus.
Outside the office, we’ll likely find you …
At the gym doing CrossFit.
Dog or cat?
I love them both the same. I have two dogs (Iris and Ophelia) and two cats (Jasmine and Violet). If it was possible to rescue every dog I see on Facebook that needs a home, I would.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee in the car on an early day of travel.
Morning person or night owl?
100 percent night owl. I have to get a lot of little things out of the way throughout the day before I can really sit and focus. After dinner is my most productive time to work.
Fashion trend you think should make a comeback
Colors by Benetton perfume.
How did you make your first dollar
My first job was at Lerner of New York in Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Ill., as a sales associate with my friends in high school. Then we moved to Express a few stores down.
Your go-to karaoke song
If I had the courage and the voice, I’d sing “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin.
First album you ever bought
“Achtung Baby” by U2.
Cocktail of choice
Cosmopolitan with extra cranberry juice.
Your hidden talent
Driving a manual car.
If you weren’t an interior designer, you would be …
The person who greets and handles the visiting bands or inductees at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
Movie character Harris K. Telemacher in “L.A. Story.” He says exactly what you’re thinking but also finds love when least expected.
Show to binge watch “What We Do in the Shadows.” Each episode is written so well portraying centuries-old vampires trying to navigate the modern world in relatable, absurd, and hilarious situations.
Weekend activity Currently it’s homework for my master’s program at Columbus College of Art & Design (Columbus, Ohio) in user experience (UX) design, which I started this fall.
Band and/musical artist Toad the Wet Sprocket.
Guilty pleasure Cheesecake.
Snack when you travel Soft pretzel and a Coke.
Team Cleveland Browns.
Podcast “How I Built This” by Guy Raz. Each episode highlights one business or company and interviews the person who started it from a single vision. It’s inspiring to listen to.
City to visit Los Angeles, whenever I can, to visit my family.