Jackie Vargas

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Just two years out of undergrad, this designer is making her mark early on in the game

Jackie Vargas is a Houston-based interior designer who grew up internationally. She earned her BFA in interior design from The Art Institute of Houston in 2014, while establishing her firm during the junior year of undergraduate studies in 2012. She is the National Student Winner for the Sub-Zero | Wolf Kitchen Design Contest 2013-2014, attended the 2015 Best of the Best Winners’ Summit and Gala in Scottsdale, and will uphold her title until May 2017.
What two words best describe you?

Simple, direct and detailed. Wait–that’s 3. Can 3 words best describe me?

Here is a great designer quote we love from Jackie

I work with who I am instead of against it.

What was your path to becoming a designer?

Traveling to amazing places abroad since I was a child opened my eyes to rich histories, landscapes, buildings, cultures–a different way of living, doing, and being. Every culture leaves their mark and every design style has its place–its all about the context in which its displayed. I traveled a lot and experienced a lot before the designer in me came out of hiding. I guess I incubated longer than most–but it was worth it–and my passions continue to evolve. I feel “designer” is only the beginning…

Tell us about your work.

I was fortunate to land clients and start a business during my junior year of undergrad. It was highly stressful at times, but it completely taught me to stay focused, serious, passionate, and confident—even on days when I felt defeated. I love every aspect of what I do: from meeting new clients to creating construction documents; from adding the final design details on site to taking the photographs of the spaces. Every bit of the work I do feels to me like I’m creating or sculpting a piece of fine art. I absolutely love it.

What is your favorite part of your day?

When the clock strikes 5:55 (pm!).  It’s when the creative juices start flowing and my second wind hits! I like to sketch, draw or computer draft. I find I’m more focused in the evening, so I work with who I am, instead of against it.

traditional-kitchen (1)
Where and when are you most inspired?

I prefer working by myself in my studio, uninterrupted. It’s where I can lose track of time, place, and self, thinking of nothing but the task at hand. My artist’s inner voice is loudest when my surroundings are still, peaceful, and focused–definitely not when I’m multi-tasking. Ugh. I hate that word, multi-task. In my ‘perfect’ world, the word doesn’t even exist.

How has your design philosophy changed since you began your practice?

I’ve allowed myself to become more open, patient, and organic, letting things fall into place naturally. When things are forced then they end up looking forced, which is never a good thing. I’ve also learned to listen to what the space is saying and doing. Then it basically designs itself!

What, in your opinion, makes a space feel homey?

Authenticity. Nothing says, “Welcome to my home, stay a while, get comfortable, and relax,” like someone’s presence and personality properly translated into an interior.

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