As the May flowers begin to bloom, Christine reflects on a few of her mentors and how they have helped shape her philosophy and approach to design.

As the May flowers begin to bloom, Christine reflects on a few of her mentors and how they have helped shape her philosophy and approach to design. Everything around us influences how we understand the world and how we experience interiors. The past inspires the future, and education as well as experiences all play an essential role in the designing of a space.

The utilization of antique, timeless pieces paired with those that are more modern, bold and make a statement is a common characteristic of Christine’s mentors. Blending more traditional, classic pieces and contemporary, unique finds is something that Christine also employs. Dale Carol Anderson, a former employer, provides a very strong attention to detail and has developed close, personal connections with clients. These attributes aid in her work with clients in Chicago where Dale Carol Anderson Interiors is located, as well as clients across the country from California to New York. In all of her work, Christine compares the level of detail to that which she learned from Dale. Anderson was awarded Designer of the Year for her one-of-a-kind designs, presented by the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. She also holds a five star rating from the Franklin Report.

Prior to working as Dale’s Senior Design Assistant, Christine worked alongside a team of skilled and passionate designers at Akins and Aylesworth, Ltd., which was founded in the early nineties by Marilyn Akins and Donna Aylesworth as their first venture into retail. Ginger Haffar was the showroom manager and worked closely with Christine to teach and inspire her as a young designer.

Travel has influenced these seasoned designers’ work. Ginger enjoys expanding her design knowledge by attending markets in New York, Georgia and North Carolina while Marilyn enjoys Design Study Tours in Europe and Asia. Donna strives to create a signature color palette to pair with unique furnishings. She practices these concepts with each client to create a stylish yet achievable space. Since their time together, all four women have satisfied countless clients who truly treasure their living spaces.

As a student at West Virginia University, Christine learned from many professors. However, Bill Haggerty, formerly the chair of the Interior Design department, stands out in her mind. As an aspiring designer, Christine learned the importance of research and creative problem solving which she has continued to utilize in her practice today.

Christine’s first employer in the field was Marsha Brand with Sanders Floorcovering in Morgantown, West Virginia. Christine learned a great deal from Marsha, who was even-tempered yet sensible and that business ideology has always stood out to Christine.

Without the direction and guidance she received from these people throughout her education and early career, the homes Christine creates may not be quite the same. She cherishes their time together and the lessons she learned from each of them.

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“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

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