Like most creatives, Kriste Michelini started out on a much different career path. After 10 years in the software industry, she inched closer to her love of beautiful homes and spent 3 years in commercial real estate. In 2002, she finally took the leap — turning her long-time passion for creating cool, calm spaces into a thriving professional interior design career. Today, she’s one of the Bay Area’s top designers, known for merging traditional design with sleek and modern simplicity. We’ve featured her work more than once (here & here), and she’s graced the pages of magazines like Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home, Luxe, and more. Today, she’s taking on our #5MinutesWith questionnaire, tackling everything from the things she wish she knew 5 years ago to her definition of success:
MY LIGHTBULB MOMENT:
When I realized I needed to pursue my love of interior design as a career and that I could make this a business. My friends told me to do it and it just felt right. It evolved naturally and my business grew as my children grew. I am lucky. I am so passionate about creating for my clients and it truly nourishes me.
I CAN’T START MY DAY UNTIL:
I have a cup of tea, a workout and seeing my kids off to school.
Your health, close family, great friends and wonderful clients. It is all about my relationships that make me happy.
YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME WITHOUT:
My notebook and my oversized tote bag.
MY DREAM COLLABORATION:
Would be to design boutique hotels and restaurants.
THE ONLY PLACE BETTER THAN THE BAY AREA:
This is a tough one. There are so many beautiful places in the world. I would have to say life at the beach. It could be La Jolla, Positano, Mexico, or Hawaii. All of the above.
WHEN I FEEL UNINSPIRED:
I unplug. I like to go for a walk, a run or read my book. Go to bed early. It is amazing what a difference a good nite of sleep can do for you!
ADVICE I WISH I HAD 5 YEARS AGO:
Don’t stress. Things you stressed about years ago you can’t even remember today. Life is too short. Just enjoy it, set goals, be content and enjoy the journey.
IN 5 YEARS FIND ME:
Designing, traveling and giving back more. In 5 years we will be empty nesters – sniffle sniffle and I will have more flexibility in my schedule.
ABOVE ALL ELSE:
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have perspective. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. You only have one life. You do not want to have any regrets. Do things that scare you – within reason. And don’t get caught up in being busy. Everyone is busy. Make time for one another.
To learn more about Kriste, click here. For a closer look at her work, click through the slideshow!