Shoptalk - Chelly Wentworth

What was your first design project?

WENTWORTH I just finished design school when I was hired to help a single gentleman with the design of his two bathrooms. It was in a really cute San Jose Bungalow. What I remember loving the most about the project was sourcing the tile directly from nearby Fireclay Tile That was thrilling! I still love their tile today.

After working with several of Portland’s Design Build companies, what inspired you to start your own design firm?

WENTWORTH I wouldn’t trade my experience of working in Design Build for anything! I gained so much knowledge about the entire industry after working for a large, then a small, then a medium-sized company. Having learned so much about the construction end of the business has made me a much better all-round designer. As a result, I understand the entire process and thus, can better guide clients through it, plus provide contractors with all the required information and support they need to build a sound project on time and on budget. It’s all about creating an effective team. I’ve always wanted to have my own company and I finally decided I was ready for a new challenge, so I started C-Change Design.

How do you utilize your passion for art, architecture and design when working on a design project?

WENTWORTH When I see a piece of art or architecture that I like or that speaks to me somehow, I study all its elements individually, like color, texture, shape, and composition, and then look at how the artist or architect brought them all together. That gives me a strong, visceral feeling. In turn, I love bringing each and every element together to create a design. I am also fascinated by the underlying stories, and the history of each piece of art or architecture. For me, it’s always about the people. I think that’s why I like Residential Design so much. I get to help create something unique and personal for the people for whom I’m designing.

What’s your biggest design addiction at the moment?

WENTWORTH Mixing clean, modern elements in older homes while preserving the integrity of the original architecture.

You’ve worked on a variety of homes with differing architectural styles. Which is your favorite?

WENTWORTH II can’t pick just one! They are all favorites and it would be unfair to make be name just one! Victorian, Craftsman, Tudor Revival, Dutch Colonial, Mid Century and then some. I love them all!

How does your degree in Clinical Psychology help you assist homeowners in sharing their design ideas and needs?

WENTWORTH Since I’m designing their home environment, my understanding, empathy, compassion, and listening skills have helped me to pick up cues, understand priorities, and help them through the process.

Where’s your favorite travel destination as inspiration?

WENTWORTH Europe - especially Italy and France. I love all the history.

Apart from interior design, what else are you passionate about?

WENTWORTH Cooking with and for friends and family. That’s why I love to design kitchens so much!

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