Designer Brings Artistic Flair to Work

by Autumn McGarr

Long Beach, NY — For Rose Ott, reflecting on her career path brings with it a sense of inevitability. “My path has not been a straight one, but I do feel that everything I have ever done was leading me to this,” she muses. “After having children, I went back to my roots as a fine artist and was painting murals and doing faux finishes. The clients would then ask me to help them with fabrics and furniture, and I decided to go back to school for interior design.”

After completing her design education, Ott honed her craft by working for a local design firm. “Right out of the gate, I got very large design/build projects where I was the liaison between the architects, contractors, subcontractors and homeowners. I would help with all the decision-making and execution of new builds, and I loved it.”

Inspired by her time with the firm, Ott decided to hang out her own shingle, Rose Ott Design. “I opened a little shop on Long Island and, although I enjoyed the whole [design] process, I fell in love with the process of designing kitchens and baths,” she says. “For me, the kitchen is the most exciting aspect of the design, and I continually see the clients’ lives improve drastically with a well-designed, functional and beautiful kitchen.” She adds, “I think the best memories are made in the kitchen.”

Her work has garnered plenty of notice since she struck out on her own, including a Gold Distinction Award from Candlelight Cabinetry, a position on the Monogram Designer Council and a designer partnership with The Property Brothers (not to mention a 2020 Innovator award from KBDN). She currently holds the position of secretary/treasurer on the Manhattan NKBA Chapter board. She holds an AKBD certification with the NKBA and a UDCP certification with NARI.

This kitchen remodel was for a single mom in the beauty field who wanted to update the kitchen in her 1920 Spanish colonial. She wanted it to be light, bright and creative with plenty of storage to keep her family organized.

Artistic influences

Ott’s background in the fine arts has enabled her to develop a skillset that gives her a leg up in the design world. “I think my superpower is color, and that comes from studying art in college,” she believes, adding that she is an adjunct professor teaching Color Theory and Professional Practice for Interior Designers.

Her unique grasp of color, combined with her practical knowledge of design, has enabled her to become a one-stop shop for discerning, high-end clients. “My primary clientele are professional people who want luxury design services where I handle everything for them. I do everything from whole-house design/build to one-room makeovers.”

Empathetic design

In addition to an affinity for color, Ott also benefits from an ability to connect with people. “I truly love people, and I think that’s why I have had such long, successful relationships with clients,” she says. “Many projects go on for years, or they buy a vacation home they ask me to design. With all that you just become really close. I have been invited to their weddings, their children’s weddings, bat mitzvahs and other special occasions.”

Ott credits her keen listening ear as her greatest asset in connecting with clients. “I value their inputs and desires and do everything I can to make their dream a reality.” She notes that her experience as an active listener comes from another interesting aspect of her background: “I was trained as a crisis counselor as a young adult, volunteering on a teen suicide hotline. It was one of the most incredible experiences and that is where I learned the fine art of listening.”

Such an empathetic and engaged approach to communicating with clients has only become more important in light of recent events. “I think, especially now – during a global pandemic – the value of the home has never been more evident,” Ott says. “Design elevates. Being surrounded by colors, textures, patterns and things you love can make you feel supported and can improve your life in so many ways. There are measurable improvements to your quality of life by using design principals correctly – people are happier, more productive and, again, I use the word ‘supported.’” ▪

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