Join us as we uncover the fusion of creativity, strategy, and passion behind two remarkable journeys in the realm of interior design. These two creative minds behind Piece by Peace Designs, where innovation meets elegance in the world of interior design, gracefully transform spaces into stunning reflections of style and functionality. In an exclusive conversation with the President and Principal Designer, Shanti Rose, and the Director of Operations, Nuri Baylerian, we’ll unravel the secrets and inspirations fueling this dynamic team’s success.
First thing is first- how did the both of you get started in the interior design industry?
Shanti – About 13 years ago I was working in an administrative job and was completely miserable. I’ve always been creative and knew that I wanted to be in a career that allowed me to be creative but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. I took a career exploration class at Scottsdale Community College, where we took every assessment and test there is, to see what careers would fit best with my abilities and likes. Interior Designer was at the top of my list! After interviewing an Interior Designer for my final project in that class, I decided to go back to school to get my degree, and the rest is history!
Nuri – I went to college for dance, the last thing I thought I’d be doing is working as Director of Operations at an interior design firm! I went to school in California and moved to Phoenix in 2017. Immediately, I got a job at European Wax Center and worked my way up through the company and within a year I was managing my own location. Eventually, I grew to miss being in a creative industry and a position as Procurement Manager at a different interior design firm opened up. I applied, interviewed, and got the position. I’ve since upgraded my position at a firm that elevates me and my skill set.
That leads me to my next question- how did you find each other?
Nuri- That’s a funny story, actually! We met at an event for The LifeStyled Co, though Shanti doesn’t remember meeting me! To her credit, I wasn’t in the industry yet, so she was mingling with other designers, specifically my friend who I attended the event with. But when it came to finding a new job in the industry, Shanti happened to be needing and looking for a Director of Operations, so that same friend made the re-introduction. It’s been the greatest partnership ever since!
So, what is it like working with each other? I want the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Nuri- I wouldn’t say there is any bad or ugly! I think the only “ugly” are the before shots on our Instagram!
Shanti- Nuri is the extra arm I never knew I needed and now can’t live without. She provides such a valuable perspective to each client project, as well as to the daily operations of the business. Her unique ability to bring creativity and structure to everything is so amazing and I feel lucky to have her as a part of the team.
Nuri- Aww, thanks Shanti! That was sweet! We truly balance each other out so well. Any of my weak points tend to be Shanti’s stronger points, and vice versa. We also have such a high level of respect for each other that translates into our communication style. We are open books and that helps us not take things personally if things go awry or one of us needs constructive criticism. I can tell Shanti truly cares about me and my wellbeing at her company, and that is something not every employee is able to confidently say! I’m a lucky one!
I feel like there are a lot of misconceptions about what it is that an interior design company does. What is it exactly that each of you do?
Shanti- What don’t I do!? I am not only the creative that will take a client’s vision and turn it into reality, but I am also a psychologist, a mediator, and a friend to each of my clients. Essentially, I hold my client’s hand through the entire process to ensure they feel heard, taken care of, and that their dream materializes. From the start of each project, I ask tons of questions to get inside my client’s head. Once I feel like I have a sense of their vision, I will pick out everything that brings that vision to life, whether it’s the materials and fixtures for a remodel or new build home, or furniture and accessories. I complete to-scale drawings and 3D renderings of every space so the client knows how it will look before anything happens. After everything is solidified, I ensure my client is up to date on every step of the process, until the very last step.
Nuri- I, as Director of Operations, do everything that the creatives don’t want to do. Even though I am a creative person myself, I was raised by two teachers, so a love for organization and administrative work was instilled in me from a very young age. I continuously ensure our day-to-day operations are running smoothly and if not, I fix them! I am in charge of invoicing our clients and managing project timelines, and I too, along with Shanti, update clients and keep them in the loop. A large part of my job is client and vendor relations. Though I am not a designer, I speak to every vendor and client, so establishing and maintaining those relationships is incredibly important. I am also spearheading our social media accounts, curating and editing content, which is insanely fun!
Besides the energy between the two of you, what makes Piece by Peace unique?
Shanti- We focus heavily on each of our client’s wellbeing within their space. I believe that design isn’t just about beauty; it’s about functionality, overall wellness, and psychology. When creating a customized plan for our clients, we keep in mind how each element will affect their daily life; including their physical, mental, and emotional health. While working with us, we communicate effectively at every step of the process and email weekly updates so everyone involved knows exactly what’s happening. As an abstract painter, I have also been commissioned to create works of art for clients to create a truly customized experience.
What are your goals for this new year? Personally and professionally.
Nuri- Personally, I’d like to journal every day and give and say gratitude every day. To execute both of those things daily, my other goal is to wake up earlier! Professionally, the goal I’ve set for myself is to complete the new marketing material ideas Shanti and I have come up with. They are still in the idea/concept phase, and I want to actually design and print them! Stay tuned, they are going to be so good!
Shanti- In 2024, my goal for the company is to hire at least one more employee and grow our yearly sales to over 1/2 million dollars. I also intend on forming more wonderful partnerships with luxury real estate agents and custom home builders to grow our network and assist more luxury home owners with bringing their dreams to life. On a personal level, I would like to travel once outside of the US to either Greece or Croatia, as well as go on multiple trips inside the US. I started a health and wellness journey this year that will continue into the new year and my goal is to be 40 pounds lighter and in the best shape of my life. I also love to learn and am always looking to develop personally and professionally, so another goal of mine is to read a book each month.
Lastly, tell us about some of your favorite up and coming projects we will see come to fruition this year!
Nuri- Shanti sought out a top influencer in Arizona, Ruby Red, since she bought her first home and needed an Interior Designer. We partnered with her to help create her dream space. We’re nearly complete with some custom accents in her home that are finishing up. We can’t wait to share this one with you! We are also working on a beautiful Kitchen remodel in Sedona, called “All About the View”, which will showcase stunning finishes that accentuate the beautiful Sedona mountains our client sees through her window every day.
Shanti- Since learning about a design style called Wabi Sabi, I have wanted to create and design a space in that style. We were fortunate enough to assist our client, who actually requested Wabi Sabi style, with making her new hypnotherapy room, which we named “The Wabi Sabi Treatment”. I can’t tell you how excited I am for that project! Another client of ours, many years ago, made plans to move to Arizona and retire with her late husband. After he passed away a year ago, she decided it was time to execute that plan. Using feng shui guidance, which I use in my daily life, we’re remodeling her forever home, her and her late husband’s dream come true.