Sheryl Burgarino is a kitchen and bath designer at the Kohler Signature Store by Supply New England here at 7 Tide. After working as a nurse for two decades, she decided to pursue her lifelong passion for interior design. Since making the career change her work has ranged from residential kitchen and bath renovations to large-scale hospitality design.
I was fortunate enough to start working as an intern in the Kohler Design Center, in 2007 in Kohler, Wisconsin. I had been working in pediatric nursing for 20 years and decided to go back to school part-time to pursue a degree in interior design as a hobby. I had to do an internship to complete my degree and a friend arranged for me to work at Kohler around my nursing schedule. While doing that, I had the opportunity to do some design work that caught the attention of the manager at the Kohler Architect and Interior Design department. They were short-handed and asked me if I could help with some of their projects. It was there that I found my niche and made an unexpected career change and moved into interior design full time.
That question makes me laugh because I believe I always knew, I just didn’t know there was a name for it! I used to rearrange my bedroom every other day. I rearranged my family’s furniture constantly. I remember my dad yelling at me when I was putting nails in the walls of my brother’s bedroom because I was hanging sporting equipment to give the room “a look.” Back in the day, my parents regarded that as a hobby and I didn’t know I could make a living doing it. They put a higher value on math and science, so I went into nursing.
The beginning and the end of a project. The beginning is full of ideas, possibilities and creativity. The end is all about the reveal, the reaction and satisfaction in seeing how the puzzle came together.
I worked with a senior designer and architect on the Hamilton Grand project in St. Andrews, Scotland, when it was being renovated into condominium units. We were responsible for the design initiative and layouts of all units—not only kitchen and bath, but finishes and furnishings as well. I chose the artwork for the corridors at the Old Course Hotel on the Old Course in St. Andrews, and selected the signage for the rooms. I worked on various other hospitality projects at The American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin. Hospitality design is my passion.
I always ask clients to collect photographs and ideas. Even if there is just one detail in a picture that they love, it helps me get a better sense of their vision and style, which is important because styles vary. They may ask for clean lines and a timeless look, but what I think of as clean lines and timeless might not be what they have in mind. By pulling together a few ideas ahead of time, I can get a better sense of their aesthetic.
My style has evolved. I used to be drawn to more traditional details and colors, but that seems too fussy for me now. I really prefer a few larger, unique items in a space, and the rest can just be classic and simple. Those spaces feel more relaxing to me.
My favorite room would have to be the kitchen. Not only because I love to cook and entertain and that’s where everyone gathers, but because we did a complete remodel of it ourselves. We took out a wall, had to install a laminated beam, added an island, installed cabinets, tiled the backsplash and added a coffer ceiling. I love it!