College for Creative Studies: Interior Design
Formerly recognized as one of the world's leading small hotels, the posh Brazilian Court in Palm Beach, Florida, now celebrates its status as a five-star condominium hotel. Brandie Gurgul is one of the designers behind the trendy hotel's alluring charm.
"I just finished installing 28 suites in varying color schemes," said Gurgul. "Organization and team work was a prime! I was instrumental in making sure the installation was properly coordinated and handling other issues on site while construction was still taking place.
"I will be completing the final phase of installation which involves another 30 suites early this summer. I get satisfaction seeing the finished product...all the fabrics, furnishings, artwork and construction come together to create this beautiful entity."
Each of the guestrooms features a unique design and decor. Standard furnishings in each room include Mahogany crown molding, Provence-style wood shutters, imported fabrics and limestone bathrooms with Ultra Air Jet baths and frameless shower enclosures.
"This project has taught me about construction and how to communicate with people out in the field," explained Gurgul. "I enjoy going to the jobsite and seeing the progress that takes place. Selecting finishes, fabrics and furnishings is by far my favorite thing to do since it's the most exciting, but it's also the smallest part of a job. Getting to the finish line is the battle, but you learn a lot in the process as each project comes with its own challenges.
"As for my next project, it'll be the Brazilian Beach Resort (currently The O.C.) in South Palm Beach in which we are in the early design phase."
Before making it as a designer in Florida, Gurgul studied under instructors with professional experience in the industry at CCS. Although challenging, she found the preparation to be a true representation of the demands and deadlines placed on designers in the real world.
"The competitive edge and being prepared for class translates into my everyday tasks," Gurgul explained. "I always have homework - just not the kind that I have to present each day for review! I have become sharper and more confident in my abilities to present to a group based on the presentation skills that I practiced in school on a regular basis.
"CCS teaches you to own your designs and to speak confidently about them without a hint of pessimism. Plus CCS encourages you - the sky's the limit when it comes to innovation and imagination!"