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Meet Anna Orfanides of ANNA O DESIGN

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Orfanides.

Anna, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am blessed to have been born into a creative family of artists, musicians, furniture makers and milliners. My passion for design started at an early age. I remember friends and family asking for my advice on color selections or furniture placement, for their homes. I paid close attention to the interior architecture of buildings & structures, mesmerized by the details, and thinking how much I would love to create beautiful spaces one day.

I lived in Europe for several years, immersed in a culture rich with breathtaking architecture and cutting-edge design. Upon earning my degree of Interior Architecture & Design in Athens Greece, I dove into the industry studying the latest trends in European design while traveling to trade shows and working as a freelance designer for prominent European brands. In the late 90’s, design software didn’t exist yet, so I found my niche in hand drafting & creating artistic hand renderings for these companies. I also began working as a Visual Merchandising Director for high-end clothing stores.

In 2000, I returned to Boston with the goal to pick up where I left off in Greece. It wasn’t easy, but I finally got my break, joining a reputable kitchen & bath company as an Associate Designer. That role opened doors of opportunity for me to learn the intricacies and philosophies of traditional and period design. Over the years, I had the opportunity to work for and collaborate with some of the top kitchen & bath showrooms, as well as, distinguished design-build firms & architectural millwork shops in the New England area.

In 2010 after the encouragement of clients, family, and friends, I founded ANNA O DESIGN. Since then I have had the privilege of working on some amazing projects across New England, as well as, Palm Beach, FL.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely has not been easy! Interior Design is a competitive industry, but exciting and fulfilling, at the same time. Breaking into the industry took time and a great deal of tenacity. I stayed focused on my goal, worked hard, and followed my passion through all of its ups and downs.

Owning your own business is very challenging. Someone once said to me that ‘working for yourself will be the toughest job because you will have to work the hardest’. This has been proven true, time and time again. You have to apply yourself 110% every day, to thrive as a professional and give your clients the best service possible. Finding that work/life balance can be a struggle in itself, but a necessity. I found that I needed to establish work boundaries and find ways to promote a healthy lifestyle into my daily routine.

There’s always the fear of failure, that little voice in the back of your head creating self-doubt. I have learned to overcome this by surrounding myself with positive people that want to see me succeed in life, also by listening to uplifting podcasts, finding motivational quotes, etc.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about ANNA O DESIGN – what should we know?
ANNA O DESIGN is a boutique interior design studio which accommodates modest to large size residential and commercial projects. Our goal has always been to create timeless sophistication, tailored to each clients’ design style and need, without sacrificing function.

I believe, what makes a project successful, is clear, easy, communication between Client and Designer. It’s imperative that we listen closely to our client’s needs, pay close attention to details, and go the extra mile. We are in the business of creating exquisite spaces, but more importantly, building relationships, which is the key foundation to build on.

Our design studio specializes in many facets of interior design services, from spatial planning, kitchen & bath design, architectural reconfiguration, closet design, lighting design, bespoke furnishing, color selection, procurement & more.

We also offer E-Design services which is a simple, virtual design option, great for long-distance as well as local homeowners who would like to work with us but are comfortably Implementing the plan on their own.

What sets ANNA O DESIGN apart from others is our enthusiastic, creative, and sincere approach to each project. We love pushing the boundaries and thinking beyond the box.

Our work has been recognized in regional and national publications. We were thrilled to be the winner of HOUZZ Best-in-Service and Design 2018.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Most definitely, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people who mentored and inspired me throughout the years. My biggest cheerleaders were my parents, who taught me to dream big and instilled a strong work ethic within me from the start. One of my college professors, Mrs. Economou, a talented and well-respected architect, prompted me to push boundaries and think outside-the-box when designing a space.

Thomas R. Kelly was the first person to give me a chance by hiring me at his design firm. He has been regarded nationally as an award-winning premier designer of kitchens, homes and custom cabinetry, for over a quarter of a century. Mr. Kelly is an extremely knowable and educated individual, who took me under his wing and taught me about construction and traditional design. I am grateful to him for taking a chance on me.

I had many clients, friends, and colleagues that encouraged me to go out on my own, telling me that I had the talent to do this for myself. They gave me the confidence to take the leap into the unknown and become a business owner. I have no regrets and thank them all for the major role they played in my career.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Studio h2m Photography, Jamie R. Salomon Photography

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