Summer L. Oman
How did you get involved in the design industry?
My father is a kitchen and restaurant designer, and has more recently been designing high-end custom homes. I used to sit next to him at his drafting board as a child and was just completely fascinated with the whole process. I especially liked the little stencils that were used for placing furniture and equipment (the toilet symbol was my favorite). My mother has always been very talented in home décor, including floral arrangements and in recent years has turned their home into the premier Christmas party location. Her extensive holiday decorations transform the entire house and her knack for entertaining have led to a minimum of 3 holiday parties being hosted at her home each season. I was destined to find my place in the design industry, and honestly have no idea how my sister ended up in banking.
What inspires you?
Obviously my family, my love for the great outdoors, and my desire to be surrounded by beauty, whether that be nature or the built environment.
What is your favorite 'green' product?
3form resin panels. They have introduced 100% post-consumer recycled panels containing over 1000 milk bottles per panel. Their eco-resin line is also created with 40% pre-consumer recycled resin and can be customized to your liking with different colors, patterns, textures etc. I love how these products can be used for anything from furniture design, to doors, lighting and even structure. I also appreciate that the company never stops working on making their products better while decreasing their impact on the environment.
What was your most challenging project and why?
I would say my first project during a summer internship in 2006. It was an office building in here in Bend, Oregon that I was thrown into the interior design of. Suddenly I’m putting together presentations for the clients and working with furniture consultants, reviewing specifications, all of which was new to me. It was definitely a trial-by-fire experience, but I learned so much and enjoyed the process and hands-on approach and was thankful to have a supportive team who believed in me and clients that were easy to work with and knew what they wanted. I went back to school in the Fall with a renewed interest in my work and was excited to graduate and get back to the working world.
Which project are you most proud of?
I would say that it would have to be the same project. I learned so much and the clients expressed how happy they were to have worked with me and it really made me feel like I’m finally doing what I was meant to do in this life.
What is the best advice you’ve ever given or received?
That everyone makes mistakes, it’s what makes us human, but learning from those mistakes is what makes us great. Also along those lines, the day you decide that you have nothing left to learn is the day that you truly cease to live.