Emerging Leader Questionnaire 2022


Name: Ariana Baird
Company: Shepley Bulfinch
Concentration: Interior Design
College/University: Radford University
Year(s) of Graduation: 2013

What is your strongest personal quality?: I like to make people feel welcome and comfortable in their surroundings. I am very personable!
What is your strongest professional skillset?: I would say the ability to stay calm in a stressful situation.

Why did you choose to become an Interior Designer?: I wanted to pursue a career that allowed me to solve problems while channeling my creativity.
How would you describe your personal design style?: I gravitate towards clean lines and neutral palettes that encompass a variety of textures, whether visual or physical, to give a space depth.

What three things do you most geek out on?: I make a list for everything, I love a good donut and I adore my Australian Shepard
What are you looking forward to as an IIDA Emerging Leader?: Connecting with design professionals and building relationships.

What has been your go-to for de-stressing this year?: Teaching and discovering something new every day with my toddler. Kids have a different lens on life, and it is refreshing!
What advice do you have for designer students graduating?: No matter where you are in your career, there is always something to be learned. Lean on your peers for guidance and ask questions.

What is your favorite annual IIDA event?: I look forward to the IIDA Holiday Gala here in CT. We partner with Covenant to Care to provide gifts to children in need at Christmas.
How would you explain the difference between a professional Interior Designer vs Interior Decorator to a stranger?: They both share similar responsibilities and impact the way people interact with a space. The biggest difference funnels down to project involvement. Interior Designers work alongside Architects and Engineers throughout various stages of design to create a code compliant built environment. Interior Decorators enhance the space with furniture, finishes and equipment after it is built.