Student Success - Linda Holstrom

By Sarah Van Arsdale on February 28th, 2009

NYIAD students are out there in droves decorating clients' homes, serving as consultants in department stores, and re-designing everything from metropolitan penthouses to lakeshore cottages. If you've started your own business, if you've been hired by a decorating firm, or if you've achieved success in some other way in the field of interior design, we want to hear from you! Click here to let us know about the waves you're making!

If you missed earlier installments of this series, here's your chance to read more about the accomplishments of NYIAD students. Just visit our NYIAD Student Success page.

Some sisters are happy to see each other only at Thanksgiving and Mom’s 70th birthday bash. Not these sisters; they’re so close that not only do they now live together, but they’re also business partners, doing their part to make the world more beautiful, one home at a time.

When Linda Holmstrom and Karen Jansen realized they both wanted to go into interior design as a second career, they decided to go to separate schools for their training so they could learn as much as possible. Karen went to a school in Chicago, and Linda chose the NYIAD Interior Design School.

“My sister and I are very close and very much alike,” Linda said. “We enjoy working together and bouncing ideas off each other.”

Linda found that learning to draw floor plans and elevation “helped immensely” in working with real clients later.

Student Success - Linda Holstrom
Student Success - Linda Holstrom

“I don’t see how you can do this job without this knowledge. The lifestyle questionnaire and room checklist have been lifesavers. Having a New York designer critique my work was an invaluable learning experience,” she said.

The NYIAD Course helped the sisters get their first job even while Linda was still enrolled in it.

“We asked a neighbor if we could use their weekend home for one of the NYIAD design projects. On completion of the project, they were so impressed that they called us from their car on their way to Kansas and asked us to do the job,” she said.

When the sisters first took early retirement from their corporate jobs — Karen in project management for the aerospace industry and Linda from a position as a vice president for a national bank — they moved from Las Vegas to Indian Creek in Teller County, Colorado.

Student Success - Linda Holstrom
Student Success - Linda Holstrom

“When we realized we were bored, we began researching interior design schools with the idea of opening our own studio. NYIAD Interior Design School was the perfect choice for me,” Linda said.

In their part of Colorado — “up in the mountains,” as Linda describes it — they were concerned about getting business. Now, they have plenty of work, and currently are working on several residential projects in the area, and they’re designing a baby’s room for a client back in Las Vegas.

“There are two aspects of this business that we truly enjoy,” Linda said. “One is working with our clients, who we now consider friends, and the other is being able to use every bit of our combined creativity. And guess what? We even love sitting at our drafting table doing our floor plans.”

Student Success - Linda Holstrom
Student Success - Linda Holstrom

Now, Linda and Karen are planning ahead for the coming season.

“We are currently working on a Spring/Summer promotion to bring in more business and are contacting local realtors to offer our services for their clients with new homes. In addition we are dreaming up special offers for our repeat clients.”