When Bucks Happening recently attended the HGTV pilot taping in Bucks County, we met talented local designer, Ani Semerjian. She was one of the designers involved in the taping (unfortunately, we can't give much more information that that). Luckily, though, we can find out more about her fabulous company, Semerjian Interiors. We got the chance to ask Ani a few questions about her life as a local designer. Check it out:
BH: How did you become an interior designer?
Ani: After getting my undergraduate degree in Industrial Design at San Francisco State University, I started working in sales as a wine rep for Gallo Wines in San Francisco. Then I got married and moved to Philadelphia and worked as a sales rep for a software company for several years and ended up getting laid off after September 11th. I decided that I didn't want to work for corporate America anymore so decided to persue my passion as an Interior Designer. I went back to school and got my masters degree in Interior Design from Drexel University. Following my passion has been absolutely wonderful. I love being my own boss and making my career doing what I love to do the most – design.
BH: Tell us about Semerjian Interiors. How and when did you start the company? Where is it located?
Ani: I was born and raised in San Francisco; I had never lived in the suburbs until I moved to the Philadelphia area 13 years ago. San Francisco is a very cutting edge, modern city whereas the Philadelphia suburbs are much more traditional. Living in these two extreme environments, I have learned to become mulit-dimensional in my designs. This is what gives me my “signature style”. My designs are a fusion of modern and traditional layered in a very sophisticated and elegant way; they're not one dimensional and cannot be described by one word.
I started Semerjian Interiors in 2006. Prior to that, I worked for a commercial design firm in Ardmore. I primarily work on residential jobs, I come from a family of high end custom home builders so I was very fortunate to have an “in” when I started my own business. I work with builders, architects, and homeowners.
Much of my work has been in new construction, but I have also worked on several remodels. Although my business is located in the mainline, I don't limit myself only to the mainline area. I had a great time working in Bucks County! Whether its furnishing an entire home, remodeling a kitchen or just helping with paint colors, I work with every level of clientele. That's what makes my job exciting.
BH: What's your favorite thing about being an interior designer?
Ani: As interior designers, we habitually walk into a space and think of it's aesthetic potential and how it can be made better. I absolutely love when a job is complete, and I see the before and after photos. It gives me a great sense of pride and satisfaction to see that my vision has been executed when a room is complete!
BH: Tell us about one of your favorite projects.
Ani: My favorite project was recently doing a remodel for a shore house in Margate, NJ. I completely transformed the space from a boring, dated house to a mediterranean villa. The house had a gorgeous view of the bay, I maximized it by removing walls, opening the space up. The homeowner didn't want it to look like a typical “beach house” so we redid the space to have a Tuscan kitchen, with dark woods, natural stones, beams, new hardwood floors throghout. It came out beautiful – I love hearing all the feedback from my client's guests!
BH How did you connect with HGTV?
Ani: I got an email from the American Society of Interior Design, which I am a professional member. They were looking for a local designer for a new show on HGTV. I submitted some pictures of my work and was cast within 4 days! Everything happens for a reason. I had never tried anything like this before and had never imagined myself on TV! It all happened so fast, I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity. I was up against a lot of very talented designers.