Why I Love My Job at Brown Wegher: An Interview with Hilary Hawkins, Interior Design Assistant

Interior Design Assistant Hilary Hawkins wrapped up her first year with Brown Wegher at the end of September. With several design projects under her belt, the Iowa State graduate took a moment from her floorplans and finishes to talk with us about herself, her background with Interior Design, and her experience with the Brown Wegher team.

What is the most surprising thing about your job?

Most people think that Interior Design is the same as interior decorating and that our job is all about picking out furniture and pretty accessories for a home. It’s a lot more than that. Designers have been taught to read and draw up construction documents that include items such as elevations, section cut drawings and reflected ceiling plans, render 3D images, as well as how to design a public space per code. Interior designers have learned how to understand people’s behavior to create functional spaces.

How did you know you wanted to be an interior designer when you grew up?

As a child, I was always intrigued by books on house plans whenever I tagged along with my parents to home improvement stores. I devoured those books like stories, flipping through page after page to see the different variations on an idea or concept. I also grew up in the age of the “Sims” where you could create virtual houses and watch your character interact and “live” in the space, carrying out tasks like doing dishes and sleeping. I rarely played the game the way it was meant to be played; I had more fun creating the houses and “remodeling” the default homes.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy working with our diverse client group. Every project is different in its own right, so I get to be creative and try different designs. Being on the Brown Wegher team also gives me a unique glimpse of the ins and outs of building a home, and I have enjoyed that part thoroughly.

What has been your favorite Brown Wegher project so far?

So far, I think it would have to be a duplex we did in Vermillion. The client wanted an “industrial man cave” in the basement, but, like all projects, there were budget constraints. I enjoyed this one because the client trusted me completely with the design, and we achieved what he was looking for by using alternative ideas to keep the cost in check. He was very happy with the design and that’s what matters most; after all, that’s what my job is—giving the client the look they want within their means.

What makes Brown Wegher different from the rest?

I would have to say the quality of work. All of us on the Brown Wegher team hold ourselves accountable for the quality of the homes and buildings that we create, inside and out. We also value our relationships with our clients, whether they need guidance on a grand scale or just want reassurance that what they’re picking out will look good together.

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

I always enjoy spending time with family & friends. I love to travel and experience new places and activities, even if they are right here in the Siouxland area. I’ve lived here all my life, so I know this place like the back of my hand, and it’s fun to see it grow and change.

Have more questions for Hilary? Email her directly at hhawkins@brownwegher.com.