This is a continuation of an ongoing profile series where we’re getting personal with each member of the team.
We hope you enjoy getting to know us.
The friendly face and laid-back hello that greets you when you walk into the showroom may be a newer addition to the Lekker crew but isn’t new to the world of design.
Rose comes from a creatively-practical family – her parents having more analytical day jobs, her mom an engineer and her dad an accountant, but in their private life foster a culture of art and design.
Whether it was from a family friend’s acres of experimental gardens where roots were on display instead of flowers or the house she grew up in that was built by two boat builders – an appreciation for the beautiful was threaded into her upbringing.
For a long time, she believed fashion design was her avenue, even having the goal in high school to win best dressed.
An 8th-grade tech class gave her the sprinkling of another direction, having to use AutoCAD for projects allowed her to go home and spend hours designing houses (similar to Katie’s Sim’s affliction).
Any questioning about what she was going to pursue followed with the adolescent whimsy of – having her own show on HGTV or becoming a fashion designer.
Once she got to college, architecture and design took over the reins, getting her BFA in Architecture and Design upstate at UMass Amherst. She started out in environmental design but realized in her freshman year that it wasn’t quite meant for her. After applying and getting into the architecture program, her preference was to remain design-focused rather than extremely technical. She’s drawn to tactical beauty – intrigued by fabrics, materials, and textures.
What really changed her perspective was studying abroad in Florence, Italy her senior year.
She’s always loved cities, and growing up in Massachusetts always wanted to move to Boston. But Florence was her first real experience living in a city, one that you could walk from end to end in 40 minutes.
It was also her first time seeing design applied in the field through the rich architectural history of Florence, and paired with a product design class helped create an appreciation for cool, traditional design and manufacturing (like witnessing the Poltronova Joe Armchair being made). However, Rose’s favorite design is intentional, thoughtful, and concentrated on natural forms and environments.
That perfect intersection of the natural and modern is at its best for her with Frank Lloyd Wright.
Her aforementioned family home was built in the 60s and is very similar to a Frank Lloyd Wright house: full of long, low wooden beams and tons of built-in carpentry work. Like Rose’s childhood bedroom – a long rectangular room with her bed being built in above the closet, almost like a bunk. The house itself is filled with tons of antiques and collectibles from her parent’s pursuits, even a Stickley Set.
The closest she’s been to Frank Lloyd Wright was a family friend’s home in Dartmouth built by a student of Wright’s or the magical moment she saw Fallingwater three years ago.
Fallingwater was a complete dream to her, from the woodwork to the cantilevers.
Her professional life has taken the arc of prioritizing community – even working in the New Bedford engineering department doing surveying, which allowed her to work directly with the surrounding community, and helped her realize how design is a constant conversation. At the end of the day, projects are a joint effort to improve the way people live.
She compares how she makes design more accessible to her experience teaching swimming lessons.
“I was swimming since I was born and when I first started teaching lessons I had trouble understanding how kids didn’t know how to swim.” But then she realized people weren’t practicing every day like she was. And it’s the same with design – familiarity is not easy to pick up from casual practice, it takes time.
At Lekker, she is in a niche between all the things she loves – styling, working on design projects, and communicating the complicated language of furniture to people who aren’t fluent. Translating her knowledge in a digestible way is key to helping people feel comfortable and informed in the showroom.
Catch her merchandising the store, making sure vignettes have stories, taking care of customers, or taking over the Instagram stories on Saturdays for some behind-the-scenes.