As we approach the 10th Anniversary of Blakely Interior Design (in 2022—keep your eyes out for our future celebration!), one of the things I am most thankful for is… the people.
This applies to our fantastic clients, who have welcomed us into their homes and lives and trusted us with their dreams. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel lucky to have such kind-hearted, remarkable people consistently knocking at our door.
This also applies in full force to the Blakely team. Ever since I started my design firm all those years ago, our company culture inside Blakely’s walls has been as important to me as our work. I imagined our team like a beautiful piece of agate — made from smaller individual layers, each unique and beautiful on its own, but stronger and more dazzling together.
I’m proud to say we have achieved this and more. From who they are as people to the talents they bring to our projects, our team is as one-of-a-kind as our creations.
But don’t just take my word for it… come meet them yourself! First up: the design team. In a couple weeks: the business team. (P.S. They tell me that I need to introduce myself, too, so you’ll hear from me at the end.)
Becky Cordle, Design Director
Time at BID: 5 ½ years
Role: Leads the design and project management for full-service design projects
How did you get into design? It’s been a life-long passion–I studied interior design in school and then broke into the field shortly after.
How would you describe your design style? I lean toward fresh traditional, eclectic, and coastal aesthetics. I love color and I love breathing new life into classic pieces by using unconventional colors.
Favorite spaces to design: I love designing kitchens and bedrooms—we spend SO much time in these spaces!
What is your dream design project? Boutique hotel!
What are you reading and/or watching right now? I am reading a textbook on American History (my husband is turning me into a history nerd!), and I recently caught up on the newest season of The Crown.
Drink of choice: IPA all day or any cocktail with grapefruit vodka!
What did you want to be when you grew up? Author, illustrator, interior designer. 🙂
Favorite place you’ve traveled to and somewhere you dream of going: Paris! I’ve been there twice and already can’t wait for my next trip. It’s stunningly ornamental and sophisticated. Also… Italy. 🙂
Which one of your traits are you most proud of? Organization.
What is your go-to when you need inspiration to get out of a creative rut? Taking a walk…or honestly, cleaning.
What’s your favorite thing(s) to do after a long day at work? Rock climb.
If you were given 3 more hours in a day, what would you do with them? Art–I am currently completing a challenge to complete three sketches each week and am also working on a custom portrait as a gift. I love working with pastels, but there are so many other mediums I would love to explore. I would also try tons of new recipes—I love to cook!
What’s something you do in the morning to start your day off on the right foot? Sketching.
Brianna Chace, Associate Designer
Time at BID: 2 years
Role: Project coordination, space planning, fun concept board creation, material and furnishing selections.
How did you get into design? I’ve always been an artsy kid growing up. I settled on pursuing a degree in Interior Design when I was in my Junior year of high school. I started off at Blakely as a design intern while I was still in college and was asked to come on full-time the following fall.
How would you describe your design style? Currently, my design style is eclectic with a mix of traditional New England and mid-century modern.
Favorite spaces to design: Anywhere with a good built-in! I’m a sucker for detailed millwork.
What is your dream design project? A boutique hotel or boutique shop. (Maybe a combination of both?)
What are you reading and/or watching right now? I’m currently re-watching The Golden Girls! It’s one of my top three favorite shows to date. Such a classic!
Drink of choice: I’m not a big drinker, but if I had to choose, I would say Pinot Grigio or Prosecco on special occasions.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I used to want to work with my dad selling and repairing fireplaces. After that, an artist, fashion designer, cake decorator, and graphic designer.
Somewhere you dream of going: I’ve always wanted to visit Italy. Cuba comes in close second because my mom’s family was born there!
Which one of your traits are you most proud of? My eye for detail – I couldn’t do my job without it!
What is your go-to when you need inspiration to get out of a creative rut? Going outside to enjoy nature or just taking a step back to give my brain a break. Even if it’s just 10 minutes, it always helps!
What’s your favorite thing to do after a long day at work? Going to the gym! You can find me there 4-5 days a week – I love it.
If you were given 3 more hours in a day, what would you do with them? I would slow down. Anyone who knows me is aware that I’m usually moving 100 mph all day every day, jumping from one task to the next. If I had more time, I simply wouldn’t rush. I would also pick up drawing or painting again.
What’s something you do in the morning to start your day off on the right foot? Yoga or drinking warm lemon water! Yoga is great for the body and mind, and lemon water is great for your digestive system first thing in the morning.
Emily Pereira, Assistant Designer
Time at BID: 7 months
Role: Provides design support at every step of the process, from sourcing finishes to communicating with vendors to project documentation
How did you get into design? Growing up, I was fascinated by design and creating countless variations of just about everything. This includes rearranging the furniture of my Barbie dream house, playing dress-up, and crafting. When I began searching for colleges, I initially toured for architecture but soon realized I was drawn more toward design. As a happy medium, I found Endicot’s accredited program in Interior Architecture and knew this was the perfect fit for me!
How would you describe your design style? I love playing around with textures and patterns. That definitely comes through in my fashion style as well.
Favorite space/room to design: Large family spaces where I can have fun space planning!
What is your dream design project? Designing all the public spaces in a boutique hotel including the reception area, lounge, restaurant, and boutique.
What are you reading and/or watching right now? The Bachelor and TikToks.
Drink of choice: Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks
What did you want to be when you grew up? Everything – a vet, doctor, teacher, ballerina, dolphin trainer, and designer of all things.
Favorite place you’ve traveled to and somewhere you dream of going: Santorini, Greece. The food, culture, and people were such a treat. On this trip I also completed a scuba dive and found some killer Greek artifacts fossilized in coral. Moscow, Copenhagen, and Sydney are all up there on my bucket list.
Which one of your traits are you most proud of? My drive – It’s in my nature to be a go-getter.
What is your go-to when you need inspiration to get out of a creative rut? If I’m stuck when space planning, breaking out trace paper and some colored pens always seems to help. Nothing beats old school pen to paper and coming up with a zillion iterations. Pinterest, Instagram, and nature definitely help for visual inspiration too.
What’s your favorite thing to do after a long day at work? Go to the gym, snuggle my dog, and endlessly scroll into the abyss of social media.
If you were given 3 more hours in a day, what would you do with them? Study for that certification, craft, meal prep, read those books.
What’s something you do in the morning to start your day off on the right foot? First things first: coffee.
Janelle Blakely Photopoulos, Owner & Creative Director
Years at BID: Started the company in 2012
Role: I oversee all design aspects for client projects, am responsible for developing new projects, and I keep our design team busy. 😉
How did you get into design? I always had an affinity toward design, despite my first career in Marketing. As a creative outlet when I left my marketing career to raise my children, I was a consultant for Southern Living at Home (no longer around), where I went into people’s homes to demonstrate how to use Southern Living products to decorate their homes. When I moved to RI, I enrolled in RISD’s CE program after renovating and designing my own home and realizing I had a passion (and talent) for design.
How would you describe your design style? Colorful, crisp and contemporary. The vibrant Blakely aesthetic was born out of my love of color, vibrant patterns, contrast and clean lines.
Favorite spaces to design: The Family Room. There’s something really special about creating spaces where families can create wonderful memories for years to come. Its numerous elements also allow for an interesting use and combination of textiles, upholstery, casegoods and artwork, while giving opportunity for styling its surfaces – one of my favorite parts of design!
What is your dream design project? An expansive vacation home with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. And/or a boutique hotel aligned with our clean vibrant aesthetic.
What are you reading and/or watching right now? I’ve almost always got a business or productivity book in my hands – right now it’s Radical Candor by Kim Scott.
Drink of choice: A good glass of Cabernet or Bordeaux.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Believe it or not – an interior designer. Funny story. My best friend’s mom was an interior decorator, and one day she came home after wallpapering someone’s house and I said: “No, I do not want to be an interior decorator if I have to wallpaper walls!” I didn’t reconsider it until 30 years later (and clearly we don’t need to do the actual wallpapering).
Favorite place you’ve traveled to and somewhere you dream of going: Favorite place: Ischia (sister island to Capri in Italy, but more family-friendly). I have so many places I still want to go – how can I pick just one? I can say the South Pacific is definitely on that list.
Which one of your traits are you most proud of? My ability to put my mind to something and accomplish it, and my ability to make people feel comfortable in my presence.
What is your go-to when you need inspiration to get out of a creative rut? FABRICS! I can get lost in our design library finding inspiration in the textiles – from their vibrant patterns to soft luxurious hand. I also find inspiration from traveling, but we’re not doing much of that lately!
What’s your favorite thing to do after a long day at work? Enjoy a cocktail in my ‘blue lounge’ with my hubs. Sit down with my kids and hubs for a family meal.
If you were given 3 more hours in a day, what would you do with them? Work out. Enjoy down time/sleep/relaxation. Okay, and maybe I’d aim to squeeze in a little more work (that’s what happens when you love what you do).
What’s something you do in the morning to start your day off on the right foot? I try to wake up at 5:15 and get a workout in. When that doesn’t happen, I usually try to at least fit in my morning meditation, affirmations, and set intentions for the day.
There you have it — friendly faces with kind hearts, strong minds, and a talent for realizing our clients’ dreams. We would love to meet you, too. I invite you to book a call with us here if you have a design project in mind, or leave us a comment below with one fun fact about yourself!
See you in a few short weeks with the rest of this powerhouse team. 😉