My Design Background
I have always had a love of art and design!
I believe in intuitive, client-focused design, collaborating with and valuing my clients' lifestyles and goals.
After a career in corporate IT, managing products and projects for operating system software, I decided on a career change, and received my Master of Arts in Interior Design in 2006, from the New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University, in Boston, Massachusetts.
I started KDZ Designs in 2009.
Karen in Consultation
I’m an active member of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA), New England Chapter. In 2012, I became a New England-IFDA board member, focused on membership. In 2013, I became the president-elect of the New England Chapter, and then president in 2014 – 2016. In 2017, I was the immediate-past president, and I focused on sponsorship for the chapter.
For 2018-2019, I was the Director of Scholarships and Grants on the national IFDA Educational Foundation Board. In 2020, I was the Vice-Chair of the Educational Foundation Board, and in 2021 I was the Chair of the Educational Foundation Board. I am currently the Chair Emerita of the board. In 2021, IFDA EF offered over $34,000 in scholarships and grants!! See the array of scholarships and grants available to members and non-member on our web-site: IFDAEF.org
The IFDA is a dynamic organization that connects designers and design-related businesses through education and networking – each chapter, including the New England chapter hosts events that bring our members and prospective members together. In 2020, and continuing into 2022, due to the Pandemic, many of our chapters have been hosting events remotely, on Zoom.
International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA)
Design Award from IFDA New England - 2010
Living Spaces Magazine Cover and Cover Article - 2011
I'm an active member of BNI (Business Network International) - Western New England, for business networking and referral opportunities. I'm in a great chapter, BNI Powerhouse, based in Northampton.
I'm also a member of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce. The mission of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce is to create, maintain and promote a vital, thriving business climate throughout the Amherst area and to initiate and support the civic, educational, recreational and economic well being of the Amherst Area.
My Other Interests – Outside of Interior Design
Dogs are a big passion of mine; over the last 35 years, my husband, Bill, and I have adopted a total of 10 retired racing greyhounds.
We currently have one, Clementine, whom we picked up from Greyhound Angels in New Jersey in August of 2021 and turns 3 this September. We have supported a number of greyhound adoption groups over our 35 years of owning retired racers. I also support rescue organizations in Spain, that rehabilitate Spanish greyhounds (galgos) and other hunting breeds that are routinely mistreated. Adopting a greyhound is a greyt idea!!
I have been a volunteer for the Pan Mass Challenge for 16 years. The Pan-Mass Challenge raises money for life-saving cancer research and treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through an annual bike-a-thon that crosses the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, every year in early August; my husband has been a rider for 24 years, and my mother-in-law, Carol, a two-time cancer survivor who recently passed away at the age of 90, and I volunteered together through 2018; she retired from volunteering at the age of 88 three years ago, and I volunteered on my own, in 2019. Over 700 million dollars have been raised for the Dana Farber, since 1980, through the PMC! The PMC was a virtual ride in 2020, and although the ride was held in a limited way in 2021, and almost back to how it was normally done in 2022, I have not volunteered again - I look forward to returning to Sturbridge when there are opening ceremonies again!