When Ed and Mary Quigley left the hustle and bustle of San Diego last fall, their friends and family thought they were crazy.
"Everyone thinks San Diego is the most perfect place on earth, but the crowding and traffic became too much for us and we wanted to be in a smaller community," Mary said.
They looked around Arizona and found their way to Payson. When they saw it, they knew it was the spot.
The couple moved to the community in September 2006 and Quigley started advertising her business in December.
Quigley is the owner and operator of Mary Quigley Interior Design. She has three decades of experience in design for both residential and commercial properties, including restaurants, medical and corporate offices. She is also a lighting designer.
"Almost no one thinks of lighting when they are designing a home," Quigley said. She said the right placement of lighting can give a room atmosphere.
Quigley's designs have been featured in numerous publications, including "Better Homes & Gardens," "Décor & Style" and several California design magazines. Her work has also won awards -- a project for a community performing arts center won the American Society of Interior Design's Award of Excellence and a kitchen she did for a couple on Coronado Island won the 2001 Grand Prize San Diego Home and Garden Kitchen of the Year.
The Coronado project was actually the entire house and it is one of Quigley's all-time favorite projects. It's a good thing she enjoyed herself. The job took three years to complete.
"It was for an older couple," Quigley said.
"He was in his 70s, she was in her 60s and they were just wonderful to work with."
Since opening her business in the Rim Country, Quigley has acquired a small clientele.
"The demand will come," she said.
While the Coronado project and the performing arts center are among Quigley's favorite jobs, she is most frequently asked to do kitchens and enjoys the challenge. "And a kitchen is almost always a challenge."
"I have become a good cook over the years, so I know what works," she said.
The biggest change she has seen is doing kitchens for men who like to cook. There are a few differences between a man's demands and a woman's in the kitchen.
"Men want the most BTUs they can have and the highest efficiency," she said.
If someone thinks they would like the services Quigley offers, they can give her a call.
"I will have a half-hour meeting with them so we can get to know each other and learn what they have in mind," she said. The first meeting is held at no charge.
"I don't have people throw out all their furniture," Quigley said. "In fact, I don't recommend it. You need to keep some of your old, favorite pieces, so your home's interior has continuity. A room needs some past, the present and future."
Once someone makes the decision to go forward with Quigley's work, she discusses her prices, their budget and how she likes to work.
"We both learn how far their dollars can go and I keep a close eye on the budget -- even when the client doesn't."
The next step is the design or, in the case of a kitchen, drafting. Quigley creates a color schedule showing where the client's paint selections go and what finishes will be used.
To learn more about Quigley's services and Mary Quigley Interior Design, call (928) 951-2017. She is available daily, by appointment.
Hometown: San Bernardino, Calif.
Occupation: Owner and operator of Mary Quigley Interior Design
When did you move to Payson and what brought you here? September 2006. We were looking for a different lifestyle because the crowding and traffic in San Diego had become too much.
What's the biggest risk you've taken recently? Moving here.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given? Treat everyone as you would want them to treat you -- both in life and business.
Three things you want people to know about you:
- I know my business -- all aspects thoroughly.
- I will try to implement my clients' wishes in the work I do for them. I get to know their personality and desires.
- I really enjoy people and I enjoy this business.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? In high school, I wanted to be in display design (store window exhibits), but there was no four-year degree available in that field, so I went to San Diego State, which was one of the few places offering a four-year degree in interior design.
Book: "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein
Sport to watch: Basketball
Vacation spot: Mexico
Recreational activity: Hiking, but I've taken up golf and really enjoy it.