Kathryn Brower '13

Designing Success
EHS alumna Kathryn Brower ’13 makes her mark as an accomplished Project Designer in the high-end residential design industry.

In elementary school, Kathryn Brower ’13 knew that she wanted to attend Eagle Hill School and follow her older brother Michael, who graduated in 2009.

“I remember walking around the campus at Eagle Hill for the first time when I was in the 5th grade thinking it was so cool. Eagle Hill gave me unique opportunities that I would not have had if I had gone to one of the large public high schools in Arizona. I learned so many new skills from the art courses, woodshop, and other specialized classes. I was fortunate enough to travel to Greece over one of the spring break trips, and that was an experience I will never forget. I grew so much at Eagle Hill, and I honestly don’t know what my life would look like today if that was taken out of the equation,” said Brower.

What does an interior designer do?

“I think interior design is a field that is often misunderstood! I specialize in high-end, custom residential design. We are typically involved from the very beginning of a project working closely with the clients, architects, builders, and landscape architects to design a home that is not only functional, but also beautiful. We are highly involved in the development of the interior architecture and layout of the homes, selecting every interior finish, ranging from the ceiling to the fireplace, plumbing and appliance selections, and even the cabinet hardware. We work to create a spec binder and drawing set, which details out every selection we have made and how it should be installed in the house. One of our final steps is to actually "install" the house when construction is complete. This is when we move in all the furniture, organize all of the clients' belongings, and accessorize everything.”

After Eagle Hill, Brower attended Northern Arizona University to study interior design, a major that combined some of her best aptitudes - technical and logical skills mixed with creativity. Brower graduated in four years with Magna Cum Laude Honors, a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, a minor in Visual Communications, and an Event Management Certificate. She was fortunate to gain valuable experience within her industry while still a student – an internship that transitioned perfectly to a full-time job offer upon graduation.

“I was lucky enough to land an internship at a residential design firm the summer after my sophomore year and went on to intern there again the next summer. During my junior year of college, I was hired as an AutoCAD drafter by a local architect in Flagstaff, AZ and worked there until I graduated. I was so thankful to gain experience in the field before graduating. It was always my plan to move back to Phoenix after graduating, so I was delighted when I graduated from NAU with a job offer at the residential firm that I had interned at. I am happy to say that I’ve been working at DeCesare Design Group ever since.”

With 2021 making four years at DeCesare Design Group, Brower was recently promoted to a Project Designer/Manager position. She was excited to grow into more responsibility, oversee an assistant, and manage approximately eight residential projects in this role. Enjoying the different styles and non-routine elements of her job, Brower thinks it's beneficial for students to understand the nature of her work in residential design, especially for those interested in pursuing it as a career.

“People will often say to me, "oh, so you do paint colors and furniture, right?" The answer is yes, yes, I do select paint colors and furniture, but it’s also so much more than that!”

“Work” doesn’t seem like work to Brower, who believes that finding your passion should be the goal of all Eagle Hill students exploring their futures.

“Find something that you are passionate about and brainstorm how you can turn it into a career. I don’t think I would be nearly as successful as I am, and would work as hard as I do, if I didn’t love my job. Find that thing that makes you tick and keeps you going and work hard for it.”

EHS teacher Mrs. Kim Bonica was able to experience firsthand the passion and dedication that Brower demonstrated as a student. To Bonica, her success is far from a surprise.

“Kathryn was always doing something creative and pushing herself to go outside of her comfort zone. Interior design is perfect for her, as that industry 100% meshes with her creative side and her interest in the aesthetics of spaces (her room was always GORGEOUS). As a young woman, who also was super motivated to succeed, Kathryn’s professional success in a field that she loves is exactly what I pictured her adult life to be like!” said Bonica.

With hopes to continue building her skills and seeing her work published in the future, Brower is excited to travel and find the perfect home of her own – a home we know will be absolutely stunning! Congratulations to Kathryn on her outstanding success!