Vicki O’Neal, ASID, CID, VSLD, is a designer by education, practice, and passion. My existence in all its facets seems to wind its way back to design in some form or fashion. The lifestyle design slant started quite early, when I was an adolescent. I was very petite and could never find clothes to fit that were located outside the children’s department.
Out of fashion frustration, I learned to sew and started making my own (and Barbie’s) clothes. The creative gene was activated, and at the time I decided that fashion design was the life for me. Gradually, that interest evolved into interior design as a course of study, and ultimately into my career. For the full story of my career path, read INTERIOR DESIGN and LANDSCAPE DESIGN links below.
I opened for business as FORM & FUNCTION on July 1, 1998, practicing residential and commercial interior design, and ultimately integrating my passion for nature and the garden as a landscape designer. Because I recognize design opportunities everywhere, you could say I live and breathe design.
A unique collaboration in 2008 afforded me the opportunity to begin an editorial endeavor. I began contributing and writing articles for local and regional publications on topics of interior and landscape design. I am also an accomplished photographer, and those skills support and enhance my editorial content. My purpose has always been to bring impartial information to the consumer: to inform, entertain, and inspire.
My credentials include:
While trying to stay cool and focus on higher education, I studied interior design at the University of Florida School of Architecture. Go Gators! The environment and the work were highly challenging, and starting out I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with a T-square and triangle. I come from the old school of manual drafting, where fine architectural drawing is an art form. My experiences in Gainesville, although not all in the classroom, prepared me well for a rewarding and ever-evolving career as a designer.
As a choice and direction, my interior design career focus has always included planning, architectural, and technical aspects of interior design as well of the decorative and aesthetic. For a beautiful and functional project solution, the two are often inseparable. My ideal approach to design includes all that goes into building a project, large or small, from its inception to its completion. My lucky but well-earned path landed me in the right spot to enjoy many years in commercial interior design practicing in a wide project spectrum − corporate, retail, hospitality, banking, and food service.
I opened for business as FORM & FUNCTION on July 1, 1998, and have evolved to practice residential and commercial interior design and to ultimately integrate my passion for nature and the garden as a landscape designer.
Parallel to my emerging design gene was a budding (pun intended) love of nature and gardening. My family always had a garden. I especially remember my grandmother growing vegetables and old-fashioned flowers like balsam, portulaca, petunias, and marigolds, always from seeds. I also had a fascination with flowers and one day picked our neighbor’s tulips and brought them to her door. She was none too happy to see me that day.
As a child, we had a patch of mint right outside the back door that I can still smell now! We used it mostly in our sweet tea. Is there another kind when you live in Athens, Georgia? Little did I know that humble gardening beginning would have such an impact.
Since those days, gardening and nature have been an integral part of my life. I lugged around houseplants as a nomadic college student. My roommate studied ornamental horticulture and we shared a passionate gardening interest, building a small greenhouse together. She would frequently recite botanical names, and I would memorize them for her. That high school Latin has come in handy after all!
Ultimately, that love of nature would fuse with my interior design training and become my second career passion. The natural progression was to merge into landscape design. I continue to learn from nature and am awed by her beauty. This earth is an amazing gift full of bounty and abundance. I reverently work upon her soil. I have had my hands in the dirt all of my adult life, and have grown everything from apples to zinnias and back.
My design skills allow me to bring a unique perspective to landscape design and outdoor living. I design from the inside out, creating a continuum and harmony, capturing important views that otherwise might go unnoticed, and blending functionality with aesthetics.