Using her talents to design warm, elegant spaces, Beth Buerge has worked for herself as a part-time interior designer for the last eight or ten years. She has found that “having something to stimulate my mind is better for the health of my whole person. Done well, it makes me a better parent.”
Depending on the client’s needs, Buerge manages various aspects of design, from drawing floor plans (on the computer and/or hand sketched), to selecting finishes and picking out accessories. Not every project requires her assistance with each step, yet she finds the changes in her role refreshing.
There is also diversification in the commercial and residential spaces that Buerge transforms. She has undertaken everything from the design of offices, churches and senior living residences, to friends’ kitchen and basement remodels. Daring wall color choices come together under her careful eye, as well as more modern minimalist design.
Buerge averages around 30 hours of work per month, at the same time homeschooling through the Newton Classical Academy, which uses a combined homeschool/classroom model. She enjoys the hybrid school, which gives her a hand in her children’s education without it being all consuming.
As a mompreneur, Buerge appreciates being able to set her own hours and take the kinds of projects she wants, doing the kind of design she prefers instead of representing a company. While in the freelance world it can be feast or famine, she is currently working on a law office and three residential projects
After graduating from Newton High School, Buerge studied Interior design at Kansas State University. She then worked at St. Louis Design Alliance Architects. While there, she appreciated the community and the ability to bounce ideas of others in her field. However, working for herself as it’s downsides as well. She said it gets tricky when she seconds guesses herself and “there’s no one to check your work, to see if you made mistakes.”
St. Louis was a great place to get her “design legs,” said Buerge. It gave her the opportunity to tackle projects including hotels, churches, office, senior living residences and schools. “It trained me to be versatile,” said Buerge.
Buerge has begun a new venture as the art teacher at Newton Classical Academy where her children attend. “It stretches me in new ways to translate what I know into teaching and helping someone to create,” said Buerge.
The art class has explored using various mediums and art styles: from vibrant abstract, to adorable holiday pickup trucks and printmaking. They’ve also studied famous artists and made their own representations of that artist’s work.
While she may think she explained something, she has seen where she could teach more effectively and describe what she envisaged more clearly to her students. It is fun for her to see these children use the creative part of their brains. If they have had fun with art, she feels she has reached her goal. There are currently about thirty students, K-6th, in two classes.
Buerge said being a mom, entrepreneur and teacher requires juggling, but she felt that she was really hitting her stride now.
You can find Buerge and follow her projects on Instagram @citybeth81