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Artist takes on interior design

Martha Bubert is a local interior designer from Westminster. Bubert always drew when she was a child. She remembers the first time she decided she wanted to be an artist was in 7th grade. When she was asked what she wanted to do when she grew up, she replied that she wanted to be a commercial artist.

Bubert grew up in St. Mary's County and attended Chopticon High School. While there, she took all the art classes offered to students including pottery, charcoal, pastels and portraiture. Bubert liked two-dimensional art the best.

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She also took the archeology classes offered by her high school. Bubert participated in archeological digs in St. Mary's City and other homes from the 1600s and 1700s. Her class was taught by the Maryland State Archeologist.

When she graduated from high school, Bubert attended the Maryland Institute of Art, which was a big change from rural St. Mary's County.

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"I went to my portfolio interview wearing a little pink blazer but in a couple of weeks after starting school, I was wearing army fatigues and boots," Bubert remembered.

During her first year at the Maryland Institute of Art she took a wide variety of art classes. She did not declare a major and got a feel for all types of art. Her schedule of classes included woodworking, 2 and 3-D design, calligraphy, soft sculpture and life studies.

"It was a different culture from the way I grew up. The institute at that time did not have dorms and the students were more isolated. It was much different from a four year school. There you had to find your own place," she said. "There are not many campuses that have a bar right in the middle because it is in the city. It was an eclectic way to go to school but fun," Bubert remembered.

The students could go to the symphony or an art gallery by just walking there.

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She was a design major which required her to study everything including commercial art and color classes. According to Bubert, "Everything that you learned worked with whatever path you decided to do when you left school."

All Bubert's jobs have been art related since she attended Maryland Institute. Her first job was with Lion Brothers, Co., Inc. in Owings Mills. She worked as an artist that designed embroidered emblems.

Next she was an artist for Mark/Trece, Inc., a package design company near Baltimore where she eventually became assistant art director.

Later she became an art director for American Bank Stationary where she designed products such as checks.

In the mid 1980s, when her children were small she went into interior design for a building company where she designed floor plans. That led her into interior design as a free lance designer.

In 1998, Bubert took a job at Mercer Carpet, in Westminster, in sales and design of flooring products. In addition to her position at Mercer, she did any type of design a customer needed such as back splash designs, furniture placement, bathroom and kitchen design and color choices.

Today, she has two partners that share a space with her at Westminster Design Center located at 11 Liberty St. in Westminster. It is a sort of co-op where each person has their own business but share a space. The center houses Martha Bubert Interiors, Lindsay Stetson Design for kitchens and bathrooms and Vintage Cellars that builds wine cellars. They all work together on projects. For example, if a client is having a new kitchen designed and installed, Bubert might do the interior design work for the adjacent great room.

Color and design trends tend to follow politics according to Bubert. If we were at war, people want bright colors to cheer them up. During peace time people tend to use softer, calming colors. Now, we are in the middle of going from softer colors such as aqua, beige, soft blues to brighter colors. The new colors for the coming year include bright teal and orange. Color trends also follow fashion design. There is a Color Council of America that chooses colors for all the industries five years in advance. For example, colors for furniture have to be chosen and produced so that the furniture can be made and distributed. Then lamps, carpets, paints, drapery fabrics, accessories and even kitchen counter tops have to complement each other.

Currently, she is working on a grant that the Carroll County Arts Council is applying for, which if awarded to them, will fund replacement of the flooring on the 2nd floor.

"I like working with people," Bubert said. "I find that people have a vision for their house but don't know how to get there." She can be contacted at 410-303-3021. Their website is westminsterdesigncenter.com.

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