MENTORS IN DESIGN
Onthank Designs | Group One Partners
“The only project that I have ever heard her boast about is a room
she designed for a chronically ill child, pro bono, and on a wisp of
a budget,” says Senofer E. Mendoza of Mendoza Design. More
than anything else, this is illustrative of Lynda Onthank’s 30-year
career as an interior designer.
Within the field, Onthank’s work is varied (residential,
hospitality, and health care for her own firm; hotel design as
a contractor for Group One Partners), making her a wealth of
knowledge on everything from design principles to running a successful small business. Knowledge she happily shares.
Her portfolio speaks volumes, but it’s her other accomplishments that distinguish her — from sitting on the board of directors
of Wildflower Camp, an program that sends children who have
lost parents to summer camp, to serving as president of ASID New
England, where she established the Room to Dream Foundation
as the chapter’s official charity. “I also designed the first room,”
says Onthank. “It was a fabulous experience.” No doubt, thanks
to her. — danielle ossher
ESTELLE BOND GURALNICK
Writer | Editor | Stylist
Estelle Bond Guralnick took a job with Better Homes and Gardens
early in her marriage. “It has been a great fit for inching toward
almost having it all — a terrific family and (mostly) intriguing
career,” she says. “When people ask me how long I’ve been at it,
my answer is ‘forever.’” Her three children grown with families
of their own, she broadened her scope, becoming a key contributor to Traditional Home, The Boston Sunday Globe Magazine,
and, lucky for us, Design New England.
Her mentoring magic reaches across disciplines as she
encourages editors, photographers, writers, and designers to present the best in design. “She has single-handedly provided dozens
of interior designers with careers,” says Jon Hattaway of MJ Berries
Design in Boston. When it comes to photography, her impeccable eye is legendary. “She doesn’t have to spend all day teaching
everyone on the shoot, but she does because she cares more than
anyone I’ve met,” says Michael J. Lee, who sought her sage advice
when he started a new career as an interiors photographer.
“I never saw this award coming,” says Guralnick. “What I’ve
always done on the job is strictly intuitive. It’s a recognition that
has me wreathed in smiles.” — g.r.