miss september decorates a room just the way we like
Her roommate calls her Dishevelina because she sometimes seems frazzled by life. OK, Kelly Gallagher may spend a half hour searching her apartment for keys she left in the door, but don't interpret that as a sign that she is losing it. Miss September knows precisely where she is headed. "My mother is a designer and she has her own business. That's my ultimate goal, to have my very own store."
And she will probably get it, along with a few other things she would like to have: a man to marry when she's in her early 30s and a farm in Montana or New Mexico where she can dote on animals. She might even find a new recipe to replace the salmon-on-corn-tortilla-with-black-beans-and-goat-cheese concoction that she whips up to impress friends who come to dinner.
Kelly is focused when she's pursuing her goals. An early sign of her passion for interior design came when, as a child in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, she began rearranging the furniture in her home. She went on to attend the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, where she also took architecture classes. Kelly worked in film production design, but gave that up for a more balanced life. "If I'm in a relationship, I don't want to have to go to Zimbabwe for six months. I like stability. That's important to me because life is crazy and hectic enough."
Now comfortably encamped in Los Angeles, Kelly has just finished decorating a home in the Hollywood hills and has started another, two freelance jobs she landed as an aggressive self-starter. She is confident of getting others, though "I don't know if anyone is going to say, `I want a Playmate to design my house,' except perhaps a single guy."
While waiting to amass the capital she'll need to start her design shop, Kelly goes to museums, browses in book stores and enjoys yoga classes, hiking and in-line skating.
But she doesn't hang out in the trendy night spots. "By no means do I go to a club and drink and dance until two in the morning." Most nights she slips into an oversize T-shirt and boxer shorts and is in bed by midnight.
At this point, Kelly's roommate interrupts the interview to take a look at Miss September's photos. She stares in awe. "You are wondrous," she says admiringly.
"You can ask any of my friends," says Kelly. "I have no problem with my sexuality. I'm completely uninhibited. Everybody has a body, and I want to show mine. God blessed me."
Kelly takes a moment to examine the layout, but she's not seeing photos of herself. She is critiquing the design elements. The woman can't help it. For Kelly, it will always be about design.
Photography by Arny Freytag, Stephen Wayda