New Member Spotlight: Designing Women

Photo by Deborah Shields Photography

Behind every great friendship is a great story. For Ann Golumbuk and Rachel Moriarty, the story begins with color.

“If there’s color, I’m all over it,” says Golumbuk, a San Diego-based abstract artist. Moriarty, the proprietor of Rachel Moriarty Interiors, is the same way.

“Rachel and I have a connection,” Golumbuk says. “We’re both high energy. She’s a go-getter, and I could tell the minute I met her — she knows color.”

We met the two ladies at the SDAF Member Lunch in February. Held at Broadstone Makers Quarter, the lunch brought together members from all over the city. Like so many others, Golumbuk and Moriarty joined SDAF looking to immerse themselves in a community of creative individuals. What they found was a sense of belonging.

Now they’re featured in a San Diego Home Garden Lifestyle Magazine spread, one that highlights Moriarty’s interior design and Golumbuk’s art.

Ann Golumbuk typically paints in a statement-making orange suit. Photo by Deborah Shields Photography.

Using Design to Tell a Story


“With residential interiors, it’s about telling the client’s story in their own space,” says Moriarty, who once owned a furniture store in La Jolla. “I’ve always been one to incorporate found pieces, and when someone hires me, I become their visual storyteller.”

As an artist, Golumbuk likes to incorporate found objects too. Metal, wood, stone, shredded canvas. If it’s raw or recycled material, it’s fair game. All of it gives her abstracts an urban appeal for the clients who buy art right off her walls.

“I’m an alley person,” she says. “I go down alleys and see what I can find. Learning which materials people are using spurs my creativity.”

In one stroll down the alley, she collected three metal pieces with blue paint on them. Today, they stand as a sculpture in her yard.

Rachel Moriarty stands in a space she designed in Ann’s living room. Photo by Deborah Shields Photography.

Moriarty shares that gift for repurposing, incorporating clients’ global artifacts and mementos into the design. A Japanese textile here, a Korean chest there. When she and Golumbuk put their minds together, the collaboration manifested quite literally in a work of art.

As Moriarty pondered how to incorporate her friend’s dining room table into the design, Golumbuk came up with the idea to paint a piece. They had a section of wood cut, Golumbuk worked on an abstract, and the table is now the centerpiece of the home.

“I wanted my paintings to come out into the room,” Golumbuk says. “When you’re sitting in my house, you’re part of the painting.”

Feeling at Home at SDAF


That kind of ingenuity energizes the two women, and it’s reflective of the out-of-the-box thinking that attracted them to SDAF. Moriarty had been looking for the right fit for a while, something that celebrated her passions. When she discovered the architectural foundation through SDAF board member and designer Michelle Harrison-McAllister, everything clicked.

Ann and Rachel with ladies at the SDAF Member Lunch.  Their friend Michelle Harrison-McAllister stands one in from the left.

“When I went to the member lunch at Broadstone Makers Quarter, I thought, ‘This is something I can see myself being part of,’” says Moriarty, who grew up watching her dad construct architectural models as a pastime. “I felt so alive. For so long, I had dipped my toe in to test the water. SDAF was a full-bodied yes for me.”

An instructor at Art on 30th, Golumbuk was drawn to SDAF by a desire to broaden her network, stay up on San Diego development, and connect with creative individuals. She had risen from the ashes after being hit by a drunk driver in 2009, an event that changed the course of her life and career.

For more than a year, the one-time fitness trainer lay on the floor of her newly built home, recovering. Studying the room’s bare walls, the same thought occurred to her day after day. “I have to paint some art.”

On that floor, in those moments, a rebirth was in the works. When a friend said she was taking an art class, Golumbuk picked herself up off the floor. She hasn’t stopped painting since.

Moriarty and Golumbuk go at life with all they have. Nowhere is that more apparent than in their work. “We just want to live this life,” Golumbuk says. “Live out loud.”

Do you like to live out loud, too? Become an SDAF member today and feel part of something special.

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San Diego Architectural Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

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