It’s so good to finally have that evil spamware removed from this blog and to be back here with you! You may have wondered if I had completely lost my mind and taken on sponsorship by a male enhancement drug but no, it was all just a nasty bit of malware. Stubborn person that I am, I naively thought that I could single-handedly tackle the scrubbing of malware from my entire blog. You know, instead of hiring someone who actually knows what they’re doing. Once I researched the spamware removal process, it didn’t take long to realize I was in WAY over my head and I called in the experts who had the problem fixed in just a few hours. Lesson learned.
Now that that’s all behind us, let’s get back to the business at hand – design goodness!
Last year I helped this particular client design her office at a local university. She’s a bright and vibrant person and her office was decidedly not. So I gave her a design plan to make it feel more homey and inviting for her and the students she advises and she ran with it. Later last year she purchased a new condo and came back to me for a design plan for her home. It’s been really fantastic working with her. She has definitely pushed me as a designer to stretch my creativity. This client is definitely of the “more is more” philosophy when it comes to color, texture and pattern. She loves an eclectic mix and bold ideas and working on her condo design was such a pleasure.
The very first order of business was to have the entire condo repainted. The walls in the main areas were a truly unfortunate salmon color that made her beige tile look dingy. I stopped by a few days ago to check on the progress and not only was most of the condo painted, she had finished installing the new furniture in her entry.
Here’s a before picture (notice the salmon walls):
The previous owners had installed a little wainscoting in the entryway and what you see in the photo above is the beginning and end of that wall treatment. It is nowhere else to be found in the entire condo. Very strange. So we decided that rather than highlighting that “feature” with contrasting paint, we’d cover it and the wall above in the same wall color (Dunn Edwards “Muslin”) to help it fade away. Painting alone has made such a HUGE difference in the look and feel of her home. Before it felt so drab and lifeless. Now it feels bright, fresh and more modern.
The design plan I gave my client for her entry needed to set the tone for the entire home. You open the front door and the entry wall is just a few feet in front of you. So I packed it with as much bold color, pattern and texture as this small space could possibly hold.
She did such a fantastic job pulling everything together! That’s the front door on the right, so you get a true sense of the size of the space. Oh, that door is going to get a fresh coat of punchy color soon too. It’s hard to tell in this photo just how gorgeous that mirror is in person but trust me, it’s a stunner. You won’t believe where it’s from.
The entry now has such a happy, stylish vibe that reflects my client’s vibrant personality and her love of color. Anyone walking into her home immediately gets a sense of who she is and what she loves. That’s what design is all about!
If you’d like help creating a beautiful home that you absolutely love, contact me!
This blog has had a few a few technical issues lately. This post is only a test. Thanks for your patience while we sort this all out.
So far, 2014 has been pretty good to SEID. I’ve got a few exciting new projects in the works and today I’m sharing one of them with you. The actual remodeling work on my client’s bathroom will start next month, so “After” photos are still a ways away, but I figure I can at least share some of the details. I’m really excited for this one because it’s a total gut job. New floors, fixtures, tile work, lighting….the whole shebang! I’m also designing a custom double vanity and I could not be happier with how all of the elements are coming together. It’s going to be so gorgeous!
On top of all of that, this project is in California so (poor me) I had to go out there last week and will probably have to go back out again and drive through beautiful scenery like this:
In this bathroom we’re going classic with details and finishes that will stand the test of time. I want this bathroom to be pretty and luxurious for my clients to enjoy now but if they decide to sell in several years, the next owners won’t feel the need to rip everything out (I hope!) because we were too trendy with our selections.
Here’s a snapshot of just some of the elements and finishes that are going into the new bath and my “must haves” for a gorgeous bathroom remodel:
Happy New Year everybody!
I love this time of year, when anything and everything feels achievable. When planning and list-making (two of my very favorite things!) has me dreaming of all the things I want to accomplish in my business in 2014. How fitting then, that on the first honest-to-goodness actual work day of the new year, I get to kick it off by meeting with a potential new client.
Aside from install day, that initial meeting is one of my very favorite stages of a project. At this point, the possibilities seem limitless and thoughts swirl of grand ideas and all the potential for a gorgeous result and a happy client. Everyone’s excited, everyone’s motivated and full of boundless enthusiasm. The client is excited about talking with someone who can’t wait to help them accomplish their goals and I’m excited for a new challenge and a new opportunity to do what I love. I always come away from these meetings completely energized and raring to go.
And that’s pretty much how I’m feeling right now about the year ahead. I may not have hit all of the benchmarks I set for 2013 but it was still a great year for me business-wise. Some really amazing and unexpected things came along. Hello! I got to be on TV. Three times!! There’s NO way I could have predicted that! So I really can’t complain if everything I wanted to accomplish didn’t quite come through because the whole Good Morning Arizona thing was pretty incredible. So instead I’ll be extremely grateful for all the positive things and channel this “New Year Enthusiasm” into making 2014 even better.
Some of the things I plan on making happen:
1. Be on TV again….and hopefully again and again and again
I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to be on Good Morning Arizona last month. I had no idea just how much I would fall in love with filming and how comfortable I would feel on camera once I started yapping and forgot about the lights and cameras. When I was first approached, I had no time to think about how scary it might be, I just said “Yes!” and figured I would just figure it out. And whaddya know? I did a pretty decent job! So yeah, more of that PLEASE! How fun would it be to have my own little show of some sort?
2. Work on a major remodel
I am dying, absolutely dying to get my mitts on a tear-it-down-and-build-it-back-up project. I want to sink my teeth into something major this year. Since I’m not quite ready to buy my own fixer-upper (some day for sure!!), I need to get out and find that awesome client who is ready to dive on into the world of remodeling.
3. Get back to my model home roots!
I cannot believe this phrase is coming out of my mouth: I kinda sorta miss model homes. A year ago I would have told you that model home design is the last, the absolute LAST thing I wanted to do. I definitely got burned out on them but you know, these days I find myself missing them. The budgets aren’t always great and you do have to try to fit your standards with the builder/developer standards and vision but the challenge is part of the allure for me.
The first design firm I ever worked for specialized in model homes. They were a very large firm, about 40 designers alone (not to mention the 30 or so other employees) when I started there. With so many creative types working under one roof, consistency in style and the final designs was key. My employer had a very clear aesthetic and very clear standards for each and every single detail you can imagine. Down to the acceptable titles of the books on the bookshelves. Nothing sexy or controversial allowed. It was no joke. Starting my design career in that firm was the best thing that ever could have happened to me. I learned so much so fast. I got to do everything involved in design from conceptual design to the installation and practically everything else in between. It was this model home firm that equipped me with so much of the knowledge I would need to eventually start my own business. In order to keep 40 or so designers consistent and ensure that they all understand the firm’s vision, you need SOP’s. Lots and lots of SOP’s. For eh.very.thing. So model home design, as much as I may have thought it was the very last thing I’d ever want to do while a student, was actually the best thing that ever happened to me fresh outta design school.
As awesome as that experience was, I’ve always wanted to try things my way. At least style wise. Process wise, I will definitely utilize everything I learned at my old firm. They had a great system that I would be insane to disregard. But, I am dying to do things my way and help an adventurous builder create a signature aesthetic that doesn’t involve hot-gluing tchotchkes onto bath towels. Shudder.
Some personal goals:
1. Design my own danged house
There will always be other things I can spend my time and/or money on. But having a well-designed and beautiful home to come home to needn’t be a luxury. I’m creative and resourceful, qualities I put to good use for clients. It’s about time I put those skills to use for Brendon and myself. We’ve been in our house for 8 years and it’s starting to get that “lived in” look. It’s definitely time to repaint the main living spaces (including floor trim, yuck!) and invest in some quality upholstery in the family room. My style has evolved so much in the last 2 years alone and one look around the family room tells the full story of my style evolution. There are pieces from my super modern “pop-ish phase, my unfortunate DIY phase to my more sophisticated and richly hued phase of late. Basically it’s the same old mish-mosh most clients have when they decide they need my help. Time to create a signature style for moi.
I actually got so excited by this goal that I ordered a new rug last night:
Next I’m going to order a pair of chairs. I’m thinking something along these lines:
I’ll probably choose a different finish on the legs but overall, a great, classic shape that I won’t grow tired of in a year. I hope.
After the rug and chairs I’m going to sew some new drapery panels and finish off the family room with new art and accessories. This. Will. Happen.
2. Disconnect more
I’ve realized lately that I’m hardcore addicted to my iphone and it’s becoming an issue. There have been more times that I care to admit when I can hear Brendon is talking to me and I know I should be paying attention but I can’t seem to pull my eyes away from phone in order to really listen to what he’s saying because something on Pinterest is so much more important. Not ok at all. So I know I need to make it a priority to put that phone away in the evening and spend some time being present and engaged at home. That might mean leaving my phone upstairs after 6pm so I’m not tempted to be on it all night.
3. A little luxury now and then
I’ve been saying “I neeeeeeeed a massaaaaaage” for years now. Years. Yet, there’s always something else that needs doing or something else to spend my money on. A massage, a pedicure or heaven forbid a whole spa DAY isn’t a huge investment. It won’t bankrupt me and yet I can’t seem to make a little bit of luxury and relaxation a priority. I have no qualms about encouraging friends to treat themselves. “You work so hard, you deserve something nice!”. So this year, it’s time to reward myself for the hard work and enjoy the fruits of my labor just a little more.
4. Take a real vacation with B.
It’s been way, way too long since the boyfriend and I have taken an actual vacation together. As in a get on a plane and go somewhere that’s not in Arizona, Southern California or Vegas. I think it’s so important in any relationship to travel together and experience new places together. I think you need to create really great memories to reflect on through the years. Even the not-so-great memories can bring you closer together. Brendon still has to remind me that I’ve gotten a cold on nearly every trip we’ve taken because I get so caught up in remembering all the fun of it that I eventually forget that oh yeah, I had the worst cold on that trip! It’s kind of a running joke between the two of us now, will I or won’t I get sick this time. I suppose getting a cold isn’t really all that funny but it’s a funny little thing for us that will undoubtedly be joked about for years to come. In 2014 I’m determined to make a really great trip happen for the two of us and create some memories!
So those are my resolutions. I’m excited to get started and see what unexpected surprises 2014 has in store! Hope you have a fantastic year ahead of you too!
Happy New Year!
Before I sign off for the week, I wanted to pop in and wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Thanks so much for reading, commenting and supporting this blog. I’m so grateful to everyone who has had a part in making this year such a fantastic year for Sarah Elizabeth Interior Design. I’ve got some big goals for 2014 and can’t wait to take you all along for what I hope will be an exciting ride.
Have a wonderful Christmas and I’ll see you in 2014!