Home Project, Behind the Scenes, Real Life.
How Q4 Started
How did we get almost through the whole month of January already?! The new year is well underway, but let's rewind the tape to what felt like a loaded last quarter of 2023.
I'd be remiss not to mention that early October came with returning to work from a long summer break off, my decision to exit the corporate life, and trying to wrap up two of three home projects that were in progress before the holidays. Needless to say, real life was life•ing amidst working on a recently purchased house (February 2023) to make it feel more like home. Going into November the mudroom renovation was fully finished, and the kitchen nook & dining room were photoshoot ready the week after Thanksgiving. Mission accomplished.
About The Mudroom
This space made it to the finish line much later than expected. It was supposed to be completed during the spring One Room Challenge. For a look back at how it started and the process you can rewind it back to week one of the eight weeks shared on the blog. Sharing the final professional reveal photos below, in case you missed the views on the Instagram feed.
In case you're new to following or reading the blog for the first time, sharing home projects is truly how the design business started back in February 2019.
So, it's been a trend to share some of my home spaces over the years.
I believe it's important to remain relatable on this journey, so potential clients and followers know- you're not alone! Interior Designers share in some of the same whoas and dilemmas with our personal projects in real life that happens behind the Instagram squares, reels, and Tik Tok videos. We're subjected to furniture delays and contractor issues all the same. The difference is that we have the expertise and experience to navigate situations with design education and resources; as well as the time. All of this said, it's also a downside to having access to so much as a design professional. How? Let's dig deeper.
I've admitted to being my own worse client. For example, three rugs were purchased and returned for my dining room before deciding to use the hide I absolutely loved. Rearranging the furniture was on repeat until my back eventually went out. Sounds extreme right? It was. But it was worth all the sweat equity now being happy with the outcome. Remaining true to my own aesthetic taste and having patience to source some exactly what I envisioned essentially what won the day. Thankfully, our clients all have had the same measure of patience to trust a similar process. After all, the goal is curated spaces over decorating after one Homegoods trip. Make no mistake, we love a good stroll through Homegoods. However, sourcing just doesn't start nor end there!
On To The Dining Room
This space was completed right after the kitchen nook. Your design bestie was an ambassador for Alora Lighting after being featured in their 2023 catalog. So, when the time came to start designing there were a few light selections I had on my home wishlist. The SENO pendant (sponsored) in 32" was installed for the dining room and the 15" for the kitchen. Using wallpaper for the kitchen nook gives a subtle pop of wow, while the pendants maintain a level of cohesion that flows between the two spaces.
After the professional photoshoot day, as mentioned the furniture was rearranged one last time. Here's a looksy at the changes from the iPhone b-roll and a glimpse at a before view.
The Life of a Designer
Aside from home design, the entire quarter was packed. Fall 2023 market was kicked off with yours truly moderating a panel about how to navigate market like a pro. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was also selected to be on the Design Influencers Team in a paid partnership with The Design Influencers Conference (attended summer 2022) and Highpoint Market Authority. Two full days of market were spent with 9 other designers touring showrooms and learning about new products & furniture, as well as notable design trends observed. Post market showroom favorites where shared on socials.
The year ended on a high note on NYE with an IG Live discussion with Michele Boyd. A time was had talking about the 2024 trends forecasted and more. Click here to watch the replay in case you missed it.
In Real Life
Many of us are burnt out by end of year, annually and pressing to finish multiple client's projects by the holidays. Ending 2023 felt different. Not having the usual schedule for our clients and getting my home in order before the holidays was a flex. The reality of a major career shift came with a wave of emotions to process, so the down time was needed. Note to self and whoever is reading this; normalize the pause button when needed. Whether it's a death, a birth, or life change, give yourself grace and time to sit in your feelings long enough to properly process it all. Most often the pressure in not doing so is only coming from ourselves anyway.
To spite the year ending a little heavier than usual mentally, this new year began with a fresh wind. As this blog post begins to be concluded I still have so much to share about upcoming industry events, and design project news. Stay tuned for a little more correspondence coming soon and stay in the loop by checking out highlights on the Instagram page.
If you're still here reading, thank you! Until the Q1 2024 blog post, I'm leaving you with my top five tips on managing anxiety and high blood pressure:
•Breathe. Pause to take 3 deep breaths.
•Maintain a healthy diet. Balance, not deprive.
•Exercise regularly (20-30min a few times a week).
•Get adequate sleep at night.
•Focus on things you can control.
To follow, I'm also sharing five tips on home renovations and how to best approach/ manage them.
•Hire a designer even if it's just for consulting. Contractors and home remodelers are not designers. Even architects usually stay within their own work scope, and it isn't designer work.
•Start with the baths or kitchen if possible.
•Have a realistic timeline. It's not a speedy process.
•Expect the unexpected, because there will be something that doesn't go according to plan.
•Have a reserve budget; a credit card or another source for any contingencies after demolition or during the construction phase.
I hope this post and the tips were inspiring and informative. Cheers to a productive and healthy winter season!!
-xx, your Design Bestie
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Bible