Design in Real Life

This is the byline in my Blog…the story I want to tell all of you about what things really look like behind the scenes in the world of an Interior Designer. I have been in business for five years, and have learned soooo much in the process! Real life in design doesn’t look like an HGTV show. Or what you see from Sarah Richardson or Joanna Gaines. Or in a magazine. Or even on social media…although depending on the person, they just might show you! Television makes it seem like “poof”…the designer has it all figured out…“poof” the 3-d life-like rendering is uh.maz.ing…“poof” the house is impeccably styled in one day…“poof” the clients are flabbergasted in amazement and love every inch of it and wouldn’t change a thing. Not so my friends! Real life in design is a lot of hard work!

So right now, my life has been busier with work than it has ever been. After 2 years of a very dry season, suddenly it is quite the opposite (thank you Jesus for answered prayers)! Technically I only have two projects going, but both of them require a ton of research, shopping, presenting, selling ideas, getting approval for those ideas, getting pricing for those ideas…and you guessed it…having them purchase those items that fulfill those ideas…and getting paid for it all. Hours and hours and hours…but I love it all! Each step has a high level of satisfaction when you and your client are both perusing the same vision and then seeing it come to life…it is highly gratifying!

As both these projects are works in progress, I can show you inspiration images and the like and give you a taste of these beginning stages. One is a Master Bathroom that is having a complete transformation. New tiles, vanity, lights, faucets and the like have filled my world the last few weeks; I have visited Sarana Tile so many times they are getting to know me by name! Demolition will begin soon so the ordering process is in progress. That alone is a huge undertaking as you want to make nothing is forgotten, causing unforeseen delay. The overall vision must be communicated and understood by every person working on this 8’ x 10’ space! Here are a few shots of the tile we will be using and the inspiration photograph.

Design InspirationDesign Inspiration
Design Inspiration
Design Inspiration

The other project I am working on is for clients that have purchased a house and are moving to Hamilton from a suburb of Toronto. Nothing is really being ripped out, except for the bathroom in the basement but there is a ton of tweaking required to make this space what they’d like it to be! Furniture is being purchased for the living room, family room & Master Bedroom. Flooring in several rooms replaced. Each of the three bathrooms is having items either removed completely, replaced, or readjusted…bye bye bidet, hello storage cabinet! Drapery needs to be fabricated. Walls will be drywalled to create closets, a guest room, and more. So many little details to be considered…and yet I know that when this home is complete, it will be so THEM. They are amazing clients to work with and so far it has been a very smooth process. Here is a sneak peak of what we came up with for the Living room and colors for the main floor in general.

So to get to this point I have been working overtime! I had hoped that the timing of these two projects would be more staggered but that’s not how it worked out. I visit tile stores while my daughter is at dance class. I work on weekends while the kids are napping or having quiet time. I squeeze in as much shopping/appointments-that-I can’t-take-a two-year-old-to as possible when my little guy is at daycare. I have a flexible hubby that supports me and helps to take the kids out or let me go out whenever I really need it. Nap time is work time; 2 hours or more to do all the things that need to be done. It’s a lot of juggling…a LOT! And I won’t lie, sometimes I wonder how it all is going to work out. But it does.

This verse in Psalm 90:17 really resonated with me and every time I start to feel like it’s getting too crazy I remember it. “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.” He has ENABLED me to do this. Real life hits the fan…kids get sick, you can’t sleep no matter how hard you try, your extended family needs you, back to back schedules weeks in a row. But God’s favor is on me and I can “do it all” in His strength!
That’s what real life in design looks like for me. And as hard as it can be sometimes, I wouldn’t change a thing…

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