All Over the Place

The theme of this year is change. Nothing but change. All change, all the time. This post is really going to be all over the place, so I’ll do my best to break down what’s been happening the past few weeks into chunkalized bits.

Job Change

Last week I left my design and dev peeps in downtown Nashville to take on a 1.5 month contract gig with a local healthcare company close to home. Leaving my colleagues was bittersweet. Here’s me with Carrie and Mike, my design teammates:


This was one of the best places I’ve ever worked. Cool people, fun environment, tons of amenities (including an entire room and fridge devoted to free snacks), and most importantly, no egos. Most everyone was very understanding of my need to work closer to home, but some didn’t take the news so well.


What can you do, right?

Alton Brown LIVE!


One of the highlights of this month was meeting my cooking-mad scientist-motorcyclist idol Alton Brown. We scored VIP tickets and saw his Edible Inevitable show from the 3rd row (aka “the poncho zone”). As expected, the show was awesome and Alton did not disappoint. I’m a total Alton fan and I can’t believe I didn’t know he was an avid guitarist. Who knew? If you have a chance to catch him on tour I highly recommend it. Fun for the whole family!

A Fireplace Overhaul

Remember this lovely warped wall?

crooked-fireplace-small Well it’s still a bit warped, but that’s about to change. I’ve had plans to clad this wall in a stacked quartz veneer since before we built the house, so I wasn’t too worried about it. I’ve ordered a couple palettes of white quartz veneers from Norstone and am waiting for them to arrive. The wall will be taken down to the studs where we can hopefully straighten things up and then wrap it with heavy duty cement board that will support the weight of the stone. Before the end of the year the fireplace wall will look something like this (but with a tv mounted on it, of course):

Jennifer Brouwer Design

Nice, right? I’m in love with clean white and it gives off a slight MCM vibe that will play well with the other furnishings in the room. At the moment my great room is lacking texture, and although it’s still a hard surface it will still give some much needed visual texture to the room. We’ll be keeping the crown moulding at the top, but other than that, this is pretty much what we’re going for.

The Big Blank Wall

After my last post I actually did drag out all the artwork I had been hoarding and attempted to concoct a gallery wall. And after hours of arranging, rearranging, and then doing it some more, I gave up. Some of my art was just not meant to be clumped with other pieces. It’s like everything was screaming “Look at me!” and it totally clunked. So I scratched the idea and went a totally different route. I needed a big honkin’ piece of art, so I found a Hermès scarf I really liked on eBay and proceeded to go in for the kill.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This scarf is titled “Petite Main” and was designed by Caty Latham in 1987. Latham designed hundreds of scarves for Hermès and they are all such works of art. You can view a catalog of Latham’s designs here.

Of course the reason why I like this one so much is because it’s bright and bold (and pink, turquoise, green, gold, etc.). But At 35″ square, the framing costs more than the scarf. OUCH. Surely I am in the wrong business.

framing-hermes-scarf The frame shop said it will be 3-4 weeks. So I wait. And stare at my big blank wall. Ugh.

ASID Real World Design Week

This was probably the absolute best thing that’s happened so far in my quest to become an interior designer. I’m a student ASID member and I signed up to participate in the ASID RWDW (Real World Design Week). This is a week where students get paired up with seasoned ASID mentors to shadow them for a day and see what the real business of interior design is all about. I received a request from Jennifer Markanich of Timeless Interiors to shadow her for a day, and I accepted right away.

I had one day to spare in between my job change and luckily Jennifer was available to let me shadow her. It was such an eye opener, I can’t even tell you! We went on two client appointments in an affluent area of town. One was a renovation/addition to add a media/gathering room to a home, and the other was a complete kitchen renovation. Jennifer specializes in kitchens and baths so I was particularly interested in the second meeting that day. We helped the client select cabinet colors and countertops:

selecting-finishes (the poor photography on this post is astounding, I know)

Jennifer also showed me the business side as well, including her project management software and how she keeps up with the seven or eight clients she is currently juggling right now. We talked about different types of clients, trade pricing, taxes, sourcing and shared so many stories of our own experiences with designing and renovation.

The most important bit of advice that Jennifer left me with was this – You are ALWAYS selling yourself and your product. That is the primary business of interior design. You are a sales person first, designer second. That sure does put a whole new paint job on things, doesn’t it?

Well that’s all I have to post for now, but there’s more stuff coming down the pike very soon and I can’t wait to post about more changes!