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Supporting Cast

Jean Gruss, reporter extraordinaire, recently decided to write an article (full article in Design Match News below) about my company, Design Match, for the Business Observer. Thank you a thousand times over, Mr. Gruss!

Karl Gibbons, coach, mentor, leader (and many other oh-so important roles he plays to perfection) graciously provided his thoughts about the future and success of Design Match.

As a solepreneur, sometimes it can feel a little lonely and isolated running a business. Then something like this happens and I realize I’m not alone. I’ve got great people, like Jean and Karl, who are right there with me. Supporting me, guiding me and listening while I ask questions, seek advice and sometimes vent (okay maybe more than “sometimes”).

So while I’m out there working hard to build business, meeting new designers, talking to clients, I’ve actually got a whole cast with me. Not literally ’cause that would be little crowded in the car and way too noisy – this is a chatty bunch.

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Keep on Dancing

We had a pretty amazing occurrence of a dumpster fire in the front of my home recently (picture provided for your amusement). A dumpster fire is pretty impressive, not too dangerous and brings all the boys out. But I digress. This little blaze made me think that an update on the renovation project was in order. (To get caught up, see my previous blog (Take A Walk on the Wild Side.)

Keep on Keepin’ On…

While we’re still here in Renovation Jungle, some progress has been made.

At one point we thought we nearing the other side, but it was just a little clearing in the trees – a little blue sky of encouragement. Dry wall was put up, painting was done (beautifully I might add!), counter tops in….then work stopped.

Lighting that was ordered came in wrong, the crane that was supposed to lift our fireplace stone broke and one of our vendors decided to retire abruptly (read – disappear). The blue sky of encouragement suddenly became overcast.

Dancing the Night Away….

Deep in the this darkened place, we discovered a village Each of the villagers had at one time begun a renovation journey, but without their Interior Designer Guide, they had lost their way. Dazed and counting time in 6-week segments, they formed their own little community.

They invited us to sit down with them and share stories. We began to hear strange music.

Drumming on empty paint cans provided Latin beat. A magical melody floated out of copper pipe flutes.

The villagers got up and started to move in this strange little dance

Two steps forward

Two steps back

What was going on? Were they high on paint fumes? Had they lost their minds scrolling through hundreds of websites full of plumbing and lighting fixtures? Is this the result of no interior design guidance?

They never really never went anywhere, just keep moving in the same spot over and over….what we were witnessing is called…

The Renovation Rhumba!!!

Worried, we looked to our designer guide for reassurance. Would we also be stuck here in this design-project version of Hotel California?

No, our Interior Designer Guide reminded us. She knew exactly where we were going and how to get us there. We were just experiencing a minor set-back.

Breathing a sigh of relief, we left the village as quickly as we came.

Do you have a renovation story you’d like to share? Drop us a line below – we’d love to hear it!

Are you looking to start your own Renovation Jungle project and looking for the Perfect Guide? Contact us and we’ll set you up!

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Differently Alike

Have you seen the movie Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler? It’s a light-hearted comedy that depicts the unique relationship between sisters. And while at first glance they seem like complete opposites, we learn just how very much alike they really are.

Meeooowww…

I was thinking about this while I visited my sister in Boston this weekend. Always lots of laughs and shared memories, especially about those years we fought like cats while developing our own personalities.

We really do have a lot in common, the same sense of humor, same mannerisms – some people say we even have the same voice. And we both share the same dream of someday living in France.

But here’s where we’re different. How we want to live in France is quite different. The location and interior design style of our (imagined) French abodes perfectly reflect our personalities.

Marie Antionette Wishes…..

Little sis is most happy being surrounded by a home decor that reflects her idea of the perfect Provence home.

Her bucolic rustic Provence home would be filled with natural fabrics like linen and cotton, antiques found at a country flea market – or marché aux pucesand a big, bright kitchen designed around the distressed farm table (bought at that marché aux puces) and a La Cornue stove. Here she would whip up a deliciously classic French meal made with fresh herbs and served with homemade baguettes (yes she’s that talented – my talent lies in eating that meal).

 

Soft and warm summer breezes would waft through the open doors that lead to the garden filled with lavender, sun flowers and herbs (mais oui!). Family and friends would wander in and out carrying glasses of the local wine and lifting their faces to the sun.

I dream of living in an apartment in Paris where I take the ancient iron-gated elevator to my loft space and look out over Paris from a wrought iron balcony where red geraniums bloom in hanging planters.

A Little Rock & Roll…

My chic interior would have high windows with a view of the city of light. The design would be graphic black and white (think Lenny Kravitz Interior Designs here) with highly polished herringbone wood floors. And look, there’s the obligatory over-sized gilt mirror (which of course reflects a sparkling chandelier) leaning next to the ornately carved fireplace mantle.

In my minuscule kitchen I would prepare little bites of cheese and fois gras and serve with chilled champagne. My guests would relax on lush velvet sofas and we’d discuss the latest risqué novel.

Like Tina and Amy, it’s our differences that make us unique and our sameness that bonds us together.

While you, like many others, may be attracted to French Country or American Mid-Century Modern, it’s how you live in that space and the memories and experiences you bring that will make your home uniquely you.

Working with the right interior designer who gets you is important in creating that special space. If you’re ready to get started, contact us at Design Match and we’ll help you find the Perfect Design Partner!

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Right After this Glass of Wine…

I’ll stop procrastinating…….tomorrow, next week, next year….

When I get into the groove, there’s no stopping me. I eat, drink and sleep it whatever it is that has absorbed me. I’m soaring through creative clouds, flapping my wings to beat the band.

Thoughts, ideas and solutions come pouring out of me – I’m amazing.

Then there are those other times. I can put off a task or making a decision with the same intensity that it takes to fly high.

Truth be told, I have been avoiding choosing a topic for this week’s blog. I was able to sidestep sitting down and writing something almost to perfection. I made it so close to the deadline that it was practically behind me. No choice was happening except the choice to keep putting it off.

However, when it came right down to it, I decided I had to – wanted to – write this blog.

Because the procrastination I was stuck in actually inspired the topic!

Procrastination is soooo much easier than actually making a difficult decision. We promise our selves that we’ll get to it as soon as we finish this chapter, take the dog for a walk or finish this glass of wine.

Sometime the decision seems overwhelming, sometimes the options aren’t all that appealing or sometimes we just don’t know where to start.

Like choosing the right interior designer that’s going to really get you. Someone that’s aligned with your style, your vision and your budget.

So you’ve been putting it off. Perhaps you’ll stumble across the design professional you’re looking for in the shoe department at Saks. Maybe he or she will magically appear at your door. Yeah, right.

We’re here to make that choice easy! Design Match helps you choose the Perfect Design Partner for YOUR project.

Design Match has relationships with some of the area’s most talented design professionals. Through our complimentary in-person interview process, we’ll assist you in choosing the designer that will help your design dreams come true.

If you’re stuck on the ground practicing the art of procrastination – contact us – we’ll be the wind beneath your wings…..(bet that song is stuck in your head right now).

If you enjoy our blogs, we’d love you to share them with a friend. And, as always, tell us your stories – you could be someone’s else’s hero (again with the song!).

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Walk on the Wild Side

I trek my way through dangers underfoot and overhead on a daily basis. Sometimes I can’t see the light of day and more often than not I see sights I’ve never seen before and never want to see again. Unlike my man who ’s acting like Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark, I’m more like

Melissa McCarthy whose plane crash-landed in the Amazon (what a great movie that would be!).

Dr. Livingston, I presume…

Trying to undertake this venture without someone who has the skills and experience to lead us through this rough and uncertain landscape would be just plain CRAZY, right? So before we started this trip, we went out and found us the perfect guide for this insane journey.

Introducing our fantastic, amazing, soul-soothing, talented interior designer who is guiding us through “Renovation Jungle” !!! (cue jungle drums)

In the dark of night...

Traveling through Renovation Jungle is overwhelmingly full of decisions and unexpected “challenges”.

Just trying to get to the one working bathroom on the other side of the house in the middle of night would undo the strongest adventurer.

There are plumbing pipes and electrical wires in unexpected places, floors that need to be leveled so the new shower can drain and dust that would rival the Great Plains Dust Bowl of the 1930”s.

But my interior designer is there for me to lean on. She’s travelled this design path many times before and knows how to handle all the deconstruction and reconstruction pitfalls – the quicksand of home renovation projects.

Lead on…

Pith helmut on, flashlight in one hand and machete in the other, she clears a path through the myriad of showrooms, fights off the wild beasts of plumbers, electricians and carpenters and keeps us moving in the right direction toward our interior design dream.

Do you plan on taking a trip through Renovation Jungle anytime soon? If so, the first decision you should make is to find the right design partner – the perfect guide – to lay out the plan, keep everyone on the same page and heading toward the same design vision.

A little ray of hope….

I’ve shared some of our challenges of home renovation, but there are times that have been really enjoyable:

  • When the deconstruction has been swept away – this is really a big moment!
  • When you walk around the newly-framed out space after everyone has gone home for
    the day and can envision what it will look like when finished.
  • And when you share a laugh with your interior designer over all the dangers of the
    Renovation Jungle that have been avoided or conquered that week.

Now excuse me while I crawl into my tent and get some sleep for tomorrow’s adventure…

Do you have a “Renovation Jungle” story you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it!

 

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Be Inspired by the Unique

Bubbles, Leopard and OOH LA LA!

Have you secretly lusted for a bubble sofa in a bright crayon color? Use it as a starting point for your living room. Here’s a rock-star sofa from Roche Bobois that will knock your socks off.

Does leopard print brings back wonderful memories of shopping in Paris with your uber-chic aunt? Lay down a faux (because we are environmentally aware) leopard carpet in your home office and stroll down memory lane.

Do something that makes you smile when you wake up in the morning and see it – even before coffee!

Not your mother’s welcome mat.

My man and I love to travel and experience different cultures. We plan on placing our terra cotta warrior from China in the foyer of our soon-to-be new home. Rather than intimidate, our warrior is kneeling and welcoming. He’s a unique presence that reflects our design style and believe me, he’s sparked some interesting conversations!

A little French fun…(got you thinking didn’t I?)

A little dynamo of a woman owns a unique French antique store in town and her style epitomizes what I’m talking about. She takes gorgeous antique pieces and then customizes them by adding a contemporary twist – like luscious white ostrich skin on a french side chair, or a burlap shade on a crystal table lamp – talk about having fun! Check out her website Sharon Lynch Collections.

Get inspired. Tour some model homes in your area for inspiration. However, your home should never look like a model home -(unless of course you are a model- which would technically make it a model’s home…..oh never mind).

Another good way to get inspired is to visit showrooms with your designer. Sometimes a great piece of furniture or an awesome light fixture can spark a discussion between the two of you that will result in something fabulous and unexpected!

Stroll the Street, Peruse Pinterest, Google Great rooms…….

You just have to pay attention to what make you feel good and as we mentioned in our previous blog, DESIGNER’S SAY “WHAT”?, communicate your inspiration to your perfect design partner and start working together to make your design dreams come true!

I’m here for you all the way friend, so let’s get started!

If you’ve recently been inspired by something unique or unexpected, please share! Your thoughts may just spark an idea in someone else!

For the Love of Cheese…

February is Love Month and we’re all crazy over that special day.  But let’s face it – we love lots of things for a whole lot of reasons – and not just on the 14th.
Because Design Match believes in the Power of Relationships – between people, places and things, here’s a list of people, places and things you probably love and don’t even think about.  – 29 loves – one for each day of February (leap year, folks).
FOR THE LOVE OF CHEESE or 28 THINGS TO LOVE – PLUS ONE
  1. Your partner -for support, love, challenges and laughter.
  2. Your children- for making you believe in something greater than yourself and for allowing you to hone your talents as a cell phone photographer.
  3. Your dog – because no matter what – they love you right back (not your cat – they love you for opportunistic reasons.)
  4. Your BFF – because she loves you almost as unconditionally as your dog.
  5. Your dentist (yes, dentist) – for that pain-free session and for believing you when you say you floss.
  6. Your hair stylist – for not knocking you on the head with the blow-dryer when you request  that “low-maintenance cut” that actually requires 20 minutes of blow-drying.
  7. Your nail tech – for making those chewed up cuticles look healthy.
  8. Girls’ Night Out – for recharging, reconnecting and rejoicing.
  9. Your dry cleaner – for spilled wine, splashed spaghetti sauce, dripped olive oil…the list goes on.
  10. Your interior designer – for oh so many reasons!!  The guidance, the inspiration and for understanding you and your design dreams.
  11. Your parents – for putting up with you all these years, displaying astronomical levels of patience and humor.
  12. Your siblings – for making you grateful that you inherited that sense of humor (and not something else).
  13. Your favorite sweatshirt – for sometimes being the only comfort you need.
  14. Your little black dress, leather jacket or killer heels – for the power, sexiness and confidence.
  15. Your favorite song. – for the memories it brings back, because you know all the words and can “belt it out” when you mistakenly think no one can hear you.
  16. Your favorite table at the coffee shop – where you can people-watch while pretending to work on your laptop
  17. Pantone Color of the Year – because whatever it is people get all crazy about it and because it gives you a reason to redecorate.
  18. Your snowplow guy, leaf-raker, and gutter cleaner (which may refer you right back to Number 1) – because you get to stay inside with warm cup of (fill in the blank).
  19. Your Netflix account – because you can binge watch shows until your eyes glaze over and the battery runs out in the remote.
  20. Your neighbor – for the friendly wave on your morning walk and for not looking too closely at you without makeup on that morning walk.
  21. Your tendency to put things off – because now you can spend a rainy afternoon looking at actual hard copy photographs of loved ones.
  22. Your ability to laugh at yourself – because there’s a never ending supply of material and because if you don’t, your siblings certainly will.
  23. Your yoga instructor – for telling you it’s okay to hold child’s pose for the whole hour.
  24. Cheese – because really, it IS a protein, right?
  25. Your favorite girl at the Chanel counter – cause she gives you all those samples so you can pack light.
  26. Karma – because isn’t it great to watch happen?
  27. FaceTime -because you can connect when you need some long-distance hugs.
  28. Your interior designer – again (yes, I’m biased) – for talking you out of that yellow/orange metallic wall color or for actually making it work.
  29. Leap Year – because we get an extra day to love any of the above and because you can almost see a glimmer of spring!
Share some of your own “loves” with us below in the Comment Section.
Do you wish to “love” your designer? Contact me here.

Let’s Get This Party Started!

We’re going to have lots of fun together – you and me – this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship…sigh..

Think of me as your personal liaison, your private matchmaker to the perfect design partner for your project.

Having an interior designer in your home is one of the most intimate
experiences there is. After all, you’re Inviting this person into your life where you’ll discuss how you and your family live, what makes you all happy, and in essence, what makes you tick.

I get it!

This can be more than a little uncomfortable. And because I’m
not an interior designer – I can identify with you on a personal level.

I’ve been where you are – as a matter of fact, I’m in the middle of my own
design project right now! So many details and decisions – it’s scary –
that “wake up in the middle of the night second guessing your choice” kind of scary!

That’s why working with the right designer is so very important.

On the other hand, I’ve partnered with interior designers to create beautiful environments that align with a client’s vision. And that can only be done when everyone is working in harmony – perfectly matched.

In this time of unrelenting political rhetoric, having been on both sides of the exquisitely-designed aisle gives me the ability to “reach across” and guide you in selecting the perfect design professional to create your design dreams.

Trust me, I’ve seen the good and the bad of design relationships and I want you to have the good kind – no, I want you to have the great kind!

And since, we’re friends now, I’d love to hear from you.

Tell me about your last design project and how that went. If you’re ready to start a project and just can’t seem to select a designer, tell me what’s holding you back.

Or maybe you have some questions about how to work with a designer.

I’m here for you all the way friend, so let’s get started!