Updating the South One Space at a TimeUpdating the South One Space at a Time

“Be an Interior Designer” they said, “It’ll be Glamorous” they said.

March 1, 2019

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Yes! “Be an Interior Designer”, its glamorous,  that’s what “they” said alright. I suppose it could be, other interior designers tell me all the time, “Debra, your’re doing this all wrong” but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Interior designers I have found work in so many different ways. I am writing this mostly for my own amusement, but also for a look inside my day to day so that my clients and” clients to be” can see how I work and what goes on “behind” the scenes. When my hair has not been been brushed all day and I am probably covered in tile dust or grout or worse. I am also writing this for  other designers or want to be designers, so you may see how I roll each day. Not your cup of tea? Well maybe not, but there is room for all of us!


Let Me Explain…

I have chosen to be “this kind” of interior designer. Yep, I brought this all on myself. After working for several years fresh out of school working for Luxury Home builders I found myself a little bored with spending other peoples money. It was not all that creative I thought and frankly not challenging enough for me. Don’t take  it  wrong, we designed some gorgeous homes and had a lot of fun doing but somehow it just became sort of mundane for me.

I decided to strike off on my own and work with what I think of a “real people”. You know, ordinary folks who just want nice spaces and wont have to sell their first born to achieve it. As an interior designer I  fell into kitchen and bath design and renovation because those are the two things most people hate about their homes. Sure, I do the other stuff too, but usually only for those special clients. I am most happy tearing your space down the studs and creating the space your dreams  and its not as complicated as it sounds and for me, totally gratifying!


Interior “Designer” Mornings….

If you work with me or have worked with me in the past, I am just going to say it you know I am not a morning girl. Sure, if you REALLY NEED me there at 6:00 am I can do it but you also know I will move heaven and earth to make it happen at another time! I am just one of those people who do not function well in the wee hours of the morning, therefore, coffee is life. (This is one of the “perks” of working for yourself, pun intended, if you are thinking of this profession.) Although seriously, construction starts early so there are times I am out there, its just not pretty.

My typical day usually begins the night before. The last thing I do each night is plan my next day. I am a list maker. I  list each thing I need to accomplish the next day and go! Knowing I am not a morning person I try to schedule what I think of as “automatic tasks” early in the day. Phone calls, checking on projects in progress, ordering materials, checking on ordered materials etc. These are the things that while very important ,do not require much creativity and can be effectively accomplished after a pot of coffee or so!


Meet my Design Assistants…

Everyone needs a little help sometimes right? Every interior designer should have an assistant, right? Nice! I have two! Meet Lola and Gidget, not a lot of help I am afraid but they show up everyday and are always in the office! Never fear should we have and early morning appointment. These two make sure I am awake every day at 5:30 am rain or shine!



Afternoons are for Dirty Work…..

This interior designer is a “hands on” designer. I don’t mind getting a little dirty! After completing my morning list and feeling quite accomplished already, I usually head out to put eyes on my projects and check progress! Keeping a close eye the progression of each project is the best way to be sure I am going to get the results I am after.

Problems can be nipped in the bud if caught early and installers, even the best ones, always have questions. Even the best designed projects have “issues” that come up in the field, things happen that aren’t expected and we encounter things during demo that are not realized until later. This is common and not an issue as long as you know how to correct it!

Some of the things I see out there on job-sites are oh so not glamorous! Take a look at some of the pictures below! You have to take the good with the bad and not be afraid to get dirty sometimes! I love a challenge though and even more important that that, discovering things that can make your space unsafe for occupancy like the black mold below that went undiscovered before our demolition day! Had the homeowner neglected to remodel, eventually the entire wall would have fallen out!

Nothing holding those windows in due to rot and mold!


Oh the things I see! Scary site visit!


Afternoon Plan B….

Okay so when everything is on target on the job sites, I schedule in my shopping time! This is the fun stuff and probably what most people think is the way interior designers spend their days! I schedule client meetings, consults and make material selections in the afternoons too!

I like to assemble all of the finish materials we are going to use in the space and present them to clients for their approval together as a package so they can see how the materials relate and  compliment each other. Its the best way for people to see how the finished space will look and I love for people to be able to touch the actual materials. Tactile experience in this designers humble opinion, is an important aspect of the design, especially in more personal spaces like bathrooms.

Materials from lay-out presentation to installation!

 This is the really fun part but if I did this all day , everyday, it wouldn’t be nearly  as special. This is truly one of the most gratifying parts of my job. Its so awesome to see a clients face light up when I get the combination just right!


Interior Design by Night…..

No cocktails for this girl! This is my most creative time of day and when I do most of my designs! I guess its just he way I am wired. For some designers I know its the other way around but I get the most creative work done at night!

Fortunately for me, my office is directly adjacent to my bedroom so if I have an epiphany before sleep, I can get there quickly to sketch it out or do late night revisions to a drawing I have been working on during the evening. Often times a solution to a challenge I have been working on goes off like a light bulb suddenly and voila, problem solved.

So this is pretty much the life of this interior designer. Yes, it goes pretty much 24/7, but I wouldn’t change a thing!

Please feel free to reach out if you have a design dilemma. I would love to help you with a solution ! Click Here to Subscribe to my list to get more information on kitchen and bath renovation solutions as well as my FREE GUIDE to selecting the perfect  cabinets and updates on projects I am working on!



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