My Uncle Mike was an academic. It seemed like he was always in school—master’s degree, doctorate, writing research things. He was a smarty pants, and also extremely encouraging in whatever field of study I chose. When I started college, I was in the RTVF program on my way to be the next “Orson Wells,” (then I was going to be the next “[insert famous film editor]” then I started watching too many episodes of “Trading Spaces”) and I had lots of books from Uncle Mike to support my dream.
After one semester of college, I decided it was time to shake things up and change my major to Interior Design. Almost instantly, I received a gift subscription to Architectural Digest from Uncle Mike. It’s such a big, beautiful magazine with amazing images of the best of the best. Something all designers should aspire to—how do you make it on the AD100!?!
I was intimidated, “This is what I signed up to do?” “How do you even start to come up with a thing…” When I subscribed to AD (for many years thanks to Uncle Mike), I remembered many of the pages looking like this:
It is beautiful. This room made someone super happy. But I can’t create it. I can’t make that space happen. This is not a space I want to live in and that’s okay. (I’ve learned to say that to myself in the mirror.) How could I create that for someone when I don’t like it for myself?
Architectural Digest is now more accessible, more livable. With the explosion of blogs, we’re seeing more “real world” content (not the MTV show and I hate that I used “real” incorrectly, the fancy stuff is “real” too). We see more homes featured from people like us. We’ve got hand-me-downs, we shop at IKEA, we see the cords to our computers, and that’s a relief! We’re all insecure about our own home décor (or lack thereof). When, I go to someone’s house for the first time, they know I’m an interior designer and say, “Oh, don’t look around too much! It’s not done…” And I say, “Too late! It’s been assessed!” The worst is visiting other interior designer’s homes—we list off all the things that need to change before you have a chance to see what’s there! This is probably why we never invite each other over…
To me, the role of a residential interior designer is to get your home to a place where YOU love it. I don’t love my space right now and it’s not half bad, I’ll admit, but I’m always looking to improve it AND THAT’S OKAY. It will always be a work in progress. It doesn’t matter what your home looks like as long as you enjoy it.