Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What do you want to be when you grow up?

If I were to walk into a classroom and ask the students what they want to be when they grow up, most would say some of the typical things:
- Lawyer
- Doctor
- Vet
(Because we all know those are things that will "make your parents proud" and occupations that will "make you happy". Right?)

Well, picture me sitting in third grade. My family and I have just moved to South Florida from New York and I knew immediately what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was never one of those kids who wanted to be a journalist one day and astronaut the next (I don't like to write all the time- as evident in my *almost* once monthly post here...and I don't really "do" science.)

Nah, I knew from the first time I came with my parents house hunting that I was going to design interiors. I just knew. I loved going to friends homes who had two stories because I loved imagining their staircase decorated for Christmas. Did their mom and dad hang lights? Garland? Did they have bows, berries or maybe beads? And when it came to Halloween...the real trick I received when people opened their doors was getting a glimpse into their homes. (If I was kidding about that statement, it would be less weird...but I was totally that kid.)

One of my favorite "Designer in the Making" moments was at my BFF, Jenni's house. Her parents and mine had the same floor plan so I was familiar with how the space could function.  I was one of five people who lived in our house, Jenni was an only child. Our house constantly had people in it, thus leaving very little "extra" room, where Jen's (we're in our 30 now...the "i" has been dropped!) house always had more elbow room. Because of this (and that our houses were five doors down from each other) we spent uh-LOT of time at her house. Her mom had a pure white living room. Let me say this again s-l-o-w-e-r for you. a PURE. WHITE. LIVING. ROOM. White carpets, white walls (most of the walls in her house were white actually) and white furniture. I mean, WHITE.

So here's me. Already knowing that I was going to be a designer, I came up to Jen's mom while she was sitting at the kitchen table and had a very stern look on my face.
me: Mrs.W, we need to talk
H: Of course, what about?
me: Your house.
H: Hu?
me: Its lacking color.
H: Hu?
me: For example, your living room. I just want to take a gallon of paint, in ANY shade and throw it against your walls to add a, literal, splash of color.
H: Really.
me: Oh, yes.
H: I'll talk to Mr.W.

I don't know if she ever talked to Mr.W about this, she probably got up from the table and called my mom to have one of those talks..."Erin suggested I throw paint on my walls. If she pulls out the finger paints...next sleep over is NOT here." My point here with this lil' antidote is that I've always just known what a space needs/wants. Its like rooms talk to me (except not in a she-needs-to-be-admitted kind of way)

Fast forward to today. I show up at a client's home to decorate for Christmas (yay!) and after I pass the guard dog (who only woke up once I was settled and put my keys on the kitchen table) I look into the family room. For as long as I've been working with this client, I have noticed that the family room has a severe deficit in the function category. A few meetings ago, I casually brought up to her the space, asking questions like, "can you really see the tv well while its all the way over theeeeeere and the couch is all the way over hereeeee?"

So today was the day. I took another sip of my Dunkin (because who doesn't drink Dunkin...am I right?) and I moved all the Christmas boxes out of my way. (Again, let me point out the whole purpose of me being there today was to setup the stuff that was IN those boxes...) I rolled up the rugs and pushed those couches into a proper placement. (In the moving process I might have cut my finger on a screw...I might need to file a workers comp claim!)

Once I had all the large pieces in their proper place, it was time to start my decorating...and decorate I did.
I know you might be asking for pictures of the space...and I have some, but I'm not writing this from my phone (because why punish my thumbs like that?) so I'll see what I can do about uploading 'em...in the meantime, that's the new festive fireplace!

Knowing what I've wanted to be my whole life has given me the opportunity to be comfortable in my decisions and help clients ease into the idea of spending a lot of money. I cannot express in words how thankful I am that when I told my son this morning that mama had to go to work, I got to go and PLAY all morning...and then when my client came home, receive one of the most warm, wonderful and awesome phone calls!

I never take for granted that what I do is a luxury item for my clients. I am truly grateful that my passion is my work!