gooollysandra

Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Tag Archives: interior design

The importance of the space around us

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This might not be true for everyone, but I have noticed that the space around me has a direct correlation to my mood, general attitude, perception, and approach to life. This has been true ever since I was little, and my earliest recollection of having an interest in the space around me is from when I was in grade school. A friend and I carpooled a couple times a week after school, spending one afternoon at my house and one afternoon at hers, and our favorite past time was rearranging each other’s rooms. I loved exploring the various possibilities of the use of our space not only for functionality by moving the bed here or the dresser there, but also for the feel and charm of different ways things could be decorated and arranged. I remember our parents getting mad that we were moving such heavy furniture at a young age, and perhaps someday in the future I’ll pay for those childhood play dates, but I reflect back on them with fondness.

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My bedroom in Massachusetts in the house that I renovated

It’s important for me to create a space for myself that I can truly feel inspired in. And what I mean by feel inspired in is just that feeling of home and of yourself – I think our space is an extension of ourselves and when it clearly and cohesively reflects who we are, it is most comfortable. This can be achieved in the smallest details that when put together result in an amalgamation of all the little moments and pieces and feelings that make up who we are. These can be things like small plants on the windowsill, your favorite blanket on your bed that you like to curl up in and read a book or watch Netflix, a light fixture that creates the perfect ambience, your most influential books stacked on your desk, pictures of your favorite memories in your bookcase, that childhood stuffed animal that you can’t bear to part with sitting on your nightstand, your most-worn necklaces draped on your dresser, etc. I mean the list could go on, and you can always rearrange and replace things as they no longer do anything for you.

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My desk area in the apartment I lived in during graduate school

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My current apartment

I have loved decorating and redecorating my childhood bedroom at home, the numerous dorm rooms I’ve lived in, and the various houses and apartments I’ve lived in since college. It’s a continual process for me that’s never complete, and it’s also something I look forward to working on in my spare time; whether it’s going to cute boutiques on the hunt for the perfect pillows to finish off a space, or going to tile and granite stores to pick out samples for larger projects, it’s my favorite past time that never ceases to inspire me.

Clean lines and white walls

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Loving the crispness of this interior by Larson and Paul Architects LLP

America’s favorite couple

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How can you not love these two??

NeoCon 2016

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I just got back from NeoCon, an annual Interior Design conference held at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, and I’m still unwinding from the madness/excitement/whirlwind that is NeoCon. I’ve had an interest in Interior Design since I was little, and it started with countless afternoons spent rearranging the furniture in my room. And someday I might wonder why I develop back problems…anyway, this was my first Interior Design conference and it definitely gave me some good insight into what the industry is really like at the highest level. While I love aesthetics, especially when related to interior spaces, I felt like the conference was eye-opening, and not necessarily in the best way. The conference included hundreds of booths showing off their products, designers dressed to the T, seminars about various design topics, and all the showrooms were open for people to meander in and out of.

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The Interior Design industry, and practicing Interior Design, is fun, but there is a certain level of superficiality about it that I’m struggling with. While picking out paint colors and tiles and fabrics is fun, sometimes I ask myself, “What are we really doing here besides making things look pretty?” Again, while this is very fun, I worry how much it’s actually contributing to society and what good it’s really doing. Another thing is, that it is only an affluent clientele that can afford to hire an Interior Designer, therefore resulting in providing a service that caters only to the rich. Furthermore, as a designer, you might have a certain style, but the client for whom you are working might have a very different style, and you have to cater to that style, even if you happen to hate it.

All of these components of Interior Design have started to weigh on my mind as I’ve gained more exposure to the industry, and I find myself questioning if it’s really the industry for me, despite the fact that I love looking at and putting together beautiful spaces. It’s a complex and competitive business, akin to the fashion industry, which makes it difficult to make one’s way in.

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On the flip side, what is inspiring about Interior Design is creating spaces that will inspire those for whom you are creating them. Helping clients see their space in a new way and teaching them how to coordinate certain things, or bringing in pieces they would not have thought of on their own, arranging things to make a space more functional, or completely redefining a space, and giving them the luxury to enjoy and feel comfortable in the space they call home are all aspects of Interior Design that can be rewarding (and fun)!

Kitchen backslashes

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I recently saw the movie, Mother’s Day, and while not a great movie, it was at least entertaining. What did hold my attention though were the kitchens! As a lover of all things related to Interiors, I was so distracted during the scenes that took place in kitchens because all I could focus on was the backsplash or the light fixtures. What also sparked my interest was the fact that one of the characters is an Interior Designer and lands an awesome project, pictured below (interior designer on the right and awesome client on the left). If only it was that easy! Unfortunately I can’t find any pictures of the kitchens, but I guess you’ll just have to see the movie to know what I’m talking about!

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Interiors

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Ever since I was little I can remember spending afternoons with friends after school rearranging the furniture in our bedrooms. I suppose I should have known then to pursue a career in Interior Design, but alas, I studied other things in college when I thought I wanted a life in academia. Now, after going to grad school for the humanities, I am finally realizing that I do indeed want to follow my dream of working with interior spaces in some way. Without having a degree in Interior Design, I am looking for other ways to gain experience in the field to start, namely the retail side of design, and then maybe eventually  become certified in design. Meanwhile, I am teaching myself on how to use the popular Google modeling program, SketchUp, which is a lot of fun!

Several years ago when I was in college, I set out to photographically capture the way that I had decorated my childhood bedroom at the time. Here are some snippets from that time in my life, which I think only reinforce my love of interior spaces and what one can do to crete them, fill them, decorate them, and enjoy them.

Some more renovation projects

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A couple more renovation projects in my grandparents’ house for which I only have after pictures.

Dining Room 

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Master bathroom 

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Some renovation projects

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My grandparents’ house in the Berkshires, where I lived for one year while working before I went to graduate school, was completely redone – if not fully gutted, at least redecorated. Two bathrooms were gutted, everything but cabinets were renovated in the kitchen, and the rest of the house was removed of wallpaper, painted, re-carpeted, re-floored, re-roofed, and landscaped. I had so much fun picking out all the materials, colors, and rearranging furniture to make the rooms more functional. Some of the renovations were very long processes, but seeing the way the spaces transformed over time was very rewarding. It goes beyond a simple aesthetic pleasure for me. My surroundings heavily influence my mood, productivity, and overall well-being. So not only were these projects fun to work on, they also made me feel like I was creating something – constructing a life.

Here are some before and after pictures of some of the rooms.

My Bedroom Before

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My Bedroom After 

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The Study Before 

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The Study After 

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Guest Bedroom #1 Before 

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Guest Bedroom #1 After 

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Guest Bedroom #2 Before 

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Guest Bedroom #2 After 

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Basement Before 

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Basement After 

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Kitchen renovation

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While living in my grandparents’ home last year, I had a lot of fun working on some renovation projects. The kitchen was by far the biggest (and most expensive) of the projects, but also the one that has been the most rewarding. It’s definitely a pleasure to cook in this kitchen now!

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During the renovation process 

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After

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Apartment living on a student budget

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Who said you can’t have a cute apartment while living on a student budget? As I’m very interested in Interiors, I care about creating cute, inspiring spaces for myself. However, I have also been a student this past year and knew that I couldn’t spend a lot of money decorating my first apartment. But, by combining vintage family pieces and buying low-cost pieces, I was able to create a comfortable, uplifting space.

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