Friday, December 30, 2011

5 Lessons Learned as an Interior Design Student

I have learned a lot these past few years as an interior design student. I still have SO much that I don't know and haven't experienced yet...but here are a few of the biggest lessons I have learned while being a design student so far. I hope these will either just be interesting, or be helpful for someone considering going to school for design. (PS: I tried to categorize them...but they might kind of all blend together in some way, ha)

1) Real design is not like HGTV
In my first design class freshman year, the professor said, "If you don't know already, being an interior designer is not as glamorous as it seems on HGTV". I sat in my seat and slowly nodded my head as if I knew...but really I was thinking, " this won't be like Candice Olson on Divine Design?" I wasn't completely naive...I knew it was going to be more challenging than that. But at the time I had only really considered the glamorous parts of the industry. I really had no idea what I was in for (and I still have so much that I haven't experienced). It would be a dream to just frolic around shopping at home stores, wearing cute outfits, decorating a home for nice clients who have unlimited funds. And sometimes, that might be part of design. But there is much, MUCH more to design than that. 

2) Patience, patience, patience
Every student in this major will be creative in some way. But that's not enough. To actually do well on our design projects, it takes a whole lot of patience and attention to detail. First of all, there is so much detail that has to go into each project that something can always go wrong. You might have measured incorrectly or made a mistake while drawing the room, causing the furniture to not fit. You might choose the most fabulous light fixture to hang over a dining table, and then realize that the fixture has an 8 inch diameter and would look ridiculously small with the large table you chose. Because of this...I've learned that even though I'd like for everything to go according to plan, it's not unusual for the plan to need to be altered as I go. I've learned to pay really close attention to details, as well as being flexible when things need to be adjusted.

3) Designer vs. decorator
Before college, I never realized how offended interior designers are when they are called interior decorators. I had always thought they were interchangeable. Now, I'm only a design student and I completely understand why they are not. Here's the thing. There are so many creative and talented people out there. You could be a great interior decorator because of pure talent alone. But being an interior designer is so much more than the talent of picking out cute pillows that match the curtains. The difference is in the technical knowledge learned while going to design school. I'm halfway through my junior year and I've yet to have a class that mentions 'how to decorate'. I have literally been told before, "You are so lucky that your major is just like...drawing rooms and shopping online. SO JEALOUS!" ....oh no. Nooononono. No. I don't think I need to expand much more on that or I would probably start to rant. But no. I would not pay to go to school if I was just learning things like 'how to choose a cute rug'! 

4) There is always more to learn
No one will never fully master every aspect of design. There will always be more to trends to discover, fresh products, new ideas to be inspired by.  This is both exciting and overwhelming. Mostly exciting.

5) I am so glad this is what I'm studying
I think at some point everyone in college has at least a small moment where they freak out and wonder if they're doing the right thing. I definitely have, but it was short-lived. I had the thought that maybe I'd rather just DECORATE my own home some day, and wondered if I even cared to learn the technical designy stuff. Now I know for sure, I do. I feel blessed to be able to study something that I'm so passionate about, and really learn the ins and outs of the industry. Even in the times where I'm annoyed that I'm staying up until 5:30 AM perfecting a color board for my 8 AM presentation...I'm thinking, "At least I'm staying up this late for something design related instead of examining bacteria in petri dishes". There's nothing I'd rather be doing.

Lisa Leonard

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wedding Invitations {chevron, ikat, floral, vintage, letterpress}

Hi guys! Well, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I know I did. We stayed in our pajamas all day and just spent time relaxing together. It was great.

I've been trying to fully enjoy this winter break by pretty much separating myself from school completely. But design is such a passion of mine that I can't stay away from that part of my school (and I wouldn't want to!). I've realized lately that while interior design is my fave, I also would love to learn more about graphic design. It's so interesting to me and just fun to look at. I found a website the other day that I just have to share with you guys!

It's called Bella Figura, a letterpress printing company. From chevron stripes, to ikat, to floral, to vintage, they have the most beautiful, unique invitations. And they're all customizable. I could probably show you every single one of their invitations because they were all inspiring, but here's some of my favorites. I definitely recommend that you go check out their website to see the rest!

Amazing, right?!? These make me wish I had a huge party or a wedding to send out fancy invitations to. I'll know where to go when I do :) But with all those options, it would be so hard to choose a favorite.

So, which one is your favorite? 

Friday, December 23, 2011

brown paper packages tied up with string...

I'm wrapping today.

Tying up bows, getting scraps of paper EVERYWHERE, and choosing the right handmade cards for each person in my family. 

In other news...I made my sister's granola recipe yesterday. It was SO GOOD. AND SO EASY. And if I say it's's easy.

 Trust me. I refuse to make things that have a million steps or 40 ingredients or use 10 different pots. Do I exaggerate too much? Ha. But really. I'm not a master chef. I don't do complicated recipes. So if you're like me and like simple recipes...try it. Way cheaper than buying granola.

The rest of today and tomorrow will be filled with family time and decorating our church building for our Christmas Eve service! 

Hope you guys are having a wonderful Christmas Eve Eve!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More than just a pretty picture


I cannot stop looking at this bathroom. The design of it is filled with so many things I love in one little space. As I described in my Pinterest post, I really find value in closely looking at a space I like and deciding WHY I'm so drawn to it. What elements work well for me...what feeling the space gives off...what I would like to consider using in my own future designs...etc. Anyone can pin a pretty room. But to creatively design a room just as beautiful yourself, it's helpful to be aware of what MADE you love that picture so much in the first place.

Here's why I like this space:

1) Neutrals. Can't go wrong with that! I love how it's a light and airy space, mixed with warm elements (the antique cart, floor, and wood mat). Without those warm elements, the room would be really missing something for me. The textured dark floor adds a masculine feel to the otherwise feminine room.

2) Several mirrors vs. one big one. That alone makes this room interesting and unique. The different sizes and shapes of mirrors are an unexpected twist! And of course, they make the room feel larger.

3) That charming sink vanity. I love how it looks one-of-a-kind. It definitely adds character that the room would be lacking without it. 

4) The lighting. Mixing lanterns and chandeliers...lovely.

5) Distressed white chair as towel storage. Unexpected. 

What do YOU like about the room?

*I found this photo on Pinterest and couldn't find the source for the life of me! After an hour or so of searching, I found a place that said it was from BHG. But I had no luck finding it there to give you guys the exact link! SO...if you know a better source for it, let me know! But for now, the best I can get is that it's from BHG. I'm a big believer in giving the correct credit/sources on my blog!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy New Year?...

Ehhh..yes. I know. Christmas hasn't even passed. I promise you I'm not a Grinch. And I'm not skipping over Christmas before it's over. I'm fully savoring every moment with Charlie Brown Christmas music flowing through the house, holiday card-making, and spending lots of time with my family. 

But for some reason, as far as online inspiration goes...I'm gonna be honest. I'm a little Christmas decor'ed out right now. *gasp*. I don't hate Christmas. I don't walk around my house mumbling 'bah humbug'. I've just seen so many beautiful Christmas decorations online and am ready for some new inspiration!

 Which is why today, I'm taking a little Christmas break and dreaming of fancy New Years parties. 

With cute cupcakes...
Tinsel streamers...
Martha Stewart

Glittery candles...
Martha Stewart
Flag banner cakes

Hello Naomi

And new traditions to start...

The idea for this little mason jar is to add memories throughout the year and then read them with your family/friends on New Year's Eve. How cute is that!?!?

Anywho...enough of that little break. 
Back to Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Velvet Love

My latest obsession: velvet.

Really, I just love anything soft. Fuzzy blankets. Cashmere sweaters. Fluffy dogs. Sand paper. {Wait what}

I adore everything about this picture. Designer/stylist Emily Henderson used this velvet wingback chair in one of her designs. I love how she paired such a soft chair with a rough, natural desk.

I really liked the gray velvet on this Adler Sofa from Schoolhouse Electric. This would be such a nice piece in a more formal living room...would it not?

Velvet stockings. 

These are actually from my mom's Christmas mantel last year. They're from Pottery Barn a year or two back. I kind of can't handle how soft they are. I could probably be handed an empty stocking on Christmas morning and not care or notice because I'd just be thinking about their softness. Yep, I wasn't joking when I said I'm obsessed.

Velvet tufted headboards...dream. 

Velvet drapes. I have some gray ones from World Market on my Christmas wish list for my bedroom!

Now...there is a bad way to use velvet. Allow me to show you. 

You are about to see a picture of me and my best friend since 1st grade, Emily. I think this picture of us is actually from 2nd or 3rd grade. Prepare yourself.

Yep. Matching, velvet, TURTLENECK, short sleeved shirts. With black embroidered flowers scattered throughout. Our other best friend had a lime green one too. The complete set. To add to the ridiculousness of this picture, when this pic was taken, we were about to film a dance routine to Nsync's "Bring in Da Noise". Oh yes...those were the days. 

Emily and I have come a long way since then.

Here we are! Still best friends and now college roommates! She is great. But that's a future post!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You know you're a new blogger when...

You wake up to find comments on a post you didn't 
even know you did. 

Ha.....yes. I don't even know how this post happened. All I know is that I was on Polyvore last night making this:

And when I wake up today, I had new comments! On a post with just a cute table. With no writing in my post. Lol. Awk. Thaaat gave me a good laugh this morning...

Clearly I'm still learning the ropes here.

Have you had any awkward moments like this as a new blogger?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Benchwright Reclaimed Wood Dining Table | Pottery Barn

Bye-bye Pink Walls...

Yesterday was simply a success. I made blueberry scones. I took Jack on a walk by the lake. I found a cute striped sweater tucked away in the garage that my dad didn't want anymore.

But the real success of yesterday was that I FINALLY finished the daunting project of painting my bedroom. 

If you read my mom's blog ( you most likely know about the highly unfortunate flesh color of all the walls of our house, which we like to call...swine. The builder of this house intended for it to be a nice tan color, I'm sure...but the pinky undertones turned out to make my family feel like we were surrounded by pigs at all times. Maybe we're being a little dramatic. But being design lovers, we really prefer that pigs aren't a theme in our home. Sorry. Not a fan.

Luckily at this point, almost all traces of swine had exited the premises. However, my room had two very sad swine walls left.

 My goal of last summer was to paint my room. One day, I was on a roll and painted the whole day...finishing the two biggest walls. It was the first time I had painted my own room, edges and all. I was so proud. I wanted to finish the rest, but after that I kind of lost my steam. I actually mainly just didn't want to have to move the big pieces of furniture away from the remaining walls. Sometimes I'm lazy. Oops.

Anyways, a week or two passed by and when I finally might have gotten the motivation to start painting again, I had to have an emergency appendectomy. GREAT. That was near the end of summer, so the rest of my break was spent recovering and being unable to do anything at all strenuous, including standing on ladders and painting my room. So this is what I was left with at the end of the summer:

When this winter break rolled around, I was determined to FINISH what I had started. Yesterday I glanced over at this corner, and the next thing I knew I was dragging furniture away from the walls as fast as I could.

I was sprinting up and down the stairs multiple times to get the supplies. Searching high and low for a stir stick. STILL searching for a stir stick. Finding one tucked deep in a crevice of the garage (really?). Hauling a ladder up the stairs. An hour later and I was all situated, and I painted the rest of the day.

It's Studio Taupe by Behr (All-in-one), a really nice color that we've used in many rooms of our house. That above picture makes it look like a dark charcoal but it's really not thaaat dark. This pic from my mom's stairwell shows it off better (it's the gray color in the stripes):

No after pictures of my room yet...still lots to do! But I am so happy with how much better my room feels. And mark my words, the sick color of swine will never again be found in this room.

Do you have any projects like that? That have taken you waaaaay longer than you expected? It always kills me how fast design projects appear to go on HGTV. Lies, I tell you.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fresh Home Office - My Polyvore Creation

The day I discovered Polyvore was possibly one of the greatest days of my life.

It's a really fun website where you can compile different items to create inspiration boards. People mainly use it for fashion and interior inspiration. Since I'm just a *little* obsessed with interior design, I use Polyvore to quickly pull together items and get a general idea of what a space could look like. And let me just tell you from experience, it's much faster {and less tedious} than constructing a real color board. I only spent about 20 minutes on this one and when I was done, I was ready to move in and call this my office. This would have taken much longer if I had any sort of budget, however :) Ha ha...yeah. No budget for this room. 
For this space I had no design plan to begin with. I just randomly gathered things I loved, and the room started to come together in a beautiful way!

That's what is so great about design. There are endless many unique ways to make a room just right for a specific person. I love the fact that I could simply switch out a few of these pieces and I'd have a completely different feeling room. 

Man oh man, I love my major.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Handmade Christmas Cards


And I'm done with the busy quarter that I thought may never end! I am so relieved to have this break. This cozy chair by the fire and the Christmas tree is my favorite spot in the house.

My first full day home for break was the most glorious, slow-paced day ever. I pretty much wandered around all day organizing my room, watching shows, and Christmas decorating. And then I decided to do some crafts.

I have a stash of cute scrapbooking stuff that I rarely find time to use...but right now since it feels like I have all the time in the world, I started making some cards and gift tags for Christmas!

Jack kept trying to fling himself onto the table to grab them. I didn't appreciate it. He wasn't even sneaky about it. Look at him...licking his lips, just wishing he could devour my cards. Dreaming of what the paper might taste like.

He's not always mischevious, though. Sometimes he just sits on my lap and we pretend he's still 15 pounds instead of FORTY.

This is Jack's favorite spot of the house. The ottoman. For some reason this picture makes me think of Pride Rock from Lion King. Jack just looks so...regal. Mufasa, is that you?

It's going to be a wonderful break and Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, here's how much shopping I've done: ________

None. ZILCH.

I keep hearing people (mostly bloggers) say they've been done shopping for weeks now...what??

But hey. I made cards. That counts for something, riiiight? 


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fabric, Gift Wrap...and One Last Paper.

Well...I made it through yesterday's insanely busy finals day (4 in one day!). I thought I would spend my day sprinting from final to final, near tears, but it actually turned out to be a really nice day. Everything just seemed to go well yesterday. I love when you THINK a day will be horrible and it ends up being great. 

To celebrate finals being over last night, I came right home and sat on Pinterest for entirely too long. It was a dream. I've barely even been on Pinterest this quarter because of how busy I've been. Here's a couple good finds from my pinning spree:

I just loved this fabric...kind of a herringbone print. It's from Hawthorne Threads

Newsprint. Lace. Doilies. Nature-esque leafy things. (?)

Definitely going to use those as an inspiration when I wrap my gifts this year!

I'd like to think that I'm done with finals and that I can sit on Pinterest all day but in reality, I'm still finishing up one...last...paper.

The only thing that stands between me and the break. So...that's where SelfControl comes in. Have you guys used this before?? It's an app for Mac computers that lets you block websites from your computer for an amount of time that you choose. It's a life saver for me. I get distracted way too easily. Here's what mine looks like right now...and I'm about to press start. 

I don't necessarily want to block these websites right now...but alas. I must. My paper will be done in 3 hours. 

Goodbye everyone.