I’m not sure how Marianne from Haven and Home came to find my blog, but I’m so glad she did. This is why comments are so important. If she hadn’t left one who knows how long it would have taken me to find her. It was meant to be. We instantly became friends.
She is an AMAZING Interior Decorator in Birmingham, AL and since I’ve always felt like I was meant to be a Southern Belle I’m constantly leaving her comments about wanted to move near her.
Not only do we have similar design styles, but we have several similarities in where we are in our lives. We both went to school for things other than Interior Design, both miserable at our first jobs out of college, both did programs in Interior Design, both started our own business, and both have totally supportive husbands watching our backs while we try to be our own bosses (something we’ve both always wanted) and eventually have dreams of owning our own home stores.
She is always inspiring me from her the beautiful images that she posts about to her sweet words and encouragement that I’m going to make it in this crazy field! I adore her. I was super excited to have join on the fun with the IN HER SHOES series.
So sit back, get comfy and have reading about a day in the life of Marianne Strong Interiors.
6:00- Alarm goes off, hit snooze at least twice before getting up. I try to always exercise in the morning because if I don’t then it is just not happening. Get up, get dressed, say goodbye to the hubby and I am out the door with a banana.
6:30- Arrive at friends house to walk. It is so much nicer to walk with someone versus hitting the treadmill. There is a massive hill in her neighborhood and at the top is a beautiful house that I am obsessed with. It is a little treat when we make it to the top – we stop and stare at it every time. Can you tell I am in the right field?
7:45-9:00- Back home, play with Harry (dog), shower, get ready while watching Good Morning America, eat breakfast (always cereal or oatmeal), check to see that my post went up alright (I usually write them the night before), time permitting check other blogs and read personal e-mail.
9:00- Since I work from home I found I have to stay on a strict schedule or I get distracted, it is hard for me. I try to start working at 9:00 almost every morning (sometimes it is earlier, very rarely it is later). Today I have an installation at 11:00 at a client’s house. It has been a while since I have been there so I pull all her stuff back out and look over what we have done. Have coffee, check work e-mail and review what needs to be done today. Start accounts with 2 new rug sources, I am VERY excited about this!
10:45- Leave house with Diet Sunkist and leather samples for client. I love diet soft drinks, it is my vice.
11:00- 1:15- At clients house for installation. Curtains look great, now we just have to touch up the paint and fluff a little and she will be good to go. I get so nervous on days like today. I just want the client to be extremely pleased and since this client is more traditional than my style I was extra nervous. This client is a great example of what I go through each day. The seamstress had misquoted the hardware so I had to call the client and explain the additional/higher charge. I HATE when things go wrong and in this business something frequently does. It is usually completely out of your control, but you are the middle man and the face the client is looking at in the end. On the flip side though, when a project is finished or something comes in and you can tell just by the look on someone’s face how happy they are, it makes everything completely worth while. One more thing I find myself going through is getting attached to clients, which I know I should not do but I can’t help it. My job is so personal- very one on one, you are working in someone’s private space, spending their hard earned money, getting to know their kids, etc. When a job is over I always feel a little sad, like a friend leaving. I know I am sap.
Here is a before picture and me inspecting them after (I was having flash issues)…
After with Marianne:
1:30- I was supposed to go to a luncheon today at one of the local designer showrooms to see Thibaut’s new line but the installation ran WAY over and I have totally missed it. Decide to go by and see if the new fabric and wallpaper is still out since I have wallpaper books to return to them. Nothing but brownies and Diet Coke left, I indulged in both (I usually do not do 2 soft drinks in one day). I will have to see the new wallpaper and fabric later. Here is just a glimpse into one room of the fabric showroom:
1:50- Drive home- remind myself I am working and should not take a shopping detour, not even to Target.
2:00- Back home. Sit on the back porch with Harry while I quickly eat a PBJ and chips. What? It is quick and easy.
2:15- Off to 2 paint stores to grab samples for client meeting tomorrow. I have several decks I work off, but I like to have small swatches to leave with clients of colors that I think will work.
3:00- Head to 18th Street Orientals to look at rugs for a client. Of course fall in love with every antique, one of a kind (aka-more expensive) rug instead of the reproductions which is the price range I am looking in. Love this rug below….
3:45- Back home again. Listen to the last 15 minutes of Ellen while checking e-mail. I love Ellen, she makes me happy.
4:00-5:30 Change into Old Navy sandals since I will probably be home the rest of the day. Pull out all the paint and rug samples for a client I am hopefully meeting with tomorrow. Organize everything I have been working on for her, review all my notes and pictures, look for lighting/furniture in source catalogs and online, brainstorm furniture placement. Meanwhile my little companion lays under my desk (and on my shoes).
5:30- The Husband is home early, YEAH! Ask him to take a picture of me working for the blog, he obliges but I am sure he thinks I am a little off my rocker. Sometimes it is just easier to work on the floor…
6:00- I think I am going to call it a day. I usually work until 6:30 or so and then work on a post for tomorrow’s blog. Today though I am not in the mood so I check e-mail. Don’t you love and hate e-mail at the same time?
6:45- No plans tonight so it is wine on the porch while reading an old issue of Domino. A friend/client recently gave me a bunch of old Domino and Cottage Living magazines, it was Christmas in April.
7:30- Patrick and I sit down for dinner-store bought ravioli and a salad, surprising good. I would love to say we cook but we usually run out of time and keep it simple. Sit and talk about the day. It has been a productive day, much more interesting than yesterday when I did paper work for 5 hours. Relax for the rest of the evening.
Spent most of the day in these – there is no name on the tag, they are from some cheap place in the mall but they are really comfortable and add height to my 5’2" stature. Then the Old Navy sandals, ended in my leopard slippers circa 1998 that I cannot part with even though they have holes in the bottom and are not suitable for public viewing. Doesn’t everyone have something like that?
Huge Thank you to Marianne for doing this. I had a lot of fun living through a day in your life.
Hope you all enjoyed it. Again let me know who else you would like to see featured.
Have lovely weekend!