Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rooms: Some Favorites From Kate

First things first, I feel like I should take a moment to introduce myself. After such a great introduction from Susie, I feel as though she's set out big shoes for me to fill, but the beauty of a sister is they have the ability to build you up one moment and then quickly tell you you're "looking tired" the next! So I won't let it go to my head and I hope to be of some value when I post here.

For those of you who might recognize my writing style and have been reading blogs for a long time, I kept up a blog for a few years way back when called "snobertson." You'll see in my instagrams that I still use the handle, although I've only recently owned up to it. Blogging fell by the wayside for a few years, but I really enjoyed the process and other people's blogs are a staple of my morning routine. I'd be lost without them. And background on the name: it's a (hopefully?) good-hearted nickname acquired from years of opinions. I never seem to be without one, but thankfully am slowly learning when to keep my mouth shut!

I thought a good way to get to know me would be to share a few of my favorite things and rooms. Obviously, Susie and I have a similar aesthetic or we would never get anywhere, but we don't always think and act as one, so here is my take on a few favorite rooms:

Me, at my most formal, would look like this room from Phoebe Howard. I love her rooms. But something Susie and I talk about all the time is how to re-interpret the South for our area. We lack the history that makes rooms like this feel charming and lots of the homes we work on are close to the water or within sight of it and demand a more laid-back approach. We've made a compromise with life in order to achieve this look by making rooms like this "Secret-Safe" -- it might cost more to put an indoor-outdoor fabric on the sofa, but guaranteed it will be the difference between using the room or letting it become a mausoleum.

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Which leads me this room by Victoria Hagan. It's a big exhale in the form of a room. I will be the first one to tell you that I am not the biggest fan of the style this region adopted from who-knows-where of "Northwest Contemporary." While I love modern design, I don't love how brutal it can become and DARK. We already live in a cloudy spot! This home embodies what I wished we'd picked up from our east coast sisters. It's light and bright and charming and it's perfectly suited for being around the water, which so many of us are.

On the other side of the coin, I love me a pattern. I don't love pattern and color for pattern and color's sake, however. I love it when it's unexpected and when it ties everything together. I like mixing it and I'm often accused of considering certain patterns to be "neutrals," which I know isn't the case. But so help me if the right animal print doesn't go with everything. And I'm not talking Gorga-Jersey-fuzzy leopard. This Betsy Burnham room accomplishes a pattern on a sofa in the best possible way.

I know this room (scratch that, whole house) is on everyone's list, but that's because it's so damn good. This is what I wish I saw more of when people wanted to keep things natural and rustic. The tight color palette and streamlined furniture all works so well together. And a nod to those who remember the rest of the house,  add the great room with the beamed ceilings to my list.

A huge thing about me: I am a sucker for the details. It pains me when they aren't given enough thought or when the hardware on cabinetry falls flat. Details are the things that make one house different from the next and in my opinion, it's the reason that designers will always have a job if the client recognizes the need. Builders aren't in it for those details and why would they be, to a certain extent? They are there to give you a good quality house in the best way they know how, while keeping costs down. Designers are here to give you a great quality home and that is through the details!! Grasscloth! Fabrics! Lighting! Nothing sets a home apart more than things like a good fixture (down with the boob lights!!) or millwork. And the jewelry that is a sink faucet... I won't even start down that road of missed opportunity.

First the attainable (above): I love this bathroom because it's kind of "the everyman's bath." There is nothing about this bath that keeps it from being in your house. It's totally common, yet packed with every ounce of great style and thought. No marble shower walls, no fancy fixtures and it speaks to what I mean about details. It's the bits sprinkled on top and in-between that make it perfect.

And then the more out of reach (above): It's another Victoria Hagan and it's just gorgeous. I love so many of her homes and this bath is the perfect mix of traditional with a twist (note the lucite sink stands) and the fact that it's so roomy and uncluttered is beautiful in it's own right.

I'll post some favorite things next time, I don't want to wear out my welcome on the first post.


Monday, January 14, 2013

A Big Announcement & Change

Hello and belated Happy New Year. I hope everyone's year is off to a good start.  I have finally resurfaced from the holidays and feel like I'm back on a regular schedule. As regular as my schedule can be with two kids and a busy design business, that is.

I haven't been one to share too much personal information on the blog, but a new year calls for a new approach. Over the past couple years I have struggled to find a balance in my career and in my home life. My passion for my job can be all-consuming and at times my family is left wondering if and where their dinner is that evening. I've also been known to be the mom that is running late at pick-up as I'm trying to squeeze as much into each hour of the day as possible. I have to set the alarm on my iPhone or they probably wouldn't be picked up at all (I can admit it). Needless to say, I've had many times where I thought I needed to choose between continuing with my career or focus on my family, as I didn't feel like I was excelling at either. But it really wasn't a choice I could make as I love working and I'm a better mom for it (besides my tardiness and late dinners). I also struggled with working by myself as I'm an extrovert.  I was tired of spending 8-12 hours a day by myself. Not to mention the amount of work that goes into running a business. Something had to give.

Since starting the business, I've had the pleasure to have my sister occasionally work with me part-time while she was in Interior Design school when she wasn't doing internships or working elsewhere. She is 14 years my junior, so she knows acronyms and technical information like how to build a website that a child of the 80's doesn't know, which has come in very handy. She started working with me on a couple of jobs this Fall while she was looking for a permanent job in commercial design. During those months of spending 10-plus hours a day together on-site or trapped in a car driving from client to client, she decided that she wanted to continue working with me to grow Trove Interiors versus pursuing commercial design (despite some tempting offers). I was shocked BUT thrilled. She is the ying to my yang. A perfect complement. She brings the combination of  business experience (she was an accomplished advertising Account Manager prior to going back to school and general over-achiever) with an amazing eye for design. Also, being so much younger she keeps my finger on the pulse of what's current and trending. Not to mention she is one of the hardest working people I've had the pleasure of working with over the last 20+ years.

I am thrilled to announce that Kate is now an official partner in Trove Interiors. She is not just my sister but one of my best friends. I can't imagine my life and business without her. I'm so excited for what this next chapter offers for both of us personally and professionally.

2013 is going to be great!

Join me in welcoming Kate to the business.
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