This is part two of my amazing interview with Abbe Fenimore of Studio ten 25. If you missed part one, you might want to read that first.
PH: I know you love blingy bling – me, too! But, if you had to design a living-room that you would still want to enjoy in twenty years what kinds of things would you include and what would you leave out?
I would include furniture that has a timeless shape and a good structure, classics. My mother still has her sofa and accent chairs from the 80′s and we recently recovered them. The new fabric we selected updated the look of a classic piece and now she can enjoy them for another 15 years. Unfortunately, not all furniture today is made with such high quality. You do get what you pay for.
I would leave out expensive trendy pieces. You can always change out pillows, drapes and rugs over time to fit your style and change in color choices. Spending money on trends is easy to do these days, most vendors create replicas or “inspired by” pieces at a fraction of the cost. This allows you to have high style with out the high cost and it doesn’t hurt so much when the pieces leaves the house.
PH: What is the most valuable piece of advice that anyone ever gave you? And, what advice would you give to an interior design student just starting out?
Hire a good accountant and stay organized! Keeping up with invoices, receipts and taxes are a very important part of this business. I have to watch every penny I spend and have to constantly ask myself “do I really need to spend this and will it add to the growth of my business?”. At the end of the day, having your own business is wonderful. But you must plan your costs, time and marketing dollars wisely to make sure your profit meets or exceeds your goals.
On a personal note, you have to be true to you and what motivates you to get up and go to work everyday. Sometimes turning down a client can be a good thing. Yes, doing something for the money and paying the bills may be looming over you but putting yourself in an crummy situation can be worse. Learn to ask the right questions Learn from past experiences with bad & good clients. It’s okay to say no sometimes, we can not be everything to everyone. Be professional ALWAYS, even when your standing your ground
PH: Are there any tools, apps, programs or even just a favorite brand of glue, that you can’t live without? Tell me what you love about them.
Wow, I’m feeling a bit excessive now as I think about this one. So, here we go! My tape measure, fine point sharpie pens and a small notebook are my can’t live withouts. You never know when you need to measure something and write down the details. Of course I need a fabulous bag that holds everything too, I love my anthracite pompon because it’s classic and has giant gold hardware! As for programs… Icovia is my go to for floor plans while Adobe Photoshop Elements helps me put it all together. And of course my Macbook and iPhone are crucial to staying productive.
PH: Everybody has their own design voice. If I were to walk into a room you designed what would jump out at me and scream Abbe? In other words, do you have a favorite design “trick” that you rely on?
I tend to gravitate towards glamorous pieces, especially mirrored furniture and accessories. I’m not sure when this obsession started but I think it has something to do with marrying a man from Fort Worth, TX who has a love for all things outdoor and rustic. Things that say “Abbe” are pretty simple, here are my must haves for every room I work on:
* I love to start with clean lines and bring in pieces that have good shape and quality.
* Your room can look amazing but if it’s not comfortable, what’s the point?
* Texture, texture and more texture. Mixing textures with accent fabrics, draperies & furniture pieces keep a room from feeling flat and blah.
* Color & pattern! Most of my clients are confused and overwhelmed when it comes to color and how to mix patterns. If you basics are simple, bringing in a great wall color and accent color through art and pillows can pull it all together with out being color crazy.
Here are a few of my favorites.
PH: In addition to your regular interior design services, you also offer eDesign. How does that work? Why would someone choose eDesign instead of “regular” design? How do you virtually walk your clients through the design process? And, how do you make sure they follow your design scheme and not take detours into the land of yuck?
Virtual design is perfect for the “do-it-yourself-ers” who want the look of a professionally designed room without having the designer come out to their home. Every bit of the virtual design service is conducted online through emails and maybe even a few phone calls. No matter where you live or what your time frame, you now have access to the design services needed to complete your home. The package you receive from the designer will allow you to create the room on your time frame and on your budget. Most online design packages offer simple and affordable options where prices vary by room. It’s perfect really.
We will give our client everything they need to know for creating a stunning space, including a furniture plan, fabric and paint samples, a shopping list and thorough instructions for making their home exactly what they dream it to be.
PH: If you weren’t an interior designer you would be…?
I would be involved in the design industry some way or another. I have had a desire to be a designer since I was a little girl rearranging samples in my mother’s tile showroom. I have a Bachelor of Interior Design but working on the sales/marketing side of the design business has taught me invaluable lessons. Promoting my business as well as products & people I believe in is something that gives me the warm fuzzies.
PH: If you were a room, what kind of room would you be and what would you look like?
Hmm…I don’t think I can narrow myself down to just one room… If I were a living room I would be glamorous enough for entertaining & cozy enough to cuddle up on the couch with my laptop. A graphic rug, classic Hollywood Regency touches and a fabulous chandelier would pull it all together.
If I were a bedroom…I would have a stately headboard, crisp linens and great lighting! And of course, I would have lots of mirrors for on overall glamorous fell.
Image Via: JenerationInteriors
Thank you, Abbe!! If you’d like to know more about Abbe and her designs, contact her directly at:
- Ideas & Inspiration
- Life on the Lake
- On the Table
- Renovations from the Front
- Tips & Resources
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