How I Became an Interior Designer : Part 2

>> Friday, March 20, 2015

Let's see, the next chapter of my story is probably in high school. But I think it's worth noting that I watched a million episodes of Designing Women in between. So I did have some continuing education after my original revelation.

But high school, I was ok at high school. I did everything just ok. I applied myself here and there, but reflecting back on high school as an adult, I could have tried a lot harder. I took the ACT (sans studying), applied to college (just one) and was accepted....BUT....did not get accepted to the interior design program. I met with our school counselor about what major I would declare and I remember her telling me that maybe interior design was not for me. UT only took around 15 students into the program every year and my academic performance thus far was not going to get me into that select group.  But instead of being all what kind of dream crushing school counselor are you!? I accepted the challenge, checked undeclared, and headed over to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to pick out some extra-long twin sheets.

^^^what's a blog post without a picture?^^^
There are overalls under that awesome pullover, in case you were curious. AND in my hair, naturally curly, is  pushed back with one of those comb headbands. Pin away.

So I went to college and for the first time in my academic career, I decided I needed to do more than just ok. I scheduled a meeting with the Dean of the Interior Design program, who told me that they take a handful of non-freshman students every year based on portfolio review. I spent the second semester of my freshman year in various art studios, with some really cool people who were forging their own academic paths, and it.was.awesome. I re-applied that spring and guess what, senior year school counselor?? the faux fortune teller was right. I was accepted. Stephanie Frye was still on track to becoming an interior designer.

And if you happen to have made it this far and are thinking, why did I read this, I don't even want to be an interior designer? My husband, who just finished his training at a Harvard Hospital, who DID study for his ACT, and is the most handsome nerd I know, did not get accepted into medical school the first time he applied.

So, don't let rejection stop you. It's actually been a re-occurring theme in my career, but more on that later! Part 3 coming soon.


How I Became an Interior Designer : Part 1

>> Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I get a lot of emails with questions asking me the path to becoming an interior designer. The most honest answer is, there are several paths. Some of the most talented, successful interior designers I know have no formal training. You see their work on the cover of shelter magazines everyday. On the flip side, some interior designers have both an undergraduate and a masters degree in design. They are your design professors or the head of interiors departments in commercials firms, like my insanely talented friend Heather who was just named one of Nashville's 40 under 40 (baller!) Me? I am somewhere in between. But if you want to hear my story, I'm going to make you start in the beginning. And so I bring you a new blog series...

How I Became an Interior Designer 
Part 1

The year, 1988. 
Just doing second grade, one day at time, occasionally gazing into mirrors to remind myself how lucky I am to be a child of the 80's.

And then one weekend in that very formative year, our elementary school had it's annual school fair. There was a fortune teller at this event, who I knew was not legit because she was my second grade teacher, BUT I was willing to overlook that in hopes of gaining some insight on my future. So, being the planner that I am, I went straight for the meat...what am I going to be when I grow up? She looked into her crystal ball and said "an interior designer." And I said "what do they do?" She said something along the lines of picking out fabrics and decorations and getting paid for it, and I was like uhm, ok! 

And so at the ripe old age of 7, my career plans were set and I have not changed my story since 
(minus that stint after college where I hated my job and wanted to take the LSAT)
Be back soon with part 2.


New Year . New House . New Baby!

>> Thursday, January 8, 2015

2015, I'm so excited about you.

After tons of groaning and feeling sorry for myself, we found a house in November that we closed on last month. We are homeowners! Again! Yikes! We are renovating a small portion of the house before we move in, so we are relishing the benefits of apartment living (on call emergency maintenance services) for just a few more months. This phase of renovation will include the kitchen, a downstairs bathroom, and a back area that we will use as a family room.  I realized last week that I am basically renovating a small apartment inside a larger house. I'm like an animal who has lived in a small cage for 6 years, I need to be eased into larger surroundings, lest I totally freak out. And then the rest of the house is going to have to sit empty for the next 10 years while we save money to furnish it:) I did buy a bouncy house for the formal living room. So unless bouncy houses are the new Chippendale armoire, don't be looking for us in the next issue of Elle Decor. But you can follow along on IG under the hashtag #asabberenovationstory

Here is a quick mockup I did of one of the kitchen walls when doing a materials study.
I keep telling Bryan that it's going to be like a modern Dowton Abby kitchen. He's like mmmkay, whatever.

And, in other exciting news...I'm 23 weeks pregnant with a GIRL! My boys call her Strawberry Mary. Remi actually started calling her that weeks before we knew it was a girl, which is kind of crazy. He says she has red hair and red fingernails. Last week he added red eyes, also kind of crazy. But no matter what she looks like, we are so excited to welcome her into our family in May. 

And, more exciting news, she won't have to sleep in a closet!


It's Cold, Let's Time Warp to Martha's Vineyard in August

>> Wednesday, December 10, 2014

All of my New England friends are spitting out their coffee as they read me complaining about it being cold. It's not that cold here, but it's cold enough to where no one really goes to the park. I met a mom two weeks ago at the park, we were the only two there. She just moved here from Chicago and is also no stranger to playing outside in frigid temps, we decided we needed to hang out a lot. Indoor parenting is not my forte.

This weekend I plugged my real camera up for the first time in months and came across photos from our trip to Martha's Vineyard this past August. I have prayed this before and I will do it again, Dear Lord, when I day, may heaven look just like Martha's Vineyard. We've been there every summer since Remi was born and always stay in the same little cottage in Edgartown. I am kind of a creature of comfort and only like to be away from home for so long, but when I go to Martha's Vineyard, I want to stay forever. Well, forever if it were always August.

This year we rode bikes a lot. The boys were both big enough to be pulled in a trailer. And because I knew we were moving and I may not get back to the island for a long time, I decided I wanted to spend one morning documenting everything that makes my heart happy. The homes on Martha's Vineyard make my heart very happy. Here are some of my favorites.

Hot legs there is also my favorite.

And for laughs, our best attempt at a family photo.
Something else that makes me happy, and I have mentioned before, are sunsets in Menemsha. Everyone brings dinner to the beach and watches the sunset. We never miss it. 
This year we were lucky enough to have the Roses join us. This picture of our babies melts my heart.
And then...
Dying? I know, so am I. I think when he's 18 and old enough to date, this guy is going to be my ladies man.
 Our big boys are also buddies.
My boy, listening for the ocean, while sitting next to the ocean:)
It truly is heaven on earth.


Out of Towners

>> Monday, December 1, 2014

Right now, 90% of my workload is still outside the state of TN, which has actually been working out great. I have been working with out of town clients since I went out on my own back in 2009. My first residential project was in Manhattan. One client I have been working with for a while is in Rochester. I get a lot of text pics from out of town clients, as they are basically my constant on-sight eyes. Here are some recent ones from Rochester. 

A teeny powder bath getting some navy + Teil Duncan action.
I think the very first thing we did in this house was wallpaper the foyer. It was a great jumping off point in that I knew if she was going to let me use this wallpaper, she was going to let me do some really fun things:)
This room used to be a dark, wood paneled office. They were going to rip the paneling down because they didn't think it felt like a kid's room.
I convinced them to just paint it. Now I want full height paneling in all of my nursery projects.
I posted this beaut on my IG account this weekend. My client's dad made this. And it's kind of amazing how well the wood coloring works with the Samantha French print. I love Samantha French's work.
We actually used another one of her prints for a client in Ann Arbor earlier this year. Such tranquil, happy pieces. 

But the furniture dilemma in Rochester was mixing styles. Nellie had this antique piece (below) from a family member. And then we purchased the reclaimed dining table. The third piece was tricky. I didn't want to do anything painted. I thought it would cheapen the space. But I thought introducing another wood species would just be too much. So her dad made her this clean lined buffet (she leans more towards modern) and the wood matches her antique piece. 

I swear I almost died/cried when she sent me the photos. It's just perfect. 
Just waiting on hardware. 


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