Friday, October 30, 2009

Calling Design Bloggers Whose "Day Job" is Different!

The other day I was visiting a wonderful blog for the first time, Boxwood Terrace, and was really impressed by her post, Virtual Renovation: A Small French Country Kitchen. (see the image above) Then I noticed in the About Me section the following, "Although my days are spent in the corporate world, I would like to create and share beautiful things with others." I could really identify with that.

It started me thinking, "How many bloggers out there are working in an entirely different field but expressing their passion for interior design by blogging?" So, this post is a shout out for bloggers who love interior design but whose work is in an entirely different field to let us know more about you and what motivates you.

Leave a comment with a link - tell us about your "day job", your passion for design and any plans/dreams you have for the future when it comes to design, even it it's just to keep blogging! After a week or so, I'll do a summary post capturing all the blogs and their links. Looking forward to hearing from you!

And since tomorrow is Halloween...

if you haven't already seen Eddie Ross's HGTV Halloween Block Party it's airing one more time, tonight Oct. 30th, 6 pm/5 c. Happy Halloween!


HeddyShea said...

I can so relate to a passion for design, food, clothes, etsy artists, etc. etc. My "day job" was in construction... although now that I am pregnant I am a stay at home soon to be mommy.


My Notting Hill said...

ok - I thought I should participate too.

For the last 15 years I've been self-employed as a trainer - team building, leadership development, facilitation skills, etc. I actually love what I do - basically helping people get along better in the workplace. I have a masters in counseling and I find I'm always using these skills in my work.

But...I LOVE interior design. 10 years from now I could picture myself spending my time photographing interiors or running an interior design shop that includes restored furniture. My family is happy I blog so I don't have to keep bothering them about interior design!

My Notting Hill said...

HeddyShea - Congratulations! Thanks for participating.

Leila said...

I'm in this boat too! I'm a project management consultant by day - all I can say is it's a job...not my calling. :) I love to blog so I can put ideas "on paper", share inspiration, and avoid driving my husband nutty with my design chatter. I've met the most wonderful people in the blogosphere and love to be a part of it!

Decor Addict said...

I'm one of the bunch! Corporate Travel Agent by day, Interior Decorator/Blogger by night!

Although i'm currently on maternity leave with my daughter until June, 2010.

This is a great post!

Windlost said...

Hi Michele, what a great post idea! As you know - I am an engineer. I graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering and then I did a master's degree in France in Chemical Engineering, specialising in petrochemicals and polymers (plastics).

Don't ask me what possessed me to do that! I was always naturally talented in math and the sciences, and although I loved the arts, I grew up in a working class family and needed to make a sensible job choice! I didn't even dream about working in the arts or design or something. I don't think it ever even occurred to me.

Now, I am a technical engineer at a research center for a big petrochemical company. That means I do troubleshooting of plant/equipment problems all day and lots of calculations. I use a lot of math and chemistry in my job.

This job TOTALLY does not fulfill my love for the arts AT ALL, but oddly, engineering is a very creative field. I think our minds work in a very similar way to a designer, say, but the subject matter is differently. We learn how to think, how to explore a problem, how to problem solve, make compromises, describe all the details of a problem and their impacts. It is crazy, but I think I could be a great designer. I just don't see it being it being lucrative.

My job also involves lots of project management and economic analysis and such, so I am very accustomed to defending my projects, figuring out scope and budgets and resources. I think those skills would be useful in ANY field!!

In 5 or 10 years, I will honestly think I will still be in engineering. I just need to bring home the bacon. But my heart is in writing and decor, so I hope to be doing more writing on the subject. And I would also like to be doing more photography too. I think it will always be a hobby. Of course, my dream is to open a shop!!

Great post! And gosh, my job sounds so boring...
I work with a lot of brilliant people (mostly PhD's) and they are all lovely and practical and wise people. I think they keep me very grounded, which really helps in this mad world!

xo Terri
: )

pve design said...

My real job is to be a Mom and raise my family, take care of the home, but of course I am better all around with my artwork which is done from home. We are working towards adding on a designated "Art Studio" but I never imagined how blogging would be another sort of job. I find that many of us blog with passion for living artfully, no matter what the full time job entails. Blogs really do help each of us develop a voice, as well as a following.
I hope that your love for interior design will soon become a full time reality. Your passion is wonderful in each and every post. I hope your family realizes how we adore you!
(I feel like a proud doting blogger, bragging about you!)

Isabella & Max Rooms said...

What a great post, I'm enjoying reading all the responses. I'm luck to work as a designer, so can't qualify for your poll. BUT... I'm am amazed at the quality of work by people who are passionate about design as a side job!!

Isabella & Max Rooms said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isabella & Max Rooms said...

Lucky, that is!! Janell

spark! (Ada-Marie) said...

Hi! I am a corporate attorney during the day, a mom in the afternoons and a blogger by night! I have always had an interest in home design and have followed home design blogs for a while. My days are filled with lots of practical, sterile, rule-based thinking, and my blog provides such a fun and creative outlet for me.

I really like practicing law, so I am not sure that I will ever work in home design full-time, but in 10 years, I can see myself doing some e-decorating consults and a lot more furniture restoration projects.

I love this post! Also, I re-connected to Sally Steponkus after your post mentioning her -- we went to high school together and I had lost touch with her.

Style Redux 2 said...

I was moving furniture around at the age of 5 and always wanted to be an interior designer. But my parents thought this was a frivolous pursuit for a straight "A" student and I went to Bryn Mawr double majoring in English and Sociology and then to George Washington for law school. I practiced law until the day my daughter was born and that was enough. I was a stay at home Mom.

Now that my daughter Kate is grown and has her own career and apartment, I am doing what I was meant to do-focusing on interior design. Kate and I started our blog Style Redux on all things stylish-she is a fashion stylist. I then spun off my own blog Chinoiserie Chic to focus on my passion for all things Chinoiserie. I have done much course work in art, art history, American decorative arts, and landscape design, but I think interior design talent is really just in your blood.

I have come to realize that almost every one of my favorite interior designers did not go to school in interior design. I have always done interior decorating for friends and family, and will see where I go from here. I have really enjoyed how blogging has allowed me to be more connected with like minded people both on the blogosphere and in person through our D.C. design bloggers group.

Brilliant Asylum said...

I am a formally trained designer, but I currently spend my days working in the accounting department of a family business that has NOTHING to do with pretty things. Design blogging is my creative outlet and keeps me connected to the design world.

bluehydrangea said...

I love the idea for this post! My real job is saving the world one diaper at a time. I am not a decorator or designer but I love pretty pictures, fabulous fabric and cute clothes. I blog to stay sane and to entertain myself.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Well, I guess I'm the odd man out here. I am a designer, having had my own business for over twenty years.

I intended my blog to focus on design, but having been immersed in that field all day every day for so long, I found that I loved writing the blog as an escape from design. It became a place where I could freely roam the other interesting avenues of my brain, avenues that I had been passing by for ages...just looking, never visiting.

Honestly, right now every designer I know is thinking seriously about re-invention, due to the changed landscape that the economy has wrought. I met up with a very famous designer yesterday who told me he had given it up and was now focusing on world travel and knitting! Really. He is writing a book about socks! I just love that.

I absolutely adore all the amazing design blogs out there in the sphere and I find they are filling the void caused by the sad demise of so many decorating magazines. Blogs such as your lovely one, not only educate, but inspire.

Aesthetic Oiseau said...

I am lucky because my day job is still design related - I'm a web designer (and project manager) for a small web development firm. Web design allows me to be creative in a totally different medium - and I often call on the same skills that I do when I'm pondering interior design. I also work for a great company, so I am fulfilled and happy from 9-5.

But, like many of us, I am constantly consumed with interior design. Unfortunately, I didn't put my finger on this obsession (and I'd like to think talent) until graduate school, so I was well on my way toward finishing my masters and starting to work and design school didn't seem like a viable option.

I am new to blogging, but it is a wonderful combination of both my web experience and my love for interior design...and it lets me get my ideas "out"...somewhere other than my head!

Notting Hill, in ten years, I could picture myself doing what you envision - perhaps writing about interiors and running a small shop while offering advice to customers on how to decorate their homes. We'll see where life goes...

This is a wonderful post - thanks for bringing us all together with similar stories!

brynalexandra said...

I like this post!

I'm doing the "double life" thing right now. During the day I work in Advertising making commercials. At night and on weekends I work as an interior decorator with my own business "bryn alexandra interiors". Currently I have three clients, one being an entire house remodel and redesign, so I stay very busy.

In the next couple months I have big plans to quit the day job to pursue my dreams of decorating/interior design. I'll be launching my website and portfolio around the first of the year and then I'll try and figure out how to make a steady income doing this gig :) I also plan on taking some courses as well.

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

I have my Masters in Counseling and in School Counseling and worked as a counselor for ten years before becoming a working from home mom. Design-on-a-dime and party planning have always been passions of mine and were always things I'd rather be doing :). Two years ago, we purchased a 100 yr old home in the city and had the opportunity to completely renovate it. Our contractor loved the work I did and hired me to work on a few other homes in our neighborhood. It was so much fun!

I'm not sure if I'll ever pursue a full-time career in design, but it is my number one passion and hobby. I feel blessed to be part of a huge blogging community that shares my passion and feeds my inspiration.

Melissa Powar said...

I love reading all of these comments! I was the kid who didn't have dolls in her dollhouse, but instead compulsively decorated and redecorated the rooms. I was the college student who was more concerned that her Ralph Lauren sheets and pillows remained in pristine condition rather than where the best party was on any given night. As an adult, I find myself a decade into a career as an employment lawyer, but I love hounding design magazines, reading design blogs, and haunting antique stores and flea markets. My blog came out of friends asking me questions about my finds and renovation choices, and I can see myself formalizing my advice giving at some point down the line. I have a few friends who construct and design homes, and there's nothing that I love more than finding the right tile or bathroom fixture to enhance their projects. I also dream of opening a cute little shop for all of my precious finds, but perhaps that's just because our basement is getting full and the husband has started to complain!

Thomas said...

Great idea! I've read every response and really enjoy this!

During the day, I work for a large construction firm in accounting managing a small group of associates. I've been in accounting for a little over 6 years for various local builders. In the evenings and weekends, I work as a home stager. So thankful to have quite a few good real estate agents who keep me busy. I've been staging homes for 2 years. Though I still second guess myself, I've been told I am good:) And have been fortunate to have had a handful of interior design clients which I find challenging but equally enjoyable.

Blogging has been a great surprise in my life. I've connected with so many talented people who are so supportive and have been real cheerleaders in my life. I never expected this but so thankful I never gave up.

In 10 years, I hope to be doing something in design as my full time job (and accounting on the side). I am open to anything as I expect I will learn so much more about my love-I'd welcome writing about design, working with clients directly or being on television discussing design. :)

Red Door Home said...

So nice to see that I am not alone! I have a degree in math but have always had a passion for design. My day job is "Mom." However, due to the support of so many, I started my my own sewing business several years ago. That being said, my favorite part of sewing is helping people to choose fabrics!

Lauren said...

so great to read--- you are all just so knowledgable & creative that i think you could have your own deisgn firms!!!

michele- i also have been meaning to email you but lost all my contacts- we had to miss the showhouse!!! the day we went there was a tea for a private group going on & we couldn't go inside!!! :( I wasn't able to get a sitter on any other day so now I must go back & examine your posts (I was afraid to read too closely before) .. Have a happy halloween!!!!

Boxwood Terrace said...

Hi Michele,

Thanks again for featuring my blog on this post! This is a great idea and I've enjoyed reading all the comments from other bloggers who are passionate about interior design. I'm an insurance broker and have been in the business for twenty years and although grateful to have a steady, secure job it doesn't allow for any creativity at all. I think I've always been interested in interior design even from a young age, but didn't really know it and always pursued a business angle in college (except when it came to decorating my dorm rooms--which I loved to do) and never (regretfully) took any art classes, etc. My interest in interior design really took off when I bought my first place several years ago. Now, I dream of having an antiques/interior design business of some kind in the future and would like to take interior design classes one of these days. I love interior design magazines and now the interior design blogs.

The camaraderie of fellow interior design enthusiasts/bloggers has been so wonderful! My blog really helps to feed my soul with wonderful ideas and inspiration. I hope to read many more comments and visit new blogs from people who have commented here.


Marina said...

It's so interesting to read everyones comments and find out that so many people from varied careers also love design.

I have a Science degree majoring in Biochemistry/Microbiology, but (like a lot of people) have always loved decorating and moving things around (even when I stay in a hotel room, I move things!)
I worked in laboratories doing research, then moved into Sales/marketing before I had my 3 children.
My husband and I love renovating and have renovated a number of properties.
We became expats (due to my husbands work) and moved to California from Australia, then back to Australia and now we live in London (renovating in-between and during each move).
Having stayed at home with the kids for 13 yrs, I thought it was time to do something with my passion for interior design ... and what better place, than London to do that!
I have enrolled in a diploma of Interior design in Chelsea and am loving every moment of the course. It's a lot of hard work juggling the study again, dealing with the kids (teenagers) and life in general.
I also started blogging a few months ago (which is harder than it seems!) .... but I wouldn't have it any other way!!
What a fantastic idea MNH ... and I've enjoyed reading everyones stories!

nameisgrace said...

what a fun post! my full time job is a stay at home mommy, but i might as well be a full time interior designer as well. i spend SO much time obsessing over it! i get told left and right that i should be an interior decorator and have done so many friends homes for free just because i love it so much. my latest project is renovating our new beach home. if you love before and afters you will definitely want to stay tuned!

Things That Inspire said...

What a great idea for a post! I am a former technology consultant, and am currently a stay at home mom. I was an English major in college, and I have always loved to write. I have also always been an observer, from the time I was a small child. I see the world in my own way, and I like to express myself in words and pictures. When I 'discovered' blogs, and in particular design blogs, it all seemed to click - my blog is a place where I can express myself in words and pictures, where I can share my own unique view of the world, where I can be an observer and a commentator on beautiful things.

I have no desire to be a designer. And yet, the best result of my blog is that it has given me a real role in the design community, particularly the design community of Atlanta, that I truly enjoy. It has also enabled me to find a community of people who love so many of the same things as me...I had no idea that there were so many people out there who were as interested in all of the minutia that make a home a beautiful place, from the architecture to the design to the subtle things that make a house a home.

Ravi said...

Its Amazing .......
i suggest here you find something similar to your taste InterioGuru

Charlie said...

If I would have had a say I might have become a carpenter but my parents said no and off I went to pre-med. Sadly medicine was never my true love.

For the last 14 years I've worked as an internet security specialist (Anti-Virus and Cryptology) and I really enjoy it. I'm a people person and I love solving problems so it's perfect for me.

In the future I can see myself opening a small design shop carrying anything that catches my fancy from around the world. Furniture, lighting, art, pencils, glass art,etc. Alright, I have to fine tune the dream, but you get the picture.

Blogging has been a wonderful experience. To meet so many people that share your passion is such an amazing gift. Who knows maybe that store will come to be by getting together with bloggers from around the world that share the same dream. Can you imagine how fabulous that would be!

Janis said...

I'm currently on an extended maternity leave from my job in special education. Although I love my "day job" I want to be home to raise my 2 girls until they start school. I eat, breath and live design and decor and LOVE reading all the wonderful blogs (yours included). I orginally started blogging at An Inspired Life
but have recently started another one to focus more on my design/decor projects...
White Alder[Home]
and am keeping both my fingers and toes crossed I can move this into a fulltime business.
Wonderful idea for a post I look forward to reading all about my fellow bloggers.

Wanderluster said...

What an interesting post! I'm enjoying reading all the responses. I'm currently on maternity leave from my 'day job' as a Project Manager/Consultant. While on leave, I'm trying to start my own business so that I can work part time and be home with my daughter. The old job just isn't my passion. The new business is one that combines my professional background AND love for design; one that lets me use my left AND my right brain... I'm doing strategic management consulting for architects and designers, and doing a bit of interior decorating on the side.

I always wondered why you had to "choose" one job or the other, creativity vs. a more practical career. I love design, I love blogging about design - but I also love creating strategic plans, facilitating teams, excel spreadsheets, and work breakdown structures. I've created my business on the notion that I don't need to give either of those sides of "me" up. If it doesn't succeed, at least I know I was entirely happy while I was doing it.

JeanetteS said...

I too spend my days in the corporate world with spare time devoted to the world of interiors & design. My background has nothing to do with interior design but I'm very passionate about it. It is my hobby, plain and simple.

Hello Lover... said...

I spend my days (well actually for me its mostly my nights) as a nurse in pediatric intensive care. But I absolutely love everything about interior and event design - I'd love for it to be more than just a hobby someday! It's so fun to read about what so many other bloggers spend their days doing - Thanks!

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


Great and original post. Wonderful.

Not guilty:
I am a design book author and a design editor, and now design blogger, 24/7/
Most design bloggers, by far, are wonderful designers or antique dealers or style shop owners, right? Very impressive, too.
My blog is about my passions--design, art, photography, travel, style, fashion, interiors, decor, antiques, accomplished people, architecture--which are also the subjects of my books and features. This focus is endlessly fascinating and rewarding and nourishing, exciting.
Love your blog.

Maria Killam said...

That is such a cool pumpkin. I'm lucky that my day job matches my blog! And I admire those of you with a corporate job and manage a full time job of a design blog! Kudus to you all!!

V. said...

This is such an interesting post! I am surprised to see many lawyers, like myself, with a craving for a creative outlet. My blog is more fashion-oriented, but interior design has piqued my interest lately because I want to buy a house and make it perfect for me!

Love your blog.

Jenn said...

Love this idea. I do digital public relations for a large DC PR firm - so while my days are spent with bloggers, they are more into, say, energy policy than interior design.

I would love to eventually bring my PR skills to designers, shelter mags and home decor brands, but who knows? Politics keeps me grounded.

Janet said...

I have worked for the last 17 years in customer service for design related company. It is creating that I enjoy most and that sometimes includes interiors. I love reading all the design blogs since everyone has great style and personal taste.

Felicity Slater said...

I've just discovered your blog, and I like this post! My blog is completely unrelated to my day job!! I'm a tax lawyer... whereas my blog is where i collect all the things that inspire, record what i'm seeing/doing, things i like etc.

Jill said...

My degree is in marketing, I worked in non-profit management, have been a stay at home mom for 10 years but have ALWAYS loved design for as long as I can remember. I was the kid that repainted my own room, rearranged my mom's living room and now do the same in my own home. My design tastes have changed over the years but never have I wavered in my love and appreciation for all things design related. I have always "helped" friends with their homes and dream to one day do it on a more "professional" level....great post!

Maddie G Designs said...

I am design blog obsessed and especially enjoy keeping up with the local blogs as I am in the DC Metro area.

I am a CPA and worked in Fund Management for a Washington DC private equity firm (with a little stint as a Venture Capital Firm Controller) until my daughter was born 17 months ago. I decided to stay at home and am fortunate to be able to do so.

In addition to being a mom, I've been a bit obsessive about decorating our new home (purchased 6 weeks before my daughter's birth). I've helped countless friends and family with their decorating needs, and am known for my overwhelming collection of design magazines that are piled up in every nook and cranny!

With my private equity/venture capital background, the prospect of starting my own business seemed natural and I hope to launch my new website and blog very soon!

I've got my blog started and even posts ready to go, but don't want to put it up until the site is ready to go active....that is the type A perfectionist in me!

Look forward to being an active member of the blogging community soon!

Maddie G Designs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My Notting Hill said...

Wow - this has been a great response. I'll be posting a summary of it all next week. If you're just arriving at this post - definitely feel free to comment.

Marnie said...

wow - great post and right up my alley - but i missed it last week because i was burning the candle at both ends - i have a day job in the corporate world - investment firm 4 days a week- and then i have my decorative accessories business - plus being a mother - i started the blog almost two years ago to help grow my business and was so surprised to find my voice - the blog is wonderful because i have connected with so many like-minded individuals and have learned so much more - it is a great way to be inspired. i love the creative energy...and the community. thanks michelle - you of course are one of the first people i connected with in the blogosphere - remember and your son helped me with my header - thanks again.

vidalia said...

I'm going to join this party too. I am a web developer by day. So I sit and write code, gather business cases, cost benefit analysis, metrics, and all that really thrilling stuff. I do enjoy it but have a caged desire to do more. I blog when I can but find I hardly have time too and I feel I cant live up to all the gorgeous blogs out there. I have books waiting for me on how to make my own clothes, re-upohlster my chairs, create a table from refurbished wood and on and on. I feel my head is not at my job and I am constantly trying to find the time to put my creative hands-on passion to work.
oh... blog is here.

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