I miss my blog. I miss blogging for however many of you there are out there reading & possibly even enjoying this. However, the unfortunate reality is this: blogging doesn't pay shit. (At least not for me!) And I kinda like to shop and eat and pay my bills and keep my dogs fully stocked in doggie treats and toys.
So I ended up with a job. A design job. A design job with a high-end, residential designer who's been in the business for almost as long as I've been alive. The only reason that last detail is worth mentioning is because it means she has tons of experience and I am lucky enough to learn from her. She does incredible work with budgets that, until now, were completely out of my reach.
I wasn't even looking for a job. Honest. I was fully prepared (and excited!) to take a few months off, do the blogging thing and figure out exactly what I wanted my next move to be. I had images of all the projects I'd complete and write about over the summer swimming in my head There was an entire montage of me in various stages of DIY-ing set to an 80's movie soundtrack.... "you're the BEST arounnnnnd! Nothing's gonna ever keep you down!" Bonus points to anyone who knows the movie.
A really good friend of mine interviewed for the job first and when it didn't work out for her, she was generous enough to recommend me. Hello??? Who does that?? Super thoughtful and selfless people who really love you and want the best for you, that's who.
Initially I hesitated to even interview for it because of the time commitment involved (I worked over 60 hours my first week). I knew there was no way I could keep up with my house and this blog working those kinds of hours. Having just come from a ridiculously stressful job, I was wary of jumping into something else that could potentially be even more demanding.
Ultimately, this opportunity was just too good to pass up. It's the design job I've been looking for since I graduated design school. There are crazy-high expectations, I work A LOT of hours each week and it is hands-down the most demanding job I have ever had in my entire life.
And I am loving it.
I love interacting with our clients, I love being able to specify $200/yard fabric and sectionals that cost more than all the furniture in my house. A whole new world of products and quality of workmanship has become my designer playground. I know how lucky I am.
I know that mere months ago that I was working with crap budgets of $20.00/sf and trying to figure out how to fill an entire model home with furniture that actually looked good and not like the particle board shit it really was. I can crow about having all the design integrity in the world but if a builder isn't willing to spend enough money to buy halfway decent furniture, my integrity as a designer is compromised. Adding to that is the equally frustrating expectation they have that a $20/sf project should look just as impressive as a $30/sf project. No joke. That's not me being a design snob. I won't begin to pretend I have the money personally to afford high quality.......anything.
I will continue to struggle with making a beautiful home for myself that I'm proud of on a budget that is just as limited, if not more so, than many of you. I'm not too good for IKEA or Overtock. I spent yesterday afternoon at HomeGoods going gaga over their lamps! God I love a good lamp! It's when professionally, you feel the pressure to compromise the integrity of your work over and over again for the sake of simply working in a field you love at all....I'm sorry but that's just bullshit.
Looking back, I appreciate the experience my previous job gave me, lame-ass budgets, unrealistic time-frames, tyrannical bosses and all. I learned a hell of a lot there that I couldn't have learned anywhere else and I will forever be grateful for that opportunity.
Yes, I realize I can sit here and say all of this now because I lucked into a better situation that has given me perspective. With this new perspective into the design world of higher budgets comes higher expectations and higher risk. It's one thing when a $300 nightstand from Universal is ordered in the wrong finish but a $3000 one coming in wrong will probably get me fired.
So if you've been wondering what's been going on with me the last six weeks and if I would ever update this blog again, now you know. I didn't start this post with the intent of pouring my designer heart out but it sure ended up that way.
What happens with Sarah Elizabeth Design from here? For starters, I plan on updating at least once, hopefully twice a week from now on. The direction may change from "look what I did with all this cheap stuff to make it kinda pretty" to "Sweet jesus! Look at this amazing chair that costs $5000.00 - here's why it costs so much.". I'm really not 100% sure of the direction but I do know now that I will struggle to maintain excitement for the thrift store finds/DIY project of my previous posts.
It would be completely inauthentic for me to turn this into a blog solely about expensive things. That's not who I am and it's not the reason I started blogging. And oh yeah, I can't afford ANY OF IT! Is anyone interested in reading a blog by a designer who just whines about all the gorgeous stuff she sees every day and can only dream of affording? I'm thinking....no.
Maybe I'll just continue to do what I've always done here, write about things in the design world that excite me, make me angry, jealous or cause me to swear like a trucker.
I hope you'll stick around.