Continuing our series in which we spotlight some of our favorite interior designer customers, today we are featuring Shannon Claire Smith. This DC based designer creates interiors that are feminine with a bit of edginess and a dash of modernity and oddity. Read on for a Q&A with her - she tells us about her daily rituals, what helps her stay organized, what design mistakes she sees people commonly make, her favorite place to shop for vintage pieces and more.
Q: How did you get into design?
A: I capitalized on a life-long passion of decorating and re-arranging things by starting a blog in 2010. I blogged about decorating my first home, and it grew and grew, and then I realized I could turn it into a career.
Q: What’s your design philosophy?
A: I love creating beautiful spaces - I believe that surrounding yourself with beautiful things makes you feel more beautiful, and more like yourself.
I always suggest that clients include one odd or weird thing in their room, which I include in my design. It's fun to have a conversation starter piece, or something that keeps a space from feeling too precious.
Q: Do you have any daily rituals or routines that you feel have really served you?
A: As a business owner, it's really easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day craziness of trying to be everywhere and everyone at once. One of the most valuable things that I've done to ensure that I don't lose my mind is to set Mondays and Fridays aside for a specific purpose.
Mondays are my administrative days - I work on my editorial calendar, invoicing, and administrative tasks, basically everything that needs to be done on the back end. It ensures that I start the week off really prepared to tackle the actual in-person work, and it makes the Sunday Scaries a little easier because it's a much softer entrance into the work week.
I leave Fridays free of meetings and installs so that I have a day to accomplish all of the things that I inevitably didn't finish during the week. It makes it much easier to disconnect for the weekend, which is so important!
Q: What do you do when you have a creative block?
A: Go to a museum or a walk outside. Living in DC, I'm really lucky to have beautiful architecture and art just outside my doorstep!
Q: What helps you stay organized?
A: I could not live without Google Drive and Trello! Both help me stay on task and organized, and I can access either when I'm on site or out of office.
Q: What keeps you sane?
A: Wine and Netflix
Q: What are your go-to pillow sizes?
A: I am a sucker for Euro pillows and shams - a bed doesn't look complete without them.
Q: What's your favorite type of room to design and why?
A: In DC, I'm really lucky to be able to work on lots of different kinds of projects - offices, townhouses, single family homes, condos, and studio apartments. I have a soft spot for small space design - it's like a fun puzzle :)
Q: Color I never tire of...
A: Pink, it's not just for millennials or girls!
Q: What's a design mistake you see people commonly make?
A: Scale! People don't pay enough attention to scale. You may have a pretty photo or a mirror or a chair but none of these things are going to look good in your space unless they are the right size.
Q: What's your ideal Sunday (or day-off)?
A: Catching up on the piles and piles of shelter and fashion magazines that I am addicted to purchasing but never seem to have enough time to read.
Q: Are you a morning or night person?
A: 1000% a night person, but I would be interested in changing that in the future.
Q: On my nightstand...
A: My iPhone (unfortunately), the latest book I don't make enough time to read (currently The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri), a glass of water, and a fan pointed directly at my face.
Q: My dream home must have...
A: Lots and lots of natural light
1. No-regrets home splurge: My apartment itself - zero regrets for purchasing a small space in an expensive city!
3. Place to shop for vintage pieces: Slate Interiors in Charlotte, NC, and Chairish (online)
4. Go-to paint color: "Baby Seal Black" by Benjamin Moore
5. Coffee Table books: Places to Go, People to See by Kate Spade
6. Travel destination: Paris, always and forever
7. Style Icon: Brigitte Bardot and Lauren Hutton
8. Artist: Matisse
9. Guilty pleasure: Peanut Butter M&M's
10. Sofa Style: I have a soft spot for a traditional skirted or fringed English roll arm or worn out dark leather Chesterfield
12. Set Design: Any Wes Anderson film
To learn more about Shannon Claire Smith, visit her website and Instagram profile:
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