When we moved to the East Bay and I discovered that thrift stores were not going to be where I found the good stuff I started exploring Craigslist in a way I never had when we lived in MA. Along with estate sales, Craigslist is how our apartment got furnished and decorated; almost nothing has come from stores, thrift or otherwise.
That first fall I answered an ad for a cool cabinet with glass doors and hairpin legs (I think), and had an email exchange with the owner that didn't end up with me buying the piece, but she did mention that she thought she knew who I was, recognized my name, and did I ever live in Western MA? Um, yes I did. Turns out I knew her briefly when I was in my early 20's and she has a distinct memory of me wearing overalls, like, just wearing overalls, like that's okay.
Months after this exchange she Googled me and found the blog and my Pinterest and it became clear to her that we were destined to work together and she got in touch (I love it when people do that! So brave! So something I would not do!). She wrote that she lives in Berkeley and recently bought (with her husband and two daughters) what she called their "Forever Home" and felt like she could use some help making the space function better and pulling it all together and would I be willing to come take a look?
Here's the hilarious (to me) part: Jessica has exquisite taste, a massive collection of very very cool shit, and an amazing house that doesn't need much help at all. When I first saw it I honestly thought, "Why am I here?" She has an eye for vignettes, great pieces of furniture, rugs I would kill for, and a consistent point of view. Take a look:
I mean, what does it say when you're the designer but you want to trade spaces with your client? She's so clearly ahead of the game! But she is right, they do need help with function and pulling it all together and I am more than happy to oblige. Since my first visit I've been over a couple times and gone shopping with her and had her over for tea (in which we did not drink tea) and I can tell you this: it is so exciting and feels so good to work with someone who responds to what I do. After she visited my apartment she wrote me this lovely note:
Oh my gosh. LOVED seeing your house. I don't quite believe you yet that my place will ever look that stunning. But I am hopeful. And excited. I should say that your house not only looks stunning; it FEELS so nice. There's perfect balance between charming and funky and polished.
That my friends, is just about the best feeling a designer can have I think. Now if I could just erase that memory of me in overalls...