A couple of weeks ago I had lunch with my friend David, who works at NBBJ, a multidisciplinary architecture firm specializing in healthcare, education, and science. He's been an architect for years and said that he's always wanted to find a mentor, someone who could help guide him through his career, but it's only now that he thinks he's finally found one.
That made me wonder if we're all destined to figure it out on our own...
Then I met with my neighbor over the weekend, a contractor who works with a very high-profile residential design firm in the city. He said that starting with the middle market was a good idea for someone new to the industry, like me. And then he told me that, "It just takes one person to believe in you and give you a chance." His words of encouragement made me think that maybe I wasn't crazy, and maybe I was doing something right.
Luckily, I have two great new clients that make my work enjoyable. I went up to Sacramento to meet a young couple who have two small children. Their house already had a great mix of pieces and personality--truly eclectic. I was surprised because it was already closely decorated the way I'd do it, if I lived there. Their approach to decorating was organic and unfussy; they just needed a fresh set of eyes to recommend some new pieces. So I'm trying to interject more midcentury/modern pieces into their worldly collection of things.
For example, I think this Hans Wegner-esque table I picked up a while ago would be perfect in their kitchen/family room:
The distressed wood would fit right into their home, while the simple, modern shape would complement their more elaborate pieces. I'll post before- and after-photos soon.
You might remember how I wanted to use that table in my other new client's space, a renovated loft in downtown Oakland. Well, after meeting with her, I had to change my plans. The floor plan is a little tricky, and her budget is very small (she's spent all her money on the loft, after all). But I love a good challenge.
I've found a few pieces that will work nicely. Some won't need any work, like this '70s glass and chrome coffee table:
But others, like these great midcentury nightstands (I found a pair) could use a paint job:
...So they can look more like these Hollywood Regency chests:
Although my attitude changes almost daily, I'm feeling pretty good about these solo projects. Until the big designers and firms start hiring again, I'll just have to carry on by myself. Really, what are my other options, sitting around waiting for the phone to ring? I don't think so. As the Belle Stars sang, This is a sign of the times / Piece of more to come / This is a sign of the times / Time to be alone.