This is a very special episode of The Chris Loves Julia podcast. Instead of our usual banter about DIY, Home Design and family, we interviewed four successful interior designers that are all self taught. Amber Lewis, Jenny Komenda, Shea McGee and Brian Patrick Flynn all open up about everything from their education backgrounds (in some cases, dropping out of school) to advice they would give to anyone trying to break into the field.
Here’s a little more about the four self-taught designers we interviewed:
1. Amber Lewis | Principal at Amber Interior Design and founder and CEO of the blog, Amber Interiors.
Based in California, but designing all over the world, Amber makes her signature casual California design look effortless, cool, cozy, eclectic and unique.
2. Jenny Komenda | Interior designer and the owner of Juniper Studio, Jenny’s Print Shop and founder of the blog, Little Green Notebook.
Phoenix based, Jenny has been blogging about interiors since 2007! Her style is approachable, eclectic and the perfect mix of splurge pieces with budget-friendly DIY (she’s the queen!) mixed in.
3. Shea McGee | Co-Founder and Creative Director of Studio McGee and McGee & Co.
Utah based, Shea’s bright and clean aesthetic has attracted a wait-list of clients and originally, no idea how to handle the workload. Studio McGee was created in a spare bedroom with lots of big ideas and no room for fabric samples and has grown into a massive empire.
4. Brian Patrick Flynn | Television producer turned interior designer. Founder of FlynnsideOut Productions, a full service production company specializing in lifestyle-related content.
Atlanta based, Brian’s style can best be described as soft-masculine and characterized by a unique mix of design styles, modern and classic art, unconventional color schemes and practical budgets. The designer primarily resides in Atlanta but frequently retreats his two alternate residences, the country home in the mountains of north Georgia and a Scandinavian pied-á-terre in Reykjavik, Iceland for creative inspiration.
The 6 questions you can expect to hear answered in this episode are:
• What is your education background?
• When did you realize design was something you wanted to do professionally and how did you make that shift?
• How did you grow your business, get clients, get noticed!?
• What role does social media play in your business?
• What’s something you still want to learn?
• What advice do you have for others wanting to break into the field?
This Episode is Sponsored by:
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We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
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