A Day in the Life: My Creative Process

April 20, 2021

When Dr. Seuss had writer’s block, he would go into a secret closet and put on one of his hats until he felt inspired. Serena Williams exclusively wears the same pair of socks when she’s on a winning streak. Dolly Parton writes her best songs early in the morning.  “Early bird gets the worm,” she says. “Well, they also get a lot of good ideas, too.”

Every creative process is different, but they all lead to good work. Here at Rincon Rd., we do things a little differently. Same spirit, but with our own twist.

Beautiful Mornings…

I start my day at 5:45 am, as early morning air gives way to a quiet house. While the kids, husband, and dogs are still asleep, I wake up slowly and ease into my day with a workout. While I’ll always prefer going to barre class in-person, I’ve adapted to our pandemic ways and found the next best thing – an online home fitness class hosted by Michelle Oberto, my good friend over at M.O. Fit.

MORNING RITUALS LEAD TO MY MOST PRODUCTIVE TIME TO WORK.

Then, coffee. Easily one of the best parts to any good morning. My go-to is Peet’s coffee, made from home, with Nutpod’s dairy-free creamer. But if I’m treating myself…I love a good trip to Dune. For their great flavor and flair, of course – but also the off-chance I run into my dear friend Julia, their owner and my childhood friend. This town is small, and I still have the pleasure of bumping into the same kids I went to school with growing up. Oh, and for snacks? Field and Fort in Summerland wins for best pastries.

Late mornings are for getting kids out the door. On the way to school, we like to listen to Bobbi Bones, the country music show. I make my loop of work sites on the way home to keep tabs on how projects are going, then drive down the same road that’s inspired me for so many years. I get organized and look at my calendar, batching days for to-do’s, meetings, and business. It’s time to get to work.

…Lead to Productive Afternoons

THE PRETTY STUFF

From my studio, Andra Day plays throughout the house in the early afternoon light and I settle into the beginnings of my music-driven creative flow. It could be Steve Tyrell, Frank Sinatra, or George Jones – anything with a vintage edge and old-school flair. I start by creating a mood board for my projects, with inspiration and accents that contribute to its larger idea in my head: How do I tell this story? I put pen to paper, and articulate exactly what that means…leaving my clients with two things moving forward.

I CREATE A MOOD BOARD, AND WRITE THE STORY OF YOUR HOME.

As a creative, I’m drawn to the pretty stuff. The patterns, the details, the textiles, the big picture. There are so many reasons why I’m passionate about what I do. My reality as a full-service interior designer, however, is only about 20% of that. What people sometimes forget, is that when you look a little deeper and venture beyond the beauty of it all – you’ll find a whole lot of heavy-lifting.

THE MEAT & POTATOES

About 80% of the time I’m getting my hands dirty with the less glamorous work nobody else wants to do. Constant communication and construction administration outline my days, from constant phone calls between clients and contractors to concerns about materials and furnishings. Some days that means working through client concerns about tile layout, talking shower glass ideas, and gathering samples. Other days it means meeting with contractors on-site to ensure everything is implemented correctly, and educating clients on construction administration.

BEAUTIFUL DESIGN REQUIRES A LOT OF BEHIND-THE-SCENES HARD WORK.

I have a green binder as my side-kick. It’s meticulously detailed, heavy, and full of notes for contractors and clients to reference when I’m not on-site. I divide homes by room: layouts and elevation, with details down to paint color. I prepare drawings that overlap with architects. It also carries my measurements, instructions, and materials needed.

THE NATURE OF THE BEAST

We’re also talking quotes from vendors, sourcing from local showrooms, monitoring contractors, the procurement phase, and scheduling installations. Throw in mediating timelines between clients and contractors. And of course, there are all those little questions that come up along the way, too. I take care of that, and what’s more – I genuinely enjoy it.

Always with class and grace, I’m not afraid to fight until death for my clients to get exactly what they want. It has to be right. I’m a master of communication, and successfully manage relationships as a tireless advocate for my clients. Mistakes happen, and it’s my job to make them right. Going above and beyond is my standard.

& Peaceful Evenings…

After I pick up the kids from school, we listen to the Ryan Seacrest show on the way home for a pop pick-me-up. Then they get shuttled off to tennis and flag football. My second title is “resident chauffeur.” I have a few more moments to myself,  so I send emails and get organized.

I prep for tomorrow’s work and close my studio. Just like I value my morning rituals, I love my evening studio shutdown. As everyone gets home and settles into the night, I make sure everyone (dogs, kids, husband) has food and water. I’ll cook dinner for my family, and unwind from the day. We cross our fingers that our 11-week-old French Bulldog doesn’t have another sleepless night.

OF COURSE, THINGS GET DERAILED FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT THAT’S WHAT KEEPS LIFE INTERESTING.

My creative process is critical to my work. It’s what drives Rincon Rd., and inspires my best designs. The ways in which I lead my day-to-day largely contribute to the values I incorporate into my business: genuine relationships, hard work, and respect for others.

(Spoiler alert: there’s no secret to it – just good living, celebrating our everyday rituals, and wrangling kids and dogs)

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