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  • Tracy Struthers

12 Most Frequent Questions I Am Asked As An Interior Decorator And Home Owner.

I love this industry. I can't decide if it's because I love design, and the creativity it allows. Or if it's because of the importance of having a space that warms and welcomes you, surrounded by the people and things you love. The questions I am asked daily range from where I get my inspiration to how I decorate my home. I thought it would be fun to share some of these with you.

1. What style of house do you live in?

Our home is a stone/vinyl bungalow. We have always lived in bungalows (except our very first home which was a teeny tiny army-style home). We like bungalows as they are much easier to keep clean, but certainly never against living in a two-story - you just never know.

2. What is the first thing you did to your home, to make it feel more like yours?

We painted. They had a dingy gray color on the wall, which had to go. We choose a bright but calming white for the walls and used this for every room on the main floor. It looks much brighter, fresher, and more inviting now. I do love white walls, and I would paint again in a heartbeat, with Shoji White by Sherwin Williams. It's a bit of a softer, creamier white.

If you could change one thing about your home right now, what would it be?

The Kitchen. I would remodel the kitchen to allow for some open shelving and re-design the island from the two tiers that it is now, to one level, with more storage underneath. I would also change the lighting above the island to more of a solid pendant versus the clear glass that it is now. I never thought about how fast clear glass pendants get dirty. You learn new things every day, that's for sure.

What do you love the most about your home?

The screened-in porch. It's our joy, from spring to fall. I have my favorite rocking chair that creeks when it rocks, and just sitting and listening to the evening nature noises without the pesky bugs, is my happy place. The handmade sliding doors that my dad made for it are so beautiful that I am not sure how we will ever leave them behind if we sold the house.

Do you have a collection of stuff that might surprise us?

Yes. I love to collect barn artwork. Not sure if it's because I have always wanted to own a hobby farm or not, but I love them. I also have a small collection (but growing) of brass candlesticks holders. I do love a good vintage piece.

What do you love the most about being an interior decorator/designer?

Hmm. I love working with people and help them fall in love with their homes again. It doesn't really matter if it's a big job, or simply to advise on paint color, changes can make a significant difference in how you live in the space. Home is very important to me, and I think that translates to my clients, for their homes.

Where do I get my inspiration for my home and my clients?

Well, you might think I would say, from a rug or artwork, and to this I would say that is true. But, I do find inspiration from odd things, like a unique fabric swatch, or a very old piece of furniture that has been forgotten in a barn. It has also come to me from a photograph or a clipping from a magazine I cut out years ago because I loved the vibe.

What do you like about some of the new trends?

I really love today's trend of bright spaces with warm tones being incorporated. There was and still is a lot of white on white, which is lovely. However, I am appreciating the balances we are seeing today with warmer additions to the room, like vintage artwork, brass and gold accents, furniture and textiles with color and pattern, and natural woods. I hope this sticks around for a while.

What do you dislike about this industry?

That it is a throwaway industry. Have you ever watched a home decorating show, and watched them makeover a house? Has it ever crossed your mind about what happens to all the stuff they throw away? It really bothers me, because of the environment and the landfills. Trends change, and sometimes so quickly. It concerns me greatly how much a home gets changed, because of it. For my business and home, I try and adapt where I can to reduce, reuse and recycle.

When looking to decorate a living room, where do you start?

Usually the area rug. It does play a significant part in the space, and you can usually draw some of the colors out of it for throw pillows, blankets, and fabric for furniture. A good rug, in a decent size, is never going to be inexpensive, so making sure this is your jumping-off point for the design is key.

What elements of design are you drawn to?

Large stucco fireplaces, exposed brick walls, wide plank (very worn looking) wood floors, and wall-mounted cast iron sinks in bathrooms. I love a vintage look, intertwined with a modern palette. It keeps it interesting.

If you could meet any popular designer, who would that be?

That's an easy one. Sarah Richardson, because she is a brilliant designer. I love her vision for spaces with her use of easy-breezy fabrics, grasscloth wallpaper, and flea market finds. I would also love to meet Leanne Ford. She takes imperfect spaces and creates a magical space. She supports the notion to reuse what you can and shares my same love of vintage pieces. I have learned a lot as a decorator, from both of them.

That was fun! Until next time lovelies xx


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