Friday, October 9, 2009

IN HER SHOES: Surroundings

These past two weeks my latest In Her Shoes have featured the members of The Skirted Roundtable.

We have already caught up with Megan and Joni so today’s featured lady is of course Linda.


Linda is a huge source of inspiration for me. This woman is the definition of a DOER. Interior Design was a change of careers for her and she has just run with it.

Not only does she have her own  firm that services the New England area, but she blogs, podcosts, teaches, etc. The list just goes on and on. She is living the dream and I am so happy that she agreed to take part in this series and let us in on a day in her life!

So sit back, relax and enjoy!


First, let me say that I am not a morning person - I’m a night owl. Today (Thursday, September 24) I am headed into Boston to the Design Center (BDC) for Day 3 of the annual Design Boston market week. Design Boston includes seminars and parties with over 500 of the area’s designers.

So, my alarm today went off at 7:15 (which is really early for me!) and I finally got out of bed about 30 minutes later. A quick shower and I head out the door. I live about 45 minutes south of Boston and in rush hour it can take well over an hour. I am already running late, so I don’t go through Dunkin Donuts for my regular iced coffee and bagel and just get on the highway.  I have a 9:30 meeting and at 9:30, I’m still in traffic on the highway.

Trip into Boston by Chameleon Interiors.

I finally get to the BDC and am meeting with photographer Michael Lee about a big blog post I am doing on his career and process. He recently shot a room I designed and going through that process with him was really fascinating, especially for an amateur photographer like me. Michael used to practice interior design and worked for two of New England’s biggest design firms, so there’s a lot to learn from him. We met in the BDC lobby. I still haven’t eaten or had any coffee, so am beginning to feel it!

Michael Lee by Chameleon Interiors.

Michael and I chat till about 11:00 and I’ve missed my first seminar that was at the Donghia showroom on specifying “Fabrics, fibers and weaves”. Oh well. I head up to the registration area and pick up my ticket packet for the rest of the days events and finally get my cup of coffee and a muffin. I head on up to the seminar room for an 11:15 seminar called “Recasting Historic Colors for Contemporary Setting” presented by color consultant Ann Pailthorp for Farrow & Ball. She shows some great photos, but I’m behind a post and can’t see her design sample boards. Still, it’s an interesting presentation and it reminds me that I need to stop in their showroom because I’m considering their Verte de Terre color for my kitchen ceiling.

Farrow and Ball Seminar by Chameleon Interiors.

The front courtyard of the Design Center is the location for a tasty luncheon sponsored by New England Home Magazine. Salads, chowder, passed hors d’ouvres and a nice wine bar – yum!

New England Home Mag Luncheon by Chameleon Interiors.

New England Home Mag staff by Chameleon Interiors.

It was so nice out today that it’s hard to go back inside, but I have another seminar at 1:30. This hour is dedicated to Lasting Luxury: The Construction, Craftsmanship and Care of High-end Home Furnishings, which is sponsored by Grange Furniture.

It’s interesting - I find these seminars educational not because they teach us things we don’t already know, but that they help the designer form the words to discuss the concepts with our clients. Explaining why high-end furnishings cost what they do and why they are worth it can often be difficult in the face tough economic times and readily available mass-produced furniture.

I am skipping the next seminar about adding historic character in a modern home sponsored by Brunschwig & Fils. I have some fabric samples that I need to pick up for a client, so I head over to Stroheim.

Looking for fabrics at Stroheim by Chameleon Interiors.

My client had purchased this pretty plaid a couple of years ago to use to upholster an armchair. Her original plan was to cover one chair in this plaid and a matching chair in a coordinating floral.

She never had the upholstery work done and over the last couple of years, her living room has come together in a way that unmatched chairs would be too busy. We decided that the plaid was the best choice for the chairs and hoped to be able to purchase another seven yards to cover chair #2.

Unfortunately, the fabric is discontinued, so I am looking for a good replacement. I’ll also be doing window treatments and making some pillows, so there were lots of fabrics to look for. I ordered some memo samples at Stroheim and Ailanthus, another showroom.

After fabric shopping, I headed over to Farrow&Ball and then down the hall to the Trianon Antiques Showroom to visit my friends Scott and Diana Cooper.

Trianon Antiques by Chameleon Interiors.

They just rearranged their showroom and brought this amazingly huge and gorgeous mirror out of storage.  Gorgeousness! And, there I am, taking its picture!

The final lecture of the day was by author Donna Dorian at the Janus et Cie showroom. She spoke on Gracious Living in the Ante-bellum South and of her new book AT HOME IN TENNESSEE: Classic Historic Interiors. Very interesting!  The showroom then broke out the bubbly and martinis and market week was officially over.

I leave about 6:00 and head back home.

Boston Design Center end of day by Chameleon Interiors.

I run some errands on the way home, including grabbing an iced coffee and bagel at DD’s (yes, I ended my day with the meal I was going to start it with) and get home at 7:30, where I can change into my pajamas… ahh….

Shoes by Chameleon Interiors.

I spend the rest of the evening reading the 75 emails that have come in and watching tv. Often, my evenings include writing a blog post or an article for one of the other sites that I write for. But tonight, I am tired!  My normal bedtime is about 1:00 AM.

Thanks for joining me today! While today’s activities certainly aren’t a daily occurrence, they are a part of the designer’s life and a lot more fun than office work in our slippers!!


A big thank you to Linda for letting us into her life. It was a lot of fun seeing what you do in a day. I’m certain that back to back meetings at a design center sound like a dream job for most of my readers.

I would also like to thank Megan and Joni for their posts as well. I loved getting a peak into what goes in the world of the Skirted Roundtable!

Next week stay tuned for a new IN HER SHOES with a fashionista that is now living overseas!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! I’m off to go finish up some projects for my latest client who also happens to be my sister and her two roomies.

Install will be this weekend so pictures on Monday!!





Blogger Stephanie Sabbe said...

You are at the top of my blog BFF list. I will look into that chevron tip.

And I'm confused. Is this lady from TN and living in NE? The book?

If so, I am going to email her immediately:)

AND I think we should all go to NeoCon next year. Heard of it? It's in the Chicago Design Mart. Google it. We can start saving our pennies now and we can split hotel rooms. It's next May. It would be SO MUCH FUN.

October 9, 2009 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Linda Merrill said...

Dear Camila - thank you SO MUCH for including me in your "day in the life" post and for your kind words. It's truly an honor!! I've so enjoyed reading everyone's days, especially my Skirted Roundtable compatriots and am so glad we all had such different days to share. Although, I certainly have days like Joni's with fast food and late nights and like Megan, I sometimes actually see the ocean as well. So looking forward to who you have next. This is a great idea for an ongoing series. Bravo to you!

Stephanie - the lecture I attended was by Donna Dorian. She lives in TN and was brought in to speak about her new book AT HOME IN TENNESSEE: Classic Historic Interiors. It seemed a little random at first - such a dedicated Southern theme for a Northern group of designers - but we're all about historic homes here as well and it was truly great to see how beautiful some of the homes were in TN, especially considering the remote location (vs. coastal New England). She showed beautiful images!

October 9, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

what a long day!!! loved getting a peak into Linda's life & hearing what she said about the seminars helping you put concepts into words so it's more easily discussed with clients... so true.


October 9, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Tamstyles said...

coowell. way to go.

October 9, 2009 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Design Esquire said...

Great post! I love the sneak peak on what happens at the Boston Design Center.

I also laughed at the picture of the traffic on the southeast expressway - I was stuck in it too on my way home last night!

October 9, 2009 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Cote de Texas said...

omg - I am just exhausted reading this!! Linda, I loved this, plus I loved reading what you said about value in furniture, high costs, etc. - could be a good topic for SRT!

Love this series - what a great idea.


October 9, 2009 at 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed looking into the days of all the ladies of the Roundtable. Well done, Camila in getting all three of them together!

October 9, 2009 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger pink-to-green said...

Such a great series with very inspiring ladies; well done!

October 9, 2009 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

James White from F&B if I could have but one colour on every wall. I love their paints and your blog.

October 9, 2009 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger LindsB said...

Wow, what a fun day! I wish I was a decorator here so I could do to a day like that- it looks awesome!

Thanks for another great In Her Shoes post!

October 9, 2009 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Urban Flea said...

I really enjoyed going along for the ride with you, thanks for a good one m'dear, cheers!

xo katherine aka. urban flea :)

October 9, 2009 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger Ruthies Renewed Treasured said...

Love the large mirror!!! I have a place I would love to hang that! Thanks for your post. Enjoy your blog.

October 9, 2009 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Bekah: said...

What a nice comment you left me, thanks. Your job looks soooooooo fun!

October 10, 2009 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Maria Killam said...

This is such a fun post you do Camila! Always fun to get a glimpse into another designer/blogger's day!

October 11, 2009 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

That was great; that is a full day!...and nice shoes Linda!


October 12, 2009 at 6:00 PM  

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