For the past several years I have been working on a vision-- an idea of blending the shop and the interior design studio into one larger space. The shop-- after all-- is an idea lab for the design studio and the design studio has long been the work horse of the shop. Over the years I have played with the balance between the two: at times the design 'studio' has been efficiently packaged just behind the shop counter-- all my design tools hidden under the cash register and my work done right there-- in full view of customers and passersby; at other times I have separated the design studio into its own room behind closed doors. Sometimes I take up more space, sometimes less.
Since Dean joined the business there have been further permutations in our use of space-- each of us trying to find the best mix of studio and retail space. It has become a metaphor for our lives-- this juggling of work space and shop space. We have spent the last five years blending our home, our family, and our work-- because the reality of falling in love when you are in your forties is that you already have established lives and families and aesthetics and the goal is to blend them and create a whole out of the pieces already in place-- not an easy task! When you also choose to work together there is a whole 'nother level of blending going on! I have been proud of our process-- it has taken an enormous amount of work and yet we have both been committed to finding the best and most inspiring ways to be together and to do what we do in the world.
This photo is from a moment just after Christmas last year when I felt that I had really found the balance. i created an enormous cash register counter with my two (rolling) work tables set end-to-end which both placed the design studio firmly at the helm of the shop, and also created more retail space than we had ever had. The blend of Dean's art and my linens-- and the space we each needed for our work felt that we had really arrived at my vision!
But the one thing that is certain in life is that I will move furniture around again-- and if you come in the shop now you will see things are very different. Just as i reached the vision I had held for several years I recognized that it was already out of date-- the design business has grown too much for me to be able to balance the shop/ interior design work gracefully enough to have my work tables be the cash register counters or keep up with ordering for the shop.
So we have moved things around again to reflect our current needs.
It is good to be flexible.