The Chaise Lounge

Interior Designer Chad Esslinger: A One-Man Team Armed With Passion, Processes, & Experience | S29E12

We have reached the end of Season 29 of The Chaise Lounge! This week, Nick May chats with Chad Esslinger in Downers Grove, Illinois!

Chad grew up in Jacksonville, Illinois. As a kid he was into creating things with LEGOs and drawing houses and floor plans. He studied Industrial Design at the University of Illinois and moved to Chicago after graduating. He went through a few décor jobs over the years, even one where he got to travel. The corporate life became unappealing after a while, however. With enough experience under his belt, Chad set out to start his own business, Chad Esslinger Design, in 2010.

Chad is a one-man team. He refers to himself as an “imperfect perfectionist,” and recognizes his bad habit of doing too much on his own instead of sharing responsibilities. Despite that, his past experience aided him in establishing systems and processes early on to make the experience smoother for himself and his clients. He also knows to be picky when choosing his clients, enabling a flow of enjoyable projects and serious customers. Most of his projects are kitchen and bathroom renovations, and decorating and furnishing. In the future, he would like to create his own line of furniture and design a restaurant from the ground up.

Go to www.chadesslingerdesign.com to check out Chad’s portfolio, and follow him on Instagram @chadesslingerdesign

When people call me it's because they have done a little bit of homework on me... They're not looking to find the lowest-priced designer or the designer that can start next week... I wanna be the right designer for them, and I want them to be the right client for me.

Chaise Lounge Updates

 Coast to Coast Design is back baby! Give it a listen to learn about just how many ways there are to run a design business.

 

Resources

Upcoming Markets

High Point Market – October 16 – 20, 2021

Wrap Up

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app! We’d love it if you post a review, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. Also, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. With that said, keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!

United Kingdom Interior Architect and India-Native Charu Gandhi | S29E11

Welcome to The Chaise Lounge! This week, Nick May sits down with Charu Gandhi of Elicyon in Kensington, United Kingdom!

Charu studied at the Architectural Association in the United Kingdom and worked in several architectural firms. After getting involved with interior designers, she loved the idea of combining the structure of architecture and the creativity of interior design. In 2014 Charu founded her own studio Elicyon, where she and her team blend architecture and interior design to create beautiful projects all around the world.

To Charu, architecture is not a one-and-done deal, it’s a lifelong apprenticeship. Even with all her experience, she is excited and open to learn something new every day.  She encourages her interior designers to become involved in the architectural elements of their projects and vice-versa. Joining her team means going through a rigorous hiring process, and Charu is not at all afraid to bring in people she considers more skilled than herself. Elicyon strives to create a place of bliss for their clients. Or, as Charu puts it, “bringing to life what [clients] want out of their home.”

Be sure to follow Elicyon on Instagram @elicyon, and check out their website www.elicyon.com

I'm not at all shy to hire people who are better than me at lots of things... who shine brighter than me... I'm very proud of that, I feel proud that I spotted them.

Chaise Lounge Updates

 Coast to Coast Design is back baby! Give it a listen to learn about just how many ways there are to run a design business.

 

Resources

Upcoming Markets

High Point Market – October 16 – 20, 2021

Wrap Up

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app! We’d love it if you post a review, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. Also, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. With that said, keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!

The Perks of Designing Under a Large Firm, with Pembrooke & Ives’ Brigitte Coleman | S29E10

Welcome back to The Chaise Lounge! This week, Nick chats with Brigitte Coleman, design director at Pembrooke & Ives in New York City.

Brigitte grew up in California, and always knew she wanted to move to New York. She also knew she wanted to be an architect, getting her inspiration from Julia Morgan, the architect behind Hearst Castle. After graduating from Sci Arc in Los Angeles, she moved to New York and worked in hospitality for ICRAVE and Rockwell. Currently she is a design director at Pembrooke & Ives.

Brigitte’s situation caught us by surprise. She is not owner of a design firm or company, and is not an independent designer. Rather, she leads her own team in one of 6 studios within a larger firm specializing in interior architecture. She gets to pick her team members, and she is very selective, as teambuilding is crucial to her.

The idea of working under a large firm may turn most designers away at first, but there are advantages that will be appealing to others. Brigitte focuses only on the design work. Things like accounting, working with clients, all that is handled by the company. So if you want to be a designer but don’t like to deal with clients or invoices, you may want to consider an opportunity like this!

I'm very specific on who I hire. Because us - design directors - run our teams differently, we have different management styles, different expectations, so I prefer to handle hiring myself.

Chaise Lounge Updates

 Coast to Coast Design is back baby! Give it a listen to learn about just how many ways there are to run a design business.

 

Resources

Upcoming Markets

High Point Market – October 16 – 20, 2021

Wrap Up

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app! We’d love it if you post a review, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. Also, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. With that said, keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!

Etching Systems & Processes Into Your Design Business w/ Jessica Nelson & Stephanie Lindsey | S29E9

This week in The Chaise Lounge, Nick May sits down with interior designers Jessica Nelson and Stephanie Lindsey, owners of their own company, Etch Interior Design, in Austin, TX.

Jessica and Stephanie went to design school in Texas and California respectively. Interestingly enough they both initially thought of studying business before becoming designers. After graduating, Steph and her husband moved to Austin where she met Jessica at a design firm, and became the best of friends. Some time later, they left the firm and decided to team up.

The duo’s work structure revolves around autonomy; they are very selective when hiring new team members and trust their team to work independently. They also established systems and processes early on to ensure efficiency and provide a good experience to customers. A big contributor to their success – something they encourage other designers to do at any point of their careers – was hiring a business coach. Jessica and Stephanie went from being involved in every single project, to being able to take time off without worrying about work. Etch Interior Design has been in business for 6 years, and soon they will open a second location in Utah.

Be sure to follow Jessica and Stephanie on Instagram @etchdesigngroup and check out their business website www.etchinteriordesign.com

We have a lot of things that we've learned over the years... we're always asking for feedback… we have end-of-project reviews so that we can learn from every project and make each new experience a better one.

Chaise Lounge Updates

 Coast to Coast Design is back baby! Give it a listen to learn about just how many ways there are to run a design business.

 

Resources

Upcoming Markets

High Point Market – October 16 – 20, 2021

Wrap Up

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app! We’d love it if you post a review, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. Also, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. With that said, keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!

Serial Success and NYC Interior Designer Scott Sanders: Trusting Your Childhood Compass | S29E7

In this week’s episode of The Chaise Lounge, Nick May chats with interior designer Scott Sanders from New York City.

Scott always knew he wanted to do design, but living in a small town in Ohio he couldn’t quite figure out how to do it. His father and grandfather were builders and owned a real-estate company, and Scott was always fascinated by the houses they built. They embraced and cultivated this interest, and Scott eventually went to Parsons School of Design in New York, later landing a job at Ralph Lauren.

After a successful two year run, he decided that he wanted to get his own name out there and made plans to exit Ralph Lauren. Not only did they give Scott their blessing, but also encouraged Scott’s accounts to go with him. Scott Sanders opened in New York City in the year 2000. He has designed residences in New Jersey, Boston, Florida, California, and many other places across the country. He recently opened a second location in Palm Beach. So if you found yourself pointing out mistakes on floor plans, and critiquing your grandma’s decorator at the tender age of 10 – maybe you should forget about doctoring and lawyering, and just chase that design bliss!

Be sure to check out Scott’s work at his website scottsandersllc.com and follow him on Instagram @scottsandersllc!

I'm always excited about something new and special, If it's something really special, I will go anywhere because that's what drives creativity.

Chaise Lounge Updates

 Coast to Coast Design is back baby! Give it a listen to learn about just how many ways there are to run a design business.

 

Resources

Upcoming Markets

High Point Market – October 16 – 20, 2021

Wrap Up

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app! We’d love it if you post a review, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. Also, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. With that said, keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!

Architectural Digest’s Digital Director David Kaufman and The Future of Real Estate After COVID-19 | S29E6

In this week’s Chaise Lounge, Nick May chats with David Kaufman, global Digital Director at Architectural Digest!

David has quite the resumé, having worked as an editor for the New York Times, Quartz, New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and many more. He went into Architectural Digest with an understanding of the real estate world. He has a particular fascination with celebrity culture and gossip, as well as recent interior design trends like personal gardens.

David shares his thoughts on the future of interior design and real estate in a post-Covid world. There is plenty of uncertainty as things continue to transition to the “new normal”. Millions of people were forced to work and/or study from home, and many took the opportunity to create a study room, or a Zoom office. Some created extra bedrooms and even gyms.

With everyone going back to their workplace, will they keep those new rooms or will they revert? Those who bought an extra house to escape the chains of the quarantine, will they sell it? As for interior designers and real estate agents, will their backlog correct itself or will it become even more chaotic? One thing’s for sure: the real estate market went through a boom in the aftermath of COVID.

If you’d like to learn more about David, you can contact him at david_kaufman@condenast.com or follow him on Instagram @kaufmandavidnyc

This is like, the party's last hurrah. Folks are still... trying to accept the fact that, whatever we've gone through over the last year and a half is basically over, and we're gonna have to get back to our lives.

Chaise Lounge Updates

 Coast to Coast Design is back baby! Give it a listen to learn about just how many ways there are to run a design business.

 

Resources

Upcoming Markets

High Point Market – October 16 – 20, 2021

Wrap Up

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app! We’d love it if you post a review, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. Also, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. With that said, keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!

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