The Chaise Lounge

Milieu Interior Designs’ Founders and Creative Power Couple: Janessa & Stephen Gertz | S29E6

This week in The Chaise Lounge, Nick May interviews interior designers Janessa and Stephen Gertz, owners of Milieu Interior Design in Chicago, IL. 

Janessa graduated from Harrington Institute of Interior Design, while Stephen graduated from Illinois Institute of Art. By the time the couple met in 2014, they had already each started their own business. After getting engaged, Stephen convinced Janessa to merge their businesses into a single company.

The Gertz’s work together in every project. Janessa is stronger in the finances and Stephen brings in his experience as an electrician. The nature of their partnership offers a comfortable experience for their customers (often other married couples), and makes it so that everybody involved feels like their input is valued. This, along with raising a child, does introduce the challenge of making time and finding qualified candidates to build their team.

Many of their recent projects include home-offices and children’s bedrooms, as more and more people find themselves working and studying from home. This endeavor was even featured on Architectural Digest Pro!

If you’d like to learn more about Janessa and Stephen Gertz, check out their website www.milieu-interiordesign.com and follow them on Instagram @milieu_interiordesign

We have to be experts on everything. It's not just 'this sofa looks pretty'... You have to understand the construction aspect of it and how it's made, and why it's of quality and why it's worth the investment.

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!

Ode to People, Ode to Things, with Interior Designer Nike Onile | S29E5

Welcome! In this week’s Chaise Lounge, Nick May sits down with Nike Onile, creator of Of Things Ode in Toronto, Ontario.

Nike, like many guests we’ve featured on the show, had an artistic inclination at a young age but became an interior designer at a later part of her life. Coming from a Nigerian family, she was required to choose between a career in medicine, law, or engineering. Her parents were accepting of her interest in art but only saw it as a hobby. Nike studied bio-technology and worked in Pharma for a few years – but not without working design projects on the side for a few clients. This resulted in her getting an administrative position at Studio Munge, one of Canada’s leading design firms. Despite this transition being a professional and personal risk, it was the golden opportunity for Nike to start doing something she knew she would enjoy.

While at Studio Munge, Nike continued working on her side projects, now under her own brand 800 Sq. Ft. She then created The Apartment, a small space that she re-shuffled and re-decorated to tell a story about an imaginary owner. This became an incredibly popular attraction, much to Nike’s surprise. This project made Nike reflect on her goals as an interior designer. She took a 2-year break to focus on developing her brand. Eventually, Of Things Ode was born, and Nike’s goal is to design spaces so they reflect the personality and story of the owner.

Be sure to check out Of Things Ode at www.ofthingsode.com and follow Nike Onile on Instagram @nikeonile!
Headshot photo by Angie Choi.

I realized that the work I was actually doing was not just focused around design. It was a holistic experience. It was about people, it was about telling stories through space... The point of it were the people.

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!

Award-Winning British Interior Design Legend Fiona-Barratt Campbell | S29E4

We hope you’re prepared, because this week on The Chaise Lounge we had the honor to interview Fiona Barratt-Campbell, one of Britain’s most prolific figures in the interior design industry.

Fiona’s success as an entrepreneur and designer can be traced back as early as her childhood. Her parents worked in retail, and instilled in her a strong work ethic – and she truly enjoyed the fast-paced nature of the retail environment. Her biggest inspiration to become an interior designer was her grandfather, Sir Lawrie Barratt, founder of Barratt Homes, one of the largest residential development companies in the United Kingdom.

After completing her Art Foundation in the UK, Fiona traveled to New York where she studied interior design at Parsons School of Design. She got an internship at Victoria Hagan, was interviewed by Richard Branson’s board and landed an envied position to work at Virgin hotels. Finally in 2006 she opened her own design studio: Fiona Barratt Interiors. Ever since, Fiona’s stunning work can be found in many countries all over the world. She prefers working with a small team, which empowers her to also focus on side projects such as her own furniture line.

Be sure to check out Fiona’s furniture collection at fbc-london.com, and follow her on Instagram @fionabarrattinteriors

Interior design is a hard business because it's very personal... It's a real gift that you've been given, that somebody's put that trust in you to design their home.

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!

Interior Designer Jill Howard and Her Journey to Open Her Own Studio | S29E3

Hi there! We hope you are prepared because this week in the Chaise Lounge, we are joined by Jill Howard, founder of Jill Howard Design Studio.

Growing up in a small town in the mountains of Virginia, Jill was not aware that one could become an interior designer. All she knew was that good grades meant becoming a doctor or a lawyer. She went to the College of William and Mary to pursue the former, only to find it was not the field for her. Later, Jill entered the world of music, which led to her studying music business (and meeting her future husband.) She purchased a house and found herself decorating it frequently. This gave her plenty of experience in business and a revelation for her new dream career.

Jill entered the New York School of Interior Design. Through hard work and a strike of luck, she worked with some of the largest names in the world of interior design, including Tom Scheerer and Jesse Carrier. 10 years later, Jill and her husband moved to Charleston, where she opened her own design studio. Her business experience came in handy, as she established systems and processes early on. There was still some trial and error, but nothing that she couldn’t handle. The studio is performing greatly, and Jill is working on a furniture line with a local maker. Keep an eye out for that!

Check out Jill Howard’s gorgeous portfolio at jillhoward.com/, and follow her on Instagram @jillhowarddesign!

Success is all about hard work, for sure. But there's always some luck at play.

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!

Interior Designer, Podcaster, Actress, and International English Professor Rebecca Hay | S29E2

Hello! Glad to see you around. This week in The Chaise Lounge, Nick chats with Rebecca Hay, owner of Rebecca Hay Designs in Toronto, Canada.

Though interested in interior design and entrepreneurship at a young age, Rebecca didn’t enter the field until after experimenting with other careers. Initially she wanted to be an actress and a teacher. She went to school for musical theater, though she didn’t feel ready for the stage just yet. She then graduated in political science and cultural studies.
Later, Rebecca traveled to Spain to teach English, but was turned off by the bureaucracy and strictness of the work. When she returned home, she couldn’t decide whether to study design or pursue an acting career. While Rebecca eventually landed a few acting gigs, they didn’t allow the freedom and creativity that she yearned for.
Finally, she went back to college for her true love, interior design. After a few years of being a designer, Rebecca started her own podcast, Resilient by Design, which aided her in networking, collaborating with other designers, and forming friendships.

Be sure to check out Rebecca’s podcast Resilient by Design at rebeccahay.com/podcast, and follow her on Instagram @rebeccahaydesigns!

For me it's all about collaboration over competition... we are stronger when we help each other out. We're not each other's competition, we all offer something unique.

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!

Interior Design Superstar Corey Damen Jenkins and His Prolific Projects | S29E1

Welcome back! We are happy to have you here for the Season 29 premiere of The Chaise Lounge. And what better way to kick things off than with renowned interior designer Corey Damen Jenkins!

Corey has been up to a lot for the last few years. In 2021, he presented Mouths Wide Open, a collection of drawings depicting all kinds of people doing a variety of facial expressions. 
His company, Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates, LLC, has been steadily growing. His team is preparing to work on exciting projects—from apartments to mansions—in many different states and even Canada!
What’s more, Corey has written and published Design Remix, his first coffee-table book! In it, Corey discusses his thoughts on traditional interior design and how to adapt it to modern tastes.

Be sure to check out Corey’s book Design Remix: A New Spin on Traditional Rooms, and follow him on Instagram @coreydamenjenkins!

What's most important for me is longevity... saying 'yes' to the right opportunities... and saying 'no' to the wrong ones.

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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