In this episode, recorded early March 2020, The Chaise Lounge podcast producer—a professional painting contractor—Nick May checks in on the West Coast with Los Angeles-based interior designer Kristine Paige, principal at Jackson Paige Interiors.
Listen in as Nick and Kristine get down to basics on choosing careers, paint colors, subcontractors, and the logistics of cross-country creative collaboration.
Interior Design: Where Creative and Analytic Skills Meet
“My favorite thing about interior design is the flexibility it gives me to be a creative person and a very analytical person,” says Kristine, a former actor and film industry insider. “I live between the two, so for me, it’s very rewarding.”
Her least favorite part (we know our fellow entrepreneurs can relate): the general pressures of having your own business. Everything falls to you.
It All Starts with Color
In Spring 2020, Kristine was named an official brand ambassador for Benjamin Moore—the maker of her favorite interior and exterior paint colors—and part of the paint manufacturer’s new Design P.O.V. series. “Our designs are built around color,” says the designer. Her current favorites come from Benjamin Moore’s Century line, “It’s like velvet.”
4 Favorite Paint Colors:
Choosing the Right Painting Contractor
As important as the paint product itself is the application.
So when choosing contractors, Kristine recommends having at least three experts on speed dial:
- A highly specialized painter experienced in lime work or lacquer finishes, who works in close collaboration with the general contractor to make sure that the walls surfaces are perfect
- An unfailingly reliable general paint contractor for walls, baseboards, trim, and ceiling
- And an specialty exterior painter
For every job, the final choice all boils down to trust.
“It’s the person I know I’m going to get the least number of headaches from—someone I can depend on to do the job and they are not going to change out my paint to color match it with another paint. That’s the worst,” says Kristine.
“I’ve gone around to job sites and said, ‘I want to see the cans. Show me the cans,’” she confesses. “And if it’s not the paint I specified, I say, ‘Change it. Start over.’”
A great tip from Nick: Have the paint contractor list the paint brands and colors by name and number directly on their signed schedules and contracts. That way, you know the materials that are being paid for are the materials you will get.
Budgeting in Outdoor Spaces
After weeks, or months, of feeling sequestered in our homes, we’re going to be ready to move outdoors.
“Here in California, rooms all open up to the outside,” Kristine explains. “So if you don’t do your outside spaces, the interior design feels very incomplete.”
Make the indoor-outdoor connection plain right at the first budget meeting, Kristine says, or will end up feeling like they are getting hit up with an “add-on” at the tail end of a project, when they have already make a big investment and are running out of money and enthusiasm.
“You have to explain to your clients, right at the beginning, ‘This is what you’re seeing from the indoors spaces, and when you’re outside, and this is how they coordinate.’”
Tips on Working Remotely
As a California-based designer with jobs as far East as Westchester County, New York, Kristine has a head start on the rest of us when it comes to the tricks of #wfh and the virtual commute.
“I have found it super easy in the design stage,” says Kristine, who routinely attends weekly client or project meetings via Skype or Facetime. “I fly out as needed and have a certain number of site visits built into the contract. I’ve never had any problems.”
Jackson Paige sends all furnishings to a receiver in or near the city in which they will be installed.
“We also get a lot of things in Los Angeles and we’ll send a truck, which ends up being about the same cost as shipping would be for all the items, anyway,” she explains. “So we meet the trucks and start installation.”
Installation Day Drama: Not So Glamorous, But So Exciting
“The attitude here is ‘Whatever we have to do to help make it happen is what we’re gonna do. That’s how you have to go into it,” Kristine says.
That could be our new mantra to growing your interior design business: Whatever it takes!
Chaise Lounge Updates
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!