Heidi Caillier: Going Against the Grain

Episode 1 January 06, 2023 00:35:55
Heidi Caillier: Going Against the Grain
The Interior Collective
Heidi Caillier: Going Against the Grain

Jan 06 2023 | 00:35:55

/

Show Notes

Heidi Caillier: Going Against the Grain

SHOW NOTES The key to success as an interior designer lies in your own understanding of who you want to be as a designer. Kicking us off on for Season 2 is none other than Heidi Caillier, the Seattle-based interior designer who has successfully grown an impressive following, earned dozens of features in top tier publications, and attracted a devoted clientele base all while avoiding trends and staying committed to her unique outlook as an interior designer. 

In this episode, Heidi Caillier and I discuss:

Mentioned in this episode:

MAGAZINES

FEATURES

PRODUCTS + SOURCES

OTHER CREATIVES

Thanks for listening to this episode of The Interior Collective. You can listen to our episodes on SpotifyApple Podcasts, YouTube, or access all the show notes on our website.

You can follow along with Heidi on Instagram, book a call with her on The Expert, discover endless inspiration on her website, or listen to more of Heidi's wisdom shared on her episode of Design Perspectives with Gail Davis.

SHOW NOTES
The Interior Collective: Website
IDCO Studio: Website | Instagram | YouTube
The Identité Collective: Blog | Instagram | YouTube
Design Camp: Website | Instagram
View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:03 Hi, and welcome to season two of the Interior Collective. When the ICO studio team and I began this project back in 2022, we had no idea how quickly this podcast would take off, how generously and candidly our guests would share their knowledge and experiences or how enthusiastically the episodes would be received by the interior design community. So you'll understand when I say that I am still pinching myself that I'm recording season two with an absolute rockstar lineup of guests, including Bria, Hamel, Allison Geese, yawn Interiors, light and Dwell, and so many more. What can you expect from season two? We are not shying away from the good stuff. Whether you're interested in learning about styling, sustainable design, sourcing, distance design, expanding into commerce or social media marketing, there is an episode for you. But we're also digging deep into the concept of signature style from developing your own identifiable look, finding confidence and staying true to your design perspective, whether it's trending or not, navigating, evolving and pushing your boundaries without losing the ethos of your designs. Speaker 1 00:01:07 Finding inspiration in a world where content saturation is real, to using this knowledge to attract the right clients and partnerships. We are learning from the experience of several of today's most iconic designers. Kicking us off on this topic is none other than Heidi Callier, the Seattle-based interior designer whose work is impossible to miss with its bold and experimental use of color, pattern and textiles that always somehow magically just works with works. Featured in some of the most prestigious publications in the industry, including the Wall Street Journal, architectural Digest, El Decor, and so many others you've likely come across and d drooled over her portfolio. Today with Heidi, we're exploring what it looks like to build a following by going against the grain and interior design. And honestly, I could not possibly be more excited for this conversation or think of a better way to start this season. Hello Heidi, and welcome to the Interior Collective. I know everyone is anxiously awaiting this episode. Thank you for being here. Speaker 2 00:02:10 Thank you so much for having me. Speaker 1 00:02:12 We are so excited to talk about your signature style and just how you are always going against the grain. And so I'd love to dig in talking about that signature style. You got your start not through traditional education, but through a design blog that opened the door for a number of professional experiences after working for design firms, a design showroom, home polish, et cetera. How did you creatively reset and understanded who you wanted to be as a designer? Speaker 2 00:02:42 Yeah, I, you know, for years I just was doing the kind of design blog thing and then working for other designers and then taking on literally like every project that came my way, I worked with Home Polish. I probably did, you know, 5 million packages with them. And when I moved to Seattle from San Francisco and started getting clients on my own and the projects became like a little bit bigger, I really did find myself kind of at a turning point. You know, I had for so long been, you know, designing to what the clients really wanted. So that was like 10 years ago. So it was a lot of like the white sofa, you know, the West Elm, Moroccan rug, the like pink kind of killing pillows and like that was the look and like I did it a million times, like just over and over and over again, really small budgets and I just kind of kept recycling it and I really found, you know, like I would photograph some of my work and I'd get the pictures back and I wasn't like super excited about them. Speaker 2 00:03:36 You know, I would see it and I'd be like, great, and I'd still get other work from it, but like I didn't feel excited by it. Like I didn't feel like it was fulfilling me. And there was one project that came along, the clients were a little bit older and more mature and their taste was more mature. You know, she had like old magazine terrorists from like veranda and magazines that like I hadn't really looked at before and it really made me take a pause and step back and rather than just give the same old kind of recycled look, I really did what felt like came from me. You know, like I started pattern mixing and using textiles in a bigger way and they had a bit of a bigger budget, which was nice. And that project was a big turning point for me. Speaker 1 00:04:16 That's amazing. It's incredible to hear how that journey is. Cause I feel like there's so many listeners who are at the beginning of that journey. So thank you for sharing. How would you describe the Heidi Callier look? What do you want to be associated with you in your name? Speaker 2 00:04:32 It's so hard to describe. I, people always ask me like, what's your design style? What would you name it? And I don't ever have a good answer to that question. I would say there are definitely things that I feel like are tenants of my work. Like obviously I love textiles, I love pattern, I love vintage and antiques and I like color. And however those manifest in each project, it really is driven so much by the client's aesthetic, the architecture, the location. I really do not want two projects to feel the same. And I'm constantly looking for like new resources, new vendors, new textile makers. I don't know, I get bored and I wanna do something different, but I also, you know, home should be a reflection of the people that live there and I want each project to really feel like that. Speaker 1 00:05:17 Well, I think you have mastered that and it's such a joy to watch and experience from an outside perspective, since you've found your groove and gone off on your own, how would you say that your look has evolved over those years and what during that time has really stayed consistent? Speaker 2 00:05:33 You know, it kind of ebbs and flows. I think there are things that are consistent, like the things we were just talking about. Like I use, you know, vintage pretty heavily. I love vintage lighting, I love vintage, you know, I, I'm always on the hunt for those and it does kind of ebb and flow, you know, like I find sometimes like we may be in a zone where we have more traditional projects and you know, the shapes of the furniture and the light fixtures, like lean a little bit more that way. But I always, you know, kind of end up gravitating to this mix. And I, that is really my sweet spot. I think where I feel the most happy designing and it gives me the most gratification is like when the aesthetic is not so strongly in one direction or the other, but you can put, you know, like a beautiful antique dining table with like a mid-century modern Italian chandelier. That is really where I think my strength is. Speaker 1 00:06:16 Yeah, definitely your sweet spot. I know from watching your projects, I love that I can look at your projects and feel really good about individual rooms and not open floor plan concepts. And I love that you give us permission to leave our ceilings low and not have to blow out every single roof in every single house. In your opinion, what are the key elements of a space that truly reflects a designer's personal style Speaker 2 00:06:43 For so many years? I think it was just like about furniture. Um, especially, you know, for me starting out you're not getting like huge remodel projects, definitely not new builds. I mean some designers maybe, but I was not, and it took me like a little while before I started thinking about rooms and homes more holistically versus like just picking the sofa, the rug, you know, and all of that. And I really, you know, at this point I understand that the background to all of that is equally as important to the light fixtures, what you're doing on the walls, whether it's a paneling, a wallpaper, you know, what the crown and millwork looks like, what the windows are like, all of those things really bring strength to your design. And then it's more about layering furnishings in to make those rooms and spaces feel more complete. Speaker 1 00:07:24 I feel as though you have mastered incorporating pieces from different periods as you were mentioning earlier, without them feeling so specific. What is the key that you have found to sourcing these and I think particular to you to re-imagining these pieces as well? Speaker 2 00:07:43 So I'm always hunting. I, you know, sometimes my Saturday mornings are like me with a cup of coffee in front of first Hibbs for a few hours, like going down the rabbit hole and you know, I'll find tons of things and they may not be right for like projects that we're working on now, but I literally just like pin everything that I love to aboard that I use, you know, as a reference point when we start sourcing. And I really am like a firm believer, like if you love something it can work. So for, you know, a lot of the projects, the ones where the clients are giving me creative control and all of that, like it's putting together all the pieces that I love. It's just like, I love this light fixture and I love this table and yes they can work together and we're gonna round it out with these textiles. And it really is that organic of a process. Speaker 1 00:08:24 Do y'all have a warehouse? Do you ever buy things that you don't necessarily have a place for when it's perfect and you hold onto it for the right project? Or do you wait until it's time to source for a project? Speaker 2 00:08:34 Sometimes we have done that. I used to do it more in the past, but you know, it's weird because I will do that sometimes and then, you know, years go by and I'm like, I never used those pendants that we bought. And it just, it's the same thing, you know, sometimes you'll have designs that kind of go, I call it the design graveyard, like they never come to life or whatever and people are like, just use it on another house. And it never works that way for me. Me like every project is a fresh start and like creatively it's a fun, you know, challenge. So I always kind of like to start with a clean slate. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:09:03 So we all dream of having only clients who give us complete creative control, but it's difficult to start there. I feel like you kind of work up to that after you have enough of a portfolio. When you first started out on your own, did you feel an intense pressure to deliver exactly what the client was asking for or do you feel like you were able to really show your own perspective right from the start? Speaker 2 00:09:28 No, definitely not. I was definitely the person that was like designing to their aesthetic for oh many years. I definitely, you know, at this point do try to take on projects where the clients seem like they're going to give us mostly creative control or you know, we have people come to us now and say like, I want a Heidi house and for me that's, you know, that's the dream, but you never know how that's gonna play out in real life. Some people say that and you know, 50 year revisions later you're not there. So I think there, you know, there are the clients that come to you and will give you a lot of creative control, but there's so many other factors that go into this work. You know, budgets and timelines and all of those things can create, you know, a client could love the entire presentation and then they're like, we don't wanna spend that much money. So it's such a layered process. But yeah, the goal is to only be working on projects that wanna give us the, Speaker 1 00:10:17 So speaking of you're at the point now where you only say yes to the projects that give you that nearly complete design freedom. What is your advice to designers listening to get to that point? Speaker 2 00:10:29 Do only put out work that you love. So that was what really changed it for me was that one project where I was like, I'm just gonna do what I want to do here and that it was literally so black and white. Like as soon as I did that, everything changed and opened for me. Like it was like just cracking wide open. It was like, you're gonna put out the work that you love in the world. And the world was like, yes, please like give it to us. I think there is something so I mean it's like your own vision, like that's all that you can do in this create a field is like give people your vision and you have to at least go for it. I think that's what changes everything. Speaker 1 00:11:04 So if a designer's not yet at the point where they have that project that someone's giving them that trust or the, the aesthetic aligned perfectly to theirs, do you have any tips for how to start putting out that work maybe on a smaller scale in their own home or anything along those lines to be able to start putting what they love out there when they don't necessarily have that $200,000 client to furnish a space? Speaker 2 00:11:27 Yeah, I mean it was definitely like that when I started out and you know, it's a different world now because Instagram, you know, there's, everything is so image heavy so to feed that beast requires like a whole different level of you know, putting of imagery. But you know, when I first started out, like I, the first thing I did was do my own house. It was a small one-room bedroom apartment in San Francisco and it wasn't a BU big budget by any means, but it got picked up by RU and that really was helpful. But also I think, you know, like exactly like you're just saying, like I was only, and I've always been very particular about like only putting out imagery that I want people to come to back to us for. So like I'm not gonna put, you know, we do a lot of projects, we don't shoot not as many anymore but you know, five years ago we did a lot of projects, we didn't shoot and I just wouldn't share the images. Speaker 2 00:12:10 I definitely am not gonna pitch them to magazines, I'm not putting them on my Instagram feed because I don't want those clients to come back to me, you know? So I think you stay strong in your aesthetic and only put out things that feel reflective of what you want to be doing. I mean, you know, I used to mix other designers images in with my own work in a very thoughtful way, you know, always tagging everybody properly and it was, you know, like one post every two weeks or something on my Instagram feed. But it can help kind of other people like see okay, we might not have this work yet but this is where we wanna go. Speaker 1 00:12:39 Yeah, definitely. So if someone doesn't necessarily have the content library of images that they love every single one of are, do you feel like it's okay to slow down on the cadence you're posting in order to keep those images exactly the images you wanna share or do you think that there is a push that you have to be posting images so frequently in order to stay relevant, quote unquote? Speaker 2 00:13:05 I think it is. That's a really difficult conundrum because even over the years since my Instagram feed has grown, it's changed so much. The platform's changed so much and I mean I have a ton of images that I can use. You know, we shoot a good deal of projects, Harris takes a good deal of photos and I still am like what am I, I'm gonna run out of content. You know, I think there's a lot of pressure to be, you know, content producers at the same time. But in that same vein, my Instagram account did not start growing until I started posting every day. So there is something, the consistency, you know, the platform rewards interaction and it really wants you to be on there more. So you could, I mean even stories, you know, I feel like stories right now are so helpful. But I would say if you can consistently put something up three times a week, that should be your bare minimum. Speaker 1 00:13:49 Amazing. Thank you for sharing that. You mentioned just a couple minutes ago how you feel like it was really like five years ago was kind of when you really started leaning into clients that are coming to you for a Heidi house. Do you feel at this point it's your signature style that's attracting the same type of client? Or do you feel like clients are coming to you for a Heidi house and they have possibly a different interpretation of what that is? Speaker 2 00:14:13 Both I think it's both. Um, and I particularly enjoy, I mean there's some projects that come to me that I'm like, this just probably is not a great aesthetic fit. And sometimes you know, you're like, why did you reach out to me? I have no idea. But you know, I do like a challenge and I particularly like to design in into different aesthetics. So I am so game for something that's more modern or something that's more traditional or something you know, that maybe isn't as color heavy or pattern heavy as what we normally do as long as they're, you know, open to perhaps, you know, suggestions for going a little outside their parameters. Like I'm up for the challenge. Speaker 1 00:14:47 Amazing. So I feel like when a designer gets to your level that has such a strong recognizable sense of style, imitation or copycat designs begin to appear and people pull a lot of inspiration from it. But I feel like your signature look is difficult to replicate. It is not an easy one to copy and paste or at least replicate. Well, why do you think that is? Speaker 2 00:15:15 I think because so many of the pieces we use are one of a kind and the way that I mix textiles and products, like I just don't think it's as easy to find. I do try to use like vintage textiles. I am, you know, I, because I love textile so much, I'm constantly looking at them and I'm like, I've seen this fabric you know, 50 times now I don't wanna use it again. So I'll find like a smaller maker or something that feels new or fresh and that is, you know, that's really where the passion comes. And so I maybe that's why, but you know, it's, I don't think it's as easy for my to replicate my look is like going on two a website and buying eight items that look similar. Like I don't think you're gonna get it. I think part of it is like the patina and the layering and yeah, all of that. Speaker 1 00:15:56 Yeah, I certainly think it's the layering, the pattern mixing and the color play that is incredibly difficult to master, let alone replicate. So we have heard you say often about how much you appreciate and study the work of other designers. How do you strike that balance between learning from other designers and developing your own unique perspective versus just replicating what others are doing? And I mean this more as advice to those listening less so than in your own personal practice. Speaker 2 00:16:23 I think it's such a fine line these days especially because there is so much imagery out there and like PE it's so easy to copy. But I think for me, I do get inspired by other designers and maybe it's not like I love this whole room or even like I love all of their work, but like, oh look how they used that textile in that way. I never thought to use that or look at that amazing red window they did. I would've never thought to do that. And it's more about like incorporating or being inspired by certain elements versus a whole room, which I think, you know, a lot of people just copy a whole room and for me it's like, oh I love the style of that skirt and that sofa or look how they use that light fixture. And I think that is where the inspiration comes from because to me I'm constantly blown away. I'm like, I never would've thought of, that's amazing. And then just integrating those ideas in different ways, in small ways in being creative versus just like copying directly. Speaker 1 00:17:10 I think there's a lot of value to slowing down in your scrolling and really looking and dissecting a single image because as we're consuming content in, I think it's 0.2 seconds is how long they expect you to look at a picture. As you scroll these days by dissecting you give yourself that opportunity to really admire the skirt on that couch and to really pull that apart instead of just saying, great, I saw this entire puzzle together and now it's gonna translate and replicate into my own projects Speaker 2 00:17:39 A hundred percent. And I think that's so important as a client and a designer because you know, so many times we always start with like a Pinterest board of inspiration images from the client as you know, to start each project and sometimes I'm like, what do you like about this image? And then when the, you force someone to really sit down and think, they're like, I just like the shape of the chair. That's the only thing I like in the whole picture. So it's like I think, you know, to train your eye versus like grabbing that whole image is one and saying like, I just like it. Like actually study and say like look what they did with the corns or look at the wealth detail on the chair. Like those details are so, so important. Speaker 1 00:18:14 One of the first impressions prospective clients have of your brand is your website. If you don't have a strong online presence to show off your work though you're losing out on potential clients. ICOs Studio offers a selection of limited edition website templates designed specifically for interior designers just like you. If you're looking for a more hands-off experience, you can add on implementation and professional copywriting and we'll have your new website up and running within a few short weeks visit idco.studio to choose your favorite before it sells out. Speaking of those details, your designs are so layered and character filled, they make you feel like everything must be entirely unique, but that doesn't seem logistically possible. How do you go about using items available for vendors in a way that feels so fresh and different or are you not using vendors at all and everything is artisan in bespoke? Speaker 2 00:19:07 It's always a mix. So we do do some things that are the same, you know, a sofa shape. I try not to do like the same sofa in the same fabric again or the same light fixture. We do use a lot of our vendors, you know, a decent amount of times, but you know, we'll use the fixtures in different ways. Like I don't wanna, I have used, you know, the apparatus cloud in multiple dining rooms and you can see that. But I really try to vary the vendors and you know, clients will ask sometimes like, who are the vendors that you use all the time? And I'm like, I, there's thousands of them, you know, and it's when we are looking at those original inspiration images, like in my mind I'm kind of like, okay, these are gonna be the vendors that are might be good to start sourcing from. Speaker 1 00:19:44 Do you have any tips or tricks for incorporating vintage pieces, colors and patterns inspired by history and architecture of the project without making it feel like a period piece? Speaker 2 00:19:55 I think it's all about mixing. So if you're going to do like a traditional skirted roll arm sofa in, you know, like a Robert Keim fabric or something, then mix it with a mid-century modern Italian light fixture. You know, I think it's really about, especially you know by room like balancing each piece. So it's like don't use antique everything, you know, if you're gonna use a more modern shape on the sofa, like yes you can mix that with like a pretty antique coffee table. And same with the fabrics, you know, if it's, if you're gonna use a chintz in a heavy way, then mix it with a more modern stripe or a check or something that feels just a little bit more clean. Speaker 1 00:20:28 So talking about trends, which I know you do not subscribe to <laugh> Arc Digest recently said this about you and I thought it was so perfectly captured capturing of our topic today in a digital age, trends oversaturate in a matter of minutes, eyes quickly become jaded, but Heidi's work appears remarkably fresh and timeless too. Where can you turn for inspiration without feeling inundated with what's currently trending? Is it possible to avoid the influence of trends in design style? And if so, how do you have to delete all of your social media accounts? Or do you just turn it off or how do you get to the point where you're finding inspiration within and in more unique locations? Speaker 2 00:21:09 I mean I think it's so easy to see when something's becoming a trend. It's just you're like, that's gonna be big next year. I can tell this thing's gonna be big. You're starting to just see it slowly and people's work that is to me is like easy to spot and then I immediately start heading the other direction because I'm like, I don't wanna be, maybe I, maybe I love the trend, maybe it's something that I'm like, that's really pretty and it's just coming back around at this time, but I'm like, maybe we'll use it on a project in two years once everyone has stopped doing it. But I also think, you know, aside from Instagram as inspiration, it's really important to reference old design books. So I have design books from you know, years and years ago that still have like really timeless things, more European things and I think referencing books that I've had for 15, 20 years like that is really helpful and you can kind of see how things have come back around or things have become popular again. Speaker 2 00:21:59 But you know, especially looking at old world interiors, European interiors, like that to me is timeless. Like people still ask me to this day when we proposed, you know, on lack of brass if I think it's trendy and I'm like, people have been asking me this question for 15 years. So I think we're, you know, the tr it's not trendy and you know to like for me it's always helpful to reference like they've been doing it for 200 years or they've been using, you know, Del's tile is kind of having a moment right now, but you know, it's rooted in tradition so it may be trendy now but I think it still has a place. Speaker 1 00:22:29 I feel that the last three to five years have just exploded your visibility of your career. And I'm curious if you feel like at this point I can spot a Heidi space in any picture. I know it was designed by you and I think that's such an incredible gift. Do you ever feel like once you get to that point that it's hard to try new things or that you're scared to veer away from that in any way? Speaker 2 00:22:56 No, I don't. I don't feel like that. I think that pushes me to go farther, you know, like I'm like what's next? What are we gonna do that's next that feels fresh? And because there's different ways to create, you know, I think you can still create a house that like feels like me but like doesn't necessarily use all of the same things that has some freshness to it. And for me that's, that's the fun in it. Speaker 1 00:23:19 Can you explain to us how going against the grain and creating a truly personalized space benefits homeowners in the sense of how can we sell this to our own clients? Speaker 2 00:23:32 So I think creating a space, I mean it resonates with client. I will say this off the bat, like clients want a space that is deeply personal to them. You know, I never, the goal is never, and I tell potential clients this all the time, to have somebody walk in their house and say, say who is your interior designer? The goal is for to somebody walk in the house and say like wow you have amazing style. And to think that it's theirs because I want it to reflect them, you know, like I want it to feel like them. I want their kids to grow up in it, I want them to have holidays. You know, in those rooms like I, it is deeply personal. These are homes that you are like living your life against and I think that they should reflect you like they shouldn't feel like me, they should feel like you. Speaker 1 00:24:09 I love that so much Heidi. How do you guide your clients through the design process and help them to find that unique look that is specific to them rather than simply focusing on those original Pinterest images they shared with you. Speaker 2 00:24:23 So we always tell, you know, I always am having this conversation when we're onboarding and going through this kind of like pre-design phase when we're looking at inspiration images, like really drawing out like what it is that they're liking in these images. I mean for some clients it's like right off the bat you're like, I get it. I understand this is what we're doing. Some it takes like a little bit more research like what is it that you're drawn to? Is it the color, is it the pattern, is it the furniture shape? And you kind of need to draw out more information from them. And then honestly, you know over the years like I've learned, I'm like okay, take what they're giving you and then do your thing. Like go for it. You know, you have to kind of stay on the path, you know, if someone's giving you, giving you all neutral photos, you're not gonna give them a house that's full of color. Speaker 2 00:25:03 But I think it's also important, and this is I think what a lot of designers don't do, especially when you're young, is that you still need to like instill your own sensibility into it versus like just copying what you're seeing and that is what clients really resonate with. I mean it might result in like, oh we don't love that lamp or that feels a little over the top, but so often you know, we're presenting the whole house at one time top to bottom and it's more about like a vision, like this is the vision and the more that you take what they're giving you and infuse it with your own thing, like the better it resonates. Speaker 1 00:25:35 I have a logistical question about that process of pulling out of those Pinterest pins, what they really love. Do you have them in their pre-project homework right in the caption, like a note as to what it is they like about that image? Is that something you go over when you're sitting together looking through their inspiration Pinterest board or is there someone on your team that will follow up with those questions? Speaker 2 00:25:58 Nope, and it's not for every project. I mean some projects I will get the Pinterest board and I'm like, we are so on the same page. I get it, I have no questions. We just presented a project that was like that. I just got it immediately. Like I was so excited by it and if a product feels like an outlier or something during the design phase, I'll email and say like would you ever do this wallpaper in your powder room just to get a gauge? And I've found that clients do like that, but then some projects it is required and I will say like I'll go onto their board and I'm like, I'm not seeing a common language here, what's happening? And then it is more of a deep dive like can you go in and comment on what you're liking? And I really do, you know, because we do present the whole design at once, like I really have to make sure before we start designing that we're on the same page. Speaker 1 00:26:39 Yeah, absolutely. So let's talk about growth. You have managed to grow your Instagram to 200,000 followers these days and it's all while putting out work that is just so, so different than everybody else, obviously in an incredible amazing way. And you've said a lot of that early growth was by having your work shared by designers and influencers in the home space with larger followings like Studio McGee and Amber Lewis. Do you think you can pinpoint what it is about your work that really caught their attention and do you think it's possible even today with all of the hurdles we're facing to organically grow on social media? Particularly if you're not a trending type of style? Speaker 2 00:27:19 So I definitely think it is harder now I will say that Instagram used to like reward you for interacting with things and you know, now I'm like I can't interact because you're showing me half of my feet is people I don't even follow and I reels and I don't know, I'm just not even, so it's, it's harder to interact now than it's ever been I think. But I do think it's still is about sharing and then go back to your original question, like I think the reason that people like Amber Lewis and Studio Maggi and Chris like started to Instagram my work then, which it's been you know, four, four years, five years since that started happening. Like it felt different then. Like it just felt like we are still kind of in the white kitchen zone and there wasn't, you know, British interiors have definitely like had a comeback the past few years, but that was like before that was happening and I was very much inspired by that work then. And I think it was just right continuing Speaker 1 00:28:11 Part of developing a signature style is controlling how it appears to the world. One way you have done that is by always working with the same photographer and creating a really consistent portfolio. Yours as Harris Ken Jar whose work is just so emotive and I mean transcends worlds to me it's incredible. What is it about his photography that made you say this is the person to understand my designs and bring them to the world in their best light? Speaker 2 00:28:39 So I think in the beginning it was definitely not that intentional, it just moved to Seattle and I had done a remodel in my own house and I was looking to get it shot and I had no idea who to use and you know, Brian Pettet was like one of my first design friends here in Used Harris. And so I reached out to Harris and we met for our first coffee date and we hit it off personally. And I obviously liked his work then too. And then over the years it's very much grown into a collaborative relationship and we have grown together and we definitely, you know, that one project that I talk about that kind of changed the game for me that he was also going through a change and he was like, I wanna kind of start shooting your work like this Less all blown out light, bright, airy, which was very much the thing then. And we have just synced up on like what the vision is and how we wanna present that to the world. And he's so much more than a photographer to me. He's, you know, he's like family and he is a creative, you know, wealth of knowledge for me and I run things by him, you know, for the book and we're very much on the same path. Speaker 1 00:29:38 And he's shooting your book, Speaker 2 00:29:40 Correct? Yes. He shot the book. Yep. Speaker 1 00:29:42 So exciting. So I feel like this also holds true for where your projects show up as well. We believe that at some point in your career, not only should you become pretty choosy about the clients you're working with, you should also become choosy about the publications where your work is gonna show up. What are the publications that feel like the right fit for your work now? And are the readers more important than the aesthetic? Why is getting published in the Wall Street Journal such a pivotal moment in your career? Speaker 2 00:30:10 I think this is like, it's never been more difficult than it is right now in the publishing world for interiors because there's so little left and the bridge to get to those top publications like Architectural Digest, El Decor is so vast and you are competing against so many extremely talented people that it is really hard right now. That being said, you know, that's where I'm at right now. Like that those to me are where I wanna be. El Decor, arc Digest, world of Interiors someday would be a dream come true. I love some of the British publications, homes and Gardens, house and Garden, I love all of those are fantastic. I think that Frederick is doing a beautiful publication now, it's only three times a year. So again, not a lot of opportunity, but you know, especially with the innovation of projects from designers the past two years, like there is just so much competition to get your work published. You know, even if we get something picked up, they're like great, we're gonna put it, you know, in the magazine in two years. Speaker 1 00:31:06 Do you feel value in holding off exclusively for print at this point in your career? Or are you happy with Digital Press as well? Speaker 2 00:31:14 I think both. It just really depends on the placement. You know, at this point I have been published in a variety of places so I know what the feedback has been and what is valuable online can be fantastic if you're looking, you know, we had online with architectural data a few months ago, we got a lot of inquiries from that. It had a, you know, widespread reach. So that is definitely worth it, you know, if it's a big name publication that is you know, putting value on good work a hundred percent and the benefit to that is that you get the workout sooner. You know, you don't wanna sit on projects in today's day and age where everything moves so fast for two years, that's a long time. So you know the assumptions that your work is constantly getting better and you want to get the better work out there in front of people as quickly as possible. So to sit on projects for years is, is tricky. Speaker 1 00:31:55 Yeah, cuz that's two years after you've wrapped a project, after you've photographed it, let alone what the three years took to design it. Do you have any thoughts for younger designers or newer designers? Maybe someone who changed a career about local publications? I know that that can feel less than an Arc Digest, but I have a theory that local publications can be a great way to build your client list, especially as you're building your portfolio. Do you have any insights? Speaker 2 00:32:23 A hundred percent. I mean I've always subscribed to that we still, you know, work with Luxe heavily because we do always get clients with them. They do great beautiful work, you know, their quality publication. I love working with them and we tend to, if we have a feature in Luxe, like we do actually get client inquiries from it. I mean even years ago, you know, Seattle Magazine or any place local, like those publications can be wonderful for getting local clients. A hundred percent Speaker 1 00:32:47 Heidi, as always, I like to end each episode with something special for our listeners. Do you have anything in the works currently that you can give us a little preview of? Speaker 2 00:32:56 We have a few projects that I'm so, so excited about, but one of them is in Colorado. It's a new build. I've worked with the clients for years and they literally, you know, as one of those clients who presented the vision, they didn't have one change and it's a dream project literally top to bottom and I'm so excited it's slated to be finished the end of this year and that is thrilling. Speaker 1 00:33:19 That is so exciting. I am excited to see a project of yours that is new construction because what is the ratio of your projects that are new construction versus full remodels? Speaker 2 00:33:30 We're working on more new builds now than ever before, but I would say it's still probably 60 40 remodels, 40% new builds, maybe 50 50. I do love an old house, so Speaker 1 00:33:43 Well I cannot wait to see how you translate your incredible layer historic style into a new construction project. Heidi, this has been incredible. Thank you so much for your time. I know everyone is on Cloud nine listening to you right now, so thank you for giving us this time and I wish you a very happy holiday season. Speaker 2 00:34:00 Thank you so much for having me and you as well. Speaker 1 00:34:07 This conversation has been so enjoyable and enlightening. Heidi, you are someone who has truly influenced the evolution of my own design aesthetic and given me the courage to both lean into my own unique perspective while also being more bold, playful, and experimental. So today has been an absolute dream come true for me. Continue to be inspired by Heidi's incredible talent by joining her on Instagram at Heidi Callier design, perusing her beautiful [email protected] or booking a consultation with her on the expert. We are just getting started with a new episode of The Interior Collective season two, dropping each Friday for the next three months. Be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or YouTube so you don't miss out on all of these completely free educational resources for interior designers. Then leave us review so we can continue the conversation with more incredible guests like Heidi. Speaker 1 00:35:01 If you're just finding us for the first time, welcome, I'm so glad you're here. Make sure you catch up on season one where we explore topics like growing a team, perfecting your client process, pricing your services, and how to get published with a roster of guests like Shay McGee, Lauren Lease, and Jake Arnold. As always, you can keep up with the latest over on [email protected]. Find all of today's show notes and transcripts on our [email protected] or send me an email applying to be a guest with your topic suggestions or with sponsorship opportunities. [email protected]. I hope you'll join. Join us again next Friday. I'm your host, Anastasia Casey, and this is the Interior Collective, a podcast for the business of beautiful living.

Other Episodes

Episode 3

September 08, 2023 00:53:07
Episode Cover

Megan Grehl: Managing + Scaling Projects on an International Level

Today, New York City based Megan Grehl of Megan Grehl Design Studio is breaking down exact steps to take your interior design studio to...

Listen

Episode 2

September 01, 2023 00:47:27
Episode Cover

Brigette Romanek: Gap Meets Gucci

Welcome back to Season 3 of The Interior Collective - a podcast for the business of beautiful living. Quiet Luxury is the buzzword in...

Listen

Episode 10

May 10, 2024 00:59:15
Episode Cover

Strategic Brand Development with Lindye Galloway

Access all bonus material now on Patreon at patreon.com/TheInteriorCollective incuding this week's New Project Marketing Plan download. This week on the Interior Collective Podcast,...

Listen