My year in review

Today seems like the perfect day to reflect back on 2017 and share the successes and highlights from the year. So with a cup of coffee in my hand a fire in the fireplace, I share my 2017 year in review with you. (That rhymes!) 

In January I celebrated 9 years in business. That hardly seems possible, but the calendar doesn't lie. I began the year deep in study mode for the NKBA Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD) certification. 

February was a big month! I sat for my AKBD exam and passed (yea!), my design assistant, Heather, celebrated her 1 year anniversary with the company and I was interviewed on The Chaise Lounge podcast. I've enjoyed listening to Nick May's podcast and was so happy to be a part of the show. We met in person at High Point Market in April and it was great to meet the man behind the show. If you have any interest in the design industry, I highly recommend his podcast.

March brought a wonderful project installation for our clients Kim & Rich Reading. Their Bluebell Way project includes a large custom built-in, with museum-quality lighting to best showcase their art collection, and a wonderful mix of fabric patterns and textures in their furnishings. We partnered with Summerhill Cabinets on this project and everyone was thrilled with the results.

A visit to High Point Furniture Market included a fun tour with designers.

A visit to High Point Furniture Market included a fun tour with designers.

In April I found out we won the Chrysalis Award for a bathroom project. This modern master bath is one of my favorite bathroom projects with its sleek lines and grey and white color palette. I dubbed it the "50 Shades of Grey" bathroom and the homeowners, Marilyn & Hugo, concur with that title. The award was an honor to receive and share with my clients. I also attended High Point Furniture Market in April. This trip allows me to see and touch furnishings that I want to bring to my clients' projects. 

May included a photoshoot of a wonderful family room in Roland Park. Homeowners Jessica & Josh Ourisman came to me with a blank slate and we created a room with multiple functions and a lot of personality. The Overhill Road project included a collaboration with Kathleen Hamil, of K. Hamill Fine Art & Design, for framing and installation of the clients' travel photos and treasures.

Just as my girls were getting out of school in June, I kicked up my learning and attended a lot of education and networking events. Continuous learning is part of the job and in June I took classes on lighting, linear drains and learned about a new window treatment line I'm offering clients. I attended a new fabric release at our local MD design center (featuring designs by Frank Lloyd Wright) and mingled at the Power of the Purse event and a Women's Giving Circle of Howard County happy hour. Whew!

In July I celebrated two years writing my Her Decor column for Her Mind magazine. This local publication offers insightful and inspiring stories about Howard County women in business, philanthropy, community service and the arts.

Happy 20th Anniversary to us! In Costa Rica celebrating.

Happy 20th Anniversary to us! In Costa Rica celebrating.

August slowed down for me a bit as I took a long vacation to Costa Rica with my husband, Rich, to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful time! 

In September I was thrilled to design three rooms in a Butchers Hill row house in Baltimore. Before we moved to Howard County, we lived in Butchers Hill and I love the community and houses there. Homeowners Elizabeth & Rob were great to work with and I love the character in their house. I look forward to seeing it all come together in 2018. (Waiting is hard!)

With Heather at the Girls On the Run Sneaker Soiree event.

With Heather at the Girls On the Run Sneaker Soiree event.

In October we were a proud sponsor of the Girls On The Run Sneaker Soiree fundraiser. We enjoyed a great night celebrating this worthy cause! October also had me back to High Point Furniture Market in High Point, NC,  to see and touch more furnishings. I also attended a few business education events and enjoyed time with designer friends. This market also allowed me to meet with some of my sales reps from furniture lines I work with. Relationships, after all, keep this whole design train moving! The October issue of Baltimore Magazine featured two of my design projects (Blue Sea Drive "50 Shades" bathroom and Overhill Road) and a piece about office design that I contributed to. I dare say three mentions in one magazine is rare and very appreciated.

In November I started a new, unfinished basement design project that includes a full bath, wet bar area, living space and bedroom. This project will be in the works for several months, but is fun to be a part of from the beginning. Stay tuned as this project comes together in 2018. I entered a fun Lighting & Decor magazine contest this month and our project won! In January our Bluebell Way family room will be featured in their 1st Look at Last Look section. 

December has us finishing the year with a big update. This fall we began working on a rebranding with House Digital Design. We designed a new website, logo and better defined our messaging around what we stand for and offer. Aspirational Living - by design defines my approach to bringing my clients' visions to reality. To me design is really about how you want to live in your home. How you want to interact with your family and friends, what you want to share with them about yourself and your life. Take a peak around the site and let me know what you think! I am especially happy with the videos we created to tell the story behind each design project in our portfolio.

Whew! What a year. It wasn't all great and there were lessons learned along the way, but reflecting on the good parts of the year feels like the best way to end a year. Don't you agree? Thank you for being a part of my 2017.

I am on the cusp of my 10 year company anniversary on Jan. 1, 2018. I'm excited to share next year with you through my blog, videos and future projects. I hope this finds you reflecting back on a great year and looking forward to ringing in a new one.

Until then, Happy New Year!