Tap, Tap, Is This Thing On?

Hello? Do you remember me? My name is Julie and I used to have a blog.

It’s been a while.

Life has been, well, weird that past few months. My dogs and I were attacked by a loose pit bull on December 7th. It was by far the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me. The legal and criminal situation is ongoing, so I can’t write about too much at this point.

In a very brief nutshell, we were minding our own business going on our morning walk early that morning, when a pit bull ran across the street and charged us. It got my boy dog Henry first, so I threw myself on top of him to get the dog off. At that point the dog bit my hand, biting off one fingernail and leaving permanent scars on my hand from where his teeth punctured the skin. He then attacked my girl dog, Lady, and got her the worst. At this point he was mauling her, and was too strong for me to overpower so I was left lying in the street screaming for help. It was the most helpless thing to see my sweet little girl get attacked and to hear her shrieking.

We are all thankfully almost totally recovered. Lady needed extensive reconstructive surgery on her stomach. They had to graft her stomach with pig tissue, which makes me giggle to think my dog is part pig. While I was at my house with the paramedics, police, animal control and fire department, my sister and brother in law took Lady to the first vet. They didn’t tell me it at the time, but the vet told them she had no chance of living and put her on morphine to keep her comfortable. Once they got her stable, they referred us to a surgeon in West LA that would be able to do surgery. Here is a video of her recovering from surgery, and a video of her coming home from the hospital. It still is surreal. Lady is having a lot of trouble walking on my hardwood floor since she lost a lot of strength in her legs, but thankfully there are products out there that give her traction.

But… that is not why I’m posting today.


I wanted to pop in to say that I’ve rebranded and relaunched my interior design business! You can now find my business site at labriinteriors.com. I’m hoping to transition to mostly e-design, which meant a switch from wordpress to squarespace.

So, if you are in need of interior design help, please reach out! If you want to be kept in the loop, please sign up for the newsletter on the contact page.

I don’t know what my plans are for this blog–I’m definitely going to be blogging about interiors on my new site, so keep an eye out for that.

That’s all for now!






PS–email me with any questions! julie@labriinteriors.com

Christmas Gift Guide 2015



Here are some things I love/want that you may want for Christmas or would make great presents! Not a paid advertisement–they are all items I either love or want. What’s on your Christmas list?

Cute Planner from Emily Ley

Lush Ocean Salt Scrub

Any and all Bath Bombs from Lush

Mason Jar Tumblrs

Dagne Dover Tote

Super cozy throw blanket from West Elm

Subscription to Stumptown Coffee or Blue Bottle Coffee

Grapefruit Essential Oil–a few drops in the bath smells so good

Gift Certificate to Minted for Wall Art

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert


Happy shopping!


What Do Interior Designers Learn in School?


I was at a friend’s house recently sitting on the floor, staring at her rug trying to remember what type of weave it was (cut pile?) and what that particular type of binding was on the edge, and it got me thinking–do people have any idea the width and breadth of the stuff interior designer are taught in school? I know I had no idea going in about the vast array of things I would be taught, and certainly had I known the amount of math and science I would be required to learn, I would have been like “oh hay-ell no. Buh bye.”

My very first design professor in my Introduction to Interior Design class told us on the first day “if you think you are going to be learning how to plump pillows and pick wall colors, you are in the wrong place and you should leave now.” I had another professor a few semesters later (who was an architect) tell us that she thought interior designers are some of the smartest people around. Now that I’m on the other end of the degree, I can see why. Not only do we need to be an artist, a creative and a maker, we have to understand the science and technology behind the furniture and lighting and materials we are using and specifying in interiors. So, what do we learn? Here are some lists that I am spitballing, as all my notes and books are in storage in my parents’ basement on the other end of the country:

  • Codes codes codes: building codes, fire codes, ADA codes, local zoning ordinances… how many people are legally allowed in a space, how much distance you can have between exits, how many exits you need to have
  • Building systems: plumbing, HVAC, electrical, etc…
  • Building construction: timber frame and steel construction, all the other various methods of building construction… the anatomy of a building from the floor to the ceiling
  • History! My favorite. The development of architecture and interiors from the Egyptians to the present day. East, west, north, south… how and why people build buildings and how that has changed based on culture and time and technology and a whole host of other factors
  • Art… how to draw/paint/sketch with watercolor and marker, pens and pencils. Not only do you have to know how to functionally and aesthetically design a room, but you have to know how to render it in a way that communicates the feel of the space to a prospective client
  • CAD/BIM (Computer Aided Drafting/Building Information Modeling)… now that you know what materials and furniture you want to use, their chemical content, flammability and construction, time to draw it in 2D and 3D. And as I’ve found in my post-grad school job search, it is not enough to only know the drafting program your school taught (in my case Revit), firms are looking for someone who knows the other biggies (Sketchup and AutoCAD)
  • Business procedures! This class has been very handy in the first few months post-graduation. How to write a business plan, contract, RFP, some other acronym that I am forgetting, national licensing laws: where it is legal to practice design without having passed the NCIDQ
  • Hand drafting: drawing 2D and 3D floor plans, furniture, spaces, etc by hand. I’m still a little too traumatized by this class several years later (and still suffering from carpal tunnel), so if you want to learn more about hand drafting, check out Ching’s book.  Here’s an interesting comment thread on the hand drafting vs CAD debate.
  • The various weaves of carpet and fabric, what all the various synthetic and natural fabrics are, their construction and flammability
  • Materials… tile, wood, paint, etc… all the different materials for residential and commercial applications; when and where you should use each material
  • The different areas of design practice: residential, commercial, healthcare, education…
  • How to work with architects, engineers, contractors, sales reps and other vendors you will meet along the way
  • Green design! Sustainability, what in the heck is LEED, how and why you should pass the LEED Green Associate exam. How many gallons of water a toilet uses per flush, how and way water and light are absorbed in different materials, all the other gazillion ways to design “green” that doesn’t involve just recycling
  • Lighting. Oh geez, this was a doozy. Incandescent vs. fluorescent vs LED vs halogen vs all other various light sources. The difference between a bulb and a lamp. Here’s my notes from class if you’d like to take gander and the absurd amount of science and technology we have to learn
  • A gazillion other things I am forgetting

This is of course varies from school to school, but programs that are CIDA accredited have guidelines they have to follow, so you can expect similarities in U.S. accredited schools. Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments.






PS… Here’s an awesome video on why interior designers matter:

House vs. Home


I’m far enough removed from finishing my Interior Design Master’s Thesis this May that I think I can now talk about it with a bit of a clear mind. There was a point in time pre-thesis that I thought about continuing on in my education to pursue a doctorate in historic preservation or architecture. Teehee. After the year plus long process of writing my thesis, I know believe that you have to be a little bit insane to want to write a dissertation. Doing historic research was hard to put it mildly, probably the hardest part of my degree–worse than hand drafting an entire page of text in architect’s handwriting, much worse than learning to draw in perspective, and definitely worse than the science of lighting design (ugh, what the heck was that?). But, I don’t want to dwell on the thesis writing process at this point, painful memories of a near psychotic break are no fun. So let’s talk a little about what I wrote about, k?

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House vs Home

I wanted to research the differences in a house and a home–what are the environmental and physical differences in the two? Why do some beautifully decorated houses not feel ‘homey’? How can a house that has not been treated with extreme care in the design of it feel comfortable and inviting? An interest in this topic as well as a love of history and historical home styles led me to my topic:

How did home service (shelter) magazines published during the years 1929-1945, specifically House Beautiful and Better Homes and Gardens promote the notion of ‘home’ to its readers?

In hindsight, this is WAY too big of a topic to tackle in one master’s thesis. But once I figured that out, I was way too deep in the school year to narrow it down, so I had to roll with this. I am not going to talk about my specific findings in this post, rather what I feel are the universal characteristics that I believe make a house a home, gathered from reading magazines published at this time, as well as other studies on the topic of house vs home.

So then, what makes a house a home?

The bubble diagram above shows what I believe to be the characteristics of a ‘home.’ I’ll discuss below a bit on each of the aspects of ‘home.’

A home is comfortable

A home is a place where the occupant feels at ease; it is a refuge and safe haven from the outside world. A home that offers these amenities can contribute to the occupant’s wellbeing. The words ‘convenience’ and ‘efficient’ I had listed in my diagram referred to magazines during the time period I studied promoting creating a floorplan that flowed well and was easily navigable for the household manager, either household help or the woman of the house.


image source

A home offers privacy

A home has both public space–for family and social gatherings, as well as private spaces for each member of the family to retreat to. If an occupant shares a room and has no where in the house that is solely theirs, this can contribute to a feeling of not being at home.

Single family, detached homes on a large lot will offer privacy and space needed to feel at home, not cramped and on top of your next door neighbor.

A home is a stable environment

A home is familiar to the occupant–objects and architecture can remind them of permanence. It offers a base of activity for the members of the house, usually a kitchen or living room. A person feels secure in a home–they are not overly worried about their safety.

A home has an interaction with nature

Homes offer views of nature, which are scientifically proven to ease and relax. Their is a strong connection between the indoors and outdoors in homes–outdoor space is utilized to the fullest.

A home is a place of social interaction

Mentioned above, a home is a place that offers social interaction, both among the family members, but also it is a place for social interactions with friends and neighbors.

A home offers space for personalization

A home is a space that offers the occupant the opportunity to personalize their space. When someone is able to display their prized possessions and objects that reflect their personality, they feel at home.


image source

A home conjures up nostalgia

A home reminds the occupant of times past–either moments with the family, or historic architectural and design choices and remind the occupant of earlier times in history, adding to a feeling or permanence. This is perhaps why super contemporary homes may not make you feel as at ease as a traditional, Colonial center hall home.


That’s it! I’d love to hear what you think makes a house a home.


What Is My Life?


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is the best platform for my design blogging, life blogging and short stories/non-fiction writing which I’m hoping to do a lot more of. Up until this point, just about everything went on this blog. While pondering where these different topics would best be suited, I got a little overwhelmed trying to organize it all in my head. We designers use bubble diagrams often in space planning, so naturally I decided to ‘bubble it out’ help while I was trying to sort out all my different online personas…

… which led to this monstrosity above. No wonder I was having trouble working this all out in my head.

One of the biggest things I’ve been thinking about is where to blog about design so that I can monetize it through affiliate links. I’m not sure if this blog is the place. I’d like to do that type of posting several times a week, and it might get annoying on here. I want it to be on a place that either gets a lot of traffic already (e.g. someone else’s popular blog), or someplace more interactive, like Tumblr. I already have a design inspiration Tumblr and a design advice Tumblr (and a secret Tumblr where I just reblog funny stuff online). At the moment I’m thinking about incorporating design blogging onto my design advice Tumblr. I think Tumblr is a great platform–it’s kinda like Pinterest in Twitter format, but more social. I posted on here that I was going to be switching all of my design blogging over to my business site, juliedanieldesign.com. The more I thought about that, it just didn’t makes sense–I don’t get a lot of traffic there, it’s not a space I’d like to be very interactive.

I’d like to write more, and I was trying to find a good medium for this writing, and right now it turns out Medium.com is working best to write non-fiction, at least for now. I do have one post up on McSweeney’s, and I’d love to get more up there.

So I’m not totally sure what I am going to be posting here. And I could wake up tomorrow and change my mind about all of this, so we will see where I end up. You definitely need to write for your audience, and various platforms are best at reaching different crowds.

And God forbid I ever get married, if that happens, I can’t imagine having to do this all over again with a different name. Oy.


What I’m Loving Right Now

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Best Of post, so here are a few things I’m loving right now:


Shoes I’m loving right now:

Jack Rogers Marbella Sandal

Seychelles Impatient Boot

I don’t own this, but I want it. Bad. It’s such a grown up girl purse, and I feel at 30 years old it’s about time for me to graduate from Old Navy to grown up girl purses, right?

Tory Burch York Buckle Tote

The two items of makeup I wear everyday (and usually the only makeup items I wear):

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

Benefit ‘They’re Real’ Mascara

-Basically anything from Page 6, including this cute Emma top

-Jess Lively’s Intention Tattoos. When I catch myself staring at my phone when I’m with other people, I remind myself to be present. I turn my phone over so I’m not tempted to look at it every 2.5 seconds. It’s a daily habit to practice being present and mindfulness, and I think these intention tattoos are a great reminder. (Image taken from here.)

Just a reminder, I won’t be posting about interior design on this blog anymore. Anything interiors related will be on juliedanieldesign.com.

That’s all for now!


*Some links may be affiliate links, but they are all products I either use, want and/or love.

Hello World


Well, hello world
How you been
Good to see you, my old friend

-Lady Antebellum

It’s been a while, due to finishing my 100+ page Masters Thesis, graduating, moving across the country, job searching and starting a new job, all of which have happened since May. With all these big changes, it’s time to shake things up on the blog.

From now on I will be blogging about design at juliedanieldesign.com. I’d really love to start more humor writing, so general nonsense & my misadventures as a single lady will stay here on this blog.

If you’d like to stay up with what’s happening in designland, sign up for email updates on juliedanieldesign.com. I’m working as an interior designer for Laurel + Wolf, as well as doing work on my own which will be launching soon. I’m also giving away free interior design advice on intdestherapy.tumblr.com, so if you have design questions, ask away there (you can do it anonymously + without a tumblr account).

Thanks everyone!




*Image is mine. Please don’t remove watermark or alter in any way to claim credit. Feel free to use, but please link to me.

Curated Kravet Inspiration Board

One of my favorite fabric lines, Kravet, just came out with a line of furniture and accessories, Curated Kravet:unique pieces hand selected from the global design market, offered made-to-order or in-stock and ready to ship…”

Since I have a gazillion things going on at the moment and my brain is on overload, I wanted to wind down and get some creativity flowing by throwing together a little inspiration board. Here is one I made of some fun pieces from the new Curated Kravet line:


Bao Foo Dogs

Sagano Branch Table Lamp

Sergeant Console

Poppy Velvet Pillows

Sandrine Chaise – Velvet

Raja Aqua Wallpaper

Wildflower 5 Art

Wildflower 3 Art

Collins Acrylic X-Bench

Aspen Burl Side Table

Mod Bianco Chair

Kravet Curated is available for purchase through a designer, so contact me if you are interested in any of the pieces.

Design Matters,


Pink + White

The Cherry Blossoms reached their peak this past weekend, which means there is a lot of pink + white across the region. I’m moving to California in a few weeks, so I’m trying to savor the changing seasons + the little things I know I will miss here in metro DC. On my bucket list is: Georgetown Cupcake (the Bethesda location, because there is no way I’m dealing with the Georgetown location tourist madness), Gravelly Point (been there a gazillion times, but it’s my favorite), and to eat as much BBQ as possible because I’m scared they won’t have legit Carolina/Virginia BBQ in California (Texas BBQ does not count).

Here’s a little inspiration board of pink + white home accessories.


Pink Cacti from Artfully Walls

Pink Mosaic Wastebasket from Furbish

Pig from Stray Dog Designs

Small Rectangular Lacquer Tray from West Elm

Teak Step Stool from Serena & Lily

Poppy Floral Tea Caddy Lamp from Furbish

Chateau Rug from Anthropologie

Tini IV Accent Table in Pink from Oomph via Domino

Pink Birds from Natural Curiosities via Domino

Here are some other inspiration boards I have made. What color should I do next?


A podcast I listen to, Around the Table, has a segment called “Read, Watch, Listen, Follow.” I thought it would be a fun idea to start doing this as well at the end of posts, instead of “Best Of” posts I have previously been doing.

Read: Houzz Design Dictionary

Watch: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Hashbrown no filter)

Listen: The Lively Show (my all time favorite podcast)

Follow: I Have This Thing with Floors on Instagram


Check out my latest post, Spring Design Reads on The DC Ladies

Have a good week!


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