Tori

Let’s get the basics out of the way:  where you live, how many kids, etc.

I live in Scranton, Pennsylvania (yes, home of The Office) and I have three children.

Three words to describe your design style. Go.

Maximalist, modern traditionalist

Who are your design icons? How do you integrate those tastes into your own spaces if at all?

Pierce and Ward (Louisa and Emily) I am so inspired by the individuality and uniqueness of every single space they design. No two spaces are even remotely alike, they are bold, they utilize pattern and color and texture in the most amazing ways and each room they design is so carefully curated. They source the most unbelievable one-of-a-kind pieces and they have this old world feel to their designs. I am just beyond inspired by the path they have forged….. I feel like we see so much of the same thing today in the design world, and although it’s all beautiful, it’s so monotonous. They are quite literally the unicorn in a field of black and white horses.

How have your design tastes changed since becoming a mom?

I wouldn’t say that my design tastes have changed since becoming a mom, I don’t think being a mom has anything to do with it. I think it’s just age and truly coming into my own as a woman who finally knows what she likes and wants in life across the board. One of the things I preach to other moms is that you do not have to sacrifice a beautiful space because you are afraid your kids will destroy it. There are definitely ways to do it “smarter” (staying away from certain upholstery fabrics, not trying to lay down a cream carpet in your most lived in space, etc….) and this is something I will touch on a lot and get more in-depth within my blog posts!

What’s your most-used, go-to piece that can work in almost any room?

For me, it’s a good piece of art (I have my personal favorites, that I could literally rotate to any room in my house and it would work <—- **this is also a good sign because it tells you my house is cohesive from room to room; you want to create individual unique spaces but keep them cohesive at the same time** and the second would be a good potted plant! (Preferably real, but there are some nice fauxs out there as well).

What drew you to interior design and when did you start?

I was building my first house in Georgia at the time and I just felt like I had really developed a knack for it, so I made the decision to get my two-year degree in Residential Design from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online. I’m a pretty impulsive person, so once I decided it was something I might like to pursue it wasn’t long before I was registered for my classes 🙂

What does a typical day look like? How do you manage time with kids vs blogging (or work)?

Nothing about my life, day to day, is typical. To be honest I’m just operating on a day by day (or hour by hour actually) basis right now. My son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in September, so we are gone a lot for his treatment. It’s a constant struggle trying to balance everything from the kids to keeping up with the home (I don’t know how we survived this most recent home renovation) to trying to create content for the social media outlets I’ve been using to share my work…. I do what I can do when I can do it, and I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that this is just what it has to be for the next few years.

The thing about interior design is that it’s something that I genuinely love to do, love to talk about, love to learn about. And so for me majority of the time it really doesn’t feel like work, it’s been more of a creative outlet for me than anything else and it’s helped me get through these last 8-9 months because mentally it’s just a total de-stresser for me.

After the craziest, worst days we all find salvation in seeing our kids. What’s your favorite thing to do with them to decompress?

Nothing at all. I like to put on a movie and gather on the couch and just relax and enjoy them in the comfort of our own home. In the summertime, I’d say it’s pretty much the same thing just moving it outside where we can enjoy the sun and the warmth.

If you could give only one piece of advice to a timid, new mom (we’ve been there), what would it be?

Whether you’re timid in terms of just being a mom or timid in terms of taking on a home renovation or revamp I’d say trust your instincts, allow yourself to learn and grow. With growth comes confidence and with confidence comes better-made choices and decisions. If you are feeling indecisive about anything, don’t ever hesitate to reach out for help. If you don’t feel comfortable reaching out for help or hiring someone then I’d say just don’t make any big decisions until you become a little more comfortable and confident in your own skin, with your own unique self, and then do you. Don’t not do something out of fear that it won’t be received well because it’s not the most popular, or because it might be too different or too unique. Let your personality shine through in everything you do and don’t ever suppress that out of fear that everyone might not love it or agree.

I love that people have had such a positive reaction to what I’ve done with my house but you know what, if they didn’t, I wouldn’t care, because I love it. I love that you can walk into my house and within 60 seconds you know so much about me without me having to say a word, and to me, that’s the most important factor I take into account when designing a space for myself or for someone else. I’m not the person to come to if you want cookie cutter, and definitely not the person to talk to if you don’t want an honest opinion 100% of the time! And since sharing my home renovation I can’t tell you how many people have stopped me (cliche to say) but literally in the grocery store, and have said “I love what you have done with you’re home! I wish I wasn’t so scared to make bolder decisions, but you have inspired me to start doing so.”

What did you dream of being when you were young?

A mom. I never really had a career in mind as a child I think it was the typical rotation from like vet, lawyer, writer (the things your peers encourage you to be. But nothing ever really stuck with me as something I was passionate about pursuing until my college years; That’s when I started to find my way. But I always wanted to be a mom.