The Glamorous Life of a Decorator

I’ve been busy working on several design and decorating projects over the past few months, and thought it would be fun to give you a behind the scenes look at what my day-to-day is like within my business. I’m one of a small percentage of people who truly loves what she does, but I’m certain in saying it isn’t always the glamorous job so many people make it out to be.

Sure, I get access to some of the most beautiful fabrics, wallpapers, decor and furniture pieces in the industry. I also get to be creative, set my own schedule, and shop with other people’s money. But, there are also those late night emails or calls from clients questioning the height of a newly installed light fixture or the darkness of a paint color. There are also those times I have to drop everything in my day to take a look at a custom made sofa that has shown up with a major flaw in the fabric after a client has waited several months to get it. Those, indeed, are the glamorous days in the life of a decorator…

The Glamorous Life of a Decorator- Satori Design for Living

The number of projects I have going on at any one time depends on the scope of the work, as well as the time frame. Some projects last over a year, whereas others wrap up in as little as one afternoon. Currently, I’m working on three long term projects and two short term projects. My schedule is a bit fuller than I’d like, but two projects are scheduled to wrap up this week.

Here’s a recap of what I did last week (not including blogging or other responsibilities)…


The morning started out with returning emails from potential clients, followed by confirming appointments with current clients for the week. Most often this requires a series of back and forth emails until all questions are answered and everything is set (until I get at call changing things up again). Next, I ordered replacement paint swatches from Benjamin Moore (I always leave my larger swatches with clients).

In the afternoon, I drove 25 minutes to pick up the photography I had dropped off at the framer’s the week before, and sourced table options on the way home at 3 different locations. Unfortunately, only one was a contender, so it will require a bit more running around.


Trestle Table with X Base


My day started with an email from a client who is the contact person for a condo building lobby project. Unfortunately, the carpet tiles we selected were installed incorrectly and needed to be changed out. As well, she had made the decision on her own to relocate the position of the main light fixture I had dropped off previously (photo below). In addition, the electrician was going to install 3 other light fixtures he thought would work in the lobby that neither of us had seen (yikes)! After following up, I updated the spreadsheet for the budget to see where we were at, went over the remaining pieces for the project, and set a time to meet later in the week.

In the afternoon, I drove 20 minutes into the country (going as little as 20 km/hour across a newly oiled road) to meet with a new client for a design consultation.

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Design Project Update {West Grove}

I want to express my deepest appreciation for all the love and support I received from you regarding our dog Reegan. The days are getting a little easier bit by bit, and I’m glad to finally be able to collect my thoughts.

As mentioned last week, I’m currently involved in some amazing decorating and design projects, and I thought I’d share a few update photos of one in particular. This new home build has been under construction for several months. I’ve been working closely with my clients to provide lighting suggestions, furniture space plans, as well as many of the decorating details. Possession is slated for mid-July when the hands-on work of furnishing and decorating the home will begin. Today I’m sharing photos and a few details of the kitchen, dining room, and living room which are all located along the backside of the house.


Design Project- White Kitchen with Marble Backsplash


The white kitchen, with chrome hardware and basketweave marble backsplash, is almost complete. We plan on adding 2 or 3 counter stools at the island that coordinate with the living room and dining room fabrics.


Design Project- White Kitchen with Marble Backsplash


The dining room, which is located between the kitchen and living room, has a built-in buffet that will house a beverage fridge.
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Tips for Moving Forward on a Decorating Project

This week I met with a client who has wanted to redecorate her living room for over a year, but hasn’t been able to make any decisions to actually move forward with the project. As part of her new year’s resolution to finally be able to enjoy the space, she recognized a need for assistance, and that’s where I came in.

Turquoise Living Room{via}

Meeting for the first time, she had a file folder filled with magazine clippings, paint swatches, and a list of ideas for the space. I prefer when clients have carefully thought about how they want to use a room and what their overall vision is. However, in many circumstances, over thinking can lead to everything staying the same for long periods of time, all because of the fear of making a mistake or a wrong decision. On a whim is never a good idea when it comes to decorating, but taking too much time to ponder can be even worse.

After seeing the space, gathering the information I usually do on a first visit, as well as looking through the contents of the file folder, I was able to get a pretty good sense of what she’s after. We’re meeting next week to go over the plan, and I’m confident she’ll be enjoying her new living room in no time. Sometimes all it takes is fresh eyes to put it all together and come up with a clear vision for the space- a plan to get from A to B (or Z depending on the scope).

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Client Bedroom Design for Small Space Living

I recently completed a bedroom design plan for a young couple living in the city. As often is the case with condos, this space was tight and had bulkheads, columns and heating vents running all over. Storage was also a major concern. After meeting with Tanja and seeing the space, I could see why she was having difficulty putting a furniture and decorating plan together given all of the challenges.

These are a few of the requirements she gave me:

  • Neutral scheme with some pops of bold color
  • Serene, somewhat modern, with a nod to vintage
  • Considerations for resale within the next few years
  • Budget-friendly

Mood Boards

White, Blue and Coral Bedroom Design

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One Room, Two Looks

Following the completion of a sunroom E-Design for one of my clients a month or so ago, I was asked to create a plan for the bonus room as well. Similar to many scenarios I see time and time again, Patty had purchased new furniture pieces and a few decorative accessories, but she didn’t feel like the room was coming together and it seemed, as she put it,  ”kind of blah.” The main purpose of the bonus room was a place for Patty’s teenage daughter and her friends to hang out in. It also served as an occasional sleeping spot for her family when they visited. She wanted this space to have a more contemporary and fun vibe than the rest of the home, but still be classy and comfortable enough for everyone to enjoy.

After receiving photos, samples (paint swatches, carpet, furniture fabric, etc.), as well as written information about the room, I realized that Patty needed elements that would tie the room’s finishes, her furniture selections and accent pieces together. Although the furnishings were fantastic stand alone pieces, the overall look of the room was disjointed. In addition, some of Patty’s original purchases included red accessories, but she was open to any color suggestions.

What I decided to do was create one general plan along with two different color scenarios. I started using Olioboard as a tool for putting mood boards together and it made completing this task much easier. (I’m quite new to Olioboard and I’m definitely in the learning phase. However, after only trying it for a short while, I’m hooked and will be using it moving forward.) The first scheme I put together incorporated the red décor items Patty had previously purchased and the second option included turquoise.

One Room, Two Looks- Red Bonus Room Design

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