Friday, July 31, 2015

Reminiscin' my Summer Internship at Lounge Interiors

Today is the day, y'all. At 5 o'clock this afternoon, I will be officially done with my internship before beginning my senior year at USM.

My summer has been full of residential design and projects. Lounge Interiors had around twelve clients that they were working on when I started in May. Our major projects were Melanie Dobel's and Elizabeth Clark's home. I was able to select furniture pieces, fabric options, accent pillows, rugs, drapery trim and style, and order those items for the clients. I have gained so much knowledge and experience with custom drapery, accent pillows, and furniture. Haley, Elizabeth and Allison let me practice with estimates, invoices, and quoting custom items. They were very good at keeping me involved and explaining what and why they were doing what they were doing.

I've gotten to go to fabric rep meetings, client meetings, and professional meetings this summer with my co-workers. I also got the opportunity to meet and work with other Interior Designers in the Jackson area and get a feel for their style and personalities.

It has been so awesome and exciting to actually be in the design world and link what I have learned in school to real life projects and situations. I am so grateful to have worked with the amazing and talented ladies at Lounge Interiors this summer and can't wait to begin my senior year with the new experiences I have had.

So, to end my last day at Lounge Interiors, Haley is taking all of us out to eat at Bravo, a super yummy Italian restaurant for lunch to celebrate the end of summer. I'm so glad to be able to have these ladies as future mentors and resources when I am finishing my last year of school and in my future career.

Just so y'all can put a face to the names that I have kept mentioning all summer. :)

Here's all of us, Allison, who is adorably 31 weeks pregnant and graduated from Mississippi State (first on the left), Haley who owns Lounge Interiors and is the head designer (beside Allison), me and then Elizabeth who graduated from Southern Mississippi (right side). They have done an amazing job mentoring me this summer and teaching me as much as they possibly could. I have had such a wonderful and amazing experience here this summer; I'm honestly a little sad that it's all coming to an end.

Have a fabulous weekend!!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Loungin' Away My Last Week


Today is Thursday, leaving only one more day left of my internship at Lounge Interiors in Jackson. Despite our slower weeks this summer, we are finally starting to pick back up some business and new clients.

We got a brand new client last week; we are starting completely over with all new everything - new sofa, chairs, furniture pieces, drapery, and accessories. When we went out to tour the home, we measured the first phase of the project, which was the living room and foyer. Haley and I recorded the style and wants that the client wishes to have in her newly designed home. Since last week we have been working on selecting sofa and chair options, as well as fabric options for those pieces. Once she selects one that she likes, we will make that purchase order, and select pillow fabric for accent pillows, a coffee table, and side tables. The client is super excited about our ideas that we're coming up with and can't wait to see other selections we choose for her!

Other than working on our new client, we've still been working on Melanie Dobel and Elizabeth Clark. They have both been out of town for the past couple of weeks so work for them hasn't been too much or very steady.

I hate that my last week here is actually picking up on design work; but nevertheless, I am still going to keep up with Haley and their projects that I've been helping with, so I can see how the clients like it.

Tomorrow will be my last post for the summer..... Yes, I know; very sad. :( But I'm excited to get back to school and hear my classmates' experiences this summer!

See ya tomorrow! Happy Thursday!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Truckin' All Summer Long

Hey y'all!

I can't believe I only have 6 more days left of my internship at Lounge Interiors. I just wanted to brag about how well my fellow co-workers and boss have worked together this summer. In everything that they have done while I've been here, we have all made it a group effort and been apart of it every step of the way. Not only as a team we work together, but we include the client in these conversations as much as possible so they feel important and acknowledged. I have learned so much about team collaboration and working together. The Southern Miss Interior Design program has helped me so much already prior to my internship with team work but after this summer, I really have a feel for what it's going to be like in the design world once I get there.

From selecting a lamp shade, rugs, to selecting a whole furniture vignette, we have worked together to get the best solution possible for our clients. That is the most important thing. Collaboration really does benefit the client to the best extent possible and that's the goal for interior design. That has probably been one of my favorite thing about my internship at Lounge this summer. It really has opened my eyes and taught me more to prepare me for my future.

I'll only be posting three more times this summer; since my last day is a week from tomorrow. I am sad to see it coming to an end but ready to put this knowledge towards my senior projects.

See y'all tomorrow... keep on truckin'. It's almost Friday!

Friday, July 17, 2015

We Work Together like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Hi y'all! It's FINALLY Friday!! 

Before the weekend arrives, I wanted to write a quick post on teamwork and collaboration. In the design field, working together and sharing thoughts and advice is critical. Having someone else's opinion about things opens our eyes to things we may have not even thought about. At Lounge Interiors, they do a fabulous job of working together with themselves and with our laborers. Just this week, Allison, Elizabeth and I worked all day long on Elizabeth's new client. We all got together in choosing furniture layouts, furniture pieces, pricing, estimating, searching for fabrics, and collaborating with the client. 

Every Monday when the work week begins, Haley comes in and we sit at the front and discuss what needs to be done for the week and anything that she may need to assist us with. On many occasions this summer, we have collaborated with our seamstress and upholster on current projects going on and receiving their input. Since there are some things that we can't answer for clients, it's very beneficial to be able to go to our laborers for further advice and knowledge. 

Ever since starting my internship, I have really started to appreciate and understand better why collaboration is so important in the design world. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Orders on Orders on Orders

Heyy y'all!

This week has been pretty busy! We have sold so many items off the floor because of our current 50% off sale; so the store is starting to look pretty empty. However, since we're selling all this furniture, that just means that we get to order new pieces and rearrange the store when it all arrives! Since we've had so many items purchased from the floor, this morning Elizabeth and I started going through our extra fabric from previous projects to use for new pillows. I got to help choose a new bed and chest of drawers to be bought for the floor. We also got some new, beautiful art pieces by our most admired artist, Suzanne Guild. 

The empty space where a custom bed once was - it was bought yesterday!

Extra fabric that we're going to use to make more pillows for the store. I'm loving the dots!

Beautiful pieces by the very talented Suzanne Guild!

Just a couple of things brought back from the work room ready to be installed for clients.

We have been working hard for Melanie Dobel this week - some of the pieces we ordered a couple of weeks ago have arrived and they will be sent out for install tomorrow; she is so excited! I found some floating wall shelves for Melanie's daughter's room that we need to send over; prices and set numbers included for her access. We did have some mishaps this week though. After sending and re-sending her custom drapery back to the seamstress, we finally came to a conclusion to just turn the panels into roman shade. We're going to add a fun, green, small patterned fabric to the lead edge to put some more color into her space. Also, she has decided to add seven extra feet to her back porch so now we are getting to select a whole set for new outdoor furniture. We are very excited about this!

Also, Elizabeth has been working with a new client this week with outdoor furniture. The client's name is Elizabeth Clark and has a new home with a beautiful back yard lake view. We have selected fabric for custom pillows and ottomans for her outdoor sun room. We selected two sofas and two small cubed ottomans to be placed in between the sofas. Clark loved the fabric selections and the ideas that we came up with so we have been working to get quotes from our seamstress. Once that's done, we get to order all the fabric and send it to the work room! 

Once we selected fabrics that Clark okayed, we started brainstorming. We decided to do the fun wavy pattern for the ottomans. The striped pattern is going to be some 22" accent pillows. We selected a gray fabric to use as a solid for the back pillows and we are going to use a solid, white speckled blue for a one inch flange and we're also adding a small white cording to the flange too; just to make it a little more custom.

Check back tomorrow for more updates on us here at Lounge!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Workin' for the Weekend

Happy Friday!!

This week has been about fabrics, pillows, and outdoor furniture. Summertime is the best opportunity to sell some outdoor decor and furniture pieces. We have been selecting chairs, sofas, rugs, and decor for Melanie Dobel's back patio. After searching through Dash and Albert, Worlds Away, J. Henry, and our other vendors, we finally came up with some selections for Dobel to review. This has been exciting for me to research; since outdoor items must hold up to the heat of Mississippi and the crazy weather that our summer afternoons bring.

It's been so much fun working on Melanie's home and she is loving every inch of it so far! We can't wait to show her what we selected for her patio. I'll be sure to include some pictures next week so y'all can check it out too!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Workin' on Dobel

Hello all!

So, we've been slowing down here at Lounge. Work and jobs have been dwindling with everyone on vacation and away at the beach. However, our biggest client right now, Melanie Dobel, has just ordered a ton more for her home in Madison. Elizabeth and I went out to her house today to do a couple of things for her. We took 6 carpet tiles that are in her small office off her kitchen; it was a more reasonable price then buying an expensive rug to put in a room that many people won't even go in. We had to measure them out and place them, and trim them with a box cutter accordingly. After finally getting the perfect fit, it looks so great and the client is so happy!

After that, we placed her two euros and lumbar pillow for the guest room that finally came in from the workroom; and they were absolutely fabulous. The lumbar pillow was the fabric that I selected a few weeks ago for Melanie and she loved it! Also, Elizabeth and I measured to see how much space we had to put a night stand in the same room and left Melanie printed out selections for her to choose from.

Lastly, we finally moved on to the last tasks: measuring for a dining room rug and seat cushions for her table in the kitchen. To be sure that the rug Melanie wanted under the table wasn't going to compete with the cowhide rug close by, we measured to see what size would fit best.

Hopefully as July comes closer to an end, more people will be coming in for jobs; before my internship here is complete. Check back tomorrow for one more post before the weekend hits. 

Hope y'all's Thursday was as fabulous as mine has been!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Team Work Makin' the Dream Work

Well, this week I wanted to talk a little bit about team collaboration and interdisciplinary work. Here at Lounge Interiors, there isn't much interdisciplinary work besides working with a few contractors every now and then when they have bigger projects starting from the bottom up. However, if Haley or any of the other designers need assistance from architects, engineers and other workers, they do have contacts that they could call for some direction in that particular area.

As designers at Lounge Interiors, they often work together on all projects that are going on; they keep each other up to date with their own projects and collaborate on numerous aspects of the current projects. During my experience so far, seeing how often the designers work together and give their advice and input on anything that they need help with is one of the main positive aspects I have gained. I truly believe it's important to collaborate and work together with your co-workers. Not only do you get help when you may be stuck, but it's an awesome way to see things in a different light; bouncing ideas off each other is a great way to brainstorm. Although the designers at Lounge Interiors work mainly as a team, Haley still is the team leader in the overall picture, but only when a leader or direction is needed by Elizabeth and Allison.

Not just in the interior design world, but in all other fields of design, teamwork and collaboration is crucial. Styles and elements change rapidly now because of the internet and easy access to new trends. Keeping in touch with other designers not only makes good ideas and creations, but makes better designers.

Workin' Away my Last Week of June


Well, this week has been busy! Finally! We have gotten about three or four shipments in; some for clients and some for the show room floor. Elizabeth and I have been putting together dining room and accent chairs for the past two days. On top of all the new shipments arriving, the store is having a major sale - 50% off everything except for artwork - so that has fortunately brought in a lot of customers.

This week we've also been selecting accessory pieces and lamps for two of our clients. I also got to check price and stock for some rug selections and sent a fax over for quotes. It's been an exciting week, check back tomorrow before the weekend arrives. :)

Friday, June 19, 2015

HELLO Friday!

Well y'all, it's finally Friday!

I have survived the week of interning alone here at the studio. I definitely got a good learning experience and despite how scared I was of being the only one here, I must say I did pretty decent. :) I got to talk to my boss more one on one about the world of interior design and running a small local firm. She gave me some very helpful insight on opening my own firm if I ever was interested in that in the future. I learned more of the business and money side of the business this week. I was able to talk with their accountant and learn some of the terms and basic things about running a business.

This week I definitely had more responsibilities and I'm happy that my boss was confident to let me run the studio for a little bit. I can't believe I'm about half way done with my summer internship. If I have already gotten a ton of advice and knowledge, I can't wait to see how I feel after my last month.

I hope y'all have a fabulous and fun weekend, I know I will! See y'all next week. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Week 4 - Loungin' all by my Lonesome

Morning y'all!

I hope y'all's week has been fabulous. Well... I have been semi running the studio by myself this week. Which has been exciting yet terrifying. Elizabeth and Allison both decided to go on a week vacay at the same time; so it's just been me here. Haley will come in and out throughout the day, but for the most part I'm here by myself. 

I got a set of keys for the week - yeah, I'm good. I have been opening up every morning and then shutting it down at 5. This week has been pretty slow, other than the usual daily emails and voice mails. I've been working in QuickBooks - our business software, which is very new to me so I'm still getting used to it. 

Yesterday, I finally got to start using SketchUp to make a custom cabinet for a client. This has been the first time I have actually had to use any CAD software. But besides that, organizing the resource library, and answering any mail - my week has been pretty slow. 

I'll post again before the weekend just to fill y'all in on the rest of my week. :)\

Happy Wednesday! The work week is almost done - you can make it!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Week 3 - Global Perspective

1. Does your firm work on local, regional, national, or global level?
           A: Lounge Interiors mainly works within the local and regional level; including Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and others close to our state. They usually have projects within Mississippi and the Jackson area.

2. Do they order materials or work with clients locally and/or out of our local region and/or country?
           A: Lounge Interior strives to work locally if possible; just because it keeps cost down and it's a nice touch for citizens of Mississippi. We use custom furniture, drapery/hardware, and fabric lines that are local. On top of local materials and clients, we order nationally and internationally. We have several lines from England, Italy, and many others in Europe.

3. How are any cultural differences with clients or vendors handled?
           A: The studio strives to make all consultations/designs/work equal - no matter the race, ethnicity or culture. Since their opening in 2008, they haven't had any major cultural differences that they have had to deal with. One small example would be one of our current clients; she is Jewish, so they have considered her religion throughout the project and have kept that in mind. The designers here always consider and acknowledge the client's culture and how important it is to them.

4. How do they design within the parameters of varying socio-economic and cultural differences?
           A: One of Haley's (the owner) main goals when opening her studio was to create a firm that offers various price ranges that can work with anyone's budget. Even if there isn't anything in the physical store to work for a client, they will reach beyond their doors and research other solutions to accommodate their client's needs. The same goes with cultural differences; however, socio-economic differences are more frequent.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Organization and Retail World

Heyy y'all!

This week has had it's busy moments and the slow moments. We did get a ton of new fabric samples, trim, and paintings this week, so that was fun to look at! We have been busy putting all artwork and pieces in a new inventory system - just to make it a little more organized. On top of all of that, I have continued to work on one of my projects; reorganizing the resource library... It has taken me a while and I'm still not finished.

Since Elizabeth and Allison, the two other designers, will both be out of town all next week, we've been trying to prepare and get everything ready in case I run into any problems or have questions. I will be opening the studio and closing every day next week. So no pressure; to say the least!

Here's a look at my week so far :)

Trim samples finally arrived! This is only one of 8 books :D

Love, love, love these paintings by Hunter Davenport. 

New paintings by one of our younger featured artists of Jackson. 

This might be one of my favorite pieces so far, it's stunning!

And this is where all the organization happens... our resource library. It's slowly but surely coming along.

And many more shelves to go!! Wish me luck :)

Check back tomorrow for one last post for the week. Have a fabulous day!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Week 2 - Comin' to an End

Hello all and happy happy Friday!

Today is the end of my first full week of interning at Lounge Interiors. I have had so much fun this week and have learned a whole lot! :) Haley and the two other girls here have been so great - they have included me in as much as possible on all current projects; which I think is pretty cool. I'm getting to include my input and help make selections for our clients. One of my challenges so far has been field measuring just because it's pretty intimidating considering you're usually doing it in front of the client. I just had to suck it up, and put to use what I learned my first year in USM's program. After doing it this week, I'm already starting to feel more comfortable with it.

This week I have learned a lot about pricing and estimating. I've been thrown into the retail and inventory world of working in a show room. I feel like this is kind of behind the scenes in school because it's hard to make it as real as possible - and everyone prices and estimates differently depending on many factors.

If I have learned this much in only a week and a half, I can't wait to see what the next 7 weeks are going to be like!!

I hope y'all have a fabulous weekend - I know I will! See y'all Monday! :)

- Morgan

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sharin' the News


I got some AMAZING yet terrifying news today...

 I will be gaining a client of my own (of course supervised by Haley)!! I have already gotten to pull fabric for upholstery and drapery for the client that I will show to her tomorrow. Selecting fabrics was so much fun, but there are so many options; so... I might have gone overboard with the selections :). At least the client will have plenty of options to choose from! That's a plus, right?

(^^^ Just searching for samples in our resource library - so many fabulous options! ^^^)

Tomorrow, Haley and I are meeting with the client at her house to do some field measuring and to talk to her about what she wants from us. I am so excited to speak with her and observe a real client consultation.

I just wanted to share that news with y'all. I'll be posting one more time for this week, so be sure to check back later to see how the consultation went!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Week 2 - Gettin' in my Groove

Hey y'all!!

Yesterday was the start of week 2 for me here at Lounge Interiors. This week has already been pretty steady, and we're only getting started! Monday was full of calling for updates on purchases for clients and selecting fabrics.

For one of our clients, the girls and I were on a mad hunt for the perfect shade of green to use as a velvet back fabric for the client's euro pillows. After searching through all of the bins and booklets of fabric in the back, we finally found a solution - and it's fabulous.

This week is all about some fabric for me. In several of our projects, we are to the point to select all fabrics and finishes. I am getting to organize all of our samples this week, so I'll be able to get more familiar with all the different brands and prices. On Wednesday, I get to go with Elizabeth to speak with a fabric rep and look at their new samples, and I am so excited! Here are a couple of pictures for ya! :)

So, remember the velvet I was talking about that took forever to find? The fabric above are the pieces that we were working with. 

Here's a closer peek!

One bin of fabric organized, too many more to go. 

(Above) These are fabrics that Elizabeth has chosen for one of her clients. We were searching for the perfect navy duvet to complement these fabulous fabrics. 

Well, that's about all I got for you today. Check back on Thursday for more!! :)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Week 1 - Lovin' It!!

Hello all!

I am currently writing to you from our shared desk area here at Lounge.

My first week here has been fabulous! I have already learned so much and gotten to do a lot. I'm also starting to become familiar with their work process and schedules. We currently have seven clients that we go back and forth to, in different phases of the design process. Our days here are very diverse which makes it even more exciting! We often make several runs to different vendors, stores, or client meetings throughout the week.

Here is my humble abode for the next 8 weeks!!

Lounge Interiors has a show room where customers can come in and buy products off the floor or special order pieces. Connected to the show room is the Lounge Art Gallery (picture above), where we feature local artists' work. During the fall and spring, Lounge Interiors hosts art exhibits or shows in addition to the show room that is open during usual business hours. 

This is just the beginning of my learning experience and I am ready and so excited to see what else I get to do with these wonderful people during my internship. 

My First Day of Loungin'

Hey guys!

So, Wednesday was my first day of my summer internship at Lounge Interiors in Jackson. The studio is owned by the principal designer, Haley Bianchini, who graduated from Mississippi College with her bachelor's degree in Interior Design. Elizabeth Hall (USM alumni) and Allison Roberts (Mississippi State alumni) are the other two designers that also work for Haley.

I had a blast my first day, despite how nervous I was. When I first got there, Elizabeth showed me just some housekeeping things that need to be tended to in the morning. I called a couple of vendors to check up on open purchases and recorded those. I assisted in organizing some fabric samples in the back before we went to Tinnin Oriental Rugs on Lakeland Drive in Flowood. Elizabeth and I went there to find some hide rugs to get for approval for a client. After that, we made it back to the studio and checked some prices on towels, a chandelier, and a couple of more items for the same client.

*** Just another glance of me checking fabric specs and selections for a client ***

After lunch, I got to accompany Haley and Elizabeth to the client's house in Madison. I was able to observe them field measuring for furniture pieces and draperies. After measuring, we hung up some artwork and mirrors in the house and then laid down the hide rug to see how it looked with the furniture it was going under. The picture below is my boss Haley and Elizabeth hanging some of the client's artwork in her bathroom.

Overall, my first day was awesome and I had a blast! I am so excited to see how the rest of the summer is going to play out. Check tomorrow for one more post before the weekend!

Thanks y'all!