Mary Etta Designs in VoyageLA

E-Design Color Consultations Florida Den After Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Designer

 

I was approached recently by VoyageLA, a web-based magazine to have an article written about my interior decorating company.  Technically, Orange County is not a part of Los Angeles.  But honestly, we are so close (35 to 45 miles depending upon exact locations) that it is the best way for me to tell friends and family back east about where we’re located.

Of course, I was and still am flattered to be featured.  VoyageLA is how Voyage Media got its start.  With over a million page views about all things happening in Los Angeles, they spread their wings by using the same approach to publish info on other city centers.  What made me say yes was how their approach to sharing info about the greater L.A. area read like a comfortable conversation.

That  approach spoke to how I function at Mary Etta Designs.  Mary Etta Designs is all about hospitality if you haven’t noticed.  As your Southern Gal in the SoCal, the pineapple a sign of welcome and seen repeatedly in the southern states, is central to our logo. In case you missed our logo introduction earlier this year, I wrote about it here.

With permission from VoyageLA, I am reprinting our featured article in its entirety because it gives you a look at who I am and why I love being the owner of Mary Etta Designs Interiors.  Enjoy!

Mary Etta McCurdy Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Designer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Etta McCurdy.

Mary Etta, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Born in Georgia, raised in Cleveland Ohio, I now call Southern California my home. Living in Orange County with my husband, Al and our dog, Cocoa, I love the design aesthetic of places like Atlanta, New Orleans, Savannah and other southern cities. Just call me your “Southern Gal in the SoCal.”

I had a very large home that needed to be decorated and my friends and family loved my taste. I started helping my neighbors in Cincinnati, Ohio’s West Chester suburb decorate their homes back in 2000. I was so busy that I thought, “I need to start charging.” The one area that I noticed was most challenging for them was creating window treatments. So for many years, I concentrated on that. In the area’s colder climate, where you are inside for 9 months out of the year, window treatments are a focal point many times.

In 2003 we relocated to Orange County, CA and in a couple of years, I was up and designing again. But the recession and the end of a decade has moved me to shift my focus back to interior decorating and added color consultations as a secondary focus.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My struggle was trying to fit into the California pared down design vibe that I thought was the only way I would succeed. I participated in trade shows, networked as the newbie in town. And I thought I would move my business in that direction. It was not working for me trying to fit my brand into a direction that my heart was not feeling. And then the recession plus internet shopping slowed me down. In fact, I worked for other companies for a few years.

But the clients that I serve are like me in many cases. They are either transplants from back east or baby boomers. We like our stuff! So I finally rebranded and am moving forward with a new look which includes the pineapple as a nod to southern hospitality.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mary Etta Designs story. Tell us more about the business.
My mission at Mary Etta Designs is to give your home a look and feel that is warm and welcoming. I feel very strongly that our homes are meant to rise up and welcome us.

And why not welcome everyone that we invite into our personal spaces? I love the approach to decorating often found in southern homes. Look at the great way that homes in the south use layers of textures, fabrics and color that are not too stuffy.

But you will find a feeling of casual elegance. I believe that living well is within everyone’s reach. Everyone has a budget that they need to stick to no matter the income level. My job is to help you live in casual elegance within your budget.

I use a timeless and classic approach to design. This approach allows my clients to have a newly decorated home that will not feel dated as trends come and go. Known as the window treatments experts among my peers, I am the only interior decorator in Orange County, CA that is known as Your Southern Gal in The SoCal.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Bad Luck = 1) a move from Ohio to a new state only 3 years after I started the firm.

2) Finally up and running in 2005 and right around the corner was the recession.

Good Luck = 1) Facebook Groups! Thank goodness that there are communities of interior decorators and designers to help keep our morale going, share info and continue to educate our clients that even though they have access to items on the internet, there is still a need for help from a professional. 2) As I geared back up to being a solo-preneur, I am now an empty nester. I have so much more time to focus on the business.

Contact Info:

Pantone 2016 Color Of The Year Times Two

Pantone 2016 Color – Rose Quartz and Serenity

Mary Etta Designs Color 2016 Pantone.jpeg

Pantone threw a curveball at us this year. And I’m not ducking. Unlike past years’ choices, these are colors you could live with and not feel too trendy. Rose Quartz and Serenity may look like nursery choices for new Moms and Dads.  But look what happens when you blend them together? I don’t know about you but I can use a little serenity.

Mary Etta Designs Discusses Blue and Pink Sky

Pantone’s choices in year’s past have often left me scratching my head.  How did Emerald Green sneak into 2013?  What made Marsala the color du jour in 2015?  Each year, the naysayers cry out that they hate the color and don’t know how we can work it into our interiors. What happens is that we see it quite a bit ahead in clothing and cosmetics, then accessories.Then it’s the color that shows you are on point with the latest trend.

Interiors Follow Fashions

Mary Etta Designs Discusses Harper's Bazaar Pantone 2016 Color of the year

Harper Bazaar’s September 2015 Cover

Well, truth be told, we have been getting ginormous hints from the fashion and home decor designers for months.  Look at the pink and blue (rose quartz and serenity) Pantone 2016 Color on the September 2015 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Follow the fashion magazines and the trend in home decor will follow.  Blush was predicted to be the color to paint our rooms in 2015.

You’re Not Surprised Are You?

Mary Etta Designs discusses Farrow & Ball Pink Ground.jpg

Farrow & Ball selected the color Pink Ground as a Key Colour for 2015.

Upscale British paint company, Farrow & Ball, predicted it’s Pink Ground as a key color in 2015.  Their take is that “this pink is not sugary or infantile, rather it feels more like a diluted plaster color where walls look almost nude”. While not Rose Quartz, the blush colors were moving towards soft hues.

Placencia-Beach-Belize

And as for blue. Well, I always say that “Blue’s The Hue”. As designers, we bend the rules. Baby blue, mineral blue, violet blue, we will make it right for your interior spaces.

Want to be on trend and see how the Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year will work in your home? Contact me at 714 974-6571 to schedule an in-home consultation.  Or, better still,  fill out this form.

big logo

Free Birthday Giveaway – And You Get A Present!

Comment Below to Enter and Win My Birthday Giveaway!Mary-Etta-Designs- Birthday Giveaway

Today’s my birthday!  Those who know me know that I take my birthday very seriously.  It kicks off the winter holiday celebrations. And I like to celebrate with everybody.  You also know that I can’t be working for free.  But this year, I will give a gift of a free room Color Consultation for my birthday!  And since this is my 2nd Annual “It’s My Birthday Giveaway,” there will be two lucky winners this year.

Mary-Etta-Designs- Birthday Giveaway-GuestBedroom-Ralph-Lauren

When I help clients decorate a repurposed space, we start with an empty room.  For example, here’s a guest bedroom that I worked on during the month of November.  First things first: the floorpan.  When it was decided that the dresser, chest and bed would stay, we could make a floor plan that would work for guests to enjoy.  Next was the color palette.

Mary-Etta-Designs-Birthday-Giveaway-HC-172 Revere Pewter BM

For flexibility we kept things neutral and light.  The walls are painted a neutral Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore.  This workhorse of a color will work with whatever bedding changes take place in the future. Since the bed is a lighter wood, Revere Pewter is a great balance in light for the dark, heavy furniture pieces.  That reveal will come in a future post.

Mary-Etta-Designs- Birthday Giveaway Ralph-Lauren-Home-Decor

Hint: the room used to belong to the homeowner’s son.  To make him feel welcome when he is home for the holidays, I thought that the “mad for plaid” by Ralph Lauren theme might soften the blow with a bit of a masculine touch. That way, he won’t feel too much like it is no longer his room (even though it really isn’t).

The painting is done. The color consultation solidified the move ahead to finalize bedding and accessories.  Now we are waiting on lighting and window treatments, which will be installed next week.  The finish line is near and the room will be ready for Christmas visitors (and, oh yeah, the son).

If you want to one of two lucky winners for a FREE Color Consultation from Mary Etta Designs, leave a comment below and I will select a winner by 5 p.m. December 2!  Happy Holidays.

big logo

How to Entertain Like a Designer

Holiday Tables by Orange County Designers
Mary-Etta-Designs-Entertaining-By-Design-Hugo-Flores

Interior designer Hugo Flores rocked a Moroccan vibe at his colorful and inviting table scape, one of my favorites from this year’s Entertaining by Design event.

Just in time for turkey and all the trimmings, we have some holiday table setting tips from top southern California designers in Orange County.  The annual Entertaining by Design event held at the Laguna Design Center,  November 6 and 7 this year, shows you how to entertain like a designer when it counts the most.

Mary_Etta_Designs_Discusses_Entertaining_Lana_Hamdan1

Let’s all give thanks for the little things, like chocolate! This winter wonderland table was a surprise a minute. Layers of gold rimmed dishwater were placed on a sunburst mirror at each seat.  Design by Interior Creations by Lana

Over the top fabulous is never too much during the holiday season.  And this year is no exception.  Now is when you bring out the “good” dishes to go with the good food.  What this show taught us is that you may have items in your home to work with that add unexpected touches to the table.

Mary_Etta-Designs_Discusses_Entertaining_By_Design_PHInteriors1

PH Design Interiors used metals, stoneware, and touches of blue to complement this traditional Mexican themed tables cape.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

And just like we welcome the occasional unexpected guests, a bit of tongue in cheek played out at the venue this year.  Guess Who’s Coming to dinner?  Look at the next two table settings.  Comment below when you spot the guests who came to dinner.

Mary_Etta-Designs_Discusses_Entertaining_By_Design_IDI.jpg

Elegance, Luxury, Simplicity & Knowledge at table inspired by famed French model, Katoucha, designed by Interior Designers Institute students.

 

Holidays are fun. So keep the giggle going at dinner. Snow, white table ware and an unexpected guest calls for a double take.

Holidays are fun. So keep the giggle going at dinner. Snow, white table ware and an unexpected guest calls for a double take.

 

Mary_Etta_Designs_Discusses_Entertaining_By_Design_2015.jpg

Trending big this year was cobalt blue, one of my faves. The colors tie in beautifully with winter holiday celebrations

 

Mary_Etta_Designs_Discusses_Entertaining_by_Design_Kittrell&Assoc

Make sure that you put an interesting guest over to keep the conversation flowing a la Chris Kittrell & Associates Interior Design.

Now you have inspiration on how to entertain like a designer.  Call Mary Etta Designs at 714 974-6571 if you would like help getting your house in order before the guests arrive.  Happy Entertaining!

big logo

 

Belly Up to New Bar Stools

Mary-Etta-Designs-Bar-Stools-Fall-Makeover

As I write today, I’m listening to Jennifer Hudson wail “Whatever Makes You Happy” from the soundtrack of the wildly popular television series, Empire.  And what makes me happy is that now I can belly up to new bar stools this fall.  Small changes make for big impact in our homes as you and I prepare to spend time indoors during cooler weather.

Before Mary E

So I finally attacked my pitiful bar stools at our bar and kitchen counters in preparation for holiday entertaining.   Stools of substance can cost upwards of $800 to$1500.  That’s why I elected to have my favorite upholsterer not only recover the seats of the ones shown above, but also perform some much needed surgery on the legs and braces of a couple of them.

After Mary Etta Designs bar stool

As you can see, they are more than ready for the next person who will belly up to the bar.  And when we tiptoe from the fridge to the counter in the kitchen, we can perch on my favorite newly designed  kitchen barstools. Before the remake, though similar in color,  they didn’t really match.

Mary Etta Designs Before Kitchen Bar Stools

It was so much fun to mix the geometric fabrics from Maxwell with the linen-like fabrics from Fabricut.  The nail heads elevate the chairs to the  casual elegance that I enjoy. I wanted a solid fabric where stains were most likely to occur.

Mary Etta Designs Kitchen Barstools

The fall makeover is just beginning.  Stay tuned for more fall updates at my home.  If you would like help with redoing things around your home for the holidays, contact me about One Day Re-Design.  Details about this new service offering can be found here.

Logo

Anaheim Hills Interior Designer

Mary-Etta-Designs-Hunter-Douglas-ShadesRecently, a colleague asked me how I became an Anaheim Hills interior designer with a specialty in custom window treatments.   And it made me think.  Maybe some of you are wondering the very same thing.

Mary Etta Designs actually started in West Chester, Ohio –  a suburb of Cincinnati.  While living in the Queen City, I began design work at the urging of a counselor that my husband and I hired for one of my teenagers.  Not a bad kid,  just teenage stuff that we as parents could not figure out without some guidance.

The counselor noticed that what was really needed was another focus for me besides my kiddos. Having left the corporate workplace, I needed more than carpools, sports and directing all of my attention at people who could not appreciate grown-up points of view.

He knew that I wanted to work as an interior designer and he was building a new house.  He asked me for some direction in finishing up his home’s interior design.  And he said, “I think that you ought to pursue design as a career.”  That did it.  His encouragement got me started and I am so glad that it did.

Casually, I started helping some of my neighbors with decorating challenges.  And I began to get so busy with jobs, that before I knew it, I was booking appointments, charging for my time, and solving their design dilemmas.  I’ve taken courses, gotten certifications, and quite a bit of OJT – on the job training.  

Custom Window Treatments is a specialty that found me.  I honestly believe that it is the single most dramatic change that you can make in a space.  Window treatments can be a focal point or an absolute finishing point in a room.  Blend it in, pop it with a pattern or color.  Whatever you do, a room is better with window coverings.  Otherwise, you have giant holes of glass that call attention away from the beauty of the room.

 

Mary-Etta-Designs-Anaheim-Hills-Interior-Designer

Three years into my new business venture, we moved to Cal – i – forn – I- A.  Talk about a bummer.  I said goodbye to customers, contacts, and vendors that I worked so hard to acquire in Ohio.  Everyone was happy but me.  And when Mama ain’t happy, well, you know how that goes.    But a couple years into the move, and a couple of trade shows later, I was off and running.

Yes, there has been a recession and a couple of jobs in the design field in between.  But my passion to help you achieve the look you want in your interior spaces is still strong.  I love helping you, my clients, solve energy, privacy and preservation problems.  It’s what gets me up in the morning.  And I go to bed with ideas of your homes and offices swirling around in my head.

Mary-Etta-Designs-Anaheim-Hills-Interior-Designer

So when you need an Anaheim Hills interior designer (and I will work all of Orange County) think of Mary Etta Designs.  I not only help you with window treatments, but also with space planning, color consultations, or a general consultation on how you can proceed in your design journey.

Feel free to contact me here and check out my website here. Have a wonderful weekend and try to stay cool in this heat.

MELogo