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:

Southern Interiors – I’m Obsessed

Mary Etta Designs Southern Interiors Antiques

It’s confession time. Well, actually, to myself. Southern interiors are my obsession.  When I say obsession, I mean like if my husband would agree, I would pack up and move to Atlanta or Charlotte, or Louisiana. Well, maybe not the bayou. Love their design, but I’m more of a southeastern girl.  But I am totally obsessed with all things southern when it comes to interior design. Why?  The homes in the southern regions of our country make me feel like I could walk right in and “set a spell.”

Collected

Just take a look at that antique chest in the picture above for starters.  There is always a collected piece of furniture or two or three in every room.  What I love about antique pieces is that they don’t always get stripped and refurbished to perfection.  Southern interiors are collected over time or at least made to look that way.  You get the hint that there is some heritage there.  My husband’s great aunt would say, “Child this stuff is so old.”  And I would just drool over the beautiful fine woods .  The craftsmanship showed pride. Not typical of furniture you would get at a chain store or at the mall.

Southern Interiors Mary Etta Designs Hospitality

Hospitality

Every southern home that I’ve admired always has that guest room where the bed is perfectly made like this one shown in this picture from Leontine Linens designer fabric collection.  The interior is always layered with colorful, yet tasteful, linens.  Monograms and border details on the linen are usually what makes me feel like the host or hostess went to a lot of trouble just for me.  And have you ever noticed that the dining room table is always set with a beautiful place setting?  All. The. Time?

Southern Interiors Mary Etta Designs Hospitality Foyer

This foyer designed by Melissa Miles Rufty is a surprise in tradition all rolled into one. The antique chest and major art pieces on the gallery wall fulfill the expectations of a classic and traditional look. But the print on the corner banquette is an oversized fretwork pattern updates the look.  And the of-the-moment lucite table is begging for you to “set a spell” and enjoy a mint julep.

Wallpaper

Yes, wallpaper is back in a big way.  Let’s be honest.  We who love all things southern never really gave up on it.  Tastefully done in a jewel of a room here and a powder room there, wallpaper is the perfect way to give character to an otherwise utilitarian space.

Southern Interiors Mary Etta Designs Dering Hall

This bathroom by Dering Hall shows a beautiful damask wallpaper.  The oversized scale in the pattern kicks a traditional look right into today’s fresh new style.

Family

There is, more often than not, a wall of pictures showing cousins, uncles and aunts, grandmas and grandpas alongside various stages of the immediate family. Yep, it’s a bit folksy.  It’s also nice to not forget your roots and all the people who make up your family tree.  As you can see by the picture below, I absolutely love that.

Southern Interiors Mary Etta Designs Gallery Wall

If you are local to Orange County, California and are obsessed with Southern Interiors as much as I am, let’s talk.  We would love to help you bring a touch of southern charm to your southern Cali home.  Call Mary Etta Designs at 714 340-3214 or go here and contact us by email.

Mary Etta Designs Yorba Linda California Interior Designs

Mary Etta Designs in VoyageLA

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.

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