Monday, May 31, 2010

A Walk on the Wild Side!


Prior to going back to college to study interior design I was a painter. I had several businesses which I loved. I had a business making hand painted children's furniture and also a business painting murals, faux finishing, and stencilling anything that would stand still long enough.

I will share some of these projects through future posts. It is fun to go through some of my old painting pictures, although I must confess that I don't have pictures of some of my favorite projects. I started my painting business back in 1995 when cameras were just starting to go digital and were very expensive. Sometimes I would forget my camera that day and my intentions were to go back to a client's home and take pictures, but sadly I usually never did get the pictures I wanted.

My youngest daughter, who just graduated from high school, had a fondness for the safari look when she was younger. I painted some unfinished furniture I had purchased to compliment her room. I don't have any befores, but here are the afters. I hope you enjoy and hope these pictures stir your inner beast!
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Artichoke Lighting Options

I thought I would feature some artichoke lighting options in honor of the name of my new blog. I am in love with the colorful Artichoke Lamp by Stray Dog Designs. It is so fun and playful. Enjoy!
1) Design Within Reach
2) Ibis & Orchid Design
3) Currey and Company
4) Stray Dog Designs
5) The Designer Insider
6) Barbara Cosgrove
7) Uttermost
8) Bravi Collection

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Score on Craig's List

Almost a couple of months ago I found a fabulous sofa on Craig's List. I look on Craig's List quite often and had been looking for an older sofa with wood trim. I found plenty, but they were usually too expensive or way to beat up to want to purchase. On this day in early April I logged on to Craig's List and found the set of my dreams. It had only been listed 10 minutes earlier, so I felt it was just meant to be. This beauty came with a matching chair too! Later that day and with only $340.00 spent, the set had found it's new home.

I will be reupholstering these and possibly refinishing the wood as well. I would like to change the cushion on the sofa from three separate cushions to one long cushion. They originally had tufted backs and nail head trim, so I will probably restore them to with the character they were meant to have. I'm searching for a linen fabric for the project, but haven't made any final decisions. Here are a few pictures of my Craig's List lovelies.

Introducing Susie Goldstein, Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona Interior Designer!



Susie Goldstein, Scottsdale and Phoenix interior designer, with greatest cheerleader and husband, Michael.
Susie Goldstein, Scottsdale and Phoenix interior designer with her greatest cheerleader and husband, Michael!
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Here's a little info about Susie since hopefully you'll be reading this blog and you would like to know a little more about me. My life has changed a lot as I've grown older, but one thing has never been more clear. The more that I get in touch with my creative process, the better I feel about the authenticity of my life. When I was a girl, I always loving doing craft projects and I was actually very good at them. The older I became, I felt pushed away from art and my artistic soul. I was the type of kid that loved having my room look nice. I asked to have my room decorated for my tenth birthday. Not too many ten year old kids do that!
My first college degree was a communications degree. When I went to work after college, I working in a big corporate environment. That lasted a year and a half. I hated it! Corporate America was not for me. I got married to the love of my life and started having children soon after. I had always loved interior design, but I knew I wanted to be an interior design as soon as we bought our first home. It really re-inspired that aspect of my creativity. While living in Chicago, I tried to start taking design classes, but with my children being toddlers, it just was not to be at the time. I did get heavily involved in an artisan's group and flourished. I took a class in Chicago based on The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. This highly recommended book (and class) helped unleash the artist in me.
Check out this book, "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron, to help get in touch with your inner artist!
Check out this book, "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron, to help get in touch with your inner artist!
After we moved to Las Vegas in 1995, I started my decorative painting business when my oldest went to kindergarten and my youngest was in preschool. I offered stenciling and murals to start. I painted quality furniture I could find at garage sales too. I was fortunate that one of the best faux painter in the world lived in Vegas since he specialized in painting all the high profile casino in Vegas and beyond as well as high-end residences. I learned to faux paint from him and added that to my services.
A hand painted mural depicting the nursery rhyme about the cow jumping over the moon!
This mural is an example of why I loved painting children's rooms!
Honestly, children's rooms were my favorite. When approaching a child's room. I could let my imagination run wild. When I first started, one of the best pediatric practices in town was around the corner from where I lived. I offered to paint their new office space for free if I could sign my company name and phone number to the murals. It worked wonderfully and I did probably 75 or more jobs in my first year in business. I did this for close to four years and decided that being on the ladder full time was taking too much of a toll on my body. I tried to take some design classes again, but the timing was still not quite right. HGTV was on the scene by then and I took classes learning how to stage homes and do interior redesigns, also known as design in a day.

We moved to Scottsdale in 2003. I sold real estate during the boom, but finally realized that truthfully what I loved best about real estate was seeing the insides of homes and building personal relationships with my clients. I left real estate, had a business selling my hand painted furniture and went back to interior design school. I had truly found my passion studying interior design for three years. While still in school, I worked for a fabulously talented interior designer who was my mentor. She really helped me to develop my talents to the fullest. I worked on some amazing projects while working for her. My favorite project was in the Phoenix Home & Gardens Dream Homes magazine and tour in November 2009. This same 'Modern Hacienda' stunning home won the 'Best Residential Design over 6,000 Square Feet' for my former employer at the American Society of Interior Designers awards in August 2010.

I'm now offering my interior design expertise to our Gold Standard Finishes clients and hope to get back to doing more independent interior design work in the future. I am going to get back into working on my hand painted furniture and art again. I feel I've come full circle. My husband and I started our own paint contracting business together a few years ago in the Phoenix metro area. He's a fourth generation painter and I have the faux and specialty painting background. Check out our painting website at Gold Standard Finishes LLC.

Follow me and my blog as I reveal past projects and future endeavors. This will be my musings on interior design and other areas of interest. I'm looking forward to getting to know you too!