Welcome to our little corner of cyberspace!
Welcome to our little corner of cyberspace! I wanted our first blog post to be a little introduction about who we are and how we got started in the design business. It was impossible to sum up in a few sentences. So, grab a drink and a snack and keep reading to get to know us a little better.
Don’t want to read our history? That’s cool. Skip ahead to learn 10 interesting facts about us!
My husband, Tom, and I met in Las Vegas over 17 years ago. About 4 years ago Tom was hired as the Director of Multimedia for an event center outside Park City. After traveling back and forth, we decided to make the move north. We miss Las Vegas but northern Utah is beautiful and feels like home. We bought ourselves a plot of land and hired an architect. Then we set out on designing our dream home but that is a story for another time. After living in our temporary rental for a while, the developer of our community asked me to furnish four new homes so they could be used as rentals. We have a long-established relationship with the developer and he knows our family well. Even though I didn’t have any experience, portfolio, or training, he thought I was up for the task. He had a few reasons for choosing me over an established design firm. For starters, he had worked with interior designers that had grossly overcharged for their services and were pretty out of touch with what people actually want in their homes. Second, he admired my taste, organizational skills, and ability to work and make decisions quickly. So, I went to work furnishing 4 homes. I chose four different design esthetics, read and studied everything I could online, and worked with local stores to get the job done quickly. The outcome was so well received that the four homes I furnished (that had previously sat empty and unsold for about a year) sold and most buyers wanted to purchase the furniture and art! I felt I had done a good job but I had no idea it would turn into home sales!!
Now that homes were selling it was time to build more. I was hired to design four spec homes and work with the builder to complete them. I had never designed a spec home before but I was excited about the opportunity. I created Schiemer Design Studio and hit the ground running. But let’s hit pause for a moment.
During this time, we were gearing up to start the construction of our own home. In efforts to really nail down the budget, I had started choosing the finishes right away. I wasn’t exactly sure what direction I wanted to take. Picking furniture was one thing but choosing every little detail of our forever home was overwhelming!! My sister-in-law turned me on to a very popular and well-established design company. I scrolled their well-curated Instagram feed, read some blog posts, and discussed hiring them with my husband. We decided to get more information so I sent a request to have them help with the interior design of our home. We had a pretty decent sized design budget so this seemed like the best course of action. Well, I got the email back from them and I was shocked at the pricing! I’m sure they are worth every penny but the budget I had for our entire home design costs would have only covered one room with that firm. So, that was off the table. That meant either trying to find a less expensive company or do it myself. I was fresh off the success of the four homes I had styled so I figured I would save the money and go back to doing the design myself. My husband and I went to several Parade of Homes to get a better sense of how to blend our tastes and create a home that represented us both. We found an amazing home designed by the very talented Becki Owens. When we first saw the home, I had never heard of Becki but thankfully a representative from the home’s builder was there and he told us all about her. I immediately started following Becki on IG, devoured her blog, and bugged her about paint colors. (I know I’m not alone….how many of you have messaged someone online about paint color? 🤣) Then, I started visiting every flooring, countertop, hardware company from Logan to Las Vegas. I gathered samples, created physical and digital mood boards, and read as much as I could about design. I was well on my way to designing our dream home and feeling pretty confident. But, back to the other story…
So, I was asked to design 4 spec homes. I took all the knowledge I had gained working on our own home and applied it to these 4 other homes. Basically I was designing 5 homes at the same time, all by myself, and at a breakneck pace. And if that wasn’t enough, I designed and created a Design Center on property for homebuyers to use should they choose one of the semi-custom homes to purchase and build. While my home was and is an evolving process, the 4 home’s design and Design Center were completed in just under 3 months. Not bad for a newbie working 100% alone. Since that time, I have helped 4 more families design their dream homes, taken on the interior design of a restaurant (which should be done in the next few weeks), the redesign of a community clubhouse, and will be working with two families to furnish and create beautiful spaces once they move in. We have completed the construction of our own home and have been living here for about a month. I spend most of my time working on designs for clients, obsessing over my own home design and organization, and unpacking boxes. My husband and I are 100% partners in Schiemer Design Studio. While I handle design and the day to day business operations, he is the amazing digital creator behind this blog, photography/video, and some of the content on our socials. We also have a small team that helps behind the scenes with day to day tasks, CAD design, and logistics.
Basically what I have learned over these last two fast and furious years, is that design doesn’t have to be overwhelming or expensive. I plan to bring you tips, ideas, and raw content that shows how design can be easy, fun, and approachable. Many of you have amazing ideas and talents too! My hope is that this blog will be a place we can come together and share ideas on how to make the spaces around us beautiful, functional, and bring us joy.
With a little help and direction, everyone can find and create beauty all around.
10 Fun Facts About Us
- My day job is as a professional musician. Betcha don’t hear that every day! That’s right, my full-time job is as a violinist and private teacher. I have played violin since I was 5 years old, performed professionally since I was 16, and taught private lessons since I was 19. I’m a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and teach my private students and volunteer at the local schools here in UT. I love traveling back and forth. Keeps life interesting😉
- Neither one of us kinda sorta do anything. We are 110% kind of people. That doesn’t mean we are all work no play. We work hard and play hard. Once we set our mind on a project, hobby, job, vacation, whatever, we are all in.
- Tom and I met online. You read that correctly. And we met online over 17 years ago when it was super bizarre to meet people online. Tom had been on an online dating website for a while and my oldest sister told me I should give it a try. Tom was the only person I ever talked to or met via the web service but he was a 3 dates in one week kinda guy. 🤣 For years we told people we met through friends but now that it isn’t so skeevy to admit, we openly tell people.
- We have two kids. Our oldest is our 20-year-old daughter and our youngest is our 14-year-old son. They are both better looking, smarter, and more talented than us and we couldn’t be more proud! And in case you are doing the math, my daughter is from a previous marriage but was adopted by my husband.
- Besides music and design, I have a deep and long-lasting love affair with makeup. From the day Kevin Aucoin came out with his book in the 90’s I’ve been a makeup junkie. I’ve never been a professional makeup artist but is there a thing as a professional makeup collector? From special effects to everyday beauty, I love it all! I’m a product junkie to the core and love trying new things!
- Tom is a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie. I think it all started when he was a kid growing up in Hawaii. He surfed every chance he got and when he moved to the mainland when he was 19 he found snowboarding, skateboarding, rollerblading, dirt bike riding, and mountain biking. Basically anything fast with a board or wheels is his jam.
- While I love going to the ballet, makeup, handbags, and home decor, I wouldn’t call myself a girly girl. Most days you can find me in a grey t-shirt, jeans and my hair in a bun (like right now). In fact, I love both traditionally masculine and feminine items and hobbies. I’m just as happy shopping at Nordstrom and having lunch with the girls as I am going to a demolition derby or working on my jeep. I think this is apparent in my designs. The spaces I design are never overly feminine or masculine. I love the balance of the two.
- My mom gave me the best advice I’ve ever received. She always told me that you can only focus on one thing at a time. And to give that task everything you’ve got. If you are going to practice the violin, make it the best practice session of your life. If you are going to take a nap, make it the best nap EVER! She’s not a fan of multi-tasking and neither am I. I’m more productive if whatever I’m doing gets all of me and then I move on to something else. I know some people are born multi-taskers but my brain just isn’t set up that way.
- My husband is a mover. He can’t sit still for very long unless he is working on his computer. If he isn’t working he is busying himself with house projects, running our two dogs, training for a Spartan Race, or off doing one of his many hobbies. You will rarely if ever find him sitting on the couch doing nothing. The occasional video game will catch his attention but not for long.
- I can’t stand when things are undecided or unfinished. For instance, I knew I wanted a basket by my bedside table to put one of our blankets in when we make the bed. I obsessively looked online for days until I found the right basket and had it ordered. Then my mind can’t rest until the next thing comes along. Even if I find the right thing or make the decision (too expensive, waiting for a sale, need other projects completed first, need to wait to actually buy the paint, etc), I’m calm as soon as the decision is made. Another example is when I was choosing my countertop. I searched for weeks to find the perfect one. As soon as I found it and made the decision, I was good even though it wasn’t purchased and installed until months later.
****Bonus Fact: I enjoy writing but I can barely spell my name. I’m pretty sure I slept through every grammar lesson I had in school. I’m hoping my use of the occasional well-placed emoji will make up for any errors you may find on this blog. 😊
So, now you know more about us. We want to know about you! Leave us a comment below and tell us how you became interested in design, what projects you are working on, or any interesting facts.