Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself

Michelle Gage // Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself

I would be remiss if I didn't start this post off by pointing out the mean mugging that my dog is doing in this photo. I swear, Naleigh is the sweetest dog in the whole wide world (I say objectively of course), but I will never miss an opportunity to make fun of my dog. Okay, moving on.

It's time we get friendly. Who am I? What do I do? How did I get here?

Well, I'm glad you asked! My name is Michelle. However you happened upon my site, you most certainly know by now that I am an interior designer. I favor the bold and colorful things in life and have decorated my house to reflect that. I believe that your home should reflect who you are. Guests should walk into your space and exclaim that it is just "so you" that they could BURST! 

I have always been fascinated by how others live - what items are special to them, how they organize their day. As a child, I was far too interested in what my friends kept on their bookshelves and in their dresser drawers. I refused to play until everything was in its proper place. I even went as far as to clean their rooms for them - my favorite part being the inevitable junk drawer deep dive. While it won me favor with their moms, it irked my friends to no end. I never played with Barbies, as I would spend far too much time setting up their dream homes. 

I deeply believe that your hobbies (or in my case, preferred chores) can inform your career path. While I originally thought my path was to be a professional organizer, my mind was quickly settled when I discovered that interior design was an actual career. I remember watching HGTV as a wee one and gawking that adults got to do the exact things I enjoyed - and be on TV for it! 

When it came time to write my college essay and apply to schools, my choice was clear. I enclosed a passionate personal statement (yes, about Barbies) and sent off my only application to Virginia Tech - the university with the number one architecture and design program in the country. Luckily, I was accepted a few months later. There, I met that hunk (and now husband) you’re eyeing in this photo, Alex.

To say I learned a lot at Virginia Tech is an understatement. One valuable thing that I did learned early on is that I had absolutely no interest in commercial design, which was my program's focus. I planned to focus strictly on creating beautiful residential spaces - you know, for people like Barbie, Kelly and Skipper! 

With that thought in mind, I persistently applied for positions at Anthropologie's Home Office in Philadelphia. I wound up securing a wonderful role in merchandising and gained a great sense of how home goods are designed and manufactured. While there, I had some wonderful mentors who helped to sharpen my aesthetic. I was introduced to talented artists from all around the world. I initially thought that Anthropologie would be with me until retirement. However, after three years, I realized it was time to move on. Ultimately, I chose to leave the brand in hopes of building my own. I always had a desire to work for myself, I just never thought the opportunity would present itself so soon. 

Now, I am working with residential design clients and creating spaces that are a true reflection of themselves. In addition to doing design, I also write about design. I provide editorial contributions to Apartment Therapy and Domino (a childhood favorite). When not designing, you can find me at a local flea market or estate sale. Those vintage goodies often make their way into my Chairish shop.

As an extension of my interior design services, I want to highlight some of the happenings that go on behind the scenes here. There are so many steps that take a project from its "before" stage and into its "after” stage and I want to share those with YOU!

So what can you expect to read about here - besides my entire life's story? On this blog, I will be revealing some of my favorite design sources and highlighting emerging trends in the market. I will share "how to" tips and easy DIY projects. I will also give you sneak peeks into the design process. I'll share concept boards, floor plans and budget breakdowns. You'll be seeing what's presented to clients. This blog will be a space to have the design journey documented. 

If you made it to the end of this novel, you probably need a little break from me rambling on about myself. So, I will leave you with this – how this post got its namesake.