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Inspiration

Senior Interior Designer, Angela Belt

Posted in Home, Inspiration
on April 19, 2017

Angela Belt is a force within the design community. Her ability to integrate various styles within a design project allows limitless versatility in her approach. As an accomplished interior designer with over 10 years of experience, Angela has styled shoots for publications such as Elle Decor, LONNY Magazine, HGTV and AproChic. At Homepolish, she serves as Senior Interior Designer, where she provides commercial and residential interior design services for customers and businesses across the United States. It was a pleasure to interview Angela and see the driving force behind her success and gain some insight on how she’s navigated through the interior design industry. Check out her candid interview below.

At what age did you know that you wanted to be an interior designer? Were there clues before then?

I didn’t discover my passion for interior design until I was twenty-two, and I found a Craigslist ad for a design associate position at Room & Board in Soho. Before this time I had studied Political Science and Fine Arts at Howard University, and I was convinced this was just a job for the time being as I pursued my career as an artist in Brooklyn.  But I was SO wrong, I fell in love with interior design through my experiences and mentors. What I thought was a job became a life changing career choice for me.

It was there I learned to floor plan by hand, install and re-wire overhead lighting, use a power drill like a pro, and design over 40 rooms with a team in a few months.  I did this job for ten years so I can definitely design a room now.  I think the clues were in my childhood, and the way I grew up.  My mom really was into having a nice home.  I grew up with a formal living room with a piano, white rug, and blue and white stripe furniture that you could only sit on for photos. My parents also did a lot of entertaining so I grew up being a part of party preparations and cleaning everything just right for an upcoming event. Everything had a place in my home, and my mom did not believe in the whole house being kids’ land.

 

What are the key elements that create a beautiful space?

I think the most beautiful rooms need to have a soul, a personality.  I know that sounds a little cooky but even when I was merchandising rooms in the past I tried to imagine who lived in that space, where would they hang their coat, what pictures would be in their frames?  Some of my favorite interiors are spaces that are layered, bold, and you can tell the space has developed overtime through the person’s travels, gifts for friends, and little objects that they found on a random trip somewhere.

If you could only decorate a living room with 4 items, what would they be? Why?

Oh this is a tough one but here it is: sofa, curtains, lighting, and an accent table (I’m sorry Moroccan pouf I could only list four).  First, there is no way I am going to be in a living room without a comfortable place to sit, so the sofa is a must! Curtains are next because for the longest time I tried to act like they don’t matter in a space, and I recently made some for my house and it just blew my mind how different a space can feel with a little drapery on the wall. So, I’m window treatment convert now. Lighting you have to have it, and it can really add some personality to an otherwise nice room, and elevate it to a va-va-voom space. Lastly, I have to have a table or where would my tea go?!?

What’s your biggest accomplishment?

Hands down starting my own business over the past year, and working with Homepolish to make it grow.  I had thought about starting my own business for awhile before I took the leap. Now that I’ve done it and I have the independence to raise my daughter and do what I love to do I just work harder everyday to keep making this dream a reality.

 What advice do you have for people wanting to start a career in interior design?

I think my advice to anyone interested in pursuing interior design is to take the job seriously and absorb, digest, and learn from as many talented entrepreneurs as you can. So many people think interior design is sort of this hobby or playful type of job.  But to be a professional you need to be understand the size and scale of furniture, learn the ins and outs of installations.  Plus you need to be a project manager, a social media and PR person, and be organized and creative enough to overcome obstacles throughout the design process because they ALWAYS happen.  However  you don’t have to know all of this your first day, all you need to do is start, and reach out to others in your industry for help and advice as you grow. AND lastly, never compare yourself to others who are at different milestones in their careers.  You should celebrate them, learn from them, and stay focused on where you are today and where you need to go tomorrow (sorry, I got all serious at the end there!).

 Check out these wonderful spaces Angela styled.
For LONNY Magazine, Photographer Leon Belt
For Remix, Photographer Patrick Cline
Visit Angela’s website to see more of her gorgeous design projects and connect on social media!

Being Nice + No-Nonsense

Posted in Inspiration
on March 20, 2017

We have more control over our lives than we give ourselves credit for. On second thought, I do believe that we know how much control we have, but exercising our right to do so is certain to ruffle some feathers. And we don’t want to do that. How many relationships are you constantly paying into with no little to no payout?

I’m not saying that you give to receive but healthy relationships are mostly reciprocal unless you’re mentoring someone. How you choose to spend your time and energy is valuable. There’s an ideology that promotes allowing others to use you, like it’s the noble thing to do. I do no ascribe to it.

In their plight to be liked by everyone, women often get caught up in doing things they don’t want to do. Setting boundaries is one of the most solid things you can do for yourself. People treat you how they perceive you and how they perceive you is assessed by how you treat yourself. As I get older, I gain more understanding about my right to set boundaries for anyone on anything that imposes on my peace and I won’t ever apologize for that. Here’s to knowing that you can be nice and no-nonsense simultaneously!

Have you ever felt like you were the only person giving in a relationship? What did you do?

4 Tried & True Beauty Products That I Love

Posted in Beauty, Inspiration
on March 13, 2017
I’ve logged in some hours watching youtube makeup tutorials and I’m still not nearly as good as the ladies I watch. It’s amazing to see someone transform right in front of your eyes. I haven’t perfected contouring or highlighting but I like to believe I do a decent job. When it comes to eyeshadows, I usually stay in browns and golds because it looks good with my eye color. I’m always on the lookout for products that actually perform. Today I’m sharing the 4 beauty products/tips that really work. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara
I know Mary Kay has been around a long time and it’s for good reason. I’ve tried many of the pricier mascaras from Marc Jacobs to Clinique and I always end up coming back to Mary Kay’s Ultimate Mascara. I don’t have long or dark eyelashes and this lengthens the little bit I do have and makes them noticeable. I’ve been buying this mascara for over 8 years and it’s a solid product that is well priced and lengthens lashes.
Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette
Chris recently bought me this palette for Valentine’s Day (per my request) and I love it. There are so many neutral and beautiful colors in this palette. The pigment is very rich and I can tell a stark difference between any of my other eyeshadows and this one. The quality is hands and feet above the rest. These gorgeous colors are worth the coins.
Eyebrow Pencil
For those of us not born with lush eyebrows, a good brow pencil is worth it’s weight in gold. Although I don’t believe it really matters which kind you buy as long as it matches your normal eyebrow hair and you’re not too heavy handed.
Olive Oil/Avacado Oil for Oil Cleansing
I don’t wash my face with a foaming cleanser unless I’m having some type of breakout. (which isn’t often) I wash my face with oil and it has done wonders for my skin. Many days I don’t wear foundation at all and just let my freckles shine on through. If you take care of your skin and get some sleep at night, you’re on the road to great skin.
I took a selfie yesterday using the products I mentioned here!
So what are your favorite beauty products that you’ve continued to buy over the years? I’d love to hear your tried and true favorites!

What Are You Thinking About?

Posted in Inspiration
on February 27, 2017

Some believe that people are being facetious when they tell them to “think positive.” It’s been said a million times but we often struggle with it all the same. Somehow, we believe that by factoring every possible outcome of a situation that we are being a “realist,” or protecting ourselves, but quite the opposite is true. Thinking positive not only makes us more pleasant to be around, it physically changes our brains.  Thoughts are physical things that occupy mental real estate. Thinking negatively is akin to spreading an infection throughout your brain.

I don’t often talk about the books I’m reading on my blog unless I feel they are worth mentioning.

Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book “Switch on Your Brain,” is an enlightening read. She’s a cognitive neuroscientist with over 30 years’ experience studying and researching the mind and brain connection.

-Although technical in nature, Dr. Leaf writes about the brain’s ability to change in a relatable way.

-She teaches exactly how to alter traumatic or bad memories by implementing a 5-step process.

– Explains at length how much how we think not only affects our lives but alters our physical brain and thinking processes.

-When you’re stressed, your brain shuts down several parts and only activates the part that it needs to protect itself. There’s no way you’re producing your best work when you’re stressed because you don’t have access to all the parts of your brain.

Whereas scientist believed in the past that we were all born with a set level of intelligence and skill, neuroplasticity proves that a person can become more intelligent and overcome weaknesses through consistently being positive in their thoughts and actions. Many of the sicknesses we face are because of stress. Stress weakens our immune system and makes it harder to fight off diseases.

So, the next time someone tells you “think positive,” remember that good things really do happen when we consider the good in our lives.

 

Pretty Indoor Plants That Purify The Air

Posted in Home, Inspiration
on February 20, 2017

Hello Glow

I’ve been seeing so many beautiful homes that incorporate plants as accessories. In all the living spaces, they injected an undeniable fresh and organic vibe. No matter what the style and decor of your home is, plants can only make it better. What I found most intriguing about them was that many plants can clean the air in your home. Since we spend most of our time inside, indoor plants can end up contributing to our overall well-being.

I have seasonal allergies and think that indoor plants could help in some way.  Also, if you or your child suffer with asthma, it couldn’t hurt to invest in air cleansing plants that could possibly eliminate airborne triggers. Check out these plants that perform double duty by beautifying your home and purifying the air.

                                                                                                                  Aloe Vera Plant

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera plants love light, so place them somewhere they’ll receive all the sun love they crave. Aloe Vera plants remove both formaldehyde and benzene from the air. These toxic chemicals are common in many household cleaners. The Aloe Vera plant  also produces a thick liquid that is excellent for healing cuts and burns.

 

Gerber Daisy

This Gerber Daisy is vibrantly colored and loves sunlight. It removes trichloroethylene, which is a commonly used chemical at the dry cleaners. If aesthetics is what you’re after, this daisy answers the call with its wide leaves and bursting blossoms.

 

 

                                                                                                                Bamboo/Reed Palm

Bamboo Palm

The Bamboo Palm grows 5 to 7 feet tall and loves humidity and indirect sunlight. This plant removes benzene and trichloroethylene and is native to Mexico and Central America.

Photo: Martin Olsson Snake Plant

Snake Plant

With its wavy and sharp leaves stretching towards the ceiling, the Snake Plant thrives in low light and humidity. What I found the most interesting about the Snake Plant is it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night. This makes it a great plant for your bedroom to get some night time fresh air.

Chrysanthemum

These colorful flowers are amazing for brightening up the decor in any room. Its gorgeous petals flower beautifully and filter out benzene. These colorful plants flourish in direct sunlight and come in every color except for blue, so you’re sure to find one to match your surrounding decor.

Reference

Do you have any indoor plants? Have you experienced any positive results with them?