As life seems to get busier and busier, wouldn’t it be nice to know how to balance work, home, family and personal care? To that end, during Design Market in Boston, Clarke, New England’s Official Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom and Test Kitchen at 7 Tide in Boston, invited 75 busy interior designers to “Doing It All,” a luncheon seminar featuring New England Home Editor Stacy Kunstel and “Elements of Style” Author and Design Blogger Erin Gates.
The setting was informal, with the Clarke culinary team preparing gourmet bag lunches for everyone to enjoy either during the one-hour presentation or on the run as they headed back to the Boston Design Center, where Design Market activities were taking place, just steps from 7 Tide. The one-hour presentation, more like a chat over lunch with 75 of your closest friends, included Stacy sharing her fast-paced life that includes not only writing and editing for New England Home, but also writing and photo styling for several Meredith national publications including Traditional Home. In addition, over the past five years, she and photographer Michael Partenio have launched a national home design brand known as Dunes & Duchess, which features romantically inspired lighting and accessories. During the hour, 7 Tide guests also learned about how Erin’s “Elements of Style” blog and companion book have transformed her interior design practice into a national brand. In the same year that she had her first child, she also was discovered by the TJX Companies (Home Goods, Marshalls, TJ Maxx), where she is now in talks to create home design products for national distribution.
While it was interesting for the audience of designers to hear about the career choices made by these two design community pros, it was even more valuable to learn their tips for getting everything done in a day. Both talked about the tough choices that have led to “never entertaining at home,” “hiring people to do what you’re not good at or what you hate to do, even if that’s expensive,” and “going to bed early even when you feel like you should keep working.”
Some of the most practical advice was found on a long list they projected on the media wall which included these highlights:
- Use Siri for everything – you can dictate all kinds of reminders to ensure you don’t forget things.
- Use Amazon Prime and Amazon Auto Order to save time shopping.
- Unsubscribe to every email list that doesn’t help you.
- Grocery shop via PeaPod.
- Only touch each email once – read it, react, delete.
- Set a cut-off time for your activities (i.e. I’m going to clean my office for one hour) and stick to it.
- When there’s no time for reading, download the Audible app and listen to the books while driving.
- Keep a list for everything, so you don’t try to keep the “to dos” in your head.
- If your intent is to stay on top of social media, schedule everything.
And both women agreed that drinking tons of water is essential, and eating healthy gives them the energy they need. Stacy is all about meditation, silence and walking in nature whenever possible. Erin says she has recently (with the strong tug of motherhood) learned to say no to anything that doesn’t help her family or business. Stacy’s motto is “Toss anything that doesn’t give you joy or pay the bills.”
Before and after the presentation, guests enjoyed socializing and exploring both sides of 7 Tide: the Clarke/Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom and Marvin Windows and Doors’ first-in-the-nation Experience Center, the latter of which can be accessed through a beautiful series of glass doors inside Clarke. Pictured to the left are Clarke Showroom Manager Jeremy McCulla, Stacy, Erin and Marvin Experience Center Manager Barbara Bradlee (an interior designer herself.) The quartet made the afternoon a huge success with rave reviews from the interior designers who attended the sold-out Design Week event.