E-Design, Inspiration, Personal

One Year Anniversary and Giveaway!

Today marks the one year anniversary of The Fig Design’s launch! Woo Hoo!! To celebrate I am putting on a giveaway of a free E-Design plan for any room in your house! Head to my instagram post to enter and hit up the E-Design Services page to learn what you’re getting! The winner will be announced on January 19th at 12am EST.

After literally years of planning, and thinking, and learning, I finally got up the courage in 2018 to start this blog. I am so glad I stopped being afraid of failing, and started failing! I could write a whole post about all the stuff I got wrong (and for that reason I have rewritten this post 3-4 times!) But there will never be a shortage of excuses in my life so I am going to instead focus on my goals for 2019!


Now is NOT the time for me to slow down. Last year was about taking things one at a time, and not being too hard on myself because everything didn’t need to be perfect right away, yada-yada-yada. I still think that was an important goal to have for the first year and I might not have even started without it, but I accomplished it a little too well. My natural inclination is to take on way too much right away, not thinking about the personal costs, then get overwhelmed with the responsibility and shut down, so in 2018 I was intentionally noncommittal. This did result in the desired peace about my career, but it also resulted in a lack of forward momentum, lack of structure, lack of consistency, and perhaps most destructively, a severe lack of creative energy.

So with that in mind, my goals for 2019 are to:

  • Find ways to increase creative energy
  • Be more structured
  • Find a consistent design aesthetic
  • Consume more content from people I admire

The first of these goals is definitely the main one, and all of the following are secondary ways to aid the first goal.


Creative Bankruptcy

Honesty time: 2018 finished really low in the creative energy department. Post writing feels like a chore and all my ideas seem one dimensional. Its bad. You know this quote by Stephen King “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”? well I love that quote and really believe in it, however if you never feel inspired it can be really hard to stay motivated long term and enjoy what you’re doing. I believe that inspiration isn’t something that just happens to you randomly, but rather it is something that you can chase. You can put yourself in danger of being inspired by building a community of other creative people who are feeding off of each others creativity (this is why I think instagram is so cool) In 2019 I want to manufacture situations in which I could get inspired by connecting with other creative people.



Structure means schedules, tasks, timelines, and coffee shops. Always coffee shops. Home has too many dishes, and too much laundry for it to be a realistic place to get anything done. I want to establish a very firm routine for the posting, writing, designing, and management of The Fig Design.



Essentially this means committing to a style. I really, really love a lot of different styles but I am realizing how much I need to stick to one style, get good at it, and be consistent in my brand. So I’m starting to process what I feel instinctively drawn to and the only thing I can tell you for sure it will be moody, warm, and quirky. More on this to come.



Before I started this blog I used to read roughly 3-4 posts a day from other designers and brands. When my life became busy with more “important” work, like getting ahead on that weeks post writing, I stopped reading other blogs almost entirely. I am a firm believer that in order to create good content, you need to consume good content. Its like fuel. I never want to stop learning and become uninformed on current design trends, therefore I need to prioritize consuming the content of people I admire like it is a multivitamin. In 2019 consuming content will be a regular and necessary part of my writing process.


My personal mission statement for 2019 is: To be creatively energized and make blogging a lifestyle. My hope is that structure, and consistency will provide an established framework in which to create, and that consuming the content of talented people will fuel inspiration and a “I can do that!” attitude.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway on my instagram! The winner gets one of these!

Design Board, Design Plan, E-Design

What is E-Design?

Happy Monday! Today is very very exciting for The Fig Design as I launch the second half of this business. E-Design is something that really gets me excited, because It is a way of meeting people and creating art that can be done from anywhere in the world!

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So what exactly is e-design? The short version: E-Design is an all-online way to form a cohesive design plan for your home. In the past, the client’s role in the design of their home was fairly detached. I think of the stereotype in sitcoms of a flowing entrance by a self-important and overly “artistic” designer (usually wearing a scarf) who dramatically declares “everything must go!” and “I love it!” or “This disgusts me, take it away!” and the client’s naive impulse to do anything the designer says because “well…they’re the expert…” (Later in the episode the client realizes that they like their home just the way it is and they brusquely toss the haughty designer out, against some french-accented and highly pompous objections. The characters drink hot chocolate and feel warm and fuzzy. The end.)

Thankfully, In the last few years the format for “design” has largely shifted to become far more collaborative and hands on! Aided by blogs, HGTV, and internet videos, more and more people are gaining the confidence and desire to do it themselves. In an effort to aid and encourage this mindset, e-design helps give a solid direction and cohesive plan to a DIY approach.

One of the pitfalls of DIY design is that sometimes a lot of time and money can be wasted by not having a solid and cohesive design plan for your space. Thats where e-design comes in! It takes a lot of the expensive guesswork out of designing your home and is a streamlined way to represent YOUR style as accurately as possible for a lot less moolah then an in-person designer.

To find out more about the process for e-design, head over to the E-Design Services page! There you will find what is included in an e-design, guidelines for how to determine a budget, an e-design demo, pricing, and more!

Colors Today, Fashion, Inspiration, Trending, Trends

Colors Today – Vermilion

Happy Friday everyone! Today is another edition of our Colors Today series. This time I want to highlight vermillion! Other names for this color include “fire-engine Red” “cherry red” or “blood red” and it fell out of popularity a few years ago and is most definitely coming back but (as usual) with a twist. Instead of being used in oriental design, with lots of intricate, patterned things, it is as a bright solid brining contrast wherever needed.

It can be used as a pungent accent to very minimalistic or Scandinavian design…

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…Or in juxtaposition to highly ornate and traditional styles:

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Both of these ways of using red are highly contrasting and make the red jump out at you in a pleasing way.

The red family has traditionally been paired with saturated blues and mint. They are opposite each other on the color wheel, which means they are complimentary. However, as tonal design is coming into popularity, vermillion is being paired with colors in its own family in addition to the cooler colors. Like so:

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This way of using vermillion is also highly contrasting but in a much more subtle way. The difference in saturation of the warm colors used in these photos is what prevents it feeling too warm. To put it another way: the pink appears so soft against the bright vermillion that it creates a stark contrast between the two colors. Even thought they both read as warm, they still contrast each other, which is what creates the interest and eclectic atmosphere.

Okay, enough with all of the trend talk. Heres some good ‘ol fashioned pretty pictures!


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Inspiration, Trends

Real, Concrete Inspiration.

Happy Friday! How was everyone’s week? I spent mine in a flurry of indecision about today’s blog post! It was written months ago and procrastinated because I thought about making it into a series. I love concrete so much! In the end I decided I just wanted to get it out of my drafts pile and out there.

Concrete – This versatile material is widely used in design, mostly in farmhouse and Industrial design but it can be adapted for all styles. Here are my favorite ways to use concrete in interior design:


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This one is pretty obvious and the most common (and my favorite). When using concrete floors in residential design you need to consider things like how to make the space cozy with all that cool stone. Some options include heating elements embedded in the concrete as well as lots and lots of rugs. The great thing about concrete floors (besides their dope look) is their durability.


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I love how streamlined and modern concrete countertops can look. Totally worth the maintenance. If you don’t want to completely replace your current countertops or deal with cracking, you could consider skim coating your existing counters like this one from A Beautiful Mess.


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Lighting is a fairly uncommon way that I see concrete used. I like it because it is a cool texture in an unexpected place.

Vingette: Brands like to use concrete as a surface to show off their products because of the subtle texture and neutral color. This was a spread shot by Studio Brinson for DBO Home both of which are brands I love.

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For all of you instagram people and those who are interested in such things, stay tuned for a DIY of how to make a concrete surface like the above photo. And prepare to see plenty of Instagram posts against said surface…

In addition to Father’s Day, Michael and I are celebrating 2 years of marriage this weekend with a kayaking trip at Turkey Run State Park! So this Irishwoman will be stockpiling sunscreen if you need her.


Inspiration, Instagram, Personal, Trending

Can’t Miss Instagram Stories

When I am scrolling through instagram, there are a few stories from influencers that I just CAN NOT MISS. This includes graphic designers, photographers, public figures, business owners, and interior designers who are inspiring and real. Today’s post is highlighting the who, and the why!

But first here are some of the criteria that I think are important for having compelling, and brand-building instagram stories:

#1 They often (at least once a day) put their face on stories, talking to their followers. This is something I think is very important for an influencer who wants to create a personal connection. The whole point being that I trust this person enough to “influence” me, right? So face-to-face contact is completely necessary for building that trust.

#2 Something that most of these people have in common is their personal engagement with their followers. I often reply to their stories and get a positive, appreciative, and conversational response back.

#3 They show spontaneous parts of their every day life. Getting coffee, playing with kids, getting stuck in traffic, food, hanging out with friends and family. They all have real and important careers outside of instagram but that is relatively small part of what they share, as opposed to personal moments. This also helps build trust between them and me.

#4 They add to their stories every day. They almost never have less than 5-6 stories up at all times!

#5 Most of them story about cooking their meals. I like food =)

First up:

Jamie Beck –  @annestreetstudio

Jamie is a NYC photographer living in Provence who is an authority on all things french country living. Her stories are full of breathtaking landscapes, mouthwatering fresh produce, and elegant dining experiences. Her specialty is creating classic style still lifes. The thing I love about her stories is how she shows every detail of her creative process, from arranging, to styling, to editing. The best thing is she keeps all of her still life stories saved in her highlights! You really need to check them out…

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Bri Emery – @designlovefest

I follow Bri Emery for a few different reasons. #1 she is the graphic designer and creative director for her company Design Love Fest. She works with some of the most fashionable brands in the world to create beautiful, editorial, images and in her stories she shows us her creative process, as well as how fun it can be. #2 she has an amazing fashion sense, and #3 One of her hobbies is trying new recipes and sharing with friends, and who doesn’t love a fancy taco pic, or a boomerang of cheese bubbling??

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Sarah Akwisombe – @sarahakwisombe

Sarah is a London based influencer, interior stylist, and the brain behind The No Bull Business School. She, her husband Jason (@lifeofthedad), and their daughter Marley are HILARIOUS. Her stories are equal parts goofy and inspirational, and they provide a much-appreciated behind the scenes of running a business and working with brands. She makes me feel like I can do it.

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Catherine McCord – @weelicious

Okay, the truth is that I just now learned her real name. Thanks Instagram. Up till now, If I had seen her on the street I would’ve said “Hey! its Weelicious!” and that might’ve offended her. So sorry, Catherine McCord! Anyway, she is a mom of 3 as well as a Food Network judge on Guy’s Grocery Games and a general food guru. She shows on her stories her unrealistically healthy smoothies and her sweet relationships with her kids. Gemma in particular is one of my favorite insta-famous children! I have never seen a 3 yr old eat as well as Gemma does. She pops pickled ginger like its french fries! There is a lot of laughter and positive vibes in her stories.

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Jeff Mindell – @jeffmindell

Jeff and his wife Kelly (of @studiodiy) adopted their son Arlo a little over a year ago. He is a photographer, influencer, and all around nice guy! Jeff somehow creates a personal relationship with his audience and you get a real-life look at being a new dad. At least 80% of his content is of little Arlo who is painfully adorable. The other 20% consists of LA living, working with brands to create beautiful photos, and lots and lots of Dunkin Doughnuts coffee…

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Sabrina Smelko – @sabrinasmelko

First of all: SHES CANADIAN! Its shocking how little us Americans know about Canadian culture, here I get little snippets. Secondly, she is a really hip graphic designer and interior stylist. She likes to cook on her stories (these are my favorite) and it always turns out flawless… She has an insta-famous dog Piper who is completely adorable and I follow her for her sense of humor and fashion sense.

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In the last year since I got Instagram I have enjoyed studying influencers and how social media works. These are some of the people I try to emulate when I am building my online presence and personal brand. They value real-life, personal relationships, and most importantly they LOVE making beautiful things! Please, please, please check them out!!