Spending a day photographing Whitney's home felt more like we were old friends: sipping coffee, laughing and sharing stories with her and her kind-hearted fiancé Adam. At the end of our day together we were given delicious locally made chocolates and escorted with Stanley in tow through the Venice canals just steps from their home. It felt like a fairytale as we chatted shortly with neighbors passing by and watched the perfect glow of golden hour stretch over the water beneath us as we walked over the bridges of the canals. We left that day feeling inspired and excited about the new friendship we have found with this talented woman and we are just so excited to share pieces of that with you today!
What first sparked your interest in design and styling?
I think I've always enjoyed styling-- I just didn't know it by name. To be honest, I always mistook my love of styling for mild OCD until recent years. It never quite dawned on me that meticulously designing an environment to convey a particular message was an in-demand job. I transitioned into styling and creative direction after a decade of working in museum + gallery exhibition design and graphic arts. That evolution was actually quite seamless.
Do you ever face creative blockades?
If so, what advice do you have for finding inspiration?
I find that I tend to hit creative road blocks when jobs drag on longer than planned. For me, the best solution is to increase communication with my clients. Hearing their excitement about the project at hand reinvigorates me, and inspires me to return to the task with renewed passion and a fresh outlook.
What has been the most rewarding part of your career?
The most rewarding aspect of my career thus far was the sharp spike in business that I experienced almost immediately after deciding to work for myself and communicate my own creative vision and brand. My message, that we don't need to live large to live beautifully, has attracted amazing and diverse clients, friends, partnerships, and community support. It's a delight to tackle creative work that revolves around operating mindfully and simply.
How do you keep a healthy work/life balance?
I'm not going to lie-- I have yet to master the healthy work/life balance. (This is actually a major new years resolution of mine for 2015.) But my friends, family and fiancé have been unflinchingly supportive, and that keeps me sane in the meantime. I owe them everything.
Where do you buy your must have home pieces?
Luckily we don't have to buy much thanks to all the built-ins. But I love shopping via Etsy for functional decor and handmade + vintage items, which we repurpose to suit our needs as those evolve.
We noticed you source many of your home décor items locally, how do you incorporate so many different vendors while keeping a consistent minimalistic aesthetic in your home?
I find local and Etsy artists whose bodies of work I love, and I order custom pieces from them that suit our specific needs at the cottage. This allows me to curate our home, and helps us control the size, quantity and quality of the items we bring through our door.
Your space is 362 sq. ft. and yet it felt so open and de-cluttered, what are a few suggestions for making the most of your space?
- Every time you bring one new item into your home, give two items away in its place. The hardest part of doing this is getting into the habit, but once you do it is becomes second nature.
-Remove yourself from mailing lists and work at reducing your administrative clutter. Opt for digital copies of publications and documents. Scan receipts, greeting cards, etc. and shred/recycle the hard copes. This keeps your physical space open for creative projects.
- If you find yourself stressing over storing/preserving/organizing non-sentimental items in your home, just get rid of them. Spend your energy doing something meaningful instead. We are so lucky to live this life-- let's protect that precious gift and share our remarkable time and fortune with our communities.
Thank you Whitney for inspiring us with your gorgeous design sense and amazing insight!To see her beautiful work visit her website here and be sure to follow her on Instagram @Whitneyleighmorris.
Photos by: Dulcet Creative
XOXO Kayla Sampson