Last year I had the good fortune of meeting interior designer Sandy Espinet in New York.
We were both chosen to participate in the Brizo Blogger19 Fashion Week Event.
The last night there we enjoyed an dinner filled with conversation, sushi and stories of Sandy's exciting work. She shared with me that she had a book coming out. I knew it would be a great book after hearing about the amazing jobs Sandy has designed. Her work is simply beautiful and her vision for living is intoxicating. Here is an except from her book in her own words:
"The essence of my interior design work seeks to reflect the evolving interplay of the domestic and the international, while remaining true to my intent to create alluring family living spaces and home environments."
In her book , The Well-Traveled Home, published by Gibbs-Smith, Sandy shares stories of favorite places to shop for one-of-a-kind items along with professional travel and design expertise. It's a wonderfully written book filled with beautiful photographs of Sandy's work
Below are a few photos of Sandy's work:
The book is as beautiful as the lady herself! Sandy graciously accepted my
request for an interview. Enjoy learning more about this talented woman!
Enjoy my Q & A with Sandy
1) I love your new book and was wondering if you would mind sharing with the readers your background and how you came to be a designer.
I STUDIED ART AND INTERIOR DESIGN AND IT HAS BEEN MY LIFE LONG PASSION AND CARRER. I CONSIDER MYSELF VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE FOUND MY LOVE AT A YOUNG AGE. MY FAMILY TRAVELED DUE TO MY DADS JOB SO PACKING, UNPACKING AND SET UP A NEW HOME HAS ALSO BEEN INSTICTIVE TO ME. MY NEW BOOK "THE WELL TRAVELED HOME" IS ABOUT THOSE 2 THINGS: DESIGN AND TRAVEL.
2) Of the projects feature in the book which was your favorite and why?
US DESIGNERS... WE ARE SO FICKLE! WHATEVER PROJECT I AM WORKING ON SEEMS TO ALWAYS BE MY FAVORITE AND WHATEVER IS THE NEWEST JOB BEING DELIVERED ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE THE ONE I AM TALKING ABOUT. THE BOTTOM LINE IS I LOVE ALL OF MY JOBS LIKE CHILDREN. THEY EACH HAVE THEIR OWN QUIRKS AND BEUTY TO ME. WHAT MAKES ONE HOME MORE INSPIRING TO ME THAN ANOTHER THOUGH HAS TO BE THE HOMEOWNER. I LOVE THE FAMILIES I HAVE THE HONOR OF WORKING FOR AND I LEARN SO MUCH FROM THEM.
3) What do you hope readers gleam from the book.
INSPIRATION. I THINK FIRST AND FOREMOST MY BOOK IS ASPIRATIONAL AND SHOWS THE VISUAL BEAUTY DESIGNERS CAN CREATE. I KNOW NOT EVERYONE IS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO LIVE IN A GORGEOUS AND PERFECTLY DECORATED HOME. SO GETTING A GLIMPSE INTO A DREAM WORLD IS A FANTASY TO MOST. BEING AN INTERIOR DESIGNER AND BEING ABLE TO CREATE POCKETS OF BEAUTY IS VERY REWARDING IN A WORLD WHERE NOT EVERYTHING IS ROSES.
4) Where do you draw inspiration?
I GET ASKED THAT QUESTION QUITE OFTEN. I THINK IF THERE WAS ONE ANSWER WE WOULD ALL BE ABLE TO "BE INSPIRED" AT THE SWITCH OF A BUTTON. BUT WE CAN'T AND THAT IS THE ALLURE OF INSPIRATION. BUT I DO THINK EACH INDIVIDUAL NEEDS TO FIND THEIR OWN SOURCE OF PERSONAL INSPIRATION. FOR SOME IT'S NATURE, FOR SOME IT'S ROMANCE, FOR SOME IT'S YOGA, FOR ME IT'S TRAVEL. BUT THE FUNNY THING ABOUT INSPIRATION IS THAT IT COMES AND GOES WITHOUT WARNING. SO ENJOY IT WHEN YOU HAVE IT.
5) Tell us about your firm.
I STARTED MY CAREER AS A HOSPITALITY DESIGNER. IT WAS A GREAT START TO LEARN ORGANIZATION AND PROFESSIONALISM. HOWEVER I CHOSE TO MOVE INTO LUXURY RESIDENTIAL WHICH IS WHAT I DO NOW. MY DESIGN FIRM IS INTERNATIONAL AND WE ARE CURRENTLY DOING WORK IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES. BUT THE BEST PART OF MY DESIGN FIRM IS MY TEAM. I HAVE A GREAT GROUP OF DESIGNERS AND SUPPORT STAFF WHO HELP ME GET EVERYTHING DONE AND I LOVE HAVING THEM ALL IN MY LIFE.
6) What are you reading right now?
THE PAST YEAR HAS BEEN A WHIRLWIND AND I HAVE NOT BEEN READING AS MUCH AS I NORMALLY DO. I HAVE SEVERAL BOOKS ON MY NIGHT STAND...AND REGRETABLY I HAVE NOT OPENED ANY OF THEM. I ASSUMED I WOULD HAVE TIME TO READ ON AN AIRPLANE, SO I DOWNLOADED A BUNCH OF STUFF ON MY IPAD. BUT I KEEP FORGETTING TO CHARGING IT UP. I'M HOPELESS!
7) What's your favorite way to entertain?
MY HUSBAND AND I LOVE DINNER PARTIES. WE HAVE LOTS OF THEM. I LOVE SETTING UP AND GETTING EVERYTHING READY FOR A PARTY. SETTING THE DISHES, DECORATING WITH FLOWERS, CREATING THE MENU AND WORKING WITH THE CHEF. IT'S FUN. AND THE THING I ENJOY THE MOST IS SPENDING TIME WITH MY FRIENDS. I WORK AND TRAVEL A LOT SO ITS GREAT TO HAVE PEOPLE OVER THAT I ENJOY BEING WITH.
8) Who is your favorite company to work with?
I LOVE SO MANY OF MY VENDORS AND COMPANIES I WORK WITH. HAVING WONDERFUL SALES REPS AND SHOWROOM MANAGERS WHO SUPPORT MY DESIGN NEEDS IS SO IMPORTANT. I LOVE FINDING NEW VENDORS WITH UNIQUE AND UNUSUAL ITEMS. SO WHEN I TRAVEL I ALWAYS TAKE THE TIME TO HIT THE STREETS AND FIND TREASURES.
9) What do you think are the elements of a well designed home?
ORGANIZATION. I THINK ONCE YOU MOVE OUT OF YOUR COLLEGE DORM, THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR MESSY OR UNCLEAN HOMES. I AM A NEAT FREAK. AND FUNNY ENOUGH ITS THE ONE THING MOST POPLE CAN EASILY DO THAT WILL COST THEM NOTHING BUT THEIR TIME. BEING ORGANIZED NOT ONLY FEELS GOOD, IT SAVES YOU TIME AND HELPS KEEP YOUR MIND OUT OF THAT FOG OF CLUTTER. IT'S IMPERATIVE.
10) What was surprising to you about the process of writing a book? Was it difficult?
MY BOOK "THE WELL TRAVELED HOME" WAS VERY EASY TO WORK ON. IT IS A NATURAL CONCEPT OF WHAT I DO, MY DESIGN AND MY TRAVELS. THAT HARD PART WAS SIMPLY THE TIME IT TOOK TO ORGANIZE THE IDEAS INTO A FLOW. YET IT WAS SUCH A WONDERFUL PROJECT AND LABOR OF LOVE TO TAKE ON. I LEARNED A LOT ABOUT MYSELF IN THE PROCESS AND I FOUND OUT THAT THE OLD ADDAGE "THE MORE YOU DO, THE MORE YOU CAN DO" IS TRUE. NOT ONLY DID I HAVE A FULL PLATE OF DESIGN WORK, A HUSBAND, 2 DOGS ,AND A NEW RUG LINE AT AGA JOHN CARPETS. I HAD NOW JUST PILLED ON BOOK DESIGN TO MY WEEKENDS. BUT THE DAY I RECEIVED THE FIRST COPY MADE IT ALL WORTH THE WHILE. ALL OF THE TEARS, JOY AND HARD WORK OF THE PAST YEARS WERE ALL PUT TOGETHER IN FRONT OF ME.
11) What would you tell a young designer that you wish someone had told you when you began your design business?
I WAS FORTUNATE TO HAVE A MENTOR WHEN I WAS 26 YEARS OLD. I OWE MY SUCESS TO THIS PERSON WHO TAUGHT ME THE IMPORTANCE OF HONESTY AND INTEGRITY IN BUSINESS. TO THIS DAY I ALWAYS TELL YOUNG PEOPLE THE SAME THING. IN A BUSINESS WHERE YOUR CLIENT CAN HIRE ANYONE IN THE WORLD, HAVING GREAT TASTE IS A NECESITY. BUT BEING HONEST IS IMPERATIVE.
12) Where do you Sandra Espinet in 5 years?
MY SCHEDULE GOES UP TO DECEMBER 2013. AFTER THAT...LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY. REALLY, I AM NOT A BIG PLANNER. I CAN BE SWAYED TOWARDS THE LIGHT VERY EASILY. I JUST LET IDEAS AND INVITATIONS COME IN AND I PICK AND CHOOSE. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT LIFE HAS IN STORE FOR ME.
BUT I WILL HAPPILY EMBRACE IT AND DO IT WELL.
You can read more about Sandy and see more of her work on her website
Connect with her on social media:
If you are at High Point Furniture Market, on Sunday at Noon, Sandy will be participating in a panel discussion on "Diversity in Design" with Jeanine Hayes of Aphrochic.com then will be in the Taracea Showroom in the Radio Building for a book signing from 4:30 - 7
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