Behind the Design: Ivy Designer Meredith Rodday of View From My Heels
Ivy Designer Spotlight: Meredith Rodday of View From My Heels
Meredith – how did you get where you are today?
I’m originally from Baltimore and met my husband in college at Richmond. He made a New Englander out of me and we now live in the Metro West suburbs of Boston with our twin boys. It’s a great place to be (minus the winters). Originally, I majored in Finance and Marketing, but I ended up in the Human Resources field. Meanwhile, I spent a lot of time daydreaming about design and was helping friends on the side. So, in early 2015, I left my career and ramped up my design business, which was such a scary decision! I’m so happy I took the leap; it has been so fulfilling.
What’s your favorite part of the design process?
My favorite part is seeing a design come to life in a space. Creating design boards is a close second though!
Which colors, textures and materials are you particularly into right now?
I’ll always be into blue, that will never change! White has also become a very good friend of mine. You can’t go wrong with the classics. Leather and rattan are my favorite textures/materials of the moment. I’m endlessly inspired by the different uses for both.
Tell us about your recent collaboration with Serena & Lily?
I was so excited when Serena & Lily reached out so I can be included in their fall campaign. They are one of my favorite go-to sources and I’ve been a customer since the beginning. I chose some of their beautiful bedding for our master bedroom, styled it, and shot it with our “good” camera (i.e. not my iPhone). Over the last year, I’ve been forced to get comfortable with taking photos and setting up shots. It’s a great skill to learn and continue to hone.
How does designing make you feel?
Designing makes me feel creative, productive, and helpful. It’s such a great combination! Of course I have days when I feel like everything is going off the rails, but most of the time, I find that it’s such a great way to connect with people.
What’s your business mantra?
Don’t be afraid of change! This is easier said than done for sure, but also, so important.
Where do you spend most of your time working? What’s your workspace like?
When I’m not with a client, I work from home where we have a dedicated office space. I think it was intended to be a formal living room, but that’s not how we live, so it was the perfect spot for an office. The bonus is that it’s big! Ultimately, I want to add built-ins and create beautiful storage, but until then, I added Ikea bookshelves and a parsons table that serves as a desk. I recently added a beautiful pendant and it makes me smile every time I see it. I do believe that working in a pretty space makes me more productive.
Fellow Ivy Designer Claire Staszak of Centered by Design recently covered your home tour in her blog. Walk us through the design process of your own home…
Claire is so great and we met through Instagram! A group of us banded together to take a virtual tour of our homes. We found our home five years ago as nearly-finished new construction which was awesome in so many ways, but the designer in me cried a little. As crazy as it may sound, we’ve done some renovations to what is basically a brand new house to infuse some personality and character. We’ve painted or wallpapered nearly every surface, changed out tile and counters in the kitchen, added shiplap to the family room and entry, installed built ins, and changed out almost every light fixture –some more than once! My home has always been a test kitchen as well as a marketing tool for me. I love changing things up and trying out new ideas (this doesn’t drive my husband crazy at all). My design process is a little all over the map, and I’ll never be done, but my vibe of coastal casual with clean lines can be found in every room.
How has your blog View From My Heels evolved over time?
My blog has evolved immensely over time! When I started View From My Heels, I didn’t know what it was going to be about, hence the very general name (and I wore a lot of heels back then). I actually wrote a blog post about why I started my blog and it’s a super personal subject – you can read more about it here. I quickly realized my passion for design so I started finding anything and everything that inspired me, and then started to post about it. I was posting religiously five days a week. I don’t know how I had that much to say! It has been a place where I chronicle my home projects, fashion wants, and of course, client interiors. In the last few years, I’m posting less often than I’d like to, but between a busy home life with twin boys and a wild dog, and a busy work life as a one-woman show, I don’t have a ton of time. However, I still find that the blog is a great platform to reveal projects and drive traffic.
@viewfrommyheels on Instagram has a huge following – what’s your secret? How much time do you dedicate to social media marketing?
I’ve built my Instagram following up the old-fashioned way and it has been a slow burn. I don’t pay anyone to help me get followers. I work hard at Instagram and study what my followers like best and what flops. I stay true to myself and I don’t post anything that doesn’t feel authentic to my aesthetic. My number one piece of advice is to take pretty pictures. I know, duh. But, pretty pictures get the re-grams, and re-grams bring the followers. Take time to get the right angle and setup the shot as carefully as you can. Also, play around with the filters and learn how they work together. I think being extremely diligent (read: anal!) with my photos has helped. Also, tag and hashtag – it’s important and it works.
I spend a lot of time on Instagram, but the amount of time differs each day. It also has to fit into my life. I’ve found it to be a truly wonderful marketing tool and source of inspiration.
Why did you join Ivy?
I am a major excel nerd – I love it. However, as much as I love formulas and pivot tables, it was getting to be too much to manage as my business grew. I found Ivy through a Google search! I trialled a couple of other accounting-type systems, but nothing compared to the ease of use and the comprehensive features that Ivy delivers to designers.
What have you learned from the Ivy Designer Network?
I’ve learned that there are a bunch of designers out there with the same questions who deal with the same issues as me! I’ve loved finding a place where I can connect with such a large group of people in my field. The Facebook group can also collectively help identify a source for a piece of furniture or fabric, sometimes within minutes!
How does Ivy help streamline your day-to-day workflow as an interior designer?
I love that I can go to one place to find everything I need. I also like any online-based tool where I can communicate with vendors and clients alike.
What’s an Ivy feature you can’t live without?
Again, super nerdy, but I like the reporting! I also appreciate the small things, like being able to input a fixed amount for the markup, and the system calculates the percentage on its own. Or, the quick view for invoices and proposals to be able to quickly and easily see what’s included.
Here at Ivy, we’re more than just a software. Our mission is to provide interior designers with the community, resources and tools needed to manage your business beautifully. Are you searching for a business management tool to help streamline your workflow as an interior designer?