Designer Spotlight: Tammy Cody of Cody Design Studio – San Luis Obispo, CA
Tammy – how did you get where you are today?
I am from the Central Valley of California (family of farmers). While I’ve always had a visceral reaction to my surrounding, I didn’t realize until I was a young adult that I was drawn to spend time in certain places and avoided others, knowing that my environment and setting affected my mood. That is why I design now, to create environments for happy, healthy occupants. My husband and I moved around a lot early in our marriage, then we had two boys and settled into San Luis Obispo, CA four and a half years ago. Two weeks after we arrived, I went back to school for interior design and I’ve been living and breathing design ever since.
Cody Design Studio specializes in residential remodeling and new construction – how do you help your clients plan and visualize a space?
I’m very methodical in my process. It all starts and ends with the drawings. At the onset of a project, I listen to the client and take notes, measure the space, and start my drawings right away. It may look somewhat elementary at first, but I always show my clients a 3D model during the first design review meeting. As we solidify the design, the 3D model continues to be refined.
How does the city of San Luis Obispo influence your design habits and
San Luis Obispo is a dream. It may not be a design mecca, but it is perfect for me because I prefer a laid-back, bright and nature-inspired home. There is a great mix of influence from southern and northern California. Our weather reflects both areas. Lots of great sun but moody marine layer clouds during many of our mornings.
I’m always a fan of long lasting and environmentally friendly materials, and I love that more are becoming available.
Which trends, materials and/or colors are you particularly into right now?
I like that we seem to be moving away from the push for open concept floor plans. I really like open concept, but not every house or setting is meant for it, and not every client gravitates towards it. I’m always a fan of long lasting and environmentally friendly materials, and I love that more are becoming available. As for colors, long live the Griege!
How do you stay in-the know about new-to-market products and materials to
incorporate in your designs?
I lean heavily on my local vendors and they are wonderful. I love that I can drop by quickly with questions, have someone to vouch for quality and stand with me in the project.
I have been taking a course at our local community college in the construction department. It’s important for me to learn the process of construction so that I can know what is possible when I propose a change in design. I don’t want to get a side-eye from the contractor and a “sorry Tammy, that’s not even possible”.
Who are some of your favorite local San Luis Obispo and California vendors that you enjoy working with?
It’s important for me to learn the process of construction so that I can know what is possible when I propose a change in design.
In your opinion, what’s the most essential element to a room?
Plants. It’s a simple and long lasting way to make a room (quite literally) come to life.
How does designing make you feel?
Like most creatives, at the onset, I feel anxious, and then I make progress and gain momentum on a solution and am totally jazzed at the end of the day.
What’s your business mantra?
Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. You’ll never move onward and upward without discomfort.
SketchUp is a program that you’ve been using for 6 years, and you offer courses for designers as well. What do you like most about this program?
I love that I can quickly convey my thoughts to my client and that I have dynamic working drawings. As I work through my schematic design, my section views and elevation drawings change with it. I can quickly print off a scaled drawing and take it to my clients house to explain something that may be difficult for them to understand otherwise.
Having the ability to show my clients a view of what it will be like to stand in their new home helps me show them why an idea will work, or, will not work. It saves project time and disappointment.
In what ways do you integrate SketchUps into the overall design process?
If it’s a remodel, I start drawing the space as it is currently so that I can show the client the progression. I strip that drawing down to the walls, and start their new design(s). That turns into a 3D model, the 3D model then turns into elevations. All of those drawings go into a presentation. I’m excited to share this process with other designers, so I created a detailed course.
How can a designer sign-up for one of your courses? Do you offer any other
educational courses or podcasts for interior designers?
They can go to sketchupforinteriordesigners.com and sign up there. I am currently working on a course for lighting plans, and a few courses geared towards decorators that will be available soon.
How has Ivy helped ease your day-to-day pain points as an interior designer?
The first time I used Ivy for billing, I was blown away. I’ve never billed clients so painlessly. I love that when I log in, the first thing I see is an overall report. It makes me feel more in tune with how my business is performing.
What’s an Ivy feature you can’t live without?
Again, the billing and the time tracker. I used to be so “jumbled” with keeping track of my time. Now, it’s straight-forward and clear. It seems like you’ve thought of everything. I’m hooked!
Are you an interior designer in search of an easy interior design software and project management tool to run your business? Learn more about Ivy here