I’m so excited to share this interior designer and blogger with you as part of my Behind The Blog series.
Cheryl Luckett is a Charlotte, North Carolina based interior designer that juggles a full-time Human Resources career with a blossoming interior design business. I first came to know Cheryl through her design blog, Dwell By Cheryl and was captivated by the beautiful and budget-friendly spaces we creates for her clients. And she is one of my thrifting soul-mates finding the most amazing pieces at thrift stores, flea markets and Habitat for Humanity.
I had the pleasure of meeting Cheryl a few years ago at the Design Bloggers Conference and I have to tell you that she is a true Southern Belle with an engaging and warm spirit about her. Sit back and enjoy my conversation with Cheryl…
Cheryl, you have done what many aspiring designers want to do and that is build your design business while working full-time in another career? Can you share a few tips for anyone wanting to turn their ‘day’ job into their dream job?
My best advice would be to simply “DO IT!” I receive countless inquiries from folks wanting to know how I balance my business, school and my current career, but honestly I don’t have a good answer. All I can really say is that I committed to doing it and I did it. Often what separates those who succeed and those who don’t is the ability to keep going. I made the sacrifices, I put in the time and I stuck with it. The fact that I’m single without children certainly adds to the flexibility that I have, but like everyone, I have responsibilities as well. It hasn’t been easy. I will say that I began my business as if it were my sole source of income not as if it were my “side hustle”. This meant making investments in learning, photography, networking, branding, marketing, etc. very early on. This helped to create a professional image and put me in the ranks of those working full-time in design even if I wasn’t at the time.
In addition to your design business, you write your blog, Dwell by Cheryl. Tell us about the blog and what readers can expect from your posts.
My blog began as a way for me to get my name out. It focused on projects I completed in my own home and inspiration and ideas for creating a beautiful home on a modest budget. Lately however, the blog has become more of an extension of my business. It’s a way to see the behind the scenes work that I do to pull a client project together from start to finish. It still occasionally features my own home improvement projects but, for the most part, it’s focused on design trends and client work.
***you are view Cheryl’s website & blog at www.dwellbycheryl.com
What do you love most about being an interior designer?
I love helping my clients love and better utilize their homes. I absolutely love coming home each day. There’s a sense of comfort that I feel when I open the door. My goal is to create that same sense for my clients. It’s extremely rewarding when that happens.
I’d love to learn more about your design philosophy so tell us what three design elements you think every home needs?
(1.) Layers – I’m in no way a minimalist. I think that a home should envelop you. Layers help to achieve this. From drapery to rugs, to art and accessories, it’s the details that make a house a home. (2.) Something old– I’m known for my love of vintage furnishings and décor. I think they add history to a space. I also love them because they can help stretch the budget. Everything old is new again and many vintage items are totally on-trend today. Utilizing the originals in your design can provide better quality without sacrificing of-the-moment style. (3.) Pattern– I’ve become a bit of a pattern junkie. I love the way patterns play with one another to add visual interest to a space. There’s something so “designer” about a space that has a great mix of pattern. It’s not always easy to do, but when done well, it totally makes a space.
When it comes to decorating with color, I believe every designer has a favorite color palette. What’s colors do you love to incorporate in your projects and why?
I love incorporating neutrals as my backdrop. I love taupe. It’s one of those colors that walks the fine line between gray and beige. It also works so well with so many other colors. While I love neutrals as the foundation for a color scheme, I’m obsessed with pops of color. They add life to a space.
Where do you find your design inspiration?
I love studying other designers work. I comb through Houzz in the evenings, soaking in every detail. It’s a great place for inspiration. I also love textiles. When I experience a creative block I’ll take a trip to a fabric retailer or wholesaler to get inspired by the patterns and color options available.
Like me, you are an avid thrift store and vintage shopper. What items are always on your shopping list?
Interesting framed art, mirrors, brass planters and animal figurines are among my favorites. I essentially built my business on my ability to stretch a dollar until it hollers. Thrifting with a great eye for the “good stuff” is one way I’m able to create spaces for my clients, even if they have modest budgets.
How would you describe your personal design style?
My style is definitely transitional. I love traditional elements mixed with more modern pieces. You can also expect to ALWAYS see a bit of vintage in my projects.
If you could lunch with any famous woman, who would it be and what burning question would you want to ask them?
I’m obsessed with Canadian designer Sarah Richardson. I’d love to pick her brain on how she approaches the design process. Her interiors are beyond beautiful and I’d take any pearls of wisdom from her.
What’s your favorite way to unwind?
I’m a wine lover, so a good glass of red on my front porch swing flipping through the latest issue of a shelter magazine is heaven to me.
I always like to throw a quirky question into the mix so tell us about your favorite things…
Favorite Paint Color: SW Balanced Beige
Favorite Decorative Accessory: Brass animals make me happy. : )
Favorite Design Magazine: House Beautiful
Favorite Styling Tip: Greenery adds so much life to an interior space.
Favorite Vacation Destination: Wine country. (Any of them)
Personally and professionally, share a few items on your bucket list?
I will own a mountain home!
I’m dying to go to Rome. It’s likely this Art History class that has me itching to go.
Well, if I’m honest, getting married would be nice. : )
Didn’t I tell you Cheryl’s spirit (and design work) was captivating? Thank you Cheryl for sharing your projects, inspiration and dreams with us. I can’t wait to see what amazing things will unfold for you and your business in the years ahead.
P.S. Just a few days ago, Cheryl received some amazing news and learned that her home office space was one of the rooms featured in the new design book, Southern Space for Beautiful Living. You’ll definitely want to add a copy of the book to your shelves.
all images except book cover via Cheryl Luckett