I’m a reformed hoarder. Well, maybe. Lets talk. I’m Superchris and I just really really love old stuff. I love finding it and buying it and playing with it and arranging it and experimenting with it. I love clothes and shoes and chairs and bowls and fabric and paper and baskets and 80’s oak office furniture (I know, I’m weird.) I love photography and polaroids and wood and dried flowers and scissors and art books and old cameras and crazy paintings. You should see all my suitcases. and trays. and blankets. and hats. and mirrors. I’m a freak for mirrors. You see where I’m going here? I have a great love for a great many things and when I met Betsy Ginn I was surrounded – ahem, drowning – in all my stuff.
I joined team Smid in January 2016 as her design assistant and I told betsy that I wanted her to redesign every room in my house. Consider it your canvas I said. She began by helping me get minimal. And as I watched her work her interior magic for our clients I was inspired to let go. Two years later the letting go continues and its a struggle but it’s getting easier! Let me state for the record: I have let go of truckloads and I have NO REGRETS.
Betsy wanted to do my office first. GENIUS. What better way to focus a creative hoarder? I had already ripped out the carpet and had fallen in love with the floor; the brown overspray, the neon orange construction hieroglyphics and the divots left behind from pulling up the carpet just made me happy. When betsy saw the floor and loved it I knew I was in the right place at the right time with the right designer. My office aka the Lab (insert maniacal scientist laugh here) was crammed full of stuff and I agreed to move everything out and be open to letting go of anything that didn’t line up with the design. That was pretty scary.
When betsy presented the design board for the Lab I cried. I mean it. I cried. Somehow betsy had found the essential me among all my stuff. I’d like to think I’m special but I’ve seen her do it with every client. Betsy wants to know: what do YOU love? She’s not asking about an interior trend that you love. She’s asking about the essential you. What are you passionate about and why? It’s really important to her creative process that she understands what you love. Once she understands you she can create something beautiful and meaningful and unique for YOU.
When I started to write this piece I intended on keeping it short but I want you to understand her genius and how she creates so I’m gonna break it down a little. Let’s talk about the dried flower wall. Betsy Ginn is NOT a fan of dried flowers. To this day she calls them dead flowers. Despite this, she found a way to interpret my passion for dead flowers that was sexy and cool and artsy AF. She noticed that I had dried bunches of flowers all over my house. Collect all your dead flowers and lets do something fun with them she said. So I piled them all in a giant basket and after some processing she wanted to hang them (when betsy sits silent in consideration I call this processing. You should see her do it at a flea market. Some vendors will drop their price because they think her silence means she doesn’t want the the piece but in truth she is just way up in her design head thinking.) If we hang them, she explained, you can continue to dry and collect them and this wall will evolve. She did the same thing with my fabric. When I saw that wall of fabric I thought woah that looks like my personal wallpaper. I also thought WOAH I can collect more fabric and I have a place to display it!) My collection of fabric, that’s literally nothing more than old jeans and t-shirts and mens flannels and plaids and velvet i’ve ripped off old sofas, etc. etc., was stashed away in suitcases and trunks and dressers because I was a little embarrassed that I even had it. She told me to unearth every scrap of fabric and start folding. She designed the floor to ceiling shelves and then artfully arranged my folded fabrics. Voila! My shabby collection of scraps looked fresh and interesting and fun. She envisioned the wooden ladder in my space before she even knew I had a collection of ladders (yes i collect ladders.) mind blown. for reals. I could go on and on. The chandelier is a story in itself. and the red tool boxes that she hung on the wall. and the wedding dress and the donkey king mask. and the creepy head. and my baskets. and the disco ball … i begged her for the disco ball. But I digress.
What I want to communicate here before you stop reading (and if you are still reading bless you and thank you. You’re the best) is that an interior designed by Smid is totally personal. and it’s also totally Smid. When you ask Betsy to design for you she will figure out what you love, send it through her artistic filter and deliver an interior portrait of the essential you that will make you weep. When you’re done weeping and you start living in your new space you will find that your Smid interior makes sense and functions well and comforts and inspires you. If you trust her vision and are open to letting go, the process itself has the potential to redefine you. I know that’s a bold statement but I can say it because I’ve experienced it. and the experience continues. Every time I go into the Lab I SWOON. Every single time. Like, swoon in a vintage ball gown and glittering Manolo Blahnik stilettos. Seriously. And THAT is just. so. SO. Smid.
photos by nicole moser