Remember The Ultimate Workspace Contest we hosted with Intel? Well, part of the prize, besides a new Lenovo IdeaPad U300e Ultrabook laptop, was a “Where I Work” office tour here on Design Milk. I think you’re going to love the space of our lucky winner, Sarah Lederman, author of Chevrons & Stripes, and freelance stylist and interior designer.
When she’s not working, Sarah scours the Internet and the streets for new products, inspirational images, and exciting new adventures. This New York native studied fashion photography and art in Florence, Italy but currently resides in South Beach, Florida (with her fiance Evan and dog Ziggy), soon to be spending semesters at the New York School of Interior Design where she’ll be following her true passion.
We crashed her pad in South Beach and got a tour of her space, discovering that not only is this lady stylish but her dog is something of a local celebrity (we’re totally fan girls!):
What’s your work style?
I’m big on multi-tasking. I have one million tabs and windows open at once and I’m usually sporadically pinning things on Pinterest when I should be doing other more productive things… I’m convinced this helps me stay creative and on my toes, ha.
Do you have a daily routine?
I typically wake up, walk the pup, and then sit down at the computer with my coffee to answer e-mails. From there the day can go in so many different directions. There are days I’m at the computer all day long – thankfully Ziggy gets me out a few times. But on days where I’m working a shoot, literally anything can happen – there’s always an element of mayhem! Of course everything will change when I go back to school this Fall. I usually wind down the day with a healthy dose of pinning, watching favorite TV shows, and spending quality time with my boys (fiancé and dog).
Vase by designer Paige Russell. “When it’s filled with flowers it makes me so incredibly happy!”
Tell me about your current office space.
I’ve always wanted “his and hers” desks, and this was the first apartment that had enough space to allow that. Our office is also half guest room so a lot of the decisions we made in decorating it were intended to keep the areas fairly separate so that our guests didn’t feel like they were smack in the middle of a work space.
In keeping with the light, airy feel of the rest of our apartment, we stuck to the theme of white, lacquered West Elm pieces – my favorite! Though the big pieces are fairly neutral in color, this room is one of the places I let myself get the most colorful/out of my comfort zone with the accessories – a punchy mix of blues, greens, and shades of coral.
I grew up in New York and have lived and worked there my whole life (with the exception of undergrad). My fiancé took a job in Florida so we moved to South Beach about a year ago. There are some real perks to living down here. We spend weekends boating on the bay, exploring the design district, and trying a multitude of great new restaurants. I recently decided to pursue something I’ve always wanted to do, go back to school for Interior Design, so I’ll be back in NYC again come Fall.
I see you have an inspiration board. What’s on it right now?
Currently my inspiration board is tacked with a Rifle Paper Co. greeting card I was recently sent by a friend, my Art Basel tix from this past season, a Chad Kouri print that reads “together we know everything,” some stickers a friend brought me back from Japan, an old photo booth strip, and finally a postcard version of my favorite Richard Phillips painting (called Spectrum).
“His” – Evan’s desk
Cufflinks discovered in a box of heirlooms from Evan’s grandfather
What is the most favorite item in your office and why?
I love the West Elm shelves above each of our desks. Though they may not be the most functional the way we’ve decorated them, they’re a constant rotation of our favorite books, knick-knacks, and pictures – a true reflection of each of our personalities. When I feel like I’m in a creative rut I like to mess around with what sits on them, and though it’s a super simple change I think it can really make the room look and feel different.
What is your favorite tool you use for getting work done, whether it’s styling, blogging?
I got a Wacom tablet about six months ago and I literally can’t imagine life without it now. I don’t know how I got anything done in Photoshop! It’s pretty much become an extension of my arm at this point.
One of Sarah’s own paintings hangs above her bed.
What are some of your favorite programs and apps for work and pleasure, and your daily must-visit websites?
For keeping myself on track, I love the TeuxDeux app and refer to it throughout the day – it feels amazing to see everything crossed off! I have a serious Instagram addiction, I’m always snapping away and keeping tabs on what everyone is up to. I also love Pocketbooth for taking authentic looking photobooth style pics with friends, Draw Something for wasting time, and Cartolina for sending the prettiest texts ever.
The top three programs I have running on my computer all day are Spotify for background tunes, Photoshop for blogging, and always at least ten tabs open on my browser.
Sites I visit daily include Design*Sponge, Pinterest (duh), and those two typically lead me down a never ending Internet rabbit hole. On Mondays I love to check out Sarah of Note To Self’s weekly quote – always the best pick me up for a case of the Mondays!
What can you tell us about a current project you’re working on?
The biggest project I’ve taken on recently is my decision to move away from a lot of the things I had been working on and go back to school full time for Interior Design. Until I officially start over the summer, I’m trying to immerse myself in that world as much as possible – devouring design blogs, leafing through design books, e-mailing and reaching out to any and all established designers, and of course experimenting in my own space as much as possible. I just attended Blogfest and was very excited to mingle with so many of the design figures I admire!
What amazes you about what your technology can do that you would have thought impossible just a few years ago?
I started Chevrons & Stripes about a year ago and I’m more connected to the online community than ever. Blogging and Twitter have led me to make some incredible connections both professionally and personally and I can’t imagine not communicating with these people now that I’m a part of it. The support system other bloggers, readers, etc. provide is invaluable.
In addition, it will never stop baffling me that the world is truly at our fingertips. In my family, everyone always thinks they’re right about something. I’ll never forget a recent dinner where my mom was absolutely convinced that the famous scene in When Harry Met Sally took place at the Second Avenue Diner. I was certain it was Katz’s Deli. We Googled, I was right. What did we do back when that wasn’t an option?!
Tell me more about Ziggy!
I always joke that Ziggy’s good for business – and he is, haha. It’s impossible to stay in a bad mood at our house for too long because he is the funniest dog ever and as loving as they come. Not a day goes by where we don’t get stopped on the street by a complete stranger who needs to know everything about him (we’ve had a handful of people even ask us to take their picture with him)! He’s kind of a celeb in our neighborhood (and on Instagram)…
What would be the one technological advancement that would make your life easier, or enable you to perform your job faster?
It would be pretty awesome if my iPad could run big applications like Photoshop. I hate lugging a heavy computer around and it’s always a pain to bring on trips. Whenever possible I try to travel light and bring only my iPad but since I’m constantly editing new content for the blog, it’s difficult. I have to say, I’m pretty excited to take my new lightweight Lenovo out for a spin…
With support from our partner, Intel, we’re exploring the offices, desks and tools that unleash the creativity and productivity of today’s designers. Intel is committed to improving our lives with fast, light, wireless (and stylish!) technology. Their goal is to develop tools that help us create amazing things. And we think that’s amazing.