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Meet Michelle Price of 805 Interiors in Thousand Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Price.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After spending a large and excruciating number of years seeking my “purpose” in life, it finally found me when I turned 40. Years that were spent going down paths that led me nowhere, taking jobs that paid well but left me unfulfilled, reading ALL the books and doing ALL the seminars. When I finally gave up and just got busy living my life, it revealed itself to me. Funny thing is, I was so busy looking, that only in retrospect did I realize it was there all along and I just hadn’t been paying attention.

Growing up in a small town in Ireland, I didn’t know that Interior Design existed. We did not have a beautiful home and were not of a class to even consider using the word decor. My family emigrated and settled in LA in the 80’s and any decor involved garage sale finds and discount furniture stores.

My early career aspirations caused me to work in roles that I wasn’t suited for and that left me unfulfilled. I felt lost and struggled to figure out what I was supposed to be doing but was saved from my existential crisis by becoming a stay at home mom. I loved being a mom but I was not skilled as a housewife or even proficient at the basics of parenting ( I was the mom who showed up to playgroup forgetting to bring diapers or snacks).

These were the days before Pinterest or Instagram, but decorating my home and planning parties were the bright spot of my days. Eventually, my husband begged me to stop decorating in fear that we’d go broke from home decor. This urge to constantly redecorate felt like an itch I couldn’t scratch and deciding to make a career out of it seemed the only way to relieve it so I completed an online program and became certified as an Interior Designer.

My first real project was a ten years old girl’s room that I worked on free of charge. To this day, I still remember her screams of excitement when she saw her finished space – what a thrill! I chase that feeling with every project because I realized really quickly how a beautiful or more functional space positively affects people’s lives. Having the ability to do that has been the most fulfilling experience of my life.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been a long circuitous road from my first paying client to where I am today. The biggest hurdle to overcome was my complete lack of confidence. In the early years, I took whatever projects came my way, often working for practically nothing just to get the experience. I knew how to make a space look great but working for other people required an entirely different set of skills. I also lacked basic business knowledge, had no systems and processes in place and did zero marketing.

Needless to say, things were not progressing and one day on a whim, I applied for a designer position at Restoration Hardware. Returning to the work world after 15 years at home was terrifying and exhilarating. I left the corporate world in my 20’s and now I felt like the old lady at work. But I quickly learned that my age was a bonus because my clients were able to identify with me. Pretty soon, I was working on projects with enormous budgets and it became clear to me that I had good instincts. I finally started trusting my own design chops.

After a while, I was ready to take a leap of faith and really make a go of creating my own business and 805 Interiors was born. This time I worked on my processes, created a beautiful website and finally realized my worth as a designer. That’s not to say it has all been smooth sailing. Every project has been ripe with growth opportunities and I’ve learned that communication and transparency are vital and the systems that keep a project on track are just as important as the beautiful space at the end.

Please tell us about 805 Interiors.
805 Interiors specializes in residential design projects. I love transforming a space and while some designers have a signature look, I believe each project should be tailored to the client and their home. So most of my projects look different – from Spanish Colonial to MidCentury Modern to Modern Farmhouse. I’ve worked with monochromatic palettes to color in full bloom.

I listen to what the client wants and what the style of the home requires. Many clients have expressed how positive that experience had been (especially those that had felt bullied or treated in a condescending manner by other designers). When I leave their homes, they know it reflects them and I get those happy feels that I live for.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My grandparent’s home was a 400 year old cottage called Erin Cottage (it is not uncommon in Ireland to name your home) in a little seaside village in Ireland. When I was little, I would visit them every weekend. I adored my grandmother and loved spending the days with her while she spoiled me with delicious food (she was an amazing cook), fantastic (mostly scary) stories and lots of attention.

The cottage was small and humble but that old home held so much mystery and intrigue in my young imagination. There were nooks and crannies to explore, room numbers on the bedroom doors that hinted at some interesting history, a giant AGA stove in the living room, a bizarre toilet room in the kitchen that was blocked off and stories about an old thatched roof that blew off in a storm.

I’ve been told that Erin Cottage has been in our family this entire time and it is a special place that draws us all back. My grandparents are gone now and much of the house has been updated and modernized, but when I visit, I always look for those unique old touches that still manage to intrigue me today.

Pricing:

  • 2 Hour Design Consultation – $300

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Christopher Lee Foto

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