While many decorative spaces make us “ooh” and “ah”, the work of one talented designer leaves us in complete awe. Anna Smith works beside her husband Austin as they have ventured to create the interior design brand, Annabode + Co., servicing lucky residences of Denver, CO. Ever since we came across her swoon worthy Instagram, we have been wanting to chat with her about her business, decorating, and inspiration. We finally had the opportunity to talk with her, and we hope you are just as inspired as we were as Anna shares about building their company, and balancing life with a kindergartener.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Since I run my own business, every day is different for me! I wear so many hats – designer, photographer, mover, stylist, editor, marketer, etc. It keeps things interesting! I do start most days getting my son Clinton ready for kindergarten, walking him to school, grabbing a coffee, and then spending a few minutes on Instagram. From there I flutter between whatever projects are most pressing, often running downtown to meet with clients or contractors, and managing all the orders that arrive at my office. My husband gets Clinton from school and I make him a snack, do a little picking up, and try to spend some quality time with him before making dinner. After dinner we play, color, or read together and then get him into bed. And after that, if I’m being honest… I binge Netflix!
What started your journey into the world of design and decor?
I’ve always loved design but had never considered it as a career path until I was well into my twenties. Before that, I was working towards my Master’s in the History of Decorative Arts and was planning on becoming a curator at a historic house museum when my husband and I bought our first home. That was the first space I could let my creativity fly and I started blogging about my DIY decor on a whim one day. Blogging about interiors became an obsession for me, and eventually I was recruited by an e-design company, where I had to learn really quickly the ins and outs of interior design, 3D modeling etc. Design took over my life, and I never looked back!
What keeps you inspired?
By far, nature has always offered me the most inspiration. I lived a pretty rural lifestyle growing up in New Hampshire and part of our impetus to move to Colorado last year was to be back in the mountains. We’re fortunate enough that we live close to downtown, but have protected public land behind our house with trails running through it – if I ever need a mood lifter I can just go for a quick hike. The flora of Colorado is so beautiful up close, and so alien to me as an East Coaster! Clinton and I love collecting plants and rocks and sprinkling them throughout our house.
For someone who is just moving into a house, what are your 3 best tips to getting started with decor?
Sell or donate everything you don’t love or need before you move. We sold 90% of our furniture when we left DC and it was so refreshing not to have the weight (both literally and figuratively) of hand-me-down furniture that we hated. It lets you start with a fresh slate, and puts a little cash in your pocket.
Really think about how you want your new home to feel and function, and write it down. Any time you’re about to purchase something for your space, look at what you wrote and ask – does this item put me closer to my goals? If not, keep looking.
Live in your space for a while before you start any major designing – it’s tempting to furnish it all at once, but actually using your home for a while first will give you a better feel for your needs.
Do you have a motivational mantra for those work days that seem impossible?
“It’s just a job.” Don’t get me wrong – I love what I do! But it can also be hard to separate my career from the rest of my life, especially since I work from home. On hard days I try to remind myself that my work is just one part of who I am, and that even if everything went in the toilet, I’d still have my husband, my son, my friends, and our home.
What is the trick to avoid “boring” when decorating in a minimalistic, boho style?
Mixing in vintage pieces – it makes the space more unique, and it’s easier to show your personality that way. If everything is new you run the risk of it looking like a catalog.
Do you have a favorite new interiors trend?
This isn’t quite new, but I love the look of plants that grow in glass vessels of water rather than pots. Unfortunately, I have a pretty black thumb, so for now I have to admire them from afar.