As the thought of writing a blog scares me to death the words “consider it is a platform for your business” continue ringing in my ears. “Everything from current projects, industry trends, inspiration, products and more can be posted, discussed and brought to life as a blogger. So to be on honest, as scary as this sounds to me, I’m taking the plunge and doing what I said I would never do…BLOG. I hope to offer relative, insightful, light hearted, fun and creative professional design love coming from the heart of someone who loves what they do – and do only by the faith of my family, the Lord and my passion for interior design and health and well being. Because, believe me, it’s not an easy job, but someone has to do it! 😉
Well, my name is Shannon Larson and I am turning “50” this year! (just thought I’d get that one out into the open) I grew up in a small agricultural community in South Central North Dakota (aka the prairies). My dad was a restaurant owner with huge arcade, which became the local teen hangout in the 70’s and 80’s. And my beautiful mom was a beautician and a dental assistant. Both were and still are extremely hardworking. Work ethic was everything to our little community. Growing up in restaurants seemed to be the thing for my brother and I as my paternal grandmother started the family restaurant trend and owned a café as well in a neighboring town about 16 miles to the north of us along Highway 83. Might I mention both sides of my family were amazing cooks, hence my passion for good food as well.
Now living in Colorado with my husband of 26 years and my four beautiful children, growing up in ND still remains a part of me. We worked (and played) hard, (my girlfriends will attest to that), we packed a lunch and hiked the bluffs East of our homes ALL DAY, went to the pool ALL DAY, played school, played beauty shop, business’s and schools closed as we got socked into our homes on “snow days” which led to 3 days binge games of Monopoly and I would redecorate my bedroom every chance I got. Who does that! This obsession started in the third grade. I chalk that one up to reading all the Architectural Digest magazines my grandmother had on her café media wall – a media wall to the world of interior design, fashion, news and cooking. My interest and love for design continued in high school as I doodled and sketched prom dress designs – one of which an aunt sewed for me for my Junior Prom. Aside from prom dresses, I enjoyed demoing my bedroom…at 3 am…so I could order what I believed to be the first ever closet organization system from…wait for it…JCPENNY! The year was 1986 and my new closet organizer was awesome! My entire bedroom wall was covered in wire organizational ensemble.
So, one would have imagined after all this, I would have made my way to interior design school upon graduating high school? After much consideration, and without adding boring details, I ended up with a dental hygiene degree instead. And, I actually have no regrets. That job got my husband and I through his last year of nursing school and three years of Masters of Nursing School and afforded me an amazing 10 year journey of professional experience, relationships and a wealth of knowledge in developing relationships with clients – most with an anxiety or fear being in a dental office chair. After settling into our new home and his job in Minneapolis, and having my two older daughters (Audrey and Alise) I decided to take the plunge and apply to Interior Design school. I had taken several art classes and more general education courses part time in my early 30’s to be able to dive right into the Interior Design program. I landed my dream job at a residential interior design firm in Minneapolis owned by Principle Designer, Mary Jane Pappas. And for the short amount of time I was there (I got pregnant with twins), she inspired me and continues to be the inspiration for how I would write my professional story and path for interior design. I am forever grateful.
Family and Faith are always first. My daughter Audrey is 21 and has 3 semesters left of Interior Design + Architecture school. Yay me! I secretly hope that we work together some day, but my ultimate goal is for her and my other children to fulfill THEIR dreams. Alise is 17, a senior in high school, and sings like an angel! Another graduation coming up in 2020! That has a ring, doesn’t it? Mathew and Amelia are our 12-year-old twins. Let’s just say they are 12. But really, they couldn’t be any more different and I love that about them! My husband is my rock and biggest fan and I love him more now than the day I married him. He has carried us through the seasons of our lives together.
I love designing (obviously) and I love travel, exploration, doors (don’t laugh) gathering with friends and family and cooking. I always look forward to family movie nights and date night with my hubby. Other things that bring me joy are gardening, running, hiking, reading and quiet time. Christmas is my favorite holiday, hands down.
Larson Design Employees:
In addition to myself, I want to introduce my daughter Audrey. She is an interior design and architect student and has been working part – time for me this summer. It has been a complete joy to have her on my team. She works hard, is organized and creative, great to brainstorm ideas with and focused when she comes to work. Some fun facts about Audrey: she’s quirky, a natural beauty – inside and out, an amazing artist, has amazing penmanship, has a joyful heart, and an infectious smile. She is also crazy about travel and speaks fluent Italian via living in Milan, Italy for one year after graduating high school and before entering college.
Business Today + Future:
Business is flourishing and keeping me as busy as I want to be at this point, especially with having three school age children currently at home with us. I have a home office / studio – which can be a challenge but also for which I am grateful. Obtaining a cozy studio + retail location in the future is still a dream as I continue brainstorming ideas for what that could be. Time, energy and clientele will guide me in this endeavor. I enjoy projects of all types; new construction, remodels, one room, entire home space planning, furniture plans, specifying furnishings and accessories, kitchen and laundry room design and custom window treatment designs to name a few. I’ve also obtained wonderful interior design trade resources and talented trades people that offer amazing support and customer service. Lastly, I am advocate of growing and learning in the profession of interior design. Professional memberships to ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and the IIDA (International Interior Design Society) keep me connected and updated with material and building industry standards, new materials and applications, continued education opportunities, business practice standards and so much more. I’ve also recently obtained my professional license (CIDQ) for interior design. It is a National Certification for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) that many states are now requiring educated designers to obtain to practice the profession of interior design. (similar to doctors, lawyers, nurses, etc.) More discussion on this topic is another blog, another day. In a nutshell, the “all-nighters” in school to meet a project deadlines became relevant very quickly upon becoming an interior designer and business owner.
So, here I am. My first blog is way too long but hey, now you know who I am, a bit of where I’ve come from and where I may go professionally. And should I be lucky, you’ll maybe be a part of that journey with me. My goal is to connect you at least bi-monthly with meaningful and beautiful interior design, current project updates, design tips and trends, design conversation, and much more through this blog.
Watch for more fun to come as we grow and spread our love for design and well-being!
I hope everyone had a great July Fourth this year! God Bless America and our USA Women’s World Soccer champions! Love with all your heart, choose to be happy and keep kindness at the forefront of your life. This too, is a part of designing your life and your home.
All My Best,