Welcome to Life of Riley Design Studio, to my sliver of the universe. I'm Jennifer. I will share about Interior Design, Architecture, Antiques, History, Food, Traveling, my life, my passions, what intrigues me. We'll go everywhere...
I'm scared, excited, and enthralled by the process of bringing you into my world, my vision. I have to admit, I'm suffering from a bit of perfectionism, but I'm doing it; I've put this off many times.
I'm 43 years old, currently single (begrudgingly...lol) and reimagining my life. Let's track back to January in 2009. I decided to go to school for Interior Design and pursue a new career at 34. I went full-time, and it was a grueling 3 year process. I was so into it, deep into it, and that was my life. I was raring to take on the world. I wanted a joyful, artistic career and was fiscally beneficial one, too; design was a no brainer. I opened an Antique store in 2003, but it's a difficult field to make a living.
In the middle of the program, my health took a major detour. I had my first of three shoulder surgeries, in a five year time span. Needless to say, recovery from the surgery, while in school, is crazy looking back on it. I carted design supplies in one hand, and had my other in a sling (for six weeks)I don't know what I was thinking?!!! And, my surgeries were on my writing hand (right-hand). I should've taken the semester off.
My second surgery occurred right after finishing the design program...literally two weeks after I graduated. I was finishing up difficult projects while dealing with chronic pain, going to the Doctor, and trying physical therapy before making the tough choice for a second surgery. But, I had the second surgery and all seemed to be going well until... I had another major health issue with my SI Joint. It's a long story, but suffice it to say, I had intense medical intervention, and it was a 3 year recovery; much worse pain than my shoulder surgeries.
Life was calming down (summer 2015), but then I started having shoulder pain again. By end of August, I knew I needed a third shoulder surgery. I was devastated, but I'd say more tired than anything else... literally, physically drained. Chronic pain definitely dulls the shine in your spirit/life. But, I had unknowingly created a strength within that was formidable.
All of this leads me to here and now (end of 2017/beginning 2018)...
While recovering from my third shoulder surgery, I found Instagram and a dream was born! Instagram provided a lot of solace and visual pleasure/distraction when I needed it most! Prior, I didn't use Instagram much and didn't know much about it prior to Fall 2016. I had a personal account, posted here and there, and enjoyed family and friends posts.
Then, I noticed people had businesses, and voila, I listed a Fiber Art pillow in February 2016, and Judy from @atlantishome (one of my favorite accounts) bought it! I had been following her, and when I saw Sold in my comments section, I was shouting and freaking out. I was hooked!
Since then, I've found skincare, a purse, bed linens, kitchen items, been turned on to Collagen, fat balls, food recipes, keto coffee and so much more on Instagram. I love supporting other businesses. I love the creativity and the people I follow.
Most importantly, Instagram lifted me up in a really hard time in my life, a time when I didn't know whether I'd ever be pain free and be healthy again. Instagram lets us express ourselves, build friendships, build our businesses... I can't imagine a better platform. I think Instagram exploded, for the better, when videos and stories came in. It made all "my people" even better than what I had known and seen through just posts.
Like two weeks ago, I went to a day seminar on Self-Care by @danikabrysha. In a few week I'm going to a second class about body image. She fabulous by the way, you should follow her.
I didn't really know it at the time, but I guess that last surgery propelled me to where I am now. I meandered for two years, not giving it my all, but now is the time! I am closing in on a 1,000 followers, and I have so many goals, thoughts, dreams and notions to birth into the world.
2018 is going to be a year of growth for me! Multiple design clients, selling beautiful Oriental/Persian rugs (another long term goal, and new obsession), and refining and building my Instagram following; of course for the ability to meet and interact with all of you, not just the glory of having 20,000 followers. There's more I'm dreaming, but I'll reveal that in down the line. Right now, I tell myself, "Baby steps, Jennifer...baby steps". This first blog is a meaningful step!
We are in month two of this beautiful new year and I am ready for it! This blog and Instagram is our connection. I want you to know me, like me, and trust me. All relationships begin with trust, and I can't wait to interact with all of you more.
I'm manifesting my dreams. My dream is to design beautiful homes, one step at a time, whether it be a consult for paint choices, which by the way is very tricky and art form in itself. Or, mock up a furniture plan, in person or online. Or, help you figure out your style through video conferencing. Or, hand select personalized art for you.
I hope you see in my Account, my deep, and boundless love for antiques. I hope to help you select antiques or even items from HomeGoods, if that is your style, or just get you thinking about them. Antiques are a unique addition to your home, and think about it, you're saving the planet, too. Also, antiques are more affordable than new furniture and accessories (most of the time).
Thanks for reading and learning about me. Down the line, I'll be talking about my long term goals for my Design firm and Instagram. I am shooting for 4 posts a month, possibly more. So, be on the lookout. Happy Valentine's Day, xoxo Jennifer
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