14 Oct Jen Bedford-Studio B Interior Design
Episode #11: Welcome to the She Builds Show, I’m your host, Stefanie Olson and for the month of October, we are focusing on interior designers, and today I have a special guest, Jen Bedford of Studio B in Chico, CA. Jen focuses deeply on the way her clients live-in and use their homes to design highly functional and beautiful spaces as unique as the families that live in them. Studio B. approaches interior design from both an architectural and construction perspective. Perfecting and balancing the floor plan in the early phases of each project is the key to her success.
Listen in as we discuss how Jen got started in Interior Design, her passions, her struggles and juggling her work life with her life as a wife and mom.
Ready? Let’s go…
• I was walking through the art department on my way to some random general ed class, and I passed by the interior design department and I saw floor plans and I was like, Oh my God! I remember the moment that I stopped and I looked in the cases and I was just like, Who gets to do this? I actually ended up asking someone in the hall and they were like, Oh, the interior design department, you should go check it out. I did, and I found out that inter-design was more than just couches and pillows and paint, which is kinda stupidly what I had thought, and so I jumped in with both feet and that’s what I majored in in 2007, way back in 2007. Getting hired by the design firm here in Chico that I did my internship with. And it was amazing, we were working on the Feather Falls Casino hotel, so I got to do a lot of space planning, and it was great. (02:09)
• By the time we were actually in it, and so I started taking drafting classes at night. I graduated from design school, everything was by hand. So I’d put the kids to bed, and then I would take classes, just so that I could draw our own plans for this house, because I couldn’t get anybody to do it. And I started taking it into Ellis to get printed as they were going into the city and we had a couple of revisions and the really nice lady Barb at Ellis, she’s become such a good friend, she’s like, How are you getting these plans turned around so fast? Everybody’s so backed up, who’s doing this for you? And I was like, Oh, I’m drawing my own plans, and she’s like Okay, You’re doing your own plans? I need your business card. And I was like, I don’t have a business card. I’m just saving this for me, and she’s like, Well, you know that we’re in the middle of a crisis and there’s not enough draft people and architects, and if you can do this, it’s your responsibility to put it out there. (06:26)
• I’m actually split 50-50. So I have about half of my clients came to me because they want to remodel their house, they don’t know they need an architect, an engineer or designer, and they just want me to take it from start to finish. And the other half are clients that already have had plans drawn by an architect, and they’re not sure if they function well or if they even like them, or what they’re going to look like when we pop them up into 3D. I’m spending the other half of my time redlining architectural plan sets and then actually putting in furniture pieces and showing them like, Okay, you think This is big enough for your fireplace, your couch, your table, then you’re dining room? but if it’s not, then we have to adjust some things. (11:27)
• I’m trying to give myself a little bit of a break that I can have it all, but not at the same time. So the days that I am filling it as a Mom, I’m probably not going to get everything that I had on my calendar for work done, and then on the days that I am really doing an amazing job at my job are probably the days that the kids are with my nanny from 8 to 5. And I’ve had to just… I had a lot of guilt about that over this last year, but at the same time, my kids are five and six, and it’s so crazy to hear them talk about Mommy builds houses, like Mommy designs houses. And my son’s really intp Legos right now, and he’ll come out and he’ll have built a house, and he’s just like, I buildt a house like you build houses. Okay, so I am taking time away from them, but I’m also hopefully inspiring them that they can do whatever they wanted to do. (20:17)
• My business has really, really been cranking for one year, so I was in like a year and a half, but it’s really been going for a year, so I’ve really been looking at my projects and having to take a serious look at which ones was the most successful at which could I provide the greatest help, I guess, to the projects which were worth the investment for the homeowners and worth it for me. And so I think possibly over the next year, for me trying to figure out, do I only take projects that are a kitchen or more than one room, pool houses, do I only take projects that really are not already in the remodel… So right now, I have some clients that they had started the remodel and they thought that they could do it on their own, and then it’s so hard and there’s so many moving parts, and so then I’ve jumped in and tried to piece it all together from a project that was already started, and so maybe having more boundaries about not taking projects like that so that I can schedule myself out better and people feel more successful, I think is kind of the direction that my business is going, and I think it’ll always be fluid because right now, building and renovations are going crazy, especially in our area, and so it looks like I’ll have the luxury of being able to topic and choose, but then also just trying to keep my mind open that it might not always be like this. (24:57)
ABOUT JEN BEDFORD:
Jen Bedford is the owner, and principal designer at Studio B. Interior Design. The firm located in Chico, CA specializes in spatial-planning for new builds and renovations alike. With projects all across the state her services can be utilized in-person and also through a detailed E-design process. Jen focuses deeply on the way her clients live-in and use their homes to design highly functional and beautiful spaces as unique as the families that live in them.
Studio B. approaches interior design from both an architectural and construction perspective. Perfecting and balancing the floor plan in the early phases of each project is the key to her success. The selection of hard and soft finishes comes second in her design process and ensures a beautiful and proportional project outcome. With a Bachelor’s Degree from Chico State in Interior Design, architectural plan set evaluations and kitchen/ bathroom renovations are her specialty.
Jen is a Chico native and former owner and creative director of A Bit Unruly women’s boutique. She lives on a small farm just outside the city limits with her husband Phil and two kids Juniper and River.
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