Thursday, August 20, 2015

The 19%

Well hello there,

I was inspired to start this blog for many reasons. Let me explain...
Design has always been a huge part of my life. I have been surrounded by it for as long as I can remember.

I remember as a school girl in the 4th grade getting in trouble in class because I was drawing out floor plans of my so called “dream home” in the back of my old fashioned composition notebook with a black sharpie marker. I had rooms designated for the dumbest things. Rooms called the “Fluff Room” filled with the giant stuffed animals you can win at the county fair covered from floor to ceiling. Complete with a 12 foot long trampoline with endless foam pits, funnel cakes, and Shirley temple soda. There was a room called the “Splash Room” with 7 foot deep pools with millions of diving boards, slides, and the gigantic mushroom that sprayed water off the top that dripped down on the side. There were rooms called “The Doll Room” full of dolls, “The Pretty Room” full of makeup, “The Jungle Room” full of the kind of animals you only see in The Jungle Book movie classic. You catch my drift. Sometimes I think my 10-year-old imagination was better then than it is now. Lets just go back in time, right?

When I was 13 I thought I was literally the coolest kid on the block. I would take used cardboard boxes, flip them over, throw a blanket on top of it, and use it as a bedside table. I would put scarves or pillowcases over my bedside lamp to make the light glow pink. I would sit on the front step of my house with a blank piece of paper and sketch out the neighbor’s house as best I could and would give it to them as a gift. Pencil smudges, eraser marks, and all its beauty. This happened multiple times. Each time a litttttle better than the time before. (Told you I was cool.)

I would beg and beg my parents to let me nail my super dumb Hilary Duff calendar pictures on the wall, or beg them to let me rearrange my bedroom. (It never worked) I would do stuff like sneaking away from my mom whenever we went to Target. I would disappear and she would find me an hour later searching through the home improvement aisles touching everything in sight. My childhood bedroom had little midget doors that lead into random attic spaces. I would make them my little clubhouse and lay out quilts and pillows and bring in extra lamps that my mom had. Laundry baskets flipped on their side to act as a TV stands with storage beneath it. Again- you get it. I was a child design prodigy.

As I approached my high school years, other people started to become super influential in my design-encompassed-life.

Growing up in Franklin Tennessee, my Dad always had a knack for turning old things to new. He was always searching craigslist for the one of a kind piece that he can take into his wood shop, sand down, re-stain, and turn into a beautiful piece of furniture. My parents were always about the entertaining. People would come over and die over his latest completed project. He spent a lot of time designing wristwatches for the most recent and debatable presidential campaigns. I remember him sketching out his newest concept on a napkin at Denny’s, which later was framed and put in his home office because of the success that it brought him. It was always something I admired.

My grandmother. Grandma Gussie. Man- that woman has impeccable taste. You should see her past homes, yachts, luxury condos and beach houses. Let me be the first to say. The woman knows what she’s doing. I knew my dad got it from someone. She has designed some of the most beautiful interiors. Her homes have been published in seriously respected magazines and websites. Seriously- amazing. I have really grown to admire and appreciate her design aesthetic and eye.

My mother. Momma Cram. Now Momma Cram knows a lot. You know when people say that moms know everything? Believe them. It’s true. My mom is the party-planning QUEEN. She is unreal. She has always been the ringleader of my church activity-decorating committees. She throws the dopest bridal showers, graduation parties, engagement parties- you name it. It kind of a joke, actually. Everyone comes to her for advice. Advice on how to do something under a budget. She’s really good at that. Budgeting for parties. Yeah- that gene skipped a generation. Oops.

Now…back to my reasons.

My senior year of High School I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I loved art. And I knew I loved creating it. I always excelled in my art and music classes. Not so much math and science (yikes). My art teachers growing up would always tell me how talented I was and that I better pursue that talent outside of my teenage, adolescent years because I had that so-called “raw” talent. I won multiple awards in the school art show with people telling me how good I was.

I guess I never really understood that there was a way to do what I loved as a real life career. It took me going on a simple college visit to Utah State University to really see that it was possible. I went on a tour of campus and they took me into the interior design office and studios. It was love at first sight. The place was a dream. The fabrics, the paint on the walls, the carpet tiles, the magazine collections, the drafting boards, the paper models, the foam core covering the ground, the smell of rendering markers, the sketch books. Everything about it. I wanted it. I needed it.

I craved it. And I was going to find out how to have it.

3 years later and here I am today. 3 years down and one more to go in one of the hardest and most competitive programs at Utah State. I was a part of the 19% of students that applied their freshman year. I survived 2 cuts. I completed my dream internship at one of the most respected and well-known interior designers in the world- Kelly Wearstler in Los Angeles, CA. I was able to meet and in a way “work” for one of Architectural Digest’s top 100 most influential designers, Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and present my design to him in front of all my classmates and professor. I worked for one of my favorite residential firms in Salt Lake City, Alice Lane. Everyday I was going into work and leaving work with the biggest smile on my face because I was utterly obsessed with their work.

I see these people I have worked with change lives. I see them make people’s dreams a reality. I see them take something that has been cooking up in their head and make it something you can actually feel, smell, see, and appreciate. Something that not many people can pull off. It took me meeting and working with someone like Kelly, Gussie, my Dad, Benjamin, my Mom, and the team at AL to see this for myself. There is no right or wrong in design. And that is why I love it.

I had this idea in my head ever since I was little. I wanted to design things that didn’t exist. A dream. I want to make other people’s so-called “dream” come true. I want to build peoples “Fluff Room” and “Splash Room”. I want kids to have bedrooms covered in pictures of Hilary Duff. *This is What Dreams Are Made Of* I want them to learn that a cardboard box does more than just store old photographs and cassettes. I want to create beautiful kitchens that moms can teach their daughters how to cook and make sugar cookies for Santa. I want to create a backyard playground where a father teaches his son how to play baseball. I want to design a closet for that shopaholic that has way too many pairs of shoes she doesn’t know what to do with them. (Girl after my own heart). I want to tear apart that airstream that is sitting in the backyard collecting rust and make it into a guest cottage for the occasional houseguest.

I guess at the end of the day I just want people to be surrounded by beauty. I want people to live in beautiful places and appreciate it. I want them to love what they come home to at the end of the long day.

This is what I love. This is who I am.

Sam Cram I Am