When you hire Smid to design your space be prepared to give up creative control.
You might feel compelled to tell her what you envisioned for the space or show her pictures of what you really love or talk to her about a style that you’re drawn to but in my experience it’s much more effective to let her lead you.

In fact, the perfect scenario is to give her total control of your project; let her direct the whole thing from demolition to selecting the accessories and you won’t regret it. Just ask Rachael Lunghi, of Siren Floral Co. Rachael and her mom knew they wanted Smid to design their AirBnb mountain getaway before they even bought it. When they had narrowed their search down to two properties, Rachael sent pictures to Smid asking her which cabin had the best bones. Smart girl.

What Rachael knows about letting go of creative control comes from her own experience as a creative. As a floral designer she will tell you that her best designs are born when her client gives her full reign and encourages her to follow her heart’s desire.

“I wish that all my clients would relinquish control,” Rachael admitted during our interview. Giving Smid total control felt right for Rachael. “I knew her process, and I know that Betsy needs to experience things. I went into it knowing that I wouldn’t have any control. When we hired Betsy I really just wanted her to do her thing. And I knew she would check in with me.”

A Smid. design is a one-of-a-kind, custom design and Smid takes it very personally. She’s not just designing a space, she’s creating your interior portrait. “She wanted to know what vibe I was after,” Rachael explained. “I told her I wanted it to feel cozy without being cheesey.”

After confirming a few details, Smid knew exactly how she would create Rachael’s interior portrait at The Bear Bitch Manor. Rachael and Smid have known each other for over six years but it doesn’t take Smid long to see inside of a client she’s just met. She’s an astute observer and a keen interviewer that knows how to get the information she’s after. She’s even better at ascertaining what’s really going to work for you in terms of your environment. Once Smid has seen your space and asked enough questions, she’s ready to create a design that is uniquely tailored TO you and FOR you.

What was the worst part of not having control? Rachael laughed, “Helping my mom let go of control!” Rachael’s mom, Ginni has lots of experience in real estate and renovations so it was an uncomfortable feeling for her to NOT handle things. Rachael was committed to giving Smid total control, “My whole job was to convince my Mamma to completely let go and trust.”

“It was so hard for me to see the pieces. I wish I hadn’t seen any of them, “ Rachael told me when I asked her what it was like seeing sneak peeks of the cabin. “I was told about a velvet couch and I got worried when I saw the actual couch that Betsy had chosen because I had an expectation for something different. I would rather have known nothing.”

To show or not to show; inviting a client into the process has its challenges. Perhaps sneak peeks aren’t such a good idea. We’re learning.

When I asked Smid about the couch she explained, “I normally don’t brainstorm design concepts with clients but because the cabin would be so closely tied to Siren Floral Co’s brand I wanted to brainstorm some high level ideas with Rachael. I really wanted worn denim in the mix and I envisioned a tufted velvet couch. I had this scrap of vintage mohair velvet on the design board that Rachael fell in love with. It was the perfect denimy blue. When I found the pale rider couch I assumed I would recover it but I couldn’t find the perfect blue velvet. We found a blue that was close but I still couldn’t pull the trigger. My gut was screaming DON’T DO IT! I’m not kidding. I literally had nightmares about the couch looking like a giant smurf. Despite being stumped on the couch we continued to buy all the pieces for the living room and then we found THE RUG. And at that moment the fate of the blue velvet couch was sealed. It was like the clouds parted and I knew, the pale rider was perfect exactly as it was.”

“What was the best part of not having control?” I asked Rachael.

“The surprise of seeing the finished product,” Rachael answered with a grin. “I love surprises. It felt like Christmas morning! When I walked in I was overwhelmed with emotions. I walked in and it felt like ME and I had nothing to do with it.

I felt seen.

It was like the best gift. When I work with creatives I always want to give him or her the space to do their best work. It was so special to trust Betsy and watch her do her thing. I wanted her to do all of it. And every detail is so thoughtful.”

by superchris

photos ashley kelemen


photo Feather Love Photo

Can we talk about the White Cane Couch? It’s dropping into the Smidshop today and I think Smid is heartbroken.

She doesn’t want to sell the couch but she needs to sell the couch but she doesn’t want to sell the couch but she needs to sell the couch but she doesn’t want to sell the couch but she needs to sell the couch.

The White Cane Couch was the anchor for the launch of Smid. It was elegant and sexy and casual and just masculine enough to be the ONE. Once placed in her living room that couch encouraged Smid to choose those cheeky ram heads (named after the contractors Tom and Kelly) and paint the walls dark and paint her childhood bed frame yellow. The White Cane Couch moved her. So much. That it felt like her brand. She didn’t care that the seat cushions had suffered little brownish stains from the fabric covered buttons, or that the legs were a little chipped and some of the cane was torn; all of its faults were charming to Smid. The elegant old piece needed a bit of shabbiness to properly represent Smid values; it’s a certain story telling kind of character that is so SO southern and so SO Smid.

The White Cane Couch whispered a story to Smid that was pure interior obsession. It was perfect. But now its not quite right for the space and Smid knows it. Ya know when you know but you don’t want to let go? That’s where she’s at. It’s a breakup and it aint easy.

The good news is, the White Cane Couch can be YOURS 🙂

AND… letting go of the White Cane Couch makes room for what’s next!

I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see what Smid does with it.

Go checkout Smidshop for more details.


superchris cleary



I’m a reformed hoarder. Well, maybe. Lets talk. I’m Superchris and I just really really love old stuff. I love finding it and buying it and playing with it and arranging it and experimenting with it. I love clothes and shoes and chairs and bowls and fabric and paper and baskets and 80’s oak office furniture (I know, I’m weird.) I love photography and polaroids and wood and dried flowers and scissors and art books and old cameras and crazy paintings. You should see all my suitcases. and trays. and blankets. and hats. and mirrors. I’m a freak for mirrors. You see where I’m going here? I have a great love for a great many things and when I met Betsy Ginn I was surrounded – ahem, drowning – in all my stuff.

I joined team Smid in January 2016 as her design assistant and I told betsy that I wanted her to redesign every room in my house. Consider it your canvas I said. She began by helping me get minimal. And as I watched her work her interior magic for our clients I was inspired to let go. Two years later the letting go continues and its a struggle but it’s getting easier! Let me state for the record: I have let go of truckloads and I have NO REGRETS.

Betsy wanted to do my office first. GENIUS. What better way to focus a creative hoarder? I had already ripped out the carpet and had fallen in love with the floor; the brown overspray, the neon orange construction hieroglyphics and the divots left behind from pulling up the carpet just made me happy. When betsy saw the floor and loved it I knew I was in the right place at the right time with the right designer. My office aka the Lab (insert maniacal scientist laugh here) was crammed full of stuff and I agreed to move everything out and be open to letting go of anything that didn’t line up with the design. That was pretty scary.

When betsy presented the design board for the Lab I cried. I mean it. I cried. Somehow betsy had found the essential me among all my stuff. I’d like to think I’m special but I’ve seen her do it with every client. Betsy wants to know: what do YOU love? She’s not asking about an interior trend that you love. She’s asking about the essential you. What are you passionate about and why? It’s really important to her creative process that she understands what you love. Once she understands you she can create something beautiful and meaningful and unique for YOU.

When I started to write this piece I intended on keeping it short but I want you to understand her genius and how she creates so I’m gonna break it down a little. Let’s talk about the dried flower wall. Betsy Ginn is NOT a fan of dried flowers. To this day she calls them dead flowers. Despite this, she found a way to interpret my passion for dead flowers that was sexy and cool and artsy AF. She noticed that I had dried bunches of flowers all over my house. Collect all your dead flowers and lets do something fun with them she said. So I piled them all in a giant basket and after some processing she wanted to hang them (when betsy sits silent in consideration I call this processing. You should see her do it at a flea market. Some vendors will drop their price because they think her silence means she doesn’t want the the piece but in truth she is just way up in her design head thinking.) If we hang them, she explained, you can continue to dry and collect them and this wall will evolve. She did the same thing with my fabric. When I saw that wall of fabric I thought woah that looks like my personal wallpaper. I also thought WOAH I can collect more fabric and I have a place to display it!) My collection of fabric, that’s literally nothing more than old jeans and t-shirts and mens flannels and plaids and velvet i’ve ripped off old sofas, etc. etc., was stashed away in suitcases and trunks and dressers because I was a little embarrassed that I even had it. She told me to unearth every scrap of fabric and start folding. She designed the floor to ceiling shelves and then artfully arranged my folded fabrics. Voila! My shabby collection of scraps looked fresh and interesting and fun. She envisioned the wooden ladder in my space before she even knew I had a collection of ladders (yes i collect ladders.) mind blown. for reals. I could go on and on. The chandelier is a story in itself. and the red tool boxes that she hung on the wall. and the wedding dress and the donkey king mask. and the creepy head. and my baskets. and the disco ball … i begged her for the disco ball. But I digress.

What I want to communicate here before you stop reading (and if you are still reading bless you and thank you. You’re the best) is that an interior designed by Smid is totally personal. and it’s also totally Smid. When you ask Betsy to design for you she will figure out what you love, send it through her artistic filter and deliver an interior portrait of the essential you that will make you weep. When you’re done weeping and you start living in your new space you will find that your Smid interior makes sense and functions well and comforts and inspires you. If you trust her vision and are open to letting go, the process itself has the potential to redefine you. I know that’s a bold statement but I can say it because I’ve experienced it. and the experience continues. Every time I go into the Lab I SWOON. Every single time. Like, swoon in a vintage ball gown and glittering Manolo Blahnik stilettos. Seriously. And THAT is just. so. SO. Smid.

by superchris

photos by nicole moser