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Look Who’s The Fabulous Friend on Friday!!!

It’s Friday…Time to introduce you to another one of 
My Fabulous Friends!!!!
Meet Daniela Shuffler of Aesthetic Oiseau !
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My fabulous friend lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband Carter.  She started  Aesthetic Oiseauin September of 2009.  If you aren’t familiar with her blog, you must pop over and visit!  I am sure it will become a daily read once you do!  Named one of D.C’s best blogs by the Washingtonian, Aesthetic Oiseau is a blend of  DIY projects, great resources, inspiration and an occasional peek at Daniela’s own home’s renovations.   I have been reading her blog so long, I feel like I know all about Daniela, but  I didn’t meet her until the Blogfest 2012 kick off party at the  the Kips Bay Show House in April of this year.  We bumped into each other in one of the rooms and I immediately recognized her beautiful face!   After introductions, I told her how much I enjoyed reading her blog.  It was no surprise, that she was as charming in person, as she seems on her blog!  As we were chatted she mentioned her “husband” and I said you mean “Carter” which brought laughter!  She said, “oh yeah, I forgot you read my blog!”   At that initial meeting I realized we were kindred spirits.  There were many  fun days in New York in groups talking about blogging, life and everything in between.   As we were leaving the Kravetshowroom,where we were treated to a sumptuous lunch, some of the us picked up Traditional Homes Magazines on the way out the door.  I handed one Daniela’s way to which she responded, “oh, I don’tneed one, as Carter’s Grandmother would say I already “take” that magazine.  Carter ‘s Grandmother is from Charleston,SC, so she is a southern woman like me!  I couldn’t help but laugh.  It never occurred to me that “taking” a magazine sounded odd, because where I grew up, everyone “took” magazines!  We all laughed and I added a  little “bless her heart” for “good measure” as we departed for our next adventure!  I will always treasure that trip to New York, because I have met so many wonderful people thru blogging like Daniela.  Looking back on our trip to New York, It’s only natural that I would choose Daniela to be one of my Fabulous Friends on Friday, because she was one of the people that I had anticipated meeting on my trip! 
  Learn more about the cutie behind Aesthetic Oiseau in the interview  below: 

1) Tell me a little about yourself, Daniela.  What secret would you like people to know about you?There is so much to tell! But I do have a juicy secret…I’m pregnant! Due December 18th and my most interesting project at the moment. (p.s. I’m announcing this on the blog tomorrow morning, so hush hush till then)
2) What was your first job? I studied communications in grad school so my first job was for a journalists’ membership association in DC doing PR and communications. It was a great first job because it exposed me to web design and graphic design, which has led me to my fabulous job today.

3) What prompted you to start your blog?  Also, how did you choose the name of your blog? As all bloggers can say, I’m design obsessed and constantly have ideas/wish lists/projects going either in real life or in my head. Carter and I had just purchased our home and leading up to the purchase I was completely immersed in design blogs for inspiration. Once we actuallymoved in, I realized that a blog would be the perfect place to catalog ideas for myself as well as show off the house progress (we did lots of renovation) to friends and family. And since I’m a web designer, working in an online medium was completely comfortable and the natural place to put my thoughts. Actually starting the blog was an impulse one night while I watched TV, which also explains my very impulsive, nonsensical blog name. “Aesthetic Oiseau” just seemed to roll of the tongue that evening.  Didn’t realize that most people don’t know how to pronounce or spell it – oh well! 

4) Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start a blog? You absolutely, 100% MUST be passionate about your subject. It’s the Golden Rule. Those without passion lose steam. You have to have enough material going in on your brain to keep a blog running and to enjoy doing it. If not, you start recycling materials others are putting out there and you lose your voice. I also think that you are doomed for failure if you constantly compare yourself to others or other blogs. Blogs are about you and your own voice, so once the comparisons start it can lead you down a tricky road that can make your blog become a chore. Be passionate and unique!!

5) Has it been more work than you thought? It hasn’t really been more work because I haven’t let it turn into more work. In a way, I wish I dedicated more time to it because I think I could really turn it into something “big” (relatively speaking for me). But, I also think that putting more effort into it may cause me to start dreading it a bit. Right now, it’s a perfect commitment for me. I really enjoy writing my short posts every day and it has brought me lots of wonderful opportunities and I’ve met great people so I feel like my work is paying off in ways that make me happy.
6) You work in graphic design, how does that relate to interior design? 

Oh man, my worlds are CONSTANTLY intertwined. I am so incredibly lucky that literally from the moment I wake to the moment I go to sleep, my world is full of design! I can’t get enough so it works for me. I always see things in interior design that I like to incorporate into my graphics, or vice versa. My day job is a wee bit different because I work a lot in User Interface design, which is just a fancy way of saying functional web design, but I still translate everything I do into a visual experience both at home, with clients, and at work. 

 6) Do you think design is an art or a science? Design is an art for me – it comes from within and I never have a formula.

 7) What inspires you? Fabric! In terms of interior design, that is always where I start. A fabric can get my mind racing with a million ideas – it’s a great feeling. I also get really inspired by shopping…seeing things in person, seeing their colors, seeing their scale…always whips up ideas in my head for blog posts, for rooms, for party themes. My favorite shops are vintage and consignment shops.

8) You are renovating your first home, what has been your biggest obstacle?
 Inexperience has been my biggest obstacle! Like when I had to choose
our floor stain, having never done it before.  We chose the wrong one, 
which prompted a messy cry and Carter calling the flooring guy requesting
for him to do the impossible – we still have that stain in our home.
  9) What have you found most rewarding?  I absolutely love our home, because we’ve created it with our own hands and to our style, but I think there are so many “mistakes” I made just because I didn’t know what I was doing. Nothing major…but now having a little experience, I would jazz up some areas. Having said that, I’m pretty impressed with what we’ve accomplished having been first-timers…and I owe most of that to Carter because he makes all of my visions come to life.  
10) What does your typical day look like? We get up pretty early in our house – Carter likes to be in the office by 7:30. I have a 50 minute commute (sad face) so I’m usually in the car by 7:15 or so to be at the office as close to 8 as possible. I work for a tech start-up called and I love it! I’m a web designer, so my day consists of various graphic projects for the website…I essentially work in Photoshop and Illustrator all day. I’m usually wrapping up around 5 and am home by 6.  Once I’m home, I cook dinner for myself and Carter and we usually try to eat dinner together and catch a little TV. After dinner, I tend to jump on my computer and snoop around my favorite sites
and write blog posts or work on freelance web design or interior design 


projects. I’m in bed by 10 or so ready to do it all again the next day 🙂 

11) If you could invite 3 people to dinner who would you invite? My grandmother and my aunt – both deceased and boy would I love one more dinner with them. And my sister can tag along too.

12) If you had an unlimited budget, what you go out a buy? Probably a dream home and have it renovated (b/c it would be old) from top to bottom exactly how I want it and I would hire all of the work out!  I would use all of the Schumacher, Brunschwig and Quadrille fabrics and wallpaper I want! I would also hire a stylist and have a total wardrobe revamp because I’m really sick of my clothes these days.

13) Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? I would really love to be working for myself in my own creative studio offering design in my favorite formats – web, graphic and interiors. That would be at total  dream and it would be even better if it was a family business that Carter was involved in as well. He’s so great at home renovation – I’d love to see him pursue that and dovetail it with my love of interior design. Our family will likely be complete by then, so I also want the freedom of owning my own business in order to enjoy my time with my kids, my family, and my friends as much as possible. Maybe I’ll own a shop –that’s a possibility too!
Now you know why she is a Fabulous Friend!

                     Thank You Daniela for taking time

 to answer all my questions!

                  I can’t wait til December to meet your  

                                fabulous little bundle!

Readers don’t forget to pop over 
and visit Aesthetic Oiseau!
Follow Daniela on Pinterest  and 
please go “like” her on Facebook
I can promise you will fall in love with her too!
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