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Greyhouse Design Co

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

After years of designing and remodeling for ourselves, Brendan and I have decided to take a big leap of faith and launch our own interior design and renovation company. We are thrilled to present Greyhouse Design Co!


So how did we get here? Well it's been a wild 9 months (or 7+ years depending on how you look at it). The short story is: this wasn't the original plan. But life never really sticks to the original plan, does it? And we are so grateful ours didn't! Here's the cliff-notes version:


In June 2021 we decided Brendan would leave his W2 job so we could pursue flipping houses. The original plan was for me to keep working my W2 job for a couple of years, Brendan would manage construction and operations for the flips, and eventually I would come over to the real estate business. We embarked on our first flip in August 2021 - we've renovated many houses, but this was our first true 'flip', ie get it done as fast and as inexpensively as humanly possible. The reality of flipping houses set in VERY quickly. The holding costs, the timeline delays, the tough choices between design and profit. It became clear that that flipping houses can't be a side project, and I was forced to decide whether I wanted to play it safe and stay at my W2 job, or take a risk and join Brendan full time flipping.


...come on now, do I ever play it safe? ;)


I left my job at the beginning of October 2021 and joined Brendan full time. There were many 14+ hour days, many setbacks, a few tears and a lot of stress. But the house turned out absolutely gorgeous and there was a glimmer of hope that all of our hard work would be worth it. In December we sold the flip and guess what? After five months of grueling work... we broke even.


Yes, you read that correctly.


We worked months and months without a paycheck... to not make a paycheck. I can laugh about it now and when I look back I wouldn't trade the experience for anything because we learned SO much. But at the time it felt absolutely devastating.


Now we are not ones to shy away from hard work at all. My dad used to say, "if it was easy, everyone would do it" and that has always stuck with me. Doing the harder things in life often bring you the most incredible results. But this whole flip process felt different. Yes it was hard, but it all just felt so... heavy. Like every decision we had to make was weighing us down and depleting our energy. Sadly we didn't enjoy the process as much as we thought we would. Besides the stress of each day (and delay) costing hundreds of dollars, I found I didn't enjoy the design of flipping as much as expected. In order to make a profit on a flip you often have to choose the least expensive finishes, and that usually felt like we were somehow taking away the soul of the house. Like we were letting the house down or not doing it justice. Does that make sense? Bottom line, we weren't loving the direction of this career choice and we had to be honest with ourselves about whether or not this is what we were meant to be doing. Did we make the wrong decision?


But God (the universe, power source, whatever you want to call it) never lets you down if you keep you mind and your heart open. Towards the end of our flip project our friends asked us to design and remodel their adorable 1940s home. We had never done a project for someone else and to be honest, I was nervous about whether or not I would like designing for clients as I was used to having complete creative control of the projects. Nevertheless we decided to try it and I am so damn grateful that we did. We have loved the process. Working with clients has forced me to be more creative and try things out of my comfort zone, and the results are turning out incredible. More than anything though, seeing our clients' quality of life improve by making their house more functional as well as beautiful has been immensely gratifying. We can't wait to provide this service to more people.


We like to keep things real over here at Greyhouse, so here's how I really feel right now: I'm thrilled and terrified and overjoyed and nervous and confident and... well, I feel all of the things at the same time. Even though we (quietly) made this decision months ago, and we've done countless designs and renovations, as I write this I still struggle big time with imposter syndrome. Rather than hide it I figure it's best to be open; I'm scared and I question myself often. But every time I get anxious I remind myself that no matter how challenging a project can be, we always figure out how to make it sing. We always give our design and renovation projects 110% of our effort and the results have been beautiful, even when there are hiccups. If we continue to give our best (which, I remind myself, we are in control of) I know our clients will love the spaces we create for them.


Thank you to everyone for your continued support. We're beyond grateful to have such a wonderful community of cheerleaders as we launch this business. Cheers to the start of Greyhouse Design Co and we'll keep alllll the beautiful spaces coming!

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