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We talk color and interior design with color expert and designer Robin Daly
Episode 140324th September 2022 • Around the House® Home Improvement • Eric Goranson
00:00:00 00:58:56

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Robin Daly was born with paint in her blood. With multi-generational history of Seattle area paint stores in her family and high end wood stains she broke away from that a few years ago and started Robin Daly Color & Design.

We dive into color, design projects, furniture, and how best to manage projects in 2022 as this show will help homeowners, designers, and contractors work through the current issues in 2022 and 2023.

For more information about Robin Daly: https://www.robindalycolor.com/

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Information given on the Around the House Show should not be considered construction or design advice for your specific project, nor is it intended to replace consulting at your home or jobsite by a building professional. The views and opinions expressed by those interviewed on the podcast are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Around the House Show.

Transcripts

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[00:00:31] Robin Daly: That's the expected lifetime of the cabinet. And then the other one that I've run into is lifetime warranty for the original homeowner mm-hmm meaning. If you go to sell your house, that warranty might be when it comes to remodeling and renovating your home. There is. To know the we've

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[00:00:53] Robin Daly: This is

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[00:01:16] Eric Goranson: Well,

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[00:01:21] Eric Goranson: This isn't our first time, but it's been a while.

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[00:01:28] Eric Goranson: not on mic. Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, I wanted to do a whole kinda segment here of interior design because there is so much going on right now and I kind of wanted to start out talking.

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[00:01:51] Robin Daly: Well, so the, the long story short is my grandfather was an interior designer before we called it [00:02:00] interior design.

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[00:02:28] Robin Daly: And then for 80 years there was a family business with my name on it, called DA's pain and decorating in the greater Seattle area. And we had retail stores as well as a manufacturing, uh, component where, uh, we made stains and wood finish. So, um, I kind of know the whole DIY component. I work with contractors and homeowners and sadly, we had to put that business [00:03:00] to sleep because you know, life happens and I thought, oh, it was time.

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[00:03:33] Robin Daly: And our job is to make people happy. yeah. Like what is wrong with that?

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[00:03:49] Robin Daly: That's a nice way to put it, Eric. That's a really nice way to put it and yeah, I'm not worried about a bucket of staying being spilled in the back of somebody's [00:04:00] fancy car anymore.

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[00:04:05] Eric Goranson: absolutely. And that's the stuff that, you know, you used to be years ago, you were my Pete answer person. When I had questions, I was always popping in. I'd see it the store a couple times. I'm like, okay, I got a problem. What do we do with this? And, uh, I learned a lot and that, that was a lot of fun back then.

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[00:04:30] Robin Daly: Well, you know, it, it is. And of course, when we, we enter new chapters in our life, everything that's happened before comes into our experience to help our clients and our, you know, our pursuits now. So what you are doing, um, you're bringing your message out to such a large audience is exactly what you did when you were working one on one with your people.

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[00:05:16] Eric Goranson: Yeah. Yeah. It's amazing. Well, now you're taking on projects right there. You've got clients, you're doing stuff. What do you doing? As far as lead times out there?

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[00:05:37] Robin Daly: Um, so we work really hard and on, on managing expect. Right. Mm-hmm and whether you're buying from a chain furniture company or an independent interior designer, we are all dealing with the same supply chain issues.

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[00:06:33] Robin Daly: So anyway, some

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[00:06:38] Robin Daly: And so there's only two main foam manufacturers in the country that deal with this chemical that makes the foam, that goes into the cushions that you sit yourself into. And so they were offline. And so then there was all this rationing happening.

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[00:07:21] Robin Daly: Mm-hmm um, I am seeing. Freight surcharges going down. So for about a year and a half, we were paying a, a freight surcharge for products that were manufactured off offshore. They'd be sitting on the boat for months and months and months, and we would be paying, you know, hundreds of dollars more just to have something shipped.

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[00:08:12] Eric Goranson: Oh, wait a minute. The finish is backed up because those same chemical plants that make all the, the chemicals that go into paints.

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[00:08:30] Robin Daly: And think about how much time went into that one task, that one task of just getting one bucket of paint. So for people that are in the trades, like your contractors, your electricians, your plumbers, your interior designers, we were spending an inordinate amount of time chasing down things.

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[00:09:12] Robin Daly: So yeah. So it's, it's getting better. And, um, and, and we, we are just, uh, transparent with everybody about what's going.

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[00:09:38] Eric Goranson: I mean, it always seemed like we were, you know, there was a sixties style, there was that 70 style and you always kind of had the colors change around it. But, you know, my theory has always been well that's because it would take you a year to get a project done. Another couple months to photograph it. And six months later, it shows up in the magazine where now [00:10:00] you can have a client sharing your meeting with Instagram, and now that color's up and, and a hundred, 200 people are seeing it.

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[00:10:14] Robin Daly: That's right. And I think that there's a couple things that, um, happen with that one is we get fatigued faster when we're seeing trends. But the other thing is, um, I, I, I don't think it's a bad thing that we're all kind of, you know, all boats rise.

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[00:11:04] Robin Daly: Right. Whether it's the color shirt you're wearing, the color, you paint your walls or the color that you're, um, buying your car, right? Yeah. Like, did you, have you noticed the new kind of mat. Kind of flat

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[00:11:26] Robin Daly: or, or the cars no longer have a metallic finish.

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[00:11:34] Eric Goranson: Um, yeah, they're a flat Pearl kind of to '

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[00:11:55] Robin Daly: I just was looking at Sherwin Williams, uh, 20, 23 color [00:12:00] trends. Yep. And, um, things are shifting. From cool grays, which we have seen for a solid decade. And we were talking about, please, please let this die five years ago. Like, yes. Like, like in the, in, in the industry we're like,

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[00:12:29] Eric Goranson: I used to say that when the color showed up in target, it was almost dead. Not that case anymore.

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[00:12:52] Robin Daly: So, and, and target has done an amazing job of being on trend to sure. [00:13:00] What I'm like super excited about. And this may be because I'm a kid of the seventies, but I, I am, oh my gosh. I am loving. This whole seventies disco vibe. I don't know if you've noticed it, but oh, I love it. Oh, there's these like rich, rich, deep velvet colors and burgundies and spicy tones and bronze metal finishes.

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[00:14:02] Robin Daly: And you can't really afford to rip everything out and start all over again. So how do you, um, upgrade it and bring life into this place that is very tonal and. Yeah, right. So I've been getting a lot of thought to that. And, and one of the, one of my tricks is to bring in natural elements like baskets mm-hmm or, uh, warm woods that kind of create a, a, a contrast to all the gray tone.

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[00:15:03] Robin Daly: We have not seen beige. That was like, we were allergic to beige for so long. So, so yeah, that that's, what's happening out there in the world. And I, I, I jumped onto Benjamin Moore's website and they're not announcing their colors color of the year for another month, so, okay. So we could spend some time speculating what it will be.

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[00:15:32] Eric Goranson: people talk about that. Be interesting. Oh, this is my favorite time here looking to see, you know, what Panton does, what Benjamin Moore does? What Troy Williams does. I like going down the list just to see what everybody's doing because it's it's interest.

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[00:16:07] Eric Goranson: And second of all, I like to make the color on my arms change, you know, and, and do what I want with that.

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[00:16:34] Robin Daly: There's so much blue surrounding us. And I think it feels really good as a contrast, all the green that we live with. So I thought that was really an interesting observation. I think blue is also, it's very trustworthy. It's very comfortable to live with and it feels good. Yeah. Like maybe rich Navy who doesn't love that.

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[00:17:09] Robin Daly: on it. Yeah. So I have, um, some shelving that I got at salvage and they were 1950s plywood and I painted that a peacock blue yeah.

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[00:17:41] Eric Goranson: Yeah, it looks good.

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[00:18:03] Eric Goranson: So you can buy furniture. That's other than red Oak, that's gonna sit there and. Timeless and people are gonna go, oh, that's beautiful. 25 years from now.

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[00:18:38] Robin Daly: Correct. And so another design trend right now is we call it brown furniture. Brown furniture is coming back. Yep. So, um, and Cerus Oak looks beautiful. Cerus Oak is like, um, uh, an Oak that maybe you do a whitewash finish mm-hmm then the whitewash settles into the brain of the Oak and [00:19:00] Walnut. Is, um, I've done Walnut in a natural Walnut and I've also done it in a whitewashed Walnut, which is kinda the trick to play with Walnut.

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[00:19:31] Eric Goranson: frenemies. Exactly. One thing I learned back in the nineties, two thousands, when I was doing cabinetry, when they first started doing that whitewash, right.

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[00:19:47] Robin Daly: oh yeah. It, yeah. The, the, the golden girls

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[00:20:04] Eric Goranson: That was the early stuff, but all the

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[00:20:30] Eric Goranson: Well, it's like how the golds came back. You know, I was still scarred from the eighties, nineties golds, and then 10 years ago. Yeah. In the brass, they came back again, but they were, they had a different texture to 'em. They were brushed, they were doing something different, but it wasn't that right brass. It looked like every $10 doorknob than a spec.

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[00:20:55] Eric Goranson: Yeah. So that's the fun part. And it was really hard for me when that trend [00:21:00] was coming around because I so had been against that. When it came back, it took me six months to actually be able to accept it. I was shocked at how hard I fought that one.

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[00:21:23] Robin Daly: We can use bronze, which is one, not the oil rub bronze, but like a natural bronze. We can use black. We can use brushed nickel. Like now it doesn't all have to be one look.

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[00:21:48] Robin Daly: I love it. Wasn't that? That's pretty darn.

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[00:22:00] Robin Daly: mirror smoked mirror. Yep. Yeah, it's it's it's back. If you look at the most recent CB two catalogs or the website, uh, which is part of great and barrel, it's their more contemporary, it's all.

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[00:22:28] Eric Goranson: Yeah. Yeah. Great example. I was back, you know, with the different tones. Now I was back at, um, GE. Less than a month ago was back at, uh, Delta Brizo faucets, hanging out back there with my friends over there.

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[00:23:01] Eric Goranson: That's

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[00:23:03] Eric Goranson: that texture.

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[00:23:23] Robin Daly: Um, hardware touch or so there's that, there's an intermixing, which allows you to kind of broaden the look too.

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[00:23:47] Eric Goranson: Right. And so you can do both of them, it adds more depth,

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[00:23:55] Eric Goranson: Yes. But there is a point where you have too many colors in there that [00:24:00] you have to be careful with with metals. Cuz if I would've put stainless steel appliances in it, I would've ruined that look.

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[00:24:34] Eric Goranson: Can I, I, let me tell you a little trick that I've seen people use.

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[00:25:00] Eric Goranson: So they had something, it still functioned the same way and down the road, if they want to, they can get a hair dryer out and peel that off and clean it up and change the color again.

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[00:25:20] Robin Daly: Mm-hmm , you're not changing the layout. I've heard of people wrapping the cabinets.

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[00:25:54] Eric Goranson: But as soon as you start putting something, that's moving one way and then as soon as you get to the corner, it's moving the other way. [00:26:00] Get wrinkles. Mm-hmm I think you're gonna get wrinkles. I mean, think about how the Thermo foils lasted. With the plastic covered white, you know? Mm. I remember those, it was over those, that stuff didn't last long because even the MDF that was behind it, that was one piece ended up expand expends and contracts enough that it, that, that vinyl that was literally glued on came loose and something that is, and I, it's not gonna work.

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[00:26:32] Eric Goranson: What happened was, and this is what I noticed. We didn't have the early batches of that in cabinets, cuz you know, I've got what 29 years of cabinets, the early batches did not. But as soon as they went to the water born, the waterborne finishes. As far as the water born, this was basically a contact cement that they were.

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[00:27:00] Robin Daly: yeah. That, that vinyl had full sheets off the

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[00:27:19] Eric Goranson: And so. If you got 10 years out of it, that's awesome. There was a house and Craftmade ran into this and Craftmade did a really good job of handling it with people. But I remember one of the per not to pray to home, it was one of the, uh, flip this house extreme. No, actually what it was the move. This bus is what it was.

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[00:27:58] Eric Goranson: So it wasn't really on [00:28:00] craft made of it, but they got stuck carrying it cuz it was their warranty.

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[00:28:31] Robin Daly: Right.

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[00:28:50] Eric Goranson: But you need to pay attention and read the warranties because a lifetime warranty in cabinets does not mean that has warranty for the lifetime of your. [00:29:00] Most of that, a lifetime of cabinetry, 15 years. And there is no warranty after 15 years, even though that piece of paper in your hand, across the top says lifetime limited warranty, limited 15 years,

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[00:29:17] Robin Daly: And then the other one that I've run into is lifetime warranty for the original home. Meaning, if you go to sell your house, that warranty might be void. Now, how many of us really run into that? It's usually within the first couple years that you may have problems. Yeah. But, um, you know, I think about that a lot when I'm sourcing and specifying for clients, uh, is this a two year sofa?

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[00:30:13] Robin Daly: In the normal course of our life.

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[00:30:32] Eric Goranson: That they built their own hinges for, and their own drawer glides for, but you can't go get a bloom or Che or anything like that to fit. So there's all these new construction homes, flip homes. If they had bought a cabinet that had like a bloom hardware in it, you've got a lifetime warranty on it 10 years from now I can go get a piece and bolt it right in.

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[00:31:05] Robin Daly: were just knock. I have, I have. Try. I have experienced somebody retrofitting drawers. It is not easy. It is not like, oh, I'll just pull out the, oh, the tools and just Z, Z you know, trade one glide up for another.

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[00:31:26] Eric Goranson: that drawer on some of these drug lights have to be within a 16th of an inch. Depending on the glide you're

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[00:31:45] Robin Daly: Yeah. Oh, oh. And you have to get your butt inside the cabinet box to get in there and screw it

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[00:32:05] Eric Goranson: So it's really depending on the cabinet. So it's not an easy project and you basically have to get a woodworker in there to sit there and build new dovetail drawer box. Um, I've never seen anybody go out and successfully really order the under Mount soft code glaze to retrofit, just because there's not much space to do it in.

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[00:32:49] Robin Daly: Spitballing ideas. I'm freely giving, you know, feedback, but we talk about something called micro irritants. Micro irritants are things that [00:33:00] kind of drive you nuts, but you live with them anyway. And. Drawer drawers that close without the soft clothes could be a micro irritant or yeah, tile gr if you've got a tile countertop or, you know, or anything like that, that you have to get in with the toothbrush and you're cleaning it out and it's just disgusting.

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[00:33:46] a,

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[00:33:49] Eric Goranson: And I wanna give people a peak inside of what some of these projects look like. For instance, in Bellevue, I did all the cabinets for the Lincoln square project. The first Lincoln square tower there. [00:34:00] So I sold everyone of the cabinets in that building. And first off we had lazy Susans in the corners when we started out.

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[00:34:34] Eric Goranson: Yeah. No storage,

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[00:34:50] Eric Goranson: And that's what happens when I think that I get in the people get in trouble with when they go, oh, I'm gonna reface this and put new countertops on.

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[00:35:17] Robin Daly: It's always fun. Isn't it?

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[00:35:21] Eric Goranson: so what are you seeing out there when it comes to furniture? Cuz I know you've been traveling and you get to go see all the cool stuff.

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[00:35:46] Robin Daly: Furniture now a million square feet. That's like six square blocks of multi-story buildings of showrooms. So that it's impossible of course, to see everything. But, um, [00:36:00] there are people from all over the globe that come to this show. And so I am meeting with furniture designers. I am talking to the business owners, I'm working.

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[00:36:42] Robin Daly: Oh, boy, that is super duper fun too. So, um, but I do the research and we, we find out what's going on, what the trends are, all of that. But I also went this year and researched custom [00:37:00] furniture makers in LA. Nice because, uh, I, I have a, as a resource. A furniture maker that can make me chairs and sofas and sectionals, any specification I want, I can design it to fit exactly within your space, to your specifications.

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[00:37:54] Robin Daly: So imagine, let's say you have a really luxurious Airbnb mm-hmm [00:38:00] you could integrate your Airbnb logo into the drapery. Wow. Or I was thinking about that for some clients doing some custom drapes and putting their name into the design of the fabric. Like nobody else would know it's there, how they really were like, how cool would that be to have, you know, around the house with Eric G logo on.

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[00:38:34] Eric Goranson: It would be. And, and then there's always that stuff that you see that I see that vintage piece. You're like, oh, I wish they made this fabric. Or I wish they made this upholstery. It's not there anymore. That company is long gone.

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[00:39:22] Robin Daly: And we could kind of find something in the, the realm. Yeah. But it wasn't the name then I figured out we could custom print that wallpaper. And again for the same cost or less than buying the vintage stock. So this customer is going to be able to reproduce their wallpaper in today, wall covering, like, so it'll be durable, digitally printed.

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[00:39:58] Eric Goranson: And it's fresh. It's not [00:40:00] faded. It's not, yeah. It's their. Wow. That's amazing. And you know, one thing I've noticed, and I want to go back to this, cuz we kind of skipped over it a little bit with quality. I have a very high quality couch and I didn't, I've had some nice stuff in the past, not this nice, but the level of durability, even in the leather is so different that if I would've bought a brand that was mid.

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[00:41:02] Robin Daly: Um, synthetic down or there's all kinds of different options. So there there's a difference from sitting in a sofa where it like holds your body and it's supporting you. Mm-hmm to planning yourself on a sofa and either sinking six inches down and getting a back ache when you're Netflix, see Netflixing whatever, watching a movie.

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[00:41:31] Eric Goranson: Oh yeah. Why is, why are my knees touching my beard in this chair right now?

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[00:41:51] Robin Daly: No,

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[00:42:01] Robin Daly: interesting. Yeah. So this is really fun. Um, my husband bought a used car and it had fabric upholstery. Mm-hmm we paid aftermarket to put all leather in and it was like $1,500. Yeah. So, so you can do that in your car.

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[00:42:30] Eric Goranson: Yeah. And it's, it's true. And you're right. I ruined myself with that, you know, and, and, and I did this to myself and my shower, you know, I designed that custom steam shower.

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[00:42:58] Robin Daly: but now you disappointed it for [00:43:00] yourself every day.

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[00:43:05] Eric Goranson: time. Yeah. Which is awesome. But now when I travel, it's. I'm thinking, man, I just can't wait to get home to use my stuff.

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[00:43:15] Eric Goranson: It's hilarious. It's yeah. Well

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[00:43:25] Robin Daly: And if, if you really wanna notice. In your house what's bothering you. Then what you do is you physically go outside, make sure you don't lock the door, shut the door, and then walk in as if you're a stranger. And you've never seen your house before and start looking at the entry. Where do I put my handbag?

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[00:43:55] Eric Goranson: What's that

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[00:44:16] Eric Goranson: Great point, great DIY project. You can go. Wow. I never finished that little project or whatever.

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[00:44:37] Eric Goranson: Yep. My hands up. I did a show here last month. That was the top 10 reasons why you don't finish projects.

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[00:44:46] Eric Goranson: a lot of it was planning. Yeah. That was one of the, you gas out, you gas out or you didn't get the right amount of materials and you're waiting for 'em or you get stuck and don't know how to finish it. You're like, oh, I got it this far, but [00:45:00] I don't know what I do now.

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[00:45:03] Robin Daly: You get stuck. Yeah. Oh my gosh. That is so true. And so the other thing that happens when we live in an environment where things aren't finished, it's unsent. Yep. And sometimes you don't realize how unsettled you feel until you get something cleared up. And then you're, you, you have this weight that comes off of you and you feel better and you feel more relaxed.

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[00:45:29] Eric Goranson: home. My trouble at my house is because of TV shoot schedules. Now I'm like, oh, but I wanna shoot that. So I don't wanna do that right now cuz that's content. So my wonderful wife has to put up with that.

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[00:45:53] Eric Goranson: kitchen and master bath is master bath is 99.9%.

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[00:46:09] Robin Daly: Yeah, well then don't put the blue tape

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[00:46:16] Robin Daly: character.

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[00:46:22] Eric Goranson: Exactly. Exactly. Well, that's the fun part, you know, it's and the, and that's the problem with my, you know, speaking him personally, is that the other thing is, is that I got a TV ready. I wrapped it up, but it still needs a couple more hours and sometimes cool.

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[00:46:49] Robin Daly: Yeah. Well, okay. So your uniquely, you have a unique thing. Yes, but I think human nature, human nature also comes into play for all of [00:47:00] us. And finishing is really hard and very satisfying. Yeah. So I have, um, I have an image.

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[00:47:40] Eric Goranson: nice.

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[00:47:57] Eric Goranson: Um, I just made this a three hour show. I know . [00:48:00] Yeah.

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[00:48:37] Robin Daly: Yeah. And also they're not good for bathrooms. Okay. Can we just talk about privacy and noise barriers? So they are not that. So that would be a common design mistake. And then another one is, um, fear, fear keeps us from making changes. Mm-hmm uh, so, [00:49:00] um, we're, we're afraid to pull the trigger because it's.

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[00:49:39] Robin Daly: Yes. But, but, but they have to trust me to let them, to give them the permission to do the things. So, so that would be a mistake. And then the other one is. The other mistake is we keep filling our homes with little tiny things to fix the problem rather than addressing the [00:50:00] problem that's causing it. So there you go.

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[00:50:28] Eric Goranson: Yeah. The most frustrating for me is the client that you go through the process.

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[00:50:57] Eric Goranson: Okay.

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[00:51:34] Robin Daly: Mm-hmm so if they don't know what the whole intention was, that one opinion it's like a domino effect and it starts, uh, a series of changes that. That that ruin it.

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[00:52:06] Eric Goranson: She sold the house after she was done, bought another one. And it was one of my last design clients. And I said, No, we're not doing a flat fee. This is hourly. Cuz I knew in my head what this dance was gonna be. And I went back and looked at it and she paid almost four times what she would've normally paid.

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[00:52:34] Robin Daly: something that's really interesting about that because, um, uh, your clients might think, well, you got paid four times as much. You should be happy. No, actually we wanna do it once. Do it right. Also, we don't want to squeeze people for money.

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[00:52:57] Eric Goranson: Yeah. Oh, it's horrible. It's horrible. I, [00:53:00] I, I would much rather made. 75% less of that. So I could get there from point a to B point B, cuz you go, oh, this is done. What's beautiful. Great. It's a win. Yes. How I don't take three stabs at

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[00:53:16] Robin Daly: Because by that time we're all skidding across the finish line, beaten up hair, a mess where it could, we could across cleaned our wine glasses and you know, just been like, ha haha. Happily ever after. Yeah.

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[00:53:38] Robin Daly: Oh wow.

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[00:53:45] Eric Goranson: there you go. It's, it's so true. And it's, there's so many times that, you know, I, I, I would, we'd come to the conclusion I'd get done and I'd just sit there and it was almost like waiting for the door to going, oh no, it's [00:54:00] coming back around.

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[00:54:04] Robin Daly: You could set your clock to it. Yeah. And you, and you know, what they don't understand is that you're mentally budgeting, uh, extra energy to help navigate that

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[00:54:30] Eric Goranson: That's where it gets interesting. And I feel bad for people that do that because it's, they're, they're putting themselves through four times the pain as well.

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[00:54:54] Robin Daly: Yeah. And I think that also reflects on her own discomfort. [00:55:00] Yes. Um, with the process not with, with the, yeah. The, the design you were offering up,

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[00:55:21] Eric Goranson: That was nothing like we had agreed. And I'm like, what are you doing here? Well, we decided at the last minute and I'm just like, I had to just let it go and go. I'm not photographing this. I'm not doing it. I just, okay.

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[00:55:42] Eric Goranson: Yeah. I was pretty brutal.

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[00:55:58] Robin Daly: That's not, my goal is [00:56:00] always to get the happy tears.

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[00:56:03] Robin Daly: get a hug, then, then I've done something

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[00:56:06] Eric Goranson: Yeah. Yeah. And sometimes it's just, you just gotta get across the finish line. So that's okay.

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[00:56:28] Robin Daly: Well, Erica was a blast and I do do, uh, remote consultations as well as working in person in Western Washington from Blaine down to Seattle.

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[00:57:02] Eric Goranson: Absolutely either way. Well, thanks for coming on today.

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[00:57:09] Eric Goranson: Eric. Can't wait to do it again. I'm Eric G and you've been listening to Around the House