From Coast to Coast
An Encinitas Couple Work Long-distance with a Connecticut-based Designer to Furnish Rooms on a Limited Budget
When Kerry and Ron McCullough moved from a cozy Craftsman home in North Park to larger, beachy digs in Encinitas, Kerry’s sister in New York urged her to use the services of a professional interior designer with whom she had become friends. The fact that a vast country stands between the West Coast couple and the East Coast designer sounds like a logistical nightmare. But Sally Scott Interior Design has created a business model that thrives on making distance inconsequential.
Based in Guilford, Conn., with 30 years of experience working “in the traditional manner,” Sally says, “We thought it would be fun to work with people no matter where they live.”
With Design to Your Door, Sally and her team ship personalized boxes containing room layouts, samples, swatches and supplier details.
“My sister introduced us through email. Then my husband and I did FaceTime with Sally and walked her [virtually] through our home,” Kerry says. The family and living rooms were essentially blank canvases, so those were the spaces for which they sought help.
“Sally asked us, ‘How do you envision you will use these rooms?’” Kerry recalls. “We told her we wanted the family room to be a comfortable place to watch movies together and, because it’s right off the kitchen and visible, to still look nice. The living room was more for entertaining.
“She asked us what we like to do and what colors we like and don’t like,” Kerry continues. “We are very active and love the outdoors. We did not want anything too feminine or flowery. She took it from there.”
In a few weeks, with occasional communications (e.g., “Do you like these chairs?”), Kerry and Ron received their box containing a binder with floor plans and notes and an array of labeled swatches.
“Sally tells you the source and the price, so you basically choose what you like. I think there was one piece of art we didn’t like, but we picked another piece from the options,” Kerry says. “From there, you can order things yourself or through her. If you order through her, she gets discounts. You can order as much or little as you like. She designed the rooms within our price range, so we ordered everything.”
Sally and her colleague, Megan Winkler, surprised Kerry and Ron with chairs upholstered in broad orange and white stripes in a zigzag pattern from Z Gallerie in Encinitas. Others came from sources such as West Elm and Crate and Barrel. Some furnishings were custom, including a lime green sofa and a chair in a bird print with matching sofa pillows.
“The family room sofa and a living room end table were custom made,” Sally says. “As all the pieces were ready, I had them shipped to a delivery company in San Diego. Ron installed the window treatments and put together items that came from IKEA.”
Kerry and Ron were so pleased with the results that they flew Sally and Megan out to offer suggestions for other rooms, including wall colors, furniture and lighting. That allowed the designers to see their project in person.
“We had sent drawings, color elevations that Megan did showing how we saw the furniture layout, and they did everything just as we had it in the drawings,” Sally says.
During the visit, Kerry had Sally guide her in stores along Solana Beach’s Cedros Avenue Design District.
“She helped me navigate the antique stores, where I get overwhelmed,” Kerry says. “She found wine glasses that were orange, so we got a bar table to put in the room next to the living room to tie it in with the orange chairs.”
“We bought a bunch of stuff, loaded the car and took it home,” Sally recalls.
“I love the design box [method], because it was affordable and a fun experience,” Kerry concludes.
“Now Kerry has contacted us to do more in the house,” Sally notes. “It’s a relationship.”