Welcome to “At Home with Tom and Sandy.” Sit back, relax and enjoy. As you know, Tom and I have been sharing our column on a monthly basis with the community for several years now – and what fun it has been. Starting a couple months ago and continuing forward for a few more publications, Tom and I have been introducing you to our community/industry partners so you can get to know them better. Last month, you met Jim Reed of Reed Brothers Construction and before that was Steve Simpson of Blue Line Designs. This month, we would like to introduce you to Christie Board of Board By Board Design.
Christie is a local certified kitchen and bath designer and not only can assist in making sure your project is aesthetically appealing but that the project possesses functionality as well. Kitchen and bath designers are interior designers who specialize in planning and decorating kitchens and bathrooms.
So sit back, relax and meet Christie.
How long has your business been active in Yavapai County?
The design portion of our company was established in 2009.
Tell us about all the services, products you provide.
I provide complete kitchen and bathroom designs for both new and existing homes. I also do consults for those who don’t know where to begin in their home and want to make changes, updates or problem solve. I also offer whole-house design when building new or a major renovation. I work alongside your architect to troubleshoot potential issues in floorplan and layouts as well as providing design guidance throughout the build with interior finish choices.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I am more of a middle-of-the-morning person, meaning I start rolling at around 9 a.m. and continue the forward momentum.
WHO HAS INFLUENCED YOU MOST WHEN IT COMES TO HOW YOU APPROACH YOUR WORK?
My husband, Robert, has challenged me to pay attention to the details and think big picture. My design mentor, Suzanne Street, has always encouraged a think-outside-the-box mentality.
What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?
I can visualize a finished space easily with my eyes closed and I always remain a positive person. Both help in getting things done and connecting with my clients.
How do you prefer to start your day?
A little quiet time by myself, just to wake up and focus. Of course, with a cup of coffee, good music and breathing in the air.
What was your first job?
Working at A & W in high school, and boy oh boy, could I make those root beer floats. To this day, I am still pretty good at making them.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had, and what did you learn from it?
Cleaning motel rooms at a small local motel. What did I learn? Leave a hotel room reasonably picked up for the cleaning staff. And, I make my bed every morning and love folding towels.
What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, and what did you learn from it?
I can’t think of one specific disaster but mainly the fallout of not thinking about what a final finished dimension (add tile, drywall, overhangs, etc.) will be from the framed dimension and how that changes the final space. That tighter space then translates to the livability of the space. A couple of times the final result was not quite what I had hoped for, i.e. a little tight because I did not have the visualize dimension gene in place. That is why I emphasize plan design before starting a project. It is so critical. Inches matter way more than people realize.
On another note, I once picked a paint color for the exterior of our house without doing a sample on the siding and basically the house was pink. I thought it was going to be taupe. Lesson learned: always do a paint test sample. We repainted the house a few months later.
What led you to this career?
I have always loved houses and floorplans. My mom constantly rearranged furniture and took me to tour model homes. I was drawing floorplans by the 4th grade. Later, as an adult, I had gone to work for a designer as a showroom sales staff and not long after, I married a contractor. I began to work with his clients and later went back to school to get my degree/ certification in design specializing in kitchen and bathrooms.
What energizes you at work?
Clients being excited about my design for them and ideas to enhance their living space and then to see the space transform.
What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?
I have been featured in multiple national magazines for my design work.
If you could add one thing to Board by Board’s office, what would it be?
A soft-serve ice cream machine: chocolate, of course.
If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?
I would become a fine artist painter.
If you could write a book about your life, what would the title be and why?
“I can fix that!” because I have a ton of ideas and can’t help but find solutions whether asked or not!
What’s one of your favorite memories from the past year?
I made a gift for my little 2-year-old granddaughter recently and she ran up to me and so excitedly told me, “Mimi, I love you!” unsolicited. My Mimi heart was full.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I am claustrophobic.
What’s something you saw recently that made you smile?
I am loving all the fun, creative things that people are making and posting during the COVID-19 stay-home time. Some of it is so clever and funny. It shows the resiliency of the human spirit.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
Be nice to people. It was from my mom.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
All things royal. I love the British family.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was going to marry Donny Osmond. So, I guess his wife!
If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?
Michelangelo. I want to know what that kind of creative genius would be like to have.
If you had to pick one age to be permanently, which age would you choose?
- You are a grownup but not too old to do everything you want.
What three words would your friends use to describe you?
Happy, kind, honest.
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Kate Hudson (however we look nothing alike!).
What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend?
Watching a movie, shopping, eating out.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?
I made wedding dresses for brides. I wouldn’t tackle it anymore but it was fun.
If you could choose a name for yourself, what would it be?
At this point in my life I like my name, but when I was about 12, I wanted it to be Sarah Connelly in the worst way. I have no idea why, but it seemed like the perfect name at the time. It sounds sort of British.
If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
I would heal people.
If you could only eat one item for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Bread, whole wheat, rye, sourdough, pumpernickel, anything bread!
If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?
Weather, Instagram, Facetime.
What’s one item you can’t leave home without?
My purse. I am prepared!
What’s one item you want to own that you don’t?
A private plane. I do not want to be the pilot, I just want to sit back and relax.
What’s the top destination on your must-visit list?
I would like my next trip to be to Africa. I would love to do a safari.
What’s your most hated household chore?
Dusting, dusting and dusting.
How do you spend your free time, or don’t you have any?
Crafting or convincing my husband that another project around the house is a great idea!
Why do you like about this industry?
It’s creative. And, the joy of seeing a project come to life and even pushing some boundaries of something done a new way is so rewarding!
As Tom and I have said previously, we are extremely fortunate to have folks like Christie Board living in the community and the “neighborhood.” You can meet Christie Board at boardbyboard.com and the phone number is 928-442-1387.
A big thanks to you, Christie, for stopping in to visit At Home with Tom and Sandy. You’re in good company, and Tom and I love sharing educational, fun and important information with you. See you next month with another superstar in the industry. QCBN
Tom Reilly, Architect, Contractor, Renovations 928-445-8506, renovationsaz.com
Sandy Griffis, Executive Director, Yavapai County Contractors Association, 928-778-0040.