What's In My Bag: Designer's Edition

I'm sure you've seen those blogger posts about "What's in my Bag?" but I thought I'd give you my interior designer version of that today! There are a few things I will NOT leave the house without, whether I'm headed to an install, a day at the office, or a site visit with my clients! 01// My Go-To Handbag 02// Headphones 03// Color Muse 04// Screwdriver 05// Electric Scissors 06// Laser Measuring Tool 07// MacBook Pro 08// iPad 09// 3D Scanner * If you use some of these links to purchase my favorite tools, I may receive a small commission. 01// DAGNE DOVER HANDBAG I have always loved a good tote bag, but all of mine became dark holes where everything I threw in went to stay buried forever! The organization of this bag has really been a game changer. I have a place to lock my keys in, a pocket for my iPad, my phone, my Yeti mug full of coffee, my other bottle full of water, my full size laptop, chargers, AND my measuring tools! I know pockets in dresses are amazing, but I dare say pockets in purses are even better! 02// BEATS HEADPHONES I know I will be talking to a few of you when I say this - these headphones saved my marriage when my husband and I had to share an office through the lockdown. Sharing a space is one thing, but not having my silence or my own music or podcasts really messed with my workflow! These are an investment, but they are the most comfortable to wear for hours on end, and I can get up and walk around without worrying about wires. 03// COLOR MUSE This might look like an old camera film container from the 90's, but this little tool is AMAZING!! You can scan literally anything - a fabric, a wallpaper, a piece of art, or an existing wall paint and get suggestions of the closest paint color from multiple paint vendors, right on your phone! You can see in the example below that there are subtle differences in the teal, but the choices are so great, especially if it's a "we love this color, but slightly more ____" conversation with a client. 04// SCREWDRIVER This automatic screwdriver is amazing and saves soooo much time during installs! You never know when you'll need to use an extra screw or add one more shelf to fill out an art wall! It has really been the MVP of our new studio build out too (don’t tell Brian I said so!) 05// ELECTRIC SCISSORS This is my go-to tool to cut rug pads down to size, and to cut down all of the excess cardboard that inevitably comes with installs days! These are great to have on hand if you love crafts, or have kids who love crafts at home during virtual learning (but these should definitely be used by mom or dad)! They are perfect for all that plastic packaging that should be outlawed because it’s impossible to open... and bad for the environment! 06// LASER MEASURING TOOL I can measure a room in minutes with this laser measuring tool, and I'm all about cutting inefficient processes! I recommend having one of these for your own home projects because if you're anything like me, you need a measuring tool more often than you ever thought for DIY home projects. Measure twice, cut once, right? 07// MACBOOK PRO This is the mothership of my business, as I'm sure it is for most designers! My laptop does so much work for me in the office, but I love being able to be mobile and work wherever I might be that day! These days it’s making the trek with me back and forth every day between my studio downtown and my home office... I think it’s the one thing in my life I spend the most time with these days! 08// IPAD My iPad is a fairly new addition to my work bag, and I’m still getting used to using it super frequently. It’s so easy to take notes on, do quick sketches, and keep organized. But to be honest, the main reason I got it was so I could use it with the next thing I’m going to share with you... prepare to be amazed! 09// 3D SCANNER My newest introduction is this 3D room scanner. It has made Madison Nicole Design so much more efficient, which means we are able to turn client drawings around quicker, ultimately improving our design process as a whole. I use this scanner to scan my clients' homes during our Measuring Meeting, and I can get a 3D model made within 48 hours from those scans!! It's such an incredible tool to have when I'm working on 3D renderings and I can focus on our selections rather than building up the existing model first. I almost feel like Mary Poppins with the amount of things I have with me in that bag! What tools are absolutely necessary or your favorite tools to use in your industry? What do you think I need to add to mine? Let me know on Instagram!

Hi, I'm Madi!

When I'm not designing beautiful homes, I am at home in Ventura with my husband and three dogs. You will find me biking along the ocean, kayaking in the harbor, or looking for the best local tacos. 

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Madison Nicole Design is a full service interior design studio located in Santa Barbara, California. Madison and team take on projects of all sizes, from furniture styling to large scale remodels, locally and abroad via e-design services.

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