Victoria Smith is the creator and editor of Sfgirlbybay, named “One of the top 50 Design Blogs” by the London Times. Victoria was also a Pinterest pioneer with an account that boasts more than a half-million followers including Ellen Degeneres and Oprah. What about modern style and design catches her eye? We find out.
This art installation made from 6,000 light bulbs. Titled CLOUD, the installation was created by Canadian artist Caitlind Brown for a late night art festival. It’s amazing.
How were you inspired to create Sfgirlbybay?
It was more a whim really. I started in June 2006, as just a hobby at first – it was never meant to be my ‘job’, or I probably would have thought of a more appropriate name. I’ve always had a love of photography and interior design, as well as writing, and the blog seemed to encompass everything I was passionate about. I initially started the blog as a way to post photographs of my interiors in the hopes of being featured on one of Apartment Therapy’s home tours, and fortunately I was selected. Their blog post on my home tour directed traffic to my blog, and one thing lead to another. Over time, the blog grew a loyal readership and eventually became my full time job.
When did you know you were onto something?
I was approached by a couple of magazines asking to feature my home – one was in Australia called Real Living, and the other was Sunset Magazine. Both those articles gained me a pretty significant jump in followers.
Of your half-million Pinterest followers, who are the most notable?
It would appear that Oprah and Ellen Degeneres follow me. I think it’s ‘really’ Ellen, but I think it may be Oprah’s team. It’s hard to tell if they are actually the individuals. Also, Katie Couric follows me, and Ryan Seacrest, which kind of cracks me up.
Can you tell us a little bit about how one develops “Bohemian modern style?” What kind of career path gets you there?
I think designing is an extension of your personality. It’s the place I know I feel most comfortable and feeds my creativity. I decorate using elements that are really eclectic, mostly a mix of mid-century modern and vintage, and mean something to me personally, or make me feel happy when I see them. If you do that, you’ll build a room that you want to spend time in. I bought a white sofa with slipcovers, and it works as kind of a canvas to build around. I’m constantly changing things up and I can change up the throws and pillows, and add vintage pieces to the room and create a whole new look, almost seasonal as my moods change. So, I think if you follow your heart then you’ll represent yourself uniquely since there’s only one you. It’s a ‘modern bohemia;’ artistic, meaningful, but modern thinking.
I have no idea where these ideas come from for me. I’ve been decorating since I was a little kid, always changing my room up. I’ve had a pretty varied career path, too. From studying interior design and journalism, to working in a furniture showroom and then moving into advertising and working my way up from receptionist to print production and art buying to director of creative services. I guess I’m always in flux, too.
Does this mean you’re an Edie Brickell & New Bohemians superfan?
*Even your dog, Lucy, has a distinctive look. Is an eye for the unique genetic? *
Lucy is a rescue mutt, so I have no idea where the blue eyes came from. There’s much speculation as to what kind of mixed breed she is and it changes daily. Some people suggest she has Husky or Australian Cattle Dog in there, accounting for the blue eyes. There’s also a small Catalan Sheepdog that often has blue eyes, and that’s my best guess, she likes to herd.
Do you listen to music when you write? What kind?
A fresh mix of indie music.
What style of music gets your toe tapping?
I like a lot of diverse types of music. Zydeco music gets me tapping my toes. But I also love Florence & The Machine, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand. I like driving (probably too fast) to that kind of music. But I also love Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry in general, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders, anything 80’s for the most part. It’s my favorite era of music.