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Whatsoever Things Are Loverly x SortJoy: A Designer’s Perspective

Whatsoever Things Are Loverly  x SortJoy: A Designer’s Perspective

Can you tell us about the name “Whatsoever Things Are Loverly”?

Whatsoever Things are Loverly was born from an intention to find and make room for the most important things in your life. I’ve always felt like life moves fast and if we let life just happen to us, we’ll miss it. So it’s important to actively capture that intentionality by getting to know what you enjoy and value, and then making it a priority. When I was introduced to entrepreneurship, a quote at the time seemed to be following me around in my life, literally cropping up on the internet, in books, kind of everywhere. It goes: “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” What stuck out to me was the end - I literally started to think on those things and consciously pay attention to what I enjoyed and valued. It also reminded me of a lyric from my favorite musical My Fair Lady. In “Wouldn’t it be Loverly” the protagonist Eliza Doolittle sings her desire for a better life, which includes a warm and safe home, rest, a loving relationship, and literally chocolate. (#goals) I felt like the two quotes really highlighted the ethos I wanted to build a business around, where I could help people focus on what actually mattered in life like values, rest, family, play, and growth. When it was time to name the business, it was an easy pick and I have loved helping clients make room for the “loverly things” in their lives since!


SortJoy Trays for office organization

pictured: The Large and Small Trays in Stone 


How would you define your personal style?

Similarly to other interior designers, my personal style is what I practice and preach to my clients. Unlike other designers however, I don’t have one type of style or a prescriptive style formula that I follow. I instead combine what I like with what I value to create a new vision of interior design I like to call “The Ethical Aesthetic”. I get really specific about what aspects of design I find inspiring, and analyze key elements to develop a checklist of actually-easy to implement elements - like bold and big patterns, warm wood, moody wall colors, or black accents. I then take these key elements and plug them into my signature design framework, where I start with feeling and function before tackling form. My clients love this way of designing because it helps them define their own personal style instead of having to borrow mine. And I love it because it gives me permission to follow what brings me joy! 


Do you have a favorite space to design? Or a favorite type of client you like to work with?

My favorite projects involve clients who need help fitting their big beautiful lives into a small space. I love strategizing floor plans to fit alllllll of the function possible! For example, I love working with clients who live in apartments or smaller homes that have to fit an office, guest bed, seasonal storage, gym, and functional hobby space into a coveted extra bedroom. There’s something about a challenging and functionally packed room that gets my adrenaline pumping…sign me the heck up!

 Whatsoever Things are Lovely and SortJoy

Maddy from Whatsoever Things are Loverly 


What’s your least favorite design trend? And your favorite?

My least favorite design trend has got to be all of the accessories available for shelf styling. I love a beautiful open shelf, and am not talking about beautiful pottery, handmade trinkets, or small pieces of art. It’s the new collections of “shelf stylers” popping up like beads or chains or other paperweight-esque accessories that don’t make much sense to me. Like aren’t we already overwhelmed with stuff? Alternatives I love instead include candles, plants, art, local pottery, books, and beautiful organizational bins, like SortJoy! My favorite design trend will always be going for what you love, prescriptive design styles be damned! 


Do you take clients all over the country, or just in San Diego?

In a way, I’m grateful to have built the foundation of my business during the pandemic, so I developed a process where I can complete all my design work with clients virtually. I’ve had clients in California, Georgia, Maine, Iowa, D.C. and more, and love the efficiency of providing busy clients with quick solves virtually. But truthfully, it’s magic when I get to work with clients in person. I travel to clients when they don’t want to install their plans themselves and it’s so satisfying to physically be in a space, making it come to life with my own hands!

 Tray Medium SortJoy

Pictured: Medium Tray in Stone


How do you weave sustainability into the work you do?

I really try to weave sustainability into every aspect of my work. My business doesn’t rely on clients to buy furniture to make revenue, so it’s easy and encouraged to use or repurpose what they already have. (How the interior design industry was initially built, btw.) I’m always on the lookout for brands who are doing better business and making better products, with certifications like Fair Trade, FSC, B-Corps, Greenguard, and OEKO-TEX. I’ve also built time into my sourcing and design process to suggest vintage finds, secondhand retailers, BIPOC-owned, LGBTQ-owned, women-owned, and local brands. I keep track of all my sources in a product database for easy access so I can quickly remind myself and clients there are better options than just Wayfair or Amazon!

On top of making more earth-friendly decisions, I consider the longevity of designs for my clients. I think the industry has grown closer to fast fashion in following trends and encouraging people to change their spaces up “just because”. While that can be fun, it can also be wasteful when done without intention. And I find so many of us get sucked into a cycle where we are buying what is “close enough” to what we actually want. Instead, I try to encourage clients (and myself!) to buy only what we love. And sometimes that means waiting until we can afford or handle what we actually want, so we don’t continue to churn through $500 couches while we wait for the $$$ couch of our dreams. By instead helping my clients to uncover what they actually love, we can work to bring that to life in a way where they will still love it 5 or 10 years down the road.                   


If someone is feeling overwhelmed in their space, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give them to help them start?

In my own personal growth over the years, I’ve learned overwhelm is usually the result of a mean or fearful internal monologue running. With kindness, self-compassion, and curiosity, I’d invite that person to investigate that overwhelm. What is the narrative or story being told? Is that true to you? If not, who’s voice is that? Identifying the root cause of the overwhelm will help you be kind to yourself as you work through the feeling and take steps that feel good to you to get started.

This is an important first step because design can be REALLY FUN! It’s a playful and creative process, and can feel beautiful and joyous if we let it. Don’t let a subconscious and unhinged narrative that’s saying you or your home isn’t enough ruin the fun.

 Whatsoever Things Are Lovely


If you had to pick one, what’s your favorite SortJoy product?

This is such a hard question! I genuinely love all of SortJoy’s products, and their versatility across all areas of my home. But I think if I had to pick, the Tray Set definitely gets the most day to day use. The trays can really transform a pile of stuff on any surface into an intentional drop zone for essentials. I love using the small sizes to corral my affirmation cards, keys and sunglasses, and business cards, and the big tray to organize my daily desk essentials.


Tell us about your goals for the future:

In the immediate future, I’m so excited to continue to work with amazing clients and connect with great brands like SortJoy. I’m so grateful for all the connections I’ve made through this business, and it really lights me up to be working with incredible and aligned people. I’m also working on releasing an extra-informative version of the Notion template I use to organize my design projects, so you can organize your own with ease! And in the distant future, there is a special secret project in the works specifically for my bosses, creatives, and professionals who need extra support when working-from-home. Stay tuned!

 Designer Samples, Large Tray

Pictured: The Sculpted Long Bin & The Tray Trio in Stone


What is your favorite thing to do outside of designing?

I love food and entertaining, and find a lot of creative expression in making cocktails and plant-based meals for myself and friends. When I’m not at home or in clients’ homes, I love to escape into the wilderness with my dog for weekends away camping, hiking, backpacking, and enjoying mother nature. Because I also love to cook, I of course have to bring that outside too and ensure everyone is always well fed and watered on trips with me. Cheers! 😉


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