A Day in the Life of a French & French Intern

Emma Sheppard


intern school french interiors design

Hi there! I’m Emma Sheppard, French & French’s intern for the next month. I am a senior at Santa Fe Preparatory School, where we get to complete an internship of our choice instead of attending classes during the final month of the school year. I first met Heather several years ago when I was sorting fabrics as part of an eighth-grade internship experience. Our lively conversations not only built a relationship between Heather and I, but also affirmed my interest in interior design.

Reflecting back on my childhood, I recall endless pillow-making sessions at a kid’s sewing machine, and moving around the furniture and decorative items in my room almost every weekend! Naturally, when I began thinking of possible internships, French & French popped into my head! 
Over the past few days, I have been doing a plethora of activities here at the French & French office. I’ve been able to pick out wallpapers for a prospective client, make a list of furniture and accessories that will be presented and installed for another client, and of course write this blog for you!

Here are some of my observations from my time with French & French so far:

A Lively, Creative Office


Photo Credit: Danielle Haynes


The French & French office has a work atmosphere like no other. To put it simply, creativity is everywhere! Each morning, I am greeted by upbeat music playing in the background while Matt and Heather work at their desks busily brainstorming ideas for clients. These two work seamlessly to create an environment where input is welcome by all parties involved. Their synthesis of ideas definitely results in the creation of beautiful spaces!

Thus far, I have listened in on two of Matt and Heather’s client meetings. When working with existing or potential customers, they are fully attentive and present themselves in a fun and friendly way. They carry out professional conversations while weaving in and out of personal anecdotes and design presentations to create a truly inclusive atmosphere. This puts clients at ease and allows them to feel more comfortable sharing their own ideas.


More Than Interior Design


intern school french interiors design


If I had to choose the most influential lesson from the past two weeks, I would say it is that interior designers are not just interior designers. By this I mean that the actual design aspect of the job is in actuality a very small portion of their total work.

Matt and Heather both use skills from all areas to run their business. This involves conducting client meetings, promoting their designs, and many other daily tasks that you wouldn’t necessarily think of when considering the work of an “interior designer.” Additionally, Matt and Heather use their reputation and skills to bring awareness to issues within the Santa Fe community.

I attended the first ShowHouse Santa Fe meeting with Heather two weeks ago. ShowHouse Santa Fe is a collective of many area interior designers who donate their time to design a local home that is open for public tours. All proceeds from tickets go to Dollars for Schools, which is a foundation that helps the Santa Fe Public Schools fund important outreach programs. It was extremely eye-opening to experience the world of interior design in relation to other businesses and how they can come together for a cause.


My Inspiration


Next week, you’ll see another post from me analyzing my own design aesthetic, so I won’t spoil that for you here! However, I would like to share a few of my initial reactions to French & French’s style. I love how the French & French aesthetic combines many different colors and materials. Heather’s designs often start with a base of neutral colors to support numerous layers of color and pattern.


intern school french interiors design


For example, check out this couch that Heather selected for the Cynthia Jones and Ami pop-up event they held last week. I love how Heather placed colorful, abstract pillows on the sides, layered black and white floral design in front of the watercolor, and used a combination of the two in the center. This fusion of colors and patterns draws me in and causes my eyes to stay active.

I enjoy Heather’s sophisticated and fun style, and interning here is definitely a good fit! I’ll be further honing in on my own aesthetic in the next few weeks, and I look forward to sharing that with you in my next post.


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