23 Jul A Day In The Life of MGD’s Associate Designer Havolynne Saxon
For the next installment of our “A Day In The Life” series, we’re tagging along with Havolynne Saxon, our Associate Designer and the ultimate chinois fan. The Gainesville native joined Maggie Griffin Design in 2018, and coordinates our remote and e-design services in addition to working on local projects. As a mother of two and graduate of Brenau University (with a Fashion Merchandising degree), Havolynne brings a unique viewpoint to the team. She’s our go-to girl for finding the perfect textile, designing a classic Southern space, and making our clients dream homes a reality — no matter where they are. Keep reading to learn more about Havolynne and to “live” a day in her shoes.
I’m not a “routine” type of person, so most mornings are never the same. The one constant I do have is my skincare. I always follow the same regimen, but there’s no telling when it will happen. It might happen right when I wake up or it might happen 10 minutes before walking out the door! Most days, however, I wake up to my one-year-old screaming for milk or my four-year-old climbing into our bed. Once I’m up and have them settled and eating breakfast, I’ll make myself a cup of coffee and take a quick peek at my email. I’m often in my car going from one client meeting to another, so I like to see if there is anything that I need to add to my to-do list for the day. I’ve found that if I don’t do that initial morning email check, I might miss something important and not see it until the end of the day. After that, I’ll get myself and the kids dressed for the day. I’m sure all moms know the morning hustle of getting yourself ready while also fighting a toddler about “itchy socks” or “not the right red shirt” — this is usually how our mornings go. It’s all hands on deck for my husband and I until we are literally heading out the door!
Before COVID-19, I’d drop the kids at preschool and then head to a client’s house for a consultation. Now that I’m back in the office, I’m still prioritizing my mornings for consultations and client meetings — they’re just virtual now! I really miss seeing my client’s faces because I’ve built such strong relationships with all of them, but I’m happy we’re all able to practice social distancing until it’s safe to meet in person again.
In an initial consultation, my goal is to understand what the client’s needs are, what they want, and figure out how I can infuse my design style while ensuring it still feels like their home. After that, my design process looks a little differently for each client depending on the project. Most of the time, I’ll start by pulling fabrics. This can set the mood for an entire room and makes selecting furniture and accessories that much easier. I also like to take inspiration from artwork, antiques, and old magazines. When I’m looking back at old publications (Traditional Home is my favorite!), I try to find something that I remember loving five or 10 years ago and think about how I could use it in a new way that’s relevant now.
I just finished a (incomplete) round of Whole30, so I haven’t been having anything too interesting for lunch lately. But hey, at least it’s healthy!
If I plan and time everything just right, I can sometimes meet with another client or fit in a quick trip to an antique mall or showroom in the early afternoon before I have to head back to the carpool line to pick up my kids from school. Of course, my day doesn’t always go as planned, and my morning meetings often run into the afternoon.
If the kids are home with the sitter for the afternoon, I’ll go back to the office for a few hours to begin sourcing for new projects or placing orders that clients have approved. Since I’m on the move most of the time, I try to spend at least one full day in the office a week to catch up on phone calls, emails, and anything else that I need to be in front of a computer for. Lately, I’ve also been dealing with shipping delays, backorders, and other unknowns. Boy do I miss having predictable timelines!
I always like ending the day practicing gratitude. I’m lucky to work with talented coworkers and clients that fully trust my design process and are willing to take a leap of faith with me. Many of my clients have even become good friends. I truly couldn’t wish for anything more!
Because the weather has been so nice lately, I’ve really been enjoying just being outside with my family. We live near a golf course, so, if it isn’t busy, we take the kids to walk around the cart paths and look for lost golf balls. It’s a fun way for everyone to get out of the house and spend quality time together!
After I eat dinner and put the kids to bed, I’ll usually work for a couple of hours. I always make sure to create a mental to-do list of things that I need to take care of the following day. It’s all about setting myself up for success (especially with the way my mornings typically go)! I also try to fit in a workout whenever I have time. We recently bought an indoor bike, and it’s been super convenient. Some days I have to hype myself up first — it’s a tough workout!
My evenings tend to follow a bit more of a routine and include my favorite self-care practices. I love baths and take one almost every night to unwind from the day. Next, I’ll do my nighttime skincare routine which is a little more involved than my morning routine. First, I’ll do a double cleanse, tone, and then apply serums, eye cream, and moisturizer. I keep my moisturizer on my nightstand as it’s my last step before going to sleep each night!