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The website looks great and is quite ambitious! I’m impressed, and it’s cool to see females take a lead on community oriented projects like this.

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Just what in the world is PLiNTH & CHiNTZ?

It’s a newsletter… it’s a website… it’s a fun new concept in design education and transition into the interior design world. And it’s only the hippest, coolest way to get the ins & outs of the real interior design industry – not just the fantasy world everyone currently sees on TV. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to live out your “Trading Spaces” fantasy and become a decorator – there can be a lot of money in that if you’re good and you get the right clients. But did you know that if you go to design school and work hard you can…

  • detail the intricate interiors of a plush Gulf Stream jet?
  • custom design light fixtures for a new over-the-top Las Vegas hotel?
  • oversee the concept of a new chain of upscale themed restaurants?
  • research green building issues and develop new ways to save resources while maintaining a groovy aesthetic?
  • space plan hundreds of thousand of square feet of a corporate headquarters? and in London, no less?

With a design degree, some talent and a lot of inside information, the possibilities are endless. Our goal is to demystify the industry and entertain while we educate and connect you to the interior design community. We want to open up a world of career possibilities in interior design so that you can decide whether or not the design world is for you, and – if it is – provide you with the background to pursue a fabulously satisfying and envious career.

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Who will want to read PLiNTH & CHiNTZ?

You’ll want to subscribe if you are a…..

  • person considering studying interior design

Before you make the big leap, broaden your knowledge of the field by learning about the diverse breadth of careers within our crazy industry. We’ll fill the informational void between the do-it-yourself channels & mags and the industry publications mainly directed toward seasoned professionals. Someone needs to do it – why not us?

  • student already studying interior design

When you take your morning vitamin, supplement your design education by learning some new lingo, finding out about new products you can incorporate into class projects, and reading about real-life issues tackled by real-life designers. We’ll show you the real world, baby.

  • new design graduate

Whether you’re looking for a job or you’ve just landed that entry-level position, you’ll want to sound smart and stay informed. Maybe you don’t get invited to see the latest & greatest the manufacturers’ reps have to offer over cookies & candy. Let us keep you up-to-date on the newest stuff so that you can impress your new employer and/or your employer-to-be.

  • educator in the design field

You can’t do everything, right? You only have so much time in your hectic day and so many resources in your shrinking budget. Let us help by filling in some gaps and providing your students with information you just don’t have time to cover in class. Then maybe you’ll actually have a little time to practice your craft. What a concept.

  • design professional

Let’s face it. You get inundated with big, gorgeous, glossy design mags and run out of time even to open them. Not only can they be a little pricey, but they’re expensive to store and can read a little serious. Take a breather and enjoy a few teaspoons of humor and sassiness with your morning coffee, and see which of your colleagues has contributed their real-life experiences to give hope to a struggling design student. Who knows? You just might be next.

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Why the silly name of PLiNTH & CHiNTZ?

Why not? It’s fun to say, and you sound smart saying it. You probably know what chintz is (thank you Mario Buatta!), but do you know what a plinth is? What about an escutcheon? Or a rheostat? Or what about the terms value engineer or field verify? Well, explore the site and find out. There’s so much to know, and there’s a lot you don’t know, but we want to teach you. That’s what we’re here for. We’re just nice that way.

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Just who came up with the progressive idea for PLiNTH & CHiNTZ?

Laura McDonald Stewart is the woman behind the curtain. She’s the Founder, and Interior Designer, and a Connector of people. Here is her C.V. along with her most personal thoughts and feelings (i.e. more than you wanted to know):

Laura grew up in rural West Texas obsessively playing with Lincoln Logs and Legos, poring over her mother’s issues of Architectural Digest and designing her dream house on 8.5x11 inch grid paper. Not understanding the opportunities available in the architecture and interior design world at the time, she pursued her left-brain love of math and science by enrolling in the civil engineering program at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. During her senior year of college Laura realized her personality and long-term interests weren’t exactly suited to the engineering field, so she enthusiastically returned to her childhood pursuits after graduation. Office temp by day, she spent nights developing a portfolio and writing application essays, and she was soon headed to Georgia to take up residence in historic, charming and idiosyncratic Savannah.

Laura thoroughly enjoyed her graduate school experience at the Savannah College of Art and Design, applying the same problem-solving skills to her design classes that she had to her engineering curriculum. Within 2-1/2 years she earned her MFA in Interior Design and was ready to embark on a career in the design industry in her beloved Dallas, one of the country’s leading design centers.

After a great deal of networking, Laura landed a position at Furstenwerth + Bagley Design. The tight-knit firm proved a solid match for her desire to immerse herself in all aspects and phases of a project. The firm’s focus was also a good fit: a limited number of high-end residential projects with a breadth of commercial projects ranging from corporate headquarters, law offices, call centers, training centers, and tenant development work, as well as small hotels and private dormitories.

Laura contently weathered the ups and downs of the fickle design industry at F+BD until the 7-year itch set in, and she found herself concentrating more and more on her “extracurricular” activities – namely The Susan G. Komen Foundation For Breast Cancer Research, Kitchen Dog Theater, Uptown Dallas, Zeta Tau Alpha, etc. – in order to keep herself inspired. Although it was a tough decision to strike out on her own, Laura is happily following in the footsteps of her entrepreneurial family with the goal of combining her love of design, education, writing, networking and marketing. The concept for her online venture arose from personal experiences, consistent misconceptions, and a black hole of candid, unifying and non-intimidating information about the diverse profession of interior design.

And that, children, is how PLiNTH & CHiNTZ was born.*

The moral of the story? Diversity of friends and diversity of knowledge is good. Never regret an educational pursuit or a career path because the more you know, the more you grasp the “big picture” and the better off you are. So there you go.

Laura McDonald Stewart, ASID | IIDA | LEED AP
NCIDQ Certificate No. 17207 | Texas Registered Interior Designer No. 9807

*THANK YOU to all those who have contributed to the launch of PLiNTH & CHiNTZ:
Ramir Camu, the calmest computer guy in the world
Rob Wilson, graphic designer and partner in world domination
Lee Blankenship Emmert, photographer to the stars [
Monica Neufang, national pr guru extraordinaire
Debra Tagg, local pr guru extraordinaire
Amy Johnson Hawken, stylist / contributor / comedienne
Sheryl Breze, lifelong drinking partner and contributor
James Ledoux, funny man and contributor
Ken Knight, Mr. Inspiration 
Joey Stewart, the nicest / hottest / sweetest boy in the world
Craig & Ann McDonald, the most supportive parents a girl could have
Eric McDonald, the coolest Big Bro a Little Sister could have

Without you, PLiNTH & CHiNTZ wouldn’t be so chintz-tastic!

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Subscribe Yourself


Our Mission

To bridge the gap between the student / educational community and the professional / manufacturer community of the interior design world, and not to die of boredom while we do it.

Qpractice is offering 10% off the regular price of any of their NCIDQ prep programs as a special promotion just for PLiNTH & CHiNTZ readers! Just use the code PLINTHCHINTZ at checkout and your discount will be applied. Not valid with any other offer.
Shop Through Us

When you enter Amazon through our humble little website, a wee portion of your purchase – no matter what you buy – helps to keep PLiNTH & CHiNTZ up-n-running. The best part: It doesn't cost you anything extra and it helps us keep your access to PLiNTH & CHiNTZ free.

Some News

With 35 entries from 23 universities from 16 countries, the next generation of designers took part in the inaugural IFI WING International Student Design Competition and Awards. Interior designers Alina Boukovsky and Yirat Lorenz from The College of Management Academic Studies in Rishon LeZion Israel won first prize with the ‘Blob’ project. GO HERE to check out the winning project and learn more.

Enough Said T-Shirts
Created by a couple of Milwaukee interior designers with a quirky sense of humor, a healthy dose of sarcasm and a heaping serving of caring. Check out Enough Said to find fun t-shirts with a message.

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