Gruler Nation Podcast

Episode #68: Healthy Homes and Interior Design with Shannon Harris

November 06, 2019 Robert F. Gruler Jr., Esq.
Gruler Nation Podcast
Episode #68: Healthy Homes and Interior Design with Shannon Harris
Chapters
Gruler Nation Podcast
Episode #68: Healthy Homes and Interior Design with Shannon Harris
Nov 06, 2019
Robert F. Gruler Jr., Esq.

Shannon Harris is President and Co- founder of Fuse Living - a residential development firm and interior design studio that specializes in urban infill and sustainable projects. Fuse Living was founded in 2012 with the intention to create healthier, smarter long lasting homes and lifestyles by setting an example for future building. 

 

The homes that Shannon designs and builds follow Energy Star, Indoor AirPlus, WaterSense and LEED green building programs as the baseline for a Fuse Living home. At the end of this year, Shannon will have completed the construction of 28 residences. With both development and interior design Shannon and Fuse Living are able to take a home from the drawing board, through construction, and finish with furnishings for the most optimal ways of living. 

 

To find out more about Shannon and Fuse Living follow their instagram @fuseliving or reach Shannon by email at shannon@fuseliving.com 

 

Please Like, Subscribe, and Comment below! 

 

#FuseLiving #interiordesign #urbaninfill #sustainable #projects #longlastinghomes #greendesigns #greenliving #lightbulbs #greenhomebuilding #healthyhomes #arizona #growth #success #podcast #InspirationwithGrulerNation #inspire #gruler #inspiration #GrulerNation #GrulerNationPodcast #gnp #arizonapodcast #scottsdale #yesphx #phx  

 

The Gruler Nation Podcast is a show that focuses on conversations with interesting "Level 10" people passionate about changing the world with their work, relationships and ideas. The show is hosted by Robert Gruler, an attorney and founding partner of the R&R Law Group, a criminal defense law firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona focused on helping good people charged with crimes move forward with their lives.   

 

Interested in being on the show or have a guest recommendation? Email Robert directly at robert@rrlawaz.com or visit www.robgruler.com for more information.  

 

Support the show (https://www.ericshouse.org/donate/)

Show Notes Transcript

Shannon Harris is President and Co- founder of Fuse Living - a residential development firm and interior design studio that specializes in urban infill and sustainable projects. Fuse Living was founded in 2012 with the intention to create healthier, smarter long lasting homes and lifestyles by setting an example for future building. 

 

The homes that Shannon designs and builds follow Energy Star, Indoor AirPlus, WaterSense and LEED green building programs as the baseline for a Fuse Living home. At the end of this year, Shannon will have completed the construction of 28 residences. With both development and interior design Shannon and Fuse Living are able to take a home from the drawing board, through construction, and finish with furnishings for the most optimal ways of living. 

 

To find out more about Shannon and Fuse Living follow their instagram @fuseliving or reach Shannon by email at shannon@fuseliving.com 

 

Please Like, Subscribe, and Comment below! 

 

#FuseLiving #interiordesign #urbaninfill #sustainable #projects #longlastinghomes #greendesigns #greenliving #lightbulbs #greenhomebuilding #healthyhomes #arizona #growth #success #podcast #InspirationwithGrulerNation #inspire #gruler #inspiration #GrulerNation #GrulerNationPodcast #gnp #arizonapodcast #scottsdale #yesphx #phx  

 

The Gruler Nation Podcast is a show that focuses on conversations with interesting "Level 10" people passionate about changing the world with their work, relationships and ideas. The show is hosted by Robert Gruler, an attorney and founding partner of the R&R Law Group, a criminal defense law firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona focused on helping good people charged with crimes move forward with their lives.   

 

Interested in being on the show or have a guest recommendation? Email Robert directly at robert@rrlawaz.com or visit www.robgruler.com for more information.  

 

Support the show (https://www.ericshouse.org/donate/)

Speaker 1:

This is episode 68 of the ruler nation podcast. My name is Robert ruler, joined today by Shannon Harris. Shannon Harris is the president and co founder of fuse living a residential development firm, interior design studio that does a lot of cool stuff and we want to talk about that. But first of all, let me thank you for being here. Thank you Shannon. Thank you for having me. So give me a quick rundown, a little over a review on what fuse living does. I know it's kind of this, this movement into sustainable living, healthier living, green living, kind of all of those different things in healthy materials and all that. Tell me about what it is exactly that you do. What kind of is a little bit different about fuse living than maybe some other design firms?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we actually started fuse living. I started it with my father who had no background in construction or development industry at all, but um, he helped me on the back end kind of business side of things, start fuse living as a new construction development firm. So I went to school for and have a degree in interior design. Um, and actually through school got really interested in healthy homes and sustainability and kind of what that meant. And of course over the last 10 years it's evolved that definition for me. Um, but when we started fuse living as a new construction development firm, we decided that we would build and create green homes, healthy homes, and that would be our baseline, our standard not, you know, like sort of big box builders that uh , some of them do a lot of things in that way. But um, you know, our attention to detail and focus has always been healthy home as a baseline and then we go up from there.

Speaker 1:

So that's it. I appreciate that. It's just, it's a, it's a kind of generic buzz word that's kinda been thrown around a lot. Right. So my , my goal is to kind of understand a little bit more about what that means specifically. So you have a traditional home builder who just puts up the, you know, the four walls and the , the accessories and the appliances and all that stuff. What elements of a home make it healthy or make it green isn't , I mean, it's gotta be more than just light bulbs. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. I'm not trying to be condescending. I just, it's one of those things, it's like everybody says, yeah, you know, my house is [inaudible] green, I'm going green or whatever.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. Well, it's , uh , that's a , I'm having a lot of conversations actually recently about, you know, the many different categories that kind of fall under this umbrella. So you can focus on air quality and healthy materials, nontoxic materials. You can focus on energy efficiencies. Um , a highly efficient home is considered a sustainable home or a green home. Um, there's, you know, other green home programs that look at the site that a home is built on or that a building is built on and takes in the outdoor environment as well. Uh, does the home we're building give back to the environment? Does it take from the environment? So there's sort of a lot of categories that you can break down. Um, and I'm happy to get into it .

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Yeah. So I'm sure there is a lot, and I guess it's kind of probably way too broad of a question to tell me what is a green home, right? Because there's a lot of different components that you can kind of add into sort of move homes in , in that direction. What, what is sort of the, the process that you go through? So let's, let's kind of start a lo a little further back. So if somebody comes to you and says, Hey Shannon, I love your message. I'm interested in building a home or starting a project that's a little bit outside of the traditional norm. Maybe they don't want to go with one of the big, you know, brand name home builders or something like that. Um, what's, what's the conversation that you have with that person you say, yeah, they start thinking about it, they kind of want to open the box and take a peek inside and you sort of have that conversation with them.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I would start talking about those different broad categories and identify what is important to that specific person. And from there , dive into each category or the important categories to them a little bit deeper. So if they cared about energy efficiency , uh , we would talk about, you know, the thermal envelope and what extra materials we're using, what level of insulation we're using, what type of insulation we're using. Um, you know, just this whole kind of thermal bridge from indoor to outdoor air pass through. Um, we talk about, you know, the types of HVAC systems and if you have a really super tight home, you're then going to need a fresh air vent to re circulate that air and make sure you're bringing in enough fresh air. Um, so there's, you know, that's kind of the energy efficiency sort of topic and conversation. Um, and then we start talking about healthy materials that, that of course plays into some systems behind the walls, but it's really, you know, what type of cabinetry, what type of flooring, what type of , uh, sealants and you know, are we using water-based paints and non and low VOC paints and sealants and grouts and all those things. Um, so yeah, if someone came and and said, Hey, I want to start thinking outside the box but I don't really know where to start, we would help kind of identify what they resonate with and go from there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Cause it's kind of , it's a new space for a lot of people. They haven't been thinking that way. Right. You know, they've been living in houses, you know, my house was built in like the fifties or sixties or something. Right. And so they just threw up a bunch of bricks and a roof on it and said yeah, we're good. We're done. We're done on that. But there's a lot more that goes into it or, or can go into it if you want to be thoughtful about it. Why are, so you've been doing this about seven years now, why are people sort of more interested in this topic? Do you think it's a moral type of endeavor? People want to say, yeah, you know , I want to be clear, clean, take care of the planet, and kind of do my part to be less focused on the consumption side or are people interested in cost savings or health savings? They don't want toxic stuff from overseas somewhere. Yeah . What's kind of the breakdown that you're seeing?

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean all of those, and I hate to sound like a broken record already, but you know, it's different things resonate with different people. And so I find that people, you know, that care about health, that , and we talk about the materials. If we keep people care about cost savings, we talk about the efficiencies. And so again, it's just really kind of diving into those deeper categories. But , um, usually it's, I would say out of, I would say seven broad categories, two or three are really hit home for some people and , and the rest are just kind of things that we as a company embed in because we understand the , um, kind of longterm benefits by putting some of those other elements in. Just incorporating into our design

Speaker 1:

are people, I think one of the things about, about the green kind of movement is that some people are concerned about cost , right? So some of the green technology or you know, the, the, the light bulbs or any of that , whatever it is, they , they can be a little bit more expensive than the traditional things. Right? A , an led light bulb is more expensive than a CFL. And I feel like I'm going to talk about light bulbs this whole show, but I want to try not to do that, but that, you know, that it's , it's been, yeah , it's been beaten into our heads. Right . Change your light bulbs, you're gonna save the planet, change your light bulb or else we're all going to die. All right. All right . They're changed. Leave us alone. All right . But my point is, you know, people are, are sort of expecting that it's going to cost a little bit more. And I would think from kind of just a layman's perspective that those that might be, might make people less inclined to even have the conversation. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I think you have to look at the full life cycle analysis. So an led light bulb is going to last 10,000 hours or I don't know, off the top of my head what it is, a hundred thousand hours, whatever it is compared to an incandescent bulb. Right. And so it that upfront cost $30 versus $2 seems atrocious, you know, but then your , you're replacing your incandescents however often and so fit , this is a home you're going to live in for more than two years. More than five years. You know, it's absolutely worth it because you're just, your maintenance costs are going to be lower year after year after year.

Speaker 1:

Okay. And when people are going or going through that process, I mean, you're having this conversation with them, right? But that can also, it's not just the light bulbs, it's , it's the rest of the house. So when we're talking about the installation that you're choosing , or you know , the roof or whatever, they're going to see savings based on what you've picked out for them and they were installing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Especially insulation . And if we put in, not necessarily attic haters and it doesn't have a ton of attic space, but um , you know, above your upper trusses in your roof space , um, that's gonna save you a ton on your heating and cooling, you know, cooling especially in Arizona summers. Um, and so you're going to see little savings month after month. And really there are a lot of products on the market that in our last couple of builds, we've really only seen like a 3% increase, maybe for four costs for costs. Really . Yeah. Yeah. So it's uh , becoming a lot more fine tuned even since, you know, we started feuds living seven years ago to today. It's , it's dropped.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So your knowledge on all of that difference . I mean it's , it's, it's fairly deep, right? Cause you have to know more than, and I'm not trying to, again, I'm not trying to be condescending here. I just don't know the language. I don't know how this stuff works. So, you know, I think a lot of kind of, when I think of interior design and I have zero skills in any of that, I'm the look at my office. It's, it's rough. I'm sure you're cringing being here, but it's one of those things where I just don't think a lot about it. And I , I'm assuming, I'm just kind of assuming that a lot of people, you know, young men like myself who are not married, are also probably not thinking a lot about it. And so we, you, when, when, when the concept comes in, it's, we're thinking more about the appearance of certain things. Does that match, does the paint match the carpet? Does the couch fit in the room? Right. You know, can I hang that on the wall? No, I can't. All right. Why not? Whereas you're , you're focused on the entire structure of the home. I mean, from foundation to the roof materials, all of that. Was that part of what you went through in your education to learn through that or kind of guided me through some of that materials, education. How does that work?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. From an , from an interiors program perspective , uh, of course it was focused on interior materials and just, you know, things as basic as color theory to um, floor planning, space planning, you know, kind of higher level. And it always starts at a , at the top end of the funnel, you know, your space planning and then you kind of funnel it down and then you get into the nitty gritty details. So yeah . Um, but I would say in terms of, and we did through you know, code and going through my, my education program, we learned different things about code and we learned about, you know, a stick frame and metal frame and installation and we had to actually draw out those details and to really understand, you know, those building details. Um, I would say though, actually through opening the development firm and really starting to be a part of that process is when I learned the most, I mean, I think this is definitely an industry where field experience teaches you the absolute most.

Speaker 1:

Sure. Yeah. And Arizona is different than some of the other places where people are building things, right? Arizona is different than California, which is different than Minnesota would be different than Florida. Right. So you have to adjust your strategy based on what works for the environment. Right. All right . So yeah . Hey, I , Hey, I'm , I'm trying to scrape, scrape together some , uh, some knowledge. I'm really stretching here, but it's , uh , it is interesting because it's , it's just one of those things that we take for granted a lot of the time, you know, so this is kind of a good, a good way to distinguish how this is working. So you are helping us with our office space, right? So in our current office space right now, we , uh, Ryan and I basically took a piece of paper and sketched out where we wanted stuff and we did it like amateurs and we had no idea what we were doing, but we were like, Oh, this feels good. Right? This sounds good. The next projects a lot. It's a lot bigger. It's a lot more involved. And so we enlisted your help and you have, you've done an outstanding job, first of all, and we appreciate what you've done for us. But the things that you're thinking about , um, can you walk me through kind of that creative process? Cause now you're designing for an office, you're designing for people who are working and they're going to be in and out and they have to be focused because of the nature of our work, you know, and they need to be seen and they need to have good energy and all of that stuff. So what went, how did you go through designing the space that you've done for us thus far?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Um, I think that, and I'm really happy you asked this question because I think it's a broader topic as well. So I'm really, really in tune with the psychology behind design and that the way things are space planned really matters and how you set things up. It's not just about color or the placement of a piece of furniture, you know, it's about the whole function in the whole flow. And so I really, you know, we had some discovery meetings and I kind of identified what your , uh, importances were, what your needs really were. And I asked them questions and we, you know, that discovery meeting is incredibly informative. Um, and then from there, you know, I do my own research on , um, I just looked at kind of trends in law firms and trends and how law firms operate and function, what you know, and kind of correlated that back to your specific wants and needs. Um, but absolutely first impressions matter. And so we talked a lot about, you know, your clients feeling really safe and secure given the , the type of firm you guys are. And so , um , just designing spaces that feel intimate enough to give that safety and security and how can we play with wall spaces or ceiling levels or just different things. You know, there's a lot of different elements that play into a certain feeling that's evoked.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And we sat down and we told you, I mean, from, from our perspective, we're kind of utilitarian, right? We need this much space. We need this many offices. We planned for this growth, we're going to be able to help this many more people and so on and so forth. And then a big part of what you did is you were able to kind of put those into a , into a , a design that is going to facilitate that growth. But then I think make sure that the needs of those people are met, right? So we've got entrances and exits and you've got some lighting that you're doing and you know, all of this different stuff. It's , it's fascinating to me because I would imagine that there is some measurable benefits to productivity when they're in a good environment.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. Absolutely. There's a direct correlation. I mean, thermal comfort of course, which you know, we can't do a ton about and you're in your situation because the building is the building, right? But noise control. And so we talked different types of walls, you know, full height versus half height and things like that. And noise control is, is huge because it's actually, you know, noise is such a distractor. Um, a lot of people don't realize that. And it also can cause more anxiety if there's like background noise and things like that. So , um, you know, a cluttered environment, making sure that things are seamless. And they, and this is more generally speaking too, not just in, in your situation. Um, but yeah, really designing for the productivity of the specific client as well as just the general kind of concepts of psychology and design.

Speaker 1:

How did you get into this w w what was the driving force behind kind of getting into this, this area? Is this something that you kind of found that you were good at or you know from, from the time you were young up until today? What was the evolution? Right .

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, I mean I sensed the time I was young had this thing of, Oh, I'm gonna help people. I, I, I wanna , you know, help people be healthy and I just want to help people, you know, like five-year-old little me thinks that that means I'm going to be a doctor. And started going down that road actually, and was then quickly realized , no, wait, hold on. This is not for me to do much more creative. Um , and then again through school started, you know, hearing the topic of sustainability and it was at that time, definitely more geared to the environment. But as I started doing my own research and you know, the field has evolved and I have evolved, I've really correlated that back to a human health perspective. Um, started with air quality. And then in the recent two years I started studying environmental psychology, which is the human psychological part of how we interact in our spaces. Um, one of the other things I thought in , in ma , I was either going to go medical or something in psychology and you know, so somehow it just all has sort of come together for me. So , um, it's just at my core, I guess to answer your question,

Speaker 1:

yeah, I of it's kind of a good blend of the two , right? So you can kind of be in the health space where you are helping people with their mental sanity. You know what I mean? They're there. I had been in, in offices that make me go crazy. Yeah. And we all can relate to that. You go into an office, it's closed or you get that claustrophobic feeling, you can't see anything that's weird, you know, just weird in it and it instantly causes that anxiety. And then you've been in those great offices. Yeah. You just walk in and it's sort of like a subconscious thing that goes on and you just , your heart rate drops. You're, you're, you know, you feel calm. The anxiety kind of dissipates. But it's, it's almost, it's a little bit of an art form. You have to get really good at understanding what the best practices are and then implementing them and you are, you're very good at that. So now you're able to help people, you know, create those spaces and , uh, and use your creativity. Yeah . Which is very exciting. Yeah. That's good stuff. Um, I want to ask you a little bit more about the process that you go through and how you work with people. So in other words, if somebody's , somebody , we talked about a little bit about you exploring that conversation with somebody, but , um, practically are you working with people who are building brand new homes? Are you working with people who already have a home and you're helping them remodel or just do the space, you know, the furnishings and the interior kind of guide me through the menu of services that you offer.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So we of course have our own development firm that's new construction. Um, but then on the interiors branch side of fuse living, we take on residential clients that are doing substantial remodels. Uh, sometimes just or often I should say just stylized packages, which are, you know, furniture, drapes, accessories, kind of the, the soft goods part of it. Um, we have yet as the interiors company to take on a client building a custom new construction, obviously very fully capable of doing that because that's what we do on our development side. Um, so that's kind of the direction we're going to and striving to get to. Um, but yeah, we , we can really do it all from, you know, a single sofa to a complete custom home build, which is the ideal.

Speaker 1:

What, what, so that's a , yeah, that's a lot. So, I mean basically anybody who's trying to make an adjustment in their space or build a new space, I mean you can basically help them do that. I'm just curious. So you have of of all the different, you know, technologies and materials and everything that you can do in new a home, what, what are some sort of, let's say somebody's , you know, budget's not a real , uh, concern for them. They want a new home and they want to kind of check some of the boxes. What do you prioritize or what's going to be kind of some real, some real strong items that you're going to encourage them to incorporate. If budget's not a fan , it's not a factor. We're not talking about pathetic . Now .

Speaker 2:

There is some really cool, I actually am, am part of a group conversation now with this rammed earth product, which is almost like a structural concrete except it's rammed earth. So this company takes the dirt from the site that they build on. So it's completely native. It's completely acclimated of course, because it's the dirt from the site. Um , and it's a rammed process and that is the structural walls of the home

Speaker 1:

ramming it , like they're compacting the dirt into, into like,

Speaker 2:

yeah. So like when you pour concrete, you build up forms, you pour the concrete and you take the forms away and then you have a concrete wall. So rammed earth is a similar process except you're just compacting this earth down layer after layer after layer. It's actually incredibly beautiful as well. Um, but it's insulative like I said, it's native and natural. It helps control humidity levels. It helps , uh, like the home breathe and all these things. So if budget wasn't an option, wasn't an option cause it's a little bit pricey, I would say. Look into, it's called sire wall. Look into sidewall as a home build. Um, that's fascinating. It's, it's, I've just recently have been introduced to this particular company and they exceed , uh, from what I can tell, they far exceed other rammed earth products. But if it rains, is it gonna turn into mud? Yeah, maybe. No, no. I don't know all the details. Uh, but no, is the answer. It's gonna wash away. No, they've actually built some stuff over a wash or in like wetlands. And so, you know, it's, it's, they know what they're doing. Again, I don't know all the details, but , um, it's really cool. I think it's, I bring it up because it's, it's interesting and sort of indigenous in thought, but also incredibly innovative right now because those processes from, you know, 400 500 years ago are now thought as thought of as an innovative when it's just a pretty old practice. Um, that was the whole kind of side tangent on this one product. But

Speaker 1:

no, that's great. That's , that's , that's super interesting. Okay, so you build a , you build a home, but the, the sort of the structural foundation is

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] . Yeah. Even all the exterior walls can, is, are this product because it helps insulate the home. It helps breed , you know, control, humidity and all those things. Um , now that's a bit of an extreme. So if someone just, you know, doesn't want it , it doesn't like the look or doesn't want to go that full direction, then yeah, I think you, again, we start with looking at the thermal envelope. We start looking at native and natural elements to the geographical location. So we always want to select your exterior materials to what fits in with the geography. Um, you don't want to just slap up something that doesn't fit with the climate. Right . Um, and then of course you start thinking about the materials and for us we look at zoning and the space planning lot, so quiet zones versus active zones and really dig into how we can incorporate architectural elements or interior elements that cater to different , uh , transitions through your day, if you will. Um, and I'm not saying that necessarily takes money, but it takes some thought. So to be able to incorporate those things, you know, is, is heavier on the design side and then to build those features out are typically more of a luxury right now. Yeah . Do you think?

Speaker 1:

Do you, or let me ask you , do you see, do you see more and more home buyers or people who are in the process of building? Do you think it's trending green or is it still kind of, kind of like unexclusive ? You know,

Speaker 2:

I don't think it's, I think we're somewhere in the middle. I don't think it's exclusive right now, but I also don't know that it's a full trend here in Arizona. I think other places like, you know, of course California or where we started in Denver, Colorado, especially in Boulder, Colorado, you know, it's almost the norm. Um, Denver and even city municipalities are starting to get on board in , in certain cities that they have stronger code requirements. They have stronger desires to incorporate some elements and more efficient, healthier elements into just code and zoning and all of those things. So , um, whether it's really trending or not, I think that, you know, it's , it's the direction that we're moving.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Technology's interesting because I mean, when you start thinking like, think of some of the things that Ilan is dealing right with Tesla and you've got these, he, I think he's got, you know , the power wall now, these shootings , batteries that people are putting in their homes and then they can be powered by his solar tiles. It's almost like these homes can become totally self-sustained and even off the grid in a lot of ways. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Cities don't like that very much. You don't think so? No, I know. So I need to be plugged in to [inaudible] services. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and I don't know for sure. I've heard mixed messages, but in Phoenix I looked into doing an off-grid home and then it was like, no , that you're required to plug in and then someone maybe found a loophole. But you know, I think that there's still a strong, we have to figure out if this is the direction we're going, we have to figure out how to build this way and still incorporate, you know, all the, all the state, federal, city consideration .

Speaker 1:

Yeah. I did not even think about that. Yeah, because you , you got to go through a permitting process, right? If you're gonna build a new house, you got to get a permit and get approval and, and they're going to look at all the different plans throughout the course of the build. Right. And they're gonna have inspections that come out periodically. So , uh , I wonder why that is. They're just concerned that, do you think it's, do you think it's a , they're afraid of that trend? Maybe they have some control because of the , the, the necessity to plug into their water, their sewage, their , you know, every , their electricity and all that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Um, I think maybe it's a little bit of a control thing. I don't, you know, want to speak out of turn. I don't know the opinions or how it , you know, all the inner workings of, of our public figures and cities, but yeah, no . Well, good, good. Um, but yeah, I mean I think it's also just, it's incredibly new and where people don't have knowledge and they don't know how it's going to work if it's , if it's going to set people up for failure or set people up for success and we know that this is, our systems have been successful in the past. Have they been a little bit detriment? Detrimental in certain ways. Yeah. But do we all know how to fix it and correct it right now? No. And so to take that risk, you know, is maybe something that um, yeah, that's something to do at this point.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's a good point. I mean, there , there is, there's probably good argument that one, you know, one homeowner who wants all of that stuff, the self-sustained , uh , you know, environment that may be well and good and work well for that person, but the next person who buys that house may want to be plugged into the grid and plugged into all of that stuff, you know , because I don't know what the maintenance goes in what's required to maintain all of those different systems. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Um, I mean, it's pretty typical, pretty normal maintenance, but that's the other, the good point is that a lot of people don't realize home maintenance, you know, you move into your home, you're like, Oh great, I have a house. And I think a mass majority of people don't change their air filters as much as they're supposed to or maintain, you know, their grout or whatever it is. There is a lot of maintenance that goes into all of your products, have a home. And generally speaking, people don't maintain the way they should. So whether it's a normal, normal, normal home or green home, you know, that's still something that I think people need to get better about and realize .

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well I certainly, and then you don't, you know, I don't know how the systems work, but if your neighbor is , uh, dissipating their sewage into some system that's under the home and you're right next to them, you know, I can say whether it's clean or an or, or has no impact on the environment whatsoever, it still is kind of an uncomfortable feeling for people and they just don't understand, I think. Yeah , I think a big problem is probably the education. People just don't understand how these things work because most people don't have new green homes. Right . Even the new ones that are being built are still the traditional kind of model and a lot of the things that you're talking about don't go into the thought process in that build.

Speaker 2:

Right? No, you're absolutely right. It's, it's , uh , let's incorporate some green features into a very traditional model. And I think that's why I brought up the rammed earth in that sire wall product is because it's very different and it, it's, it would be very scary for the common person. Cause you know, new and changes is scary and it seems risky and it's like, well, how was , is my house gonna wash away? It's raining, but this is dirt. Huh? How does this work? Um, so yeah, and I, and you, and I'm huge on education. I think a lot of the people in my specific network on this, these topics are really huge on education and awareness and try to get, you know , those messages out there is often. And , um, as , you know, as we can because it, the awareness makes all the difference.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Yeah. And it, and one of the cool things that, that we were talking about it and think you're incorporating into our design was uh, plants. So green living plants. Can you tell me kind of about that decision process or why it's important to think through that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so of course for air quality, you know, plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. So that's sort of a, you know , common known about plants. But also the more uncommon is that they all, they actually have a re , uh , psychological, restorative power. So , um , just kind of zoning out and looking at the pattern pattern of a leaf activates the restorative part of your brain to , um, help bring your cognitive fatigue back to a healthier state. So patterns in nature actually affect our subconscious and very, very powerful, powerful ways. And I think, you know, in a firm, well, I have a lot of plants at home and you know, that helps those kind of quiet areas and that whole atmosphere. But especially in, you know, a , a firm or a business like yours where there's, I would imagine a pretty, hi, I don't want to say stress, but it's, it's focused work. You know, it's, it's a lot of attention to detail and so to have those elements kind of kicking around where your eyes just naturally carry you to those and it does something for you subconsciously that you don't even necessarily know is happening in the background. But it is a very, very productive, positive thing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And it's a good way to break up and it looks beautiful by the way. I mean, it looks, it looks really neat, really cool, but it does definitely break up sort of the, the, the beige and you know, the, the, the, the flat surfaces. It adds a little bit of organic kind of depth and movement softness. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

I think every space needs a little element of softness.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. We'll work excited about that. You mentioned your home. I'm curious, do you know what some of the features are that you have in your home that may be not in everybody's home?

Speaker 2:

The designer's house is always the way though. Um, I just have a lot, I just kind of test things with my house. I move things around fairly often. I, you know, kind of test out wild patterns or things that I am not quite sure about or think that, you know, someone is not going to go for them . Oh , I'll do it. Um , I don't have anything super crazy, but I think it's , it speaks to a cohesive package that has some intrigue and interest and interesting elements and thought out elements. Um,

Speaker 1:

yeah. Well that's, that's good. Does it, does it , uh, does it change a lot? I know you're testing and experimenting things, but the bigger stuff doesn't change too often. Yeah. Yeah. That's good.

Speaker 2:

But what will change, and I actually haven't told you this yet. I M M hopefully I am going through lease negotiations right now on a space for a showroom, so to highlight our style and you know, eco-friendly furniture as well as the building materials. It'll be actually more focused on interiors products and furniture, things like that. So , um, that show room , we'll , we'll definitely be able to highlight style and these concepts and methods and products that we're talking.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. Where is that going to be at seventh street and Bethany home. Nice. Yeah , that's very exciting. Congratulations on that. Hopefully it all comes through, so, yeah. Well I'm sure it will stay tuned. How, I want to kind of transition a little bit. So how, how has it been building a business? So, you know, I know, you know, you're , you're the president, you're the co founder and you know, you've kind of built this thing from, from scratch, right? Yeah. How has that process been? You're also a mother, you know, you're a wife, you've got a lot of different things that you're juggling. You're the creative person, so you have to, you know, actually sit down and do the work. You're not selling tee shirts, not that there's anything wrong with selling tee shirts, you know, that's, it's just, it's a little bit of a different journey. Yeah. Um, how do you manage all that?

Speaker 2:

Um, I, it's all been an evolution. Of course. You know, I started my career as a designer for other firms and then we got into the development and the development was, Oh, let's just do this on the side. And very quickly realized, okay, yeah, no, this is not a side gig. This is a full time thing. Um, and you know, we started with smaller projects and grew into a little bit larger projects and then a few years later in 2015, I launched the interior design side. And that was again just kind of, you know, take on residential clients as, as there were locals in the larger developments. Um, so it's been , uh , I w I personally think a pretty slow growth. Um, but this last year I've been heavily focused on building the interior side of the business. Um, and I've been happy about that growth currently in some growing pains. You know, there's, yeah, there's um, a lot of things happening pretty quickly and I, you know, have some team members now. I've always had a couple team members, but it is definitely a balance and a juggle. And you know, my father has started a business. He started a few different businesses and so I have him in the background as an advisor and a mentor and just a little bit of a sounding board. And so that's, you know, an opportunity that I know not everybody gets that I'm incredibly grateful for. Um, but yeah, there's definitely having two kids in the middle of all of it is , uh , challenging, but you just, I've sort of learned how to find the balance in some times I'm better at the balance than others. Um,

Speaker 1:

yeah, I always thought it was interesting when that that's what's kind of unique about the creative space that you operate in, right? So some, some businesses can scale because they don't require creativity, right? If you hire somebody to clean your pools, as long as your pool is clean, that's it. Right. And you can scale and you can hire somebody who's capable of cleaning pools and you can hire another person who's capable of cleaning pools in . There you go. Yeah. You can scale up a pool cleaning business, which is what I used to do before law school. Uh, the , the difference with yours is that there is that element of creativity. You're an artist and to a certain extent. So how does a business like that scale? Do you want to ,

Speaker 2:

absolutely. Yeah. And I don't know that I want to grow, I don't know if scale is the correct term, but yeah. But grow for sure. Um, and you're right because the creative part of it, it is a process and it's, you know, it is an art form and it does take mental clarity to have those, you know, creative ideas come to you and all those things. And so it is definitely, I think, slower than , um, maybe a little bit slower than I would like, but also slower than other businesses like technology, you know, that can obviously and automation and those things and once you start incorporating those things, those businesses fly. Right, exactly. Um, so yeah, it's, it's, I've, I've had to sort of come to peace with , uh, I'm , I'm not generally in life a turtle, you know, like what is it ? Turtle wins the racer who wouldn't slow, slow and steady. Yeah . I'm more of a sprinter generally in life. And so that's actually a huge personal thing that I've had to grow with personal growth is just recognizing and accepting, you know , um, that my industry and my particular business just has a little bit of a slower pace growth trend .

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Cause there's only so many hours in a day, right. You can only work on so many projects at a time. So you're sort of the bottleneck in a certain sense. Yeah . You can own you , once you are are at capacity. There is no more Shannon Harris to design. Yeah . So you have to delegate some of that stuff out or, or create a process or you know, bring somebody on who, who you trust and has a skill set that you say, yeah, this person is outstanding. They're going to follow the same philosophy, the same process. You build the infrastructure and your business.

Speaker 2:

Right? Yeah. Yeah. And on the back end, I've been able to do that , um, you know, in the last couple of years. But you're exactly right on the design end. I'm almost there. And it's not that I don't, I'm not, I'm ready to say, okay, you know, run with it. But I think at the high level, I still come up with the concepts and the overall philosophy and you know, the direction and then getting into the nitty gritty details is sort of a junior designer or something in that space. But that still requires me to Pat , you know, carve out four hours in a certain day to allow this creative process to initially set in and get going and, and all those things. So , um, yeah,

Speaker 1:

yeah, yeah. It's, it's a journey. It doesn't matter what business you're in. It's, it's a journey and you're , I think you're doing a great job of it. I mean, we've loved working with you. It's been, it's been fun. We still have a long way to go and I know that , um, you're actually meeting with our, our, our build team here shortly. So let me ask you, all right , so I want people to understand how they can work with you, how that process works. So you kind of touched on it a little bit when you were, we were kind of going through what we've done with you thus far. But if set , let's say for example, somebody listening to the show and they say, Hey, that sounds great to me. I've been thinking a lot about this, I want to meet with Shannon. What's the best way for them to do that to connect with you? And then what are they, what should they be expecting?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean to connect with me, you know, I think we'll put out all those connection points or info, contact info stuff. But I think it's important for someone to understand the process up front because a lot of people call and say, Oh, you know, can you help me with furniture? Can you help me with a paint color? And then I start talking about process and then, you know, wow, this is more than I thought it was. So , um , I would do want to put emphasis on that. It is a process. It is a design. It is a full service that we're offering. We go through the design with you. We walk you through, you know, furniture ordering, your product, ordering. Um, we have presentations to present concepts, to present ideas, to present materials. We, we work with vendors on the backend to make sure all of that is fluid and facilitated. Then we come in and you know, similar to HVT HGTV when you see like, Oh wow, this is the day, you know, that that day does happen. Um, but it is a process and it , it doesn't happen like on the show and in two days or two weeks it is, you know , uh, you know, an eight week process or sometimes even longer depending on the project type and project size. Um, so we always give out consultations, we talk about all those details and we talk about process on initial consultation. We get into the needs and you know, resonates with people. Um, you know, specific , we talk about, you know, what, what do you do for fun? What's your functionality of your house? And we, we really want to get to know our clients as the person so that way we can get to know how a , where we're going to pull our products and our designs from. And then B , make sure that it's functional for that particular person.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And you actually came into our office and looked around what do you guys currently have? What are you working with now? Okay. What's your vision? And we spend a lot of time talking through that and you and I have obviously known each other for some time before we decided to work together. But um, but I , I certainly think that's important and you have this, this very good ability to kind of just pick up on what people want you just, you kind of both Ryan and I didn't have to tell you a whole, whole lot. You just kinda said, okay , I get it. Yeah. And then you put it together and we really were happy with what you, what you produced. The other thing that I think I think people should know about is how you are compensated or how you structure that because that was something, you know, people, like I said, when people start thinking of green stuff, they think, Oh my God is going to be $50,000 to, you know, figure out how to put furniture in my living room. I was like, no, no, no, it's not that complicated. Right. So you go through a process where you are sort of analyzing what they want and you put together a proposal, the whole scope of the project and then, and then can you tell us about how that works?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so exactly. We go through that initial consultation, we identify the project scope and the needs and the wishlist and all those things. And then I go back and I think about, you know, okay, what is this project going to take? Um, and I, I combine a couple of different methodologies that interior designers use for billing. Um, and so I do hourly building, hourly billing through how the design phases. Um, and that's all of, you know, the creative work and concept. And storyboards and presentations and all those things. That's all of the design phase, creative work. And so that's at an hourly basis, which I always include and not to exceed. And I've, you know , luckily had enough projects to pretty much hit the nail on the head with the estimation of hours . I haven't ever gone vastly over. Um, so what , uh, what I set as a not to exceed his is your worst case of course. Um, and then once we go into ordering of materials, and this is if we're talking just furniture, stylize art accessories, you know, those types of things. Once we go into that ordering parts of the project, we do a 20% markup on all furniture and product and that's very, very standard across the industry. Um, we typically like to source from trade only manufacturers because it , we get a deep discount and then we add our 20% markup and that's um, order management and you know, taking care of any damages that may occur. Kind of that whole process so that we, you don't have to stress or think about it and then you're still getting it. At a lesser than retail costs .

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that was a great, that's actually a great, I'm glad you mentioned that because yeah, that is something that kind of might surprise people to say, wait a minute, I can order my own furniture and not, and not pay that markup , but , but because of your relationships, you're getting them so discounted right from what you would get at a traditional store that they're actually saving money.

Speaker 2:

Sure, yup . Yeah. And I want to specify that at retailers. So if I went to, you know, restoration hardware, crate and barrel, we don't get as as deep of a discount. So then you would be paying the full retail and we would actually get a lesser than market . It depends on what the markup is there is. So that's why as designers, we like to go to trade only sources because that's where it works to our benefit to always have that 20% granted, you're still getting that less than retail and then you're getting something a little bit more custom that's not in a mainstream store that everybody in the,

Speaker 1:

yeah, yeah. That marks their stuff up because they're marketing so much, they have to, they have to pay for their marketing. That's why the couch costs twice as much as it probably should. Yeah. Okay. And yeah, I mean that's great. All right, so let's boil it down for people. You have this, this idea of, you know, kind of the ideal, you know, kind of killer project that is perfect for somebody like you. What does that look like?

Speaker 2:

Your custom home new model. Can you construction? Yup . Custom home new construction or substantial remodel. Like I want to rip this thing apart and totally do something new

Speaker 1:

and just go, go wild. Yeah. Trust me as a designer. Yeah. That, that's an excellent point. I would say, you know, because we get that even in our practice, people call us and they, they hire us because they know that we're experts at what we do. We're very good at it and then they question us every step of the way. Right. And you just go, Hey, you paid for our expertise. Yeah. Let us be experts at what we do. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And I think the hands off approach, you know, you're, again, you're hiring me for my expertise, but also you don't really want to deal with the things that I'm dealing with in the background. Like trust me, you don't want to have those conversations or deal with those things. And so for you to have a white glove service, to have a beautiful home is, makes the process of having that beautiful home really great for you because you don't see that

Speaker 1:

stupid behind the scenes. You just want the sausage, you don't want to know how it's made. Yeah, just give me the meat. Yeah. Yeah. And that's exactly, and I can be, you know , a testimonial to that because exactly what you just said is what you're doing. Right. And Ryan and I, we don't have to think about it. You designed and now you're meeting with the building people, they're gonna and you're just gonna take it out of our hands. That way we can be good lawyers. Focus on what we do best, let you do what you do best. And we're all happy. Life's good. The perfect client, the perfect client. I don't know yet. We still got a ways to go. I'm sure I'll pull up . I'm sure I'll below that. So wait until I wait until at least phase three before I really let the craziest come out. So yeah . Well you're on notice. All right, well Shannon Harris, I really appreciate you being here. So let me give people a couple of places to find you. Your Instagram, of course, at fuse , living Shannon at fuse , living.com. You can go to fuse, living.com F U S E living.com (602) 430-4427 . All sound good. Anything anywhere else? That's the majors . That's it. Yeah. So check her out. Direct link to me. All those things. Direct link to Shannon. Yeah, and that's where you want, you want to be connected to Shannon, so do that. So check her out. Shannon Harrison and I appreciate being on the show and we'll have you on again , uh , sometime soon. Thanks very much. Thank you.

Speaker 3:

The ruler nation podcast is brought to you by the RNR law group, Arizona's premier criminal defense and personal injury law firm available at www dot our our law, a z.com or give us a call, four eight zero four zero zero one three.