About

OUR STORY

 

THE RUSTIC LIFE WAS BORN OUT OF A DREAM TO SHARE A LIFESTYLE PHILOSOPHY OF SIMPLE INSPIRED LIVING.

The Rustic Life started out as a home and lifestyle blog, by founder Sandra Downie, in the Fall of 2014 as a way to chronicle her personal style, life and home decorating projects. Since then, The Rustic Life has expanded from not only a blog but also into a full service interior design + editorial styling studio creating digital content for top lifestyle brands. We specialize in creative services that are reflective of our client's tastes while working within their budgets. Although we are versatile in our approach to design, our signature eclectic style leans towards the modern-eclectic, modern-vintage, refined rustic, farmhouse style and cottage style aesthetic.

WE ARE COMMITTED TO EVERY CLIENT ... EVERY STEP OF THE WAY ...

WE ARE A TEAM OF MAKERS ...WITH ONE GOAL IN MIND...

TO HELP OUR CLIENT'S VISIONS BECOME A REALITY AND TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL SPACES.

SANDRA DOWNIE

Founder, Creative Director + Interior Designer + Editorial Stylist

 

Born in the eclectic borough of Brooklyn - raised in Massachusetts - grew up in a big family, I know what home feels like. Your home is your haven, your favorite place to unwind, and where you make memories with your loved ones. Ever since I was young, I have loved to make things pretty … creativity is just a part of my DNA.

After graduating from college, I spent my early career years design consulting for Lillian August and Domain Home where I was first introduced to the world of interior design. These were formidable years in my life where I found a love for home furnishings, design and helping people pull together a look for a room in their home. This was when my skill for design, on a modest budget, was honed. I loved the beautiful furniture I was able to help clients select, but I also knew I personally couldn't afford any of it. After I left that industry, I worked in the beauty and event design professions, but my love for beautiful, well put together home spaces, still tugged at my heart. Fast forward to 2014 I was right back where I belonged. I can't say I found this passion, I would say it found me.

My signature organic style is effortless, comfortable yet classically elegant. I love to infuse spaces with distinct personality by combining multiple textures, time-worn and modern pieces. The end result is an inviting, stylish, and eclectic space that suits the modern lifestyle. Every project I work on is about creating a home that's filled with what you love and what speaks to you. Attention to detail is the cornerstone of what makes what I do unique and special.

In addition to interior designing, I enjoy inspiring others as a home decorating and lifestyle blogger over on the blog. My blog is my creative outlet where I spend my time sharing all the beautiful things that I love and that inspire me…interior decorating and home décor, entertaining ideas, DIYs, recipes, style, beauty tips and much more.

Merging design services into The Rustic Life brand was a natural next step in my career as an interior designer as my readers and followers interest in my style and design advice grew. As an Editorial Stylist, I have had the pleasure of working with well-known home brands including Home Depot, Raymour and Flanigan, Bed Bath and Beyond, Pine Cone Hill and Amy Howard at Home.

STEPHANIE MAZZULLA

Principal Interior Designer + Creative Partner

 

As a child my Mom always encouraged me to try different forms of art to express myself. Whether it was ceramics, watercolor classes, cartooning, or clay animation, I was always crafting. She knew I had a special gift, an ability to create, to be an artist. She planted a seed of love, letting my originality flow through the art that enriched my life from so early on.

Raised in New England I have always enjoyed the beauty of the seasons that we are so lucky to experience. The colors changing seasonally inspiring me with thoughts of color and how to play off of nature with my art. I began to see that this ability was a gift and I wanted to share it with others….

I graduated from high school still not sure where I would fit in the art world, I spoke to my guidance counselor where I was told I should go to school to be an art teacher. I loved the idea of working with children and exposing them to all different styles and ways to make art. I soon realized this was not the right path for me. I wanted to Design!

So I went back to school, at Paier College of Art, graduating with high honors with a BFA in Interior Design. Here I learned not only about how to stylize spaces but most importantly our curriculum revolved around architecture. All of our designs started from the ground up, giving us an understanding how to develop blueprints. Most of the teachers were architects, this was a huge advantage because not only were they teachers, but they worked on the job sites with contractors and developers on a daily basis. In this environment, my love for art continued evolving into ways to stylize spaces.

Working for the last couple years with a high-end design firm in Glastonbury CT, I learned to hone and develop my skills into a unique gift. That is that of being able to read people’s needs and then develop that into stylized spaces. Beautifully creating the spaces into the ones that people have envisioned but were unsure how to create.

Designing floor plans, furniture layouts, and developing professional boards to show the visual concept of the spaces. This process allows for an organized plan that the client can visually understand.

Start to finish, always following up with clients upon project’s completion my goal is to make sure that the project exceeds their expectations while adding the personal touches making it uniquely created for the individual. This is done to make an impact on peoples’ daily lives through the comfort and style of their most personal spaces