Putting the Splash in Backsplash

Want to make a big splash in your kitchen on any size budget?  You can do it with backsplash.  From the timeless, 3×6 white subway tile

Which works beautifully in blue, too

To the classic elegance of Carerra Marble

Or if you’re looking for a little more punch, why not a modern mosaic glass subway tile?

A stainless steel tile in a diagonal pattern adds instant style

I used a 1×2 green glass mosaic tile in my kitchen for a more traditional look

No matter what you choose, you can be sure that backsplash will make a big impact on any budget!

 

 

 

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Sunday in the Park

A couple of weeks ago I got my first taste of what it would be like to have my own store.  I rented a space at a little festival in my neighborhood called Sunday in the Park.  It was a gorgeous day – sunny and about 80 degrees, so I set up my  area with a few of my wreaths along with the salvaged window I painted…

And of course a couple of pillows from the new line!

My family came out to show their support and of course my dad was goofing around on Marshall’s crutches rather than helping sell, sell, sell!

My mom displayed a few of the seashell sculptures she’s been working on the last few years.

And my old college roomies, Kristina along with her adorable family (not pictured), and Summer, came by to lend their support.

In the end the event turned out to be more of a neighborhood gathering than an art and home decor show, so I only sold a couple of the smaller items and mostly to friends and family.

But I did make some great connections and met a lot of local business owners who gave me some much needed advice on getting my store off the ground… one day!

Building the White Bungalow Brand

Turns out finding a retailer to carry my pillows is the easy part in starting a pillow line. For the past week I have been pouring over fabrics, running and re-running cost analysis reports (somebody shoot me!), interviewing sewers, calling on more retailers to carry the line and answering the door every time UPS arrives with another delivery!  From the not so sexy pillow forms…

To the bolts of fabric chosen based on pattern, price, and availability, in that order.

Each pillow will have a linen backing…it’s like two pillows for the price of one

Even the baby line, Hush

I wake up in the middle of the night with fabric costs dancing in my head.

I see now why so many companies wind up manufacturing in China, but I’m determined for the pillows to remain hand sewn in my community, so I’ve got to cut costs everywhere else so that can happen!

 

 

A Work in Progress

The master suite I’ve been working on the last few weeks is finally coming along.  There are a lot of details yet to address (i.e.large scary wooden lion), but we’ve been able to layer gold and copper with deep brown and gunmetal for a mix of metallic the client truly loves.

Being restricted to using the same bed, nightstands, wall color and lamps the client had before to recreate a new look has been a challenge, particularly when she’s been opposed to using bold, graphic prints and contrasting hues, but the new fabrics do blend together beautifully to create a room where she feels at home.

Before the room was like waking up in the wild kingdom.

But now it has a softness that was lacking in the space.

I’d like to add a dreamy canopy or some beautiful fabric curtains to frame the bed, but convincing the client is the most difficult aspect of any design, especially when the client is your mother!

Pillowlust

Pillowlust is the uncontrollable urge to buy so many pillows that you decide to create your own pillow line.

It all started with some leftover fabric from my booth project.  And yes, it’s the same pattern I have on my blog and website because I love it that much!

I had a couple of extra yards, so I approached my local tailor about making me a few pillows.  The cost of her services was more expensive than buying a Calvin Klein pillow at Bloomie’s, so I scratched that idea.  That’s when I started thinking about who I could find to make me a few pillows for a reasonable price.  I’ve been working as a recruiter for three years now, so I figured I would just post for the position of ‘seamstress’ like I do for any other role and it worked!  A few days later I had my samples.

I knew the hard part was going to be finding retailers who were willing to carry my product, so I decided to start with a lovely shop in my own neighborhood, Annabelle Hart.  I was in sales for years before I started recruiting so I figured it would be no problem, but I learned very quickly selling something you designed is a lot more nerve wracking than selling something someone else created and I was feeling some serious…

Luckily the owner, Shirley, was working when I came in.  The first thing she said was, “You look like you’re on a mission.”  I laughed, admitted I was on a mission and then spent the most wonderful hour with a woman who has a wealth of knowledge about the retail industry and was kind enough to share some of it with me.  One of the most important things I learned in my past sales experience was, “Don’t forget to ask for the sale!” so as our conversation was wrapping up I asked if she would carry my sample pillow and any others I designed that she thought would fit in with her store…and she said YES!

That one yes gave me the confidence to actually start the line.  There are a lot of steps in the process, but I am overjoyed to take them.  Maybe one day I will get that store of my own, but in the meantime I’m swimming in a sea of Pillowlust!

 

 

A Living Room Makeover, House Beautiful Style

Renovations can cost a fortune, take a lot of time and cause a lot of headaches.  But what about a one day living room makeover?  It couldn’t be too bad, could it?  Let’s see how House Beautiful tackles this living room while the homeowners are at work.

To begin, they have great, dark hardwoods and a neutral wall color which provides a blank slate for the design team, but immediately they start removing the neutral accents to make space for brighter pieces.

As they shop for the basics, they gravitate toward bold, graphic prints which are very on trend at the moment and will make a big impact.

And poppy accessories like this brightly colored lamp.

I’m not sure I could live with this rug, but tie-dyed fabrics and batik style prints are very in right now, so they are keeping in line with what’s happening in the market.

Without even changing the wall color, they create a completely different space in under nine hours.

You can check out the full makeover story and learn more about the design team at House Beautiful.

 

 

Stepping Upstairs in Style

Yesterday I got the latest edition of This Old House, the ultimate resource in DIY projects that are actually doable, even if you aren’t that crafty!

On page 28 I found this fun, whimsical way to jazz up a boring staircase

And it got me thinking about what to do to spice up my own run of the mill steps

Turns out I’m not the first person to ask that question…there are tons of exciting ideas on stepping upstairs in style!

From simple paint and stenciled numbers

To graphic flowers against a plain white stairwell

Or a playful color brightening up each stair

Photos Courtesy of Apartment Therapy and Casa Sugar

There are so many simple ways to liven up a staircase I can’t decide what to do!

Any suggestions?

 


 

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