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Scott and I were really excited to get a call a couple of weeks ago to see if we would agree to be featured in the fall issue of Austin Monthly Home magazine. Would we? Absolutely.
Not wanting to be too pushy, we didn’t ask too much information (i.e. featured how- one page on the store or a shoot at the house?). We got an email a few days later to say they would come to house to take some professional photos.
I thought it might be appropriate to inquire, at this point, about how many pictures? The answer- enough to fill an eight page spread. How exciting!
The details were coordinated in very quick order and the shoot was scheduled. It was probably just as well that I didn’t have too much time, as I was tempted to begin redecorating, and finishing all the little projects I had been putting off; however, the time frame just didn’t allow for any major revisions.
The Austin Monthly Home team, Editor, Mitchell Alan Parker, and Creative Director, Jessica Power, brought beautiful flowers- peonies and hydrangeas (my favorites!) to brighten up the space.
There is so much involved in setting up and taking the pictures! Our photographer was Kimberly Davis from Kimberly Davis Photography. You can check out some of Kimberly’s beautiful work on her website:
Kimberly specializes in editorial photography, particularly food and lifestyle. You should see the food photos on her website- yumm! Her work has been featured in magazines such as Cooking with Paula Deen, Taste of the South and Victoria. Here are some pictures she took recently in a local garden and some chocolate covered strawberries she made. I love how someone talented can take something simple and make it look like a work of art.
Kimberly recently relocated to Austin from Birmingham, AL. As any good Southerner would, she has the most beautiful monogram she uses as her corporate logo. Love it!
Kimberly and Andrew helped to set up each of the shots.
I thought I made the bed very neatly, but I guess I missed tucking in the corners!
We had a full day producing a lot of great shots.
There was so much photography gear, it looked like a movie set!
Kimberly went to great lengths to capture the best shots, including shooting a very difficult angle from our rotunda entry (and I had hidden everything in that closet!).
After a full day, all the pictures were taken and the team wrapped up. The Fall issue of Austin Monthly Home will be out before you know it! We’ll be sure to let you know when it is available on newstands so you can pick up a copy for yourself and look at the great work that the Austin Monthly Home team are doing to showcase design in Austin.
Dreaming of cool, ocean breezes? I sure am. How many 100 degree days will we have? If only the beach weren’t so far away. These cool sea life prints make me almost believe I am by the water. Stephanie hung all 4 prints last evening near our white slipcovered sofa and they look fabulous! Each print is 25″x 25″ and costs $289.99. The prints really make an impression as shown, in a series.Our once annual sale has been a huge success and we’ll be getting loads of new products in over the next couple of weeks. Check in with us often to see all the new merchandise!
Owning a retail store and offering in home design, I meet people with all personality types and many different styles. While I have a specific style of mine, when I help someone decorate I am implementing their style in their home. The biggest challenge for me on a project is when a client does not know what their style is, or they like a multitude of styles and can’t focus on one look.
Are you a fan of impressionism….
or abstract expressionism…
You can like each one of these paintings, but you can’t hang them all next to each other in your house! It is a great asset to appreciate many different styles (I love doing different looks), but if you want a home that looks ‘put together’ you have to force yourself to focus on one look for your space. Most people just can not do that and they end up with an assorted collection of mismatched furniture (and not in the good ‘eclectic’ way), as well as color schemes that are not harmonious (the Pottery Barn red and green of a few years ago became blue and brown and is now all linens).
Having a consistent look is the only way to create impact in your home. This example is from a staging company, Meredith Baer in LA- perfect flow throughout the home.
Before you bring even a single piece of furniture into your home, you have to define your style. Here are some tips to do just that.
Step 1: Train Your Eye
It takes some time to determine what your style is. You have to train your eye to notice what appeals to you and why. First, start looking at books, magazines, blogs, movies. Tear out pictures for an ‘idea file’ (even if you aren’t decorating any time soon). The idea isn’t to copy, but to be creatively encouraged. Without fail, consistent themes will emerge.
You may notice you have pulled a variety of different styles or colors, but you will see that, for example, you have 9 pictures of white kitchens and 1 picture of one with dark brown. When you started, you might not have known what color cabinets you wanted, but now you do. Keep looking and you will notice if the cabinets are shaker style (clean lined) or more ornate (with detailed carvings). This will help you determine the cabinet style.
When it comes to which colors to use, you need to learn what you like. It helps if you know what color palette you want to use, but beyond that, you need to understand the undertones in colors.
Learn for yourself if you are a cool color person or a warm color person. Neither is right or wrong, but it is a matter of personal preference and it will impact how you feel when you are living in your space.
Warm colors generally are yellows and reds, or even a beige with a ‘camel’ undertone, while cool colors are often associated with water- blues, greens. You can have a warm blue and cool red, but without getting too complex, you should be able to determine your color preference by looking at the colors of your clothes in your closet.
Step 2: Be aware of trendy versus timeless
You need to learn what you like, not what the market is selling you. The catalogs may be featuring one look this year, but I can guarantee it will be a different look the next. Not many of us can afford to redecorate every other year (or even every 2-3 years). Home décor is not like fashion and should not be treated as such.
Don’t let the Color Marketing Group tell you what colors you should be decorating with now. One year it will be warm reds, the next cool blues, the next, neutral gray. If you choose colors that make you happy, you will always be comfortable in your home.
If you keep your major furniture pieces (sofa, chairs) in neutral fabrics it is much easier to make adjustments to update your look after 5 years, rather than having to replace everything in the room!
Step 3: Only live with what you love
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” (William Morris)
I have to be honest here, decorating costs money, and there is no way around that. Some people are really crafty and can do it on a budget, but honestly you don’t want to live with that “Design on a Dime” room for the next five years.
In my opinion, it is better to have nothing in your space than something that devalues the visual appeal of the room. Save until you can invest in decent pieces. If you have to have something now, go to Ikea and you can Craig’s List it later with little remorse.
Be very careful of accepting hand-me-downs from relatives. Once you put it in your home, it is going to be very hard to get rid of it without someone giving you a guilt trip. And, as one of my favorite clients once said, “If it was really that great they wouldn’t be giving it away in the first place”. It is ok to say ”No, thank you” to that matching dining room set from your parent’s house.
I can’t tell you how many homes I go into and we decorate around some massive piece of furniture that matches nothing else in the home, but can’t be gotten rid of because it belonged to Great Aunt Mary. Save yourself the trouble and wait for the perfect piece to bring into your home. The style of your home truly impacts your mental well-being and living with something ‘off’ just makes you feel dissatisfied with your space.
So, you have a limited budget (everybody does, no matter how much the budget is), where do you start? Make a priority list and follow it. Start with the main areas of the home (especially those that make a ‘first impression’)- entry, family, dining, kitchen. Do those over time, but give yourself a time frame (i.e. year 1 is the main area, year 2 is the master, etc). Then, move to the second tier- secondary bedrooms and office, as time and money allow.
Where do you spend and where do you splurge? I would invest in decent upholstery (a sofa you sit on every night) in a neutral fabric and save on some casegoods, such as end tables. I do think lamps are the jewelry of a room and that artwork brings the personality to the space. Artwork is something you can collect over time, shop for when traveling and can bring you joy for years to come.
In summary, before you spend any money or take anyone else’s casts offs, spend some time figuring out what your personal style is. Study the movies you love, the best selling decorating coffee table books and the key home magazines. Once you are aware of your look, you can prioritize your budget and your time to start decorating your home and making it your own. If you figure out what you like, but still can’t ‘pull it together’ we would be happy to help with our in home design services. Contact us @ email@example.com for more details.
We just received this amazing mirrored chest. The piece is really beautiful. It has an aged appearance and the painted portion has a rubbed gray/green/gold look to it. The chest is brand new, but looks as if it was collected and loved over time.
My photo does not do it justice (with flash on and still in the unpacking stages) but trust me, it is worth checking out.
I originally thought it would be a really interesting hall piece, but there is a lot of inside storage when you open the doors. I actually think that in a small home, it would be a fabulous TV cabinet to hide the TV away (I hear all the men in our lives gasping in horror right now).
The chest is 42”wx22”dx32”h and sells for $1299. Contact us for more information. Heather Scott Home & Design Website
In my opinion, fabrics are often the most important decorative element in a room. After you’ve established the floorplan/layout and architectural elements, it is important to have an ‘inspiration’ piece to get the room’s design started. I love to start with artwork, but sometimes original artwork can be cost prohibitive. In lieu of a fabulous oil painting, I often turn to interesting fabrics.
I just received the newest designer collection from Duralee Fabric which is a collaboration between Duralee and designer Eileen Kathryn Boyd. In my design I often use a lot of neutrals, with a few pops of color. However, I often find bright colored fabrics tend to be on the childish side, or if not that, then very modern. It is rare to find a sophisticated and colorful fabric collection, but this new range from Duralee has managed to do just that.
I first became aware of Eileen Kathryn Boyd after reading about her in Lonny Magazine last winter. You can check out the article here, just select the December issue:
Image from Lonny Magazine
I was intrigued with how she used bright, fun colors but the rooms still came across as sophisticated and artistic. Her breakfast room captivated my attention- I love a coastal look and it screams Palm Beach.
Image from Lonny Magazine
I looked at her website to learn a little more about the designer. Eileen Kathryn Boyd is based in Long Island and has an artistic but varied background, including designing interiors for jets. Her main focus is, obviously, on color and establishing a “color story” for each client or project.
You can peruse Ms. Boyd’s background and pictures from her portfolio, such as the one below, on her website:
Because of her innovative use of color, Ms. Boyd has been tapped by manufacturing companies, such as Mottega Lamps and Duralee Fabrics to create colorful, exclusive lines for them.
If you aren’t familiar with these companies, Mottega is a lamp manufacturer which allows you to customize your lamp- the style and the color, plus the base, shade and finial to suit your look. The Mottega website can be reached here: http://www.mottega.com/configurator . This is a screen grab of their website which shows how you configure your lamp:
Our Duralee fabric books for Eileen Kathryn Boyd’s collection just arrived and they do a great job of capturing her sophisticated yet colorful style. I am already imagining rooms decorated with her fun blue and lime palette. I don’t think I’ve ever used purple for a client, but I can’t help but want to after looking through these books!
Some of my favorites are shown here:
Although you can’t tell from the internet, the fabrics look and feel very rich. There are a lot of textures (velvet, linen) and embroidery to give the fabric depth and dimension. These are the not the inexpensive, polished cottons you usually see used for graphic prints and punchy colors. The price point is very reasonable for the quality, running from around $60 a yard up to $120 a yard.
With these books you can really let your imagination run when it comes to decorating your space. You can check out the collection on the Duralee website:
http://www.duralee.com/fabrics/collection.php?Collection_id=311, and explore all the colors and prints, or if you live in the Austin area, feel free to pop into the store to look at the fabric books in person. These fabrics may just inspire you to get started on that decorating project you’ve been putting off for some time now!
How cute is this new lamp we just received?
The base has a washed look to it which will go with many color schemes. But the shade is where it gets fun. The shade is made of a french script material and has appliqued fabric in the form of a flower and leaves. The lamp would be great in a kids room, sunroom or home office. It is 31″hx15″ wide and costs $299.99.
We’ve also received several pairs of lamps this week, including several with glass bases (mercury gourd and clear, bubble glass) if you are looking for something a little dressier. Stop by and see us. If you live in the area, remember our only sale of the year starts on Saturday morning at 10am! Hope to see you then.
We recently finished a master bedroom remodel for a couple that had not updated their bedroom in years. When I first met them I was really touched by their story. They had owned a larger home, but when the wife had her first (and only) child, she decided she wanted to be home with the baby. They could not afford to keep a larger home and have her stay at home, so they made the decision to downsize. They have stayed in that same home, in a historic area of Austin, even now with their son grown and gone off to get his master’s degree.
Being an older home, the bedroom is quite small- about 15ftx11ft with 8ft ceilings. We had to be very conscious of the size and scale of every piece that went in the room, especially considering they were adamant about having a king size bed.
This is the room before:
We painted the room, took out the ceiling fan, ordered a new bed, bedding, nightstands and lamps. The existing chair was reupholstered. The majority of the wall décor was removed to simplify and eliminate any cluttered appearance.
Both side walls have large windows, but they are different sizes in height and placement. On the right side the windows were offset, running into the corner near the closet. We installed new horizontal wood blinds (to replace the older metal ones) and did one and a half width custom silk curtains in a beautiful, silvery blue shade. The curtains on the right side are actually offset to make it appear as if the window is centered on the wall.
A rug adds softness to the old hardwood floors. The left side has a mirrored nightstand and the right has a bamboo style wood nightstand. The glass column lamps help to keep it light and airy.
I asked the home owners how they were liking the new space. They said they loved it and they felt like their bedroom was now as nice as a luxury hotel room. The wife joked, “We now call the bedroom ‘the little Ritz’”.
Don’t we wish we could all say the same! If you would like help creating your own room retreat, contact us via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org