An Update on My Family Room

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The family room is kinda a disaster and not exactly moving forward very well and yet we spend SOOO much time in here eating strawberries and getting them on our shirt, obviously. I’m not sure what my problem is and why I can’t pull it together, but lets recap and I can give you the meager update you deserve.

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Design Mistake #2: The ‘Too Small Rug’

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America has been suffering for too long from ‘too small rug’ syndrome. I see it virtually every day and it pains me, especially when it’s so easily avoided. I’ve been trying to figure out how this plague came to be I think I’ve finally nailed it:

1. Huge rugs can be expensive and can feel like such a scary commitment. 2. A 5×8 or 6×9 rug sound big even though they often aren’t. 3. Catalogs and magazines are misleading. I’ve styled a lot of catalogs where we have to use the sample size (months before the actual rug is available) and its only 5×7 so we ‘make it work’ and in the shot it’s okay, but in actuality that rug is way too small for the room. I also think that retailers know that 5x7s sell so much more because they are cheaper so they don’t stock 8×10’s in the store, so when people go to purchase they think, ‘Well, this must be big enough because its the biggest one’.  Also ordering and waiting is less fun, so people just snag up the 5×7. Lastly nothing is more annoying than getting a rug home and deciding it isn’t quite right, then having to return it – so I think people just don’t.

Click through to see 25 8×10 rugs under $500  …


How To Create A Design Plan

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Running a small business as a creative person is like a baby giraffe walking across a log, over the rapids, in heels – it’s unnatural, precarious, immensely comical, yet totally possible. Figuring out how to pay yourself and others to do something we would normally do for free is so challenging, and the learning curve is high. 

But, one thing we do know over here is how pull together a design plan – for your home, office, studio, conference room, store, dressing room, etc, no matter what your project or business is. Trying to get employees to be excited, to work hard, to come up with new ideas, and the biggest ‘get’ of all, TO CARE in a really stale and uninspiring office space is extremely difficult. I should know, we used to work in one. 

So, today we are going to walk you through our design process; how we go from the blank (or uninspiring) ‘before’ space, to a real design plan for that space. We partnered with Epson to create a video about the process, and just telling you the steps seemed boring, so we instead made it a one day challenge. It’s like an episode of 24 over here. We all know that each design plan takes days, if not weeks (or months) to produce, but that would be a very long blog post. So watch the video to see what happens then keep on scrolling:

For this project we’ll use our client, we’ll call her Kate, because that is her real name. Here’s her space before we got there:

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First we take measurements, ask lots of style and color questions, then (once the contracts are signed) we get on it and the fun begins.


Weekend Makeover| Mid-century Eclectic Artist


What do you get when you take a 3-person design team, 2 days, about 3K in funds, a living room with a ton of potential, and homeowners that have good style? A pretty satisfying weekend living and dining room makeover. This one even impressed us. When we started the project, I actually wasn’t sure how well it was going to turn out – we were on both a time and budget crunch. But it truly turned out to be one of my favorite makeovers to date. It mainly just involved using what they already had, adding some Craigslist and thrift store pieces and supplementing with Target furniture and accessories.

before & after living room

A lot of people can be unsure how to incorporate new things into their own home with what they already have, and many people are skeptical about buying home goods from major retailers. Back in the day, big box stores sold cheap, generic looking garbage, but these days, this stuff is really, really good. Especially from Target, if I do say so myself.

So click on through to see the whole makeover, but when you have a second, watch the whole makeover on this video. At one point in the video I do a headstand and Charlie Henderson has a pretty adorable cameo in it.

I typically write more about the process, but that video kinda sums up how it went down (so sorry about that totally weird thumbnail of the video, something is up with YouTube and we can’t change it right now. So annoying …)

Click on through to get the breakdown, resources, links and all the before/after photos.


Materials Girl #5 – Coral and Teal Fantasy

Materials board

1. Wallpaper | 2 . Fabric | 3. Bowl | 4. Fabric | 5. Blue velvet | 6. Tile by B Zippy | 7. Door knob | 8. Blue tile | 9. Paint chips |10. Wood flooring | 11. Leather

I’m a big fan of fantasy moodboards (much like Fantasy Football) and while these don’t really translate into specific rooms, I just find them visually inspiring. I asked you guys recently whether or not you were into the ‘Material Girls’ series and I got a 60/40 with the 60 being ‘meh, I don’t know what it has to do with me’. So we are going to rethink the series, meanwhile we had a few more already shot and denying the 40% of you a pretty moodboard seemed criminal (plus its friday and its been an insane week of good posts and shoots and we weren’t quite ready with our scheduled rug roundup post).

For this one instead of telling you a fictional story about the girl who would have this style (which many of you found unlikable and I kinda agree) I’m just going to explain some of the design principles as to why this works.

1. There is a consistent color palette of coral and teal, with the addition of some highlights and lowlights (the dark navy and the light blue, #8).

2. The four patterns are all wildly different in scale so they don’t fight for attention, instead play off each other. Remember what I said HERE, that a trick is if you blur your eyes and you can’t tell the difference between the patterns then they are too similar.

3. There is a good mix of cool (blues) and warm (coral) tones keeping it feel balanced without being dated or cold.

4. The wood flooring helps it stay grounded (pun intended) and that grain becomes another texture.

Now, if I were to do this again knowing that the point of it would be to write tips based on it, I would probably have designed it a bit differently and given some other neutrals in there to help break up the coral/teal to make sure that it doesn’t go too young and silly.

If you still aren’t into this, don’t fear, because next week we have already 3 pretty EPIC posts being prepped (and you know that typically I don’t overhype posts). So stay tuned. Happy Friday, folks.