When Southwestern was coming back a few years ago, I remember thinking ‘no way‘. Then ‘interesting‘ then ‘well, maybe a little‘. I still think there is a lot of bad stuff out there that people are buying that was just never good in the first place but generally if I had a desert house I could see myself go full BOHO hippie. I mean, I did buy a dream catcher the other day. It was $3 at a garage sale, but still, that is not a normal thing to just buy.
Welcome to the second ‘1 bookcase 4 ways’, this time going a bit traditional, but in a happy modern (and slightly country) way. I feel like there are fewer people out there that want this look, but there is a big place in my styling heart for traditional done right. I think I watched ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’ one too many times when I was a kid. I just want to sleep in a dilapidated farm-house and eat off of chipped china.
Click through for inspiration, resources and styling gif.
Welcome to the first in our ‘One Bookcase Four Ways’ series. At this point you pretty much know how it goes – we take a piece of furniture and switch it out four different ways to show you the life-altering importance of styling. Start with simple furniture, layer on the crazy and you get a room full of personality.
This first one is ‘The Eclectic Sophisticate’. Click through for inspiration, resources and a really fun gif.
No job is all glamour all the time, but every now and again the job gods tap you on the shoulder, and interrupts your schlepping and invoicing to say, ‘Hey, lady, I got a good one for you’. Last week on the blog we teased where my fantasy work destination would be – in other words where I’d shop (which is work) if I could shop anywhere. Now, in my fantasy world I’d be a 22, rich, wrinkle-free, child-free girl, just traveling the world, shopping in exotic, cheap markets. But here’s the deal: Leaving Charlie and Brian (while 35 and pregnant) to go somewhere foreign sounded kinda sad, and yet shopping with Brian and Charlie sounded stressful and frustrating (and just overall a marriage-threatening-idea). We are launching ‘The Flea’ which will be our online vintage market in 3 weeks and we need more stuff to sell. Nothing can remedy this situation like some local thrift stores.
We recently partnered with HP and Intel for this dream work getaway and I decided to really make it a work getaway by taking the whole crew on a thrifting/working retreat, in a way cooler office for a couple days in Palm Springs, CA. We’ve travelled for work together (most of us), but never in this capacity and frankly everyone just kinda deserved to get out of the office. We have been very busy and while I try to show daily gratitude, I’m sure I don’t quite convey the level of gratefulness (and co-dependance) I feel for these four people. So, it was perfect: I got shopping support and they got a chance to step out of their floral upholstered chairs, and into a whole new happy work environment for a couple days at The Parker. It’s never like this, you guys, we deserved it, I promise.
There is good stress (like worrying about what you are wearing to the Bachelorette premiere party) and bad stress (like worrying that Britt will beat out Katilyn, ugh). Throwing a party should be good stress – full of excitement and maybe some last-minute panic, but ultimately fun. I think what stresses me out about parties is a. managing guest expectations and b. making sure there is just enough for everyone, and that people can serve themselves, so that once the party starts my job is over. I was a waitress/bartender for years and those days are over if you know what I mean.
Let’s talk about the expectation thing – I think since I’m a stylist/designer person, I get it in my head that people expect it to look totally curated, pulled together, a la Martha (and they do). And unless it’s for a big shoot, it very rarely is. So what I ALWAYS do is frame it as a ‘casual backyard affair’ with comfort food and lots of options and then people don’t have high expectations (and are easily impressed). Have you ever been to a wedding where the venue is really luxurious and its black tie dress but everything else is super not and then its kinda jarring? Well, that’s because your expectations were high, based on the high-end location – so sadly the rest of the party kinda should match that in style. So if you just send out the ‘its a casual bbq’ vibe then people have pretty low expectations and then you can wow them. ‘Social Manipulation’ by Emily Henderson – the name of my next book.
This party was set up with Target, and I had loads of help so no, it wasn’t just ‘thrown together’. But the principles of how we set it up are easy, and things that I actually do (or ideas that I will start doing immediately).
Click through to see all the steps, tips, photos and resources: