Sunday, September 30, 2012

Is Interior Design Materialistic?

You guys know I've always loved interior design and are probably totally sick of hearing about it, but what I've learned these past few years goes beyond just the technicalities of design. This is going to be a longer post than normal because, well, I've had a realization and I have a lot to say. We're about to get real here.

I was asked recently while talking about design with my housemates: 'Why do people spend that much money on decorating their house?'. One of my housemates responded by saying 'Because they're vain'.'s the thing. In that situation, I completely agreed. The industry of interior design can be super materialistic. It can be an industry that causes people to feel discontent with what they have, and makes them continually want more more more. It can be an industry where people spend ridiculous amounts of money on frivolous things, and yes, that can be vain. This concept is something that has certainly crossed my mind more than once in college...the question of " I encouraging vanity and discontent by getting into this industry?"

I can say with confidence now--that is not the case. There is so much more to design than meets the eye, and I don't think everyone understands it. This past year has been SO eye opening for me on why I'm passionate about design. Yes, I love beautiful architecture and pretty velvet headboards. But would I say I am passionate about those things? Nope. There's certainly nothing wrong with loving beautiful things. 
But I'm not passionate about things

 What I am passionate about is creating spaces that make people feel at home. There is so much value to having that feeling of comfort in the place that you live--having a feeling of safety and order. For me, that starts with good design in a home. 
Here's a little back story about what brought this realization to my attention. My family and I started a church in 2009 called Voyage. We packed up our lives, moved from Oregon to Washington, and have been on this adventure ever since. Church planting is a huge commitment and my family has been both challenged and blessed beyond words these past four years. Because we quickly moved and started planning the church right away, we have never fully felt 'moved in' to our house. We planted the church from scratch and met in a school for the first couple of years, which meant that we didn't have a permanent place for a lot of the church's supplies, so some of it ended up hanging out in our house. We even had a drum set in our living room for awhile and held music practice here. We didn't have much time or money to quite settle in and make our house our own. 

Since then, Voyage has moved into a permanent facility--a building that finally feels like a home for our church. We wanted that so badly for our church have a place that felt secure and welcoming. To create a place that they enjoyed being in and that encouraged conversation before and after each gathering. It seemed like a far off dream, but God made it happen. The building started as a big white box and we had tons of help to make it what it is now. You guys, God has been blessing Voyage like crazy lately. I look around and am amazed by how far we've come. We have amazing people that have total servant's hearts. I know there's a lot that goes into making a church feel like a home for people, but I really believe that having a welcoming building has played a role in that.

Now that we feel settled into this building, we are finally getting settled into our own house. My mom and I were on a roll all summer of organizing, painting, rearranging, brainstorming...and just all around making this house our home. We aren't done yet but we already are in disbelief of how different we feel in this house. We switched a few rooms around to make sense for our needs. We are creating a comfortable guest room and making a second family room out of a room that was mostly used for storage. These things mean a lot to us. They mean that we feel more equipped to host guests...we feel more effective as we work from home, we feel accomplished looking around and seeing things we created together, we feel more organized as a whole, we feel like we have a place to recharge, and we simply enjoy being in our home.
This is the longest post of my life. But it might just be my most important one yet. 

My point is...I've learned what makes me happy about design. I have such a joy in learning how a family works and what role a house can play in their life. I have an opportunity use the things I'm talented in to benefit people's lives. 

That's what I hope to do. We all have that opportunity in different ways, and that is such a beautiful thing.

*beautiful illustrations above are by: Rebekka Seale 
*images above are of Voyage!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Interior Design Branding Inspiration

I've mentioned before that I have a class for my interior design major called 'Portfolio and Exhibition' in the spring this year. We will be creating our branding (website, business cards, etc.) and I have been gathering inspiration for months and months! My ideas have changed and evolved, but I think I finally know the general look I want.

First off, the logo! I love the look of a handwritten logo. It just gives a personal and creative look, which is what I want to convey with my branding! I have a love for calligraphy and have always wanted to learn. I recently got a new sketchbook and have been sketching away at drawing out my own logo. Here's where I'm at so far in the sketching stage:

I also want my branding to have an organic feel, similar to my approach to design. Here's a quote of mine from a post I wrote about nature and design:

"I love how nature has that perfect mix of randomness, simplicity, and complexity--all in one. Why not bring some of that inside too? I love rooms that aren't too serious. And if you think about it, nature is far from serious."

That, in a nutshell, is how I want my branding to feel. Not completely serious, little imperfections here and there that make it feel real and personal, but altogether beautiful.

In a pinning spree at 1 AM last night (not sorry about it), I found the most LOVELY logos and inspiration. I found things that reminded me of what I've already started, and also gained inspiration for elements I hope to add. Seriously, brace yourself for the loveliness you are about to see.
Caroline Brewer Styling, logo by Oh My Deer
Oh So Beautiful Paper

Hellooooo watercolor, please make your way over to my branding RIGHT NOW! The imperfect watercolor stripes will definitely need to make an appearance somewhere. Maybe at the top of my website or on my stationery? 

Oh So Beautiful Paper

I died a little bit when I saw these invitations. I'm dying over the subtle splashes of pastel watercolor. Needs to happen.

Designed by Luci Everett
I'm pretty sure we will have a CD of some sort on our portfolio tables...or maybe I'm making that up in my mind? Not sure. But if we do, I love this light and airy CD presentation.

So...that's the latest inspiration! I'm looking forward to tying together everything that I love to create branding that totally suits me. And if my branding ends up looking HALF as amazing as all of these, I'd be psyched. Okay...maybe a little more than half :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

5 Stylish Gifts for a Modern Nursery

Hello lovely bloggers! How ARE you all?!? I have been keeping busy with my internship, moving in to my new Seattle house, and doing tons of projects at my mom's house. It's been a great summer, and it's still going! School doesn't start until the end of September and I am so okay with it.

I don't know about you guys, but this summer, my Facebook news feed has been filled to the BRIM with engagements. And sometimes even...babies. I'm looking forward to the day where someone I'm close to has a baby. Partly so that I have someone to shop for little baby gifts for! 

My mom, from The Inspired Room, is in the middle of a campaign right now for an online gift finder and registry on I love this site because they pretty much have already sifted through the tacky stuff and kept only the adorable stuff.

I made that room inspiration board above with items from the site...and if I do say so myself, I think it's pretty cute! Pretty and feminine but sophisticated. And I mean, come on. #5 is a changing table. I'm not really a fan of changing diapers (who is though, really) but I would GLADLY change a baby's diaper if they laid on that table. Alright maybe that's a stretch. But I'd at least be happier about the diaps if that table was in the picture. 

SO if any of you have babies, have friends/family who are having babies, or are just a weirdo like me who likes to LOOK at baby stuff...this is a great resource for you. Check it out HERE and let me know what you think! (that's my mom's affiliate link). You can also go to her post here to find the link for a discount! So with that...happy baby shopping to you, whether it's window shopping or real shopping. I think I'll stick with the window shopping for now :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What's Your Design Style?

Sometimes, I get stuck. There are so many different design styles, and so many aspects of each that I like. Luckily I'm getting into the field of interior design where I'm able to help others design spaces in their own individual styles. 

But what would I do if I was designing my own house from scratch and could do WHATEVER I wanted with it? With no budget?

You'd think by taking a look at my Pinterest boards, it would be totally clear what my style is. But alas. There's such a variety, and I love them all. I know what I really dislike...and I can recognize it right away. But I can appreciate a wide range of design styles and can never quite describe just one as my favorite.

I always love a coastal inspired home...

Country Living
But sometimes I'm drawn to a feminine, sophisticated room with some glamorous details (including THEE most amazing bed I've ever seen, I might add)...

Bear Hill Interiors
Other times I just want a cozy and warm farmhouse with loads of character and charm...

Sarah Richardson HGTV
And then sometimes I like more modern, eclectic rooms with fun pattern and texture:

And then I love cool industrial accents, vintage and antique pieces, things collected from around the many things.

So then, what's a girl to do? I guess my options would be to either to combine everything I love together and make it into something beautiful, OR own multiple houses and then design each in its own unique style. (Haaa, I like that option. I can dream, right?!)

What's your favorite design style? Or do you also have a hard time picking just one?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bins & Baskets {and other gather posts}

Gather post for The Inspired Room

Hey guys, I just wanted to pop in and update you on where I've been spending time lately! If you haven't heard yet, I recently started a new column for The Inspired Room that I'm really excited about! It's called Gather, a column where I gather up some of my favorite items from around the web. Basically, I window shop online and make cute collages out of my favorite finds (sweet deal, right?). 
If you missed them, here a round up of links to the ones I've done so far:

In the beginning of my blog I also did a Throw Blanket Roundup and a post called Let There Be Light {A Pendant Light Round-Up}. These were basically 'Gather' posts before I officially started them :) I hope you guys enjoy them as much as I enjoy making them!

Hope you're all having an amazing week!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Bedroom Inspiration

I've been working on a design plan for my new bedroom for a couple of weeks now. My previous room was painted a pretty medium gray color, and while I loved it, I decided to have my new room be a little more fresh. I picked out two very light blue/green colors, tried them out, and chose my favorite. I was set to go.

Until yesterday when I had another idea, completely different from my original plan. Whoops. It's funny how that can happen with design, isn't it? You can think you know exactly what you want, and then you think of a million other options that might be a better choice for you.

I decided instead that a creamy white wall color would be nice in my new room, especially because the room is fairly small, so that will make the space feel a bit more open. I already have white bedding that will stay, and I'm going to add some navy, pale pink, and brass/gold accents throughout the room. I know that I want my room to feel calming and feminine. And as much as possible, I'll be using pieces that I already have, repurposing things, and being creative, because there is not exactly a budget for this little endeavor :)

SO. Once I had my general idea, I decided to gather some inspiration for my color ideas and find some photos representing the way I wanted my room to feel. If it looks all over the place right now, don't worry. These are just the inspirations!

Kitty Genius

Design Seeds
White and Gold Design

This room above is getting me excited to paint my nightstand a dark gray/blue color like this and replace the wood knobs. Also, I wouldn't be mad if my walls looked like that. But alas. That would require a bigger budget, a handyman, or a girl who is good at DIY projects. And you know, none of those exist at the moment.

A Country Farmhouse
This kitchen is a great representation of how I want my new room to feel. Feminine, light, airy, but still warm and welcoming. I love the look of the white, blue, gold, and pale pink together. And incorporating texture with the basket...yep. Love it all. 

Oh, and I'm thinking this lamp may sneak its way in there too. After thinking I made a mistake not buying it, I sprinted (drove) back to the consignment shop and took it home with me. I needed it. And you know what? I think it needed me. Together at last.

I'm really excited to have a good plan going now. I'll definitely keep you guys updated as I get further along with my room!

PS: Shoot, almost forgot the most important part of the design. I'm going to incorporate my love of whales by hanging several large whale figurines from the ceiling. They'll be the focal point of the room. I'll also most likely be painting a large orca whale mural on my closet doors! Similar to this: 

Still debating on the whale ideas...I don't want to be too cliché and I feel like everyone's been doing those whale murals lately. It's like the new chevron. We'll see. ;) 

* I can't end this post without clarifying: please know that I'm not serious about the whale part! I like whales, but not that much! :) *

Saturday, July 7, 2012

It's a Necessity

I made a mistake. I left this precious, sweet, sweet baby lamp in a Seattle consignment shop yesterday.

Why. WHY! It's such a gem!

Not to worry. I'm going back for it today. I mean really, $19 for a lamp like that? I could spend that much at Ikea on a plastic lamp that I have to put together myself that won't work in a year. So yeah. I'm going back. And if someone else already snatched it, so HELP me...I'll curl up into a ball and weep in the middle of the store. I won't really though. But maybe! We'll see. Updates to follow.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Home

When I have my own home, my hope is that I will fill it with things that I love, that I've collected over time, that that reflect who I am, that are daily reminders of great memories, and that inspire new memories to be created.

I don't want a house filled with a bunch of meaningless decor that I just circled in a catalog and had shipped to my house because it "matched", and I saw people do it on Pinterest so that must be good enough right? I'd go crazy if that's all my house was. I'd feel like there was something missing. Obviously, not every piece in a home will or should have a special meaning attached to it. Some things, of course, are brought in simply because they look nice.

Ultimately, I just hope my future home is an eclectic mix of new and old pieces, including a balance of things that have meaning to me or that simply make me happy when I see them. That mix will be different for everyone's home. I want my home to exude a feeling of warmth and comfort to my family and anyone who spends time in it.

...and that's all I have to say about that.

 All photos from the amazing house featured in House Beautiful. Interior designer: Erin Martin

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Let's Catch Up

The beginning of this summer has been a whirlwind. 
Of greatness. Let's catch up a bit, shall we?

I started my internship at Maison Luxe and it's been nothing short of awesome. Every day is a little different, which I love! Lately we've spent a lot of time getting ready for our upcoming One King's Lane sale. I've done a variety of things, from running errands to showrooms, visiting a client's home, hauling cute ottomans up to the office, helping out at a photoshoot, and gluing flowers back on a broken chandelier. Just to name a few :) I'm loving it.

In this midst of all of this, I've been going back and forth from my parent's house to my my mostly empty rental house in Seattle, which has no internet ALL MONTH. Which is why my blogging has been so nonexistent lately (oops), but thank goodness for free wi-fi at coffee shops.

But we packed up that house...and we're now in our DREAM of a new rental house (with internet again, praise the Lord). It's so nice to be getting settled. I can't wait to show you guys pictures of it once we get all moved in!

There's also been a lot happening over at my parent's house! I haven't talked about this much on my blog (yet!), but I started a church with my family 3 years ago. Ever since then, I've been going home every weekend to help with the church and hang out with my family. It's a time I look forward to every week. I'll do a whole separate post about that's a big part of my life! But for NOW, here's what has been happenin' at home. I'm blessed to have a mom that shares my love of interior design. My mom, sister and I spend a lot of time when I'm home talking about design ideas, paint colors, and other fun designy things. 

Right now we're repurposing a few rooms in our house, which means my room is changing locations, which means I get to pick a new paint color and redecorate a little! I'm still deciding, but I'll be sure to show when I choose!

We're also getting a new sectional soon so we've been picking out the fabric for it! We chose the gray/blue extreeemely soft one on the bottom of this pic. The white and gray fabric will be the pillows, and the yellow is just to show how cute the couch could be with a yellow lamp next to it! Cute, right?! We have lots of fun projects at the house coming up so we're psyched. 

Anyways, that's a little of what has been going on over here lately :) Hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Kindred Spirits

If I wasn't sure before, I am now. Anthropologie and I are kindred spirits

Why? Because of this:

So yeah, it's settled. and I are friends.

In other whale news, remember this picture from the post where I confessed my love of whales?
Phillips Deveer, Photography by James Grout

Well, my grandma saw my post, and just so happened to have this! It was my grandpa's when he was younger. How sweet is that?! I just love it. It's now sitting proudly in my mom's pretty new office (since I'm in transition moving from rental house to rental house in Seattle). And he fits right in with the other brass accents in the room! So you know. He's comfortable in his new home.

Anyways, enough about whales. Actually, I wonder if the only people who have stuck around to read the end of this post are whale lovers too. Am I right? Have all the whale haters left the premises by now? Is it just us? Well good. As it should be. Whale lovers unite. Shout out to all the whale lovers in the house. (Too much?)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

There's Something About Navy

When my mom, sister and I designed my mom's office this spring, we painted the walls a rich navy color (pictured above). Ever since then, navy has been catching my eye everywhere I look!

The Kitchn - Images by Lee Lacyd

Number Four Eleven
Oh So Beautiful Paper

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Finally...My Summer Announcement!

You know those times where you feel like you have to pinch yourself? Well, I've been pinching myself constantly for the past two days. In the midst of finals I mentioned that I had a big announcement about my summer plans...and finally, here it is!

A few weeks ago I had no idea what I would be doing this summer. I thought I'd probably find a little job and work part time. Little did I know that I would end up with the amazing opportunity to be Kelie Grosso's intern at Maison Luxe

To say that I'm excited about it would be an understatement. I knew that I needed an internship in order to graduate next spring, so I had been on the hunt for one. 

I seriously would have been fine with an entry level internship where I did filing in the back closet of a design firm. That would have been fine. Unfortunate...but fine. But even though I would have been content with that, I couldn't help but dream of myself being in some cool building downtown. And here's why I'm pinching myself. That picture at the top of this post? That's where I'm working. I've been sitting in those white chairs. What? WHAT? Glorious.

You guys, I know it's the best and I've barely begun. 

Maison Luxe is in the coolest space right in downtown Seattle. And Kelie is so sweet. And there's a pile of poufs in the office. A pile of poufs! Can you tell I'm excited?

Deer head...check.

Anthropologie knobs...check. 

I'm so grateful for this opportunity. I'm looking forward to what's in store for this summer and can't wait to show you guys more of what I'm up to!

Hope you're all having a lovely week :)

PS: Don't forget that I sometimes do 'Gather' posts at my mom's blog, The Inspired Room, and I'll also soon begin updating the Maison Luxe blog