Hi guys! If you’re following me on Instagram, you know I threw out the idea of answering whatever questions you had for me: design questions, get-to-know-you questions, anything! I loved what you sent my way. Here’s what I’m sending you back…
Q) Have you always been a fan of color? How do you recommend starting to incorporate color into your home?
A) Yes! I’ve always loved color! I have an art degree, and the Center for Visual Arts building where my courses were held at, was adjacent to the Toledo Museum of Art. I’d run through there for inspiration and was always drawn to paintings (or any medium) with color. How do I recommend incorporating color? Well, I’m assuming this question may be coming from someone who is color-shy. If that’s the case, I always suggest starting small, with things that are easy to switch out: throw pillows, a blanket, drapes, accessories. Even fresh flowers are a fave of mine for bringing a little “pop” to a room.
Q) You are in a bare room. Where do you start? The palette? Flooring?
A) Great question! I was over someone’s house recently. They showed me their guest room that they’re looking to redo, and she asks, “What color would you paint this room?” Uhhhh. I never pick a paint color first! Everyone’s different, and perhaps other people know right away a color they want for their walls and go from there, but I always start elsewhere and pull color for the walls from whatever my initial inspiration is. Honestly, it’s usually fabric! Whether it’s a drape I love, or pillows I’ve found, I tend to build around things like that. Maybe you have a sentimental item that’s sitting on your coffee table. You can literally build a room off of that. My current dining room makeover? That whole room was built around the wallpaper. Found it, loved it, designed around it. Find something you love and start from there.
Q) How do you know when enough is enough?
A) Take a step back. Does the room make you happy? Do your eyes comfortably dance around the room? Does something stop them abruptly? Usually you know if something needs to be edited based on just taking a step back and letting your eyes wander.
Q) How did you and your husband meet?
A) My husband and I started dating my freshman year of college. I was at the University of Toledo in Ohio, and he was at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. We met because my sister was engaged to his cousin! We were actually best man and maid of honor in their wedding:) And yes, now my sister and I have the same married name!
My sister’s wedding
Our first date was Halloween of ’97, and he proposed Halloween of ’98. Now you know why Halloween is my favorite:) It will just always hold special memories! We were married April 8th, 2000. Yes, we were babies when we married! (He was 23 and I was 21) By the way, who else can say they have a photo of their husband as he was proposing??
I had a camera around my neck as we were walking through one of my favorite parks, and literally had him wait before he put the ring on my finger! Lol. Poor guy. I’ve always been obsessed with taking photos. I screamed “Yes!” a million times and then couldn’t resist this photo. He just looked so darn cute;) We now have four kids; three girls and a boy: Autumn (12), Raya (9), Maleah (6), and Zane (almost 3). Also, show of hands for people that have kids who look nothing alike! Lol. We get lots of questions. Or should I say, my husband gets questions when he’s out with our blondies with blue eyes, and I get questions when I’m out with our brunettes with brown eyes. Cracks me up. I love it! He’s an engineer in the automotive industry, I’m an artist. He thinks practically and I’m a dreamer. He likes a hole in the wall with good food, I prefer a swanky martini bar. We balance each other well:)
Crystal Mountain in northern Michigan. Who wants to photoshop our pool bracelets out of this photo for me?
Q) When did you start design?
A) My art degree is a concentration in photography. Honestly, in college I always dreamed of working for a fashion magazine. I loved fashion! I worked at Express all through college (and a music store, and a museum shop. I helped pay for college – I was one of 6 kids) Anyway, about a year after we married, we moved to Michigan and I wasn’t sure what to do with my art degree so I just started substitute teaching. I was hired as a full time sub for a high school graphic design class whose teacher resigned in the middle of the school year. I started thinking maybe I wanted to teach, so I was hired to actually fill the position for the following year, based on me going back to school to be certified, but I actually never went! I had my first child instead:) So, for years I struggled with how to fulfill myself creatively while “staying home” and raising my kids, and our home became the perfect canvas. I suddenly found myself immersed in beautifying where we live as a way to keep my creative juices flowing. I truly became obsessed after I tried my first stencil in our living room around 3 years ago. It became clear to me that what you surround yourself with truly effects how you feel when you walk in. It was, and is, important for me to create a home that tells our story and reflects who I am as a designer, even if it isn’t what I do “professionally.” That’s why I’ve loved blogging and Instagram so much. It’s become a “job” of sorts and it’s very fulfilling!
Q) Where does your passion for the arts come from?
A) I like to think it comes from my dad. One of my favorite childhood memories is watching Bob Ross together. My dad is the epitome of a cute, old teddy bear, and he’s always appreciated art himself. He actually does stunning calligraphy. I’ve always loved his handwriting, and his ability to put words together beautifully. He’s the person that always knows just what to write in a greeting card- he’s rather poetic!
Q) I want to incorporate that green in my home which you painted your dresser. How does one make a very beautiful statement with a bold color?
A) Ask any designer this question and you may receive different answers. Some may have a “Go big or go home” mentality, and rock an entire room out with boldness. If you want to make a statement with a bold color, I say do it in a smaller doses so it makes a big impact. My dining room is a good example of that. The dresser and the wallpaper together are the big doses of color in just the “niche” of one wall in the dining room. Since I kept the rest of the walls and the drapes a dark neutral, it allowed that dresser and wallpaper to make a big statement. Does that make sense?
Q) Who’s your favorite IGer who you’ve spoken on the phone with but never met in real life but feel like she’s maybe your soulmate?!
A) Lol! This is my girl, Ibie (@ifalc on Instagram). She’s freaking hilarious and I love her feed for it! (Her good taste and gorgeous photos help!)
Q) Do you like girls’ trips and will you ever come to the cottage?
A) This needs a laughing face emoji and a crying face emoji. This is from my friend Shauna over at The House of Silver Lining, and she’s referring to the fact that she invited a few of us to her AWESOME beach cottage in Florida next month, and I sadly declined:( Boo hoo! I’m traveling to Atlanta in August for the Haven Conference (for bloggers) and it’s hard for a mama of 4 to sneak away for multiple days (and trips!) at a time! Lucky for me though, Shauna and lots of my other buddies will be at the conference, so we’ll get to have a girls’ trip then:)
Q) I’d love to know where you keep finding great pieces of thrifted furniture!
A) My recent score was found at ReStore in Ann Arbor! I also love Knightsbridge in Northville for antiques. But things like the beds in my girls’ shared room that I stenciled- those were mine and my sister’s when we were kids!
Q) What’s your favorite color in home decor? And what color do you think is the best pop of color to add to a home for a color newbie?
A) Love this question, Brittany! I’m currently crushing on cobalt blue. (As you can see from my dining room rug and the gorgeous Anthropologie bowls on the buffet)
In regards to the best color for a newbie to incorporate, I’d say green! It’s right outside your windows in nature, so it’s the most natural (and easy) to bring in. I’m actually looking at refreshing my family room with some green accents. Can’t wait! I always crave green around this time of year. I also think it’s easiest to use because it “goes” with holiday decor seamlessly. Works with Christmas and Halloween!
Q) Now that your dining room is done, what’s your next project?
A) Good question! Like I said, I’m looking at refreshing my family room. The One Room Challenge hosted by Calling It Home is coming up, and while I’m not officially participating, I’d like to use it to push me along. I’ve been dying to use Stikwood! Ever heard of it? It’s a super easy way to make a reclaimed wood wall in your home! Thinking of going for it! Although if I’m playing fair, we planned my 12 year old daughter’s room out in November, (You can read the initial plans HERE) and somehow I ended up doing the dining room first! She’s pretty anxious for a new look, so I should probably work on that first. We’ll see… Perhaps I can multitask?
Q) What is your fave meal to prepare? Are you the eating out/in type?
A) This is where I say, “I WISH I WAS AS GOOD AS MY MOM.” I mentioned my dad being an artist on paper. My mom is THE artist in the kitchen. I, my friends, am NOT. As in, if I won the lottery, the first thing I’d do is hire someone to grocery shop and cook. Or maybe I’d just hire my mom? So to answer your question Kelley, I’m the eating out type! But not literally. Four kids means a VERY busy schedule with dance, volleyball, gymnastics, soccer, and Girl Scouts between them all, so the correct way to answer that is, we eat IN with carry OUT. No time for sitting at a restaurant! I will say I attempt to cook twice a week. Usually it’s something simple like tacos or pasta. Then in between it’s leftovers or my hubby picking up food on his way home from work. Mom/Wife of the year, right?
Q) How did you get started?
A) January of 2015 (almost a year and a half ago) I randomly decided to create a public Instagram account for home decor pix. I figured it was time to stop boring friends and family on my private account;) Once my bedroom was featured on Home Goods’ account (and then my living room, office, and family room) my following began to grow. If you’re starting out, I just suggest using hashtags appropriately and tag stores whose products are in your photos. Once I had a decent following and enough of a push, I started this blog. So glad I did. It’s nice to have a place to expand on a few thoughts/ideas behind tiny squares on Instagram:)
Q) What’s something about you that people may not know?
A) Hmmm. I’m a pretty open book, but I guess I’d say- I have a decent singing voice:) Not that you’d ever know it. I only sing my “real” voice in the car or around the house. I’ve never karaoked in my life! It’s kind of secretly on my bucket list. I may need a little wine first. Or a lot. One of the two. Also, I LOVE live music. I constantly crave it and I never go a long time without it. And when I love someone, I see them MULTIPLE times. Confession: John Mayer? I’ve seen him 10 times. Indigo Girls? 5. I know those two sound straight out of Satellite’s Coffee House station, but I promise I love a range of music! One of my favorite concerts in college was Stone Temple Pilots. Harry Connick Jr. is hilarious live (and so naturally good). Clapton? Amazing. Pearl Jam, U2, Maroon 5, DMB, Ed Sheeran, Green Day, Sheryl Crow, Lenny Kravitz, Madonna. I could go on. I’ll honestly see anyone live. I just love the atmosphere of a crowd coming together because they have a love for that musician in common.
Here’s my husband and I at the Ed Sheeran concert at Red Rocks last summer in Denver. Have music? Will travel!
And that’s a wrap, folks! This was fun! I love getting to know the people behind the blogs I read, so I hope you enjoyed getting a little of my background and hearing what makes me “me.” Tell me more about YOU in the comments below!
Cheers to getting to know each other!