Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Client Room: Dining Room Progression

Have you ever wondered what the design process of working with me on your home would be like?! Hopefully more than 5 of you are excited to learn, because I'm giving you some behind the scenes peeks today at a dining room design I'm doing for one of my sweet virtual design clients. Jean and her family live in California and I was fortunate enough to meet her at our last Bloom Workshop in CA. After the workshop, she told me she and her husband just built a beautiful new home and she wanted to hire me to help her with the design of a few rooms in the house. It's always fun to work with someone who I really click with, so I knew this would be a fun project. When I got some pictures of her house in my inbox, I was even more excited. I love working on clean slates like this!

After gathering information about the family's style, taking a peek at her Pinterest boards, and discussing their needs for the space, I got to work sourcing (this is a designer's way of saying "shopping" for the perfect items for a client). For me, I find it easiest to stay organized by having a Google Doc for each client. I organize the doc into categories and rooms (if I'm doing multiple rooms for them) and then any time I find an option that might work for the space, I add the link for it in the doc. This saves me the headache of loosing the items and never being able to find it again ;) Also important to note is that if I were sourcing for dining chairs, when I do my initial cull of dining chairs that might work, I put the links to ALL options I think have potential. Though I might only show the client a few of those (or even just one in the initial inspiration board), I always want to have back up!

Here's an example of the Google Doc system. The items highlighted in pink are the items I showed my clients in the inspiration board.

For Jean and her dining room, she had already ordered her dining room table, so we were focused on finding chairs, a chandelier, and island lighting that coordinated well with the dining fixture. So instead of just making one inspiration board for the room, I decided to send Jean a few different boards with options. I'm going to share those with you here:

You can see that option 3 is a lot more modern than the others. I sent this option to her because she originally mentioned that she wouldn't mind trying something more modern to spice things up. As I was making the board, I knew that it wouldn't fit with the integrity of the house, but I wanted to send the look to her anyways so I could visually explain that to her. I sent these options back to my client and she responded by saying she loved the upholstered end chairs and thought maybe she would love the look of a slipcovered end chair. She also mentioned that she wasn't gravitating towards dark wood for the other chairs. She told me she LOVED the orb chandelier (it's a favorite of mine, too!) so we kept that in the following boards.

 The next board I made was with a slipcovered chair option-- one with an arm and one without. It also included 3 other chair options that reflected the "farmhouse" look Jean told me she wanted, after the initial 3 inspiration boards. Finally, I included 3 island pendant options that coordinated well with the orb chandelier we decided on for the dining room.

 I find it SO impactful to show my clients options mocked up, because you don't truly know if you're going to like something together until it's actually visually in front of you (as opposed to sitting on different web tabs, going back and forth to each of them + seeing if they look okay next to each other ;)) 

She agreed with me, that she loved the slipcovered chair WITHOUT arms for the end chairs. She also told me she preferred option A for the wood chairs, but in black (which I explained in the email was an option). I love adding in the black, because the rug we choose for the family room has black in it, so this will really tie it together. Jean also landed on option B for the kitchen island pendants (there will be 3 in a row...such a statement!)

From there we began choosing fabric for the slipcovered chairs. Jean wanted to see what bringing in some color would look like AND wanted to see a more gray option. I showed her both below, as well as added in the black chairs she decided on and explained that I didn't love the blue tone with the black.

Thankfully, she agreed with me and we ended up going with a Sunbrella fabric in a medium-light charcoal color. This will be awesome because she has kids and Sunbrella fabric is known for being the most durable on the market. It's completely amazing; what started as an outdoor only fabric company, expanded their line to indoor fabrics that are super soft, and they even sell the fabric at places like Pottery Barn now! My parent's sofa is covered in an oatmeal color Sunbrella fabric. They spilled red wine on it within the first few months of getting the sofa, and instead of seeping into the fabric, it balled up and wiped right off! Not even a faint stain remains!!

Anyways, here is the final board for the dining room, along with a trio of mirrors that will go in the great room within eye sight. The only thing left to do is find a rug for the dining room + get the art ordered from Feather & Birch. I can't wait to see this space come together!

table / end chairs- sunbrella charcoal / wood chairs / light fixture / kitchen pendant / mirrors

I hope the progression of this design was fun to see come together! I also hope it gives you a bit of a look into how my design process looks. I always tell my clients that this is all about them. The end goal is for them to be happy and love their rooms! So that's why I put so much care into showing them options.

I can't wait to keep you posted with this project and show you how it turns out soon!


interior design website / services / portfolio

PS! I'm now taking on clients for June. Email me at to inquire!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hair Tutorial: Half French Fishtail

I used to do some hair tutorials when I was in college here on the blog, so it didn't surprise me that I've had a few requests for more of those. Lucky for me, one of my best friends, Chelsea, is a hair stylist (she does my hair here in Michigan! If you're looking for a stylist in West Michigan, let me know and I'll give you her info!), so she was kind enough to come up with a few styles to show you all. Not only was she a bridesmaid in our wedding, but she also did all my other bridesmaids' hair for our big day! You can see them here. My other sweet friend Rachel took all our photos for us.

Today we're showing you this double french fishtail braid:

1. Start with loosely curled hair. Get our best tips to get loose curls like those above HERE.

2. Part hair at your normal part line.

3. Begin a fishtail braid hair at top of forehead. To do this, gather a small section of hair and divide into two sections, as opposed to three sections like you would do for a normal braid.

4. Continue the french fishtail braid by adding hair from only the top side closest to your part, into the braid. A fishtail braid is best described as criss crossing pieces of hair into the two original strands.

5. Continue until you get to the back of your head. Once you can't add anymore hair, continue a traditional fishtail braid halfway down and secure with elastic.

6. Do the above steps to the other side of your head and secure that braid with an elastic as well.

7. Grab both braids and secure elastic where they meet. Take out the other two elastics.

8. To finish it off, wrap a small piece of hair around the elastic so you can't see it anymore. For tips on how to do this and get it to stay all day, check out our last hair tutorial here.


Even if you can't master this fishtail version, you can try this look with even a regular braid or twists!

Let me know if you try this yourself!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Finds: Summer Sale Favorites

This week has felt really long-- maybe that's because I've been playing catch-up since being back from Texas...I'm not sure! I've been working on lots of client projects and I'm so excited to tell you I'm finally launching my new website and blog design next week!! Along with that will come some fun giveaway for my sweet readers. Stay tuned :)

Anyways, here are my Friday Finds this week. Lots of fun sales:

1. Nordstrom Sale:

2. Anthropologie 25% off shorts, tops and swim! No code needed.

In my experience, these types of bottoms are the most flattering on me. I love the ruching on the sides!

My romper I wore in yesterday's post is on sale now for 25% off!! UPDATE: I clicked the link today and it's saying it is sold out, but keep checking because it might come back in stock!

So is this tassel off the shoulder number I got last week! SO comfortable and cute. Loveeee tassels! And let me tell you-- I don't own any other off the shoulder tops because I feel like they don't stay up. But this one totally does! It stays put all day.

Other favorites that are on sale:

3. Some home decor goodies I found that are also on sale:

That's it for this week! Don't be disturbed if the blog looks different when you come back on Monday OR if there are some kinks in getting the new design all set! ;) See you next week!

Have a wonderful weekend


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Magnolia Market Recap

Last week I had the chance to go back to Magnolia Market at the Silos. While in town for my sister in law's Baylor graduation, my business partner for The Bloom Workshop, Ashley, and I had a meeting with the Magnolia team to talk about a potential partnership with the brand in the future. I can't wait to be able to say more soon! For now, all I can say is you might want to sign up for our Texas workshop in October :)

Here's a few pictures from our day with my fam at the market.

Ashley and I got a private tour of the Magnolia offices and rooftop. It was SO fun and windy ;)

This was a little corner of the office upstairs. I love that Joanna puts their team mantras all around. This one, Do Good Work That Matters, was one of the favorites.

My husband caught this one while he was down in line for the bakery.

All the food trucks were so fun-- I love the Common Grounds truck for coffee and tea.

The flowers were everywhere and all were amazing! Not surprising, since Joanna makes magic happen in everything she touches.

We finally got to try a cupcake-- last year when we were here the bakery wasn't quite finished yet and so we were really excited to try a treat. The line might look intimidating, but it wasn't too bad at all. I think we waited for 10-15 minutes max. And WELL worth that time. I got the classic black cake with white frosting and it was DIVINE. Probably the best cupcake I've ever had.

The inside of the bakery was so cute, just as you'd expect!

The patina on the silos was so beautiful, so we snapped a quick photo in front of it.
my romper

This is a sneak peek of the garden center at the market. I'll share more from that area next week!

I'm so glad my husband got to come along with us this time + we had so much fun that day with my parents. Such sweet memories!

If you've made it down here, then bless you. That was a long recap! Have you been to Magnolia?! Tell me about it in the comments!


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Combining Styles & Decorating for the Two of You

Being married has been so fun and sweet. One of the things I looked forward to the most about being married (aside from the fact that I was marrying my best friend!) was creating a home together; a safe place for the two of us to start our lives together. We'll always remember our first apartment together (well, at least I will ;)) At first, I was overwhelmed with how to make McCann feel just as at home as me, considering we would be bringing almost everything from my last apartment to the new one and he was only bringing his clothes, bathroom essentials and record player...ha! The pieces he had in the place he lived before getting married weren't quite up to par...aka I didn't allow them in our house ;) Now I sound like a bad wife, but if you saw the beat up dresser he wanted to use, you'd understand!!

Anyways, after the initial overwhelm hit me, I decided to treat our first home design like I would a client, where I would help them merge their two decorating styles into one beautiful space to call home. I have to be honest, I have it a bit easier than most with my husband. He is very agreeable, allows me to do mostly all the decorating, AND his style is very easily blendable (I think I just made that word up) to mine. So here are the stats:

My style: farmhouse, eclectic, traditional
His style: industrial and rustic

As you can see, our two styles are very similar! Whereas I would want more painted wood and white, he prefers more exposed wood and rod iron. The one thing he absolutely didn't want coming into our new place were my pretty gold curtains I had in my "bachelorette pad". So sad, but also understandable! He did let me keep my floral accent pillows in our bedroom, so I was willing to give up the curtains. It's all about compromise! See?

White buffet for me...

Wood bar stools and wood framed chalkboard for him... (pink dish soap for me ;))

This conundrum of learning to blend your two styles together seems like a big feat, so I'm going to walk you through some simple steps to achieve a cohesive home where everyone feels represented.

- Discover both of your styles. This is the first obvious step! I suggest both of you pinning interior rooms on Pinterest into separate boards. Pin anything that catches your eye! Once you've pinned 30-50 images, go through them and see what things each image has in common or look for any common themes throughout. Maybe you're pinning a lot of exposed beams, a lot of rooms with white walls, or sleek modern sofas with clean lines. Finding the commonalities in the photos will help you determine what you most gravitate towards.

- Both styles should be represented in multiple aspects of the room. Once you've discovered your styles, you need to figure out how to display both of them. If your husband likes the mid century modern style and there is only a coffee table that reflects his style amongst your shabby chic style, it will look completely out of place. In order to get a unified look where both styles are present and look cohesive, here are a few guidelines to help:

1. Repetition is key: repeating an element (whether than be color, pattern, shapes, or textures) always help unify a space. So no matter what two styles you are blending together, remember to repeat an element throughout the space to bring it together. For example, if you were melding traditional with contemporary styles, you could bring the room together by sprinkling green elements throughout the room (pillows, plants, vases and books for bookcases, etc.)

2. Strategically spread out the decor: if all of the modern pieces are on one side of the room and all of the coastal pieces are on the other side, the room will feel really disjointed. Spreading out the decor equally throughout the room will keep an aesthetically pleasing flow.

3. Use color to unify: painting open spaces in one (neutral) color will create a flow throughout the whole house instead of breaking it up. This also creates a blank canvas for you to show off your decor and furniture. Anything you can do to create a cohesive, smooth look will help when meshing styles together. This home tour does that so well:

4. Balance: equal distribution of weight is also really important. This doesn't mean something needs to be symmetrical, but it does mean things need to be visually balanced. You wouldn't want to hang a huge piece of art on one side of the room without anything on the other side of the room with the same visual weight. Here is an example of balance being achieved really well:

Note that the fireplace is the focal point of the room, and if the window / window seat to the right of the fireplace wasn't there and was instead a blank wall, the bookcase on the left would feel extremely heavy and off-balance.

5. Furniture, accessories and finishes need a BFF: if you're using a red tone wood for a coffee table in a mid century modern space, you'll want to repeat that tone in at least one other item in the room. This "rule" states that most textures and colors in the space need a buddy to create cohesion. Using brass an accent in your lighting? Make sure it shows up at least twice in the room through lighting and a sculpture for your bookshelf.

6. Think of formality, function, and form: first, make sure the two styles you are marrying are of equal formality. Trying to mix an ultra glam or very elegant traditional style with a funky industrial or boho style probably won't go as well as you envision. Second, take note of the use of the room and make sure that it still functions the way you want it to while combining the two styles. For example, does a modern, plastic Eames chair function well in a highly used family room? It might look okay, but it's not going to be very comfortable! Finally, do the shapes, or forms, of the furniture and accessories compliment each other? Pay attention to the lines of the furniture you have-- you probably don't want to mix super straight lines in your modern sofa with a very traditional rolled arm chair.

Here are some visual examples of marrying styles to create a home everyone is represented in:

1. Traditional and elegant (seen in the puddling shower curtain and gold fixtures) paired with a rustic vintage vibe (the floor tile and wooden chair accent)

2. Modern (sleek lines, neutral color, use of black and brass in lighting) and farmhouse (all white cabinets, marble, use of rustic wood tones)

3. Traditional (the gold mirror, chunky wood table, wainscoting, molding, and upholstered end chair) paired with mid century modern touches (ghost chairs, light fixture)

Here's our bedroom, so you can see how we compromised.

Hopefully these tips were helpful in combining two styles of decor together to create a home everyone loves! Let me know how YOU do this if your spouses style is different from yours.