A big “thank you!” to all of the Inspiring Decorators who shared their beautiful homes and memories with us in 2017. We can’t wait to see what new styles and trends you’ll be incorporating in 2018!
A big “thank you!” to all of the Inspiring Decorators who shared their beautiful homes and memories with us in 2017. We can’t wait to see what new styles and trends you’ll be incorporating in 2018!
First off, congratulations to our newest Inspiring Decorator and The Gold Hive blogger, Ashley Goldman. After participating earlier this year as a guest participant in both the spring and fall House Beautiful One Room Challenge, she was recently selected to be a featured designer in the Spring 2018 ORC competition! We’re especially thrilled to be sharing her success with you here on The Blinds Spot, as Ashley selected our Signature Basic Solid Blackout Roman Shades as part of the 7-week reno of her beautiful home office this fall. We’re even more excited that she layered them over our Signature Sheer Weave 3% Solar Shades, which she also has hanging throughout the house.
Two years into the complete restoration and renovation of her 1915 Craftsman bungalow in San Diego, Ashley had several rooms to choose from for ORC, and they all look amazing! She has even more transformations planned for the future. Follow her on IG to find out which room she’ll pick as her challenge next year. We can’t wait to see!
I went to school for art and I’m a homebody, so the love for beautiful interiors came naturally. I’ve worked for the past 10 years in art museums teaching and managing programs for kids to foster their creativity. When my husband and I bought our first house, it made sense to blend my love for teaching and interiors, so I started a blog, The Gold Hive, to share the renovation stories and DIY design tutorials.
I’m a believer in staying true to your home’s architecture, so I make design decisions influenced by my 1915 Craftsman bungalow’s character. However, I like modern aesthetics, so I blend the old-school with the new. For example, I use Select Blind’s solar shades in my 100-year-old windows. The shades are modern and streamlined, rather than traditional curtains with valances and tie backs. I think the modern shades balance the historic architecture and enhance the character by not taking away from the millwork. I also like edgy and unexpected statement pieces.
My latest project is definitely a favorite! I hand-painted a mural in the likeness of a 1600s etching in our home office. I also painted my den the prettiest shade of dark green, which creates a moody and cozy space. Our kitchen is due for a remodel in 2018, but I made cosmetic fixes, including new paint and a checkerboard tile floor. The house was in pretty bad shape, so the before and after transformations are super satisfying.
Design trends are so tricky! They come and go frequently, and they vary depending on your style. I’m definitely digging moody shades like deep greens and matte black hardware. I’m a firm believer in having a touch of black in each room, but this year I think I’m going to decorate with more blacks.
Halloween has to be my favorite. However, I don’t go for the blow up skeletons in the front yard, or glittery gourds. Rather, I gravitate toward eerie vintage art, classic pumpkins and neutral, spooky décor like black candlesticks and white spider webs. This past year, I projected flying ghosts on a wall for the trick-or-treaters and they got quite a kick out of it.
The name of her interior design firm says it all — Simply Stunning Spaces. That’s what San Diego interior designer Darcy Kempton creates for her clients. She’s spent more than 10 years designing homes, offices, restaurants, bars and boutique hotels (including Petco’s Pooch Hotels) for celebrities, Fortune 500 corporations and hundreds of homeowners, working with blank-check budgets, to design on a dime.
“I live for the ‘WOW!’ moments that I get from my clients when they see their newly designed home for the first time,” she says. “Although I can’t deny that large design budgets are fun to work with, I personally enjoy the challenge of creating designer-looks-for-less and coaching people through the process of transforming their houses into homes. My goal is to give every client that jaw-dropping moment you see on design show reveals.” (She reveals how she creates those moments — and how you can, too — in her book Instant Dream Home, A Paint-by-Numbers Interior Design Guide. Read our review here.)
Darcy is different than most established interior designers who won’t take on small projects with small budgets.
“The truth is,” she explains, “[designers are] accustomed to making their profit from the sale of goods that go into your home. If you don’t have a lot of remodeling or furnishing to do, then there’s no incentive for a designer to want to work for you.”
But Darcy’s philosophy is everyone should live in a home that looks and feels like the place they just can’t wait to come home to. That’s why she wrote her book, and why we think she is a true inspiration. Keep reading, and we’re sure you’ll agree.
The unlikely idea of becoming an interior designer was first brought to my attention during a high school art class. I had always been interested in all things creative, including, painting, drawing, sewing, photography and really just about anything else I could get my hands on. I loved to make things, create things and learn new ways to express my creativity. I was really convinced that pursuing a career in the arts was destined to lead to financial hardship, and so I chose biology as my major in college (despite my persistent art teacher’s biased recommendations against the contrary). It wasn’t but one hour into college orientation when I had a strong epiphany that I had to do something creative! I remember my art teacher inviting an interior design college student to our high school class and that suddenly sounded like the perfect career path! I dragged my mom around campus to change my major and with her blessing, I never looked back.
My personal design aesthetic is one that has a clean, modern foundation layered with contrast, texture, pops of color and carefully selected objects of interest that merge style, sophistication and charm to create a warm, inviting and personalized space that not only looks good, but feels good, too.
My most recent favorite project has to be that of our new showroom in San Diego. I’ve spent so much time over the years designing for other people and helping them come to decisions that make the most use of their design dollars and really reflect their individual style. It’s a process I go through with each client. However, when it came to making decisions for myself, it’s almost as if I needed to hire a designer of my own! Luckily, I have an incredible staff who helped push me over my own edge and into a space we’re all very proud of. I’m so grateful we didn’t skimp and that we splurged in all the right places!
Second to that, I’ll never forget designing Pooch Hotels for Petco. (Six foot fire hydrants will probably never come across my desk again.) And Bruce Buffer of the UFC holds a special place in my heart as he instilled in me a permanent reminder that the most precious parts of our home are those items which remind us of a special time and place in our hearts. [Watch this special video Bruce and Darcy filmed for celebritybachelorpads.com.]
My favorite trend right now has to be the use of antique brass as a finish on plumbing fixtures, lighting and furniture. I know it’s trendy and I typically like to keep my interiors timeless, but I can’t help it on this one!
Need some more inspiration? Follow Darcy on Facebook and Darcy K. on Instagram @simply.stunning.spaces.
Her diaper genie may runneth over as it says on her IG bio, but so does her design genius. She likes funny (I mean, who describes themselves at three months pregnant as “letting it all hang out like the busted can of biscuits that I am?” LOL!), but Girlfriend has some serious style mojo going. Lover of shiplap and cheese fries, this pint-size (standing at “5′ zip”) purveyor of comfortable pizzazz has ideas you’ll definitely want to pin.
Design has always been a passion of mine. I was the kind of gal who dreamed about decorating her future house more than her wedding day. My need for creativity skyrocketed when I became a stay-at-home mom and desperately wanted an outlet for my passion for interior design and Craigslist scouring. My style has certainly transformed over the years, but it has been fun to hone in on my true aesthetic and discover what works for our lifestyle.
I love blending modern farmhouse style with touches of bohemian and glam. Old and new. Vintage and modern. Traditional and unexpected. Tangoing contrasting elements to create a beautiful yet simple space is so much fun! I am particularly drawn to rich woods, white and black accents, and warm textures.
3. What was your favorite project(s)? Why?
My laundry room makeover has been one of my favorite projects because my literal blood, sweat, and tears went into its transformation. I learned how to use a jigsaw, miter saw, and nail gun—much to my husband’s delight. Painting the tile was also something I had never done before, and I couldn’t be happier with the results! Every nook and cranny of the room was changed by my own two hands, and I find myself loving laundry day now.
Plants! Though I have suffered from Black Thumb for as long as I can remember, there is nothing more beautifully simple than fresh greenery in the home. Plants are a wonderful addition to any design aesthetic, and I love seeing them in so many houses lately!
Building hope for your household. That’s what Pine and Prospect Home blogger and decorator Andrea Francavilla offers her 28k IG followers and fans of her blog. There she’s chronicled a five-year journey renovating and rejuvenating her charming Tudor-style home to inspire others. (Check out the before and after pics here!) Read on for proof of her design philosophy that, “You don’t need a lot of money to have a beautiful refuge. With a little thriftiness and ingenuity, any house – no matter the size, budget or style – can be a prospective home.”
To be honest, I don’t know that I would consider myself a designer! I love all things home, and decorating has always been a passion of mine ever since I was little. I remember cutting out magazine clippings as a young girl and gluing them all together to create “my future home.” When my husband and I purchased our fixer upper, it was a dream come true for me. I was finally able to decorate my own space, but I quickly realized that home decor can be very pricey. I was determined to create a beautiful home even on the lowest of budgets, and I’m proud to say that the majority of my decor comes from thrift stores, garage sales and endless DIY projects.
Our 1930’s home is an English-cottage revival style house with a steeply pitched roof and a round door. The charm and character on the outside of our home has been the main inspiration for my interior decorating. I love to combine traditional, cottage-style elements with modern decor pieces to create a warm, livable and inviting space.
This is a tough question! I have done so many projects that it’s truly hard to choose. Probably my favorite recent project was our fireplace makeover. Last year we added DIY built-ins in the form of shelves and a storage bench, redesigned the mantle and created a frame around the television. This year we covered all the brick with stone, and I just love the way it turned out. Our fireplace is a focal point in our home, and the stone brings so much warmth and rustic beauty!
I try to avoid anything too trendy in my decorating. If I see something I love and the price is right, I will purchase it whether it’s trendy or not. But while I try to be unique, it’s almost impossible not to be inspired by others! One of my favorite trends is probably subway tile. We added a subway tile backsplash to our kitchen, not only because it’s trendy, but also because subway tile is true to the time period in which our home was built. It’s a timeless, classic option, and I love the character it adds to any space!
UPDATE 9/22/17: These just in! Thanks, Andrea, for the great pics of your new Designer Series Light Filtering Roller Shades! We’re so thrilled you love them and agree — they look ah-mazing with those too-cute curtains! And extra love for the post on your blog. So happy to be a small part of your Pine and Prospect Home!
Mixing modern and vintage goes together like cream and sugar in your coffee, according to inspiring decorator, Etsy shop owner and curator of homes with imperfections, Cynthia Harper. “I choose happiness over perfection,” she says of her approach to design. The result? Super sweet! We recently had the pleasure of working with Cynthia on selecting blinds for her own home, and fell in love with her eclectic aesthetic and comfy style. So we thought you’d like to get to know her, too.
My interest in design grew out of a deep need to have a creative outlet after the birth of my first child. Discovering that our home was a blank canvas that could serve as a means of creative expression was an eye-opening revelation for me. My personal style has evolved over time, and it’s fun to see how I’ve honed my skills over the last few years. The journey of sharing my design with a broader audience has been incredible. Far more people have taken an interest in my designs than I ever imagined! I feel very blessed to be on this journey of making a living out of something that is my passion.
My design aesthetic favors neutrals with the use of a lot of texture and contrast to create visual interest. I love blending styles and also mixing the old with the new, while maintaining a simplified space. I find myself particularly drawn to modern farmhouse elements with a touch boho.
My favorite project was the kitchen I designed for our home last year. A lot of time, thought and energy went into that project, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. We worked within the existing footprint to stay within budget, and yet created something uniquely beautiful and timeless. We used subway tile to the ceiling to lighten and brighten the space, and used wood straight from an old barn for the open shelving. Styling those shelves is my favorite thing to do in our kitchen!
4. What’s your favorite trend right now?
My favorite trend right now is macrame. Planters, wall art, hoops … you name it! Macrame is a wonderful way to add warmth, texture and a hint of whimsy to a space, while still maintaining a neutral palette. I love it!
Amy is part of the dynamic duo that makes up 11 Magnolia Lane, a magazine-style blog and website, where she and long-time friend and partner-in-blogging, Christy, share a variety of projects and topics related to home decor and DIY … with some fashion and entertaining thrown in for good fun.
While I am still not sure I qualify officially as a designer, since most of my work is in my own home and then showcased on our website, I have always loved design. My background is in graphic (print) design, and those skills definitely helped when getting started in the blogging world. I have always had a passion for interiors and remember spending hours pouring over design magazines growing up. When I was first married, I quickly set about making our small house look “decorated” with pretty much a non-existent newlywed budget. Of course, I had champagne tastes (as they say), so I had to come up with decorating ideas that would work for next to nothing. Over the years our projects have evolved from simple furniture makeovers into full room redo’s. I like nothing better then taking something that looks a total mess and making it beautiful!
One thing is for sure, it is always evolving. The one constant is that I prefer a white and neutral palate. I had a white kitchen 15 years ago when everyone was doing cherry, and I’ll probably always have a white kitchen. I like things light and bright and airy! I do love seeing color in other people’s homes — it is inspirational to me — but in my design I tend to use more of one or two “pops” of color. I feel like a white or neutral base always works to stabilize everything in the space. I love texture, too, as even with white the addition of different textures keeps it from being boring. I did, however, just add a dark color in one room of my home just to break things up a bit (see the pictures above), and I have to admit — I like the contrast!
That is hard to say, I have several favorites. Decorating my daughter’s room is always the most fun, as she has grown up from a toddler (when the blog started) to now almost a pre-teen, so her room has grown up along with her. Creating a space just for her, with all sorts of girly things in it is just plain fun! My favorite DIY project is the built-in shelves in our library (see pictures above). My sweet Dad did most of the work to build them, starting from a picture I showed him, and I love these shelves. The room looks completely different then when we started, so much more finished and “decorated,” and it wasn’t really a hard or expensive project. This is the same space we just transformed with the very dark walls. I wanted the white shelves to really pop, and I think it works!
Even though it has been around now for several years, I still like the gold trend, though I think it’s going to evolve into “copper” for Fall. Copper is a lovely, warm tone that’s perfect for the nesting season of Fall and Winter. I also love the blue and white look that has been everywhere recently. It is such a classic combination and so many other colors coordinate well with it. Blue and white seems to withstand the test of time and changing trends.
The DIY journey of a California citygirl and a Montana farmboy has inspired us to follow Kelly Ballard. This humble homegirl knows the value of hard work and how to add some big city swing to her Farmhouse favorite stylings and design. We’re really impressed, too, with her DIY Friday Features on Instagram for easy how-to’s on DIY design on a dime. (Check out the cute mini curtain rods she made to frame our Express Faux Wood Shutters for just $10!)
I have always loved decorating. It started while I was young and would watch my mother hand-stencil little blue and pink houses on the border of our kitchen walls — over and over until the one stencil she had had been painted across the entire border. She also taught herself to sew and made our curtains to match perfectly. We had very little extra with seven kids in the house, but she always did her best to DIY our home to perfection. I tell others now that she would have been the queen of Pinterest if it was around back then!
So I started copying her. I would save my money from my after-school job at Kentucky Fried Chicken and head to Mervyn’s. This is where I would browse and get so many ideas while I dreamed of one day buying my own house and setting it up like the floor models they had. I eventually bought all my hunter green bedding and decor to match my 1990s girls bedroom from there. It was as cute as ever, in my opinion. 🙂
When I got married, I wanted so much to have a welcoming home, but with my husband in law school, we were on a very tight budget. I became extremely good at shopping at the local thrift store and spicing up my new found treasures. There was also a local craft store called Provo Craft that had an outlet shop. Here I would find amazing steals on unfinished wood decor. While my babies were young, I tried my hand at painting and staining these items and fell in love with it. I still have my very first project — a shelf — hanging in our guest room 14 years later. Since then, I have always decorated my home on my own, with the help of vast tutorials and Google searches. Because of these tutorials from DIY masters like Shanty2Chic and Liz at LoveGrowsWild, I was able to learn on my own while still at home. It was a perfect fit for me. I continue weekly to teach myself a new skill set from masters who publish themselves on the internet. I am so grateful for them! Now I am often asked to help friends and family with their homes. It’s amazing how the circle of decor just keeps on turning!
My design aesthetic is a vast mix and has changed over the years. My current home is completely different than the Tuscan-style home I had before. I focus on Farmhouse style, with a hint of Shabby Chic and Industrial. I love wood in any way, shape, or form. Paired with some industrial metals and a bit of chippy paint, to me, you’ve got something amazing. I often wish I could have 10 houses and decorate them all differently, because I am inspired by so many styles. None are wrong to me as long as they are uplifting.
The things that excite you are not random. They are connected to your purpose. Follow them.
The ability to envision something in your head and bring it to existence is something that I have always been fond of. I have always loved and been interested in anything that challenges me creatively, whether that be a photograph, a video, a drawing, or my home. It is something that keeps me on my toes and something that I am very passionate about.
As a kid, I would get different journals every other week and fill it with drawings, sketches, quotes and ideas. I would cut out magazines and make collages and mood boards before I even knew there was such a thing. Then I got a computer, taught myself some mediocre web design and started my own webpage. This was before I even knew what a blog was!
Later, I got a hold of my first camera and fell in love with capturing moments, which eventually made me start an actual blog. Anything and everything that allows me to express myself creatively is and always will be something that I’ve been drawn to since the very beginning.
My mom influenced me a bit in that area as well. Growing up, there was never a lack of compliments from visitors on my mother’s interior design choices. Her garden was always the talk of the block and everything she did, design-wise, was done so meticulously. This rubbed off on me at a very young age.
Even though interior design is not my profession, I recently became a homeowner of a 1970s fixer-upper, and my love for interior design has never been stronger. I like the challenge in bringing character and personality into a room or a home, especially one that desperately needs it. It’s like a blank canvas and you are the artist.
Classic, bright, and minimal but cozy. I find that that combination makes for a more timeless design. I try my best to stay away from anything that is too trendy. I love mixing mid-century modern with vintage pieces, so I guess my interior style is modern-vintage with a tiny hint of farmhouse.
My favorite project so far has been our kitchen. Even though that is the only room in our house that is actually finished. I know I’m going to have a hard time topping it. The kitchen had to be completely remodeled, so essentially, we were able to build it from the ground up.
Each little detail was thought out and executed to my taste. Aside from all of the stress and hard work of completely re-doing a room, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that you had such a big part in the design; you look around and you feel so at-home.
This is really hard to narrow down because I love so many home decor trends at the moment, but if I HAD to pick just one, I would probably say open shelving in kitchens.
After using my kitchen for a couple of months now I have really learned to appreciate the simplicity of open shelving. Even though you want your shelves to look aesthetically pleasing, everything on there has to be practical. You have to force yourself to be quite minimal and only own what you absolutely need.
We’re thrilled that Gemary recently highlighted our Premier Woven Wood Shades in her new “Home Decor Haul” series! Check out how she’s styled these and other decor items she’s purchased over the last couple of months here: