Inspiring Decorator Summer Heath

Summer Heath
No matter what the season, Summer is definitely one of our favorite new decorators! It takes a certain joie de vie to transform a vanilla new build into a home full of character, warmth and personality. If you follow her on IG @heathsinmaine , you can see how this French-inspired mother of two toddlers is absolutely rockin’ it. Vive la palette blanche avec des accents de bois! 

1.  What inspired you to become a designer? What has your journey been like?

My soul. My eyes. My brain. They are just made happy and at ease when fixed on beauty. Whether it’s a mountain view, a beach sunset, an art gallery filled with creativity, or a beautifully designed kitchen. My journey, as far as interior design goes, began in my preteens, free of outside influence, days when my mom gave me the green light to make my bedroom “my own”. I’d crank up the top 10 hits station and organize and redecorate monthly.

Every home I’ve been in since, I’m unable to contain the drive to enhance the aesthetics and function. Even now, without thinking, I study the carpentry, design and workmanship in every building I enter. Whether I’m taking ideas I love or revamping the space in my head, it’s my happy place and something that just happens naturally.

Summer Heath choose joy

2.  How would you describe your design aesthetic?

You mean my design aesthetic this year? Haha. I have had to learn discipline when styling a space. I’m a lover of ALL things design and literally ALL different design styles. So in the beginning, I would mix and match styles making everything eclectic. I’ve enjoyed learning how to pin down a specific style and create boundaries when designing a space.

I would definitely describe my current favorite design aesthetic as French modern. The tufting. The classic wall treatments. The shine of a white tile and the straight clean lines along with a minimal pattern that makes subtle statements. At this time in my life (with a two and three year old) the “clean” feeling of modern design brings a sense of serenity and control to balance out the beautiful mess that the season of energetic toddlers bring.

3.  What was your favorite project(s)? Why?

My favorite project as of late is absolutely our stairwell wall. Our new build came very standard and basic as a blank canvas, so my husband (and DIY partner in crime) and I have been having a lot of fun adding character. I chose to do picture frame molding from stair to ceiling and a semi gloss white paint to match the rest of the trim and casing in our home. It gave the space such a modern French/Victorian feel that just brings me joy and the house, so much character and comfort. Absolutely a top bang-for-your-buck idea that any home improvement budget can handle. We loved it so much, we decided to do a bedroom accent wall and chair rail with the same treatment.

Summer Heath stairwell wall

We’re thrilled Summer chose our Designer Series Woven Woods in Antigua Natural for a natural wood accent to her stunning stairwell wall.

4.  What’s your favorite trend right now?

I don’t tend to follow trends. They move too quickly. I will say, I’ve noticed the “white” theme seems to be very popular, and I hope it’s here to stay. During my 20’s I always leaned toward white-everything. Decor, vehicles, you name it. I fought it for awhile, telling myself it wasn’t practical and even boring, but the popularity of the white design “trend” now has allowed me to embrace those tendencies to choose white and freed me to just do what I love. So regardless of the life of the trend, white will always be a part of my style. Long live the white pallet with wood accents!

Summer Heath kitchen

5.  Apart from designing/decorating, what is one hobby or interest that you can’t live without?

This is a great question, because I believe the answer comes back full circle. I wouldn’t make it in a world without bicycles, oars, hiking trails and beach days. As I mentioned in the first question, nature inspires me. Sight-seeing on a bike ride, rowing on any body of water in any form, hiking steep trails and burying little baby feet in the sand on a warm summer day gives me life. Creation in all of its glory.

too legit to quit sign

Inspiring Decorator Alicia Armstrong, Our Vintage Nest

Inspiring Decorator Alicia Armstrong

Photos courtesy Alicia Armstrong

One of the best things about working at Select Blinds is getting to know and partnering with so many talented decorators. Take Alicia Armstrong. This powerhouse momma of two gets her inspiration from all things vintage. She loves painting and re-purposing furniture and is such a pro at it, she was asked to share her talents recently in a virtual Home Depot Do-It-Yourself Workshop. A quick visit to her website or IG account and you’ll see why we love her twists on making old things new again, and how she’s applied them to transform the interior of her home in NW Arkansas into one that’s a welcome respite from builder-grade, cookie-cutter lookalikes.

1. What inspired you to become a designer?

As a child, I always enjoyed watching my mom decorate with her amazing antiques and collectibles. She’s always had an eye for creating a beautiful space. Her talents are endless (from cooking, sewing, crafting, etc.). I’m so thankful for the creativity she passed on to me. She inspires me every day!
Shiplap Walls by Alicia Armstrong Inspiring Decorator

2. What has your journey been like?

My most recent journey has been a huge blessing, filled with unimaginable opportunities, friendships and growth as a decorator. I’m so thankful for everything that I’ve experienced thus far!

3. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

I’d call my style/design modern farmhouse with an emphasis on vintage decor. The two blend nicely together, I think!
Our Vintage Nest Dining Room

We’re thrilled that Alicia has made our Designer Series Woven Wood shades (here in Jute Wheat) part of her beautiful home. Check out her blog for a Room by Room Home Tour of her favorite blinds.

4. What was your favorite project(s)? Why?

Oh goodness, there are quite a few from the last year. Most of them involved shiplap or adding character to a boring space. I’d have to say my son’s herringbone-patterned headboard that I built. It was my first big project using power tools without my husband! It was fun and inspired me to challenge myself with other projects! Stay tuned! 😉
Herringbone Headboard by Alicia Armstrong from Our Vintage Nest

5. What’s your favorite trend right now?

I typically don’t follow trends too closely. I love classic design that can be enjoyed for years to come. Antiques tell such a story with their age and patina; I love that! When it comes to colors, I’m also drawn to navy, black and white, and neutrals.
Alicia Armstrong - Vintage pantry

6. What’s your favorite holiday to decorate for?

Christmas!
Alicia Armstrong's Bedroom

7. What are some of your hobbies apart from designing/decorating?

I love to bike ride with my family in the warmer months. We have a beautiful 30-mile bike trail in our little corner of the world. We love amusement parks and movies on the weekends!

SelectBlinds Follower Favorites of 2017

@theinspiredroom

@letteredcottage

Kelly Nan Interior Designer@kelleynan

Holly Mathis Interior Designer@hollymathisinteriors

Ashley Goldman Interior Designer@ashleykgoldman

Simply Stunning Spaces@simply.stunning.spaces

Veronica Valencia Interior Designer@veronicavalencia

Jenna Roach Interior Designer@jenamroach

Pine and Prospect Home@pineandprospecthome

Cynthia Harper Interior Designer@cynthia_harper_

Ashley Cooper Design@ashleycooperdesign

11 Magnolia Lane@11magnolialane

Kelly Ballard Interior Designer@citygirlmeetsfarmboy

Natalie Kolter Interior Designer@vintageporch

Gemary Ermus - The G is for Mary@gemary

Kirsten Yanasak from Bright Yellow Door@brightyellowdoor

 

Happy New Year! Reflecting on the past year, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting some amazing bloggers, designers, influencers and decorators. An exclusive and wildly talented group that scribed the year’s styles and trends into the illustrious pages here on The Blinds Spot blog and throughout social media, including instagram@selectblinds. We couldn’t pick a favorite ourselves, so thought we’d recap the posts that inspired our IG followers the most. Without further ado, then, here’s the list of our Top 10 Follower Favorites of 2017!
1. 100100 Instagram likess
Designer Series Woven Woods from SelectBlinds.com

@cynthiaharper Cynthia Kitchen Collab (featuring Designer Series Woven Wood Shades in Jute Natural)

2. 9696 Instagram Likess
Vintage Porch Collab using Designer Series Woven Woods from SelectBlinds.com

@vintageporch Vintage Porch Collab (featuring Chester and our Designer Series Woven Wood Shades in Bali Oak)

3. 8181 Instagram Likess
Happy Customer Featuring SelectBlinds.com Designer Woven Woods

@kaileyabozarth Happy Customer (featuring Designer Series Woven Wood Shades in Bamboo Shell)

4. 7676 Instagram Likess

Heather Fujikawa's Kitchen

@heatherfujikawa Heather Fujikawa Kitchen (featuring Signature Light Filtering Roman Shades in White Canvas)

5. 73 73 Instagram Likess

Pup relaxes with Roman Window Treatments from SelectBlinds.com

@cottageandvine Pup Relaxes with Roman Shades (featuring Signature Blackout Roman Shades in Parchment Textured)

6. 72 72 Instagram Likess
Gemary's Kitchen featuring Permier Woven Woods from SelectBlinds.com

@gemary Gemary’s Kitchen (featuring Premier Woven Wood Shades in Bodhi)

7. 6969 Instagram Likess
Southern Farm House Designs Shiplap Bedroom featuring Designer Series Wovens from SelectBlinds.com

@southernfarmhousedesigns Shiplap Bedroom (featuring Designer Series Woven Wood Shades in Bali Natural)

8. 5959 Instagram Likess
Holiday Fireplace Mantal featuring Cynthia Harper and Julie of The Design Twins

Holiday Mantel/Fireplace Decor featuring @cynthia_harper and @julie_thedesigntwins

9. 52 s
Bright Yellow Door Collab featuring SelectBlinds.com Premier Woven Woods

@brightyellowdoor Bright Yellow Door Collab (featuring Premier Woven Wood Shades in Robinia)

10. 45s

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!

If you have any questions or would like more details on any of these posts, please leave us a comment!

Inspiring Decorator Ashley Goldman

ashley goldman

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!

The re-do of her home office, including a stunning 1600s-inspired hand-painted mural, boosted Ashley from “guest” status to “featured” designer in next spring’s House Beautiful One Room Challenge.

1. What inspired you to become a designer? What has your journey been like?

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.

1915 craftsman bungalow exterior

2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

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.

brass chandelier

3. What was your favorite project(s)? Why?

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.

checkered floor

4. What’s your favorite trend right now?

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.

den

5. What’s your favorite holiday to decorate for?

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.

halloween house

Inspiring Decorator — Darcy Kempton, Simply Stunning Spaces

darcy-kempton

Darcy Kempton at her showroom in San Diego, CA. Shot by Samantha Kaplan

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.

1. What inspired you to become a designer? What has your journey been like?

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.

modern-coastal-bedroom

Darcy helped this client create a chic, modern coastal look for her beachfront condo.

2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

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.

"The Bachelor" Pad Makeover | Living Room | Encinitas

A comfortable, modern home to return to is essential for a busy, active, professional and philanthropic bachelor like Kiptyn Locke, a former suitor on ABC’s “The Bachelorette.”

3. What was your favorite project(s)? Why?

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!

Simply-stunning-Space-Studio

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.]

4. What’s your favorite trend right now?

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!

brass-light-fixture-dining-room

Need some more inspiration? Follow Darcy on Facebook and Darcy K. on Instagram @simply.stunning.spaces.

Inspiring Decorator Jena Roach

jena-roach

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.

1. What inspired you to become a designer? What has your journey been like?

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.

living-room

wall-decor

2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

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.

sideboard

daybed-heardboard

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.

old-laundry-room

Out with the old …

4. What’s your favorite trend right 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!

kitchen-plants

Inspiring Decorator — Andrea Francavilla

andrea-francavilla

 

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.”

1. What inspired you to become a designer? What has your journey been like?

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.

kitchen

2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

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.

living-room

3. What was your favorite project(s)? Why?

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!

fireplace

Watch the amazing transformation of Andrea’s fireplace here.

4. What’s your favorite trend right now?

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!

backsplash

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!

designer-series-LF-roller-shades

Inspiring Decorator — Cynthia Harper

Cynthia Harper - Inspiring Decorator

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.

1. What inspired you to become a designer? What has your journey been like?

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.

living room

2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

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.

Cynthia Harper's bedroom

Our Premier 2″ Light Filtering Cellular Shades in Pale White were the perfect complement to this amazing accent wall in her daughter’s bedroom.

3. What was your favorite project(s)? Why?

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!

 

Cynthia Harper's kitchen

Cynthia’s kitchen has come a long way since its original purple counter tops.

Cynthia Harper used Designer Series Woven Woods from SelectBlinds.com

The kitchen re-do all began with the gray door. Cynthia found the Designer Series Woven Woods in Jute Natural here at Select Blinds.

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!

Inspiring Decorator Cynthia Harper

Inspiring Decorator — Amy with 11 Magnolia Lane

Inspiring Decorator Amy with 11 Magnolia Lane

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.

1. What inspired you to become a designer? What has your journey been like?

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!

2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

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!

Amy's Library Makeover

 

3. What was your favorite project(s)? Why?

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!

Amy from 11 Magnolia Lane's Girls Room Makeover

 

4. What’s your favorite trend right now?

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.

Amy's Dining Room Makeover

Inspiring Decorator — Kelly Ballard

Kelly and Mike Ballard

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!)

1. What inspired you to become a designer? What has your journey been like?

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!

 

Kelly Ballard living room

 

2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

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.

3. What was your favorite project(s)? Why?

One of my favorite projects was creating a seating area for my tiny entryway. My current home does not have a lot of space to sit down and take off your shoes, so I created one. My plain wall was converted to a brighter look with wood plank accents and white paint. I built a sturdy bench with a white base and Briarsmoke Varathane on top. Then I added a coat and backpack rack for the kids to hang their things on. It became a completely functional space instead of unusable with a farmhouse swing, and I love it!

4. What’s your favorite trend right now?

So many amazing trends are tempting my decorbuds right now! I want to implement them all! Sometimes I wish sleep was unnecessary so I could have eight more hours a day to work on projects swimming through my head. Something I do adore right now is plumbers pipe. It is so versatile and sturdy, and pairs well with the Farmhouse style. I love the Industrial look with it, too. I was asked to build some plumbers shelving for a client and I loved it so much, I added it to my kitchen. It makes me smile every time I see it. It’s an easy DIY and adds a lot of character to a home.
Plumber pipe shelving