Inspiring Decorator: Autumn Stauffer of Steel City Farmhouse

Picture perfect in Pennsylvania, Autumn Stauffer of Steel City Farmhouse puts a modern spin on a vintage style by creating a home that’s a culmination of old and new. She is frequently writing her home’s story, expertly crafting the contents and chapters in “Pursuit of a Pretty Home in Pittsburgh”.

We recently collaborated with her for a huge window shades project, and were so interested in her designer style that we asked her to be our next Inspiring Decorator! So grab a sammich from Primanti Bro’s and read our interview with Autumn below!

Meet Autumn of Steel City Farmhouse!

1. How would you explain your style and aesthetic?

When designing our home, we wanted a retreat, a gathering point, and a space that inspired our passions. That has slowly unfolded into a timeless yet clean eclectic style as we design and decorate our newly built home.​ ​I love a blend of old and new, pieces that tell the story of time mixed against the backdrop of​ a newly constructed home. This, for me, is what has given our home some soul. ​​​​ 

2. Where/Who do you get your home inspiration from?

Most recently I was very inspired by rummaging through my grandmother’s attic. While she is no longer with us, I love incorporating meaningful treasures that remind me of her into our home. ​Think beautiful sea glass jugs, designer vintage rattan chairs, and intricately designed dishware. ​It has given a nice balance of old in a new home. 

​Traveling the world has also served as a huge point of inspiration ​for my designs ​and perhaps why my style is a bit eclectic.​ And this is why you’ll see a side of travel on my predominantly home blog

SelectBlinds.com's Roman Shades lend to the clean and sleek look!

3. What personal project are you proudest of and why? 

Right now, my head is still in the clouds on the completion of our custom built home. It was something we dreamed of doing, and it​ ​was such a special experience to be able to design our home and build top to bottom what works and serves our lifestyle best.​ 

Welcome to Autumn's custom home!

4. What’s your favorite trend right now? 

I love how color ​and pattern ​is making a bold, new come back. ​​For me, I want to be wrapped in a happy, cheerful space so I’ve been finding ways to pack a little punch throughout whether it’s the backsplash, wallpaper, rugs​ ​​or furniture.

Just as in our lives we are all multi-tasking and juggling all of life’s little demands, we need our homes to do the same. I love how more and more the expectation is for a space to flex and be multi-functioning. Doubling benches as storage, or transforming what would normally be a home office into a multi-purpose room all through the design and layout of furniture. This reflects a major shift in how people want usable spaces for their families.   

Bold colors and a subtle pattern make a great marriage.

5. What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn more about interior design/decorating?

Let’s learn together! ​By day and trade I work in Corporate America in business. ​Unlike others I can’t sit here and tell you I’ve been doing this for a decade. It’s something I stumbled upon and realized I loved after I got my first place. ​I guess my best advice is to experiment on your own home/space ​or take some pro bono projects to build your portfolio​ (queue mom and dad, or friends.) 

Barn door fit into many different kinds of decor!

Thanks so much for letting us take a closer look at your home, Autumn! We love learning a little more about all of our influencers and hope to work with you again in the future! If you love the window treatments in Steel City Farmhouse, here’s a couple links to the products in this post:

Classic Roman Shades in Simply White (Bedroom, Bathroom)

Classic Light Filtering Cordless Cellular Shades in Perfect White (Living Room)

For more details on her custom window treatments, amazing DIY installation walk-through and even insider some tech tips, you won’t want to miss her Select Blinds blog post!

“It was top of my list to get a quote or two for blinds, and we knew it would be expensive but never did we think our quotes would come back between $12-15k for 22 windows. And then I found Select Blinds.”

-Autumn Stauffer of Steel City Farmhouse

Inspiring Decorator: Audrey Sprinkle of The Black House on the Corner

Audrey sprinkle sits on leather couch in front of paintings of women

Welcome back for another designer spotlight from one of our favorite Instagram innovators! This time, we’re going dark with The Black House on the Corner, and we mean that in the best way possible! Audrey uses a collection of darker hues in her 1900 Greek Revival Craftsman, bringing out the beauty in the design of her home by collating the moody shades with a pop of bright white and custom themes that give every room it’s own bold personality.

Audrey sat down with us to shed some light on her home, style and what motivates her and her husband after years of designing and flipping houses. Here’s what our newest Inspiring Decorator had to say.

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

I have been into home design and decor since I was a kid! I was 10 when I designed my first piece of furniture and had my dad (against his will) execute it. 

It’s been an exciting journey. We took a leap of faith about nine years ago to start flipping homes and it paid off in a big way. My husband and I work — mostly — really well together and the experience of re-building and designing spaces together has definitely strengthened our relationship! 

2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

 Definitely eclectic vintage modern. I find myself attracted to strange decor items but mid-century modern furniture!

Eclectic vintage modern decor in dining room

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

 Probably my painted wallpaper in our hallway! It was free and a huge transformation. I also didn’t expect much out of it so when it turned out so great, that made it even better! (Check out how cool this is!)

4. What’s your favorite trend right now?

I love seeing more personality come back into design. The all-white and farmhouse aesthetics are on their way out and that excites me because they’re kind of boring!  

Flowery Backsplash in Vintage Modern Kitchen with Blinds Over Sink

5. What inspired you to paint your walls black?

I love moody, dark colors and since we have 12’ ceilings and tons of windows, I figured I could get away with it!

We really love Classic Shoreline Cordless Woven Woods and get so many compliments on them! My favorite feature is the cordless option. Having four rambunctious boys, it gives me peace of mind that no one is going to choke on blind cords!

High Ceilings Highlight Select Blinds Layered with Curtains

We’re currently working on a huge master suite renovation. My husband’s “day job” is with a European company, which means he starts work at 3 a.m. our time. He’s in bed by 7 p.m. and it’s still pretty light outside the majority of the year, so I’m most excited to try out the Select Blinds woven woods with a blackout liner feature for our bedroom windows!
We can’t wait to see what Audrey does with our blackout-lined woven wood shades, can you? Until then, it’s a wrap on our Inspiring Decorator: Black House Edition! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Black House on the Corner on Instagram! Audrey has plenty more projects, insight and style to love coming in the future!

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!

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: 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