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: 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: 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 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

Meet Veronica Valencia: The Designer Behind the Design

Meet Veronica Valencia

A little bit boho, a mix of modern and a dose of vintage. That’s the feeling Veronica inspires. She’s been inspiring us for the last several years with her joie de vivre and infectious energy, both of which are evident in every single space she designs. And that’s why we’re so excited to be the newest partner in her design world with the launch of her exclusive collection of window treatments for Select Blinds.

“For me, windows and natural light are everything in a home. Select Blinds has always been my first call when designing beautiful, inspired windows,” says the 32-year-old interior and product designer, and creative director who got her start as the head of design production for some 500+ home makeover shows on ABC, NBC, FOX and OWN.

As the fresh face of a style she sums up as New Modernism, Veronica’s design sensibilities beautifully blend bohemian and well-traveled elements, balanced by femininity and clean lines.

“I’m a girl who loves a floral print and a classic stripe, and I just happen to think they can all live in the same space. It’s not about rules. It’s about living with what you love the most, all captured in one space.”

Dining room interior

Veronica’s aesthetic has broad appeal. Remodelista called her the “Master of Design Transformations” and Australian magazine Renegade Collective deemed her “Miss Makeover.” Her work has been featured in Domaine Home, The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, Lucky Magazine and more.

So what does the founder of The Design Hunters, a modern day interior design and creative services company she founded with her husband, Kristopher Hughes, find inspiring?

“I’m forever inspired by nature. And you’ll rarely hear me pass up the chance to play host. I’m happiest when I have a table full of family and friends and a feast on the way to being plated. That sound of people laughing, floating in the air – that’s everything. Oh, and bike rides. A must.”

Veronica Valencia fall centerpiece

Watch Veronica in action as she shows you how to easily re-create this gorgeous centerpiece for your own table! Video by LEAF TV

You’ll find all that inspiration wrapped up in the AH-mazing (if we do say so ourselves) new collection she’s created for Select Blinds – and you!

“When you’re in the field and pulling off 10 home builds a season, you’re making thousands of decisions. I wanted this collection to be the easiest choice someone will make for their home. This line has all my loves. The textures and bohemian feel of rich woven woods and elegant fabric tapes; fresh, modern colors collected from world travels in my cellulars; and the fun shapes, florals and botanicals you’ll find in the patterns on my solar shades.”

She has some great tips for designing your windows, too.

“Put away that rule book. If you love white but are worried your kids are going to ruin your sofa, go for white woven shades. If you love wood but can’t re-floor your home, reach for it on your windows. A good room is like a good outfit. It’s never one pattern from head to toe. Mix it up! Layering is key.”

Veronica Valencia island woven wood shade

Veronica recommends mixing metals, glass and ceramics in New Modernism harmony. Shade shown is Veronica Valencia Island Woven Wood in Leeward Island.

Known to her family as the world-traveling “free spirit,” Veronica splits her time between New York and Los Angeles. She travels constantly for show production and private clients, and her own lines of specialty lighting and wall decor. “We’ve mastered the art of living out of a suitcase and how to make the perfect hotel room matcha latte.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t kinda love our vagabond life. We get to see the world together by design and that’s all I could ever ask for.”

Veronica Valencia chilling by the lake

Inspired? See more of Veronica on her website, or follow her on Instagram at @VeronicaValencia and #vvselectblinds.