Thursday, March 26, 2015

Design Files: Desiree Hartsock

A few weeks ago I mentioned I would be blogging for Desiree Hartsock in her "home" section of the blog every few weeks. Today I am over on her blog sharing tips for your next outdoor get-together! And guess what?! Desiree is here chatting with us all about her style! Learn how her passion for designing gowns came about, how she designed her own wedding dresses, and learn how her style translates into their home design. We share a passion for vintage details and both attended The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.

Let's get started...

1. When did your love for design begin?
My love for all things design started the second I could pick up a crayon. I would always draw, sketch and create things, but my love for fashion design began in high school when I would make dresses for my friends. My passion for bridal and wedding gown design really grew while attending FIDM.

2. You are a wedding dress designer. How does your creative process start when you design a new dress or collection? Where do you look to for inspiration?
I am always inspired by nature and the intricate beauty of vintage details, but the process of designing for me begins with the touch, look and feel of the fabrics chosen. I get inspired by the texture, drape, or color of the fabrics and from there the designs begin to come to life. As far as creating new collections and styles, I am often influenced by different cultures or shapes, while still keeping my natural and vintage inspiration as the foundation.

3. What has been one of your biggest design challenges?
TIME! I was doing custom bridal gowns prior to creating my collection with Maggie Sottero and it was difficult to manage the time needed, due to increasing obligations during that time. Being too busy also diminishes creativity, so I had to learn how to take time out for it all...the dresses, the obligations, and for myself to stay creative.

4. You designed your own wedding gowns, which were stunning! Was it harder to design and choose a gown for your own wedding?
It was actually quite opposite. I have worked in the bridal industry as a bridal consultant for many years and have seen almost any dress you could think of. For me, I just wanted to stay true to what I liked and create dresses that were different than what I have seen. I loved wearing them! ;)

5. A design don't:
Don't over emphasize all the assets. Leave an element of intrigue that flatters in the right areas. 

6. Even though you're a wedding gown designer, we'd love to learn how that aspect of design translates into how you decorate your home. Do you prefer symmetry or asymmetry? Tell us a bit about your style.
I would say that I prefer symmetry. Just as I am inspired by nature for my designs, I am inspired by nature when decorating my home. Chris and I both love neutrals with soft grays, blues, and tans. I'm drawn to creating a soft look that is welcoming and also reminds me of living by the beach.

7. I couldn't live without _____ in my home.

Throw blankets. It's the best to cuddle up on the couch in warm blankets and watch a movie. 

8. What is your favorite spot in your house?

My favorite spot is our bedroom! It's so cozy and comfortable. I also like the personal details that make the room even more special, like our wedding photos and a conch we brought back from Antigua where we got engaged.

I'm not sure about you, but her wedding gown with the gorgeous beaded back is exactly something I'd choose for myself (one day, one day!!) Desiree, want to design my wedding gown when the time comes?! ;) Their dark blue bedroom walls are a beautiful contrast with the white bedding. I think she's right-- personal details are that perfect finishing touch on a space!

Don't you just adore Desiree's gowns?!

Head on over to to check out my guest post for her today.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Save & Splurge

Doormat 1 / Doormat 2 
Gold Garden Stool / Gold Accent Table
Marble Cutting Board  1 / Marble Cutting Board 2 
Wood Charger 1 / Wood Charger 2
Chair 1 / Chair 2 

Isn't it fun to see certain items for your home that look SO similar around the web, in different places and at different price points?! As a designer, it's important to find those stand-out special pieces for my client's rooms and sometimes you have to splurge on those items (and then other times those pieces happen to find you at a garage sale or vintage store for a lot less!) In order to stay on budget for my clients, once we splurge on a few items, we have to save in other areas. Luckily, there are so many great items that have a high-end look for less. Today I've rounded up a little something for everyone's budget! 

These wood chargers are totally calling my name. We are using them for the April Bloom Workshop photo shoot! I have a purchase list for my apartment, so when I have the budget for the next item of priority I can get it. The next thing on my purchase list is a marble cutting board. I'm going to get this one! It's going to cover up my laminate countertops (blah!), be a great cutting board and pastry chef slab, AND double as a great background for photos. Finally, these chairs. AHH. Love them! World Market has a very similar version to the Restoration Hardware chair. Can you even really tell a difference?!

There are certain things worth spending a little extra money on and then those are some things that just aren't worth it. What pieces of furniture or accessories do you think are worth spending money on and where do you save the cash?!

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Client Reveal: Home Suite Home Kitchen

I'm so, so, so excited to show you the reveal of the Home Suite Home kitchen. As you might know, I worked with Lauren and her husband, Jake, to turn their mother-in-law-suite apartment into something that felt more like home. We have been posting about this design project for months, polling our readers and asking for design opinions along the way. It was thrilling to see the final reveal photos, and even more thrilling to share them today with you!
The kitchen area final photos was one of my greatest joys of the whole place. The goals of the kitchen were to make that black fridge disappear (or at least not stand out!), create stylish storage, and add some accessories. We painted the back wall with black chalkboard paint, since the refrigerator is on that back wall, placed sort of awkwardly. It's amazing what it does for the kitchen! We added shelving above the island cart and a fun new turquoise bookcase, filled with pretty special touches. 

Just for fun, here is a BEFORE shot of the space, because who doesn't love a good before and after?!

And now for the AFTERS!

What's your favorite element of the design update?! To see the other rooms in the Home Suite Home series, click here.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, March 23, 2015

La Petite Bloom Workshop Recap + Video

It's a happy Monday over here, because we get to share all about our La Petite Bloom Workshop from March 10th at The Goei Center. It was such a lovely day and I'm here to share it with you today!

The guests arrived to this ahhh-ma-zzzing Flower Bar, which they would soon be able to get their hands on. The set up was made complete with a fun glitter sign from The Bannerie.

What's an afternoon workshop without yummy donuts and sparkling soda?! All of our gorgeous linens are from Mrs. Freund, my go-to for unique and sparkly linens of all kinds!

First up, Jessica Albers taught our attendees the basics of calligraphy. It was so fun to learn from her and try my hand at calligraphy. I will say, I wasn't good at it at, at all! But I've been practicing at home and I'm getting better! There is hope :)

Isn't Jessica's work AMAZING?! You can shop her work HERE.

Next, Spring Sweet taught the guests how to arrange flowers! This was such a fun part of the day. Everyone loved it so much. Can I tell you something? Every single person's arrangement was gorgeous! It was fun to see everyone's personality come out in their arrangement.

Everyone got to choose their own pretty vase!

Then they picked their flowers at the Flower Bar...

Then they got to arranging!

After the floral arrangements were done, Ashley taught on photography tips and I taught on design and styling tips. Finally, Ashley took beautiful pictures of everyone's floral arrangements on Mrs. Freund linens. I helped the guest's decide how to style the set up. This part was so much fun! Here are some of my favorite arrangements...

One of my favorite parts of the day was meeting some gals I'd known through Instagram and blogging, but had yet to meet in person! Love these girls!

Emily, me, Ashley, & Kaitlin

Spring, Jessica, me, Ashley

We finally got a group shot at one of our workshops! I loved meeting all these friendly, talented women!
Linens: Mrs. Freund, Glitter Signs: The Bannerie, Balloon & Tassel: Posh PR, Venue: The Goei Center

We were lucky enough to have Katie video the workshop! See a glimpse into the day here:

La Petite Bloom from Katie Hollstein on Vimeo.

What a fun day it was! If you'd like to join in on the fun, we still have four more La Petite Bloom Workshops that you can attend this year. Two in Michigan, one in North Carolina, and one in Chicago. Be sure to check out our Register Page for all the dates and locations.

We'd love to meet you!

Enjoy your day!

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