Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Designer Files: Sita Montgomery Interiors

I can't wait to share my friend, Sita, with you today as a part of my Designer Files series. Every other week, I love showing you the work of another talented designer. Sita is a wealth of knowledge on all things design! She's an interior designer, mom and blogger. Today we get to find out if she prefers symmetry or asymmetry, what she couldn't live without in her home, and how she manages to keep her home tidy and well-designed, even with three kiddos! Welcome Sita of Sita Montgomery Interiors.

1. What is one of your favorite home projects or pieces in your home?

I just finished designing my Master Bedroom and right now, it is definitely my most favorite room in my home. I kept the color palette very neutral and added some metallic elements to keep it interesting. The result is a restful retreat that also feels sophisticated and classic. My husband and I love spending time, relaxing in our bedroom.

2. How did you get into design?

I have always had a desire to make my surroundings beautiful. When I was 7 or 8 years old, I felt the closet doors in my bedroom were too plain and boring. Asked my mom to buy me some acrylic paint, which she did. I took the paint and painted a pattern at the top of my door that mimicked the color and pattern of the wallpaper border in my room. Yes, I said wallpaper was the 80's after all! As an adult, that inherent need to transform my surroundings manifested itself in my own home. Friends and family started asking me to help them with their homes. What started out as a hobby soon became a full blown design business. I never take for granted that I get to make an occupation out of my passion. I consider it one of my greatest blessings.

3. Stripes or plaid? 

It is so hard for me to choose! I love both so much, but you'll see more stripes in my design and fashion than you will plaid.

4. Geometric or floral? 

Okay, I really can't choose between these two! Almost all of my designs incorporate both geometric and floral patterns. My personal design aesthetic tends to be a little more feminine, so the use of geometric and floral patterns together, help to give my designs a more gender neutral feel. My answer is geometric AND floral. :)

5. Symmetry or asymmetry? 

This is an easy one for me. 100% symmetry. I have tried and tried to get out of my "symmetry box", but I just can't do it. I am hard wired to look for balance in a room and all of my room designs are driven by the need to create that balance. Don't get me wrong, I love asymmetry in design and some of my favorite designers are asymmetrical design geniuses, but I'm a symmetry girl all the way.

6. One decorating "rule of thumb" is:

My number one decorating rule of thumb is "Incorporate trends, but avoid being trendy." In our Pinterest and Instagram world, we are flooded with images of "trendy design". Chevron, anyone? It is so hard to see the all trends and not feel the need to fit them all into our homes. Right now, gold and brass is everywhere. If you want to incorporate that trend into your home, start with a gold foil pillow or a brass accent table. If you really, really love it, switch out some light fixtures, or pull the trigger on a brass framed coffee table, but unless your love affair with brass began long ago and has continued regardless of what the trends are in design, you might want to think twice about buying that gorgeous brass canopy bed. On the flip side, don't feel the need to incorporate all of the latest trends into your home. I absolutely love all the ways macrame is being used in interior design these days, but you will never find it in my home. It's one thing to step outside your comfort zone when it comes to design, but you never want to take the leap that leads you off the cliff! :)

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

Natural light. One of my favorite things about my home is all the natural light that floods in, especially in the morning. We are fortunate enough to live in a home where we have no one living behind us. Our backyard borders protected wetlands, so we have giant mature trees in our yard. The back of our home has large picture windows that face east and let in a ton of light . They are all equipped with roman shades, but those shades never come down. I've found that natural light is a huge mood booster for me, it just makes me happy!

8. A design don't:

I think this goes back to my decorating "rule of thumb", but don't feel pressured to follow the trends. I believe so much of design is about how it feels. If it doesn't feel good to you, don't do it. Good interior design is an extension of the person the space belongs to and is timeless. Switching it up a little to incorporate new trends is always fun, but don't feel pressured to do so.

9. You have young kids. How do you keep a pretty, well-designed home with littles running around?

I get this question all the time and the truth is I don't know how to answer it. I'm going to say that 90% of it is luck. I had my two girls and then my son. My girls were never destructive or really busy. They weren't drawn to touch any of the accessories I had placed out and they have always been good about keeping the food in the kitchen. My son is definitely more rambunctious. When he was very young, he was more inclined to touch things, pull on drapes, etc. Luckily, he grew out of that very quickly. Having the examples of his two older sisters has helped tremendously. I think part of it is that our homes have always been designed. My kids have grown up in a designed environment. When we were newly married and had very young kids, everything was done on a modest budget and I kept in mind that whatever I put in my home had to be child friendly. We had leather ottomans and velvet microfiber sofas. It wasn't until we moved into our current home almost 3 years ago, that we started to really invest in the interior design of our home. My children are still young, but old enough that they know how their father and I expect them to show respect for not just the people in our home, but the things as well. That being said, our basement is filled with furniture we have had for years, coupled with newer pieces from places like HomeGoods and Target. They can let loose down there and be kids. I think it is important to have a balance.

10. What has been one of your biggest design challenges?

Truthfully, designing my own home has been my biggest design challenge. I have a need to have every space in my home be "done", but like many others, I have a budget that hasn't allowed for that. It is hard for me to see spaces in my home that don't look quite like I would like them too, but I know that, in time, I will be able to actualize the vision I have for them. One of the sayings I try and live by is "All things in moderation." My father used that phrase constantly when I was growing up and now as an adult, it has become a mantra for me. And so it is, even when it comes to Interior Design.


I love her decorating rule of thumb. So important to remember to stick to classic elements when decorating our own spaces, and not feel like we have to incorporate all of the trends. 

Go visit Sita Montgomery Interiors today!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Bloom Workshop: Northern California

I can't believe our first La Petite Bloom Workshop is next week here in Michigan-- just one week away! We are so excited. I also can hardly believe our first large workshop is coming up in 5 weeks in California. Hooray! I can't wait to go home and soak up some sun :)

Today, Ashley and I are sharing our California sponsors, artists and partners with you. It truly does take a village to put together our workshops, so we are so grateful to have such talented friends partnering with us.

Sawyer Leigh Boutique: Megan is the talented owner of this cute shop. She designs adorable wood signs. We're so excited to put one of these inspiring desk signs in each swag bag!

Parris Chic Boutique: One of my very favorite home decor shops (the owner, Alyssa, is one of my favorite people ever, too!) is giving each attendee a lovely mug to drink their coffee from during the workshop. Then they get to take it home and enjoy many more sips!

Photo by Daniel Kim Photography

Pieces by Violet: The second I laid eyes on this vintage rental company, I was completely smitten. The prettiest tables, rustic chairs, fun and unique accent pieces and more! I can't wait to show you what we have in store for our styled photo shoot at the end of the day, using lots of beautiful Pieces by Violet.

Lily & Val: Each guest will get a fun greeting card tucked in their swag bag from the talented artist, Valerie, behind Lily & Val. I've bought many cards for family and friends over the years from this sweet shop!

Paper Please: As one of our favorite stationary, greeting card resources, and other branding element shops, we just adore Paper Please. We're thrilled to have Heather as a part of our California workshop swag bag!

Sweet Tooth Confections: What is a styled photo shoot without a gorgeous cake?! Rachael, the owner and designer behind Sweet Tooth Confections, is an amazingly talented baker and cake decorator. We can't wait to see what she dreams up for our styled inspiration shoot!

Camille Monique Beauty: This talented make up and hair artist is so truly gifted. I've known her for almost half of my life, and I've been lucky enough to have her do my makeup for my own website photo shoot. I cannot wait to have her doing hair and makeup for Bloom's styled photo shoot in April! She brings out everyone's natural beauty.

Photo by Melanie Duerkopp

Natalie Bowen Designs: One of my favorite florists of all time is doing the flowers for our styled inspiration shoot at the workshop! Pinch me! Natalie's arrangements are whimsical, modern and so artfully put together, I can't help but squeal when I see one. We are over the moon excited!

If you would like to join us for The Bloom Workshop in California on April 10th to learn more about blogging, social media, photography and design, you can Register HERE. Head over to Ashley's blog to find out about the rest of our sponsors!

Follow The Bloom Workshop:

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Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 2, 2015

3 Steps to Mixing Pattern in Pillows

Well, it's a brand new week! I'm feeling rested from the weekend. My guy and I went to lunch at the same spot we had our first date, which was so sweet! We also went to a museum down town for a fun afternoon. After church on Sunday, I took a little nap and got some work done to get ready for the next week. Sunshine is on the forecast, so I'm a happy girl :)

I find one of the hardest things for people to pull together in their homes is how to mix patterns; specifically in pillows. Pillows are an essential part of the sofa (side note: I had a professor in college who corrected us every time we said the word "couch". Apparently, the proper term is "sofa", so that is what I call it now! It's be ingrained in me...) They provide texture, color, pattern, and a cozy feeling that make people feel invited to sit down. So when you have multiple pillows touching each other, the patterns obviously have to mix and play well off of each other. Here are my 3 steps for mixing patterns and a little peek into my own sectional sofa with my new pillow covers made by my amazingly talented Grandma. We run an Etsy shop called Lilac & Grace where you can by ready-made pillows or get us to help you find custom fabrics for your home!

1. Emphasis: use more of one fabric, making it dominant, and use supporting fabrics to accent. In this case, my dominant fabric is the floral pattern. It's bold and graphic, so I have one on either end in larger pillows.

2. Character: styles of 2 or more patterns need to be compatible in the following ways:

* Color: hues within patterns should be similar (not exact!) or should be complimentary to one another. Repeating colors within patterns helps unify the look.

* Scale: If you have three different patterns for your sofa, they need to be of varied scales. One can be your large scale print (my floral pattern seen in the photos), the second can be half the scale as the largest print, and the third can be a complimentary color palette to the first to and either in a small scale or a solid fabric.

My combination is this:
 - Large-scale graphic pattern for my dominant fabric.
- More subtle, slightly smaller scale geometric print for my supporting fabric.
- Solid sea glass color fabric for my third fabric.

3. Consider patterns that pair well: It's crucial to pair patterns that work well together. Typically floral and geometric prints pair extremely well together (and create visual harmony!) Here are some other favorite pairings:

- polka dots and organic graphics (florals)
- polka dots, stripes, florals
- plaid and paisley
- ikat and polka dots
- chevron/herringbone and floral
- animal prints and fabrics with a tactile texture

I'm really excited about my pillows, and hope this visual and a few tips will help you pick patterns that mix well together for your sofa pillows!

Let me know if you have any tips down below in the comments!

For more tips and styling tricks like these, register for The Bloom Workshop in a city near you.

Happy Monday!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Finds: Favorite Sweater & Spring Picks

Happy Friday, friends! Friday is the day I dive into some of my favorite finds over the course of the last week and/or sales happening now and this weekend. Let's get started...

1. Anthropologie's 25% of sale SALE is still going strong! I love everything, but I bought this sweater and it's AMAZING. I love the little silky part that comes out of the sweater, to add a big more length. It's my current favorite sweater and it comes in 4 other colors!!

I also bought this shirt and it's so comfy! (I'm wearing it as I type!)

Use code EXTRAEXTRA at Anthro to get your discount at checkout!

2. I'm dying over Serena & Lily's new spring collections! I'm now going to pitch this rug to all of my clients :) And these new lemon napkins? Perfectly dreamy for Spring!

Some of my other favorite finds:

3. I love booties, so it was fun to find some new ones on Sole Society this week! You get FREE shipping on orders of $30. I especially love these two:

4. Finally, since we're still in a frozen tundra of ice and snow, I'm dreaming about the day it reaches 50 and I can wear flats instead of boots! Is it too soon to browse?! I don't think so ;)

That's it for today. What are your favorite finds? I hope you enjoy your weekend! You can follow along on Instagram to see what I'll be up to. 

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