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The “IT” Color?

 

They’re Just Rocks

 

The Nesting Project- Retail Showroom and Work Space

When I was asked by the amazing ladies at the Nesting Project to design their 3,000 sft workshop, showroom and offices, I was delighted but a bit surprised. These ladies are incredibly talented and have a great vision, I assumed they would want to take it on themselves. But it was a little more challenging than just a workshop.

Before- Showroom and Main Workshop
Before- Showroom and Main Workshop
Entrance of the Nesting Project
After- Entrance of the Nesting Project

A few years ago, they started a custom print business where they design and print wedding invitations, and event stationary. Then they began custom designing and printing t-shirts. They became one of the most popular Etsy retailers. When they decided to move into a retail space, they contacted me to help take their vision and pull it all together. The challenge was combining their design office and 2 workshops with a sitting area/ coffee bar, conference and meeting area, display windows and retail showroom. They wanted to create a welcoming atmosphere where customers feel comfortable, enticed to buy packaged merchandise, or sip coffee as they wait for their custom goods. They also needed an accommodating environment for event and wedding planners to feel comfortable bringing their clients in to select from their designs in the conference area.

It was a lot, but the challenge also came with a tiny budget since they were a start up and most of the budget went to custom built cabinets. Luckily the owner’s husband owned a custom wood working shop called Knock On Woodworks. The poor guy constantly heard “Rick can build it”! They reclaimed some amazing wood from a 100 year old home that was to be demolished. He installed the wood cladding on the sitting area and rear walls and built cabinets and pony wall with open windows that surrounded the main workshop in the showroom area.

This is where I came in. The space was vast and the ceilings were high with lots of light. The owners wanted a warm and inviting space. We selected neutral, warm tones on the walls accented by the reclaimed wood and a sky blue on the ceiling to detract the attention from the standard acoustic drop ceiling. The cement floors were coated done with a West Coat product in a gray based blue with lots of texture and movement.

Initial Floorplan of the Showroom and Main Workshop.
Initial Floorplan of the Showroom and Main Workshop.

They were faced with a big empty wall, split by a vertical soffit in the main workshop section of the showroom. The luggage shelves provided an amazing, eye catching element to this awkward space. These shelves house custom t-shirts, totes and pillows that are visible from each section of the showroom.

Left side of the vintage luggage wall.
Left side of the vintage luggage wall.
Sketch of Main Workshop (left) framed by pony wall and windows with Assembly work area, cashier counter and conference table (right).
Sketch of Main Workshop (left) framed by pony wall and windows with  assembly work area, cashier counter and conference table (right).

They needed a cashier counter that was accommodating to customers entering the showroom. This was placed between the existing assembly counter in the back of the showroom and the conference table. Customers are guided to it by the flow of the displays in the showroom. We also added more storage in the assembly area and under the cashier counter. This created a clean and organized appearance for overflow.

The conference area needed to double as a meeting space for clients like wedding planners as well as a work space for busy days. Knock On Woodworks built a counter height table from reclaimed wood. The wall behind it housed samples of custom cards on teal colored ledges. Above the table is a chandelier that was made using samples of their event cards.

Chandelier made with samples of event cards.
Chandelier made from an old lampshade with samples of event cards.

The Nesting Project was new to retail and displays for their creations. It took a little creative design and a little engineering, but a perfect focal point was created to showcase their custom t-shirt options. Baskets were used to house each sized shirt for each style of shirt they offered. Boxed shelves housed more custom items like pillows and totes. This wall was installed using a mixture of the reclaimed wood from the home’s raw exterior and painted interior to provide a focal point to draw attention to the customer. In front of the wall, display tables were layered with vignettes of items that were packaged to sell.

Quick sketch of the Custom T-shirt Display wall
Quick sketch of the Custom T-shirt Display wall
Custom T-shirt Display Wall
Custom T-shirt Display Wall
Retail display
Retail display

They got a steal on this old wire spool that functions as the central merchandise display table that will change with the seasons.

Spool display table
Spool display table

In front of the sliding window panes of the pony wall is a sitting area with a coffee bar. Here guests can relax on the vintage sofa with a cup from the coffee bar while their children play and they watch the action of the print shop from behind the reclaimed windows.

The front window that has less visibility from the traffic, features old shutters that were painted, distressed and attached together in a triangle for easy access to all sides. Vintage hooks were added to display totes and t-shirts.

The main display window features a real tree that will support items that hang as the displays are changed out. This tree sounded amazing in theory when we came up with the idea, but in reality, it was… near impossible. This display was designed with painted and distressed frames that hung to showcase the art- their custom t-shirts. Stacked on the sides are vintage crates and luggage to display totes, pillows and custom designed event cards. And placed in the foreground is an homage to the business name, a large nest with custom event cards and colorful birds eggs.

Display Window
Display Window
Nest in display window featuring sample event cards.
Nest in display window featuring sample event cards.
Vintage luggage displaying custom pillow and sample event cards.
Vintage luggage displaying custom pillow and sample event cards.

The existing commercial bathroom lacked charm and needed to double as a changing room. Walls were painted in a warm cappuccino, a vanity replaced the existing commercial pedestal sink and decorations adorn the walls to add some personality.

SONY DSC

This was all accomplished with an incredibly tight budget. So thrift stores became my best friends. All furniture, display fixtures and decorations were reclaimed and salvaged to evoke the warm and welcoming charm that the owners were looking for. I think we pulled it off, what do you think?

Hunting and gathering treasures.
Hunting and gathering treasures.

What is your favorite feature in the showroom?

Hand Painted Tiles- Floor Candy

If you’ve been out and about at Nashville’s new hot spots, you may have seen a growing trend on a very historic look; bright, vivid, hand painted tiles. I’ve ALWAYS been a huge fan of this look in any style, and I’ve made a fool of myself many a time when I all but get on my hands and knees in a public place to admire these beauties. It is for sure the only time you’ll ever see me doing a “shoe selfie”.

Not a shoe selfie
Not a shoe selfie

Hand painted tiles have been in use for centuries. They are typically identified as Mediterranean Tiles and Spanish or Mission Tiles, or historically, Talavera Tiles. All of them offer striking patterns in bright bold colors. Modern versions are offered in black and white, and in muted grey and white patterns.

Mediterranean and Grecian artists used bright whites with various blues. Italian artists used earthy tones, ocres, reds, olives and blues.
Mediterranean and Grecian artists used bright whites with various blues. Italian artists used earthy tones, ocres, reds, olives and blues.

Which one is right for you? It’s up to you how much pattern and color you like. If you are not ready to commit to tiling your entire floor, choose a backsplash or a panel over your range. Either way, you can’t make a mistake when choosing such a beautiful surface as a feature in your home.

tile3
Classic kitchen using a muted hand painted tile accenting the range and hood.

And that brings me to the budget. They can be pricey. Cement tiles come in larger sizes and lower prices than smaller fired ceramic tiles, and quality is equal if not better due to the type of cement used and paint applied. Also, rather than visiting high end tile showrooms you might scout out a few sites:

www.saltillotileconnection.com

www.casablancamarket.com

www.wayfair.com

If you are in need of just few square feet of them, be patient and regularly check out salvage stores in your area.

Check out #ihavethisthingwithfloors

#guilty

Style your bookcase like a boss.

One thing my clients seem to get so frustrated with is how to fill their bookshelves. Everyone has them; built-ins, free standing shelves, or wall shelves. They help bring style and personality into your room. They don’t deserve to be stuffed with books that you read 20 years ago that are now collecting dust. Let’s put your life, your personality, your story, onto those shelves.

If you haven’t already spent weeks shopping to collect items, which you should, start by finding items in your home (or garage) that mean something to you in addition to books. Like that photo of Grandpa at his fishing hole, the pottery that your daughter made you in kindergarten; you get the idea, your home is full of them.

Keep in mind, you will typically only use about 2/3 of what you pull out. So keep a storage or a Goodwill box handy. Now start with one shelf at a time, varying the height of objects keeping the eye moving up down and across the entire vignette. Here are a few tips on how:

1. Start with the books, or large objects. Stagger from left to right. For example, on the top shelf, stack books vertically starting from the left capped with horizontally stacked books. On the shelf below, repeat, but start from the right.

2. Insert larger items, like frames and larger decorations next.

3. Layer and group objects in odd numbers. This keeps the eye moving.

4. As you go, use items that you love first, then fill in. But remember to edit, don’t stuff.

5. Use horizontal books as a pedestal for frames or smaller objects. In some areas in the center of the shelf, you may be able to stack similar sized and colored books horizontally for placement of a single object you want as a focal point.

6. Keep open visual space. Don’t fill each shelf completely.

7. Keep it simple. Depending on the length of the shelf, use either single or pair large item like a boxes or a baskets. Also use boxes or baskets on the bottom shelves to ground the unit. This helps add balance.

8. Keep collections and books in common themes and group like colors together within the collections.

9. Don’t freak out! You will re-arrange and edit multiple times during this process until it feels just right. And that’s ok!

I leave you with:
No bookshelf is perfect. Well, mine are, but that’s because I love what I style them WITH. That is what is important, make it yours

Minimalist Bookshelf: Simple, clutter free styling.
Minimalist Bookshelf:
Simple, clutter free styling.
Well Styled Library: Similar sized  books and collections of books are grouped. Notice the well placed art on the wall to fill a shelf rather than books.
Well Styled Library:
Similar sized books and collections of books are grouped. Notice the well placed art on the wall to fill a shelf rather than books.
Classic Minimalism: Beautiful use of symmetry and large, bold, singular objects ground the open space.
Classic Minimalism:
Beautiful use of symmetry and large, bold, singular objects ground the open space.
Skillful Collector: A collection of glasses are reserved for the top shelf while books and objects are color blocked as the eye travels down.
Skillful Collector:
A collection of glasses are reserved for the top shelf while books and objects are color blocked as the eye travels down.
Balanced Bookshelf: Notice your eye travels from the top left and zig zags toward the bottom. This is an excellent use of larger items in a dark color    against lighter items. Anchored with an open frame and skull mounted on the outside of the shelf.
Balanced Bookshelf:
Notice your eye travels from the top left and zig zags toward the bottom. This is an excellent use of larger items in a dark color against lighter items. Anchored with an open frame and skull mounted on the outside of the shelf.

Who Am I?

In the words of my daughter’s friends during her 8th birthday party as they toured our home for the first time, “Your Mom is a Wizard.” A name that shot me out of the kitchen in defense. How dare they misunderstand the curved horn on my bookcase, the ostrich feathers carefully arranged in my handblown twisted glass sconce vases, and the beautifully mounted and framed butterflies and stick bugs on the buffet. I am crafty and I love to collect interesting conversation pieces, but I, my dear, am no wizard. To my embarrassment, my daughter pulled me aside to explain this was the new way to say “Your Mom can do anything”.

I admit, I love making things pretty. Food, parties, my wardrobe, as well as mine and other’s homes and businesses. It’s just what I do and I love it. Do What You Love, right?

So, why should you read my rambling in these posts? Because, you’ve sought out to find solutions to your home. I’m betting I have worked with dozens of clients, just like you.  I have always found ways to drastically improve their lifestyles through design… affordably. So if you follow me, I may find just the solutions for you. Contact me, I would love to help.