Winter Blues

Thursday, January 28, 2010

These last five years...

I've always enjoyed my work life. In my twenties and early thirties, my hobby was my job. For over fifteen years, I've decorated homes and tried to sell more sofas than any girl this side of the Mississippi!

Five years ago, our family decided to open a shop in Downtown Bend, Oregon about 120 miles from our Eugene store. Bend is beautiful, with mountains and rivers to boast about, sunny weather, and interesting people from all over.


We wanted a smaller, more boutique style store
and that's just what we got...


First summer in Bend, met cute guy named John.
Then John and I got married...


John & I are no spring chicks, so we were ready to start our family.
Baby Charlie was born!


I juggled being a new mom, wife, and shopkeeper...acquired a taste for coffee and attempted to finally use those stainless steel things that stare at me in the kitchen. Me, cook? Why not!

Take your baby to work? Not such a good idea...


It was time to be closer to family once Charlie was here. It takes a village, you know, and starting a family made us realize that there's more to life than sunny weather! But it's not farewell Bend.

Our shop in Bend is still clicking along and we are happy to say the shop is there to stay! We are in Eugene more and it's been so much fun catching up with customers/friends. Stop in next time you're driving by...unless you live far away, then just check on us here...our new adventure in blogging!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Curious About Color?

As a shopkeeper, I dream of the day when I can travel the globe to shop the world's finest markets in search of beautiful, unique products for my store. We've been going to markets and shows throughout the country for years now, but recently I've been fascinated by how other shops fill their aisles.

I have been following two wonderful stores in Kansas City, MO for some time now - Curious Sofa & Nell Hill. I got a wild hair to hop on a plane and shop the two stores in two days! It was a great trip...absolutely delightful, inspiring, and a fun fellowship between shopkeepers.

Debbie with Curious Sofa is fabulous! Her store is filled with show stopping furniture & accessories with a vintage twist that all look one-of-a-kind. Her displays are amazing! She truly is an artist when it comes to visual merchandising. Scroll down for my idea of a big girls toy store!

Curious Sofa: use of texture, in lieu of color, is their trademark!

Debbie does decorating!

Thanks to GPS and a drive-thru coffee shop, I was ready to hit the highway in search of Nell Hill's. The original store is in a town of 800 people about an hour away from Kansas City, but folks flock from near and far to see its classic style packed with loads of accessories. I loved the look of traditional fabric motifs like houndstooth, toiles, paisleys, and plaids - all layered together making for comfortable, stylish settings. Their signature pieces included: English dishware, framed sketches, lanterns, trays, and trinkets that would make your home sing!

Color, pattern & comfort are what you find at Nell Hill's.

Classic paisley, but with an updated twist. Love it!

Mary Carol Garrity, who owns the Nell Hill's stores, has written several books on decorating and I must say that her store reflected a charming, gracious feel. And the girl ain't afraid of color either!

What's your favorite design palette, with or without color, muted or bright? What room do you enjoy being in most and what colors surround you? I want to hear from you!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What's In...What's Out this winter 2010

Go with what you like, right? That's what my mama always told me. But these days, sometimes we need a little guidance when decorating. Perhaps an inner voice leading us in the right direction in creating our nests. Do I listen to the trends? When I like what I hear. Like clothing fashion, there are the new & wow-e-wow ideas out there but for your home it's a little more complicated. You are going to spend a little more money on your furnishings than the new skinny jean or bright-colored wrap.

Our store just got the latest trend list of what's in and what's out this winter- 2010. I'm sharing it because you may get a kick out of it. You might agree with it. You might not.

Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Let's go with the bad news...what's out!

In home design, what's out according to Home Retailers: Red, Blue & Browns (aka chocqua), Pink, Anything too shiny, Formality, Tea accessories, Antique gold, Matchy-matchy bedding ensembles, Exaggerated arms on upholstered seating, Fussy florals, Black lampshades, Tuscany, Contemporary, and Overstuffed.

What's in according to the same folks: Purples in all hues, Primary colors, Greens with blues, Muted tones, browns & grays, Oranges with red tones, Linen, Black and white, Monkeys, Cashmere blankets, Honeybees, Animal prints, Bird themes, Dogs, Silvery blues, Character, Understated chic that's comfortable, & Homey, "we've had this old expensive thing forever look". Vintage, and anything Monogrammed is in!

Lately we've been seeing a lot of color omitted from rooms and layering with texture and special keepsakes. It allows you to enjoy the furnishings throughout the year and pops of color could be added, but you certainly will not get tired of one particular color in your room when the neutrals are your base. Sounds a lot like dressing your own self, doesn't it? This winter I think it's important for your home to feel inviting and a come in and take a long winters nap right here sorta look! Comfort & relaxing this winter should be what's in. And of course surrounding yourself with things that you LOVE.

Take a look at the list and if there's anything you'd like to add to or suggest, I'm all ears. I'm curious what your favorite things are right now in your home or anything special you've been on the hunt for.