Meet the newest member of the SummerHouse family: BrittanyIvy! Brittany is our new Jr. Designer/Design Assistant and is fitting right in! Not only is Brittany funny and extremely talented, but she is also very organized! On her first day, we overheard her saying “I can’t stand for anything to be messy.” Such sweet, sweet music to all of the designers’ ears… 🙂
We took a moment to ask Brit Brit a few questions. What a sweetheart she is!
How are you liking SummerHouse so far? What’s your favorite thing about working here?
I love working at SummerHouse! A few of my favorite things about working here are, 1) the people I work with! All the designers and employees are so friendly and inviting, and I think that makes all the difference in a workplace! 2) The thing I love about coming to work everyday is that I never know what task I will be faced with. Everyday is different and unique its own way.
What is your personal design style?
I would have to say that my personal design style would be more on the eclectic side – mixing the old with the new! I love shopping at antique and second-hand stores and finding unique original pieces and mixing it with new items and using what I already have!
What is your favorite place to find design inspiration? Magazines, blogs…?
I find inspiration from magazines such as Interior Design Magazine and ELLE Decor. Another inspiring place to find design are from the designers here at SummerHouse! Seeing all the projects that are going on around me are interesting and motivating! Each designer has their own personal style and its a great way to get to know each designer!
What is your favorite movie and why?
I would have to say of all the movies out there that Fried Green Tomatoes would have to be my favorite! Overall, the story is uplifting! I love that Evelyn gains independence by visiting Ninny and hearing the powerful story she has to tell. A few other movies I’ve enjoyed over the years are Forrest Gump, Little Miss Sunshine, and all of the Shrek movies!
What did you do over the weekend?!
Over the weekend you would have found me in Starkville, MS at the Mississippi State vs. Arkansas football game! Although the bulldogs couldn’t pull out a win for us in double overtime, I still had a great time visiting with friends!
What is something funny/unique about you?
I’m 25 years old and still sleep with my teddy bear and blankets.
Meagan Burks, one of our amazing designers, is faced with design challenges on a regular basis (as most designers are!) Where does she turn when she needs inspiration? Meagan has several designers, including Kelly Wearstler, Suzanne Kasler and Bobby McAlpine, whose styles really inspire her. All of them have books that help refresh Meagan’s sometimes depleated creativity.
“First and foremost, Bobby McAlpine is an architect; and his new book, “The Home Within Us” is my favorite new architectural design book. I have been an admirer of his architecture and interiors long before I knew he designed furniture. The upholstery collection he designed for Lee Industries, one of our manufacturers, perfectly showcases his use of gracefully sculptural lines that are as timeless as they are unique.”
In contrast to Bobby McAlpine, Meagan also finds inspiration from Kelly Wearstler. Kelly Wearstler’s HUE is a reminder of how to properly incorporate daring color into interior design. As The New Yorker so eloquently put it, Kelly is “the presiding grande dame of West Coast interior design.”
“You can always tell it’s a Kelly Wearstler room. Her mix of pattern, color, and texture is so bold, but it always works. What shows through in her interiors shows through in her textile designs.”
Somewhere between the earthy, natural Bobby McAlpine and the bright, bold Kelly Wearstler falls Suzanne Kasler. Her versatility is endless.
“Suzanne Kasler is known for her classically inspired rooms, soothing palettes, and casual elegance. Her lighting fixtures bring Southern charm, European sensibility, and a respect for architectural details to her interiors. Her work is polished and refined, yet casual, relaxed and effortless”
Suzanne describes her own style as “a fresh mix of continental flavor and classic style, emphasizing light, scale, and architectural elements of space, creating collected interiors.” Her book, Inspired Interiors, beautifully showcases the mix that Suzanne is known for.
Hey everyone! Sorry this blog post is a couple of days later than we had hoped! After being closed for 5 days in a row, we have all been playing catch up! Now that the dust is finally settling (literally…), we have a few minutes to pay attention to the blog!
We are SO pleased with the changes that took place in our showroom over our break! The ENTIRE floor got re-merchandised and it looks amazing. We brought out a lot of new furniture, lamps and accessories (and will have even more new stuff by Tuesday at THE BIG REVEAL!) and touched up all of our walls. Our accent walls have also been re-done by Virginia Weathersby and her talented helpers!
Our two favorite changes are (1) our back wall behind the front desk and (2) the built in’s to house our pillows and bedding. Here are a few pictures of the built in’s and of the new wall getting accessorized!
We will see everybody at THE BIG REVEAL on Tuesday! Can’t wait!
It has been a BUSY day! We have gotten so much great stuff done, upstairs and down! (For those of you who may not be familiar with our setup, we have our showroom downstairs and our offices upstairs. For the BIG REVEAL, we are going to have both downstairs AND upstairs on display! Guests have never been able to go upstairs at a party before, so we are working hard to get things presentable up here!)
Take a peek at what all has gone on downstairs! While we were rearranging furniture, we ended up needing to put some outside our back door. As luck would have it, the weather decided to change from very pretty to very nasty. So we had about 3 minutes to move LOTS of stuff inside… Thankfully, the only stuff that did get rained on was wrapped in plastic so there was no harm done. But how bout that for a quick jolt!?
There is a chance that this’ll be the last update until Tuesday… We will try to squeeze in one more but no promises!! Remeber to mark your calendar for Tuesday, September 14! THE BIG REVEAL is going to be so much fun! Food and wine by Viking Cooking School, and lots of great donations for our drawing. Thanks to Calistoga Wine and Spirits, The Everyday Gourmet, View Gallery, Fusion Coffeehouse, Kosmos and Faces for all your support! 🙂
Lisa: Virginia, darling…You and I have been working together for… how many years?
Virginia: Well, let’s see, it’s about… Ten or eleven?
Lisa: We did that corporate condo in Eastbrooke. That was one of the first jobs we worked on. That would have been at least ten years ago.
Virginia: Yeah, I’d say ’99. Maybe ’98, but I think ‘99
Lisa: Of course back then, and probably for years after that, everybody was doing much heavier finishes.
Virginia: Yeah, more textured finishes. Very, very old world-ish. More things like that. Remember we did the stone blocks going up the staircase and I even glazed over that torn paper wallcovering that was already in there. Then I made that white column look like old wood.
Lisa: That’s right. On the bar, she had that map of Italy, and you made it look like the map was sort of being uncovered. That was really cool. When we started out working together, we did a lot of glazes, although I was never into very heavy finishes at all. How many glazed walls do you think you have done?
Virginia: A gazillion! That customer you had, we did that whole room with glaze. We did that whole big, humongous room! All the way up the staircase and everything. My sister was petrified; she was praying the whole time I was up there because we had balanced ladders on top of paint cans… I will always remember that job.
Lisa: Well now that the heavier finishes are behind us, at least for now, what do you see? I think you see how technology is really playing into what you do. Technology today… it’s almost like the Jetson’s or something in fabrics and faux leather. And I love the way you’re doing your laser… well, not laser, but photography… Incorporating that…
Virginia: Right, right. There is just so much out there, it’s like every single day is a whole new challenge and a whole new way of looking at things and doing things. Especially with the fabrics. And hopefully we’ll be cutting our own patterns and everything else. So anybody that comes to me, if they have an idea or they’ve seen something, we can actually translate that and turn it into some kind of a wall finish or a fabric finish easily. So that is huge for us.
Lisa: One thing that you do, and I have been doing a good bit of for years, because I always love details and having things so custom, is stenciling on fabric, stenciling on a pillow, on a wall, on the back of a chair, just making it so one of a kind and custom. And I think you really enjoy that.
“That was a whole new experience and that is what I love about my job. Nobody ever wants the same thing, so you always have to be up on what’s new.”
Virginia: Oh yeah, I love it, I absolutely love it! The big wall stencil that we just recently did, that was the first negative stencil I’ve ever done. In fact, I didn’t even know they existed. We had it custom made and worked negatively on the wall. That was a whole new experience and that is what I love about my job. Nobody ever wants the same thing, so you always have to be up on what’s new. That’s why I love coming in SummerHouse. I could just walk around for days going through all your wallpaper books and just seeing everything that is the latest and newest. I love it!
Lisa: You always tell me that when you look at my resource library it gives you inspiration, but of course I think a lot of people get inspired by what you do. Sometimes a wall finish, or looking at some of your samples… Just going into your studio and looking at all your samples on the wall, or your wood finishes… those will inspire me for a look. Sometimes I’ll start with a wall finish or start with a wood finish.
Virginia: And that is why we work together as well as we do, because you might have an idea, but it’s not something you and your customer can both like yet. So by seeing something else and saying “what if we take this finish here and put it over there on that, or we change that to this color…” You have all these fabulous ideas, and all I have to do is try to translate. I’m just busy trying to make it all work! Because I know the mechanics of how it all works, and I try to take what you see in your mind and make it happen over here on a finish.
Lisa: I may have an idea about something but I don’t know actually how to get it done. So that’s why, as a designer, I like working with someone that has your experience, and your knowledge of materials and paint, and what it can actually do…. that’s how you know how to translate, which is cool.
Virginia: The thing that makes it great is that you don’t know. So you have no parameters. So you say “what if we do this and this and this” which are usually things I’ve never thought of.
Lisa: That may be stretching you!
Virginia: Yeah, it does. It makes me think, “Well, how can I do that? How can I accomplish that?” So I love that part. That actually happened to me today. We have this, and we want to make it this, so how do we get there? It’s always a challenge! If you had told me 20 years ago that this is what I’d be doing, I probably would’ve told you that you’re out of your mind.
Lisa: Did you start off thinking you were going to do wall finishes?
Virginia: Well, I’m not sure exactly how it happened. I went to school for design, I did that, then I stopped doing that, got married and did all those things that you do, so I was on a break for years. Then when it got time to go back to work, I had seen other peoples work and it interested me. I went to the Manship house in college and I thought, “how did they make that marble look? How did they make that wood grain look?” That stuck in my head. I’ve always been more of a hands-on worker. I am not comfortable in high heels, I am not comfortable in clothes that are super tight. I like carrying around a ladder, you know. I’m much more hands on and really just love doing the work!
Lisa: Well I think what you’ve brought to our area, you know, is pretty remarkable. I think you’re just one of the best. EVER. So do you ever have people say that they are tired of this? What you do? Is it kind of going out of style?
Virginia: No, no! It can’t! It never will! Its been around for ten THOUSAND years. People were doing this in Egypt on cave walls. Its been going on it Italy forever, a gazillion years ago. Does it change? Yeah, it changes all the time.
Lisa: The modern finishes you are doing now are pretty remarkable.
Virginia: Oh, I love it. I love the sleekness of it. I love the patterns. I was so glad to hear wallpapers were coming back because it made me get up and work that much harder. I will not be defeated by wallpaper! I just love it!
We recently hosted our first annual Spring Market Review Designer Luncheon, where we invited some of our favorite outside designers to come in for lunch and a presentation of all the new Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Spring Market intro’s! Michael Cantwell of MGBW did a fabulous job of preparing a slideshow with all the new products. Here is a quick look at what all went on…
Its SUMMER! Which means it is time to sit by the pool by day and grill outside with friends by night! Why not brighten up your back porch or pool deck with some functional and beautiful outdoor fabrics? We love using outdoor fabrics not only for outdoor projects, but for indoor projects as well! Since outdoor fabrics are so durable and easy to clean (on top of looking great!), why NOT use them inside? They are especially great for families with small children. Take a look at these great patterns:
Top 5 reasons why outdoor fabrics are so dear to our hearts:
They are just as great indoor as they are outdoor! (Perfect for barstools, banquettes, pillows and upholstery for kids areas, the list goes on…)
They are fade resistant. They will keep their color for YEARS.
Most can be spot cleaned with mild soap and water. If you have a cushion or pillow with a removable casing, the casing can be machine washed!
If hotels and restaurants use them, then we KNOW they must be super durable.
They can add a fun punch of color to an unexpected place. (A hammock, for example!)