Spotlight On: Melissa O'Boyle of Bow to the East

Webster's Dictionary defines macrame as "a coarse lace or fringe made by knotting threads or cords in a geometrical pattern; also  :  the art of tying knots in patterns". See also, pretty, stylish, relaxing, and useful

I kid. I'm not about to make this spotlight into an 8th grade running for class president speech. What I AM going to make this post about is Melissa O'Boyle, her beautiful face, and her lovely macrame stylings. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Melissa with our new and improved set of "Spotlight" questions, did the ole' snappity snap with the camera, and came away totally inspired. Her work is gorgeous and we couldn't wait to find out more about what makes her tick--I bet you can't either. OK, on to the interview!

Gimme! Photo by Christina Wedge

Gimme! Photo by Christina Wedge

Who is your design or art crush?

The artists and designers that I crush on the most are my peers and emerging artists I find on Instagram and at local shops, festivals and galleries.  They inspire me to showcase my work and to think outside any limits I have created.  It is amazing how much amazing talent is out there all around us.

Again, gimme. Photo by Christina Wedge

Again, gimme. Photo by Christina Wedge

What three words would describe your aesthetic?

Organic, Rhythmical, and Tranquil

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Which of your career milestones makes you most proud?

I was very proud when I was asked to put my work up in the Downtown Seattle West Elm in 2014 as well in the West Elm Ponce City Market in Atlanta in 2016.

In 2015, I was commissioned to make 8 large window hangings for a restaurant in Austin, TexasIt is an excellent Latin Coastal Kitchen in Austin’s SoCo neighborhood with great exposure. www.alcomaratx.com. Everything on the menu is amazing including fresh squeezed fruit margaritas.

In 2015 I was also asked to host my first workshop.  Teaching workshops opened a whole other door for me. I absolutely love sharing my passion for macrame. I have two workshops coming up in Atlanta.
March 8th - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/intro-to-macrame-at-west-elm-tickets-31595057668
April 12th -  http://garagedoorstudio.com/events/intro-to-macrame/

How did you take the leap towards a creative career?

The way that my macrame work came into fruition is an interesting and serendipitous story.  One day I found an old book at a used bookstore that gave instructions on macrame.  This refreshed my memory of what I had been taught by a high school art teacher.  At the time I was living in a lovely little cabin-like cottage on the Puget Sound in Seattle.  All the walls were wood paneling which was pretty outdated although it has some charm.  I made my first large scale macrame wall hanging for myself to soften the space. I had a friend from Atlanta see a picture of it on social media and she asked me to make her a wall hanging.  Once I was finished I had it all wrapped up and I went to a custom shipping spot, The Sip and Ship, to get a custom box made.   www.sipandship.com.  The owner asked what was in my wrapped up fabric.  I showed her a picture. She loved it and directed me to go to West Elm and show them my work because they feature local artists. West Elm asked me to make a wall hanging to put up in the store as well as have a pop up shop.  That prompted me to make a number of plant hangers and smaller wall hangings.  The ones I did not sell I put on Etsy. About 6 months later a marketing manager for a restaurant group in Austin Texas found me on Etsy and commissioned me to make eight 6’ x6’ wall hangings that are permanently on display in the hip restaurant. I’ve gotten a number of jobs from people that see my work in that restaurant and ask me to commission work for their homes.    The beauty of the unfolding of these events has me feeling very blessed.  It’s amazing how things happen so much easier when there is no pressure to make things work.
When things started happening for me and my macrame without much effort and mostly through word of mouth, I eventually started to put more and more energy into marketing my work. It’s very gratifying to be able to work for myself being creative.

How do you balance work and play?

 I have learned in my travels and soul searching that anything that feels like you are a fish going up stream is a waste of energy.  Of course, we have to put a certain amount of effort into our lives, but things are for the most part supposed to feel good. One of my favorite ways of balancing working and playing is to have a free day and have a little local adventure. To me, that means picking a neighborhood in the city I haven’t been to in a while and just walking around with no plan or expectation. I might walk in the boutiques to get inspiration and design ideas, browse through a used bookstore, and sit at coffee shop reading and people watching. Almost anytime I have a day like this I meet the most interesting people and find the most amazing little treasures.

If you could live in any place or era, what would it be?

 I would love to live in the seventies. I’m admittedly a little bit of a hippie at heart. Music was revolutionized at this time as were so many other parts of American culture.  The style was characterized by *playful embellishment and radical experimentation with form*. The women’s rights movement made significant strides in the 1970’s and took a prominent role within society.   All in all, it just sounds like a lot of fun!

Chocolate or wine?

Why can’t I have both? haha. If I had to choose I’d go with wine.  It could be red, rose, or a bubbly.  I like them all!

How did you come up with the name Bow to the East?

On one of my little day adventures I came across an amazing book called the Woodstock Craftsman’s Manual. This book is straight out of the seventies and gives instructions, with great hand-drawn pictures teaching Weaving, Pottery, Macrame, Beads, Leather, Tie-Dye & batik, Embroidery, Silkscreen, Home Recording, Candles, and Crochet.  On the cover is a drawing of hands making macrame and it looks just like something I made in high school when I first learned the technique.

In the section on macrame it starts out with this great tidbit:

“It’s emphasis on rhythmic control has a stabilizing effect that has led some of the world’s foremost statesman like Churchill and De Gaulle to find soothing relaxation in both knitting and knotting. It can be satisfying therapy for those who see their larger problems in terms of confused strands and loose, fraying ends." ~excerpt from Paul Schwartz in Woodstock Craftsman’s Manual

The chapter goes on to list everything you will need to start the process of macrame such as tools, materials, accouterments.  On the section on Planning and Preparing it states simply: Bow to the East. I just loved that. The East represents new beginnings and to me it represents home. So when I am starting a new project I seek out my old compass among my raw gemstones, I find East and do a ceremonial bow.


Thank you so much, Melissa, for your beautiful work and for your time! We are so excited to have turned the spotlight on you today and can't wait to get one of your wall hangings in our own homes!

Xoxo, Susie & Christina

Bocroom - Inspired Goods

Have you ever felt lost when trying to define your style and find a store that fits it? Do the trends of each season seem to overwhelm you and make you feel stuck? What you need is a place to shop that fits your personal style and not the trends, and a shop that can help you find those special pieces to bring it all together. You need to visit Bocroom in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Having inspired goods isn't the only thing that makes Bocroom special. Here's a little snippet of their mission: 

"Bocroom was born out of a desire to express creativity while making the world a better and more beautiful place in which to live. It has been an exploration of instinct and artistic passion combined with a singular vision to bring positivity to the planet."
Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Now that's a mission we can get behind! When buying products from Bocroom, you can be sure that your purchases are artisan made and responsibly crafted. Made with environmentally friendly practices and materials, and style driven rather than trend driven, each item at Bocroom is thoughtfully sourced for a unique boutique experience. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Owner and founder of Bocroom, Brittany Crooms spent years in jewelry design and sales, so she has an eye for detail and beauty. She opened Bocroom in 2014 and has remained dedicated to the mission of bringing artfully crafted, environmentally friendly products with soul to patrons of the shop. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

So go visit Bocroom and tell them we sent you! You won't be sorry you stopped in :)

The Real Cost of a Wedding

As a newly engaged lady (OK, now I'm married--I started writing this before the wedding), I've been thinking a lot about what everything for weddings cost. The venue, which vendors you use, the catering costs, the decorations... Do you hire a wedding planner, or do you do it yourself? Do you hire a videographer and a band? Can you do all of it without causing major stress on you and your future spouse? The photos your friends will like on Facebook need to be envy-worthy, right? So you need to spend all of your time, energy, and money on this one day. The wedding is the most important thing, isn't it?? I mean, how are people supposed to value your decision to marry the one you love if they don't either attend or see THE MOST fabulous party pictures on social media?? It's way too easy to get sucked into wanting a picture perfect wedding and letting that desire overtake your happiness. It's your marriage that really matters. Yes, your wedding is the first day of your marriage, so it's very important, but don't let the cost (literal or figurative) take over what matters most. 

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

The truth is, things WILL go wrong, whether you spend $100,000 on your wedding, or $1,000, so spending more doesn't mean perfect. Right after we got engaged, I was in an airport in Ohio and wanted to treat myself to a bridal magazine while I waited for my flight. I opened the pages and practically drooled over the perfect floral arrangements and the gorgeous table settings for formal and funky receptions alike. I started getting knots in my stomach because I knew I wanted my wedding to be the most beautiful and special and memorable, and from what the magazines tell you, you'd better be willing to sell a kidney to pay for it. For instance, this particular issue had an article titled "Spending Wise - Budget Friendly Weddings". The wedding they highlighted was a $50,000 party!!! That, dear friends, is a nearly $3,000 more than the average household income in Georgia for our current year. Perhaps for some, $50,000 on a wedding IS budget conscious, and in that case, good for them! But for the overwhelming majority of people, that either is not possible or feels wasteful. The average cost of a wedding in Atlanta is a little more than half that $50,000 price tag at $28,659. And $28,659 is nothing to sneeze at! That's quite the investment!

Actual crazy beautiful place setting from a Style Me Pretty featured wedding

Actual crazy beautiful place setting from a Style Me Pretty featured wedding

Keep it Low Key

There are a lot of options for keeping your wedding low-key and high style while not spending more than more families make in a year. And there's good reason for doing that. Here are a few things to remember to keep your budget and sanity in check while you plan a wedding.

  • A wedding is a celebration, not a competition. I know this is insanely obvious, but you can do low-key without feeling the need to outdo the couple that got married before you. The less stress, financial and otherwise that you put on yourselves, the better off you will be to start your marriage as a happy, well-adjusted couple.
  • It is worth an investment. So yes, it's crazy to spend your life savings and then some, but it is the most important day in your lives together, so it's worth making a fuss and setting aside some time and money if you are able, within reason of course.
  •  Keeping it small means more time with your guests. A bridal party of 30 people is going to be more expensive. A guest list of 600, even more so. The smaller the party, the more special details you can add without breaking the bank, and the more you'll be able to talk to everyone.
  • Keep it casual. A backyard barbeque can be every bit as special as a fancy affair. Keeping it casual may mean you can afford more guests, and who doesn't love a good backyard party?!
  • Stop feeling obligated. You cannot invite every single person you've ever met nor should you feel obligated to make everyone happy. I'm a big believer in general etiquette. If you don't know an etiquette rule, you can almost always figure it out by thinking "Am I being greedy?" "Am I striving to make people comfortable?" "Am I providing for the basic needs for this event?". BUT there some exceptions. You can't feel so tied down by what is expected that you get yourself into a bind. Whether that be that you feel like you HAVE to have personalized wedding favors for each guest or maybe that means your MIL expects filet when your budget is more like Chick-fil-A. Do what is true to you!
  • DIY is more fun. It's more work, but you can make your decorations, invitations, etc, and not only save money, but it gives you more control over the look of your party--you just may need more friends to pitch in to help :) For our reception, we're having various friends and family to help us set up and we could not be more thankful! Some of those same selfless loved ones, all of whom are EXCELLENT bakers (I've taste tested their baked goods, so I know!) are making desserts for our cake table. Homemade is best anyway. 
Image via MOD Weddings

Image via MOD Weddings

Pick Your Venue Carefully

  • Select a venue that doesn't pin you in. The wedding industry is hot. Anything titled bridal or wedding is about 5 times as much as that same item without "wedding" in the title. Ex. Wedding cake: $3,000. Birthday cake: $600. Many venues require that you use one of their selected caterers, you can't bring any food of your own in and they require you hire a bartender. Some even have rules about the photographer you can use! Be sure to check out all of the requirements and the vendors they recommend before signing on the dotted line. If you have a healthy budget and want to be hands off, this type of place is less stressful to use, so it may be a good option for you.
  • Have a party size in mind before booking. This part is really tricky. How do you know who can come that far in advance? You can't. But what you can do is have a maximum number in mind and stick to it. It will be hard, but everybody has to do it--even weddings with a party of 350 feel like they've left someone out. You will be much happier with a venue the appropriate size than feeling cramped or one that feels vacant.
  • Select a venue that gives to charity. Maybe not applicable to everyone, but to me and Victor, this was important. We feel very fortunate to have the opportunities we do and want to give back as much as we can. An added benefit when you rent from a charitable organization is that part of your rental fee is tax deductible. Win win! 
Via Junebug Weddings

Via Junebug Weddings

Elope!

If the thought of making everyone happy with the type of dress, ceremony, music, etc. stresses you out, do what's best for you both. Elope! My husband and I chose to do this, not because anyone was pressuring us to do anything we didn't want to do, or because we don't love our family and friends, but because for us, the best thing was a private, intimate ceremony between the two of us. We could focus on our love for each other, and apart from all other distractions, commit our lives to one another forever. We chose to get married in Iceland, where we also wanted to honeymoon. A two for one! Now, when we celebrate with family and friends at our reception this month, we will be able to enjoy our party in casual style and we'll be able to even set up some decorations ourselves since we'll have a little more free time that day. Elopement isn't for everyone, but it's an option that you can consider for a meaningful, intimate wedding ceremony between you and the one you love most. 

The real cost a wedding varies greatly from couple to couple. For some, $50,000 is reasonable, for others, a simple courthouse wedding. My point is to please, do what makes you happy and what feels right for you as a couple. Your wedding day is the first day of your marriage, it should be all about your love, your relationship, and who you are as a couple. Don't let trends or Pinterest or other people's expectations change the way you marry your spouse. Everyone will be supportive if you're true to yourselves.

Photo by Christina Wedge Photography

Photo by Christina Wedge Photography

Next week, we'll post some of the "how tos" for how to elope, specifically to Iceland. It's easier than you think, but having a little guidance helps even more! 

Icelandic Adventures Through the Seasons

2016 has been a very exciting year for us here at Ends In Style! Christina has now made three trips to beautiful Iceland, one with me (Susie) and Victor for our elopement which she photographed!
Clearly, Iceland is near and dear to our hearts now and we want to share with you why we love it so. We also encourage you to book a trip and see if for yourself! We do our best to take beautiful pictures and to describe things in a way that makes you feel like you're there--but they cannot do the real thing justice! 
We'll help you prepare for your trip and have the best time possible. We're bringing you a series of posts in the coming weeks about traveling to the country that droves of people are flocking to, and with good reason! 

Posts you can look forward to are:

Iceland in Spring: 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

  • What to do 
  • What to see
  • What to pack
  • Where to stay
  • Advantages of visiting in the spring
  • Preparing for your trip and more!

Iceland in Summer: 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

  • How to make the most of the warmest Icelandic weather
  • Capturing the golden light
  • Places to visit while you can (some places are only open in summer)
  • What to eat
  • Maybe even a stop in Greenland :)
  • Advantages to visiting in summer
  • Best short hikes and more!

Iceland in Fall: 

Photo by Susie Prince

Photo by Susie Prince

  • What to pack
  • Getting around
  • Best ways to see the Northern Lights
  • Tours that are worth the money
  • Self-guided tours you HAVE to take
  • Advantages to visiting in fall
  • Where to stay

And Finally....

Eloping in Iceland:

  • Why we chose to elope (and why you may want to as well)
  • Best places to take wedding photos
  • Pros and cons of wedding sites
  • How to get paperwork in order to make your marriage legal in the US
  • Gorgeous photos by Christina of me and Victor (she's a wiz with light!)
  • What to wear and what not to wear for an outdoor Icelandic wedding
  • Luxury stays for your honeymoon 
  • Flower options, and more!!!

We look forward to sharing all of this with you and hope you'll be inspired to take a trip to a country that has captured our hearts and is beautiful and magical enough to make us want to go back in the dead of winter!

Yo, Semite! I Think I Love You!

This year is the 100th Anniversary of the United States National Parks Service. Our big, beautiful country is home to volcanoes, waterfalls, HUGE mountains, canyons, caves, geysers, pools of bubbling colorful goo, and pretty much everything else in between. There are 58 National Parks in the US, so it's time to start checking them off your list if you haven't yet been to many. 

Until mid-July, I'd only been out west once. In 2013, I went to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Both of these were incredible! Never before had I seen such high mountains, and I'd never seen mountains that just came out of nowhere, surrounded by plains and soaring up thousands of feet into the sky.  This July, Victor planned a trip to Yosemite National Park in California. We flew into San Francisco (my first time seeing the Pacific Ocean in the USA), which was beautiful. We will be back when we have time for more than just lunch. 

After driving through countryside speckled with windmills, we arrived at a Bed and Breakfast we found on AirBnB. It was very cute and had two dogs on staff helping our sweet hosts. We mapped out a basic plan of attach for our trip before we left, so we chose an AirBnB that was equidistant from each of the entrances we'd use to get into the park while we were there. Since we planned our trip without tons of notice, most of the camping in the park was booked up. But I'm not complaining because the AirBnB was super comfy and the breakfasts were HUGE and delicious--perfect for fueling up for long hikes each morning. 

On the way in, we stopped off the side of the road and I lifted this boulder just to warm up ;)

On the way in, we stopped off the side of the road and I lifted this boulder just to warm up ;)

Day 1, we did a tour-de-valley. We drove around a little, parked, and started our full day of hiking. We hiked so long on day 1 that we came back to the car and it was pitch black for some time. We had tired feet, were a little sore, but very happy. 

From the valley, you can see the very famous El Capitan and Half Dome. We walked along the meadows, hiked up to Yosemite Falls and bouldered to the bottom of the falls. The boulders were hot as they baked in the sun, but it was way worth the reward! A fine mist of cool water from the falls blew around and was so refreshing. We did kick ourselves a little for not wearing swimsuits. The pool at the bottom of Yosemite Falls was filled with swimmers--and we were instantly jealous. We made our way down, headed to Bridalveil Falls, which was almost dried up for the season. The bouldering here was a little more treacherous. The rocks looked like polished metal and were super slick. Though we went for somewhat more challenging routes and climbed up rocks for better views and less crowd, the park really is accessible to everyone. There are handicapped ramps, viewing platforms, and buses to help those who may be less able to get around still be able to enjoy the park fully.  

We finished our day after Hiking to Mirror Lake to see the sunset over Half Dome.

We finished our day after Hiking to Mirror Lake to see the sunset over Half Dome.

We saw Yosemite Sam, too! 

We saw Yosemite Sam, too! 

Our second day in the park, we headed first to Glacier Point. If you're going in the summer, get there early or stay in the park. We took a more leisurely approach to our morning on our second park day and so we had to park in a far off lot and be bussed to the Glacier Point trailhead. That was the only thing about that day that wasn't perfect. 

Naturally, these photos don't even come close to doing the view justice. Victor is braver than I am with heights. I crept to the edge and the took pictures from a "safe" distance. The photo above of Victor on the scary edge is at Sentinel Dome. The wind whips around so fast and so hard up there, it's a thing to behold. 

On our way from Sentinel Dome to Taft Point, we found this huge cluster of solid quartz. Everywhere you look, flowers and trees find their way to root between rocks and on the side of cliffs. They're determined!

On our way from Sentinel Dome to Taft Point, we found this huge cluster of solid quartz. Everywhere you look, flowers and trees find their way to root between rocks and on the side of cliffs. They're determined!

Once we got to the top of Taft Point it looked like this: 

And then...THIS HAPPENED

WE'RE GETTING MARRIED!!!

Next, we hiked around the Giant Sequoias. They're incredible. Unfortunately, the portion of the park with the largest and oldest tree in the world was closed while we were there. Everything feels bigger in Yosemite. 

Our final night in Yosemite, we stayed at May Lake High Sierra Camp. It's a fairly steep hike in, full of prehistoric looking petrified wood and tumbled rocks with twisted trees forcing their roots between the rocks and just dealing with the rocks around them by bending and squeezing around them. The High Sierra Camp was awesome! Little huts with tiny fireplaces in each one were shared by 4 people in each. There's a food tent for dinner and breakfast. The manager of the camp blows a conch shell to call everyone for meals and hot beverages. It was 96 degrees in the valley and got do to a very cool 34 degrees at the camp that evening. I was not prepared for that--but a fire, hot cocoa, and layering saved the day. 

Victor LOVES the water. He even swam in the 54 degree May Lake. I watched from the warmth of the beach. He's a champ! After dinner, we hiked to the top of the ridge to watch the sunset. It was so beautiful that Victor wished he had held onto the ring for one more night. We met a very active pair of grandparents who gave us marriage advice and life advice--to keep active and stay interesting. They've been married for 54 years, are in their 70s and hiked up to the nearly 10,000ft elevation with us!

We hiked to the same ridge for sunset the next morning, then we heard the conch shell call and enjoyed breakfast. The views and hiking around the camp were gorgeous, but we loved the company equally. Everyone was so friendly and kind! We got to talk with people who had grown up coming to Yosemite each summer along with people like us who were just visiting for the first time. It felt like grown up summer camp in the best possible way. 

Because of the elevation, these cuties are the cargo haulers who bring the food and supplies up to the camp. 

Because of the elevation, these cuties are the cargo haulers who bring the food and supplies up to the camp. 

Also worth mentioning, we saw MARMOTS! They were so cute and fluffy and not afraid of us being nearby. 

For our final day (we flew out late that night), we made our way to Tuolumne Meadows which is where we saw the most Yosemite residents. It was pretty clear who had been backpacking for weeks on end. They even have a post office at the store for those who have supplied shipped to them to extend their trips. We definitely looked like the "squares" among all the dreadlocked hair, but at least we hadn't showered in a couple days either. In Tuolumne Meadows, we saw lots of little ground squirrels that very cutely popped up like prairie dogs, we saw the biggest hawk I've ever seen flying just over our heads (yikes/cool), and even some mule deer bedded down in the reeds along the river. It was peaceful, cool, and beautiful. 

There's the deer! 

There's the deer! 

I highly encourage everyone, no matter what your hiking skill level or comfort with camping to go and enjoy Yosemite. It is now extra special to us and we plan to be back soon! Next time, we will plan further in advance and camp in the park each night in tents and perhaps another visit to the High Sierra camps-it's worth it!  

Happy National Parks Centennial!

Drapery Solutions for Difficult Windows

Window coverings make a HUGE difference in the way a room feels and functions. They provide privacy, energy efficiency, softness, and beauty. If you happen to have a window that is a different shape or surrounded by unusual moulding or built-ins, what do you do? This is when custom draperies are especially important. They hang better, look better, and are way more functional than a one-size-fits-all ready-made drape. We're going to highlight some lovely solutions to unique windows with gorgeous window coverings by some of our favorite designers and we know it will inspire you to take on your next home design project! 

I love Roman shades! They are simple and elegant, and most of all, super functional. This design by Cristi Holcomb Interiors features both Roman shades and drapery panels. The window seat would feel incomplete without a window covering of some kind, but obviously drapery panels would not do the trick in this built-in and seating area. I love the addition of the pink trim on the edge to tie everything together.

How pretty is that valance on the right?! I love the use of the same material in such different ways in this design by MBG Interiors. Since the fabulous ceiling and beams come down lower on one side than the other, a valance is the perfect solution for creating height and continuity between the windows and doors on the opposite wall. I am really digging the fabric in this design!  

This open-concept space by Julie Montgomery Interiors features several different types of window coverings, all of which solve a different problem for different windows. This one creates height and warmth and feels a little like a headboard when there isn't room for one. And how cool is this bed? Built into the wall with storage below. Such a smart solution!

I love big, dramatic windows. But sometimes they can be an energy suck and make the house really hot, particularly here in the South. I adore these drapes designed by Lori May Interiors! They are so fabulous and luxurious and they solve that problem by creating a barrier between the hot outdoors and the cool indoors, while also framing the windows and highlighting their beauty. 

Miko + Boone Home 

Miko + Boone Home 

What do you do when a bay window needs to be softened and you need to add height? You do what Miko + Boone Home did in this lovely dining room. These drapes are so pretty. Without them, the room would feel incomplete. They draw your eye upward and create height in the room while also adding texture and a little bit of color. Just gorgeous!

There are so many more complicated windows and creative solutions by designers, it would take forever to even scratch the surface! If you have a design dilemma, let us know! We'd love to hear from you and would love even more to work with you.

Master 'Sweet'

Sometimes there are clients who are more than just clients. They become friends and people who make you smile with each Bitmoji* they send. I've been extremely lucky so far in my career. So lucky in fact, that almost all of my clients feel like this to me, though not all of them send me Bitmoji...yet... But honestly, my clients are great people who are fun to be around and generally make me love my job even more! My client, Shannon, is one of those sweet people (see why I spelled suite like that now?). 

*If you do not yet have Bitmoji, do yourself a favor and get it now. It's ridiculous and wonderful.

When we first met to discuss this project, Shannon wasn't sure what her style was or how to achieve what she wanted, but we worked together to narrow in on what she really likes. We determined a palette of wine, mint and gold. While that may not make a delicious flavor combo, it does make a very pretty color combination! Thank you, Shannon, for trusting me and for being bold with the purple! 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

To start with, we added crown moulding. The ceilings in this master are nice and high, and the crown helps to draw the eye upward. We painted all of the trim in the room a dark wine color and the walls a cool neutral hue. Before we started the project, the ceiling was a deep tan in high gloss....yikes. And the walls were a combination of blues and greens and the color differences were hard to detect because the light was only coming from a small light in a ceiling fan hung way up high. So we ditched the ceiling fan in favor of a large chandelier in gold with glass hurricanes. It casts beautiful light throughout the room and is much more interesting than the ceiling fan. The ceiling in now a fresh white and the walls are all the same color. For extra trim detail, we hung ceiling medallions painted in the same color as the trim.  

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

To repeat the geometric pattern and gold accents from the chandelier and other accessories, we chose these Nate Berkus side tables with a marble top. To my delight, the marble has a little purple in it! 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

We repurposed a few pieces Shannon already had, like this bench which we recovered in a beautiful mint and gold greek key fabric which is repeated in the giant round lumbar pillow. More geometric gold pieces and mint floral tie things together.

Shannon has a great art collection and some pieces that already had purple in them--perfect! A custom headboard in a deep purple linen with nail heads by Craftmasters Upholstery. The guys at Craftmasters lovingly named this headboard "Barney" while it was in their warehouse and they definitely thought I was crazy for designing this, but they came around once everything was in place. The name Barney has kind of stuck, especially since he has been making a bit of a comeback on the internet lately. 

I saw this rug at the Mart in January at Noa Living and it stopped me in my tracks! It's handmade with recycled silk saris. The women who make these rugs live in Africa and are paid fair wages for their time and talents. I love learning more about companies that are fair trade. It's not common, but it's good! They sort the silk and hand tie each piece! Because it's silk, the color changes depending on the side of the rug you're on--it's incredible. 

 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

How about that window?! I love it! It's shape inspired Barney, the headboard.

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Custom drapes make such a huge difference in a space! These drapes were made by Martha & Ash, company out of South Caroline making pillows, dog beds, and mostly, drapes. Their turnaround time is insanely fast. I'm not sure how they do it, but I'm glad they do! We wanted the drapes to feel relaxed and casual. The room has gilded pieces and some "fancy pants" fabrics mixed with linen and more lived-in fabrics, so the goal with these drapes was to tie it all together in a casual, homey way. I love how the color blocking turned out! If you are interested in drapes like these, check out Martha & Ash. They have readymade and custom options as well. 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

This dresser by Phillips Scott (my new favorite company) is so pretty! Pictures don't do it justice. It feels like butter and the drawers glide like a dream! Phillips Scott, if you need a z-list non-celeb spokeswoman, I'll take a meeting ;)

The ottoman in the reading nook is one of my favorite pieces in the room. Shannon had the oversized chair already and we didn't think it needed to be reupholstered, so to tie in the ottoman she already had, we used a tone-on-tone cheetah (I <3 animal prints) and a contrasting piping in the same material and color as the chair. I just love how it turned out! It reminds me of the ottoman/dog in Beauty and the Beast only less fringe and barking. 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

And last but not least, I adore this floral fabric! It has little hints of gold and I absolutely love it. The gold and marble lamp for reading gives me major lamp envy! Shannon has a comfy nook with a lot of style and now she has the master suite of her dreams! I'd love to help you achieve the master suite or any other room that you desire, too! Contact me via Susie Mae Design today. And if you have a gorgeous room you want photographed, Christina Wedge is a straight up genius and also is a lot of fun!

 

New Orleans Show House

Last month, Christina had the privilege of traveling to beautiful New Orleans for the Southern Style Now Showhouse to shoot several rooms for some of our favorite designers who created gorgeous and unique spaces in this stunner of a Southern house. It's dripping with Southern charm before you even set foot in the front door. 

If you're a design lover, a showhouse visit is a must! Designers get a chance to really stretch and turn an already beautiful home into an awe inspiring pin-worthy experience. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

This room by Lisa Mende is a preppy, Palm Beach style wonderland! I mean, this ceiling!! What a fun space and a great way to really play with color, pattern, and drapery. I am loving the pattern play on those chairs in the foreground!

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

While we're on the topic of bright, bold colors, take a look at this lovely dining room by William McClure.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

This bathroom by Laura Burelson! Gimme! That shower is everything. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Michel Boyd's spaces are also so very luxe and full of rich texture. This space in the Southern Style Now Showhouse is no different. Also, he once complimented my hair at an Atlanta Showhouse shoot, so I'm a fan ;)

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Ware M. Porter is timeless and classic. A little playful, a lot of soft, Southern textures. Check out that photo of the statue and the little boy--pretty much sums things up!

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

I'm bookending this post with Palm Beach style and tons of color. That can only mean one thing...up next, Parker Kennedy! Their style is unmistakable, bold, colorful, and fun. Each space designed by Parker Kennedy has a feeling of history and family, a perfect fit for an old New Orleans home.

We hope you enjoyed this tour of only a small portion of the Southern Style Now Showhouse from New Orleans, LA. Are you feeling inspired? Which space is your favorite?

You Are SO WORTH LOVING

We are in an era of negativity in so many ways. It's so easy to get sucked into political smear ads. So easy to start with the self-loathing when we look at the magazine's covers in the grocery store check out lines with some gorgeous model or actress who just had 3 babies but also somehow has abs and you have lemon bars in your cart...for example. This didn't happen to me last night...of course not!

These are the really small negatives that come at us compared to the bigger problems in the world. Some people deal with so much more! Domestic violence, racism, bigotry, depression, political oppression, poverty, hunger, the list goes on and on and on. But we have been so encouraged by what is happening in response to all of this. POSITIVITY! And the permission to love yourself and to know that YOU ARE SO WORTH LOVING!

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Did you ever think there could be a store that sells love and positivity? East Atlanta Village just welcomed the So Worth Loving to its eclectic streets and you definitely need to stop by. The name may sound familiar to you because we've gushed over them before: here and here. So yeah, we like this brand.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

It's such a beautiful store and their message is really great. It's pretty simple, too. By wearing your heart almost literally on your sleeve, you're reminding everyone you pass that they're worth it. Encouraging others to consider that they matter, no matter what they're going through or how they've been treated. That's a message and a store we feel really good about supporting and hope you will, too. Plus, the t-shirts are incredibly soft!  

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Not only does the store carry their own brand of clothes that encourage and inspire, but they carry many other brands with a similar mission. Brands like Sseko Designs, handcrafted in Uganda. This brand inspires young women and provides them with a good income. So far, each woman who has worked here has gone on to go to college! They are such talented ladies, too. The pieces are gorgeous!

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

The Giving Keys, founded by Caitlyn Crosby, is a company selling unique and beautiful necklaces with a message stamped onto old keys: "we are all like these keys - unique, flawed, scarred, and sometimes discarded by others.". Repurposed and celebrating the little "flaws" make these necklaces extra special.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

So Worth Loving also carries TOMS, which you are likely very familiar with. They're a 1-for-1 company that donates one pair of shoes to people in need for every one pair purchased. One of my good friends from college interned with TOMS after graduation and designed a pattern for Mother's Day shoes, so if you see those, buy them! Still so proud of her! 

Korchet Kids is a non-profit and an unexpected mix of men who know how to crochet and teaching others the craft as well as giving them an opportunity to earn a decent living doing so. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Also check out Luxe Apothecary, for women, by women, Belong Magazine, which celebrates creative entrepreneurship, Conscious Magazine, which changes the tone of typical magazines from surface-level to thoughtful conversation that can actually bring about change, and Happy Socks, a colorful and fun brand that brings happiness to ankles and smiles to faces all over.  

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

You're going to love So Worth Loving! Stop by and see them in East Atlanta Village at 535 Gresham Ave Atlanta, GA 30316. Tell them we sent you!

Oh, BABY!

Hi everyone! 

Yes, we are still here. I must apologize for the absence of posts lately. We've had a whirlwind of events (including Christina visiting gorgeous Iceland!!! We'll have that post for you soon), but that's no excuse for neglecting our baby, Ends In Style.

SPEAKING of babies (how was that segue?!). I, along with my co-host, Amanda, threw a baby shower for my sweet friend Suzanne last weekend just before her first Mother's Day. She is such a dear friend! We grew up right around the corner from each other, played on the same volleyball team in high school, and were just acquaintances until we bumped into each other in college and decided to be roommates. Now I cannot imagine life without Suzanne in it. She's the kind of friend everyone needs. Caring, sweet, genuine, funny, and full of life! It was an absolute joy to host a shower for her!

Styled by Susie Roupe

Styled by Susie Roupe

Baby Charlie is already so loved! We showered Suzanne and Charlie with gifts and also with lots of yummy snacks, because no party is complete without snacks. My sister always says that if you've had children, you love lemon desserts. She has to be right even if you haven't yet had your child because when I asked Suzanne what kind of cake I should make, lemon was a top choice. I made a 4-layer "Luscious Lemon Cake" with lemon curd filling and cream cheese frosting. Here's a recipe for a similar cake and filling via Southern Living. My recipe is from a very old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (couldn't find it online) and I frosted it with a simple dyed-blue cream cheese frosting in a star-tipped piping bag. Topped with cute letter candles from Target's party department, it was really a cute cake! I love Target! Great prices and really good selection of stylish party decor.

Styled by Susie Roupe

Styled by Susie Roupe

I made coffee punch, which is an absolute must if you're having a party for a coffee lover. It's about 50% ice cream, 50% coffee. Here's a great recipe if you'd like to try it!

COFFEE PUNCH

  • 1 pot very strong coffee, cooled
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Stir together coffee, milk, and vanilla. Float half of the ice cream on top until it melts in. Just before serving, float the other half of the ice cream on top and enjoy!

We also enjoyed some Baby Boy Blue punch made from Hawaiian Punch, Pineapple Juice, and Lemon/Lime Soda. It was blue sugary heaven! Keeping all of the snacks pretty simple and keeping the decorations cute and easy makes for a more fun party for the host, guests, and most importantly, the mother-to-be! If you're not sweating and worrying about too many little details and how many dishes you'll have to do after the party, you'll definitely have a better time and be a better hostess. 

After snacking and talking, we took the time to play some games. One gross one not-so-gross. I'll spare you images from the dirty diaper game! We melted various candy bars in diapers and had party guests guess which candy bars were in them. The winner got a little gift bag and the pride of knowing which candy bar looked the most identifiable when looking mostly like poop!

The second game we played didn't turn any stomachs. We guessed the size of Suzanne's pregnant tummy and the closest guess won a prize! Suzanne was a great sport!

Adding little cute touches of decorations (like this polka dot table cloth, the pennant banner and chalkboard food markers, and the baby bootie mixed nut cups) adds a touch of whimsy to the party. And who doesn't love a little whimsy ;) By the way, if you're interested in making the baby booties, here's a good tutorial. We made ours with little ketchup cups, tissues, cotton balls, and ribbon. 

And no baby shower is complete without a diaper cake! I made one by just tightly tying rolled up diapers together in a 3 layer cake shape without any glue or cardboard, but if you like instructions, which most sane people do, here's a tutorial for making a diaper cake!

To thank everyone for coming, we made little bags of popcorn as favors with gold and silver rimmed tags we labeled "Ready to POP!". Cute, right? 

We hope you had a great Mother's Day and feel inspired to take on throwing a shower sometime! Keep each thing sweet and simple and don't worry too much about all of the little details--it's about enjoying the moment with your loved ones. 

Many Fold Farm (LAMBS!)

If you have been reading our blog for very long, you know that there are a few things we absolutely LOVE! Animals, beautiful places, and delicious food, specifically cheese.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of enjoying all of the above in one day. We drove just a little south of the city and visited Many Fold Farm. It's a beautiful place filled with sheep, baby lambs, chickens, cows, a few cats and dogs--so yeah, we were in heaven!

Many Fold Farm  is the creation of husband and wife team, Rebecca and Ross. They're even high school sweethearts! Can this get any dreamier? Oh just wait until you see the lambs

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

With a strong desire to do something real and to ethically treat both the animals and the land, they got educated on cheese making, farming, and even worked with Heifer International (if you aren't familiar with that organization, click here, it is awesome!). They took their time learning the ropes of farming and cheese making with strong ethics in place to be sure they did things right! 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

When you buy products from Many Fold Farm, you can be sure that you're supporting a great local business that is truly doing good. They also offer educational programs in order to teach children and adults alike with cheese making tours, farm tours, school educational programs, workshops, and more! We definitely recommend a visit! 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Interested in seeing some baby lambs? I know I am at all times! They are so cute and they hop around! Not only do we have photos of them for you to enjoy, but there is a LAMB CAM!!!! Many Fold Farm has a lamb cam set up so that you can watch the precious babies do adorable things all day long. If you boss asks why you're watching lambs all day, tell him/her this is important mid-week therapy to keep your endorphins going strong!

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Come for the lambs, leave with some cheese! Check out their beautiful shop! We wanted one of every kind of cheese, kitchen item, and t-shirt!

We hope you have a great week! To help ensure that, we leave you with more lambs...

Traditional or Transitional?

Knowing what your style is goes a long way when it comes to making your house feel like your very own home. What about if you don't know what the names of different styles mean?

For today's post, we're reblogging from Laurel & Wolf about learning the difference between Traditional and Transitional. Enjoy!

Laurel & Wolf Explains: Traditional vs Transitional

Ever wonder what makes a traditional or transitional design? We’ve got the 411 on a few tricks for detecting the differences between the two!

TRADITIONAL

Traditional design has its roots in 18th century England and French countryside. The style is known for its warm, inviting interiors that scream comfort.

Bronze accents, a rich chandelier and luxe drapes gathered loosely are common in traditional interiors.

A wall sconce with an ivory shade and detailed millwork create a warm, inviting feeling in the bathroom.

Traditional color schemes typically include neutral tones with warm, rich woods.

This traditional office features a Persian rug, dark wood tones and coffered ceilings.

Symmetry is important to traditional design. The furnishings are balanced to create a room that invites conversation. Accents include plump cushions, plentiful pillows and silk flowers in a gorgeous vase.

Traditional designs feature soft, curved edges and natural stone, such as granite countertops.

Walnut railings are a common feature in a traditional space, and detailed millwork can be found on the staircase and the wood molding.

TRANSITIONAL

Transitional design combines the best of traditional and contemporary styles to create a timeless interior that everyone will love! Together, the perfect balance of masculine and feminine results in an elegant, classic design.

Transitional designs are known for their subtle, clean color palettes, which create a relaxing and uncomplicated room.

Accents of rich wood range in shades from white to chocolate are typically added to create a sense of warmth.

With transitional design, soft-colored carpets (or warm wood floors) and a textured rug are generally used.

Clean lines and rounded profiles keep the room feeling fresh and comfortable. The result is a room that is not too manly and not too frilly.

 A signature light fixture, minimal accents and solid-colored drapes exude a sense of simplicity and sophistication.

A neutral backdrop allows the exquisite traditional millwork to have a powerful impact in the space.

Geometric tile patterns in natural tones on the floor provide a subtle contrast to the traditional settee.

Check out our Pinterest page for more examples of traditional and transitional designs!

xoxo, Laurel & Wolf

Spotlight On: Studio M

We at Ends In Style love to support and highlight other creatives in the Atlanta market. We love to see other people succeed in their chosen field and to be inspired by their work. Today, we're turning the spotlight an inspiring girl power design duo, Studio M Interiors! Just try not to be inspired by their work in the photos below. Just gorgeous and vibrant! 

Let's get to know them a little better:

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Which of your career milestones make you most proud?

Marni: The upcoming 10 year anniversary of Studio M Interiors. I saw a quote recently that said 'I once went job hunting. Hired Myself. Never looked back'. Growing my own company and making a name for it has been incredibly rewarding. We're proud of the awards we've received including several 'Before and After' Contest awards and we were excited to be nominated for an IIDA BOB award this year for our Cambria Showroom project. Also, several years ago I was recognized as one of The Atlantan's 'Women of Power and Influence.’
Jennifer: Being able to stay busy during the downturn of the economy is a ‘milestone’ that we are very proud of. We are a unique firm in that we do a combination of projects ranging from residential, multifamily, and boutique commercial which means that we are able to flex with the markets in the Southeast depending on which sector is busiest at the time. I have also participated with several charity organizations to offer my design skills and time to help others which is the biggest blessing and accomplishment I can think of.

 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

 

How did you become a designer and where did you learn your skills?

Marni: I always knew I wanted to be a designer. When I was 10 years old I wrote a paper on what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said 'a successful residential designer in Dallas, TX.' I used to shadow an interior designer cousin of my Mom's for fun. Coincidentally, I ended up going to The University of Texas at Austin. Unlike most of my friends, I knew from day one what my major was going to be and actually stuck with it through college. Somehow I persevered trying to land my first job at a design firm during a very bad economy and the rest is history!

Jennifer: Being an interior designer is just something I innately knew I wanted to be, even as a child. My parents were often displeased at my incessant need to rearrange my room, whoops! I attended Valdosta State University to study interior design, embarking in design immediately out of school in 2010 after moving to Atlanta. I began working as a designer at a high-end home furnishings retailer until I was offered a full-time position at Studio M in 2011. So many of the skills I’ve acquired have been learned in the field while practicing. Design is ever-changing and your roles can range from pillow-fluffer to full-on counselor, so being able to think on your toes creatively is crucial.

 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

 

What's your secret for running a business and maintaining your personal life?

Marni: This is a loaded question! Seriously though, it's a constant process of trial and error. Mainly, I have to set boundaries and stick with them. I try my best to remember to make time for myself. Sometimes I go as far as blocking out an appointment with myself in order to make it happen.
Jennifer: The world of design is very tricky. It has a way of blending into your everyday life, sun up to sun down, particularly in a small business such as ours. There is always something to be done and never enough time in the day to do it all. I have tried (successfully, after much trial and error) to set a schedule each day and stick with it. Having a regimented work time schedule means nights and weekends are mine to spend on other things without feeling guilty. I do frequently attend industry events and am on the board of Design Collective Atlanta, but I always try to leave myself enough time and energy to do things that I enjoy outside of design. 
Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

 

What's your favorite destination?

 

Marni: I am enamored by Rome, Italy. I find it inspirational from a design standpoint and I love wandering the streets aimlessly. You never know what you are going to stumble upon.

 

Jennifer: Although my list of future places to visit is extraordinarily long, my favorite place I’ve visited thus far is LA. It has such cool blend of historical sites, outdoor landmarks, and a great food/music scene that we end up doing completely different things each time we visit. On our last trip, we stayed in a early 1900’s Bungalow right off Abbot Kinney which meant we were within walking distance to the beach, wonderful food, great art galleries, amazing coffee shops, live music bars, and the fun people-watching on Venice Boardwalk. 

 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

 

 

 

All the Rain Was Worth It

Well, everybody, we survived the weeks and weeks of pouring rain! Winter and rain seemed to drag on there for a bit, but then, suddenly, as if by magic, little colorful blossoms started popping up all over my yard! First it was the bright yellow daffodils, then the deep pink camellias, then the entire yard seemed to burst into a variety of beautiful colors that I couldn't help but cut and put on my tabletop. 

All of this blooming got me inspired! So often I feel like to have a decent looking arrangement for my own house or especially to bring to a friend, that I need to either order from a florist or go to a flower shop and get one that was pre-made. But what i love so much about the flowers in my yard is how natural they are. Nothing is dyed an unnatural color or trimmed to perfection. They're wild and unruly and glorious. So I thought to myself, why not make wild, unruly and glorious flower arrangements for Ends In Style? So, that is what we did! I called up Christina and we devised a very simple plan. Walk around my yard, take photos and make something beautiful. 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Flower by nature in Susie's yard

Photo by Christina Wedge, Flower by nature in Susie's yard

Photo by Christina Wedge, Flower by nature in Susie's yard

Photo by Christina Wedge, Flower by nature in Susie's yard

Let's go through my yard together and create something pretty! You can do this, too. I do have a lot of flowering plants in my yard, and I'm lucky, for sure., but if you open up your options to grasses, weeds, vines, etc., any yard is a treasure trove! 

Photo by Christina Wedge Arrangement by Susie Roupe

Photo by Christina Wedge Arrangement by Susie Roupe

Photo by Christina Wedge, Arrangement by Susie Roupe

Photo by Christina Wedge, Arrangement by Susie Roupe

Christina had the idea to make an Easter flower arrangement, so we kept it simple and sweet. The wreath is made of long, soft flowering weeds and some twisting branches. I wound them into a wreath shape in a trifle dish and nestled 3 hard boiled eggs in the center. A beautiful arrangement made of weeds! 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Arrangement by Susie Roupe

Photo by Christina Wedge, Arrangement by Susie Roupe

Photo by Christina Wedge, Arrangement by Susie Roupe

Photo by Christina Wedge, Arrangement by Susie Roupe

Next up, another beauty for your tabletop made of a more flowery mixture. I used two types of Camellias, Loropetalum, and Eastern Redbud. I love the mixture of perfect bloom on the Pink Perfection Camellias and the long, wild looking Loropetalum and Redbud branches. Keep it casual and natural for the best look with these pieces! I made a very similar arrangement to this for a friend who recently had a baby. I had a glass peanut butter jar I was going to put in the recycling bin that made the perfect vase! It doesn't have to be fancy to be beautiful. 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Arrangement by Susie Roupe

Photo by Christina Wedge, Arrangement by Susie Roupe

Photo by Christina Wedge, Arrangement by Susie Roupe

Photo by Christina Wedge, Arrangement by Susie Roupe

Finally, we know that while you may like the rustic looking arrangements you can make with all kinds of wild plants, you may not have access to big, beautiful Camellia blooms like I have in my yard to make it look a little less unruly. So, it's OK to mix in some nice store bought flowers! In this last arrangement, we mixed in some nice full white roses with an assortment of other plants I found in my yard. I LOVE how the Oregon Grape Holly looks in this arrangement. Is it not the coolest? It's the one that looks like a big bunch of grapes. Bring it all together with a small white tree flower and ta-da! Beauty and it only cost us the couple of dollars to get those beautiful roses. The neutral palette of this arrangement would look so beautiful on an Easter table.

 

We hope you're inspired to go in your yard and make something pretty. Enjoy!

Bar Cart Styling

Every magazine, catalog, Pinterest page, and blog now is filled with photos of gorgeous bar carts. They're a great addition to your patio, dining room, or even bedroom if you like! A junky looking or bare bar cart looks sad, though. So how do you style it so it looks great even when you're not shaking cocktails for a party?

We'll show you!

Photo by Christina Wedge, Bar Cart Styling by Susie Roupe

Photo by Christina Wedge, Bar Cart Styling by Susie Roupe

The incredible design team of Parker Kennedy Living invited us into their studio for this project. All of the pieces (aside from alcohol bottles and flowers) are from their amazing warehouse of goodies. I could have made a home in that warehouse and lived there happily for a while! So many beautiful things!

Photo by Christina Wedge, Bar Cart Styling by Susie Roupe

Photo by Christina Wedge, Bar Cart Styling by Susie Roupe

Things you may want to have on hand for a pretty bar cart:

  • Gorgeous bar cart you love even when totally bare
  • A tray to contain small items
  • An assortment of libations
  • Pretty glassware
  • Flowers 
  • Drink making accessories
  • Fruit
  • More flowers
  • Non-drink-making-related accessories
Photo by Christina Wedge, Bar Cart Styling by Susie Roupe  

Photo by Christina Wedge, Bar Cart Styling by Susie Roupe

 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Bar Cart Styling by Susie Roupe

Photo by Christina Wedge, Bar Cart Styling by Susie Roupe

Like any other styling project, creating balance is key. You don't need things to be the same heigh on both sides, or even two of anything. What you do want is repetition of a few elements. For instance, we repeated gold and green and white throughout the cart to create visual balance. Add in a few elements that are just for fun! 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Bar Cart Styling by Susie Roupe

Photo by Christina Wedge, Bar Cart Styling by Susie Roupe

Now that you've gotten a quick tutorial on some elements you need and some balancing tactics, check out this swoon-worthy bar carts styled by Parker Kennedy Living themselves!

Photo by Christina Wedge, Bar Cart Styling by Parker Kennedy Living

Flower Power

Last spring, we had the pleasure of working with Floral Designer, Amy Osaba of Amy Osaba Events as well as Annette Joseph, stylist and producer, and writer of her style blog, Annette Joseph Style

As we get excited for the beautiful colors of spring, we hope you'll feel inspired to put together a nice lunch or dinner with friends to enjoy this perfect weather!

We gave you the behind the scenes look at this late spring/early summer, and now we're showing you the gorgeous photos Christina took for Muses and Visionaries Magazine with styling by Annette Joseph and florals by Amy Osaba. It's a beautiful story! Enjoy!

We hope you feel inspired by this gorgeous shoot!