Spring ORC Week 4: All The Fabrics

Well people, here we are sitting at week 4 of the One Room Challenge. I can't believe all the progress I am seeing in everyone's spaces. Too much goodness. 

We are making progress over here too! Lots of headway in the textile department. I picked up all the panels and pillows from the workroom and almost died. Fabrics are where it all comes together for me and I'm giddy over what's happening here. For our pillows, we anchored the sofa with two big Loloi pillows in Navy, layered in some green Lacefield babes and lastly the end all, be all... Schumacher Coromandel. I die a little every time I lay eyes on it. The color is unmatched. We have a few more pillows coming into the mix that will fill out the sofa and give our chairs some oomph. 

For the panels, we went with this floral that packs a bold punch, while staying way budget friendly. A whopping 9.95/yd. While for functionality, we really only needed one panel on each window, but in order to make the corner windows not feel so awkward we really needed to soften that corner with panels there too. 

This killer beaded light that we found at Final Cut, finally got hung too. It weighs roughly a million pounds and after a late night of Kevin and Wyatt standing on the same ladder in the dark trying to hold said million pound light and hang it, it was determined that they didn't have the right size screws. So, three hours down the drain and we called in the professionals. They got trophies for trying. 

And let's just talk about that Citrus honey for a bit. We commissioned this piece from Maria Osorio Driscoll after seeing her big bold Lemon paintings. We needed a big jab of citrus in the space but felt like oranges might be a better fit. We loved working with Maria on this piece. She made sure to send us updates as she progressed on the piece. Because it's so large and in charge, we had to make sure it would mesh with all the other elements in the room and Maria came through. We couldn't love it more. This piece anchors our color palette in the room and commands you to look her way! 

We flanked each side of this big, bold, beauty with four paper collages from one of my favorite artists/people in the world, Teresa Roche. Teresa along with being insanely talented, owns one of my favorite places in the world, Art and Light. This place is a mecca for good vibes and good people, and I can't leave there without feeling a little better about life in general. 

There's still so much to do and most of it happens next week. We've got to finish up our art collage wall. Lock down our other pillows. Add in lots of layers, with more textiles, accent pieces and all the accessories. Here we go into Week 5, party people. How did this happen so quickly?!

XO, Amanda Louise 


Spring ORC: Week Three: DIY Delirium

Y'all! Week Three of the One Room Challenge. This is nuts. It has been so much fun seeing how everyone's spaces are coming together. I'm on a teeter-totter of emotions. Going from feeling like we have gotten so so much done, to making a list of what still needs to be done and being so so scared about it all coming together! I am sure most ORC peeps are feeling about the same, but we got this.

So here's where we are. Lot's of progress and our two interns hard at work. Charlie is mildly obsessed with her new sofa and no, that's not a fur throw rug, that's Totes. 

We got the big ol' jute rug in this week- my fave at a ridiculous price from Overstock. It adds some much needed texture to the floors but still keeps things on the low down, down there. We added in the console table that I found at one of my fave Greenville shopping spots, Cottage Grove Vintage. At first, we weren't sure about it. It felt like an extension of the floor but it's jiving now. There's a truckload of color that's coming in slowly but surely and we are going to be so glad for a few neutrals when it all arrives. Thankful we didn't go anywhere near that wood tone with a paint brush. 

This was also the week of DIY's. That green mantle. Let me just talk about it for a sec. I fought hard for this color and dude, I love it so. Benjamin Moore Split Pea is one of my favorite paint colors on the whole entire planet. I realize- not a shade for everyone, but I find my happy place somewhere right in the middle of green and yellow. I brought Split Pea to the decision table and Caroline said something to the affect of "oh heyal, no". Well guys, here we are with one shade darker than that "oh heyal, no Split Pea" and I might be gloating a little bit about my Forest Moss win. Caroline's down now and it really doesn't translate as electric in person. It is perfecto for the plan and while it may not actually make sense right now, when our textiles and art come in, it's going to be so fun! We also did a little paint number on the tile and gave it a much needed update. It needs a little tweaking, but we will get the kinks out and tell you all about our methods on that. 

DIY numero dos... I opted out of the Easter egg dying and went for the lamp shades. I read up on how to do it and y'all! This is the easiest, biggest impact project I may have ever done. 

I started with two boxes of Rit Kelly Green dye, filled a large tub with 6 gallons of water and two cups of vinegar which was recommended for the type of fabric our shades are made of (all this info is on the package). Then I spun those babies right round for a about 15 minutes each in the dye. 

Just the Kelly Green alone was a little too yellow and I thought it might compete with our mantle, so I added two boxes of Rit Dark Green dye. This got us where we wanted to be. They did end up a lot lighter when they dried but the tone is still great. These shades had a little sheen to them originally and I think that may have affected the saturation of the color. I tested some cotton fabric and it got a good bit darker than our shades. Overall, a huge, way easy update for the whopping $10 of dye that it took. 

The most exciting thing so far about this space is that the art is starting to roll in. We mapped out our art pieces this week on the walls with painters tape and I am so jazzed about all these pieces that we will share all about next week! We also added in these cute foot stools that I picked up at Dressing Rooms Interiors in Charlotte a few months ago. They are so rad. They stack and are amazing but I cant decide if leaving them gold is the key. Should we paint a color? Orange, Yellow, Pink? 

Overall I feel like we are in a good place... For next week, we have big dreams. K-dawg and Wyatt (the bros that back us) are going to play electricians for a day and switch out that fan for a fixture that I can't wait to share. Fingers crossed, all of our art is hung, we get some hardware on the furniture and we might even possibly get some more pillows up in here. 

Totes says we got this. We will see. 


Spring ORC: Week Two

Happy week two of the One Room Challenge! We did it. One week in and this, my dear week dos, was a week of progress. The room has changed from sandy desert scene to more of a Caribbean beach vibe. Still lots of sand but a healthy does of watery hues to break things up. When this thing is said and done, It's going to be a rainbow, jungle explosion. But for now, I am going to imagine I am sitting on that sandy beach with a fancy umbrella drink, checking things off our To-Do. 

Here's where we are. Sand and Sea. Ya feel me?

But, This is where we're goin y'all. All the color. All the pattern. With some tropical, citrus feels and a little chinoiserie thrown in for good measure. 

Back to that beach, with the drink and list, checking things off one at a time. 

Furniture- done. done. done. We found a rad sofa. We purchased an even radder coffee table that made us sway from our kid-friendly dreams and buy something with more corners than I have ever seen on a coffee table. It's radness could not be ignored. Console table and side tables are on lock and will pop up here next week.

Fabric- Headed to the seamstress as we speak. We are anchoring the sofa with two big plush navy Loloi lovelies and filling in the rest with custom cuties in out fave Schumacher, Lacefield and Claire Bella prints. 

Lighting - We found our lamps at Homegoods for a whopping fifty a piece. The shades are going green this weekend. Me and a bucket of dye... It should go well, but I have the link to some replacements saved just in case. I suspect it could turn into an epic Pinterest fail or something similar to "The Great Green Chair Debacle" of the Spring ORC from last year. Or it could be great. We shall see and report back with pass or fail. The ceiling fan is out. Evicted, and a beaded beauty is taking up residence to run this place. 

Art- At the end of this thing, this space might be titled "The Room that Art Built". I think the art is what I am most amped about. Ok, I know it is. We commissioned a gigantic orange grove from our gal Maria Osorio Driscoll for over the sofa and we got this sneak peek color study. Which... I'm dead. You know citrus makes me swoon. We have a collage wall planned with so much goodness that I can't even get into right now. The art will be a whole post later... because it's full of all my favorites. 

So now, more details on how we found that sofa and coffee table. I am about to disclose one of my favorite secrets in all the land and I have mixed feelings about it. I've already deleted this paragraph three times. I thought about lying and saying that it all came from a garage sale and that we got really, crazy, insanely lucky... but instead, I hear honesty is the best policy and I will share my secrets with all of you fine people. 

Caroline and I got our booties in the 4runner, hitched up a U-haul trailer, got some big-gulps and boiled peanuts and set out on a One Room Challenge adventure. En route to Augusta, GA with said trailer, on what might have been the windiest day in history while The Masters were happening in said city. Maybe not the smartest roadtrip move, but the payoff was big. 

Awaiting us in Augusta is a magical place called Final Cut. It is where all the plush velvet Anthropologie sofas go to die/ hopefully be adopted. This place is an Anthro, Urban Outfitters and Free People, wonderland. Some things are major major scratch and dent but some things are almost perfect. And for 70% off Anthro prices, I can get down with the almost perfecto. 

Driving by this place, you would never know that it's bursting at the seams with colorful, killer furniture and boxes and boxes and boxes of clothes (that I can go nowhere near without having a panic attack- Shopping for clothes isn't my jam and digging for clothes- nah, I'm really good). Hold your breath for these next pictures... It may be out of terror or  it may be out of jubilation, but regardless you will gasp.

Wonderland... amiright? One disclosure though. A good 50% of the chairs are missing at least one leg, ripped beyond repair or battered to pieces. It's a little sad but you can find gems and I always roll out of there with at least one treasure. We ran up on three things that will t-totally rock our space... Sofa, coffee table, and a chandelier that will make her grand appearance soon. But for now, behold my new, two true loves. Big Blue, and Bigger Blue. Hey, hey pretty thangs. 

That concludes week two. Four more to go, which is nuts and scary, but we will conquer. Up for this weekend: painting the mantle and tile surround, dying lampshades, rolling out that big ol' jute rug, and then popping a bottle. See y'all on the flip side. 


Sunroom Sanctuary

We started at the bottom now we're here.

This room was truly a blank slate when we were called in to make it into the sanctuary of a sunroom. After renovating the kitchen and living areas of their home, these clients wanted this sitting room off of the kitchen to be a happy, comfortable place for both themselves and their frequent favorite visitors (grandkids) to hang out and enjoy company in.

It's that life-of-the-party, mic-drop kind of room that really commands major attention when you walk into the space. Its just so dang happy with all the right bits of flavor mixed in between.

I always start with textiles, and these curtains are most definitely vying for the main event. Yet, they also do a great job in allowing the many details built throughout the room to speak for themselves. Once curtains were on lock, it was all about layering the right patterns here and textures there.

To set the foundation, we choose a settee in a kid-proof performance fabric. This rug with subtle yellow pattern came next as the perfect option to anchor our room. Keeping what mattered, we reupholstered the clients existing chair in this bold blue and chose to pipe in a vivid dark orange. I really dug this repurposing, all about saving the items you covet and want to keep!

Sourcing this big kid friendly ottoman pulled everything together, I also like how we arranged occasional chairs throughout- just in case everyone wants to congregate in happiest room of the house all at once. Last but certainly far from least, the bookshelf and chest served great purpose for both item display and storage.

I think my very favorite part of this room is the art propped up throughout. Kim Hassold's piece sitting pretty atop the bookshelf is a jaw dropper. It's just so good, reflective of one of my Greenville favorites. Its a bookshelf of collections really- Sally B's abstract just looks so dang fresh perched on the center shelf, and Sunny Mullarkey's framed Bee print is the perfect medium to stand as the base of our display. Dana Gibson's lamps are always hold their own in the artwork department.

I think of this room as a wonderful color-infused party happening right where the sun meets the light, mixing in bright elements with both rustic features and wood tones. This client asked for vibrant and functional, thus, a rockin' sitting room was formed.

Photos by Luke Cleland.


Spring ORC: Oh-So-Greige to Bold Dose of Color Living Room

Hello beautiful people! Can you believe that it’s One Room Challenge time again. I seriously cannot. I think October and March are two of the most exciting months because this shindig rolls around… but with that excitement comes panic and mayhem.

Extra mayhem this go around because it was literally just two days ago when our ORC spot was locked down.

For a few months Caroline and I were planning on sprucing up her screened in porch for this micro-sized timeline escapade. Then, she decided to move. This truly is a wonderful thing because the house has so much baller potential and there are all sorts of projects that we get to tackle now. This did throw a wrench in our way-ahead-of schedule plans however. I should have known to stick with last minute planning.

Although her new home does have a screen porch that is in need of some love, we decided that the barren living room might be a better priority number one. So from that conclusion, we decided to take this jam-packed six weeks and knock the heck out of this living room.

Other than a direction for textiles, we really don’t know what the dang plan is… which I realize is not a great ORC week 1 position to be in. Alas, that’s where we are. I created the below moodboard and Pinterest board and it got the sign-off from the Stephens clan, so this is out loose plan that will fingers crossed come to an epic conclusion six short weeks from now.

The rooms current state below. Sort of a tan dessert scene that is in desperate need of some life, some love, and some COLOR to make it as incredible as the people that live there. The two chairs will stay because they are the perfect size for my very tall friends and their neutralness allows us to work around them really well. The sofa and coffee table that are headed to the playroom for my girl Char-lay's domain, which I also can't wait to share with y'all.

We have some ideas: big colorful sofa that we hope to find on a shopping trip this weekend, large kid-friendly ottoman, console table on the big vast wall anchored with poufs, lamps and art, and painting that mantle a bright, bold hue. Because I always start my projects in the textiles department, those are covered and they will be the launching pad for all the other goodies. Totes will of course be a permanent fixture in the room.

So, that's it. Here we go on the wild, wacky, six week ride! Along with this little adventure, there are some other big things happening around here and April-May are sure to be exhausting and exhilarating in all the best ways. So, wish us luck and follow along here every Thursday!


Collecting What You Love, Loving Where You Live

Photo by Allie Monday

What's up homeskillets, Caroline here. Bringing you a bold dose of thought this lovely Sunday.

Amanda Louise and I have been an official pair for roughly 6 months now and I have to say it has been a fully gratifying and fruitful half year. I wanted to take a moment and share what I've learned about working with Amanda, and the singularly most important piece of information I've come to know about the woman since working alongside her, a life lesson that no one told me about until she introduced me to the wonderful world of interiors. This particular lesson pairs with the three words that come to my mind each and every time I think of the gal.

Miniature. Dog. Collection.

I know what you're thinking, what the literally H. E. double hockies? But alas, let me take you back to the first time I met with Amanda Louise in her humble abode and saw, with my very own eyes, said set of K-9 minis.

Walking into this meeting some months ago, I quite frankly did not know what to expect. I am a business developer, content curator, producer, project manager. I am so not a designer. Creative, yes, sure, I wear that name tag with pride. But when you see our vision and design aesthetic, that's all Amanda Lou making her mark and doing her thing. You feel me? Back to the dog mini encounter.

Amanda's home is a maximalists heaven. Her very own, close to quarters (literally in the quarters) sandbox. To try new things out over here and rearrange items over there. It's amazing, one of a kind, and freaking off the charts colorful. Like I said, sandbox. I enter the room, I have a mild moment where I have to sit down and take it all in. And then, finding me from a vintage china shelf across the room, are these vividly small dog figurines. Perfectly placed on layers of antique shelves, like they'd lived there all of their life in perfect pedigree harmony. I gasped. Never had I ever in all of my life seen something so different. So unexpected. So not.. me.

As I walked closer to the hound menagerie, I noticed each held real personality, no two were alike; such a collection had to be the product of an over-time accumulation. There was a poodle shaking off his furs, mimicking the mops of our Happy Car Wash just down the street. A Doberman standing proud, pointing after potential game across what I imagine would be a tall, grassy field. A lab, just like queen Maisy; American's beloved breed wagging and waving. All different shapes and sizes. Some tall, others teeny tiny small. I was amazed.

Amanda and I concluded our meeting, parted ways for the afternoon, and again, for the next few days, weeks, maybe even months, I thought about this perfectly placed collector's piece. That's all to say, Amanda Lou's collection represents a turning corner for me. Amanda Louise loves, and I mean loves her dog figurines. Lights up the the fourth of dang July when talking about each piece- where they came from, how they got there, and the journey she's taken through accumulating.

I think about this set of dogs every time we schedule a meeting at Chateau A'Louise. I like to harp on how they'll have to be individually bubble wrapped whenever we discuss the potential of our head honcho moving- mostly because I worry about transporting them, and the wrap job it will require. Point blank, these doggies have come to define the way I feel about Amanda Louise and her design priority: to put what we love and appreciate first, and create happy homes in which we can spend our valuable, never-have-enough-time.

Not until I met these pups did I even consider collecting my one love, an item of things I'll share much later on when my collection is complete. Yet now, my eyes have been widely opened, and I'm all bushy tailed to start believing in my own home, my own space, where I call the shots and I determine what makes me most happy.

I'm the content curator, the project director, your timeline guru. I do not design but our fearless leader that does has taught me true gratitude comes from embracing your loves and building a home around and about them. Here's to embracing and always collecting.

Photo by Luke Cleland

Photo by Luke Cleland