I rarely can find the color I imagine for a project on the shelf of any store. Everything I like is an in-between of something. I’m not sure if its the fact that I am complicated, or that I’m simply ahead of the game. Whatever it is, it keeps me on my toes. If I can’t find it, I make it my damn self.
When I bought hanging glass containers last summer for my air plants, I thought finding a coral pink sand for them would be easy. I thought “coral pink is popular, colored sand is popular, there should be plenty of choices”. Ummm, no. Every shade I came upon was too bright, too childish, or too muddy. I was determined to find this color to pair with the art on my living room walls. But after weeks of looking, I knew it was time to rethink my color choice. I either needed to go with a completely different color or dye the sand myself. Neither of which I wanted to do. This was supposed to be a simple project. And then a light bulb went on – mix pink and orange sand together. Voila! coral pink.
Perfect, right?! The color pops against the gray walls and pairs beautifully with my art collection. I could not be happier.
Just remember, there is always a way to bring your ideas to fruition. The key is to step back from the idea when you’ve hit a road block. The solution is likely staring you in the face and much simpler than you anticipated.
If you are in Nashville and looking for an excellent selection of air plants, glass containers and colored sand, head over to All Seasons on 8th Avenue. It’s hands down my favorite garden store.
“Imagine a yard sale full of great finds from Nashville’s best closets, guest rooms and garages, and so big it takes up an entire warehouse!” – 12th & Broad
12th & Broad is hosting their first ever Broadlandia Yard Sale this Saturday, just in time for spring. They’ve rented out Track One – a large warehouse space in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood (near the Sounds stadium), and they’ll be filling it up with a city-wide yard sale complete with boutique gallery, bloody mary bar, and great non-profit partners like ThriftSmart.
And if that wasn’t enough to get you excited, Flock South will be there! My dear friend (and partner in design crime) Samantha Oaks with Lucien Porter Design Company, will be sharing a booth with me at Broadlandia. You remember her? She’s the one that designed the oh-so fabulous airbnb in the 12 South Neighborhood. This is our first event together, and the beginning of an exciting partnership.
So what are we selling? Home goods, lots and lots of home goods. From decor to lighting to kitchen-ware to rugs and small furnishings. It’s going to be a hodge-podge mix of items from our homes, vintage pieces from my booth at Gas Lamp Antiques, and props from past projects. Plus! You get to meet us, ask questions and find out more about what we are doing with our companies.
Sometimes you need to stop, refresh your mind and start again. I often find myself ignoring all the signs of a much needed break. Instead of slowing down when I’m burned out, I tend to work harder. I often think “who has time to refresh?” Seriously, who has time? Somehow in my messed up brain, I’ve come to think that taking time for myself is a luxury not a necessity.
Obviously, my way of thinking is completely wrong (and if it’s not obvious, you should without a doubt continue reading). Not only is it wrong, it’s unhealthy and it’s counter-productive. If I burn out, I can’t give to my clients what they are paying me to do – to be an innovative, creative designer, excited about the challenge they set before me. When I get too close to the edge of burn out, my work becomes generic. Yes, I remain busy when my creative tank is low, but it’s a false sense of productivity. My work lacks inspiration, and I lose the ability to make quick and efficient decisions. In the long run, ignoring “myself” costs me a great deal.
Over this past year, I have been on the course to fixing my method of self-care and how to keep my creative tank full at all times. I have found that the solution is quite simple – take more time for myself and invest in daily inspiration. Most people, including myself, take time for ourselves on the weekends and on our annual week-long vacation. The rest of the year, we ignore all personal needs. We work harder and forget that we need more, to do more. Instead of tending to our needs, our solution is to drink more caffeine, take more pharmaceuticals, eat junk food, buy more stuff we don’t need, and zone out on TV because we lack the energy to do much else. It’s an ugly cycle.
So what does daily inspiration look like? For me, it’s slowing down for about an hour each day, turning off my electronics, and experiencing something new that feeds my senses. Depending on my mood, I will envelope myself in nature, art, or books. The idea is to stop the noise, and refresh the mind. To find inspiration and come back to the work day with fresh eyes.
Lately, I have been delving into design books that emphasize inspiration. From fashion to home décor to food, they are all about stimulating the mind through gorgeous photography. Below are the top new (and a few older) books that have me on an inspiration high. The details, color and innovation are quite stunning. One hour in any of these books and you’ll get the punch of inspiration you were likely needing.
The Weekender, a stylish high-quality travel bag for weekend getaways. I love the look, style and ease of a weekender. There is something so luxurious about the over-sized travel bag. This single piece of luggage evokes romantic notions of last minute getaways, jet-setting to anywhere in the world, and forgetting you have any real responsibilities. Whether it’s a trip to the beach or a weekend in Paris, this darling bag is all you need when vacationing for a few days.
Here are a few Weekender Bags that I am dying to get my hands on:
1. Tall Weekender Bag – Boticca $514
Fine, yet durable German Leather lined with 100% cotton. Adjustable straps: Hand-held , Shoulder, and backpack. Interior pocket, brass hardware. Hand-constructed in Brooklyn, NY in small batches. Materials: leather body and straps, 100% cotton lining, brass hardware.
2. Savoy Weekender – Free People $228
The perfect weekender, made for fabulous getaways or local stays. Colorful woven jute body with leather accents. Zip top closure. Inside features one zip pocket and cotton lining. Top handles and one long adjustable strap for easy carrying.
3. Daphnee – Sole Society $64.95
Striped, roomy weekender bag crafted from soft canvas fabric with a removable long strap and top shoulder handles. Materials: Fabric and Vegan Leather.
4. Mason – Sole Society $79.95
Ultra-roomy, soft faux leather travel tote with a bottom shoe compartment, top handles, a removable crossbody strap and gold-toned hardware. Also includes metal feet and herringbone-print lining. Materials: Vegan Leather.
5. Geo Echo Weekender – Anthropologie $298
A beautiful mixture of cotton and leather in a black-white geometric pattern. Details: Cotton lining, removable cross-body strap, multiple pockets and zip closure.
6. Staycation Weekender – Free People $395
The perfect bag for the perfect getaway. Colorblock roomy cotton canvas weekender featuring leather trim and a zip top closure. Inside is lined with one slip pocket. Top handles and a removable and adjustable long strap. American made.
Today I had a lovely lunch with my mom at AMOT Eatery in East Nashville. My mom is one of the unlucky ones who cannot eat gluten. It can be frustrating at times because I am such a foodie (who eats gluten) and I want to share with her my favorite places to eat. But rarely can she eat at those places. Or if she can, the dishes are completely stripped down or she is stuck with a sad salad. Plus! She’s always worried that the kitchen will get it wrong or there is some sort of cross-contamination. It’s terribly nerve-wracking for her, which makes eating out really difficult. To be able to go to a restaurant where everything is gluten-free is kind of awesome. And when the gluten-free food is delicious (even to us gluten-lovers), you know you’ve got a winner.
The decor in AMOT is a charming modern feminine style. Crisp white walls & furnishings, lots of natural light, old black and white movies playing over the bar, and darling lights strewn throughout the space. The moment we entered into the restaurant, I knew I wanted to be there all afternoon. The space puts you at ease, almost pushes you to take a load off.
Instead of rushing to order, we ordered coffee and just took the space in for awhile. It was nice to just relax and chat with my mom, as if we didn’t have a care in the world. Eventually we ordered an appetizer – the sweet potato fries with arugula and parmesan. I am not a big sweet potato fan, but these fries were excellent. A perfectly balanced savory-sweet that had us licking the plate clean. We then ordered sandwiches on house-made bread. And let me tell you, that bread was heavenly! Gluten-free bread that was light, fluffy and even doughy. It was real bread! Not that cardboard crap that pretends to be bread. We were very impressed, to say the least. We ended our meal with a gorgeous bread pudding. (You’re probably catching on by now that we had a theme – try everything that had bread in it). It was so good! Nothing about this dessert, or anything we ate today, tasted “gluten-free”. Everything tasted like normal, delicious, wonderful food. Exactly what I was hoping to give my mom today.
Thank you AMOT Eatery for a wonderful day. We will most definitely be back!