Hey y’all. I thought we had wrapped up the Style Matters podcast for 2018 last week. But then I started reflecting on the year and writing down a few thoughts about the biggest transition I’ve faced with Little Yellow Couch. Namely, becoming the sole owner/creator/chief bottle washer. And it got me thinking about trying to pull back the curtain a bit more than usual and share some of what goes on behind the scenes as an entrepreneur. I’ve never done an episode like this one. It’s personal. And it’s just me. No guests and no filter. I hope you can connect to it. And I wish you the very best end to your year and that you start 2019 with fresh eyes and an open heart.
So for this installment of OTLYC (On the Little Yellow Couch), I have a very special guest... Karen Grant, my former co-host of this podcast, and dear friend, is back in the studio! And when I say studio, I mean my living room. Now, we're all in the thick of holiday season so Karen and I are going to be talking about holiday stuff. She’s doing something really creative out of town and I’m on a mission to embrace the pairing down of shopping, decorating and guilt. Ha! Yes! No more guilt when the expectations for the perfect holiday don’t yield the perfect holiday!
I'm also already looking ahead to 2019 and want you all to know that I'll be offering another Style Retreat in Feb! If you didn't know about the last one or just want to get a feel for what it was like, you can go to littleyellowcouch.com and click on Retreat News where you can see photos and hear what the participants had to say about our weekend away. Honestly, I wasn't planning on doing one again so soon, but it was such an amazing time that we didn't want to wait before offering another one. I'll once again be teaming up with interior designer Megan Pflug to host this fabulous getaway at Woodhouse Lodge in the Catskills. So, if you have people in your life who have no idea what to get you for the holidays, you might want to direct them over here to Little Yellow Couch so they can spoil you with the best present ever! Ok, so enough about that. It's time for the last episode of 2018, On The Little Yellow Couch!
I have a lot of fun talking with my guest this week, Jewel Marlowe. I've been dying to get to know her because I could tell from her style that she's someone who would probably make me laugh. And she does not disappoint! Jewel is the blogger behind Jeweled Interiors and also works as an interior designer. She is a master of the mix, meaning she can take three objects that look like they have nothing in common and figure out how to make them all work in the same space using the magic of color, pattern and scale. And luckily she's able to share how she does this during the episode. Jewel has honed her talents over the 13 different homes that she's lived in as a military spouse. So if any of you can relate to that, this one's for you!
My guests this week are Sara & Rich Combs. A few years ago, they transplanted themselves from the bustle of San Fransisco to the quiet of Joshua Tree, California. But in giving themselves time to slow down, they have left themselves open to experiencing an intense drama of living in close proximity to their natural environment. They are now the owners of three properties there, all of which can be rented out as creative retreat spaces. Their book, “At Home in Joshua Tree: A Field Guide to Desert Living,” takes us through four lessons, or mantras, that they’ve incorporated into their work as designers since making the desert their home. In our conversation we talk about the mantras as well as the various environmental facts that have become entwined with their lifestyle and overall aesthetic. I start by asking them how the decision to move to Joshua Tree came about.
This episode has a little bit of everything in it and that's because my guest, Liz Solms, is a multi-passionate person, to borrow a term from my friend, Desha Peacock. She has built quite a rich and rewarding life for herself and I ask her about her career throughout our conversation. I was interested in interviewing Liz because she has woven together food, hospitality and design in a way that we haven't talked about on the podcast before. What I hope you come away with from this episode is the motivation to go look for creative inspiration from your travels, from sharing a beautiful meal with friends, or from taking the time to really notice the details in a historic building. Because our ideas for decorating our homes can't just come from retailers! They have to come from experiences. Toward the end of the interview, we talk about her projects in Philadelphia and I had the absolute privilege of meeting Liz and staying in an apartment she designed while I was there. It's not just that it was beautifully designed. Staying there was an experience in and of itself that has really made a lasting impact since my visit 3 months ago. I have a lot of photos to share with you from this trip, so be sure to look for those on the show notes page of this episode at littleyellowcouch.com and I'll post some videos on Instagram and IGTV!
Clear and critical thinking. You don’t always get that when talking about the world of interiors. It’s not just about a pretty picture, folks. Creative and thoughtful design can’t be underestimated and there isn’t enough of it these days. Sophie Donelson, former Editor-In-Chief of House Beautiful brought her keen eye to the pages of this magazine in a way that we all will miss. Luckily I got to talk with her before she left to pursue other things. And I can’t wait to see what she’s up to next!
You might know Myquillyn Smith as “The Nester,” or as the author of “The Nesting Place,” her first book, and the name of her popular blog. She has long subscribed to the belief that “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful,” to which I say, Amen! Well, she’s just come out with her second book, “Cozy, Minimalist Home,” in which she promises that you can still have plenty of style, but with less stuff. You may already love how she writes, but once you hear her voice, you’ll instantly feel her warmth and generosity of spirit. We laugh a lot during this interview and I hope you’ll feel like you’re right here in the room with us! Myquillyn shares how she went from being a maximalist to a minimalist, but still kept her home from feeling slick, soul-less and cold. And, best of all, she gives us several of the guidelines she uses when making big decisions such as buying furniture, to small decisions, such as what to put on your mantel. So, after you get on board with the philosophy of embracing imperfection, get ready to make some decisions on how you want your home to serve you.
My guest this week is artist and rug designer Wendy Morrison. I first learned of Wendy's rugs through Sarah Akwisombe, who we interviewed awhile ago. Sarah is fearless when it comes to design and she's always looking to stretch herself beyond whatever's currently trending. And Wendy's rugs certainly do push us to be bold and go for what speaks to us, personally. Wendy shares how she got started with rugs, having no idea how they would change the direction of her life. She also explains a little bit about how rugs are made and then we wrap up with Wendy taking us through the symbolism she uses in her designs that give her rugs rich and layered narratives. This episode in particular really needs to be seen as well as heard so that you can fully understand the impact that her rugs can have on a space. So I highly encourage you to check out the photos on the show notes page. Just go to the podcast section on the website, littleyellowcouch.com.
If Mad Men and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel had a baby, and pitched it to Netflix for a new TV series, you’d have a handle on this week’s epsiode. If you're not following me, let me explain. My guest is Alessandra Wood and she is going to give us the most interesting history lesson you've heard in a long time! Her dissertation for her PhD was essentially about the influence mid-20th century department stores have had on our personal style choices, for our homes and our clothing (think consumer psychology behind advertising in Mad Men) and pair that with the highly fashionable world of B. Altman in New York, circa 1950 (where Midge Maisel works) and that’s the intersection where today’s conversation resides! We also touch on where we are today when it comes to interior design and how our style is a reflection of, and reaction to, broad cultural forces. It's a great conversation and I hope you'll find it as fascinating as I have! We start out talking about Alessandra's rather high-tech role in the online design company, Modsy and by the end we hear how she has used her training as a historian in a most contemporary way.
Are you a maverick when it comes to your home? Or, to be more clear, does your home represent your soul and the life you’ve lived rather than a particular style category? Interior designer and author Miv Watts explores the homes of people who “decorate” in just this way. In her new book, “The Maverick Soul: Portraits of the Lives and Homes of Eccentric, Eclectic and Free-Spirited Bohemians,” Miv takes us through spaces that deeply reflect the creative lives of their owners. Miv herself started her career as a window dresser for Burberry before launching into set design for films, which took her all over the world. I have learned so much from talking with Miv. She can spark your creative imagination and commitment to being true to yourself like no one else. This episode is truly packed with so much goodness, I can’t wait for you to soak it up with me!
Have you ever wondered what exactly it is that a Prop Stylist does? My guest is Heather Bullard who does prop styling and art direction for a number of different magazines and brands. By the end of this interview, you'll have a better understanding of what that means! She talks with us about the importance of sometimes getting away from the very images she creates so that we can remain true to our own, individual tastes and not be quite so influenced by social media. She shares with us her own source of inspiration and how her style has evolved over the years.
In this episode of the Style Matters podcast, I interview Donna Garlough, Style Director for Joss & Main and author of the new book, "Your Home, Your Style: How to Find Your Look and Create Rooms You Love." What I love about this book is how practical it is! Donna is really good at breaking down some of the more "mysterious" aspects of creative design. She does this by having you start with an inventory of sorts. She refers to it as figuring out your design disposition. It takes into consideration how you approach things--how you tend to make decisions, how you take in and process information, where your comfort zone is--things like that. After she takes you through the different design dispositions and outlines the 5 things you'll need to consider for every style decision you make, there are all of these little "ah ha" moments sprinkled throughout the book. It's so helpful! Ok, let's get started.
The Style Matters podcast: Interview with artist, Angela Chrusciaki Blehm. We talk about her artwork and stunning home. She explains how she uses scale to create atmosphere and how she keeps her bright color palate looking sophisticated rather than childish.
I'm delighted to talk with the founders of Hygee & West, Aimee Lagos and Christiana Coop. If you haven't heard of them, they are a wallpaper company, one of my personal favorites, actually. Recently, the've expanded into printing some of their wallpaper lines onto fabric AND they've just written their first book called, "Hygee & West Home: Design for a Cozy Life." In this interview we get to hear about how wallpaper is made, what their own homes look like, and why they think wallpaper is such a powerful design choice.
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Today we're airing another conversation from our Little Yellow Couch, called "On The LYC." These episodes are where Zandra and I get to dig a little deeper into a topic that was brought up in our interviews with stylists and designers from recent shows. We offer some examples from our own lives where we're changing things up in our homes, and we also share one thing that each of us is currently obsessing over. July is all about Your Style, With Kids.
Erica Tanov is a fashion and homewares designer who finds her muse in nature. We talk with her about her new book, Design By Nature, in which she shares her creative process, from inspiration to a final product that is graceful, soulful and very beautiful. What we love most about Erica is her insight into the dark and messy side of nature, along with the sublime. She takes us through different aspects of decorating as seen through her unique lens. Tree bark becomes multiple layers of monochromatic textures and weeds become a free form, wild mix of color and pattern. You are going to start looking at your home in a completely new way after spending a little time with Erica today!
Have you heard about the new interiors book called "Diary Of Your Home"? By the end of this interview, you're going to want to get your hands on it! We talk with author Joanna Ahlberg about this resource she's created with her husband, Peter. It's part record book, part reference and directory, and part journal. And while it's meant to be used as a way to keep your home organized, it's so much more than that! The diary aspect of it will have you actively connecting what's meaningful in your life with how you use your home. It's a written history of a life well lived that you'll want to keep and probably pass down to your kids. But Joanna describes it better than we can so let's start!
Monica Leed & Melody Mesick are the creative minds behind Simply Spaced, an organizing service and lifestyle company focused on transforming cluttered minds and spaces. Get ready to be inspired and learn useful tips to get yourself and your home on the path to becoming organized with style. And make room for more time and space for the people and things you LOVE! We are so excited to have them on the show!
Today we're airing another conversation from our Little Yellow Couch, called "On The LYC." These episodes are where Zandra and I get to dig a little deeper into a topic that was brought up in our interviews with stylists and designers from recent shows. We offer some examples from our own lives where we're changing things up in our homes, and we also share one thing that each of us is currently obsessing over. July is all about 3 Things!
Our guest this week is Janet Crowther, author of the book "A Well Crafted Home." We talk with her about the difference between DIY projects that you do fairly cheaply and quickly verses those you do to fill your home with heirlooms that will stand the test of time. In some ways, the world of DIY has become overrun by its opposite: mass marketed projects that end up being disposable. Janet takes us back to the roots of DIY and really inspires us to make something very simple, but with good materials and in a way that's truly enjoyable instead of feeling like one more thing to cross off your to-do list.
Lori Weitzner is the founder and creative director for the Weitzner brand of fabrics and wallcoverings that are hugely popular with the best interior designers in the world. And she's also the author of a new book, "Ode To Color," which we have been savoring. It's unlike most other design books in its structure because it doesn't go room by room or give step by step instruction. Instead, Lori has created a series of 10, fully developed, rich, lush Color Worlds to use as a tool for discovering who you are and what your home might need from a design perspective, depending on what's going on in your life. For Lori, color isn't only about shade and pigment. It also represents history, culture, personality, mood, energy and environment. And by starting with these ideas rather than looking at products, you can create rooms that truly express who you are. This book spoke to us about design in a way that we haven't felt in a long while. And once you hear the following stories in Lori's own voice, we think you're going to be just as moved as we are!
Claire Staszak has a unique approach to interior design. She combines what she's learned from years of practicing and teaching yoga into her process for uncovering what clients need from their homes. Instead of starting with fabric choices and kitchen cabinetry, Claire looks at your lifestyle goals so that the rooms she designs put your well-being at the center. In fact, her company is called "Centered By Design," which perfectly sums up her holistic philosophy. We talk with Claire about how she developed her process, what a "sanctuary" looks like in a home, and a little about her own home that she's working on with her husband in Chicago.
Today we're airing another conversation from our Little Yellow Couch, called "On The LYC." These episodes are where Zandra and I get to dig a little deeper into a topic that was brought up in our interviews with stylists and designers from recent shows. We offer some examples from our own lives where we're changing things up in our homes, and we also share one thing that each of us is currently obsessing over. June is all about our DREAM HOMES!
Summer is just around the corner and whether your summer plans include actual travel to far flung places across the globe, or you are simply dreaming of these kinds of experiences, you're going to be inspired by our guest this week. Julieta Tello, the blogger and purveyor of handmade goods behind the brand Design Junkie, talks with us about her incredible life traveling all over the world and collecting pieces made by artisans that she then sells in her online shop. Travel isn't only a passion for Julieta, it's a way of life. And she wants to make it accessible to all of us, especially if we can't visit as many different countries as she does! We also talk with her about why collecting pieces from places you haven't actually visited is good for the soul and how she's on a mission to blur the lines between art and interior design.
We all know that flipping houses is a popular thing to do. But have you considered a "slow" flip? Our guest today is Emily Netz and she and her husband have lived and breathed their Slow Flip Formula that they're now teaching to others. By actually living in the homes they flip rather than buying a second home as an investment, they have created financial freedom for themselves that would otherwise be out of reach. The trick is to buy with an eye toward getting a return, but to never skimp on the amount of love you pour into your temporary home. In this interview, we learn all about the hows and whys behind the Slow Flip. And who knows? Maybe you'll be motivated to do it yourself!