On this episode of On The Little Yellow Couch I talk about the power of connections. Not the networking kind. But the power of feeling truly connected. To each other. And to the deepest reserves of strength and optimism we all have somewhere inside us. To encourage you and I to have real conversations where you get to actually speak with me instead of just listening to me talk, I hope you’ll take me up on my offer of some free consultation this summer! I’ve had the absolute pleasure of meeting some of you in person at one of our Style Retreats. And even though not everyone can make it to these special weekends, we can at least talk via email. I encourage you to subscribe to the Little Yellow Couch newsletter and send me an email about a decor or design dilemma you’re facing. I’ll get back to you ASAP (hopefully within 24 hours!) and we can work it through together to a solution. I look forward to hearing from you!
I am having two lovely friends back on the show with me today. I call them "the Ashleys" for short because they are Ashely Daly and Ashley Palmer, co-owners of Retro Den Tulsa. Today we talk about finding your true style by leaning in to who you are. Let's get started.
My guest this week is a designer who is local to where I live, which is in the Boston area. We've now met at two design conferences and I feel so lucky to have met her in person! She's a designer who really listens to her clients' frustrations and gives them a big bath of Calgon. (If you don't get that reference, I want to know. I want to know exactly how much older I am than you. Just out of curiosity). Anyway, Paige not only loves what she does, she truly loves her clients and her genuine desire to help them comes through loud and clear. You'll see what I mean in a minute.
This week, pro stylist Becki Griffin talks with me about...well...style! How she does it, what she uses, what she shops for and lessons she's learned on a photo shoot that can be used by all of us in our regular, every day homes. She's been working in the interiors business for many years, styling covers and pages for magazines such as Country Living, as well as taking on her own clients for interior design. Becki is super funny and easy to be with, which is a big plus for anyone who gets to hang out with her. Which, by the way, could be you! Becki is teaching the styling workshop during our Little Yellow Couch Style & Antiques Retreat that's happening in September at The Vintage Round Top in Round Top, TX! As of this airing, early bird prices have just opened up so grab your spot so I can meet you in person! But first, let's get on with my interview with Becki.
This week I'm talking with Paige Hull of The Vintage Round Top, a beautiful retreat space in the heart of antiquer's heaven in Round Top, TX. Pagie and her husband Smoot have put a lot of love and soul into it, starting with a gut renovation of the first house, "No. 1450," and then adding another they call "Boho," and most recently two small cottages named after their children, The Pierce and The Eisley. This magical place is where you can join me on the next Little Yellow Couch style retreat so be sure to check that out on the website, but today, I really wanted to give Paige the floor to share why and how she designs her homes with antiques. If you're a true vintage lover, this episode will naturally resonate with you. But if you skew more modern, I'm particularly excited for you to hear what Paige has to say. Because I think she and Smoot have really nailed it when it comes to incorporating a few chipped and scarred pieces in the most clean-lined, minimalist of spaces. Proving antiques really are for everyone.
This week it's just you and me! I'm going to share my process when overhauling a room design and then walk you through some ways in which I get myself unstuck if I hit a roadblock. It's all about creativity -- where it comes from and how to cultivate it. We're talking about problem solving in a way that feels great!
My guest this week practices holistic design. And by the end of the episode you'll know exactly what that means to Laurence Carr. She has taken her classical ballet training, her life lived on many continents and her passion for sustainability and translated all of that into a thriving interior design studio. Laurence introduces us to three elements that show up in almost everything she creates: space clearing, interior realignment and sensory design. Let's dig in.
Brooke Milne is the travel blogger behind "Look It's Brooke!" I met her at a conference in California and in getting to know her, and learn about her business, I realized she would be full of advice for us about traveling and how to incorporate your travels into your style at home.
My guest this week is Melissa Coleman, otherwise known as The Faux Martha. I'm sure you know which Martha that refers to and we'll get to why Melissa chose that name. But first, I'll tell you a little bit about her, in case you don't know. Melissa is a cook, a baker and a writer. I brought her on the show so we could talk about kitchens, one of the most used rooms in our homes, and one that can fill us with dread. It's often cluttered with too much on the counters and piles of dirty dishes and it's where we constantly go when we want to stare at shelving filled with a bunch of stuff that we don't know what to do with when its time to get dinner on the table. Melissa also has a great eye for design, which is really helpful when getting our kitchens to work for us. Oh, and full disclosure here, my kitchen is far from perfect so I'm using her book, The Minimalist Kitchen, to get it on track. I'll be sharing how it's going over the next few weeks and if you want to join me in a little personal challenge, I'd love to have some company as I clear out my cupboards, stock my pantry and start doing a little meal planning. Ok, let's get started!
My guest this week is the sought after interior designer, Nicole Gibbons. You might recognize her from the Oprah Winfrey TV show "Home Made Simple." Or maybe you've seen her as a guest on The Rachel Ray show, or in the pages of any number of design magazines. She's done it all! But her newest venture, which has basically taken over her life, is a paint company she calls "Clare." I wanted to know what made Nicole drop everything else and pursue a product based company when she's always been in the service sector. And, to tell us the story behind the brand.
My guest today is Anita Joyce of Cedar Hill Farmhouse, located in Round Top Texas, which you may recognize from the hugely famous antiques show that happens there twice a year. Anita and I met several years ago at a conference where we talked about podcasting because we were both about a year or so into it and it was especially nice because there aren't a whole lot of us our there who have interior design focused shows. Anyway, we're finally getting around to recording a conversation! We start off with Anita sharing very honestly a really dark time in her life and how the creative act of decorating and homemaking helped her dig her way out. Since then she's gone on to produce her blog, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, co-host the podcast, "Decorating Tips and Tricks," and write a beautiful book called "French Accents."
Kicking off Season 12 of the Style Matters podcast is the full-of-life plant lover, Hilton Carter! He's totally someone you want to hang out with as soon as you start talking with him. And talk we do! He's just come out with his first book called Wild At Home and it's all about how to bring plants into your home and work with your style. We happened to both be at the Alt Summit conference in Palm Springs last month so we got to meet in person. That doesn't always happen with my guests, so I was really happy it worked out for us. Let's get started.
Great story. Great designer. One of those who can really express how and why he does what he does. This episode originally aired in January of 2017 and I continue to go to his portfolio over and over for my own inspiration and when I'm looking to learn something specific about design. I think you're gonna love him as much as I do!
Jennifer Harrison lights up a room. Or, in this case, she's lighting up our earbuds. When we first met Jennifer, we were pulled into her undertow of happy energy and ended the interview on such a pure high that I knew I wanted to share it again for those of you who missed it the first time. In this episode, Jennifer talks so beautifully about the design value of incorporating vintage, antique and flea market finds into your home. She's the founder of the online shop Flea Market Fab, which you'll be jumping out of your skin to go check out as soon as this is over. But best of all is probably toward the very end where, completely off the cuff, Jennifer paints a picture of how she pulls a room together, starting with a single piece and imagining all of the different furniture and accessories she'd use. So good. Here she is.
One of my favorite books on design, and one that's had a lot of influence on how I think about helping clients with figuring out their aesthetic, is by Anne Sage and it's called Sage Living. In this episode, which originally aired in 2016, we talk with Anne about her realization that her home could be a source of support as she was making a major life transition. She talks candidly about her personal life and how her professional life has taken many different turns, with the ups and downs all of us can relate to. I think you're going to get a lot out of this episode when it comes to connecting the dots between how you want to feel and how your home can foster your goals.
This is a re-release of our episode with designer Liz Kamarul, originally recorded in the summer of 2017. We talk about her stunning home in Portland OR that she was leaving behind to spend several months traveling around the country in an RV that she and her husband had just started to renovate. Since then Liz has settled in New Orleans, working her style magic from there. I wanted to re-release this episode because I think Liz's "just do it" and "why not" approach to decorating is a good reminder to all of us to lighten up and let our homes be incubators for our creativity. Here we go.
This week starts a 5 episode series of re-released interviews from the archives. First up is our interview with organizational guru, Peter Walsh, which we aired almost exactly three years ago in April, 2016. I first saw Peter on Oprah's show and I still cut out the articles he writes for O Magazine. What I loved about him then is that he helped people get organized from the inside-out and in a soulful way. I mean, that's totally Oprah, right? Now, I love him even more because he's so kind and approachable in real life. Or, at least, on the phone. One of these days, I'll meet him in person and have him autograph a to-do list or a storage bin or something. Anyway, maybe you know him from the two TV shows where he's been front and center: Extreme Clutter and Clean Sweep. Or maybe you've read one of his many books, my favorite being "Does this Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?" Peter is very entertaining and highly quotable, dropping wisdom bombs all over the place. If you haven't been in his orbit until now, you're in for some great advice. And, I figured, with the warm weather just starting to come around, you might be in the mood for some Spring Cleaning. And this episode is the best place to get started!
I have a repeat guest on the show this week! Once again, I'm interviewing author Joanna Thornhill because she's just come out with a new book and I'm giving it my full and sincere endorsement! It's called "My Bedroom Is An Office, and Other Interior Design Dilemmas). I'm gonna tell you all about what makes this book so useful once I've got Joanna on the line. But for now, I'll just say that during our conversation, we cover things like choosing the right white (cuz you know there are about 50 million paint choices out there), when creating a feature wall is actually ok, how to mix up different styles, the first thing you should do when you walk into your new home And the answer to the question, "how will I know when I'm done?" Let's jump in
My guest this week is author Ingrid Fetell Lee. She's just written a book called "Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness." And let me tell, you, I read it a few months ago and I can't stop thinking about it! It's not an interior design book and yet it has given me so many ideas and so much inspiration for continuing to create a home I love. Ingrid followed her curiosity for 10 years before putting pen to paper. She wanted to figure out why certain objects or environments illicit a spontaneous, immediate feeling of joy and why. And I think you can relate to this because I assume that one of the main reasons you listen to this podcast is because, just like me, you do a crazy happy dance when you find the perfect score at an antiques show, or a new artist whose work you can afford, or some new fabric or color you can bring home with you... I think you'll find Ingrid's line of questioning really interesting. Why do these things make us feel the way we do and why does it matter? On top of that, is our love of things completely materialistic or is there some important good that can come from our purchases. Ingrid makes me feel like I'm some kind of reporter on NPR because of how deep we go into sociology, psychology and design... and because of how smart she is. So I hope you get a lot out of this interview because I sure did! Here we go.
So this week's episode is not as much directly related to interior design as they usually are. But, it's still ultimately about how our environments and the atmosphere we create is connected to a life well lived. My guest is Kate Richards of the blog, Drinking With Chickens. Now, if you already follow Kate, you know she's a ton of fun and that her home and, more importantly, her backyard are well worth taking a look at for their design appeal. She hosts some amazing outdoor parties, complete with pet chickens for entertainment, and her photos are both funny and beautiful. So you'll get plenty of visual inspiration if you take a look at the show notes page this week. But for this interview, we mostly talk about the lifestyle Kate has created for herself, her husband and their friends who come over, which probably happens all the time. She is a great reminder that the reason why style matters is ultimately for the pure joy it gives us and those we love. So... here we go.
Today is for all of you who are thinking about hiring someone to help you furnish or decorate your home. You might be considering a full on, top to bottom, in person interior designer, or someone who simply works with you online to give you some ideas and sources that you then implement yourself, or someone like me and some of my past guests who act as consultants to help give shape to your own vision. In any of these cases, I thought it would be helpful to know what to look for when hiring someone because you're going to be plunking down some cash before you get the service. So let's minimize the chances of disappointment! My guest this week is Abbie Naber of A Naber Design and she's giving us her tips in how to best work with someone else, especially if you don't share the same language around style. We then talk about her own home, which is outstanding, and her goal of seamless living between the outside and inside, which you really want to take advantage of if you live in Southern California. And given the fact that as I record this, I'm in the dead cold of winter in New England, that sounds pretty great to me right now.
My guest this week is Anthony D’Argenzio. He launched his art direction company Zio & Sons in New York City before moving to Hudson, NY where he’s now the owner of This Old Hudson, a work and living space open for photo shoots and travelers wishing to stay in a beautifully styled setting while visiting the Hudson Valley region. I talk with him about the renovation of the property, the aesthetic he’s created there and how he goes about mixing and layering texture, style and materials in a space. If you haven’t seen photos of This Old Hudson, you can do so on the Little Yellow Couch website. And believe me, you’re going to want to know what we’re referring to as we talk about his incredible kitchens!
My guest today is author Shannon Ables. Her newest book is called "Living The Simply Luxurious Life: Making Your Everydays Extraordinary and Discovering Your Best Self." She covers a lot of ground in this book, talking about aspects of our lives such as money, our health, our careers.... and we don't have time to talk abou it all! So in our conversation, we start with the big picture, talking about where luxury, true luxury, comes from and how to attain it. And then, we zero in on the home, especially our kitchens, our rituals and finding the perfect pieces to furnish them. Shannon is so warm and easy to talk with, I know you're going to love her.
This week's interview is jam packed with information and inspiration. I'm talking with Steve Schrenk, a sculptor and media director for Polycor, the largest natural stone quarrier in North America. We cover a lot of ground, starting with Steve's training as a sculptor and then he teaches us about the different kinds of stone you might want to consider using in your own home, how to use stone as a design element, where to find it, what kinds of quarries it comes from and the environmental impact of extraction. I'm pretty sure that at least half of you are going to want to start a kitchen renovation after this. We wrap up with two of his favorite sources of inspiration, one of whom is an interior designer and the other is an installation you can visit when in you're in New York City.
In this behind the scenes episode, I talk about the necessity of putting your true self out there so that you can achieve a life you love. I then talk with designer Megan Pflug about how she recently did this and how it's changed her life. We tie it all into making your home work for you as you challenge yourself and take risks.