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Style Matters

Style Matters is all about the substance behind developing a personal style in your home and surrounding yourself with beauty in a way that is meaningful. We interview top stylists, designers, artisans and tastemakers both nationally and internationally about why style matters to them. The guests we interview each week inspire us creatively, and give us insight into why the art of home making is so powerful. To continue the conversation on why style matters, sign up for our monthly newsletter, packed with photos, stories, tips and resources, at www.littleyellowcouch.com.
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Apr 15, 2019

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.

Apr 8, 2019

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.  

Apr 1, 2019

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.  

Mar 25, 2019

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!  

Mar 18, 2019

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

Mar 11, 2019

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.  

Mar 4, 2019

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.  

Feb 25, 2019

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.  

Feb 18, 2019

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!

Feb 11, 2019

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.

Feb 4, 2019

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.  

Jan 28, 2019

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.

Jan 21, 2019

My guest this week is Philadelphia based interior designer, Michelle Gage.   We talk about her obsession with floor plans, her time working at Anthropologie and her latest project, her dining room.  We actually talk a lot about this room because not only is it fabulous to look at, Michelle wrote about the costs associated with doing a makeover of this scale.  And I thought that it was so refreshing to hear honest talk about money.  Toward the end, Michelle also says a few things that I think make for great mantras when needing a little design inspiration.  Let me know if you can tell what I'm referring to!  Ok, let's go.   

Jan 14, 2019

Many of you have probably seen Shavonda Gardner's home on Instagram, on her blog or from the One Room Challenge.  Her bold, eclectic style has had a big influence on those of us who follow her on social media.  But today, we get to hear a more personal side of Shavonda.  I love how she and Naomi have really taken their family values into consideration when choosing where and how they want to live.  I think that's my favorite part of this interview.  But, of course, we also talk about lots of fun things like tile, wallpaper and color.  And, being a master gardener, she also gives us her top three house plants to start with if you're a beginner or just not having luck keeping those babies alive. 

Jan 14, 2019

Many of you have probably seen Shavonda Gardner's home on Instagram, on her blog or from the One Room Challenge.  Her bold, eclectic style has had a big influence on those of us who follow her on social media.  But today, we get to hear a more personal side of Shavonda.  I love how she and Naomi have really taken their family values into consideration when choosing where and how they want to live.  I think that's my favorite part of this interview.  But, of course, we also talk about lots of fun things like tile, wallpaper and color.  And, being a master gardener, she also gives us her top three house plants to start with if you're a beginner or just not having luck keeping those babies alive. 

Jan 14, 2019

Many of you have probably seen Shavonda Gardner's home on Instagram, on her blog or from the One Room Challenge.  Her bold, eclectic style has had a big influence on those of us who follow her on social media.  But today, we get to hear a more personal side of Shavonda.  I love how she and Naomi have really taken their family values into consideration when choosing where and how they want to live.  I think that's my favorite part of this interview.  But, of course, we also talk about lots of fun things like tile, wallpaper and color.  And, being a master gardener, she also gives us her top three house plants to start with if you're a beginner or just not having luck keeping those babies alive. 

Jan 7, 2019

Angela Bunt is an interior designer in London, known for her ability to find the perfect colors for anyone's home.  She shares her secrets with us, along with a joyful description of her long career.  

Dec 10, 2018

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.

Dec 3, 2018

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!  

Nov 26, 2018

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!  

Nov 19, 2018

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.  

Nov 12, 2018

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!  

Nov 5, 2018

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!

Oct 29, 2018

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.

Oct 15, 2018

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. 

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