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The Importance of a Great Team

August 12, 2013

Oh the importance of a great team. You really can’t underestimate the beauty in finding people that you can trust, respect and work well with who are also super talented, fair and “get it” when it comes to your ideas and vision. It’s rare for me to find team members that I really click with. I’m picky. While I am by nature a total people-person and enjoy the company of everyone (even difficult personalities are cool with me), it’s not the same when it comes to working with them. It has to click, you know? It’s either right or it’s wrong. So today I want to shout out two very special women – one I’ve known since March 2009 and the other I’ve never met in person in my life and just “met” online a few weeks ago. Both are seriously great women and you should know them and know why.

The Importance of a Great Team

Leslie (standing) and Laure (seated) in Emily Henderson’s home – so happy Emily is part of the book!

The first is Leslie Shewring. An intro is really not needed if you read decor8, followed her Color Me Pretty column (on hold for now until we finish our book), or know about how instrumental she was in Blogging Your Way during its early years as a teacher. Now, Leslie is co-authoring the next book that we’re currently working on and she is doing a bang up job and I’m really proud of her. When you find someone like her to work with, and you click, keep them near and dear. Leslie has been a massive support in my life – not just work stuff – especially now as I’m ill and she has flown in (literally) to Hannover to help on our book, and then flew last week to San Francisco and LA (from her home in Victoria, Canada), and is still working so hard styling and producing beautiful photos as stylist, photographer and art director on shoots. I’m blown away by her attitude throughout it all and am so happy we’re on this project together. When our book releases on March 21, 2014, I will owe so much of its beauty and wonderfulness to her. Thank you Leslie.

The Importance of a Great Team

Flower Power! Can’t shoot a home without ’em! These were for Bri’s house (yay DesignLoveFest!).

The second extraordinary female whom I’d like to celebrate is photographer Laure Joliet. This lady is a class act. She accepted a job with a few weeks notice, hopped on a plane to San Francisco to meet Leslie, and began shooting the first of four homes over the course of last week in both SF and LA. The best part, she gave me NO CRAP. I have zero tolerance for ego when I work with anyone, I don’t care how great you are. Laure listened to me as I rambled on about this and that, which could have offended some photographers (please shoot tethered, please use a tripod, only natural light, blah blah blah) but she had no problem accepting my direction and didn’t once let ego take over doing great work. I directed them both remotely to the best of my ability on shots we needed, angles, ideas but ultimately they had the bulk of the work and ran with it and blew me away as a result – as the photos came in each day, I looked through them, supplied feedback and we moved on to the next shoot and continued this process and in the end, as a team, we really accomplished a lot. I mean a lot. I owe the success of last week to them, not me. To put Leslie and Laure together without any knowledge of how the other works (or even who the other is – they were strangers when they met) and watch them nail all four homes shows the power of women who are talented and professional and how they just GET STUFF DONE.

Leslie gave me the full scoop after the shoot week and had NOTHING but positive things to say about Laure – she sang her praises and would gladly work with her again, and this alone made me absolutely the happiest person ever because I wanted them to click, work well together and do great work and they accomplished that and so much more. You’ll see some of Laure’s gorgeous work in our book that releases in March. I can’t wait to show you! This book is now much bigger than Leslie and I with the addition of gorgeous homes and the wonderful Laure, so Leslie and I are even more excited to share it with you soon!

The Importance of a Great Team

The home of SFGirlByBay will be in our book, yay!

So! To begin a shiny new week on a positive note, I want to celebrate the beauty and importance of a great team of amazing women. These girls, the homeowners, Leslie’s amazing sister Diane who accompanied them in LA to work hard on shoots too… All of them. I’m worked with some women who sadly, left me uninspired, burnt out and wondering how in the world they ever got to where they are with such abrasive personalities. These women were just the opposite – and they made magic as a result. I know first hand what the definition of a great team, mediocre team and team SUCK can be! And these ladies were team awesome all the way. Thanks, LJ and LS and THANK YOU to Emily, Bri, Rachel and Victoria for being such a lovely team of homeowners, too!

(images: emily henderson, bri emery, laure joliet)






Inspiration

Period Home Crush

July 17, 2013

I love English homes! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about homes, particularly period houses, and which ones I love the most. In addition to the American brownstone, 18th century French farmhouse and the German Jugenstil architecture, I’m in love with a variety of English homes, especially Georgian houses. My goodness, they have such charm. And don’t get me started on the cute canal houses built during the 17th century in Amsterdam.

Period Home Crush

Though most English homes make me giddy, here are a few rooms that I love from period homes that you can actually rent for shoots and film productions from Light Locations in London. I love their properties and always suggest this location agency to my friends whenever they search for shoot locations in the UK. Stunning properties – a girl can dream to live like this, right?

Period Home Crush

Period Home Crush

Period Home Crush

 

Period Home Crush

Period Home Crush

Period Home Crush

I look at all of these rooms above and feel so invigorated and loaded with ideas of what I would do if these properties were in my possession. The type of tile I’d choose for the entryway, the tile work in the bathroom, the kitchen I’d install, the window treatments, the wall colors… And that little shed in my backyard, that would be the decor8 studio space for sure where all my little magical dreams would come to life. It’s so fun to imagine! Must be a lot nicer to own, though! And did you notice the differing shades of gray in all of the rooms (except for the first image)? Some of the gray walls were ever-so-slightly obvious and others, very pronounced. I just love the whispering grays. They sit perfectly against crisp white moldings.

Do you dream of period homes too? Which are your favorites? Do you fancy a particular style or?

(images: light locations)






Inspiration

Sea-weathered Venice Bungalow

July 10, 2013

I was so pleasantly surprised by this unique little sea-weathered bungalow in Venice, CA that ran today on the FvonF site belonging to Diana García and Greg Rogove. You simply must click here to see the full story, but here is tiny sneak peek below. I’m always struck by how some homes, being absolutely opposite of my personal style, still attract me so much and make me feel unbelievably cozy and at home. Do you find this occasionally  too? I’m guessing specific things speak to me that are very much a part of my signature style – white walls, glass, lots of light and items collected from travels.

Sea-weathered Venice Bungalow

Greg is a musician and Diana is a both a film-maker and artist and it shows in how they live – surrounded by so many creative objects that speak to their love of story telling. I especially thought Greg’s background was so fascinating… He grew up in Amish Country in Pennsylvania, then went to India during his final year in high school, then he returned to the states, “I went back to the States for college and then to New York City. I started touring and was traveling a lot. Cuba, China, Mexico. Making a home wherever I was became second nature. But then after all that I fell in love with Los Angeles. I fell in love because of Venice. Because of Diana.” How sweet. But it gets better. When Diana first met Greg she says, “When I first saw him I knew he was my husband.” Aw, I melt. You can feel their love in their home, which I think is really what I love most about this space.

Sea-weathered Venice Bungalow

Sea-weathered Venice Bungalow

Sea-weathered Venice Bungalow

Sea-weathered Venice Bungalow

Sea-weathered Venice Bungalow

Sea-weathered Venice Bungalow

And seriously, how cute is her outfit and haircut? So cute.

PSST: If you live in southern California, look out for their new restaurant on Abbot Kinney that will be called, “Another Kind of Sunshine”.

(Photography: Ana Hop for FvonF)






Inspiration

CAMP

June 28, 2013

With parents planning which summer camp they’ll send their kids to this season, have you ever wished you could take your very own summer camp? I definitely have been dreaming about going away on a creative adventure – where I could maybe teach one day and be the student on other days. And speaking of camps, I must comment that I’ve seen CAMP-related photos pinned on Pinterest numerous times lately which sparked my curiosity… because CAMP all in caps seemed to be more than just a random summer camp, but a business, so I began to wonder, “What is this CAMP thing?”.

CAMP

There are many new businesses popping up left and right so I never know which ones will stick around (or not). But CAMP seems really different because it’s got the right people behind it, it’s unique, it’s beautiful and it feels like a business that has real staying power. And while everyone and their sister is teaching a workshop these days (Am I right?!? Huge blogger trend!), when teachers who have experience in their trade, know how to actually teach (key) without boring their class to death, and who fill their students with knowledge, hope and joy – well, there is never too much of that to go around.

What is CAMP exactly? CAMP stands for Creating Art, Meaning, Purpose (love that) and is a fresh, new company based primarily in Atlanta, Georgia launched in 2012 by stylist Ginny Branch along with her creative companions Amy Osaba, Erica Loesing, Maria Taylor, and Max LeBlanc. CAMP seeks to help students to develop their creative intuition and to cultivate their individual aesthetics. They teach everything from tabletop photography to styling, floral arranging for entertaining, upholstery how-to, bridal makeup, business basics and more. They develop new classes, retreats and workshops regularly, so it’s best to check out their website often to see what they’re up to – you can see classes that will run from now until August here.

CAMP

I think that it is a fantastic business idea to collaborate like this and do classes locally and I love the idea that they’re all working together towards something special and meaningful to them and their students. I enjoyed a post over on 100 Layer Cake recently about a summer event CAMP held, what a stunning post that was, so make sure to check it out here.

CAMP

CAMP

CAMP

CAMP

CAMP

CAMP

CAMP

Congratulations Ginny, Amy, Erica, Maria and Max. Gorgeous concept and lovely classes. I wish you nothing but the best.

Has anyone taken a CAMP class before? Or another in-person workshop? What did you think overall?

(images: CAMP)






Inspiration

Heart Home Summer 2013

June 13, 2013

Heart Home magazine just released their summer edition a few minutes ago so it’s fresh off the press and looking lovely. Heart Home is an online shelter magazine run by two lovely ladies who live in England and Italy and bring such a sweet mix of styles and features each quarter. In their summer issue, their are many articles that highlight decorating as well as hot travel spots in Europe and lots of fun things to shop for in their market picks. Here is a fresh glimpse into their summer issue…

Heart Home Summer 2013

A pretty peek into some magic Jeanette Lunde made with flowers appears in this issue too.

Heart Home Summer 2013

Look at this living room, it’s very simple and pretty. It’s where blogger Travelling Mama from Flying House lives at the moment in Copenhagen. Her home story is in this issue, too.

Heart Home Summer 2013

A glimpse into the home of blogger Emily Henson in London.

Heart Home Summer 2013

Emily made what you see above her bed using wire and wire cutters. Pretty decorative touch, don’t you think? “All that now exists was once imagined”. What a nice thought, and perfect for the bedroom since it is there where you can dream the biggest! In case you’re wondering, it’s a quote taken from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s book, “Wishes Fulfilled”.

Heart Home Summer 2013

Cute styling tip – flowers in a paper bag which is both simple and easy. My tip would be to place them in a vase and then place the vase inside of the bag so don’t skip that step!

Heart Home Summer 2013

Washi tape above a bed in a kid’s room. What a nice idea, right?

Heart Home Summer 2013

In the master bedroom, a simple iron clothes rack becomes a decorative element when filled with beautiful clothes that just-so-happen to complement the interior. The homeowner seems to be discovering her personal style through her ever-evolving home that she loves to decorate and redecorate often. It’s true, the more you practice at decorating, the better you will become until it’s just purely instinctive.

Heart Home Summer 2013

A quick spruce-up can be to simply paint a piece of furniture in a room in a very bold color. Imagine if this cabinet were simply white? It wouldn’t have the same presence. This color is fabulous.

Heart Home Summer 2013

Adding a fresh bouquet to your home can not only bring in a touch of color, but also a beautiful fragrance that can scent your home naturally…

Click here to check out Heart Home magazine and tell me what your favorite feature was from this issue – I’d love to know!

(images: heart home contributors)






Inspiration

Locations For Hire

June 10, 2013

Welcome to another new week on decor8! I have so much to share with you, including a video and a new recipe that will appear tomorrow, but first I want to talk about locations. Locations? Why yes. Locations are a big thing in the UK yet still not that popular in Germany though I hope that will change because I believe locations-to-hire is great business that could do exceptionally well in Germany given the number of magazines and stylists here looking for fresh spaces to shot in for their stories and books.

Locations For Hire

I personally love surfing location websites – there seems to be a high concentration of them in England and the spaces give me lots of interior inspiration. However, being in the world of interiors, I don’t just peruse them for fun – I also look at them for potential locations that I could potentially hire for a job. I recent shot and styled a job for Canon Europe and wanted to hire a location in Germany to do it, but unable to find any here I decided to just use my home. It worked out beautifully, but often I want to shoot and style spaces other than my personal home. For my next book, we are shooting and styling stuff here in my home which is fine but now I’m thinking I may want to grab a few homes to shoot in to add diversity to the book. Staying fresh is really needed these days. You have to show your audience something new, always. It’s a fun challenge, but a challenge still! You cannot rehash stuff people have seen before and try to pass that off as your best work, can you? My challenge has been to do new things to my home so that when you see it again in my next book, it will look fresh to you and be interesting to look at. It’s also fun to compare spaces as they were to how they are today.

Locations For Hire

Currently, I’m scouting in Germany, Denmark and England. Possibly Belgium and the Netherlands, too. Ideally, England because it’s super easy for me to get up there and I have plenty of friends to see and enjoy there while shooting. Problem is, I have nearly no money left in our tiny budget, money is always the problem when you are doing a book. Most people don’t think about that when they are looking at magazines and books – the sheer productions costs – but it can be enormous just to put together a single story in a magazine, even if you are leasing the props! I just need one or two beautiful homes to work in for a day to set up a few things. So my search begins… Here are some homes I found and loved over at Light Locations.

Locations For Hire

Locations For Hire

Locations For Hire

Locations For Hire

Locations For Hire

Locations For Hire

Locations For Hire

Locations For Hire

Locations For Hire

Locations For Hire

When I look at these properties from Light Locations, I imagine how I’d style each room. Where I’d place that chair, this vase, that table. Where I would add things to the walls, or take away… What I would put on the mantle, what I would place on the countertops, what I would remove. It’s fun to consider the options and play a little. I would love to work in any of these homes for a day… Wouldn’t you? Stunners!

(images: light locations)






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