New cities are hard. Finding new friends is hard. & I always say that if I walk away from each stop with just one friend for life, I am a very lucky gal. My time in St. Louis, as hard as it was, came with a new collection of amazing women I get to add to my lifelong friend list. One of them (Thanks, Meg!!) recently introduced me to The Shine Theory, which states that “you shine when the ladies who surround you shine. It finds its foundation in mutual female support and promotes women lifting other women up, instead of tearing them down…When you are constantly with ladies who are passionate, driven, and killing it in general, it allows you to step up your game. Instead of worrying about other’s successes and making comparisons, I was working on myself and using the women who surround me as inspiration.” & as written elsewhere–“When you meet a woman who is intimidatingly witty, stylish, beautiful, and professionally accomplished, befriend her.”
YES. Just YES.
& that brings me to this space that you’ll see in a minute. One crisp Fall morning I invited my new friend Amanda to my house in STL. We chatted and connected deeply. We mozied through my house & she was drawn to my work, handiness & bright and personal style. By the time she left I swear she had almost drawn up a contract for me to sign, so I would decorate her home before I moved away. HA. Now, I have talked about my strong ability to say NO to most things, but I couldn’t ever find a way to say NO to her. & her project. It was one of those pivotal moments where every part of me was excited and screamed “Just do it! It sounds so fun and she specifically asked YOU and…and…and…” But then there was that little whisper, the “This is scary, you don’t know all there is to know about doing this, you don’t have a new business plan, you haven’t restructured your LLC yet, you have no time…” The list went on. But I also happened to be in the middle of reading Big Magic at the time. The dance between creativity and fear is a seriously real thing for creative people. Maybe you have felt it, too. For me it’s where my passion meets my work–and I get all weird about getting paid for what I love to do. Decorating is a tortuous process that I happen to really, really enjoy. The puzzles, the budget, the purposefully eclectic gathering of pretty and meaningful things that go together just right. It’s so fun. & this was a really, really fun project. A perfect way to kick off styleberry creative on the right foot!
So tasked with the goal of making her house a home, we hit the ground running. This room is only half of the project, as you’ll soon see. We were working in a two room space that was a big playroom/art room. The end goal was to carve out a true dining room space and create a new space for her children to make/move/create in the adjacent room. Words like “bright” and “fresh” and “green” were what she was asking for. How is this for a before & after?! (maybe it looks familiar!?! Kids stuff is soooooo hard to sort through…) :)
But I didn’t do this all myself. Concept & design? Yes. But these clients are DIYers & DIY they sure did! A big, huge part of who I am and how I roll comes with a giant side of a “Yes, I CAN do it MYSELF” spirit. Most of my good friends share this trait with me & I am continually inspired by those who get out there and make it happen. DIY & bargain hunting are in my bones and will be a huge part of any project that I do, personally and professionally. & to work with clients who were ready & eager to tackle projects & be coached on the “hows” and “whys” was a dream!
Part of why I love to share on this blog is to encourage you to go ahead and pick up a power tool, hammer into that wall, use that paint brush and just GO for it. I am always surprised to hear women hesitate to get dirty and make changes in their own houses. & with that always in the back of my mind, part of what I hope to do, is give you a nudge. You are stronger than you think. You are more creative than you can imagine. You just have to try, and fail, and try again. We ALL start somewhere! & we all fail a LOT! I have painted thousands of square footage and still drop paint on the floor now & then. But dang. My clients killed it. Look at that beautifully cut in trim!
If you look closely in the “before” shot, you can see a dark & dreary table pushed up against the window. One of my first suggestions was to Chalk Paint (here’s where I show you how to make your own) the table–as it would add instant brightness to the space. This table was a DIY project that she completed with some coaching from me. & I could not be more proud!! It looks FANTASTIC! & allowed us to stretch her budget even further on other fun things.
I just LOVE these bright & bold curtains that we used as the inspiration piece for the rest of the space.
Adding various collections of seasonal stems and trinkets to a tray in the center of a table can be a simple & easy way to make it feel festive! & that is what I have watched her do with each seasonal family dinner!
This affordable Ikea Rug grounds the space against a dark wood floor & the sparkly mirror shoots the sunlight throughout the entire room. It’s like night & day in here.
I cannot wait to show you the rest of the space. My heart always skips a beat when I get to make spaces for kids. I have a BIG heart for creating rooms where kids can be kids…so look for that coming soon!
But for now, especially as we enter the season of sharing dinner at our family table, maybe you can start to think about simplifying your space. It’s so easy to change out stems and add a placemat to make a simple space seem overwhelmingly seasonal. Simple is best! :)
& Amanda, I am so proud of all of your hard work & what you learned to do during this project. I am forever grateful for you. Not only for your friendship, but for all that is you–your energy, your enthusiasm, & the way you go out there & blaze a trail as an incredible #BossLady. I have learned so much from you & smile every time & see this fresh & pretty space. I miss our coffee dates at this table!! Xoxo.