Thursday, February 25, 2010

Floral Inspiration

When we first moved to Key West, I had had a much more conservative style - which isn't surprising after working in Washington, DC for so many years. Personal style is very influenced by your daily surroundings.

So it comes as no surprise that my own personal style and vision for my business has evolved a bit since our move. The foundation is the same - but with so much life and color surrounding me every day, the details have changed. They're brighter, busier...and far more open to whimsy.

Monday's post was about textiles - something that figures prominently in a home furnishings business. And when I look around the shop I can see the influence of the flowers that bloom outside my window. For example:

Do you find inspiration in your own backyard?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More Pictures of Our Work at Pendleton Estate

We recently shared some pictures of a home we "styled" for an open house. Most of what we did was dress up the beds and add lamps and accessories, but it really did make a huge difference (proof that little changes can go a long way).

Our pictures were taken during the evening event, so they were a bit dark. But I just got copies of some professional pictures that were taken earlier in the day and thought I'd post them.

This really was such a fun project. It was challenging to try to keep the integrity of the owner's personal style which tended toward dark and neutral, but add a little life to the rooms with color. I think we achieved this with the colors we selected - lovely, but not too sweet.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Have You Ever Had A Butterfly Tickle Your Nose?

As some of you may know, The Butterfly Conservatory is my grandson Oliver’s favorite place in Key West…

It truly is a magical place (especially when you add the butterflies and new age music)…

Jo was especially charmed by how they took a shine to me.

Her enthusiasm only grew as the butterfly became even more friendly.

You can’t imagine just how much fun this is unless you experience it first hand.

Of course…

…having a strange proboscis up your nose is truly a ticklish situation.

(with a big thank you to my pal and photographer Woody Hinkle)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kate's Key West Style: Textile Obsessions

One of the first things customers notice about Style Key West is the color. This happens rather organically since the shop displays are designed with that purpose in mind. But it's really achieved through far more involved planning than the effortless appearance would let on. One of the more subtle elements involved is the thought put into the selection of fabrics and upholsteries. This is where many people get a little lost and it's one of the primary reasons that they end up hiring decorators.

While I was growing up, my mother always seemed to be working on home design projects, whether professionally for clients or just for our own house. So there was a constant clutter of swatches and samples either spread out on tables or tucked away in shelves.

I would sometimes play with them and often pilfered scraps for my own little craft projects. For example, my short lived career as a designer of discarded jewelry boxes covered in wallpaper remnants. This ended when I had finished covering the three little boxes we had in our apartment - a shame since they were pretty impressive with ribbon detail and panel inlays. But I should have been doing my spelling homework anyway, so it was probably all for the best. Epilogue: I still have one of them and I'm telling you - it's GOOD!

With that level of immersion, it comes as no surprise that I LOOOOOVE textiles. My favorite task in my many stints as teenage shop assistant at The Kellogg Collection (where my mother was a designer) was organizing the fabric shelves. It was then that I developed a bit of a Chinoiserie fetish.

But in spite of my own appreciation for such things, I assumed that such interests were really for older women who sipped tea from fine china while discussing plans for their new country houses. Fine fabrics seemed very...well, decadent I guess. And not for the masses.

And maybe it was - before DIY stopped meaning "poor" and started meaning "talented." Which you can now see as textile designers are targeting people online, not just people with design center passes. Anyone can hop on their computer and order beautiful fabric.

AND - as that demand has developed, a new form of marketing has created entirely new perspectives on branding. One which immediately springs to mind is that of "household name" designers. In the case of this topic - fabric designers whose names carry caché.

Did you recognize any of the fabrics above? Probably - since they are all popular Amy Butler prints. It's next to impossible to visit a home design blog that doesn't reference Amy Butler at some point. And many use her fabrics in their own desgin projects and products. Even Etsy shops will make sure to label their products as being made with Amy Butler fabric.

And the good people at Amy Butler Design know their worth. Just visit the website and see the virtual shop front filled with bags, rugs, bedding, paper... It's kind of unstoppable.

And there are other powerhouse design studios working toward the same thing. For example, Joel Dewberry has a beautiful, user friendly website to go with his well recognized fabric designs.

Right now, you can only purchase Joel Dewberry fabrics through other sources, but you can find a whole list of those websites and shops on the Where to Buy page. Not to worry though - an online shop is "coming soon."

I could go on and on about all of the great indie lines sprouting up all over Etsy (also visit Spoonflower, Repro Depot and for more).

But this is getting epic, so I'll just leave you with some images of Pine Cone Hill, another great home textile company that Style Key West carries:

Do you have a textile obsession? What are your favorites?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Our Fallen Angel

Yes, she may look like she’s on the up-‘n-up. But on closer inspection…

…you’ll notice she received severe head trauma (I’ve gotta cut down on my CSI watching). Obviously, she didn’t enjoy her “shipping” experience. Well, we certainly couldn’t sell her… and the vendor, after taking a look at her fallen status, told us to toss her. Being particularly fond of angels (hey… notice the Fantasy Fest beads I gave her), I was determined to find her a good home in the loggia area of our back yard.

Of course, I knew this idea was doomed to failure if I couldn’t find a solution to this heady problem. That’s when I literally headed down the garden path.

Aah… look what I found…

A defunct outdoor light from the 1980s.

So I lifted the top off the defunct light base…


…placed it on the angel’s head...

I love it when a great plan comes together.

Editor's note: I think it really pulls the outfit together. My Dad is so weird...
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