Sometimes its just gotta go. Over the years I have collected so much stuff in my warehouse. Be it old floor models, mis-ships or slight dings & chips, I've got it. And for a bargain it can now be yours.
The place where I design is the most important part of our studio. So it’s gotta allow for a conducive work environment & great design space. These days, when someone enters the studio, I want them to see right away that we are a hybrid of a design firm & a children's furniture showroom. I want the design area to make a STATEMENT!
They say keep your friends close, but keep your friends with houses in the Hamptons closer. I wish I could say that is the basis for my flourishing friendship with Caren Karpik of Bebe Chic Bedding. Honestly, it really developed naturally from hours spent on the phone reviewing orders and collaborating on designs. And now she is one of my closest friends & deepest confidant. #phonebuddies
Yet, I would have never thought an invitation for me & my hubby with our cute little baby girl would turn into a Mother in law, Sister in law & 2 more babies. But Caren & Henry welcomed us all with open arms. Their son Adam, claims, "It's tradition now." For the last 5 years, my family packs up the SUV with Thule on top & drives up to Quogue, NY to the "Hamptons." My eldest, Ever, will say "Summers are spent at Adam's house." It's become something we look forward to every year. It's so great to see the kids grow up together.
If you didn't know, I am a little Nerdy. And my current obsession is learning about American Architectural Styles. So while swimming & beaching in the Hamptons, I was drooling over & studying all the beautiful Quogue homes. I just want to share a small sampling of a few houses I loved! Or could get out & take non-stalking pictures of:)
Dutch Colonial & Shingle Style Homes
The Shingle style is an American architectural style made popular in Newport, Rhode Island and the village of East Hampton on the southeastern tip of Long Island. Shingle-style houses often are colonial with use of shingles with single, large roofs, such as a gambrel or hip roof..
Beach Front Living
Caren, Here's to Next Summer!!!
This year I have been laser focused on developing and sharing with you my passion for design. Behind the scenes, I've also been hard at work improving my website to create a seamless shopping experience for my clients. I love it when clients come into the studio and we get a chance to show them all that what we have to offer. However, in our digital age, I wanted to give our clients the flexibility to leave our studio, visit our website, and continue their design process at home, including finalizing their purchase. To that end, I want to introduce you to our new integrated shopping experience!
Shop Directly Online
Shop how you want.....When you want!
Our website now includes most of the products that we offer in our studio, including custom selections. A client recently shared her shopping experience, "I came into the studio to try out the Babyletto Kiwi Glider. Then, once we made up our minds, we went to your website and put it in our cart. Easy!"
This is the seamless shopping we now offer our clients -- and, we will even email you the items you looked at in our studio so that you can complete your purchase at your convenience.
Here's a sample email:
Shop our Reveals & Instagram Feed
Follow your inspiration -- if you love it, we make it easy to bring your vision to life. Our blog and Instagram seamlessly link to our website, making it simple to create spaces that work for your family. Click on the shop button, or the link in my Profile, to purchase.
Sometimes you are given a project where you can let your talent & passion flow. Where you can envision the project & give it every bell and whistle. It's always exciting when a new baby is expected. It is even more exciting when you're expecting 2!
OK, I know in this online world, who doesn't like to have boxes delivered right to them next day or even same day. So many people want to support small local businesses. I do realize it may be a little out of your way or cost $2 more but there are so many independent business owners out there working hard to provide customers with an amazing shopping experience. So if you want to get out & shop in person, here is a list of the best independent baby stores in the tri-state area:
I love it when we get new floor models in the studio. It's like Christmas every time! It just brings me so much joy, especially when I see that the new collections from Franklin & Ben and Million Dollar Baby are super cute. I think they have done a really nice job at such a great price. The styles & looks are exactly what's HOT & on trend right now. Brass pulls, upholstered headboards & wood grain textures are all on point.
We welcome the newest collections from:
Million Dollar Baby & Franklin & Ben
Shop The Beckett Collection
Shop The Darlington Collection
Shop The Langford Collection
So I'm a California Girl. Although I've been in DC for 15 years now, there are still so many local places I haven't been to & so much I haven’t seen. Thus, when my girlfriend came to town, we escaped to B-more for a quick 24 hours
I am so thrilled to be out doing more installations in client’s homes of their furniture, bedding & window treatments. It is so pretty to see it all come together. However, I am also realizing I want to leave them with beautiful art on their walls.
I was finishing up a consult with a new client the other day & as she was getting ready to leave she turned around & said that she was amazed at the large variety of vendors that we carried. She also never realized that there was someone who could help her navigate through this overwhelming baby process.
How much does all this actually cost? I get asked this question every day. And honestly the 1st question in design should be what is your budget? Well you can't build a budget if you don't know how much nursery furniture costs.
I can't believe it is the 4th year that Big City Moms will be hosting the "BIGGEST BABY SHOWER" here is DC. I will look for any reason to get down to Georgetown. If you just had a baby or getting ready to have one, this is the hottest ticket in town.
So earlier this year I made that final move with Everly & Monet and decided to implement my design services with the fee attached. I'll be honest in that it was pretty freaking scary. Of course I’ve have been doing design all these years, but charging was taking it to the next level. And I’ve always had a lot of fear around that. Would peopIe actually want to hire me for those services.
When I sit down with parents to design a big kids room, I often ask them if they've thought about a desk. They often look at me like I'm crazy --this is a 2 year old we are talking about. But "if kindergarten is the new 1st grade" your little one may be doing homework before you know it. If you gotta buy a desk, it better be cute.
Today I want to talk about life year 1 with a baby. I am so excited to feature one my clients, Rachel Pomerance Berl, as our guest blogger. A longtime journalist, she has written for The Washington Post, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and U.S. News & World Report.
It all started when Ever arrived. I have been helping moms & moms-to-be since 2005, way before I became a mother. I already loved being a designer with little ones in mind, but I didn’t know what it actually took to bring a new life into the world.
So I turned 40 this week, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It's finally nice to have a huge milestone for myself and not just for my kids. I feel like I am also hitting a milestone in my career, as we focus more on design. So of course, I had to experience the mecca of Home Design--High Point, North Carolina. OMG!
How to prepare for the 2nd baby?When it comes to this baby world there are so many things that make you overwhelmed...... and then there were 2. As an expert in this baby space, I really try to keep things simple, functional and transitional.
So you got some windows..... So you know you need curtains....... But getting window treatments right is a crucial part of any design. Especially because they are NOT cheap. Lately, I've been spending a lot of time learning more about the in's & out's of window coverings. There truly are so many things you need to consider up front. Not to mention where you exactly hang them. That's a whole other ball of wax. Thus, figuring all this all out can be very daunting. So I sat down with the window treatment expert, my girl Laurie McParland of Picture Perfect Windows. We talked about everything you need to know to get it done properly.
#1. How Fancy do you want to go?
When clients sit down with me to talk about window treatments, I quickly try to figure out what route they need to go:
What Dana Can Do........
We make simple flat panels. Many of the manufactures I work with like Bebe Chic & Pine Creek make lovely curtains. They can come with either a rod pocket or with buckram to be used with ring hooks or clips. They will always have a relaxed casual look. These usually run around $250 & include fabric.
What Laurie Can Do.......
What can she not do? You name it Roman Shades, Cornices, Balloon Valances. She can do it all. Especially when you want specific styles panels, like Toptack, Pinch Pleat, Goblet or Inverted pleats. Her styles are more structured & consistent. They will always look perfect. These usually start around $300+ Fabric by the yard
#2. How will you use them?:
It's important to know what you need from your window treatment. Are they going to just be decorative or functional. Are you going to open & close them everyday. Or will they stay in place? How much light comes into the space? All curtains need to be lined! But do you really need a black-out lining? I say if sunlight is streaming in during nap-time, you need black out.
#3. Perfect Functioning
There are so many ways to hang a curtain. For 12 years I have been designing & selling drapes to clients. Most often we use a simple 3" rod pocket. Well, I have recently learned that is wrong!! Thanks Laurie. To clarify, rod pockets are great for stationary non-working drapes. But if you want to move smoothly back and forth on the rod, you need to put them on rings. Then you attach the curtains to the rings with hooks placed in the back of the panel. Or you can use ring clips that attach to the top of the panel. The clips are definitely more of a casual look. But they will both give you the functionality you are looking for.
#4. How to Hang?
When hanging curtains, there are few rules one must follow
- The curtain has to go all the way to the floor.
- You want the curtain to make the window appear taller & wider
- Hang the rod as high as you can
- Stretch the rod at least 5" to 10" beyond the frame
I think Erin Gates of the lifestyle blog Elements of Style said it best. I have cut & pasted from one of her best blog posts. I could not have said it better & she only used 4 WORDS:
#5. Lauries's Pet Peeves
After 20+ years making window treatment for Bethesda's best. What are the things that absolutely drives her crazy.
- Hanging curtains to the window sill (AS IF)
- Buying "Ready Made Curtains" at the standard length that are too short. There is no standard. Custom gives you length that is right for your windows.
- Not lining the curtains. Unless they are sheers. you shouldn't be able to see through them:)
- Narrow Panels that are too small for the windows. Every window needs two panels. Each panel should be the width of the window.