I totally get this :: Jimmie Martin

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When it comes to furniture design, I am super picky about looking to others work and drawing attention to their designs. I want to call attention to, and put my stamp of approval on originality and uniqueness…someone who is pushing the envelope of design and doing something that is truly their own.

I have admired Jimmie Martin’s furniture for quite some time and am all about it…..all over it…..totally diggin’ it.

Hallelujah for this kind of work and creative independence.

 

Knack Stories :: Artemis

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” Barb says “live with what you love”, and I happen to think that she is pretty spot-on about that. I am very particular, to a fault, and carefully choose each piece that goes into my home, whether it’s a kitchen utensil or a piece of furniture. This piece was originally chosen because I loved its lines, and the rich color of the wood. About 6 years ago, we built a new home, and through that process, my style evolved a bit.; some old pieces had to go, and some new pieces were brought in. This chest made the cut, but it wasn’t quite the perfect fit anymore. So of course I turned to my friend, who I knew was a master at giving new life to old loves. Being an artist myself, I arrived at this project with some of my own ideas, but Barb knows furniture like no one I know, and I let her lead me through the process of this makeover. Seamlessly, both of our ideas married themselves together, and I couldn’t be more happy with the end result.
I felt like this chest, with its clean lines and flat drawer fronts, was perfectly suited for her color blocking technique, and I chose a favorite throw pillow from which to build the palette. I was also dead set on changing out the drawer pulls, and had already decided which ones to use. That’s usually a big part of Barb’s furniture makeovers, but this piece spoke differently to her, and I’m so happy with her suggestion to leave the originals. She also suggested we leave one of the drawer fronts in its original, warm wood finish that I was so drawn to when I purchased the chest. It’s unexpected and so perfect. The last part of the makeover was the casters. We both love casters on furniture, and knew replacing the original curvy feet would put the finishing touch on giving this piece a personality more aligned with my aesthetic.
I’m so proud of this piece of furniture, now a work of art. It sits in one of my favorite spots in the house, where I can see it all the time. Mostly, I’m proud that it was transformed by my friend, because I know that its makeover was more than a job to her; she puts her heart in every single brush stroke. “Artemis” is my fist Knack masterpiece, but I know for sure it’s not the last.” – Jennifer B
This was such a fun project to work on with Jennifer, and we absolutely love the way Artemis looks in her gorgeous home! You all may {or may not} remember Artemis from the book? This is how he looks there:
artemis4….so you can see , that even though Knack pieces have much personality and color, they are still so versatile and easily incorporated into multiple types of home environments. This thought process is really going to get lots of attention in Knack book 2! We are so excited to show you more of the “how” to live with what you love, and how to incorporate color and personality into every room in your home!

Found goodness- dip dyed wooden ladders

I am so excited about these ladders! These gorgeous dip dyed beauties are just the beginning of what is to come in the new Knack showroom! I think these are a perfect accessory……and play nicely with the white walls and Knack furniture. {wink!}

These ladders not only look, feel, and smell amazing…..but they are perfectly crafted and handmade in the USA! {325.00 ea.}

I could not love these any more than I already do….

xo,

Barb

FYI

There is so much that I want to say, yet at the same time it is very hard to put into words all that has transpired over the past few weeks. I will try to start from the beginning and see what happens.

I think it is safe to say that for the past year I have been thinking about the next step for Knack. Where and how I want to grow my company. How big do I want to get? What really truly brings me joy? What is best for my family? At the same time, preparing for the launch of my first book and along with that, the title of “Published Author”.¬† So many very exciting things going on and coming up in the very near future for Knack…..things I only once dreamed of happening when I started painting furniture in my garage just a few short years ago now.

I would lay out plans in my head and on paper and made lists of pros and cons……and was very specific about what I wanted in the next step. I have a very close core group of people that I share my dreams and ideas with and I let those people in on what my little secrets were and just kept plodding along. I really, really spent a lot of time honing in on what I truly wanted based on what I enjoy and started moving in that direction. I used to think that I wanted certain things and achievements that I no longer desire….and I am so thankful for the clarity I have been given and for the path that lies ahead. For me it is more about truly loving what you do and not about anything else. I believe when you truly love what you do, you are “successful” on all levels no matter how big or small.

When I planned for Knack’s next step, I wanted a place where I could have a studio/working space in the back and a showroom/store in the front. A place where I could begin to develop my style even more, by carrying unique items for the home that come alongside and compliment my furniture designs. I wanted a place where there would be gorgeous natural light so that I could focus on my photography and styling shoots. I wanted a building with architectural character. I wanted a place that I could hold beautiful events in. I wanted a place that had a loading dock. I know this sounds crazy, but I wanted a bathroom with a shower so that on the days that I have events and don’t have time to run home and shower and change …..no problem! Did I mention that lighting was huge to me? I wanted great light in both the shop and the work space.

I think you will see in these pictures , that I got everything on my wishlist, to a tee…..and more! I got that bathroom with a shower..not only did I get great lighting but I also got a skylight on top of great lighting in the workspace….and as an extra bonus the building comes with a parking lot on one side and a little brick and stone garden on the other side. It is literally the stuff dreams are made of. There is not one thing about this building that is a negative…..it is a Godsend…..it is the only way to describe what has transpired with this space……and how fast it happened.

I am ready to dig in and make the space my own……freshen up the plants and beds on the outside, sweep, dust, and sparkle on the inside….and fill it to the brim with beautiful furniture and found goodness.

I decided to jump…yet again……Thank you for joining me on this journey.

xo,

Barb

 

 

Introductions

Well, there certainly has been an evolution process in the design of this chair! I loved it when my client brought it to the studio looking like this:

and I used it in several shoots until it was time to tear off the upholstery and freshen up the paint job…..and then it looked like this:

tearing off the fabric and foam proved to be more monumental than I had previously thought…..but it was done, and I moved onto the painting part. {woot!} I painted the frame in a medium gray and used a small brush to add some bronze details to the trim. Then, It was time for little miss to head off to the upholstery shop, and she came back to me looking like this:

For goodness sakes she is even more of a beauty now! I want to say thank you to my client “A” for trusting me with her treasure…and for bringing this beautiful chair back to the studio so I could photograph the end result!

Meet Aletta……and believe me…she is charmed to meet you as well.

xo,

Barb

Found Goodness

While the hubs and I were away this past weekend, we wandered into a little town up in the mountains of NC called Brevard. There are a few little shops I love to browse in, our favorite place to eat, painted alleys, a great chocolate shop, and charm just oozes from the streets as you walk on them.

As I was browsing in one of my favorite consignment shops…..I spotted this beautiful picnic enamelware set from France. I picked up the box, which just happened to be painted in one of my very favorite shades of green, and started looking for a price. My eyes spied a little brown tag, and I could not believe what my eyes were telling me…….20.00 for the entire set of stainless steel, made in France, white and gold picnic ware! I looked at my husband with the ” I think I want to buy these and use them every day at the house” eyes and we were on our way to the register to make the purchase.

When we got to the register to check out, I double checked about the price just to be sure I was not seeing things…..and I do believe the sweet lady at the register wished she had spotted them first! I am just so happy with this purchase and can’t wait to put them to use!

What are you all finding lately?

 

xo,

Barb

Introductions

I think every time one of these giant pieces enters my studio I can almost hear the angels singing. I swear it. In my painting career I have had the privilege of transforming several of these gentle giants, but this one is extra special for a couple of reasons:

1. It belongs to one of the sweetest couples I know and I am truly honored to be trusted with their treasure.

2. It was such a mess with all of it’s white paint splatters and chipping veneer, so the prep work was intense, but that made the end result all the more rewarding.

I know there are those who look on these types of pieces as useless, victorian era, gaudy, yucky…….but seriously, in my opinion you can’t find a better statement piece that not only commands the room it resides in but also offers multiple storage and usage options. Painting these types of pieces brings them into the modern era and gives them a fresh and new aesthetic that surprisingly crosses multiple decorating styles. The detail on these pieces can’t be beat, and truly shines with a coat of paint. I also love painting the insides a bright and eye catching color so that it is always a pleasure to open the door. {wink}

Meet Berchelea.

xo,

Barb

 

FYI

I had several comments and emails about my design process after yesterdays introduction post, so I thought I would actually show you the drawings that go on behind the scenes. Sometimes I am just sketching designs that are in my head that are not necessarily connected to a specific piece, and sometimes I am actually drawing a specific design plan for a specific piece…….and then there are times where I don’t draw it out at all and just create it based on what is in my brain. I think there is a need for all of the above…..I don’t have to draw anything if I don’t want to because my brain is wired to see it without drawing it out, and spontaneity can be fabulous…..but I think creating visual aids, reminders, and guidelines is a great way to make sure that the proper time and care are given to each design.

Some of the designs pictured here have already been executed, and have found homes…..some have yet to be completed…some are half hidden because they may or may not be in the book….hee hee!…and some may get done in the next few weeks, especially the green one with the deep “V” pattern on it…….I drew that design plan last year….and I am going to make it happen……but it may not be on a chest of drawers. We shall¬† see!

It is super important to me, to truly create original and creative art with my furniture pieces…..so I choose to look at life and the everyday for my inspiration. It’s where its at.

xo,

Barb Blair

 

Introductions

As I was telling you on Friday….I am so thrilled to be working on several really fun custom jobs for sweet clients over the next several weeks, and this chest of drawers is the first off the “assembly line”! This chest of drawers is as solid as they come and a real beauty with its bowed front drawers and carved detail. I love painting pieces like this!

The Storm family is expecting their first little one, and his name is Sam. I wish I could show you the fantastic nursery that little Sam will grow up in…it is so clean, modern and very well done. I am stoked that a little piece of Knack will get to be a part of such a happy place!

Congrats to the Storms! I can’t wait to meet Sam!

 

xo,

Barb