knack stories :: Evadne and the Bradleys

evadne4 evadne2 evadne3 evadne1“So here is the story of our desk. There were many changes going on in our lives. We had just had our third son, we had moved to a beautiful new home and we had decided that I would “retire” from the restaurant world and become a stay at home mom and manager of my husbands business. With the new home came some much needed space and the need for furniture to fill that space. With managing the business came the need for a designated work space. Being the ever-practical women that I am I saw this as an opportunity to “kill 2 birds with 1 stone” as they say. So the search began for a nice piece that would be not only be beautiful but also functional. It was not an easy search. All we found to begin with was flimsy particle board or ugly, over sized industrial desks. We finally found it in our wonderful “Evadne”! I now have a space that is dedicated to work, and a piece that makes my work space beautiful and functional! I love the details, the size and subtle femininity of the desk. I also love the functional drawers and organizing space. “Evadne” has been a wonderful addition to our home and lives.” -Rachel B

p.s. If you all would love to see the beautiful work of Joseph Bradley click here…..and don’t blame me when you want to buy every painting! I love to see a successful artist doing what he loves…and a wife who partners right along with him! So cool!

** Send us YOUR Knack stories! Show us how you are living with what you love! **

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!

The “D” family :: Knack Stories

demoss7 demoss6 demoss5 “We were first introduced to Barb Blair with Knack Studios when we wanted to reuse several pieces of furniture while renovating our home.  It was an unbelievable experience.  Not only did she transform each piece of furniture into something new, but she gave each piece its own personality. So, when we decided to build a new house in Greenville, we knew that she should be a part of this one too.  We had several pieces of furniture that we loved the form and function, but not the look.  Once again, Barb to the rescue!   Almost every room has a piece that Barb painted, but the neat thing is that you would never know that because each piece is unique.  I keep telling Barb, “This is it, the last piece” but we both know that’s not true.  We can never have too much Knack in our home.” – Renee

These lovely people have become dear friends of mine, and are the most loving , giving people you will ever meet. Between their city home and mountain home, they now have 11 Knack pieces! I could not be happier about this lifelong friendship that has developed and the beautiful environments that my furniture gets to call home.

The entire interior of this home is beautiful indeed, and was designed by Marian McCreight of Marian McCreight Interiors.

Send us your Knack stories! barb@knackstudios.com or angie@knackstudios.com. We want to see how you are living with what you love!

The Hatfields :: Knack Stories

hatfiled4 hatfield1 hatfield2 hatfield3 hatfield5We are so excited to share the very first Knack stories post with all of you! We can’t think of a better way to start, than with the Hatfield home! “Miss Jewel” is a very special piece that belonged to Angie’s grandmother and she always kept her pistol and panties in the top drawer! We have had many a laugh together about all of this and the Hatfield family has several pieces total in thier home. {as well as a couple mirrors and accessories.} Here is how the Hatfield family feels about living with Knack:

” Fortunately, and unfortunately in some ways, my little family has had the opportunity to move multiple times over the past 10 years.  We were blessed to  land in wonderful cities we briefly called “home”. Being a nomad has its perks, such as meeting awesome people like Barb at Knack.  My love affair with Knack started about 7 years ago.  I was at a design crossroads, a place I have returned several times over the course of the years.  My home is my little sanctuary, and I agonize, and contemplate each little piece, and how it will fit into my design environment.  Over the years my style has twisted and turned, but each Knack piece has always made its way into my design plan. Knack pieces are like the “awesome accessories” you add to the overall outfit.  Each item is a little work of art, making a statement…. look at me, linger over my cute knobs, open my drawer for a fun paper surprise.  I have had Barb “Knack” new items, and old.   My favorite piece is probably my grandmother’s antique dresser Barb transformed.  It went from a nice, normal, family item, to a spectacular beauty with attitude, and a story.  Jewel has style, and moxie! She always gets compliments wherever she strikes a pose:  the guest bedroom, in the front entryway, or smack in the middle of the hub of the family chaos, where she currently resides. For me my Knack pieces evoke emotion.  They take me back to a wonderful time in my life in Greenville, South Carolina, to the perfect punch of color needed in the blizzard like conditions I sometimes endured in Chicago, Illinois, to the perfect sunny spot in Atlanta, Georgia.  They make my house, my home no matter where we are.  To have a Knack piece is to have a little piece of happy surrounding you all the time. “

…and there you have it! Live with what you love and surround yourself with happy! Thank you so much Angie for your support, and for all of the love! We love you, and are thrilled that you choose Knack!

** Please send us your Knack stories! email angie@knackstudios.com

 

living with :: Constantia

Knack Collage

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Our driftwood desk, Constantia, is a thing of beauty with her deep dark wood peeking through layers of milk paint and her burnished brassy octopus handles.  She’d feel right at home among these found and fashioned treasures. From a vintage faux bois desk organizer to catch all our desk essentials, to signage that reminds us that we’re able, this is a space we’d be happy to work in.

How would you style Constantia in your home?

Monday Memories

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I have been hard at work in the studio prepping and painting pieces of furniture for book 2, completing photo shoots, organizing and nailing down locations for the styled shoots, gathering props, and designing. It has been extremely busy, but so exciting! The furniture designs that I have dreamed up for this book are really special to me and it is so rewarding to see them come to life.

Tomorrow is a really exciting day, and marks a whole new chapter for Knack! Angie Thompson, who has been working with me part time {on weekends and special events} for the past year and a half, will start her full time job as Knack’s store manager and creative assistant! I cannot even tell you how excited we both are to start this next chapter for Knack and we very much look forward to the weeks, months and years ahead! This is one of those moments I have dreamed about for a very long time….and during this exciting transition time…..my mind can’t help but wander.

These furniture memories featured here today are all from 2011/2012……and it is always so cool for me to look back…..while looking forward. I hope you enjoy these memories….maybe some of you remember these when they were brand new….maybe these are completely new to some of my new friends and readers……..but I hope that these photos inspire you and put a smile on your face today.

I know my smile can’t be erased off my face at the moment……

xo,

Barb

 

Cream and Navy Stripes + Brass bunny = “Franchon”

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When one of my pickers brought this little piece to the shop to see if I was interested in purchasing her, I instantly fell in love with her size, shape and detail.

The character of Franchon is just so sweet and perfect. The round and soft curves, the little stacked feet, the drawer, the shelves, the side slots. Franchon packs quite a bit of storage and design in her small frame…..and I decided to celebrate that with four inch cream and navy stripes.

The brass bunny head knob has been calling my name for months now, and I knew that it would be the final detail needed to complete this design. Of course, the gorgeous flowers created by Julie Dodds of Willow Florals make this situation fresh and beautiful. When Julie walked in the door with this arangement, my stomach literally flip flopped…..and my soul groaned….literally…I am not just saying that. Fresh flowers….especially ones as diverse and colorful as this…..really make me joyful. You will be seeing lots more of Julie’s work, as she is the floral stylist for Knack book number two! Yay!

I hope all of you are well……and enjoying Spring break, or whatever it is that this week holds for you!

{p.s. Franchon is available for sale at the shop…..but if she doesn’t get snatched up this week….she will find a home with me. This one is tugging at my heart}

xo,

Barb

Spring colors and triangles for a coffee table named “Elusine”

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It is definitely Spring, and I cannot even tell you how her colors have inspired this piece of furniture. The blooming trees, the green green grass, and the many flowers opening their faces to the sun have me very inspired.

Remember when I lamented a bit about the Pantone color of the year being radiant orchid? I am not a huge fan of purple in any shade…but I was determined to find a way to use it my work…and at the same time stay true to the Knack aesthetic. In this coffee table design, I use radiant orchid not once…but TWICE! Once in its original state, and then I added a little somethin’ somethin’ {white paint} to create a little lighter shade. I absolutely love the color palette of pink, orange, lavender, gold, and orchid, and this palette was completely inspired by a bouquet of Ranunculus flowers I purchased a couple weeks back.

I think it is fun, yet again, to combine the hard edges and points of the geometric triangles with the feminine and curvy lines of this sweet table. The perfect pairing if you will.

I used FrogTape® to create the custom triangle designs on top of the table, and there is a full step by step “how to” up on the FrogTape blog here! If you decide that miss Elusine needs to come live with you, she IS available for purchase at Knack! {and if you freakin’ love the dish towel hanging on the wall, {me! me!} you can get that at Knack too!} We are all about some goodness for the home around here!

Hope you enjoy!

xo,

Barb

logosmallI received compensation to complete this project for using FrogTape® products. All opinions, projects and ideas are based on my own experience.

A fantastic desk named “Constantia”

driftwooddeskconstantia1 constantia2 constantia3 constantia4 constantia6This my friends….is the girl I have been telling you about. I knew she had it in her, but it took me a few tries to get her ……perfect.

After tearing through layers of warped veneer, {to reveal gorgeous planked wood}, two coats of primer, four coats of milk paint, three coats of poly, and two coats of Danish oil on the top…….she is ready to rock and roll!

I think back on the hours and hours that this piece took to complete…..and they seem to just fade away, as the lens tells a whole new story of transformation and redemption.

I love my job, and this truly brings me joy! Speaking of joy….Matt Ayers and Sam Windell of Traveling Storytellers shot a makers video on me last week. If you would like to check it out, click here! These guys creatively directed this film, and I love that they honed in on the important things: Family, passion, joy and hard work!

xo,

Barb

Sweet As Honey

49myEi3-PJZw2zMe0mF8_PqG43tJJtKkRzuzxr6lM-4When Bonnie Christine.. of the lovely blog Going Home to Roost … contacted me about participating in a blog tour promoting her new Sweet as Honey fabric line, I took one look at the fabric and said…YES !

I had two chairs that were just beggin’ for fresh paint and new fabric seats, and so this was the perfect opportunity for a new beginning….and a makeover!

Here is what the chairs looked like before: {not horrible, but not hallelujah invoking either}

SAHblogtour7Here is how many layers of fabric were on one of the seats: { three, and lots of straw and moss stuffing}

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I created custom {and very special} milk paint colors specifically for this project. I love how the tones blend with the fabric!

SAHblogtour1 SAHblogtour5 SAHblogtour4 SAHblogtour3SAHblogtour2Now, Isn’t that somethin’?! It’s amazing what a little paint and fabric can do!

If you would like to follow along on the tour, and see all 25 projects, click here. Yesterday, Heidi from Hands Occupied created sweet little needle pouches, and tomorrow Caitlin will have a brand new project up on her blog, Salty Oat.

Enjoy!

xo,

Barb