book news || a few secrets revealed and the title

secretbook3 secretbook2 Well, as you all know….I have been working away on my second book for the last year. In one way it seems like the year has taken forever, and yet in another way it seems like a very fast and vivid dream.

To say that I am excited about this project would be the worst understatement of the year…..I am STOKED! I am thrilled that with every passing day, we are closer and closer to the release of ……..wait for it….. FURNITURE MAKES THE ROOM!! You see what I did there? So, we go from my first book which is called Furniture Makeovers, to my second book which will be called Furniture Makes the Room.

There will be many new and exciting aspects to Furniture Makes the Room….for instance….we shot in actual peoples homes….we styled furniture multiple ways in order to show the versatility of color, we amped up the technique and really created some out of this world designs, and I do a lot of heart to heart sharing about the concept of home and what that looks like to me.

I am super proud of this body of work and cannot wait to share it with you all! Thank you for your friendship and support throughout this entire journey. I am truly thankful for your words of encouragement.

Things are looking really really good and I am in the world of editing and copy editing at the moment. This is the hardest phase for me since writing takes much effort for my feeble little mind, but I am thankful to again be working with the super thorough and talented team at Chronicle Books!

It wont be too long now….and I promise to keep you posted along the way!

xo,

Barb

(gorgeous photos by Paige French)

knack life

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  1. hanging some Spoonflower wallpaper for a #knackbook2 project
  2. everybody wants a shot of Julie‘s beautiful florals
  3. bright greens and blues in the morning light
  4. our feature in the Greenville News!
  5. reflections in our wide windows on a bright October day
  6. our book, Furniture Makeovers, standing tall and proud in the shop

a walk down memory lane

memorylane11 memorylane10 memorylane9 memorylane8 memorylane7 memorylane6 memorylane5 memorylane4 memorylane3 memorylane2 memorylane1I somehow got on my own Flikr account {from Pinterest} and got lost down a rabbit hole of memories and experiences.

I did a lot of smiling…..remembering…..pondering…..celebrating.

I hope you can humor me in my nostalgia, and maybe even leave here inspired to create beauty with your hands that is fueled by the passion in your heart.

gettin buggy :: meet tympana

Tympana1 Tympana3 Tympana4 Tympana5 Tympana6 Tympana7There is one thing that I love about Southern summers, and it is the cicada’s singing in the trees as I drift off to sleep each night. Growing up on the West Coast I had never experienced this, and will never forget the very first time I ever heard it.

The Cicada song is an unmistakeable sound, and when combined with the sparks of the firefly in flight it makes for a magical evening.

I have wanted to do a bug piece for a very long time…..and I finally found the person to collaborate with on this piece! Angie Thompson { shop manager; mover and shaker at Knack} did an amazing job capturing the detail of the cicada with her beautiful charcoal strokes….and we couldn’t be more proud of how this piece turned out!

We were going to list miss Tympana in the online shop….but she sold before we could do that! We are already planning another one though…so never fear…more bugs are in our future!

furniture love :: meet little miss siolella

frogtape6This Frogtape7 frogtape8 frogtape9This lovely little gal is my newest beauty…..that I can share with you that is :} I cannot even tell you how exhilarating it is {and completely exhausting too!} to be creating new furniture designs for Knack book two. Designing furniture is my passion, and still gets my blood pumping even after all of these years. I cannot wait until the day that I can show you these new designs I have come up with. I am creatively full, and completely challenged….and I love being in that place. So, whenever I actually have time to create pieces outside the work for the book it is an extra special day for me……and I hope for you as well.

I think most of you know that I am a huge fan of FrogTape®. It is the only tape that I recommend in my first book Furniture Makeovers, because I truly find it to be superior to any other tape on the market, and it has been my only tape of choice for years now. I promoted this tape way before I received anything monetarily from FrogTape®……{ I was accused of working for them the moment I stated it was the only tape I used…..because everybody assumes in the blog world that if you promote something specifically….you must be getting paid to do so, right?} Not so with me folks. I am a small fish in a big pond and I only promote something if I can get behind it 100 percent. I have turned down so many promotional opportunities due to the fact that I could not honestly get behind a product or event. FrogTape® is a product I can get behind, and since I believe in this product and use it in my work on a daily basis, it felt very natural to say “yes to the tape people” when they came calling about 6 months ago.

For this project I chose to use the new Shape Tape in the scallop design. Have you all tried any of the Shape Tapes? If not….you should! They are so great!

I wanted to create something pretty, but not cutesy, and knew that this would be a challenge with scallops. So, as I am known to do…I chose rich colors and kept it simple. You can never go wrong with charcoal gray and gold can you? I don’t think so! I finished off the piece by lining the drawer with pretty Rifle Paper wrapping paper, and attaching a brass floral knob that my dad brought back from his latest trip to India.

I think Siolella is gorgeous, and I am so happy with her and her pretty scallops. I want to celebrate and give away a little happy……So, I will give a roll of scallop Shape Tape to the first two people who comment here on the blog! {United States only please}

Here are a couple tips to remember when using FrogTape®:

> don’t stretch it too tight or you will distort the shape

> use a squeegee after applying the tape to make sure that it is adhered properly

> water activates the tape bond in order to keep paint out, and lines sharp. So, use a damp rag {not soaking wet} to wipe along the edges of your tape to activate the seal before painting. {do not do this with milk paint….. ever.}

Let me know how you all like using shape tape in your work!

{* gorgeous florals by Julie Dodds of Willow Florals}

knack book two :: teaser

3YxFnCbmOwDJP6BKvrhxh3i6GoN7ddNcBUmCgutoISqMdXQN4o7S1IRjy_tjQJtpx_7FMg=w1395-h593 50hRHOvvWSLsHfF2-Tl8su9HfMTEhQ_HdSdi4y87EZQYWjNssyrLeTvjCijYFNkwvrFffg=w1395-h593BvX_zx-P7V4LC4tBqI3OTHQIPHvg3oQusqVU4UKsOwkybIjjyYTNYueDzk8jxFHeY13ZGA=w1395-h593 c1YGG2DKneqOrcbOuzroAONkryIjTDyONNQ04StO53BVhxD6hPh7IBClOdx4Y-uHfUVrLw=w1395-h593 IqhDNG4VGKaAHa2KTSnUNn-f3S0iwEA-Nrvr3S8XgMPCFUzPXvorNfbzyQIS6oU4-1R7ug=w1395-h593 r_d1LIhK_aWdfhCdLva6_t1NrVK4No_GgnmkkqSs4h5W1UnMqUu9-NOwyHqwBXD2QLY_yQ=w1395-h593It is always hard for me when I am working on a book because I am so energized and excited about all of the projects being created but I can’t show a whole lot of the process due to the secrecy of the book!  It is hard to describe how incredibly busy I am while working on this giant project. I have 15 total projects for the new book, writing, and a photo shoot every other week from now until November 1, which is the final delivery deadline.

For this book there is a lot of location shooting in homes, so there is plenty of logistical planning that has to be done as well as a huge props list to make sure we have everything that we need on hand for styling each and every shoot. I am so thankful for the team that I have working with me on this book…..Jessica, Julie, Paige and Angie are amazing and everyone works so hard every single shoot . It is fantastic to be working with such a creative and passionate team, and the pictures that are being captured for this project are truly special. I am very, very excited about the look and feel of this book and the story of home that it will tell. I cannot wait to be able to share it ALL!

So, even though I wish I could show more furniture during this time, I am excited {and I hope you are as well!} about the work being done. Creating a book always challenges me to push myself physically and creatively…and I love being in that place.

As you read this, a photo shoot is already underway and will go on for most of the day….. until we start to lose light!

Enjoy this sneak peek!

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

artemis2 artemis1 artemis3
” 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