Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A couple of weeks ago the whole PDR team had the pleasure of visiting the Greenhouse Fabrics facility in High Point, NC.  We have worked with them for years, using their fabrics on countless projects.  Up until our visit, our relationships with most of the staff were purely through phone and email.  It was so nice to finally meet the whole crew in person, especially our fabric guru, Lisa! 

One of my favorite aspects of Greenhouse is that they are a family-run business.  Their story is captivating and one that resonates well with me.  Arnold Bjork started the business as a way to support his family, and now, the company is led by his great- granddaughter.  I appreciate the humble beginnings and the growth they have experienced as the company has evolved with the times.  In the office lounge (affectionately named the Bjork room and filled with comfy Love Sacs) hangs a history wall.  The wall holds framed photos of the original company office, a timeline showing the progression of the company name changes and CEOs, as well as memos on company letterhead.  The wall is such a poignant way of displaying this part of the family history.

As you can imagine, the whole office has gorgeous draperies hanging on all of the windows.  Company C rugs can be found throughout the building.  There is color everywhere, in the most inspiring way.  Given the bright, cheery environment, it’s no wonder everyone sounds so happy when you talk to them on the phone.

The showroom was out first stop when we entered the building, and it does not disappoint!  We could’ve spent hours in there thumbing through samples with beautiful prints, luxurious embroidery, and bold colors.  It certainly makes you excited to be there!

Next stop was the WOW Factory- this houses marketing and product development.  Here we had the awesome opportunity to see a sample book in its early stages.  We chatted with Emily to learn all about how she chooses what fabrics to include, how they are arranged within the book, and what the timeline is from start to finish to create a book.  For people who work in the sample books daily, it was really neat to see how “the sausage is made”.

Throughout our visit we noticed the personal touches they add to the customer experience.  We witnessed the warehouse guys cutting fabric yardage and packaging it to ship out.  Each shipment receives a tag with the handwritten name of the person who cut it for you.  We saw the section of the warehouse where all the samples are housed.  That process is as personal as the fabric cutting- someone receives the sample order and then hand pulls the samples for shipping. 

I geeked out majorly when we learned that Greenhouse is launching a new line in April called Anna Elisabeth.  Once again, the family heritage comes into play and the story behind the namesake will draw you in.  I won’t spill any secrets, but know that when the collection is launched, we will be carrying the fabrics from this designer line.

When planning our day, Greenhouse didn’t stop with just showing us behind the scenes in their facility.  They arranged a tour of Swaim furniture- a COM (customer’s own material) manufacturer, AND a tour of High Point University.  Swaim is another family-run business doing big things.  High Point U holds a special place for the folks at Greenhouse because many of their employees are either current students OR alumni.  The whole day they planned for us was educational and inspiring.

As a small business owner, I strive to treat my team as family.  Greenhouse has modeled a wonderful standard for this and I have definitely taken notice.  They win my business again and again by not only offering great products, but also by treating their customer so well.  They are proof that a little Southern hospitality can go a long way! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Making a Home Together

February is the month of love.  Many people got engaged on Valentine’s day and are now planning a wedding and a life together with their fiancĂ©.  I first shared this article in Bridal Bliss magazine back in 2017.  The ideas still ring true, so I thought it would be helpful to share with you and those you know who are in this stage of their life.

First comes love…then comes marriage…then comes moving into a new house together.
It’s an exciting adventure to outfit your new space with your spouse. It’s also a great opportunity to create a place that reflects you both.  That can be easier said than done, so where do you start? These rules of thumb will keep your house update running smoothly.

  • Change your color- The simplest way to freshen a room is to coat the walls with a fresh color.  Gray is still the top neutral. Steer clear of grays with blue undertones, as it will make the space feel cool and sterile. My personal favorite shade is a warm griege (blend of gray and beige) called Amazing Gray by Sherwin Williams. The color works well with any other colors you use in the room and doesn’t read as too dark once on the walls.

  • Add extra Touches- Never underestimate the value of throw pillows, lamps, greenery, art and accessories in a room.  These are the components we spend the least time thinking about but they all work together as layers to give our space the decorated look while still being functional.  If you want to embrace a trend, this is the place to do it.  These items are more economical to replace when the trend fades than would be a larger piece of furniture.

  • Dress your naked windows- Layering a light-controlling treatment (like blinds) with a decorative fabric treatment (like curtains) gives the windows a finished look that ties into the room’s decor. The current trend is for the draperies to remain stationary flanking the window as opposed to fully opening and closing over the window.  Never buy unlined panels for your windows.  The sunlight will shine right through them and distort the color and pattern.

  • Have a good foundation- Place an area rug among a furniture grouping to define the seating area.  Rugs add warmth to a space and look nice layered on any flooring type, even wall to wall carpeting.  Make sure you buy the right size area rug. Ideally, you want all four feet of the furniture pieces to sit atop the rug.  If that isn’t possible, it is acceptable to let the back two feet sit off of the rug.

  • Re-purpose the space- If you find yourself never using a space, give it a new purpose.  The builder’s floor plan may name the room one thing but it’s your house, so use it the way you want!  A formal dining room can become a reading room or a home office just by swapping some furniture.

  • Spruce up your deck or patio- These days we spend as much time entertaining outside as we do inside.  You can affordably soften the space by adding an outdoor rug and furniture cushions.  In the instance that you have a covered deck, consider adding outdoor curtain panels to the posts.  They serve a dual purpose- aesthetics, as well as privacy and light control. Don’t forget to add some ambient lighting with lanterns or string lights.

  • Compromise- This will be hard to hear, but…. you and your new spouse may not have the same taste in decor and furnishings.  Shocking, I know! You love everything about them; so it’s impossible to believe you wouldn’t 100% agree on how to furnish a space. If you can’t agree on how to complete a room, each of you should make a list of your top priorities.  Compare notes and then figure out how to blend your wishes.  An alternative would be for each of you to choose a room in the house and take charge of decorating that room.  Either route you go, the end result will be a home you’ll love because you created it together.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tips for hanging your wall art

We are so close to completely dressing your home.  Art and window treatments are the final components to include.  This week's post is all about artwork (we will address window treatments next month).

People become the most paralyzed when it comes to artwork. They've done all this work to assemble the rest of the room, and now they freeze up with fear about putting a nail in the wall. Don’t let this be you!

When it comes to artwork, select pieces that catch your eye and lead you around the room. Think about what has meaning to you, what makes you feel comfortable and what might strike up conversation with your guests. Those are the pieces you want on your walls. The thought of hanging these pieces for display should excite you. Don’t feel like you have to put the same thing up all over. Not every pair of shoes you have goes with every outfit, and your artwork won’t naturally fit in every room. Mix it up with mirrors, painting, photos and framed prints.

PDR Interiors
Room contains a blend of wall art- framed prints, wrapped canvas painting, grouping of mirrors.

Once you’ve picked out your art, you WILL have to hang it, so here’s a cheat sheet to give you confidence in your placement.

Rules of thumb for art hanging-
-Remember your art should belong to the furniture, not the ceiling. Meaning, don’t hang your art so high that it looks like its running away from the furniture below it.

-Use 60” from the ground as your starting place for the middle of the piece. If this seems too high or too low, adjust accordingly.

-Using two nails or screws, instead of one, helps keep a piece of art level when it has wire on the back.

-Gallery wall tips:
-layout your desired gallery wall on the floor first. Measure the overall height and width of the arrangement to make sure it will fit on the wall where you want to place it. If it is too large, make the necessary adjustments.

-Brown craft paper is a helpful tool when planning a gallery wall. Roll the paper out on the floor and place your items on top. Using a marker, outline the pieces on the craft paper.  Once you have the outlines drawn, remove the pieces from the paper and cutout each shape. Then tape the pieces to the wall where you plan to hang them. This will show you if you need to adjust any spacing between items OR if you need to adjust the group’s spacing on the wall.  A handy trick is to mark on the craft paper where the hanging mechanism is.  That way you know where to place the nail(s) once the paper is on the wall.

-Begin with 2” between each piece of the gallery wall. You can then eyeball the layout and determine if the size of the pieces warrants more or less space between them.

-Gallery wall groupings are a great WAY to hide unsightly features like a thermostat in the middle of the wall.
PDR Interiors (photo was taken before pictures were added to frames)

photo courtesy of Christy Hash

If you are struggling with whether or not to hang a piece on a specific wall, lean the art against that wall (even at floor level) and leave it there for a day or two. Walking by it several times will allow you to determine if the size of the art is appropriate for the size of the wall. It will also allow you to see how you feel about incorporating that piece in to the room. If you’re comfortable with it, go ahead and hang it using the rules of thumb we just covered. If not, find another location for the artwork. And, remember, it is not the end of the world to put a nail in the wall and then later decide to move it. There’s a reason spackle was invented!

Happy hanging!