The Cure for The Common Ranch

The best way I’ve found to alter the ranch style house that was so prolific for decades is to OPEN that space up.

The key to updating and opening that place up is to find a ranch with the right bones. The right bones is a house that has the living area and ideally the kitchen along the back of the house. Why? So you can open up the back wall and be in harmony with your backyard and flood the place with light and fresh air.

You can open the house up in a more extreme way with accordion doors or even a garage style door that lifts.

ranch open6 ranch open4 ranch open3

 

ranch open

 

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Or on a smaller scale with a bank or banks of full view french doors.

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ranch french

Later we can talk about things like double-sided fireplaces, beams, board and batten ceilings and additions all healers for the rancher.

ranch addition

SHOP TALK: Our Unique Value Proposition

unique value proposition

Holy WOW, we have keys… in hand.

This is moving along at lightning pace and it’s an exciting time!

It’s also a bit scary, as I just watched our biz bank account take a hit for that first bout of rent + deposits, etc. This is no joke. Buckle up Sarah!

Shop Talk is the new series where Sarah and I document our journey toward opening up our first brick and mortar shop in Southern Pines, NC.

Okay, so for today’s Shop Talk, let’s jump into a business best practice that Sarah and I have been thinking about since day one, and that is identifying our unique value proposition.

Successful entrepreneurs, internet wide, always have some version of this to say:

BE YOU. BE UNIQUE. KNOW YOUR VALUE. COME TO THE TABLE WITH SOMETHING TO ADD.

It’s no small wonder there are about 5 jillion motivational posters on Pinterest hand penned by ladies like us, reminding ourselves that the dream is free but the hustle is sold separately.

Whether one seeks to be Refinery29’s next big Ladyboss or just a humble shopkeeper selling wares to a small community in North Carolina… it’s a valuable business practice to identify a mission and a unique value proposition at the outset.

So, we are looking to define our true north.

 

Follow our journey on Instagram, via #TeotShopTalk

In order to keep ideas in check and values in place, we intend to look to a statement of values, a commitment to our future and to our partnership. We promise to consult our mission for guidance along the way. Through growth and through hardship! Forever and ever Amen. You may now kiss the bride.

Yeah yeah,but it’s not feeling done just yet. I’m not publishing it because it’s perfect, I’m sure it is terrible… but we’re in this together at this point, so I’m trying to put my finger on the language.

So yeah, the following is a work in progress:

 

shop-talk-we-have-keys-the-estate-of-things

The Estate of Things was founded in 2007. We are a growing online interior design and home decor brand, presenting a strategic plan for expansion into an eCommerce Home Goods Sales with a flagship Brick & Mortar store in Southern Pines, NC.

 

Product/Service

The Estate of Things, since 2008, curates and publishes original content to entertain, inform and delight fellow home decor and real estate enthusiasts.

Additionally, The Estate of Things produces/provides the following products/services:

  • Architectural Renovation & Consultation 
  • Interior Design & Home Decor Consultation 
  • Custom Furniture & Home Decor Product Development 
  • Space Planning 
  • A curated selection of home decor accessories and “eclectibles” for sale in our shop, online and in our physical retail location(s).

 

Plans for Expansion or Growth

The Estate of Things seeks a commercial space for a brick and mortar home decor retail shop in Moore County, NC as well as the launch of self-hosted and self-supported Ecommerce website with select vendors and a curated collection of goods.

 

How is TEOT different?

  • Proven successful presence in the interior design community online for over 8 years. 
  • Bevy of biz skills, the principles cover an impressive number of traits required for launching and maintaining a business. 
  • Exposure online
    • via 30k pageviews a month for our current publishing platform 
    • a combined reach of over 8k fans and followers across multiple social media platforms. 
    • a growing email subscriber list 
    • contacts in the press and media world 
  • We compel shoppers to experience our collection of products and our services through a high touch editorial lens.
    • First we meticulously identify our product offering 
    • then daily we present products and ideas in an editorial light, inspiring delight and driving desire through the curator’s lens, a presentation that design lovers throughout the nation have come to love, expect, even demand online. 
  • Through our Makers Collective program, we collaborate with makers and manufacturers on exclusive custom products available only to the TEOT 
  • On select goods, The Estate of Things works directly with manufacturers and makers to ensure your custom home goods meet the highest standards. We compete with other eCommerce retailers by passing on the benefit of our manufacturing relationships directly onto the customer, while we take care of the design decisions on their behalf.

 

Trends: Hats as Art & Display

Last year I was in a fantastic thrift/antique spot in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with one of my favorite girls on the planet. Myrtle Beach has a few redeeming qualities, one of those is that my best friend of 20 years (what!) lives there. Among lots of treasures, there were three straw hats hanging on the wall. I tried to explain to Amanda that we could group some in her entryway to make an artistic display or statement of sorts but also to channel a beach vibe but not in an obvious “Beach Life” distressed wood sign kind of way. I couldn’t convince her BUT maybe if I would’ve shown her these images, she could’ve seen it. If you need to pretty up your entry way a little or make a cool statement on the wall, this is an easy way to do it.

Behold –hats as art. I’ll race you to the straw hats in Goodwill!

Designer Tom Scheerer is way in to it. When I saw those hats at the shop I immediately thought of some of Scheerer’s entries.

hats4

 

hats3

 

hats2

 

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hats trunk

 

hats shop

 

hats mirror

 

hats ladder

I’d like the bamboo sofa that cool girl is standing on.

hats b+w

How to Decorate with Indigo Mudcloth Pillows

How to Decorate with Indigo Mudcloth Pillows

AFRICAN INDIGO MUDCLOTH IS HOME DECOR’S HOTTEST TREND AMONG INTERIOR DESIGNERS.

The textile has become a must have here in the states, and thus an important export for West Africa. It is becoming more and more prevalent in America’s fashion and home decor scene.

african indigo by the estate of things for shop teot

African mudcloth is also known as bogolan. It is handwoven into strips, sewn together to make one large piece and then often expertly dyed. Methods for dyeing include tribal patterns hand drawn and or stamped in mud, and also using a tie resist method and dyed using indigo.

The result is a design that the interior designers of today crave, but did you know that this is a centuries old practice with cultural significance?

Vintage_African_Mudcloth_Pillow_by_the_estate_of_Things_for_SHOP_TEOT

Each design is unique, featuring one of a kind patterns that often come out like dots, ladders, butterflies or a DNA helix.

vintage_african_indigo_mudcloth_pillow_ladder_by_the_estate_of_things_for_shop_teot

In the SHOPTEOT collection, we call this favorite pillow the TOTO, named after one of our favorite Yacht Rock Bands who wrote the smooth tune, God Bless the Rains! The song always springs to mind when we lay eyes on the lovely inky blues of this textile.

How to Decorate with Indigo Mudcloth Pillows

The rich hue mixes well in the TEOT collection that favors rich texture, earthy hue and a mix of pattern.
vintage african mudcloth pillow styled by the estate of things

We source our African Indigo from local dealers here in Los Angeles that we have met through the antiques market circuit.

Stacks of african indigo mudcloth

african indigo mudcloth

We feel that the inky blue hues of this hand dyed textile mix in nicely with the many indigos of other cultures, like the batik of the Hmong Hill Tribes, Chinese resist textiles, as well as the shibori tie-dye arts of Japan.

vintage african mudcloth pillow 2 styled by the estate of things

Tossed into the mix along with some fine greenery and the organic textures of rattan and wicker, your vintage indigo mudcloth is right at home.

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GET YOURS TODAY


 

Gimme That!

Here is a little glimpse into the stuff we are wanting… Maybe you will want it to!

gimme-that-by-the-estate-of-things

SHOP THE POST

Announcing new brick & mortar + blog series SHOP TALK

I’ll kick off the new “SHOP TALK” blog series with the news that we hope is news, but it all remains to be seen. Eep!

THE NEXT BIG THING brick and mortar the estate of thingsWe are opening up SHOP TEOT as a real life storefront.
Our first ever brick and mortar shop is slated to open late Fall, in Southern Pines, NC.

 

Just typing it fills me with fear. Fear that I will jinx something for us.

 

Since last summer’s launch of ecomm via Etsy, Chairish, Amazon and Shopify, we’ve been keeping up with orders and fun product development ideas, brainstorming new collections for SHOPTEOT.com, and generally preparing ourselves for this next step in the evolution of The Estate of Things.

Today as I was bouncing back and forth between monthly budgets, marketing strategies and fresh blog post ideas it occurred to me that we should just go ahead and chronicle the journey of bringing this dream to life.

So that is our news!

Join us for SHOP TALK!

In this series, Sarah and I will jump into some small biz storytelling. Maybe the backend of business isn’t that glamorous, so we’ll do our best to keep you properly entertained while we shed some light on the secrets of the trade as we uncover them.

Right now we are taking a look at how we incorporated last Fall, what messes we are making trying to decipher mulit-state sales and use tax, how to keep on top of bookkeeping, how to set up inventory tracking, how to open trade accounts with wholesale vendors and which markets we will attend. Let us know if any of that intrigues you.

We also have a a couple of QnAs with other shopkeepers that we admire. We are so grateful that these ladies and gents have been kind enough to extend their stories to us to learn from along the way.

If you dream of opening your own shop up one day too, or if you just like our style and you want to keep up to date on our progress, send us your email address below for the occasional TEOT newsletter and status report.



 

 

Dogwood Project: Master Bedroom

Hi. It’s Sarah. We’re going to take a quick dip into a residential Design & Development project I’ve been working on.

The Dogwood Project is a modest 1960’s ranch located in Durham, NC. A college professor and her family live part-time in this home while school is in session, and the rest of the time, they spend in their New York abode. We would describe the homeowner’s style as a collision of modern, eclectic and global.

Since the beginning of the Dogwood Project, I have been operating in an official capacity to consult on new paint colors throughout the home. The client loved the color selection at the Durham project and so they emailed for our input. She wanted to freshen up the paint job in her 1960s home which we did happily.

After the success of the paint color consultation, the project has evolved. Now, we are re-thinking the master bedroom space plan and decor. Here is a look at where she started.

dogwood bedroom before plus floorplan

The client was seeking expert advice on the room layout, and we could see why, as the room certainly had challenges.

The Problem
Each wall in this small room is occupied with a challenging door or window, leaving limited options for bed placement. Additionally, equally distributed bold patterns are competing for attention in the room.
The Solution 
Our goal is to make the bed more commanding in the room. Despite the window position, we can achieve the desired result by shifting the bed to the left, closer to the window and then re-distribute the horizontal space with neutral drapes and a large scale piece of art.
While intuitively the thought is to center the bed between the window and the wall, what we hope to do is create a feature out of the bed, and tricking the eye as to where visual weight belongs, for a new balance.

We mocked up the change as a rendering before we suggested it. This is a good practice when you can’t be in the space yourself or if you need your client to envision your ideas before making the change.

The client and I wanted to maintain a modern aesthetic with some added layers and texture. I utilized some existing elements that they already had like this wonderful Anthropologie throw, and I suggested some new additions as seen in the design board below.

We sought to redistribute pattern throughout the room for greater balance in the scale from neutral to busy. The client operates on a no shade philosophy in their household so the recommended natural shades were cut and instead we found a quiet cream linen curtain option. We kept the bedding and drapes neutral as well, which allows the rug, art and accessories to pop, maintaining focus in the room.

Here’s the plan,

Dogwood design board

We love working with the Dogwood clients because they give proper but quick consideration to our suggestions but most importantly they are willing to try out our ideas.

You can see below that the lighter curtain, the artwork and bed positioning have already made an impact on the layout.

Once we get the right rug placed on the floor, it will really ground the new composition of this room.

Also, I think we will adjust the artwork slightly more toward the window and we’d love to see more prominent lamps and matching end tables that bring more warmth, texture and a modern appeal to the room. All in all these minimal changes have made a vast improvement to the room.
Implemented-Bedrom-which-rug-moved-painting-over-and-removed-little-arts

The Perfect Modular Sofa

Who here has their sights set on a chunky low slung sofa?

Likely a testament to my recent love for all things seventies, but this fascination is also brought on by some karmic influence from the design world at large. These babies are starting to pop up all around me. The more I see, the more I likey.

When ideas start to percolate in mind, I get curious about their history. I wonder why we, the collective design world, are suddenly smitten with profiles that harken to another era. What does it say about that time period and most interesting, what does that nostalgia say about this one?

While I was digging into the chunky sofa profile I started thinking about the modular variety and I found some really great inspirations.  The most iconic version of the modular that I can think up is the TOGO, a design classic by Ligne Roset.

Take a look at these applications, some modern and one total throwback vinyl album party pit.
the-togo-a-design-classic-the-estate-of-things
Would you rock this iconic sofa silhouette in your home?

I like to fantasize about that huge pit in my non-existent basement den/garage conversion! I’m always converting garages and attics in my mind here at this new house!

The Togo collection has been the ultimate in comfort and style for over thirty years. It features ergonomic designs with multiple density foam constructions and quilted covers, making each piece both visually attractive and physically inviting. This iconic model was designed in 1973 sofa.

More about the TOGO from our friends at Design Milk.

There are of course other notable modular sofas that are every bit as fun as the TOGO.

 

Chadwick Modular Seating by Herman Miller

Don Chadwick designed a system in 1974 for Herman Miller that is still a player, particularly in the commercial world. I didn’t dig too deep on modern uses of this one, but you can see the appeal, especially for a large lobby, floors below.

 

Mah Jong Missoni

Another badass is the Mah Jong made for Missoni by Hans Hopfer sold by Chicago based company called Roche Bobois. This would fit nicely in the boho aesthetic that is having its shining moment right now. The shape is a classic that was also designed over 40 years ago.

The seventies were so awesome.

Lavender Love

The evolution of love from the blush crush into a dusty grey lavender has been an easy and natural one. Are you a long time purple lover? Are you a Prince lover. <3

Does it bother you guys to see so much personal digital content popping up around the death of an icon? Or is it ritual and the new way that we honor the dead? Just thinking aloud.

Among the many things I’m pondering, I also wonder if lavender is a new neutral. Are you ready for moving in on this moody androgynous hue? I’m down. Somebody gimme a lady cave, where I can play Prince on the record player and feel imbued.

 

lavender-love-by-the-estate-of-things-home-decor-blog

Individual images and more lavender love can be sourced on my “Inspired by Lavender” pinboard.

The Lady Cave: A Chairish Challenge

Occasionally Chairish pops by and asks us to put our design minds behind their latest idea. We take it as a fun opportunity to flex our design board muscles.

This one was particularly fun. We were meant to incorporate bar stools into our version of a “lady-cave” which if you have heard any rumblings of this, it’s the lady version of the mancave, where us girls get to pour ourselves a beer from our DIY kegerator, plop down onto the leather sofa and Al Bundy it for a bit. Except…

the girl version.

Since we aren’t the type to gather round with our 10 best betches and watch The Bachelor, we had to think more specifically about what we would do with a room that was 100% dedicated to just ourselves.

Now we want what we can’t have. 

With true startup spirit, we both elected to create relaxing, peaceful well-appointed work spaces.  A private escape from the world, even the world at home.

Both of us work from home. The “ladycave” outside of work time is likely to be a place to kick off some shoes, put a record on, eat on all of our favorite savory snacks and put back as many glasses of wine as we can stand until the truth really starts pouring out of our mouths and into the pair or two of ears nearby, most likely a husband, sister-in-law, brother or mom.

We’ve focused our ideas around Chairish’s fantastic selection of vintage bar stools.

Let’s start with Sarah’s.

SHE CAVE BOARD SARAH

Sarah chose a pair of Vintage Arthur Umanoff Wicker Bar Stools, and built her fantasy cave around those.

I don’t need to sit at a desk to work and I like to think I could do that in here while also creating a space comfortable enough to hang out in. I like to be surrounded by my favorite colors and things that visually stimulate me even if only for a brief second. I’d be happy to glance at my wists and throw big pillows around. We could sit on my slouchy, slipcovered linen settee. Or we can pony up to the bar with a friend or two and we can drink the truth serum. My Room will house the records I love and a regularly changing art collection that doesn’t break the bank.

 

Next up is Betsy’s

SHE-CAVE-BOARD-BETSY

Betsy opted for a sweet midcentury feminine set of barstools.

My most favorite way to work from home lately, is to do so at the bar, alternating between standing and sitting on my barstool. The standing height desk is rad for racking up steps on my fitbit, and keeps me more actively engaged in my tasks during moments of internet inspired ADD.  I like to think that my little cave would transition well from a standing work day at the desk to a casual party hall at night. I’d host my dude or favorite out of town guests to a socks on dance party and pillow fight. We’d jump on the sofa, spin in the chair and have a rocking good time exploring my art supplies or listening to the latest tunes.

African Indigo

African Indigo is sweeping the nation of home decor cool by storm. We think it works well in a range of modern styles from your maximalist boho homes, to a more lived in rustic modern farmhouse,  as well as the more tailored and curated traditional style that favors a backdrop of creamy neutrals and pops of our favorite shades of navies and rich blues.

 

The mix of a well worn denim Indigo near a blue and white ginger jar for example is a pairing that can’t be beat.

Get in on the action by splurging on a few of your own whole pieces of this wonderful, well worn textile and mix it up with your home style. We’d love to see it!

Our favorite applications (besides custom pillows of course) is the easy layer of texture of warmth it provides when draped over your nearest sofa arm, bench ledge or upholstered headboard.

indigo the parisian wayDrape your indigo with Parisian panache, via House and Garden

drape your indigo 1Amber uses a draped Indigo in just about every project. Her portfolio is full of inspiration.

Typically these textiles range in quality and quantity and are dealt at antiques markets and local textile trade shows by Malian men that work directly with sources in West Africa, from Mali, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast and more. We have been delighted to get to know some of our local dealers here in Los Angeles. Meeting up at markets or even digging through the Indigo van on side streets in the decorative arts district of Los Angeles has been a real thrill.

by fleamarketfabApplied here with the more bohoey of Boho vibes, via Jennifer Harrison

Beach Bedroom by Daniel Romualdez Architects

We dig and pick so that you can have the best options to choose from, whether you are here in LA and want to spare yourself the adventure, or if you are in a part of the country where it is harder to come by this fantastic handmade beauties.

Here are a few of the options available at the shop now.

The Estate of Things Vintage Indigo Throw STEVE MILLER The Estate of Things Vintage Indigo Throw ROBERT PLANT
The Estate of Things Vintage Indigo Throw LABRYNTH darker throw

Denim Sofas Y’all

I have my eye on some denim sofas.

I looove sofas, almost all of them, I like to imagine my life and lifestyle with every style.  If you are like me, there was a time when a navy velvet sofa was all we wanted, am I right?

I know I wanted one anyway, specifically something like Rachel Bilson’s setup.

These days though, I am feeling like I want a more coarse but well-worn and complex option for the blue sofa of my dreams. The dude and I have been tossing ideas around about a new setup at our new house. If I had to pick today, I would be leaning in the denim direction.

Here are a few radical examples that I’ve been stockpiling in my inspiration folder.

Denim and Indigo Sofasvia My Scandinavian Home

bradford linen sofa via one kings lane
Bradford Linen Sofa via One Kings Lane

 

Indigo Denim Sofa worn with stripesvia Milk Magazine.

That looks similar to this modular sofa from Anthro.

anthro batik sofavia Anthropologie 

denim sofa by amber interiorsvia Amber Interiors

myscandinavianhome navy sofavia My Scandinavian Home
Gah, I really love those windows in this image, and the low and long shelves are a major inspiration!

Our SHOP TEOT collection, in these hues of blue would be right at home with this look. I’ll have to make do with piles of indigo for now!

What do you think? Are you down with the denim?

I Spy Potential

During a routine cruise through my local real estate listings I saw this jewel. If you’ve got the feeling that you just want to ship lap some walls, bring some character back, get your modern farmhouse on and just generally do it up Chip & Joanna Gaines style–this house is for you. This house would almost certainly be one of the three properties that a Gaines client would see, we’ll call it the “pond house”.

It’s a whole lot of 1990s goodness but I’m guessing the upside is that all the renovation would be cosmetic. For $275,000 you can buy a 3,200 square foot house with a detached mother-in-law apartment, 25 acres, a shabby barn, a pond that needs some TLC in the form of carp to eat the algae and a whole lot of potential.

Do you see what I see?

 

farmhouse back porch

The decision to cover the entire porch on the back of this house was clearly a good one.

You could tailor the exterior to look similar to these examples that have been in my inspiration file since the onset of my Farmhouse obsession.

farmhouse historical concepts

We need to get an outdoor fireplace happening and screen in some of the porch and put a metal roof on.

farmhouse screened porch

Moving around to the front, we can get some windows, new front door, remove the vinyl siding, update the columns and railing, add a few architectural elements and we are in the business of modern farmhouses.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.02.57 PM

 

farmhouse columns

 

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If you think you are going to take this on please email me, I’m happy to be of service!

Artist Collaboration Megan Gersch

You may have seen a touch of our latest MEGAN GERSCH + TEOT endeavors unfolding on Instagram! If so, we’re grateful to you for your positive response. It seems like everyone that I’ve shown this work to has really gotten into it! We’re so excited to FINALLY have the product up online and ready for sale!

A little bit ago we were going on to you about how much we are inspired by the rorschach trend, Where It’s At Rorschach. Now, we’re back to let you know how we are incorporating our recent crush for this look in the TEOT Shop through a wonderful collaboration.

We’ve teamed up with our friend Megan Gersch who I once worked with in the web dept at KCRW, a world famous public radio station here in Los Angeles best known for breaking artists like Adele, Coldplay and Beck.

Here is a little look at how we have turned design concept into product.

It all started via Instagram. Megan was sharing some snaps of her works in progress. As a jewel tone color lover myself, I had been enjoying them, but I was particularly drawn to this one.

tangled // another detail of the new #wip

A photo posted by Megan Gersch (@megangersch) on

 

You can see our @shopteot comment there! It was as easy as that. I took that exact pic and started playing around with it in Spoonflower. That’s a REALLY fun site, and I highly encourage you to consider it if you want to personally design your next fabric or wallpaper project.

I mocked up these images to share with Megan and see what she thought.

Megan Gersch Rorschach COTTON TWILL Megan Gersch SILK DE CHINE

We ordered some samples, to see which fabric was the best and ended up choosing Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas. Initially I thought a sateen might really make the colors pop, but in the end, the linen not only provided a more saturated color, but it also speaks more to a more organic and laid back vibe that you guys love. It’s more TEOTy that way.

Here are the samples alongside some indigo, showing just how well these new patterns would sit in our collection of global textiles.

Megan Gersch TEOT samples

Once I showed Megan, she got pretty excited by the whole mirrored effect and she worked diligently on a number of beautiful hi-res patterns for us to work with.

We picked a couple favorites to start with, and here we are, so excited to take this yardage and turn it into beautiful pillows and cube ottomans.

SHOP TEOT fabrics

SHOP TEOT Megan Gersch collab fabrics

Designer Megan Gersch for The Estate of Things SHOP TEOTArtist/Designer Megan Gersch is obsessed with color!

Her work with alcohol ink displays an organic evolution and a psychedelia that we feel makes for just the right accent in the TEOT home decor collection.

We are honored to have worked wth Megan to bring to life this exciting collection of pillows, upholstery fabrics and wallpaper designs! The result is a hypnotizing, kaleidoscopic digital manipulation of original alcohol ink paintings by Megan.

We feel that these patterns are a bold addition to the rest of the TEOT home decor collection. They cozy up fantastically among the tribal patterns of our mud cloth as well as our indigo pieces.

 

SMOKE styled Megan Gersch The Estate of Things artist collaboration

Megan Gersch RAIN cube ottoman detail for the estate of things SHOP TEOT

Megan Gersch PINK PINWHEEL lumbar lifestyle

Megan Gersch PINK PINWHEEL lumbar

A HUGE sincere thanks to Megan for working through this with us. It was really something to bring this to life and we’re so excited by the response we’ve seen so far. We love the turnout and we hope everyone out there is ready to vote for Megan + TEOT with their dollar! <3

We would love to explore more patterns with this incredible artist. Follow Megan on Instagram and check out her Society6 shop for a look at her empire of color, and let us know what you think.

Shop the Megan Gersch + TEOT Artist Collaboration here.