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Interior Design Blog

An Interior Design Blog about Renovation, Inspiration & Great Home Decor Ideas for You & Your House!


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hairodynamics the weekend

Hi, it’s Betsy.

It’s been a minute since we did a fun Weekend post… the post where we toss out a few links for a good weekend morning coffee and iPad time.

This long weekend I have some Ikea shelves to put together for the master bedroom, a temporary solution to solve our storage and organization challenges that have been lingering since our move. We also have a fun library ladder to put together for the little girl’s room, so we can climb and store extra toys and things in empty alcove space above her closet, oh and I need to work on the crab grass that is pushing its way between the bricks in my back patio.

Additionally, we are going to head over to the dude’s brother’s new house and help them with their updates that they are making to their Midcentury Ranch that they just bought. They were thrilled with Sarah’s “Cure for the Common Ranch” post and are now talking about busting out walls and doors! I can’t wait to go see what they are starting with, I love a good house renovation fantasy.

Here are some media recommendations that we can make for whatever YOU are getting into this weekend!

With great influence, comes great responsibility.
If you are a blogger, or curious about how the big time bloggers (not us) make their living, You might be interested to know that this fashion blogger just signed an exclusive deal as a brand evangelist, reportedly the largest deal made to date. She has about 3 million Instagram followers and thus will be shilling for lip glosses and face scrubs directly to her legions of fangirls. But it leads some to question the nature of social media authenticity if someone is getting paid a huge amount to so directly influence purchases. The FTC, a government agency charged with consumer protection, is NOT into the undisclosed method of product promotion via social and most sponsored content does not meet requirements. This media source calls it “dirty advertising.” Read about it here, and if you want to save your eyeballs from bleeding with detail – skip past all the FTC explanation and just head on down to the instagrams examples where you will get facts like SOME GIRL GOT PAID $15k FOR A SINGLE INSTAGRAM POST and can now charge more cause she topped a million followers.

PODCAST OF THE WEEK: JV Club – Mental Illness with Maria Bamford.
That is NOT the official name of that conversation, but it’s my takeaway and Holy SMOKES this hit hard and fast. We don’t need to delve too deeply into mental illness here on sweet TEOT, but on the surface I will say that if you have personal experience with it, or know and love someone near and dear to you with struggles, this podcast was fun, funny and totally deep on the levels of discussion between two creative artistic souls who have had their own dealings with suicide attempts, food disorders and diagnoses… and both lived to tell the tales. They are funny, and leaning on humor is my favorite way to approach really important topics!

We thought the studio at One Kings Lane was hot… but check out the MyDomaine exclusive tour of their entire office digs
Seriously, when photos of the studio at OKL started to surface the internets Sarah and I were awash with inspiration. We both pounced and immediately propped the images up on pinterest boards with our own dreams for our own shop aesthetic in mind. It’s good stuff. We were equally thrilled to see the OKL take on startup style where it comes to office culture. If I could be 20 again, I’d be doing my damnest to get on the digital team and take up a spot at that conference table.

Last but certainly not least of all: SNAPCHAT
I’m trying so hard to get into this platform that has been around for a long time but y’all its CRAZY. My old lady soul just doesn’t understand why I’d want to record myself and then see it disappear in 24 hours. But here is where I’m at with it. I posted “a day in the life of snapchat” video to my Facebook feed and you can view that here. It is not without humor, since I sent a private message to my entire world of 4 followers. The most joy that I AM deriving from Snapchat comes in the form of stalking on other bloggers and friends and folks that actually have embraced the ephemery and are now posting the most mundane, yet terribly humane glimpses into their days. I’m now hooked to catching up with people’s days at the end of mine. The dude HATES when I watch the snapchats because to him it just sounds like a lot of weird girls with noisy whining and/or over-excitement. But I’ve gotten a front row ticket to the behind the scenes LCDQ events, a Beyonce concert (oddly enough  from like 6 different viewpoints) and even such voyeuristic glimpses into people’s closet choices as they pick out outfits before first dates. It’s weird… but my ever curious appreciation for what makes us human is watching on like a true stalker. Y’all on it? Or are we all too old for this business?

The end… Happy weekending! Love you.





Rachel’s Beach Bungalow: A Quickie Design Project

A few weeks ago a good friend and former colleague of mine hit me up for some design advice on her sweet Beach Bungalow in Santa Monica.

She’s lived in her rent controlled studio for 12 years and isn’t about to give up such a stellar location, but after a recent promotion from her PR role into a big-time producer gig, she was ready for an update to take her home life to the next level as well.

We put our heads together and easily identified a few key pieces that needed to be replaced to give the space new life. After my visit, I went home and started sketching out some ideas.


I’d really love nothing more than to get into her space with one of those crazy-awesome organization gurus. We’d pull every item she’s collected over the past 12 years out, and then put it all back in super thoughtful “tiny house” fashion. She could really gain from tons of earthquake-safe wall shelving for her necessary CD collection, a custom under-the-bed platform with drawers, and a new privacy partition to separate the living space from her sleeping space…

but with rent control comes a rather unforgiving landlord who vows she will evict if Rachel so much as puts a hole in the wall. Fantasy design bubble, burst.

So, we are taking baby steps first, and we will see what happens with a shopping list that stands to give the studio a new patina.

I put together the design board that you see above, and we created a Pinterest board. Rachel is new to Pinterest but she seems to have really enjoyed the experience of seeing new items and ideas pop up on the board as we were each brainstorming from home. I utilized the captions to explain my thoughts to her for each choice and then we would text back and forth while she was out shopping.

This of course ended up in a shopping trip that we took together to identify the perfect sofa to buy. We were looking high and low for a low to mid-range price turquoise sofa with mid-century lines and a shallow seating bed for her small apartment, and small self. She is just over 5 feet tall. The best option we found was a sofa by Gus Modern that was SO close, but just not quite right and twice the budget.

So we took to customizing it and we almost pulled the trigger on a custom design, until the perfect sofa called out to her from the window of a Los Feliz showroom, on sale no less.

CUsomt plus Los Feliz Sofa copy

I love working with Rachel because not only is she super trusting and open to any and all advice, but she was also really ready to pull some triggers! She has sent me a note or two about her new turquoise sofa along with the ikea console and lamp and she says it already feels like a tremendous difference!!!

Rachel Beach Bungalow Design Board copy

Rachel’s Pinterest Board


What’s Next?

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It’s Betsy. Today I’m sharing some random images and thoughts that are on my mind of late! My brain is all aspin over what is next. What is next for interior design? What is next for TEOT as a biz, what is next for products that we all want in our homes!?

Let’s get after it!


vintage african indigo mudcloth extra long fringe denimFirst off, this Fringe is stellar. You can buy it for $25 off if you use this code: TOOGOOD


baskets on the wall via honestlywtfWe’ve got some wall decor coming our way.
via HonestlyWTF


a bold unique kitchenThis is a rather bold kitchen, but I’m intrigued. Is this a modern interpretation of the Postmodern 80’s Memphis Style? This is starting to whisper to me. I know the world at large isn’t ready for this much color and mixed material, but it starts with a whisper.


Consort Design diagonal wall paintSee!?
Lately, I am loving on Consort Design via InstagramImage via Design-Milk


adorable store display at as of nowIsn’t this AS OF NOW store display adorable. Little vignettes in each cube.
Next up for TEOT SHOP TALK, we need to dig into merchandising design!


black white and woodOne of these days I’m gonna illustrate my passion for all things white, black and wood in a blog post.
via Camille Styles


let the beauty of what you love be what you doTell me all about it Rumi.


memphis style is seeping inY’all, that postmodern 80’s design is seeping into our world. Love it, or Hate it?


more words for the wise dont be delicate be vast and brillianIt’s always good to be reminded to strive for brilliance! ;)


the estate of things ten best bohemian shops on etsyYay, thank you Laura for including TEOT!!! 


vintage textiles african hmong mudcoth indigoAnd lastly, thanks for buying up all of our stock at SHOP TEOT.
It’s time to replenish our vintage textiles haul!


What’s NEXT?




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


ranch open2


ranch french4


ranch french2

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

ranch french7




ranch french6


ranch french3


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:


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:



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.



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.









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

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How to Decorate with Indigo Mudcloth Pillows


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?


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


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.

Pillows-African-Indigo-Mudcloth_by_the_estate_of_things_well lit




Gimme That!

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




Announcing new brick & mortar + blog series SHOP TALK

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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, 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.

[columns_row width=”half”] [column] 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.
[/column] [column] 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.
[/column] [/columns_row] 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.


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.
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.



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


The Lady Cave: A Chairish Challenge

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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.


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


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.

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