Welcome to our blog, “Bringing Design Home”. It’s here you’ll catch regular glimpses into our design process, our garden and landscape developments, our industrial design experiments, along with our daily life and silly mistakes. We have started this journey as scientists ultimately with a belief in a truth of freedom and a hope that by living the experiment we can prove it. Welcome to our adventure.
Apparently we’ve been keeping a lot of secrets from you guys! Not only are we expecting baby #2, but we are excited to announce that we are moving forward with building our own Modern Farmhouse! With Grandpa’s help we picked the perfect spot on top of 5 acres right next to Cale’s mom’s house. Some might think it’s crazy to build next to family, but we’re excited to live within walking distance and share in all the responsibilities of a caring for a big garden and future pigs, cows, chickens, bees, etc.
Lots of potential!
Since we have been married it’s been a dream of ours to build our own little homestead. We’ve loved every second we’ve had in our current 1910 farm house, but we are looking forward to having a place we can really call our own. After talking to the bank and doing some serious financial planning, we are aiming to break ground in 2016!
Two years seems like a long ways away, but we’ve got some major designing to do!
In the mean time Cale’s working on getting his architectural license and continuing to gain as much experience as possible in the construction industry. We can’t stop sketching and laying out every nook and cranny. Our ideas are still rough, but we look forward to sharing our design process with you along with picking out furniture, finishes, and flooring!
Any tips for building and/or designing your own home?!
From The Farm
Guy and Natalie, the owners of Cut Loose Hair Design, are a father-daughter duo that you will NEVER forget! Both of their personalities are very outgoing, over the top, and genuinely fun–perfect for a salon! It’s been a dream of theirs to work together in their own space, and after a few years of planning, saving, and gaining top-industry experience they were ready to take the leap into full-time studio owners.
Cut Loose Hair Design needed our help streamlining two very opinionated personalities into one cohesive aesthetic. The perfect blend of what makes Green Couch Design so unique, we were able to bring both our graphic design and architectural backgrounds to the table–offering a truly complete branding and interior design package. From finalizing the salon name, establishing a lasting brand with focus and drive, to offering interior design, floor plan, and lighting suggestions we were truly able to provide a big picture design vision for Cut Loose Hair Design.
A father-daughter run business Cut Loose Hair Design has the perfect blend of a masculine perspective on design, experienced education, and young innovative idea’s for men, women, and children alike. Their ongoing knowledge of hair design keeps them in style and on trend. At Cut Loose Hair Design they are not afraid to bring their own personal creativity and talents to the latest coloring, cutting, styling, perms, waxes, and updos for a final look customers love.
It was important to keep the brand design smart, but fun, clean, but friendly, classy, and display an overall positive vibe. The bright colors speak to Natalie’s love of teal and rustic decor, while the simple design and san serif font target Guy’s straight line business approach and love of industrial materials. At Cut Loose Hair Design family is centric to their entire business culture. The two sheers in the mark celebrate the coming together of the father-daughter salon duo, without being over the top or cheesy. The additional marks within the brand display a raw, almost cattle brand-like styling, without feeling too country.
Vintage family heirloom barrel furniture added a unique look and feel to the shop design. Looking to attract young and fun individuals and families it was important that the salon felt trendy, but comfortable. Unlike cheap chop-shops Cut Loose Hair Design builds personal relationships with their clients and it was important to create that casual atmosphere in the overall layout of the shop.
To maximize profit Cut Loose Hair Design needed to fit as many booth spaces as possible within their layout while still providing ease of movement and function. By extending the typical waiting area throughout the ends and central location of the studio we were able to fit more booths into the shop and create comfy seating “nooks” out of the odd leftover spaces. By spreading the waiting area throughout the midsection of the shop and adding a coffee bar–toward the back right–clients can move freely and truly make themselves at home.
The relaxed floor plan encourages genuine customer interaction with all the stylists and customers, while the individual booth spaces provide room for one-on-one professional care and attention.
Guy and Natalie wanted a professional, yet family-friendly atmosphere that people would want to come back to again and again. By placing seating throughout the entire shop the public space is clearly defined while encouraging clients to move around the salon. The comfy seating and handmade family-style dining room table make the space feel even more homey. Typically clients can find the table covered with hair and fashion magazines to coloring books. Cut Loose Hair Design is truly a trendy, yet kid-friendly place.
Originally the space was very bare and boring. Guy and Natalie wanted creative suggestions to add materials and interest throughout the entire salon. The upcycled pallet wall, wine rack towel holders, old doors where the mirrors are attached, are all elements that tie to the Cut Loose Hair Design raw, chic, and industrial aesthetic. With the help of their entire family the owners were not afraid of getting their hands dirty. They took each of our interior design suggestions to heart and truly made the shop their own.
Cut Loose Hair Design has been one of our favorite projects thus far because we were able to showcase all of what makes Green Couch Design so unique. We love family, we love homey spaces, and we love great design. Creating a space and a branding platform where all three of those could flourish in has been a dream come true.
Thanks Guy and Natalie!
From The Farm
* To view more work like this and others visit our graphic design portfolio at Green Couch Design.
It’s official, Baby #2 is on it’s way! We have been busy, busy, with moving rooms around, going through baby clothes, studying for architecture licensing exams, design work, and just generally hibernating for the winter, but somewhere in the mist of all that I’ve also scheduled in a few fun girl trips before the big arrival. Maybe it’s selfish, but I’m just now starting to really enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with James NOT being a baby. I realize we intentionally got pregnant with #2, but until I’m landlocked for another year or so I’m taking full advantage of this season.
Mel and I were dorm room neighbors in college and have been close friends ever since. She’s taught me a lot about life, cooking, and even introduced Cale and I at a random birthday party! I owe Mel a lot and since I haven’t been able to find her a husband (yet) I figured the LEAST I could do was schedule a trip to visit her in Boston?!!
The hostess with the mostess Mel had the whole weekend scheduled just perfectly! From historical sites and big city activities, to ‘rest stops” at local bakeries and coffee shops; she even planned an afternoon pedicure for this old pregnant lady! It was a trip of a lifetime, but more than anything I just enjoyed making new memories with one of my best friends.
A few days before the trip Mel informed me that the two toughest decisions during my stay would be, 1. what to eat, and 2. where to eat?! I know we only scratched the surface of the amazing sites and scenes in Boston, but here are a few of my personal favorites:
- Parish Cafe: BEST Mac In Cheese EVER!! Made this pregnant lady soooooo happy!
- Boston Ballet: Instead of an entire orchestra the show, Close to Chuck, used a piano only for it’s accompaniment. I loved the warm tone and acoustic feel this created throughout the entire performance. Our seats were so close you could literally see the sweat pouring off of each dancer. It was truly humbling to see how they make each movement appear so delicate and flawless.
- Getting to know some of Mel’s close Boston friends (you know who you are!).
- The Top of the Hub at the Prudential Tower: Enjoyed a wonderful aerial view of the city, a live jazz band, white wine, and fancy Boston Cream Pie of course!
- Boston Public Library: All I could think of was; “Who ya gonna call… GHOSTBUSTERS”!! Oh and yes, the library was beautiful! And no, I didn’t see Slimer floating around, although I kept a good eye out!
- Museum of Fine Arts: Skimmed through 11 new exhibits, some of the America’s Wing, and stopped by the gift shop of course!
- Flour Bakery: Lunch, coffee, and a sweet treat!
- Trader Joe’s: Bought way to much chocolate and wine. Can you tell I wasn’t counting calories?!
- Newbury Street Shopping: Enjoyed visiting with the local shop owners, drooling over the more high-end shops, Georgetown Cupcakes, and a much needed pedicure!
- Making homemade pizza at Mel’s house and watching our favorite chick flick; How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days.
- Public Garden and Boston Common Tour: Mel gave me the full rundown of her amazing job with Shakespeare in the Park. She’s so legit!
- Freedom Trail: Visited the State House, Park Street Church, and followed it all the way to the North End/Little Italy for some pasta with friends!
- Mike’s Pastry: HOLY CANNOLI!! Best cannoli of my life. Seriously, pistachio all the way!
The older I get the more I realize that good girlfriends are truly priceless and I’m grateful for every moment Mel and I get to share together. Maybe it was the extra sleep, or the 1 or 2 cups of coffee I splurged on, but, either way, my Boston adventure was just what I needed to get refreshed and excited about having two babies in tow!
Daddy Cale did an amazing job watching James all by himself! I was a little nervous about leaving the two of them together, but seeing the bond that had formed while I was gone made the trip even more worth it!
Guess that means I need to go away more often!!?
From The Farm
Our friends, Andrew & Crystal, live in a tiny 2-bedroom house near downtown Oklahoma City. Fitting two kids into one bedroom will challenge any family, but when they found out they were pregnant with #3 they knew they had a BIG design problem on their hands. As an intern-architect Andrew has a definite design style he prefers, and wasn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty with a good design challenge.
Using galvanized pipe for the bunk bed rails and birch plywood Andrew designed a space to sleep both girls while providing clothing storage for all three kids. Since they are renting it was important to design the bed to structurally hold two kids safely without being attached to the wall. Both beds have their own bunk cubby providing a private space for the two oldest siblings. To make the most of their floor space the bottom bunk currently holds a toddler bed, but was designed to accommodate a twin mattress for the future.
Finding modern children’s furniture that is designed and functions well can be difficult and very expensive! Often times the ladder feels like it was a last minute thought and is awkwardly incorporated into the overall layout. Andrew did a great job establishing an overall clean and functional aesthetic by incorporating the ladder as a cutout from the overall bunk bed structure.
We love seeing our creative friends come up with fun solutions for their homes that are custom and affordable! Thanks Andrew and Crystal for inspiring us as we plan out James’ new toddler room!
What’s your favorite design element of Andrew’s bunk bed?
Wanna build one yourself? Visit Andrew’s blog to see the detailed bunk bed specs and materials.
From The Farm
We’ve been keeping a little secret from you guys that’s not so little anymore! It’s hard to believe we are nearly halfway there and about to find out if we’re having another boy or a girl!?
Now, it’s time to get working on that nursery and toddler room combo!
Have a great weekend everyone.
From The Farm
As James Daivd is getting older I’m really enjoying coming up with creative crafts he can be a part of. Since Cale and I’s design work is mostly on the computer it’s always fun making stuff from scratch using tape, crayons, and old school construction paper!
About half of our close family and friends live in other states so it’s important to us to keep in contact–even in small ways. Coming up with little notes showing them how much we love and miss them is one of our favorite things to do! Last year we designed a Valentine using James’ handprint and it was a huge hit. This year we wanted to continue that tradition, but with a new card design.
- Construction Paper
- Scissors/Paper Cutter (Preferably NOT your fabric scissors!) :/
- White Washable Kid-Friendly Paint
- Paper Plate (An easy throw-away prop to load the kids’ hands with paint)
- Kid Size Smock (Something to cover the wee ones up just in case things get crazy!)
- #10 Envelopes
- Take It One Hand At A Time: Before I assembled the actual cards I cut and organized the strips of paper into 10 left hand & 10 right hand stacks for a total of 20 4×6 strips. Like an assembly line we went through one stack of papers at a time so that only one hand had paint on it at all times.
- Don’t Be A Clean Freak: Even with the smock on things are gonna get messy! Take a breath and let your kids enjoy the craft! As long as it’s washable paint it will be easy to wipe off surfaces and get out of clothes.
- Leave Room For Errors: Cut extra strips of each color for both the left and right handprints. We needed 6 total cards so I cut enough for 10 (20 4×6 colored strips) and was able to pick the best prints out of the batch to make the final cards.
- Make It Yours: Decorative Washi Tape and even mini confetti hearts are just a few additional ideas that can add even more Valentines Day Flare!
My favorite part about this craft is that it’s messy! At first I was a little hesitant, but watching James get at it with the paint and teaching him to work with us to “squish” each print was a blast. This craft was super easy and something we did as a family on a weeknight between supper and bath time. It’s just a little reminder that you don’t need hours to create and send a little snail mail hug for Valentines Day or “just because”!
What’s Your Favorite Handmade Valentine Design?
From The Farm
Let’s face it, Valentines Day is nice on the years you remember to make it special, but it can be even more meaningful when you randomly do something nice for your spouse on the other 364 days in the year. Life gets busy and we change. Our appetites change, our bodies change, and our moods change. There are seasons where “love” flows out nice and easy, and then there are seasons where it’s like checking something off your to-do list. Either way, no matter how easy or hard it might feel, it’s important to pursue your spouse’s heart everyday–not JUST on Valentines Day.
Below are a few practical tips I’ve personally been working on to show Cale why he’s still my best friend, that I still know his heart and love him, and that ultimately I still wanna jump his bones.
1. A Few of His Favorite Things: If your household is anything like ours, the woman is typically the one pushing for the more “healthy” eating habits. Most of the time the man cruses along to the beat of her drum, but every once in a while it’s really fun to surprise him with one of his favorite treats. For Cale that could be chocolate chips for cookies, beef jerky (I know seriously?!), or picking up a six pack of the original A&W Root Beer (not the cheap diet kind!). I promise, your man will be a lot more willing to go along with your new lifestyle changes knowing you haven’t totally forgotten about his old favorite treats.
2. Be His #1 Fan: There have been seasons where Cale is working really late hours for weeks, sometimes even months at a time. It can be hard on our family and our relationship. I used to get onto him about being late, adding another stress factor to an already stressful season at work. I’ve learned that if I focus on applauding the hard work he’s putting in and ask for ways I can help encourage him in reaching his goals, then the problem becomes something we can approach as a team instead of it feeling like it’s him vs. me. Our relationship is a lot more enjoyable when he knows I’m for him and not against him.
3. Initiate intimacy: No really! So many women get offended because their husbands don’t initiate sex as much as they “used to”. Well, do you?! Sometimes the guy is just tired of always being the one to turn up the heat. Men are like women in the sense that they too need to feel sexy and pursued. Regardless of if your man is buff or has a gut, he still needs to know he’s the only man for you. Don’t forget to remind him that he’s still got it!
4. Household Splurges: Now ladies, I’m not talking about that honey do project YOU’VE been waiting for him to get on! This is something he has been wanting for the house, his shop, or even the car? I tend to put Cale’s requests for things off because they are not always top priority, but they mean something to him. Even if we set a budget and allocate an amount every paycheck until we can afford that special purchase, it let’s him know that I notice and appreciate all the hard work he’s putting into financially supporting our family.
Speaking of… I really need to look into buying that wall mount for our new flat screen! :/
5. Warm the Heart: They say the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and I’ve found this especially to be true in our relationship! I’m always looking for ways to make meals healthier, but it’s fun to surprise Cale with one of his favorite hearty meals on a random weeknight. Usually if I stop and actually listen he’ll drop hints and mini requests throughout the week. For example, on a cold night I might hear him say; “Potato soup and homemade bread sound so good right now!” Making the meal the way HE likes it–NOT the healthier version–shows that I notice his opinions, however big or small, and that means a lot!
6. Encourage the Small Things: As women we tend to be naggers (WHAT?!). We try our best, but man it is hard sometimes. When you find yourself focusing on all the things he’s doing wrong try and look for ONE thing that he is doing right and encourage him in that area. If he helps with the dishes, puts the kids to bed, changes a diaper, takes out the trash, says “I love you”, or even shares his feelings without being asked, all those things are tiny examples that mean A LOT! When I take the time to acknowledge and thank him for helping me I’ve found it reinforces that particular behavior and naturally produces more of it!
After being married for almost six years we’ve learned that a little bit of planning and intentional pursuit really does go a long ways. It’s not always about the big fancy trips or a night on the town–although those are all wonderful when they DO happen! Capturing your spouses heart is really about the daily nods that say; “I still love you and haven’t forgotten about you–amongst all the work deadlines, errands to run, dishes to clean, and kids to be shuffled around.”
What is your favorite way to love your man outside of Valentines Day?
Let’s make it last all year long! Happy Valentines Day everyone.
From The Farm
It’s that time of year again boys. The day when we are expected to woo and wow our ladies, with our amazing romanticism and sensitivity…
But the reality is that the wooing and wowing should go on all year around. For Meg and I it’s more about the moments you live everyday than one big event in the year. Don’t get me wrong I’m still planning a V-day moment to match all the others, it just might not be the moment we talk about 2 or 3 years from now. So today I’m going to share a few moments that Meg and I still talk about today. Hopefully they wow and woo your inspiration.
1. Seize the Day: Spontaneity is such a powerful element in Meg and I’s relationship. The willingness to take a moment, to grab it and run with it is something that has made our life a never-ending adventure. One night we had to go to a big awards ceremony for Meg’s work. She actually ended up accepting one of the top awards of the night. But the best part of the evening was when the event was over we decided on a whim to run home pack a bag and come back to the hotel that hosted the event. We stayed a night and just enjoyed the moment, drank deep of the celebration, and took full advantage of the evening.
2. Getting Lucky: So we all know those days when you just need a little boost, a little push to keep going. That’s how I picture flowers at the door just because. On those days when I’m feeling extra happy, I finished a big report or I got a promotion, or heck just a day when all hell didn’t break loose at 8:15am. Those days I like to invite Meg into the celebration that I’m feeling by bringing home flowers or candy, something she loves but doesn’t always have.
3. Mister Home Maker: OK every guy has one of these stories, at least every married guy. But it works… what am I talking about, I’m talking about doing the dishes, folding the laundry, those stories. The phrase “it’s the thought that counts” was coined around these stories. When I do the dishes, Meg doesn’t always find the pots and pans until the next week. I tend to organize the flat ware a little differently. But Meg loves it just the same, the idea that I acknowledge what she does so many times to keep our house clean and our little guy happy, and that I step into that place and take that moment to give her the break means a lot!
4. Open letter: Something we guys don’t often think about when it comes to romance is sharing our hearts. Sometimes we get so caught up in doing something for our ladies that we forget to just invite them into our lives. One of the ways I do this is through little letters. I’ll leave the letters on the bathroom mirror, on her pillow, or on the bar where she’ll find it when she gets up. These notes tell her how much she means to me, or what I’ve been battling through that week and how she’s helped me without even knowing it. These letters connect Meg to me during those busy weeks when long walks aren’t an option and long talks are hard to come by.
5. The Warm Up: In Oklahoma it can get cold, this winter was particularly chilly. So when it’s minus 9 degrees outside and she’s trying to get ready to go to a meeting, or meet a friend, I’ll slip out the door and start the car, clean off the windshield and make sure the heater is turned up nice and hot. It’s not a big deal but in that moment Meg knows I’m thinking about her.
6. A Good Book: This is one that we’ve just started, but I really enjoy it. Pick a good book, one that she’s wanted to read. I started with ‘Anthem’ by Ayn Rand, a great classic with lots of great discussion points. I would read a chapter each night aloud to Meg and then we would talk about what we liked, or didn’t about the story. This is much better and more involved than sharing a favorite TV show.
So this week as you plan your Valentines moment, remember that its the other 364 days that bring the spice to that moment!
Look for Meg’s top 6 post later this week, and feel free to share your ideas for daily romance in the comments.
With winter in full swing I’ve been utilizing the extra indoor time to organize our pictures from this past year. It turns out, in all of our big family events we totally forgot to share images from James’ First Birthday! Talk about first time parenting FAIL! We obviously decided to keep it real low key. Call us crazy, but we just didn’t see the point in going “all out” knowing that there will be a lot of other really important birthdays to come (that he will actually remember!).
Our theme was simple: cows, dirt, homemade cobbler, and an old fashion weenie roast! It was truly a celebration of James’ favorite things!
GAMES: Pin the Tail on the Cow: My brother-in-law Jeremy is an amazing artist and he hand drew an identical image of James’ stuffed cow just perfectly! We loved it so much we’re saving it for his “big boy” room.
CRAFTS: Cow Faces out of Paper Plates: Since the party was for a 1 year old we cut out all the noses, eyes, ears, horns, etc. and put them all into different jars with the parts and pieces labeled. The older kids loved getting to use the glue sticks!
DECOR: Tied bandanas together and created a canopy under our large oak tree in our yard. It’s our favorite place to hang outside with friends. The black and white balloons were a fun connection back to “cow”, without being overly cheesy.
FOOD: Hot dogs, mini bags of chips, a bowl of fruit, veggie tray, and dessert. Kept it super simple, but kid-friendly!
FAVORS: Adorable farm animal crayons from Etsy! One of our favorite little finds for the party.
Other then that, we just pulled the highchair out on the lawn and let James enjoy his birthday cobbler the old fashion way (his love for blackberries definitely runs in the family)! It was a wonderful evening catching up with old and new friends while the kids ran around getting dirty and really worn out for the drive home!
What’s your favorite kid-themed party?
From the Farm
Oh Lord help us! Our home office has become quite an embarrassment. We can blame it on life, on baby, on being in a hurry, but most of it, honestly, is simply about not being willing to protect our sacred office space.
When you live in 1,000 square feet you are constantly coming up with new ways to utilize your space more efficiently. It feels like just yesterday we completed the nursery and updated our office space, and here we are again ready to switch the rooms and update all over again! We enjoy the challenges of organizing a new space, but man it can be exhausting!
With the new toddler room (still in process) and office room switch we are changing the function of our entire house. The new “big boy room” now has to host James and a future space for (someday) baby #2. We are also aiming to create more kid-friendly storage and a second play space outside of the living room for when friends come to visit. The good news is that the office can now function in 3/4 of a smaller space than what we had originally expected. Since we are no longer selling products we don’t need a place for tools, creating products, packaging and shipping, and inventory. The bad news is that the only room left is the one we had to make a laundry room, because their was no place designated for a washer and dryer when we moved in!
Over the years we’ve definitely learned that no matter what type of space you have available, you can still create the perfect office or work nook that fits your functional and aesthetic needs! This is our 4th office remodel and each time we’ve updated our focus on the space changes a bit. This remodel we’ve narrowed down three design must haves to help us stay focused and create the best work space to meet our business’ needs.
1. Designate a place for all things. The last time we updated our office we just switched rooms and threw everything together. We didn’t take the time to really think through how we might utilize the space, and then design it around that function. This time we are really going through all of our drawers, getting rid of a ton of stuff that has just been lost or forgotten about (which feels super good!), and really making sure we have a place for all the important things that are needed for our home based business to function at it’s best.
This time around we are not letting a small office space be an excuse for clutter. We’re considering both open and closed shelving options as well as ways to display messy things in an organized and creative way.
Samples of things that need a place to call their own:
- Client Folders
- Taxes & Receipts
- Daily Check-Lists/Long Term Goals
- Design Books
- Paper Samples
- Daily Office Supplies
2. Let it breath. Say it with us, “White space is our friend”! Meg’s always been the one for color while Cale’s the minimalist at heart. It’s only taken her nearly six of years of marriage, but she’s finally coming around! Don’t get us wrong, she still likes a bit of color, but there is a definite balance. Don’t overload your space with so much clutter and wall storage that there is no room for expansion and growth. In the past we’ve had so much space for mood boards and inspiration it’s caused more distraction and encouraged clutter. We love having inspirational things around us, but we’re trying to really keep it simple. Just because we have lots of artwork that we want to display doesn’t mean EVERY piece deserves a place on the wall! Instead we want to create a space that breaths and can be easily updated by switching out photos and artwork–allowing more time to enjoy each piece AND some pretty white space.
3. Create a space for the minions. We want our kids to feel a part of our business and who knows, maybe even help us in some of the creative process? It’s important to us to establish a space, no matter how small, that they can feel at home in. We’re turning our home office into the creative hub in our home where all the paints, chalk, colors, and crafts happen. We know there will be times when we need space from the kids to meet deadlines and communicate with clients. However, as much as we love nap time we also know it’s not gonna last forever! If we need to work for a few hours during the day our office needs to easily transition into a kid-friendly place encouraging all kinds of artistic endeavors from our little minions.
It’s all happening here on The Farm in the next few weeks! Can’t wait to share with you the final updated office design. Meg’s definitely ready to have her kitchen table back.
What details are the most important in your office space?!
From The Farm
images (not including header) | 1 string system | 2 unknown | 3 from scandinavia with love | 4 design*sponge + vtwonen | 5 string pocket | 6 design*sponge + dos family