Posts Tagged ‘Home Design’

3 Design Must Haves In Our Latest Home Office Remodel

Home Office [Before] | Bringing Design Home

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
  • Inspiration
  • 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

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Small, Yet Simple, Kitchen Storage Solution

Simple + Small Kitchen Shelf Storage Solution

Living in a farmhouse built in 1910 definitely has it’s moments of nostalgia, but also frustration when it comes to organization. There are hardly any closets, the house was not built for a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, or even A/C. If we add any of these items to the house we take away highly valued real estate forcing us to consider every inch of space we leave open or fill up.

This wall is about 4 ft from our kitchen island. Normally we would love to put a thin table along the wall for more hidden storage, but it would make getting in and out of the kitchen very difficult. By creating a storage unit that hangs everything up on the wall it allows us to utilize the precious wall space without taking up any floor space.

We found these great raw shelves from IKEA and painted them white (they didn’t have the white option when we purchased them). These shelves have become the perfect place for stashing teas, sprinkles, paper muffin tins, and other spices that we don’t use on a daily basis. As a semi-closed storage system they help us organize all the little stuff that would otherwise get lost in drawers. Their tiny size keeps us from overloading them with “stuff” and helps us remember what is in each box. I also love that they are easy to pull out and use as a display for specific items, like tea bags, on the counter when entertaining guests.

My mom is so great at finding vintage items and using them in a way I would never have thought of. She is the one who gave me the idea of taking a floral frog pin, originally used for standing up flowers in a vase, as a way to display cards from friends and family.

(The boots image is a thank you card I received from my good friend Shelley. She takes wonderful photos of her own farm life. Check em out here!)

Our giant coffee mugs are a must, but they take up a TON of counter space. By hanging them with these screw-able hooks (you can buy at your local hardware store and you don’t even need a fancy tool to attach them to the shelves!) they clean-up extra cups in a very organized manner.

I also love hanging fresh onions or even potatoes in my no-sew market tote bag I made thanks to Martha (a really great homemade Christmas gift idea… just sayin!)! I’m looking for a vintage wood potato/onion bin, but until then we have no extra space in our cabinets for our farm fresh veggies!

This little shelf unit gives me a great place to display holiday decor and fresh flowers in the spring. We recently got some tiny pumpkins and Indian Corn in our latest Bountiful Baskets Order (find one near you!) and I am totally obsessed!

Don’t they look adorable?!

Living in 1,000 square feet definitely presents it’s challenges, but it also encourages us to live simpler and come up with invent storage solutions that really utilize each bit of extra space. There are days I would REALLY love a bigger house, but then I think about having more to clean, and more rooms to fill up, which means more excuses to buy more “stuff”.

Right now, I’m happy with our little home and it’s tight knit quarters… just ask me how I feel once we start having more kids!? Especially since James still resides in the laundry room!! :/

Do you have any tricks to share in organizing all the little spices and such that take up counter space in your kitchen? We’d love to hear your ideas!

From the Farm


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STUFF: Fortraits


I get inspired by people who enjoy the process. There is something fun and beautiful about making something with your hands. Sometimes we let a lack of resources stop us from enjoying the creative process, but often times, if we actually slow down, we will notice that the tools we need are all around us.

Commissioned by the True/False Film Festival, Fortraits is a series of four short films by Encyclopedia Pictura.

“…a directing team working in film, art, community building, and agriculture …their unorthodox, hands-on working style often includes direct creation in all aspects of production – writing, designing, painting, sculpting, animating, photographing, directing, editing, composition, and scoring.”Encyclopedia Pictura

“They are passionate about gardening, farming, construction, villages, augmented reality, science visualization, social ecology, technological empowerment, adventure, and country living.” - Encyclopedia Pictura

Sounds like the kind of people we’d like to be friends with! ;)

Number two, “Camping Rafts”, is my personal favorite. There is something very quaint and magical about chilling on the water with a good friend and tasty snacks. ;)

What’s your favorite Fortrait in the series? What about it inspires you? 

From The Farm

Learn more about Encyclopedia Picture and True/False Film Festival by visiting their websites.

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Creative Meetup: Defining Home

2013 journal dreaming | Bringing Design Home

Home is…

Where Cale is. Where James (our baby) is. Where I rest. Where I feel safe. Where I feel sexy all day without makeup and my smelly pj’s, Where Josie (our dog) snores, where it smells like home cooking, where the sun comes in from the window just so and time stands still, where God speaks to me, where God sings to me, where I dance like no one is watching, where I sing loudly, where I eat more chocolate chip cookies than I should (there is always room for ONE more), where I keep all my clothes, where my family and friends come to find rest, where I cook all my favorite meals, where plum is my favorite color (at least for this season), where my heart is full, I can hide, I can be me, and I can figure out me.

Home holds all of my favorite things.

The Best Client | Bringing Design Home

Healthy Breakfast | Bringing Design Home

We recently had another old fashioned creative weekend with some of our dearest friends. Armed with old school pen and paper we doodled, dreamed, then dreamed even bigger of our life and what we really want out of it. In that place of dreaming we kept coming back to our personal definitions of home.

For me, home is a place where we get to do collaborations from our hearts, heads and hands.

A place that celebrates heritage, legacy, and all things local.

A Spirit-led life full of creativity, integrity, and love.

A place that doesn’t let us skip the process.

The definition of home holds all of my favorite things.

How do you define home? What does it look like, smell like, what parts of home do you miss the most when you are gone?

From the Farm

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GCD Valentine’s Day Wallpapers: #3

Valentine's Day "Take My Hand" Wallpapers | Green Couch Design

The last saying in our Valentine’s Day Wallpaper Series is one of our personal favorites. When life seems to hit us hard and we are going through a rough patch we always say;

“Take my hand, let’s get outta here.”

As long as we have each other and our hearts are in a good place between the two of us, we can take on anything. The saying reminds us that regardless of how big the task may seem, there is an end in sight, this is just ONE season of our marriage, and it won’t be like this forever.

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GCD Valentine’s Day Wallpapers: #1

Valentine's Day "You Make My Toes Curl" Wallpapers | Green Couch Design

Cale and I love, love. We love hearing stories about how other couples met along with romantic dates, kisses, and the kind of cute annoying stuff that makes you want to throw up a little. After being married for nearly five years we’ve learned a thing or two about celebrating love. Sometimes it’s not about the BIG date night or how much money you can spend, sometimes it truly is the thought that counts.

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2013 Garden Checklist: February

Garden Checklist February 2013

Ok, so it doesn’t feel super warm out yet, at least not consistently, but gardening is in full swing! Many people are starting seeds indoors and waking up their perennials as spring quickly approaches. I’ve already been out, warmed up the raised beds, cleaned up the over winter weeds, and put in my first run at square foot gardening; not to mention digging up an unexpected crop of carrots! So if your green thumb is already itching for green sprouts or if you’re just one of those people that likes to get an early start here are a few February garden tips to get you going…

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CNY: Tim & Kara [Kara Paslay Designs]


This week we are super stoked to be sharing with you another talented and fun loving couple! Not only are they practically our neighbors, living in Tulsa, but they are one super cute and powerful team that truly enjoy working together. In fact, you might have seen some of their fun projects in magazines, blogs, and even TV with their easy DIY’s and functional decor affordable for any budget!

Meet Tim and Kara Paslay with Kara Paslay Designs:

“We do a lot of different creative jobs, all which fall under our business “Kara Paslay Designs.”  It is a full time, all consuming business and we love it.  Basically, we will take on any job that involves creative design.  We do or have done interior design for residential homes, retail design for Anthropologie and other Tulsa boutiques, window displays, we write a daily blog, we host DIY classes, we serve as art directors/set decorators for commercial, TV shows, & movies, and we are in the process of developing our own design TV show! :) Basically we love creating and will take every opportunity to do so!”- Kara Paslay

Q1) What was the inspiration behind starting Kara Paslay Design?

A1) Kara- Growing up I promised myself that no matter what I ended up doing that I would love it. I refused to work at a job that I dreaded every day. There was a problem though- my college days were focused on playing basketball. Around my junior year, I realized that I wanted to do interior design after my basketball days were over, but my college didn’t offer the major. So, I went about the rest of my college days trying to squeeze in furniture redo projects and small things I could take on in my apartment. After college Tim and I bought a home. Tim took a job at a construction company to learn the basics of construction/building so that we could apply that knowledge to our home and one day our business. Meanwhile I worked at home honing different skills- designing and redesigning rooms to create a portfolio for myself. We looked at our home as a hands on learning university where we could get the education that we needed to eventually start our own business.

Tim- I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do out of college, but I knew I needed to try things to figure out what I did and didn’t like. I took on the responsibility of bread winning while Kara was getting established and now the rolls have reversed a little bit. I still pitch in, but with a better understanding of what I enjoy doing, I am working on some projects that aren’t necessarily making money yet, but will one day be an enjoyable (and hopefully profitable) business of my own.

Read More…

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STUFF: Alpaca Farm Fashion from Adrienne Antonson


Ok, ok so I know that spring is “here” and summer is on it’s way, but have you been in Oklahoma lately? It’s cold! My baby filled body doesn’t know if it needs to get ready for hibernation or bare feet on the grass.

And then I saw these felted alpaca hats… remember our Everyday Design post featuring the amazingly odd bugs made out of human hair? Well it seems that artist, Adrienne Antonson, is up to more great creative goodness. In between these fantastic felted alpaca hats and the chilly spring I kinda want too crawl back into my winter hole and curl up with a cup of tea (raspberry of course!) and a nice warm fire (comfy house shoes included).

From Farm to Fashion with Adrienne Antonson from Seattle magazine on Vimeo.

After watching this beautiful video about her farm inspired creations she seems like a reasonable person (not someone who would collect human hair and spend hours sculpting them into tiny bugs). And of course I can’t help but be completely intrigued and yet captured by Adrienne’s locally produced clothing line…

“Now, we’ve known that line as NuBe Seattle; but because Antonson has left her digs on Vashon to be closer to family in North Carolina, the line has been renamed State. As Antonson tours with her artwork, she’ll collaborate with other designers, artisans, and friends around the states (hence the name) and scour thrift stores and antique shops for gorgeous threads to put back into premium circulation.” - SeattleMet by Laura Cassidy

So here I am stuck in between winter and summer and enjoying the “cool” Oklahoma spring days for as long we have them! Adrienne I can’t wait to see what else you have up your “remaker” sleeves! Winter or summer I’m definitely figuring out a way to incorporate your wonderful pieces into my wardrobe!

From the (Oklahoma) Farm

All images are from Adrienne Antonson’s Blog. Check it out!

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Lesson #3: Start With What You Have


When launching any business it’s easy to get frustrated with inadequate resources. Don’t get me wrong, there are some occupations where expensive equipment is needed but when Cale and I started Green Couch Design we knew we had to build a business with the resources we had on hand. We started with what we had.

Nearly two and half years ago, on an October Monday, we met up from our corporate design jobs for a quick lunch date. We had been talking for years about running our own design firm, but it was time to draw a line in the sand and just go for it. We decided then and there that unless we felt a blatant “no” within our spirits we would quit our jobs come the first of the year. That was Monday. On Thursday Cale was laid off from his Architecture job. Obviously this was not the plan we had figured out in our heads, but we saw this as an opportunity and a definite sign that it was time to pursue our dream of establishing a business around our home life.

At that time I continued working full-time while Cale started up the business from home. Because of my employment at that time we could not offer any kind of graphic design services. We had to come up with another way to make a living; an original idea that would allow us to show off our design skills in a creative way. With no savings, not even a printer for our computers, and an income that barley covered our monthly living expenses we had to design products using the materials we had on hand.

For us, that was an extra bag of concrete found in our old Milk Barn.

Once we narrowed down the materials we had available we began asking the following questions:

  • What products have been made with this material before?
  • What products can’t be made with this material?
  • What are the type of products that people want to buy on a regular basis?
  • Are there everyday items that are typically seen in a gift/retail shop that you could put a unique spin on?

When starting your own business it’s easy to get intimidated by the lack resources that are available. Don’t get me wrong there are things that are needed to start a business, but you cannot let a lack of resources stop you from moving forward! In the beginning when we found ourselves in need of extra overhead to produce products we would look around the house and see what we could sell off? We sold all kinds of stuff from old windows we replaced in the old farm house to a quesadilla maker! Ultimately, we refused to let lack stop us from moving forward.

We didn’t know at the time that a bag of concrete would help launch and establish our little business, but out of it grew a series of concrete jewelry, candle holders, and pots! Obviously we don’t sell all these items today, but that bag of found concrete gave us a starting place to hone in on our craft, experiment, and find a niche that is truly original to what Green Couch Design is today.

Who knows, maybe it’s your lack of resources that will be the thing to force you out of your box and into an idea that is uniquely your own! :)

Are you having a hard time getting started with your home based business? What resources do you feel like you are lacking? What resources do you have access to that you may not have considered before reading this post? Have you or do you know of someone who has come up with a new idea or spin on a product due to their lack of resources?

From the Farm

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High class design in overalls. It's the simple life of a farm through the eyes of a couple of crazy designers. We call ourselves Green Couch Design and we are Bringing Design Home.

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