Saturday, July 31, 2010

How to design a room on a budget, by designer Amanda Burdge


Ok so let's be straight here. Design is no longer like it was in 2007. The economy has tanked, and consumers are no longer in "consumption, high-gear". This poses a bit of a challenge to my industry of all things fabulous and fantastic while donning a cute bag and stilettos creating design magic; but a challenge is always welcomed in my corner. As my budgets deplete, and my clients watch every dollar spent, I am forced to become a whole new designer;... (insert cyclone wind tunnel, notable red cape, snazzy fedora hat,  flattering leotard with a big "D" expertly embroidered on my chest, and dare I say tights?) One of my favorite quotes as a testiment to this new mentality is from Brian Flynn Patrick of Decor Demon:


"Lately I’ve been street hustling with hardcore garbage. It’s not my fault, I’m blaming the economy. Nowadays doing the design showroom mambo with deep-pocketed, Prada-clad clients is more fantasy than nine-to-five routine. To make a buck as a decorator in 2010, you’ve gotta strap on the knee pads, prepare to suck it [up] and hope that everyone else is putting out. The trash, that is."



So in this NEW day and age of the F word being thrown around like a cheap pair of bongo wedges from Mervyn's, clients are demanding high style, for the price of food stamps, and a WIC block of government cheese. Barbie herself would shutter in her footsteps if forced to drink boxed wine, and shop at Target. Can you even imagine Barbie on a budget? Gasp!

In my opinion, and yes it is the GOLD standard, tested and approved opinion, design changes peoples lives. When a client sees their room or house transformed, magic by design occurs. A well appointed home does not have to cost a lot, but it is amazing to see how much it can uplift and change the inhabitants that live there. You function better, entertain more and live to a higher standard. Don't beleive me? Spend one weekend de cluttering and painting one room in your house. As an added bonus, put out a vase of fresh flowers. I guarantee you will feel different.
So in an effort to show you that design is possible and doesn't have to be expensive I designed the following room, top to bottom for three times less than an average room cost. Enjoy!  
  AB HOME Interiors #1


Design by AB HOME Interiors
Shopping List:
$18 - urbanoutfitters.com

$1,499 - crateandbarrel.com


$899 - crateandbarrel.com


$919 - ballarddesigns.com


$175 - barneys.com


Originals roomandboard.com
Locally screen printed


$200 - roomandboard.com


Originals from roomandboard.com
Screen printed locally





$449 - calvinklein.com

Design provided by AB HOME Interiors through polyvore


Need design help from an experienced design professional with over 12 years experience? Want to work with someone who listens to your needs and sticks to your budget? Call our office for a design consultation that will change the way you live and think about your home. Contact us @ info@abhomeinteriors.com or call us @ 615-750-2763


Like decorating but don't know where to start? Want to learn the insiders secrets, tips and tricks? Sign up for Design Strategies 101
(August classes are almost sold out! Sign up today to reserve your seat)

Are you a designer in the Nashville area looking for mentorship in a nurturing environment? Want to learn the ins and outs to the business that school didn't provide? Sign up for Designer Bootcamp to learn the skills necessary to be a true design professional!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Welcome home....by designer Amanda Burdge


"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make ME happy or unhappy. I can choose which it shall be, today. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it." 
Groucho Marx

I came across the above quote by accident the other day, as I was serving the web. I had seen this stunning home on Cote de Texas that immediately made ME happy and I thought I'd share it here with you today in hopes to make YOU happy. To see the post click here.

I love this entry. The door is unique and the decor is simple and easy on the eyes.




What a stunning and beautiful room. It's easy, and a great place for conversation with friends.


I can envision myself here with close friends, giggling over coffee, and gossiping about 
so-in-so's best recipe's and fantasizing about lazy Sunday Bar-B-Que's.


And after a hard day of friends, food and laughter, retreating to this heaven of a place for a perfect night of slumber. Ahhhh.

All images courtesy Cote de Texas


Need design help from an experienced design professional with over 12 years experience? Want to work with someone who listens to your needs and sticks to your budget? Call our office for a design consultation that will change the way you live and think about your home. Contact us @ info@abhomeinteriors.com or call us @ 615-750-2763


Like decorating but don't know where to start? Want to learn the insiders secrets, tips and tricks? Sign up for Design Strategies 101
(August classes are almost sold out! Sign up today to reserve your seat)

Are you a designer in the Nashville area looking for mentorship in a nurturing environment? Want to learn the ins and outs to the business that school didn't provide? Sign up for Designer Bootcamp to learn the skills necessary to be a true design professional!

Don't forget to follow us on twitter!





And become a FAN on our AB HOME facebook fanpage!



Monday, July 26, 2010

How to find inspiration for your next design project


One of the most puzzling concepts for homeowners, who are about to start a project, is trying to find inspiration for their home. A few months back I did a post about finding inspiration and using it to organize your thoughts, and create a plan to help keep you on track.
Just as I wrote in this post, inspiration is an important ingredient when building a room concept. Your home should live and breathe who you are and inspiration is at the core of it. All rooms and homes have essential pieces that make it you. And as any designer will tell you, inspiration can come from anywhere or anything.

Well, as I was perusing the blogosphere over the weekend, filing through all my favorite blogs, I visited one of my favorites, little blue deer. Shari is always good at posting inspiring photos that move me, and jump start my day. About a week ago she did a lovely post, Black on Blonde with this inspiring photo, from fashion gone rogue



I loved the photo so much I designed an entire Master Bathroom around it for a client, which can be seen here. This is a perfect example of taking a photo, not really related to interiors, and translating into a room. This picture moved me. It is classic, chic, sexy, and feminine. It was everything the current bathroom wasn't. And I may have gone an entirely different direction had I not seen this photo, but it INSPIRED me to create, and the clients went bananas over it!
{all images courtesy of fashion gone rogue}


Need design help from an experienced design professional with over 12 years experience? Want to work with someone who listens to your needs and sticks to your budget? Call our office for a design consultation that will change the way you live and think about your home environment!contact us @ 
info@abhomeinteriors.com
or call us @
615-750-2763

Like decorating but don't know where to start? Want to learn the insiders secrets, tips and tricks? Sign up for Design Strategies 101
(August classes are sold out! Sign up today to reserve your seat for September)

Are you a designer in the Nashville area looking for mentorship in a nurturing environment? Want to learn the ins and outs of the business that school didn't provide? Sign up for Designer Bootcamp to learn the skills necessary to be a true design professional!

Don't forget to follow us on twitter!



And become a FAN on our AB HOME facebook fanpage!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Where to go shopping in Atlanta by Amanda Burdge

South of Market
After a quick couple of hours inside of Market, and Dayka's second tutorial of day two, how-to's, I was privileged to a VIP tour of Atlanta's finest shopping venues. Our first stop was a marvelous little spot, South of Market. Located on Peachtree, (isn't everything! If you haven't been to Atlanta EVERYTHING is on some form of a Peachtree.)

South of Market
What I loved the most about this store is the sizes. It suited the AB HOME ideal and philosophy, GO BIG, OR GO HOME! The scale of all their furnishings and accessories were over the top, and well displayed. Large accessories are dramatic, and make a statement, and this store was just that, dramatic!

South of Market
In true Atlanta style, most of the furnishings were upholstered in beautiful linens, adorned with nail heads, and finished off with small, but distinct details.
South of Market
This photo above was by far my favorite. With all of AB HOME's favorites, simple and clean, large furnishings and accessories, no clutter and ORANGE (my favorite)!!

Armour and Co

After South of Market we headed over to another lovely store called Armour and company, located on N. Highland. Dayka and I had a lovely conversation with Jamie the owner, and I was surprised to find out that she isn't a designer. She wanted a retail store, and loved furniture, so it just seemed a good fit. Wow! Her stored is meticulously pulled together, and arranged like a pro!
Armour and Co
She had several wonderful pieces and a great mix of collected things. And again, in true Atlanta fashion, many pieces had linen, washed wood, and clean accessories. Jamey was a delight to talk to, so if you are in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend you stop by to say hello!

Armour and Co

Dayka and I went a few more places and then decided to get a bite to eat at an awesome little place called PURE. Also on N. Highland Ave, this little Taqueria will quench your thirst, and indulge your appetite!


Pure Taqueria 



Need design help from an experienced design professional with over 12 years experience? Want to work with someone who listens to your needs and sticks to your budget? Call our office for a design consultation that will change the way you live and think about your home environment!
contact us @ info@abhomeinteriors.com
or call us @
615-750-2763


Like decorating but don't know where to start? Want to learn the insiders secrets, tips and tricks? 
Sign up for Design Strategies 101
(August classes are almost sold out! Sign up today to reserve your seat)

Are you a designer in the Nashville area looking for mentorship in a nurturing environment? 
Want to learn the ins and outs to the business that school didn't provide?
Sign up for Designer Bootcamp to learn the skills necessary to be a true design professional!

Don't forget to follow us on twitter!





And become a FAN on our AB HOME facebook fanpage!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Atlanta Market 2010, by Amanda Burdge

Codarus Showroom
I have been going to Market since I was in my 20's. I remember the first time I went and I was terrified. I had NO IDEA what the hell I was doing or how it all worked. But I was 20, knew EVERYTHING, and wasn't about to break a sweat in front of those seasoned professionals in there fancy designer suits and comfy tennis shoes. Those snazzy women had nothin' on my Z Cavaricci jeans, bongo wedges and cute top that I just found at clothestime. And to make it extra special, I was doused in exclamation perfume from Mervyn's, bada bing, bada boom!


Go Home
Ok, so we ain't in Kansas anymore, or the trailer park neither. I grew up in a small town, with big dreams, and a whole lotta chutzpah. Seriously, do dreams gestate from anything better? Well, when you are in your 20's, coming from a small town, you think everything grows from guts, nerve and a little spit and glory. And certainly the friends you make along the way. But I quickly found out that isn't always the case. My graduating class in high school consisted of 33 students! We all grew up together, competed together and played together. Our sand box was small, and so was my view on the world. SO when I moved to Northern California for college, holy crap y'all I hit the big time, and had the common sense of Michael Kelso from that 70's show.


Stray Dog Designs
It truly is amazing that I survived, and somehow did not end up in a ditch. Like a lost, stupid puppy, I trusted everyone, and doubted no one. If they said it was so...well dammit it's so! 
By the time I went to design school my head was on a little more straight, or at least I'd like to think it was. I had a bag full of fancy utensils that consisted of pens and pencils, and even some thingy's called a  triangle and scale. I was set to conquer the world, and I even had a spiffy diamond ring from a boy who wanted to marry me. Now all I had to do was convince these slick, glib sales men from the San Francisco Market that I was all that and a bag of chips; or at least look like I was. Who would question a 20 something in her lee press on nails and outfit from Mervyn's? I mean come on, who can resist Bongo wedges? Am I right?  Lord.have.mercy. 

Global Views via Southern Accessories Today
Fast forward to 2010. Now a days I'm sharp, quick witted and know exactly how to work my showrooms. I know what I want, and how to buy it.  I go to Market three times a year. The big accessories and gift Markets are in all the major cities. The real big ones are in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, and New York. High point, North Carolina is the biggest furniture market in the country. The home and gift Markets are in January and July, roughly and the furniture Market is in April and October. These markets allow vendors to show off their wares, and woo us into buying their loot. It is the best way to buy because you get to SEE and TOUCH everything before it hits the stores. 

Tozai 
All showrooms have what is called a "minimum." In other words, unlike a store, you cannot walk into a vendor's shop and expect to buy one item. They want you to invest in their line and product. Most accessories lines have a minimum purchase of $300 or more. Some even require you to purchase a certain quantity of one item. Larger companies can command up to a $3000 minimum. Larger companies that do not want every Tom, Dick, and Harry purchasing their product will have a higher minimum to weed out the lighthearted, non-serious buyers.

Newgate

As a shop owner I do not mind paying minimums, and I don't mind purchasing 6 or 12 of the same item. However, if you are a designer working out of your home, or have a small office, it isn't always feasible to purchase 12 of the same clock. And you have to watch your sales reps. They are working on commission, and like all of us, they are trying to earn a living. They will always try to get you to purchase more. If it is in MY best interest, I will purchase more. But many of the reps have been in the business for a VERY long time, and they will glamour and romance you into thinking you need MORE!! "oh this has been one of our best sellers!", "Oh you must buy some of these, they were in Oprah!", "This lamp is going to fly off your shelves!"

Global Views via Southern Accessories Today
All in all it was an excellent Market. The big trend this show was color! Blue, orange and green were everywhere. Reclaimed wood, old vintage finds and Industrial chic, were seen in numerous showrooms. Old gears, apothecary jars, pottery, and anything with a nod to the past was prevalent from every vendor.

A studio via Southern Accessories Today
I had a wonderful time showing Dayka Robinson, from Meditations on life and style all the ropes, and explaining to her how the vendor/designer relationship works. Not only did I scare the living daylights out of her, causing her to drive down the wrong side of the street, she is convinced that a retail store isn't for her. DAMN! Apparently, I'm not as inspirational as I thought I was. Nothing like a dose of hard knocks from the girl who shopped at Mervyn's and sported BONGO wedges like it was 1999!

Need design help from an experienced design professional with over 12 years experience? Want to work with someone who listens to your needs and sticks to your budget? Call our office for a design consultation that will change the way you live and think about your home environment!
contact us @ info@abhomeinteriors.com
or call us @
615-750-2763

Like decorating but don't know where to start? Want to learn the insiders secrets, tips and tricks? 
Sign up for Design Strategies 101
(August classes are almost sold out! Sign up today to reserve your seat)

Are you a designer in the Nashville area looking for mentorship in a nurturing environment? 
Want to learn the ins and outs to the business that school didn't provide?
Sign up for Designer Bootcamp to learn the skills necessary to be a true design professional!

Don't forget to follow us on twitter!





And become a FAN on our AB HOME facebook fanpage!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I fall to Pieces by amanda burdge

Four weeks ago with a handful of mad skills, sharp faculties and a bag full of tricks ( or smashed oreos and dorito's with all the excitement I clearly cannot remember) I convinced the remarkable and amazing designer, Dayka Robinson to show me Atlanta, the insiders edition. Our first order of business was on Thursday night at an invitation only event to Pieces in Atlanta. 
Dayka and I Thursday night

The event featured Jonathan Adler, a designer dedicated to bringing style, craft, joy, and a general feeling of grooviness to your home. 


The event was jammed packed. Everyone maneuvered around precariously clinging to the cool iced drinks offered from the bar as if it were a mirage in the desert. Thank goodness for the invention of ice cubes, and liquor.


And on a HOT Atlanta night, we could have used a little more air conditioning! But thanks to the swift moving bartenders they quickly shelled out cool refreshments to help bring the temperature down and make us feel a little less like the packed sardines we were.


Dayka, who has been telling me about this awesome blog, Decor Demon, here having a conversation with none other than the author himself, Brian Flynn Patrick. His blog is fun, witty, and informative! I too had the pleasure of meeting him and cannot say enough about how gracious, and nice Mr. Brian is.


Dayka and Brian Flynn Patrick of Decor Demon

I also had the opportunity to meet blogger Niki McNeil of Single bubble pop. Her blog is fun, stimulating and focuses on finding inspiration from multiple disciplines, including design and art. 
After perusing throughout the store, and meeting some wonderful people and bloggers, myself, Niki and Dayka decided to head over to flip burger boutique, for a FANTABULOUS burger. If you haven't been there, you MUST go!


This burger boutique has all organic meat, and the BEST fries, onion rings and dirty vodka martini I have EVER had. If you like vodka, as you all know this is my weakness, it is worth a cross country trek, or a three hour drive from Nashville, for a delightful sip of pure heaven!
I have many, many, more adventures to discuss, so stay tuned for more stupendous and exciting escapades of me and Dayka in Atlanta!





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