Furniture Makes the Room :: My letter to you

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athens, ga

“Our homes tell our story. When we open our front door, we invite people into our

lives. What do they see, feel, experience when they enter?

Come in, we tell our family and friends, come in and rest. All of this–the

collections, the messes, the food simmering, the coffee brewing, the art on the walls,

the music wafting: this place–this is me. These strands can–if we let them–all weave

together to create a unique, authentic environment transcending trend–they create a

home. Your home.

This is the book I’ve always had within me, these images, these projects, this

work–all of it offered to encourage and inspire you to curate and design a home you

love. In it, I create 15 new furniture designs with step-by-step instructions and resources

included in the back. Instead of a single, spare backdrop, each piece is photographed in

three different settings and uses in homes of real people. I wanted to demonstrate, in

an accessible way, the versatility of both color and design–create freedom in function.

A lot of times, people are afraid of color and statement pieces because they feel

it limits them. They think, “Oh, I couldn’t use that in my home, it wouldn’t match,” or

“that’s really fun, it’d be great in a child’s room,” but I gently encourage them to see the

versatility in the boldness. You are not stuck with a statement, instead you discover how

furniture can makes a room come alive; it’s a catalyst which challenges you to see your

space in a new, fresh way.

I want to embolden people to select the pieces they bring in to their homes, to

carefully create spaces they are proud of, spaces of welcome and intention. We are

naturally drawn to things we love and enjoy. Collecting and curating–versus impulse

buys and soul-less monotony–allows us to draw from own own unique wellspring of

tastes. Quality, story-filled items will work wherever you place them. Character, warmth,

memories–these are collected and nurtured with time. A home becomes an alchemy of

welcome, a touchstone rich in personality.

“Live with what you love,” is sort of my unwritten code at Knack, one that I hope

encourages others to stop, sit, and think about what they surround themselves with–not

just in furniture and design, but in their lives. The more we draw authenticity and truth to

ourselves, the more authentic and true we become. And like moths to a flickering flame,

our homes (lit from within) draw others inside where they are nurtured, where they learn our

stories, where they are fed and comforted, and sent back into the world–changed,

encouraged. Loved.

Come in, I’m inviting you into this book that is the most me–my home on paper,

my heart in pages. And within, I invite you to begin see your home as a gift to others, as

a blessing to yourself.”- Sincerely, Barb Blair

Thank you so much to the beautiful and talented Beth Brown Ables for helping me pen these words, and for knowing exactly how to put my thoughts and feelings in the most exquisite form.

Furniture Makes the Room is so much more than a design book……it is my heart and soul.

We will be celebrating our Grand Reopening and book launch on March 25th from 6-9 pm at our brand new location: 580 Perry Ave. Greenville, SC 29611. So, if you are local or would like to take a road trip with all the pals, come celebrate with us!

 

one piece :: two fabulous ways

One of my favorite things to do, and something we did a lot with my new book “Furniture Makes The Room”, is to use the same piece of furniture but style it different ways. The versatility and ease that these statement pieces make is wonderful to see, and I think it really surprises most people!

This week my friend Teresa and I chose to use artwork from her gallery Art and Light  to create two different looks with one of my latest furniture pieces! Here is what we came up with.

The first look is ultra clean and modern with a giant abstract painting by local artist Kevin Isgett. There really did not need to be a whole lot of styling due to the fact that the painting is so incredibly commanding in and of itself. We chose a simple wooden bowl and a super handsome brass lamp and called it perfect!

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For the second look, we chose these beautiful and wild bird paintings by local artist Diane Kilgore Condon. We added a cozy rug and some green plants to bring the outdoors in, and a completely different casual yet magical look was created! Isn’t it amazing what a little styling and playing around with different artwork can do?

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All artwork is available for purchase at Art and Light , and Teresa is great about pairing the perfect artwork with what you already have in your home!

Mix it up!

xo,

Barb

 

 

good vibes and collaborations :: fresh bib

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I always, always love collaborating with talented, creative, good people…and this little mash up between myself and Brooke Fish of Fresh Bib brings a huge smile to my face!

Brooke and I became friends through the blog years ago and we immediately knew that we were soul sisters. We had a couple Skype dates, but longed to meet in person…and that finally happened this past March at an event held here in Greenville called the Makers Summit. Brooke stayed at my house, and we had the absolute best time together! When it came time for her to leave, it just felt all wrong. I think the Fish family needs to move to Greenville because we are meant to live close. My daughter just reminded me the other day that I cried a little bit when I dropped Brooke off at the airport….I totally did.

Anywhoo…maybe one day we will live close…but for now we are staying in touch and creating fun collaborations such as this together! Brooke created this special bibdana box to go along with my Fall/ Winter collection that just launched! I love the buffalo plaid bib, the hand made soap, and the beautiful quote that completes this amazing gift package. If you are looking to bless a mama today (or every month) sign them up to receive a box of goodness and encouragement! What Brooke is doing is way more than creating cute bibs and pretty packaging. Fresh Bib is a light to all mamas who are in the trenches raising little ones, rejoicing in the beautiful moments, encouraging those who feel like giving up some days, and who are exhausted and discouraged. Brooke uses green thread purposely when she sews her bibs because green is for a fresh start to each moment….each day.

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Thank you Brooke for having a huge heart for mamas, and for letting that lead you into a creative business that encourages and inspires others!

xo

mid week :: winter gardens, fall leaves, and zombies

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The Fall is officially upon us, and as I look at these images from the week I can’t help but notice the colors that come out this time of year. The reds seem to be extra vibrant and rich this year. I wonder why that is? Why some years certain colors shine more than others? Some years I feel like the oranges are so hot they almost burn your eyes and the yellows so bright they seem florescent. I hear it sometimes just depends on the levels of rainfall and other such things but I tend to think that God rather enjoys picking His own “color of the year” and stunning us all with every level and gradient of that color possible. I for one am thankful for the ever constant inspiration that nature brings and how the ultimate Creative shows His love to us in such a beautiful and tangible way.

Photos: 1. Out take from Furniture Makes the Room  2. My mind is on zombies after the last episode of The Walking Dead 3. This red Dogwood tree in front of my house is extra brilliant this year and I gladly welcome back this old friend of 16 years 4. All of my succulents and cacti re-potted indoors for the winter…..whew! I need to find gloves that cactus pricks don’t get through! 5. An out take from our book cover reveal video. These two lovelies working hard to make things beautiful, and the beams of light off to the right were what drew me to this photo. Light all around.

 

happenings:: beauty all around

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Every single one of these images was generated by our readers, and when I took the time to look at this collection of photos all together, it really brought so much joy.

To see images of fresh florals, pop up shop photos, people loving our products, furniture makeovers snap shots, and our ever changing inspiration board.

There is such beauty all around. Live and work with what you love!

 

Images via: @emily_jeffords, @thestellabluegallery, @illyriapotteryoxford, @kendramargaret

this week :: beauty

blog4 blog3 blog2 blog1This week flew by in the blurriest of blurs.

My thoughts went all over the place.

Projects were accomplished and checked off.

The weather was warm and signs of Spring are everywhere.

Fake tattoos made my day, and put an extra zip in my step.

A sweet text from my daughter to her daddy and I literally made my life.

Thankful for this week and all that it held for me.

xo,

Barb

 

this week :: happenings

IMG_1777 IMG_1776 IMG_1775 IMG_1773 IMG_1774It is hard to think that another week has flown by yet again. So often I am reminded of how fleeting life is and how quickly it moves.

This week was full of challenges and blessings, which is what all good weeks should be full of….right?

There was coffee with dear friends….twice….at Methodical coffee and The Village Grind.

There was the Makers Summit, which filled me to the brim with happiness for the creative community that I am so blessed to be a part of.

There was brunch with a new friend (pictured above, Rachel Faucett) and then an after hours visit to my shop with that same friend where we talked more about how much we love our kids than what was in my shop….and that is a treasure for sure. Most people think I want to talk about the shop most of the time….but even though I am proud of that and love it…. I really want you to know me for who I am outside the shop.

There were moments of greatness at the shop where I sent in proposals for new opportunities, met with artists about collaborations, ordered new product, and sent off all of the content for the new Knack website! (yippee!)

Now it is late Friday afternoon….I am home…..and there is a pork tenderloin in the oven for dinner tonight which I will make bread, salad and roasted asparagus to go with. I will sit around the dinner table and catch up with my sweet family as we have all had a busy, and full week. Then it will be pajama time…..and maybe a movie…..or two…or maybe some reading….

Happy weekending…and much love to you all!

( UPDATE: if you would like to buy a t shirt like the one I am wearing, here is the link: www.lovethyhaters.co )

xo,

Barb

 

spring flowers :: flower dreams

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Spring is coming ….I can feel it in the change of the weather…the warmer days…..the light lingering a bit longer…..

…and I am so ready for the green leaves to burst forth from their winter slumber, for the trees to explode with color from blooms that can no longer bear to stay trapped inside their pods.

A season of new life after patience in dormancy is always such a refreshing season.

xo,

Barb

concrete and succulents:: spring is coming

IMG_1627 IMG_1628 IMG_1629 I am home today, because of a little ice storm that hit us here in the south. There is no school, there is no urgency for me to rush to the shop….and for that I am grateful. I can stay at home with my kids (who are out of school), get lots of work done, plan, daydream, and just chill. An added bonus to this situation is that yesterday was my day off, and I spent it grocery shopping and cleaning my house….so I am icebound in a very well stocked and perfectly clean house. How often does that happen? Hot diggity dog!

All of this ice makes me think about these pretty plantings that we did recently at Knack. I absolutely love these industrial concrete planters that we sell in the shop, (we have little concrete tea cups too!), and I really love seeing them with filled with fresh earth and succulents in all shades of green. seeing these plump and healthy plants makes me excited for Spring, and for many more plantings of fresh herbs and flowers. Fresh flowers and green plants are truly life giving for me, and I have made a vow to have them in the shop at all times.

My current shop collection consists of a stag horn fern, two fiddle leaf figs, several air plants, and vases full of fresh cut flowers. I am forcing Spring to arrive, and currently pretending I have an entire greenhouse situation going on inside the walls at Knack!

Think warm thoughts my friends! (especially those of you up north!)

xo,

Barb

feel the love

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somethin’ for her.

somethin’ for him.

We’ve got a little somethin’ for every love in your life.  Pop on by the shop or peruse online for the gift that will make them feel the love.

Small glass vases with a small floral arrangement will be available for purchase in shop on Friday, Feburary 13 and Saturday, February 14.