Furniture Makes The Room :: Pre Order


Hello All!

Things have been a whirlwind around here, and I plan to do some more journaling over the next few weeks to catch everyone here in this space up on what has been happening with Knack…

….BUT, today is exactly one month from the launch of my new book Furniture Makes the Room!! Can you believe it? I can hardly believe that the time is finally here, and I get to share this work with all of you! I can’t wait for you all to see the projects and homes in this book, and feel like it is truly the book that has always been inside of me!

So, we are introducing a special pre order campaign today, and those of you who pre order lickity split get a special treat!

Here are the details:

1. Order Furniture Makes the Room from online retailers (links below) and then fill out the form here with receipt info and mailing address.

2. Pre-order Incentive:  You will receive a roll of wave FrogTape® and a bag of milk paint!

3. Fulfillment: Pre-order incentive will come separately from the book. Chronicle Books will send out a special package to all of the people who have completed the form. So, basically it will be a happy mail day for you guys! Yay!

So, click your heels and  head on over to Amazon, Chronicle, Barnes and Noble, or Indie Bound to pre order your copy and get in on the special gift we have for you!

Thank you to Chronicle Books, FrogTape®, and Old Fashioned Milk Paint for sponsoring this pre order goodness!

chronicle pre launch photo

noteworthy books :: tile makes the room by heath ceramics

Book Cover--Tile Makes the RoomBailey-Petravic 1890s home from Tile Makes the Room--Photographs copyright © 2015 by Mariko Reed Butterfly House, San Francisco, CA  from Tile Makes the Room--Photographs copyright © 2015 by Mariko Reed Kogure House, Tokyo, Japan from Tile Makes the Room--Photographs copyright © 2015 by Mariko Reed Wanzenberg House, New York, New York from Tile Makes the Room--Photographs copyright © 2015 by Mariko Reed

I don’t know about you all….but I am a HUGE book lover! I absolutely love it when a new book comes in the mail, and I was so happy to get this beautiful new book by Heath Ceramics last week! I have thoroughly enjoyed flipping through its pages that are filled with amazing displays of craftsmanship and design….and all with tile! If you have a tile project in your near future or if you simply love beautiful design, then this book is a definite “yes” to add to your collection!

Here is the official press release:

Breathtakingly gorgeous with inspiration on every page, Tile Makes the Room is a unprecedented visual feast that features homes from notable artists, architects, and designers from around the world, with tile as the centerpiece. No other book before has portrayed good design through the versatile and artistic medium of tile. And no authors are positioned as perfectly to lead us on this journey as Catherine Bailey and Robin Petravic, purveyors, owners, and tastemakers behind the beloved design and ceramics brand Heath Ceramics. Winners of the 2015 National Design Award, Petravic and Bailey bring rich and deep knowledge of design, craftsmanship, and interiors to this captivating collection of the most thoughtful, and often provocative, uses of tile in the field.  With a stunning tour of innovative, international tile design and detailed project notes that make good design accessible to everyone, Tile Makes the Room is essential reading for anyone interested in beautiful design.”

About the authors:

Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey are co-owners of Heath Ceramics, the iconic tableware and tile company founded by Edith and Brian Heath in 1948. Prior to taking the reins at Heath in 2003, they honed their skills and passion for making things—Petravic in product design engineering and Bailey in industrial design. Together, they bring their creative talents to Heath’s design while honoring the company’s long history and its unique relationship between craft and production—efforts that landed them the 2015 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award. They live in Sausalito, California, with their son, Jasper, and their two enormous Newfoundlands, Carlo and Oliver.

Find this book anywhere books are sold: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, and Indie Bound.


*Reprinted with permission from Tile Makes the Room, by Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2015 by Mariko Reed.

change has come for us :: moving on


I have hinted a few times that the winds of change had come a blowin’ for us here at Knack, and I have been waiting for the right time to share a bit with all of you. This storm blew in fast, and was totally unexpected, but I was able to step back and let it blow through me like a tornado…..exposing, cleaning out the cob webs, and ultimately refreshing the course of my business, and passion. Just a few short years ago, something similar to this really rocked my world. Now, I am thankful for the reminder and the memory of this time from the past. A time when I felt angry and afraid. A time where I could not and did not want to see the hand of God at work. I chose instead to try to control things that were never mine to control, and ultimately that led me to a place of turmoil and brokenness. Looking back on that time now… was one of the sweetest times, and a time that I still refer to as the best time of growth for both me personally and for Knack. I wrote my first book during this time, and I focused on what truly brought me joy and it was such a sweet season. Because of that season, this current season was made easier….not easy….but easi-er.

About 6 months ago my landlord called me in and asked me if I wanted out of my lease because there was someone interested in leasing my space. I was completely taken aback as I still had half a year left in my lease and had no desire to move…..ever. After I gathered my wits about me (somewhat) I told him that I was not interested in moving out of the building and would like to continue in my lease. But, I left that meeting with a heavy heart because I knew what it meant. It meant that things were going to change, because now there were people wanting my building and these people were obviously willing to pay more for the space. I thought about it long and hard for a few days, and then I went back to my landlord and asked if I could have first right of refusal when my lease came due and if I could know what the rent would be going up to at the time of renewal. I was told that I could have first right of refusal… and after a couple months I was told what the new lease price would be upon time of renewal. The new lease would be a 50% increase to my current rent. I can’t say that I didn’t know it was coming, but it was still so discouraging to hear. I love 11 Lois Ave. and I never wanted to leave….but this was a huge jump for me and I needed time to think long and hard about a lot of things. This is where I took time to step back, look at what was working/not working, what I love to do, what is best for my family, what is best for the business and began to determine the best next move. Do I suck it up and pay the rent increase because I don’t want to move, especially when I have a new book coming out? Do I open up a beautiful design studio in a fabulous location and get rid of the retail part of the business? Do I keep the same business model with the studio and retail? All of these options were running through my head… and I am thankful for options…but after looking at multiple locations and talking with mentors, family, and local business friends I knew that a move was inevitable and I knew what I had to do and wanted to do. Now, I just needed to find the right location to make this next move a reality.

During all of this, a guy that I knew from college (and who also goes to my church) just happened to buy the building across the street from my current location. He started stopping in every now and again and we would chat about The Village, rents, buildings, and the such. A couple times we talked about me moving into his building but I just did not think it was feasible or possible so I didn’t really think about it a whole lot. A move one street over had to make sense, because otherwise I was just moving to change landlords, and a move of this nature is not something to take lightly. Well, things got serious when I decided to move out of my current location and was looking for spaces outside of The Village. We started chatting more about a move into his building (which is currently gutted and under construction) and after a few weeks the first offer was made, then a counter offer, and then an agreement. So much thought and prayer was put into this decision and it was not one that I came to quickly or easily….but I know it is the right move.

So, I am very excited to announce that Knack is moving! There will still be retail (because I have come to realize that being a shopkeeper is one of my favorite things in the world) and my design studio will be the back part of the building. I am hoping to be able to offer classes in this space as well but that is yet to be determined. One of the most exciting things for me is that I get to design this shop from the ground up and it will be my biggest and grandest before and after project to date! I will share more about the location, new address, before and after pictures, inspiration pictures, and progress pictures as we go along. I plan to take lots and lots of photos and give weekly updates here and on facebook and instagram so that you all can follow along!

This is going to be a huge undertaking and I will need lots of help, so I am thankful for everyone who has already offered to help clean, pack, move, etc. I know that all of Knack’s needs will be taken care of by the awesome community that surrounds me here. There will be a bit of a gap since I have to be out of my current space by January 1 and the new location will not be ready until mid to late March…so we are looking at Pop up options…but we are heavily leaning towards just taking a winter break to focus on construction, the book launch, and all that comes with the move. I will keep all of you updated as to when the shop opening is and all of the special and fun things surrounding that time!

Now, we just have to hope that the city of Greenville approves all of our drawings, paint colors, and plans and that they agree to the huge giant windows that we want to change the store facade to. So many things can change and go right/wrong during construction…. so that is why I am cautiously optimistic about letting out this information but confidently moving forward.

Knowing where things are headed and how exciting this move is going to be definitely makes me feel like celebrating, and I am so excited about the fresh new year and the change it is bringing with it. Hard change, but really good change.

All things for good.





I love Target :: beautiful things


I was just showing my husband all of these beautiful things (and dropping major hints!) while we were at Target the other day! I had the thought…”Target is killing it with the collections that they have in the store right now”…and really enjoyed looking through all of the marble, wood, natural fiber, and brass designs.

Here are a few of my favorites that I wanted to share and pass along:

1.       Threshold Silver and Gold Dip Bowls (small and medium), $2.99 – $3.99

2.       Threshold Ceramic Gold Rimmed Serving Platter (medium and large), $12.99 – $14.99

3.       Threshold Ceramic Gold Rimmed Serving Bowl, $12.99

4.       Threshold Marble and Wood Cutting Board, $24.99

5.       Nate Berkus Gem Accent Napkin Rings, $16.99

6.       Nate Berkus Pyramid Placecard Holder (set of 4), $9.99

Enjoy my friends!

Knack Book 2 :: Furniture Makes The Room

IMG_6317 IMG_6320

Exciting times are upon us! We still have a few months to wait, but “Furniture Makes The Room” will be in your mailboxes by the end of March! We will be having a big old launch party on Friday night March 18th….with many more details to come on all of that soon!

For now though…..we did a little photo shoot in the shop this morning…and a little video too….to reveal the gorgeous cover of Furniture Makes The Room! All of that cheesy amazing goodness will launch tomorrow!

Here are a couple out takes that I captured on my phone to hold you over until tomorrow!



Trying to Play Catch Up:: Happenings

knobanemone2 knobblue1 knobgypsy1 knobpod2 knobpoppy2 knobwooden1 websitecreamvanity websitegraytable

I thought I would catch you all up on some images that have been in front of me lately. It is funny to me….June was one of the busiest months on the books….well at least since I turned in my book manuscript…but nevertheless, I feel like I am just now catching my breath. In the month of June, my son graduated from high school, I launched a new website, a hardware line, and a furniture collection….I helped plan and decorate for Gigi’s 90th birthday party (which was a family reunion as well!), and then went on a week long vacation out to the Pacific Northwest. Any one..or two of those things would have made for a busy month….but all of it together was a bit much. However, it seems to be the way that I work best…although I am trying to work on really pacing myself and being even more intentional with my time. What seems to happen, is that I go really hard and push towards the finish…meet all the dead lines…walk away super satisfied….but am seriously ready to check out and not pick up a computer or paintbrush for the next three weeks!

So, for all of you who have hung in there with me through the thick and thin (or completely invisible)…thank you. I see you, and I am so thankful for your presence.

The “Only the Light Moves” collection, and all of the custom knobs are now listed on Knack’s beautiful (and super user friendly) new website here!

See you again soon…I promise!


Barb Blair

creativebug :: free pass

creative-pass-email-header-560x560If you all have not checked out my classes on the creativebug site … is the time! Part 1 and Part 2 are available now…and in a few weeks Part 3 will release.. and it is all about wallpapering on furniture!

There is a free pass promotion going on now, so click here and enter promo code SUMMER2015 to take advantage of the goodness! There are so many things to see and learn on the creativebug site! Fill your summer with creativity and make beautiful things!

a magical day :: creating with the best

waverly-7-flowers waverly-3-paint waverly-1-dresser waverly-2-barbandrachelA few weeks ago, I had the privilege of collaborating with some really amazing people! Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte contacted me about a new paint line making its debut and wanted to know if I would paint and create with her! Would I EVER! Rachel is one of the most creative, energetic, hilarious, and generous people that I am privileged to know….and any chance I can get to spend time with her is A ok with me!

You can read all about our day together here, and if you want the full scoop on the new paint line visit here for the tutorial and the deets!

Head to your local Walmart to pick up some paint, and know that I painted this entire dresser with ONE bottle….which will cost you all of eight bucks! The clear wax is amazing too…..probably on of my favorite new products. It pours out and applies very much like a polyurethane! How cool is that!?

Thank you Waverly, Plaid, Walmart, and Rachel Faucett for a super fun time…..and thank you Paige French for the amazing photography! (as always!)

Have a great weekend!




creativebug :: online painting classes with knack

CBFurnitureFacebook-843x504_1furniture-redo furniture-redo_16Hey everyone! I am so sorry that I have been a little bit silent around here the last couple of weeks!

I had a really big and unexpected opportunity come up and I dove in with everything that I had. It went really, really well and I will be able to tell you about it at the end of the week! Yay! You don’t have to wait long!

AND….to tide you over….my online classes are launching THIS THURSDAY! I am so excited to share these classes with you all!

I filmed these classes with a company called Creativebug and I absolutely cannot say enough about them! The team from Creativebug was an absolute joy and they were so skilled and professional. The week we spent together was long and tiring, but in the end new friendships were forged, great work was accomplished, and I totally cried when we all had to hug goodbye. I love you Brian, Devlin and Courtney! Thanks for being amazing at what you do!

I’ll be back Wednesday with more info on where to go and how to sign up!

Get Ready!