Knack Stories :: The Sullivans

Every now and then, we will meet someone through the shop who just gets us; someone who seems to understand what Knack is about; someone who knows how to live with what they love.  Dee Sullivan is just such a person.  Our latest Knack story comes from her family of seven (!!!) and their beautiful, nearly hundred-year-old home in North Carolina that they have been renovating one room at a time:
We eat, homeschool, work on art and other projects, do budgets, pray together, play games, entertain guests and have long family discussions in this room.  We thought it would be a great room to overhaul first.

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Dee and her husband, Don, decided to turn their formerly dark, moody dining room to the lighter side, with the aid of some inspiration.
I had been blogging to keep all of my Canadian family and friends updated on our lives and to show off the paintings, collages and ceramics I was selling on Etsy.  In doing so, I ended up meeting some wonderful people.  Two of my very favorite artists/bloggers were and are Annie Koelle and Barb Blair.  They are two very talented ladies!!  So when I first saw the furniture pieces they worked on together I was smitten, especially with one certain piece, a gorgeous hutch named Kalymenia whose buttery cream paint perfectly applied by Barb along with the soft ocean and mountain scene reminded me of Vancouver, BC. (The place I moved from 8 years ago to come to the South.)  …. My love knew I wanted this piece ever so much, so after a visit or two to Knack, he surprised me with buying Kalymenia as a gift.  I was ecstatic!!

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Dee and Don also brought a locally made cedar table home from Knack, which Don has stained a driftwood/aged cedar grey, adding even more warmth to their fresh white dining room.
The pieces from Barb’s studio now both carry the feeling of Vancouver and make me feel cheery and at home here in the South.  Even better to me is knowing that the creative spirits of local artists and artisans I admire massively are poured into these pieces.  We now have the cheeriest dining room ever and even though we are not quite finished (Who is really ever finished with their home?), these pieces give our most lived in room a nod to our love of the Northwest, a tribute to the local artists and artisans we admire and love, and they make a unique and creative space to gather, work and eat in.
Dee and Don and their big, happy family embody the very heart of home that we champion here at Knack.  We are so elated that two Knack pieces have found a forever home with the Sullivans.
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knack stories :: Evadne and the Bradleys

evadne4 evadne2 evadne3 evadne1“So here is the story of our desk. There were many changes going on in our lives. We had just had our third son, we had moved to a beautiful new home and we had decided that I would “retire” from the restaurant world and become a stay at home mom and manager of my husbands business. With the new home came some much needed space and the need for furniture to fill that space. With managing the business came the need for a designated work space. Being the ever-practical women that I am I saw this as an opportunity to “kill 2 birds with 1 stone” as they say. So the search began for a nice piece that would be not only be beautiful but also functional. It was not an easy search. All we found to begin with was flimsy particle board or ugly, over sized industrial desks. We finally found it in our wonderful “Evadne”! I now have a space that is dedicated to work, and a piece that makes my work space beautiful and functional! I love the details, the size and subtle femininity of the desk. I also love the functional drawers and organizing space. “Evadne” has been a wonderful addition to our home and lives.” -Rachel B

p.s. If you all would love to see the beautiful work of Joseph Bradley click here…..and don’t blame me when you want to buy every painting! I love to see a successful artist doing what he loves…and a wife who partners right along with him! So cool!

** Send us YOUR Knack stories! Show us how you are living with what you love! **

Knack Stories :: Artemis

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” Barb says “live with what you love”, and I happen to think that she is pretty spot-on about that. I am very particular, to a fault, and carefully choose each piece that goes into my home, whether it’s a kitchen utensil or a piece of furniture. This piece was originally chosen because I loved its lines, and the rich color of the wood. About 6 years ago, we built a new home, and through that process, my style evolved a bit.; some old pieces had to go, and some new pieces were brought in. This chest made the cut, but it wasn’t quite the perfect fit anymore. So of course I turned to my friend, who I knew was a master at giving new life to old loves. Being an artist myself, I arrived at this project with some of my own ideas, but Barb knows furniture like no one I know, and I let her lead me through the process of this makeover. Seamlessly, both of our ideas married themselves together, and I couldn’t be more happy with the end result.
I felt like this chest, with its clean lines and flat drawer fronts, was perfectly suited for her color blocking technique, and I chose a favorite throw pillow from which to build the palette. I was also dead set on changing out the drawer pulls, and had already decided which ones to use. That’s usually a big part of Barb’s furniture makeovers, but this piece spoke differently to her, and I’m so happy with her suggestion to leave the originals. She also suggested we leave one of the drawer fronts in its original, warm wood finish that I was so drawn to when I purchased the chest. It’s unexpected and so perfect. The last part of the makeover was the casters. We both love casters on furniture, and knew replacing the original curvy feet would put the finishing touch on giving this piece a personality more aligned with my aesthetic.
I’m so proud of this piece of furniture, now a work of art. It sits in one of my favorite spots in the house, where I can see it all the time. Mostly, I’m proud that it was transformed by my friend, because I know that its makeover was more than a job to her; she puts her heart in every single brush stroke. “Artemis” is my fist Knack masterpiece, but I know for sure it’s not the last.” – Jennifer B
This was such a fun project to work on with Jennifer, and we absolutely love the way Artemis looks in her gorgeous home! You all may {or may not} remember Artemis from the book? This is how he looks there:
artemis4….so you can see , that even though Knack pieces have much personality and color, they are still so versatile and easily incorporated into multiple types of home environments. This thought process is really going to get lots of attention in Knack book 2! We are so excited to show you more of the “how” to live with what you love, and how to incorporate color and personality into every room in your home!

The “D” family :: Knack Stories

demoss7 demoss6 demoss5 “We were first introduced to Barb Blair with Knack Studios when we wanted to reuse several pieces of furniture while renovating our home.  It was an unbelievable experience.  Not only did she transform each piece of furniture into something new, but she gave each piece its own personality. So, when we decided to build a new house in Greenville, we knew that she should be a part of this one too.  We had several pieces of furniture that we loved the form and function, but not the look.  Once again, Barb to the rescue!   Almost every room has a piece that Barb painted, but the neat thing is that you would never know that because each piece is unique.  I keep telling Barb, “This is it, the last piece” but we both know that’s not true.  We can never have too much Knack in our home.” – Renee

These lovely people have become dear friends of mine, and are the most loving , giving people you will ever meet. Between their city home and mountain home, they now have 11 Knack pieces! I could not be happier about this lifelong friendship that has developed and the beautiful environments that my furniture gets to call home.

The entire interior of this home is beautiful indeed, and was designed by Marian McCreight of Marian McCreight Interiors.

Send us your Knack stories! barb@knackstudios.com or angie@knackstudios.com. We want to see how you are living with what you love!

The Hatfields :: Knack Stories

hatfiled4 hatfield1 hatfield2 hatfield3 hatfield5We are so excited to share the very first Knack stories post with all of you! We can’t think of a better way to start, than with the Hatfield home! “Miss Jewel” is a very special piece that belonged to Angie’s grandmother and she always kept her pistol and panties in the top drawer! We have had many a laugh together about all of this and the Hatfield family has several pieces total in thier home. {as well as a couple mirrors and accessories.} Here is how the Hatfield family feels about living with Knack:

” Fortunately, and unfortunately in some ways, my little family has had the opportunity to move multiple times over the past 10 years.  We were blessed to  land in wonderful cities we briefly called “home”. Being a nomad has its perks, such as meeting awesome people like Barb at Knack.  My love affair with Knack started about 7 years ago.  I was at a design crossroads, a place I have returned several times over the course of the years.  My home is my little sanctuary, and I agonize, and contemplate each little piece, and how it will fit into my design environment.  Over the years my style has twisted and turned, but each Knack piece has always made its way into my design plan. Knack pieces are like the “awesome accessories” you add to the overall outfit.  Each item is a little work of art, making a statement…. look at me, linger over my cute knobs, open my drawer for a fun paper surprise.  I have had Barb “Knack” new items, and old.   My favorite piece is probably my grandmother’s antique dresser Barb transformed.  It went from a nice, normal, family item, to a spectacular beauty with attitude, and a story.  Jewel has style, and moxie! She always gets compliments wherever she strikes a pose:  the guest bedroom, in the front entryway, or smack in the middle of the hub of the family chaos, where she currently resides. For me my Knack pieces evoke emotion.  They take me back to a wonderful time in my life in Greenville, South Carolina, to the perfect punch of color needed in the blizzard like conditions I sometimes endured in Chicago, Illinois, to the perfect sunny spot in Atlanta, Georgia.  They make my house, my home no matter where we are.  To have a Knack piece is to have a little piece of happy surrounding you all the time. “

…and there you have it! Live with what you love and surround yourself with happy! Thank you so much Angie for your support, and for all of the love! We love you, and are thrilled that you choose Knack!

** Please send us your Knack stories! email angie@knackstudios.com