DESIGN

Interior Design / Art / Styling

Small Changes – Big Impact

Remember when I first shared changes to my dining room here? Well, being a designer, I want to change my interiors often. My space is always the guinea pig for new ideas. However, my budget doesn’t always allow for the changes I would like to make every time I would like to make them. And Read the Rest…

Just a Little Push

Upstairs landing in a recently completed Birdhouse Interior Design project.  Featuring a print from Cozamia and a mercury glass table lamp. Over the last four and a half years designing spaces, and working with people, I’ve realized who will be a good client fit for us and who won’t. It has some to do with aesthetic. Read the Rest…

What. Women. Where – Noelle Sharp

Meet Noelle Sharp of Chicago, IL. (Though, photos are from her time in Iceland.) I started following Noelle after I discovered her handmade textiles company, APORTA. I was immediately connected to her products and design philosophy. “APORTA honors the tradition of honest, hard work. Local resources and local crafts people. Never outsourced. Never imported. You Read the Rest…

In The Mix

Design by Birdhouse Interior Design. A common misconception about design is that men don’t care about it. That’s so often not true. In fact, over the past few years, I’ve had a number of male clients that have fantastic taste and genuinely care about how their space looks. And more power to them! We found Read the Rest…

What Do You Value?

With the arrival of a new year, I always get the itch to refresh and start anew. I go from room to room in my house and revaluate what’s going on in each space. I take inventory and ask myself a laundry list of questions. (Do I need that many vases cluttering my bookshelves? How Read the Rest…

How We Got HOME

I feel like I thrive in chaos and under pressure more than when everything is plodding along at a steady pace. That character trait, while not always a good, certainly does come in handy when putting together a pop-up show. With so many moving parts, countless things are bound to not go the way you Read the Rest…

New Work – HOME 2013

Last Friday, Birdhouse opened HOME at the Sweatshop Gallery. I mentioned a little about it before, but sometimes it’s easier to understand once it is completed. Like, oh look, it’s a room! Above is a photo of the main gallery space designed to function as a living room. We really wanted to highlight local artists Read the Rest…

Polka Dot Style

What is your take on polka dots? They played a large presence around the Birdhouse Headquarters yesterday. Without consulting one another, Jessica and I both dressed ourselves in our own homes, many blocks from one another, in a navy polka dot pant. You see, we all have grown out of the “I want to dress Read the Rest…

HOME

If you’ve followed Birdhouse or COOP over the last few years, you probably know that showcasing original art – especially from local artists – is a huge passion of mine. I absolutely love connecting a client with an artist’s work and helping it find a home in their space. Sometimes, though, it is hard for Read the Rest…

The Art Mint

During my midnight internet browsing last night, I discovered a new site focused on the idea that everyone deserves original art. Say what?! That’s totally my jam! And thus my love affair with The Art Mint began. “The Art Mint is an artist and curator run online gallery where you can purchase one of a Read the Rest…

House Needs vs. Design Wants

Here is just a beginning list of projects in my home that need to be tackled as soon as my budget will allow for it: Fix the broken front stoop steps and giant crack on the front porch. This should be done before the weather gets even colder. Water can get in the crack and Read the Rest…

This Spot – Daphne Eck

I’m an interior decorator. I ask people to take a leap of faith and appreciate that I’m going to add great value to their design process. They assume that I’m going to take their space, and after listening to their wants and needs, make everything function better and look great. I believe most of the Read the Rest…

New Design Packages at Birdhouse

Typically when I’ve been working with local (Omaha-area) clients in the past I’ve offered more full-service design help or consulted for them on various projects throughout their home. As my client roster got larger, I couldn’t take on the smaller design jobs because it became tricky to navigate where that consulting time would be spent. Read the Rest…

A Dash of Ginger

Earlier this month, COOP announced the exciting news of contributor (and all-around-great-gal) Ginger McCandless joining the Birdhouse Interior Design team. The new partnership is a perfect fit, given Birdhouse’s recent growth and Ginger’s prowess for interior design. We recently uncorked a bottle of wine and asked Ginger to tell us more about her design philosophy, Read the Rest…

Ch-Ch-Changes

I opened Birdhouse just about four years ago. I’ve loved designing projects and working with local artists for these past few years. But working for yourself in a creative way can feel overwhelming and sometimes isolating. To me, it’s so much more fun to bounce ideas off of other people and I always feel like Read the Rest…

How ‘Bout We Stop – Live Laugh Love

The power of a phrase. It seems to compel some people to splash stencils or decals all over their house. Via I mean, how does one remember to laugh if they don’t get a reminder to do so while climbing into bed? Via How do you know you should eat and drink in the kitchen? Read the Rest…

Attractive Recycling

You know you are a grownup when you’re hanging out with a few people, drinking some wine on a Saturday night and you start talking about the environment. After three glasses and hearing that one of my friends doesn’t recycle, I got a little feisty and started hammering him for reasons why not. (Yes, I Read the Rest…

Wayne Coyne in My Tent

Several weeks ago some of the friendly fellas organizing the Maha Music Festival asked if I would design a backstage press tent where the musicians would have their photos taken and be interviewed. At that point I knew that bands like Matt and Kim and The Flaming Lips were performing, so I basically said, “duh, Read the Rest…

Garden Lessons Learned

Just a little FYI to everyone, gardening takes work and sometimes it isn’t successful. I’m talking from veggies to flowers. Of course you’re thinking to yourself, “way to state the obvious”. I only have one rebuttal to that which is I honestly didn’t realize it would take me several tries to start getting things right. Read the Rest…

The Finishing Touch – Original Art Pieces

Styling is my favorite part of designing any space. It’s the stage that can really bring life and personality to a room. It’s what tells your story. And, in my opinion, there is no greater way to tell your story than to incorporate original art pieces into your personal aesthetic. We all like certain things, Read the Rest…

Building a Business – Florida Beach Project

Last summer I started chatting with a friend of mine who was also interested in interior design. She mentioned that she had another friend in Florida that had been asking her for some help decorating his beach house. Being the crafty business woman my friend (and now business partner, Amanda!) is, she told him she’d Read the Rest…

The Vine Game

Arbors and pergolas have been around for centuries. Some clever fellow noticed that if you put a couple of vertical posts in the ground, then throw some cross beams on top, it makes a structure. The real “aha” moment came when said fellow tacked lattice to the sides and trained some climbing vines up and Read the Rest…

Country Club Updates – Patio Power

Next up on our never-ending house project to-do list is building a medium sized brick patio in our backyard. If I was perfectly honest we wouldn’t necessarily want to build the patio because it’s a ton of labor. Considering a patio project is only one of several things we’d like to update around these parts, Read the Rest…

Country Club Updates – Backyard Retreat

Or, at least that’s the goal; a retreat, a backyard oasis. We are far from that right now, but we are slowly making progress. Our house is not huge, about 1,800 square feet, which is more than enough room for two people, a dog, and a cat. When we start inviting people over it’s another Read the Rest…

Country Club House Updates – Kitchen Storage

We feel very fortunate that we’ve lived in our cute little Tudor for the past three years. Along the way we’ve grown Birdhouse and Christopher started culinary school. We’ve invested in the guts of our house; like a new roof, updated plumbing and electrical, and new AC. This past winter we had our fireplace re-lined Read the Rest…

A Basement Makeover – Bunny and Dolly

Recently I’ve been working with PJ from Bunny and Dolly on her basement family room/playroom. The tale of her basement is a familiar story. She needed extra space to function as a family room and playroom area, but like so many other basements, her leftover and cast-away furniture was relegated to serve time on the Read the Rest…

Living with Art: The Cluster

With spring cleaning in full swing at my house, I’ve been spending a lot of time with our stuff, and I’m itching to redecorate. Our art collection is a big part of our home, and while it grows slowly, it’s constantly evolving. If you’re hoping to tackle the challenge of accumulating new work, or if Read the Rest…

Updated Traditional

I like many different decorating styles and am a big fan of layering several on top of another for an individual design expression. I even like really traditional pieces. It makes perfect sense to incorporate good-looking family heirlooms and antiques into your decor. What I don’t love is seeing super beige, boxy (matchy-matchy) and traditional. Read the Rest…

Our Master Bedroom – Before and After

We sleep in what was our attic. Before you get carried away, it’s not like we are squatting up there. It now has insulation, drywall and real floors. And a bathroom, because walking down our stairs in the middle of the night would cause emergency room visits. Christopher is about nine feet tall and can Read the Rest…

A Better Guest Room

Let me first say that I get about one guest per year, that it’s usually my mom, and by no means is our guest room as inviting as I would like it to be. The room isn’t huge and there is no en suite bathroom. But, we do have the luxury of an extra space Read the Rest…

Mesmerizing Matisse

Portrait of Henri Matisse at 81 by Robert Capa, 1949 via alafoto Aside from eating gorgeous, simple, foldable slices of pizza, catching up with friends and doing some shopping (Zara! Muji!), a highlight of my recent trip to New York was catching Matisse: In Search of True Painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I Read the Rest…

Design Sponge Sneak Peek

Today our house is featured on Design Sponge! Not a bad way to start our Monday. We were fortunate to work with the always delightful, Dana Damewood, who snapped some wonderful photos of our humble abode. Here are a few extras from the shoot that aren’t in our Sneak Peek. See the rest of the Read the Rest…

Pantry Party

It wasn’t that long ago that Christopher and I were doing shots at the bar on Saturday nights and now? We are organizing our pantry for fun. Before you find us incredibly lame, let me plead my case. First, Christopher bakes for a gourmet foods supermarket and brings home snacks–among other things. The man is Read the Rest…

A Work in Progress – Master Bedroom Stairs

We reach our master bedroom by a set of stairs off our dining room. The bedroom is a converted attic, so at the foot of the stairs is a door. Sometimes when we have guests over I’ll sneak behind the door and up to our bedroom to grab a sweater or something like that. When Read the Rest…

The World of Original Art – Let’s Talk Money

While attending college in New Mexico I studied studio art. This meant I alternated between art history courses and a myriad of art classes focusing on mediums from painting to ceramics. I tried my hand at drawing with charcoals and pastels, oil painting, and photography. I was not good, but I wasn’t horrible. People didn’t Read the Rest…

Something to Remember — Adjustable Shelves in Medicine Cabinets

On any given day, our master bathroom looks like a fraternity house–just crap everywhere. My toothbrush piled on my toothpaste, face cleanser balanced precariously on my pedestal sink, and Christopher’s too-tall bottles of something jumbled among my too-tall bottles of something else. It drives me nuts. It makes me extra crazy and quite mad, because Read the Rest…

Birdhouse and COOP Offices (at Home)

Currently we are making the transition from our downtown Omaha studio into a home office. We originally wanted a studio for a showroom and office space combined. Unfortunately, where we chose to set up shop was ultimately not a great fit for us and the showroom component had to be closed. That left 1,000 square Read the Rest…

Attack of the Baker

I believe I’ve mentioned before that since Christopher is a baker, we have flours, sugars and all matters of baking accessories stuffed in cabinets and somewhat organized on the stand alone cart above. This is a good solution for our kitchen and it does add some charm and much needed storage. Jenny Steffens Oh, but Read the Rest…

Cisco Home: A Green Resource

Recently I took a delightful and productive business trip to the East Coast, including a quick stop in NYC. If you love design and find yourself in the city, your dream come true is visiting ABC Carpet & Home. Seven floors of interior decor, furniture, lighting, and rugs (not to mention the entire second building that Read the Rest…

Andy Goldsworthy: Winter Meditations

I was introduced to Andy Goldsworthy’s work during my freshman year of art school and he’s someone who has never left my mind. An artist who makes “earthworks”, he collaborates with nature to create sculpture that is serene and meditative, reliant on time and weather, and as much about the material as it is about Read the Rest…

A Few Things From 2012

Every once and a while I’ll get asked to do an interview (via Birdhouse) for something and they almost always ask about trends in interior design. What will be the look for fall? What colors do you think will be big? What design ideas have been overused? I am always at a loss of what Read the Rest…

A Gift Guide for the Home Decor Addict

1. Areaware Alarm Dock:  This is an easy way to use your iPhone as an alarm clock. The dock also acts as a charging station. 2. Snowflake Pitcher: The Threshold line at Target is killing it in the chic factor. This pitcher would be a perfect addition for Christmas day brunch; perhaps with some orange juice for Read the Rest…

Small Room Decorating Magazine

We got a very cool package in the mail yesterday. A big, padded envelope and inside were several copies of Small Room Decorating Magazine. Why? Because our house is featured inside!    The magazine focuses on smaller scaler living, and how one makes the most of a tight space. I am both thrilled by the way Read the Rest…

Personalized Advent Calendar

I was on Facebook the other day and ran across the coolest idea for an advent calendar. Instead of chocolate, our friends Katie and Justin used all different microbrewed beers which are happily helping them count down the nights to Christmas. I’m pretty sure this clever idea will be copied in many households this season, Read the Rest…

At Home With Inez Gill

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to chat with and hang out at the apartment/studio of Courtney Zurcher, the designer behind the accessory line Inez Gill. It’s a charming and eclectic space filled with art by her great-great-grandmother, Inez, who also happens to be part of her company’s name inspiration. She connected to the Read the Rest…

An Artist’s Gift Guide

With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving just around the corner, the holiday shopping season has arrived. Have you begun shopping? Although I haven’t started crossing items off my gift list just yet, I’ve been browsing and pinning (spoiler alert, dear husband). I’ve put together some ideas for the maker on your list, the artist or creative type. Don’t Read the Rest…

It’s In The Details

When I work with clients I always take a look around and catalog all furniture, art, and accessories that they already own. I do this to get organized by assessing what really has to go and what pieces we can try to make work in the space. That’s pretty much the same strategy I have Read the Rest…

A Chicken Upgrade

Chicken pen idea for the side of our house using horizontal slats for the front fence/gate and chicken wire and posts for the sides and double back gates. We want a double gate leading to the yard so that we can pull our tractor-style coop out and clean the area. Also, there is chicken wire Read the Rest…

A Library

I truly couldn’t live without books; real, hardbound books. Don’t get me wrong, we have our electronic devices to read certain things and those are greatly appreciated when it comes time to lug a bag through the airport. But, cracking open a new (or old) book that’s been on your wish list, smelling the pages, Read the Rest…

Link Love

In order to feel the pulse of the art world beyond my own community, I spend a good bit of time online. And there’s a lot out there. Below, I’ve shared five favorites, blogs with distinct and accessible takes on art, artists, and the creative process. The Jealous Curator  | Channeling her jealousy into a creative Read the Rest…

No more Evites

We are inviting our friends and contributors over for fun, cocktails and to celebrate COOPsgiving this November. I want to make it a more official gathering by sending a formal invitation and not just a last minute Facebook event, or the dreaded and unattractive Evite. But, I also sort of hate the idea of sending Read the Rest…

Helping From Afar

That sounds a little stalkerish, doesn’t it? Well, then, you are missing the point. We set up online services through Birdhouse so that we could work with people who 1) didn’t live in Omaha 2) had a smaller budget for design services 3) were willing to do a lot of the work themselves or 4) Read the Rest…

Welcome to Our Studio

We have a studio/office where we meet clients and host art openings. As you enter the space there is an entry wall area that is a perfect spot to set the tone of our quirky design aesthetic. Previously, the wall was simply painted gray. I wanted something a little bolder and with a little more Read the Rest…

Around The House

Just a few shots including little moments throughout our house. On the bar Christopher’s cooking toolbox Kitchen windowsill Lisey in our bed This isn’t even all the magazines we hoard Bonnie by the front door Jewelry storage Ready to bake at a moment’s notice Enjoy your Monday back in the groove.

Interior Design 101–Functional Living

The first thing to consider when starting to decorate a new room is how you want it to function. Is it a living room that needs plenty of seating to accommodate guests during a party? Maybe you don’t need super plush furniture for lounging in there, like you might want in the family room where Read the Rest…

Eclectic and Colorful Redesign

About a month ago Ginger, COOP’s style contributor and blogger, asked me for a little advice on ways to breathe new life into the apartment she shares with her son. She already was moving in a good direction and had purchased some very interesting pieces for her home, but still wanted to mix things up Read the Rest…

No White Walls

When we decided to open up our studio to host art shows, the mission was to highlight the importance of bringing original art into your home. I kept seeing other rooms being professionally designed in my area where more than half featured generic, mass-produced art. That didn’t make any sense to me. Original art, from Read the Rest…

Art Appreciation: The Principles of Design

Target has been touting new denim and backpacks for weeks, and suddenly, the new school year is upon us. Jessica’s great post on interior design basics was a reminder of how often the principles of design come into play, whether you’re talking interior design, graphic design, or fine art. As I dust off my own school Read the Rest…

Interior Design 101: Balance

When asked, I can never identify my personal style. I start to say something like, “eclectic”, and then second guess myself because I’m not sure that’s a perfect fit. Maybe “bohemian” sounds better? Nope, not really just that, either. So, I never really land on just one thing. All I ever truly know is that Read the Rest…

The Great Outdoors: Sanditz & Sherman

It has been one hot and sticky summer but entertaining out-of-town guests has kept me busy in parks, at the zoo, and on neighborhood walks. With so much time spent out of doors, I’ve found myself with landscapes on my mind. Below, I’ve shared two contemporary painters with distinct takes on the great outdoors. Lisa Read the Rest…

Chalk It Up

One day several years ago I was taking a relaxing bath in our clawfoot bathtub, at our old house. We had renovated most of the house, and the master bathroom was no exception. I hadn’t started installing art in the room yet because I wasn’t sure what I wanted for the space. As I was Read the Rest…

Pushing Past Your Comfort Zone

Design, like fashion, is about originality. You hate showing up to a party in the same outfit as someone else, right? Now apply that same way of thinking to your interiors. Why would you want your house to look just like your neighbor’s? I had the pleasure of working with a lovely family on a Read the Rest…

Building an Art Collection: Part 2

In part 1, I encouraged you to get to know the art scene in your community and highlighted the 100 for 100 project from artist Martha Rich. As promised, I’m offering up additional online resources to find budget-friendly contemporary art. Each site offers diverse, curated collections with artwork available at prices that work with every budget. 20 Read the Rest…

The Bachelor Pad

I grew up with two older brothers picking on me, pushing me around while playing sports, generally just not caring at all that I was a girl. Though I always wanted a sister, I am glad I had my brothers to force me to appreciate masculinity. I never thought I was “just a girl”, because Read the Rest…

Building an Art Collection: Part 1

Martha Rich, this is fine art, acrylic on paper, 9.25″ x 6.5″ Years ago, my brother asked me where he could find cheap art for his apartment. Because I’m  an artist, he assumed I would know where to find some. Peeved, I felt that he was (without meaning to, I know) devaluing my practice; the Read the Rest…

Accessible Style and Sustainable Living

Yes, that’s our focus. But what does that mean? It has to do with figuring out ways to be stylish by sourcing pieces that the average person CAN afford. It’s also talking about design, fashion and art in non-snobby ways, because it’s fun to chat about those topics, but not fun to sound like a Read the Rest…

Design 101: The Highs and Lows

Designing your home doesn’t have to be overwhelming, scary or a major debt-inducing process. The keys are to take your time, create a budget, and be very selective about where you spend your dollar. First, evaluate your needs. What furniture can you reuse? Are there pieces that just need a little love and imagination that Read the Rest…

Come On In: House Tour Part 2

If you ever have the option to have your bedroom and en suite bathroom on a separate floor from the other rooms in your house, pull the trigger on that. Anytime you have guests over, or if you have kids, going up to your own floor feels like a private oasis. Obviously, that opportunity doesn’t Read the Rest…

Come On In: House Tour Part 1

Now that you know the team here, we thought it would be fun to share our home. After all, design is something we want to focus on, and what better place to start talking about the topic, but by showcasing our personal design aesthetic. I tend to be a bit schizophrenic when sticking with a Read the Rest…