A carefully curated home

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One of our favorite friends and clients, Sandy Presley, opened up her home recently for us to share with you. It’s full of one of a kind treasures and collected pieces from antique shops and local Knoxville stores. Sandy’s home is one of those places that always feels like a breath of fresh air and a place where it’s easy to relax and be yourself. With a neutral palate and a warmth that comes from beautiful woods and colors, Sandy’s home is like a retreat. We hope you enjoy this peak into her beautiful space.

How long have you lived in your home?

14 years. When we decided to build, we purchased a house plan and customized it. We opened up the main living area more than the plan called for to make our space work better for hosting large groups of people.

The music room

The music room

Powder Room

Powder Room

Sitting nook in a guest bedroom

Sitting nook in a guest bedroom

What does home mean to you?

It’s a landing place for all my family. A gathering retreat where memories are relived and new ones made.

Living room

Living room

Living room— custom cabinets made from old heart pine that Sandy collected.

Living room— custom cabinets made from old heart pine that Sandy collected.

How would you describe your style of decorating?

Modern- rustic. I hope that it’s comfy and cozy!

Bench: Antique from a shop in Atlanta, watercolors from O.P. Jenkins

Bench: Antique from a shop in Atlanta, watercolors from O.P. Jenkins

Did your style happen organically or was it a process of figuring out what style means to you? Has your style changed over time? Do you have any favorite stores or shops for furniture or home decor?

I try not to be too trendy but always go with pieces I love. I tend to work with the character and nature of the home itself as well. I decorated our previous house differently because that home was a very different style than my current one. For furniture and decor I love the Restoration Hardware outlet and antique and vintage shops. Locally, my go-to’s for pretty things as well as therapy are O.P. Jenkins, Laws Interiors, & Bennett Galleries.

 
The keeping room

The keeping room

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collected books and treasures

collected books and treasures

You have some really amazing pieces in your home, what is your relationship to your belongings?

I’m not super attached to much of anything and offer almost everything to my kids except for my blue velvet chair in the keeping room. Everyone wants that chair!

When people come into your home, what do you hope they feel?

Peaceful and relaxed and so comfortable that they want to come often.

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Do you have a style or home philosophy?

Love what you love. Don’t let magazines dictate what you should love.

Dining room with heart pine wood paneling that Sandy collected.

Dining room with heart pine wood paneling that Sandy collected.

How is your home an extension of yourself or of your family?

This home is too much house for me so I love sharing it with others. I’ve hosted many showers, parties, wedding events, Christmas carol sing along’s, even a wedding itself here. I always want it to feel open to anyone.

Foyer

Foyer

Laundry room details

Laundry room details

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Do you have a favorite room in your home? A favorite piece of art or piece of furniture?

The keeping room. I love the coziness of the fireplace and I love that you are still part of what’s happening in the kitchen.

I have put a lot of thought and care into everything I selected in the original design so each thing is pretty special. It’s hard to pick but I would have to say the wood panels in the foyer and dinging room as well as the cabinetry in the living room are my favorites. Sam Whisman and Bruce Kestrel made them from old heart pine wood that I’d collected over the years. I also collected antique doors for this house and have used them in all different ways.

 
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What do you love most about your home?

I love that it’s a quiet place of refuge for me, my family and my friends. I love that everything has a story behind it.

Sandy and her family. Image by  Texture Photo

Sandy and her family. Image by Texture Photo








"Be kind to your future self" by Sarah Pattison

We’re excited to share a guest post from our friend, Sarah of The Happy Envelope. She & her husband, Ty, have been creating beautiful paper products here in Knoxville for over a decade. Read & enjoy her words…


“The only difference between a mob and a trained army is organization.” –Calvin Coolidge

A friend once said told me about her mantra to make choices that would be “kind to her future self.” When taking off your jacket, for example, you can hang the jacket on the hanger in the closet, or on the hook by the door. You can also just throw that jacket over the arm of the chair as you walk into your home, or set it down across the kitchen table. You can wear it up to your bedroom and crumple it onto the chair there, or hang it up in your bedroom closet. Which decision is kind to your future self? Placing your jacket where you know to look for it when you need it next: that’s kind to your future self. It may take five seconds more energy now—from your present self—but it will potentially save many minutes of wandering around the house asking aloud, “Has anyone seen my jacket?” as everyone in your family is becomes more and more annoyed with how late we’ll all be because Mom can’t find her daggum jacket. (Perhaps this scenario has happened before… with jacket, keys, sunglasses, regular glasses, a purse, diaper bag? Maybe it’s just an example: you decide.)

Creative people are often stereotyped as disorganized, harried, and discombobulated. I wish that I could defy the stereotype, but unfortunately, I elevate it. I don’t like to be surrounded by chaos, and I actually love when everything is clean and peaceful and beautiful. I’m visual and I care about aesthetics. I’m just not kind to my future self, and things can get out of control quickly. And within just a day or so, even putting the clothes away is no longer a one-basket job, but now a three-basket job and I begin to feel overwhelmed. 

At home, I can get away with this. It’s not like we live in a pigsty; it’s just not as organized and tidy as I’d like, and it’s my own fault. But translate this character flaw to work and it’s an entirely different matter. Clients depend on me. Organization of proofs, time-frames, delivery dates, checklists… these things are crucial to timely deliveries and happy customers. Organization is actually critical for business success.

This past year at the studio, we’ve implemented a few wonderful tools that help us all stay more organized and on-track together as a team. We’re working on a Training Manual. We’ve started using Adobe Sign for all proof approval contracts. We’re trying to clean up our Dropbox. But my favorite is Basecamp, a project management online software. While each project used to feel like herding cats, now the entire project scope from start to finished is filled with checklists, due dates, people held accountable, job tracking, and even file organization. It really has been a game-changer for our entire staff. So, I’m growing. Baby steps. 

We’re getting ready to move our studio again, sort of quickly.  As I look around my desk area and bookshelves, I’m already starting to feel the dread. The temptation for me is always going to take the easy, kind-to-present-self way: literally throw everything into one big box, label it, “Sarah’s desk” and tape it up. Out of sight, out of mind! But how will my future self feel later this summer when she’s trying to get her new studio set up and she’s opening up disorganized piles of junk thrown into boxes any old way? I’ll tell you: Future Sarah is gonna be overwhelmed and stressed and she’s gonna cry a lot. I don’t want that for her. 

Instead, I’m planning to actually make decisions as I go: do I really need this book of paper samples from 2004?  No? Then it doesn’t come with me.  Hopefully, when all of our construction and build-out is finished later this summer, Future Sarah will open up a few clearly labeled, simply organized boxes and get her desk set up with a smile on her face. 

 

Xoxo,

Sarah

PS- We’re moving to 5605 Kingston Pike right around the corner in Bearden. We’ll be nestled in between Grow Salon and Firestone Tires. Please come pop in to our much bigger space once it’s finished later this summer… you can watch the presses in action through windows, just like the taffy-makers in Gatlinburg! In the meantime, find us online and at the Market Square Saturday Farmer’s marketsTalahi Plant Sale (this Saturday at Lakeshore!), and Retropolitan Craft Fair.

Tips for Storing Seasonal Clothing

Winter may (finally & hopefully) be behind us! That’s not to say that Spring doesn’t bring some chilly mornings, but overall it’s safe to say we can put away the snow bibs and winter gloves. These items can be bulky and take up lots of space in your every day closet and dresser.

Here are some tips for storing seasonal items:

Image from Container Store.

Image from Container Store.

Take Inventory
We always suggest that you edit before you store. Take inventory of the clothing and accessories you gather, and be ruthlessly honest with yourself. If there are damaged or stained items - let them go, they don’t need to take up space and it isn’t likely they will be useful next season.

Image from Container Store.

Image from Container Store.

Location, Location
Consider the best location for those stored items. This could be under the bed, an unused storage closet, or a basement/attic. If your storage area may be damp, DampRid is a great product that will help attract and trap excess moisture. When looking for the best place to store seasonal items in your home, look for these conditions: clean, cool, dark and dry.

Find the Right Storage Containers
Adding cedar or lavender blocks to your storage containers, bags or bins can help keep your stored items fresh and protected.

Here are some under the bed storage containers we like: Under Bed Drawer, Long Under Bed Box with Wheels, Under Bed Artisan Crunch Storage Bag,

If you’re going to use plastic bins, we always suggest using clear ones. This eliminates the question or confusion when looking for a specific item. Using bins of matching size create ease when stacking or fitting bins into the storage area you choose.

With bulky and puffy items like jackets or snow pants, you can use vacuum sealed bags to save lots of space. Invite your family members into the decision making with the purging and storing.

Image from  Shira Gill.

Image from Shira Gill.

Storing seasonal items allows more space for the clothes, shoes and accessories you wear on a daily basis in the current season. This can help eliminate frustration and overwhelm when looking for a specific item or choosing what to wear. It’s simple - what you need, is in front of you and what you don’t need, isn’t cluttering your space or mind.