July 31, 2012

Last Call on the shipment Hotlanta!



Need to know what else is going by tomorrow!

July 30, 2012

Shipping to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia!



Good news if you are in the deep South this week. I have extra space on a shipment heading to Atlanta so we can add some pieces at minimal cost.

If you have been wanting to purchase something but worried about shipping, now is the time!!!

 

Email me with any questions :)

 

Happy Shopping!

Kristen

July 27, 2012

Monogram Mama



I have monograms on the mind lately. Being a good Alabama girl, I have to admit that most of Banks’ onesies are monogrammed, as are his bibs and burp cloths, and don’t even get me started on Cici’s clothes. I mean, they just don’t look finished unless their name or initials is embroidered front and center. I also am working on two little girls rooms and I love incorporating monograms in children’s spaces. A monogram is also an excellent design element in adult spaces as well. I pulled some of my favorite monogram examples from my files for you to enjoy! I will be back next week with more regular blog posts! I’ve missed everyone, but loved every minute of focusing just on my kiddos :)

Love everything here, the wallpaper, headboards and unique monogram rock the house!

 

 

 

Admittedly a bit "safe" for my taste, but so elegant.

 

 

Love me some Leontine, unfortunately, the mister does not love the price so much.

 

This looks like a "Kristen" room. Digging the color combo, pattern mixing and monogram font.

 

You rarely see monogrammed bedding with a masculine look. This is done perfectly.

 

Simple and lovely.

 

 

Usually I am not a fan on monograms on the walls in adults rooms, but this appeals to me. Great room too!

 

So perfect and so cute. Sweet with a little sass.

 

What a great font? Love.

 

View Into Dining Room From Living Room

This is a dining room I did for a client. Still love the unique font we chose for the Parsons slipcovers.

 

And here is the “Oh No She Didn’t” section. I am all about monograms, but really?

You chose turquoise with a zebra border for your periwinkle Quest. Interesting. How many cats do you have?

 

 

I would have liked this in 2003, sans the butt bow on the chair.

 

 

That's a monogrammed toilet. I can picture the person that has this in their home. They also own a purse with a picture of their pet and or grandchildren printed on it.

 

 

This just looks flat silly to me. And I know some of you will get all fired up and try to defend this silly lamp. There are just too many design elements going on here.

 

I have to say I am a bit on the fence here. Weigh in, yes or no?

 

Not feeling these.

All photos are from Pinterest :)

I am always looking for new monogram inspirations! Send me some of your faves!!!

Happy Shopping!!!!

Kristen

 

July 11, 2012

Team Golden Rhino on Four Houses!



I am sure many of you have seen the recent promo’s for a new show on TLC called “Four Houses”. If you are from Dallas, you may recognize one of the contestants as the Big D’s own Meredith Grabham. She is hysterical on the commercials and as always looks stunning! Well the back story goes that I was scheduled to do the show and unfortunately production ended up being end of April, which happened to be about a week before Banks was born. Most of you know, this is the kind of thing I had been waiting for a long time. My dream is to be on TV in some capacity at some point (Lord knows how many times I have tried out for the Real World and Jeopardy. Clearly I am not slutty enough or smart enough apparently). After a long and really tough pregnancy, I knew there was no way I could shoot in their time frame and spend 10-12 hours a day for a week working on the show. The casting director was so sweet and we got to talking about Dallas and how I had so many great stylish friends here that may be interested. She asked if I was serious and did I have a name to suggest. Now, no one get offended here, because so many of you have amazing homes to showcase, but I had 100% no doubts on who to send their way, my dear friend Meredith Grabham. Meredith is truly one of the kindest, funniest and clearly most stylish people I know, which you will see on the show.

 

Meredith and I met shortly after I moved to Dallas and we had an instant connection. She and I get each other in a “yes, I- am- a- crazy- artist- type- who -speaks- her -mind- a- bit -too- much -for -a -traditonal -Southern -woman, but- still- insists- that- my- children -wear -smocked -clothes -and -big-bows -until -they- are -7” kind of way.  So I called Meredith, half wanting to cry because I really wanted the opportunity and half thrilled for her because I knew she would rock this. Of course, she was super excited, and super nervous and I could hear her wheels turning in her mind about what needed to be changed in her house and how fast she could do it :)

 

Meredith’s episode will air this Monday and while we do not know the outcome yet, I can’t imagine that she did anything less than WIN! She was kind enough to write an entry detailing her fun experience on the show. Let’s go Team Golden Rhino! (You will understand the rhino reference after the show airs on Monday).

 

From Meredith…..

 

A Little Show Called ‘Four Houses… and a Golden Rhino’

(Which happens to be my golden rhino and one of my most prized possessions)

Mondays on TLC @ 9:00pm

 

Four personalities, four styles, four opinions, four ladies, four houses and a production crew… these are the ingredients for a whirlwind week and an unforgettable experience.

 

Here is the backstory.  My name is Meredith Grabham.  I am the mother of 3 sweet babies, the wife of a very patient man, a decorator and artist in ALL of my free time.  I am very carefree and believe that you only live once, whatever comes your way, go for it!

 

So it all began as I was in a meeting with a new client, trying my best to figure out how to merge his southwest aesthetic with her modern sensibilities in one room and my phone rang.  Of course I let it go, but it kept ringing, texts were dinging and I finally had to check.  It was our very own Gypsy Soul, Kristen Dowd calling to say, “You’re either going to love me or hate me but I gave your number to a production company in New York.  They’re filming a design show and looking for people for the Dallas show.  You’re the only person I know crazy enough to do it.”  I have to give Kristen all of the credit because they actually wanted to film her but she was expecting Banks to arrive any day, so she gave them my number.  After a brief sweaty, excited, worried, doubtful, hopeful, panic attack followed by countless phone calls, Skype interviews, photo taking and sending, emails, crazy contract negotiations, worrying about all of the unknowns and figuring out who would take care of my babies during 5 full days of filming, they chose me to participate and I said yes.

 

It was surreal.  After almost driving myself crazy with all of the details, lets be honest, hair and makeup and wardrobe were on the top of the list.  Partially because I was trying to minimize looking like an idiot on television, partially because I wasn’t going to be able to completely redecorate and repaint my entire house the way I wanted to deep down in my heart, but also because I had zero information regarding what was about to happen to me, to my house, to my family and to the other 3 strangers I was soon to meet.  What else could I do?  I also have to add a disclaimer here about “reality “ TV.  At this stage I know we are all very suspicious about how “real” all of this “reality” actually is.  In this particular case it was painfully real!  I mean, going in we knew nothing other than the premise of the show:  4 houses were going to be critiqued and judged by the fellow homeowners.  The winner was going to get $10,000 and a spread in Elle Décor (later changed to Better Homes and Gardens)!  They kept us very uninformed every step of the way.  As annoying as it was, it did keep our initial opinions and reactions completely raw and unedited.

 

The first day of filming finally arrived.  A car service arrived to take me to the first undisclosed location.  As we headed west toward Harry Hines I got a little concerned and called my husband to send out a search party if I didn’t turn up.  We drove and drove and drove.  The driver knew less than I did about where we were going or why, which was even less reassuring.  We finally arrived at a Starbucks, grabbed a quick grande-non-fat-three-pump-mocha, and a 12 year old (looking) production assistant whisked me into a big white VAN.  I was really not happy about riding in a van with a 12 year old I didn’t know.  There is way too much CSI and Law and Order at my house and I am officially scared of vans.  I soon realized that they were doing this whisking because one of my competitors was arriving for her morning pick me and up and we weren’t allowed to see each other for any reason at all, again to preserve all judgment toward one another.

 

So we drive and drive some more.  Followed by an hour or so of sitting and waiting and chit chatting in the van with the 12 year old aspiring director/screen play writer.  Imagine all of the things we had to talk about.  Thank goodness I’ve seen Dumb and Dumber.  Anyway, after what felt like hours of waiting and fretting about my clothes wrinkling and my makeup melting off, we pull up to the entrance of the first home.  A nice man with an English accent, a fanny pack and bags of gear appears out of nowhere.  He has me step out of the van, put his hand down my shirt to put my mic on and they say, “Ok you’re ready.  Walk up that hill and just say whatever comes to mind.”  I so pleasantly reply, “What?!  That hill!??  That huge rocky hill with no end in sight?  In these shoes?“   They look at me like I’m some sort of crazy princess.  A guy with a big camera appears on the horizon and they say, “Yeah, go.”  And that’s how I was prepared for the first day of filming.

 

After that in depth initiation to filming a television show, the first home tour began.  We all were allowed out of seclusion one at a time. First to critique the exterior of the home and to try to predict what we would find inside.  Then we were to enter the home, and meet each other, all on camera of course.  From that point on, mics were always recording and cameras were always rolling.  We would tour a room or two, then stop for one on one interviews.  If we weren’t in the middle of touring a room or doing an interview we were being “babysat” so that we didn’t discuss anything personal, reveal anything about our homes to each other, or talk about what we were seeing off camera…  15 hours a day, 5 days in a row.

 

At this point I was thinking, this is going to be a breeze!  I have lots of opinions. I am acutely aware that some are good, and some are bad, but also that they are all pretty severe in one way or another.  This is like a dream come true.  I get to walk into a stranger’s home, while they are not there and just say whatever I want about whatever I want.  Hold the phone! Boy was I wrong.  This entire process proved to be one of the most difficult, thought provoking, self-exploratory, exhausting and emotional 5 days of my life.  I didn’t take into account the feelings I would have for the other women or the fact that no one there knew me, or understood when I was serious or trying to be funny.  They hardly knew my name.  I didn’t think about how the other ladies would perceive me if I just let it rip about a pillow that really irked me, or a window treatment that I found hideous or the effect it would have on their opinions of my home.  Most importantly I didn’t prepare for the fact that never in my life have I done what these nice people from New York City were asking me to do.  I have never walked into any place and freely spouted out my unfiltered thoughts.  Of course, the unfiltered thoughts are always there, but no one would ever dare say them.  That would just be rude.  Everyone knows that if you can’t say anything nice, you say nothing at all.  Saying nothing at all really doesn’t work for TV producers, let me tell you.

 

On the flip side, was the day that my own home was the one being toured, critiqued, loved and hated.  I didn’t have a clue how to prepare so I didn’t.  The crew arrived and we promptly began our tour… after I got my mascara, lip gloss and shoes on.  Of course I wasn’t ready on time.   Another perfect example of the reality aspect is the way the “tour” proceeded.  It was presented to me as if we were just going to practice in each room real quick.  So, that’s exactly what I did.  I just said something to practice and moved on.  I realized too late that we were not practicing, that was it.  Whatever I said, more horrifically all of the things I did not say were just going to be the way they were.  Done.  Too late.  I have since lost hours of sleep over all of the things I should have said.  Part of the premise of the show is being proud of your home.  I am not a proud person at all.  But I should have at least mentioned the things that are special about our home.  Maybe the fact that our kitchen won a huge design award in Dallas would have been good to mention.  Maybe the fact that my husband and I designed and built our home could have been mentioned.  I would have loved to tell that our 3 kids ride their bikes around inside and I love it.  Or I should have mentioned my strong feelings about decorating with children or the cool ways I ended up with some of my favorite things.  Maybe how important art is to me…. the list never ends.  I was like stunned or something.  I don’t know what in the world happened.  I know it wasn’t good though.

Water under the bridge.  Better luck next time.  What can you do?

 

Each day was basically the same.  Car service, lots of driving, random Starbucks, van, more driving and waiting, get a mic, walk up to a house, critique, predict, go in, join the other three girls, do your best to be nice, then give the house scores on originality, livability and style.  After a full day we would finally get home around 12 or 1am.  As the days went by we all began to realize how different each of us were from each other and similar we were at the same time. We all had big personalities but the casting seemed to be almost more important than the homes themselves.

 

Finale day we all had the opportunity to kind of come clean and tell each other what we loved and hated about each other’s homes.  That was very cathartic and a huge relief!  We four girls really developed a bond throughout the intense 5 days.  The crew was amazing, so kind and thoughtful.  They were very patient and very encouraging. It felt like we were just warming up when it all ended.  Right when we figured out how to say, “I hate red!” without making the girl who loves red cry, we all go our separate ways.  Finale day comes and goes and boom!  Cold turkey.  Ripped the band-aid right off.  Like it never happened.

 

Until this last week or two.  Reality re-set in when I hear my voice saying something ridiculous and sassy on TV.  Dear lord have mercy.  I have zero recollection of what crazy things I said or did and I will see it for the first time with the rest of the world.  I am petrified of what they’re going to show.  Hundreds of hours of filming squeezed down into 45 minutes.  So please forgive me in advance.  I do typically try to be nice.  ; )  I would love to tell all of the juicy details, but unfortunately I cannot.  You’ll have to watch TLC Monday night, July 16th at 9:00pm.

 

We do not have official pics but here are a few that we caught from the television promotions!

 

Happy Shopping!

Kristen and guest blogger Meredith

 

 

 

 

 

June 29, 2012

Gypsy Soul Interiors and Scout Design Studio Warehouse Sale!!! THIS WEEKEND



We hope to see everyone tomorrow and Saturday at the GSI and Scout warehouse preview sale! Check out the pics below, so many cool things!!!

155 Howell Street

Friday June 29 6-9PM

Saturday June 30 9-3PM.

 

Happy Shopping!!!

 

 

 

 

 

June 18, 2012

Reality (I can’t believe I am sharing some of this)



A few of you have asked why I have not posted lately. Here is my long winded answer…..

 

  Adjusting to being a mother of two has been so much easier than I anticipated in some ways and so much harder than I anticipated in others. I am so much more relaxed with Banks than I ever was with Cici. I think by this time in her life, she had been to the ER twice, once for what I thought was a brain tumor (lymph node) and once for what I thought were seizures (temper tantrums). She had been to the eye doctor at 3 months (I was convinced she had Retinoblastoma (sp?) because of a special on the Today show and an unfortunate glare in a camera), and we probably had been to the doctor 8 times, usually based on a slight change in poop color. With Banks, our pediatrician said we could come at 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month and 2 months, or we could just come in for a quick weight check at 2 weeks and not again until 2 months. Guess which I chose? We said “Peace Out, see you in 8 weeks”. I have realized that newborns are a little more resilient than I gave Cici credit for.
  This parenting strategy also has proven true for leaving Banks with a sitter. I think we left him for the first time with non-family sitter at 3 weeks,  basically leaving the sitter a bottle and our phone number and figured she could hang. You should have seen the arsenal of baby equipment and pages of instructions we left with the sitter the first time we left Cici!  So in that sense life is easier this time around.
  Now, to where it gets harder. My achilles heel is getting out of the door. If I am supposed to meet you somewhere, and I am 30 minutes late, I am really proud of myself. Take note friends, if you need me somewhere at 10, go ahead and tell me 9:15. I promise I won’t get mad if I get there early, becuase I will under no circumstances get there early. We tend to have diaper changing emergencies and ravenous hunger the second I am about to strap the little guy into the carseat. Thank the Lord for my little helper Cici. She has been a complete angel and such a help to mommy. I try to make us all look half decent each day, but again, reality is that Caroline picks her clothes and usually ends up in an ensemble like today. Note the jean vest accessorizing the Puma (where the hell did that come from?) shirt and Walmart skirt. Banks typically heads out for the day in whatever he slept in, and I make somewhat of an attempt to not to be wearing workout clothes. Lord knows I am not working out. We usually make it out the door for the day at 11, and I typically have been attempting to get out the door since around 9.

Cici's chosen ensemble. Note the messy room.

  Notice I didnt include hair and makeup above? Thats becuase not much is going on in those categories right now. Most of you know I have enough hair on my head for 3 people, so it usually ends up pulled up high atop my dome. Due to an uncontrollable vomit reflex while pregnant, I could not get my cut or colored for 9 months. The smell of salons would send me over the edge, so I was a long, puffy, black rooted mess when I finally delivered my sweet baby. I came to the realization that I had to get a haircut two weeks ago, when a woman, wearing “authentic” Louis Vuitton plus sized pink jeans, inquired about what kind of “hair piece” I was wearing. So, being that I had an additional 25 minutes and seeing a swanky “Great Clips” across from Walmart, I headed in. I saw an “Expert Stylist” as they so referred to the technician with the most tenure. Upon asking about how long she had been with the Great Clips institution, she replied since July 11, 2011. Makes you wonder. (As a side note, my favorite roomate ever, who shall remain nameless, went on a date in Boston with a Super Cuts stylist. When she asked “Why Super Cuts?” his response was because the management does not get upset if you mess up your client’s hair. You would think that kind of warning would keep me out of Great Clips type places, but alas, I needed my hair piece trimmed badly.) As I sat in Great Clips with the rest of the patrons, I chuckled at the difference in my life now verses 10 years ago. You see 10 years ago, I was single, living in Boston, and….cool. Having my hair “did” was an event. I would have been sitting in a 3rd floor Newbury Street Salon, sipping wine, making plans for the evening and shelling out $200 bucks for my ‘do. My reality now is staring me in the face at the Great Clips across from the Walmart on Montfort. I pay my $35 (including blowdry) and head on my way. For what its worth, the stylist actually did an excellent job. Luckily it wasn’t Holly’s date, Nacer Anis (can you think of the fun we had with that name) cutting my hair.
  All of that info to tell you that yes, it is wonderful being the mommy of two children. So wonderful that I am actually considering a third at some point, but it ain’t easy. All my clients are so sweet and are probably just blowing smoke up my ass when they say how great I look or how easy I make it seem. Thus, I have a few pictures that paint a better picture of my current “reality” vs. “perception”. It is important to note that as young moms, we are all so freaking hard on ourselves. My friends who work full time feel that they are not measuring up at home. My friends who stay home full time feel guilty that they aren’t contributing to the bottom line of the family finances. Those of us in the middle, who work part time, can feel like we are doing C+ work at both home life and work life. Of course, these scenarios do not describe everyone either. In my opinion social websites like Facebook do nothing to promote the self esteem of moms. Think about it, most people only post pics on Facebook of themselves looking pretty, their kids looking perfect, their husbands winning awards at work, their beautiful new homes, new cars etc. Facebook is the equivalent of those annoying, yes I said it, annoying, Christmas card “update” letters we all get each year. If you are one of the peeps that send update letters, sorry if I have offended you. You can join the ranks of purple lovers, cat people, Kirklands shoppers, capri pant wearers, colored towel purchasers and minivan drivers who are also equally offended by my frankness. I will say that I do love Facebook. I love keeping up with all the wonderful people who have come into my life over the years, but we all need to remember that most people are posting pics that paint themselves in the best light possible.
  In closing, if you wonder why I have not posted on the newest design trend lately, I have been pre-occupied with my “new” normal at home. Its wonderful but it aint pretty. I am amazed at these mommy bloggers who also work full time as designers and manage to have everything perfect all the time. But for me thats not reality. So for your viewing pleasure, I am posting pics of my current “reality”.

So many of you post hospital pictures where you are perfectly made up and happy. This is my delivery room reality. Ben found it funny that I was still throwing up all the way up to delivery day. I did not find it funny. I found it less funny that he decided to capture my discomfort on film. See folks, showing y'all "reality".

How magazines or blogs would "suggest" I live.

How I really live. That would be a fort. Due to laziness, that fort took up my living room for much longer than originally anticipated.

 

Another view of the living room reality.

 

The angelic depiction of my children captured by Carrie Smith. I would like you to think we are always this clean and peaceful.

Our reality. Mary Lou Retton attempting to take "the brutha's" blood pressure. He appears to have White Coat Syndrome.

 

 

How I would like you to think I look all the time.

 

How I really look. I took this picture on Tuesday morning which was day 3 of Cici having the flu and day 2 of Ben having the flu. Sick husbands are wayyyyy worse than sick kids. My husband actually had the nerve to ask me why I was being mean to him while he was sick. He considered it mean that I did not come check on him regularly and instead chose to text to inquire on his condition. As long as he was breathing, I considered him ok, and the last thing I wanted was to get sick from his germs. Reality is... mommy doesn't get sick days. I will reluctantly admit, I told him I was jealous that he was suffering with the flu because it meant he got to lay in bed all day alone. Thats what a lack of sleep will do to you.

 

Hope yall enjoyed my little glimpse of our family “reality” right now. I love design, love interiors, but love my little germy messy family way more. So I will get to design blogging at some point, but right now, this is my priority and the MASSIVE Warehouse Sale we are having on June 29th and 30th :) Stay tuned for details, and new items being posted tomorrow on Facebook at GypsySoulInteriors fan page.

Hope you had a great weekend and Happy Fathers Day to all the daddys in your life!

 

Kristen

 

June 1, 2012

Update On Gypsy Soul Interiors!



Just a little update! We are doing great over here, thank you for all the sweet “Congrats” emails. Banks is a precious little boy and he’s definitely keeping me on my toes. Cici is such a great big sister and has told me numerous times that she is ready for another baby! Easy for her to say, shes still has the luxury of sleeping through the night and taking leisurely naps during the day.

My little babes!

I promise to get back to blogging soon, its been all I can do to maintain the furniture biz and 2 kiddos right now. As far as the furniture biz goes, I am not the only “Gypsy” around here anymore. My dear friend, Grace Mitchell, is also buying for GSI now. I have to admit, most of the cool finds have been courtesy of her lately.

We are thrilled to announce that we will be having a sale with a physical location sometime early summer. Still working details out, but we hope to see everyone there.

Lastly, take a look at all of the amazing new inventory! Don’t forget, we offer local delivery, painting, upholstery and electrical work on all of our purchases. If you need something done, just ask :)

Hope everyone is having a great summer! Happy Shopping!

Kristen

June 1, 2012

Pair of Cream Glass Lamps with Chrome Base $95/ pair



June 1, 2012

Vintage Kisabeth Upholstered Club Chair $265



I love this chair. Upholstery is in perfect condition! Down cushions.

June 1, 2012

MId Century Italian Wicker Rocker $295



So gorgeous! Love these chrome accents.