11.20.2014

CLASS IN SESSION! WHAT SOLANGE'S WEDDING CAN TEACH YOU ABOUT DESIGNING YOUR HOME


Solange Knowles.
Formerly known as the little sister of Beyonce, now more famous for crafting a wedding whose images have been flooding all of your social media timelines for the last 3 days.

I, too, am obsessed. 
I used to wonder what it was like to be Solange, what the pressure was like to grow up in (what seemed like) Beyonce's shadows, constantly being compared to her older sister and under the firm hand of a national media that was trying to craft her in the same mold. That can be a lot to manage at 17, especially when you're getting married and having a baby. But fast forward 11 years later, where Solange has blossomed into this energetic force of her own, as an in-demand DJ, songwriter, fashion icon, performer, model, mother and now, wife to music video director Alan Ferguson. 







She has SLAIN everyone with this wedding, not BECAUSE she got married, but because of HOW it was done. She took every last one of us to school with a lesson that applies to so many areas of life, but since I'm a designer, let's talk design, shall we?

Solange's approach to her wedding was a visually breathtaking and awesome reminder that following the beat of your own drum is really where you find your sweet spot. Even if you don't love all of her choices (say WHET???), you have to hand it to her--she single-handedly changed the game by throwing the wedding celebration of her dreams and took the internet by storm in the process. She's a celebrity so it's true that it would've made in the news anyhow, but the sheer volume of coverage was definitely due to her stylistic choices. Her wedding album is unconventional in a way that makes you step back in awe at how bold her choices were...and how cookie-cutter and mass-produced everything else is starting to look. ;-(

Well, my friends, that's what happens when you live without intention. 

My thought? 
It's never too late to course correct & do something different, whether in design, work or life (and when it comes to designing your home, WHY AREN'T you doing something different??).

Here's what Solange did:
She got crystal clear about who she is and designed her wedding day 100% around that. 


How do you extend this philosophy to designing your home?

It starts with knowing yourself--really. Figuring out who you are, what makes you happy and what you really love, then finding ways to incorporate you, your happiness, and your loves into your decor. And I'm not talking specific items here, I mean clarity about the larger, important things, then creating an actionable plan as you work your way down to the specifics. 

Know what Solo's wedding shows me that she really loves?
Her family. Her fashion. Her art. Her hair. A good party. Her man. And most of all, herself. 
If I were to take a guess at the words that guided how she wanted to FEEL on her wedding day they'd be: Beauty. Love. Style. Joy. Family. Fun. Laughter. 
Because that's exactly what I feel when I look at all of her pics. And THAT is the purpose of creating a home, an event, and a life with intention. 
Your essence should be all over that shit. 

So let's stop worrying about what's on-trend. Cease fretting over something you love that may have been "done 1,000 times". Trust me--what's more interesting and infinitely more meaningful is creating a home that speaks to who you are. Nothing (and I mean not one single solitary thing) should be in your house that you don't love the hell out of. 
LOVE.
Ain't nobody got time for that. 
So if that means using a pattern that's appeared in every shelter magazine since 1985, I still say go for it. All that matters is that you truly love it. 'Cause ultimately, we should all be driven to identify what makes our hearts flutter, and then make it our mission to fill our lives with as much of those things as we can, in the way that feels right for each one of us.

Just like Solange. 


If you'd like help designing a space that looks and feels like you, I'd love to speak with you! Send an email to: dayka@daykarobinsondesigns.com or call: 678.558.6731 and let's see how we can work together.

11.03.2014

WHY INTERIOR DESIGN MATTERS TO ME: MY MANIFESTO


Being an Interior Designer has been one of the biggest blessings of my life.
To have created a life with art as my center, doing something I love (and think I'm pretty good at, too!) around interesting people with similar creative interests and energies feels like a divine appointment. 

And yet sometimes I find myself wondering if there's more. 

Beyond the cushy velvets, embossed wallpapers, latest natural-fiber floor covering and punchy paint colors, I've found myself questioning why design is important to me and why I do this for a living.

I've thought, and thought, and thought about it (watch this if you don't know what I mean), and I came up with this:

Over the last few years I've changed--seismic changes that have caused me to rethink EVERYthing about my life--and I realized that...I've been through a serious growth spurt in the last 2 years. As my inner life has changed, my outer life has made many incremental shifts as well and as a result, my "why" is vastly different today than it was when I started my business in 2010. In fact, I didn't really have a "why" when I started out doing design, other than the fact that I loved beautiful design and wanted to soak it up 24/7.

But that alone isn't reason enough for me anymore.

For me, my connection to design is about more than simply living in a well-styled house or having nice things for the sake of sharing pretty pictures with the world. If there's no deeper anchor in my well, my love for design will fade away in the coming years, quite the same way my juvenile love for mustard sandwiches did so many years ago (and I mean straight yellow mustard on white bread--nothing else. Yum.).
Design is my vehicle (as is writing!) to share the story of who I am, where I've been, whom I love, and what's important to me.

So here's my truth:
I believe wholeheartedly in living with intention.
To me, this means getting really clear about what it is you want and plan to get out of life. Not to to be confused with HOW you're going to get there, but examining WHAT you're choosing to focus on--how you want to feel, who you want to be, the type of life you want to lead--and letting these answers guide all your choices.
I believe in a LIFE, not just a room, well-designed & focused around your values and intentions. Asking questions like...

What is important to me?? 
How can I lead my life in a way that the important things are evident??

And I believe that your home should be an extension of these answers.
After all...it's the place you rest your soles and your soul.
Nourish your  friends & family.
Let down your hair.
Take off your mask (and your bra).

So my conversation is widening and becoming about more than just giving my clients an on-trend space that gets pinned thousands of times and hundreds of likes on Instagram, but something that really helps them get closer to who they say they want to be.

Is entertaining important to you? 
If you're not doing it now, how can I help you create a space to do more of what you love in a way that best speaks to the core of who you are??

That's what I really want to know, and this is how I really want to help my clients.

The thing about a life passion is this:
when you have it, it spills over into other areas of your life. 
There's no such thing as work & life separation because you've made the object of your life passion your work, so those two things are like a couple that's newly minted--snuggled in bed together with their legs intertwined all up & around each other. I obsess over design stores and ransack flea markets in my free time/when I travel because I LOVE to do so and for me it's not just a job...it's who I am.


So here's my design manifesto.

I believe you were designed to live a fantastic life.
I believe your home should fit your lifestyle & desires,
and support you in living the life you've always wanted.
People should walk into your home and get a glimpse of who you really are. 
Your home should honor your incredible journey.
I believe in buying pieces because you love them and finding ways to make them work
...because that's reason enough.
I believe your history should be cherished.
I believe you should create your life around the things you love...
but always seek out the things you love in the life you have now. 

The bottom line?
You deserve to live the good life.
Let me help you figure out what that is. 

pics via: here and here

10.21.2014

TWO HOURS CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE: MY NYC VACATION RECAP

Washington Square Park

My time in NYC was soooooo good.

 DUMBO 

It started out as a business trip that became a bit of a vacation and even though it was NYC and I've been a million times before...this time, everything was just different. 

Ever had a trip or experience where EVERYTHING comes together in the most perfect way that you could never foresee on your own? 
That's a taste of what this was. 
Work with Flynnside Out and the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island brought me out to NY for 2 weeks initially (see more about our incredible work here), then I decided to return for the Designer Showcase Gala honoring all of the RMHLI designers and stay a few days beyond my work needs for a lonnng overdue (and much deserved!) vacation.

Sweet, rockstar Jeana



My vacation agenda?
Relax. 
Roam the city. 
Rendezvous with friends. 
Meet with a few business contacts. 
Do a smidge of sightseeing. 
Blow air kisses to my beautiful godson. 
Reclaim the city as my own. 
And most importantly, to just to be in the moment everyday, soaking in every minute of my trip.



I rented an apartment on AirBNB (my first time using the site) and had a fantastic experience (I can't say enough good things about the site)!!
It was a smaller, 3-room studio apartment in Times Square which, despite all of the chaos of tourist traffic, made it super easy to connect to any subway line I needed. And the true benefit to staying in an apartment, especially on a trip like this, is that it felt like home and gave me a hint of what it would be like if I lived in NYC. Lugging your ridiculously heavy luggage up the steps of a steep, 3 story walk up and traipsing around a 500 sq ft apartment with bathroom so tiny that the front of the toilet barely missed kissing the bathtub??
Now that's an experience that you can't get in a boutique hotel (and I loved every.single.minute)!

If you follow me on Instagram (and you should do that), you know that in the days before I left, I took time to set my intentions DAILY about what I wanted my trip to be, how I wanted to show up for others, and what I wanted to feel while I was traveling...and I was determined to get what I intended in my heart, despite the fact that rain was threatening to dampen my entire trip. I arrived to the rental car counter (needed a car for Long Island), only to meet the most charming Sales Manager who fell in love with my name and promptly upgraded my ridiculously inexpensive rental to the most expensive car on the lot with no change in price. Let me keep the car for longer than my initial reservation and waived all late fees associated with my last minute date change.
And while I had effectively set the tone for my trip prior to leaving, I knew this was a sign of great things to come.

My sis

Telisha Gibson

Kim, my BFF since freshman year at Spelman

This trip was important to me for so many reasons, many of which didn't hit me until I got ready to leave.

I'm 35 years old, and this is the first vacation I've ever taken by myself. 

Even though I have friends and family in the city, I intentionally stayed by myself so I could have time to be alone and move according to my own schedule. I didn't want to shop with friends, or club all night long, I just wanted to reclaim the city as my own & make new memories...venture out at the drop of the dime and navigate the subway on my own (for the first time, ever).
 NY has always been bittersweet for me, because--though I'm originally from the city--I've always associated it with my father, having spent my younger years there visiting him.  The man who used to put me in his lap and let me drive the car down empty cobblestone streets in our neighborhood (loonnngggg before it became known as the Meatpacking District), made me listen to classical music & Charles Kuralt on Sunday mornings and taught me the proper way to eat a NYC hot dog (spicy mustard, extra onions).
He passed away 7 years ago but I've always felt his energy the strongest there and while I've always loved New York, it's also made me a bit sad because I wish he were here to see who I've become--I think he'd be very proud. So it was good to be in NY and make new memories for myself, and odd as it may sound, it felt like my father was next to me the whole time whispering in my ear,
"This city is yours now...make it your own."

And so that's what I did. 
In all of my solitary time walking through neighborhoods streets and cafe pit stops to write audacious plans in my moleskine, I was reminded that I have so much to celebrate! Here are the facts:
I'm 35.
I'm happy. 
 I'm relatively healthy.
 I'm single with no crazy baggage. 
I don't have any kids.
I own my own business.
I have the ability to create value ANYwhere.
I have a really, really good life that I love.
(I'm also very intelligent and pretty hot, but we'll leave that off the list for now.)


Kellan, my super delicious godson who is too quick to ever get an in-focus photo!

And there's nothing holding me back...from anything I want to do.
I had an opportunity to spend a good amount of time in my old neighborhood and I felt the most intense feeling of gratitude for my life...and incredible sense of luck to have been given the parents that I have. It reminded me that my life is so much bigger than Atlanta, and while I've created something here that I'm so deeply proud of, my story is not confined to this city.
There is nothing holding me back from exploring the world....and in all of these last few years of building my business, I think I had forgotten that. But now that I've been reminded, I know I want more.

So while I went to NYC with thoughts of what I wanted to give to the people that I came in contact with, it turns out that the city gave ME the most important gift of all--a chance to reflect on my life, learn myself in a new way and expand my thoughts on what's truly possible for my journey.
And in a nutshell, this is how a 2 hour flight and an itty bitty vacation can change your life....because somehow, someway, it absolutely changed mine.

"Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full--pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back."  
(Luke 6:38, NLT)


10.18.2014

YOU CAN DO IT, HOME DEPOT CAN HELP: DO-IT-HERSELF WORKSHOP RECAP

Big thanks to all of you who came out to Cascade store #130 for Thursday's Do-It-Herself Workshop on Decorative Painting Techniques with Ralph Lauren Specialty & Faux finishes--the turnout was incredible!!


I last attended a Home Depot DIY Workshop a few years ago but this was my first experience with a DIH event and I was sooooo impressed (and to be honest, completely surprised)--Home Depot rolled the red carpet all the way out us!!

With food from Chick-fil-A, music from Majic 97.5, tons of giveaways including $100 Home Depot gift cards AND some Scandal trivia--yes, SCANDAL trivia--it felt more like a gathering of girlfriends than an instructional workshop...it's definitely an event to share with your friends (but you don't have to)! 


Glidden reps were on-hand to discuss the RL line of Specialty & Faux finishes and demonstrate the applications of the Suede, Antiqued Leather and Metallic finishes. The big takeaway?? Applying these products doesn't require an advanced skill set--depending on your chosen technique, simply work in small sections using the specific tools created for your application and build to create your desired look. I had a chance to meet & interview a few of my blog/social media followers who were all surprised at the ease of product...one even said she already had the paint at home but had been hesitant to try it because she wasn't sure of the technique. Her thought? It was much easier to use than anticipated, especially since she also had a chance to try her hand at the application while in-store. 



The Ralph Lauren line of Specialty & Faux finishes features 6 techniques (Suede, Metallic, River Rock, Indigo Denim, Bright Canvas & Antiqued Leather) across more than 40 colors that provide contemporary finishes with an illusion of textured surfaces. The Denim is probably one of my favorites (next to the metallic used in my bedroom, of course!).


As you plan your calendar, save the 3rd Thursday evening of the month for Do-It-Herself Workshops at The Home Depot. They're being held at every location from 6:30pm-8pm and in 1.5 hours, you'll leave with a new skill under your belt and depending on the workshop, even a finished project you can enjoy at home. Previous DIH workshops featured season appropriate projects such as creating an Herb Tower, Hanging Garden and even a Rolling Storage Cart...and you know how much we love a bar, I mean storage, cart! ;-)


Click here to sign up for the next DIH workshop on Thursday, November 20 on Creating a Holiday Marquee (as designed by Ana White) and if you're in my area...don't be surprised if you see me there!  Details will be live on the link soon. 


**The Home Depot has asked me to participate in and promote this Do-It-Herself Workshop (the "Program"), and as a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMWA) Ethics code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.**

10.15.2014

IN ATLANTA?? JOIN ME AT THE HOME DEPOT FOR A FREE "DO-IT-HERSELF" WORKSHOP!


I am OBSESSED with the Ralph Lauren line of Metallic paint (even used it in my own Master Bedroom!) and was sooo bummed out a few years ago when it looked like The Home Depot was discontinuing the line.

Well good news, my friends.

Not only is the line back in stores, but I'm partnering with The Home Depot to present a "Do-It-Herself" Workshop teaching decorative painting techniques using Ralph Lauren & chalky paints. With the holidays just around the corner and entertaining on everyone's mind, this is the perfect time to register, attend, and pick up some new tips to spruce up your home for the holidays. After all, paint is still THE easiest, most dramatic and yet inexpensive update you can make to your home! 

Here's all you need to know:

When: Thursday, October 16th from 6:30pm to 8pm

Where: THD Store 130 Cascade
1032 Research Center Drive SW
Atlanta, GA 30331

Who: Join me, Erika Ward, and your host, Carol Blackmon from Majic 97.5 (WAMJ-FM) for designer tips, refreshments, great prizes and free giveaways! 

Register online today at: www.homedepot.com/workshops and I'll see you there!!

**The Home Depot has asked me to participate in and promote this Do-It-Herself Workshop (the "Program"), and as a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMWA) Ethics code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.**

9.08.2014

JOIN ME SEPT 8TH-17TH FOR THE TOTAL WOMAN SUMMIT!

Are you ready to make the last 4 months of the year the best time of your life??
 (and can you believe we're already in September?!)


Well starting today, join me as Monique Brown of the Feminine Allure Academy presents the Total Woman Summit, an online conference designed to help you position yourself as the woman you've always wanted to become! Join 20 experts (YES, including, me, yours truly!) as we discuss the secrets to living a more fulfilling life in 5 key areas--Your Money, Your Health, Your Spirit, Your Castle, and Your Relationships. Every day for the next 10 days these nationally recognized experts will share their tips to help you create the home of your dreams, generate income by branding your expertise, find your purpose, cultivate your spirit and create inspiring relationships. 

Aaannnnnddd guess what??
We're doing all of this for FREE!!!

Beginning today, September 8th and running through September 17th, you'll be able to log on and hear from some of your favorite entrepreneurs, bloggers and life coaches who have been featured on ABC's Nightline, The Dr. Oz Show, Essence, Forbes, Marie Claire, Fast Company, Black Enterprise, HLN, MTV, Instyle and more. The Feminine Allure Academy has created a virtual experience to expose you to new opportunities that you may have forgotten are even possible for you! 


The Total Woman Summit is for you if:
-you want to learn specific tactics to create a fulfilling life
-you know there's more out there for you but don't know where to begin
-you're ready to set your house in order--literally & financially--to alter the trajectory of your life

I'd love to spill the beans about my talk on creating the home of your dreams buuutttt.....of course you know you'll have to sign up for that!! ;-)

I'm so excited to extend an invitation to you for this exciting event!!
Click here to grab your FREE seat--I'll see you there! 

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