With so much going on, I totally forgot to share the photos for our Living with Textiles Exhibit. Most of these were taken on opening morning before the showroom lighting came on, but nonetheless it's all quite beautiful. Check it out! 

I was responsible for 2 main areas. This one was Continental Dark. My favorite part (and consequently the most challenging) was hanging all of the textiles behind the bed. It involved of up and down the ladder, and taking a step back every few minutes to make sure it was hanging just the way I wanted. It turned out pretty awesome though.

Eventually we made the bed because we learned that for some reason, customers are less likely to bother a made bed than an intentionally disheveled one.  Sigh... it was cool while it lasted though.

The other space I took under my wing was referred to as the youth space of the bunch. It turned out pretty awesome though if I do say so myself. Big shout out to my girl Erin for all of her help and keeping me giggling for 3 weeks.

Here are some of the details, which turned out to be more fun than I ever thought possible.

A Gestalt outfit made of fabric by the yard - my little Project Runway moment!

A customized Pax shelf

Obviously the theme in this space was to use as much red as possible, and all the wardrobes in the exhibit are filled to capacity with textiles. :)

And toys for the kiddies - super attached to the shelf of course!

Marianne and Erin tackled this area. It turned out so lush!

Check out the awesome quilt wall. It was custom made for the space, and ultra wonderful. 
Go Marianne!

Michelle and Erin busted this out in just a couple of hours. I love the belted pillows on the wall.

Wish I had gotten a detail shot of this one. Erin completely turned it out! These ladders are completely dripping with textiles and it feels so rich

She also busted out an outdoor living area in the 11th hour. So sweet and cozy.

Here's the podium by Michelle (out little monochromatic moment) and the background features a cute little country kitchen by Robin.

The dining/craft area was a collaboration of Michelle and Robin. My favorite part is the painted rug.

And here's a tented space that Robin created. The graphic and the plants make it look all too real!  Special shout out to my girls - Robin, Marianne, Erin, and Michelle. It was such a treat to work with all of you and bring this project to life!

To see the exhibit all lit up in all it's glory, check out the Living with Textiles Exhibit soon! All the little details are too awesome not to ooooh and ahhh over! :)
As an interior designer, my areas of responsibility generally fall under Kitchens and Dining, as well as Children's IKEA. Because the other lovely ladies of on my team were quite busy with the demand of the Living with Textiles Exhibit, my manager approached me about creating a room to coincide with the "Back to College" message for the store. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked for the opportunity!

 Initially, our sales manager wanted to work with a loft bed (a solution that was already well-represented in the showroom) but nevertheless, I created several floor plans with this piece in mind. My manager and I were pretty disappointed by the selection of the loft bed - we preferred a bunk bed to really drive home the reality of college roomate living - so we agreed that I should also present an option with a bunk bed (you know, for good measure). 

The sales manager and especially the Work IKEA manager loved bunk bed floor plan the most, particularly because I was able to incorporate so many functions into one space (working, entertaining, sleeping, dressing) so they gave us their stamp of approval. The funny thing is, a roommate roomsetting (sharing a room with someone who is not your significant other) had never been shown in our store before, so I was pretty excited.

So just a quick break down on the priorities for the room:
  • Micke Desk and drawer unit
  • Algot storage system - the first usage of the product in our store
  • Norddal bunk bed
  • Oh, and the furniture for the entire room had to be under $1,500 as a "Low Price Room" statement

Here's the before!

And here's the after!

My most challenging requirement when I started the space planning process was that Micke had to be on the hot wall (the wall that people see first when strolling along the path). Because I was working with a room that only had two walls, as opposed to the normal three, I was able to design the space so that the Micke product and desk chairs were facing the path, but not actually on the hot wall. Doing so allowed me to decrease the time it normally takes for the point of interaction to occur with the customer. Talk about sales strategies!

Oh, and here's the room all lit up.

Sorry about the super spots of light. This room was pretty hard to photograph. I plan to re-evaluate the lighting a little later. Repositioning the track fixture and adding a third pendant (my mind keeps telling me that there should be three and that they should be staggered) will make a pretty big difference. Oh, and not sure if you noticed, that the walls were painted darker (by happy accident) but I'm more than happy with the outcome!

Another requirement was that Work IKEA product had to be well-represented in the room. I did this by using Ekby shelving from the range on the hot wall. Below is an entertainment center that is concealed by the Micke desk and Klippan sofa pictured below.  Truth be told, I was pretty bummed about having to use the natural cover on the sofa (it's the lowest priced option) but fresh off of the Living with Textiles exhibit, I decided to have fun with it and use two yards of fabric to dress it up. It was a quick fix, and textiles make the natural cover very versatile.

If you swing on around, you'll see the bunk bed. Instead of doing a large print above the top bunk (which would have totally been okay here) I decided to incorporate some display storage with 6 Forholja boxes. I plan to add  a little somethin' somethin' to the bottom bunk wall when I get a chance.

Here's a little closeup

Notice that in the before picture I didn't have an extra wall for the closet. Our awesome carpenter fabricated one for me. Not only did the extra wall create a closet, it also framed out the bunk bed to make the space look more custom, and created a small dressing space of sorts when the curtains are drawn. My inner college girl kept thinking, how awesome would it be to get dressed in here and not have to require that your company or roommate's company leave so that you can get a little bit of privacy?

Here's the other side.

This project was amongst the most challenging I've experienced since I started with Com-In back in January. Designing and implementing a room from scratch is pretty time consuming, and a laundry list of things can and did go wrong. Through everything though, I had such a great experience and learned a ton! I also got some awesome support from my co-workers and my manager.

Everything is totally worth it though when I see customers so excited and how they immediately begin interacting with my design. A little boy walked by with his mom and his little brother while I was working in the room and said, "Mom! This is my DREAM ROOM!" I would have the top bunk!" 

That comment actually made my day - well actually, it made my week. I must admit, it's super cool to hear people talk amongst themselves and know that they get the concept right away. 

I've heard lots of, "It's a dorm room!" and 
"This room would be great for our boys!"

Needless to say, IKEA customers just warm my heart...well, nice ones anyway! :)
Aside from textiles, art is one of the most important elements that can transform a space into a home. For me, choosing art was always a challenge. I had no idea what type of art I preferred, but I eventually learned that as long as a piece speaks to you, it's more than justification for making it into your personal art collection. Quite often, a specific piece of artwork can also be a great jumping-off point for inspiration in a space. Just recently I started getting into local artists here in the Atlanta area. There are so many artists creating stunning works of art, and any time you can get an authentic piece of artwork instead of a reproduction, it's a pretty awesome thing to bring home.

Today I wanted to share the artwork of the incredibly talented mixed media artist Sharon Crumley. Her "100 Dresses" project is catching a lot of attention at local events and art fairs around Metro Atlanta. Inspired by the book The Hundred Dresses by Elenor Estes, Sharon decided to bring one of her favorite books as a child to life by creating a series of 100 dresses on canvas using various textiles, paper, paint, and other media. Check it out!


 The combination of textiles, paint and printed words is quite stunning. Plus, don't you just love the pup?

Red Umpire Dress #8

This piece is so striking and the ethnic print is gorgeous.

Pink dress

I love the raw edges and little studded belt on this dress!

Blue Dress #5

This one is my personal favorite.  I love the abstract background, muddled blues, pops of oranges, lime greens, and of course the modern shape of the dress. In true form of creating a room around a piece, I thought I'd show you what I'd do with such a beauty.

  1. Blue Dress #5
  2. Gypsy Chandelier - U.O.
  3. Mellby Chair - IKEA
  4. Martini Side Table - West Elm
  5. Malin Cushion - IKEA
  6. 36" Round Chindi Rug - U.O.
Now Sharon's dress count is up to 63, and with sizes varying from 6x6 up to 48x48, I'm sure that there's something appropriate for any space. She also creates prints of some of her most popular pieces. I can totally see a large-scale print in a living room, or behind a bed or crib. Also, a  small collage of dresses used as nursery artwork would be adorable... you know, perhaps one day.

Sharon also specializes in various abstract collages, African-inspired pieces, and even textile fortune cookies. Definitely check out her website or Etsy shop. They're selling pretty fast! :)