Monday, February 29, 2016


Last weekend, I had the honor of participating as an exhibitor in the American Craft Council's (ACC) annual American Craft Show held at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The ACC asked 4 designers, including myself, to transform a white space into a room vignette inspired by fine craft for their "Make Room: Modern Design Meets Craft" exhibit. Our assignment was was to demonstrate the essence of regional style in the North, South, East or West. I chose East as my design direction and created an African inspired room vignette for the show.

Getting Started

Planning is a major step in my design process. My primary goal was to create a space that highlighted the artisan's work while also transporting show attendees to Africa without the use of a passport! 

Here's a look at the preliminary design board I created to illustrate my vision. Naturally, Allegra Brelsford's quilt of colors was the awe-inspiring starting point for the design. I love the graphic nature of the quilt's design.


Here’s a before shot of the space—blank slate, indeed a designer’s dream.

And here's the finished space...

I displayed Allegra's quilt on the wall beside the sofa.

I added a pair of wood beams above the vignette to echo the natural elements throughout the space.

Masks and baskets were perfect complements to the quilt and added authenticity to the room vignette. Show attendees included other artisans and enthusiasts who appreciated the thoughtfully curated pieces.

Several attendees actually sat in my space which confirmed their comments about the warmth and inviting environment I created within the three walls.

The space felt as if it had been collected over time, each piece carefully chosen, not just decorated. Mission Accomplished!

Other crafts featured in my vignette included an iron horse sculpture by artisan Scott Nelles. It’s regal presence held a prominent position atop a bronze metal table beside the sofa.

I think I may have let out an audible squeal when I initially rolled out the violet overdyed rug courtesy of Rugs USA. The color is absolutely beautiful and quite captivating. The vintage inspired pattern and subtle color changes seen through the rug add character to the space.

The Big Day

The craft show was a 3 day long event and each day bought more excitement than the previous day.  I spoke with attendees about the inspiration for my space and shared ways they could incorporate craft and color in their own homes (look for a blog post on those tips soon!), as well as conducted 3 (eek!) live interviews for various press outlets.

This year the ACC also featured Style Slam, a fun new interactive program that pairs professional local stylists with the network of talented clothing, accessories, and jewelry artists at the show. Stylists were tasked with creating wardrobe looks inspired by the room vignettes. Style Slam proved to be a great example of how fashion and interior design can, and often do, inspire one another.

Here is one of the models, styled in a look inspired by my room design!

Huge thanks to the ACC for inviting me to participate in this year's event! It was such an amazing opportunity.  Thank you to Rugs USA for providing the showstopping overdyed rug and to Reflektion Designs for the beautiful lumbar pillow.

And finally, thank you to all who stopped by (from near and far) to show support, talk design, view the space or share a kind word. Making a connection and providing inspiration through design is what it's really all about.

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