Suzannah Stanley produces the blog, Create/Enjoy, where readers can follow along with her DIY projects and home updates. She recently updated her dining room and chose small accents such as Nostalgic Warehouse’s brass switch plate and outlet covers to make a big impact. Learn more about her blog and most recent project.
Where do you find design inspiration?
I soak up design inspiration everywhere! I follow several favorite designers on Instagram and love looking at home tours on websites like MyDomaine and Rue Magazine. I also get ideas from other home improvement and design bloggers, friends who are decorating their homes, hotels and restaurants, even homes I see on TV or walking around my neighborhood. I’ve been using Pinterest to save and organize my ideas for years, and when I’m decorating a room I look back through my pinboards with a focus on the problem I’m trying to solve. That’s how I figured out I wanted black finial-less curtain rods, for example!
What is your design style and how do you incorporate those decorating decisions within your homes?
My style has evolved a lot since I started decorating my own spaces and first homes. Most recently I’ve shifted from a very-slightly eclectic, west coast light and airy look to ‘modern traditional’ – partly because our current home is historic, partly because I’ve naturally gotten tired of certain pieces and have found or been drawn to a newer version of them. However, in our past two homes I’ve started with white walls, wood floors everywhere, and black and antique brass light fixtures. It’s a good canvas for the pieces I want to add in and play around with.
What are some recommendations for readers who want to do an update to (or transformation in) their home?
I’ve found I like my space so much better when I clear out the clutter and re-assess what I need. Go through the piles and small baskets/pieces of furniture/things stacked in corners; get rid of extras and find homes for the stuff you need to keep. Then try moving your furniture and rugs around to see what the best function is for the space. Once you’re set on function, you can add style with new pieces–then you know what you’re shopping for. Oh, and I believe every room needs a rug (even on top of carpet), art, and plants!
When starting a design project, how do you stay organized?
I make spreadsheets from day 1 of a new project. They’re great for budgeting and planning your spending, but you can also save product links and even photos in them. I use Google Drive so I can access it on my phone or computer, and share the spreadsheets with my husband or whoever is helping.
How did you choose the hardware featured in your house? What attracted you to Nostalgic Warehouse
I love the quality and respectful vintage design Nostalgic Warehouse offers. I want to honor my home while making it fit my style. I preferred to add switch plates that were appropriate for the home but also look beautiful to me. I wanted something simple like the others in our home, but high quality like everything was when our home was built in 1937.
Will you use this hardware again in other areas of your home? If so, why?
I’d love to use more Nostalgic Warehouse pieces as we update rooms of our house that have lost their original elements. We have a bathroom that probably originally had chrome switch plates–it would be a huge improvement to use those over the 80’s plastic that is there now! We also have one cheap-looking polished brass mushroom doorknob that sticks out like a sore thumb around the darker brass original ones. I didn’t realize it would be an option to find something that would almost match until I found Nostalgic Warehouse!
Did you learn any tips and tricks about interior hardware along the way that you think would be beneficial for others?
When we interviewed Bill Metzger from Nostalgic Warehouse for episode 52 of the Your Home Story podcast, I learned that homes used to have chrome hardware in bathrooms and kitchens but brass in other rooms. That’s exactly what my home has, and I never thought about it enough or knew why! Chrome was seen as easier to clean and maintain, particularly around water. We even have split knobs (chrome facing into the bathroom and brass facing out to the hall) just like Bill described. So cool to know about that history!
Give us some more details on your blog, Create/Enjoy. How did you develop your business and what sets it apart from the rest?
I’ve been blogging and creating things since 2009 but found my love for home decor after we bought our first home in 2012. Then in 2016 we began massive renovations on every inch of our second home and finished it in 8 months–it was a crash course on design and DIY home improvement. Now we’re in a historic home that needs more work, and I’m focusing on higher quality pieces and design. I share tutorials for all my DIY projects, design tips, offer e-design services, and host a podcast (Your Home Story). I love sharing with my readers and Instagram community about new projects, ideas, and decisions!
What is next for you and your renovations/blog/home?
We’ll be doing our kitchen this year, and some other big projects. We will also be finishing rooms that mostly need decor (living room, dining room), and, maybe if we can swing it, making over a very sad bathroom that needs to go back closer to its original design. We also may add some exterior improvements like painting that we will hire out. You can see more in our 2019 goals here! I’m also still podcasting (a new episode comes out every Tuesday) and designing a client bathroom for the spring One Room Challenge starting in April.