At Floor Coverings International of Lawrenceville, we love bringing you creative insight and perspectives from designers who are kind enough to share their wisdom and how they got started. Today we have an interview with Julie, home improvement designer and long time blogger from From the Floors Up.
1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Julie Harris and I am 41 years old. (Wow, I feel like I am 27 still inside, so even writing or reading that is weird). But I have never been happier and more fulfilled with my life. I am a mom to six children in a blended family with my boyfriend of five years. We have 3 boys and 3 girls ranging from 6 to 14. We have a happy and sometimes very loud home, but everyone gets along really well, so we feel very lucky to have all found each other! I was a stay at home mom for the last 13 years, and just started working full time a year ago and I am absolutely loving it! I missed using this side of my brain. When I am not working, I love to write, read, bike, canoe and shop. I adore clothes, design and fashion. Oh and wine. I love wine. Every kind, absolutely no discrimination there. My boyfriend and I can be foodies too, and love to go out to eat as much as we can in downtown Denver. We live in Parker, Colorado and love it here, so we also love the outdoors and like to get outside with the kids as much as possible. My life is super busy and crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I also really enjoy festivals and live music, it is my fav thing to do in the summer. Summer is the best season out here in Colorado.
2. Why did you decide to start a blog? What do you enjoy about blogging?
I enjoy writing and helping people with useful household tips on decorating or design. I am passionate about everything in peoples lives being beautiful and making you happy, or serving a purpose. Otherwise, get rid of it. I love that we have a lot of challenges here with so many people living in one house, that I am forced to get creative and feel like I have a lot to offer with being a mom to 4, step mom to 2, and with the challenges that come with a blended family. I also have such a passion for fashion and design and I always have. I feel like just how your clothes reflect your personality, so does all the decor in your home reflect what you want your friends and family to feel when they come into your home. I want my home to be peaceful and happy and laid back so that all my kids feel happy, relaxed and comfortable here, but also enjoy its beauty and take care of it. I do have had to be realistic about my home having so many children in it, that I have to be smart and sensible with how I decorate and can’t be that upset if something gets spilled on or broken, that is just going to be a reality and I want my kids to feel like they can be kids. I enjoy blogging because people like to hear that other people struggle with the same thing and I like being able to offer helpful suggestions or just make someone laugh, from the things I experience everyday. People like to hear peoples stories, that is how we relate. And blogging is a wonderful way to do that! I enjoy that it is shorter pieces, like magazine articles and that you don’t have to commit to writing a whole book, but it still gets your creative juices flowing.
3. How would you describe your design style?
I love fashion. All my clothes are very different and I like to mix things up, so I feel like my home can be the same way. I don’t like when it all matches, but more when it all flows and just goes together in a sort of funky unusual way. I am obsessed eclectic pieces that you find at a flea market or thrift store. I love the story and the journey of getting pieces from all over, like from travels and different countries. I lean more towards French Country. I love the distressed, imperfect look and put together by only me. Not the way that the store would do it, I add my own style, personality or taste to it. I will buy a dresser and take all the knobs off and put on different knobs that don’t match that i have accumulated from all over. I love to paint things. I like for my home to reflect peace, love and happiness so I have running water features and buddhas. I have beautiful throws and pillows to add a pop of color. I stay pretty neutral with my furniture and walls, but will throw in color in decor. I adore antiques and rare odd pieces.
4. Where do you find most of your inspiration?
The before and after is the best! I cannot believe how small changes (like moving a picture to a new wall or changing the color of throw pillows) can change the entire look. I am constantly looking for new ideas for my home, because I am in it a lot and I get bored. My most rewarding project was probably my front room. I didn’t like it since it had no purpose. One day I was telling my friend (who formally was an interior designer) that I had no idea what to do with it, and she had an amazing vision and we were able to recreate it into a functional living space that literally brought peace into our home. Kids were now reading in this room, toys weren’t thrown around, and my boyfriend and I had a new area to relax in and talk about our day, oh yea, I maybe spent $100. It was awesome and we mostly used things that I already had in my home. I could not believe how different it feels when you walk in my home now!
5. Tell us about a recent project you’re proud of.
Recently, my boyfriend and friends surprised me by getting our kitchen remodeled. We had the countertops, sink, and faucet replaced, and painted it. We also moved some cabinets around and had some tile fixed and some drywall patched. A couple of years back we took down two walls on both sides of the kitchen and never really finished the project, leaving holes in the walls and tile subfloor exposed. It was the room in the house that I had to disconnect from and didn’t really invite people over because I was embarrassed by the condition of my kitchen. But now it is my favorite room in the house. The granite countertops are gorgeous and I stare at them constantly and see new cool designs in them all the time. The faucet and sink have changed my life and helped me to hate doing the dishes a little less 🙂 It is changed my feeling about this home. I can’t put into words how much it makes me happy and I don’t get a headache and mild anxiety every time I walk into the kitchen anymore. It makes the whole family so happy to be in there and when you have 8 people in your home, it is where you spend the majority of your time.
Find Julie and her home improvement articles on From the Floors Up.