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Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

On My Coffee Table: Design Books for Spring and Summer

Becky

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I don’t know about you, but I’m loving the weather this spring; while I dread the hot and sticky and brutal Atlanta summers, I do look forward to watching my herbs sprout from seeds and eating farm-fresh veggies. One now-classic favorite of mine is Edible Estates, which will have you looking at your yard with loads of new ideas.

I also look forward to fleeing north and hitting the New England coast as an escape. Even if you don’t have a dreamy beach house to decorate, it’s time to switch out that dark heavy quilt and throw pillows for some lighter textures and colors. Take some California seaside inspiration from Interior designer Tim Clarke’s recent release, Coastal Modern, is one of my favorite new books on the market. He presents a spare and uncluttered aesthetic that’s still warm and inviting.

Going across to the opposite coast, one of my new favorite coffee table books is Yankee Modern: The Houses of Estes/Twombly. These architects have such a great way of capturing the spirit of the vernacular architecture in a contemporary way when they are designing these beautiful homes.

Well, Sal may have been unjustly fired from Sterling Cooper (I wish he’d some back!), but the actor who played him, Bryan Batt, is not only running his chic New Orleans home boutique, but also wrote this fabulous book, Big Easy Style. It’s full of great style and wit, as Batt has a discerning eye and a killer sense of humor.

What’s on your coffee table at the moment? Please share your favorite design tomes in the comments section.

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Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Designer Interviews: See Scout Sleep Dog Beds & The Best Models Ever

Becky

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Today we’re sitting down with Katie Logan, one half of the creative juices behind See Scout Sleep and chatting about dawgs, the Gulf Coast, handmade goods, eco-friendliness, dawgs, dawhtahs, Bahbara, and dawgs. Oh wait, I just channeled Linda Richmond for a second there. Anyway, the first couple of things I mentioned. Onto the locally crafted, eco-friendly and super duper comfy and stylin’ dog beds of See Scout Sleep!

Please tell us about Scout! And Ruby, and Bayla. Are they your dog bed models?

Bayla, unfortunately, is too large for any of our beds at the moment. Scout and Ruby are my go-to models. Easy access, you know? And it is a little strange how much they both love being in front of the camera. Scout actually understands the command “model.” She looks at the camera when I say it. Mila, a blue heeler, modeled the medium size beds for us. She took a break from her busy schedule of herding cows, dogs, and people. She is also an avid frisbee catcher.

Scout is a rather special lady. My boyfriend and I took her in from the streets about a year and half ago and she has brought nothing but joy. She is a pit-bull lab mix I think, with a heart of gold and quite the sense of humor. Scout is pretty much perfect. She likes to swim, cuddle, play with children, save the world, and sniff peoples’ butts when they are least expecting it.

Ruby, on the other hand, might be the devil incarnate. I almost ran over her a few streets from my house. I took her in temporarily, thinking I would find her owner or a good home, but what can I say… she has really won us over with her ability to put her and our lives at risk at any given moment and her oh so soothing and loving biting habits. Really though, she is hands down the funniest dog I have ever met. Not having ever been a “little dog person”, maybe all Chihuahuas are like this, but man Ruby is weird and wonderful. She hates bicycles, humans, dogs, the wind, and too many options, but she really loves us and her tail. I guess she is staying.

And then there is Sherman, the 25 lb cat I just had to have at PetSmart. He really rounds out the crew with his amazing food consumption abilities and constant meowing tactics.

Bayla is a great dane mix that owns Sarah Killen, my partner in crime. She is a majestic and wonderful animal that has been with us through all of our endeavors together and has been an amazing friend to Sarah. She REALLY loves squeaky toys and somehow gives the impression that a six year old human girl, maybe even a princess, is trapped inside of her. She also pushes me all the time and is getting very annoyed that the XL beds are not ready.

How did your company get its start? What led you here?

Sarah and I met through a mutual friend in 2005. We became friends and started crafting together. She was playing around with making dog beds because of the lack of attractive options on the market, especially in great dane size. We made a few beds from vintage textiles and they were a hit with our friends. Other activities took over for a while, but the seed had been planted for See Scout Sleep.

By the Shore Medium Bed

How does Louisiana influence your design sense?
I don’t even know where to start. I feel that the entire aesthetic of the company reminds me of Louisiana, a little rough but still comfortable and elegant. The illustrations from our first collection are obviously straight from the source, our local seafood. A horsetail plant growing a block over from my house inspired the pattern on the back of the beds.

back of a bed!

Did you see a hole in the pet bed market? If so, how are you filling it?
Sarah and I are both textile lovers and collectors and are very passionate about interiors. There are many lovely options on the market, but none that really fit our style. We kept our first collection neutral enough for any space, but hopefully funky and striking enough to add to the design scheme of an interior. We are also going to keep all of our beds the same shapes, so as new patterns and collections come out, you can purchase just the cover and change things up if you wish.
We also noticed that even with the eco friendly options, most dog beds are filled with polyester. It is usually recycled polyester, but we wanted a natural material. We also wanted a bed that wouldn’t flatten out so much that you could feel the floor through it in a couple of months. What to fill our beds with became an obsession. We finally decided on two inner beds. One filled with Kapok and the other with buckwheat. They really are more like a mattress than a traditional dog bed.

By the Shore Small Pet Bed

How do you keep your beds green and healthy?
When designing a product from the ground up, the options are limitless. We make choices about what material to use and how to have our beds made based on what is important to us. We care about our earth and about our community. They are our favorite things! So we try to make the best decisions we can. We have noticed this usually means spending more money :)

Who makes your products?
I was determined to find a way to have See Scout Sleep beds produced in Louisiana, as close to New Orleans as possible. I draw and design all of the patterns and illustrations. Then the fabric is cut and screen printed in Covington, about one hour from New Orleans. I then deliver the pieces to a very amazing woman in Franklinton, LA to be sewn. She sometimes employs her family members to help. After they are constructed, I pick them up and bring them back to New Orleans. Either I, or my broke and jobless musician friends, stuff the inner beds, and prepare them for shipping.

By the Shore Large Pet Bed

What is your workspace like? Any advice for our readers about how to set up their creative spaces?
See Scout Sleep is run from my home. Dog bed land is a little tricky because I must have 3 separate spaces: one for my office and design area, one for assembling and shipping, and one for stuffing. And these puppies are huge! My house is pretty much taken over by dog beds and boxes. But I love it!

I have always worried about creating the perfect office/ design studio, but I realized recently that I actually think moving my work space around allows me to be more creative. I move my desk almost every two months. Sometimes I am in the living room, sometimes in the bedroom, etc. Although, I think I would save a great amount of time if I would just go ahead and set up shop in my kitchen. I find staring into the refrigerator 10x a day to be very helpful.

You give 10% of your funds to The Gulf Coast Fund. Please tell us a little more about the charity and how we can help.
Trying to choose a charity to support is a difficult decision. There are so many. We chose The Gulf Coast fund because of its “umbrella” like structure. They are a grant making institution that supports local people and groups that are trying to help the Gulf Coast community, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas.  It was formed in reaction to a series of hurricanes that devastated the region, but was an integral part of the awareness and aid during the BP oil spill in 2010.
You can donate directly on their website, or participate in any of the many groups they support, or just become aware of the serious issues this region is facing. However, I think the best option is to just come visit us and enjoy all the wonders of Louisiana!

Katie prepping for a glamorous canine photo shoot

I know I was very entertained and charmed by Katie’s answers and her attitude; not to mention loving how clever and stylish the products, product shots, and sketches are.  It gave my morning a lift! Thank you so much Katie! We cannot wait to see what else you and Sarah come up with.

Shop See Scout Sleep

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Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Follow Up: Modern Nautical

Becky

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Here are a few quik modern nautical ideas using products we shill over on the retail part of the site. I admit it, I just wanted an excuse to play on Polyvore all afternoon:

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Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Inspiration Monday: Getting Nautical

Becky

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Sometimes when I’m stumped I pull out a jumbled box of fabric samples, favorite postcards, little scraps I’ve torn out of magazines and other ephemera and throw them on an inspiration board. I’ve finally learned not to bother feeling like I have to glue anything down or make it permanent, I can keep rearranging and playing around with it until I see something I like, snap a photo, and move on. Do you ever do this?

Awhile back I was ready for summer and feeling patriotic so everything was red, white and blue and nautical. It’s making me want to change up my house for the hot months that are coming our way here in Georgia with some crisp blue and white so that I can pretend I’m on some island off the New England coast.

Inspiration Board Tip: Try to work in Wonder Woman whenever possible.

I’ll try to pull together some of my favorite nautical products from Design Public on Polyvore in case you are in the mood for a nautical decor change-up!

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Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

On the Market: An Oceanfront Garbo Hideaway

Becky

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This is one of the greatest pieces of fantasy real estate I’ve seen in a long time. It was once the summer hideaway of Greta Garbo, it’s 10 acres located on the rugged north shore of Massachusetts, and it can be all yours for the low low price of $4.5 million.

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Straight out of a Winslow Homer painting:

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images via J. Barrett and Company Real Estate

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