Residential interior design is my jam (and my bread and butter! #PunIntended) but sometimes an offbeat exterior project comes my way and it’s such a cool opportunity I’ll put aside sourcing sofas and pillows.
Since 2016 I’ve been partnering with Mission Waco, an awesome local non-profit whose mission is to, “provide Christian-based, holistic, relationship-based programs that empower the poor and marginalized, mobilize middle-class Americans to become more compassionately involved among the poor, and seek ways to overcome the systemic issues of social injustice which oppress the poor and marginalized.”
Mission Waco has been taking massive action to revitalize an economically disadvantaged area of Waco. In the past few years they’ve opened a grocery store in a food desert, given their youth center a facelift, and are now turning an abandoned storefront into a thriving retail center.
The Jubliee Food Market was an abandoned grocery store with a hint of Art Deco architecture, and it was an opportunity to stand out and be incredibly bold with color and design to get attention in the neighborhood! I loved designing with the quirky combo of peach, orange, and aqua, and this facade definitely brought life and energy to an otherwise drab building.
I’m totally loving how the mural design came together. Give me ALL THE COLORS.
The next project we tackled was re-painting the tired Youth Center building. The graphic mural is an abstract “MW” (for Mission Waco, obvs) that wraps around the side of the building, and my favorite design detail is the striped pattern in between the two columns. For just the cost of paint, this building looks so much younger and fresher.
Like seriously. Check it out before:
And now…here’s what’s in the works for 2019. These four buildings (well, technically now three buildings since the walls and roof recently collapsed!) will be remodeled and turned into the Colcord Center, a new retail space in Waco’s Sanger Heights neighborhood. While the design concept isn’t as bold or exciting for this space – we’re more limited with building materials since there’s a full renovation needed – I think the kick of deep Baylor green and natural stone with green hues will set it apart from Waco’s typical beige buildings.
I know this building needs a total overhaul, but secretly, I wish this mural were staying.
If you’re in the Waco area, you can check out all three of these buildings – Jubilee, the Mission Waco Youth Center, and the Colcord Center – at the corner of Colcord Ave and 15th St.
Also, consider getting involved and supporting Mission Waco financially. They’re doing such great work to empower the poor and marginalized in Waco, and worldwide too. (If you use Amazon Smile, you can choose Mission Waco, Mission World as the charity to support and Amazon will automatically donate 0.5% of the price of your purchases at no cost to you. Total win.)
If you’ve recently shopped for a sofa, I can bet you got pretty overwhelmed with all the decision-making. Sofa, or sectional? A tight upholstered back, or loose cushions? Do you need a matching ottoman? Leather, or fabric? Do you need performance fabric for a sofa? What type of arm should it have? What kind of legs, and how high? Or maybe a skirt?
“Performance fabric” is one of those buzzwords floating around, but unless you know exactly what that means, it’s hard to know if it’s something you really need or a fancy marketing gimmick. Here’s the down and dirty on what performance fabrics are, and if you need ’em:
Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.
Hey everyone, I’m Lesley Myrick – your interior design partner-in-crime to help you Bust Out Of Boring. Welcome to Episode 5:
Do You Need Performance Fabric for a Sofa?
Aah! I don’t know! We’re about to find out today.
We talked a little bit last week about my epic sofa failure and how getting a sofa with vinyl was not a good choice. It just deteriorated after a few years.
But the conversation I want to have today is about specific fabrics for a sofa – mainly, do you need Performance fabric for a sofa?
Now, you might not be familiar with the term “performance”.
Basically, Performance fabric is the kind of stuff that was used in restaurants and hospitals and – you know – fabric that’s plastic-y and resists stains and dirt and you can be pretty rough to it and it still holds up.
I will have you know that things have come a long, long way since then and there’s lots of fabrics available on the residential market that are “Performance”, meaning they have those stain-repellent qualities, they have treatments done to them and even woven into them that’s going to make them easy to clean, resistant to stains, really durable, but it’s not that old, stiff, commercial fabric you might be thinking of.
Now, do you need it for a sofa?
The short answer is, no – but yes.
I think Performance fabrics are an awesome option for a sofa in two really specific instances. The first one is if you have kids or pets (because those things make messes!) and the second is if you want a light-colored sofa, like a light linen color, white, a light grey, or something like that.
I see all these really cute inexpensive sofas on the market that are upholstered in beige linen or grey linen and, girlfriend, you pour one little bit of water or, heaven forbid, a little bit of red wine on that and you’re toast.
That sofa is never going to look like it did when it came to your home for the first time.
The benefits of performance fabrics are
that when you spill red wine on them, on a good performance fabric that stuff will bead up and roll right off.
Now, it doesn’t mean you can be super mean to them and just throw crap all over them! But it buys you time to clean them properly and it resists stains and it’s going to work really well.
So having little kids, having small pets or big pets, I think it’s a great great idea.
Think about that plastic sheeting on grandma’s couch back in the day. Grandma’s couch probably did need plastic sheeting because that fabric was way too delicate. But now, you don’t need itg – you can just get a really great fabric on your sofa and it kinda has the plastic secretly built in to the fibers which makes it super, super durable.
The other time you’re going to want a performance fabric specifically is if you’re doing a very light color.
A white couch – guys, you can do a white couch! If it’s your dream to have this pristine white couch you can actually do it with a performance fabric and get a really awesome result and have something that’s really going to serve you and function well, even though it’s white.
I show clients samples and they look at me like I’ve lost my mind when I’m proposing something that’s a really light color for upholstery, but with the right material it’s a really, really great fit for a project.
Now, I will say –
I mentioned last week that we just got our new sectional and I’ve got kids, and those kids can be dirty, and we did not do a performance fabric.
I did a teal sofa (obviously – I love teal!) and I didn’t like the options that were available in performance fabric in that color. So we chose to do a beautiful soft, silky velvet fabric. We also know how to clean it properly, we know it’s a darker color so it’s a bit more forgiving, and the kids now know they do NOT eat on our new sofa!
So that’s one way we’ve made it work.
But overall, do I recommend doing a performance fabric for a sofa? Yes.
It is just something that’s going to make your life a heck of a lot easier. You won’t be thinking and worrying about all the things spilling on your sofa, all that kind of stuff. I think it’s a worthy investment to look into it.
A lot of ready-made sofas have the option of performance but not that many. But if you look to a company that does custom, or semi-custom usually they’re starting to roll out some really great lines of fabric that do have performance characteristics like Crypton or Teflon. Sometimes the fabric is treated on top or underneath (sometimes both), and other times it’s actually woven into the fibers so they’re stain and soil repellant all the way through.
So – YES to performance fabrics if you want a sofa that’s going to last and look great and be easy to clean.
But here’s something to note…
I’ve heard stories of people complaining because they had a performance fabric and their sofa got dirty. Well yeah – you still have to clean it if anything happens to it and you spill on it! It’s not the plastic-covered sofas from the 70s you might remember your parents or grandparents having. It is still fabric, it is still a fiber with little pores that you can get stuff in – but it’s a lot easier to clean, maintain, and keep looking beautiful if you do invest in a performance fabric.
I hope you’re enjoying these weekly Bust Out Of Boring – or, BOOB – videos.
If you’re finding value in them I would be so honored if you’d click “Share” and pass this along to a friend. Let someone know that might be interested in design advice that I am here every Wednesday at noon to answer your questions and to chat about all things design and cool and sofas and fabrics and yellow cabinets and all that good stuff!
If you’ve not already gotten my FREE ebook
on how to bring personality to a boring space, you can text the word BORED to 444999 and you’re going to get a happy little automated message from me and a link to download this awesome ebook.
I’m not usually into pastels, but I’m bonkers in love with this blush and grey girls’ bedroom moodboard. (I mean, seriously, that tufted velvet sofa is amazeballs!)
This moodboard was part of a Design Kit for a fave client’s tween daughter and stepdaughter. You might have noticed on the Pinterest board below that the selections are from online retailers you’re probably already familiar with. With a DIY Design Kit we stick with retail vendors to make it easy for our clients to shop the selections on their own; and for our Design Comprehensive clients we source a lot more trade-only and custom pieces since we handle all the ordering.
I love being able to equip my cool clients with everything they need to create a kickass room – a design plan, moodboard, shopping links, floor plans, elevation drawings, and swatches. It takes the fear and guesswork out of design. You already know it’s gonna look stellar before you buy a single pillow!
It’s a good thing I really love my home office. Because if I weren’t so crazy about it, I would totally be stealing every single design element in this warm and modern home office with dark teal walls. Yes. You heard me. DARK. TEAL. WALLS.
Ugggh. This space is going to look so good when it all comes together!
This home office design is a Design Kit
created for a cool client here in Waco. She currently works from home with beige walls, beige carpet, and a queen-size bed jammed into her modest office space. Not exactly great for space planning or productivity, right?
The first order of business
was to remove the bulky queen bed and install a space-saving wall bed instead. This way, the room can be converted into a guest space on rare occasions, but has so much more room to function primarily as an office.
To jazz up the bookshelves with a metallic pop
I selected my favorite metallic wallpaper for the back of the shelves. I love the way a fun pattern makes a basic bookshelf feel complete and well-styled with minimal effort.
It’s not shown in the moodboard above,
but we selected a lot of cool art for the space, ranging from limited-edition framed art prints to a hilarious illustration of various breeds of dogs wearing glasses. Because if you can’t make work fun, it’s going to totally suck to be in that office every day. This room doesn’t have a large footprint but does have 12′ ceilings, so creating a colorful gallery wall above the desk will create a cool focal point and also use the height of the room to our advantage.
I love seeing these DIY Design Kits come to life.
We design, our clients make the magic happen! If you’re interested in your own custom DIY Design Kit you can find out more here.
Hands up if you’ve ever redecorated a room – and it ended up being waaaaay more that you had hoped to spend. You’re not alone! Here’s the truth about how to keep an interior design project in budget.
You may not like to hear it though…
Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.
Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here. Interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create some pretty awesome interiors with an offbeat edge.
I’m going to talk today about something not a lot of designers want to talk about, and that is:
how to keep a design project in budget.
I feel like “budget” is such an icky word. It sounds so restrictive, and negative, and it shouldn’t be that way when you’re talking about design. What you’re doing is making an investment. An investment in your home, an investment in your family, and an investment in the quality of your life.
And of course there are concerns with how much the investment is when it comes to design. People always ask how to keep a design project in budget, or, within the investment you hope to spend.
I have an answer for you, and I don’t know if you’re going to like it!
It’s easy to blame the designer when a project goes “over budget”. However, here’s a little real talk for you. Sticking within the amount you wanted to invest – your budget – is 100% up to you.
It is ultimately up to you, the client,
to decide what to purchase, to decide what to invest in. My job as a designer is to take care of everything on your wishlist, to show you what is out there that is gonna meet your needs, your wants, your desires, is gonna look amazing, and function for your family.
So here’s the thing about design projects.
I have never worked with anybody whose budget matched their wishlist. That’s human nature. Think of it like buying a car. You might want to invest in a Kia but everything you want is a Mercedes. It is totally in your power to decide if you want to scale down your wants and needs to the Kia, or if you want to up your budget to meet your Mercedes dreams.
I hate to say it but designers are not miracle workers. It is our job to design an amazing space that meets your wants and needs, and its your job as the client to decide what you want to invest in that.
So there you go.
There’s the truth about keeping a design project in budget – it is all in your court.
We’re going to support you the best way we can but you get to decide what you invest in your home.
There’s nothing better than a satisfying “after” photo, and I’ve been dying to share this colorful kids craft room with you! You may remember the “before” photos from this space in Waco, Texas:
Yup. Snooooooozefest. But don’t worry – some funky wallpaper, chic furnishings, and gorgeous original art has totally transformed this space.
We kept the existing paint color – Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter – since it’s such a classic, pretty grey. And it was the perfect neutral backdrop to allow the bold color and pattern of the wallpaper, art, area rug, and accessories to be the star of the show.
The kids each have their own personalized workspace, complete with adorable desk lamps and industrial-chic bulletin boards to display homework, crafts, and artistic creations.
And lucky mama, who’s an entrepreneur and works primarily from home, gets this UHHMAZING workspace. The brass and white lacquer desk is beyond chic in person, and the original artwork by Lesley Grainger brings such a fun energy to the room and ties in the bright wallpaper and area rug.
And can we please take a moment to savor this incredible custom floral arrangement from Tenfold Floral? Adair and Aelish from Tenfold are flower-loving geniuses who used the moodboards for this project as inspiration to create this stunning centerpiece as a thank-you gift for my client.
I’m so grateful when clients let me play and push the envelope with color, pattern, and design. I think this colorful kids craft room is a smashing success. (And big thanks to my rockstar photographer Jeff Jones for translating this space into these gorgeous photos.)
I can’t tell you how much I love getting inquiries like this from new clients: “I have a playroom that I would LOVE to transform into a super bright (pinks, golds, oranges), super functional craft/art/office area.”
HELLS TO THE YES. Bright color, bold pattern, and a super-functional organized space? I’m your gal. This colorful kids craft room in Waco is going to be da bomb. 💣 But we’ve got a long way to go. Want to see what the room looks like now?
Yawwwwwn. While it’s definitely a pretty room with a great neutral wall color, classic espresso floors, and gorgeous French doors, it’s not at all where this hip mama and her three rad kids want to hang. Plus – hello, clutter. Nothing has a home or a proper place to be stored. And as a former Professional Organizer/total neat freak, I totally get how mom is dissatisfied with this room as-is.
Okay now, get ready. This space is about to get a totally kickass, colorful makeover. Here’s where we’re going with the design:
Each kiddo is getting a chic white lacquered Parsons desk and unique lamp; Mom’s getting a glam desk with acrylic and brass accents; there’s going to be THE BEST ACCENT WALL EVER (I’m so obsessed with that floral wallpaper!); and that badass hammered brass credenza is going to be the most freakin’ chic storage you’ve ever seen in a kids craft room. Check out our design selections (and some alternate ones too) on the Colorful Waco Kids Craft Room Pinterest board.
We’re still in the early stages of this design project so it’ll be a while before the transformation is complete, but I’ll be sharing sneak-peeks on Facebook and Instagram throughout the process, so be sure to follow along.
OMG. You guys are gonna die when you see this chic and badass realtor’s office totally finished. With two walls made up almost entirely of windows and a panoramic view, it’s the perfect spot for one of Waco’s top real estate agents to woo her clients and get sh*t done.
This is what the space looks like now. Prepare to be underwhelmed:
Total snoozefest. But, the space has majorly good bones. And those windows! With new hardwood floors and white baseboards, a re-vamped ceiling, fresh paint, and a total furniture and decor makeover, this office space is going to be dynamite.
My client’s color palette for her brand is turquoise and white. I began with that as our jumping-off point – then layered in brass, deep teal hues, and a little industrial touch to keep things from being too feminine. And of course, every badass office needs those edgy-yet-classy accents like a starburst mirror, studded sheepskin bench, and sexy glass decanter bottle.
With all the free design resources out there like Pinterest, Houzz, and design blogs, it’s easy to wonder why someone would invest in an interior designer. I mean, we’re not cheap. And it’s easy for anyone to go shopping and pick a couple of paint colors and be done with it, right?
Well…not exactly. But if you’re down for doing it on your own, go for it! You’re a trooper and I like your hustle.
If you’ve ever approached re-designing a room in your home, you’ll know that it can be time-consuming, challenging, and downright draining to create a design plan, source everything needed within budget and space constraints, make a myriad of design decisions, hire and manage a contractor, have your personal space disrupted for days or weeks, arrange for deliveries, deal with deficiencies, fix problems, and see everything through to the end.
And if you don’t know where to start, are overwhelmed by choice, or don’t have the time to handle all of the minutiae, then this process is anything but enjoyable. In fact, it totally sucks.
Designing and decorating your home should be totally fun and exciting. So let’s work together to make this process more awesome. LESS SUCK, MORE AWESOME. If you’re on the fence about whether hiring design help is the right call, here are 5 signs you should invest in an interior designer:
(Can’t see the embedded video? Click here.)
You might be surprised that working with a designer is more affordable than you think. And the benefit gained – a kickass home that looks great and feels amazing without stress and struggle – is absolutely worth the investment.
Next week I’ll be sharing the complete beginner’s guide to working with an interior designer. I know it’s foreign territory to a lot of folks to hire a design pro, so I’ll let you know the ins and outs of exactly what it looks like to work with Lesley Myrick Art + Design from start to finish.