Guest Post: Creating a Stylish Home Office

Social Stylate welcomes Modernize, an award- winning online service that connects homeowners with contractors. Based in Austin, TX, they specialize in energy-efficient home improvement projects. 

Tips for Creating the Ultimate Stylish Home Office
Kaitlin Krull
When it comes to working from home, most of us dream of perfectly decorated home offices with an enviable combination of style and professional atmosphere. The reality of working from home, however, can leave much to be desired. At Home Improvement Leads, we believe that a home office can be both functional and stylish at the same time. Here are a few of our top tips to help you get your home office looking its best.

Modernize: Home Office

Follow color trends
Style and trends are inextricably linked, so before you decorate your home office, make sure you know exactly what’s in and what’s out. As far as color palettes are concerned, we love the subtle combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity in Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year—these muted pinks and blues combine better than you might think. If you want something bolder, bright Brazilian blues, purples, greens, and other jewel tones are right on trend as well. In both cases, adding metallic accents will give your office an opulent and trendy edge.

Invest in quality furniture
As attractive as your office decor and accessories may be, all your effort will be for nothing if your furniture doesn’t match in both style and comfort. Investing in quality crafted furniture will give your office the professional feel it requires and will also save you money in the long run, since well-made pieces tend to stand the test of time. A large wooden desk and comfortable office chair are essentials, but if you plan to hold meetings or require additional workspace, a large table or sideboard won’t go amiss either. Stick with stylish midcentury favorites from designers like Charles and Ray Eames, or create your own bespoke pieces to suit your personal office style.

Modernize: Home Office

Personalize it
Working from an office can feel impersonal and mundane, but the best decorated office spaces have an aspect of familiarity that make everyday work feel like less of a chore. Adding a few personal decor elements to your home office will motivate you to perform to your best ability and spur you on when you need it most. Give personal effects like family portraits and artwork a stylish edge with metallic or textured wooden frames, making sure they match the design style of the rest of the office. Other personal items are encouraged in offices, but don’t go overboard here. A marbled glass vase filled with fresh cut flowers will add both color and style to your office without making your workspace too cluttered.

Modernize: Home Office

Keep it tidy
Even the most impeccably styled home office requires regular attention and care to keep it looking its very best. Give your office a head start on cleanliness by clearing plenty of storage space for office supplies, paperwork, materials, and anything else you might possibly need. When setting up your workspace, assign a place for everything and keep everything in a designated place. Initial organization aside, a regular cleaning schedule will help you keep yourself accountable for the condition of your office. One of our top tips is to tidy your workspace as much as possible at the end of each working day, which helps you to clear both your office and your mind of what has been and will help you to focus on new tasks in the morning. Less mess means that the focus can be on your stylish office rather than the piles of unfinished paperwork on your desk.

 

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8 Successful Brands on Instagram

Instagram is rapidly growing from a medium for sharing photos with friends to a marketing essential for businesses. We compiled a list of successful brands to follow on Instagram for inspiration to utilize the platform to its full potential. Each account has unique qualities that are key to its branding and social media marketing success. 

successful brands on instagram - Lulus

1. Lulus uses a variety of shots to appeal to their followers but their most successful posts are flat lays. Flat lays inspire the user to imagine how they will wear an outfit while showcasing products.

successful brands on instagram - Target Style

2. Target Style keeps their feed bright, engaging and approachable. While showing products and inspiration to their followers, they also do a great job responding to comments and connecting with users who include their hashtags in posts.

Successful brands on instagram - LaurenConrad.com

3. The LaurenConrad.com Instagram is bright and colorful with tons of inspiring lifestyle photos. They have done a great job branding the account with overall cohesion by using similar lighting and filters to create a warm, inviting glow in every photo.

successful brands on instagram - Fresh Beauty

4. Fresh‘s Instagram is full of beautiful product shots that brilliantly incorporate the product’s natural ingredients to show it in a creative, eye catching way and educate and engage their audience.

Successful brands on instagram - Steve Madden

5. Steve Madden‘s Instagram utilizes portraits and flat lays to show detailed closeups of their shoes and how to wear them. They use bright, popping colors and simplicity to grab the attention of their followers.

Successful brands on instagram - Dwell Studio

6. Dwell Studio uses a lot of bold colors and bold designs to grab the attention of viewers. Their photos are very clean cut, bright and detail oriented to help keep the viewer’s attention while they look around the photo.

Successful brands on instagram - Joie Clothing

7. Joie Clothing appeals to their audience by using bright and happy photos to enhance their mood and use models that are natural looking and easy for viewers to relate to.

Successful brands on instagram - Design Love Fest

8. Bri Emery does a great job of branding her Instagram page for her blog, Design Love Fest, with filters and like colors while engaging with her followers and other bloggers to create a creative, inspiring online community.

 

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Boss Lady: Wendy Buiter

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with artist Wendy Buiter. She shares with us her insights as an artist and business woman and how she continues to create unique and inspired pieces of art.

Boss Lady Wendy Buiter | Social Stylate

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a Dutch artist living in Rotterdam, a metropolitan city in the Netherlands. I am a single mother with two children, four and six years old. Twelve years ago, I founded a company in a niche market in cosmetics and fashion; a booking/staffing agency with an extensive academy. After successfully managing this company for years, it was time to pursue another dream; as a businesswoman/entrepreneur developing a profitable brand making and selling custom art pieces!

2. What prompted you to create a collection of illustrations?
I have been drawing and painting ever since I was a little girl. When I began as a full time artist, I created many works on stretched linen canvas with acrylic and oil paints. I ultimately wanted to create fashionable art and discovered that using a wide range of mediums on a large, heavy paper gave me the look of which I was searching. This resulted in the creation of my signature style. I think my illustrations are an extension of myself, playful and inspired by contemporary haute couture and fashion photography, depicting elegant, yet powerful women who exude confidence.

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3. What is the process like creating an illustration? How long does one painting usually take?
My head is filled with ideas for new works and series of works. I always start by making a selection of the images I feel like creating. If I am inspired by a particular photograph then I allow the image to resonate in my mind, giving my creativity some space to interpret this image. The art that I create, is really a reflection of ‘me’ and how I see the world in a fabulous way!

I work with many different mediums such as crayons, watercolors, acrylic paint, and markers. Working with all these different mediums together makes a really nice and interesting structure.

Usually I work for 1-3 hours on a large 70x100cm painting. Sometimes I put the piece away for some time to finish it later. Working longer does not necessarily mean the work is better, sometimes my best work is created in just 45 minutes!

4. What kind of places did you travel to internationally to get your biggest inspirations for your art?
I used to work as a flight attendant in my early and mid-twenties for some years so I travelled internationally often and was fortunate enough to see many different places in the world, other cultures and meet so many people. Paris will always be my favorite city. I just love the sophisticated atmosphere. I am drawn to and inspired by the art and fashion of the city of lights.

Wendy Buiter Boss Lady

 

5. Why is fashion and beauty the center of your focus? What makes it so interesting to you?
I am innately drawn to beauty, partly from my background as a make-up artist. I am attracted to cosmetics, make-up and beauty images. I just love to create a gorgeous face with the features that we all are so drawn to and always linked to fashion with a touch of luxury. I think this is what my fans are just as attracted to also, they love the images I create because it’s what they desire, want to have, want to be like! I also have a lot of men in my fanbase that love my creations, so although my art depicts women it also appeals to men.

I show my students at the Make-Up Academy a movie titled The Miracle of Face | What’s Beauty?. It is about the golden ratio and about eyes and lips etc. everything that makes us attractive to others.

6. How would you describe your own style and how is it incorporated into your work?
I would describe my style as playful, bold, vibrant, feminine, charming with a touch of luxury. My beauties reflect confidence, independence and razor sharp style. They embody the power of global femininity and their versatility to transform from basic beauty to bombshell.

Wendy Buiter Boss Lady

7. What is your biggest challenge as an artist and creator of your own business?
Growing a profitable business making and selling art! Also, I want to fascinate people with my art and trigger their own creative side. I want to pass on my knowledge to others so they can do what they love and I can guide them on their path of being a successful artist. To do so I have begun to share my experiences, my business acumen, and my knowledge through downloadable guides, books, and online courses. Aspiring artists can learn from my mistakes and find inspiration from my personal journey. Most artists are very creative, but business wise there is room for growth. I want to offer insights on how to be a commercially, driven, goal-oriented, savvy business women.

8. If you could make a painting to hang in any celebrity’s home, who would it be and what would the painting look like?
Leonardo DiCaprio, definitely! I know he is a huge art lover and keen collector of fine art, but he is also a very active environmentalist. In addition to being a successful actor, he is an advocate for animal rights and environmental issues. As a vegan for years myself I support his active role in this world endeavor and I believe he is an important role model. I would love to see my painting “eye for Fashion” in Leo’s home. I hope he reads this and will call me soon to come and get it! 😉

Boss Lady Wendy Buiter | Social Stylate

9. What message are you trying to portray through your paintings? How do you do so?
I want people to ‘feel’ and experience fashion, beauty, and sophistication through my paintings. I want my artworks to bring joy every time the owner gazes at it hanging in their home.

10. Where do you want the Wendy Buiter brand to be in 5 years? 10 years?
I want my brand to be internationally recognized, a household name. Ultimately, I would love for respected galleries to showcase my work. I would also love to collaborate with high-end interior designers including Eric Kuster, Phillip Stark or Piet Boon. I want my art displayed as decoration in private residences, fine restaurants, and boutique style hotels. In terms of fashion, I would welcome the opportunity to partner with brands such as Dior, Chanel, Prada, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Giambattista Valli and others!

I’m dreaming of a white city-style mansion/villa where I can have my atelier to work on my art, my gallery and where I can live with my children.

I also want to inspire and coach other artist so that they can pursue their dreams just like I have done.

I have a goal, I have a plan and I’m working on it every single day!

More on Wendy Buiter

Website | Instagram

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Boss Lady: Sarah Dennis

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with artist and designer Sarah Dennis. Located in Bristol, England, she shares with us what inspires her and how she manages multiple projects on a day to day basis. 

Sarah Dennis Boss Lady

1. Where did the inspiration come from that made you interested in creating art from paper?
For anyone who draws or paints it all starts with a blank piece of paper, you go on a journey of what paper works best for the medium your working with, discovering different textures and weights and how it affects your work. When I first started working with paper I would collage the different papers together to create my illustrations.

2. After having so much success with creating book covers, greeting cards, and other paper art, what lead you to collaborate with Dial to design a watch?
When I was first contacted by Dial, there was no website or imagery, just the raw idea, enthusiasm and bags of creativity. I felt really honoured to be the first artist given the challenge of working within this space and create a piece of artwork in a watch. I have completely loved the whole process, and the watch has come out more beautiful than I could have possibly imagined! It was definitely a challenge, as normally I am thinking how it would look hanging on a wall not on a wrist. I had to take a different approach, thinking how I could retain the same level of detail on a much smaller scale and how that design would practically work as a watch, and a beautiful piece of jewellery. I really love working with restrictions, I find you end up with some thing far more interesting as a result!

Sarah Dennis Dial Watch Designer

3. If you could create a watch for any one person, who would it be and why?
Tough question! I can only think of fictional characters, is that allowed? My little mermaid! A blissful under the sea themed watch, so she can keep track of time. Also, Audrey Tautou, as I like the idea of creating a watch for a wrist of a thoughtful, quirky and beautiful French lady cycling around Paris.

It’s those incredible creatures and natural phenomena going on all around us that excite me and make me want to create art.

4. How did you come up with the idea for nature as the central focus point for your watch?
Nature is the primary source of inspiration in almost all of my work. Re-imagining the wonderful imagery and processes in nature motivates me to get up and into the studio. I would love to say my inspiration comes from exotic adventures out in the world but, to be honest, most of the time it’s from watching amazing documentaries that make me go “wow”! Discovering new things about the world that seems almost unbelievable and sometimes magical, reminds me of fairytale that I was told as a child.

5. Is there any specific part about Bristol that is particularly inspiring for you and your work? Where do you find other inspiration for your art?
Well, spring is my favourite time of year so I’m really loving Bristol even more than usual right now! Just walking around the city there is so much amazing blossom poking out of the trees, I’m constantly stopping to take pictures. One of my favourite things to do on a light spring evening is to sit by the docks, spying on the barges and the boats, watching the sun shimmer across the water. There’s not a specific part of this city that inspires my art, just living here and experiencing its quirks, spots of nature, surrounding countryside and lovely people keeps me happy. The other day I was cycling home through the park and a fox stopped in my path tilted its head back and made the most haunting howl, then ran off. It made my day!

Sarah Dennis Dial Watch

6. What is your mantra for how you live your life? How do you relate that to your work?
Stay positive, work hard and enjoy life. If I keep this balance then the work comes naturally and I enjoy it, so working hard and enjoying life go hand in hand. Sometimes I do catch myself worrying unnecessarily about things, which I try to use as a reminder to get on and make things!

7. Where do you see yourself going with your paper art in the next 5 years? Could you see yourself creating other types of accessories or designing more watches?The alarming rate at which time is passing does make me stop, plan and see where I would like to take my work in future. I absolutely loved working with Dial, its fantastic to see the reaction to the watch. The whole process really made me step back and view my work from an entirely different perspective. Paper will always be an important part of my craft, but I’ve realized that my art can work in all sorts of different formats and media. Since then I’ve been talking with designers and architects and developing grand ideas of my work being used on furniture, interior design, homeware, stationary and accessories. It’s really nice taking my artwork out of the frame and into every day life. I love the idea of more watches too. I have also been running a few workshops, sharing my love for paper cutting and its tradition. It’s the craft that I really love to share. I’m also hoping to publish a book on paper crafts to inspire people to take some time out of their routine to make things.

8. What is your best marketing tool to get the word out about your pieces?
I have recently been putting more time into my Instagram account, I think I am becoming a bit obsessed! I really enjoy discovering new artists and other people in my community who share the same passions.

Sarah Dennis Boss Lady

9. What has been your biggest challenge in starting up your own business?
Having your own business is very personal, and I’ve had to learn not to take things personally when ideas don’t quite go to plan or someone doesn’t share my aesthetic ideals! It’s not possible to just be ‘the maker’, you have to manage, promote, liaise, travel, and keep on top of all aspects of running a business. This can be a challenge, knowing how to divide time amongst an overwhelming number of critical tasks, all the while remembering to stop and take time out and enjoy life! It’s a challenge that I relish, and I try to push myself with every piece of work that I produce and it makes it all worthwhile when I’m proud of the results and others appreciate it too.

10. What advice do you have for creative women aspiring to start their own business?
Consider and evaluate every detail of your visual image to try and make everything as good as it possibly can be. There is a lot of competition out there so make sure you stand out, creating something different that your audience can engage with and relate to. Also, make sure that it is easy for clients to see and understand what you are offering and, most important, how they can buy in. I always try to keep on top of my craft and connect with new businesses and artists on the look out for opportunities for collaboration, inspiration and encouragement!

More on Sarah Dennis
website | facebook | twitter | pinterest | instagram

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