It is a joy to introduce you to Tina from The Enchanted Home blog. She has become a great online friend of mine, and we share a love of blue & white. She is no stranger to blogging, and she captured our hearts when she shared the building of her home from the beginning through completion.
It is a masterpiece. I knew behind that incredible interior design there was a lady I wanted to know!
When I e-mailed her, she was so gracious. I couldn’t wait for you to meet her. Her success as a blogger has inspired me, and she has encouraged me as The Ribbon In My Journal has grown. I caught up with her to get an interview and found her story to be one you would love.
What gave you the inspiration to start your blog, The Enchanted Home? What are some challenges of blogging?
Really it happened on a total whim. It was a cold, snowy winter day, I was stuck inside looking for pictures for our home build, I stumbled across a blog (not at all knowing it and certainly not knowing what a blog even was!), and I saw these little pictures with links (thumbnails) that took me to more amazing blogs. I was hooked; I think I did a seven-hour stretch that day on the computer—you know that feeling when you discover something AMAZING? So soon enough I discovered what a blog was, and then I thought, well maybe I could try my hand at one; after all, I love to write and connect with people, wanted a place to document our home building journey, and thought if someone discovers my blog and wants to share it with me, then great! I will never forget the sheer elation over the very first comment; it meant someone read my blog and furthermore liked it enough to comment! The rest, as they say, is history.
Challenges: at first getting my name and blog “out there.” I wondered how anyone would find it in the vast sea of blogs. I learned fast that a great way is to visit other blogs and leave comments introducing yourself, and in return many of those bloggers will visit you (courtesy). Another challenge was content. Would I find enough to talk about? Well given the length of my average post, I think we all know the answer to that!
I love to talk and chat about what excites me and often am not short for words, but at first it was a challenge writing about things that both interest me but that would keep the interest of my readers. And of course time management is a biggie. I have leaned that blogging takes a lot of time. At first I was very unstructured and just did it for hours on end, but things around me fell apart, and now I try to adhere to a bit more of a schedule; in other words, when I am working in my home office, I ask everyone to act as though I am working in a regular office and respect my “office hours” lol. The best part is that I can blog in my pi’s if I so choose. Scheduling and time management is a challenge I would think for most regular bloggers, but with organization and a will you can do it!
Talk about your business that sprang from your blog—so incredible.
Thank you! Well, after launching my blog, I kept getting lots of e-mails from people who wanted to know where I got this or that, and I actually worked on helping them get an item here and there. Then it dawned on me to consider opening a small online shop; I wasn’t ready to commit to the rigors of owning a brick-and-mortar shop, but this variety of being a shop owner really appealed to me. I have lots of seeds, aka ideas, but often do not do what it takes to see them bloom… Well this time I vowed for it to be different; I was going to give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen? It doesn’t work out, OK, at least I tried!
As luck would have it, the response was wonderful almost from the get-go. It’s been a learning experience, of course, and in fact I am still learning, but I am admittedly having a ball, and it’s a true labor of love albeit now pretty much a full time job. I stick to what I love and remain true to my design aesthetic, which is classically elegant, and I get a thrill in helping people find that special something of their home. I do believe what I offer is fulfilling a certain niche in the marketplace that is somewhat lacking. Modern and transitional is very big right now, so they are out there in abundance. I think the classical, traditional at least, mainstream is underrepresented right now, which is partly why I think I have been successful.
The Enchanted Home got its large following from people who watched the step-by-step building of your lovely home. How long did it take to build? Did you design all of the interior spaces?
The design process took about 10 months, and the building of our house took almost four long years. We worked with a very talented team. My husband and I brought our own ideas to the table and had done a great deal of research then collaborated with our gifted architect to bring those ideas and visions to life. We had a definite “wish list” of various things that were important to us, and I am happy to say he was able to fulfill just about all of them.
Ever present in your décor is blue & white. Does every room in your home have something blue & white?
I had to pause and think about that, but the answer is no. I don’t have it in my bathrooms or in any of the bedrooms for guests and my sons. They are very happy to leave the blue and white collecting to their mother! I do have a touch of it here and there in my own bedroom and bathroom.
You have changed your blog logo to blue & white vases indicating your passion for blue & white. How many pieces do you have in your collection, and do you have a favorite piece?
Wow, that’s a tough question. Between what I have in my kitchen and all my various jars and planters, I would have to guess we are talking possibly into the hundreds—scary to actually verbalize that! A favorite piece, hum … that’s like admitting to a favorite child! I like so many, but two things come to mind. One is a huge, oversize 2-foot-round antique bowl/planter that I fill with seasonal flowers in the middle of my kitchen island, and the second would be a pair of pheasant flat top ginger jars on my dining room table that are some of my all time faves. They are replicated from a very famous design and have been antiqued. I am thrilled to offer them on my online shop, though they are sold out at the moment; they are just beautiful.
When did your passion for blue & white begin?
It began when we moved into my old house. I had bought a pair of blue and white jars and loved the way they looked in my kitchen. That sparked an interest and clearly, let’s be real here, an obsession. However to be fair, I grew up with a mother who has extraordinary taste, and sure enough we had some blue and white porcelain pieces in my home growing up, so chances are that early exposure to their beauty is what really gave me the bug, without my even knowing it.
Do you have a role model for style or design?
I have many: Cathy Kincaid, Carolyne Roehm, Bunny Williams, Leta Austin Foster, Amelia Handegan, Joseph Minton, Ralph Lauren, Mary McDonald, Phoebe Howard, Michael S. Smith, Linda Floyd, and I could go on!
If you could meet anyone today, whom would you choose?
A lot of people come to mind. In terms of pure design I would have loved to meet Charles Faudree, may he rest in peace; he was such a huge talent. I have every single book he has put out and really admire how much of a purist he was; he really inspired me and still continues to. Not related to design, I would have loved to meet Princess Diana—what a wonderful person she was! I loved and admired everything about her. Her life was cut far too short, but her legacy for being a true humanitarian will live on.
What is on your bucket list?
Wow, a lot. Ready to indulge me? Maybe too many things are on my list, but OK, here we go: open up my own charming little restaurant (farm to table) that also has a wine and coffee bar with a quaint little shop attached to it filled with all kinds of special, unique one-of-a-kind items; write and produce my own screenplay; open up a storefront/interior design studio; get on Shark Tank (yes, I have a few ideas up my sleeve); spend one month in Provence and one month in Tuscany all in the same summer; own and run a small vineyard in Napa Valley; decorate my own beach house; adopt a child from a foreign county was on it, but that window is just about closed; and finally, see my three sons happy, healthy, and live a life that fulfills them.
Who in history are you most like?
Well I think in some ways I am a lot like Benjamin Franklin; he was curious, open minded, had a thirst to learn, his wheels were always turning, and he was constantly thinking of new ideas and dreaming up new grand plans. I do a lot of that too, so Ben and I are a lot alike in that way. He was a civic cheerleader, and if you read his 13 virtues you will see he was a man to be admired.
I also see a lot of myself in Princess Diana and Audrey Hepburn for the kinds of human beings they were: very giving, brave, loyal, didn’t need the spotlight (though they certainly had it, they chose to be under the radar when possible). They were fair and well liked because they were themselves. I admired that greatly, which I think was particularly challenging given their persona and popularity.
Describe your perfect day.
Wake up early (I know no other way), have the perfect cup of coffee (maybe sneak in a fresh croissant as long as we are talking perfect), the day is sunny and bright but cool (around 70), you find me throwing all my things into the car and heading off to the beach. I have my books, magazines, a week’s worth of casual clothes, some of my favorite snacks, and I arrive for a week or two knowing it’s nothing but sand between my toes, hours spent immersed in a great book, and total down time; I would only allow myself to look at my phone or iPad after 5:00 p.m. It ends with a wonderful lobster dinner somewhere in town, then we head back to the beach for a sunset stroll and make s’mores on the beach. We walk back to the house, I shower and slip into my favorite feather light cotton pj’s, and jump into my all-white fluffy down bed, crank open the window, catch up on e-mails and what I missed on my blog for a bit, then soon enough, I am ready to be lulled to sleep by the roar of the ocean and drift off to sleep only to do it all over again the next morning. Ah, perfect indeed!
For what do you want to be remembered?
For being a kind, fair, and giving person. For being honest and authentic, for being an occasional practical joker and loving to laugh and always having an idea up my sleeve. For being spontaneous and always up for a fun time, a lover of great food, stylish interiors, and girly fashions. As a great supporter of “retail therapy” and mostly a good friend, wonderful mother, and loyal and loving wife. And, if people want to say things like she had a beautifully decorated home, knew how to make a great meal, always made me feel welcome when we were invited there, or was a great entertainer … well, that would just be the icing on the cake 🙂