Friday Interview: Pepper Design Blog!

PDB Interview - Header

Since I haven’t had a chance to *formally* do so… I thought I’d take the opportunity to introduce myself during this Friday Interview series! It has been a true pleasure growing this site before your eyes and I cannot thank you enough for your readership and blogging love.

Pepper Design Blog is a little space offering inspiration for the inner design guru in each of us. It’s a site dedicated to sharing inspiring & innovative ideas for decorating your home, organizing your space & throwing the perfect party.

Pepper Design Blog Bio Pic

My painstakingly lengthy answers (I apologize in advance… this was too much fun) and inspiration (images and collages of my personal favorites) for Pepper Design Blog, and the four PDB interview Qs, after the jump!

The concept of Pepper Design Blog began nearly a year ago as an aha! moment while I was searching for a user-friendly home AND entertaining design resource to be inspired by on a regular basis. I, like many of you, rely on the internet and ‘google images’ for quick searches relating to a party I’m planning or a room I’m redecorating. After struggling to find a source that reached out to my demographic, I decided to launch my own blog that smacked together the best of both worlds: decorating and entertaining ideas that were both replicable and truly inspiring.

The site need to be both functional and appealing as well – easy to peruse and as clean as a good book full of beautiful eye-candy. Eight months of hand coding and graphic designing later, PDB launched on September 1 of this year.

PDB Interview Inspiration

My husband and I live in beautiful San Diego with our one-year-old yellow lab, Bodie – we just bought a house last year and have taken on a whole new world of ‘home ownership’. While embracing the leaky faucets and warping cabinets one acquires with an 80-year-old home, we are also taking great pride in refurbishing and redesigning our little casa piece by piece. It’s a wonderful experience that brings about its own set of joyful moments and hair-pulling tantrums.

Pepper Interview - Home

{Here it is, just a year ago! It has come leaps & bounds since last July — including much in-process relandscaping! When our home is done, I will look forward to posting our before & after pictures most!}

Regardless of the fact that up until recently our den had no floor and our backyard was a makeshift lean-to (courtesy of the last dwellers) my husband and I love to entertain! And boy do we get the opportunity to entertain… be it birthdays, showers, Halloween or Christmas parties it’s important to us to throw a great bash that is complete with memorable details and good fellowship.

So PDB has fit that niche in my mind of unique, inspirational details for the all-around DIY lady that has just enough time in her hectic schedule to coordinate table runners with paper lanterns for a dinner party on Friday night, and the know-how (or desire!) to refashion an old antique armoire on Saturday morning.

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{PDB Interview with Morgan of PDB :) }


What inspires your design style?

Now that I’m in the hot seat I feel the pressure of interviewees before me! But like so many have answered before, I’m inspired by anything and everything that hits me in the right moment. I find the best inspiration in patterns and prints and I love to let them encourage color combinations, party themes or room décor. Photography, art and architecture in all forms are also incredibly inspiring — and I love especially that you can encounter any of these on a regular and daily basis.

Pepper Design Blog Interview - Inspiration 6

{Everyday inspiration featured on Decor8 by photographer Martin Cederblad and stylist Svenska Stylistgruppen}

What do you love most about what you do?

The beauty of blogs is that they have that ability, if only for one fleeting moment while you drink your morning coffee, to let you peek into someone else’s world. For the observer, their regular blogging becomes a story that never really ends. To be able to slow down and absorb inspiration through thoughts, ramblings and images of another — such a lovely treat in the hectic life we live!

Some of my favorite blogs mark the comings and goings of everyday moments for families, some offer inspiration for DIY fashion, others pull me into the world of perfectly put together weddings or allow me to oogle over beautiful home remodels. Who knew such fabulous women, telling such fabulous stories with their blogs, existed in this world! And now they let us in on a piece of their joy whenever we choose to visit.

Pepper Design Interview Inspiration 12

{Inspiration from a favorite diy fashion blog: My Mama Made It}

Here at Pepper, I cherish my few hours a day dedicated to sharing favorite finds and inspiration with like-minded readers. I LOVE most when someone inspired by a post they’ve found here comments about a fabulous project they’ve just finished or party they’re planning. It makes me feel all warm and tingly – and truly makes my day.

What are your favorite design trends?

I am a full supporter of design trends, both the kitchy casual trends as well as the note-worthy styles that pass the test of time, like a favorite wool blazer worn winter after winter. Trends shouldn’t dictate style, but incorporating something you love ‘now’ into your designs provides it’s own sort of happiness and self-esteem booster.

A few of my favorite home décor trends include:

-Occasional chairs, settees and ottomans that are upholstered in vibrant patterns

Pepper Design Blog Interview

{Images from Decor Pad, House to Home, and Casey Green’s home featured on design*sponge}

-Statement mirrors — regardless of the shape, color or style

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{Statement mirrors from House to Home and

-Textured fabrics such as rich velvet, faux sheepskin, an embroidered ethnic print or the unfinished edges of grass cloth/burlap (as linens, window curtains or even wall coverings)

-Trends that come and go can be fun as well – a wallpapered nook in a very ‘now’ print can be stunning, even if you expect to have to reconsider the look in five years.

Pepper Design Blog Interview - Wallpaper

{Little Green Notebook shares a wallpapered ‘nook’}

A few of my favorite entertaining décor trends include:

-Incorporating contrasting colors into a tablescape (such as fuchsia and teal – the effect is thrilling)

-Using wallpaper, scrapbooking paper, fabric remnants or wrapping paper as accent pieces (as a table runner, vase covering or placemat)

Pepper Design Blog Interview 2

{Examples of incorporating paper patterns into a party theme by Hostess with the Mostess}

-Adding an unexpected addition to your party decor, such as a custom dessert buffet, paper lantern & pom chandelier or anything handmade by the host (felt chargers, a custom cocktail, handwritten place cards…)

At the end of the day a room or party must ultimately reflect you – infuse your personality into each and every detail and you won’t be disappointed.

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{A touch of handmade loveliness as featured on Style Me Pretty}

What are your three favorite design suggestions?

{1.} ‘Shop’ your home: Take a walk through each of your rooms with new inspiration in mind (especially after reading a great décor magazine or searching your favorite sites/blogs). You’ll be so pleased to find many of the items you’d love to incorporate into a theme or style already exist and need just a little sprucing up or relocation. I do this often with my fireplace – when I’m inspired to mix up the mantel I walk from room to room, collecting new pieces to display. Other quick & easy DIY refashions include lampshades, headboards and window coverings.

For entertaining purposes, shopping your home can open your eyes to new great uses for ordinary items. When flat, an antique wall mirror works terrifically as a centerpiece stacked with vintage vases and flowers; reframe prints (from frames already on your walls) relating to a party theme as a backdrop for a dessert buffet; fill various heights of wine glasses, jars or vases with whatever you might have around the house, such as coffee beans, river rocks, rice, shells, pine cones, sea glass, ornaments, fall leaves, moss balls, fruit (like limes and cranberries)…; use leftover fabric from curtains as a casual tablecloth (a little spray glue from your local craft store adds an instant hem) that matches your colors.

Pepper Design Blog Tables

{Tablescapes and crafty centerpieces by Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living}

{2.} Go out on a limb: It takes time to develop your own decorating niche – and a little ledge-walking in the design world. Step out of your comfort zone by subscribing to popular decorating blogs and magazines that you might otherwise skip over, saving clippings and photos of your favorite looks as you go. You’ll see your developing style emerge over a few months and know exactly your next home redecorating move.

I keep a OneNote virtual notebook full of ideas for upcoming parties or home décor inspiration –whatever your method (check out Décor8’s great inspiration boards here) for sorting clippings, photos and swatches be sure you do indeed have one!

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{Featured on HGTV – what a neat mirror and incorporation of soft, muted colors}

{3} Sometimes it’s all in the details: Often it’s the littlest details that we remember most about a favorite party or a friend’s recently redecorated home. A custom cocktail, handmade favor or beautifully presented dessert will have a lasting impression on the guests as well as the recipient of the planned event. Essentially, it’s about making people feel *special*.

For your home, it might be a batik rug, merimekko wall print or claw foot couch (that you searched flea market after flea market for…) that gives you pride in your dwelling. It’s these details that pull the room together so perfectly and balance out everyday pieces with the special unique ones. Details can often speak volumes — if you’d love to reupholster your dining room chairs in a brilliant damask print but don’t want to break the budget — opt to do pillows for the end chairs instead. Incorporating splashes of color is an often overlooked detail — jump out of the overall color scheme of a room and add something from the opposite end of the color wheel.

Pepper Design Blog Interview - Pattern

It was difficult to narrow these ideas down, but I suppose that’s why everyday blogging is so great — if I could fit everything into one post it would defeat the purpose :). THANK YOU for your blogging support!

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{Design-infused inspiration from BHG}

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  1. P@ says

    Awesome Post!! Any chance you’ll do a theme around entertaining w/ board games? I have a Colts Monoply set you can use around super bowl time. sniff, sniff that this site is just for lady DIYs. Way to go creating your vision!

  2. says

    Wait, you didn’t tell me how stinkin’ cute you were. No fair!

    Great post, great to meet you “more” and look forward to meeting in real like some day when I’m in San Diego!

    Keep on inspiring us!

    • Morgan says

      Haha — thank you, Amy! I look forward to meeting you too, especially here in San Diego!

    • Morgan says

      Chris, I completely agree! I would love to expand this blog to be all-encompassing design (including fashion!) — it’s great that you bring that topic up because I have always wondered what reader response would be to expanding the topics posted here.

      I want to be careful not to break out of my ‘niche’, but the overall DIY/trendy lady profile does likely include an interest in design inspiration associated with her wardrobe! Hmmm… would love to hear feedback on this one!

  3. says

    Well, I for one (of many I’m sure) am very happy that you have ventured into the blogging world. Every post is filled with fabulous inspiration and your taste is impeccable! One of my favorite daily reads!

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