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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know

10 Feb

Today you can find me on the stylish and oh so pretty…Pretty Hous Blog.  Anne is an American living in Germany and her blog is spectacular. I love her writing style and the fact that she uses words like bubble, anecdotes & lush!  I only found her blog a few months  ago and was immediately smitten with her in depth content.  I was flattered when she contacted me for an interview and we covered so much that the pieces is broken into two parts.  Having to sit down and really think about how I create a project from a conversation with a client (as well as a few other important details) and what my business success and failures have been gave me a new outlook on Studio Ten 25.

I hope you have a chance to pop over to Anne’s blog to check out the two part interview as well as her blog. I provided a ton of images to tell my story and I hope that you enjoy seeing the daily happenings around Studio Ten 25 and Shop Ten 25.  And, I had to throw in a few family details too!

Visit Pretty Hous to see the latest post or..

See part one….HERE and        See part two….HERE


P.S. Dont forget about out $100 gift card give away and 15% off site wide at SHOP TEN 25.

Chatting with Cristi Holcombe

4 Feb

Prepare to be Charmed. Today we are chatting with Atlanta area designer and soon to be mommy, Cristi Holcombe from Charm Home. I have been a fan of Cristi’s for a while now and am drawn to her sophisticated modern design style.  Take a look at a few of her design projects. I love her use of natural elements and pretty much all of her drapes are killer!

ST25: Describe your perfect client. Have you ever worked with a client that fits your description?

CH: Hmmm, for me, the perfect client would obviously be one with an unlimited budget, and someone who already has great personal style.  Also, my perfect client would have to be open to new ideas.  I’ve yet to meet this client, but if you are out there please give me a call.  Let’s chat!

ST25: What is the most rewarding part of owning your own business?

CH: By far it’s completing a design project and knowing that my client loves to come home to their newly designed home.  It’s so worth it when the client is thrilled with what I’ve done to their home.

ST25: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start their own design business. (do’s and don’ts)

CH: DO take risks [within reason].  DO research your competition and find out what is selling in your area.  DON’T just take any project that comes your way.  ALWAYS have your clients sign a contract.  Realize that you can get burned fast.  Have a contract for everything.  Getting burned by a client is the quickest way to put yourself out of business.

ST25: I can picture you in your office pulling a project together. If we were a fly on the wall, what would we see? Do you ever bounce design ideas of off your husband since you work alone?  If so, how does that conversation go?  Who else do you bounce design ideas off of before presenting to your client?

CH: Well, since my office is in my extremely small condo, first of all you would see a big mess.  The lighting is different in each room so I often spread my projects out over the whole house so I can make sure that I’m seeing fabrics, paints, etc. in the correct lighting.  I love to drink carbonated water too so you’d probably see a glass of carbonated water somewhere nearby.  My hubby, bless his heart, is not good at seeing the whole picture until it’s complete so I hardly ever bounce ideas off of him.  If I need an extra opinion I usually call up a few local designer friends.

ST25: If you weren’t a designer you’d be…

CH: That’s a hard one…I would love to own a small boutique furniture store but I know that’s still very similar to interior design.  I know for sure I wouldn’t be in the medical field.  Needles and blood make me faint.

ST25: Which interior designer’s style would you say is most similar to your own?

CH: I would say that I’m a cross between Amanda Nisbet and Suzanne Kassler.  They are pretty different in terms of their design style but I like to use color like Amanda and prefer Suzanne’s classic style.

ST25:Which interior designer’s style do you covet the most? Why?

CH: Definitely Kay Douglass, I think everything she does is phenomenal.  I love how she can take the most unusual object and turn it into something fabulous, whether it’s an iron object or woven basket.

ST25: What are your top three favorite fabrics (pattern or showroom)?

CH: This isn’t really one particular fabric but I love slubby linens, Schumacher’s Chiang Mai Ling (aqua) and Imperial Trellis any color-way

ST25: What would you say is your go to design element?

CH: I love using anything woven in a design…a rug, a chair, a stool.  I think that there is room from a woven element in every room.

ST25: What is your biggest design pet peeve(s)?

CH: Good question.  Most definitely when people try to match every piece of furniture.

ST25: Do you say….Sofa or Couch? / Curtains or Drapes?

CH: Sofa / Drapes

ST25: After you are signed on with a new client, what is the first design element you start with…paint, fabric, floor plan, budget etc.

CH: I usually start with fabrics and pull the rest of the design together from the fabrics.


ST25:What are your favorite places to shop when designing for a client?

budget: Homegoods & Etsy

wholesale: Four Hands

high end:  Oly Studio / South of Market

ST25: As designers, we have access to furniture and accessories that are “trade only” and at wholesale pricing. As as designer, I have seen that this can sometimes be overwhelming or confusing to the client.  How do you explain the benefits of providing this purchasing service to your clients.

CH: That’s a hard one.  It depends on the client.  I will really try to push a trade purchase if it is a unique, statement piece/fabric that can’t be purchased elsewhere and is going to make or break the design.  I also try really hard to find a retailer in town who carries the line so that the client can see the quality of the product before buying it.  That usually makes a client feel much more comfortable.

St25: Have you ever designed for a client that wasn’t 100% your “style”? If so, how was that expierence?

CH: Yes, I’m constantly working with clients that don’t share my same personal style.  When I’m working with a client though, I try to adapt my design style to my client’s style…within reason of course. I still throw in my own personal touches but really try to get into my client’s head.

ST25: Your pregnant with your first child! Tell us about your plans for baby Chase’s new nursery and what inspired your selections. How complete is the nursery?

CH: I should probably be further along with the nursery design at this point, but I’ve just barely started.  I do have a concept and know for sure the furniture and artwork I’ll be purchasing.  I wanted to design a space that was not “baby” themed but something that Chase can grow into.  I thought I might actually be changing my design based on a fabric that I saw online at Urban Outfitters, but when I got a window panel in that fabric it ended up being a totally different color than was pictured online.  Now I’m on a mission to find something similar to that fabric for the nursery.

Here’s my initial inspiration board…

and here’s the fabric that I found that I love in it’s picture online [just not in person]…

ST25:  Tell us a little more about your “touch of charm” design services. Any pics to share on past projects?

CH: I don’t have any photographs of completed projects, but I should have a few photographs of a nursery that I just designed pretty soon.  Here are a few design boards from projects that are yet to be photographed.

ST25: It looks like you also have design projects that include Hotels and Residential communities. How does a typical project like that vary from your residential client projects?

CH: They are very similar but very different.  One thing that is the common denominator amongst all projects is budget, budget, budget.  Although it may not look it at times.  Budget is one of the most important pieces in a design project.  It is the basis of every design.  One thing that varies between hospitality and residential are the details.  Details are important in hospitality design, but it’s more about the overall impact and creating an overall vibe.  Whereas, residential design is ALL about the details.

ST25: What are your 2011 plans/goals for your business?  Any exciting changes or projects coming soon that we can look forward too?

CH: I think one of my main business goals is to expand my client base.  I think that’s proabably every designer’s goal each year.  I would love to work with more clients in Atlanta.  Somehow I’ve managed to gain more out of town clients than in-town clients.  I’ll take them however I can get them though.  :o)  Right now I don’t have anything exciting on the horizon other than figuring out how to balance motherhood and a career.  The last half of the year is going to be extremely exciting once Chase get’s here.  I’m looking forward to the fun changes that are coming my way.

ST25: And..last but not least …How much time do you spend reading other design blogs and what keeps you coming back to you favorites?

CH: This varies week to week and day to day.  Some days I will spend hours reading blogs and then others I barely have time for one blog…if that.  My schedule changes so often and I try to read as many as time will permit.  What keeps me coming back to my faves is exciting new content.  I also love to read about personal projects that my favorite bloggers are working on.

Image Credits: 1. Caldwell Flake; 2.  Robert Grayson; 3. Lonny; 4. Amanda Nisbet; 5. House Beautiful; 6. Traditional Home; 7. unknown; 8. Charm Home; 9. Urban Outfitters; 10-12. Charm Home;

Want to see more from Cristi?  Find her ONLINE,  FACEBOOK, TWITTER & HER BLOG

Design Shuffle {Guest Blogging}

15 Jan

I’m honored and excited to be guest blogging on Design Shuffle today!  If you have been intrigued with online design and wanted to to know more about the process, pop over to their fabulous site to see the post. See how online design can give you access to an interior design with out the design fees involved.  This up and coming service allows you to design your room on your time & budget!

At Studio Ten 25, we call our online design service HOME AWAY FROM HOME! We would love to talk to you about putting the finishing touches on that unfinished room!

A few of my favorite Home Away From Home Projects

Looking Back…Looking Forward

1 Jan


While I was on vacation last week I asked a few of my favorite bloggers to help keep the Studio Ten 25 blog going by guest blogging. The topic: What are you looking forward to in 2011?  They could talk about design, color or anything personal.  I want to say THANK YOU to the fabulous bloggers for sharing what they are looking forward to in 2011.

So today I thought I would take a look back at my favorite blog post from 2010. I noticed that a few of my favorite bloggers were doing the same thing and I wanted to join the fun.  Looking back on 2010 makes me smile, I have been so blessed to have wonderful clients,  friends & family who support me and a fabulous network of blogger friends to keep me going.

We…well…I spent most of 2010 completing our home.  After we moved in we ripped out the small garage and added a third bedroom and full bathroom.  Living in your home during a remodel is a nightmare, so we took a year off to enjoy the new changes.  As soon as 2010 arrived,  so did all of the new furniture and accessories!

See ya tinky garage…..

After: The small garage in now a comfortable guest room!

Here is a look at my favorite posts from this past year.


Best of the City – Modern Luxury Dallas – Being featured in a local Dallas magazine was the perfect way to kick off 2010.  It was my FIRST EVER magazine feature!


Home Office Update –  This was the priority room in my client’s home when we started the project.  From start to finish, this office took about six months to complete (waiting on back ordered pieces). The rug was so worth the wait,  I have never loved orange so much!!

MARCH 2010

How do you work? – I finally had a home office to call my own this month. I love my home office, it’s where I am inspired and one of my favorite spots to catch up on my soap opera while getting through my to-do list!


Master Bedroom Update – We also finished updating our frumpy master bedroom. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this room now. It’s calming, comfortable and I love waking up here!  My husband did have a few requests.

#1 “Let’s not go overkill on the mirrors.”  I just had pieces cut for the tops of the night stands and dresser.

#2 “Make sure the puppies won’t ruin anything, I don’t want to hear your complain that something was ruined.”  A white duvet that can be bleached…problem solved.

#3 ” Let’s reuse as much of our existing furniture as we can, this remodel thing is getting out of control $.”.  Problem solved! My mom helped me update the headboard, that was the biggest change.

APRIL 2010

Kate Inspired Me – I was walking through Neiman Marcus in Downtown Dallas (where Style/Swoon hosted a fabulous party) and spotted this Kate Spade outfit. It was the perfect piece of inspiration for one of the projects I was working on. I loved the black and white with turquoise and yellow accents. Perfectly Chic!

MAY 2010

Barking Hound Village Austin,TX –  In 2009 I worked with BHV to remodel an old Dallas steakhouse and turn it into a chic doggy daycare and boarding facility.  Now it was time to visit the existing Austin location and bring a fresh new look to the location. I think 2011 will bring more BHV locations…keeping my fingers crossed. I love working with Lisa & Jeremy Jones and Caddo & Ivy love going for daycare!

JUNE 2010

Cornice Board…funny name…fab design – I was so excited when the installation day for this cornice board came. I had been dying to use something like this in a project and my fabulous clients were on board…pun intended!

JULY 2010

Dwell with Dignity – This was the first time I was able to get a front row seat to the amazing work that Dwell with Dignity does in the Dallas Community.  Dallas Cowboy Martellus Bennett stopped by to give the boys a grand tour of their new digs! It was an amazing day, I will never forget the smiles on those young boy’s faces!


Custom furniture to the rescue –  I was on a budget and time crunch on this commercial project so I turned to my local upholstery workroom to create pieces from our inspiration images. I could not have been happier with the results, custom pieces are quickly becoming a staple in most of my projects these days.


September was a fabulous month!  I had another feature in Modern Luxury Dallas where I was able to talk about my obsession with Woodson & Rummerfield!

Before & After Dining Room- Whoo Hoo!!  We finally finished out dining room / Entry and since it’s one of the first rooms you see when entering out home…it was really about time!!


Ten 25= Three – Dru and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary and this post tells the story of how we named STUDIO TEN 25.

And it didn’t stop there! We were SO SUPER excited to have our home featured in The Dallas Morning News! Having photos of your house splashed across a section in the DMN is crazy!  My hubby said “now we can finally stop buying stuff since the house is decorated!”….Um not so fast…..I still have a few tricks up my sleeves for 2011!


Home Away From Home, Guest Room Update –  The online decorating side of my business has really taken off this year and this room was one of my favorites. I can’t wait to see pictures of the final installation.


Home for the Holidays Part 1 & 2 – I was flattered when the DMC asked me to participate in the 2010 Christmas Market Holiday House. I designed the dining room and the Hollywood Glam look was super Chic! I loved loved loved it, it was a fabulous experience.

I’m looking forward to a wonderful 2011, I have so many great things to share this year! Happy New Year


Guest Blogger {Jenni 20 Designs}

31 Dec

Today Jenni from Jenni 20 Designs is sharing her new home and plans for organizing and displaying her large collection of books! She creates travel accessories and gifts that will help you and your loved ones reduce and reuse! I LOVE LOVE LOVE her laundry bags, super vintage and chic!
Her new packaging is awesome and the products are packaged in biodegradable & compostable clear sleeves. These bags are PLA products which mean they are made from plants! If you don’t have a compost pile, just bury this bag in the back garden. 🙂  Check out her fabulous Etsy Boutique and The Laundry Bag.
Her gorgeous pasport covers were even featured in Lonny Magazine!

There’s little in life that I love more than a good book. Perhaps the only “treasure” in my house I have more of than piles fabric (and dust bunnies) is a collection of books. And that collection does not discriminate: textbooks, notebooks, coffee table books, trashy paperback books, literary elite books, foreign-language books (that I pretend I can read). You name it, I probably have it.
But can I tell you where it is? Perhaps not. I have books in my bedroom, in my closets, in my garage, in my living room, in my sewing/guest room. I’m pretty sure I have some books stacked in my hallway and I know I have even more books in my bedroom at my mother’s house 350 miles away.
I fell in love with my little post-war cottage when I saw it. Its gleaming hardwood floors, “charming” vintage bathroom, refurbished kitchen, and enormous light-infused windows. And I didn’t listen when certain persons reminded me that moving from a 1600 sq-foot duplex rental into a baaaaarely 1000 sq-ft. home might not be the best choice.

But those floors! Those windows!

I bought it. And I parted with boxes and boxes of books. But there are still more.
But I have a dream for those books—and it doesn’t involve adding on a library wing. I just need a little nook. No, not the digital e-reader—anything but that!

Source: Left, Top & Bottom

Although I’d love a bay window with a window seat like I had when I was a little girl, that is not in the cards. But as my amateur telestrator below shows, I could very easily get some bookshelves (either the Ikea variety or if I’m lucky some custom built-ins), hang my beloved red dupioni silk drapes between the shelves to create a little cove, and put a cozy little velveteen-covered chair in the space between. (Pardon the illustration: I’m working with primitive tools here over the Christmas break, folks.)
What décor dreams can you make a reality in the new year?

(I bet there’s even room for my dust bunnies in that setup.)

PS—I’d also like to fill my shelves with these lovelies:

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Travel fabulous

Guest Blogger {The Decorista}

31 Dec



The Decorista

2011 is sure to be a fantastic year! I am so excited about what is to come in the new year for decor.
The magazines are only getting better and blogging has totally revolutionized the way I see decor trends, it’s just fabulous + I can’t get enough of it.
Here are a few trends that I am uber thrilled about for this next season…

Guest Blogger {Green Bridge White House}

30 Dec

Today we welcome Kelli from Green Bridge White House Blog!  Kelli is an interior designer in Colorado and recently started her blog to share her work, inspiration and life in Colorado! I think your going to want to add this one to your blog roll!  Thank  you Kelli for this fabulous post! I love your take on the 2011 color of the year, Honeysuckle!

Hey guys! I’m so happy to be over here guest blogging while Abbe is on vacation and today I want to talk color. As you may have heard, Pantone has named Honeysuckle as their color for 2011. I can tell you that personally I love this color; maybe becuase it is very close to the color scheme used on my blog! However, as an interior designer I’m thinking that it could pose some design challenges this year so I thought it would be a good idea to explore how to use this color in two different scenarios.

The first design concept that we are going to explore is using Honeysuckle as an accent color. This is an easy approach when designing a space, create a neutral pallet like this and let the pink really punch out and liven things up. This approach is great when designing for clients who like to have the latest trend or who often like to change their look.

This approach also allows clients to be a part of the latest trend without spending thousands on an entire new living room every year. Paint, pillows, accent rugs, artwork and accessories can be easy to work around with a client who is on a budget so incorporating Honeysuckle in these areas can be a win win! And when the next color trend or season comes, look how easy it is to change the space by changing the accent color?

The second design concept for incorporating Honeysuckle is for that client who wants the latest trend in every way, every day. We see here that Honeysuckle is the main color used but in varying degrees of light and dark. This creates depth and interest without being totally monochromatic and boring. In this design we used Honeysuckle for the wall color but also in the floral print wallpaper. We all know painting a room is a great way to change a look without spending tons of money but making the commitment to wallpaper should be considered a long term investment. Also incorporating Honeysuckle in the main sofa fabric and area rugs makes a big impact on the design of this space and again are investment pieces that should last longer than the season or trend. Accents of honeysuckle are found in the artwork, pillows and accessories to bring the design full circle. There is greater risk involved with this “all in” approach as the design could feel dated in a shorter period of time but with great risk can come great reward. Maybe you would find yourself getting published for such an innovative design and bold use of color!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my post today and I please stop by Green Bridge White House anytime!