Marfa is back!

I had such a specific vision for our Marfa print in my head when we were planning our third season, and of all of our prints, Marfa turned out the truest to that vision. The Marfa has always been one of my favorites, and apparently it is one of your favorites too because we were completely sold out of it at the end of the year.

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I love how diverse the Marfa is. I used it in Harry’s nursery, and the Coastal Living bunkroom. I have also used it in really dark, masculine bedrooms, and have seen it look amazing in really pure traditional spaces. We shot the Marfa in this apartment for our Fall lookbook, and it’s a great example of how your bedding can carry more than its fair share of the design weight and visual interest.

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When I first started biscuit, part of the inspiration was my design work with clients who were renting and had restrictions on what we could do to fluff things up. Landlord mandated white walls, pre-installed blinds, builder-grade lighting, and less than ideal flooring situations meant that whatever we brought into the room had to work overtime to provide the visual interest I would normally achieve through paint, lighting, and flooring/window treatments.

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I found in sourcing product that unless you were shopping the ultra-luxury end of the market, you more often than not had to choose either fabric quality or textile design. I have always been most inspired by designer textiles in my client work, delighted to find new patterns and sources for fabrics from the hundreds of fantastic trade options available across a variety of pricepoints- and I couldn’t understand why the same was not true with bedding. 5N2A4904

That realization was the birth of Biscuit. From there I began searching for American manufacturing partners, forming the proper business entities, developing print concepts, refining sewing patterns, quality testing, building the website, hiring and on and on and on down the list of a babillion things that go into starting and growing a company. Shooting this space took me back to that moment of realization, and it was really pleasing to see the real-life solution to that initial problem in action.

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As far as rentals go- or really any dwelling option- this space is pretty dope. The moldings, and other built in architectural details are extremely attractive, the white walls are clean and bright, and they have wood flooring (!)  so they started way ahead of the game. But the room was also awkwardly and unusually large, and without a lot of stuff all that white felt cold. The couple didn’t want to buy more furniture and rugs to fill up the space knowing if they moved, they probably wouldn’t find another room so large and didn’t want the extra baggage.

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They had some fun pieces the brighten things up, like vintage side tables in orange lacquer, a great rug, and a really pretty, simple white canopy bed, but wanted to bring some color onto the bedding to break up the sea of white. They chose the Marfa, and added a cheerful throw pillow, and I love how the print works with their existing pieces. So many times we rely on art and accessories to bring the interest in a room, and keep the bigger more permanent pieces neutral. But in this space you can see how the bedding works to tie their existing pieces together, and provides visual and design interest that otherwise would have had to be achieved with accent pieces they didn’t have, paint they couldn’t use, etc. There actually aren’t a lot of things in this room, but it still feels layered, colorful, happy, and comfortable.

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So glad the Marfa is back in stock- and in our new packaging!! Not a bad start to the new year…

Happy 2016!

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Happy 2016, everyone! I have big hopes for this year. I am turning 30 next month, and even though it’s really just another birthday, it feels like a big transition that I am excited about. I also hope 2016 has great things in store for all of you, and as always, thanks for checking in here! I’ll be back later this week with updates from Biscuit’s lookbook shoots!

This is 30.

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Not for me! GOD no. I’m still in my twenties for two more months.

Monday was Pete’s 30th Birthday, and I am still so dorky excited that I can’t even wait a few chill days to post about it. I never had after-wedding-blues or anything. I loved wedding planning but really just wanted to be married, so I wasn’t sad it was over. But I think I am having post-pete-bday-blues. Continue reading “This is 30.”

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

Merry Merry, everyone!

I have to tell you, I am finding this whole Christmas thing to be a lot of responsibility! I had sort of assumed kids came installed with the abiding knowledge and love of Christmas. They would naturally be all about the Christmas, and we would make their Christmas dreams come true. But they totally don’t! They have no idea what Christmas is all about, and when you try to tell them, they aren’t like, “Ohhh, that makes sense!” They have questions, and it’s fun to watch G’s thought process- she’s so smart and growing up to be such a thoughtful little lady! But it also feels weird to be actively misleading her, ya know?

But I’m not actually a Grinch! I am also loving getting to experience the magic of Christmas with kids that can fully participate this year. And! It’s our first year in our new house, which has me inspired to make it extra-special and start new traditions for our family.

One thing that made Christmas extra not-special in years past were the disagreements Pete and I had over our tree. I am a die-hard real tree lady- but I am also an enemy to the Christmas tree. I have killed almost every tree I have had, each year in unique and disasterous ways. Last year I don’t even know how I did it, one day the tree was fine, the next all of the branches were laying flat downward against the trunk and our ornaments were intermittently falling off it. The needles weren’t dried out, they were still green and fresh and perky. It was more like how I look in Barre class doing arms when they are like “just one more transition, you’re stronger than you know, the shaking is how you change your body, 90 more seconds…” and I am like WHA!? 90 seconds!? Not happening as I drop my arms and slump my shoulders in shame. That was our tree last year, our tree gave up. It was sad.

Pete does not care for Christmas trees. And he definitely doesn’t care for their removal process, which he usually decides needs to happen like the second the presents are unwrapped. And I can’t blame him, who wants a dead droopy tree in their living room? So he has- probably wisely- been campaigning for a fake tree for years. But I just couldn’t wrap my head around it- until last year I saw Bradley’s post on their flocked Christmas tree. It reminded me of my favorite artist, Will Cottons, candy landscapes and I was obsessed with it. So Pete and I made a Christmas-Compromise- he would get his fake tree, and I would flock-it-up!

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I did a lot of research on the best “artificial” (that’s the PC way to refer to them, fake is a little disrespectful- don’t you think?) Christmas trees and finally decided on the Fraser Fir from Balsam Hill. I also did a lot of research on flocking techniques, and settled on Sno-Flock, promptly ordered my supplies, pictured below, and got to work!
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Our tree arrived last week- and guys- I was so so wrong about the fake tree. I am obsessed with ours. I have actually not found it much more “convenient” than a real tree. At least this go around having to go through and open each individual branch and fluff them up was a pretty big pain. But according to the literature, that’s just what you have to do when it is brand new out of the box, and next year it won’t be so bad. But our tree came in this smart storage bag, on wheels, with a smaller second bag for the top piece. I unpacked it, wheeled it into place, and activated the “SMART FLIP” technology where you just push down this handle and it flips over branches splayed. OMG guys. I felt like Inspector Gadget. Wham Bam instant tree! I spent a goodly while going through branch by branch unsmooshing and opening up them up, and then once it assumed a pleasing shape, I got to work on the flocking.
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There are tons of you-tubes and guides, and I watched a lot of them, but it was really very easy. You just take your little squeeze bottle of water and spray down your area, and then sprinkle your sno-flock over it which dries/sets pretty quickly. The real next level technique is to spray the branch, then do your dusting, and then as the powder is falling try to use the squeeze bottle to spray the airborne powder towards the tree in mid-air. That method created the most “realistic” clumps.

I kept my flocking pretty conservative. Pete wasn’t initially 100% sold on the look, and I didn’t want to overwhelm him. I tried to give it a good even dusting all over, and I love how it looks- and most importantly so does Pete! Well really most importantly, so do the kids. Grace thinks I am a legit sorcerer who made it snow on our tree. I’m very pleased, though next year I might hit it with another layer to build up the snowdrift a bit.

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Another thing I think made Bradley’s tree such a star is that they really went for it on the look with the exclusively pink ornaments- and the way the whole styling of the tree compliments the overall vibe of their house. I knew I couldn’t do something quite so disciplined, but our living room also has a pretty specific vibe, and I wanted our tree to look like it fit with the design of the room. I decided to only use ornaments that fit with the color palette of the room, which meant a lot of pumped up pastels. I went through the ornaments we already had and sorted them separating out the ones that worked with the palette.

I filled another box with “Texas” and western themed ornaments to take out for our little tree at The Shmamptons. Other special ornaments, especially ones I have made with the kids, went into another pile. The other part of our fake-tree-compromise is that Grace gets her own real tiny tree for her room that we go pick out as a family- and Harry will get one next year too. This arrangement satisfied my need for the family tradition of going to the Christmas tree lot, it’s manageable for Pete, and Grace is enchanted. She was even more pleased that so many of her ornaments were ones she made, and she has been busy art directing me to craft even more snowflakes and paper chains to get the tree to her exacting standards.
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While the majority of our ornaments did work with the newly established palette- my Grandmother and I collected Wizard of Oz ornaments together for years which were particularly perect, we still looked a little sparse. So I went on Etsy and loaded up on mercury-glass balls in sky blue, pink, lilac, and yellow to fill in the holes. I thought it might be a little (unnecessarily) stressful working within my self-imposed constraints- but I have actually found it liberating. There are just so many Christmas things out there, and having some guidelines has actually helped me focus and choose better pieces to add to our holiday decor collection.

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We finished everything off with our Biscuit tree skirt, and the whole situation is just delightful to me. It’s fun and whimsical and oozes Christmas-y magic, but still feels like it could sort of live in the room year-round. I am going to be genuinely sad to take the tree down this year. But hopefully, since I can’t kill it, Pete will let us keep it around a little longer. I mean, you never know, maybe we will become one of those families who leave our tree up year round! Super normal stuff! 😉

Images by Molly Miller for Peppermint Bliss

Who will help me bake the Biscuits?

You know that old “Little Red Hen” thing? The “Who will help me sew the seeds, to grow the wheat, to grind the flour, to bake the bread…” Well the first few years of running Biscuit were a lot like that. I came up with the themes and inspiration behind the seasons, worked on the actual designs with textile designers, oversaw production, managed warehouse & inventory, bought coordinating merchandise, worked the sales floor, shipped orders, all the etc’s…

Which is great to learn a business inside and out, fantastic if you want completely burn oneself out- but not such an effective way to grow- both for me personally and the business. Especially if I am your little red hen and am pretty good at a few of those tasks, and really really bad at others (ahem inventory management). However, in all of this baking of the bread, the one thing I didn’t have much time to do is showcase it the way I had imagined when I was first conceiving of the collection. Which is arguably the part of the whole operation I am the most qualified for.

Luckily in the past year or two I have been able to bring on some farmyard friends who more than share the load, and things are really cooking now. So! No more inventory management for me- we are all better off. And, since taking a break from traditional client work, I have been able to focus on designing spaces that highlight the bedding line that I have really put my heart and soul into over the past few years. We produced our first catalog and lookbook for our debut at NY Gift Market in August, and have been hard at work over the past few months designing and shooting beautiful rooms with beautiful bedding for our next edition out in January.

Some of the rooms are shot in our studio at Biscuit, some are actual clients homes, and some are carved out creatively from various spaces as they become available to us from time-to-time. I want to share more about my work at Biscuit, and while some parts of it are probably of zero interest to anyone but me, I think seeing some of the lookbook setups might at least be an occasional pretty treat.

Hopefully it will be worthwhile to see the difference in the approach to designing for our lookbook vs. clients- or in the case where we are using a client space for the lookbook how the styling differs. Or, seeing how the design of a room can be inspired by ones bedding. I have especially enjoyed the process of creating spaces that bring out the best in our bedding, and show the prints how I always imagined they should be seen.

I thought I would kick things off with the first two rooms we shot for our previous catalog.

We shot both spaces when Leslee Mitchell was mentoring Molly for a week. The Boone, which was a print we had debuted a month earlier, was shot in our studio. The other shot was of a client space I had recently completed featuring our Katie dot in taupe.

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[Bed from West Elm // Bedding from Biscuit // Side tables from Urban Outfitters // Hermes art Desire Obtain Cherish // Vintage Rug]

The Boone as a print is one of my favorites, and a bit of a departure for Biscuit. We have another abstract painterly print, one of our bestsellers the “Austin“, but the Boone is a little edgier and I imagined a different client than our usual base. I wanted to come up with a space that felt more masculine, laid back, thrown together and cool. We had fun with the styling, bringing in props and even some art from my house. I love how strong a statement the bedding makes here, keeping everything else more simple and eclectic. So many times people want their bedding to blend, but I figure you have to have bedding on your bed, and especially when you are just starting out on your own, having to buy most things from scratch, why not make the things you have to have pack a punch instead of having to rely on superfluous decorative accents.

This is exactly the sort of space I imagined for the Boone when I was designing it. But the beauty of this print- and hopefully our whole line- is that it can work in so many different spaces, and I am currently working on a client bedroom that is completely different than this also using the Boone that we will be shooting for the next lookbook.

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[Wallpaper by Fromental // Bedding from Biscuit // Custom Bed // Bunny Williams Lamps // Mirrored Side Tables]

Katie was a print from our first season which we offered in a black and multi. She’s a good-ol-reliable crowd pleaser and since then we have rolled out quite a few color ways to go with other prints in our collection. This room is so fancy shmancy. It’s one of my favorite spaces I have ever done. It is difficult to capture how magical it is in photographs. That wallpaper almost sparkles- yet is dark and calming and cozy. It’s like floating through space, but not terrifying.

I had originally sourced some plain white bedding with an embroidered blue border for the room- I love using Biscuit in my designs but I don’t ever want to force it on a client and ultimately am there to source what is best for the room. Our client actually suggested our Katie dot in taupe because she wanted something with a little pattern, and to bring out the gold/champagne tones in the wallpaper & curtains without going too Liberace.

As a designer, the Katie seemed a little casual and preppy for the room initially, but seeing it on the bed, it gives a perfect subtle depth that works in the room without overpowering the rest of the design. To make sure it had enough sophistication for such a posh space, we accented with a lumbar pillow in a shimmery silk texture, and a silk Kumi Kookoon throw both in coordinating colors.

I love how prints from our line can work in two such completely different spaces. While some creative companies study market trends in their product design research, our line is inspired by traditional interiors and textile design. It has been so satisfying to bring to life some of the spaces that inspired the bedding prints themselves, and now on our second shooting cycle- to remix that initial inspiration and see the prints in a new context as well.

Images by Leslee Mitchell // Styling by Molly Miller for Peppermint Bliss