Before & After: Pete’s Biscuit Office

We were supposed to move into our new Biscuit offices at the beginning of December last year so that I would have a few months to transition the business and get things running smoothly before Harry arrived at the end of January, and I could take a little time off. But, best laid plans and all that, the offices weren’t ready until March which pretty much eliminated any hope I had of a “maternity leave”. Things was stressful, and Pete offered to take some of those things off of my plate and manage the business side during the transition so I could focus on the creative side/physical space- and, you know, breastfeeding/not losing my mind.

I set Pete up an office so he would have his own space when he worked from the store, which was a little sad and spare. Minimalist chic? We ended up enjoying sharing an office, working from the same space streamlined our family logistics, and it was especially nice to have him around when super helpful freight shippers would leave big furniture orders in the middle of our sidewalk. By summer Pete decided to license some of the technology he had been developing so he could focus on a smaller project that had recently turned into a dream opportunity- and he started looking for his own legit office space for he and his business partners. Unwilling to lose our man-power, I offered to properly fluff up his office and share our conference room with his business partners. We shook on it and got to work making his environment more hospitable, the results of which you may have seen in this instagram pic:

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But it’s not really a satisfying makeover until you can appreciate the full before & after and so I present:

2 BEfore

The Scary Before.

3 Before

We started the makeover by moving his desk chair from our home office, finding him a proper desk, and some comfortable chair for visitors…

4 yay!

And ta-da!!!5 desk

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Pete’s office doesn’t have any windows, and the white cinderblocks are, erm, a little institutional? So we pulled some pictures and art from around our house to warm it up, and filled in with some finds at our neighborhood flea markets, but the real game changer was hanging that giant nautical scene behind his desk. IMG_8082

I am not super detail-oriented, and while I appreciate a good gallery wall, the idea of executing one makes me feel mostly just tired.

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I will say a little planning goes a long way to preserving sanity- but once we had the basic framework we decided to just keep it loose. Perfection was not the goal, but I am happy with how it came out. I think the key to an interesting gallery wall more than anything is a mix of mediums, photography, oil paintings, watercolor, sketches, and some textural/sculptural pieces.

9 Gallery

The chairs we found are super comfortable, and they swivel which is always enjoyable.

11 Gallery

People tend to avoid color in man spaces, and favor tough surfaces like wood, metal, and leather but you need a little softness and pops of color to keep things warm.10 Gallery
This was a quick fix, we found all of the furniture, lighting, art and accessories one day and hung the gallery wall/put it all together the next, but it is one of the biggest transformations in terms of feel I think I have ever done. Which is easier to do when the “before” is so bleak, but it really is such a pleasant place to work from now.

I put some selections for any of you looking to create a similar look on your own, and when I was sourcing items I was so impressed by the options West Elm is putting out these days, you could do an awesome version of this room straight from the store- so I included how I would do the look for less as well!Pete Office Pete OFfice art Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 11.08.44 AM

1. Burl & Lucite Console 2. Eames Executive Chair 3. Black Lacquer Campaign Desk 4. Velvet Armchairs

 Large Scenic Piece, Work Hard & Be Nice To People, Juju Headdress, Abstract Watercolor, Equestrian Oil Painting, National Park Map, Shield Mirror

West Elm: Console, Desk, Desk Chair, Armchairs

#BISCUITHAPPYHOUR

We are feeling pretty Happy for the Holidays at Biscuit these days- we kicked everything off with Santa at the #biscuitpaintwall before Thanksgiving- thank you to everyone who came out! We were able to donate truckloads of diapers to Casa de Esperanza and it was the perfect way to get in the spirit of the season!

SantaPaintWall

(special thanks to Laura Sponaugle Photography)

Next up?

#BISCUITHAPPYHOUR every Wednesday for libated post-work Christmas shopping, with drinks served by some of our favorite local talents.  This week we start strong with our neighbors Anvil (dope) tomorrow from 5:00-8:00 p.m. (our friends at Anvil were rated one of the best bars in America, just saying, you should be there).

Every Saturday we have trunk shows with some of our favorite #Maker Lady Bosses- starting this weekend with Mi Golondrina (super dope). Cristina will be at Biscuit with a fresh batch of her one-of-a-kind embroidered dresses and tops December 6 10:00-4:00. We got a preview of the new styles and trust me- you will not want to miss out!

Make sure you follow @biscuithome on Instagram or Twitter so you don’t miss out on the fun- especially if you aren’t in Houston as we will be posting updates on how you can get in on the action from afar!

Merry Merry, Everyone!

xoxoHOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR

Santa at the #biscuitpaintwall!

Ho ho ho…..Christmas is coming a bit early to the #biscuitpaintwall this year. We wanted to find a way to give back to the community this season so we’ve partnered with Casa de Esperanza to host a diaper drive at the store. With the donation of diapers or wipes you can get your picture taken by the professionals with the real deal Santa. We hope to see you this Sunday! Wishing you happy holidays from Team Biscuit!

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casa

Welcome To The Shmamptons: Renovation Update

It’s been about a month since my last #WelcomeToTheShmamptons update, and we are planning to stay there for the first time in a mere 9 days. As a reminder this is our to-do list:

  1. Add decorative trim to exterior, replace front door, paint.
  2. Add door to front parlor to create fourth downstairs bedroom. Skim walls, prep, wallpaper.
  3. Remove built ins in Master ante-room to make space for bunk beds/crib, paint.
  4. Remove shower in Master, add shower plumbing to tub, larger vanity, reconfigure layout, prep for wallpaper.
  5. Take space from existing 2nd bedroom to make room for new bath, move doorway, paint.
  6. Add full bath with hallway access. Frame, plumb, new vanity, tile, glass shower door, prep, wallpaper.
  7. Paint kitchen & cabinets, remove island, replace countertops, move lighting.
  8. Replace mantel in family room, add bookshelves on either side of fireplace.

We are re-painting throughout the house, and replacing the majority of the lighting fixtures- but those are decorative changes that I will make over time so I didn’t include them on this list. Our initial plans were a lot more extensive (gutting the kitchen, adding on to the original home to create a true master bedroom suite, and two new full baths) but ultimately I realized I was overcomplicating the situation (super uncharacteristic ;) I know) creating huge solutions to tiny problems. So we scaled back our plans, and I am so happy with how simple changes are making a huge difference! But because everything in my life has to be a little complicated I tacked on HOSTING MY ENTIRE FAMILY FOR THANKSGIVING as the finish line for the project. Pete and I drove out on Saturday to check on progress, and I don’t know guys…you tell me.

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We have crossed a lot off the list, and I knew some things like the new bathroom, were never going to be completed in time- but whether you are the client or the designer this is always a tough phase in the renovation. That time period where you have been doing the dirty work for what seems like forever (whether the project is 6 weeks or 6 months- it tends to seems longer than you were expecting) and you have spent the money, and you know things are getting done, but there is not much to show for it. After managing so many projects over the years, I have learned to take pleasure in the small improvements, but psychologically people can only put up with so much “progress” before they need to see some actual pretty. It’s amazing how fast those finishing touches come together in the end, and I do think things will happen in time for Thanksgiving…I think…But I would still like to see some pretty already. So I leave you with this:

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Our final fabric/paint/wallpaper selections. Pretty please.

#CottonMakers

I have been meaning to post this forever, but now seems a particularly appropriate time. A few months ago we were selected to be part of a #CottonMakers series produced by Hearst and Discover Cotton highlighting people across the country who are making beautiful things with cotton. We had the best time working with their team, and I have been so inspired by the other makers highlighted as each video has been released. The videos were done beautifully, and it is a subject I have become passionate about in my work with Biscuit.

cottonfield

As I write this, Isabel and I are back at the factory in South Carolina printing Season 4 (!!!) which we will debut in the new year. We have gone in a different direction this time- only two prints in three color ways that we are really proud of and I can’t wait to show you bits of how this season was created. Our first three seasons were produced back to back within 11 months- Now it has been over a year since we were last here, the longest we have gone between printing. In that time we have grown so much and really started to define who we are, what we believe in, and where we want to go as a company. Having time to reflect on Biscuit, and coming here with two years of experience behind us, has been a huge reaffirmation of our commitment to support American industry.

It’s not just a concept or a marketing tool; It is one of the elements of what we have created at Biscuit that I am most proud of. It is a motivation for all of us to make Biscuit a success that can be enjoyed not just by our team in Houston, but by the people we work with in South Carolina and California who work every day against a lot of odds to ensure we can still have quality products made in the good ol’ USofA. I love that this #CottonMakers series highlights that, and I want to share more stories of the people behind our product with y’all as we go forward.

Thank you to everyone at Cotton for having us, you can check out our full video here and make sure to look around at the rest of the makers, there are some really inspiring people I was stoked to learn about!