Bench Auction to Support AIDS Services of Austin

We’re excited to participate in a special collaboration that’s kicking off a Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) event – Urban Picnic by Design (featuring picnic table set ups by 20 talented local designers) – held on September 11. Take a look at The Frank Bench! We’re auctioning this one-of-a-kind bench on our website, and all of the proceeds benefit AIDS Services of Austin!

Bench3The bench is a collaboration between Spruce, local interior designer Kelly LaPlante (who upholstered this beauty in our bench class using an Alexander McQueen-inspired velvet) and TreeHouse (which provided the industrial hairpin legs). It is named in memory of Kelly’s friend who battled AIDS for 34 years and passed away earlier this year.

Bid for the bench here! The auction expires at midnight, July 8.

DIFFA-Invite-1000x665-1

Alt Summit 2014: Highlights From My First Blogging Conference

When I first met Amanda, the very first conversation I had with her was about the awesomeness of Alt Summit. “If you’re into blogging, you should definitely go,” she said, after sharing some gems she learned about social media and SEO during her time at the conference in 2013 (which you might remember us blogging about here, here and here). Surprisingly, I had never heard of Alt Summit — once dubbed the “burning man of blogging” by the Huffington Post. Once I learned more about it, I knew it was something I had to experience! So, I packed my bags last week and headed off to Salt Lake City for a few days.

me taking notes

That’s me in the background, taking careful notes of what Susan Peterson of Freshly Picked had to say about her experience on Shark Tank! Photo credit: Justin Hackworth.

While I was at the conference (held at the exquisite Grand America Hotel), I met several wonderful bloggers, photographers, designers and entrepreneurs who inspire me to be the best marketer I possibly can. I learned the importance of collaborations, networking, creating effective marketing materials and using social media platforms, such as Pinterest, to their fullest. I’m still in the process of digesting all of the information I got out of the workshops, talks and networking events I attended. For now, I’ll leave you with a few highlights from this memorable experience.

Joy Cho of Oh Joy! started off the conference with an inspiring keynote speech about juggling work and being a wife and mother. She Joy ended with Thomas Jefferson’s quote, “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.”

Joy Cho of Oh Joy! started off the conference with an inspiring keynote speech about juggling work and being a wife and mother. Joy ended with Thomas Jefferson’s quote, “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” Photo credit: Justin Hackworth.

Winning an Oh Joy! for Target bowl

On top of the fact that Joy Cho of Oh Joy! was the opening keynote speaker, she “liked” our Instagram post of her. Call me a fangirl, but I was pretty excited.

See that Oh Joy! for Target bowl in the center of the table. It's mine!

See that cool Oh Joy! for Target bowl in the center of the table. It’s mine! Photo credit: Justin Hackworth.

Oh, and she gave away some cool serving bowls to a select few, and I was one of the lucky participants who won one. You made my day, Joy!

Someone asked Martha Stewart about making pie crust.

Martha Stewart was the keynote speaker this year, and we all had the pleasure of asking her questions. Several people asked Martha about her work-life balance, but one question was specifically about pies. Someone asked her if she uses butter, lard or vinegar in her crust. She responded by saying she uses butter for most sweet pies, lard for her meat pies and vinegar for a specific apple pie. There you have it, folks!

Martha Stewart was the conference's keynote speaker for the second day, and she was interviewed by Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom!

Martha Stewart was the conference’s keynote speaker for the second day, and she was interviewed by Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom! Photo credit: Justin Hackworth.

There was a Garden Party.

Alt Summit is a lot more than just workshops and lectures. It’s about having both a fun and beautiful experience. Thanks to generous donations from sponsors, such as Bing and MailChimp, the organizers were able to put together some fun parties, gorgeous flower arrangements and delicious food. Every detail – from the strategically decorated photo booths to the letterpress menu cards – was considered. The final event of the conference was an outdoor Garden Party, and Alt Summit went all out. There were mopeds people could pose on for photos, a croquet set-up, ribbons hanging from trees – and the majority of the participants were decked out in fabulous attire. Check out some photos from the event here.

The Garden Party was held in the courtyard of the Grand America Hotel.

The Garden Party was held in the courtyard of The Grand America Hotel. Photo credit: Justin Hackworth.

 

The best thing about Alt Summit is seeing so many stylish people together in one place. Here are a few of the attendees at the Garden Party, which concluded the conference.

The best thing about Alt Summit is seeing so many stylish people together in one place. Here are a few of the attendees at the Garden Party, which concluded the conference. Photo credit: Justin Hackworth.

Learning what’s hot right now

Apart from learning the trends in social media and blogging, I got a chance to see what’s hot in fashion and design. This is what’s trending with some of the most influential bloggers in the know: pineapples in design, Scandinavian braids in your hair, Pippet, jumpers with bold prints, ’70’s wavy hair, fluorescent colors, starting a stationery company, thick-rimmed glasses, gold, calligraphy, and food styling.

Take a look at some more photos from the conference!

After the first day, we were all invited to an outdoor party, equipped with food trucks and a DJ, at a park in downtown Salt Lake City. There were several dancer breaking along to the music, and some of the bloggers joined in the fun!

After the first day, we were all invited to an outdoor party, equipped with food trucks and a DJ, at a park in downtown Salt Lake City. There were several dancers breaking along to the music, and some of the bloggers joined in the fun! Photo credit: Justin Hackworth.

This is the Bing lounge. There were several lounges decorated by the participating sponsors, and attendees had the opportunity to get their portraits taken in front of the photo booths.

This is the Bing lounge. There were several lounges decorated by the participating sponsors, and attendees had the opportunity to get their portraits taken in front of the photo booths. Photo credit: Justin Hackworth.

The Honest Company donated several toiletries. They were arranged like this in the waiting area of the restroom, there for the taking!

The Honest Company donated several toiletries. They were arranged like this in the waiting area of the restroom! Photo credit: Justin Hackworth.

listening to how to put your editorial calendar together

All of the participants had a chance to pick up some tips about blogging from the pros in attendance. Here, I am learning about how to organize your editorial calendar. Photo credit: Justin Hackworth.

Some numbers from Alt Summit

Celebrity sightings: 2 (I saw actors Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ty Burrell of Modern Family at Bar-X, which is owned by Burrell)

Attendees who participated in our blogging book tour last year: 3 (Jessica Angel of Oh So Antsy, Melissa Bahen of Lulu the Baker, and Jeran McConnel of Oleander and Palm).

Hours Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked sleeps every night: 5-6

Susan Peterson is my hero! She had several great tips for entrepreneurs, including giving yourself a "warrior name" to help you during challenging circumstances. Her warrior name is Beyonce!

Susan Peterson is my hero! As the owner of a company that’s now worth a million dollars, she had several great tips for entrepreneurs, including giving yourself a “warrior name” to help you during challenging circumstances. Her warrior name is Beyonce! Photo Credit: Justin Hackworth.

Books Martha Stewart has produced: 85

Minutes the average person spends on Pinterest: 15 per day

handmadecharlotte

Rachel Faucett (left) co-founded Handmade Charlotte with her husband. She has five kids, tons of energy and great ideas and is wildly entertaining. I want to be her best friend! I’m applauding her (on the right). Next to me is my new friend Sean Timberlake, a food writer and a blogger specializing in canning and preserving. Check out his blog Punk Domestics! Photo credit: Justin Hackworth Photography.

The best time to post on Pinterest is on Friday, 3 to 7 p.m. EST! Thanks for the great tips Rachel Faucett (Handmade Charlotte) and Alex Evjen (Ave Styles)!

The best time to post on Pinterest is on Friday, 3 to 7 p.m. EST! Thanks for the great tips Rachel Faucett (Handmade Charlotte) and Alex Evjen (Ave Styles)!

Cards collected: 43

Times people said, “there are a lot of people from Austin here!”: 4 (Local creatives Anna Kamburis of Demi + Olive, Miranda Anderson of One Little Minute, and Nycia Emerson of Inspired Events and Designs were also in attendance!)

photo 5b

Me and Hillary Walker, the Dallas/Fort Worth blogger of Our Style Stories, in front of Eva’s Bakery. I had the best quiche in my life at Eva’s!

If you have any questions about Alt Summit, feel free to leave us a comment – or tweet us @spruceathome!


Amanda’s Favorite Deals of the Week

With all the late-night feedings, I find myself surfing the web a lot more than usual. The first few months of motherhood were filled with online shopping for baby clothes. But now that Lilee is fully outfitted to 24 months, I’ve decided to be more productive and philanthropic with my lactation time. So, here ya’ go. Straight from my rocking chair to your computer, my top five deals of the week.

deals of the week

1. Outdoor Egg Chair, $249.99 at Pier 1 imports. Hanging from the oak trees by my pool, please!

2. Floral Landscape Bedding, $12.90-$89.90 at Zara Home. Don’t have a bed for these? Use the fabric for lampshades, throw pillows, or even a roman shade.

3. Woven Top Table, $29.99 at Urban Outfitters. Add a glass top for extra durability. You can afford to at $29!

4. Map Wall Mural, $99.95 at Anthropologie. Hang this wall mural and chart your travel adventures.

5. Agate Handle Set, $24.99 at West Elm. These come in individual knobs, too. Love these for a mid-century credenza.

 

 


Spruce Upholstery Tip: Create Your Own Welt Cord Stick

Sometimes we work on projects that require miles of welt cord. Making a welt cord stick can help you quickly draw your welt cord on fabric. Let me show you how!

measure 1.5 inches

We use Masonite to make our welt cord sticks because it is durable, light, and doesn’t splinter. You can easily find Masonite at your local hardware store. The welt cord stick should measure 1.5″ wide. The length can vary, but I recommend using the full width of a 48″-wide Masonite board.

weltcord half inch tailIf you are wondering why 1.5″ is the width of the welt cord stick, it’s because once the fabric is wrapped around the welt cord, you are left with a 1/2″ tail. This is handy for sewing the welt cord on cushions or pillows since 1/2″ is the standard seam allowance. Lining up the edge of the tail to the edge of the fabric it’s sewn to makes it easy to keep a consistent seam allowance.

create your own weltcord stick with masoniteUse a table saw or a jigsaw to cut on the drawn line.

trace weltcord stripsWith your perfectly-sized welt cord stick, you can quickly trace both sides of the stick to draw out your pieces of welt cord instead of measuring lines 1.5″ apart.

 

trace double welt cordThis welt cord stick can also be used to draw double welt cord. As you might expect, double welt cord calls for a 3″ width. This is achieved by flipping over the stick once, which will double the width.

Do yourself a favor and make one of these pronto. You will feel like a welt cord pro. Do you have any upholstery tips? Share your secrets in our comment section!


Before and Afters: Summer is Here!

Summer’s here!

What are your plans this summer? Perhaps an upholstery project, as the blazing heat drives you to spend more time indoors? Or will you revamp your backyard and porch seat cushions so you can sit comfortably under your misters, sipping a cold one? Our late spring clients have done just that. Be inspired by these summer-ready makeovers – unofficially themed “cool in the pool”!

See our first revamp below: a sandy beige set of chairs gets excellent! Before…

Nicholson before blog

After! The Robert Allen textile chosen has a Native American and Ikat/Mid-Eastern flair. This fabric is at once on-trend, but also dimensional enough to be a lasting anchor in the interior. ¡Que padre!

Our next before-and-after features a covetable vintage find from 1stdibs.coms, one of those websites I have to actively stay away from. I could grow old scrolling through furniture and accessories!

See before: an adorable child-size Art Deco-style rocking chair.

Askins rocker before blog

Askins rocker after blog

Askins rocker after 2 blog

Customer provided their own material – a durable and chic blue cream flame stitch.

Tah-Dah! What a treat for our client’s lucky child!

Our next project: a contemporary recliner transforms from makeshift to proper.

Lallo before blog

Lallo after blog

Fabric shown is Duralee 90885-260.

Wow! This chair is now elevated by the fabric. Something about this chair, the shape of the chair coupled with the fabric, makes me love this redo!

Next, a family heirloom enjoys a reprise. Before: dusty, crusty, and rusty.

Scruggs rocker before blog

After: true blue!

For this precious old rocker, springs were retied, all padding was replaced (per usual unless specified), and a traditional-with-a-twist textile was chosen to give it new life. Here’s to 100 more years!

Another makeover, another success! Here, a tired divan seeks help from Spruce.

Wright sofa before blog

After! A steely cool grey velvet is chosen for the next round.

Wright after blog

Kravet’s grey velvet # 32565-52 was used for reupholstery.

Pert and perky – this sofa is totally refreshed!

Next: a deflated biscuit-tufted sofa.

Plume before blog

After:  totally tubular! Puffed, stuffed, so buff!

Plume after blog

Plume after blog 2

This piece was covered in the customer’s own material, a nubby mid-century style texture in deep lake blue.

 

Consider this last before and after the inflatable pool toy of the bunch! We have a screen shot of the piece below in its original state. Our young clients are egg chair collectors! Before: white fiberglass frame with a brown velour.

maldonado before blog

Maldonado after (2)

Fabric used is Kravet 31754-6.

After: Holy Moly! Our hip, young, collector clients employed Austin Paintworks for the fly paint job, and we lovingly reupholstered it after the hard part was done! Best ever!

We hope you’re inspired to use us in hydrating your thirsty upholstery! Let us know how we can help make your summer excellent!

 

 

 

 


Designer Spotlight Series: Jill May

This month, we turn our spotlight on Jill May, the woman behind Jill May Interiors — a full service residential interior decorating and design firm based here in Austin, Texas. We love Jill’s traditional meets modern sensibility, and we were happy that she took the time to collaborate with us for our series highlighting some of our favorite local designers.
A dining area Jill decorated in real life.

A dining area decorated by Jill May Interiors.

How did you end up becoming an interior designer? What led you to that path?

In 1998, while living in Beijing, I started Red Door Antiques. I sourced antique furniture, architectural pieces, accessories and contemporary art throughout China and wholesaled the pieces to high-end furniture and design showrooms throughout the United States. On occasion, while in China, people would ask me to decorate their offices and residences with my pieces. Then when I moved to Austin in 2002, a Red Door Antiques customer asked me to help design and decorate the new condo she was building. I’ve been decorating my heart out ever since.

What’s a decorative piece every person should own in his or her home?

Something that is meaningful to the person. For me, it’s a statue that my husband and I got on a trip we took to Peru right after we got engaged, a collection of 1920s picture frames that my dad got me when I turned 13, and a Honora Jacob painting that I bought for my husband for his 40th birthday. A home should tell the story of the people who live in it, and layering interesting and meaningful pieces into the house is the key to that. I have a weakness for great art. In Austin, one of my favorite galleries is Wally Workman. She represents some amazing artists, such as Ian Shults and Joyce Howell.

A breakfast area designed by Jill May.

A breakfast area designed by Jill May Interiors.

What are you favorite interior design trends for Spring? 

I’m loving the new Kelly Wearstler fabrics for 2014. They’re bold and subtle at the same time, and the color palette is incredible!

What can we expect to see from you in the upcoming year?

I’m obsessed with overdyed rugs, and I’m crossing my fingers that I have a client that will share my obsession! I’m planning a fall trip to New York City, and ABC Carpet and Home is definitely on the agenda – hopefully by then I’ll have a client who wants me to buy one of these gorgeous rugs for them.

A sitting room area design by Jill May.

A sitting room designed by Jill May Interiors. The pillows and chairs are by Spruce!

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

I love modern, traditional and everything in between. My personal design aesthetic is a pretty eclectic mix. For example, a living room would consist of a well-constructed American made sofa made by Lee Industries, an oversized modern piece of art and accessories acquired both from antique shops and West Elm!

Apart from showcasing examples of her styling, we presented Jill with a creative challenge. We asked Jill to curate two spaces using pieces from Spruce as well as other home goods. She created an entryway and a sunroom.  Let us know what you think in the comments section!

In this sunroom (above), I paired this fabulous sofa, pillow and chairs from Spruce with a vintage milk glass Murano chandelier and French school charts from Shop by Brown in Houston.

Thank you for taking the time to collaborate with us, Jill!


The Sprucettes’ Favorite Recipes for Summer

One thing you’ll notice when we have lunch in the break room is all of our meals are completely different. Amanda and Katherine will eat a sandwich (Katherine’s with chips and Amanda’s with gluten-free bread), Clar will have a wrap from Wheatsville Co-op or a perhaps a baked potato, and I’ll usually bring a stir-fry or curry from the night before to pop in the microwave. What we share in common is we’re passionate about food. We love it when people bring us delicious snacks (hint, hint) or when Katherine brings in her confections to share — which are always fantastic. This got me thinking about sharing our favorite recipes for summer.

If you try any of these at home, let us know how they turn out by leaving a comment! Bon appétit!

Amanda: Governor’s Mansion Summer Peach Tea Punch

peach tea recipe

In the hottest months of the year, all I want to do is cool off with a frosty beverage. This is the yummiest tea I’ve ever tasted! Perfect for a summer party or sippin’ on the back porch, you’ll make this again and again. Add 30 oz. of liquor to convert it into an equally decadent cocktail. I can see why this made it into Southern Living’s Best Recipes magazine!

Clar: Pan Con Tomate

pan con tomate
I’ve lately been binging on Anthony Bourdain’s travel and food reportage. This simple breakfast staple (pan con tomate) seen during his episode of Parts Unknown in Spain is one of my favorites.
Slice rustic bread and then slather it with flavorful and strong olive oil. Bake or toast it, and then roast some garlic in the oven at the same time. Meanwhile, shred firm ripe tomatoes on a grater, and toss the skins into the compost pile. Strain the tomato puree (and drink the juice!) Salt and pepper the tomato pulp and spread on warm bread with roasted garlic. Breakfast is served – buen provecho!
I love the satisfying and filling effect of warm bread paired with the freshest bright cool tomatoes. Great light summer breakfast or anytime for a tapas-style snack!

Katherine: Lemon Butter Cake

lemon butter cake Spruce Blog

It should not be a surprise that I am contributing a dessert for this installment of favorite summer recipes. I do not remember how I came across the recipe for this lemon butter cake, but I sure am glad that I did. I justify this confection as summer worthy because of its fresh citrusy flavor, and it can be served chilled.

For the cake

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (heaping)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest of two lemons

For the cream cheese filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9″ springform pan.

Filling:  In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high to high speed for about 5 minutes, until smooth and creamy.

Add confectioners’ sugar and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg and beat until completely combined. Add butter, both extracts and lemon zest. Beat until completely combined.

Cake: In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk in melted butter, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon zest until combined. Do not overmix.

Pour batter evenly into springform pan. Carefully pour filling mixture evenly over the cake batter until it’s about 1/2 inch from the edge of the pan. (The filling should cover all but the outer 1/2 inch, at which point the cake batter will be visible.)

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake has puffed up and a toothpick inserted near the edge of the cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove springform sides and allow to cool on rack for 1 hour. Transfer to refrigerator and chill completely before serving.

Serve chilled, with a little sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar.

Clarisa: Guacamole and Homemade Tortilla Chips

guacamole

People say I make good guacamole, so it’s become my go-to when it comes to whipping up something quick and easy to serve at parties. The secret to good guac is not to overcomplicate it. Growing up, my mom would make this classic Tex-Mex dip by mixing pico de gallo with mashed up avocados. It was pretty good, especially because she always made fresh tortilla chips, but I think I’ve refined it by focusing on just a few key ingredients. Simple is better, right?

I apply a simple ratio that will help you make this appetizer for any number of people. Simply use 1 Hass avocado per 2 people. So, if you plan on having 6 people over, use 3 avocados. For every avocado, you should have 1/4  small scallion (chopped), 2 tablespoons of cilantro (shredded) and 1 lime (juiced). Cut and peel the avocados and mash them with a fork or masher. I usually keep the consistency a little chunky. Blend in the scallions, cilantro and lime juice and then add Kosher salt to taste.

Homemade tortilla chips are the perfect partner for guacamole and are quite easy to make. Simply stack a few corn tortillas on a cutting board and cut them into wedges with a sharp knife, much like how you’d cut a pizza. You’ll get 4-8 chips per tortilla, depending on your preferred size chip. Fry them in a deep fryer or in a pan with vegetable oil set on medium. As soon as the chips start to shrink and turn color, remove them with a slotted spoon and set them on a plate covered with a few paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Wait until they cool and crisp before dippin’!


CRAVE Event Sparks Creativity

It’s been a little over a week since Spruce hosted its first CRAVEfuel event, and I’m still buzzing with positive energy. I sat down with four other speakers and 40+ attendees to discuss the ins and outs of creativity and how it affects our businesses and daily lives. Austin’s CRAVE hostess Andrea Genevieve asked, “What does creativity mean to you?” Such a broad question received so many specific and completely unique responses from the panelists. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the evening.

Crave-36

Left to Right: Jessica Sanders, Maura Ambrose, Natalie Davis, Chelsea Fullerton, Amanda Brown. Photo of Mel Cole of Cole Collective

“Don’t be afraid to make ugly things.” -Chelsea Fullerton of Go Forth Creative

“You have to be a hustler. We’re all hustlers up here.” -Natalie Davis of Canoe in response to what it takes to run a successful business

“My favorite quilt is the next one I make.” - Maura Ambrose of Folk Fibers

“Creativity is about making people feel something.” - Jessica Sanders of drink.well.

Crave-20

Photo by Mel Cole of Cole Collective.

Conversation ensued to reveal a crowd full of sharp, witty, and beautiful entrepreneurial ladies. Jewelry and graphic designers, photographers, makers and shakers of Austin were all in attendance. I found myself completely engrossed by every person’s perspective. So many times I’ve attended “Kumbaya” meetings only to find my mind aimlessly wandering as speakers went off on their unrelated or dead-end tangents. I can honestly say, I was completely engaged for the entire CRAVE event. Thank you all for bringing your positive energy, open minds, and friendly personalities!

Crave-7

Strange Fruit Public Relations gals Stef Shapira and Mary Mickel. Photo by Mel Cole of Cole Collective.

Crave-9

L to R: Katherine Baronet, Meredith Carmichael, Amanda Brown. Photo by Mel Cole of Cole Collective.

Crave-46

Photo by Mel Cole of Cole Collective.

Check out the CRAVE website to attend more events or contact Andrea Genevieve for more information. Special thanks to the amazing Sprucettes for organizing, cleaning, hostessing, and promoting the event, Andrea Genevieve, Mel Cole of Cole Collective for the photographs, and the charming panel of speakers (Chelsea Fullerton of Go Forth Creative, Natalie Davis of Canoe, Maura Ambrose of Folk Fibers, and Jessica Sanders of drink.well).


Join the Spruce Team. Now Hiring!

We’re hiring two employees at Spruce! Yes, we’re growing, and we’re now accepting applications for a part-time sales person and a full-time upholsterer. More than anything, we’re looking for high-energy candidates with a strong work ethic and a good attitude who embody Spruce’s DIY spirit. These individuals must be team players and should be familiar with Spruce as a business. Please take a look at the job descriptions below before reaching out to us.

shop hop 4

Sales and Administration Assistant (Part Time)

This is a customer service role that involves working in the front of the shop, consulting and helping clients find fabric, as well as helping with general administration and shop duties. The ideal candidate should be mature, organized and entrepreneurial. Although sewing skills and a general knowledge of textile, furniture, and interior design are huge pluses, they are not required. A working knowledge of Microsoft Office and basic computer programs is mandatory, as well as the flexibility to work some weekend days.

Duties include but are not limited to:

-       Taking accurate notes on client’s projects and facilitating project management from start to finish

-       Ordering fabric and checking stock and prices

-       Managing the organization and pricing of the fabric sample library

-      Photographing and listing retail items on the Spruce website and Etsy

-      Lifting large pieces of furniture

-       Miscellaneous tasks and errands, including some workshop maintenance

Katherine came to Spruce as an apprentice! Now she is a full-fledged upholstere

Katherine came to Spruce as an apprentice! Now she is a full-fledged upholsterer

Upholsterer (Full Time)

This person will work with Spruce’s production team as an upholstery assistant or as an upholsterer, depending on level of experience. While upholstery and sewing skills are a huge bonus, no experience is necessary. We’re looking for a person with strong attention to detail and craftsmanship willing to work really hard and learn the skills of upholstery. If you do have upholstery or furniture building experience, please send us photos. Job applicants will be brought in for a working interview.

Duties include but are not limited to:

-       Stripping furniture

-       Furniture upholstery, such as sewing welt cord, spring tying and using a pneumatic staple gun (as well as other tools)

-       Some woodworking

-       Lifting large pieces of furniture

-       Being in contact with solvents and chemicals

-       Miscellaneous tasks and errands, including some workshop maintenance

These positions don’t open up often, so now’s your chance! If you have the skills that fit the bill, send your resume ASAP to amanda@spruceaustin.com. We’re excited to meet you!


Spruce Upholstery Tip: Hanging Velvet

Tip time! At Spruce, we often cut out many or all of the fabric pieces for a project before we start upholstering, which helps us be efficient with our time. When working with fabrics that crease or scar when folded, such as velvet and leather, it’s handy to set up a spot where you can drape the fabric rather than folding it. This week, Frank made a simple fabric holder in about two minutes. Take a look!

Frank hanging pole

Using materials we have in the shop, Frank staples two ends of a strip of webbing together, making a loop to slip a pole through. You can use a metal pole, wooden dowel, or leftover tube from a bolt of fabric.

stitched webbing

It is helpful to run a stitch right above the pole to keep it from sliding out.

frank hanging fabric 1

frank tip

We also made our hanging station two-tiered for longer cuts of fabric. That’s all there is to it! Now we have a place to hang our cut pieces until we are ready to use them. Such an easy solution!


Spring Trends At Spruce

Spring is a big time for us at Spruce and, among many of our activities, we receive a host of samples from our fabric manufacturers’ new collections. We now have a handful of fresh fabric books and even a few new lines to offer you, too! Like clockwork, some of the trends we’re seeing in fashion and interiors have filtered through. From the turquoise trend to bold florals, ethnic prints, watercolor and confetti — we’ve got the best looks covered!

1. TURQUOISE

This trend has been hanging on for awhile! In 2005 and 2010, Pantone named turquoise the color of the year. I kid you not, we probably upholster a piece of furniture in turquoise at least 3 to 4 times a month. Turquoise is so hot, it’s almost behaving like a neutral these days! Mix it with other blue-greens and blues for a monochromatic look, pair it with compliments of orange, or add it to any interior for an element of surprise.

turquoise trend 2 blog

All aboard the turquoise train! Pictured is Robert Allen‘s Sophia Range and Aztec City in Veridian (top and bottom left), and Magitex‘s Enzo in aqua and turquoise (right top and botttom).

Pictured is Osborne & Little blank blank and blank.

Pictured are patterns from the  Osborne & Little Corniche collection in turquoise.

2. BOLD FLORALS

This one’s an annual classic, and is more related to human nature than this year’s trend. When fall and winter come, we grey-out, hibernate, wear sweaters and wool. When spring is here, we come alive and want to live outdoors! This spring, we’re seeing bright and bold florals that liven up the ho-hum of the last season.

Boldest, most luxurious florals from the masterful Christian Lacroix. Pattern shown is blankety blanket.

These are the boldest, most luxurious florals from the masterful Christian Lacroix. Pattern shown is Jardin Exo’chic in Bougainvillier.

New glory from Chivasso. Pictured are blank and blank colorways of pattern this.

New glory from Chivasso

Retro looks from Zoffany. Mid-century modernize with these!

Retro looks from the mid-century; modernize with these!

Osborne & Little pattern hoo ha.

This Osborne & Little pattern is Butterfly Garden. Graphic florals are so pretty!

3. ETHNIC PRINTS AND TEXTILES

We’ve seen this trend hanging around for awhile, as well. Different ethnic looks and textiles take center stage over the years. Here at the shop, we’re still receiving a lot of ikat, while new batiks and hand-block looks are filtering in as well. Embroideries are the splurge. My favorite ethnic look mimics a vintage North or Central American blanket.

"Oasis" in two colors from Chivasso. See this in person. The colors just don't translate on screen!

Oasis in two colors from Chivasso. See this in person! The colors just don’t translate on screen!

New fabric line in the shop! Loads of cool batik and hand prints from Katherine Rally Textiles. Great for pillows and draperies! New! New! New!

New fabric line in the shop! Loads of cool batik and hand prints from Katherine Rally Textiles. Great for pillows and draperies! New! New! New!

Lorca's blanket look. I love this trend! I would love to upholster anything in a blanket, or maybe just make a throw out of this fabric. RAD!

Lorca’s blanket look: pattern Zuni. I love this trend! I would love to upholster anything in a blanket, or maybe just make a throw out of this fabric. RAD!

Manuel Canovas's cool "Texas" pattern in cardinal. I had to! Look how cute!

Manuel Canovas‘s cool Texas pattern in cardinal. I had to include this one! Look how cute!

4. CONFETTI  AND WATERCOLOR PRINT

My favorite example of this idea is the Sonya Rykiel sample we just received. We will be getting a full book of this collection shortly, but here is a highlight!

A Sonia Rykiel design for Stark fabrics.

A Sonia Rykiel design for Stark fabrics.

Another Rykiel design for Stark fabric.

Another Rykiel design for Stark fabric.

Multi-color watery hues on one textile, or a lot of white space and a whisper of color, a gesture, a brushstroke — all forms of the idea are so cool! The look can be vibrant, romantic, whimsical, artistic, and add an element of the unique. Another hot craze is using indigo hues!

Desginer's Guild gold! As always!

Designers Guild gold! As always! Pattern is Almapura in Cobalt.

Designer's Guild wide watercolor stripe.

Designers Guild wide watercolor stripe. Mapuche in Azure.

JF Fabrics watercolor, even marbling-look pattern. So neat!

JF Fabrics watercolor/marbled pattern Goldberg.

Other interiors trends this year include hair on hide leather, blonde or honey-colored wood, and one trend report I read named corduroy as a top trend! What? Awesome! (If you need to see some corduroy, we have that too!) Even though Spring is in full swing, we have more new books and patterns arriving every week. Come and see what’s new!


Wallpaper is Always In Season at Spruce

Most people know Spruce carries a beautiful variety of fabric choices, but many don’t know we also sell wallpaper! Oftentimes, the perfect accompaniment to your furniture is a well-placed wallcovering. Let me highlight some popular selections Spruce carries.

A wide variety of wallpapers are available at Spruce.

A wide variety of wallpapers are available at Spruce.

A common misconception about wallpaper is that it’s old fashioned, dated and difficult to maintain. But several designers have been reversing those assumptions, creating lines of wallpaper that reflect a modern aesthetic and have an easy upkeep. We’re seeing wallpaper with typical florals, plaids and solids, in addition to pleasantly unexpected textures, colors and materials that speak to modern decor. Manufacturers are now making wallpaper that can be scrubbed down. These papers are produced with a blend of tough materials, such as vinyl and polyester, that don’t compromise the look of the product. If a wayward meatball flies into that newly covered wall, soap and water will do the trick. Knowing how much paper to order for your project has also become easier now that calculation methods are easily found on the Internet. Installation is still best left to a professional, and Spruce can certainly give some great recommendations for the installation. French fashion designer Christian Lacroix is creating some pretty breathtaking wallpaper options for Designers Guild that are heavily inspired by French and Spanish design. A couple of the designs are large enough to create a large wall mural, and one features a stylized scene of the French Riviera. If you’ve got a hankering for that haute couture vibe, you can’t go wrong with this collection. My favorites are some of the more daring designs, and I can never get enough of those butterflies!

Butterfly Parade

Wallpaper by Christian Lacroix.

 

Wallpaper by Christian Lacroix

Wallpaper by Christian Lacroix

Designers Guild’s Surabaya collection features primitive patterns, giving off a tropical vibe.  Along with classic indigo, colors range from acid green to neutrals, with some metallic foil thrown in for a twist. If you’re pining for an island getaway, these prints will tide you over.

Surabaya Wallpaper from Designers Guild

Surabaya Wallpaper from Designers Guild

Surabaya Wallpaper from Designers Guild

Surabaya Wallpaper from Designers Guild

SurabayaWallaper from Designers Guild

Surabaya Wallpaper from Designers Guild

Ralph Lauren is always a good choice for those looking for a classic look. Many of the papers have a subtle fabric texture, giving that extra dimension that is a big step up from flat paint.

Wallpaper from Lauren

Wallpaper from Lauren

Wallpaper from Ralph Lauren

Wallpaper by Ralph Lauren

The nautical and plaid papers give a sophisticated look to children’s rooms. Still a top quality choice, Ralph Lauren also can be an economical option.

Onyx Wallpaper from Osborne & Little

Onyx Wallpaper from Osborne & Little

Osborne & Little produces a sophisticated line of papers with metallic accents. The effect enhances the patterns which mimic the surface of stone, marble and other natural formations. These papers are great for adding a dose of flair without straying from a neutral palette.

Trianon Wallpaper from Manuel Canovas

Trianon Wallpaper from Manuel Canovas

Those who favor  traditional design will love Manuel Canovas‘ new line of wall coverings that play with the idea of classic toile de jouy, featuring illustrations of pastoral scenes that tell stories of days gone by. These are classic patterns punched up by some pretty electric colors, such as acid green and hot pink. Also featured are “souvenir” patterns, featuring a mishmash of objet d’art and architectural motifs arranged in playful ways.

Trianon Wallpaper from Manuel Canovas

Trianon Wallpaper from Manuel Canovas

Adding wallpaper to your home can revitalize any space. Whether you’re redoing a bathroom or the entire house, wallpaper can be just as important at defining your personal interior style as the fabric you choose to cover your furniture. We invite you to stop by Spruce and see what else we have to offer! If you have any questions about procuring samples or ordering wallpaper, feel free to contact us.