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0 In Interiors

How I’ve Streamlined My Cleaning Routine with BISSELL

This post has been sponsored by BISSELL ® . All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Like most fur baby owners, I consider my tuxedo cat, Gideon, to truly be a member of the Francois Family. My first born, if you will. But between the cat hair, litter box, and dirty paws (he gets supervised backyard play time) he rivals my 1-year-old in impressive mess-making. These two have a knack for it, really.

Cleaning the house isn't exactly my most favorite thing to do, so I'm sharing how I've streamlined our daily cleaning routine. When it came to my cleaning routine, I knew there was a lot of room for improvement, and this so-called ‘routine’ needed to be easy and attainable, or I’d never stick to it.

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11 In Interiors

A No Make-up Peek Inside Our House

Things are shaping up to be a busy year, and while I wouldn’t trade that for the world, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed sometimes. I’m at home with my 1 year old, Sylvia 3 days a week, and the other two days, I do Francois et Moi business. Sylvie will be off and grown in no time, so I’ve made the choice to do things this way.

On the days that I’m with Sylvia, I count on her naps to get a some work done (like I’m doing right now!). So I’m basically I’m flying between two demanding rolls, taking care of Sylvia and running my blogging business, and that really doesn’t leave much time during the week for keeping our house pristine. Ken and I share this role completely, so it mostly happens at the end of the day and on weekends.

Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly.

Anywho! Kyla of House of Hipsters asked me to join in on her No-Makeup Home Tour again this year. (Go here for last year’s tour.) And more than ever I was up for it, because look, I post pretty pictures of my house and DIY projects, but those are often styled vignettes–MY HOUSE DOESN’T ALWAYS LOOK LIKE THAT. As I mentioned, we struggle with keeping things picked up as much if not more than the next family, so that’s what this post is all about, being open and honest with our perfectly imperfect house.

  Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly. Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly. I put Sylvia down for her morning nap last Friday, and walked around the house with the camera taking pics for this tour, so this is an actual freeze-frame of after a long week… Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly. Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly. The first back hall image above is the part that we just re-finished. The 2nd image is looking the other direction in the back hall. It’s half painted (Sigh). We had to order more paint, and now we just need to carve out some time to wrap things up back here. Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly. Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly. Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly. Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly. I can’t say the dining room stays “clean”, but it certainly stays pretty picked up as it’s where we eat dinner. See those rogue crumbs? Life with a one-year-old!

Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly. Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly. Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly. Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly.

We struggle with keeping things picked up as much if not more than the next family, so that’s what this post is all about, being open and honest with our perfectly imperfect house.

Sylvie’s larger toys get corralled by the corner plant, which keep them out of the walkway, and the rest are stored in the TV cabinet. Oh the TV cabinet… since it’s right off the front entry, naturally, it collects stuff. Lots of stuff. Getting REAL with an everyday look inside our house--the non-styled version. A no make-up peek at the good, the bad, the messy, and the ugly.

Thank you for stopping by to see my not-so-magazine-worthy house! Make sure to take the tour of the rest of fab bloggers on the IRL tour!

Anita Yokota

Anne Sage

Bigger Than The Three Of Us

brittanyMakes

Centered by Design

copycatchic

Erica Reitman

Francois et Moi

House Of Brinson

House Of Hipsters

The Makerista

Making It Lovely

Megan Pflug Designs

Oleander + Palm

Room For Tuesday

Yellow Brick Home

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5 In Interiors

Slow Design: A Bedroom A Year In The Making

A testament to slow design, here's a look at the winding journey involved in designing our tiny 1930's "master" bedroom. If you follow on Instagram, then you know I don’t share a lot about our bedroom. The truth is, until recently I haven’t been able to figure out how to pull things together in here.  This room has hung out half done for months, and it wasn’t until just recently that they started to fall into place. Sometimes l feel like I’m so immersed in my own home that I can’t see it objectively–do you ever feel this way? Continue Reading →

In Interiors

Back Hall Makeover Design Board

Come see a sneak peek of what we have planned for our back hall makeover. Currently, it's a rough, forgotten space that desperately needs love! Sources included!

Pretending my back hall isn’t an absolute crap-hole (pardon my French!) has gone on long enough. I’m finally ready to make this tiny, forgotten entry more functional and all-around prettier with paint, wainscoting, and functional accessories.

Today is a visual teaser of the plan of action for the makeover. Check back next week (or stay up-to-date on Instagram) for the the full plan, DIY process, and reveal. Whew! I’m exhausted just typing the words. I have a lot of work to do in the meantime, but–spoiler alert!– it’s going to be a doozy!

Back Hall Makeover Sources:

Wall and Trim Paint Color: Kilz, Complete Coat, Tea Set White   |  Wainscot Paint Color: Kilz, Complete Coat, International Gray  |  Door Paint Color: Kilz, Complete Coat, Licorice Rope  |  Schoolhouse Light Fixture  |  Vintage Portrait (similar)  |  Brush  |  Pegrail  |  Beadboard  |  Dust Pan  |  Hand Broom  |  Scissors  |  Coir Rug

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In Interiors

Fiddlosophy Webisode 2: Why Vintage Rugs?

Vintage rugs, though made somewhat novelty by the boho design movement, blend beautifully with nearly every design aesthetic, and are very practical for bustling households. Pets, kids, winter boots, and pizza are no match for these well-made beauties, which are meant to look old and historic.  And! you can actually wash the rugs yourself in the tub at home with a little Woolite.

Here’s the 2nd webisode I joined Jen and Dréa of Fiddlehead Design Group for their long-running Fiddlosophy Series where we talk more about the goodness of going vintage in the rug department. Enjoy!

Need to know how to clean your vintage or wool rug? Go HERE for the step by step.

Fiddlosphy shares bite-sized design advice served up with a side of Jen and Dréa’s hilarious banter. Everything from tips for sizing your dining room light fixture to window treatments 101, they cover it all. Missed the first Fiddlehead x Francois webisode? Check it HERE!

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1 In Interiors

Fiddlosophy Webisode with Fiddlehead Design Group

A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune of spending the morning with Jen and Andréa of Fiddlehead Design Group. They invited me to join their fun and cheeky design series, Fiddlosophy as their first guest! Fiddlosphy shares bite-sized design advice served up with a side of Jen and Dréa’s hilarious banter. Everything from tips for sizing your dining room light fixture to window treatments 101, they cover it all.

The episode we created together centers around DIY: How I got into blogging/making things and advice for when to buy something for your home vs. make it yourself. Check it out!

I’ve known Jen and Dréa for years (from when I managed a trade showroom at IMS, the Minneapolis Design Center) and have always resonated with their Design Mantras, like “Less is More, Bigger is Better”, “Save Your Money Until You Can Do a Room Right,” and “Animal Prints are Neutral.” Jen and Dréa are a fearless design duo when it comes to pattern-mixing + color, and it shines right through in their stunning (and extensive) project portfolio. I’m including some of my favorite projects of theirs below, so you can bask in the inspiration too! #yourewelcome

I sit down with Fiddlehead Design Group for their killer "Fiddlosophy" webisode series to talk DIY and blogging. Come watch the video! I sit down with Fiddlehead Design Group for their killer "Fiddlosophy" webisode series to talk DIY and blogging. Come watch the video! I sit down with Fiddlehead Design Group for their killer "Fiddlosophy" webisode series to talk DIY and blogging. Come watch the video! I sit down with Fiddlehead Design Group for their killer "Fiddlosophy" webisode series to talk DIY and blogging. Come watch the video!    I sit down with Fiddlehead Design Group for their killer "Fiddlosophy" webisode series to talk DIY and blogging. Come watch the video! I sit down with Fiddlehead Design Group for their killer "Fiddlosophy" webisode series to talk DIY and blogging. Come watch the video! I sit down with Fiddlehead Design Group for their killer "Fiddlosophy" webisode series to talk DIY and blogging. Come watch the video! I sit down with Fiddlehead Design Group for their killer "Fiddlosophy" webisode series to talk DIY and blogging. Come watch the video!

For more Fiddleosophy and Design Mantras, head to Jen and Dréa’s website or subscribe to their Youtube Channel. And for a daily dose of design inspiration, their Instagram is a must follow!

Photos Courtesy of Fiddlehead Design Group

Video Production: Bullseye Media

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In Interiors

Life, Love and Textiles with Mili Suleman of KUFRI

On the coattails of the DIY Bench Cushion tutorial I crafted in collaboration with KUFRI Textiles a few weeks ago, I’m very excited to share a Q&A with KUFRI’s founder and designer, Mili Suleman. She gets REAL about not only her incredible handwoven textiles, but her personal journey, moments of struggle, and how she defines success. I actually get goosebumps reading her interview, so I hope you find her words inspiring too!

KUFRI Textiles' founder and designer, Mili Suleman, is on tap talking all things life, love and business. Get ready to be inspired by this girlboss!

Q. Could you share a bit about your personal journey and how it lead you to starting KUFRI?

A. I was born in Bombay, India, grew up in Oman (close to Dubai), decided to leave my family at 18 and come to the US alone to build my American dream (the show Beverly Hills 90210 had me convinced lol). I got my Bachelor’s in Sociology from Texas Christian University and Associate’s in Graphic Design from Collin County College, then I began my career as a graphic designer. After working with a design agency for a few years, I started my graphic design business, which was amazing. But I yearned for something more meaningful and complex so I went into discovery mode. I asked my mother to meet me in India to trace India’s textile origins. That’s how I fell in love with slowmade textiles especially weaving… KUFRI was born shortly thereafter and the rest is history.

My biggest lesson in life/business… whenever negative feelings creep up, I immediately remind myself “I have enough. I am enough. Doors will open when the time is right.”

Q. Where does the name KUFRI come from?

A. KUFRI is a place in India, a hill-station nestled high up in the mountains. People go there to escape. I felt it was a lovely name and resonated with feelings of peace and creative renewal for me.

KUFRI Textiles' founder and designer, Mili Suleman, is on tap talking all things life, love and business. Get ready to be inspired by this girlboss!

Q. What was it that ignited your passion for hand-loomed textiles?

A. Watching weavers practice their craft and generate a livelihood on their looms is beautiful to me. They are telling the story of heritage… a craft passed down through the generations. And I felt the trade world had a lot of print lines, but not much in handloom weaving, so I decided to go for it. I wanted to bring something different to the table.

Q. Tell us about the villages and weavers you work with in India.

A. I work in several remote villages in India as the craftsmanship is regional and each region has varying styles. A lot of our weavers are women or aging men and women, which is where I feel I create most impact. Providing them with on-going work gives me deep satisfaction because their means of earning income are very limited. Weaving is what they know. I usually go to India for 2-3 weeks at a time, and it’s continuous work, moving from village to village, state to state. It’s hard work and constant communication, but it’s worth it to me.

Q. Have there been any moments of struggle or failure along the way that have led to self-discovery or particular lessons in life/business?

A. I could write a book! My first marriage to my ex-husband, who was battling drug addiction, was devastating. It was a very dark, alone time in my life where I was very destructive to myself. With a formula of blind faith, prayer and 14-hr work days, a transformation began in all areas of my life. Since then, even though my work is in the outward-looking design industry, I practice a life of inward-looking. My biggest lesson in life/business… whenever negative feelings creep up, I immediately remind myself “I have enough. I am enough. Doors will open when the time is right.”

Q. How do you balance it all – marriage, owning a business, etc.?

A. I balance it by getting off-balance sometimes lol. I’m a workaholic but I try to run in the morning, go to gym, take an art class from time to time, cook and clean when time allows. The work is the constant in my life. Everything else happens when time allows. But I watch for signs… if i start to feel not quite myself, I know it’s time to scale back on work and do other things. 
My husband (we’ve been together 10 years) has accepted that I’m a worker bee and we have no kids, so it works out.

KUFRI Textiles' founder and designer, Mili Suleman, is on tap talking all things life, love and business. Get ready to be inspired by this girlboss!

Q. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?

A. Several from Eckhart Tolle but my favorite is
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.”

KUFRI Textiles' founder and designer, Mili Suleman, is on tap talking all things life, love and business. Get ready to be inspired by this girlboss!

Q. How do you define success?

A. I define success by the level of personal satisfaction I feel in my life. I look at the areas of money, mind, body, spirituality, relationships, personal and creative growth to help me detect my satisfaction; if they all read positive on the scale, I call that being successful.

KUFRI Textiles' founder and designer, Mili Suleman, is on tap talking all things life, love and business. Get ready to be inspired by this girlboss!

Q. What are your future goals for KUFRI and yourself?

A. For KUFRI, I’d like to become the go-to line for handwoven textiles and continue educating people about the importance of preserving this craft. I’d love to do a book someday and in the far future, open a handloom school and museum in India.
For myself, I’d like to explore Japan, UK and Alaska. I’d also like to finish renovating my house, which seems to be endless lol.

KUFRI Textiles' founder and designer, Mili Suleman, is on tap talking all things life, love and business. Get ready to be inspired by this girlboss!

Q. KUFRI is uniquely positioned within the design world. Tell us about what makes it different and unique from other lines?

A. KUFRI is an all handwoven line in a market full of printed lines, so that immediately makes it visually unique. Although, the most important differentiator is the quality of the woven cloth. When the weaver starts weaving in the morning, the weaving is nice and tight because energy levels are high. But as the day wanes, the weaving might get a bit loose, then tight again. The cloth being woven is literally a reflection of the weavers hand and energy levels. The imperfections give my line a rawness that is sublime. KUFRI textiles have a calm, quiet and subtle quality to them but still provide plenty of texture and character. They are the “new timeless” and made for us to pause and enjoy a moment.

Learn more about KUFRI Textiles at kufrilifefabrics.com and be sure to follow Mili on Instagram too!

Photos courtesy of KUFRI Textiles.

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