New artwork from Artist Chaunté Vaughn

New work in the Lars Print Shop from Chaunté Vaughn 

Click here to see the full collection!

Chaunté has the unique ability to capture beauty in the mundane. She focuses on the everyday, even decayed or traditionally non-beautiful subjects, but through her use of lighting and composition transforms them into stunning works of art.

Her color series in the collection highlights items from the grocery store and stuff that should be in the trash, but with the magical touch of stylist Kate Stein, they take on a new life where color is celebrated and lighting transforms them into an elegant still life.

Yellow Mustard” is our featured art print for our book club, Yellow by Michael Pastoureau. It’s a celebration of all things yellow–the color of happiness and optimism made even more so through the comical smiley face.

“This collection of photos is an oddball selection of exercises I’ve done thru the last few years. It’s one of my favorite things to be able to uplift someones home with art I’ve made. I’m so happy these might make it to you someday!”
– Chaunté Vaughn

Interview with Chaunté Vaughn

What do you consider yourself?

I consider myself a photographer. I like to do other creative things, but photography is how I earn a living.

How did you get started in your field doing what you do?

I started by taking pictures of my sisters when we were kids. I loved styling them and playing “photoshoot”. It feels like I’m still doing the same thing all these years later.

What did you study? Did you go to school specifically for what you do?

I originally studied painting and graphic design. I moved into photography because it was a faster medium.

What are you most proud of in your career?

My ability to repeatedly carry 50 lbs of photo gear up and down multiple flights of stairs.

What’s your work space like?

I shoot in different kinds of places all the time. Anywhere from big beautiful studios, to cramped offices, to muddy stormy beaches. It’s different every time.

What piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in a creative field?

Have fun and be nice. Draw or write what you think about, no matter what your medium is.

What’s coming up for you this year?

2020 has been really hard for everyone. Hopefully we can come out of it with a new and better perspective. 

How has the current situation affected your work flow. Any pivots?

I’ve started shooting more from home. The crew is much smaller:)

 

Where do you live? How does that influence your work?

I live in Brooklyn NY. Luckily, being here provides me with tons of inspiration. The creatives here are excellent, and there is no shortage of galleries to visit and see it all.

What does your dream retirement look like?

A beach, a lime drink, and a cabana boy:)

What artists/designers/creatives do you look up to? Both historical or present

Not many- because I’m 5 foot 10:)

How has social media influenced your work?

It’s made me hate squares.

What’s inspiring you lately?

I recently watched documentaries on Andrew Wyeth, Franca Sozzani, and Slim Aarons. I love hearing their stories and looking at what makes their work special. Also, I saw a retrospective for Agnes Denes a few months ago, her work resonated with me and reminded me that all artists touch the divine when they create.

 

Where else you can find Chaunté’s work

At chauntevaughn.com and on Instagram here

And click here to find the perfect print to brighten your walls.

The House That Lars Bought: Exterior inspiration

Colonial House Inspiration

Our house was built in 1991 or 1992 (all the records are different!) so clearly not a true Colonial (1700s-1800s). Plus, we’re in Utah so the colonial style is very much only inspiration. The House was designed very simply without too much adornment so there are a lot of directions it could go, but we plan on keeping it true to the style, but maybe just a bit more dressed up.

The first question is, where do we take it?

Here’s a reminder of what it looks like from a different angle. This was before we closed.

Inspiration #1

Because the shape is boxy and flat, a bit boring if you will, my first thought is to go all out à la Inspiration #1. We would do that by doing the following:

  • Add in dormer windows up top
  • Add some depth to the facade by adding in a portico and extending out the front door, rather than invert it
  • Widen the top middle window perhaps
  • Either paint the facade or lime wash it.
  • And, of course, LANDSCAPING, which gives me a goosebumps just thinking about it. But that’s a post for another day!
  • Adding in beautiful paned windows (ours need some help!)

Brittany’s Guest Room Renovation with Crate and Barrel

Wait…a room inspired by bath towels?

Oh, here they are. Look how happy I am because of them.

Exactly. That’s where this story begins. But to understand the story of our newly redone guest room, we first need to take a look at where the room started. As I’ve mentioned in the past, we live in a walk out apartment. At the time we first moved in we thought it had just two rooms. After a couple of years we discovered there was another bedroom and it was the best room in the whole place! It had served as our landlord’s storage room, but we soon found out that it was the biggest room that also received the most light. Not only that, but it had a bathroom with a bathtub, which is my favorite word in the winter time (I also consider bath tubs God’s gift to birthing mothers, but that’s a story for another day).

At the time I was working from home and after our discovery, our landlords generously offered it to us. I worked out of this room for a couple of years before moving into our Springville studio. The following year my brother moved in and lived with us for about a year and a half, and then Jasper was born and it kind of became this storage/guest room dumping ground. You know the kind of room I’m talking about, right? You’re horrified to actually let guests sleep there but you don’t really have any other choice? 

Yeah, that’s the one. SO, yes, back to the transformation….Crate and Barrel gave me the charge to redo our guest bedroom and I have a feeling they didn’t know what they were in for.  

Look at these before photos: 

I mean, it’s pretty standard rental: beige carpet, walls, outdated lighting. The three storage shelving units are our landlord’s and we’ve kept it for storage. It’s pretty handy, actually!

I’ve long admired Crate and Barrel’s company and how they originally started as admirers and importers of Scandinavian design (have you listened to the founder’s episode on How I Built This? It’s so good!) and how they basically transformed the home furnishings industry. I can get behind that. And they’ve remained true to their vision by providing well made, thoughtful design. 

We get enough guests that I know how I want them to feel, but I’ve never been able to provide that feeling until now. Ultimately, and even though we are in a basement apartment, I want them to feel welcome, cozy, and taken care of. Most of our guests come in from out of state and the country, thus, I want them to feel like they are getting a taste for Utah and all it has to offer. When I found this Pine wallpaper from Sandberg Wallpapers, I thought it was the perfect way to establish the alpine identity. It felt like an escape into somewhere majestic and cozy at the same time. Plus, it was one of the few that Paul and I could agree on 😉 

Bedroom furniture and linens

With the Pine wallpaper setting the mood for the room, I knew I wanted to complement it with warm wooden furniture. I chose the Linea II Natural Bed frame. It has clean lines and works perfectly with the wallpaper. Cabin fever, catch it! 

I paired it with the Dawson side table. I’ve never had a legit side table with a drawer in my bedroom before so I feel like this is a luxury.

To return to the beginning of our story, I knew I’d love something that would tie in the yellow of the striped towels and when I spotted the mustard yellow comforter, I knew that was it.  (This comforter now comes in three new colors for Spring!) It’s a beautiful contrast to the green of the wallpaper. I LOVED the look of the Lior sheet set. I’ve always loved hotel linens and this creates the same look but with a touch more decoration.

Bench

I loved the idea of having a place to set luggage and such, so the Tate King bench in Walnut was the answer!  

Rug

I wanted a rug to cover up the beige carpet because it bums me out, but I knew because of the wallpaper I couldn’t do something too intense. I went with the Azulejo neutral rug that has the perfect amount of pattern for this pattern-on-pattern lover, but is neutral enough not to collide with the wallpaper. And it’s a cut and loop pile so it works just great on carpet, which was one of my concerns. 

Dresser

A high priority for the room was a dresser. There are two small closets in the room, which we have to use because we don’t have enough closet space in the rest of the rooms, so we needed additional storage. I chose to go light with the dresser so that the room wouldn’t be too dark, so I chose the Gia Ash-7 drawer dresser, which fit perfectly under the window.

Desk

The same goes for the desk, which sits against the opposing wall. Paul will also be using the space as his office so he needed a work space that could contain all his equipment. I went with the Kendall Desk in cream and paired it with the gorgeous leather Lincoln Round office chair.

Lighting

I also was tickled to find a gorgeous table lamp, the Arenson, in a similar color way as the bedding. It’s uneven finish makes it feel so rich. Plus, it’s super sturdy and feels luxurious.

Artwork

Though I tried so hard to keep with the natural, woodsy vibe of the Pine wallpaper and accompanying wooden furniture, I couldn’t help but throw in some color. I just had to! I collected quite a few prints from our trip to Denmark last year to visit Paul’s family and the room was begging for it! The exhibition poster by Walton Ford added the much needed dose of unexpected whimsy I was going for in bright pinks and kingfishers, Paul’s favorite.

I needed to balance out the bold colors with another bold color, so I added in a print from my friend, Lisa Grue, a Danish illustrator, whose 20 Birds in a Tree print was perfect. It’s colorful touches like these that make me feel more at home. 

Other items of note: 

Crate and Barrel Guest room selections: 

Bed  | Bench  | Yellow comforterBed Linens | Yellow table lamp  | Side table | Dresser | Desk  | Office Chair | Rug 

The day we finished installing the room, Paul and I immediately decided that we couldn’t keep this to our guest room and we moved into the room that night. Ha! It’s larger than our real master bedroom and now, so much more comfortable. It feels like that hotel experience that I long for–you know…sturdy, clean and well-built. But don’t worry! When guests come, they will still be staying here and we’ll just trade rooms lucky ducks!).

Thank you to our brand sponsor, Crate and Barrel for working with us on this transformation. I’m a C&B lover for life! 

The House That Lars BOUGHT!

We bought a house!

We were right in the middle of shut down and working from home and GOING CRAZY when we decided to look! Our small apartment was/is bursting at the seams and rather than make space we decided we just needed to explore all our options. It was the only natural thing to do 😉 The unfortunate thing is that we LOVE renting. Ha! We’ve had landlords who have become family and it’s honestly pretty sad to move.

Some friends of ours were also looking and they found an awesome house at an awesome price and that gave us some hope. So we put it out into the Instagram universe…and the universe delivered! A reader pointed us to a house that had gone on the market that day and it was cute and adorable and at good price IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD. We RACED that day to get pre-qualified and our realtor for that house, Aaron Oldham, was so kind to make it happen. Well, sadly, we couldn’t compete with a cash offer. That happened a couple more times.

We did a ton of digging around and found out that there were/are going to be a ton of houses going on the market in our neighborhood in the next few months and immediately we thought of our dream home. Maybe that one would be one of them?

Yup! It was! We had been walking by this house for years and commenting on how we’d love it one day. It’s on a cute, quaint street that’s hidden and so quiet. I also knew that it was being renovated (I’m super snoopy ;). One day I mustered up the courage to knock on the door and find out what was going on. There was a worker who was doing the window mouldings who let me walk through the house. And then the realtor, who was also in charge of the renovations, came in and said that the owner would sell it to us AS IS.

It was shocking!

Because of the state of the house, it’s treated differently by loan officers so it took us a little while to figure out how to make it happen. With some creative problem solving and miracles, it happened! We closed last week.

And now, the circus begins! We have to QUICKLY put in flooring, bathrooms, kitchen and some other things to move in ASAP and then we will take our time after that.

Ready for a tour?

Kitchen

Here’s a view of the kitchen. Phase 1 of the renovation consists of finding used kitchen cabinets (already found on Facebook Marketplace!) and put them in. We’re not necessarily going for beauty in this first phase.

As you can see, there’s absolutely nothing. However, we do have a fridge and range in the garage waiting to be put in so we have something at least.

This is the other side of the doors from the family room. That entry leads you into the living room.

Living Spaces

And here you can see the staircase up to the third floor. There are 3 levels, the bottom level being a finished basement. In my dreams, and this was part of our original search, we were looking for something where we could put Lars in the basement. And I’m pretty sure it’s a go! Just gotta figure out some stuff there.

Ok, the basement. I’m not going to show you every room because they all pretty much look the same. You can see it’s the basement because of the concrete. There are three bedrooms down there along with a living space and two bathrooms.

And this section is for the kitchen.

Basement

I WISH the bathrooms still looked like this, however, during the week that we were trying to figure out funding, the owners proceeded with the renovations and removed all the bathrooms completely, so in the mean time, we have to put something quick and cheap in. I’m open to your suggestions!

Bedrooms

I’m not going to show you all the bathrooms because you will seriously not know the difference between them. They’re very much all in the same state right now!

This is the one room in the house with flooring, but it will need to come out once we figure out what we’re going to put in there. It’s the laundry room slash pantry.

The process to buying this house was probably one of the most complicated ways we could have done it and there were many miracles along the way and a lot of people helping us out to make it happen.

Legal help

Though I have many people I could thank publicly, I HAVE to give a huge thank you to my attorney, Sara Pendleton of Tailored Legal Services. She’s been our Lars attorney for the last many years and she’s also acted as a broker on a number of houses. She stepped in to offer us advice and guidance along the way so I felt secure and comfortable so we didn’t have to use a real estate agent, which cut down on costs on both sides. In the past she has acted as a broker for people buying houses and then gives a check directly back to you. On a separate note, as a creative business working with a ton of contracts, she’s the best! If you’re looking for someone for your small business, I’d HIGHLY recommend her. She’s saved me and my business many many times. Plus, her background is in the courtroom and she can fight so well and hard for you. But at the same time is so kind and professional. Email me for her contact if you’d like.

The future house

It’s rare to find any sort of colonial/Georgian house in this area. We were ready to accept a mid century into our lives. Mid century doesn’t speak to my soul so we are really floored that this one worked out. As you can see, it’s pretty bare and rather boring right now, but we have grand plans in mind for it and I cannot wait to show you the inspiration of what we intend to do with it. One day. 🙂

In the mean time, we have a TON of work to do to get it liveable so we can move in, HOPEFULLY in the next month or two.

If you have any tips on cheap and fast Phase 1 solutions for flooring, kitchens, bathrooms…I’m ALL ears! We gotta get a move on!

Give it all to me!