One of my favorite things about blogging and selling online is the opportunity to chat with people from all over about design and their latest vintage finds. Be they from New England or the South - we all have a shared passion for old beautiful things. With Instagram as our sounding board, we give a thumbs up and congrats to a fellow collector who acquired a vintage campaign chest or Bergere chair. It's fun sharing before and after pics of pieces transformed with a little TLC. Someone whose vintage finds I am constantly amazed with and who can turn a blah space into something glamorous and chic is Ariene Bethea of Dressing Room Interiors. I contacted Ariene recently about being featured on AnthologyHouse and she graciously agreed. I'm excited to share with you our interview, pics of her fabulous home, how she turned her passion into a career, and her latest venture - designing desk jewelry.
Ariene, I discovered your shop a little over a year ago on Etsy and knew I had found a fellow online friend who shared the same passion for seeking out eclectic vintage pieces for the home. When did the vintage hunting bug hit you and how did you know you could turn your passion into a career?
I was late to the blog scene and only started reading them in 2010. I was amazed at the vintage pieces people were using in their homes and where they found them. One blogger I followed, Dayka Robinson had an Etsy store for all her fabulous finds. I never heard of Etsy so I checked out the site and the rest is history.
My style is...ever evolving. I'm not just one thing, I love everything from California beach chic to Anthropologie. What is consistent is my love for bold prints, large statement lighting, saturated colors and black and whites. The main living spaces in my home are neutral and relaxing, but the bedrooms (still a work in progress) have bold fun wall colors. My plan is to use the bedrooms to reflex my love for color and prints.
If you could wish for anything vintage, what would be your ideal pieces and/or furniture?
If I could rub the genie lamp I would ask for a Vintage Brass Ibex Dining or Coffee Table, Porter Chair and rolls of vintage floral fabric, pretty please.
What has been your most rewarding shopping trip to date?
My trip to the 127 Sale (World's Longest Yard Sale). It was at that sale that I bought the first items to start my Etsy shop.
You recently started designing and selling your own desk jewelry through your website, Dressing Room Interiors. I am in love with your Pink Agate Marble line of paperweights. What made you decide to dive into designing new home accessories? Any lessons learned?
Aw thank you Alyse. I designed them with a blogger's lifestyle in mind. Many work from home and rely on their home offices to be inspiring, colorful and stylish. However they also provide a stylish desk accessory for those with full-time gigs that want to dress up their corporate office space. As far as lessons, I'm still learning with this new venture.
Besides being a curator for your shop and selling your exclusive desk jewelry, you are also the other half to Elle + Bae where you sell vintage pieces at pop up shops in the Charlotte, NC area. Why did you decide to start selling at pop up shops?
For a few reasons, first I want to open a shop one day and but in the meantime having a pop-up allows me to have a shop for a day or two. Secondly, mostly all of my furniture and home accessories sales are in California, New York, New Jersey and Texas. And although I live in Charlotte, NC I have no presence in the furniture/home decor market here. Our pop-up shops allow me to meet customers and let them know I'm in their own backyard.
What are three key pieces to a well styled home?
A large mirror, great lighting and a proper sized area rug.
What current home decorating trends can you identify with and which trends do you steer clear from?
I'm not one for design trends but I'm happy to see chintz making a come back because I love florals.
You had the opportunity to interview the fabulous Emily Henderson, designer extraordinaire and HGTV Design Star. What was the biggest piece of design advice she shared with you?
The biggest piece of advice she shared was if you love decorating with color, white walls are a must. This sounds like really simple advice, but when people start out decorating a new space, the last thing they think about is painting the walls white. White walls allow you to bring in tons of color in furniture and home accessories.
What’s next on the horizon for Dressing Room Interiors?
I see a brick and mortar in my near future! But until then I will keep finding pieces to help customers dress their homes in style.
Thank you Ariene for taking the time to chat with me. I look forward to meeting you in person one of these days. I know the two of us can do some damage shopping together!
To see more of Ariene's designs and shop her fabulous collection of vintage furniture, be sure to check out her blog, her Elle + Bae pop up shop, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram: