Before & After: The Living Room

Hi all! I know I’ve shared a good bit of our family home over the past 2 years on my Instagram feed, but I'm excited to start sharing before and after photos here on the blog!

Over the two years that we have owned and lived in this home, we have done a lot of work- both ourselves and with various contractors. There is still SO MUCH that we would love to do, but I couldn’t be happier with what we have accomplished so far!

I want to start by sharing the work we did on the main living space. This is truly the heart of our home, and the biggest reason why we decided to purchase this house in the first place. This room is the first room that you see when you walk through the front doors. The sunken living space and the vaulted ceilings had us completely star-y eyed from the very beginning. The house was built in 1979 and definitely had a lot of updates that needed to be done. Overall, the things that were most important to us such as layout, natural light and space, were all already there just waiting to be brought back to life! 

Ultimately, the thing that led us to start the search for a new home was the need for more space. Sunwoven was growing and I needed a place for my looms other than our living room. My husband is a touring musician who plays drums, and was also in need for more space to work and practice. We were pregnant with our now two year old, Bowie, and knew my parents would be visiting more than ever. Space for them was also on the top of our list. When my husband found the listing online, he sent it to me and we both knew almost immediately that this was the home for our family. Another big selling point was the neighborhood. Less than 10 minute drive to downtown Charleston, a quiet more established neighborhood, and the best backyard for the kids.

Fun fact: When we bought the house, they were using it the film the first season of the HBO show Vice Principals. We purchased the home in June of 2015, but couldn’t move in until that August once they filming had wrapped up! 

A lot of what we did to this room was purely cosmetic. Lightening it up and adding a fresh modern vibe by painting the walls white and lightening up the floor. The distressed wood look on the walls called “Pecky Cypress” was already there. We just slapped a coat of white paint on it- which totally made it pop!  One of the more non cosmetic renovations we had to make was ripping out all of the drywall and insulation on the ceiling and replacing it with new drywall, spray foam insulation and new lighting. We also took out the railing that outlined the room, and replaced it with a wrap around step. Now the space is even more open and you can come and go as you please!  

 

BEFORE & AFTER

Rug: I purchased this rug from HomeGoods, but I found a similar one on Amazon!

Gold Hand Print: This print is from a local Charleston shop, Celadon.

Work Hard and Be Nice To People Print: School House Electric

Swiss Cross Plant Holder: Jennifer Helene Home on Etsy.

Mud Cloth Pillows: Maewoven

Gold Side Table: From Target, but I don't see it on their site anymore. Here is a similar one in copper!

Coffee Table: Gus Modern

Chartreuse Sofa: West Elm

Grey Chaise Sofa: Gus Modern

Mustard Throw: HomeGoods.

Planter in front of the grey couch: My husband made this! 

Hanging Chair: I got this chair from a local Charleston shop but here is a similar one!

Dining Room Table and Seating: I got this set from World Market. I don't see this one on their site anymore, but they sell similar ones!

Light Fixture: Overstock

Yes Banner: Secret Holiday Co.

Fireplace screen: I got this one from Kirkland’s. They no longer sell it but here is a similar one from Crate and Barrel

Paint color: Ultra White Base A by Valspar

Flooring: Natural birch engineered hardwood. 

I hope you enjoy the before and after photos! Please leave any questions you may have in the comments. I love to hear from you all!

Xx,

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Sunwoven for Anthropologie

I have been so excited to share the news about our textile collaboration that just launched with Anthropologie! I was approached by the company early last year about the potential for a Holiday 2017 launch. From my understanding, they discovered Sunwoven via Instagram, and then connected with me personally though this site. The inspiration for the textiles came from the "organic" style weaving-our most popular style and a signature look for Sunwoven. Color was important and we spent a lot of time putting together color combinations- which of course included gold metallic ribbon! Once the color ways were decided, I made a few different wall hangings that worked as prototypes and inspiration for what the product is now. 

I'm beyond pleased and proud with the way that they interpreted my work and what I love to do. The twisted wool yarn that is a staple in all of my handwoven wall hangings is used beautifully in both the throw and the pillows. The "Sunwoven for Anthropologie' sewn in tag was an unexpected treat that I was thrilled to discover! Im beyond grateful for this wonderful opportunity and thank each of you for your kind words and support.

There is more coming in December that I can't wait to share with you all!

Xx,

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The Business Side and FAQ's!

Thank you all so much for your kind words about the new blog! There's so much that I can't wait  to share with you, but I’ll start with some of the most FAQ's. I get a lot of questions about what sparked my interest in weaving. How I got started, my favorite materials, techniques, tools...etc. So here it goes!  I'll do my best to give you guys some insight on the history of Sunwoven, and where we are today.

I have always been drawn to creative professions. I was a ballet dancer from age 3 on, which lead to a professional career in ballet for 7 years. After I had my daughter Sunny, I taught ballet at a small studio in the Charleston area for a few years. As much as I enjoyed teaching and continuing a career in teaching dance, I missed having a creative outlet that encouraged self expression. 

Being a stay at home mom with a touring musician as a husband, a lot of my time was, (and still is) spent alone at home- especially after my kids are in bed for the night. That's what lead me to look for a creative hobby that I could explore from my spare time spent at home. 

A few of my very first weavings!

A few of my very first weavings!

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One evening I was reading one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess, when I came across a tutorial by Rachel Denbow. This was the first time I had seen weaving done in a modern way and done as a wall hanging. I was completely infatuated! Initially I was drawn to weaving because it allowed me to work with my hands, make patterns, use color, and explore all sorts of new materials- but eventually it became so much more than that. After my first loom and set of materials arrived in the mail, I started weaving and never stopped. As time passed, I realized that weaving not only fulfilled the creative void in my life, it was a form of meditation and therapy that was also strongly needed. At the end of the day, it felt so good to challenge both my mental and creative self, all while creating something completely handmade. Eventually friends and family were asking for weavings for their own homes which led to the opening of my first Etsy shop, (which I no longer have) at the end of 2014. From there, things just started happening! The Charleston West Elm location reached out to me about becoming a part of their "Local" program. I was absolutely thrilled and said yes without hesitation. Over time this lead to my product being sold online through West Elm and things really took off from there. It has been a wonderful opportunity for Sunwoven that I will be forever thankful for. 

I am often asked, "How do you do it all?" To be completely honest, I don't! There was a time when I was doing EVERYTHING on my own and it became really overwhelming. After a lot of thought and contemplation,  I finally took a big step and hired my first employee. Because of that decision, Sunwoven has grown to what it is today. Not only did this decision spare my own mental state and my growing business, It has given me the opportunity to meet new people in my community, teach them the craft of weaving, and create new jobs for other women. At the moment I employee a full time studio manager and production assistant who is trained in all of the woven textiles such as pillows and tote bags. We also have two recent Charleston locals- one of whom is a fellow stay at home mom (hero!) and the other, a recent studio art grad. They are both trained (extensively) to aid in production of the wholesale work we do through West Elm, and a few of the "made to order" items that we offer in our own shop. In doing so, this has allowed me the time I need to spend on custom work, new works, growing my business beyond just wall hangings and so on. But most of all, this allows me to keep my business moving forward, without sacrificing time with my family and children. 

There are so many great places to find materials and equipment, but I have had great luck finding a huge variety of materials on Etsy. I buy all of my looms from Lost Pond Looms. Roving from Fiber Felt N More and Purple Moose Felting. Some of the yarns I use is found at most nationwide craft stores, but I love to source out specialty yarns either from Etsy, or when I'm traveling. 

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If I left any questions unanswered, leave me a comment and I will get back to you ASAP. I hope that this gives you a better idea of how things work behind the scenes, and will hopefully provide you with the inspiration that you may be looking for to start your own business or new creative hobby!

Xx,

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