Three Ashleys, Two Kitchens: When to Hire an Interior Designer

Daly Kitchen Renovation Part 1

Bungalow kitchen Tulsa interior design

A 1950's Bungalow Kitchen

Home updates. Sometimes you get stuck. There are a hundred reasons why, but my reason is that I've lived in my little bungalow for just over seven years. The very first thing my husband and I did when we moved in was take off the doors on our upper cabinets in the kitchen. Our intention was to replace the cabinets with several rows of open shelves. It remains as it did on day one, now on day 2,653.

This, my friends, is the first installment of the epic tale of my kitchen's coming of age.

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Washer and Dryer in the Kitchen and Other Issues

Our kitchen is small; if you want to say it nicely, you'd call it sweet. I think the biggest mistake we made in home-buying was getting a house with the washer and dryer in the kitchen. Call me an American, but this feels innately incorrect. I am, however, happy it's not in the garage like so many of our neighbors' homes. I'd probably never do laundry then. That said, over the years, I keep telling myself people all over the world have washer/dryers in their kitchens. The kitchen, at heart, is a utilitarian room, and it could make sense to have clothes washing machines in there. The ones we have are just so big. Incredibly nice, but so so big.

Beyond the washer/dryer dilemma, there are other things we don't love that become increasingly bummery over the years. 1. We're not fans of the black and white tile. Hard to clean. Not quite our personal look. 2. The whole room feels cut off from the rest of the house. My husband is the cook, and it feels a bit like he is my servant locked away making my meals in a secluded room. I want him to feel really good about making my meals, so it'd be ideal for the kitchen to feel like a palace for him and his great skillz. 

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Our Kitchen Update Ideas

We keep discussing how to move the fridge here and tear down a wall there and get a washer/dryer combo machine to reduce its large footprint–maybe a smaller fridge? Maybe put the appliances on a different wall? What happens when we tear out this set of cabinets–we'll have to replace the entire floor, right? Yikes.

When we heard that Ashley Palmer was going to talk to Ashley Whiteside about a ground-up renovation of her kitchen, we got excited about the idea of someone else telling us what to do. We've had too many ideas over the course of too many years to make a decision. And furthermore, while I do interior styling for a living, I do not specialize in kitchen spaces where so much need for exactness and technical placement is required. So we gave friend and interior designer Ashley Whiteside all our thoughts and hopes and dreams and a link to our kitchen Pinterest board

We’ve had too many ideas over the course of too many years to make a decision.
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I Hired an Interior Designer Because I Wanted Someone to do it for Me

Ashley Palmer and I have found that the people who approach us to do interior work in their homes are surprising people because they seem stylish and have their stuff together, but the truth is, we all need a hand sometimes. And if you need a hand, the owner of that hand should be named Ashley. Just kidding. But really, it's a great name. And us three Ashleys are great gals. Hope you're excited to follow along as we take our meal-prepping rooms to the next level.

 

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Retro Den Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are upon us, friends. We've put together a little gift guide to make selecting that thoughtful local gift a little easier. But wait! What about your wishes this year? Before you do anything, come in and fill out our Retro Den Wish List (or just email us your list!), then tell your friends and family to come see us because the Ashleys at Retro Den know what you really want for the holidays. 

Now for that gift guide!

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1. Plants!

Succulents, air-plants and containers galore! Stop by the plant bar and pot up a succulent or two right here in the shop. We can teach you how or we'd be happy to do it for you! Our ridiculously wonderful selection of planters include both vintage and hand-built. We are especially into containers by local artists like Mudhouse Studio and the Makerage

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2. Wooden Letters

These letters were handmade for use in a foundry located outside of Oklahoma City. They worked as molds to create aluminum and plastic business signs for over fifty years. Gift one for home decor (hanging on a wall or leaning on a shelf!) or make a personalized ornament using our festive baker's twine.

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3. A Home Refresh!

Oh hey! Word on the street is our in-home styling sessions are a wonderful gift to both give and receive. Do you know someone who wants a home that brings them energy and joy? Well, you can give them just that for the holidays by getting two Ashleys to help them complete their space. See our home styling offerings to decide what package works best!

 Photo credit:  Molly Thrasher Visuals
 Photo credit:  Molly Thrasher Visuals

4. Vintage Barware

Decanters, ice buckets, pitchers, cocktail glasses! Everyone loves a good drink, especially around the holidays. Help your friend start her vintage barware collection or make a pretty contribution to your weird uncle's established one. Either way, vintage barware is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

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5. Lantern slides

We have a crazy wide selection of vintage lantern slides collected from across the country. Get a handmade wooden frame to hang your slides in a window or just lean it on the sill. These slides are a great personalized gift and great fun to look through.

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6. Vintage postcards

Our vintage postcard collection is top notch. Find a wide variety of genres from different time periods as far back as the 1800s. Some even have handwritten notes from decades past, which we think add to their character and value. Take a moment to flip through our postcard books to find just the right one.

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7. OK Collective candles

Hand-poured soy candles by local makers OK Collective. We offer three lovely scents - Teakwood, Oakmoss & Amber, and Blood Orange. Who wouldn't love a candle?

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8. Macrame plant hanger DIY kits

For that person in your life who loves a good DIY project, pick up a House Sparrow Fine Nesting macrame plant hanger kit. The kit includes step-by-step instructions and all needed materials. For those not so crafty people, pick up an already completed hanger in the store. And a plant. Did we mention we have those too?

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9. Vintage Chotskies

Oh man, we are your source for vintage chotskies. From brass animals to prop cameras, our shop is packed full with interesting objects that are fun to give and receive.

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10. Sticks and Rocks

No, really. You can buy sticks and rocks as gifts. Our driftwood is locally sourced from the Arkansas River and can be used as decor (try pairing with air-plants, pine cones or other greenery for a different look!) or made into other useful objects like a lamp. Also, remember the pet rock craze? Let's bring that back. Or maybe let's just agree that rocks as decor give a good natural look to your space.

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Pair with a card

And last but not least, take advantage of our one-stop shop with handmade greeting cards by the talented, friendly ladies of Laurel & Marie. The perfect companion to your local gifts.

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When you Shop Local

When you shop local, you are supporting the hard work of your friends and neighbors. You, the local shopper, make creative shops and businesses possible, and we really appreciate that. Thank you!

The Alliday Show 2016: Local Handmade Holiday Market

It's that time of year again! The time of year when we get super pumped to completely rearrange our shop to play host to fifteen local artists and the festive antics that come with the Alliday Show! Think food truck, DJ, Ginger Santa, coffee bar, holiday portraits, community projects, swag bags, and our ridiculously happy smiling faces! 

This will be the third year for Retro Den to host the Alliday Show, and we couldn't be prouder of the tradition that it's become. When the show's creator, Briana Shepard, approached us over three years ago with the idea of transforming our shop into a local holiday market for two days we were flattered and excited, but unsure of how it would exactly turn out. Well, it turned out to be awesome. And it's just gotten better each year.

 Ashley Daly (Retro Den), Ashley Palmer (Retro Den), Briana Shepard (Alliday Creator) // Photo credit:  Adam Forgash Photography

Ashley Daly (Retro Den), Ashley Palmer (Retro Den), Briana Shepard (Alliday Creator) // Photo credit: Adam Forgash Photography

Below are our top ten reasons why we love the Alliday Show:

1. It brings our community together. During these two days, we see so many faces, both familiar and new, from around our city. It's a wonderful place to show support for your community by shopping local for the holidays! 

2. We meet local talent. We are always in awe over the talent, commitment, and passion we see in our featured artists. Sometimes we even end up carrying artist wares in our shop year round–like Mudhouse Studio's mugs and planters! 

 Artist Katie Hinkle of  Sloan and Tommy  // Photo credit:  Adam Forgash Photography  

Artist Katie Hinkle of Sloan and Tommy // Photo credit: Adam Forgash Photography 

3. Ginger Santa. Ginger Santa will be in the den Saturday for the kids to visit! Everyone loves our nice Ginger Santa.

 Photo credit: Emma Jane Plunkett

Photo credit: Emma Jane Plunkett

4. Selecting a local shop to outfit us for the Friday night holiday party. This year we are going vintage (surprise, surprise) with Vintage Vault's fine selection!

5. Contributing to the community quilt project sponsored by wonderful local modern sewing and fabric shop, Owl & Drum! It's so wonderful to see people, young and old, adding to the quilt throughout the day. Street Cats is this year's non-profit quilt recipient.

Also, can we say how much we love Owl and Drum? They are our only featured artist with a physical location in Tulsa. You should go visit them. Like today. Go! It's so lovely!

 Photo credit:  Adam Forgash Photography
 Photo credit: Emma Jane Plunkett

Photo credit: Emma Jane Plunkett

6. Mangiamo's food truck Friday night. Meatballs subs, get in our bellies. Also, the coffee. The amazing Foolish Things will be serving up local cups of joe and treats on Saturday! 

7. The holiday portraits! This year we will be setting up yet another vintage living room scene as the backdrop for your (free!) holiday portraits on Friday night. Our photographer, Adam Forgash, has a knack for bringing out the holiday spirit in everyone. Trust us.

 Photo credit:  Adam Forgash Photography
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 Photo credit:  Adam Forgash Photography

8. Dancing! This year we're changing things up with DJ Afistaface! No one loves the holidays more than Andey. No, really. We cannot wait to bust a move with her holiday dance playlist.

9. The swag. Oh, lord. This year Briana got her sew on big time and handmade 100 (yes, 100!) swag bags for you all! They will be packed with swag from our awesome artists. We will give a majority of the bags out at Friday night's holiday party with a few reserved for those early birds Saturday morning!

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10. Seeing our shop host all of this greatness! Nothing brings us joy like seeing our shop filled with the people and things we love. 

As you can see, we have solid reasons for loving the Alliday Show. We can't wait to see you there!

Find a list of our featured artists for this year's show here.

Learn More About the Alliday Show
 Photo credit: Emma Jane Plunkett

Photo credit: Emma Jane Plunkett

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Meet Local Maker Briana Hefley Shepard of Bifftastica

 Photo credit:  Adam Forgash Photography

We first met Briana Shepard several years ago when she approached us to setup a vintage living room scene at her handmade holiday market, the Alliday Show. We agreed. The next year, she approached us about hosting the Alliday Show in our shop. We agreed. As you can see, Briana is very persuasive and has big ideas. A dreamer after our own hearts.

Over the years we've known Briana we've learned a few things about her–she's ridiculously organized, driven, and business savvy, she is crazy talented and can sew anything you ask her to (pillows, quilts, backpacks, clothes!), and she truly has the biggest, most wonderful heart. Needless to say, we love and admire this woman and are so excited to learn and share more about her. Please enjoy our Q&A session with Briana below:

Where are you from? I am a proud lifelong Tulsan!  

How long have you been working with fabrics? What is your history with them? I have been actively sewing for the past five years. I grew up watching my mom and Mimi sew their hearts out while I dabbled a bit and admired their works. During my teens and twenties, I obsessively made jewelry from broken pieces of jewelry. My creative fixation shifted when I was pregnant and started sewing odds and ends for our future child. Once our daughter entered our world, I was officially hooked on sewing. Nowadays, I would say I'm completely obsessed with sewing! I would sew every minute, if I had the chance.  

I was also raised in the antiquing world and was taught to seek out various valuables in interesting antique shops. This very important part of my history is evident in my everyday approach to gathering materials for my projects. I rarely go out to purposely buy fabrics, instead I let the fabrics find me while I do my junking. I will hold onto a particular piece of fabric for years until I come across its perfect mate.  

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Why is this your medium? I'm an incredibly visual person. The imagery that vintage textiles provide are works of art themselves, in my opinion. I LOVE that anything can be made with fabric! Sewing is an art form in which I believe I'll always be learning. That's so exciting!  

What inspires you? Being different has always inspired and motivated me. I love putting together fabrics and colors that some wouldn't particularly think of putting together and then using that to make something functional is incredibly satisfying to me!  

What do you enjoy about collaborating with our shop? Oh, I'm a huge fan of collaborating with you all, as you know! Your value of handmade goods is shown through your desire to showcase them in your shop and at Alliday, another collaboration of ours!  :)  The fact that you inquire about our thoughts as makers shows that you value the importance of the handmade movement.

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Why is art important in a home? A home should be somewhere that you want to be and I want to be surrounded with vibrant, meaningful goodness! I am a HUGE proponent of making your home a place that is functional for YOU, is beautiful to YOU, and is cherished by YOU. However you need to make that happen, do it! 

Why do you love Tulsa right now? As a lifelong Tulsan, I feel like we're finally reaching a point as a city that we've been working for decades to reach. We're embracing our small businesses, we're revitalizing areas that have needed TLC, and we're showing the rest of the country the goodness that we've got to offer. We've still got work to do, but we've made big strides since I've been around!

What is your favorite Retro Den piece in your home currently? I have so many different things from Retro Den! Furniture, plants, lamps (lots of lamps!), and housewares have all left your shop to live within our home. Retro Den is so wonderfully curated that I know I'll find something new every time I visit the store–and I visit it often!  

Thanks, Briana! Briana's pillows made out of beautiful vintage fabric can be found in our shop. Also check out Bifftastica, Briana's online handmade shop and learn more about the Alliday Show, Briana's handmade holiday market that takes place in our shop in just a couple weeks! 

Learn More About the Alliday Show
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 Photo credit:  Adam Forgash Photography