Last week we took a trip up to North Carolina – just me and Jeremy and Maxi Knight! It was practically a vacation. Except it was blog-related. And we still had one baby. But let me tell you – not waking up several times a night because of nightmares slash a faulty diaper situation slash someone crawling into our bed and deciding three AM is the best time for a rousing game of poke the adults in the eyeballs, well, made this trip practically a vacation. #toomanybabies #nevertoomanybabies
Seriously though, we both were so thrilled to be able to attend this event and be part of a select group of bloggers hosted by Rust-Oleum. Jeremy handles the business side of the blog and I couldn’t have gone without Max plus I needed someone to take care of Max while I played with stains so having Jeremy tag along was the obvious decision! The folks at Rust-Oleum arranged everything in advance and it was held in Asheville (shoutout NC peeps!) at the lovely Biltmore Estate. The other bloggers that attended were Ana White (no explanation needed), Jen Woodhouse from House of Wood, and Jamison and Jamie Rantz from Rogue Engineer. If you don’t follow these peeps, you should because your mind will implode from the furniture building and designing skills they have.
When we got there, Maxi was so excited. During the whole trip, he was extra fussy – I chalked it up to missing his ‘entertainment’ aka his brothers. The only time he would get really chill was when Ana White’s kiddos were playing with him. I think his little baby brain was just thinking “I got out of the car!!!” when we finally made it into the room 🙂
Now if you have never been to the Biltmore Estate – it is really something else. Like you go on the guided tour and feel physically lost about ten minutes in because the house is just MASSIVE.
We did it about six years ago for Valentines day and I loved it just as much then as I do now. This time the whole thing was decorated for CHRISTMAS!!!
We couldn’t take any pictures inside but let me tell you, it was amazing how current it all felt. So many trends that are hot now are what is in this home. Does that mean they aren’t trends? Does that mean they are officially classics? It was gorgeous and amazing and I feel inspiration oozing out of me because of it.
That night we ate a super fancy dinner and felt shmoozed out the wazoo. The next morning we all met for breakfast at 8am before heading out for a packed day dedicated to something we are all passionate about – stain!
Max with his lobby buddies 🙂 I totally see a resemblance!
Our first stop was RPM Wood Finishes Group. This building had so much info my brain had trouble holding it in.
Our talk that morning was all about COLOR. How color these days is all about how it makes you feel. That means anything is fair game when it comes to color in our homes. Did you hear that?! It is coming from the color pros. Any color is a great color for your home! We also talked about how colors are decided for furniture trends SO far in advance. It’s kinda crazy how what you see in stores (the finish and style) is decided upon YEARS before.
These guys 🙂 We joked that they were the daddy daycare in the corner but honestly, they probably need to know more about this than we do because they are the man-power in our blogs 🙂 That’s Jacob White in the red hat…no big deal….just your normal Alaskan moose-hunting BUILD ANYTHING kinda dude.
We got news about color trends, techniques on finishes, etc. Like I said – brain having trouble holding it all in.
Out in the hallway we saw these combination boards and we all oohed and pawed them like diy-candy. I love ALL the finishes behind me. All of them. Cabinet doors on fleek I tell you.
I mentioned that Ana’s kids tagged along and I think I fell in love with them and they fell in love with Max 🙂
After that we headed to Heritage Home Group where we got to tour a furniture manufacturer and see the whole shebang – from lumber to finished furniture! Seeing the actual finishes go on in fast forward!
We also got to see their showroom – LET ME TELL YOU. You are about to be so inspired. I know I was. I loved the showroom and all the goodies it had. Let’s just get right to this chair….and the chairs behind this chair….and just about everything in this room.
And this dresser….
And this tall glass unit was on point!
The picture of this chair was eh…but in real life, it is so magnificent that I needed to share an eh picture just so you can understand how passionately I feel about a chair.
And this chair. All the chairs. ALL THE CHAIRS.
We all loved how the ceiling medallions were framed art here….
And this is my favorite photo….those pom-pom pillows! The huge padded headboards built into the beds! The faux wood lamp! That dresser!
Something anyone could make with leftover beach mementos….
I love how the art is so simple here….one framed striped fabric and one sketched horse. Done and done (and fabulous).
And this shabby chic dining room storage piece was so different that I had to take a photo…
Cute art again….and I love that candle holder!
Love the idea of switching out doors backs with mirrors on a sideboard! Also….leather screens with nailhead trim? YAS.
The actual finishing process was seriously an adrenaline rush. I could only show you by actually showing you these people in action. I was shocked by how many people actually touched a single piece from start to finish. And I was also shocked by how stinking smooth all the finishes turned out…every little smidge of a detail was attended to. Here is the video….
Did you see that guy spray the lacquer on those sheets of wood? Well behind him was a bunch of lacquer and polyurethane buckets all hooked up with hoses and spray guns. What takes me DAYS takes him moments. JEALOUS!
We got to talk about different wood species and how stain differently affects them and even how long the exposure on wood can change the stain. This is actually super helpful because when it comes to cheapo wood at Home Depot, the stain can turn out different with each project – even if you use the same color!
The manufacturer even had resident artists who could copy vintage artwork or replicate long lost finishes or WHATEVER! It was crazy good how the drawers below were getting the same details as the one with the gold edges. Isn’t that cool?!
Then came the really juicy part! The hands on staining tutorials!
We got to go into what I called a stain “lab” and try our own hands at things that were professional techniques and finishes. Max came with us but he had to stay in the back offices because I was crazy paranoid about his little lungs and any fumes. They told us that the filtration system was on point but I felt more relaxed because I knew he was in a non-smelly area getting entertained by our favorite Rust-Oleum friend Lisa. Safety first!
The very first project was a little funny – we actually broke out the stamps and paper to create this faux printed board. BUT the point was shading and how blocking areas off can help you create dimension on a flat surface and different substances (inks vs stains vs glazes) can show different and be removed differently – thus creating possibilities for new techniques.
Every one looks so serious.
And then after we got several HOURS of hands on tutorials, we got to distressing. I think that everyone loved this part because we banged up our own little cabinet doors and used stains that should be out in 2016!!!
Our group with our finished doors. Look at Gracie. Seriously that girl is my favorite. She is such a little tomboy and I LOVE it. She did a rosy stain with a distressed darker glaze and then added a little gold to hers 🙂 SO cute.
So I have MORE to share with you about these different techniques but this post is getting crazy long so I promise to share those soon!
That evening we hurried to this hipster place for dinner and it was part delicious….part terrifying 🙂 The meat and cheese tray surprised EVERYONE and we were dying laughing when the server told us that we were eating duck liver and piglet loaf and pickled carrots.
Then I ordered a filet and it came with marrow. I didn’t actually think it was gonna be served still in the bone. And then I ate it and it was amazing. Tasted like butter.
Jeremy’s steak was as big as his head 🙂
The next day we had a few more meetings about the Creative Studio (remember I shared that with you!) and they talked to us about how they want to share more challenges and give more prizes and overall keep improving the way that YOU MAKERS get inspired on that site.
Also we found the best gift basket possible in our room. The truffles were worth fighting for 🙂
I forgot to tell you….we stayed at the Inn at Biltmore Estates and it was GORGEOUS.
The exterior had epic views and we kinda felt like we were honeymooners or something! (aww my little thumbsucker!)
And inside I couldn’t resist getting a photo with Meryll’s costume from Out of Africa. That dude couldn’t resist photobombing me 🙂
After that we had lunch at this cute little tavern in the village. It was adorable and delicious and we got to chat with the other bloggers about more things to make our blogs better. I hope that you know how much you guys mean to me and I really am trying hard to give you guys great content!
Then we headed to the winery. Of. Course.
Will carry stroller for wine 🙂
So yeah. If you don’t already – go add Ana and the Rantz’s and Jen to your readers and make sure you follow all of them on all their social media channels too because they have awesome furniture plans and projects for your homes that they are constantly sharing!
And a big thank you to Rust-Oleum….you guys know who you are….we LOVED the trip and felt so pampered and special and appreciate you guys making the effort to share the knowledge with us so that we can share it with our little corner of the world! Sharing is caring! And we can’t wait to share more with all our readers!
Okay so stay tuned! I have big stuff planned for this week and I am so excited about turkey day and shopping! Wahhoooo! Break out the stretchy pants!