Monday, July 18, 2011

Shaw Floors HGTV Home Design Challenge

Looooooong post today but I'm just bursting with excitement to share the amazing experience with you, my dear blog friends! If you're like me, hearing about an awesome opportunity related to blogging when it's my blog buddy just fills me with joy to no end!  When I was invited to the all expense paid trip to participate in the Shaw Floors HGTV Home Design Challenge, I could barely contain my exclamation and hands in the air "YES!". That noise that you thought was thunder last month? That was me jumping up and down!  I've never had the opportunity to decorate a room from the floor up.  My main experiences are extremely tight/non existent budgets in my own home.   

Meet the Design Challenge bloggers:

Roeshel from The DIY Showoff
Cassity from Remodelaholic
Pam from Retro Renovation
Jill from Material Girls
 Katy from Charles & Hudson
Julia from Casa Sugar
Rhoda from Southern Hospitality

Lindsay from Living with Lindsay

Carmen from The Decorating Diva

Ethan from One Project Closer

I loved meeting these talented bloggers! Some long time virtual friends, some new! 
All super friendly and so talented!
Lisa LaPorta, Cassity from Remodelaholic, Roeshel from the DIY Show Off, Rhoda from Southern Hospitality, Lindsay from Living with Lindsay.
Cassity and I have already shared a sneak peek of the reveal with you...

Now here's the story of my intoxicating participation:

Last Tuesday I arrived at the Biltmore Inn.  I could hardly keep my jaw from hitting the floor of the bus as we drove up through the front gate and along the beautifully landscaped drive.  I imagined it must have been just the way Mrs. Vanderbilt felt the first time she arrived as she hadn't seen it before her marriage to George Vanderbilt. Breathtaking and overwhelming beauty of the lush landscaping and stunning Smokey Mountains in the background. 
Inn on Biltmore Estate: Hotel

My room at the inn was gorgeous...and there was a press package full of goodies awaiting my arrival.

After a long day of travel, nervousness and excitement, this bed was so inviting!

Check out my view of the estate and Smokey Mountains...

Later that evening, we attended a welcoming reception to meet the Shaw Floor team, the HGTV Home group and the bloggers as well as meet our design challenge partner face to face.  I was thrilled to learn that my teammate was long time e-friend, Cassity from Remodelaholic!  I've been a fan of her blog for quite some time and love her style.  She is just as sweet in real life as her blog persona reflects. Love her! 

(Not very many pictures this night...maybe when Shaw releases theirs.  I had my camera but we were all just getting to know each other and I wasn't comfortable snapping pictures.  Did I mention that I'm shy?)

The Design Challenge:  Design a room around a beautiful floor in the Shaw Floor's new HGTV Home line. 

The time came to be assigned a room ("bay") and to pick our flooring 'out of a hat'. Our room had a big picture window and board and batten. Great start!  Just our style.  Design fate was on our side when Cassity reached into the bag and chose "hardwood and area rug" for our flooring!  Again - exactly what we would have chosen! We immediately decided to design a living room in our space. One that we ourselves would love to have in our home.

Hardwood (Rockbridge/Dusk) and Ikat Panel Area Rug

Our plan:  A casual coastal cottage...sort of like this:

Just kidding!
The Biltmore is a late 1890s mansion in Asheville, NC.  We enjoyed a very interesting and informative guided candle lit tour.  No expense was spared in this place. As you can tell from the picture, it is enormous!  Every detail inside is over-the-top.  I can't even fathom having that much money ever, let alone over 100 years ago.  Seriously?  Who had an indoor lighted swimming pool, bowling alley, something like 43 bathrooms with indoor plumbing WITH hot and cold water, elevators, pool tables, granite, marble, picture frame molding and tapestries at every turn, fountains, 4 huge expansive floors of richly decorated rooms including an enormous library with spiral staircase? It's all self-sustaining with a village full of shops, a dairy and a winery.  I felt like royalty. We were treated like royalty too!  

We then dined in a beautiful garden courtyard on the Biltmore Estate. I swear it was decorated by faeries with twinkle lights and gorgeous centerpieces. (As you can tell, my mind wasn't exactly on camera settings! Oops!)

Look at the adorable place settings...I just love attention to detail, don't you?We had fun talking, laughing and getting to know each other and eating delicious foods and desserts.

We headed back to our rooms to get a good night's sleep for more surprises the next morning.  While we were sleeping, our flooring was being installed by elves. Not really elves obviously...but it all felt so magical!

Wed. morning, we boarded a bus for a three hour drive to our next destination.  While on the bus, each team was given a box full of magazines, fabric samples, little fun odds and ends, pictures of furniture and paint swatches along with our hardwood floor sample (handscraped maple) and a picture of the area rug we chose.  Cassity and I learned that we share a love for the same style and that girl is so creative, she made our design board 3D!  Putting together our design board was fun.  A chance for the inner kid to get creative with our passion for decorating and design.  Cassity and I are both inspired by vintage, texture, neutral backgrounds with fun accents bringing in color, rustic woods and traditional pieces. We decided on a beautiful light blue as the wall color.  We wanted accessories to pop in a cozy cottage atmosphere.

We arrived at Tribuzio Hilliard. TH is a commercial photo studio with movie set type bays (or rooms) with a warehouse full of furniture and every accessory imaginable from floor to ceiling.  My first impression was complete 'awe'.  I felt like a little girl in a gigantic doll house.  Talk about a dream come true!

And just like any good dream, things only got better when we were greeted by talented Lisa LaPorta of HGTV's Designed to Sell!  Oh my!  Star struck for sure!
There were our own embroidered director's chairs too!  Isn't that so thoughtful and awesome?  Every detail of this event was just so personal and special.  A girl could get used to this type of pampering!

Lisa was available for design tips, giving her opinions and advice and moral support and she was just darling overall. She is full of creative energy and a joy to be around.  She played a huge part in making us feel comfortable, less nervous and as if we were stars too! We had so much fun getting acquainted with her.  Of course we couldn't help but ask for an autograph along the way. 
Lisa LaPorta, Cassity (& Lydia) and Roeshel
Here is our room the first time we saw it. The flooring had been installed the night before. 

"Shopping" was done in the warehouse full of photography props.  So it wasn't real shopping, at least not in a store. I can't tell you where things were purchased.  But hopefully the room inspires those seeking the same look on how to re-create a casual coastal atmosphere.

We began our shopping in the furniture and architectural accent (fireplaces, lighting and more) section.  I even put on a safety belt and rode a hydraladder (or cherry picker) to view items stored near the ceiling!

Going up!

Every time we walked into this department, we spotted something new as if someone kept adding furniture when we weren't looking or our furniture fairy godmother waved her magic wand and there was the piece we'd been looking for!  It might have been that as things were removed by teams, more things were visible but I never had so much fun "shopping"!

Other rooms had floor to ceiling shelving thrift-store-style packed full of goodies: lamps, vases, baskets, throw pillows, books, candles and holders, silk greenery, planters, fillers, clocks, statues, throws, bedding, mirrors, art work, dinnerware, glasses, curtains, fabrics, even food and drinks!

We eagerly filled a couple of carts with ideas and great accents.  We then chose our accessories and even though the room wasn't ready for staging, we couldn't resist playing around and putting things together.
Cassity and me - taking a break from playing with positioning furniture and decorating before room is painted.
We even got to jump up into the back of a florist truck stuffed full of every type of beautiful fresh flower imaginable to choose whatever our heart desired for the room!
We then headed back to our hotel, the gorgeous Proximity Hotel and dined at the adjacent fabulous Print Works Bistro.
Proximity Hotel, Greensboro, NC

Social Lobby
My hotel room was stunning. High ceilings, beautifully decorated and another amazing view.  

Our room at the studio, chandelier and some accessories were being painted while we slept. Wish we had those DIY elves in real life!

Bright and early on the last day, we headed back to Tribuzio Hilliard to complete our rooms.  The paint was even more beautiful on the walls than on the swatch!  Love it!  We quickly got to accessorizing while our talented helpers hung the gallery wall art, installed the chandelier and helped with any little request along the way.
Thank you to our helpers!

This entire time, we had an amazing design assistant, Linda, who helped us along the way, searching for our decorative accents, working hard to make our vision become reality and pointing out professional photo things on our set that we wouldn't have known about otherwise. 
Cassity from Remodelaholic
Linda S.
Roeshel, The DIY Show Off
Cassity has the sweetest baby girls who gave our room a big thumbs up too!

Once our room was completed, Cassity and I were interviewed on video by none other than Lisa LaPorta to discuss our design and our room! We were blushing with pride and from praise.  I was a bit tongue tied.  Cassity's a natural in front of the camera.  There was little time for prep and I always think of what I should have said or could've added after the fact AND if I had known about the video, I might have changed out of my casual attire for something prettier but I'm so excited to see that video!

Here are some TONS of our after shots we took.  We can't wait to see the professional catalog-worthy looking photography of our design, hard work and pride and joy. 

Here's the wall you don't see.  Just like a movie set!

We went through all 5 rooms designed by 10 bloggers, 5 teams, each of us interviewed by Lisa LaPorta and I have to tell you...we're up against some stiff competition! I don't have a picture of it - I was being interviewed but the other bloggers listed above will be sharing their experiences and photos!  Be sure to visit them for more details!  Which brings me to the reason for the Design Challenge.  All five rooms will be displayed on Shaw Floors' Facebook page from September 1-30th where you will have a chance to vote every day for the entire month for your favorite room.  We really need your support!  There's something in it for you too!  More on that to come soon but don't worry - I'll remind you to get over there to vote and enter when the time comes. 

So, that's my fairy tale/dream come true story of the couple of days a DIY blogger got to play being a real designer. It's something I never in a million years would have thought I'd get to do.  Sure, I dream big just like everyone else and getting to do this, meeting my e-friends face to face and others who share my DIY passion as well as some pretty interesting and amazing people was just the highlight of the year. 

A HUGE THANK YOU to Shaw Floors, HGTV Home and Empower (Hi Rachael, Hi Ashley, Hi Taylor!).  And most of all, thank YOU my dear blog friends, because I know I would not have been invited it if weren't for you and your amazing friendships!  And I pray that each of you are presented with wonderful, dream come true opportunities one of these days too!  :)

Thank you so much for sharing my excitement! Want to see more details?  I promise you, you'll see more of our room by my awesome partner, Cassity at REMODELAHOLIC and I'll have something more to share with you coming soon!


Beth @ UnskinnyBoppy said...

AHHHHHHHH that is so cool!!!!! How exciting! I knew Rhoda went to this but I had no idea you got to go, too! WONDERFUL!

Your room looks fabulous! Congrats!

Beth @ UnskinnyBoppy said...

PS- how did you like that Shaw flooring? We are going to use some Shaw flooring in our basement that is left over from a job we did for a customer recently. It isn't from the HGTV line, but it looks exactly like real wood!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Great recap, Roeshel! You described it all perfectly, exactly what was going through my mind too. I have got to get my posts together. I took so many pics, it's hard to pare them down. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience!! Great meeting you too.

Lisa said...

You are one LUCKY LADY! Looks like a fun time! Your room is beautiful!

Miranda said...

Oh, Roeshel, you are a DIY celebrity! Congratulations on that awesome opportunity. We're living vicariously through you right now, and you've made us proud. Beautiful room!


dana @ wonder forest said...

holy smokes! you were right, it was just like a fairy tale! that looks like such an amazing experience, and WOW those locations you got to visit!! my heart jumped out of my chest when i saw the isle of shelves filled with home decor accessories! oh my gosh my excitement would explode in there!!!
xo dana

Stacy said...

How amazing!!!! I am so happy for you. Couldn't have happened to a better person :) That was so fun to read!

Anel @ T.N.C. mom said...

AAAAAaa! OMG was that exciting or what?! Thanks for sharing your pics with all of us

Tammy said...

How exciting! I bet you are still smiling from ear to ear, huh?

Thanks for sharing.

Pam said...

Congratulations Roeshel! You are so deserving of this! Your room is gorgeous. I would've been a bit starstruck too with Lisa LaPorta--LOVE her!! :)

Thanks for sharing!

laxsupermom said...

Terrific recap of an amazing opportunity! How fun to be able to meet so many other bloggers as well as Lisa LaPorta! I'm in awe of the accessories warehouse! Talk about heaven! Hope you were able to bring home the director's chair. The perfect souvenir of an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing.

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

I can't even imagine how overwhelmingly fun and exciting this must have been!! Congratulations and I LOVE the color scheme in your room! I'm a big fan of red as an accent and the way you incorporated in the chandelier and pillows is striking!

Laura/Hayestone/Design Share said...

So amazingly awesome!!! Congrats on such a great opportunity. I bet you had the time of your life! Well done.

Coley said...

Reading through that post I was soo excited for you! What an amazing experience! Lovely room as well!

Remodelaholic said...

Love ya girl! You got some great pictures! I was going through mine thinking, I wish I had this, and I wish I had that...

I hope we get to do something like this again!

my2girlies said...

Oh my goodness what a wonderful experience!! I love the Biltmore, they really "do it up" well!! I am still in awe of your room - amazing!! hey - can you send some elves our way? I just have to know - did you get to keep your chair?

Congrats on a well deserved honor!!


alanna rose said...

The room looks great!!! What an amazing opportunity, I'm so excited for you (and a little jealous,)!

Sabrina said...

WOW,WOW,WOW,, I love everything about the room you two designed, you both are very talented. You definitely got to live one of my ultimate fantasies, good for you. Bravo!!

The Mrs. said... Absolutely stunning!! I noticed a huge smile on my face as I read your post because I could just feel your excitement! Not to mention your room was BEAUTIFUL! So happy for you!

gail said...

time for a confession from me..I'm a skimmer. I skim over posts, just looking at pictures mostly. BUT
I scoured every word! I am so happy that you got this great experience. Little ole me had NO idea these places existed! (the TH) Biltmore, I've been to, (on a field trip with jamie in elementary school) It was fabulous!
The hotels where you stayed were awesome.
what a dream come true! So, so happy for you Roeshel!
The room is great! You and Cassity did a fabulous job.

Nancy @ dream it ... build it! said...

Sooo exciting- the director's chairs are awesome! Great job on the room.

The DIY Show Off said...

Beth - the flooring was gorgeous and I learned a lot about the great performance too! Great choice!

You guys! Thank you soooo much for sharing my excitement (and Cassity's too)! You're all so sweet and so supportive and it warms my heart! You're the best!

Oh - and they're shipping our director's chair to us! Woo hoo!


donatella said...

holy cowwww!!! congratulations!!! what a great experience!

De tout, de rien said...

Oh, wow, what a wonderful opportunity! Lucky you! The room turned out soooo beautiful! I got some accessorizing ideas for myself from it! Fantastic!

I'm so happy for you that you had such a great opportunity, meeting all these awesome people and getting to do a designer's dream project, "shopping" in an unlimited warehouse and just picking anything your heart desires. What fun!

Holyoke Home said...

Wonderful! Congratulations!!!!!

Sarah said...

Are you freakin' serious?! This is amazing!!! Congratulations, Roeshel!!! You deserve all of it. I can't believe you met Lisa LaPorta, that is unreal!!! The room is beautiful. Such a unique and cool experience, good for you, girl:)

glorystory said...

WOW! that's very cool! Love your photos.

Congrats to you!

Dee in BC said...

That looks like so much fun! Love your room, photos & details of the design.

yellowdog said...

WOW! Unbelievable! what an amazing opportunity, I am SO happy for you!! Congratulations and yeah, that room looks so beautiful. Great job!!

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

WOWZA!~ You girls rocked that place. I love it, absolutely gorgeous. Love the colors and all the detail. You girls did not miss a beat. Congratulations, what a wonderful experience indeed.

Mary said...

Amazing! Your room is so beautiful. I love all the details you brought into it. Please come do my house? And what an awesome experience. I hope it leads to even more incredible opportunities for you and your blog!

Tulip and Turnip said...

WOW!!! That looks like an amazing time! I've been to the Biltmore Estate is stunning!

Your room looks gorgeous, and it couldn't have happened to a sweeter person! Continued blessings! xoxoxo

Steph @ Birdhouse said...

Great post! I loved reading about all the details!

Catie said...

Hi Roeshel, I'm your newest follower. I just read your interview with Vanessa and Heather. Nice job. I was delighted to learn that you are one of the designers of my favorite living room!! I did a blog post Friday with some pics of living rooms I dream to have. Yours was my favorite!! You could check it out here.
The picture I have looks professionally lit and shot. Gorgeous!! Anyway, just wanted to say hi!! ~ Catie

Nicole said...

This is my favorite room:) Just love it ALL!! Are you able to share what paint color you used? If so, I'd love to know! It's the perfect backdrop for the amazing room...the rug caught my eye b/c I'd been scoping it out earlier this week at the rug store. This confirms it would be awesome in my home:) Great job!

The DIY Show Off said...

Thanks, Ladies!

Nicole - the color is Sherwin Williams/HGTV Home Copen Blue. (Come back Mon. 8/1 for more information on the room and a giveaway!) I'm so happy our room is your favorite! Mine too! ;) lol

Holly Lefevre said...

You lucky lady - what an amazing experience - you deserve all the cool things tat come your way...I wish I could have stowed away in your suitcase!

NYCLQ said...

!!! WOW !!! How cool was this? What a wonderful opportunity & experience you had! The space looks A-MAZING! LOVE the cool blue paired with subtle pops of RED! You did a really amazing job Roeshel - and how cool to work with another great blogger and meet Lisa LaPorta!

Congrats & continued success to you xo Thanks for sharing you photos & expereince (I esp. liked that last pic with your branded chair back in the forground!!)

:D Lynda

Dennis D. said...

That was an awesome tour you gave us through your entire experience. Must have felt awesome. Good luck to you both!

Dennis D. said...

Ps: I vote for you guys every day. Not because I want to win something ( I never do anyway) , I just truly love the room you guys designed and I am really rooting for you guys.....good luck

Dennis D. said...

Ps: I vote for you guys every day. Not because I want to win something ( I never do anyway) , I just truly love the room you guys designed and I am really rooting for you guys.....good luck

The DIY Show Off