Décor whiz, Mom, military spouse and fantastic person all around, Kathy from @uptodateinteriors is a true DIYer! I often visit her site for inspiration and just to read some of her heart warming content. She’s also apart-time teacher and performing artist. Call her a pianist and organist! This woman is on fire and truly talented!
a.k.a.: Kathy, Kat
Age at heart: 20 and 60 at the same time!
Kids: a five yr old girl and a 9 yr old boy
Current title/Company/Blog: Up to Date Interiors
Year you launched your Blog: February 2013
When did you decide to go into interior design and become a DIYer?
The earliest I remember being a DIYer was when I started styling dresser tops, hanging things on walls, and even splitting up bedding sets to get away from the “out of box look” in junior high. I started painting at a very young age and my mother often referred to me as her “flower child”. In my adult years I started helping family members and friends decorate different spaces. I loved that they came to ME for advice. After our previous move to NC, I finally took an interior design class and started Up to Date Interiors but became instantly obsessed with the blogging side. As a mom, military spouse, pianist and organist on top of being a teacher
How do you manage your time, any tips?
Both of my children are school age so that makes it incredibly easy to keep a blogging schedule and squeeze in a few piano students during the school day. I only play for a few concerts during the year and usually only commit when my husband can be home in the evening to stay with the kids. It’s more difficult when he’s deployed but I try to not bite off more than I can handle, although sometimes I do anyways. 🙂
At times we all have trouble in decorating a room, any words of wisdom on where to get a bargain and where to start when decorating?
YES! If you are at a complete lost, first find things that you already have that you can’t live without or that tell a great story about your life adventures.. Then decide on a plan. What kind of feeling or mood do you want in your space? Any colors you love or hate? Look at magazines, Pinterest, and interior decorating/design blogs/websites for inspiration. Find common ideas in each inspirational picture to give assistance in deciding what you truly want for your space. For instant, is there a style of furniture or an all neutral color palette that keeps drawing you in? Clear everything out of the space, add in your favorite item (the ones you can’t live without), “shop” your house for other pieces that go with your inspiration, then create a shopping list of things you may want to add. I love re-purposing furniture with new fabric or paint to fit into the space. You can also look at resale shops, craigslist, and antique stores for great bargains. Don’t forget yard and estate sales!
What was your first ‘I’m a Grown Up’ experience?
When I was shipped away to Basic Training at Fort Jackson and wasn’t able to contact any of my family for a few weeks. Even though I had completed four and half years in college, it was the first time I had ever felt completely alone and I had to decide to either make the best out of the situation or not.
Take us through your day. How does a normal day for Kathy look like and how do you usually end it?
After the kids go to school I finish up that day’s post if I’ve been procrastinating. Then I catch up on social media, and read a few of my favorite blogs. Late mornings are often spent on DIY projects, decorating, taking pictures, and editing. I usually fit in a piano student or two in the early afternoon. Then it’s on to kid’s homework, picking up the house, and preparing dinner. I try to make it to the gym Tuesday and Thursday morning for a c-fit (similar to cross fit) class and a run on Sat mornings. I also take 2 to 3 mornings a week to spend with my girlfriends, they keep me in great spirits.
My favorite part of the day is the evening. My family and I sit down at the table, often with background music, and lit candles, and enjoy being together. I finish up the day by playing the piano for a little while or listen to my husband play the guitar on our porch swing. The kids go to bed between 7 and eight so I have plenty of time to schedule the next day’s post and mess around on the computer. Otherwise, it’s Netflix then bedtime!
You’ve shared a very personal story on your blog. How do you manage to be so open with your readers?
First I have to say it’s natural for me to be open. When I started writing my blog I wanted to come across to my readers as I do with my friends. I also think it’s a very important part of branding your business. Your writing style should be consistent but also reflect who you are. I’ve been blessed to have sweet comments, feedback, and positive support when I needed it from my readers. When I write, I really feel like I’m just chatting to a long time pal.
What is one key piece, a Jewel of sorts, you would share about Decor and Interior Design?
Can I give two?
😉 The first thing I always say is break up that furniture or bedding set! It’s the fastest way to achieve a well designed space. Second, don’t knock it till you try it. It may take you twenty different arrangements on your dresser top before you love it, but you will not know if you will love it or not until you try. Bonus, the more times you try, the more you learn for next time!
What has been a highlight?
The friendships I have made with other bloggers and readers. Also, the excuse I give my husband of having a business that allows me to decorate and style to my hearts content. (He is very supportive!)
What has been a lowlight and how did you bounce back?
During the summer I experienced a blogger’s slump. My children were out of school and we live so close to the beach… I wasn’t getting very excited about being consistent with my posts AND I wasn’t going to post if it wasn’t something I was completely excited about! To fix that, I took a little break and read other blogs, some who were experiencing the same thing. I took a day off, wrote a post about how I was feeling, and then was ready to get back to it! Also, it can be hard to not compare yourself to other bloggers. I set short term and long term goals to keep myself on track. I’ve committed to three years of blogging before I will even think about stopping or not.
What was the inspiration behind your blog design?
Up to Date Interiors was chosen after trying various names because it was available as a domain and conveyed the meaning of “staying up to to date with design and decor.” The slogan “love your space” is my favorite part of the logo. It has a much broader meaning and has to do with my personal philosophy. It means that no matter your living situation, whether you are in a rental with government issued furniture, or in the house of your dreams, you should love the space your in. It has to do with creating a space that does something for you and your family’s mood and needs. It means being more organized and productive in your daily life, spending more time with what and who you love and being satisfied with what you have.
What is the best part of your day?
First, when the house is completely empty in the morning and I have a cup of coffee and am sitting in front of my computer. Then, when my children run up the driveway screaming about their day and my husband gets home from work.
What advice would you give for holiday Decorations!?
Think outside of the box! I love handmade decor. Before you go shopping for holiday decorations, search the house for items that set the mood for winter or Christmas because of their color or texture. Create pretty vignettes on your bookcase and tabletops. Repurpose your old holiday decor in new ways. Collect old ornaments or color code them in a pretty vessel for your coffee table. Don’t like that out dated Nativity set anymore? Spray paint it for a fresh, modern look.
Favorite Lipstick color? Red but I only wear it on special occasions. I love classic looks!
Coffee or Tea? Right now Coffee. It may change when I move to Japan. 🙂
Finish this sentence: Be the woman…that you want to be. Set your goals high, don’t let others fool you into thinking you can not achieve. Stand fervent in your beliefs, maintain a positive attitude, and be the best version of you.
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