Hot off the press.

Spring fever is setting in, and in true Elaine fashion I have started my spring cleaning. Nothing is quite as euphoric as throwing something away. Actually that’s not true- I can tell you several things that are more euphoric, but let’s just say tossing junk is in my top 10.

It is around this time of year that I step back and take stock of what really matters. Over time things collect, both in our spaces and in our minds. So, it is incredibly healthy (and satisfying) to de-clutter in all senses- from your noggin to your nooks and crannies.

As the years of spring cleaning have passed, I have realized that my most valued things are not actually things- they are experiences. I have been able to relinquish “stuff” as I have realized that moments are all I need. Moments spent with people, connecting and sharing. So, in honor of dusting off cobwebs, tossing out the old, and relishing in the new  I thought I’d share some connections I have made recently that I have truly enjoyed.

 

THRIVE GLOBAL

I am a girl boss hear me roar! Click here to read my top 5 leadership lessons that I have crafted after 18 years of entrepreneurship. Don’t worry, there is humor involved. Not all things ‘business’ have to be stuffy- although I do talk about stuffing myself into Spanx and how it taught me a valuable business lesson.

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SACRED SPACES

All creatures of habit raise your hand! Click here to read all about how I have created my own sacred space and get a peek inside my home! Now, if only it was socially acceptable for me to put Kim Crawford in a sippy cup and go to bed at 7:30…

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Leave a comment below with your spring rituals and/or a recent connection that you loved!

XO, Elaine

 

Get Real.

True friends know each other inside and out. Quirks, fast food preferences, bad haircuts and all. No truth is too ugly to uncover, no wound too deep to heal. So let’s get real- here are 25 things about me.

 

Question 1: Guilty Pleasure?

Answer: That’s easy. Wine, Cashmere, and Massages. Bonus points if all 3 happen at the same time.

 

Question 2: Clothing item you wouldn’t be caught dead in?

Answer: Overalls, crop top, harem pants, culottes. I paid my dues with those already in life.

 

Question 3: First thing you do in the morning?

Answer: Roll over. Moan. Stretch. Repeat.

 

Question 4: Most binge worthy Netflix show?

Answer: Stranger Things. I’m already (un)patiently waiting for season 3!

 

Question 5: Favorite place in the world?

Answer: The St Regis at Princeville Resort in Kauai, Hawaii. It truly is like God took all of the best things he created and put them here- lush greenery, waterfalls, mountains, crystal blue water. It is pure magic.

 

Question: 6: Team you root for even when it seems that every season is a “rebuilding season?”

Answer: TEXANS! Rebuild on, I can wait.

 

Question 7: Currently pinning?

Answer: Inspirational quotes, home decor, and anything Meghan Markle.blogpost_25-01

 

Question 8: Signature Scent?

Answer: Amber Lavender by Jo Malone

 

Question 9: Who makes you laugh the hardest?

Answer: Kat McKinnon, and I have to say, the Will and Grace revival is insanely satisfying.

 

Question 10: Last thing you do before falling asleep?

Answer: Read. I’m currently still on my New Year Resolution kick of health so I just started reading The Dr.’s Book of Natural Health Remedies. This might be a coaster by March when my health dedication fades…so I’ll keep you posted!

 

Question 11: One thing that is saving your life right now?

Answer: Long. Hot. Baths.

 

Question 12: What is your Whataburger order?

Answer: #1 meal with everything. Hold the pickles and mayo. I’m still desperately searching the index of The Dr.’s Book of Natural Health Remedies for Whataburger but I just can’t seem to find it…

 

Question 13: How do you unwind?

Answer: Aromatherapy is a must. My favorite scent right now is the Serenity Blend by Doterra.

 

Question 14: Worst haircut?

Answer: There have been many. My perm days in high school, though, cut the deepest.

 

Question 15: What do you whisper to yourself when you need motivation?

Answer: “I can handle this.” I have a lot coming at me between owning my own business, a special needs daughter, and a high school senior. It seems someone needs something from me all the time which can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, but I try to reset my frame of mind by reminding myself that I can handle every curveball thrown my way. And if I still feel overwhelmed, I (man)handle  Whataburger while I figure out the rest as I go.

 

Question 16: Do you have a spirit animal?

Answer: Butterflies. Every time I see one I feel something deeper. It is almost like they are little earth angels sent my way to guide me and connect me to something greater than myself.

 

Question 17: What is your greatest blessing?

Answer: My marriage, without a doubt.

 

Question 18: What is your ultimate healer?

Answer: Humor coupled with a heavy dose of vulgarity and few f’bombs usually takes the edge off.

 

Question 19: Creative outlet outside of Design?

Answer: Writing. I find so much peace in getting my thoughts out- it’s the world’s cheapest therapy, monetarily-speaking, but emotionally, it is the richest experience.

 

Question 20: Any OCD tendencies we should know about?

Answer: My home. It’s my sacred space and it has to be clean at all times. You can come over and touch things, but I might sweep behind you as you walk out.

 

Question 21: You love interior design, what is one movie home you wish you could move into?

Answer: The home in the movie It’s Complicated– it’s a gorgeous ranch/Spanish Hacienda style home and it is what dreams are made of! Meryl can stay too…as long as she picks up after herself.

 

Question 22: Who would you trade lives with?

Answer: India Hicks. Live in the Bahamas and be British Royalty…sign me up! I’m currently writing her an offer for trading lives, but I’m not sure it’s a fair trade!

 

Question 23: Favorite TV Show?

Answer: Madam Secretary. I bow down to Tea Leoni!

 

Question 24: What has surprised you most about Motherhood?

Answer: How much my kids have taught me about life and myself. You grow up thinking it is the other way around but it’s surprising how quickly that changes.

 

Question 25: Current soundtrack to your life?

Answer: The sound track to The Greatest Showman is on constant rotation at my house. My daughter loves the movie and I love the message. It’s almost as if I needed this movies message as I moved into the New Year- it’s all about celebrating differences as well as having a vision and realizing that vision even when the odds are stacked against you. Having the soundtrack playing all the damn time is a great reminder for me to remember my goals are not out of reach no matter how many obstacles stand in my way.

 

Bonus Question: What are your favorite things to purchase on Amazon?

Answer: (Scrolls through order history…) Ardell Demi Wispies, Compagnie de Provence Hand Soap in Lavender, books (LOTS of books), Essential Oils, and Vitamins.

 

 

I’d love to get to know you more! Leave a few facts about you in the comments and let’s take our friendship to the next level.

XO, Elaine

E Talks Season’s Interior Design Trends with Laura U

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Elaine & Laura catch up at Beckrew Wine House.

Friends-

You probably know this by now, but I am deeply interested in interior design. I think this is the case with a lot of fashion designers, that a love of good design and creativity extends into other areas in life. It’s the home for me but it could also be art, cooking or gardening for others.

I am thrilled to feature Houston designer Laura Umansky on the blog today. I first heard about Laura U at an Elaine Turner photo shoot several years ago. We were lucky enough to host it at the most stunning home in River Oaks and Laura had designed the interiors. The theme of the shoot that year was retro Hollywood glamour and Marilyn Monroe was our muse. You can only imagine the interiors — they were absolutely gorgeous, and I loved meeting Laura and her adorable husband Michael.

So I was thrilled to reconnect with Laura recently over wine. It was so fun learning how much we actually have in common — we are both entrepreneurs who work with our husbands!  And we are moms and UT alums — go horns! I loved chatting with  her and getting the scoop on what’s new in interior design this season. It’s always fun to see any crossover in trends in fashion and interior design.

So enjoy my Q & A with Laura! Then head on over to Laura’s blog where you’ll find our lively discussion about fall fashion, and be sure to check out her stunning portfolio!  XOXO, Elaine

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Laura designed the interiors of a beautiful River Oaks home which was featured in an ET photoshoot several years ago.

ET: What trends are you seeing this fall in interior design?
LU:

  • Modern farm style – warm, rustic, clean and contemporary combined.
  • Deep colors – like crimson – paired with softer hues like clay pink or blush.
  • Green, green and more green! From emerald to sage.
  • Metallics, especially rose gold and bright silver.
  • Large-scale antique floral and botanical prints.

ET: What are some things readers can do for a quick fall refresh in the home? 

LU: My current obsession – table linens – is an easy seasonal change with a huge impact. For fall, I switched up my summery green, botanical, Oscar de la Renta table cloth for my Ember table cloth from my capsule collection with Ellisha Alexina. Instant Autumn vibes!

As an aspiring gardener, I believe plants make a home. Bring in fall colors via an indoor container garden. My favorites right now are Flowering Maple (while it mostly blooms through summer, it will also bloom right through winter) and Oxalis (aka Purple Shamrock), which has gorgeous, deep purple leaves. Aubergine is definitely a fall color!

ET: Any thoughts or tips on expressing one’s personal style in the home?

LU: While your large-scale upholstery and case goods set the tone for your home, your personality is displayed in the details. I am a collector of vintage vernacular photography, and it is a big element in my own dining room. Yes, the dining table rocks, but the photography is what makes me the happiest! Invest in what makes you happy, and display it in a thoughtful way. Music is always playing in my home because that is how I grew up: around my mother’s record player. I just brought a record player into my home so I can share my love of music (and vinyl!) with my daughters, and the super cool lucite trunk that I keep my records in is just a bonus!

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Laura’s dining room with the photography she loves.

ET: Tell us about your background and how you got into interior design?

LU: Art and design have always intrigued me. I studied art as an undergraduate, but I never felt like an artist — at least not a painter or a sculptor. However, I love to create, and I have always loved to linger in beautiful spaces, even from very young age. I drafted house plans and furniture layouts from the time I could hold a crayon! After graduation from UT, I was lucky enough to work with a fantastic designer. We focused on commercial interiors – mainly car dealerships – and this taught me to manage large-scale projects and demanding timelines. I then went to graduate school where I received my Masters in Architecture and landed a dream job even before graduation.

I worked for a firm designing amazing vacation homes in Cabo San Lucas – who wouldn’t want to do that? Here, I honed my project management and logistical skills while exploring the best of the best lines of furnishings and high design. The hardest thing I have done is to leave that firm and venture out on my own, but I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and the timing was right.

I opened my firm alongside my small, namesake, furniture shop: Laura U Interior Design and Laura U Collection. I had my shop for six years, but my heart was increasingly with my interior design projects. Because I felt that I couldn’t give my shop enough attention, I retired from retail in 2012 to focus solely on creating classically current, residential interiors and building a team of uber-talented interior design professionals. We all believe in leaving every space we touch better, stronger and more beautiful.

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Laura’s living room comes alive with pops of color.

ET: What’s your personal style — in the home, fashion-wise, etc.

LU: My style is super quiet, fashion-wise. I look at piles of fabric and tile all day, every day, and pull it together into a meaningful interior. To do that, I can’t think too much about my wardrobe, which is mainly monochromatic, but texturally rich. A go-to outfit will typically include a cream, silk blouse by Equipment Femme with simple black Joe’s denim, and my favorite cork shoes by my favorite shoe designer, ahem…

At home, my style is clean and collected and a little bit like my wardrobe: simple upholstered pieces mixed with textural fabrics and floorcoverings, and my art is my jewelry!

ET: How do you juggle the chaos that can come with running a business and motherhood?

LU: Two words: family and team. My husband works with me, and we have a united front and a strong partnership, both at work and at home. We are both entrepreneurs working on multiple businesses, which we are incredibly passionate about. It helps that we share this drive to create. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders and constant sounding board. My twin girls (Liv and Ryan) keep me totally grounded, and I couldn’t be more in love. It is totally chaotic with two 4-year-olds at home, but I welcome that chaos any day!

I am also lucky to have the best design and operations team in the world! While I pride myself on the fabulous interiors we design, I am most proud of the whole team here at Laura U. There is absolutely no way I could be as creative or as fulfilled in my designs without this group of amazing professionals.

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ET: What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs hoping to make their mark on their industry?

LU: Work hard, constantly learn something new, be nice, and be (tastefully) loud. When you are just starting out, be open to everything. Take every project that happens to cross your desk, and learn everything you can. Pound the pavement, get involved in your industry and community and be a diligent project manager. It’s not just about the design; it’s about managing the project for your client so they can focus solely on the design. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you make along the way (there will be a lot). Be prepared, do your research, but don’t make up answers. Always remember that your main strengths are your knowledge and your resources: know where to find answers, and go get them.

Most importantly, get along with your team, your vendors, trade pros, builders and subs, but never be a push over, and market, market, market. No magazine will come to you at the beginning. Get the word out about how amazing you are so no one misses you. Easy enough!

Connect with Laura:
www.laurauinteriordesign.com/portfolio
IG: @laurauinteriordesign
FB: @laurauinteriordesign
T: @laurauinc

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