At Floor Coverings International, we love bringing you insight and perspectives from designers. Today, we have an interview with Emily Verbrugge, DIY home designer and blogger at Life on the V Side.
Floor Coverings International: Could you tell me a little about yourself?
Emily Verbrugge: My name is Emily and I’m a wife and a working mom of two young girls, with a love of design and home décor. I blog at On the V Side about all things home mixed in with a slice of our nutty lives from smack-dab in the heart of the Midwest. We started with a builder-basic house in 2007 with plans to start our family in it and, over time, create a space that reflects who we are, what we love and how we live. That’s my mission at our house: to make it 100% our home and (let’s get real here) try not to break the bank in the process. I believe your home doesn’t have to be perfect—just perfect for YOU.
FCI: Why did you decide to start a blog? What do you enjoy about blogging?
EV: Actually, I originally didn’t start out to create a blog. I actually started posting to the blog site out of sheer laziness— I was getting inquiries from friends or family members who would come over to our house, and would ask about things I was puttering around on. I initially used it as an online folder of projects I could refer people to if they asked about something. Then one day a random person on the internet commented on one of my postings – she had found a tutorial post in a Google search and had a question. That opened the window for me into the blogosphere, and it blew my world right open. I started following some home blogs and the more I saw, the more I wondered if I might have something to contribute. I went back and re-wrote those tutorials in a more blog-friendly manner, and things have just kind of evolved from there over time. It’s been a wonderful creative outlet for me, and I’m grateful for the people and opportunities blogging has put in my path.
What I love about blogging is the open community of inspiration – people sharing ideas and inspiring/motivating one another to try new things. I love looking at other blogs and feeling that ZAP! of inspiration, or having an “Aha Moment” where you immediately get the itch to jump into a new project. I love the creative buzz.
FCI: What do you enjoy about “do it yourself” decorating?
EV: There is an incredible sense of accomplishment in doing something myself. Now, I’ve learned the hard way through trial and error what skills are in my wheelhouse and what’s better left to the pros, but the entire process of DIY in general has given me a lot of confidence. I also know that in doing something myself, I have complete control over how it’s done and the end result (good or bad) is all me. That connection to the rooms we live in and the things we see everyday (I think) makes our house feel so much more like “us”.
FCI: How would you describe your design style?
EV: I would describe my style as Classic, Coastal with a Cottage twist. I love casual, accessible design that you can really live in. I try to make sure everything I incorporate into my home has a classic, timeless base that you can layer (and change) accessories and details to incorporate trends. I love light and airy coastal elements (yep, even in Iowa) and the time-tested elements of cottage living—a beautiful turned-wood leg, classic bead board and some good old-fashioned chippy, rustic charm.
FCI: Tell me about one of your projects that you’re especially proud of.
EV: To date I’d say one of my favorite projects was painting and updating the cabinetry in my kitchen. I mean, I get that painting kitchen cabinets isn’t exactly rocket science (and people have been doing it for years) – but for me the project represented a leap of faith and having the courage and the confidence to just go for it. The hardest part was picking up the brush for that first swipe of primer because there was no turning back after that. But I gave myself a pep talk, took the plunge and fell in love with the results. The project also included upgrading my kitchen island to include some architectural elements that in the past I would have deferred to my husband to take care of. But on this project, I did all of the carpentry myself and I wear that badge of honor with such pride. Now when I look back at the “Before” pictures I just shake my head and say “what took me so long to do this??” I try to remember that when I am shying away from or talking myself out of taking a risk.
Emily can be found at lifeonthevside.blogspot.com.