Dynamic Cousin Duo, Dawnelle Sarlo & Kirsten Warner
Any design hacks you wanna share?
Dawnelle: People always ask us what they should stuff their new pillow covers with. I love the look on their faces when I say… anything! You can buy an insert from a number of places, or you can use an old pillow you don’t like anymore, or take the filling out of an old bed pillow. Once you put the cover on, it doesn’t really matter much what it looks like on the inside!
Kirsten: I have this thing with not hanging my art. I have always liked just leaning it up against the wall and then layering big and small pieces. The outcome is super cool and you don’t put a bunch of nail holes in your wall.
What’s your 411?
D: I’m married to my high school sweetheart. We have three amazing babies who bring me more joy than I ever thought possible. My background is in interior design and I’ve wanted to own a business since I was a teenager. I’m working my butt off to live my dream and it’s been an amazing ride.
K: I am the youngest of three. My mom raised us kids as a single mother and she worked three jobs doing it. She has always worked so hard for us and I have looked up to her my whole life. When I was 20, I moved to California where I met my husband. We now live in Washington raising our little family.
What is essential to creating your personal sanctuary?
K: Surrounding myself with things that I love and have personal meaning. I also really enjoy having things in their place. I have to have things tidy. Having two kids can make this hard at times, but I am trying to teach them “momma’s tidy principles” so they can help with the effort! Also, super random, but I also love having candles and essential oils diffusing in my home. I change the scents with my mood and feeling.
Why is color so important? What does it represent to you?
D: Because, color! I mean, look at it! It’s beautiful! Our world is full of it. Everywhere we turn we are given these little gifts of beauty that nature provides. Can you imagine a world without the fall leaves? Without spring flowers? Without a fresh snow cover? Without a blue sky? Color to me represents life and that life brings happiness and joy that I want to surround myself with! It is my happy place.
What is essential to nurturing your creativity?
D: Being able to create things with my hands. I love running my own business, but it also comes with a lot of not-so-creative work that I can sometimes get bogged down in. I always, always, always feel fresh and rejuvenated when I am able to sit down and get lost in the creative process of making something, anything, with my hands. It is one of my very favorite things to do.
K: There are a few things that drive my creativity, and it centers around me feeling calm. This happens when my house is put together and everything is in its place. Then I am ready to open up and get things moving around.
Five tips for designing a nurturing home:
1} Fill it will things that you love. Wait for the pieces that speak to you.
2} Don’t be afraid to make changes, even if they are big ones. There are very few things you can do that can’t be undone or changed again.
3} Always include something living, whether it is a plant or a pet. Caring for something living brings a sense of responsibility and joy.
4} There are no rules that can’t be broken. You can’t let the rules stop you from creating a space you love.
5} Start with a piece that stands out above all the rest and use that to create the rest. It could be a rug, artwork, pillow, furniture. Once you have that piece, the rest will fall into place much easier.
1} Find pieces that you love and that have meaning.
2} Bring in plants to create clean air.
3} Don’t be afraid to mix prints with your textiles (find like colors and everything will come together).
4} Get organized.
5} Create the mood with scent.
What is some of the best advice you have ever received?
D: The only thing that you can control is the way you react to things. No one decides if you are going to be happy or not but yourself. This has helped me find perspective while also finding joy and happiness in everything around me and the things that I do. It has also helped me to realize that nothing is out of reach; as long as we work hard and have a good attitude, we can achieve the goals we set for ourselves.
K: The best advice I have been given recently is putting together an idea board. It helps you find what you really want. This could be in business or in life. I feel like if you know what you want and you have taken the time to write it down or create an image board, it will help you to make it come to life.
ORIGIN Rapid Fire
1. Something you always have in your bag? D: A Sharpie, my favorite writing utensil.
K: Lip gloss, diapers, change of clothes for kids and LaCroix (grapefruit).
2. The place you feel most yourself?
D: At home.
K: Doing yoga always gets me back to center.
3. Where do you shop to find your favorite pieces?
D: Online! Little online boutiques with unique finds. Or for sure when I travel!!
K: I shop Instagram these days. I find myself in this rabbit hole and no way out!
4. If you had to design a room in one color, what would it be?
D: That isn’t even a fair question. How could you use just one color?!
K: Mustard yellow!
5. What hashtags do you use to find awesome design on Instagram?
D: Actually, scrolling through the explore page. I’m feeling like I find more new accounts and inspiring images that way.
6. Where do you start when you remake a room?
D: With a piece I love, usually artwork or a rug.
K: Furniture placement. Usually I have some sort of narrative piece to inspire the room.
7. What’s the fastest way to shift a space?
D: Pillows or paint.
K: Change your pillows or area rug.
8. One of your favorite quotes:
D: “The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer laughing. Crying gives me a headache.”—Marjorie Hinckley
K: “If you see something beautiful in someone, speak it.”
9. Something we wouldn’t know about you?
D: My least favorite color combo is red and blue together. If I have to choose a favorite color, I always say fuchsia.
K: My nickname is Kitty.