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Slow Design, Sanctuary Essentials + Creating a Home That Fits Your Family

The Stella Blue Gallery

Christina Shirley is a momma, wifey, metalsmith, painter, baker, farmhand, part-time secretary, textile slinger and interior design consultant based in South Carolina


Essentials for creating a personal sanctuary

Surround yourself with those you love and things you love. Do it for you, not for what you see in a magazine or on social media. And music, lots of good music.

Your home has to fit your family

Our home is incredibly kid, pet and adult friendly. All our furniture and textiles are easily cleaned and washable. You need to feel comfortable in your home and that comfort will embrace anyone who visits.

Quick ways to make your space come alive

Textiles, music, good company and food, and wild dance parties!

Pet home hack

We always love to leave the front door open to let the breeze from the water blow in. I don’t like to worry about our pup Blu and our kitty Irie getting out, and cutting our reclaimed teak front door in half was not an option. So, $20 later, I bought a wooden toddler gate, stained it a warm honey color and the problem was solved!

Barefoot inspiration

I try to always push my limits. I’m a self-taught artist and silversmith mainly because I’m too stubborn to ask for help. I feel that makes my designs and our home so unique. Inspiration is all around, but I have to say, my best work is done barefoot while listening to great music.

Choose pieces that tell a story

Our home is like an art project for me. Over the years, I have tried to carefully select pieces that are thoughtfully handcrafted and artisan made. We built our home literally by hand, thanks to my amazingly talented hubby. I feel that our home and the pieces in our home tell a story. It is an ever-changing and constantly evolving reflection of us as a family.

ORIGIN Rapid Fire

1. Something you always have in your bag? Gum and essential oils. I have a huge fear of halitosis, thanks to the copious amounts of coffee I drink, and my oils keep me grounded.

2. The place you feel most yourself? On the water, hands down. No better place to be.

3. Where do you shop to find your favorite pieces? Instagram and Etsy.

4. If you had to design a room in one color, what would it be? Very, veeeeeery pale denim blue.

5. Which designers or sites give you the most inspiration?

I would have to say Instagram. It’s like a magazine personalized just for you.

6. Where do you start when you remake a room? A clean floor. Everything falls into place after that.

7. What’s the fastest way to shift a space?

Textiles, pillows and a crazy good smelling candle.

8. One of your favorite quotes:

“Sooner or later, you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”

9. Something we wouldn’t know about you? I am the messiest neat freak you’ll ever meet. My refrigerator, cabinets and closets look like a tornado hit them, but the pillows on my couch are arranged by height and color, and have just the right “pillow chop.”

Paint the walls to accent your home

I couldn’t imagine living in a world without color. Color reflects our personality. When the hubbs and I bought our first home, we painted every room. It oozed Crayola! As we began collecting personal pieces to fill our home throughout the years, we started to paint the walls white to accent the colors around the home, since now the curated art in our home became more of a reflection of our personality than just the walls.

Secrets for capturing great images

Lighting! If you’re shooting inside, try to turn off all artificial lighting, that always helps me.

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