VIP Home: It’s the Little Things…

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to VIP Home!

Today on VIP Home, I would like to chat about trinkets…it’s the little things that make your home truly you…

 I have always loved trinkets. When I was a little kid, I would stare desperately into my grandmother’s curio cabinet wanting to play with the variety of tiny treasures. Sadly, that was frowned upon in that establishment. As Emperor Kuzco said in the Emperor’s New Groove, “No touchy–no touchy!” My goodness, I sure did love that movie when I was younger!

Now that I have my own collection of tschotskes, I fully understand why my grandmother was so protective of her curio cabinet’s precious contents.

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So, what is so special about the record player, green pig, dog, bunny, and owl figurines in the picture above? Well, why don’t I tell y’all!

  • The record player: About two years ago, I bought this Silvertone Solid State Sound Instant Play record player from the cutest little old man EVER at an antique shop in Springville, Alabama. When I saw the turquoise blue and pink, I instantly fell in love. Note to Self:  Get another needle so I can continue to overplay Frank Sinatra’s Come Dance With Me album *wink* Second Note to Self:  Record player needle number is 57-88163. 

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  • The green pig: Ah….my adorable handmade green pig. I got the cute piggy when I interviewed renowned shoe designer Donald J. Pliner at Belk the Summit last year. I was so excited when Donald signed it for me and to me :)

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  • The dog: The dog has no special meaning–I bought it at Trussville Antiques & Interiors for a steal of a deal–$5.00, but come on…look at it–isn’t it too precious! *wink*
  • The bunny: On my 18th birthday, my parents gave me the Peter’s Pottery bunny which represents my “Special Bunny”–the first stuffed animal that my parents gave me. Also, I just really, really love bunnies *wink*

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  • The owl: My owl “piggy bank” was a Christmas gift from my parents, and I absolutely LOVE the colors! It is so inspirational, and I see it playing a huge role in the theme of my future apartment…
Other items noted in photo: Kiss Me Stupid Marilyn Monroe art piece--I picked it up on of my many adventures, and I immediately fell in love with it. The pop art mixed with old Hollywood is fabulous.  The houndstooth table--my mom, an avid artist and upcycler, made this table for me not because I am an Alabama fan but simple because I love the pattern*wink*
Other items noted in photo:
Kiss Me Stupid Marilyn Monroe art piece–I picked it up on one of my many adventures. The pop art mixed with old Hollywood is fabulous.
The houndstooth table–my mom, an avid artist and upcycler, made this table for me not because I am an Alabama fan, but because I love the history of the pattern*wink*
Other items noted in the photo: My personal collection of vintage records--I have picked up the variety of vinyl I have from lots of different antiquing journeys. Oh, how I love my records! The kaleidoscope--It was a gift...and kaleidoscopes are just fun no matter how old you are!
Other items noted in the photo:
My personal collection of vintage records–I have picked up the variety of vinyl I have from lots of different antiquing journeys. Oh, how I love my records!
The kaleidoscope–It was a gift…and kaleidoscopes are fun–no matter how old you are!

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Remember all of the awesome fun the VIP had at the Birmingham Home Show 2013 interviewing celebs Mark Brunetz and Ty Pennington?  Well, the Birmingham Home & Garden Show 2014 is coming up, and the VIP is super pumped about attending and interviewing some of the celeb guests. Get your tickets now and don’t miss out!

For more information about the Birmingham Home & Garden Show 2014, please visit http://www.homeshowbirmingham.com/BHS/EventsHome.aspx.

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

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VIP Interview: Co-host of Style Network’s Clean House Mark Brunetz

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From Cleveland native to Los Angeles celebrity designer, Mark Brunetz has carved out a name for himself in interior design and reality television.  An expert at conveying design principles to a broad television audience, Mark was recently honored with an Emmy® Award as the co-host of Clean House on the Style Network.  

At the creative helm of his LA-based design company, Mark’s body of work has been seen in over 30 countries worldwide.  With a strong focus on aesthetics and functionality, Mark has collaborated with Hollywood’s A-list, launched an eponymous line of home furnishings on the Home Shopping Network and penned his first book Take the U Out of Clutter which was nominated for Best Organizing Book in 2013.

An avid speaker on design and social impact, Mark currently serves as the Spokesperson for the International Design Guild’s Designer Program and is the face of Design For a Difference; a national design contest benefiting local charities throughout the U.S. (www.markbrunetz.com)

Now, without further ado, I introduce to y’all the VIP’s awesome interview with the fabulously acclaimed celebrity designer Mark Brunetz.

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Abby: “How many home show events do you speak at annually?”

Mark: “I do about five a year.”

Abby: “Fashion and home décor are a lot alike–there are classic and trendy pieces. What is one classic décor item that everyone should have in his/her home?”

Mark: “I think fashion and interiors are incredibly entwined. They drive each other….I have noticed that [interior] design is certainly inspired by what comes down the runway….When you are building an outfit or a wardrobe, you buy some very timeless pieces like the pencil skirt or the little black dress, and I think the same should go for the home–when it comes to a larger investment piece like a sofa and a bed–that is where you want to go timeless. You do not want to buy trendy items on more expensive things. Don’t get the really cool, funky sofa. Do get something that is a little bit more classic. You want to choose items that have great bones, a great silhouette–so that way if you want to do something funky a year later, you can change out your home décor to fit that style without having to purchase all new furniture…definitely invest in timeless pieces when it comes to your bigger, more expensive pieces.”

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Abby: “Describe your personal fashion and interior style.”

Mark: “I am incredibly eclectic. What drives me are things that I love. People ask me all the time what’s my style, or what are the hot trends– but I say the trend right now is to not follow the trends. For me, I have a collection of periods in style. I don’t believe a person can be defined by one period of style. We are three dimensional people so we might love something that is Greco-Roman-Classical, and then we might find a contemporary lamp we like. I believe that once all of that is put together–it creates a mosaic much like a human being, and you get to see the full dimension of who people are. In my interiors and in my fashion, I love mixing and matching things. Overtime, I have been known to have great style and great homes, and I think that is because I have followed my instincts.”

Abby: “What is a good splurge item for the home?”

Mark: “Definitely the sofa and definitely the bed. Those are the two areas that I would say to invest a little bit more money in. Buy a really well-made sofa that you are going to have for twenty years. You can also have it [the sofa] reupholstered or throw new pillows on it. Invest in a really good bed–not only a mattress, but a good foundation. You know, we spend a third of our life sleeping…well, I wish I would have spent a third, but the truth is you have to get a good night’s sleep–so splurge on a good quality bed. I love collecting art, so if you find a piece that you love…BUY IT! It does not matter if it is expensive, because before you know it–you will have a collection of really great pieces.”

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Abby: “I am a fashionista with a lot of shoes and jewelry. What are some easy ways to organize these things in my closet?”

Mark: “In the area of shoes, make sure you only keep the shoes you are actually wearing. I like to put shoes in clear containers so that you can actually see the shoes. If you don’t have clear shoe boxes, you can always take a picture of the shoes and put labels on the boxes so that you know what shoes you actually have. You should never have to dig to find the shoes you are looking for. As far as jewelry, one of the things I have done is take really inexpensive bowls and put them in the top drawer of a dresser–instead of going out and buying an organizer.”

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To learn more about Mark Brunetz and his spectacular accomplishments as not only a designer but also as an Emmy Award winning co-host, please visit www.markbrunetz.com.

Follow Mark Brunetz via social media to keep up with his latest projects and special events!

Facebook: click here.

Twitter: click here.

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Check out Mark Brunetz’s book Take the U Out of Clutter!

“This may not be the first book you’ve read about clutter, but it will be your last.”

To purchase a personalized, autographed copy of Mark’s book, please click here.

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Birmingham Home Show 2013

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The new fall version of the Birmingham Home Show debuted September 20-22 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC). The three-day consumer show spotlighted home remodeling, renovation, home décor, and fall outdoor projects.

In addition, the show brought celebrity guests including home improvement superstar Ty Pennington and Mark Brunetz, host of Style Network’s “Clean House” and author of “Take the U Out of Clutter.”

Throughout the show, two interactive stages were packed with presentations including culinary demos from local celebrity chefs and the culinary talent at Jefferson State University. Other demos featured experts sharing DIY projects that helped guests to save time and money.

More than 300 home improvement experts were on hand to provide one-stop shopping for guests–making the Birmingham Home Show the ultimate destination to shop, compare, and save. Exhibitors also showcased show-only exclusive offers for guests with a new program that identified these businesses with consumer-friendly and easy-to-identify floor stickers.

Both the Birmingham Home and Garden Show and the Birmingham Home Show are the only shows in Alabama endorsed by Ty Pennington.

With the Birmingham Garden and Home Show in February and the Birmingham Home Show in September, every homeowner/garden lover is sure to find something to suit his/her fancy! Whether you are looking to renovate, update, or landscape, the Birmingham Home Shows have it all! To learn more about the Birmingham Home Show and stay up-to-date on upcoming special events, please visit www.homeshowbirmingham.com.

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While touring the Birmingham Home Show, I had the opportunity to chat with vendors about the 3400 square foot renovation my parents and I started back in December 2012. There were a couple of weeks where the VIP blog was not so glamorous and glitzy…it was more “kicking in walls” and ripping up carpet”–Oh, why did my parents buy a 1981 time capsule!

To see another side of the VIP! (see pictures below)

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Wendy from Champion and the VIP chatting at the Birmingham Home Show 2013.
Wendy from Champion and the VIP chatting at the Birmingham Home Show 2013.

When Wendy from Champion complimented me on my shoes, I just had to go over and chat with her! All of the ladies from Champion were so precious.

Me: “How is the show going so far for y’all?”

Wendy: “It is going awesome! We have had a lot of referrals! It is quite busy here today because Ty Pennington is here, of course! I am so excited, and I am very excited to be here for Champion as well!”

Me: “What all does Champion offer?”

Wendy: “We offer windows, sunrooms, roofing, and siding….We have a lifetime warranty protection so anything from Champion is guaranteed to last!”

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Because of my overwhelming fear of tornados, I decided to speak with a representative at Lee’s Storm Shelters, INC.

Dear Santa or Birthday Fairy…please bring me an above-ground storm shelter that meets or exceeds FEMA 320/361 and ICC-500 Standards. Please and thank you.

Me: “How many shows does Lee’s Storm Shelters, INC. exhibit at annually?”

Representative: “The shows are new for us; however, we have done about four shows this year.”

Me: “How is the Birmingham Home Show?”

Representative: “This show has been good. It is quite a bit smaller than the spring show, but we have had a lot of interest in our storm shelters.”

Abby: “What is the difference between an above-ground shelter and an in-ground ?”

Representative: “Above-ground storm shelters are handicap accessible. For people who have claustrophobia, an above-ground shelter helps them feel more comfortable.”

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Mark Brunetz with fans at his book signing at the Birmingham Home Show.
Mark Brunetz with fans at his book signing at the Birmingham Home Show.
Mark Brunetz chatting with the VIP...what did we talk about? Stay tuned for the wonderful interview coming soon!
Mark Brunetz chatting with the VIP…what did we talk about? Stay tuned for the wonderful interview coming soon!
Ty Pennington on stage with
Ty Pennington on stage with Ronda Robinson from Fox6 News at the Home Show.
Ty Pennington and the VIP chatting backstage before his appearance. Can you guess what Ty's favorite color is, and what kind of power tool he recommends for the VIP? Stay tuned to find out on the upcoming interview! Whoo hoo!
Ty Pennington and the VIP chatting backstage before his appearance. Can you guess what Ty’s favorite color is, and what kind of power tool he recommends for the VIP? Stay tuned to find out on the upcoming interview! Whoo hoo!

Oh, the 2013 Birmingham Home Show was a lot of fun! I cannot wait to get back to renovating the house! Wait…did I really just say that? Yep, I did! Time to get back to helping put down floor moulding!

Y’all do NOT forget to stay tuned for the VIP interviews with the fabulous Mark Brunetz and the amazing Ty Pennington!

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Abby Hathorn

SNEAK PEEK: Interviews with Ty Pennington & Mark Brunetz

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I wonder what Ty Pennington, Mark Brunetz, and the VIP talked about today at the Birmingham Home Show? Hmm…

Stay tuned for two VERY fabulous interviews to appear here and on www.thisisrealmedia.com! Oh, my fabulouses….I absolutely cannot wait to share it all with y’all!

Stay tuned for sneak peeks on all of the VIP social media below:

Facebook: Click here

Twitter: @AbbyHathorn

Instagram: @VintagePassionista

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn