i cant leave this new year without...

saying thank you.

this has been the best year of blogging...to-date.
i had a chance to meet nate berkus,
decorate some amazing spaces,
host a world wide event

from the many collaborations, to blog features, magazine features...i am so grateful for it all.

a lot of things came as a whirlwind, but i am excited to have been part of your life.

because you are certainly part of mine.

2012 here we come!!!

OPEN DISCUSSION: thrift store prices

okay. there will be no pictures in this posts, just grown folks talking. is that alright?

we all love a great thrift store with incredible finds as well as reasonable prices. lately there has been a buzz surrounding the fact the thrift stores have raised their prices...SIGNIFICANTLY. 

here is my perspective. 

some items like furniture are a hit or miss in thrift stores. sometimes i find great deals, while other times i scratch my head in amazement. yes. prices have increased, but it doesn't really affect me because there really isn't anything i am in need of...currently although a huge part of my current business is transforming thrift store finds for clients and to inspire, i don't make a significant amount of money to not desire a good deal.

i think thrift store prices should be lower than anywhere else. most of the items are donated for free...so  price hiking does set me on the edge of my wingback chair.

i think some stores read blogs, watch shows and fumble through the interweb to see how to price items. which i am okay with. however, $45.99 for a plate...uh no (mind you it eventually went down to $3.99 because no one bought them).

i do worry about honest families that hit hard times and shop thrift because their income is fixed. a $99 dresser to put their children clothes in can be quite much. however, the 99 cent pants and dresses does seem to balance that out...i think.

i do know many thrift stores use proceeds for programming and to help with community empowerment efforts. these type things i am all for. i also know my purchases helps to fund salaries for some of the employees...i think. 

in essence some stores have gotten savvy and have increased their prices. are blogs to blame? are news stories about a 99 cent plate being sold for $5,000 raising eyebrows? 

honestly, i dont know. 

some thrift stores like goodwill and the salvation army prices clothing according to group, regardless of the brand. value village prices items individually and are color coded which offers an additional discounts depending on the day.

i dont mind paying a bit more for something that i like, but if i think its too high, i simply don't buy it. if everyone else feels the same way, sometimes stores will lower the price.

the salvation army has an excellent policy (nationwide...i believe) if furniture has been sitting for 7 or more days they reduce the prices. that i like. 

i dont know all the major chains and i certainly don't know all the thrift stores local to your city...

so let's cut to the meat of this post...

1. so why are some thrift store prices going up? 

2. are thrift prices in balance to everything else in society?

3. why do they price items so high if they are being donated for free?

4. who does the pricing?

5. what is the money used for?

6. if we complain about high prices do thrift stores even care?

7. are prices really that high or are we complaining too much?

8. should thrift stores profit like any other retail store?

9. what is a thrift store?

10. do thrift stores even read this blog...lol?

Mr. GWH, what kind of...

i have been asked, "what kind of camera do i use." since i am no expert at photography, i figured i could at least relish in the notion that someone actually likes my photographic hustle.
i currently use a canon eos rebel xs

it takes amazing pictures. it focuses pretty much on target. there are occasions where id like to focus in certain areas (im sure i can do it, i just haven't read the manual).
i admit i dont use a lot of post edits. i try to be as ethical as possible. i studied journalism in undergrad and i still hold true to many of the lessons i learned.
i prefer the natural beauty of whatever i am photographing to shine boldly, rather than a lot of unnecessary fluff.

i tend to only take photos between 7:30am and 9am when the daylight is softest. a great photographer will tell you its about natural light. for me the best places to look for tips on producing natural photos are blog and food magazines.
for this photo of my yves saint laurent loafers, i created a white box of sorts and placed my shoes inside and photographed them. i learned this from a foodie blog.

i dont really get caught up in iso and functions this and functions that. i prefer less techy more snappy. which means i have a lot to learn because they can certainly enhance one's photos

a great camera is only great if you know how to stretch it to its limit. i learn by doing. for this blog the camera i have is great.

i will upgrade. soon.

what type camera do you currently use?

Now Accepting...

I am now accepting clients for 2012 at the 2011 rates. If you want to add a touch of awesomeness to your space or perhaps a MAJOR overhaul, my team and I can certainly help you.

While local clients are always amazing, I do have the ability to meet the needs of clients outside of the Rock Hill and Charlotte area.

For more detailed information and availability you can reach me at rashon@rashoncarraway.com.

Let's make a beautiful room...together.

Happy Holidays from...

rashon's holiday home: the living room

the greatest thing about this time of year is that everything in stores are centered around the current color scheme for my apartment. so i dont have to do much in order to get my home holiday ready. here are just a few pictures of how i lightly added holiday cheer around my living room.

the other spaces will hopefully be photographed today. hopefully.

48 hour SALE for Jan VIDEO consultations

i am pleased to offer a 48 hour sale for video consultation booking in january 2012.

truth is, i cant travel to everyone, but you deserve to have a great home on any budget.

there will be $50 off the video design consultation. this is a great holiday gift idea for someone who has a room full of stuff but are unsure of how to bring it all together.

after purchasing your desired hours of consultations , i send you a questionnaire that begins to analyze the needs that you have for your particular space. i take your response including any inspirational images and then i send you an email with an inspirational moodboard of what i have chosen for your space.

i will offer paint colors for furniture pieces, upholstery suggestions, tips and tutorial for do-it-yourself projects.

the hour consultation will be done by me or someone on my design team. its best to conduct the video design in the space that is being designed. during this time you may ask all questions such as, "does this chair i bought 2 years ago work in this space?"

the first few moments are dedicated to explaining the design plan that has been created. the next moments are for your questions and hands on (virtual) designing. the design portion goes as such, "move that chair over there. bring that picture up about 5 inches."

while the session is taking place you are being emailed links that connect you directly to pieces being discussed.

during this consultation you take me on a tour of your closet. i see what it is you have available and try to connect pieces that can bring a cohesive look to your style.

before hand you will send me images of styles you like.

i will suggest pieces and offer sources for where you can buy certain items.

if you have been contemplating the VIDEO CONSULTATION for you or anyone else, this is a perfect time to grab a few.

its only for 48 hours because the space is VERY limited. you can click the side bar to purchase any number of hours you desire.

if you have specific questions, you can send them directly to rashon@rashoncarraway@gmail.com.

[mixology monday: party ensemble]

tis the season for parties and getting together with friends and people you perhaps haven't seen in a while. i hosted a small intimate gathering with dear friends and colleagues over the weekend.  
for the party i wore a grey velvet ted baker blazer that i picked while thrifting in new york, thrifted tuxedo pants, a ralph lauren black and white stripe shirt and a velvet bowtie. i picked up the lapel pin/brooch while in new york as well.
my shoes are yves saint laurent-rive gauche, which can be seen here.
the party turned out well. i will share a few more pictures later on in the week from the in-house photographer slash chef.
this is the aftermath...
GOOD times.
you never know when you will see someone again, so as oft as you can...enjoy them...every season.

new HGTV blog post...

i have been really doing my best to keep tips fresh for you guys in regards to thrifting. however, sometimes the best solution is very simple. head over to design happens blog on hgtv to see what items have been revived by just a simple paint job. 

15 minute chair makeover...

if you follow me on the book of faces then you know that i bought 5 parsons dining chairs for $5.99 each. great score. couldn't pass them up.

i wasn't a fan of the olive green color on the chairs. so my intent was to find a slipcover. however, after looking around at the context of my home, i realize the olive green color had a natural gold undertone, which is prevalent throughout my home.
so i decided to let it stay and work with it. i simply used my go-to fabric to recover the seat, added a $3.99 thrifted pillow and little personalization and within 15 minutes i had a totally different chair.

what would you do with these?

as i was cleaning today and prepping the apartment, it hit me that i had six chalkboards in my mystery storage unit.
i was thinking about using it to display a menu on. but ya know...that's been done already. not saying i can't do it again.
they need a little touching up, but i think that is something i can do while watching netflix (if i can get it to work.)

so what to do with all of them. i honestly don't know. what would you do with all of them?

my thrifted $4 box of ornaments

hope everyone had an amazing weekend. mine was filled with a few parties, a little singing and a client meeting.

as stated before i am not a put-up-stuff-for-a-holiday kind of person. so when i made the decision to at least add some holiday cheer to my home i was certain i didnt want to spend a lot of money. the truth is when decorating your home for any special occasion or season, i think it is best to simply accentuate the current design aesthetics of your space. using my apartment as a back drop, it was pretty easy and inexpensive to add holiday decor.
i bought a box of 45 count ornaments from wal-mart as a starting point to seasonal decorating. it was $15 and i was really on the fence about buying it. hobby lobby had a lot of their ornaments on sale. unfortunately, people in my area go hard on ornaments, because they had almost none of the color i needed.
after i used a few of the ornaments i bought from wal-mart i figured i needed another box in order to add the proper feel. again i was on the fence about the $15 so i decided to stop into goodwill. i know they bring out a good amount of holiday decor, but i wasnt sure about pricing or if they would have want i wanted.
well as it turns out i found a box of 50 count assorted ornaments in silver for $3.99. oh yes. i was feeling mighty fine. but wait, there was another pack of gold ornaments on the bottom self. i mean at $3.99 how could i say no. i should have dropped in goodwill first, perhaps for $15 i could have had more options. maybe.
so as you see i had an additional 100 ornaments to add to the ones i purchased. feeling somewhat overwhelmed i thought what would make the most impact. so i strung a few together and made 5 ornament chandeliers or ceiling hangings.

one is in the entryway at the top of the stairs, one in the kitchen, two in the dining room and one in the mini hallway in front of the bathroom.

simple, budget friendly, and easy.

you don't need a lot to do a lot.

MY new glasses. YOUR DISCOUNT

truth is, i actually wear glasses because my vision is quite poor. the unfortunate thing is that i have a hard time keeping up with them. however, 39dollarglasses came in just in the nick of time for the blog launch of statistical southern style.

39dollarglasses contacted me a few weeks ago to do a review on their specs. knowing i needed glasses, i took the opportunity. the worst that could happen would be i didn't like them and would only wear them for driving.

honestly, if i had heard of this company months ago, i would have definitely bought a pair.

first up the ordering. that was easy. i chose the broadway in demi amber, which has a tortoise shell appearance (the selection is massive by the way and i am certain you will find something you like).

i then typed in my prescription and completed my order. after they sent me a follow-up email confirming my order, they then sent me an email letting me know it was shipped and provided tracking information.

after about 7 days. they arrived neatly packaged with a case and a cleaning cloth.

the glasses themselves are amazing.
i had to test them out. so i wore them to an invitation only breakfast with the amazing and kind Suzanne Kasler. ahhh to have an opportunity to hear her thoughts and learn so much from her was life changing. thanks so much jennifer powell for the photo. wait. no glassses? yea, i am used to taking them off before pictures because of the glare.
however, Tracey of kravet home was not having that. she said, "i need you to put on the glasses and everything!" so i did.
and who could forget the ever stylish Ms. Betty was sporting a cummerbund during the Suzanne Kasler book signing luncheon at the lee jofa showroom in charlotte, nc.

so its official my new glasses from 39dollarglasses is a win. they liked them and i love them.

if you want your own pair you can use promo code GOODWILL and get an additional 10 % off your order.

trust me you wont regret it!

so click 39dollarglasses, then use promo code GOODWILL and add the gift of sight to your holiday. i'm sure glad i did.

thankful thursday...

i am always grateful for publications, blogs and even online shows that support the work i do. so i want to take this time to say thank you to the following people for highlighting my work in the past few weeks.

if by any chance i have omitted your post, please email me and link me to it. if you take time to feature me, i want to take the time to say thank you. 

decorating for the holidays

this is the very first time i have actually taken time to decorate my home for the holidays. my family has never celebrated christmas. however, we do get together and have dinner, laugh sing and sing some more. since i am in a different place this year i thought it would be nice to add just a bit of holiday cheer to my apartment. 

i knew i didn't want to spend a lot of money. so i bought one large container (45 count) of black and silver ornaments from wal-mart and creatively placed them about my spaces. i may get an additional one (kinda like the blitz)
some time ago i won a gift certificate to joss and main. i settled on a roll of wallpaper. i had no clue what i wanted to use it for, fortunately it fit in seamlessly with home. i decided to repurpose a few frames that were hanging out in storage and frame the wall paper along with the large container of ornaments i picked up at wal-mart. there were 45 different pieces in the tube so i used them throughout the living and the dining room.

the magnolia leaves are quite abundant and iconic here in the south. i am not sure why i was unable to find pinecones. i think they may be hiding somewhere. 
i dont have a christmas tree in my home. so finding simple ways to display ornaments has been quite fun. i am contemplating picking up another box, but of course i am really on the fence. costo, because it doesn't scream christmas, i can perhaps use them at various times throughout the year. i think.   
because i didn't want to spend a lot of money, i pulled out my favorite fabric and worked it in. i had a few remnants left from earlier projects so i kind of pieced them together and made two bows for two wreaths that i also picked up at wal-mart. 
if ikea was a bit closer, i would have simply bought a few more yards and made a few more bow to hang about the house. perhaps its worth a trip anyway...i mean it is the go to fabric for my apartment. 
although taking photos in the daylight is much better for blogging, i couldn't help but show you how everything is illuminated when the drapes are closed. since i am a renter i do not have recessed lighting to accentuate certain parts of my home. so i use clear light bulbs which give off a fantastic lighting effect. 
so far my wingback chairs are holding up quite well. no fading. no crunching. no peeling. we may be onto a revolution here my friends. lol.
i still have the mantle left to do something with. so i will definitely be coming back to show the rest of the space in the coming days.