When it comes to fabric, Lisa is one smitten kitten. Her resale upholstered furniture boutique, SittingPrettyStudio is brimming with fabrics, used to create one-of-a-kind pieces for clients. From printed burlap sacks to jewel-tone velvets to geometric prints, Lisa plays matchmaker between the upholstered furniture and the home where it will live. Many happily-ever-afters have come from her keen eye for rehauling secondhand finds into unique pieces.
Lisa’s own plans for the upcoming romantic holiday are simple—a dinner date with her son. The expecting mother of two is celebrating Valentine’s Day with crafty cards from the Paper Source and her favorite candy, Haribo gummy berries. It doesn’t take much to please this scavenger, just a bag of gummy treats and a few piles of fabric swatches to paw through. Read on to see where Lisa gets her inspiration to experiment with unusual textiles.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I’m Lisa, the founder and owner of SittingPrettyStudio, an online resale, upholstered furniture boutique. I’m a former corporate rat racer, who exited the race two years ago when my son was born. Born and raised in Munster, Indiana (outside of Chicago), I now live just across the border in Flossmoor, Illinois.
What is the most awesome thing in or about your neighborhood?
Flossmoor is such an eclectic village. There’s a beautiful variety of architecture amongst the homes—no two houses are at all alike. There’s also an abundance of public art, which makes walks through town even more enjoyable. The downtown area was one of the largest draws for me, with great restaurants like Fresh Starts, a terrific microbrewery called The Flossmoor Station, and a delicious bakery like Sweet Annie’s that’s a great breakfast stop on a Saturday.
Where do you go locally to discover hidden treasures?
I learned early on that hidden treasures are just that, hidden! Anytime I’m out, my eyes are open for new items.
Did you go to garage sales, flea markets, thrift/resale stores as a kid?
I have some very fond memories of ‘garage-sailing’ (as she called it) with my grandmother. On Saturday mornings we would browse the local classifieds for that day’s sales, and map our route. I can remember being out for hours combing each sale. My grandmother liked to shop for decorative knick knacks for around the house, and at that time, I was always looking for a fun toy as that day’s prized possession.
How often do you go to garage sales, flea markets, etc. now? Any personal tips you’d like to share?
Now that I’m operating my own business, buying trips are certainly a weekly (if not more!) outing. I’m a (very) soon-to-be mother of two, so lately, I’ve been out several times each week building my inventory before the baby arrives. Tip: Bring a strong friend or loved-one with you. You never know when you’ll find something best carried and/or loaded into your car by two.
Are you a hoarder or a minimalist?
My decorating style is definitely more minimalist, however, since starting SittingPrettyStudio and operating out of my home, I’m looking more and more like a hoarder each day.
What blogs (design and otherwise) do you read right now?
For design news and inspiration, I love Apartment Therapy, Rue Daily, and Design Sponge. And I’ve been hooked on Seth Godin’s blog since my former days in advertising.
What is your most cherished handcrafted, secondhand, vintage, upcycled object you possess? What’s the story behind it?
I have a lot of cherished possessions from both sets of my grandparents in my home. My paternal grandfather was a craftsman, and I have one of his very first handmade pieces, a wood bench, that I’ve had restored and refinished in my entryway. I also recently redesigned an armchair that I purchased at a garage sale in my hometown for my son’s room. It’s one of the first pieces I designed as part of my business, so there’s a special back story, but I love the current stories we read together in it every night, and I’m even more excited about the stories in front of it.
What are you working on these days?
So many things, but one project in particular is a matching pair of captain’s chairs that I’m having reupholstered in a mix of vintage Minnesota Red River Valley potato sacks and colorful ikat fabrics. I purchased the sacks from a vintage shop on Etsy in great condition. The colors and design are SO vibrant, these chairs will brighten any room (they’ll be available in my shop by the end of next week). I’m also working on building my library of fabrics for clients to select from when they purchase one of my pieces ‘as-is’ and would like assistance in the redesign. I’ve been creating individual Pinterest boards for each fabric designer/line I have access to, so clients can browse the selection easily and online. One of my favorite things to do for clients is to build a personalized board specifically for their piece so they can browse fabric selections and add to it as we’re designing their piece.
When did you open your studio?
I’ve been buying resale and redesigning furniture as a hobby for several years, but SittingPrettyStudio was officially opened in October 2013.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Almost everywhere. I read a lot of design magazines, and always feel inspired after closing the last page. I’ve also always appreciated the connection between fashion and interior design and try to keep a pulse on color and styles from the runway to translate into a beautiful piece of furniture. Houzz is also a site that always gets my creative juices flowing. I love their search function! You can find an image of almost anything you’re looking for and I love creating idea books for every room in my house.