Kristin is the voice and design force behind Bliss at Home, a must ready daily if you aren't already. She seamlessly blends great style with kid-friendly living, not an easy task and she is filling us in on her journey. Read along as Kristin gives us a peak inside her gorgeous home captured by Tara Melissa Photographie and talks about her blogging and creative journey thus far. Psst...for more click here!
SMP: Tell us a little about Bliss at Home.
Kristin: Bliss at Home is my design blog that shares my personal spaces and style. I love to share our home remodel and room makeovers, entertaining ideas, design and style tips/inspiration, and DIY projects.
SMP: Some words you live by?
Kristin: “Be daring but lovely.” This applies to so many things in my life. In design, what this means for me is to take some design risks but always remember the end game is good design and to keep it balanced. Personally, it reminds me to do things out of my comfort zone, but always remember to stay true to what you strive to be.
SMP: Any guilty pleasures?
Kristin: Ummm…too many! Bravo Real Housewives (all of them! I know, I know!), pasta-- but I don’t get to have it too much anymore, and lipstick- I have ALL the colors.
SMP: What did you think your dream job was before your dream job found you?
Kristin: I never had a dream job. When I was a kid, I secretly wanted to be an actress but I was super shy. I would practice crying and facial expressions in the mirror when I was young. Hilarious, right?! I have always liked too many things. I do think that every job I have ever had has lead me to do what I do now which is a dream job.
SMP: What's your favorite quote that describes your creative process?
Kristin: JFK said, “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” I have to remind myself this when creative doubt starts to creep in. It always happens. Every single project I do, somewhere in the process I doubt a choice. OH, what if that isn’t the right fabric? Or, what if I end up hating that bold color choice?! A lot of times, the things I felt were right in the beginning and started to doubt end up being my favorite choices.
SMP: If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would
your message be?
Kristin: Just be nice and give people your time. We are all busy, but by just making a concerted effort to be present and kind to one another can really impact our lives in a positive way. We need more of that in the world.
SMP: If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?
Kristin: I think there are always things you can look back and want to change. I try not to dwell on that and just learn from it. There have been so many teachable moments. I wish I would have had a better blog design and I would have spent money on a better camera early on. You blog and you learn.
SMP: What is one piece of advice you would give to a blogger just starting out?
Kristin: Write your blog like you are talking to your best friend. I like to read my posts out loud when I am editing them. It really helps with the writing process. It helps me write as I talk.
SMP: What is your favorite item in your home?
Kristin: Our vintage Italian bar cart. My husband surprised me with it one Valentine’s Day after we saw it weeks before in an antique store. I just adore it and even better he remembered how much I loved it.
SMP: What's your best tip for balancing work and personal life?
Kristin: Well, I feel like I am still trying to figure this one out. I definitely don’t have it down and I feel like just when I have a handle on things, our lives and schedules change. I would say though, from a work standpoint, only commit to projects that you are crazy passionate about. If you are on the fence, don’t do it. I also prioritize and make lists every week. One for work and one for personal and family to-do’s. It helps me get done what needs to be done and the rest gets carried over to the next day and THAT IS OKAY.
SMP: What was the tipping point in your business that made you feel like your blog was going to thrive?
Kristin: The tipping point is definitely when I got an email from Better Homes and Gardens and a feature in their magazine. It really made me see that this is worth all the work and time. Blogging can open so many doors to some really amazing things!
SMP: What is the hardest lesson in business you've ever learned?
Kristin: That not everyone has the same business code of ethics.
SMP: Stranded on a desert island question... what's the one cocktail you would take with you?
Kristin: I am so into a Moscow mule with pomegranate vodka right now. It is so refreshing!
SMP: What color do you think will stand the test of trend time?
Kristin: Pink. At least it is for me. Feminine will always be in style. A dash of pink compliments pretty much any color combo even if it is just a flower in a vase. It is just a happy color. I think people will always want happy spaces.
SMP: One thing every style savvy homeowner should have?
Kristin: A really great sofa. A sofa can really make or break a space.
SMP: If you could buy yourself a single gift of any cost, what would it be?
Kristin: An endless supply of fresh flowers.
SMP: Three things every home should have?
Kristin: Art, books, and flowers.
SMP: Your most prized possession?
Kristin: Photographs of my kids.
SMP: One thing you can’t live without?
Kristin: My camera. It’s become an addiction. I am completely in love with taking pictures of EVERYTHING.
SMP: Your secret to success?
Kristin: Don’t forget what is really important. All this other stuff is great, but if you lose sight of what really matters are you really successful?
SMP: What design trend do you think will stand the test of time?
Kristin: Black and white interiors. They will, are, and always will be timeless.
SMP: One small design change that can make a big impact?
Kristin: One really amazing large scale abstract painting.
SMP: Number one interior design tip?
Kristin: Remember who you are designing for. Spaces should reflect who and what they are designed for.
SMP: Your top 5 design tips?
Kristin: 1. Hang curtains all the way from the top of the wall to the floor. 2. Buy the right size rug for your room. Your front furniture legs should overlap the rug. 3. Good lighting placed overhead, on the wall, and lamps will make your spaces glow at night. 4. Buy pillow inserts a size bigger than the pillow cover for a nice full effect. 5. Always have life in a room. A potted plant, a bouquet of fresh flowers, or just clippings from the yard make all the difference.
SMP: One place everyone must visit in their lifetime?
Kristin: I think that’s different for everyone. It should be that place on top of your list. Just go.
SMP: The best job you ever had?
Kristin: Definitely this one! My blog is the best career choice I have ever made.
SMP: What would you tell someone who’s considering starting a blog?
Kristin: Figure out what you want your brand to be. The look of your blog, your photography, your social media should all fit what you want that brand to be.
SMP: Best moment of your career so far?
Kristin: There are so many great moments. It is really hard to choose just one. Being featured in a couple prominent magazines has been amazing! Getting to travel for Bliss at Home is a close second.
SMP: Best career choice you have made?
Kristin: Learning photography. Getting a good camera and equipment and taking the time to learn to shoot in manual has been a major game changer. Now I can’t stop and want more gear and another camera!
SMP: Advice you’d give to your younger self?
Kristin: Don’t worry so much about what others think. Be confident in who you are and what you love and don’t hold back. Don’t be afraid to fail because it will show you things about yourself that you didn’t know were there.
SMP: Your favorite instagrammer?
Kristin: @em_henderson I just adore Emily. She’s such an inspiration to me.
SMP: Your go-to recipe?
Kristin: Roasted root vegetables. Chop up some sweet potato, carrots, onion, beets, and parsnips and drizzle with oil and salt and pepper. Always delicious.
SMP: What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
Kristin: Hmmm…I am trying not to worry about what people think these days.
SMP: Your most memorable moment?
Kristin: It’s a three way tie: The day I got married, and the days that both my boys were born. Nothing can top that.
SMP: What’s one thing you really want to do, but have never done?
Kristin: Ski. I really want to ski. Like, I went one time on bunny hill as a kid and never have been again. I would love to learn!
SMP: The best advice you’ve ever received?
Kristin: Try to love people even when they appear to be unloveable.
SMP: What was the first job you ever landed?
Kristin: I was a bagger at a grocery store in high school. It actually taught me a lot about people. Everyone buys groceries, so you meet all kinds.
SMP: One tip for bloggers hoping to monetize their blogs?
Kristin: It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to start seeing some decent money. The best thing to do to grow your brand and get those dream collaborations that pay is to stay true to your style and what you love. Don’t take work just because someone asked. It has to be a real fit and then consider it. More great offers will come your way when you produce great content that is true to you.
SMP: What’s a typical work day for you like?
Kristin: It changes every single day. It really depends on what I’m working on. I get up first and try to have myself ready to roll before I open my laptop. I’ll catch up on emails and make sure things on the blog side are running smoothly. I could be styling and shooting for an upcoming project, shopping and sourcing items for another, be covered in paint and dust from head to toe, or busy writing and editing photos. At some point all or some of those things will happen.
SMP: Do you have any secret talents?
Kristin: I wish! I guess I try to use them so they aren’t a secret.
SMP: If you could dine with anyone dead or alive who would it be?
Kristin: Hmmm…it would have to be someone who hosts a fab dinner party and would be fun to talk with…Gwenyth Paltrow would be fab. I hear she throws a great dinner party and I’m sure the guest list would be amazing!
SMP: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Kristin: It really depends on what happens in the next year or two, but I would like to think it would involve opening a décor shop with design services or who knows, maybe television. Oh, and of course the blog is going strong.
SMP: Why do you think Bliss at Home has done so well?
Kristin: I hope it’s because people resonate with my style and enjoy reading it. I do think that posting consistently and really keeping things fresh helps, along with some recognition in magazines, online, and on TV. I work really hard to create content that is true to my style and inspires others to try new things. Passion and hard work can go a long way.