This past Sunday, we debuted our Design Like You Dress series, and to kick it off, we had a chat with Gretchen Aubuchon, who makes the intersection of fashion and design her business on her website, Fashion + Decor. We asked Aubuchon (who’s based in the Boston area) a few Q’s about the home/fashion mix, her inspirations in both arenas, and more. Look for her tips and tricks, too — which you’ll find in the next three sales in the series — all focused on helping you design like you dress.
Your blog has gotten big… fast! Tell us about the rise… what have been some joys/challenges along the way? We built the website over the course of 15 months — and now, it features over 130 fashion designers. You can find all the fashion labels you want and figure out how those fashions might look in your home. Our biggest challenge of moving from a blog-based platform to a database-driven website was creating all the StylePairs. StylePairs (as we like to call them) are a dual collage of a runway fashion picture next to a picture of a matching look in home decor. We didn’t want to go live with the site until we had 500 completed StylePairs. Let’s just say I spent a good year living on fashion and home decor websites sorting through hundreds of images. It was a very time-consuming process, but I feel that solid foundation of content was the key to making Fashion + Decor a success.
What’s your design/decor style? (Three words max!) Glamorous. Sophisticated. Prep.
What’s your typical day like? CRAZY. But I thrive on crazy, so it actually works for me! I have three kids under age 6. I have conference calls all day long. And on social media/email every minute it seems. Thus the craziness. I work hard every day to balance work and kids. As anyone in the same situation will tell you, it’s a challenge. But I enjoy a challenge so my hectic days energize me (most of the time)!
If someone comes to you totally confused about how to design like they dress, what’s the first piece of advice you give them? Style is style. That’s what I tell anyone who asks this question. If your closet is filled with navy/white striped shirts and pink everything else, but your living room is brown, then there’s a disconnect. One of my goals with building Fashion + Decor was to teach people to look at both fashion and home decor as style. Your style should be reflected in your wardrobe and in your home. I hope Fashion + Decor can help teach people how to bring their personal style into the home — not just into their closets.
What’s the biggest mistake people make in attempting to design like they dress? I think people take the translation from fashion to home too literally. Most of the StylePairs on our website are not exact matches. They’re paired together because they have similar colors, patterns, textures, as well as similar styles (traditional, prep, contemporary, etc.). Take a pink handbag and think pillow. Take gold bracelets and think gold table lamp. Take the floral skirt and think about wall coverings. Look at the bigger picture. Take the colors, themes, patterns that you like from the fashion look and pull those into your home.
What’s your favorite color and why? I can’t choose only one — sorry! Navy, turquoise, pink, and gold. And if they’re all together in one room or one outfit … then I die. Yes, referencing Rachel Zoe here… but it’s true.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration? The runways bring me most of my inspiration. Shows and collections by designers like Oscar de la Renta, Giambattista Valli, Jason Wu, Dsquared, Naeem Khan, Erdem, Gucci, Mimi Plange, Marni, and Emilio Pucci. I could go on and on. Fashion provides me so much of my inspiration. On the home decor side: I love to look at work by design icons such as Jamie Drake, Mario Buatta, Mary McDonald, Miles Redd, and Tony Duquette.