B by Brandie – Interview with Brandie Gehan

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I met and discovered Brandie Gehan recently at the Dallas Market – Sneak Peek. During market a favorite spot of mine is the Temporaries; the two mile trek usually pays off.  And, this time didn’t disappoint.

As I came around the corner, there was B by Brandie a young spirited tabletop line that matched the creative behind it. I immediately knew I wanted to visit with Brandie to learn more about the story behind her tabletop collection.

On the day of the interview we met in her home, it was vibrant and welcoming – certainly a home where interesting and lively discussions take place. Her young, fresh and modern tabletop line certainly matches Brandie’s aesthetic in fashion and home decor.  Although her style is modern; her values are traditional; from the beginning with the influence from her mother’s love for entertaining at an early age to her daily business dealings with her company today – family is front and center.

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So, dear reader, without further due have a cup of coffee and visit with us for awhile….

Who and what is B by Brandie?

Founded in 2012, B by Brandie, presents high-quality home accessories that add a dash of fashion to the table. The brand’s fusion of distinctive design and modern styling with durability and practicality lends itself to a variety of settings, from traditional dinner parties, modern cocktail gatherings or every day use. With pieces from the brand, consumers can update everyday family dinners with sleek porcelain combinations or take out the bone china for more intimate gatherings. B by Brandie evokes the world of grand entertaining to everyday tableware. Each piece bears the name of renowned party mavens, such as Jackie O., Zelda Fitzgerald, Brooke Astor and more. The brand’s color options and varying patterns can inspire adventurous consumers to showcase their own take on entertaining by creating their own customized place setting while pre-styled suggestions provide an effortless option. “B by Brandie was highly influenced by my mother’s love of entertaining and her well known dinner parties.” With the new collection, I wanted to share my family’s love of gathering an eclectic mix of people for delicious food, lively conversation and a bit of bubbly paired with accessories that add another memorable element.” Each dinnerware piece will be sold individually, enhancing the mix-and-match component.

What were you doing prior to designing a tabletop collection?

I was working in E-Commerce for AT & T. I have always loved to entertain and saw the need for a tabletop line where you didn’t have to buy in sets.

What inspired you to design a collection where you can mix patterns?

The younger demographic uses paper plates for everyday dinnerware without knowing there are options besides how their parents or grandparents purchased tabletop. The model of buying a 10 place setting is not in the vernacular of modern living for the younger demographic; which is expensive to purchase and replace if one piece breaks. I created this line to provide everyday use, flexibility to purchase individual dinnerware, and allow the consumer to use their creativity to mix and match place settings.

What is your favorite tabletop setting that you designed?

The black and white collection; it was my first creation.

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What are three things that update your dinnerware?

1. Personalization (monogramming) 2. New pattern or color 3. Layering your place settings (dinner plate, salad plate and bowl).

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What should he/she splurge on in your collection? Where can they save?

Splurge on the charger; it makes a great impact but you can use it as a dinner plate as well. To save; the salad plate or glassware they are great small additions that are reasonable but make a statement.

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When you were dreaming up your collection, what were your resources of inspiration?

Travel, tearing out pages of shelter magazines, patterns and especially color – I love color. But, I looked for inspiration everywhere I went.

Since you love to travel; What is the place that inspires you most?

Charleston, South Carolina – its easy and beautiful living…especially love the Rainbow Row Houses

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Because you travel to NYC for business, what is one of your favorite neighborhood haunts in the city?

There is a great restaurant on the Upper East Side that changes its name as the seasons change – Park Avenue Summer becomes Park Avenue Autumn becomes Park Avenue Winter

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A key distinction of B by Brandie is practicality. What are a few things that help you balance family and business life?

Time management is key and the support of my family.

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What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?

Spending time with my family, shopping and going to the movies – I love movies; as a child it was one my favorite things to do with my mother.

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What is your guilty pleasure?

Cookies – my favorite are Animal Crackers

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What makes you laugh?

My family, but I always try to find the humor in things I can’t control.

What are you most proud of in your life?

My family – I can go anywhere and be okay; they keep me grounded.

So, what’s next for B by Brandie?

Right now, we are trying out other color palettes to introduce into the line. For the future; We are looking to expand into flatware and eventually small home accessories.

Well, I am certain we will see more fantastic things from B by Brandie and I will be sure to post it here.  Dear reader, I hope you’ve enjoyed our visit and as a special gift to you –  B by Brandie is offering all my readers 20% off purchases until 3/7.  Purchase B by Brandie pieces here and use Discount Code: ELLEBBB at checkout.

Please comment and let me know what collections you love…my favorite is Navy and White. And, for July 4th; I will be snatching up her red, white and blue collection, which will arrive in pretty packaging (see below).

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(Just had to throw this one in….)

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Enjoy!

Modern, Classic & Couture

In the midst of pulling together the soft finishes for a kitchen project; I thought I’d share a ‘go-to’ source with you.  Although a classicist at heart; its always in my nature to throw in a mix of modern to edge things up a bit.

A line that consistently puts a modern twist on tradition is Quadrille.  Certain you have seen their work published in every known shelter magazine; they never go unnoticed and always a classic. I hope this inspires you to put a little Quadrille in your go-to book too:

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Carlo II – Designer: Brian McCarthy – Veranda

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Meloire Reverse Designer: Carolyne Roehm -House Beautiful

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Paradise Garden Designer: David Kleinberg – Architectural Digest

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Wallcovering: San Marco  – House Beautiful

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Draperies: Paradise Background Pillow: Montecito

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Wallcovering: Trellis Background Designer: Tom Scheerer – House Beautiful

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Wallcovering: Ikat – Veranda

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Wallcovering: Climbing Hydrangea – Vogue

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Sofa: Cap Ferrat Designer: Andrew Raquet – Veranda

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 Sofa/Chair Pillows/Wallcovering: Volpi and Persopolis Home: Tory Burch -Vogue

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 Sultan II Designer: Miles Redd – Architectural Digest

(Photo Credit: quadrillefabrics.com)

Transforming Your House Into A Home

Summer’s almost over, the kids are heading back to school and it’s just possible you have some time on your hands. That means there could be a new decorating project in your future!

Today, I want to share some tips to prepare you that next big endeavor – transforming your house into a home of glamorous luxury. If it’s a big project, creating a plan and a budget will be essential.

  • Create a budget that allows for some flexibility. Unfortunately, we all end up wanting more than we originally intend. You should have two budgets (You will end up falling somewhere in between!) – 
    • 1) What you intend to pay for a project 
    • 2) What you have the ability to pay for a project
  • Research interior designers to determine which one has expertise in your design style. Interview several prior to choosing the one who best fits your needs. It’s always a good idea to ask for references not only from the designer, but also from the contractors being used for the project.
  • Once you have determined your preferred consultant, set up a meeting and plan a timeline of the work to be done. This is the perfect time to decide how budget monies will be spent and when money will need to be allocated.
  • Next, the fun begins! If you need to move out of your house while work is being completed, be sure to have arrangements made in advance.  Your decorator should be able to estimate how long each project will take.
  • A design board and rendering will be created so you can approve the overall look and feel of the proposed outcome. If you don’t like the sample, speak up. A designer is there to help you fulfill a look that connects you with the everyday glamour of a beautiful, yet comfortable, abode.
  • From here, the vision begins to become reality. Furniture, paint, window treatments and artifacts begin to fill your home changing the atmosphere in the world you’ve become so accustomed to. Yes, your house is suddenly a home!

I’d love to be the one to transform your house into a home!