Today's Guest - Julia of 551 East Furniture Design

We're onto our 5th Feature Interview today, which I, again, am SO excited about! Do you think I love my guests or something??? Of course! Just when you didn't think it could get better, I get to introduce you to a pretty amazing gal today.

Today's Guest Interview is with


1. Can you briefly introduce yourself.
Your family, what you do, how long have you been doing this, etc.?

Hey friends! I'm Julia, and I am the girlie girl behind 551 East.
My little fam bam and I recently moved to Arizona.
My husband works for Edward Jones,
and I am a stay at home momma to our little man Rhett.
As a family we enjoy wrestle time, sharing a bowl of dry cereal,
wandering around the mall and going out to dinner.
We started 551 East in May of this year and it's been a family affair.
Even Rhett likes to carry a paint brush (sans paint) around.

(Anneke here saying, SO cute!)

2. How did you come about doing what you do, and what do you absolutely LOVE about it?

When we got married we were so poor. OK we haven't come that far,
but at the beginning we really needed some extra income.
We also had a lot of friends getting married,
and we couldn't afford amazing wedding presents for all of them.
So we decided to restore some furniture as presents.
Because lets face it, it's kind of hard to start married life with no kitchen table. :)

We loved doing it so much that when our son was born we made the choice for me to stay home,
and we decided to start restoring pieces and reselling them.
We honestly didn't expect to be as blessed as we have been
or for it to become a semi "career" for me.
I LOVE all aspects of restoring furniture
(except when I get little boogers of saw dust in my nose).
Probably my most favorite part is when I'm painting or staining.
I prefer to paint/stain by hand because I love the time it gives me to get to know the piece.
Maybe that sounds silly, but really I love getting to know
the history the piece had before it came to me.
For example, in the interior of one of the drawers of this piece

I found a little pencil message that said "I love Coco and Gus."
I don't know who Coco and Gus were,
but I love finding little treasures that give the piece it's personality and history.
As a side note, I chose to leave the little comment in the drawer.
It wasn't conspicuous and it was to sweet to erase. 

3. What is your absolutely fave piece you've refinished and why?

Oooo....I would have to say this one.
I love how it truly was a diamond in the rough. I love the grain of the wood
and how amazing the drawers smelled. (I love the way good wood smells :))

4. What are your top three tools or products that you just can't live without?
Does diet Coke count? No, just kidding. :)
I love my 5 inch random orbital Royobi sander. I think it might be on it's last legs actually. Sniff.
I also love Howards Citrus Shield Wax....it smells like oranges!
And I love Behr paint and Tung Oil.
I love all the color options Behr has and Tung Oil can really bring out the natural beauty in wood. 

5. Who, what, where do you find inspiration from?

It might sound a little nerdy, but I get a lot of inspiration from watching movies and TV shows.
I mean let's face it, very little expenses is spared in creating a fantastic set
so often times there are some killer pieces. But I warn you,
looking for inspiration in movies usually means I miss some of the plot.
And it drives my husband crazy.
I'm like "Ooo! Ooo! Look at the hutch! It's amazing! What do you think? Huh?"
Also of course Pinterest is AMAZING and I blog stalk lots of amazing women. 

6. What is the story behind the name 551 East Furniture Design?

That was our address in Utah where this all got started. Not super creative huh?
But it was the first house we lived in as a married couple,
our son came home from the hospital to that house
and I got to paint the red front door, which I've always wanted, so it means a lot to us.

7. Flats or Heels?
I love heels. My husband says they bring out my sassy-ness
which I'm not sure if that's a good thing, but I'll take it.
Also, I'm quite short and my husband is quite tall so I kind of need them.
Plus lets face it, they make your backside look a lot better. :) 

8. Black, Brunette, Blonde, or Red?

I'm naturally a brunette. When I was little I thought that meant I could only wear brown
so I wanted to be a red head. And to this day if I could pull it off
I would LOVE to be a red head.
Something about auburn hair is so gorgeous to me. 

9. What is your dream travel destination or vacation?

Right now I'd take the Hampton Inn down the street
just so I could sleep in tomorrow morning.
(Our little guy wakes up at the crack of dawn some mornings.)
But one day I want so desperately to spend 2 weeks on the coast of Greece
wearing white linen and going for scooter rides. 

10. With the holidays around the corner, what is your fave tradition?

Every Christmas my husband and I choose a family or person
who we know is struggling and we try to provide some kind of help
be it financial, emotional or even just offering to watch their kids
so they can go on a date. Most years we are able to do it anonymously and we love it.   

11. What is a dream of yours in the next year for 551 East Furniture Design?

I hope that 551 East continues to be something that my husband and I love doing together.
I hope that in the next year we find a place to have a shop or a booth.
I hope we continue to make friends and that we create pieces
that help people create the home that they always wanted.

Along with that, not to sound totally lame,
but I just watched the Justin Bieber movie
and I really liked his saying "Never say never."
This might sound crazy but I hope that we establish our niche in the blogging world
and that one day I maybe could have my own show on HGTV
showing people how to transform what they already have. It's a big dream, but why not? :)   

12. OH! What is your advice for someone just getting started in the blogging world?

I did a post on this recently! You can check it out here.
But the biggest thing I would say is don't get discouraged.
Some days I look at other peoples work and think "man, how can I even compete with their talents?"
But the thing is we are all so different so we all have something to contribute. :)

Wow - such great advice Julia! Your work is beautiful and I say go for it!
Oh! And as for products,
I'm definitely not as productive without my triple mocha, for real. :-)

You can catch Julia

Hop on over to say hello and follow her amazing work!


And last, but certainly not least -
tomorrow I get to share my Feature Interview with

Steph of Bliss Mayberry

Here's a sneak peak:

Heidi Beth Loopdy Scarf in charcoal striped jersey, hand dyed grey eyelet lace, & yellow vintage lace

Have a GREAT day and see ya tomorrow!


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1 comment:

Gwen @ The Bold Abode said...

Those pieces are amazing! Ack! Gotta go get my brush!