Interview with ASHLEY PHIPPS, creator of Simply Designing

All photos courtesy of “Simply Designing”

With ingeniosity and charm, Ashley Phipps finds creative ways to make home decor and crafts simple enough to do by ourselves. Curious? visit “Simply Designing” blog and check for yourself how she channels her talent for interior design and home decor with great posts and tutorials.

We wanted to find out more about her, so we asked for an interview. Let’s see what she had to say!

1. Hi Ashley, thanks for joining us today. Please take a moment to tell us about yourself and your blog, Simply Designing and anything else youd like our readers to know about you.

I am an interior designer by profession. I am NCIDQ Certified and have successfully completed the CA Codes and Regulations Exam. In addition, I have a Floral Design certification and own my own Interior Design and Floral Design business. I have two children and have been married to a wonderful hubby for ten years!

In my spare time I like to “create.” After years of practicing interior design, I realized I also like to create things for my home and family to enjoy as well. Eventually I decided to start my own blog: Simply Designing and have had a lot of fun with it.

On my blog you will see a variety of things I have created like home decor items, crafts, seasonal crafts , yummy treats and kid crafts.
Week to week my posts vary a bit but I usually post an interior design article on Wednesdays and every Friday I host a Link-Up Party

But most importantly everything on my blog is SIMPLE!

2. You’re obviously a very creative person, and it really shines through your blog. How long have you been blogging, and how have you enjoyed the experience of sharing your creativity with the world?

Ahhh…thanks! I have been blogging about a year and a half and I have enjoyed it a lot. Sometimes I get overwhelmed though. When I do, I try to remind myself why I started my blog which was simply to share the ideas I have and things I have created with others, and to connect to other creative people out there.
My family comes first though so sometimes if I get overwhelmed, I just take a day or two off! But in the year and a half I have been blogging, I have gotten a lot of positive response which really keeps me encouraged to keep my blog up to date! I love love LOVE comments! And I have some of the nicest readers ever! I truly love getting to know my readers and other bloggers out there! So overall I really do love it!

3. I have to confess I really enjoyed your post: “Re-accessorize Your Home with Trendy Colors”. As an interior designer, can you briefly give our readers some tips on how refresh their homes without breaking their budget?

I would love to! Most of us don’t have the means to re-decorate our homes as often as we might like to, however you can easily, and affordabily, re-accessorize to give your home a whole new look!Some ideas to re-accessorize are to change your pillows or add a few colored vases or nick-nacks in popular colors to your home.

If you enjoy thrifting, going to garage sales or looking on Craigslist, you can often score some great deals on gently used items that way. Paint is also another cheap way to refresh your home! Either a new coat of paint on your walls, or a new coat of paint on that piece of furniture can really change the entire look of a home for very little money.( Check more interior design articles here).

4. How would you describe your own decor style and what decor style do you have in your home?

That’s a tough one. As a designer who has spent a lot of time studying design, I have learned to appreciate so many styles that I truly love so many different styles! I am my own worst client! My home is constantly evolving and growing into what I want it to be

We recently moved into a much larger home then we have ever lived in, so I have my work cut out for me! But, I am designing and decorating on a budget which I find thrilling! It has been a fun learning process for me as I have learned how to refinish furniture and create home decor items that I truly love! I have three projects mid-process in my garage, so I am really busy trying to decorate my home right now! But the best way to describe my style is (while I don’t necessarily own much from these stores) pottery barn meets restoration hardware meets shabby chic with a touch of modern clean lines and formality thrown in there for kicks, topped with children’s toys. Ha ha ha!

But in all seriouness, I like my home to feel warm and welcoming to my family and my guests. I love warm colors, rich dark woods and tons of light coming in from my windows.

5. Ashley, you were featured on “Christmas Crafts” and “New Year’s Kids Crafts” segments for Fox News. Also on March 19, which was not long ago, you were featured again on Fox for “Simple Spring Decor Ideas”! How was your experience on TV? Did you enjoy it?

I have truly loved doing segments for Indianapolis’ local affiliate, Fox 59! It is so much fun and I absolutly love it! If I could do that for a living, I would!! I enjoy it so much! (You can see all of my tv segments here.)

6. You have so many tutorials on your blog on different crafts, and all accompanied by beautiful pictures! I’m sure our readers will get inspired. What would you recommend to people willing to start crafting and creating their own decor?

Well, the first step would be to follow my blog of course! Ha ha ha!
I truly believe that anyone can craft and create. On my blog, I focus on doing things simply. If I find an idea that I like, but it seems to complicated, I figure out how to make it easier. My ideal craft can be started and finished in an afternoon. I will spend longer on big projects like refinishing furniture obviously, but, for me, crafts that take too long, are just no fun! So my first suggestion is to keep things SIMPLE! Secondly, get inspired! There are so many blogs out there, mine included of course :), that share wonderful ideas! If you want to craft but need ideas, spend a few minutes blog-hopping and you are sure to find inspiration! Thirdly, if you are confused or stuck, ask! If you see an idea on a blog, but don’t understand something, leave a comment with a way to contact you. Most of us crafty bloggers love to help explain things better or offer suggestions if you need them, so don’t be afraid to ask!

7. Are your kids part of the team when designing and making new craft decor?

My daughter is 4 and loves to help me! She loves to be involved in whatever I am doing and I try to find a special job for her so that she can be included in the fun! I have a lot of fun creating things with my daughter! My son is only 14 months…and…well…he is more interested in climbing on things then crafting. I usually craft while he is napping.

8. You mentioned that you love flowers; your blog has a section “Floral Design”, AND you have a Floral Design certification and a floral design business. Can you tell our readers a little bit more about it?

Yes! I practiced interior design for a long time but took a break after my daughter was born. This was way before I blogged, but I still wanted a creative outlet in my life! So I took cake decorating classes. Those were a LOT of fun! But I also wanted to find a way to make a bit of extra money on the side if I needed to, so, along the same design lines, I took floral design classes and received my floral design certificate. Since that time, I have designed and created a lot of different floral designs for many occasions. But my favorite flowers I have done were for weddings! I love love LOVE doing wedding flowers!!

9. Ashley, we could go on and on with more questions, but we respect your time and will stop here. For our last question: What are your career plans, and where do you see yourself in the next 2 years?

I have a few things in the works actually. One of which is very very preliminary and at the moment, it is still a secret! But if you check back with me in a few months I might have gotten a little further with that one.
But the other thing I am working on is actually to get back to my roots a bit more and get back into Interior Design! In fact, I just opened up a new page on my blog for Interior Design Services: it’s the pretty button up top with the red writting that says Interior Design. I am now offering interior design consultation services both in-home (or office) in the greater Indianapolis area as well as online. Interior Design Services online, you ask?? Oh yes!! I offer a couple of different packages depending on your needs, but we will chat either via email or phone call for a bit about your need. I will have a few questions for you, and then you will send me a few photos of the room you need help with. From there I will help you design and create your ideal room!

Interior design services like this are truly an afforable way to get the professional help that you need without paying a premium price for a designer to come into your home. It is also nice because it is truly just that, a consultation. So I am not trying to sell you anything! You hire me to give you ideas and suggestions so that you can make your home fabulous!! You can read all about my design services and get pricing here.

We thank Ashley for taking the time to talk to us today. Please remember to visit her blog “Simply Designing”. She offers interior design consultations in the greater Indianapolis area. Too far away for you? She can be contacted through her blog or Facebook page for online consultations. So, don’t forget to visit!