Interior Design Blog: Amanda: Red Jet Whistle
Red Jet Whistle is my outlet to share my DIY projects, furniture finds, decor ideas, favourite resources, art and design finds, and almost anything else that interests me.
I grew up always being interested in drawing and making things, and went to a school for fine arts, eventually getting a degree in graphic design. My day job is marketing and communications for an architecture firm, I love working for architects and interior designers – I get to see home-building from the inside! Outside of work, I’ve always been into DIY and continue to look for new skills and projects. I sew, craft and spend a lot of time in thrift stores.
It seems like ages ago that I started the blog – at first I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I had just opened an Etsy shop to sell the purses that I was making, and I noticed that many other successful sellers had blogs, at the same time I was discovering decor/DIY blogs, so it seemed like something I wanted to try. In the beginning it was mostly about the bags I was sewing and random websites I liked, but I slowly found my voice.
It’s really been amazing, I’ve made friends, got published, pushed myself to try new things, and have gotten to interact with so many new people – all from my blog! It’s also a record to look back and remember what I was doing and see how my tastes have developed and changed in the last 5 years.
My favourite posts are the posts where I get to share my DIY projects – these three in particular have gotten a lot of feedback and started the most conversations.
Tips on decorating with style
Art – Unique, interesting art does not have to be expensive, stretching fabric over inexpensive wood bars, altering cheap, vintage “art” with paint, and buying reasonably priced prints from sites like 20×200, Tiny Showcase, Etsy and Big Cartel are all fun ways to decorate your walls. Don’t forget that almost anything looks great in a frame – I put up framed greeting cards in my bathroom!
Work Space – I’ve found that having a neat and organized work area is the key to getting my projects done. One of my tricks is to keep all tools and containers OFF my desk – it stops me from letting my tools take over! Always leave a blank desk for the next time.
Store and Swap – If you have any kind of storage space available to you, I recommend keeping the furniture pieces that you replace, if it’s well made – keep it! You’d be surprised at how often you can come back to a piece a year or so later and have the perfect use for it. I have quite a few small side tables, and rotating them out from storage is a no-cost way to freshen up my space.
Thrift – There’s so much great stuff out there with history, quality and fabulous design – try to stay away from “disposable” furniture. A fresh coat of paint and some new hardware can turn a scuffed up but well-made piece into something with lasting character.
Light Fixtures – I always thought that changing out the decorative light fixtures in my home would require an electrician, but with some simple precautions, it’s VERY easy to do yourself, and can really change the whole feel of a room. There are numerous books and websites that will walk you through the process.
I don’t read that many magazines anymore, most of my inspiration comes from other bloggers, but I do enjoy Lonny Magazine, Elle Décor, and This Old House Magazine – which has really helpful tutorials and source lists. I read a LOT of blogs (40+), here’s just a small sample – Apartment Therapy, design*sponge, Door Sixteen, The Brick House, notcot, decor8, curbly, craftzine, swiss-miss, emma’s design blogg, Modish, Oh Joy!, and so many more!
My adventures and passions
My most recent adventure has been opening an online shop for my handmade wood arrows. There’s something so satisfying about hand making something that other people are willing to buy! I’m also trying to teach myself how to sew my own clothes. I’ve been sewing since I was little, but I want to advance beyond curtains and pillows into clothing. I’m also getting interested in learning how to repair and restore furniture; I find so many gems but often pass them up because I don’t know how to properly fix them.
I plan on keeping the blog going, and continuing to learn new skills and experiment with my decor. No big plans right now, I’m happy with the balance between my day job and my blog, shop and projects, but who knows? Maybe someday I can quit my day job and be creative full-time!
My favourite piece of decorating advice is to always consider your home a work in progress, getting it right takes time. Unfinished is interesting!