Two unique online décor shops and a design blog express this pair of designers' creative passion.
One is educated in interior design, is a certified color consultant, and has applied her discriminating design vision to both large commercial projects and distinguished private residences. The other is a born entrepreneur, spending years in commercial real estate negotiating on behalf of well-known national retailers.
Together, Tiffany Grayce Harris and Wendy Rossiter Estes are the brains behind two well-cultivated and practically addictive online collections: Layla Grayce, a boutique assortment of home furnishings and nursery décor; and Zinc Door, modern furnishings, lighting, rugs, accessories, and more. They also talk shop and track trends on their blog, The Backroom.
After a trip through Europe after college brought these "self-taught" entrepreneurs together, they started a process that they admit continues to intensify their desire to create a great, easy-to-navigate shopping experience.
"We think of ourselves as driven by passion," says Tiffany Grayce Harris, the designer in the duo. "We live by products, lifestyle, and finding that perfect piece for a home and for our friends. We consider our customers our friends. We feel their spaces are a reflection of them, and we love being part of that process," she adds. "So, I guess you could consider us a jack of all trades!"
Layla Grayce offers unique items for home, women, and children that are never mainstream but always functional. Products with a classic feel are selected for their longevity—everyday heirlooms that can be passed on to future generations.
Zinc Door, launched last year, is a place to shop for a diverse collection of transitional modern furniture, rugs, lighting, décor, and bedding. It is the "mod alter ego" of Layla Grayce, giving traditional classics an updated edge to appeal to the modern décor enthusiast. "It's important that we give our customers a wide range of styles to choose from, whether they prefer timeless pieces or contemporary trends," says Estes.
"We're always on the hunt for genuine pieces that cater to our customers' unique lifestyles both aesthetically and functionally," says Harris. "We believe decorating is more than just filling a space with objects; it's about creating a personalized, comfortable home."
As part of their strategy to embrace the online opportunities in today's world of design, Estes and Harris also "talk style" on their blog, The Backroom. The blog, Estes says, is "another platform to showcase our vendors, create storyboards, and give our customers a way to envision our products in their space."
They also actively post on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. "Pinterest is one of the most amazing marketing mediums out there," says Harris. "Good design builds greater design, and we all push the envelope."
These venues, both agree, also are a fabulous source for all designers to reach existing clients and attract new ones, as well as work remotely and more efficiently. Clearly, this pair values the marketing power of digital media, especially in the design community. They've proven that tapping into these opportunities can be just as effective, if not more so, than some of the more traditional methods.
The Duo's Favorite Paint Colors
No matter the project, Benjamin Moore is Harris' and Estes' "go to" for paint color selection. In fact, Harris used several Benjamin Moore colors in her own home, including glass slipper (1632) in her master bath and revere pewter (HC-172) in her master bedroom.
Both women gravitate toward neutral paint colors such as perspective® (CSP-5), plaster of paris® (CSP-185), and smoke & mirrors (CSP-105), with pops of bold colors like turquoise, green and gold. For soft colors, french toile (CSP-595) and sage wisdom (CSP-775) are their must-haves.
They also favor Benjamin Moore's zero-VOC product offering, which they say their Layla Grayce customers, in particular, love.
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