It may be said without hesitation that Brittany Hayes has never met a pattern or a color that she didn’t completely and utterly adore. And whether it’s a burst of golden Dahlias plastering a bedroom wall, a shot of turquoise up high on a top shelf, or Ikats mingling with Suzanis, every one of them gets along picture-perfectly. You’ll see!
You might remember Brittany from her episode of Shark Tank. She has a few interesting bits to tell us about that whole process, plus what’s next up for her and her sweet family. I really hope they bring these bluesy stairs with them! (And please ignore the watermarks on the photos! Brittany began adding them to every photo when someone she didn’t know started Facebook and Instagram accounts claiming her home as their own. Oh my!)
Please join me in welcoming Brittany! Our very first tour guide of 2016!
Hello there! My name is Brittany Hayes, and I am a 34-year-old wife, mommy, blogger, and daughter of God. I am the proud mommy of two beautiful girlies: Addison is eight and Winter is three.
My husband and I are middle school sweethearts and have been together for 20 years in February! We started our business at age 20 and worked off our booties off every day since!
After my daughter Addison was born I became a stay at home mom, and then quickly learned that my huge passion for design and my love for entrepreneurship wouldn’t let me do so for too long. On Addison’s second birthday I started sketching and dreaming up her big girl room after my endless search for unique and fun bedding. Once it was complete, friends were begging me to get back to my sewing machine for their kids’ rooms…and from that vision, my bedding company Addison’s Wonderland was born!
In 2013 we decided to say goodbye to ten years of neighborhood living and pursue our dream of living on acreage. My husband has always wanted eight to ten acres, and we decided it was finally time to take the plunge!
After searching endlessly for land to build on, we settled on gorgeous property with an existing home that just needed a little loving. We fell in love with the beautiful land, but the home was not exactly what we had envisioned. Seeing as though we have always tackled and loved house projects, we decided to take it on.
We purchased our current home and started the renovation in December 2013. Although we did most of the major renovation early on, we have just completed most all of our vision. We had always thought this would be our forever home but we also love change, love renovations, and love a challenge.
Last month we came upon an AMAZING, 5,800 square foot home built in 1908 that is completely gutted. It is literally a needle in a haystack and we jumped on the chance to pursue another dream of renovating a historic home.
Although we absolutely love our home and are sad to move, we have learned that land is maybe not for us. We love the privacy and the space, but we also miss having neighbors and close friends for our girls.
We have also learned so much from our renovation that we are excited to carry on into our next project. For example, dark hardwood flooring is not for us! Although it is stunning, it is so difficult to keep clean and it shows absolutely everything!
Another thing we learned is that we do love an open floorplan, which has inspired us to make some changes to the floorplan of our next renovation. Finally, we learned to really take our time and not rush the project. Rather than hurry and await the completion, I am looking forward to taking my time and enjoying the process more. I am also SO excited to take my readers along the entire, detailed journey from start to finish!
Our current home and our historic home project are both in Monroe, Georgia. We absolutely love the small town living that Monroe has to offer, but with the proximity to both Atlanta and Athens. Monroe has such a rich history and so many wonderful traditions that it’s such a special city to be a part of. Now with our new home being walking distance to the quaint and adorable downtown, we are so excited to make small town memories with our girls that they will never forget.
Addison’s Wonderland began in July 2011 as my dream children’s bedding company. After almost three years of business and pretty rapid growth, I made the crazy yet wonderful decision to take a step back and focus on my family.
The fact that my husband and I both owned very busy, manufacturing type companies was taking a toll on our marriage and our family, and I thought it was best to take a little break. Although I originally intended on walking away completely, my husband and my social media followers encouraged me to start blogging.
I was getting bombarded with questions and advice from my random home remodeling posts and updates that it seemed like a great transition. I just had no idea how quickly it would take off!
I absolutely love getting the chance to live our lives and then share it with the world. Renovating, house flipping, and home projects are our daily life so although it may seem crazy to my readers, it’s just what we do and what we love. My readers’ encouragement and stories of how I’ve inspired them to bring color and a bit of whimsy into their own homes keeps me writing and keeps me posting more and more.
I would absolutely say the highlight of my blogging career so far would be being named a Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker for 2015, which has also led to blogging for BHG as well. Such an amazing honor and honestly a dream come true! I do have some crazy exciting things coming for 2016!
My style is 110% me. I design in a way that speaks to me and really allows me to release my creativity. I would say that my style is very colorful, whimsical, and unique. I don’t care to follow trends or popular styles; I just draw inspiration from what I love.
That said, I design every room, every corner, every bookshelf with my girls in mind. Is there something of their own for them to find on a shelf or in a basket or on a table near a soft and cozy chair? Yes. Is there something to make them smile and think and gasp a little wherever they look? Yes. And when in doubt if a room is perfect for living with my own kids and the absolute most welcoming for them, I might just add a swing!
I would say that my overall design theme is a daring combination of color and pattern. My goal, especially in my personal home, is to always push the limits of color and pattern play. To really ride the line of what matches and what clashes. Of what is too busy and what is just enough. I love to make a statement and I love to just be me.
Our home is literally our wonderland and I love that my girls will grow up in such a fun space. I want to always encourage them to be themselves and to be proud of who they are. And I hope that our home proves to them that what is normal and in style isn’t the only way to be!
My best tip for combining and layering textures is to think about the print type and the repeat. Three small repeat, geometric prints are not going to work all in one space. You need to categorize it all — solid, striped, floral — and then change it all up.
Make sure you aren’t using all small repeats or all large. Variety is key.
A lot of readers are really interested in our moment on Shark Tank! Gosh, Shark Tank was the most amazing, unforgettable, stressful, and life-changing thing I’ve ever done.
Overall I would say that it’s so much more work than you could even imagine. It took us six months to prepare for the show with weekly calls in to producers. Once in LA, we had to pitch again to producers and honestly didn’t even have a guarantee that it would air until seven months after we taped!
The most surprising part to me was that it was one take. If you mess up, it gets aired. We were in there for an hour and then they edit it down to eight minutes. It’s all just way more than I would’ve imagined.
Our biggest project for 2016 is what we have named Our Historic Wonderland. It will be my full-time job for at least six months to design and share this space on my blog. We are going to make it fun and interactive and really share all of the nitty gritty details.
My ultimate ultimate career dream would be to land a renovation show. It’s a dream I’ve always had and I feel that once you go in from of the Sharks, you can pretty much tackle anything.
My favorite part of living with my kids is seeing how their little minds work. They are so honest, so funny, and just so much fun. There isn’t a day that goes by that we are not crying with laughter over our three year old, and our eight year old just amazes us with her artistic abilities.
I hope that my girls learn to go for their dreams. Mark and I continue to do so every day, and I hope they see that in us.
I wish someone had told me that they really actually do grow up so fast.
When Addison was a baby, she cried for fourteen straight months — not even kidding — and I honestly thought my life was over. Mark and I were so used to traveling and working and that all seemed to be over for me.
I wished and then worked those years away…and I wish so bad I could have them back. I wish I knew then that they will be eight years old before you know it, and there will always be time for a career.
Although I love what I do and wouldn’t trade my journey for anything…I do wish I had been able to embrace stay at home mommyhood a little more.
Everyone always says it goes so fast, so I don’t know why we’re always so surprised when we realize that they were telling the truth! Thank you for spending the time here with us, Brittany; this was a fun one.
There is so much to devour in each room! It’s a sensory overload in the best way possible, and such a palate cleanse for those readers who might be a little tired of the black, white, and lots of grey scenes popping up on their social media feeds! Even if it’s not your personal taste, isn’t it refreshing to see such a collected and highly personal style in action?
P.S. – Are you living with your own kids in a unique way? Are you interested in sharing your home and experiences with us? Let me know! We love to be inspired! And it’s a lot of fun…I promise! Take a peek at all the homes in my Living With Kids series here.