Design Talent to Spare
Three local creatives showcase their decorative love
Photographer Carli Wentworth
Three local creatives showcase their passion for one-of-a-kind pursuits with results definitely worth waiting for.
Textiles with a Twist
Gathering inspiration from her travels and her countryside home in Great Britain, Louise Dean creates original products for the home. Utilizing her degree in Textile Design from Loughborough University in the UK, Dean crafts whimsical products from her hand-drawn and -painted artwork and gathers ideas from her homeland, her new home and her travels.
“I just got back from Thailand,” says Dean. “I really love hiking and going on nature walks.”
Dean combines hand painting, silk screening and the latest in print technology to produce her made-in-the-U.S.A. interior design line. Additional inspiration comes from her father, owner of his own engineering business.
“He is really creative,” says Dean. “He taught me to work hard.”
Currently, she’s focused on home interior materials for clients. Some of the handmade items include art, pillows and coasters. “It is going really, really well,” shares Dean. “I’m really excited about that. That has been fun. It is my style but fits their home.”
In the future, Dean would like to expand her interior design textiles to include bigger pieces such as curtains, bedding and wallpaper designs. Until she opens a full-fledged shop, see her creations on Instagram @louisedeandesign or louisedeandesign.com.
A Meaningful Motivation
After having three children in three years, Ashlee Newton started making pillows, sewing window treatments and recovering and painting furniture while keeping busy as a stay-at-home mom. In 2013, she opened Restoring Beauty From Ashes and expanded to include interior design consultation, interior design and furniture painting and restoring. Currently she’s working on a project for a Norman dentist that includes reupholstering 12 chairs, designing chandeliers and working with contractors.
“It brings me a lot of joy,” says Newton. “It is therapeutic.”
At one point, Newton was unsure about moving forward with her passion. A difficult creative period occurred after a quick series of unfortunate events that included the loss of her grandmother. These experiences had a very negative effect on Newton.
“It took a toll on my health,” says Newton. “I never thought I’d be creative again.”
However, the pairing of hand-me-down furniture and chalk paint provided the spark that ignited her journey back to creating and became the inspiration for her company name. But she emphasized the path back was not quick.
“It was a three-year process,” said Newton. “I painted a dresser that was my grandmother’s. It was part of the healing process.”
Newton enjoys using the reclaimed wood to build furniture, too.
“I have a heart for things that are thrown away,” said Newton. “Giving things new life, new purpose.”
Check out Newton’s feed on Instagram @restoringbeautyfromashes or on Facebook at Ashlee Hoilien Newton.
Fresh Life for Old Houses
Since 2006, Sudderth Design has been remodeling and flipping houses in the Oklahoma City area. Randy Sudderth restored his first house in the Miller neighborhood. Since then, he has renovated homes in many historic areas including Heritage Hills, Mesta Park and Crown Heights. Recently, he and his crew finished a 1938 house in Nichols Hills that sold for $1.1 million. Sudderth Design is focused on details and his homes are in demand.
“I do four to six houses a year, and three to four will have sold before I finish them,” explains Sudderth.
He stays up to date with the latest trends – interior design elements, from door knobs to light fixtures, are chosen by Sudderth. Some stunning details he utilizes include wall paint colors like black, white and gray and floors that are bleached and stained gray paired with white painted woodwork. Popular touches include unusual light fixtures such as white antler chandeliers and glass-enclosed offices.
“We take pride in our work,” says Sudderth. “We put extras in like lighting for artwork. Your lighting is everything.”
Sudderth gets inspiration from the houses he remodels and knows the moment he steps in whether he will refurbish it or not. His thoughtful process in remodeling and flipping a home is reflected in his attitude during renovation. He remodels every home as if he’s going to live in it himself.
“I love what I do,” said Sudderth. “It is almost like not going to work.”