Head Title BiDesign

Denise Stoughton | Designer

Beauty's Where You Find It!
(not just where you painted and primed it)

“Greta Garbo, and Monroe Dietrich and – the HOME DEPOT!” -Madonna, “Vogue”

You're a Madonna fan or have been around long enough to remember when she dominated pop culture. You're familiar with the term: Voguing. You're a fabulous, yet frugal, decorating diva – OMG, we're related! Even if voguing is a vague concept that you remember your mom mentioning prior to her striking an awkward and rather embarrassing pose in the family room in front of your friends, mere moments before she fell, twisted an ankle, and landed in urgent care. You get the gist.

Beauty's Where You Find It Home Depot Image

Quite naturally, I've hijacked Madonna's lyrics in service of my own maniacal love of home decorating and passion for big–box home improvement emporiums. However, it's unlikely the queen of pop was pondering home improvement as she penned those words back in 1990. Yet, aren't the parallels obvious? Why not adopt these confident, upbeat, and celebratory phrases as our mantras as we fearlessly go beyond the mundane in search of the truly inspirational for our homes?

“All you need is your own imagination
So use it. That's what it's for
Go inside, for your finest inspiration
Your dreams will open the door”

Luckily for us, inspiration is not confined to glamorous showrooms, high–end boutiques, galleries, or museums. There are no mundane, ordinary objects when considered with a curious and imaginative mind. When we open ourselves up to viewing so-called ordinary objects with the inquisitiveness and fascination of a child, the possibilities for creativity are endless. Beauty is where you find it. Whether it's an occupational hazard or psychosis, this is truly how I see the world around me and every object in it.

I found myself as such one fine day at the Home Depot. You know the deal: You go in for one thing and come out with a gas grill, thumbtacks, candy bars, bleach, and a hack saw. I stopped in for a simple can of paint and ended up in the garden center. Due to the winter season, this section was sparsely stocked and partially closed, which is precisely the reason it was possible for a small, non-descript, and shiny item on the top shelf to catch my eye.

Beauty's Where You Find It Home Depot Image

In order to reach the item, this five-foot, decorating diva struck a pose (of sorts) while singing, “You know you can do it!”. Using the bottom shelf as a step, I teetered on the tippy toes of one foot while using the other foot as a counterbalance. One hand desperately reached upward and the other held onto the shelves for dear life. I realized then the importance of the phrase: “And we can help.”

A cute sales associate wearing a cowboy hat (wrong music video, buddy) ambled over, reached up, and handed me my future.

It turns out that my future was a round, white magnetic air planter. Welcome to my quirky world. Sure, anyone could plop a Tillandsia in there, slap it on the fridge, and call it a day. It was so cool though, I thought, “What else can I do with it?”

I ran over to the building supplies section, grabbed some sheet metal and wood, whisked through checkout, sped home, and created the first prototypes for the Modern Air Head collection of wall art planters. That was two months ago.

Beauty's Where You Find It Graffiti Image

Since then, I’ve sold the basic collection online while continuing to develop a broader assortment. This selection includes a variety of wall tile shapes, metallic finishes, and a mixture of plant containers that attach magnetically to the tiles.

I’m collaborating with other creatives on the island to perfect my original design. By adding the hallmark of these local artists, like Diane Bonciolini of Mesolini Glass, Sandra Sanchez-Palacio (woodworking), and Jeremy Loerch (metalsmithing), the planters become unique, and draw more attention to the artists and Bainbridge’s individuality.

Another unanticipated bonus of working on these vertical gardens was learning about (and falling in love with!) air plants, succulents, and cacti (I’ve since learned cacti are succulents). These small plants are colorful, easy to care for, and charming.

I have most certainly found beauty and hope you will too. Remember,…

It makes no difference if you're black or white If you're a boy or a girl You’re a superstar, yes, that’s what you are, you know it!

Bainbridge Island Design