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Weekending Outdoors: Picnic Pointers

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This post is in partnership with Bravazzi, but all opinions are my own.

Each year I like to share some picnic scenes to help you get inspired to get outdoors! The weather is PERFECT right now, so it’s a good time to soak up the sunshine before the mosquitos set up shop.  If you live in Charleston, I’ve included some upcoming outdoor events for you to know about. If not, I’ll share a few fab picnic ideas so you can make your own fun outdoor soirée!

colorful picnic inspiration

1. Easy to Transport Libations

Bravazzi is a hard Italian soda (4.2% ABV) that comes in 4 flavors- the blood orange is my fave! Gluten free is a must for me, and it’s also all natural without icky artificial additives (it’s made with 100% fruit juices).  There’s a store locator on Bravazzi.com if you want to find it in your area, and if you’re in Cherleston you can find it at Harris Teeter. Wouldn’t it be perfect for a boat day, too?!

2. Picnic Supplies

I love the look of picnic baskets, but I find most of them to be pretty cumbersome to schlep across a park. Opt for an insulated cooler or small basket like this one I found at a vintage market. To keep clean up simple, stick with paper products & disposable utensils or finger foods. For a picnic blanket, I always stick with my old faithful, a Turkish towel of course!

colorful charleston picnic

3. Get a Little Fresh

Picking up some fresh flowers from the grocery store make your simple sunshine-soaking feel a little more fancy. Treating your picnic set up like a real table scape makes you want to enjoy the moment and linger a little longer.  Bring along some fresh fruit, and it will make your beverages feel like that much more of a treat!

If you’re local to Charleston or visiting this spring, below are some upcoming outdoor events for you to know about.  Or if you want to do a DIY picnic, be sure to check out Hampton Park, Allan Park, Colonial Lake, or Brittlebank Park!

Charleston Mimosa Festival | March 30

High Water Festival | April 13-14

Charleston Beer Fest | May 18

Spoleto Festival | May 24-June 9

Follow along on Instagram (@charlestonweekender) for more Charleston tips and inspiration to help you make every day feel more like the weekend!

all images by Kim Graham Photo

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Weekending at Home: Bathroom Inspo from Hygge & West

Wallpaper Ideas for Bathrooms

I’d love to wallpaper my entire house, but sometimes it’s better to start small with an accent wall such as a bathroom. I thought I would give you guys an expert’s guide to all things wallpaper, so who better than Aimee Lagos & Christiana Coop (the founders of Hygge & West) to keep us up to date on the latest trends and tips!?


Liz: What wallpaper designs look best in smaller bathrooms vs. larger bathrooms? Is it all about the size of the print?

H & W: Bathrooms are the perfect spot in the house to really let loose with your pattern choice. Dark, light, big scale, small scale – you can’t go wrong with this one! Traditionally smaller repeat patterns work better in smaller spaces and vice versa, but ultimately the most important thing to consider is what will make a person happy when they open the door.

Liz: Wallpaper ceiling- yay or nay?

H & W: 100% YAY. People often overlook the ceiling as a surface to wallpaper, but it’s a unique and unexpected treatment that can add so much to a room. We recently did a round up of our favorite ceiling installations and wallpaper patterns for the ceilings if you’re looking for more inspiration:

https://www.hyggeandwest.com/blogs/picnics-under-the-moon/our-favorite-wallpapers-for-the-ceiling

Liz: Would you say bathroom inspiration usually starts with wall color/pattern or another element?

H & W: Most of the time, people are not starting from scratch design wise - there are existing elements in the bathroom to consider such as the vanity, tile, etc. So you start within a design scheme and then find a pattern and colorway that will complement what’s already there. When starting from scratch, color seems to be a strong source of inspiration - we see a lot of navy and blues being used in bathroom installations and our metallic gold patterns have also been popular with all the brass hardware and lighting that’s so on trend nowadays.

Liz: Is wallpapering an entire bathroom “in” or mostly accent walls?

H & W: We think that wallpapering an entire bathroom is generally the way to go, unless it happens to be a very large bathroom. You can treat that room like a jewel box and really just surround yourself in pattern. Bonus points for doing the ceiling, too.

Liz: How do you warm someone up to the commitment of wallpaper in a world where design trends are changing constantly?

Hygge & West Wallpaper for Bathrooms

H & W: That’s a great question! There are a couple things to consider. If you use wallpaper primer and the right paste, wallpaper isn’t actually that difficult to remove. The paste and paper we use now is very different from what was available 20 or more years ago, so for those of you who were scarred by removing 1970’s wallpaper, know that removing wallpaper now is a completely different experience. You don’t need to think of it as a lifelong commitment; more like 5-10 years. Or if you’re us, 1-2 years! That said, we try to create timeless designs that aren’t so trend-based that they will feel dated. We recommend choosing patterns that create joy for you or have some kind of personal meaning, and not ones featuring the trendiest color or trendiest motif. Not convinced? Choose removable wallpaper tiles instead!

Liz: When choosing which bathrooms in your home to wallpaper, what are the deciding factors? (half bath, full, guest bath, etc.)

H & W: Powder rooms are the most foolproof place to install water because the exposure to water and steam is limited when there isn’t a shower or bath. We have a lot of customers install wallpaper in full baths and we’ve both done so in our homes - that said, you do have to be mindful about installing the wallpaper properly in those spaces. Guest baths are a great place for a really bold pattern since they are used occasionally, and they create a special space for your guests reminiscent of a boutique hotel.

Liz: How do you balance out the color/elements/decor pieces for the perfect bathroom?

H & W: Find a unifying element that you can pull through the entire design scheme. This can be a color or a decor style (eg mid-century modern or bohemian). Everything doesn’t have to match - in fact, we think it’s better if it doesn’t - but there does need to be something that ties everything together into a cohesive design. Usually we advise people to take the thing that they’re most excited about and then use that as the starting point to build their design around.


Wowzers, I suddenly feel the urge to go wallpaper EVERYTHING. Follow along for more inspo from Hygge & West inspo on their Instagram, and head to my recent post to have a look at their wallpaper I chose for our lounge room (you’re going to love it!)

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The Girliest Spots in Charleston

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You will rarely find me in heels, and I’m really not the most girly-girl when it comes to hair and make-up. However, I sure do love to get together with the gals and go to a super adorable space whenever possible. Here are the most girly shops & restaurants around Charleston, which you’ll enjoy whether you’re here for a bachelorette or just wanting to treat yourself to some holy city cuteness!


Semilla

This modern Mexican-inspired gem is just popping with pink! If you love the Instagram account @PlantsonPink, you’ll feel like you stepped into one of their posts when you go to Semilla. Bonus: the food is phenomenal (best ribs in town)!

c/o Mary Beth Creates

Camellia’s

This gorge champagne bar is nestled inside the fancy new Hotel Bennett. An opulent chandelier, fresh flowers, and plenty of pink will have you ogling your surroundings while you sip your bubbly.

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Cannonborough Collective

Now that we’ve expanded our shop and taken over the next door space, we have even more pops of pink and cute new merchandise for you to browse! As always, we have plenty of girly balloons like unicorns. I’ve also expanded my offerings to include more home decor & entertaining items, so I hope you’ll stop by soon to have a look.

image c/o Abby Murphy Photography

image c/o Abby Murphy Photography

image c/o Mary Beth Creates

image c/o Mary Beth Creates

Jude Connally

I just love this adorable back room at Jude Connally on King Street! Prior to developing her clothing line, Jude was an interior designer and you can certainly tell by the way she decorated her store. BONUS: Jude really knows how to design clothing that makes any woman feel amazing; you’ll go gaga for her prints!

c/o Kim Graham Photo

The Skinny Dip

You probably already know where to go the next time you have a hankering for frosé, and you’ll love shopping their brands like Sail to Sable and August Morgan!

Skinny Dip Charleston Where to Go for a Charleston Bachelorette or Girl's Weekend

The Community

This adorable new kid on the block is stocked with all kind of brands from home decor items to skin care. They have cute offerings for kids as well.

The Community Charleston SC Shop

Mylk Bar

If you like a little Instagram-friendly moment to go with your mani, you’ve found the right place!

Mylk Bar Charleston SC Nail Salon, Charleston Bachelorette Idea

Blo Dry Bar

There’s now a downtown location of this cute dry bar. I love how their branding is full of pink and puns! Bonus: enjoy champagne while you get your hair did!

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Candy Shop Vintage

You’ll love the vintage and vintage inspired jewelry in this cute little shop, and it’s just right down the street from Cannonborough Collective.

c/o Rachel Red Photography

c/o Rachel Red Photography

That’s all for now, but comment if you can think of any other spots filled with all the girly goodness

that I missed, and follow along on Instagram for more of my Charleston recs!

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Influencer Marketing: my guide to getting the ROI you want

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Influencer Marketing is still kind of the new kid on the block when it comes to advertising. Your company can pay a social media “influencer” or blogger (like me!) to promote their brand or location for you. As a consumer, I get most of my inspiration from an online platform. For decorating inspiration I typically head to Pinterest (which really leads you to blogs), and I usually discover restaurants or local stores I want to go try from Instagram. Based on my own habits as a consumer and also as a store owner myself, I can tell you I’m very confident that Influencer Marketing “works”! The real question is how can you make sure it is going to work before you allocate some of your budget to this outlet. Here are a few common questions I hear about this topic, along with some of the advice I usually give before partnering with a brand to help make our collaboration as successful as possible!

What guarantee do I have that working with an influencer will work?

Short answer: just like with any form of traditional marketing, there are never guarantees about sales or visits to your website.

You can’t put an ad in a magazine and guarantee you’ll sell out of your website inventory, right? The biggest benefit of most forms of marketing is reach/circulation/brand awareness. Just like circulation is the number you would focus on before deciding to advertise in a magazine, and viewership is what you would care about before paying to go on a local TV segment, I think the biggest guarantee with Instagram promotion is the reach per post. 20,000 followers doesn’t mean that many people see all of my posts. An Instagram post for me can get anywhere from 3k-over 20k unique views for an Instagram post and 1-2k views for Instagram stories. The average unique reach of my last 10 Instagram posts is 6,300.

Another “guarantee” with Influencer Marketing is often that you will get professional photos for your own social media use. Hiring a professional photographer is usually anywhere from $150 for about 30 minutes to possibly thousands of dollars for a full editorial shoot, so it’s a great added value to get that high quality content for your brand.

Ok, so there are no guarantees, but how do I make sure I get the best possible return?

  • Give a discount. Offer a unique discount code for the blogger so you can track how many sales they brought to the table (I recommend at least 20% off with a short term expiration date).

  • Repetition. From selling my own products on my platform as well as promoting other brands, I can say the most success comes with repetition. When I’ve done a series of 3 posts instead of a one off, that’s when companies tell me they see the most sales. I’ve noticed the same when I’ve promoted a new product or one of my workshops the 2nd or 3rd time.

  • Find the right influencer fit. Do not be blinded by shiny objects like follower count! Sure, hiring Kim Kardashian to post for you (for about a quarter million dollars btw) could help you get Internet Famous. Well, what if you are a Charleston based restaurant? You might actually see more real customers come through your doors if you team up with someone who instead has mostly Charleston followers. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you find an influencer who: is in the same location as you or the same genre. A beauty blogger will probably get more people into your spa than a food blogger, and if you have a store/restaurant/physical location you need to find someone with the majority of their followers also in that area. The only exception I can think of is when it comes to hotels/lodging, because anyone from anywhere could want to travel based on a blogger recommendation. Personally, I’ve added several places to my own bucket list after being introduced to them by gals like Hot Pink Pineapples and Palm Beach Lately! Also make sure you like their: captions, aesthetic, content, personality, etc.

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Be Your Own Influencer First!

Sometime sales are not your main marketing goal; perhaps you are hoping to get a boost in your own Instagram followers. If that’s the case, this simply isn’t going to happen if your Instagram isn’t pretty awesome! Therefore, I’ll often encourage brands to invest in my Instagram Growth Workshop instead of hiring me to promote them. I want them to get follower growth if that is their goal, but when someone clicks over to their page it has to good at first glance in order for someone want to follow along. Someone will decide in a few seconds if they want to follow, largely baed on the overall aesthetic and content you have to offer.

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Is Influencer Marketing Better Than “Traditional” Marketing?

I am certainly not trying to knock print advertising, advertising on TV, etc.! I have a local TV segment, so I am confident that is effective, and the times our store has been featured in local magazines we have always seen new customers. I certainly appreciate and welcome any and all press for our brick and mortar store! However, there are a couple of reasons we’ve chosen to primarily utilize our marketing budget for influencer marketing. 1) Influencers have brought us new Instagram followers that are now ours to “keep” and continue to see what we’re doing over and over. 2) As I mentioned before, photography is expensive! We only invest in about 1 photo shoot a quarter, so teaming up with bloggers usually means we get access to new content to share on our social accounts in the interim.

Let’s recap! When it comes to influencer marketing, it’s super important that you:

-know your goals

-find the right influencer for your brand

-set yourself up for success by having a way to measure your ROI or ask for the stats after the campaign is finished

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Also, don’t be afraid to ask for more info up front. It’s perfectly fine to request a screenshot of their follower demographic, or ask to hear about their previous campaigns. As a business owner, I have invested in influencers by gifting product to bloggers. Sometimes it brought me sales and other times it didn’t, but I always made sure I got something out of it. If you’re like me, you may not have a large advertising budget to work with. I really want you to get the most bang for your buck, so always feel free to DM me at @CharlestonWeekender or email me (CharlestonWeekender@Gmail.com) if you have any other questions about all of this!

all images by Elizabeth Burgi Photography

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Modernism Week Must-Sees

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Modernism Week is the annual Palm Springs event that you’ve probably heard me yammer on & on about the past few years! It’s hard to express with words why I love this city and this February event so much, so I wanted to share some fun photos and my top recommendations in the line-up this year. Hopefully this will give you a better idea of why you need to join me there and which events you just can’t miss!

So what IS Modernism Week?

Modernism Week begins on February 14th & is a celebration of all things mid-century; the architecture & decor, the nightlife, the culture, and so much more! It lasts for 11 days, and offers a plethora of happenings from lectures on architecture to cocktail parties. This event is especially fun for design enthusiasts and architecture lovers like me, because you get to tour a lot of private homes & neighborhoods you wouldn’t otherwise see when you visit this desert oasis. Now let’s get you rocking & rolling with a fabulous itinerary, shall we?! In no particular order, here are the events I’ll definitely be checking out.

This post is in partnership with ACME House Company, but all opinions are my own.


Nathan Cox Photography

Nathan Cox Photography

Aqualillies Synchronized Swimming Show | February 15th-19th, 3 shows a day | Get Tickets Here

I immediately fan-girled over these talented ladies when I saw them perform on Glee, then again when they collaborated on a series of fine art prints with my favorite photographer, Gray Malin. It was Gray’s photos that inspired me to reach out to these synchronized swimming dynamos to see if they might work with me on a photo shoot to help me promote my Turkish towels. Well, they kindly agreed, not once but twice! We worked together on this shoot in Palm Beach with Beth from Palm Beach Lately and again in Palm Springs with the adorable Kelly Golightly & her husband “Fred Moser”. The Palm Springs shoot happened at one of my favorite ACME properties, and hence is how the Aqualillies connected with the fabulous brand manager of ACME. This was obviously a match made in modernism heaven- I mean I think every single ACME rental has the one thing the Aqualillies can’t do without- a pool! Well, fast forward to this year’s Modernism Week and that connection has blossomed into 15 fabulous performances! The shows will take place at ACME’s 2018 West Elm House, so as an added bonus you get to see that gorgeous property.

Truth be told, this is probably the event I’m most looking forward to! Luckily, upon introducing ACME + Aqualillies, I asked for a matchmaking fee of a permanent invitation to their performances together. I really hope you get to see one of their shows, too. If you’ve never witnessed an aqua ballet, it will simply make you giggle with delight!


Christopher Kennedy Compound First Look | Friday February 15th, 6-8pm | Get Tickets Here

Sadly, all of the tickets to tour this 1962 Indian Canyons home are already sold out, but you can still be the first to get a peek at this jaw dropping spectacle during this grand reveal party. In a nutshell, the Christopher Kennedy Compound is typically the main highlight of Mod Week. A couple years ago it was at the fabulous home of my favorite Palm Springs blogger, Kelly Golightly. Talent after talent collaborated to design a different room- everyone from Oh Joy to Gray Malin. I can’t wait to see who the celebrity designers are and how they transform the show house this year! All 12 of them will be on site during the evening so you can ask them about their designs in person.

Christopher Kennedy Store & Design Showroom, Nathan Cox Photography

Christopher Kennedy Store & Design Showroom, Nathan Cox Photography

If you can’t make it to any of the Christopher Kennedy Compound events, you’ll have to at least pop into his swoon-worthy store. It’s one of my favorite stores in town, and they even carry my Turkish towels!

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The Ultimate Mid Mod Cocktail Party | 2019 West Elm House | February 17th, 5-7pm | Get Tickets Here

If you’ve always wanted to stay at an ACME House Company Vacation rental but can’t swing it this time around, this is the next best thing. You can tour this 1950’s estate home as well, but I highly recommend you go ahead and give yourself a night to remember and hit up this party! There will be an open bar & live music, and you can hang out around the fabulous pool or lounge in any of the impeccably designed rooms like the retro queen that you are. The entire house is decked out in everything West Elm, just like the other ACME West Elm houses I’ve showed you in the past. If you’d like to see the home during the day to get better photos, you can tour it for free by reserving a ticket here.

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Modern Love: | February 14th, 8pm | Get Tickets Here

This is the other cocktail party I recommend, not only because it falls on my very favorite holiday, but also because it’s the official kick off to the week of fun! There will be a 12 piece orchestra AND a DJ, and the Indian Canyons Country Club Clubhouse will be transformed into “a groovy, modern love lair”. I better work on my beehive hairdo and break out the white pleather boots

Jonny takes cocktail parties VERY seriously!    Nathan Cox Photography

Jonny takes cocktail parties VERY seriously! Nathan Cox Photography


Green Gables Poolside Fashion Show | Thursday February 21st, 5-7pm | Get Tickets Here

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The pools of Palm Springs are always a delight, and this H3K designed home is no exception. While called “Green Gables”, the home is actually overflowing with pops of yellow! It was definitely one of my favorite home tour stops during Modernism Week Preview back in October, and this event is a great way to check it out this February. You’ll get to enjoy cocktails and appetizers while watching an array of fashion trends from 1950-1965 walk down a poolside runway. Groovy, baby!

Green Gables by H3K Design

Green Gables by H3K Design

If you still need a place to stay, you won’t be disappointed if you stay in an ACME vacation rental!  The ones I’ve tried (and LOVED) are Beverly Modern, Atomic Hummingbird, & The Wexler Fishbowl. We also got to peek into the “Palm Springs Time Machine”, the home from the Netflix Show Stay Here, and boy is it a beauty!  ALL YEAR LONG, you can use code WeekenderLove for a $100+ discount on your next stay with ACME!

Nathan Cox Photography

Nathan Cox Photography

Comment below or shoot me a DM on Instagram if you’ll be heading to Modernism Week this year!

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