Heather Jennings is a former designer for the indie children’s clothing line, Jasper Hearts Wren
, and is now a stay-at-home mom and DIY/Design blogger. Her blog, Poppy Haus,
is one of the newest members of the Bob Vila Nation
She loves the functionality and liveliness of contemporary Scandinavian design, and picks out paint colors using her degree in psychology. She lives with her husband and two boys in Petaluma, California. She only started Poppy Haus a year ago and it already gets between6,500-15,000 pageviews per month!
What first inspired you to create Poppy Haus? Can you remember and tell us about the moment when you first thought “I need to be sharing this stuff online?”
I started my blog a year ago. I was in a prolonged creative rut and one of my friends suggested that I start writing. I first called it “Make Do” and in the beginning it was more of a journal discussing my DIY projects, organization tips, and a chronicle of our family outings. I got at really positive response from my small group of readers and in January after leaving Jasper Hearts Wren, I did a redesign and launched Poppy Haus, posting original content with tutorials 3-5 times per week.
Do you run the blog alone? Where do you find ideas for the posts you blog?
I do run the blog alone. I miss having a creative partner to bounce ideas off of, but I also love the autonomy, and I have a couple of pint-sized helpers for my kid friendly projects. Most of my DIY ideas begin while browsing stores like Anthropolgie, DWR, Jonathan Adler. I see high end pieces and think, “I could do something like that. What if I used..?”. The same is true of my recipes. I love to build meals based on things I’ve tried at my favorite restaurants.
Tell us about your first design project— anything from decorating your room as a kid to your first paid design work.
I can’t remember my first design project, although I’m sure it involved double-sided sticky tape. I lived in England when I was a young girl and religiously watched this BBC show called “Blue Peter” which had all sorts of crafty projects for kids. I used to make my own play dough and papier mache decor
How did you hear about Bob Vila Nation and what made you want to join?
I follow Deluxe by Becky Golino
, which has been featured on Bob Vila Nation several times. I love the variety of contributor posts on BVN, from home improvement to design history.
What’s your favorite room to decorate and why?
The living room. After all, this is where we spend most of our time. I love mixing colorful textiles with neutral vintage pieces and the occasional IKEA find.
Do you have any blog success stories? People getting inspired by your posts and creating something really great because of it?
When my Anenome Chandelier was featured on Design*Sponge I was flooded with positive feedback, and people started sending in pictures of their own versions. It never gets old when your work inspires others to create.
What’s your favorite book/magazine on design? What about your favorite design site?
I’m an avid reader of both Dwell and Sunset magazines, I also love Anthology. Domino’s design book as well as Design*Sponge are a coffee table must, but I do most of my reading online these days. My favorites are: Deluxe, Design Milk, Oh Joy!, Poppytalk, Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy.
How does your previous work designing clothes for Jasper Hearts Wren translate to designing a new house or room?
Though the majority of my work was character design, on occasion I sourced textiles and developed ideas for new garments. I am obsessed with color and pattern, and use it strategically throughout my home. Jasper Hearts Wren is a very well executed line from color to proportion and I try to strike that same balance in my home design.
What inspires you?
My family. I try to create a home environment that is beautiful and well thought out, because this is where we cook, play and squabble, together, everyday.
What do you hope your readers take away from your blog?
I hope that they are inspired to make things from scratch, to do something creative with their kids, and to grow in their appreciation for design and designers.