Linda Leyble's blog thecolorfulbee.com is a great resource for design ideas, artistic options and hands on painting concepts. She is a very talented designer, artistic, paint effects guru , blogger and interior designer.
As we love her blog, we were interested to see how she built up her knowledge and skills and asked her a few questions:
Q:Hey Linda, when and why did you become interested in design?
I have been in love with design ever since I could remember. I was the kid that was always changing her furniture around, making things to hang up on my walls and pleading with my parents to change the wall color of my room. My mother was a DIYer and at the tender age of 8 she was teaching me how to paint and gild furniture (mine, of course!). She was always changing the look of rooms in our home (gee – I guess that’s where I got the bug!) and one time I remember helping her do a faux finish on our living room walls – a light cream base with a gold metallic sprayed over it that looked like a spider web. I thought that that was just the coolest idea – and so I just continued her love and passion for design and decorative painting.
Q:How have you found that blogging is a good medium for sharing learning on design - incl some stories on interesting stuff you learnt from blogs
I have learned so much from blogs and blogging. I don’t think I ever would have known about products like Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – for one – until much later. You gain such friendships from blogs as well. I have been invited to stay all over the world from bloggers I have met online. I also find it so satisfying when a blog reader tries one of my projects herself – and then sends me the pictures to say “Thank You.” I have helped save many readers a lot of money by giving them the confidence to “Do It Themselves.” I have also learned so much from more seasoned bloggers on how to better my blog, which blog designers to use, how to do some basic HTML, how to increase my readership – and how to take better photographs. I could go on and on here – but I am so glad that I started blogging!
Q:When did you first discover swedish antique furniture & what do you like about it?
I first learned about Swedish Furniture and Design from my realtor back when I was living in Seattle, Washington. She gave me a book about Carl Larsson, the famous Swedish painter, and his home. I didn’t know who he was at the time but once I saw the pictures of his home – I was so smitten with the style and the look. I don’t know why the realtor gave me that book – she was from Austria…and I remember her saying that she just felt that I would like it. And – I loved it! Why? There’s a wonderful homey quality to Swedish design – but it’s “artful” hominess. It’s not corny (well, some of the Kurbits is a bit corny and the attempts at faux marbling is corny) as Pennsylvania Dutch type décor – there’s an elegance, an artful attempt, in Swedish design, at making the home more beautiful. The lovely bow swags on walls and the painted floors and walls – all light, so as to reflect as much light and sunshine into a room as possible. The furniture is so plain, yet so beautiful. The Mora clocks – have such a feminine form that they almost look like people instead of clocks. It’s just so beautiful and lovely.
Q:If you could choose one piece from Swedish Interior Design , what would it be and how would you use it in a room design?
I would choose several of the Mora Clocks. They bring so much beauty and interest to a room. I currently have a reproduction Mora clock in my entry that I painted and antiqued – but, if I had my wish – I would add a Mora clock to just about every room in my house. They add authenticity, interest – they are focal points if you don’t any in a room. My second love would be a bed – like the one Jo and Madeleine have in the bedroom. You would see me there more than just overnight. I’d write my blog there – have breakfast there…overstay the normal amount of time one stays in bed!
Q:List 5 of your favorite design influences and why?
Swedish Design – I can’t say enough how much I love this design style. It’s homey elegance and simplicity ste the tone of a room. It reminds you that you don’t have to have a lot of stuff to be happy. You only need a few key pieces to live a beautiful life.
French Country – this is my second favorite. I love Provencal patterns and colors and I love furniture that is dinged and worn with use and love. It’s functional and beautiful – and you can live with it naturally. It’s such a warm look, an inviting and homey look.
Chinoiserie – the first time that I saw this design (how the French interpreted Chinese patterns and designs) I was instantly smitten. Whether you see it as handpainted on a piece of furniture, on a fabric, or as the architecture of a piece of furniture – it makes you stop, look – even stare.
Rustic Design – I love textured or suede walls, antique leather furniture with upholstery tacks and paisley fabrics, seagrass rugs under beat up trunks posing as coffee tables. This adds such a laid back and comfortable feel to any room.
Global Design (esp. Moroccan. Turkish and Indian) – The Moroccan trellis designs, intricate Indian inaid design, beautiful Turish Ikat patterns – make my heat beat faster. I love them all. I try to incorporate at least one of these designs into every project that I do. Why? They are gorgeous!
The Colorful Bee is the blog written by Linda-Marie Leyble, designer, decorative artist and home stager in Great River, New York. Linda has been helping clients transform their homes and businesses for over 12 years. Using brilliant color, decorative finishes, patterns and texture combinations, a blank and boring space becomes beautiful and colorful. Linda shares these projects on the blog. Many tutorials on “how to” do different faux finishes, antiquing techniques, seasonal décor, home staging tips and other decorating ideas can also be found on the blog. Linda features other prominent artists, designers and decorative painters on the blog as well.
In addition to owning The Colorful Bee, Linda runs Beautiful Staged Homes (a home staging company) and Studio of Decorative Arts (a design and decorative painting company). Her work has been featured on Houzz, a popular home design website, as well as in Newsday, Royal Design Studio’s blog, Interior Design Digest, Be Colorful, Curbly and other design sites on the Internet. A wine cellar that she faux wood grained was featured in the recent book, Living with Wine. She has participated in several Interior Design Showhouses in New York.
The Colorful Bee
Studio of Decorative Arts
Beautiful Staged Homes