Our first and foremost, absolute favorite thing is our design work!  But running a very close second is travel!!  Whether together on a sourcing trip or as individuals with our families, we both love to visit new places, try new things and find new favorites!  Our husbands and kiddos love to travel as well and each trip is a fabulous chance to add to our inspiration files!!

Late in December, we sat to discuss our goals for 2014 and make our plans for an upcoming “inspiration trip”. See, we are headed to market in High Point, NC in April (can’t.hardly.wait. but that is another post!!) but that seemed so far away!  And there is nothing like a fabulous trip AWAY to beat the doldrums of winter in Kansas.  Somewhere…anywhere…else (preferably, warm).

However, as we reviewed the goals for our company over the next few months, we made the decision that instead of heading away from home, we needed to dive into some of the resources closer to home that we had yet to discover.  Our list of “gotta check that place out” places was growing and as always, extra time is not something we have in abundance…so, we decided to stay close to home and  check some things off the list!


We began by mapping out our stops…the tile resource, the unique floral/accessory shop, hip-historic hotel, surplus warehouse, etc.  And then our list of eateries (did I mention food runs third in our favorite things hierarchy?) …all for a complete inspirational trip to KC!!

Day One:


A new favorite…full of design inspiration, unique home accessories, and a few fun jewelry purchases…Studio Dan Meiners has now been added to the “must stop in when downtown KC” list!!


Rich texture, organic layers, classic lines…right down our alley!!

Next stop…huge disappointment…”By Appointment Only” and we had not made an appointment…however, we could see it was a “add to the list” kinda place!

via Steve Nuss Interiors website

(This stop caused us both the ponder what a “storefront-studio” might look like in the future…way in the future…but still fun to consider!)

Next stop…”Out of business”…OK…moving right along…



Or not…another “By Appointment Only”…we decided that cold weather must be the only excuse needed to NOT be open for some of these design studios!!  (It was frigid…really do love sourcing trips that involve warm weather…)

So we decided we needed a break from all of this rejection…and that is when we found…this little bit of heaven…

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We were both ready to come back to Manhattan, find an old gasoline station and open our own “Taco Republic”…and then we remembered that we don’t run restaurants…however, if we did…it would be just like this!!  Funky, colorful, original, delish food…outdoor space…oh, my…recipe for fun!!

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With tummies full and the “inspired” tank refueled, we headed off again in search of more!!

Reclaimed wood mirror…


Gorgeous letterpress paper goods…(we are in the process of refining our logo and will be getting new cards made…stay tuned!)


Our day wrapped up at the uber-chic Hotel Phillips…to say that the AHD team has a soft spot for “vintage, lovingly restored, filled-with-character” spaces, would be a huge understatement!! The mezzanine was the ideal spot for our goal-setting, “state of the union” conversation…any hotel that hosts guests for a wine and cheese hour is amazing in my book!image_8

Our final stop for the day…dinner at “le Fou Frog” in the River Market district…an unassuming cinder block building on the outside and all kinds of fun on the inside!!  You MUST go!!  image_9

Day Two:

A builders surplus warehouse…literally crates and crates of leftover you-name-it…stones, tiles, pavers…and that is just outside…good to know!!

Quite the contrast to the next stop…the  international tile resource…with walls of beautiful samples and no crates to dig through!  However, we spent as much time here drooling over the gorgeous materials as any stop…definitely a highlight and a new addition to the “regular rounds” when in KC!




After hours of shopping, researching, and braving the bitter cold, we stopped to warm up at Pizza Bella…

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Local ingredients, delicious wood-fired pizza and great interior design…check, check, check!  So convenient when all of those elements come together!

While we did not enjoy a warm, exotic location…our KC sourcing trip was exactly what we needed…we found some exciting new vendors, crossed some potentials off of the list, discovered several great new resources and didn’t have to go far to do so!

And although we will never “kick” the travel bug…we were reminded of why we love home!!

labels: Inspiration