Archive of ‘Interviews’ category

Audrey Chaney on home design, building a business, and healthy habits

[ Audrey & her cutie pup, Ebi ( PC ) ]

HI GUYS!

I love collaborating and sharing knowledge, so when I came across Audrey Chaney and her company, Botanica Specialty Rentals, I instantly reached out to introduce myself and get to know her.

We jumped on a call shortly after and instantly clicked!

It was such a fun, natural conversation.

I was so impressed and inspired by her design sense, her launch and growth of her own company, and her overall outlook on life I HAD to have her on the blog.

I’m super excited to introduce you to Audrey!

Let’s dive in…

HI AUDREY! Please introduce yourself:

​Hi there!  I’m Audrey with Botanica Specialty Rentals. I’ve been in the design-world for over 15 years and have had Botanica for over 10 years now. I absolutely love running and operating a business within the creative field!

Can you tell us more about your company, Botanica Specialty Rentals?

We specialize in providing unique and one-of-a-kind rentals for weddings and events. From tabletop to lounge furniture and interesting decor items, we have a wide array of fun items to infuse some serious style into your next event.

[ Gorgeous Moroccan poofs! ( PC ) ]

I ABSOLUTELY love your design style! How would you describe it to us?

Thank you!  My style is eclectic; I enjoy pairing items that aesthetically compliment each other. ​​I love that our inventory makes spaces​ interesting ​and​ creates curiosity. Whether your next event is infused from styles of rustic nature, ballroom elegance, city industrial, vineyard romantic or eclectic boho, we have so many fun pieces to use!​

How has your style developed over time?

I was the child who moved her furniture around in her room, changed out her decor and ​painted her walls. I believe in developing your eye-for-design through practice, study and implementation. I’ve found the more I analyze my work and see what can be improved—whether that be a photo I may have stylized or seeing what gaps there are in our inventory, I am always trying to improve and expand what I can offer.

LET’S CHAT ABOUT DESIGNING A HOME…

How can someone communicate their personal style through their home? How should they get started? What are some easy tips & tricks you recommend?

The first step is to identify what you are drawn to.

Is there a particular style or feel you are trying to accomplish? Knowing this first is quite important in all of the other factors you will decide upon moving forward.

Secondly, what items are you working with?

Maybe you have a piece of furniture that has been handed down to you. How will you utilize this? Maybe the room is planned out from that one piece and built around it.

I recommend keeping your space functional so that it is easy to use for yourself and whomever you live with. You want the space to be a place you’ll enjoy spending time in.

Quick fixes and ways to liven up a room would include:

  • A fresh coat of paint
  • Repainting a furniture piece within the space
  • A new rug
  • Pillows and blankets are a great and inexpensive way to brighten up a space and add a new feel instantaneously
  • De-cluttering and removing items or hiding items rarely used can help make a space feel more open and airy

What if someone doesn’t know what their style is or they’re all over the place… How can they hone in on it?

​I suggest keeping things simple if you are just getting started.

There are so many great resources such as Pinterest and home design blogs. Study and see what you like and try to re-create a style you see for a coffee table for instance.

So, as you know… My boyfriend & I moved into our first place together semi-recently. What’s your #1 tip for making a new space feel more home-y?

​My recommendation would be to add a few plants into the space.

The green vibes bring the outdoors in and it’s something that is often overlooked, but makes a big impact on a space. I love plants!!

I also love adding personal touches, whether it be fun coffee table books that reflect your personality or cozy blankets and pillows that make your space inviting and a place where your friends and family will want to come hangout and enjoy a glass of wine. I’m all about entertaining… That’s what makes a house a home!

What about for making the most out of your space?

​Functionality and how you will use the space is always a topic that shouldn’t be overlooked.

You can have a picture perfect room, but if it doesn’t work for your needs, it’s useless.

It’s important to keep this in mind when selecting and designing your room layout, furniture, and finishing touches. After all, you’ll be living and using these spaces everyday!​

You mentioned you’re a “plant nerd”… Let’s get nerdy. What plants do you recommend for inside the home & why? ( I absolutely LOVE plants – indoor & outdoor! )

​Great question!

An easy rule of thumb for a “non-green-thumb” would be : Select plants with thicker, dark leaves.

Some of my favorite, easy to care for indoor plants are: Pothos plants, Dracaena, Ponytail palms and succulents are all great choices. If you have indoor pets, be sure you don’t select any poisonous plants. Most plants are noted at your home garden store if they are poisonous.

How do you figure out what to put up on the walls? Is this a weird question? LOL! Any tips here?

​Great question! It depends on your style; generally, for larger walls, I prefer a larger print or piece of artwork as it makes a bold statement. Too many items on your walls can make a space feel cluttered, so make sure you keep things simple when it comes to dressing up your walls.

[ Love the colors in the tablescape! ( PC ) ]

[ Similar peacock chair ( PC ) ]

What are some of your favorite places for getting home décor & furniture?

If you’re looking to shop retail and aren’t feeling like a seasoned designer, I suggest a design retailer like West Elm or World Market. You can rely on pieces that coordinate well together based on their store displays and staffing. If you’re more advanced, you can piece together items from many sources. I love a good bargain, so I love going to flea markets, shopping ​at discount stores, and shopping online.

OKAY, LET’S GET A LITTLE MORE PERSONAL…

It sounds like you’re an early riser ( I LOVE that! ) Do you have any tips for waking up early? We want to hear allllll of them! ; )

​Haha, yes! Getting to bed early is super important for me.

I love a routine and schedule and I personally need 8 hours of sleep to function optimally. I’ve heard limiting your caffeine ( though I don’t drink much ) to no later than the afternoon will also help your quality of sleep. I start my day off with a workout, and I’ve found that it’s much easier for me to get going in the morning if I’ve laid out my workout clothes the night before. It leaves me little time to search for socks and clothes to throw on and get straight to the gym. I’ll admit, it’s not always easy!

What do your mornings usually look like?

I get in a workout first thing, then shower and prep for work, eat breakfast​ and head to the office. I like to look at my schedule the night before and fine tune any timing and time blocks I have set for the following day so that I am ready to work and get things done when I get to work.

Since you love to run, are there any marathons or races you recommend?

I haven’t ran in any marathons, and I wouldn’t rule that out of ever accomplishing, but for now, I run shorter distances. : ) There are a lot of cool “themed” marathons that sound like they would be a blast!

What’s your favorite book? Or a book you read recently & LOVED?

My favorite book is The Alchemist. Though I normally read a lot of non-fiction, this book is a parable and I love the teachings within the story. I think I’ve listened to this on tape about 7 or so times, lol.

Favorite healthy recipe?

​I love brussel sprouts!  ​

Drink of choice?

​Water with lemon essential oil. This is always so refreshing!​

LET’S CHAT BUSINESS…

What inspired you to start your own business?

​I was inspired to start my own business from my passion for design and flowers.

What’s been your biggest challenge with your business thus far and how’d you overcome it?

​Growing the business and taking into consideration a framework and a system to have the business run with processes without my own involvement has been very challenging. Having a team you trust and can get the job done is so essential. Transitioning from working alone to teaching a team and providing the resources has been a great challenge, but an immeasurable necessity to get to where the business is now.

If you could give someone one tip before starting their own business, what would it be?

Be sure you are prepared to work harder than you ever have, face challenges like you’ve never faced and create something you can call your own.

[ This little cutie pie!! ( PC ) ]

+ Want more? Follow Audrey & Botanica on Instagram & check out her rental inventory here. I love her purple goblets, this coffee table, this pink bohemian rug & this teal bohemian rug ( love! )  

Cute finds with bohemian vibes:

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