As part of our Home Style Issue, we scrolled through Instagram looking for local handles that focus on home decor and design. Below are some of the highlights we discovered.
Behind the scenes
Followers of @atomic_furnishing find brightly photographed images of midcentury furniture on the Asheville-based company’s Instagram feed. But interspersed throughout the curated stills is the narrative of Todd and Megan Walsh, the company’s husband and wife team, as they navigate the furniture industry while raising their one-year-old son, Hawk. “Instagram has been a great source for us to offer a behind-the-scenes look at our weekly projects and road adventures,” says Megan. “It also gives our customers a chance to know us and all that goes into each of our pieces — from sourcing, fixing, photographing and finally selling.”
Casey Kersten, who creates custom woven wall hangings, says the majority of her business is managed through her Instagram account, @hookandweaveco. Tassels, tone-on-tone and colorful fibers and a giant handmade loom are among the materials and tools featured on her feed. The platform is also where she regularly discovers and connects with fellow creatives. “I own several pieces of art that I ordered from artists I follow on Instagram,” she says. And because of the personal anecdotes and images these makers often share, she continues, “I see more than a beautiful painting or sculpture; I see the story of the artist.”
Playing with fire
There is plenty of fire on @ironmaidenstudios’ Instagram feed. The account chronicles the residential and commercial projects of metalworker Tina Councell and her fiancé and business partner Kayla Wolhart. Along with sharing their process and designs, the couple uses Instagram to draw inspiration from other businesses. Above all, Councell says she appreciates the social media platform’s focus on photography. “I am more of a visual gal, so it provides a way to perceive through imagery, where the focus is more on the image than the caption,” she says. “Although some people do get a little carried away with their captions.”
Magic all around us
“Instagram gives us an opportunity to share the magic we find with a vast audience,” says Safi Martin, co-founder of the Burton Street Community Peace Gardens and creator of @peacegardener. “Much like the gardens, sharing our photos on Instagram is a process of slowing down and contemplating — figuring out what the images mean to us and the particular feeling or thought that we want to share or evoke.” The images are also a potential source of inspiration for followers interested in designing their own gardens. From perennial flowers to vegetables and from annuals to fruits, Martin says she hopes @peacegardener “inspires folks to get outside and find the magic that is all around us.”
Authenticity over algorithms
Wood is at the center of @spoonandhook. Rustic images of wooden bowls, cutting boards, spoons and vases fill the feed. For owner and maker Anneliesse Gormley, finding her own voice has been an important step in developing the account. Rather than selling out to algorithms in a quest for likes, Gormley says she aims to capture each design’s process and truth. “For me, Instagram has been a tool to show people what it looks like to grow a business from the ground up, discussing the roots of being a maker and where the want and inspiration comes from,” she says.
A year and a half ago, friends Kathleen Kelly, Carrie Donaldson and Meagan Ferris formed @losthuntvintage. Based out of Marshall, the group focuses on vintage goods including rugs, furniture and home decor. The social media platform, says Ferris, has helped the business grow by linking @losthuntvintage with followers, as well as other entrepreneurs, small business owners and artists. “It’s helped us to connect with and meet so many rad people who inspire us daily,” she says.
Life of a stonemason
As a stonemason, Franklin Smith often posts his latest projects in various states of completion. By documenting his process through @livingstonemason, Smith offers followers a sneak peek into the tasks, tools and teams required to complete a given stone stairwell, patio or fireplace. As an added bonus to dog lovers, @livingstonemason regularly features Layla, Smith’s 11-year-old Australian shepherd/collie mix.
Balancing pottery and privacy
When Connie Rose Matisse, co-founder of East Fork Pottery, launched the company’s Instagram account in 2012, she was one of only four team members. Today, East Fork is a 60-person operation with nearly 92,000 Instagram followers. According to Matisse, @eastforkpottery remains the largest driver of traffic to the company website, making on-brand social media posts central to meeting revenue goals. Still, the feed maintains a healthy sense of humor, capturing team members in various poses with East Fork Pottery products. Nevertheless, Matisse remains strategic in her approach to the company’s ever-growing online presence. “Sometimes I feel a personal need to protect myself and my privacy from strangers, and when I do that I feel pressured to think of new ways to communicate with potential customers,” she says. “Making the feed a little less personal felt daunting at first, but our creative and marketing team has done a great job helping me still keep people engaged while also figuring out how to put some boundaries between my home life and work life.”
Followers of @kids.seed.co will find a combination of home gardening ideas and parenting tips. (For example, one sure-fire way to get your child to eat zucchini is to add chocolate chips to the zucchini bread mix.) The family seed business is run by Thomas Stern and Laura Gazzano, along with their three children, Laszlo, Mina and Csilla (all under the watchful eye and supervision of Yona, the family’s Great Pyrenees). Daily posts feature a combination of the garden’s produce and the family’s everyday tasks. “Instagram allows us to convey a lot of information about family gardening through a simple photo,” says Stern. The platform also helps generate seed sales, while promoting the company’s main mission: To encourage and show the benefits of family gardening.