At Floor Coverings International of Bozeman, we love bringing you creative insight and perspectives from bloggers who are kind enough to share their wisdom and how they got started. Today we have an interview with Ki Nassauer, interior designer and longtime blogger at KiNassauer.com.
Why did you decide to start a blog? What do you enjoy about blogging?
My blog is an extension of my businesses. A blog allows me to give audiences a more personal look at what we are up to; whether it’s a magazine, book, personal appearance, FleaQuest or Junk Bonanza. The blog allows me to communicate with my audience in a casual yet informative style.
How would you describe your design style?
Definitely eclectic vintage! I love all styles but for my home I prefer a more modern and simple approach to design. 95% of my furniture and accessories are vintage and have a story. Some of my favorite accessories include a 7 foot Marlin, a handmade game wheel painted in red, white and blue, concrete outdoor lawn animals, a Brunswick wooden bowling locker unit, a Shrine marching drum, an airport boarding sign from the 60’s, a chicken incubator side table and an iron polka dot merry-go-round horse. I always seem to choose happy and bright color schemes including orange, turquoise and lime green mixed with black and white geometric patterns. I love stuff, but despise clutter. I tend to rotate my favorite things from room to room and give them a break by packing them away when I display a new piece. My guilty pleasure? Mid century chairs. I can never have too many!
Where do you find most of your inspiration?
At the flea market! Junk Bonanza has the most amazing vendors and I always look forward to seeing what they bring and how they display it. Vintage design sets trends and it is always fun to see what’s selling. You can bet most popular vintage items will be recreated by manufacturers to sell to a broader audience. When I am not at a shop or flea I love to revisit my collection of design books and magazines. I can find something new to inspire me every time I flip through the pages.
Tell us about a recent project you’re proud of.
I consider myself the pioneer of vintage projects. Many of the projects that I created 15 years ago are still being recreated by folks today. Many have been reproduced by manufacturers for catalogues and stores. I would have to say my suitcase shelves are the most popular to date. Most proud of? My daughter’s DIY wedding. Vintage modern with a bit of edge. Gold metallic manikins with vintage fencing masks & 50’s table lamps painted white and refitted to hold table numbers were two of my fav projects we worked on together!
Ki Nassauer Bio:
Tell Ki Nassauer that her career is in the dumpster and she’ll deliver a heartfelt “thank you” and an engaging smile.
As the original “junk lady,” Ki has been dubbed the “Martha Stewart of vintage” and “America’s most famous junker” in extensive media coverage from sources as varied as the The Wall Street Journal, HGTV and the Today Show to America Now News, which featured her work in a series of online videos. She has crafted a career from junk since 1999, scouring flea markets, salvage yards and the occasional street-side pile of castoffs for materials to create tastefully inventive furniture and beautiful decorative accessories. Her creativity has earned her a devoted national entourage with more than 242,000 followers of the Ki Nassauer Style Facebook page.
Ki was one of the first to realize the potential revenue in converting junk into cool stuff. After her “test” garage sale grossed $11,000, she founded JunkMarket, operating monthly sales that have morphed into the Junk Bonanza, a series of shopping extravaganzas held twice a year in Minnesota and once a year in Portland, Ore., and San Diego, Calif. Each Bonanza showcases wares from hand-picked dealers nationwide who deliver best-of shopping experiences for lovers of antiques, vintage, architectural salvage and one-of-a-kind and artisan-repurposed treasures. The three-day events also include special appearances, workshops and giveaways to create a happy haven for vintage junkies.
One of Ki’s hallmarks is her joy of connecting those who compose her deep national network of vintage dealers, artisans and junk aficionados. She also realizes that goal through FleaQuest; her comprehensive nationwide online directory of the best vintage sales, antiques shops, flea markets, antique shows and architectural salvage centers. Ki connects avid do-it-yourselfers through the Ki Nassauer Community, an online site for sharing ideas and information about refurbishing and repurposing. The site features an Ask the Expert series to share knowledge through ongoing question and answer sessions.
Ki is also the former editor in chief of Flea Market Style magazine, which chronicled the beauty and utility of the vintage-inspired life.
The co-author of “Decorating JunkMarket Style” and “Junk Beautiful, Room by Room Makeovers,” Ki also produced a regular column in Country Home magazine and has made hundreds of public appearances nationwide. Before shifting to a career in junk, she owned and operated successful clothing stores, and freelanced in product design for several national retailers.
Born and raised in Minnesota, now living in Los Angeles, Ki is a proud mother (soon to be grandmother!) and friend to her two grown children, with whom she enjoys touring neighboring vineyards and chowing down at local restaurants.
Ki has savored every step along the hike to the top of the junk pile and she preaches the gospel of junk through consulting, public appearances, interviews and magazine signings. She is happily committed to ensuring that repurposing remains sustainable, functional- and always fun!!