Bittersweet Move

Bittersweet Move / holly marie designs

It feels like it’s been such a long time since I last posted here. With summer picking up things have been busier than ever! I have a little life update for you guys, at the end of this summer my husband and I will be packing up our little apartment and moving. Right now the location is completely up in the air (ha, I know). Steve, my husband, has been vigorously applying to PHD and masters programs all over the U.S. and now we sit and wait to see what happens. Regardless of him getting into school or not, we still have decided to move into a new place, even if that means just moving across town. This has been our first place together and we’ve called it home for the past three years. Needless to say it will be a bittersweet move.

Eventually after we narrow down our potential moving locations, so begins the hectic process of planning, cleaning, packing, and numerous other tasks associated with a big move. As more details surface, I hope to share more of this journey as it unfolds – a new series, perhaps?! I already started makings lists of things that I am looking for in our next place. The first time we went apartment hunting three years back we settled on the first place we found (and I was a complete newbie at the whole thing). So I thought I would share with you a few of the more basic things that I would be looking for as we start to scope out new places:

GOOD BONES  Our current apartment is stuck in the late 80’s, so something that’s a little more updated with some character and charm or simple clean lines would be very welcomed.

LAYOUT  The place should flow well as a whole and be purposeful.

SPACIOUS  This time around we will need to work with our existing furniture and make sure that there is adequate closet + storage space.

BLANK CANVAS  A space that we can easily build upon, preferably something that is clean and white.

OUTDOOR SPACE  Currently we have quite the little garden sprouting on our balcony, so this is needed. Plus, it’s one of my favorite places to read.

If you have any tips for moving and/or hunting for a new place, please share them in the comments section below – I am all ears! Although things are a bit up in the air at the moment, I am looking forward to this next chapter of our lives. Stay tuned!!

( photo by Arden Wray )

Sienna Moon Sneak Peek

Sienna Moon / Following Our Breath, Following Our Heart tee Sienna Moon / Raised on Rock 'N Roll & Dreams tee Sienna Moon / Under Her Spell tee

I was too excited to wait a few more days, so I thought I would share a little bit of where I’ve been and why things have been a little more quiet around here than usual. As you may already know, I have been working on a huge project that has been hush hush for the past few months and in just a few short days, all will be revealed!

I’ve been working with the LA-based clothing company, Sienna Moon; designing tee’s for their upcoming summer collection and assisting the shop’s owner various day-to-day happenings. The shop inspired by bohemian vibes and the calm, cool, and collected California style. Jamie Michelle, Sienna Moon’s owner, strives to keep all things eco-friendly + ethically made, which I am excited to say that almost all of the tee’s in the new collection will be organic or hemp!

I am sure Jamie will be sharing more over on Sienna Moon’s instagram over the weekend, in case you’d like to follow along! And this post wouldn’t be complete without giving props to the wonderfully talented photographer behind a few of these images. Jessie Alexise has shot for Sienna Moon five previous times and she envelops the brand oh so well! It’s honestly been a true dream to be a part of this whole experience and just so happens to fit my niche perfectly!

Freelance Insights: Jamie Starcevich

Freelance Insights: Jamie Starcevich

For today’s Freelance Insights we have my friend, Jamie, of Spruce Rd. She is wildly talented and her blog is chalk full of helpful tips + tricks for designers. A few months ago, after I made my way through blog (I read it all from start to finish, yes – really) I decided to send her a little tweet and the rest is history. I asked Jamie to share some of her insights on freelancing. Below she talks about the value of following your vision and waiting for the types of clients that will help mold your business into what you want it to be. The right types of clients can really help set the tone for your creative journey as a freelancer, which is advice that I am learning to take myself…


I recently opened up my design studio, Spruce Rd., full-time just a couple short months ago. While I have truly enjoyed work (probably for the first time in my career!), it doesn’t come without its struggles. For anyone who is just starting their design studio, I would say the biggest lesson I have learned is to be patient.

Patient in the types of clients + projects you take on. I have had to say “no” to a few potential clients, as I knew they weren’t in line the vision behind my studio. This was not an easy decision… especially when I JUST started my business! I think it is important to have a clear vision + intention behind your business, so you can dictate the direction you go, rather than allow others to passively influence you. If you want to attract creative entrepreneurs, don’t design a logo for your dad’s friend who owns a landscaping business. You will most likely be frustrated throughout the project, as it is not the type of project you enjoy working on!

I definitely don’t have it all figured out, especially after just a couple of months, but patience has been the biggest lesson I have learned so far! It has paid off so far as I have started attracting my ideal clients + projects, which I am absolutely thrilled about!

portfolio / blog / instagram / twitter

#REALTALK 01

#REALTALK 01

With so much going on at the moment I decided it was time to introduce a new column to my blog. Months ago I did a little reader survey and many of you wanted me to share more about my daily life. And, well, this column will do just that. It’s a time for me sit down, not hold back and to be open and authentic, somewhat of a diary entry. My hope for this column is to bring a sense realness – design, freelancing, and life itself isn’t always simple and straightforward and when we blog it’s easy to hide the struggles and only talk about the positive. But it’s when we open up to each other and be honest is when we can learn and truly experience growth. Now that doesn’t mean each one of these posts are going to be a complete vent session – fun and exciting things will be talked about too, I promise!

Okay, so onto where I’ve been. For the past few months I’ve been working on a secret project that has taken up a lot of my free time. It’s certainly been a challenge trying to find the right balance between my personal life + design life. It’s a process and I am starting to learn what works best for me. I’ve realized that I am not an evening person; I thrive on mornings and afternoons. If work carries too late into the evening, I find myself tossing and turning dreaming about design. On top of my normal 8 to 5 design job, freelancing has been taking up much of my evenings and weekends. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the freedom and variety that freelancing brings and the extra money doesn’t hurt either (especially since we a planning a trip to Florida at the end of the year), but a girl does need some good r+r every now and again. Once this new project goes live (the date has been set for mid-May) I can once again start to put more of my focus back on my blog and Little Bison Studio. Again, sorry things have been so quiet around here; I am on the cusp of a share overload, so please bear with me for the next few weeks!

( photo by Arden Wray )

At Home with Malia Chang

At Home with Malia Chang / home tour

Talk about your style: I am so grateful to have someone who completely trusts my judgment and gives me free-range to decorate and adorn our apartment. We love a mid-century vibe with pops of bohemian touches scattered about. Pairing pieces with clean lines and edges like you’d find in a mid-century style with delicate, flowing bohemian characteristics gives a nice contrast between bold and gentle. It kind of reflects our personalities!

Do you have a favorite room in your home + why? I love our living room. It has a little corner fireplace with a nook that I can’t seem to stop fussing over. I find myself placing pieces we adore like favorite geodes, the Crosley, salt lamp, and etc., this way and that, arraigning and re-arranging. It’s therapeutic. So many times I will sit on our couch and just stare at what we’ve created.

At Home with Malia Chang At Home with Malia Chang At Home with Malia Chang At Home with Malia Chang At Home with Malia Chang

Where does your inspiration come from? Antique shops, dreams of Paris, the colors and florals of the seasons, Pinterest, books, the sky, nature, cosmos, a bold glass of red wine, you name it.

Tell us about some of your biggest achievements and challenges. For our very first place, I think we’ve done well with creating something uniquely us. We do have a guest room that stands mostly for storage, but we been meaning to go through all of the boxes soon. We are getting married in July and wedding planning is always high on the to-do list!

At Home with Malia Chang At Home with Malia Chang At Home with Malia Chang At Home with Malia Chang At Home with Malia Chang

Name 3 pieces that define you + your space. Our gallery wall, the triangle natural dream catcher I handmade, and our string of old photos of our families.

Biggest splurge and biggest steal: Our biggest splurge would have to be our mid-century dining table set. We found it on Craigslist and fell in love. It is perfect for our little apartment, but came with three extension pieces that will be put to use when we have a house and a growing family! Biggest steal is the framed art piece in the dining room — it is actually wrapping paper of the monuments in Paris in an Ikea frame! Art on a budget!

What are some of your go-to places when it comes to shopping for your home? Urban Outfitters for unique statement pieces and we are also firm Ikea believers. And there’s not much I love more than thrifting and antiquing. When I can, I love to make things with my hands.

At Home with Malia Chang At Home with Malia Chang At Home with Malia Chang At Home with Malia Chang At Home with Malia Chang At Home with Malia Chang

Do you have any DIY tips to share? Perfect timing for this question! It always feels so good to admire a piece and know you put it together with your own hands. I just love our triangle dream catcher and knowing I tied it together, I dyed the cotton string, I adorned it with pretty things from nature, makes my heart swell with pride. It’s timeless. It’ll be one of those forever pieces we’ll weave through our family for generations.

Any advice? When you move in to your first place, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want things perfect and just-so. Next thing you’ll know, everything is changing and so is your style. So think of your home as an art piece you’re constantly changing…and adding and removing and enjoy it at every stage.

blog / instagram