We’re excited to kick off our Shop/Studio Q&A blog series this week. This is a great way for us to show the world where we love to shop, or find inspiration from a local designer in their studio.
For the first in the series, we picked one of our favorite new shops in town — Retro Den Tulsa, 2735 E.15th St. The store specializes in Mid-Century Modern furniture, decor and accessories. And you know how we love that style!
The owners, Ashley Palmer and Ashley Daly — known collectively as “The Ashleys” — are so friendly and fun. They were generous enough to host our first Tulsa blogger meetup recently, and we really love what they’ve done with the place so we couldn’t wait to interview them.
What inspired you to open your business?
Simply put, we wanted to do what we love. Nothing is better than feeling truly passionate about your work to the point where is doesn’t feel like work. We both are constantly working to make our homes special, comfortable, and beautiful and now we get to share this with others.
Where do you find merchandise?
We find our pieces everywhere and get new things in daily. We go out to sales and attend auctions, but we also have regular pickers and random people who pull into our parking lot wanting to sell us things.
What is your design philosophy?
Ashley Palmer: Don’t get tied down to one style – just do what you like. Also, it’s okay to change your design/style over time.
Ashley Daly: We like to encourage customers to only get what they love for their homes, and we do the same. I always say my personal style is New Mexico writer’s commune – clean, natural pieces but with an excess of color and playfulness. I try to be simple, but I can’t help but hang things on my walls that make me laugh.
What’s your favorite item in the shop right now?
AP: My favorite piece is this steel gray cabinet that says “Notary Public” on the front double doors. It’s very sleek and handsome, and I feel like it could be used for many different purposes – entertainment center, liquor cabinet.
AD: Definitely this ceramic hippo planter made in Oologah, Oklahoma…he’d be so charming with a happy flower popping out of him!
What’s your favorite spot in Tulsa?
AP: I like going for walks in my neighborhood (near the University of Tulsa), the duck pond in White City, and Riverside.
AD: Owl and Drum (Our neighbor across the street!) for gorgeous fabric and sewing lessons, Antoinette Baking Co. for incredible donuts and quiche, and the Tulsa Flea Market.
Where do you go for inspiration?
AP: My sunroom or to other vintage/antique shops around town.
AD: I look at old Domino magazines, online magazines…I love going to estate sales just so I can see the inside of houses. I also like Googling artists’ studios – Picasso’s is really inspiring to look through.
What are your “must read” websites/blogs?
AD: For design and lifestyle: Anthology, Sweet Paul, Prairie Hive, Apartment Therapy, The Brick House, The Clever Bunny and Lonny. And I obsessively check Oh Happy Day (Parties!), Cup of Jo (Fashion and this and that.) and Sweetapolita (Insanely tasty and beautiful cakes!).
What’s on your (vanity/desk/web browser)?
AP: Photographs of my family, my favorite books, a pencil sketch, and pottery.
AD: A California pottery tray with my make up and brushes in pretty glass jelly jars, a miniature brass hat rack that holds my necklaces, and a picture of my family- fluffy dog and red-headed husband.
Top picks for fall?
1.Vintage blankets and coverlets with beautiful patterns and the perfect wear. We’ve been stockpiling them for the store and us!
2. Beautiful glassware and fun accessories for your bar. You’ll never feel so pleased with your homemade, fancy cocktail when serving it to friends (or yourself) in a glass worthy of the effort.
3. Brass animals. Put them “tastefully everywhere” like Ashley Daly or pick the one that speaks to you and situate it on a shelf to make you smile when you see it.
4. Buying less, buying better quality. People are looking to furniture they only have to buy once and clothes that will last for years. It simplifies your time and space.