Last Friday, we closed on a special new project lovingly dubbed The Bungalow. This was an unexpected venture for us, but one that we’re giddy about!
Long story short, while planning our Wide Brim grand opening festivities, I was looking for Fort Worth lodging for our team that spreads all over North Texas. I was having a hard time finding something close to the Stockyards, at a reasonable cost — and honestly — that was cute and charming. I knew this was the first of many occasions we’d need a crash pad while we design, install and build brick and mortar locations in Cowtown.
It was clear that if we could find a house in our budget and location, this was the way to go. Plus, I’ve fallen in love with Fort Worth and wanted to spend more time there and also invest in the neighborhood our stores are calling home. So, I started looking. Within minutes, I found the perfect place during an online search and started scrambling to make it mine.
One of my best girlfriends is a realtor, and I texted her immediately to help me get inside and make an offer asap. If you’re familiar with Texas real estate, it’s bananas right now. And, not surprisingly, this house had been on the market for a day and had four offers in the can. My heart sunk. But we still pushed forward to toss our hat in the ring.
The next morning, I was in Fort Worth for our huge Wide Brim store install. I started my day touring the home. It was even cuter than I could have imagined. The layout was perfect for my family, team and future vacation rental guests. The remodeling was tastefully done and allowed me to do little work (no time for that right now). And, the 1940s neighborhood felt sooooo Flea Style.
So we hurried back to the hotel, set up a remote office in the lobby and got to work on an offer — stat. I spent the day hanging a piece of art, directing a fixture location, folding clothes, you name it… and then jumping into the lobby to work with my realtor on the offer that would secure the deal. Around 4 p.m. that afternoon, after finishing our huge install, we got word they accepted our offer over the other four and I was overwhelmed with all the emotions. Luckily the lobby has a cute bar and we ordered margaritas to celebrate!
Immediately I got cracking on plans to put my stamp on the house. First off: It needed a name! Instantly, I called her The Bungalow. From the home’s style to tree-shaded property, it just felt right. Next, I started dreaming up all the fun design ideas and created a Power Point to start mapping out a plan.
I knew I wanted the bungalow to feel like the ultimate Flea Style experience. Cue the vintage flea market furnishings, signature store wallpapers and lighting and even our warm color palette. Even though I wasn’t closing for a couple weeks, I started buying up a storm. I knew if something fell through with closing, everything could go in our stores and I didn’t have time to waste.
I hit every local antique mall and consignment shop I could find in Fort Worth to support our new neighborhood and unique style mission. I hit the jackpot, y’all! From vintage aged mirrors and armoires to worn western hats, ceramic lamps and unique art, I started collecting a mix of things that create that layered, boho-chic look we love so much. Late at night, I started combing the deep corners of the Internet to find cool loot to fill in the holes. A gorgeous mint leather sofa for the living room, check! A pink laminate cabinet via Craigslist, check! (Funny story, it happened to hail from one of our store makers!)
It’s been a fun design process thinking of our team, customer and even the challenges of it being a rental part-time. I’ve had to consider so many factors from durability to cost given wear and tear over time. Every decision I make, I think of our Flea Style fam and what y’all would want from this darling pad and fun experience. I have so many secrets up my sleeve, I cannot wait to share!
Last Friday, we officially closed on the house! We have a short lease-back from the former owners so I haven’t been able to get to work inside, but immediately started on exterior updates. First up: Prep and paint to make it fresh and pretty! We’re currently fixing minor wear and tear and then adding fresh coats of paint to every single surface. I selected a neutral palette with a couple pops and get to see samples this weekend. I can’t wait!
Daily, our team is helping me pick up things I’m finding all over town and bringing them to storage. Tomorrow I go to Canton and can’t wait to find some special flea market finds to add to the mix.
Grace, our Creative Director, is helping solidify our branding and brand book. Although this is our first bungalow, we really hope to have more down the road and want to launch this one right. I’m obsessed with her vision that aligns with the exact vibe and feel that I’ve created in every design choice. She had selected the colors below and I had literally selected the same for exterior paint.
On Monday, our new marketing/events coordinator starts and one of her first projects is to build out the experiential side of the bungalow. From ordering Heirloom Haul food deliveries to fireside chats with me (yes, the bungalow will have the cutest fire pit outside!) and custom retail experiences in our stores, she will design it all for the ultimate travel package.
We’re so excited to add this concept to our company and are giddy to get it open asap! We plan to open a wait list soon for first dibs and then open it to the public for booking starting late September. Stay tuned here for all the details, behind-the-scenes scoop and fun!