Why 16% Matters – Q&A

Getting to know Ashley and Rocky of Relative Renovations.

A&R hanging out in San Clemente, being attacked by throw pillows ;P

Since you live across the United States, how do you know each other?

R: We happen to be first cousins, Who share 16% DNA. If you are wondering why on earth we know that, it is because our aunt is a genetic genealogist who has researched our whole family and told us this is a high level of shared DNA for cousins. So naturally we assume that this is why we both love design so much. Whenever we do the same thing or realize we are using the same product we just say, “16%”…it’s like our version of “jinx”.

A: Our mothers are sisters. They are both natural designers and entertainers who have a similar sense of style. Due to my mom’s creativity our house was always changing growing up. So not having a constantly evolving home is a strange concept for me.

R: Same here.

How long have you been blogging?

A: We officially started Relative Renovations in July of this year.

R: But we have both been discussing starting a DIY blog separately for years. I have literally been reading my favorite design blogs for over 8 years and always wanted to actually give it a go. My full time job and kids have always made it hard for me to commit to starting a blog. I felt like if I couldn’t give it the time it deserved than what was the point of even trying. I settled for sidelining my passion and watching from a distance.

A: It was only recently we discussed the possibility of joining forces and starting a blog together. I know that on my own I would have never pulled the trigger and started my own blog. So with Rocky’s support, it is finally a reality.

R: I was so excited when Ashley wanted to do this with me. We spent months trying to think of the “right” name for our website…looking back I think we were procrastinating…hahah… Working together has opened a whole new slew of possibilities for the both of us. With our combine interests and skills we cover a wide range of topics. Ashley also supports the blog and social media outlets while I tend to my normal day job.

What interests and skills are you referring to?

A: I really enjoy sewing. I have made all of my children’s nursery bedding. I love making anything for my home. Even if I buy something, I feel the need to modify it somehow. I also really enjoy painting. I used to paint a lot more than I do now, but I have a few pieces in my home that I am really proud of. If I ever need new artwork, my first instinct is to always make it myself. I suppose that goes for most aspects of my life though!!

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One of my nursery quilt projects

R: I have always loved wood working, welding and really any type of building. Before I had kids I took a couple semesters of wood shop at a community college and learned some basic skills. I have slowly been building my tool collection so that I can do many projects on my own. I bought a sewing machine, but my patience level and sewing skills are atrocious…hahaha…thank goodness for Ashley! Here are a few pictures of me working on my various projects through the years.

Rocky welding
Welding my Front gate on my first house
My first fine woodworking project – The teacher wanted me to learn by doing a cutting board…I sure showed *tortured* him…HA!
Solid Walnut surround wall mounted night stands

How long have you been renovating?

R: We bought our first house about 9 years ago.

A: Ten years for me, if not longer. I grew up in a house that was in a constant state of change so it feels like I have been surrounded by it my whole life. However, my husband and I bought our first home in Columbus that was a complete gut in 2007.

What else are you interested in?

R: I love throwing kids parties, I am sure you will see some snips of those on here. I am always working on the next strange crafty project (currently leather working).  In general we like to cook big dinners, BBQ, etc. So you can expect some big outdoor kitchen plans later this year! Our current BBQ situation is pretty pathetic.

A: As usual, Rocky and I have something else in common, because I also love throwing a party. We have had some pretty epic ones in the past. I love animals, I feel lost if I don’t have a dog in my house. I love gardening and the satisfaction that comes with watching your plants grow into something that your family can eat or just enjoy looking at.

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A baby shower I helped put together recently
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I had alot of fun making this paper wall art for the same baby shower

What are you hoping for with this blog?

R: So many things! I hope that it is a creative outlet for all the design ideas that swirl around in my head. A place to provide tutorials for others hoping to decorate/design their homes on a budget. We thought up this great post series where we are going to challenge whether it is worth DIY-ing or Buying a product. Sometimes you work so hard on something, buy tons of materials and in the end are not satisfied with the final product. Other times you think, “I can’t believe I almost spent X amount of money on this, what a great DIY”. Long term I would love to expand our combined experience and help others decorate their spaces via moodboards and e-design services. A girl can dream right?!?!

A: From reading blogs in the past, I have been really inspired by so many things, big and small. I hope that this gives me a way to inspire others. Interior design is a major passion for me, so almost anywhere down that road that this blog may lead would be a dream come true. I love how in a short period of time the blog is getting me to think outside the box and motivating me to try new things which I know will help me to grow creatively.

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