A. Shea Design Lab


Mom of boys who just left a longtime career in health policy. Changing paths to find balance and scratch a long neglected creative itch. Hands-on maker, slowly transforming a coastal cape and playing the rest by ear.

asheadesignlab is a winner of Top 25 Home Design Moms - 2013

Of all the DIY projects you've done, which was your favorite?

Ah... but I'm not done with it yet! My favorite project to date is one that I should complete in the next month or two. It's a pair of chairs that I got for $10 via Craigslist, and they are going to be CRAZY great... it's just taking me forever to get them done. You'll have to keep following my blog to see the end results!

What's your advice for moms who want to decorate their home on a budget?

If you're in the market for furniture, get a good Craigslist app for your smartphone and check listings daily... but be patient! Don't jump on the first "it'll do" item. Wait it out until just the right thing comes along--because it will. Also, don't be afraid to negotiate. Nearly all sellers expect you to do this, so psych yourself up to do it and save even more! Got some extra cash this month? If you don't already own a sewing machine--GET ONE!!! Anyone can learn to sew a straight line, and with that skill, you can create designer throw pillows and so much more for SO MUCH LESS than retail (AND you're no longer limited to the colors and patterns you see in the stores)! You don't need anything fancy. I am still rocking the used Singer that I bought off of eBay in 2000.

Where do you find inspiration for keeping your home stylish?

Where would we be without the internet? I used to keep a folder full of hard copy magazine clippings; it was bursting at the seams! But now I corral all of my design spank in my Pinterest account, and I make sure to follow plenty of other pinners whose styles I enjoy so that I get a constant stream of filtered pins from others as well. I subscribe to a stupid number of home decor mags, and I'd never miss an episode of "Secrets of a Stylist" or anything with Sarah Richardson on HGTV.