In this episode, Cara sits down with Mary Welch Fox Stasik from HGTV’s Breaking Bland to talk all about her journey into design and approach to creating bold and personal spaces for her clients. Mary Welch shares some practical tips for going bold in your spaces and dives into the windy path that led her to a career in interior design. She shares how her live experience helped shape her voice and refine her creative process as a designer.

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in this episode:

✨  practical strategies for going bold + taking risks in your spaces
✨ developing your personal style over time through experimentation
✨ mary welch’s windy path into interior design and how her story inspires her style
✨ using your life experiences to fuel your voice as a designer
✨ how the pandemic has impacted the way we live in and think about our spaces
✨ mary welch’s show on HGTV, breaking bland
mary welch’s design strategy for personalizing clients spaces and uncovering their design
obsessed — my diy peel & stick wallpaper smoothing tool
trend talk — giving a name to a trend thats all across social media: Organic Modern

chatting with mary fox welch stasik

Born and raised in Knoxville, TN, Mary Welch gained a strong desire to experience LIFE but unsure exactly how to execute those feelings.

Her passions led her to Colorado State University, and then to working in Denver and NYC for designers that still greatly inspire her work and philosophy today. Mary Welch then began exploring the fashion, music, fitness industries and the world which led her to finding a core value – travel is her jam.

All of this lead her back into interiors.

Each and every experience paving her way to a greater understanding of the client and their true internal needs and desires. As a designer, she hopes to directly connect with each client on a personal level delivering a space that not only speaks emotionally but also makes them see and experience the functionality of a space.

connect with mary welch

design instagram: @marywelchfoxdesign // personal instagram: @mwfoxstasik


trend talk

let’s talk about it!

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…just in case you wanna read

this transcript was auto-generated

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:00:00] What is making your heart sing and what is calling you right. You know, maybe it’s not in the main island, and or anything that  makes you happy in your outside life and how do you interpret that inside of your space  like use those kinds of feelings to tap into your own personal style and think through if you’re liking something because it’s. You know, a trend or out there everywhere. Are you liking this? Cause it like really speaks to you,


Hey, it’s Cara and I’m on a mission to help you find your style. Learn to tackle home design without intimidation and unlock the confidence to transform your spaces on the show today, I have a super exciting interview. I’m so pumped for this one. I’m sitting down with Mary Welsh, Fox, Stacey, and we are talking all about her.

On HGTV, breaking bland and diving into the windy journey of how she got there. We dive into specific design strategies. We talk about the creative process. We talk about her show and she also shares her story. And I think it’s amazing because it’s a really good example of how your story can truly define.

Your style, your creativity and the life experiences that you have is something that you can draw on when you’re creating your spaces and trying to find what your style is and create a space that speaks to you. So I’m so excited.  I think by the end, you’re going to be so pumped up to go check out her new show.  So let’s dive in to this amazing conversation 


Cara Newhart: [00:02:14] Okay, everyone. Welcome back to make space today. I have a really, really special guest and I’m beyond excited to sit down with her. So I have Mary Welsh Fox stay sick if I don’t butcher her name and we are going to talk all things, design, all things, her new show.

So welcome, 

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:02:31] thank you kindly. Thanks for having me.

Cara Newhart: [00:02:33] Oh, my gosh, of 

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:02:34] And you didn’t butcher my name. 

Cara Newhart: [00:02:36] Perfect. I practiced. So 

well, I would love to start by just diving into your story. Like what did your journey into design?

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:02:45] God, it’s it’s been an interesting ride to say the least, but and you know, it’s funny, I’ve had to reflect on this a lot and like, I notice now when I do tell my story, like every time I remember more, you know what I mean? Like when I cause then like turning 40 this year, so there’s a lot of it.

That’s. You know, it’s a long time I studied interior design in school. So it’s been a long time since then. And there’s a lot of paths that you just forget about and like, forget about pieces that like were like integral parts that really made you who you are, but like, and like tend to, like, I tend to like go to the glossy shiny things and forget about like the hardships, you know?

So if you want me to, I can start from school, I guess.

Cara Newhart: [00:03:31] let’s start there.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:03:32] Cool. I went to Colorado state university and I was went there because it’s an agricultural school and I I’m a, I’m a huge snow skier B. I was studying biology. So that was like my plan, but I always wanted to be an artist and I really wanted to study art, but at the time that wasn’t.

Like I knew there were art majors and I knew that that was a possibility, but I, you know, at that time I thought like, I can only be like a businesswoman or a scientist or a doctor. And that was like the only thing that I could do to really make a living, you know, I didn’t, you didn’t under, I didn’t understand.

Like I just only thought starving artists. So I never was, I was like, okay, well that’ll just be my hobby. But you know, when you’re artists, you just can’t let go. You know, like that is like, it burns inside of you. And I’m one of those people, if I don’t love what I’m doing, then like probably don’t want to do it.

You know what I mean? Like I add, like I’m not going to stick with it.

Cara Newhart: [00:04:33] Like I’ll run by you.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:04:34] yeah, totally, totally. Like you’re going to get like a piece of me, but you’re not going to get all of me, but when I love something, you’re going to get like 110% of me. So, and I knew that about myself. I only knew that, but like, I didn’t understand how to apply that in life. Totally. So then I saw that there was an interior design major at the school that I, where I went and, and, you know, like HGTV was on and you know, there’s design shows on and I was like, that looks like so much fun. And I, it was kind of like, that is what I that’s like an option. I can do that. 

And I decided I started doing some research and found out it was an automatic four year school.  It was like interior architecture.  And I Switched my major, I applied to the school.  And made it and ended up studying design school, which was hard. Honestly, it was so much harder than biology and I, but I loved it.  

So then I studied interior design and it was. It was incredible. It was hard. It was all the fun things. And after school I worked in Denver for a little bit and ended up, I knew I wanted to live in Manhattan. So one of the designers that would come in the store in Denver and he was building homes in Aspen.

Would him and I just had a great connection and I told him that I wanted to move to New York and he hired me and I ended up going into New York. So. That was my step.  I moved to New York. I worked for this incredible designer named Larry Laszlo. And I, it was hard, honestly, like he was incredible designer, but I was young. And then reality. You know, I’m from this, I’m from Knoxville, Tennessee, and here I’ve stepped into this like really big world of really high end design.

And it’s fast pace. Just totally different than, than any in the world I came from. And, and, and it got a little lost and really homesick in New York. I mean, it was just confusing at the time. And I also tried a little bit in fashion. I worked for a designer named Google as well.

And ultimately I left both of those jobs and   like I said, it was lost. Like there was a disconnect and it’s such a bigger story that goes beyond that. But I in that some someday I’ll be able to share all of it, but I ended up moving to south America.

Cara Newhart: [00:06:55] Big jump. Yeah.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:06:58] and. And I worked in an orphanage for a while and taught English and just kind of like had to come back and find myself, you know what I mean? Like I had kind of lost myself in this big city and not knowing, you know, there’s so many things going on. Like I had lost two, I was a little bit, you know, like I was burning the candle at both ends in New York and it just like that wasn’t me at the heart of me.

So That’s what I that’s, all I needed to do was like, okay, I’m going to just leave all of this and I’m going to go to south America and I’m going to find myself again, I’m going to find like what it’s like to help other people again, and, and to do some service in life and like come back and recenter and see what’s important again.

Cara Newhart: [00:07:44] Yeah.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:07:45] yeah, so, and it was, and it was incredible. And, and again, and again, so much inspiration there. That’s like where I first realized like, ah, there’s so much in the world that I can tap into for design inspiration, like that. I want to use in my spaces and so much color and so much like, just so much of everything that it, it expanded my mind in incredible.

I needed that. So I came back to New York and I was like, ready to take on the city again. And I was kind of dating a man at the time who was at my husband. And we decided the way, the only way we were long distance. So the way to like, make it work was if  we moved to the same city and at the time,  I was in Manhattan and he was in Chicago and so moved to Chicago and it was also when the market crashed. And so here I am like an interior designer. I’m ready to come back into the world. I have this new sense of grounding I’m ready to, to be me. And nobody is hiring designers.

Cara Newhart: [00:08:42] oh,

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:08:44] I know, so I was so bummed and kind of like, okay.

And I had kind of in my head, I was like, I’ve got this great resume to all this work. Like I’ve got it. I’ll get a job. And now like, no, no, no, no. And every turn and you know, it hurt my, like, you know, that hurts your soul, a little new for every job too, by the way, like I was going out for any job and could not get a job.

And that was, that was, you know, a big kind of an ego bump burn.  So I started waiting tables and got my yoga certification and sort of working in the music industry and. Like moving on with my life.  I was trying to find new avenues and it loved working in music. I ended up working for a music festival. And it was a building VIP experiences for music festivals and for concert tours.

So we then you know, I’m young now I have this freedom back, . I’m able to like track any money I make to travel and see the world  and spend time with my husband at the time.

He’s a musician and just like, you know, living live in life, but also still lost a little bit, you know, like when am I going to find my place again? . But again, like interior design still call me. So working in the restaurant,  when one day somebody came and sat at one of my tables and I said my name and she started laughing in my face and I was like, what?

I’m so confused. I had never met this person. And she was like, I, I know you and I did not know her at all.  But I guess I had grown up with her husband and she was like, I cannot wait to tell him that you are. Waiting tables right now. And I was like, what’s wrong with waiting

Cara Newhart: [00:10:28] Right. What? Like I am having the best time.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:10:32] Totally. I like, my life is going great, but like she started making, like, it was an operable. So I started, you know, like, and it made me sad and confused and just like question. Like, you know, am I, am I failing by doing something wrong? Which no, you’re not waiting. Tables is not that’s definitely no, this woman was in the wrong for making me feel this way, but it also lit kind of like a fire under me.

And I was like, I I really wanted to get back into science and we started talking about it more. And essentially one of the girls I’ve worked with waiting tables had a boyfriend and she told him that I want him to get back into design. And he was because at the time she knew that he was looking for a condo and wanted to redo it.

And she was like, just like it. Here’s Mary. Well, I’m going to introduce you all. And I told him, I was like, this is my first project alone. And they took a chance and they let me take on this condo. And I had the best time I sat in that restaurant. And I got back where I was working and when it was dead, I were draw at the bar and go back to study all my materials.

Like all of them, all the rules, all the code, all the things that I forgotten, then all the things I needed to do. And I, you know, I’m hand drawing, I’m pulling into CAD drawings again and like contacting builders and it lit the fire under me that made me get back into design. And that was it. Like, I was like, I can do this again.

I can still do this. I love this, and I can do it by myself. And that was like the biggest that piece of confidence to know I could do it by myself. Was it took a little bit You know, like I’m an artist at heart, so like self-doubt is lives inside of me forever. You know, I can’t help it.

I wish I could tell you. I was like confident, but all the time and now, and then artists that questions, everything with that job ended up getting me in another job and another job. And I would work at that bar and hand draw and work nights and work to pay basically. So I could continue doing interior design and every dollar I made, I put back into design.

And so it like worked as this catalyst that sent me up to for you know, to keep working. Like, this is what I want to do. I can make this happen.  And then I ended up getting pregnant with my first daughter and moved to when we were in Chicago at the time.

And I was like, this is way too cold. I need to

Cara Newhart: [00:13:01] Right.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:13:02] Like I can’t, I can’t handle this. I have no family here. Like I, and my husband’s gone the past two years, so I did not want to be alone. And we, and I told him I had family in Charleston, South Carolina.

I was like, I have, my sisters were there. My mom had just moved there.  And legit, my husband was like, great. Let’s do it. And like within four weeks we had moved to Charleston.

 And it was awesome. Like, I knew that that’s where I needed to be if I was having children. But at the same time, I just like established myself in Chicago

Cara Newhart: [00:13:29] All right.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:13:30] designer and just got a client base and just got myself back on my feet. So that was almost like you know, like starting all over again. I knew I had to do it again. So it put me kind of back at square one. And I knew if I was going to make it here, I had to figure out a way to do that.

And So I was taking free jobs, still working in music, still traveling still like, and it just had a baby. It’s still doing all the things, but working for free to prove myself  and I’ll make out, start building a name here as well because the two markets are totally different. I’m working all these jobs and I’m trying to make it work.

 Maybe a few years after giving birth to my daughter and I’m hustling. I get a phone call one day and somebody says, hi, you know, I’m, I’m working with river media out of Knoxville, Tennessee, and woman named Angie Jessica.

And what akin is a girl that one of my friends from China. Suggested you might be good on camera for for HGTV. And I was like, I’m sorry, what?

Cara Newhart: [00:14:30] Yeah. Like what?

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:14:33] I was like, am I getting pumped?

Cara Newhart: [00:14:35] Right. Like good one. Good

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:14:37] totally cool. Cool. Thanks guys. It’s been real. This is not fun. You don’t toy with my emotions. Because at that, like truly, it always been, my dream was to be on HGTV. I just like thought that was a pipe dream that could never happen. And they were serious and we talked so many times, 

that was just the beginning. And at the time I didn’t have a large clientele, enough people that I could count on to do a show in Charleston. And nobody really knew me. And at the same time, I was also trying to get pregnant with my with my second daughter, but we were having a really hard time.

 That that process is,  it’s hard to explain now. And now that I’m out of it, it seems kind of, it’s hard to remember it, but I know at the time I was just in the thick of not feeling great and my

Cara Newhart: [00:15:23] Yeah.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:15:24] So it didn’t feel right, but I was like, you know, I don’t have a lot of clients right now  cause I’m in the process of trying to have another child and it’s just not going, you know, I just don’t have it all on me. And I think I said, come back, please come back.

I don’t, don’t forget about me. And And they did. And I had another child and she is incredible. And they came back and the processes of interviewing went on again. And the process of interviewing and doing screen takes. And all of the things that go down is it’s, you know, it’s a lot, it’s not like, oh, here you go.

You’re going to be on HGTV.

Cara Newhart: [00:15:57] Right. Like a million zoom calls later.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:16:00] 1000%. And, and honestly it was like, there was no, I never, in my mind was like, this is going to happen. There’s no way this is going to happen. Like, like, is this a joke? 

But it just kept, they kept being like, okay, we got you another, well, here’s another one. Here’s another step. Now I want to do a sizzle. And I was like, what kept happening? And then after the sizzle, they they came in, they filmed the pilot and, and at the same time, like my design business is picking up because I’ve, done all these projects and finally built a portfolio in Charleston.

So like, it kind of like happened in perfect synchronicity. So. You know, I’m getting my confidence back. I’m getting my jobs back. I’m getting people to trust me here in Charleston, I’m getting, gaining your name again. And like all that free work is paying off  

 Design is, you know, when you’re starting, it’s like an, it’s not a guaranteed paycheck. So I had to make that leap and it’s all now, you know, the rest is history. We ended up filming a whole. Series for breaking bland and it aired August 4th  it’s been an absolute crazy. Crazy whirlwinds. And there’s so much more in between there, but that’s like the long, long CliffNotes.

Cara Newhart: [00:17:15] Oh my gosh. I love it so much. And I love, I love like the theme that I keep hearing, where it’s like, you had to like, trust yourself, you had to keep coming back and like taking those leaps and like bet on yourself. And it feels like when you do that enough times, eventually you like find it and it clicks.

So that’s amazing.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:17:34] Thank you. I totally, I mean, you know, there’s so many times where you just want to quit and be like, okay, I’m not going to make it. I’m not going to make it. Like, it’s time to just throw the hands in the air and commit yourself to like, like, like a full-time job that has that is going to give you a steady paycheck and benefits and, and like give up your pipe dream.

But. I am so stubborn that like for the first time I liked being stubborn, actually paid off,

Cara Newhart: [00:18:01] Right.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:18:02] you know?

Cara Newhart: [00:18:03] Yeah. I love that gave you all this life experience that I feel like you can now draw on as a designer, which is like one of the most untalked about parts of being an artist is like, you have to source inspiration from like real life. Like you can learn how to design, like, you know, from a textbook, like the design rules, but if you don’t have like, Experience to feel your voice like you, it’s not as deep and good as it could be.

So that’s interesting too. Let’s do that. Well, the show a little bit. So you have the show on HGTV called breaking bland, and I have so many questions cause I watched the first episode. I’m already obsessed, but yeah. Can you give us a peek into like the show? What it, what it’s about? Maybe some spoilers for listeners who haven’t tuned in yet.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:18:48] And like you said, it really, it. The paving the way to have life experience behind it is actually really like the biggest catalyst behind this, because I don’t think I ever would have like sadly had self-confidence to own exactly what it was, the message that we’re trying to get across in the show, unless I had had all that life experience and been able to trust my gut and knowing that these decisions are the right decisions.

And like the premise of the show is too,  it is not meant to diss anybody or any, some, I think I read somewhere. It was like, that’s so mean to say that everything else is bland. I’m like, no, gosh, no, that’s not what I’m saying.

Cara Newhart: [00:19:27] Yeah.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:19:28] No, no, no, no. The whole point is to like, is for the client and you know, the families on the show too.

In my premise in my design philosophy is for you to tap into like you, like, what makes you tick? What turns you on what in your life is an experience that you want to draw from when you’re in your space? So like, you know, pulling anything from like, I want you to come in and they should be a sensory experience.

You know, you want to see it, feel it, smell it, love it, like wants you to feel your space. Throughout your body and to have it trigger positive memories and positive feelings for you. And if that comes in a space, that’s all white. Yes. If that comes in a space, it’s all black. Awesome. You know what I mean?

Like it’s just so individual and but also taking it and like, you know, I’m not going to do something crazy or I don’t think that it’s a resell worthy. It’s more like. Creating beautiful spaces that are taking into consideration. Your loves, your feels, colors, textures, you know, anything that taps into you as a person that can turn on you and in a century.

Cara Newhart: [00:20:47] I like that. It’s more about, instead of just taking what we’re given, like taking a trend or the builder grade stuff we’re given, like, how do you break out of that to get like, to you? So it’s more about like taking risks than it is saying, like boring. This is boring and we don’t like it. It’s like, this is not me.

Kind of,

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:21:06] Yeah, exactly. It’s more like exactly. How do I make my space? Me and how do I like as same way that I searched for myself to be able to own myself? Like, how do you own yourself? And like really tap. I mean, that’d be proud of yourself and proud of the life that you’ve lived and how to the money you’ve earned to put into this space.

Cara Newhart: [00:21:27] Yeah,

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:21:28] and, and, and highlight those things. Those are like your unique characteristics and, and the things that make you happy and that’s different than what makes anybody else happy. So how do I make that shine for you in your space?

Cara Newhart: [00:21:41] I love that so much. So you’re really not afraid to go all out and break the design mold when it comes to your design style, that you’re doing things that are like bold and interesting. Can we just dive into, like, what inspires your style in terms of like elements you’re drawn to that are more like colorful and custom and kind of how.

Your voice gets translated into a client space. I feel like that’s such an interesting balance of like, what is them? And then like your voice as a designer coming through, how do you like navigate that?

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:22:15] For sure. Cause that’s a very valid question. Because obviously if you’re designing a space, if you’re involved in that,

Cara Newhart: [00:22:22] Mm.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:22:23] I really try to get to know the clients on a deeper level. So I’m not interjecting too much of me in there. You know, obviously it’s coming from my, my imagination and my brain.

But I want to like really know them. I want to know all about you, your business, your clothes, what do you wear? What you eat, how do you live? How do you smell? Like how do you like go throughout your day? All those kinds of things. And I try to like put myself in that, in their place. And I sit in their space for long periods of time.

So I utilize the architecture of the existing space as well. And. You know, of course, like my voice will shine through just because it’s like my interpretation, but I don’t know how it’s so family specific to what is tapped into inside of me. And I really don’t even know where it comes from. And sometimes I just wake up in the middle of the night and it comes from there.

And it just like a feeling that you get and that’s actually some, some of my best ideas come from like a dream and I wake up and I write down and then I’ll go back to sleep. 

Cara Newhart: [00:23:25] It’s amazing.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:23:26] I don’t go back to sleep and I just stay up and break. I’m

Cara Newhart: [00:23:29] Right. And write down more and more. Yeah.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:23:30] And it’s really like client specific, you know, there’s, everybody is so different and I’m just getting to know everybody’s unique style. They’re what they love when it comes to art. And, you know, you can tell so much by about somebody’s style, maybe what they might gravitate towards when it comes to just their wardrobe, how they live, what they eat, their like daily activities that are, that they love.

And I asked clients if I have heavy art suggestions, I think art is so specific and so important to us. So give you suggestions and categories and a train to here, like see the path that you take when you when you select which one makes you feel great. And seeing what I like. So inspiration photos, like, like where do you fall on this spectrum?

Or what, you know, we’re in this color spectrum, do you fall all of those sort of things to kind of draw from what individually makes me call to that space?

Cara Newhart: [00:24:32] Yeah, it’s so interesting. Cause I feel like some people think of interior design is like, you’re creating a space, but really so much of it is like, Pulling someone’s style out of them that they can’t even see like really digging in and being like, what is you? And how can I express that? Like in your space?

And I know, you know, this, but like one of the biggest challenges as a designer is communicating that design plan and that vision to the clients and really helping them like see what you’re trying to do, which can be so challenging. And I only can imagine it gets. Even more challenging when you’re trying to go bold and do things that are maybe on the riskier side or just kind of really out there.

How do you help, like your clients take design risks and maybe get excited for like unconventional elements in the space versus feeling like intimidated and unsure? Is it like really strong visuals that they’re just like, oh yeah, that looks good. Or is it like more a conversation? Like how do you help them go bold?

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:25:32] Sure I really strong visuals are the key because too, like I, you know, as an artist, like I can tell you and I can try and suggest things for people, but it’s so hard, you know, if you just explain something everybody can see that differently. so really strong visuals I think are really important when that’s available.

And, and again, just like walking people through their space, like, I don’t want anybody to do something that they’re not comfortable with, but that that’s not my Mo at all. Like, I really want you to be comfortable with it, but I need to know that like in the strong visuals really help with that again.

Cause it’s, you know, suggesting things outside of the box, but that’s it so much of that comes with like, you know, Believe in, believe in yourself and believe in you as a person that has artistic capabilities. Because I hear so often that people are like, I don’t have a creative bone in my body and I’m like, yes, you do.

You know, we just, like, we’re all taught to express them at the, in the same way or at all. Some people were kind of told to suppress them. So or Rick never given that opportunity or, or just like I was saying before, even a person. No, I’ve always loved art, but like I did not. It’s still terrifying for any person, you know, like

Cara Newhart: [00:26:51] Super vulnerable

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:26:52] so vulnerable.

So like helping people realize that, like that is all there in, within them and their own unique gift that they all, I don’t care how like straightforward and type a, and like, you know, You are, you’ve still got it. Like it’s there. Like I know it. And, and there’s something that makes you happy and excited.

And I want to find that and I want to give it to you. And I want you to live in that space that makes you like, feel turned on by your environ.

Cara Newhart: [00:27:25] Mm. I love that. So like this, the premise of this show is about like empowering the everyday girl to take charge of creating her spaces. And so I think that’s like such a cool perspective of the process. Like you have it in you and let’s just figure out how to like, tap into that. That’s so good.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:27:43] Totally everybody has it, you know, like it’s and it’s like, there’s no wrong answer. You know, like that’s like my favorite part about design. Like it’s so subjective. Like of course not. Everybody’s going to like the suggestion that I have, but like is the person that I’m gearing towards, you know, Maybe not every single person on earth is going to like it better.

Is there going to be a group of people that are into it? Yes. Is the person I’m doing it for, are going to like it. Yes. And that is, and that sort of matters. And you can fill those in with, you know, art and, and if you’re worried about a resell, these are still beautiful spaces that I don’t think. You know, kind of take you out of that resell.

And a lot of this is forever home too, but you know, there’s so many ways to incorporate your own personal piece in there that don’t have to be so permanent.

Cara Newhart: [00:28:38] Oh, my gosh, exactly. Like if publishing my work in my spaces on the internet has taught me one thing. It’s that no matter what you do, like people will hate it. People will love it. So you really need to just do like, what is for you. And that’s the only way to go.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:28:54] Well, like with anything in life, like just you do, you.

Cara Newhart: [00:28:58] Yeah, for real. so for the everyday girl, who’s like decorating her space, looking for something unique and she’s maybe like a frayed to take those risks or is feeling intimidated by like bold color, but maybe wants to try it. Do you have any advice for how you can like push yourself to take those risks and maybe incorporate like some unconventional elements that you want to try, but you’re like nervous.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:29:26] Yeah, absolutely. There are a lot. Impermanent things that you can do in spaces. And I, one of my favorite sayings is like, you can always paint over paint. So paint is paint my favorite way to get started into the world of like, I’m unsure, but I want to try something new because you can paint on a wall and if you hate it, go back that is an easy way.

I’m like removable wallpaper. I’m not going to install that for you because I’m, I can’t. But that’s my own personal problem. But I, so most people can, I’m just like, particularly not a candidate for that because.

Cara Newhart: [00:30:06] It takes attention to detail in lining stuff up and measuring. I do it, but it’s like a free bird process. It’s definitely not like how you’re supposed to do it. Measuring and

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:30:17] I think I need to give it another shot. In the last time I tried my husband and I did together, which we should never do that again. It

Cara Newhart: [00:30:23] oh yeah.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:30:23] the biggest fight of our lives. And I was like nine months pregnant, like walking down the street, like, so, so that is like not a team sport for me. That is,

Cara Newhart: [00:30:39] a solo endeavor. I feel. Yeah.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:30:40] So removable, wallpaper paint or accessible. Drier, there are cheap art. You can create cheap art so easily. And I think people like don’t realize that I’ve been thinking about doing a little, like course on how to make cheap art and to make yourself feel comfortable in a space because it’s so, there’s so many easy ways to do things that when I explain the way some of my art they’re like really I’m like, yeah, that was my three-year-olds like construction paper and one color paint.

And. You know, like it’s like any, if the, just the way you arrange that or put that in a space can make it so unique and so different. And it like literally takes 10 minutes. So that those kinds of ways, like start small, you don’t have to they’re big and bold and redo your whole space to own it. But like the next time you’re out looking for something for your space, you know, instead of thinking like, okay, what are the trends what’s everywhere?

What is it person doing? What’s that like, take note of what, where you go, you know, like where are you? Like, what is making your heart sing and what is calling you right. You know, maybe it’s not in the main island, maybe it’s not from, but like sit down and think, think that, think about that. Think about the spaces you love outdoors and like, how do you want to incorporate that?

And or anything that you love that makes you happy in your outside life and how do you interpret that inside of your space in a way, like use those kinds of feelings to tap into your own personal style and think through if you’re liking something because it’s. You know, a trend or out there everywhere.

Are you liking this? Cause it like really speaks to you,

Cara Newhart: [00:32:25] Yeah. I love that. Like focus on the small things and a little bit at a time and you kind of build your style and slowly get like confident. I think that’s where like the TV shows trick us is like, we get this amazing gratification of seeing like a house go from like ma to like amazing in like 20 minutes.

And then we think. Our process leads to look like that, but like you’re cramming weeks and months of work into that episode. So I’m interested in like the parts we don’t see. Like, are there any challenges or elements of the process that, yeah, just like don’t make the episode that kind of speak to that like little things at a time and the big process that it is.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:33:08] For sure, you know, with these shows. You are lucky because you get to do the whole space and like a big, and that’s like you said, it’s not really reality all the time that people can go in and do an entire space and like top to bottom furniture, all of the things, I mean, I’m an interior designer and my space will never be done.

You know,

Cara Newhart: [00:33:26] right.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:33:27] I just like constantly am evolving it and, and I, you know, It comes and goes, as I can afford it as well, you know? So it, you’re seeing this entire space get hauled. And you do, you actually do see on the show, like the thought, the thought process and the issues come up and budget is always a serious concern because there’s any, in any renovation, it is not like black and white.

Like, you cannot just say like, we’re going to do this and that’s, what’s going on. Because

Cara Newhart: [00:33:59] Good one. Yeah. You make the plan never goes to plan.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:34:04] And I just like prep. I have to remember to like, preface that for clients. I’m like, just so you know, like this, nothing is ever on time. Like, no that a whatever we say today, it could change like any day, because you never know, like you start taking down a wall.

What? Wait, like what’s behind it. General ideas, but like, you don’t always know, you know, and like, or this item can’t come in in time, or this is not going this way or you know, The possibilities of things that can go wrong are endless and they always do. So just also know that I don’t ever get discouraged when something pops up that is like the nature of the business.

And I think in the beginning, when I first started, that was really hard for me to understand too. Like I always took those as personal failures. And it’s not like  there’s no personal failure in a house that came that way. It’s just learning how to roll with the punches and move and be malleable and and be okay when those changes come and not be hard on yourself.

And if you make a mistake, that’s okay. Like that’s life, life is like, you don’t learn unless you try and make a mistake. So you’ll see, I make mistakes on the show, make mistakes, and everybody does, you know, in life. I don’t ever want to hide that. And. And that’s, you know, construction’s about a lot of mistakes, but yes, you do get to see a beautiful home transform in 20 minutes, but it, it takes a lot of time, a lot of sweat, a lot of tears, but happy tears in some stressful, but in a, in the best way.

 It’s such a cool process. It’s so hard to explain and, and, and it was fun to see it in 20 minutes, but there’s so much, so much.

Cara Newhart: [00:35:52] I love that. And I love that. Like the thought that came to my mind when you’re talking about like pivoting is like, the creative process is about flow. So to think you can like create a structure that’s gonna, like, you’re gonna be able to stick to is like so silly and against the nature of like what creativity is.

So I, I feel like once you embrace that, like things are going to change. We’re just going to flow and like, let it happen. And let it evolve. That’s when you’re like, yeah, give yourself more grace. And I feel like things turn out better than you plan sometimes. Like you couldn’t have even foreseen when things go wrong and you have to pivot and get creative.

It’s like, whoa, this is actually better than I originally thought it was going to be.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:36:32] happy accidents.

Cara Newhart: [00:36:33] Yes.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:36:34] Yeah, it’s a beautiful, oops, happy little accidents.

Cara Newhart: [00:36:37] Yeah. I love that. So obviously like the pandemic has redefined the way we think about our homes. I know for me that looked like an influx of light. He designed clients who were like spending more time in their spaces and realizing like, Hey, this home does not serve me.

Like, it is not set up to feel like me. So I’m interested to hear like, maybe some of the ways that you’ve seen this, like the design space shifting, or maybe just like changes in what people are wanting out of their spaces. Like what has the. Process and the pandemic looked like for you in client work and kind of looking at those, the shift, I guess

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:37:16] Sure. You know, like everybody, we were all home kind of staring at our space and thinking about all the ways that we want to redo them and how we are living in it. And so the first time you really, really have the experience of living in your space and.

Cara Newhart: [00:37:34] Yeah.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:37:36] Kind of critiquing every moment and move that you and your whole family makes within that space.

So like, and that’s a great thing because you really get to feel how you use your space and how you live in it and how you want to have that feel like how would you prefer to have that feel? And, and it makes it a little easier. I think now for people to articulate how they want to it. Because it’s not like I know this wants to change, but like, I don’t know how or why they make this easier, but when you’ve been living in it for, so like not leaving it and quarantined in it, you now know how to articulate like this precisely it’s not working for me.

Like I need this home office to look like this. I need this door to shut here. Or you know, we’re spending more time in this living room or I’m, I need a separate room to To like for family activities, like the ways that we’re using our space, because we are using them changed a bit. And I think that’s really kind of beautiful, you know, that’s what our homes were intended for to use them and to love them.

And, and it makes me feel like the clients that I’ve had, you know, have such greater respect for. They’re not like you didn’t have a respect for your home before, but it’s. Like this ownership and like wanting to make it yours and wanting to know how to like specifically make it work for your unique needs, especially when it comes to offices, kitchens you know, playroom areas, the areas that are utilized the most.

So I, I think the best, what I’ve started noticing is. People have this desire to, to be in their space more, to be more inspired by it and to have it functioned better for the way that they’re actually using it. And to be able to articulate those needs a little easier because they’re used to being in that space.

So I think that has kind of like helped us somewhat, you know, like, did it help you at all? Because you were like, okay, now I. It’s people it’s easier for me to understand your needs because you’re able to give me a lot more information now,

Cara Newhart: [00:39:38] Yeah, right. Like I’m not guessing and trying to speculate what you’re going to do. I know like, you’re like, I hate this and you know that, and I don’t have to like dig it out of you. That’s so, so true.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:39:50] Totally like, and like specific instances, you know, like I

Cara Newhart: [00:39:53] Huh.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:39:54] this thing to go right here and this figure right here, and that’s not working because of this and that. That’s great. That’s awesome feedback. Like I love it when people know exactly what they need, how they use their space and how they want it to perform for them.

Cara Newhart: [00:40:09] Right. It takes the guesswork out for sure.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:40:12] For sure. For sure.

Cara Newhart: [00:40:15] Well, as we wrap up, is there anything we missed? Like, is there anything exciting happening that we need to know about

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:40:22] Gotcha.

Cara Newhart: [00:40:23] up besides just watching the show? Which everyone needs to go do a link in the show notes?

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:40:28] Yes, please do. So I guess, I mean, That’s it I’m I I’m trying right now. There’s no guaranteed second season. So the, my hope is just to get as many eyeballs on it as I can. And to hopefully get a second season, but you know, what if I don’t, that is okay too, because the whole experience has been so incredible in something bigger than my dreams could have ever imagined.

I’m just so grateful and happy to have had this opportunity and, you know, to just to keep on moving forward in life and, and, and learning more every day and how to, you know, own and my own uniqueness and to help others and hopefully empower others to feel there’s an own there’s too. And, you know, life doesn’t have to be this person.

Beautiful packaged path to get to where you’re going. It’s, you know, it’s all about the wavy journey sometimes, and I’m just really grateful to be here and to have had the opportunity to speak with you and, and all these amazing things that have arisen from this it’s this is more than I could’ve dreamed.

So that’s, that’s, that’s it for now, you know, maybe we’ll see another season. Maybe we won’t, but I’ll keep designing and keep on. Do you want me,

Cara Newhart: [00:41:45] I love. Yeah, I love that, but I’m definitely gonna everyone go watch the show. Listen, we need as many eyeballs as possible because I selfishly would like a second season. So if everyone could go do that, that would be amazing. I want to watch it. So. But seriously, it is so good. And I feel like it’s exactly the kind of show we need right now is like, it doesn’t feel like it’s like, okay, let’s take a house and flip it and make it perfect.

It’s like really diving into the process and showing the fun side and the hard side. And so I really enjoyed that, like authenticity of the show. So yeah.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:42:21] thank you. Thank you.

Cara Newhart: [00:42:23] Of course. Well, where can everyone connect with you? Online is like Instagram, the best place to follow you or,

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:42:30] Yeah, Instagram for sure. I made a Tik TOK and I still don’t know how to post it. Ah, God love like watching the videos, but I like God, I’ve got to figure out how it feels so old. When I say these things I’ll figure it out.

Cara Newhart: [00:42:45] You will, you

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:42:45] I will.

Cara Newhart: [00:42:46] be a pro in no time.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:42:47] Totally like L other steps in life. I just need to get the courage to do it. So Instagram for now that too, I just, I have two accounts because, you know, I was confused when I made them.

So one is my very personal journey with me and my, my family and my life, and more of like the behind the scenes, like raw details of life. And I do. I challenge call a hundred days for positive change. And it’s really just a group that we do a few times a year of a hundred days of movement where we.

Encourage each other to move and to own through a movement to gain courage, to take on the rest of your life. And that’s a very helpful tool. So you’ll see a lot of that on my personal page, which is MW Fox Stacey. And my design page is Mary welt Fox does.

Cara Newhart: [00:43:43] I love that. Well, everyone go follow both. Oh yeah. What’s your block?

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:43:47] And that’s Mary well it’s

Cara Newhart: [00:43:51] Oh my gosh. That’s so exciting. 

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:43:52] So Instagram and the blog, but mostly, mostly Instagram is where you’ll you’ll see me.

Cause that’s the only app I’ve mastered so far.

Cara Newhart: [00:44:00] Yeah, killing it. It’s all you need. Well, everyone go follow Mary Welch and be sure to DM her and bother her and tell her that you love this episode because that’s

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:44:11] that bothering? Yeah.

Cara Newhart: [00:44:13] Yeah. Amazing. Well, thank you so much again for your time. This was such a good conversation. I know it’s going to inspire so many listeners to kind of feel renewed in taking on their spaces and kind of getting creative.

So thanks for your time.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:44:28] Thank you, Cara. I really appreciate you having me. And I wish you the best. I can’t wait to keep following your journey as well.

Cara Newhart: [00:44:35] Thanks.

Mary Welch Fox Stasik: [00:44:36] Yeah, it’s so fun. 


Hashtag obsessed. 

 Okay. So for this segment, I want to give a name to something you might be seeing trending on social media. If you’re pinning, if you’re on Instagram or even Tech-Talk, there’s a style that you’ve probably have seen emerging a lot, and you might not know quite what it’s called. And when I tell you the name, this way, you can Google it and you can see if it’s for you when you’re pinning, you can type it in it’s called organic model.

So this has been around for a while, but it’s kind of coming into the limelight. So it’s kind of what studio McGee that their style is. But it’s a little more nuanced than just like straight studio muggy, the target collection kind of style, but there is a lot of them. Earthy elements like plasters and neutrals and lots of texture.

So like that caning and wood tones that everyone’s loving. The foliage is like the olive trees, very natural, organic looking, not too. Polished. There’s kind of like an element of earthiness to it. And this is interesting, cause I know you’ve seen the style all over it. And if you didn’t already know that this is kind of the name, the design term for the style.

Now, when you go to Pinterest, you can type it in and if you’re loving it now you’ll be able to find all kinds of inspo. Kind of the new trending style. I would say it’s replaced farmhouse as far as what everyone’s looking for. So, yeah, organic, modern go search it up.  


Time to talk trends.

 This week, I am obsessed with a tool that I made for wallpaper. I had this genius idea because every time. On peel and stick wallpaper on the walls. I end up scratching the paper or gashing it, or some of the like scrapers leave, weird marks even the plastic ones. So I needed to find something that was a lot gentler on this vinyl peel and stick wallpaper.

So what I did is I got a paint shield, which kind of looks like a scraper. It’s got like a long flat metal edge. I added some Velcro, just the rough side of the velvet. To either end of the scraper either edge. And then I wrapped a piece of felt from one side to the other to kind of wrap the end of the metal in felt.

So now it is this super smooth tool that you can use to apply wallpaper. It helps you get all the bubbles out, but it doesn’t scratch or stretch your paper. That’s another really big issue with the plastic scrapers. They can stretch the paper and then it can be hard to match up your pattern and things can be out of whack.

 This was literally, I want to say under $5, the little scraper thing is only like three and It felt super cheap too and Velcro, but it is a game changer. Like a game changer. If you struggled putting up peel and stick, this tool might be something you need. I actually show the visual step-by-step.

If you’re more of a visual person over on my Instagram, in the new post i just did  all about my powder bathroom makeover, I installed some peel and stick wallpaper and use this tool. And I show you how to make it in the real. So if you’re interested and excited about DIY and not only your space with wallpaper, but now we’re DIY our own tools hop over to Instagram and never skipped brunch and check it out.

   Cara Newhart: [00:47:53] if you’re not already, you need to get it together and follow me on Instagram. That’s where the party happens. Every day, it’s where you can see me do all of my projects and DM me with your questions and your spaces and all of that fun stuff.

So hop over to Instagram type in neverskipbrunch and follow me so we can be friends there and talk more than just once a week.

OUTRO: [00:48:17] thanks for listening. If this is your first time listening in, be sure to hit that subscribe button so you can stay in the loop with the newest episodes. If you’re a subscriber and you like the show, be sure to rate, review or screenshot and share your favorite episode on social.

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I'm Cara, the designer & diy queen behind Never Skip Brunch. I'm a color & prints obsessed DIY queen who's here to help you create a beautifully lived-in life through home design advice and chic DIY tutorials

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