Ampersand Design Studio


Category Archives: just for fun

when it comes to decorating your home… 06.20.2013

When looking for pieces for your home, we feel like there’s no reason to go conservative! Why not have a little fun with home decor? Ya know, not everything needs to be neutral colors! We say, go bold or go home! We rounded up a few colorful pieces to add just that touch of fun that you’re looking for!

drawer pulls (chevron & facets)  // pop stool // pillow // dou african hamper // taxi salt & pepper shakers // wordsearch dish // chair // mixed print napkin set

  1. Richele

    I love all these items! Beautiful collection of colours and patterns :)
    Thanks for sharing!

    June 20, 2013 5:57 pm
  2. ampersand

    thanks Richele! So glad you like them :)

    June 20, 2013 6:03 pm

this might be our favorite thing we’ve ever seen 05.28.2013

We’re not sure if we could love anything more than this rainbow, abstract painting on the exterior of a church in Washington, DC!!!

Artist, Alex Brewer, also known as HENSE, first made a name for himself as a graffiti artist and his work grew into the realm of public art, grants, commissions, and cross-media connections which have landed him local, national and international public art projects. Brewer developed his skill for graffiti in the mid to late ‘90s and early 2000s.

We couldn’t describe his work better than this: “HENSE’s manic marks, scribbles, drips and splashes produce an agitated tangle of shapes, symbols and figures that offer the viewer a unique and strangely peaceful platform for the eyes and mind. His slick stylizing may send observers on a roller coaster ride of emotions, perturbed to peaceful, angry to inspired, always travelling at the command of the individual’s own subconscious collection of experiences.”

Ted Elmore – RVA News

{all images from HENSE’s website}

comments 7

  1. Uncle Beefy

    Gah!!! JOYOUS!!!

    May 28, 2013 7:03 am
  2. Rhaynelina Estevez

    Wow, amazing! Never seen something like this…

    May 28, 2013 9:50 am
  3. Josephine Kimberling

    LOVE this!!!!

    May 28, 2013 3:00 pm
  4. ampersand

    we know, we know!!! so glad you guys think this is as incredible as we do!!!!!!!

    May 28, 2013 4:56 pm
  5. Sarah York

    This is amazing!!!! Would love to see it in person. I wonder what the neighbors think? Love!

    May 28, 2013 9:02 pm
  6. Anne Brent

    I want to go to there. His paintings are amazing too, like Rothko, Pollock and Rosenquist got together for a good ole crazy time. Want!

    May 29, 2013 3:57 pm
  7. julie

    I agree! I’ve been following Hense for a while and this is just so amazing!! I can’t imagine how he keeps the spontaneity in his work at such a large scale…truly amazing!
    ps I love your work :)

    May 12, 2014 3:52 pm

Painted Bird Shoes 03.13.2013

Painted Bird Shoes first caught my (Morgan’s) eye on the feet of one of my fashionable friends, Alison, who was in town visiting from California. I immediately needed to know where they were from so I could run home, get online and copy her cool Cali style! So, when Painted Bird asked Carrie & I  how we would wear their shoes, we were MORE than happy to romp around the city in our favorite new accessory! What’s not to love?  They come in so many unique color combinations and they couldn’t possibly be more comfortable. We’re always looking for something casual, but cuter than flip-flops. You know, something chic enough for dresses and skirts, but casual enough for cut-offs and jeans. Painted Bird just solved everything on our checklist– they are so versatile! Each shoe is artisan crafted & hand crocheted. They are seriously beautiful. Plus, Painted Bird was designed and created by two brilliant women (it’s worth reading their bio) needless to say, we are huge fans!

PS… did we happen to mention how cute the packaging is?  We just loved the surprise of getting shoes in a printed muslin bag. Just too perfect!

It just so happens, the entire identity was designed by the very friend we spoke of earlier, Alison! Speaking of insanely talented ladies, Alison is high on that list as well. Her studio out of sunny California, is called Fable Design. Make sure to check out Fable Design’s portfolio, full of great color,  one-of-a-kind graphic design and surface patterns!

Aren’t they gorgeous up close? You should really own a pair to see for yourself. Good luck picking your favorite color though, that’s all we have to say! We couldn’t even narrow down our choices to two for days! As you can see, Morgan went with the ankle strap and Carrie went without, but never fear, most colors are offered in both options. And if you’re wondering, they stay on without the strap (we wondered, so thought you might be too). They’ve been tested by us, and that’s a serious test including  running around after (very fast) toddler boys all day long!

One last thing we wanted to share with you all is  that a select few pairs of Painted Bird can be found at Anthropologie! Yep!! It appears some are currently sold out, but we found the Tidal Pool Ankle Wrap is still there!!!!

Shop Painted Bird here!

comments 4

  1. Gaby [The Vault Files]

    You two are too cute, love love the photos, great styling ladies!

    March 14, 2013 9:00 pm
  2. Nickole

    Wow gorgeous shoes. Fun and colorful pictures. I want some tooooo!!! ;)

    March 17, 2013 7:21 pm
  3. ampersand

    Thank you, Gaby!!! You know that means a ton coming from you!!!

    March 17, 2013 7:55 pm
  4. annie

    these are so so cute! they look like perfect summer shoes. you should check out, they are in the same vein.

    March 18, 2013 6:02 pm

and the winner is… 03.04.2013

Thank you ALL for playing along with our giveaway last week! We seriously loved reading all of your comments and seeing which party hostess you were feeling like that day! We were constantly checking the comments to see what you all were saying, so much fun! We used a random number picker and chose our winner: Rachel Lora Simmons!! She’s “Classic with a twist, 100 percent.” Rachel, hope you have fun picking out your set of four monogrammed salad plates!

And, we wanted to thank each and every one of you for playing along, so we’re offering a 10% off promo code on anything in the Ampersand Design Studio Signature Collection!! Cheers to you all! XOXO – Morgan & Carrie

no comments


We paired some of our favorite fashion images with our trend-forward melamine party ware to help you envision your next backyard BBQ, wedding shower,  or evening soiree! So let us know what kind of party hostess you are!! It’s that easy!! We can’t wait to be sending out four matching salad plates of your choice to our lucky winner! (PS, the party hostess you choose does not have to be the plates you choose to order if you win)!  You can peruse the entire Ampersand Design Studio Signature Collection for La Plates right here and see lots of fun options to pick from right here and more here.

This contest will run from today, Wednesday, February 26th through midnight Friday, February 28th. We’ll announce the lucky winner on Saturday, March 2nd!

Here are all the links you need to enter:

• like our Ampersand Design Studio facebook page

• like the La Plates facebook page

• and…IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post telling us which party hostess you are!! Even if it’s your imaginary party for now!!

G O O D L U C K ! ! !

Share your picks with Ampersand on Twitter at @AmpersandStudio and instagram at @morgangeorgie, @carriekiefer, or the brand new @Ampersand Studio profile and with La Plates on Twitter at @LaPlates and instagram at @LaPlates!

{want to find all these fashionable ladies above? of course you do! here are the links to the snapshots from some of our favorite fashion bloggers and pinterest stars: Bright & Bold fuschia top  & red full skirt from Atlantic-Pacific, Poolside Casual ombre maxi from Popbee, Margarita in Hand from Like a Princess by Kuka, Mod Minimalist black & white dress from Atlantic-Pacific, Classic w/ a Twist denim, olive hat & red pumps from Frankie Hearts Fashion, and Boho Chic ikat top from Tory Burch}

comments 71

  1. Allison

    absolutely in love with these designed pairings! leave it to you two to think of the most creative execution :)

    February 27, 2013 6:49 am
  2. Lynzy

    These plates are so adorable! I am in the boho chic category for sure! :)

    xx Lynzy

    February 27, 2013 12:54 pm
  3. Laura @ chaotic domestic

    I’m probably classic with a twist…

    February 27, 2013 1:11 pm
  4. tamara

    If only I had a pool (and lived somewhere warm enough), I’d be poolside casual for sure. Otherwise, I’m more boho chic.

    February 27, 2013 2:49 pm
  5. Amanda

    Classic with a twist! Love all of the designs though!

    February 27, 2013 3:28 pm
  6. megan

    Love this! I try to be Mod Minimalist when hosting. Streamlined decor with hints of special details here and there to keep the event personalized. Thanks!

    February 27, 2013 3:35 pm
  7. Alissa Oleksa

    Love the collaboration! I’m obviously margarita (or two) in hand…( ;

    February 27, 2013 3:42 pm
  8. Emily Hawkins

    I consider myself a classic with a boho twist kinda gal. Love these plates so much – my mind is spinning with ideas for a party now!

    February 27, 2013 3:44 pm
  9. Lindsay Kahler

    Love these color combos!! I would probably be best classified as Margarita in Hand! Shaken or frozen!

    February 27, 2013 3:54 pm
  10. Mandi Davis

    I am boho chic!

    February 27, 2013 3:58 pm
  11. kate

    I love these plate designs. Definitely am a Mod Minimalist!

    February 27, 2013 4:05 pm
  12. Paige Bennish

    All these styles are great but I think I’m more of the Margarita in Hand type of lady!

    February 27, 2013 4:07 pm
  13. Jeannine

    Classic w/a twist!

    February 27, 2013 4:07 pm
  14. Brooke Williamson

    I’m definitely a “classic with a twist” kinda girl!! These are so AMAZING!

    February 27, 2013 4:46 pm
  15. Kelly

    It’s a toss up between classic with a twist and mod minimalist, but I think mod minimalist is the winner. Truly though, I adore them all!

    February 27, 2013 4:49 pm
  16. tobe | BIA

    duh. margie in hand (errr….usually.)

    February 27, 2013 5:57 pm
  17. Lisa M.

    Love these monogram plates! I am a pool side casual kinda gal! Great giveaway! Thanks.

    February 27, 2013 6:23 pm
  18. Rhayni

    Mod Minimalist on the outside… Bright & Bold in the inside!

    February 27, 2013 6:35 pm
  19. jbkcmom

    Margarita in hand, but it would be a cocktail other than a margarita. Tequila and I aren’t friends.

    February 27, 2013 7:21 pm
  20. Emily R

    Definitely bright & bold …you can never have too much color!

    February 27, 2013 7:31 pm
  21. megan

    love all the designs – I’m classic with a twist!

    February 27, 2013 7:31 pm
  22. Allie

    What a great giveaway! I am boho chic, definitely.

    February 27, 2013 7:52 pm
  23. Rozlyn

    I could be any of them – depending on my mood. :0

    February 27, 2013 8:08 pm
  24. kelsey bang

    super cute giveaway! bright and bold for sure :)

    February 27, 2013 9:18 pm
  25. ampersand

    we’re loving hearing which party hostess you guys are! lots of margarita-drinkers, eh? us too. One of us has been known to call them Morg-aritas even. just saying.

    February 27, 2013 9:22 pm
  26. Rachel

    Margarita in hand, no doubt. Love, love the color combination and of course, margs!

    February 27, 2013 9:52 pm
  27. Em Byerly

    I’m a bright & bold person! Hosting wise- our big event is always a derby party! Mint juleps, steamers across the porch, and everyone dressed up- hats included.

    February 28, 2013 1:52 am
  28. Ali

    I love the classic with a twist well really all of them are absolutely darling.

    February 28, 2013 3:05 am
  29. Kate

    These plates are too cute! I’m definitely boho chic! xoxo

    February 28, 2013 4:09 am
  30. Christine Kelly

    Hmmm…hard to choose, boho chic or poolside casual? Poolside casual! It’s Texas!

    February 28, 2013 5:39 am
  31. Megan

    All are so lovely, but I am totally bold and bright! I love loud pops that ate totally eye catching!

    February 28, 2013 5:43 am
  32. Tia

    These are great! So torn between the margarita in hand and the boho!! But I think I would go with the yellow since it would match my kitchen.

    February 28, 2013 1:52 pm
  33. Danielle

    So many I like! I’d probably go with the mod-minimalist.

    February 28, 2013 2:29 pm
  34. Julia Dzafic

    Ok I love every single one of these plates but my style is bright and bold. For dinner parties I dress in brights, serve brightly colored food and decorate with as much color as possible.

    February 28, 2013 2:54 pm
  35. Melinda Singer

    Mod minimalist! With a bold splash of color…maybe red or GOLD (not yellow).

    February 28, 2013 3:45 pm
  36. erika

    i am definitely the mod minimalist hostess… so perfect!

    February 28, 2013 4:08 pm
  37. Ning fathia

    I’m a true and true classic with a twist girl. I can imagine a nautical theme party by a sea cabin, serving fresh seafood on a La Plates plate!

    February 28, 2013 4:28 pm
  38. Kayley

    I am most certainly classic with a twist those are absolutely adorable with a pop of color !

    February 28, 2013 6:09 pm
  39. Jenny

    My family wants to celebrate may 1 that I’ve been well for one year!!!

    February 28, 2013 6:49 pm
  40. julie

    this is a tough one! I think that I am a mix between bright and bold and boho chic with bright and bold i think slightly having the advantage! :)

    February 28, 2013 7:39 pm
  41. Nicolle

    These plates are FANTASTIC! Is it possible to be a perfect blend of the Mod Minimalist and Classic with a Twist because that’s where I am!

    February 28, 2013 7:45 pm
  42. Heather

    Margarita in Hand. If I wasn’t pregnant right now, that is … :)

    February 28, 2013 7:52 pm
  43. Elle

    These are all so great! I’m definitely the mod minimalist or classic with a twist!

    February 28, 2013 8:13 pm
  44. Allison

    While I’d love to be “Margarita in Hand” or “Boho chic”, in all honesty, I’m probably “Classic with a Twist.” Love, love this collaboration, ladies!

    February 28, 2013 9:04 pm
  45. Fabianna

    Definitely Classic with a Twist! Love this giveaway! So fun :)

    February 28, 2013 9:09 pm
  46. Angie Atkinson

    Classic with a twist! Love them all!

    February 28, 2013 9:09 pm
  47. Alex

    I love the classic with a twist!

    March 1, 2013 12:05 am
  48. carlie

    Love them all, but probably Classic with a Twist!

    March 1, 2013 2:46 am
  49. Melanie

    Definitely classic with a twist!

    March 1, 2013 2:56 am
  50. Kari Lavelle

    Love them all! Today, I’ll be bright & bold. :)

    March 1, 2013 4:33 am
  51. Ingemar Hulthage

    Classic with a Twist

    March 1, 2013 6:34 am
  52. Dave Levin

    Mod Minimalist

    March 1, 2013 3:39 pm
  53. Chanyn

    I love the mod minimalist and the bright and bold! I could be either depending on my mood… All of the designs are very pretty!

    March 1, 2013 4:17 pm
  54. Kathryn

    I love Classic With a Twist! So perfect!

    March 1, 2013 5:37 pm
  55. Kayley

    Love the POOLSIDE CASUAL!!! ❤

    March 1, 2013 5:52 pm
  56. Rachel Lora Simmons

    Classic with a twist, 100 percent.

    March 1, 2013 6:22 pm
  57. Sandie

    Bright and Bold! Love them all! Thanks for the chance to win.

    March 1, 2013 6:49 pm
  58. Susan

    Mod minimalist with a boho twist. I like things simple, but when it comes to accessories, piled on!

    March 1, 2013 8:23 pm
  59. Laura Bogart

    Dreaming of the pool…relaxing with a much anticipated adult beverage! So poolside casual for me!

    March 1, 2013 8:29 pm
  60. Melissa

    love love love your laplates collection! i think i am a classic with a twist kinda’ gal!

    March 1, 2013 8:39 pm
  61. Katie Dosenbach

    hi girls! loving the classic with a twist!! xo

    March 1, 2013 9:43 pm
  62. Jennie Bixler

    boho chic

    March 1, 2013 10:41 pm
  63. Jennifer

    I’m in love with the Bright & Bold! My husband and I are refurbishing our 1960′s canned-ham camping trailer and the interior is going to have splashes of these colors. These plates would be perfect! Great Job!

    March 1, 2013 11:03 pm
  64. Ann Greenleaf

    Oh how to choose? All so cute. I think I’m margarita in hand but desire to be mod minimalist.

    March 2, 2013 12:22 am
  65. Amy Schumm

    All of these plates are so great!
    I love the colors and designs. There is something about the green and yellow that keeps grabbing me so I pick the Margarita in Hand set! :)

    March 2, 2013 12:28 am
  66. Sarah

    Poolside casual! I just need the pool now:)

    March 2, 2013 2:03 am
  67. HollyJ

    Mmm… Classic with a twist is my fave but hard to choose!! Loving all your new products, ladies!

    March 2, 2013 3:50 am
  68. Pat Pelland

    Mod Minimalist

    March 2, 2013 4:52 pm
  69. ampersand

    Rachel Lora Simmons,
    We just wanted to let you know that you are our La Plates + Ampersand Design Studio WINNER!!!!

    Thanks for playing along with us, we’re thrilled you won and we hope you have a great time picking out your set of 4 monogrammed salad plates!

    Check your inbox for details :)

    Morgan & Carrie

    March 4, 2013 5:30 am
  70. ampersand

    AND, thank you to every single one of your for your fun entries–we are wishing we could organize a party for all of us to get together, but for now, we want to thank you by giving you each 10% off of anything in the Ampersand Signature Collection for La Plates. Use code AMP10 at checkout!

    March 4, 2013 5:31 am
  71. Lindsey McClennahan

    I am margarita in HAND! I ate a lime with salt last night… and opened all my windows today because I a DYING for it to be summer! Those plates would make my almost summer dreams just THAT MUCH CLOSER!

    March 4, 2013 3:28 pm