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Down the Rabbit Hole

By Kate Abney | April 5, 2016 | Articles National

Whether it’s home decorating or dressing up, Brittany Hayes is not shy about showing off. A firm believer in the proverbial pop of color and the power of pattern to make or break a space, she’s a true original, a trendsetter, even an artist of sorts. “I draw inspiration from everything—an object, an outfit—when coming up with new ideas for the house,” says the 34-year-old wunderkind behind Addison’s Wonderland, a blog currently boasting more than 50,000 monthly readers and 69,000-plus Instagram fans. Considering the popularity of her posts, Brittany is quite likely the gal who came up with a few of those Pinterest projects on your to-do list.

As it happens, Addison’s Wonderland, the brand, actually began as one of those DIY ideas. Almost immediately after whipping up big-girl bedding for her eldest daughter, Brittany found herself flooded with requests from friends for similar stuff. A full-fledged company was born, eventually landing her on the Shark Tank set in L.A., pitching investors at 36 weeks pregnant.

“Although I did not get a deal, [the sharks] were very supportive and complimentary of the business. I think in the end, it just wasn’t a mass-producible, QVC-type product; it’s more of a high-end custom line that didn’t quite fit the theme,” she explains. “But it was a life-changing experience that made me grow as a businesswoman overnight.”

With her business plan revamped, Brittany shifted her focus to A Polished Finish, the kitchen company she founded with her husband Mark Hayes in 2003. Together since eighth grade, the lovebirds wed during their sophomore year at the University of Georgia, and it’s been pretty much bliss ever since, working together at APF, flipping houses and raising their two adorable daughters (now ages 8 and 3) in a fairy-tale world.

When the youngest, Winter was 1, the DIY-inclined duo moved into their Monroe, Ga., home and quickly made it their own, setting the whole design scheme in motion with a funky teal chandelier that now graces the entryway. “It was kind of the thread that tied the whole house together. Even though each room is different, teal was a common theme that made everything work,” she explains.

From here, our color queen painted the walls a pale purply gray—a cool neutral that served as the perfect foil for the room’s warm-gold accents and stairs in gradient shades of aqua. “You have to have a very specific space for this color, or else it’s going to look like lavender overload,” she advises wisely.

To the right of the foyer is her home office (also an unofficial art room for the girls). To the left is the family’s formal dining room, complete with a swallow-print wallpaper from Julia Rothman for Hygge & West; and a curvy banquette ordered online from “We don’t worry about having cream-color seating in the dining room because the kids aren’t in there every day, so they’re not going to mess it up,” Brittany explains, underscoring her no-fail method for having an Instagram-ready home, even with youngsters running around. “We keep the pretty, less-used rooms right near the front door, but as you dive deeper into our house, it gets more messy and real,” she adds.

And isn’t that the beauty of life with little ones? The Hayes party of four loves to pile into the open-format family room, which features comfy C-shaped seating, art from Sugarboo Designs, Katie Daisy and Huff Harrington Fine Art, plus Addison’s Wonderland trademarks like wallpaper-backed built-ins and big-splurge lighting. The adjoining kitchen shows off the couple’s expertise for custom cabinetry, with countertops made from Tiger white granite and statuary white marble.

In equally fun spaces such as the downstairs guest bedroom, Brittany’s talent for making a room look great on camera is especially evident. Thanks to perfect symmetry and accessories from some of her fave affordable sources (think Target, Anthropologie and Home Goods), it’s picture perfect.

Since the Hayes are living in Addison’s Wonderland, after all, the little girls’ rooms are nothing short of dreamy. Winter’s bedroom recently received a pair of twin beds with sculptural headboards from Atlanta-based Ballard Designs, a brass urchin light bought for a steal on Etsy and DIY painted floors. Meanwhile, Addison’s princess-esque quarters are a showplace for the very goods that won her momma TV fame—from the curtains to the cornices, they were all whipped up from Brittany’s ultracreative brain. The adorable nearby playroom is decked out with hot-pink ceilings and striped poufs. And still, the Hayes can’t seem to sit still. Look for blog updates on their next home renovation, A Historic Wonderland, starting this spring!


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