AW Design… Meet Our Interior Design Team!
Happy Thursday!!! I am so so so excited for today’s post. Finally sharing our absolutely incredible design team! It’s safe to say that for as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of the day that I could build my own interior design team. Having had a passion for all things color, pattern and creativity since I was a child, creating Addison’s Wonderland has been an absolute dream come true throughout this crazy ride. Last year I decided it was finally time to take Addison‘s Wonderland to the next level and for me to start taking on design clients once again alongside several more incredibly talented women. If I were to have my choice of creative minds to join my team, it would without a doubt be these three. My ultimate dream team! We finally sat down to tell y’all a little about each of us and to share some of our personal portfolios. So without further ado, here you go!
For as long as I can remember, all I’ve ever wanted was to build a life full of whimsy. Full of fun and passion and creativity. From the “dreadfully bright clothes” my mom says she continuously tried to talk me out of as a young child to my love for travel and learning romance languages to my days creating teal ombre stairs and hanging flying bird wallpaper. I love every single thing about building, growing and nurturing a colorful life. Literally and figuratively. And when it comes to design, I love pushing the boundaries with color… combining patterns that make you say “hmmm… how and why does THAT work?”… creating elegant spaces that also make you want to take your shoes off and stay a while… designing spaces that invoke an emotion…
My love for art started at a very young age. I never played sports. Never a cheerleader. Never kicked a ball. Never hit a ball. Never threw a ball… I wanted to be a fashion designer. Because to me, if you were creative but couldn’t quite paint like Monet, fashion design was the next best thing. As the daughter of an accountant, I didn’t grow up visiting home stores or helping pick out paint colors. It just wasn’t her thing. So for me, fashion it was. As a freshman at the University of Georgia, I started out with a major in international business. Makes total sense right!?! Yeah, not so much. Without a fashion program I was kind of lost. So my sophomore year I transferred to American Intercontinental University in Atlanta where they specialized in fashion design. Although I liked it, I didn’t love it. But I remember this day like it was yesterday. I was walking through the halls and came across a hallway filled with elevations and renderings done by the interior design students at AIU. I was mesmerized. I can still remember exactly what those renderings looked like. I remember telling my mom that very day that I was transferring back to the University of Georgia and changing my major to interior design. In that moment it clicked. My love for art, my love for design, my love for color, my love for fabric, my love for prints… it all came together in one Kairos moment. The following year I doubled up on art classes to build my portfolio for UGA’s design program and was one of 24 students accepted for the program that following year. And I can honestly say I loved every single minute. I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Furnishings and Interiors and a HUGE PASSION to take the design world by storm…
But life had other plans… I instead stepped right out of college into the journey of starting a kitchen and bath company specializing in granite countertops with my now ex-husband. Although far off from the “glamorous” world of fabrics and furnishings, I learned more about starting up, running and struggling our way through the tough years of building a successful company than I ever thought possible. Fast forward a bit to my mommy hood years where although I was fulfilled in most ways, I still had this raging passion for something creative…
Fast forward to the Winter of 2010 and I literally had a dream. It was the day the bedding I had created and hand-sewn for Addison’s bedroom, the fun I had had doing so and all of the friends asking me where I purchased it… all collided. Collided into an idea to make my love for designing and creating Addison’s bedroom into a company. A company I soon named after my beautiful little toe-headed baby girl… Addison’s Wonderland.
I wish I could say that journey was easy but I guess nothing really ever is right?!? I set a date, carted a suitcase full of samples around to different workrooms all over Georgia and eventually launched Addison’s Wonderland in July 2011. That little “summary” makes it all sound easy-ish but I can assure you it was not. I’ll spare you all of the “gory” entrepreneurial details…
As most of you may know my story from there, I appeared on Shark Tank for Addison’s Wonderland in February 2013. A company born from this drive, this passion and this love I have for design. I truly felt that God had set everything in place for that business. That company. And it would all work out like a fairytale. But ya know… life is rarely a perfect fairytale I guess. Due to some marital “things” I discovered, I chose to walk away from Addison’s Wonderland bedding company in July 2013 and give up on those dreams. One of the hardest decisions of my life…
From there, I slowly jumped into the renovation and design realm to vent some personal things through creativity and Addison’s Wonderland soon took on a life of it’s own. I started a blog in the Fall of 2014 to go alongside my design work and started growing my social media…
Since 2014, I have had incredible opportunities for which I am forever thankful. My work has since been featured in full design spreads in Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, Beautiful Kitchens & Baths Magazine, HGTV Magazine, Atlanta Homes, Jezebel and Color Magazine. In 2018 I spent time in Whitefish, Montana as part of the art & style direction design team for HGTV DreamHome 2019 and then in 2019, I became a talent scout for HGTV & Magnolia Networks. In August 2019, I also opened my first Addison’s Wonderland brick and mortar store in my cute little historic own of Monroe, GA. Needless to say, I love what I do immensely and I am always looking for anything and everything to make part of my AW dream. And next up, we hope it’s your home too!
I grew up as the middle child of four, in a house full of productivity. Well, to be honest, it was complete chaos but from my young perspective that was exactly how it was supposed to be. My love for renovation started in middle school, working summers with my dad on jobs wherever he needed help. I would marvel over his ability to create anything with his two hands and his capacity to maintain twelve hours days with the kindest smile never leaving his face. Similarly, I watched my mom work late into the nights as a full time realtor and incredibly attentive mother of four. She is an absolute force… a no nonsense, sky’s the limit, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, go getter. I guess you can say that assisting, serving, and walking with people through the process of drawing, building, and executing their dreams was bred into me. Excuses were useless as they each worked tirelessly to maintain our family of six.
When I sat down to write this “bio,” I asked myself where my love of dreaming and creativity came from. Each thought brought me back to them. Though neither of my parents would describe themselves as “creatives,” the combination of their strengths nurtured a desire in me to dream big and execute bigger. I have been a lover of the arts ever since I can remember. Creating, with my hands, the expressions of my thoughts and visions functioned as a lifeline for me. It was as if the Lord drew up visions inside me that I could only understand once they became tactile.
I started selling real estate at the age of 19 and learned quickly that I loved the chase of business and working alongside people. As my dad says, “pack the mule and load the wagon.” It is a huge passion of mine to help other people manufacture their own dreams, and watch as they unfold. Real estate was the perfect outlet for that. Although I loved the job, I knew early on that I needed to marry business with creativity which ultimately led me to Brittany three years ago, and now, the Addison’s Wonderland Design team. I fell in love with Brittany’s mission from day one: Building a life full of color and whimsy, having work be the extension of her own expression, and having the scandalous audacity to dream. Every. Single. Day. It was a sweet melody to my soul, as she extended the invitation to “come build with me.”
I am so thankful to be on a team with the three most talented people where the sky’s the limit, there is nothing too big to take a jab at, and, in the words of Pablo Picasso, “Anything you can imagine is real.”
I consider myself an “Accidental Designer.” I grew up in a log cabin in the woods, built by my mom’s and dad’s own hands. My earliest memory is the sweet smell of sawdust and spring grass while playing paper dolls on the job site that would eventually become our family home. As a kid I would use empty shoeboxes to create house floor plans and then furnish them with play-dough furniture. But oddly enough I never thought to pursue interior design as a career. (Hello, self-awareness, where are you?)
Graduating from the University of Georgia, I jumped feet first into the nonprofit sector. My two young daughters love to bring up the fact that my first real job was “making dreams come true” (I was a Wish Coordinator for kids with life-threatening illnesses). They aptly bring this up whenever they ask to become mermaids or see a real unicorn. The request immediately gets followed by, “Because Mama, you can make wishes come true. It was your job.” Kids are sneaky like that.
After ten years working of with wonderful organizations, I stepped back in order to be a full-time mom. With my newfound flexibility, I started to accept invitations from friends to help them make their houses feel more like homes. Then my dear friend asked me if I could design a magical children’s bookstore where stories come to life. The thought of that undertaking scared me senseless, so I obviously said yes. And as the space transformed and we brought stories to life, working on that project brought me to life as well. I had found my sweet spot.
Since that project, I have had the absolute joy of designing over 150 new custom homes, breathed new life into at least 20 old home renovations, and designed more than a dozen local businesses in our beautiful hometown. Before I knew it, my babies were growing up playing on job sites just like I did.
As a designer, I still see my purpose as being the same as it was when I was a Wish Coordinator: helping people find their deepest hidden dreams and then helping bring those dreams to life: whether it is in their homes or in their businesses.
I wish I could adequately express how grateful I am to be a part of AW’s Design Team. It has been such a beautiful blessing to see our unique gifts and experiences converge to create beautiful spaces. Genuinely, I am honored to be a part of such a talented group of ladies. (Imagine me bowing down repeating, “I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy.”) Every morning I get to wake up and hop on my vintage yellow bicycle, pedal downtown to the AW studio, sit down with super-talented, genuine, hardworking ladies and together we get to create places that have only existed in our imaginations. How beautiful is that? How lucky am I?
What else should you know?
A few years ago, I was named one of the “Most Creative People” in America by Country Living Magazine. It is worth mentioning that I was also awarded the prestigious “Most Expressive Eyebrows” award in the 3rd grade.
My husband Dave is still my best buddy after 14 years of marriage. He told me recently that if I was in a movie, it would be half-live-action, half-animation and I would just walk through town pointing at places and color would shoot out of my hands and transform everything (and that cartoon bluebirds would fly around me). He has not in fact done drugs, despite how it might sound.
My aesthetic? Sentimental, joyful and life-giving.
Fictional character I most relate to? Liz Lemon.
If you ask my kids what my favorite color is, they will tell you “all the colors” and they would be dead on.
Title of my autobiography: “Grateful Tears” (because I tear up when I think about everything beautiful: art, food, my family, my faith, even writing this bio.)
In 7th grade, I discovered that I NEEDED to be an artist. I took a summer art camp where we copied a painting from a master artist and I fell in love with everything about the process of creating art. I loved the feeling of the brush on the canvas and the sounds of the brush swishing in the water while being cleaned. I loved how there was no sense of keeping time while I was in a creative space—in fact, it felt as though time fell away completely. But, I mostly loved the feeling of accomplishment that came with the completion of my creation and the realization that art can change people and places. When my parents hung my painting in our home, it excited me in a way that I knew I could not live without creating. I saw that art can change a space.
For the past nine years I have worked as a commissioned artist to create paintings and murals for clients that will enrich their homes and businesses with a hand touched, original, and unique work of art. My art celebrates and highlights the beauty of creation that surrounds us. I am thrilled to be joining AW design as a new creative outlet. Art and design bring beauty into our lives. Beauty matters. Our surroundings and the things we see, interact with, and choose for our homes matter. There is a reason you feel differently walking on the streets in Florence verses walking the aisles in a warehouse store. When we choose art and design for our homes, we are celebrating that we are created to create.
I live with my husband Jon, daughter Reynolds, and dog Banksy. I am a wife, mom, painter, muralist, jewelry maker, and collector. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Art in Art Education. After completing graduate school, I taught studio art to high school students for 8 years before stepping away to raise my daughter Reynolds and pursue a career as an artist and designer.
Ready for us to help you create the home of your dreams?
XOXO, Brittany Palazzo