Camilla Fabbri's Blog, FamilyChic
Fresh ideas on making a house a home.
Evanston resident Camilla Fabbri never seems to run out of fresh ideas. She confesses to always having been a creative person, drawn to the visual arts and decorating – even referring to herself as a "creative junkie."
Over the years, her family and friends encouraged her to submit her ideas to magazines -- or even create a book of her own. Two years ago, her husband helped her set up a blog: Family Chic -- Creative Living Ideas for Families by Camilla Fabbri. It's a place, she says, "to catch all of my ideas and to get some feedback. I was addicted right from the start."
Visitors to the blog might find themselves addicted to Camilla's gorgeous photos and simple, innovative suggestions to make life just a little more lovely. For example, check out the easy-to-follow photos demonstrating how you can turn an ordinary, paper grocery bag into a unique gift bag.
What I'm drawn to is that, unlike many do-it-yourself projects I see in magazines or online, Camilla's look realistic and easily replicable. And, as much as I loved her blog, I wanted to know a little more about her:
Q: How did you get into this?
A: I don't have any formal design training.
I have two girls, 6 and 10; I think it's important to have a creative and exciting home environment for them - for the whole family.
I get a thrill out of thinking up different ways to set a table or design a garden. I am always experimenting with something; trying new painting techniques, moving furniture, changing the display on the mantle. I just can't stop. My friends laugh, because every time they come over, the house looks different.
I've really tried to keep Family Chic visual. A lot of bloggers are all about the writing - I just wanted a venue to show the results and give a quick explanation of the process. Along the way, I've discovered that photography is another great creative tool. The same ideas shot with a glaring flash and not much consideration given to the composition really wouldn't cut it.
Now I can't imagine a week going by without posting a new idea. The readership has been steadily growing. It's been very rewarding and I'm learning a lot from the experience - about decorating and about myself.
Q: What's your story?
A: I come from a large family - I am the youngest of six. My parents encouraged us all to pursue creative endeavors. We had the kind of home where there was always a lot going on. We had two pianos upstairs, a potter's wheel in the basement, my mom was always sewing, my dad painting - it seemed like someone was always creating something. My mom also frowned on TV watching. She always prodded us to "do something productive!"
I moved to Chicago in '86 to attend DePaul University where I studied media communications and art history. After school, I worked for about 10 years in advertising as a media buyer and account executive, but I stopped working to raise our family and have been home ever since.
Q: What's it like living in Evanston?
A: I grew up in northern New Jersey about half an hour from Manhattan. It was a beautiful area - a lot of natural beauty and lovely historic homes. It's very similar to Evanston in that way. I think that's one reason I am so drawn to this area. Evanston is a special place. It's definitely more diverse than my hometown was and that's also very appealing to me. We feel fortunate to be able to raise our family here.
Q: What's your favorite part of life here?
A: We have met so many nice families here. Everyone is down to earth and caring. There is a real sense of community that you don't see in a lot of places.
Q: What do you like to do Around Town?
A: The beach is our absolute favorite place to hang out - I can't think of anything better than spending an entire day at Lee Street beach. Of course, with kids, we love the library - and right across the street [is] Mt. Everest restaurant.
Q: Are you having fun?
A: I am having the most fun I've ever had. I get to hang out with my kids and stretch myself creatively. I can't imagine anything better.
You can also check out her website: www.cfabbridesigns.com