Product maker Chentell Shannon knows hows to entertain—her passion is hosting family and friends in her beautiful home and she has turned her dreams into reality through her small business. Convivial Production is a product line, but is also now her purpose—to bring people together. We were thrilled to take a peek into the space she calls home and to hear more about how she regularly opens her doors to bring people together. Enjoy, friends!
We love your clean and minimal aesthetic. Can you tell us the story of your space, where you live and how your home came to be?
My husband and I currently live in a 750 square foot apartment located in the heart of downtown Kansas City. It is a quaint neighborhood where the buildings are old and charming. My husband Stephen moved into the space just over a year ago, and I joined him this past October post wedding events and travels. The apartment had good bones—beautiful vine covered windows, a historic claw-foot tub and dark hardwood flooring throughout. The dusty yellow walls, plastic blinds and rusty steel sink, however, had to go.
The two of us believed in the space and decided it was worth a small investment to update the necessities in order to make the space bright and functional. First thing on the list was stripping the walls and painting them white. It is incredible how much this illuminated the space. We tore out the blinds and replaced them with sheer, ceiling to floor ivory curtains to emphasize the height of the rooms. And, goodness gracious, we replace the rusty old sink!
We kept all that we loved and knew we would use and cleared out everything else. “Only things we love and will use,” we told ourselves again and again. We organized and balanced out the spaces by curating various objects of linen, steel, wicker, aged wood, marble, glass—and of course, being the owner of a ceramic goods company, we gathered our share of porcelain and stoneware. We feel as if just recently our space has found its rhythm. “There is a place for everything,” my husband says and “we just need to find its place.
What is your favorite feature of your home?
The brightness and warmth of our home has stolen our hearts. The sun rising through the westward windows wakes us up and prepares us for the coming day. The walls are clean and clear, allowing the brightness to multiply. All is awake and all is well!
We have to know: does having white as the continuous color scheme and theme in the home make you nervous?
I am being truly honest when I say that having a continuous scheme of whites and neutral colors does not make me the least bit nervous. My husband and I would have more whites, light and neutral colors if we could!
A design mentor of mine once told me that if I continue to collect things that I love, things that inspire and give me life, they will eventually all work together. This has stuck with me and has largely shaped how we curated our space and how it came to be.
Designing our apartment was not done with a color scheme in mind, rather it was a process of collecting colors, textures and structures that my husband and I both love. The color scheme is simply the result of everything in one room. If we see something we love and need, we get it, ultimately trusting it will find its place and add beauty, character and functionality to the overall space.
You design a line of gorgeous dinnerware and hosting essentials. Do you often host gatherings of your own?
We do! My husband is great when it comes to engaging guests and I feel most at home when I am serving. My entire company was built off of these traits: social vitality, gathering and conviviality. Home decor and dinnerware that will bring people together. We love to host. We love to share meals, popcorn and evening tea. We love hearing others think aloud and we love swapping stories. Having hosting goods and a space that allow us to do this well only inspires us to do it more.
Why it is important for you to be able to share your space with friends and family?
Great question. A little more background on my husband will help shed some insight here. Stephen is a one-of-a-kind type of fella. He is 26, born and raised in Kansas City and is working on his PHD in biomedical sciences. He is witty, insightful and has a genuine love for people. From birth he was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a chronic disease that affects his pancreas, liver, kidneys and most noticeably his lungs. You’d never know by interacting with him, yet over the years as symptoms have progressed we’ve begun to include people in this knowledge. He works hard to obtain normalcy in life, to work a full-time job, maintain friendships, and explore the city.
However, he is most at peace and comfort when he is home, when he can sit, rest and simply be. This becomes increasingly true and important when he is ill. Knowing that CF would require us to spend an increased amount of time at home, it was important to us that we loved all that surrounded us, that we were inspired and comforted by our space, and in turn that others who entered the space felt the same. We want our friends, family and guests to feel welcome, at rest and revitalized when they come. And when they leave, we want them to want to come back again and again, to sit, chat and share evenings together.
How do you want people to feel upon entering your home?
When guests come over to visit it’s most important that they feel at ease, welcomed and served. Our time is never meant to revolve around “oohing and ahhing” over items in the space. It’s not about the goods and I can’t stress this enough. It’s about how the goods serve our guests when we are all together.
Which is your favorite room and why?
This is such a difficult choice as each room holds its beauty and purpose. Trying to decide, I asked my husband and he said, “Our room. It’s bright, the bed’s comfortable and the room is white.” There you go!
Me on the other hand, I think I’ll go with our living room. We spend most of our time there. Sitting together on the couch, swapping stories from the week, eating popcorn and drinking tea. We occasionally dine over the coffee table with some Bach Cello Suites softly carrying the mood in the background. In the daytime, the living room receives a brilliant light, making it our official garden space. Plants cluster together under the west sills, leaves reaching upward. I can’t explain why fully, but this space feels most like home.
What is your favorite thing to do in your home?
Relax! Launching a company is truly no undertaking. I often come home and feel as if I ran throughout the entire day. Hustling from one task to the next, I pack each minute to meet deadlines and tasks. This continually leaves me feeling over-worked and over-stimulated as I head home. Opening the front door to a simple and clean space is just the thing I need. I need to sit, to breath and to process all the day held. My favorite thing to do in my home is just that: sit, breathe, reflect and relax.
p.s. Have you toured our favorite tree house?