Sitting at a grand, round wood table in a cushioned, rattan chair at Salt Home Studio, Kelly Gibson smiles broadly as she peruses her coastal chic shop brimming with natural and colorful décor. Next to Gibson in the front display window sit her “sentries,” two impressive Legend of Asia blue sea flower lamps.
In this stylish realm Gibson started in March, the wife and mother of three school-aged children chats about her busy and circuitous route to opening the Gulf Breeze lifestyle store and design studio.
“This journey was really about me deciding what brings me joy,” Gibson said. “It took a lot of time getting here, but it’s now a level of joy that allows me to share and spread that joy. It makes me happy that my husband and children can see this.”
Known for “always doing something,” Gibson’s life journey has included myriad roles at different types of businesses and organizations – florist, restaurant, real estate, non-profit(s), etc.“
Harry (her husband) and I renovated tons of houses,” Gibson said. “While I was doing that, people always asked me for advice on design in general. It’s funny. Sometimes, you don’t realize you have gifts until people keep telling you. You don’t realize right away what is unique about you.”
Then, wham! Gibson said she started paying attention.
“When the universe smacks you in the back of the head several times, you need to pay attention, you need to say ‘yes’ to sharing your gifts. So, I decided to start helping people with their homes...that’s what sparked the idea for the store.”
Everything about Salt Home Studio garners inspiration from coastal living, Gibson said.
Inventory includes inside/outside furniture customized with performance fabrics, powder-coated lighting, rattan furniture and accessories, basket-weave furnishings, luxury textiles, vibrant pillows, custom lamps and lampshades, dinnerware/glassware, beach and children’s sections, scents/diffusers, curiosity boxes, frames, journals and much more.
Works by local artists Kelly Whibbs, Sarah Soule Webb, Janice Duke and Camille Cornett add a sense-of-community touch.
In addition to her keen eye for design, Gibson’s hospitality shines. All guests and customers are invited to “browse and relax.” Sitting areas include an olive-green sectional with a square, braided seagrass and glass coffee table and an arrangement of fours wivel chairs covered in rattan mineral performance fabric.
Nearby on a counter sits a whimsical antique brass candy display with three large glass domes – just steps away from two popular books: “The Joy of Home” by Ashley Gilbreath and “Celebrating Home, A Time for Every Season” by James T. Farmer III.
And, if you can hold on until a Friday to visit Salt Home Studio, that’s the weekday Gibson serves some bubbly.
“I wanted to create a place that brought people joy right when they walked in,” said Gibson, while setting up her wood bistro chairs and tables outside the store entrance.
Done – joyfully, of course!