Two weekends ago I was invited by Buick to fly out to Detroit and check out their newest vehicle, the Encore. This was all part of an event by Buick called Pinboard to Dashboard. They invited ten extraordinary bloggers to be a part of this experience.


After arriving in Detroit, all of the bloggers met for dinner and drinks. (A huge thanks to Buick for their superior hospitality). The following day we had the opportunity to tour the Buick Design Center and learn about the Encore. What an experience!



Not only did we get a sneak peak inside the Color Studio, we also got to hear all about this fabulous new vehicle.


After listening to the presentation, I was sold. Truth be told, I’m actually in the market for a new vehicle. The car I’m driving now is the same one I was driving my first year of college. That was almost 12 years ago, and it was a used vehicle when I got it. Yikes!


Anyway, I believe that things happen for a reason. I would have most likely never considered or even looked at a Buick. My grandparents always drove a Buick. While I loved their cars, I associated Buick with older people (No offense Gram and Pop.) or luxury that was out of my reach. Here’s the thing. After hearing about the Encore and why it was designed, I realized this vehicle was created for someone just like me. Buick is has a whole new image! I want and need a car that has room for me to throw in all my purchases after a day of antiquing. Though, I don’t want a huge vehicle that is hard to drive and maneuver. It needs to handle well. After working very hard and saving for so long, I want a vehicle that I am proud to drive. I also want to feel a little pampered. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want Intellilink, Park Assist, Pandora, Bose speakers, heated leather seats and steering wheel, and so much more. Surprisingly, all of this is actually achievable in my price range. I also want a vehicle that has a sophisticated yet sporty style. This is it, people! It’s luxury minus the snobbishness. Get it?


It goes without saying that come Spring when I’m ready to make my first-ever new car purchase, I will be stopping at the Buick dealership first.



After the presentation, Buick asked us to create Pinterest boards to represent our dream Buick Encore concept. What color would the exterior be? What would the interior look like? What would we do in our Encore? Where would we go? Who would go with us? What would we be listening to?


Two major things stood out for me from the presentation, and I knew they had to be a part of my design plan. First, I heard an amazing quote, “A life of significance, not status.” This was a total goose bump-worthy moment. The words rang so true to what I want out of life. Second, again as part of the presentation, folks were interviewed about what they wanted in a car and in life general. Every person said they just wanted to be happy. Above all, happiness was most important.


So, with these two thoughts in mind, plus a whole lot of Michael and Inspired by Charm style, I got to work and designed a car concept that I am proud of and passionate about. I hope you like it just as much as I do.


To make things a little easier to explain, I divided up my concept into five sections. All of these images were pulled from my Pinboard to Dashboard Pinterest board. If you need the source of any of these images, all of them can be found there.


Exterior: A big part of my overall design was to bring back beautiful pieces, designs, and ideas from the past, while still keeping the technology, feel, and style of today. (Much like how I like to decorate my interior spaces.) For the exterior, I pulled inspiration from Buick’s history. All of the cars (not the truck) in the images above are Buick. My Encore would be painted and trimmed to resemble these classics. A beautiful turquoise, a splash of creamy white, and lots of chrome bling. Are you seeing it?


Interior: Moving inside the car, I’m thinking yellow! Yellow is my happy color. It makes me come alive; it makes me smile. Yellow leather with touches of teal, including some beautiful and unique stitching (details Buick is proud of). Of course, in true Inspired by Charm style, there would be a little bit of chevron, but not in an overpowering zig zag kind of way, a bit more subtle. I’d finish things off with some tufting and more chrome bling.


Significance: To go with this fabulous design, my concept needs a purpose. I have dreams of driving across the country. Right now, I live in a small town in Central Pennsylvania. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people online thanks to this blog and social media, but something is missing. I want to meet you all in person. So, here’s my plan. Get an adorable little trailer (we’ll talk more about that in a minute), pack it full of supplies including some fantastic food, and hit the road. A crosscountry adventure! When Buick asked who I wanted in my Encore, I knew my answer immediately. YOU! I want to take loads of pictures. I want to eat dinner in a field. I want to find the most incredible donut in America. I want to create beautiful memories. I want to see this beautiful country that I’m so proud to be a part of. Sounds pretty cool, right? Who’s with me?

Music: This was easy. Music is such a huge part of my life. This is only a sampling of the the music I will be rocking out and chilling out to. As I mentioned above, in addition to my classic design, I want modern technology in my EncoreHere’s where this comes into play. I’ll talk more about this below, but my concept would be a social media powerhouse. I want to use it as a tool to stay connected along my journey. Part of that powerhouse would involve a feature where all of you could create playlists and make music suggestions for my journey. How awesome would that be? I love discovering new music, and I think this would be an amazing way to do it. Then when I get to my destination, we could pop the trunk and dance along to our favorite tunes over dinner in a field. Are you seeing it now?


Accessories: This is when the fun begins. First, let’s talk about that adorable trailer. Unless I win the lottery, I’m going to need a place to sleep along my journey. How perfect would it be to have a matching teardrop trailer. Just enough room to sleep, store a picnic basket, and make a cup of coffee, right? It will be glamping (glamorous camping) at its finest. Also, as I mentioned above, I want this to be a social media powerhouse. (Yes, most of these features will only be available for use by a passenger or while the Encore is in park. Safety is important.) I would love to see a 360 degree camera placed on the roof of the vehicle. Perfect for taking impromptu photos on the road with a click of the button on the steering wheel. With ultimate connectivity, at the next rest stop, these photos could easily be uploaded to Facebook or Instagram. For those twitterholics out there, voiceactivated tweeting could also be implemented so that thoughts while driving will never be lost again. Sounds fun, right? It’s all about the accessories. 

So, that’s my design concept in a nutshell. What do you think? Would you travel with me? Will you join me for dinner? Can I crash at your place along my journey?


Although, I may not be able to make this vision happen exactly as planned above, a cross-country trip is on my Bucket List. I’m not sure when or how, but be on the look out!


Below is a picture snapped at Buick headquarters. These are the other bloggers, and now friends, who are participating in this opportunity. Do yourself a favor and check out their brilliant blogs. Honestly, they are some of the most talented people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting! Click on their names below to be directed to their homes on the Web. 


On the left: Jessica SturdyKatie RodgersShannon AblesAly Walansky,  On the right: Julie Deily, myself, and Julie Thigpen.  Not pictured: Susie Anderson, Maia McDonald, Jeanne Chan

If you’d like to learn more about Buick and the Encore with its many luxurious features, please check out their website. You also can find them on Facebook and Twitter.


A ginormous thanks to Buick and their team for this amazing experience. I will be forever grateful. This is a big deal for a guy from Central Pennsylvania. Also, thank you for reintroducing me to the Buick brand. I am honestly and utterly impressed.

To see more of my design concept, please visit my Pinboard to Dashboard Pinterest board. I just love reading your comments and hearing your thoughts. Your likes and repins will help to bring this idea to life and hopefully get my design featured at the 2013 New York Auto Show!


This post is sponsored Buick. As always, the opinions and thoughts are mine.

Encore photos courtesy of Buick. 


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