Monday, February 1, 2016

Recent Styling Work Country Living Magazine

Hello blogland, I've missed you so.... let's catch up!

As I type, this little blog of mine is in the process of becoming a much better place to be. I'm editing portfolio pictures, choosing logos and hoping to put it out into the universe very very soon. If all goes well we'll be migrating over to a fresh and clean Squarespace website. Fingers crossed for a smooth transition. 

But for now, I would like to show you something I'm so very proud of. I had the honor/pleasure/good fortune to style the cover of the March 2016 issue of Country Living Magazine.

Photo by Annie Schlechter
This beautiful blue & white breakfast nook is the design work of Houston's own Bailey Quinn McCarthy, and was shot on location in Round Top at Rachel Ashwell's The Prairie

If you're a subscriber you should be receiving this issue any day now if you haven't already. Or, if you're like me and can't wait, you can download a copy to your ipad through the Country Living App ( I LOVE the app. Lots of options for viewing if you're an image junkie like me. One word for those of us with "mature" eyes: Zoom!)

Also in this issue is a feature I styled on the latest edition to the Fixer Upper empire, the Magnolia House B&B in Waco.  It's a Texas takeover this month!  I think you'll love this adorable cottage and B&B. 

Team photo upper right: Allison, Chip, Jo, Me
From Left: Erynn from CL, Buff's Assistant Molly and photographer Buff Strickland

Here's the Country Living team with our bests friends Chip & Jo. Texas is so proud of this family and their success.  They're every bit as friendly and down to earth as you would think. Jo is beautiful and one smart cookie. She can walk into a room and chat, put on make up and answer texts, all the while noticing every single detail from the pillows to someone's bracelet peeking out under their sleeve. I love that! Multi tasking is what it's all about when you have a family and work to do, right?

And then there's Chip. My assistant and super fan Allison asked Jo if he cuts up at home like he does on the show. Jo's answer..."he's worse at home!"

Here's the proof. What a lovable nut! Must be the paint fumes :)

And yes...he adores her.

So, back to the cover. Ya'll can't imagine the team work it requires to make these shoots happen. Along with the remarkable team from Country Living (thank you thank you thank you for the opportunity!), I am blessed to have access to some of the best local vendors and my own personal support team to whom I owe a huge thank you. 

Paige Hull of The Vintage Round Top and Hilary Bracher of HAS Bins assisted on the cover shoot and kept the wheels from falling off and kept me laughing. These women packed, unpacked, schlepped, sweated and repacked props and shipped their little hearts out and I love them to the moon and back.

The beautiful cake on the cover was made by  The Pie Queen herself, Tara Royer Steele of Royers Pie Haven in Round Top, Texas. One day I'll tell ya'll about that cake ;)

Christi Wilson of The Brown Shed has such a great eye for antiques and a great inventory. I call on her when I need something specific and she ALWAYS has it. Usually in multiples.

Missy at Moose Feathers Florist in Brenham has access to just about any kind of stems you might need and can get them fast. I always order from Missy when I'm shooting in the Brenham/Round Top area.

And a very special thank you to one of Houston's best lifestyle stores Kuhl-Linscomb. If you haven't visited their sprawling showrooms you're missing out. They carry the best of everything; furniture, lighting, art, pillows, bedding, garden antiques, gifts, jewelry, tabletop, decor...its insanely good and a prop stylists dream.

Also, much love and thanks to parents that told me I could be anything I wanted. So I did.
They also provided the spectacular lemons from their lemon tree for the B&B shoot. 

I hope this issue helps you kick off your spring decorating with some fresh ideas and inspiration! There is more excitement to share in the months ahead so please check back for updates on the new website.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Styling Work with Ridgewater Homes

The fall season has been hectic with photo shoots, design clients, baseball tournaments and school plays. We're counting down the days to a nice long Thanksgiving break and spending some time in the great outdoors.

But it's the great INdoors that's kept me busy. I recently spent a couple of days shooting for Houston custom home builder Ridgewater Homes. Their designer Rachel Goetz and I loaded up with props  and headed to Friendswood to photograph a couple of their new projects for their web gallery.

Every styling job has it's specific needs and style, but it's really not much different than how you might freshen up any room. We always use fresh flowers, plants, produce, books, baskets, throws, pillows, small interesting accessories and art.
Styling is just as much about what you take away as what you might add. Editing is key! Add and take away. Add some more.  Move it a couple of inches over to the left. Add another book. Take away the candle.  Move it again. Step back, ponder the space, bounce ideas off each other, snap the pic, high five each other and move on to the next room. 
That's how it goes and I love every minute of it!

Styling a room for a portfolio is a little like getting dressed up for Easter Sunday. Your regular dress is fine but why not step it up a notch and go all out? That's where we stylists come in. Most homes I work in are perfectly lovely for the way they're lived in day to day but need a little work to look their absolute best through the camera's lens. My own included!

Here's a look at what we did for this living room shoot:

We opened up the room by rearranging the seating and removing the pretty white chairs for this portfolio shot. Again..edit edit edit. 
Rachel brought in new lamps (love these!) and the shelves got some love with pretty accessories. What a gorgeous space!

I have more styling work to share so be sure to check back soon!

Monday, October 12, 2015

True Blue Home ~ Chappell Hill Texas

During the whirlwind that was antiques week, a new shop opened in Chappell Hill, Texas, that I know we are all going to be visiting often, True Blue Home.

The shop is owned and operated by Cindy and Brian Taylor, in collaboration with Holly Mathis who is adding her talents as creative director and has worked on every detail of the store right along with Cindy. Here's why I'm personally excited about TBH; it's so nice to have the option of taking a short relaxing drive out to the country that doesn't include having to navigate Houston traffic, to pick up a few quality things for clients. Don't let the location stop you from heading out to Chappell Hill from Houston.  I'm on the west side and can be at TBH in 50 minutes, do some shopping, pick up dinner at Chappell Hill Bakery and Deli (awesome BBQ here) and head home. It's so worth it!

What a fun opening day! The shop was filled with shoppers oohing and ahhing over the art, slipcovered furniture, lighting, pillows and candles. Love the textures in this historic building.

So many ways to use these big beautiful carved shelves.  I'm thinking fireplace mantel.

Is this Heaven??? Seriously ladies.  It's delicious!

So glad to know that True Blue Home is a Visual Comfort lighting stockist. Love that we can see the options right in the store.

All the perfect smalls needed to layer your room to get "the look".   And John Robshaw pillows!

Dreamy lamps and blue and white porcelain ginger jars. A Holly Mathis trademark for sure.

Every detail was perfect for the grand opening.  I may have had more than two but less than 10 of the cookies. They were pretty and delicious!

Congratulations to Cindy and Holly on a gorgeous store and successful grand opening.  All your hard work really showed and I'm so glad you're finally here!
Check the True Blue Home website for directions and read more about the store on Holly's blog.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Round Top Antiques Week Fall 2015

Round Top and the surrounding shows are in full swing!

I've made the trip three times already and will head to Marburger later this week before it ends. As a Houston "local" and seasoned flea market shopper, I hit the shows with a wish list of items for myself and clients that I hope to find at a great price. Not one for strolling or lingering, I zig and zag my way down highway 237 fitting in as many stops as I can in a day. I have to say I'm beginning to notice a rising number of imports and costumey cowgirl clothes dealers that give some areas a tacky tourist feel. I guess there's room for all and there's certainly hundreds of antiques dealers all over the shows, but in some areas they're harder to find. 

I've pulled together some iphone icandy pics for you of my favorite finds and friends that I've visited so far. 

Driving in from Houston, my first stop on the way to Round Top was at Bayberry's Antiques, located at 12408 E. Texas St., in Burton Texas
Shelby and Joel built this adorable shop recently themselves and it's filled with fun vintage vignette's and antiques at great prices. Really really good prices!

I picked up this oil painting and a few other pieces for a client's bath.

Also in Burton, a nice visit with friends at Old Glory Antiques.  One of my absolute favorites.
This shop is in an old Texas dance hall and filled with country antiques.  Again, great prices.  My husband even remarked that Holly's prices didn't have enough 0's in them.

Another favorite show is La Bahia just before you get to Round Top. This show is also held indoors in an old Texas dance hall with outdoor vendors as well.  Good stuff here.

The Blue Hills show is always good and is a favorite with designers. Keep an eye out for bargains! I found these old french wind barrel labels for $2 at French by Design. 

Educational charts at Blue Hills organized by animal, medical, botanical and also maps. (The black botanicals are reproductions, but really pretty)

I love the work Cooper Meaders of Houston is doing with reclaimed and salvaged materials at ReCoop Designs. Crushing hard on these coffee tables.  I bought a piece of art that I'll share with you in an upcoming post.  He's very talented.

Lark in Round Top is a fantastic lifestyle store carrying gifts, jewelry and books. Their artful styling sure caught my eye.

The Hulls of The Vintage Round Top have done it again with a reimagined space at the Round Top Vintage Market with lots of new finds from their recent trip to France. They also have a new shipment of accessories from their Swiss Army collection. 

Part of Round Top's new growth includes a 57 acre property known as The Compound which you can read about here. I didn't get to visit all the buildings but did pop in the beautiful Old World Antieks

Saturday night we stopped by Leftovers Antiques in Brenham Tx., for their Jazz night and book signings with Rachel Ashwell and Mary Emmerling. Both of these ladies love Round Top and Texas as much as we do and it's great to get to visit with them during the shows.

One of the most special evenings was spent with like minded creatives, sisters, dreamers and makers. Tara, owner of Royers Pie Haven in Round Top put together a beautiful Christian event that kicked off antiques week with speakers, music and pie. Thank you Tara for all that you do.

There's more to see and share as the week goes by.  I'm looking forward to Marburger later this week and more Texas country sunsets like this.

Follow me on Instagram for up to the minute reporting from the fields and beyond !