Sunday, February 8, 2015

Fifty Shades of Blush and Bashful

It's true that you never forget your first love. 

When it came to boys, I was lucky enough to marry my first true love and we're living happily ever after. I'm a lucky girl.
But when it comes to color, well..me and pink dated a very long time then broke up. I felt like I was the one that gave and gave and gave. Sacrificing my dignity for those pink laminate counter tops in our first home 25 years ago. The custom floral chintz bedding with cabbage roses the size of my head. The mauve dust ruffle. I hear the kids are calling it 'Marsala' these days. Ha!...rookies. The soft pink teflon skillet that cooked the perfect scrambled eggs on the weekends. Oh yes...I know that was all my idea, but pink, you quickly turned ugly and cold. I know I held on too long, but I needed you. I was young and didn't know better. You were everything to me. 
When the babies came I just couldn't handle your fiery heat any longer and we said goodbye.  I thought that would finally be the end of us.

But just recently, on a cold gray winter day somewhere in a deep dark dusty rose corner of my heart, old feelings began to stir. It was an urge that led me to the dim and dingy corners of cheap thrift stores to fill bag after bag with books in every shade of blush and bashful I could find, just to get a little taste of you. I lied to the cashiers, telling them all those pink books were for a school project. Oh, the thrill of hiding you in the back of my car....I haven't felt this alive in years! 

I justified going back to you with thoughts like "It's just this one room. Just for a little while. It won't hurt anyone, especially if I add some brass and new pillows. I deserve it. I want my color senses to feel alive in the way only you can make it happen, pink." 
And now we're back together. It feels so right ,pink. You're my hot and steamy little valentine to myself. My foolish color folly. 

Now, shut up and kiss me.


















Sunday, January 18, 2015

January Paperwhites and Fern

Isn't it funny how as soon as we put away the Christmas decorations we start thinking about Spring? 
We live too fast. 
It's winter...let's enjoy that! (says the southern girl who has never shoveled snow in her life). Texas has had some really cold and gray days and I'm fighting the gray with green. 

Ferns, paperwhites, lavender, boxwoods; anything green that I can easily plant or snip and bring inside is fair game. 


I've had really good luck growing these three ferns inside: plumosa, maidenhair and boston.
They've done well in low light and I've supplemented their water with a good misting weekly.   
             



Paperwhites are the easiest thing I've ever grown. They're so forgiving. And, I hereby decree they're not just for the holidays, so there!  I keep it simple by growing them in a container with gravel or rocks and keep them watered. That's it.
I bought quite a few at Christmas and have been planting them a few at a time. I'll miss them when they're gone.

Have fun planting bulbs in ironstone, teacups, mason jars; anything that holds water.

After they bloom you can stake them up with bamboo skewers and string. I love how simple they are to care for and their sweet smell. They do like to drink a lot of water so
check them daily.

Tell me......What's your secret weapon for fighting the gray days of winter? 


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tomorrow is New Year's Day

"When you wake up from dreaming, who will you see?"

My best good friends' favorite days of the year are the last one and the first one. Because she's a kick ass mixed media artist she made this little movie to celebrate. 

Have a happy one! See ya next year!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Day After Christmas

Merry Christmas!
What a wonderfully busy season it's been. I have loved seeing so many of your homes so beautifully decked for the holidays. Between Pinterest and Instagram the inspiration was impressive and at times overwhelming to me. My heavy work schedule had me running until the last minute on every detail, which isn't the best feeling. But thankfully it's not like that every year and I just had to go with it. 
Some really lovely things came from that. I learned that it's ok to "just go with it". That when the exhaustion and emotions that can turn us inside out at Christmas start to become too much that the candle light service at church is exactly what I needed to press the reset button. That buying for a family in need always feels good. That an untraditional Christmas lunch of gourmet sliders and dips lends itself to less clean up and more time for game playing and visiting with our precious family. That teenage boys will be happy on Christmas morning as long as there is food and lots of it!
And, that a late blog post is better than no blog post, so for those of you still with me, here are a few small details that I really and truly enjoyed this Christmas.
I kept most of the house simple with greens and berries that grow on a huge bush in the common area of my neighborhood. We borrowed a few for Christmas.




I used a variety of vintage glasses on the dining table. They felt so fresh and pretty with each one having it's own little personality.  I think these might stay a while. 



And just for fun, a chalkboard Christmas tree went up in our bedroom. It was so relaxing to just stop everything and draw this out one evening. The inspiration came from a quick google session and some basic measuring to get it somewhat centered. I think the trick to chalkboard art is to just keep going.  Trace over your work to give it contrast and don't be afraid of messing up. 


And now, it's time to hunker down and enjoy the nice long break from work and school. I'm reading Amy Poehler's new book, Yes Please and loving it. There are movies I want to see with the boys and if I get a big burst of energy, I'll grab a shovel and start cleaning up this messy office. 
I have lots to share in the coming year. I just wrapped two shoots for Country Living Magazine that you will l o v e that will be featured this spring  and another on the books in a couple of weeks. 
But for now, lets stay in the peaceful calm and happiness that comes with the close of another beautiful Christmas. And in our jammies. With lots of chocolate chip cookies.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Recent Styling Work ~ Rachel Goetz Interiors

I spent a day recently working with Houston designer, Rachel Goetz, to style and photograph one of her local projects located in The Heights. 

Rachel, a fresh face in the design trade, assisted this young family which includes three little boys, through the building and design process the whole way.  Here's a little peek at some of the work we did on this shoot.  I'm so in love with this kitchen space. 









For now you can find Rachel on Instagram sharing the latest on her design work along with pics of her brand new sweet baby. She's got a great eye for details and is a props power shopper so I can only imagine the energy she brings to a custom build project. Thanks for a fun day Rachel!


Monday, November 10, 2014

New Discoveries

Before we dive headfirst into the holiday season, I'm going to take it a day at a time and try really hard to be present to the day at hand.  I want to enjoy the shifting light of autumn, the cooler temps, try a new recipe and cozy up the house with a few layers and textures of the season. For me, keeping it simple is the key to enjoying the holidays. 

Mantel peeping.  Mine for fall.
I've seen some beautiful finds online recently so I thought it would be fun to share them.

This coastal quilt by Brooklyn designer Emily Fisher uses satellite imagery and nautical maps with a combination of traditional quilting and appliqué. So unique!


These copper metallic trays from Layla Grace would be beautiful to anchor a Thanksgiving table or buffet.


From Hedgehouse, these bedrolls are a cross between a mattress and a pouf. These would be perfect for movie night or sleepovers and would be a huge improvement from the blow up mattress. I love the heather and charcoal fabric.


And to support your Instagram habit, check out the beautiful feed of interior stylist and decorator  Marie Olsson Nylander   I love her style; fingers crossed that one day she'll write a book. 

And finally, this Indoor S'mores recipe is perfect for my grandmothers iron skillet. I've added this recipe along with a few more yummy iron skillet recipes to my Pinterest board that I would like to try this fall. 



Cheers to a great week ahead!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Recent Styling Work In Country Living Magazine


A very special project that I worked on over the summer with my friend Holly Mathis was featured in the November issue of Country Living Magazine.  
In addition to assisting Holly I was honored to style the shoot for Country Living. You can see more images from the shoot and read about the house here.


Photograph by Annie Schlechter
I thought it would be fun to show you some of the rooms as Holly Mathis designed them for our  fabulous client Holly Kuhn of Old Glory Antiques, along with some of the details that weren't included in the magazine feature. 

This house is the real deal great old country house that we all dream of.  Twelve foot tall ceilings, wavy old glass in the windows, claw foot tubs....charm and character all over. 
And the icing on the cake is that homeowner Holly Kuhn owns the Old Glory Antiques shop that sits on the property so we had access to her fabulous inventory for this project.


The house is for private use of the Kuhns and their guests primarily when they come to Texas to open the shop for Antiques Week twice a year. This 4 bedroom house which includes a loft room is perfect for accommodating a large crowd which is a good thing because it's often packed with friends. 

This beautiful bedroom was shot for the magazine but wasn't included in the feature.  I love the soft colors of the blue ceiling and the shutters.  This room feels so serene and dreamy. 



Photograph by Annie Schlechter

Photograph by Annie Schlechter
Photograph by Annie Schlechter

Photograph by Annie Schlechter


For the window seat in the upstairs dorm room, Holly had a french mattress custom made by our friends at LS Slipcovers.  It's exactly what the space needed.  

Here's a detailed shot of the desk in the entry. Perfect for this guest house. I love how it evokes the feel of an old hotel check in desk.

Photograph by Annie Schlechter
I have to say, Holly Mathis is blessed with some amazing design talent. I've admired her work for years and seeing her in action kind of blew my mind. She can make things happen ya'll.  Good things. Her friendship and support has blessed my life in so many ways and these two Texas girls were honored to work together for Holly Kuhn and have our project featured in Country Living. 


Holly's goal on this project was to freshen up the house while keeping true to the Old Glory brand style of fresh American antiques.

Here's a before and after of what we call the red bedroom. Keep in mind these before pics are extra messy because we were in the house working and things sometimes get worse before they get better. A custom made four poster Amish style bed was brought in which helped with the tall ceilings in this house. Perfect choice.

All of the following images were taken by me for our portfolio.

Red bedroom before & after




Styling tip *Bookends don't have to match. Using two different objects the same color is  more interesting, especially if one of them is a small vase.

Below is the canopy room before & after. Another beautiful tall romantic bed was used in this room. 
The moulding on the walls inspired us to get creative with the art.  We gathered empty frames from the shop along with vintage photographs to create a mixed media inspired installation.


Styling tip * Think outside the frame. We used vintage photographs and paper ephemera clipped to the existing wire to create this unique grouping.
 Here's the kitchen before and after. 
                     

The industrial light fixture, striped runner on the stairs and cafe sign add so many layers of interest.

Here's a bedroom that wasn't included in the feature.  I especially love the beautiful bedding.






Styling Tip *Glueing old photos under glass paper weights is a unique way to share family photos.
 I've saved the best for last because this room is my absolute favorite in the Old Glory house. I love a dorm room and this one is especially wonderful with the matching iron twin beds and old sconces. As you can see, Holly chose a very colorful rug to anchor the new beds. It's like a party on the floor...so cheerful and colorful and fun. 








Styling Tip *Repetition in design is a good thing and pleasing to the eye. Use multiples when space allows.
The dorm bathroom got an update as well. 
Another sweet corner of the dorm room provides a writing desk for guests.

The scope of this project was so big that I could go on forever about the fun we had hauling chairs from room to room, eating m&m's while we were figuring out our next move and all the good people that were involved on this project. 

One of those special people was my good friend Paige Hull of The Vintage Round Top. I was asked to step in as the lead stylist at the last minute and needed an assistant. As ya'll know Paige has such an eye for vintage design and is a super hard worker so she made this shoot extra special for me.  This woman is a rock star.  

Ta-daa!  Thank you Paige!!!

There's more more more to read about the Old Glory project over on Holly's blog so head over for more interesting details and pictures. We definitely put the country in Country Living for November!