Thanksgiving Inspiration

I’m pre-gaming my Thanksgiving table styling this week and pulling from what I already have tucked away here and there. It’s going to be light and airy neutrals, naturals, vintage and a little metallic.

I had fun pulling from my prop stash to see which direction I wanted to go this year. Ironstone, brown transfer ware and brass candlesticks always play nice together and could easily make the transition to Christmas with simple greenery and berries from my favorite yaupon holly trees. I’m all about any styling that frees up time during the holidays and allows me to enjoy the season more with my family.

The brown and cream swirl pitcher is Juanita Ware and was a Round Top find at the fall antique shows. It’s a mid century design made in the USA . I’ll be keeping an eye out for another piece or two. The natural colors and shape are so unique and I like to be able to use pitchers like this for stems all over the house.

You can just catch a peek of the wall mural project I’m working on in our dining room. I can’t wait to finish it up and show you more of that.

Pampas grass and wheat stalks are so pretty together. The ornamental grass plumes bloom this time of year and are pretty easy to find here in the Houston suburbs. Hit the thrift store for brass candle sticks. Retailers are charging high dollars because brass is having a moment but the thrift stores are full of good heavy brass for just a few bucks.

No mixing seasons here at our home. We don’t decorate for Christmas until Thanksgiving is done and the last of the pie is eaten. A little slower and simpler just feels better for us.

My Art on My Domaine

Someone asked me recently how to build creative community. The short answer is saying “yes” to collaborations that best suit you and your business. I’m honored to have my art included in a recent collaboration with The Vintage Round Top , featured on My Domaine.

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of working with my friends at The Vintage Round Top on building projects, events and photo shoots at their vacation rental homes located in Round Top, Texas. Owners Paige and Smoot Hull speak passionately about collaboration and how important community is to them. They’re big dreamers and encouragers.

Check out Paige’s blog post here and hop over to My Domaine to see the full story featuring their modern rustic 1450 Cottage. Loverboy looks right at home there!

Stafford Plantation Cumberland Island, Georgia

I’ve been away and it’s good to be back. There are seasons in life when our plates are so full of actual living that something else must be sacrificed. For me, it was blogging. The good news is all the big living that kept me away was good stuff. Our twins graduated from high school and are both away at college (did I just say that?) It’s true. They’re happy and doing well and my kitchen has never been cleaner. We miss them like crazy but they didn’t fly too far away so we see them every few weeks.

My graduation gift to myself was to get away and spend a week with other artists on Cumberland Island, Georgia, with Pigs Fly Retreats, hosted by my dear friends and fine art photographers Lori Vrba and Anne Berry. The island is rich with history, wild horses, moss covered oaks and the ruins of historical mansions that once belonged to the Carnegie family.

Our group was comfortably cared for at Stafford Plantation. Built in 1901 by Lucy Carnegie for one of her 9 children, the house was certainly deserving of a full house shoot, but our days were full exploring the island and photographing out in the southern wild of this remote barrier island. Doesn’t that sound like the best time?

I do have some highlights to share with you. All week I had my eye on the home’s butlers pantry and knew I wanted to take the time to style it just a bit and give it a proper photo shoot.

10’ tall built in cabinets, drawers for silverware and linens. Beautiful old wavy glass and stacks of the family china (the estate is still privately owned).

The copper work horse sink had a beautiful patina and dual faucets.

There are no stores on Cumberland and all supples and provisions are ferried over with each group. We were so grateful for the lemons growing out back to help flavor the island water. Truly organic and delicious even though they don’t look like perfect store bought fruit. We weren’t exactly roughing it but we were certainly grateful for what we had.

The mudroom entry served us well. This is where we left our hiking shoes and backpacks. How about that perfectly peeling wallpaper?

The hallway leading to the dining room where we gathered three times a day for delicious meals prepared by chef Mimi McGee of Island Wellness

A corner of the master suite holds an extra bed and seating. A single framed seascape flanked by bare bulb sconces. Authentic, charming and timeless.

Approximately 150 feral horses roam Cumberland along with flocks of wild turkeys that visited every evening for food. The island remains a wild and magical place.

Spring Branches

Spring in Texas has been exceptional! Our fabulous early spring is the consolation prize to the hellacious summer that we know is right around the corner. But let's not talk about that.

Let's talk about these beautiful wisteria and red bud branches instead.

Red bud trees are budding out their beautiful magenta blooms. Wisteria vines are spilling over fences, full of bees and butterflies. Like any good stylist, I usually walk the dog with my clippers in my pocket. I feel it's my duty as a good citizen to help keep the neighborhood properly pruned and I happily volunteered this vase to re-home them to my office. 

 Texas wild flowers are popping up along the highway to Round Top as well and vendors are already set up and selling for Antiques Week. Have you planned your trip? It's time to get going. Don't forget your clippers!

Room No. 5 Carol Hicks Bolton

As promised, I have more images to share from my visit to Carol Bolton's shops in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Room No. 5 was stunning. So much so that I put the big camera away during my visit and shot with my iphone instead. Sometimes you just gotta soak it all up and be free of distractions.

And I did.

This was my first visit to Room No. 5 and I loved the experience. Carol and her team are so good at creating atmosphere. Warehouses can be tricky to style, but this space felt like a desaturated, poetic fantasy world.

 

Upholstered furniture, beautiful bed linens and antique furniture. All in dreamy shades of white.

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I visited Carol during her January sale and she just announced another unloading sale that's coming up quick so get this on the books. She had some gorgeous pieces and really good prices. Here's all the info: 

Follow Carol on Facebook to see new arrivals and current sale information.

If you'd like to see Part 1 of my visit to Carol's unloading sale, click here.

Prop Styling for Business

I have the pleasure of guest blogging over on Tripp Films this week and I'm talking all about prop styling for your business. 

  Photo Buff Strickland | Styling Becki Griffin | Designer Holly Mathis for Country Living Magazine

Nikki Tripp is a Houston based videographer I've had the pleasure of working with recently on Old Glory Antiques branded video. I think videography is an exciting medium to promote business. I love the way it draws viewers in closer and allows more space for storytelling. 

Prop styling is an important component to a professional shoot and I'm sharing all the details of how I work on a branded shoot with Nikki. While you're visiting Nikki's website, take a look at her beautiful portfolio gallery and the services she offers.

If you've been thinking about taking your business to the next level, your visual story is a wonderful place to start and invest in.  I'm always happy to chat about your project! You can contact me via e-mail here.

Carol Hicks Bolton Antiquities Unloading Sale

I recently went on a really fun girls roadtrip to Fredericksburg, Texas, for Carol Hicks Bolton's French Antiquities Unloading & Warehouse Sale.  It's safe to say any designer I know that's from Texas and beyond admires Carols unique style; raw, rustic, collected and curated from some of the most romantic places on earth like Belgium, Provence and India.

Her stores and the styling are dreamy. So much so that I think anything I take the time to write is unnecessary when there are so many beautiful things to see so I'm going to let the pictures do the talking on this post. I do want to say I think every home, no matter the style, needs something old and interesting in it and you're sure to find it at one of Carol's stores. These images are from Carol and Tim's warehouse where they unload the new inventory and also held an inventory clearance sale through January.

I'm saving the pictures from Room #5, which is another store of Carol's (where I lost my mind...it was so beautiful) because it deserves it's own post. 

  The light fixture is made from tree roots.                     

Some delicious details from the unloading sale. Fun fact: I love vintage bird taxidermy. Carol has some gorgeous specimens. Reminds me of Deyrolle in Paris which I would love to visit.

I walked around this collection of antique bee skeps about 47 times, photographing it over and over..making slow motion video. They were so beautiful.

With merchandise in four stores, Tim and Carol keep things old school and do not offer online sales. If you see something you like here give them a call at 830-997-5551 and they'll be happy to help you with more information.

                                                         Allison, Carol, and Becki.

Road trippin' with my good friend Allison of https://www.facebook.com/hasbinsfurniture/ (they do fun vintage/antique pop up shows)  . Thank you Carol for taking the time to chat with us and letting us hug you too many times!!! We didn't want to leave! 

Renovate | Country Sampler Farmhouse Style

One decorating style that's sure to be around forever and ever amen, is farmhouse style. Designer Cathy Robinson Hutton and daughter Courtney Prochaska of Renovate in Houston, are doing their part to keep it fresh, relevant and affordable. You can see one of my most pinned images of their farm, The Garden Club Cottage, in New Ulm, Texas in the new Country Sampler Farmhouse Style magazine, Special Issue.

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I get emails weekly about the fabulous cow picture that hangs in the entry of the farm. Like any good art, there's a beautiful story about how this piece came to the farm and Courtney shares it wonderfully in this post. It's a touching love story and I'm honored to be a small part of it. 

So, for those of you wondering, the cow art is not available for purchase. I know I know...I wish everyone who has written me could enjoy one in their home. But there is good news! Renovate is also on the cover of the latest issue of Round Top Texas Life & Style Magazine which features new cow art that is available for purchase through Renovate.

          Photo:  Natalie Lacy Lange        Styled by Designer Cathy Robinson Hutton of  Renovate

         Photo: Natalie Lacy Lange      Styled by Designer Cathy Robinson Hutton of Renovate

I will never forget the day I photographed the farm for Cathy. Imagine driving slowly down a gently curving gravel road on a beautiful, bright, warm summer morning in Texas. The car rounds the last turn and just ahead a golden retriever is standing in a beam of sunlight that has broken through the trees. He runs to greet my car and escorts me down the drive to the house where there are a couple of horses grazing in the front garden, like pets. I'm crying because it's so beautiful and trying to get myself together to meet these ladies for the first time. We made fast friends and laughed all day. They are truly fabulous, talented Texas women.

The farm includes a darling cabin on the property that is available for vacation rentals! It's perfect for a girls getaway or if you need a home base during the Round Top shows. Click here for rental information.

When you're in Houston, be sure to visit the Renovate shop. My clients love discovering this little boutique.  It's one of my local favorites for art, gifts and furniture. And if you have a brown thumb, they carry THE BEST artificial orchids. 

To see more of the farm, visit my portfolio gallery. You can also see more wood panel cow art in my shop

Courtney shares all the latest arrivals at the shop on their Instagram account so be sure to follow them there to see what's new in the store. Inventory moves fast there so don't miss out!

Slow Christmas

For the past few years my Christmas decorating approach has been laid back and slow. That's in direct opposition to everything the internets tell us. We're told we have to "BUY NOW" "DON"T MISS OUT"..ugh...I hate all that and how it makes me feel and it's simply not required. I didn't buy one single thing on Black Friday or make a single Cyperwhatever purchase and I managed to live a full life without consequence. Instagrammers have been lighting it up since Halloween. I can't even.
I wonder if they grow tired of it by the time December arrives?

We are road tripping again this year for Christmas so I'm keeping the decor very simple. Our boys are old enough that I don't have to Santa up the place too much; but I do want it to feel festive and pretty. There are several yaupon holly trees in our neighborhood bursting with red berries so I helped myself. These will mix in nicely with fresh eucalyptus and a little fresh pine.

Let's join hands and pinky swear not to let the world ruin Christmas. All those perfect pictures we see can absolutely steal our joy. There are so many who lost everything in the Hurricane Harvey flood. My heart goes out to them. Did you know there's a link on my website if you'd like to donate gift cards to flood victims? I'm still collecting and distributing gift cards to families in my hometown if you'd like to join me.

Simple Christmas decorations like paper chains and stars, fresh cut greens, twinkle lights, candles and bowls of ornaments are so pretty...let's not forget that simple can be wonderful and finished pretty quickly. Simple can save the world....like a baby in a manger.

The Pomegranate

Dramatic, gaudy and dangerous. Sweet, tart and delicious. The pomegranate is the seasonal fruit I look forward to the most. Clearly, the most beautiful fruit in the produce department. It's a shame grocery stores don't give them the presentation they deserve (I'm available...call me!)

Life got you feeling some sort of way? Grab a pomegranate and enjoy the slow tactile delight of de-seeding this beautiful fruit. Ignore all those worthless how tos offering empty promises of quick de-seeding results. They lie.  Give yourself the gift of time it takes to appreciate the color and textures of this mythical "apple with many seeds". This tutorial is the best way to de-seed and avoid damaging the arils. 

Add them to your Thanksgiving menu with this pomegranate relish, or these individual loaded sweet potatoes. For a lighter option, this delicious salad. Recently, I thought I had reached genius level pomegranate consumption status when I sprinkled some of the seeds on my morning peanut butter toast. It. Was. Delicious. A quick google search reminded me there are zero original ideas, but that I was in good company. Cheers to a beautiful pomegranate season!

Dining Room Styling for Fall

I feel like I could promote this post as an inspiring fall styling moment and get away with it, but that wouldn't be honest. In truth, I call our dining room the problem child of our home. The biggest problem is I feel a big disconnect between the pieces in the room and how they:
1. Reflect my current style
2. Work for our family
3. Make me feel

The other part of this truth is that I have put myself on a pretty tight budget this year (your welcome, honey!) Our boys are now seniors in high school and did you know college costs a bazillion dollars?! 

Do I think this is a pretty vignette? You betcha! Is it my dream dining room? Not even. But what I do love about it and all it's imperfections, is that it's the room in our home in which I have the most styling fun, and I like that. That feels really good.

So, like I do, I turned on some good music while all the guys were gone, rummaged through accessories I already had (yes...I have a lot of stuff and I bet you do, too!) and got my fall groove on. 

The jewel toned kantha quilt is hiding a stainless steel restaurant table and tons of my work props which are stored below.  I topped the table with vintage wicker wrapped wine bottles, thrift store brass candlesticks and a few other tabletop favorites. The power hitter is my big vintage chart art that depicts moss. This piece travels all around my house and sometimes gets rolled up and stored under a bed. Welcome back chart art! Sprinkled around the chart is a small European roe mount collection for dimension

The only thing I bought was a big bundle of bittersweet branches at the grocery store and a few pears for a little styling detail. The bittersweet is very long lasting (I know it's considered an invasive nuisance in some parts of the country, but wow...so pretty and wild!) Fresh flowers are for me like Starbucks might be for you. It's just part of the weekly spending.

Total spent styling this problem child of a room for fall? $22 fun dollars. And I am really enjoying it. Dream dining room, I can see you in my future, just not right now.

The Vintage Round Top Business Branding & Social Media Workshop Fall 2017

My friends Paige and Smoot Hull of The Vintage Round Top are so good at bringing together creatives and dreamers. Their fall workshop was a beautiful experience. If you ever get the chance to attend one of their workshops, my advice to you is JUST GO!

Workshop Dream Team L-R: Maria Lichty of Two Peas and Their Pod,  Photographer Ashleigh Amoroso, Paige and Smoot Hull, Kadie Smith of Drop Cap Design and Anissa Zajac of House Seven Design

The workshops will inspire you no matter where you are on your creative journey. Having access to these successful creatives, listening to their stories and asking them questions is like jet fuel for your passion. With social media being the force it is in how we connect and conduct business, learning from the pros in a beautiful setting like The Vintage Round Top can be the thing that takes you to the next level. 

Just as the name promised, the workshop covered business, branding and social media along with hands on photography tips and an opportunity to apply what was learned during a styling session. How cool is that?

Paige shared a detailed wrap up on her blog if you would like to dive deeper into the event. It's so important to never stop learning and workshops like this are a wonderful way to connect.

Recent styling work for The Vintage Round Top

The antiques shows in Round Top, Texas, wrapped up this week after nearly a month of shopping, socializing and sweating. It was a hot one!

Luckily, my friends Paige and Smoot Hull of The Vintage Round Top hosted a very cool Business, Branding and Social Media workshop at their beautiful property in Round Top. I'm so excited to share more details about the workshop in a follow up post. But first, the styling!

I collaborated with Paige to style a vintage modern table in the Boho Cottage for a private dinner for the panelists and workshop leaders the night before the big event.

Layers of new and vintage textiles, candles, succulents, pretty glassware along with vintage elements Paige and Smoot gathered in Europe were the stars of the show.

The bold graphic of the boho table runner from CB2 paired perfectly with Paige's antique tablecloths and brass apothecary canisters filled with eucalyptus. Linen napkins with the perfect amount of casual rumpledness from World Market. We recommend NOT ironing the napkins...who wants to do that anyway? There's a party about to bust out!

 If it's in the budget, I love to use colored barware to kick things up a sparkly notch. The shimmer of the soft gold glasses made the evening feel extra special.

Stylist Tip: Candleholders work great as small planters for table styling. The geodesic tea light candleholders are from CB2. They were perfect to tuck in between the lanterns. We used two different modern brass style lanterns at varying heights. See both styles here and here

What a gorgeous space! Round Top is certainly packed during antiques week, but if you've never visited when things are quiet and normal then you're missing out. From Houston, it's an easy relaxing drive that takes just over an hour. There are a few new restaurants, galleries and my friend Holly Kuhn has reopened Old Glory Antiques in a stunning new space I'll be sharing soon. 

And that's how we created a vintage modern mix for a fabulous evening with inspiring creatives. Stay tuned for more details from the workshop!

 

 

Art Corner

If you haven't yet,  I hope you can set aside a little time this weekend to listen my recent interview with Karen and Zandra of Little Yellow Couch and the Style Matters Podcast. One of the topics that has resonated with listeners is the discussion we had about a few pieces of the art in my house.

This corner in my family room holds pieces that are dear to me for different reasons and happens to be where the only pieces of mass produced art can be found downstairs. My husband gave me the long architectural prints ages ago when we bought our first house. They're at least 6' long and very unique. The framed owl print on the media cabinet is by my dearest and bestest lifelong friend, Lori Vrba, who is a photographer and mixed media artist.

But what I get asked about most is the vintage coastal painting that literally hangs by a string.

Come hang with me and the ladies of Style Matters and hear why I think making thoughtful choices about the art in your home is one of the most overlooked opportunities in decorating.

Style Matters Podcast

Earlier this summer I talked with Zandra and Karen of Little Yellow Couch and hosts of the Style Matters Podcast. We had the best time chatting about my work as a prop stylist, decorating and the fear that comes with making design choices, thrift stores, crappy art and we even went deep with the question "why does style matter?"

These ladies know how to ask good questions and kept me on my toes. We kept coming back to the conversation of how fear can be paralyzing. It's a juicy convo but one that I hope will inspire you to not take your choices so seriously. It's just decorating! 

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Click the arrow above to listen to our Style Matters podcast. 

Grassroots fundraising for Hurricane Harvey

Over the last couple of weeks I've had a very generous response to my request for gift cards in small denominations to donate to the flood victims in my small hometown, Vidor, Texas.

This is a very simple grassroots efforts and is an easy way to put a little money into the hands of people that need help immediately. 

The problems small towns face in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey are huge. A lack of housing for those displaced by the flood, a shortage of building materials, slow insurance claims processing if they're insured at all (and most aren't).

There is a small amount of financial aid available via the Red Cross and Salvation Army but their systems can't keep up with the need and people who have lost everything are left with what volunteers have brought in for them. 

If you or a group of friends would like to collect gift cards in small denominations to donate, I am delivering them personally for as long as I possibly can and putting them directly into the hands of people that need them.

Gift cards from WalMart, Lowe's, Home Depot and Ace Hardware are a great option. You can easily grab a gift card from the grocery store while you're there. 

If you'd like more information, please email me at becki@curiousdetails.com and I will be happy to coordinate a collection and delivery for you. It's very easy!

Let's help our small Texas towns!

Coastal Bedroom

Have you ever been so delighted in your decorating choices that every time you walk in a room you're smacked in the head with joy? This is now happening when I walk into our master bedroom.

We're just back from summer vacation and I've gone all in with my favorite place/vibe/dream and have covered the wall in coastal paintings. Some vintage, some painted by me and one sneaky poster print.

It was time for a little refresh in our bedroom and I didn't want to spend much so I gathered my paintings and started a gallery wall. I want to mention our master bedroom is on the small side but the paintings don't overwhelm the room at all. It gets tons of pretty natural light and I've kept most of the room neutral.  Don't be afraid of installing big art in a small space. 

 I hit up HomeGoods for night stands. By some lucky miracle there were two matching night stands at the same store (you know that NEVER happens) so I grabbed them right away. 

I stripped the bed and simplified by removing some of the decorative pillows and adding a light cotton summer blanket. I did splurge on one big beautiful linen pillow by Pine Cone Hill that I picked up at Kuhl-Linscomb in Houston. With the wall now being a bit beachy bonkers, the bed needed just a little color and simplicity. One big soft blue pillow was all it took.

I've been really lucky finding coastal paintings for ridiculously cheap prices. I think it's because of the amount of shopping I do as a stylist. It just naturally puts the odds in my favor that I'll find a deal. The painting in the image above right was $1.00 (don't hate me). There are actually two on this wall that cost $1.00. The other was coated with a think layer of tobacco smoke scum I had to scrub off but was worth it. 

The abstracts are palette knife paintings I did myself. The only framed piece came from my friends at HASbins (top right corner). I do have one cheater piece (top left corner, also from HASbins). It's a thick poster print that was originally a store advertisement. The colors and dimensions were exactly what I needed to finish the wall so I'm using it as a place holder until I stumble upon a painting or paint one myself. It doesn't bother me a bit that it's a poster. I love the moodiness of it. 

I removed the wall mounted lamps I had previously and replaced them with some trendy brass and marble task lamps from Target that I found on clearance (the website has them at full price now, hmmm).  I love that they're adjustable and have built in dimmers. The play of the modern lamps against all the vintage is nice as well. It's all about the mix. 

This room is officially freshened and done. Until Christmas anyway. 

Vintage Seashell Styling, Gifts from The Sea

Just a very small portion of the spoils of a greedy collector. The tip of the seashell iceberg here. I've amassed so many shells over the years that I've had to reign it in a bit. Too many cabinets loaded with boxes and bottles full of shells from vacations and day trips. This restriction doesn't apply to sea glass though. There's always room for more glass. 

As I was styling this vignette for the 4th, I ran across my copy of Anne Morrow Lindbergs "Gift From The Sea".  Written in 1955, Anne used shells for inspiration as she reflected on the life of American women. 

The reflections in the book are surprisingly still in line with life today. I enjoyed rereading a particular chapter referring to the "art and craft of housework" which she says:
"need not be an enormous project or a great work. But it should be something of one's own. Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day-like writing a poem, or saying a prayer". 

These shells are my own. Layered in with botanical specimens and my own palette knife painting of the California coast from a few years back. A sailors hat and a silver tray to hold sailor's valentine souvenir boxes. 

Happy 4th of July! May your own pockets be filled with the weight of gifts from the sea.