Holly Mathis in Country Living Magazine

The April 2017 issue of Country Living Magazine features the beautiful home of my friend Holly Mathis and it is soooo pretty! I was thrilled to have the opportunity to style the home for the magazine and so excited for Holly to get the opportunity to share her inspiration and offer a crash course filled with advice for designing a beautiful home on a budget. 

                                                             Photo:  Buff Strickland

                                                             Photo: Buff Strickland

This lovely little 1890's cottage was a soft place for Holly and her two boys to land as she was starting a new chapter in her life as a single mother. I'm so proud of the home she created for her little family. It's filled with cozy but practical design ideas for moms and boys, like the beautiful  linen slipcovers from Bemz

Holly and Austin photographer  Buff Strickland

Holly and Austin photographer Buff Strickland

I thought it would be fun to share some of my behind the scenes iphone shots from this shoot and tell you how Holly and I met.

I love a good dog on set. Hunter is quite the charmer and takes good care of Holly and her boys.

I have to say, this was an emotional shoot for me. Holly and I met by chance 5 years ago at a blogger luncheon during the Round Top Antiques Week shows at Royer's Round Top Cafe. Texas designer Carol Hicks Bolton was the speaker that day. As you may already know, Carol's talent and stores in Frederickburg are legendary, so the workshop was sure to be a good one. Carol is the real deal, OG industrial, european antiques, taxidermy, all things cool, collectible and romantic, designer I want to be when I grow up. She's magic. Seriously. (ps. OG = Original Gangsta. Carol's a design gangsta from back in the day....in a good way!)

Detail of Holly's bedside table with beautiful cottage roses from Moosefeathers Florist in Brenham, Tx. Coastal painting by me :)

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I spied Holly Mathis sitting behind me in her signature blue jean jacket. It was like seeing a movie star in the grocery store! I had read her design blog and admired her work, just like you guys, and I couldn't believe she was sitting RIGHT THERE! So, during the meet and greet I worked up the nerve to introduce myself and we hit it off right away. Just a couple of designing ladies sharing our admiration for Carol and enjoying lunch on a beautiful day in Round Top. 

Styling detail of Holly's antique secretary from Leftovers Antiques in Brenham, Tx.

Fast forward 5 years and we're standing together in her living room as it's being photographed for Country Living. I love how life, and God, works like that.  

Blue and white styling options for Holly's shoot from Kuhl-Linscomb in Houston, Tx.

I've had the pleasure of working with Holly quite a bit over the last 5 years. She's been a divine source of inspiration and has generously invited me to ride shotgun on a few of her projects, like the Old Glory house design project in Burton, Texas, which was also featured in Country Living

Detail of dining table styling with classic blue and white pitchers.

There are so many great resources in the story! Holly knows her way around fabrics and lighting and antiques like no other and she's spilling it all.  Everyone deserves to have a beautiful home at any price point. It can be done! 

Love this vignette at the end of Holly's hallway. So pretty! 

The story is on news stands now and is the perfect nudge if you're looking for inspiration for spring.

Congratulations Holly! I'm so proud of you ! xo

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.

Recent Styling Work for Country Living Magazine

Doesn't this colorful kitchen feel like summer? It belongs to Jolie Sikes of

The Junk Gypsy's

and it's full of the same kind of colorful and collected vintage style that's made them so popular here in Texas and beyond.

Don't you want to bake a pie in this kitchen? To see the complete slide show visit

Country Living

or pick up  the May Issue which I'm still seeing in stores, so it's not too late. Texas is so proud of these girls!

Recent Styling Work for Country Living Magazine

I get the strong feeling that everyone has had quite enough of winter and is ready for spring. Myself included!

While you're enjoying the last days of winter snuggled by the fireplace be sure to visit the new

Country Living

magazine website. They've redesigned it and it has a fresh new feel.

And speaking of fresh, I was honored to style the April 2015 feature of the charming Bellville, Texas cottage of Houston's own Bailey McCarthy, owner of

Biscuit Home

Click

here

to see the full slideshow on the Country Living website. How sweet and inviting is that pink front door?

Photography by Roger Davies

Bailey's style is daring (a black kitchen!) and whimsical while giving a nod to traditional in a way that's youthful and refreshing. 

She's made it easy to shop the look she's created in her farmhouse on her website by creating  a

Country Edit

of pieces found in her home. Would you dare to mix it up like Bailey has?

What a beautiful country place they've created for themselves.  It was lovely to share it with them for a few days during the shoot which happened to fall on my birthday. I thought that was reason enough to smooch that darling pony :)