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

The Art of Being

This week, I spent some time with some women who are so inspirational to me. Lori Vrba, Holly Mathis, Susan Koozin and Cheryl Schulke. An artist, a decorator, an actress and a bag designer. Each one wildly successful in their creative field. The common thread is that they are pursuing their passion. And it's not always easy.
Their excitement for the work they do is palpable and contagious. They have kids, families, overhead and the same real life problems everyone else has. And they do it anyway. And it's not always easy.
I meet women all the time that say they want to quit their jobs and do something creative  like paint furniture, be a decorator, a designer,  have a shop, open an etsy store, write a blog, be a photographer. And they get stuck. Because it's not always easy. And they're right!
It's not easy to sit in front of a computer for hours editing pictures, sourcing products, or to face unreasonable client demands, or rejection, or feel like all the work you put out there just doesn't matter because who can compete with the talent or over saturation of online media or Joe Schmoe who might be better? 

How does one start?

Lori says "begin anywhere".
I say start "being". 

To begin is the most important step in pursuing your passion. Make your move. Know that you will make adjustments as you go. But you must begin. Make/do/write/paint/anything and everything that inspires you until you get specific. Give yourself creative freedom.  BE a painter. BE a decorator. BE a writer. Take action. Ideas will build on themselves and you'll start to hear and see your own unique voice. You'll never stop learning. You'll screw up. Big time. You'll fail. It's a guarantee. You'll want to quit. You might actually quit. You'll feel insecure, you'll doubt yourself ALL THE TIME (except sometimes when you know you NAILED IT. trust me, it's how this whole thing works), you'll hate what you made, or wrote or painted or photographed. But since it's your passion, you'll come back stronger and more determined. Say "yes" to yourself and to every opportunity that presents itself for you to BE the thing you want to be. 

True Story: A year and a half ago I was working my butt off on a blog post. Editing pictures, slowly uploading to Blogger with my boys in the house on the last day of Christmas break..driving me out of my mind. No really...it was bad. They were running circles around the very table I had just photographed, throwing balls in the house, being boys. Very loud, rough boys. Every negative thought running through my mind..."why am i doing this? who CARES? it's too HARD to keep up with this and take care of my family". But I managed to hit "publish" on a post that was a game changer for me.
A few days later an unexpected e-mail came through my inbox that said "Hello from Heather Bullard", asking me if I would like to have my home featured in Souvenir Magazine. I had followed Heather and admired her work for years. 
I thought I was being punk'd.
A feature of my home turned into my becoming a contributor to Souvenir. The cherry on top was Heather asking me to assist her on a recent Country Living photo shoot. That was a first for me and I loved it.  All because I didn't give up on a day that wasn't easy. I was BEING a designer, BEING a blogger and sharing my work.  And it wasn't easy. 
But that's how passion works.
Are you stuck? Where will you begin? Leave me a comment if you're around this weekend. I would love to hear what big dreams you're dreaming! 

one of my favorite singer/songwriters

Welcome to The Shop!

My dear friend,  Holly,  of Holly Mathis Interiors is on fire!  She's got a beautiful new website, was recently featured in Good Housekeeping and today...her brand new online store is open!

hollymathisinteriorsshop
SHOP
The shop is the perfect reflection of Holly's signature fresh cottage style, offering some of her favorite and most requested design elements like beautiful fabrics, blue & white porcelain, botanical prints and her treasured silhouette's.  Her site is easy to navigate and so pretty!!!
Ya'll stop by today and pick out some goodies for yourself!  Congratulations Holly!!!

Down the Road Show with Holly Mathis

My trip to Round Top a few weeks ago was a last minute day trip. I almost didn't go. My

Souvenir

deadline was hanging over my head, clients and kids needed my attention and I didn't think there was any way I could get away with it.

But one word in an e-mail from my friend

Holly Mathis

 had me packing a backpack and out the door bright and early the next morning.  "Come!"  she said.  Well....OK!

Holly was co-hosting a web-TV pilot at Marburger Farm for

Texas Live

which is a regional publication that is also developing an online presence. This "Down the Road" video is a show produced by

Clover Carroll

and his cutie-pie wife Rachel. 

And guess who got to be in the video with Holly?  Yes, me. At the very end of the video..sitting with Holly at the end of a very good shopping day. 

Check out

"Hollywood" Mathis

at work showing Clover and Rachel what Marburger is all about. She's a natural in front of the camera and knows her stuff. If you've never been to  Round Top you will love this!!