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

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!

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 May 2015 Issue

The May issue of

Country Living

is out and I'm so excited about the story that features the  lovely home of Christi Wilson of

The Brown Shed

Photograph by :

Annie Schlechter

This family room is absolutely hands down one of my favorite rooms. Ever. It's light, bright, colorful, cozy, feminine without being fussy and I love how it connects to the kitchen. It's the perfect space to simply "be" with your family. 

And the Wilson's are all about family; and hospitality and gardening and chickens and sweet dogs and eating really good food in their authentic farmhouse kitchen. 

When we're working on shoots we usually only have time to grab a quick bite and then it's back to work. On this shoot, Christi spoiled us rotten for three days with delicious homemade meals. And she made it look so easy!  She's a natural at putting together delicious casual meals.  I was so impressed with how easy she made it look with a team from a magazine invading her home. We tend to make a big mess during these shoots. It was quite a treat to be so tended to. Southern hospitality at its best. 

Homemade pies, scones, muffins, soup, grilled sandwiches. Quiche!! I just remembered the quiche she made with a pecan crust from her tree!  

I have a scone recipe to share with you coming up in the next blog post. Maybe Christi will share some of her favorite recipes on her blog for us...pretty please?

As you'll see from the story, Christi has a great eye for finding that just right antique. Her home is full of one of a kind finds. It was a dream to style her home because all I had to do was ask and she had exactly what we needed. I loved walking out back to

The Brown Shed

to gather up a basket of vintage goodies to style with. 

Vintage bottles and ranunculus waiting for their close up.

My partner in crime, Paige Hull of

The Vintage Round Top

, assisted on this shoot.  She's a steamin' demon.  Since we were working close by we got to stay in Paige's cottage in Round Top, Texas. If you haven't seen it, take a look and fall in love. It's dreamy. 

If you love Christi's style, I've got good news. She's updated her

Etsy

store and stocked it with vintage items just like you see in her Country Living feature. She'll also have plans for her adorable chicken coop coming soon.

To see more of this feature click

here

to view the

Country Living

slideshow and pick up the May 2015 Issue to read all the details. 

Thank you Christi, for the hospitality.