Recent Photo Shoot with West 23rd St Design

I hope you're enjoying the dog days of a scorching August summer.

Our 15 year old boys are working their first jobs as life guards this summer and it's been a challenge to juggle four work schedules. It forces me to guard our time off together like a hawk and make sure we do more than see each other coming and going. But we've made it work for us and I'm so proud of the boys hard work. They're saving for a car so we have that ahead of us. 

As for me, I've had the opportunity to collaborate with some new clients whose work I've admired on Instagram. Kristy Keele, a Houston based decorator and owner of West 23rd St. Design contacted me recently to photograph her house.

 Here's a peek at our session:

Kristy is so good at mixing colors and pattern and keeps her traditional style sassy and fresh with vintage art and interesting objets. I seriously feel like I need a glass table in my life.

The details; layered, thoughtfully chosen, a mix of high and low price points.  Kristy  has a sharp eye for treasures and makes frequent stops in some of Houston's best thrift stores for herself and clients. 

Kristy's home office is inspiring as well. Fabric, design books, props, mood boards, art. All the things we decorators love to have at our fingertips. 

One of the perks of this job is seeing up close and personal how people live. What a lovely thing...to put so much of yourself into your home. I have such admiration for all the little details in Kristy's home. Such eye candy!  I don't think she'd mind if I told you about her headboard.  It was one of my favorite things in her home.  It's a kantha quilt simply folded and laid over an upholstered headboard. Genius! and so pretty.

If you're looking for something special for your home, Kristy also sells on One Kings Lane and Chairish. Follow her here on Instagram

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 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!

A Little Bit of Fall Is All

I see from some my favorite blogs, Pinterest and Instagram that apparently it's Fall???

Poor southeast Texas.  We miss out on all the fall fun when it comes to seasons. We're about to roll over to November and the kids are still wearing shorts to school and it's been 90 degrees over the last week.  I've yet to make soup, wear a scarf or eat pumpkin anything. We can't even fake it. 

It just feels wrong to not do anything in terms of making some changes in the house to acknowledge that somewhere, people are picking apples, making biggo leaf piles to jump into and bundling up to go to the Friday night football games.

My favorite unframed botanicals are my favorite mobile art collection.  I took them off the mantel and now they're repping fall in the dining room for me. And i like it!

They really deserve to be properly framed, but then I wouldn't get to use my fun washi tape to hang them all over the house on a whim.  

In my world, coral is a fall styling element.  Nod your head if you agree.  Thank you :) 

Some fresh eucalyptus and pretty blue/gray pumpkins. I do love the colors.

Botanicals and ironstone.  Two of my favorite collections that really work for me in any season. This was more about putting together colors and textures that suggest fall for my cottage style and I am really enjoying it. With the candles lit and the a/c cranked down it even feels a little like fall in here :)

Photo Styling, The Not So Big Picture

I love beautifully framed and displayed photographs.  I'm such a fan of gallery walls I have three, with one more in the works, in my home (is that allowed)? 

But what do we do with all those beautiful little images that are tucked away in keepsake boxes and drawers, or even worse, parked on our iPhones never to see the light of day? 

Beyond the gallery wall and photo book, I love living with my pictures as little art shows or installations throughout my home. Because they are rotated often, I see these little styling moments as temporary, which frees up my creativity and that simply makes it more fun for me.  

Grab a handful of your long lost favorite pictures and add some of these ideas to your arsenal of styling options. 

Folded book art becomes a rolodex of old family photos. 

Heirloom photos are protected under glass cloches and grouped together with a glass lab beaker.  

Glass curio boxes are an artful way of displaying images in a mixed media style. These Hipstamatic prints, made with my iPhone,  are layered on top of a blank vintage book page.  Add a special artifact or two to the display to personalize it even further. 

One of the easiest ways to view your photographs also invites everyone to enjoy them. A bowl of colorful vacation pics on a coffee table is hard to resist. 

Oh my.  Baby birds in their natural habitat.  These little boys are now big teenagers.  How did that happen? (photo by Lori Vrba)

I hope you'll bring your buried treasures and memories out into your home where you can appreciate them every day in creative ways. 

LS Slipcovers ~ The Details

Now that you've seen what LS Slipcovers has done for my home, I want to share some very special one of a kind pieces that were created by the talented team at LS Slipcovers and Bedding.

These images are part of a portfolio shoot I did for Laura this past spring. This petite wingback chair is one of a pair.  What a sweetie! It's just a bit smaller than a traditional wingback; the perfect ladies chair. 

The slip cover is made of flax tissue linen with an exposed top ruffled skirt with a 3" puddle and my favorite little detail...pink French knotted edging all stitched by hand. So beautiful and delicate, a gorgeous and unique detail. A blog reader commented recently that Laura's work is that of an artist.  I couldn't agree more and am pleased to share more of her art with you. 

Laura also offers hand-tufted french mattress style floor cushions. These are 18x18x3 but she can also make them to your custom specifications.  Perfect for floor lounging or piled around a coffee table. 

And this little Danish dream of a chair is the Ballerina covered in a gauzy linen slip with a calla lily skirt. Hand French knotted edging and ballet ties on the chair legs. This is the work of designer Laura KM of the LS Slipcovers team of makers. 

LS Slipcovers and Bedding is located in Houston, Texas. However, you're in luck if you're out of town and would like to upgrade to a more custom slip for select pieces from Ikea, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware as Laura is now offering Ready to Wear slips for some of their popular models. Laura also loves to travel so be sure to check with her as she just might be headed to your area. 

Summer Break

A solid month of summer has passed and it appears I took an unintended blogging vacation. I do have lots to catch you up on. The new

slip covers

are finished and I'm looking forward to sharing those with you.  There's always new work and collaborations.

And family life.  We just returned from a 10 day, 8 state road trip to North Carolina and Tennessee to visit dear family friends and enjoyed some much needed time away in the great outdoors. I get so much inspiration from nature and I love summer styling more than any other season. 

Before we left for vacation I pulled together some of my favorite summer styling elements to come home to; vintage bottles, coral and flea market art mixed with succulents in zinc pots. 

The light blue from the painting, the reflection of light from the bottles and the texture from the coral are the perfect feel of summer to me. It's my version of a little zen garden that gets moved around, added to and loved on all summer long.  A small space is all that's needed to bring a little summer inside. Hope you're enjoying your summer break!

Lady Things

I've spent a couple of days behind the camera this week shooting and styling for a special client. If it's appropriate for the shoot, I sometimes use sentimental items as props. This  image is full of them. Aunt Louise's sparkly clutch. Granny Wilson's glasses and my sweet Rachel's pearl bracelet.  What a bunch of girly girls they were. 

This shoot had me wishing for a dressing room all my own.  Don't you love being a girl?

At Home with Ed Fulkerson of Leftover's Antiques

Just west of Houston, in the sweet little town of Brenham, Texas, is where Ed Fulkerson of

Leftovers Antiques

, calls home. And what a home it is. 

My dear friend and talented decorator,

Holly Mathis

, recently invited me to photograph Ed's beautiful home. Can you imagine how much fun we had styling this shoot together and touching all of his antiques? Best job ever!

Ed lives in an authentic historical cottage.  The kind we all Pin to our style boards and lust for...you know..with old worn floors, original shutters, tall ceilings, wavy glass in the windows, beadboard...so romantic. 

Then, if that weren't enough, he's decorated it with thoughtfully chosen European and American antiques. 

I loved the day we spent shooting here and fell in love with the light that beams through those windows. 

Holly

is sharing even more images and details of Ed's story and their new website on her

blog

, so be sure to click over . He and his business partner, Michael Breddin, are in preparations now for the upcoming

Marburger Farm

show at Round Top so you can visit them there or at the store which is also full of beautiful antiques and more, just like the ones you see here.

Curious Fall

Ever so slowly, fall makes its way to Texas.  While I've seen pumpkins and mums in stores and on my favorite blogs for a while now, I can't embrace the decorating until the temps drop at least a little. I think my favorite thing is the subtle shift in the light and how it changes in the rooms in the front of our home.

I favor natural elements and colors, warm wood and textures. Here are a few changes in our dining room for fall:













The Vintage Round Top

Just days before the Marburger Farm antiques show was scheduled to open, I received a call from Paige Hull, owner of The Vintage  Round Top, a charming, hip rental cottage in Round Top, Texas. 


The Vintage Round Top, Round Top, Texas

Paige and her husband, Smoot, were setting up at Marburger for the first time and asked if I could fill in last minute for their stylist who was unable to make it.  After seeing her gorgeous home and some shots of the merchandise from France they would be selling at the show, I couldn't say "yes" fast enough. We had the best time pulling together all the details that Paige so lovingly chose.  The space that Paige and Smoot envisioned and then created defies description, so I'll let you experience it through my lens. 

















"An interior is the natural projection of the soul" ~Coco Chanel

These small notebooks were gifts for bloggers and designers that visited The Vintage Round Top at Marburger Farm. If you missed them, I hope you'll have a chance to meet Paige and Smoot at the spring show or treat yourself to a relaxing and inspiring weekend at their adorable cottage in Round Top, Texas. 


Cottage Kitchen Redo

I'm not a big house girl.  I've always had a dream to live in a small quaint cottage with just enough room and charm to spare. My friend

Holly Mathis

, is living my dream:

image

Becki Griffin's Curious Details

Holly recently completed a  renovation on her perfectly charming cottage kitchen and it is stunning.  

image Becki Griffin's Curious Details

Holly's talent for design is such an inspiration to me. She's one of the first design bloggers I ever followed and then we had a chance meeting in  Round Top a couple of years ago that was the start of a lovely friendship.  We had the best time styling and shooting her finished room and she's sharing more images and all the design details from lighting to flooring on her

blog

. Go read and be inspired by how she beautified her small, perfectly charming little cottage.  (hoping one day she will share the upstairs.....)