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 supplies 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.

Becki Griffin's Curious Details_Room No. 5 Carol Bolton Unloading Sale-1.jpg

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!

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!

 

 

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.

 

Old Glory Antiques Denver

My spring work season has been a busy one, just like I like it.  A nice big flurry of projects before the slower days of summer.

I recently made my 3rd annual trip up to Denver to photograph Old Glory Antiques for owner Holly Kuhn. Spring has officially sprung in Denver!

Holly's style is hands down one of my favorites. She mixes beautiful American antiques with large scale art and just the right amount of accessories so that one isn't visually overwhelmed and can easily envision how each piece might work in their own home.

The fun starts at the front door with these whimsical glass vessels displaying vintage silverware. How many great ideas are running through your mind of how to play with these? I especially love them on that gorgeous farm table.

Holly keeps a great selection of custom chairs, many one of a kind, with beautiful fabric details.

As a stylist, you can only image how I go a little bonkers over the accessories at Old Glory. A little patina, a little texture and that collected over time look, hits just the right note.

Becki Griffin _ Old Glory Denver2017 LoRes-60.jpg

Inventory moves fast at high altitude so checking in often is the best way to get that special piece before it's gone. 

Like this absolutely delicious little console in the perfect shade of french bleu:

This trip was made even better because I teamed up with my friend and colleague Holly Mathis to also work on a little side project while we were there.

Old Glory Antiques owners, Holly and Brian Kuhn, recently moved to a beautiful new home and invited Holly and me to come for a quick fluffing session ahead of her son's upcoming wedding. The Kuhns had just moved in two weeks prior and were to be hosting extended family so we kicked it into high gear and fluffed guest bedrooms and living spaces. 

Full reveal to come as Holly and Brian settle in, but I did snap a couple of styling shots with my phone before we high-tailed it back to Texas:

The biggest and best news I have to share is that Old Glory Antiques is coming back to Texas! I don't think I've been this excited about a store opening in a very long time. Old Glory Antiques is currently under construction in Round Top with Holly Mathis working on the details locally while Holly Kuhn is holding down the fort in Denver and gathering the inventory for the Texas store. The exact opening date is still to be determined and as soon as I hear something solid I'll shout it out. 

You guys...it's going to be so good. As soon as I get the "ok" I'll share a few sneak peeks of the inventory. 

Until then, if you're in Denver stop by Old Glory at 1930 S. Broadway.

Pine Shelf Styling

We speak so often of our homes telling a story, that sadly, it's almost become a cliche'. I do sincerely love the thought and apply it to my clients and my own home. It's one of the first things I love to chat about with new clients...their lives and how to bring the proof of their lives into their homes . I think that matters. What's more original than your life and how you live it?

When Christmas was done and the decorations put away, I felt twitchy about our dining room. I've been patiently waiting on the "just right" cabinet to show up for the past year and it hasn't happened yet. It needs to be big and accommodate collections and props and serving pieces and textiles and silverware. Not too pricey, not too trendy, not too small. Jussssst right to suit this Goldilocks. 

Then I remembered, in the rafters of our garage was a pine shelf we bought during the first year of our marriage when we lived in Connecticut, 29 years ago. My memories of this shelf play like a flickering 8mm home movie.  I've used it in every house we've lived in in one way or another but I had never brought it into this house. I remember finding it in an antique shop and forking over a whopping $50 for it. I loved the pine and way it smelled. It's heavy and always needs big screws to secure it to the wall and it leaves big holes when it's taken down. I don't care. I love it. 

We hung it over the stainless steel restaurant prep table I use as a buffet and filled it up with the things I love that I had on hand. Ironstone, botanical transferware, brass candlesticks, pieces from my coral collections and a few bits from nature. Keeping it neutral and natural. We've been eating dinner in here more often which we all enjoy.  Lighting the candles in the evening and really lingering, even if it's leftovers, has been a nice change. 

A couple of wonky unframed vintage paintings and my New Years tradition of paperwhite bulbs. There really is no easier indoor plant/flower to grow in my opinion. Vessel, rocks, water, bulbs, done. I usually get blooms in 2-3 weeks that are long lasting and very fragrant.

I am loving how it feels in the room. The collections, the plants, the contrast of the white against the wall, the story behind the shelf. We went back to New England last summer for vacation for the first time since we lived there many many years ago.

Full circle moment, I believe, is what this is called.

Curious Details Wood Panel Art Shop

I'm so excited to finally share my wood panel art with you!!!

This project has been a joy to bring to life. It combines three of my creative passions; decorating, art and road trips!

I'm often working in the beautiful Texas countryside and can't stop myself from pulling over to photograph the pastures full of beautiful cows, bulls and steers. Who can resist those faces? They're so full of personality. Pure joy!

The wood panels are a wonderful alternative to stretched canvas or paper prints. They're warm, organic and a bit modern so they fit right in with so many styles. No framing is required and the panels are ready to hang. All the art is original, photographed and edited by me, then printed on maple wood panels.  I love how they feel in my own home which is a mix of cottage, coastal and fresh country. 

 

You'll notice the shop is small for now. I love working at my own pace between decorating projects, styling jobs, travel and family time. I will be adding more wood panel art in the near future! Horses, trees, botanicals...it's all coming! 

The shop just went live today. If you encounter any hiccups please send me a note. I hope you find the shopping and navigation to be a pleasant experience. I'm so thankful and grateful for my very talented graphic designer, Haylei Smith. From branding to web design and shop set up, she has held my hand the entire way and been my biggest cheerleader. Thank you Haylei!

UPDATE: Christmas Sale! Receive 20% off your order with discount code hollyjolly2016. Happy shopping and Merry Christmas!

A Suburban Home Renovation

It might be a good idea to start this post with a warning.

"Caution: This  blog post may produce extreme house envy. Symptoms include throwing out everything you own and starting over. Or hiring designer Holly Mathis. Or both."

So perhaps it's best I don't share all the images just yet. It's for your own good. Trust me.
This summer I did a little styling and photographed this beautiful home for Holly and absolutely marveled at the renovations that were made. 

This home, in a lovely suburban Houston neighborhood, got a major update with Holly's help which gives it so much style and personality. Cabinets were removed, a window added, along with shiplap ceiling, open shelves and beautiful finishes and lighting.  The quartz countertops are gorgeous. This young family has 6 children including a brand new baby and the nursery is absolutely adorable.

The strong lines and large scale of the Darlana lantern contrast beautifully with the white kitchen. Lighting by Visual Comfort through True Blue Home

The new quartz countertops are beautiful and extremely durable. A great choice for a big family kitchen.

                                 Smart spice storage is so simple and easy with 4oz spice jars.

The family does have a television. It's hidden in the lower right cabinet and raises and lowers by remote. Genius!

Beautiful details and fabric in these custom slipcovers by LS Slipcovers topping off the basic Henriksdal chair from Ikea.

Buffalo check, polka dots, shiplap and tons of natural light pouring in to this nursery for brand new baby #6 for this family! Art from House of Belonging.

Holly is sharing details and sources for this project on her blog so be sure to pop over. I'm sure she'll be happy to answer any questions you might have.
 

Old Glory Antiques Denver

Absolutely nothing inspires me as much as travel. Even if it's for work and sometimes, especially if it's for work. 

Earlier this summer I flew to Denver to photograph some of the new inventory at Old Glory Antiques for owner Holly Kuhn. If you find yourself lucky enough to be anywhere near the Denver area, this store is worth a detour.

Holly keeps an ever changing inventory of architectural antiques and American furniture with that "just right" authentic patina that just can't be duplicated.

I think the most interesting homes are layered with antiques, vintage and new upholstered pieces.  Holly speaks my language at her shop. She also avoids my antique shop pet peeve of overcrowding the merchandise and is so good at styling her vignettes and creating artful moments that inspire.

The texture and patina in this shot...I can't even. It's delicious.

The editors at Flea Market Decor Magazine think Holly and Old Glory are pretty awesome too and have featured the store in their Fall 2016 issue. In the feature, Holly shares her styling secrets and advice on finding and decorating with antiques.  It's good stuff.

 

To view all the new images from this shoot, visit my Old Glory Denver portfolio. And be sure to follow Old Glory on Facebook to see all the latest inventory Holly brings in. But don't wait...merchandise moves fast at OG.

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!