Archive | February, 2015

Trying to Frame a Horse

The week that I started this blog, I had a very vivid dream.  I dreamed we were living in a beautiful, pristine, glossy-magazine worthy home.  And we had this beautiful chestnut horse.  The horse was wild and free and absolutely stunning.  Rippling muscles, shiny black hair.  I know absolutely nothing about horses in my real life, but in my dream, this horse was just the most beautiful thing.  I just knew this horse would be the perfect thing to frame behind glass in my perfect home.  Now this is dream world, so I framed the horse as though it were actually possible.  After a few days of looking at the horse behind the glass, I watched it burst out to be wild and free again. But instead of running through the house to show off it’s beautiful muscles and shiny hair, it was moping and whimpering, hanging its head, barely walking.  In my dream, we had to call a vet and the beautiful horse had to be put down.  All because I had tried to frame the horse.

Maybe it sounds silly, I don’t know, but I still get chills thinking about this dream. It has really stuck with me. I’m no dream expert but it just seems like the horse has to do with creativity, art, or passion.

The minute I started this blog, I felt the weight, the glass, pressing in around me. I put it there myself: the incessant checking of stats, the self comparison, the sinking realization that there are a million other house bloggers out there doing this too. They do it better, have more followers, have better pictures, have a better website, and on and on and on.  The self-doubt, the anxiety, all of it, choking, pressing, stifling. It doesn’t take long for my breath to fog up the glass of this frame I put around myself and all of a sudden, I can’t see or remember what I’m doing here anymore.

That’s not to say a horse running wild in my house would be a good thing either.  I came across this by the wise Ann Voskamp in her book One Thousand Gifts the other day:

“Stress and anxiety seem easier.  Easier to let a mind run wild with the worry than to exercise discipline, to reign her in, slip the blinders on and train her to walk steady in certain assurance, not spooked by the specters looming ahead.”

I’ve been tuned in to horse metaphors since having that dream, as you can see.  I’ve let the stress run wild. I’ve put the passion in a frame. I want this site, this little place I’ve dreamed about for a while now, to live up to my tag line and be what I started it to be: a place of beauty & purpose. I guess I’m not exactly sure what that purpose is just yet but I do know that I need to focus on what’s in front of me now, what God’s given me to do. I don’t have to strive and worry about having the best or newest ideas to show you. I just want to be who God created me to be. No pretenses. No frames.

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Favorite Neutral Paint Colors

If you’re looking for a perfect gray paint color, my hands-down, absolute favorite is Olympic’s Silver Dollar. It is a taupe-y kind of gray, so its not too cool or blueish at all.  But its not super warm or golden either.  I feel like its perfectly in between.  We used it all over the interior of our old house, which you can see here.

In our new house its on our kitchen cabinets, bannister, and mantle.

We also decided to use it on the walls in our master bedroom and bathroom.

Its amazing how different it looks in the new house compared to the old. I’ve already mentioned that this house has much more natural light.

Even though it is my all time favorite color, I still HIGHLY recommend that you purchase and paint a sample of it first before committing to it! Or purchase 10 different samples and paint them all over your house if you’re crazy like me and just want to be SURE.

If you’re looking for a darker, more saturated gray, one I’ve used several times and love is Olympic’s Dover Gray.  Right now we have that color in our dining room and in our baby’s room.

Here’s the view from the dining room looking into the kitchen. You can see the Silver Dollar on those lower cabinets.  I’ll show more of these rooms one day soon!

And one of my favorite views in the house, from the kitchen, looking into the dining room:

Gray has been kind of the “in” thing for a while now.  I’m not saying its on its way out, because I don’t think it is- maybe for shelter magazines and fancy design bloggers, but for the rest of us, we still like gray.  But the big thing right now is definitely white.  In this new house I decided to give it a try and went with the top color on the same card as Silver Dollar, called Willow Springs.  You can see glimpses of it in the above pictures.

The kitchen cabinet & trim color we are using on The Montgomery House is Benjamin Moore’s White Dove.  I researched that one a lot and found that a lot of designers prefer it.  Neutral colors can be so much trickier to choose than saturated ones because the slightest little tint of green or blue or red or whatever can change the feeling so much.

My biggest piece of advice when painting a room is to buy samples.  Lots of them.  Paint them in lots of different spots and look at them during lots of different times of day.  Something you love in someone else’s house may not work the same way in yours.

Do you have any go to favorite paint colors? What have you painted recently?

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The Montgomery House {Moodboards}

Montgomery Living Room

One of the biggest and longest running projects I have going on right now is for a dear friend who is building a beautiful new home that is almost done.  The house itself is a craftsman style home.  I can’t wait for you to see all of the beautiful craftsman windows, doors, and details of this home!

The style we are looking to achieve is modern farmhouse and we are using a lot of neutral graphics and texture, texture, texture.  We have been working together on this for over a year now and to see it coming into fruition is such a rewarding experience!  She took a risk on me several years ago when she first hired me to decorate her son’s nursery and is actually a big part of the reason I have this website and the business that I have now! Today I’m sharing with you the vision for her new living room, dining room, and foyer.

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She loves all things vintage, chippy, and shabby chic.  She has some amazing pieces she’s found in places like Round Top, TX over the years and some beautiful old quilts handed down through her family.  I’ve pushed her to add some modern and clean lines into the mix a little for some contrast and she’s really let me take the lead on that.  I’m so excited to see how this all unfolds once we get everything into the house!   The design boards I make are just conceptual and of course we’ve made some changes to these as we’ve shopped and made purchases, but I will definitely show you the “afters” when we get to that point!

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For Coffee, Tea, & Community

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In the church we were members of before we moved to our current city, I was asked to design an upstairs hang out spot called the Home Pointe Center. It is a little community coffee bar for families and teens and there’s a little info center with books and brochures, etc. There were also weekly bible studies hosted there. They envisioned kids coming up there to do homework, moms hanging out to drink coffee, etc. I was so honored and excited to work on this project! The overall style of the church was very traditional but they wanted this spot to have a much more modern, casual feeling to it.  I shopped a lot at Ikea and World Market.  The drum shade pendant lights were a great find from Overstock.  For the curtain rods we used galvanized piping to give it an industrial look.

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The Breakfast Room

I’m finally getting to share with you pictures of my current house!  The main thing I looked for when house shopping (besides number of rooms, location, etc) was natural light- and we definitely got it.  Sometimes its even a little too much for me- I had to put blackout curtains in our bedroom so I can crawl into my little cave when this introvert is feeling overstimulated, haha! This breakfast room is one of my absolute favorite spots in the house though.  I found the curtain fabric at High Fashion Home in Houston.  My talented mom sewed the panels for me!  The light fixture is from One Kings Lane.  Table is from Laurie’s Home Furnishings in Tomball, TX.  The chairs are from Ikea.  Disclaimer- there are usually blinds for privacy on these windows and my talented husband took these photos for me!  We usually have a high chair around this table too and a mess of crumbs all over the floor. Of course with three kids it doesn’t usually look this good but he made it look amazing!!  We eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at this table and it is an important, high-traffic place for our family!

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A Playroom {Moodboard}

This is a fun playroom I’ve been working on with a client.  She’s got two rough and tumble little boys, a teenage daughter, and a great big room that just needed some organization.  We decided to divide it up into different zones to make the most of the space.  She’s been working hard on the room so I hope to be sharing actual photos with you soon!

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A Master Bedroom

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I’ve had many inspirations over the years (mostly bloggers) but for this room one specifically comes to mind- Melaine over at My Sweet Savannah has a beautiful home (and blog!) and her master bedroom inspired me to do this deep brownish gray wall color several years ago and to center my bed between the two windows and use the long white curtains.  Once again they are the Ikea Ritvas!  I love those things!  One question to my 26 year old self though- why oh why did I not buy some matching lamps?

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