Archive | September, 2015

Three Things I’m Loving Right Now

Each week on my favorite podcast, Jamie Ivey’s Happy Hour, she asks her guests what three things they are loving right now.  Every time I listen, I think, “How would I answer that question?”  Well, today, I thought I would share.

  1. To begin, have you ever followed Young House Love?  They were some of the earliest home & DIY bloggers, their newest book (Lovable, Livable Home) came out recently, and they also just updated their website (which is huge if you follow them because they quit blogging about a year ago!!) Well, they have a new video spoof on their website and as a fan of both Young House Love and Real Housewives, it makes the top of my list. I give you The Young Houseloves of D.I.Y….

2. The latest issue of Better Homes & Gardens.  I mean, just this beautiful cover alone is enough to make me want to paint something in my house this gorgeous deep teal color.

BHG :: The House of Figs

 And then on the inside, an entire home designed by my favorite, Lauren Liess.

BHGLaurenLiessSmartHome

There are way more pictures on her blog and in the magazine.  She does such a mix of traditional and modern and she uses so many organic elements.  I love the layered rugs and the use of blue in this home too, my favorite color.

 Also, in this same issue (I promise I’m not getting paid to sell this magazine to you, haha!) we get a peek inside the home of Jessica Honegger, CEO of Noonday Collection.  Do you know about Noonday?  Its one of my favorite places to shop for jewelry.  You can check it out here. Very cool to see her eclectic and globally inspired home in the pages of such a popular magazine!

Noonday :: The House of Figs

(And by the way, that’s a Noonday bracelet I’m wearing!)

3.  Tissue paper banners. After my confession last week about how much I dislike seasonal and temporary decorating, I have another confession to make.  I was actually in the middle of creating a tissue paper banner for a baby shower I was hosting.  It took hours and I almost quit because as I made each individual tassel, I was thinking to myself, “this is going to look awful.”  But when I finished and put them all together?  It was like magic and I think I am in love!  This one went home with the mommy, but I really think I might start making these for all parties, seasons, and occasions, I am just so in love with it, ha!   Definitely worth the time it took for me.

Tissue Paper Banner :: The House of Figs

I layered this striped paper banner from Target over it.  That part of it is not hand made though I did stamp the baby’s name on it.

Banner :: The House of Figs

You can find the tutorial I used for the banner here.

materials

(this image from Linen, Lace, & Love)

So there you have it, three things I’m loving right now!  Want to play along?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments!  Anything you’re loving right now that you’d like to share? It can be totally random like mine, ranging from your favorite lipstick or pair of jeans to a book you’ve read recently or a favorite blog.  What are you loving right now?

Continue Reading

Learning To Do Your Thing

There’s something I have learned in my 30s that the high school version of myself wishes she would have learned a LONG time ago.  It still takes some reminding now and then, but I’ve learned that it covers many areas of my life- decorating, fashion, politics, marriage, raising children, etc.

Sometimes

photo source

Its that age old expression:  “You do your thing, I’ll do mine.”  I’m sure that was carved on a cave somewhere, right?

Since this is mostly a decorating blog, I’m focusing on how this applies to your home, but you’ll see how the application is a wide one.  In a lot of ways, the design world can make us feel trapped by rules.  You must have this certain size rug, you must have this many throw pillows.  No more than this many colors in your palette, no less than this many lemons in the bowl. You must have this much money or this brand new whatever to have a beautiful home.

So we end up feeling paralyzed, stuck, unable to make decisions for fear of breaking these rules that “those designers” will arrest us for.

While it is true that there are certain, we’ll call them “guidelines,” that lend themselves aesthetically to the home, the only way for you to discover how pleasing or unpleasing these guidelines are to your own eyes and in your own home are for you to try them out.  In your own home.  It takes some experimentation. It takes a starting point.

Choose a color and paint that wall.  Hang up those darn pictures that have been sitting there for 6 months.  A year?  Make a few extra nail holes.  Okay, twenty extra nail holes. Go buy a curtain rod and hang up those curtains.

What is it you’ve been putting off because you’re afraid of making a mistake?  You’re afraid those designer police will arrest you? I’ll let you in on a secret- they don’t exist.  Haha!  But you’re smart- you knew all along, didn’t you? So take the risk you’ve been waiting for.  What’s the worst that could happen?  You don’t like it and you spent a few hours of your life painting or hanging up pictures.  It wasn’t time wasted, it was time spent learning about your likes & dislikes- your personal style.  Learn from what you didn’t like and move on- find what you do like.

There Are No Mistakes

Found on Society 6

When you’re shopping for things for your home, come focused with pictures of your home, measurements, maybe inspiration pictures from Pinterest or blogs.  Even I get distracted in places like HomeGoods, Target, Hobby Lobby, and Round Top (where I’m headed this weekend!).  There are so many pretty things and I could end up with a cart full that I don’t actually need or have a place for.  Save receipts so you can try it out if you’re unsure.

Find that you’re buying too many small tchockes to compensate for a large space you don’t know how to fill?  Return them or sell it all and save up for that nice larger piece you really wish you had.

Really the whole point here is just do your thing!  It takes time and practice along with experimentation to learn what your style is. Don’t worry about trends or what everyone on Pinterest or Instagram is doing.  You do you.  Shouldn’t your home be the one place where you are the most comfortable to be yourself?  The place you are free to experiment in and try new things? Let it be your style lab- curating and collecting the things that make up you and your family.

This very likely will mean getting rid of those things that are not working for you and your family.  Just the other day I revealed over on Instagram that I do not enjoy seasonal decorating.  Its taken me a while to admit that to myself, but over the years I have found that any decorating I know will only be temporary I really don’t have the energy for.   We have balloons and a store bought banner that comes out for birthday parties. My fall decor includes a few real pumpkins and some branches I found at Hobby Lobby.  I used to think I needed to have boxes and bins of stuff but I realized I dreaded setting it all up and it made me feel stressed.  Last year was the first year I trimmed down our Christmas decor and only put up a tree, plus let the kids decorate small trees in their rooms.  What a relief it was to finally realize this is how I like to do it.  I found freedom in realizing I could just be me and that I could finally get rid of the seasonal decorative stuff that was stressing me out.

Fall Decor :: The House of Figs

Side note here: this doesn’t mean I judge others who enjoy seasonal or birthday party decorating.  If you enjoy it- its your thing!  I can now appreciate what others do without bitterness or thinking “Wow, they have too much time on their hands” because I know that its something they love.  I spend my time in other ways, clearly, like hanging gallery walls and making videos of them, ha!  Can’t we all just be free to do our own thing?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.  Anyone needing to hear this today? What have you been putting off that you could do today or this weekend? Any purging that needs to happen?

Continue Reading

New Video Up Today!

Gallery Wall Video Part 2 :: The House of Figs

I’ve got a new video up today!  You can find the link here.  I am also keeping an archive page now of all the videos we make that you can access in the top menu.  If you are not a subscriber, you will be asked to sign in with your email address.  All this does is sign you up to receive my blog posts in your inbox and it will give you access to these free videos.  No spam or anything like that ever!

Also just a quick little thank you to your response on my last post.  Thanks to those of you who commented and shared it- its just a little thing, but wow it means so much to me.  I know it might seem like I know what I’m doing or like I’m so confident here just hitting “publish” on these posts but that one sat in my drafts folder for quite a while.  It was re-written, prayed over, and there were a few nights when I thought I just might not ever hit publish on that thing.  To know that so many of you needed to hear it just like I did was big for me.  So thanks, from the bottom of my heart.

Would love for you to subscribe and check out the new video. Have a great week!

xoxo

Bethany

Continue Reading

When Home Disappoints…

I was planning to write a post about creating a place for your family to come home to that is warm and welcoming.  It has to do with atmosphere and attitude and all of that.  It is something I strive for and desire, but I have to confess something.  Its something that I fail at. I don’t meant I fail at it because my house isn’t cozy enough or I don’t have pumpkin-scented candles burning and soft music playing every time my husband and kids come home. Can we all agree that those things are not the goal?

When Home Disappoints// The House of Figs

Its never perfection around here.

I fail at it because my heart is not in the right place.  My heart, the safe place for them to come home to, is not always a safe place for them.  I disappoint.  I’m tired, I get moody.  I’m slow to listen, quick to speak.  I snap at them for no reason.  Basically, I’m selfish.  I want to enjoy my cozy moment- the one with the candles, the blanket, the cup of coffee- and then these kids come running all over it with their dirty socks not in pairs and and their shoes on the carpet and their crumbs on the floor and I have to admit there are times that those are the only things I see.

Home is not always the safe space I want it to be.  And sometimes its because of me.

Did you know this rug used to be white?

Did you know this rug used to be white?

So I strive and I grasp for a little piece of comfort.  Make it cozy.  Let’s get some curtains, some more throw pillows.  A few more things from HomeGoods and Target.  Maybe a new rug? It will be perfect.  If I can just get this place cleaned up, my attitude will be better.  If I can just get organized, decorated, put-together, un-cluttered, I’ll be nicer, happier, a better mom, a better wife.  Anyone else? All too soon those purchases stack up into Goodwill and yard sale piles.  More proof of disappointment and unfulfilled expectations.

There’s much worse disappointment in the home too.  You know what I’m talking about because you’ve experienced it.  Maybe in the home you have now or in the one of your youth.  Death, divorce, illness, addiction, abandonment.

There’s no amount of cozy lamp-lit glow or combination of cute throw pillows that can heal those wounds.

Life married to a videographer- equipment takes residence in the foyer every weekend.

Oh, my kitchen’s not always clean?

When I look around, it seems like we all have this desire, this need and longing for a safe space to call home.  I went to a concert a few weeks ago with some friends and the opening act, Pentatonix, sang a song called On My Way Home.  Kelly Clarkson (who is amazingly talented, and seems so real and down to earth, by the way) sang a beautiful and heart wrenching song called Piece by Piece.  Its about how her husband is healing the brokenness inside her that her father created when he abandoned her at age 6.  As sweet and touching as that song was, my friend sitting beside me who experienced a similar abandonment looked over and said “I love that, but to me that song is about Jesus.”

I get what she’s saying and she’s absolutely right.

Here on this earth: home, husbands, relationships, friendships- they are always going to disappoint. Always.

The coziest, most well-designed and beautiful home is still full of people who at some point disappoint each other and need forgiveness.

So where do you turn when home disappoints?  Where do you turn when you are the one who disappointed them all?  The emptiness left behind from all the disappointment, regret & unmet expectations- do they leave you hollow?  Or do you allow Him to fill you up with his grace?  The emptiness left behind leaves an opportunity and space for grace.  While it will never be filled by another trip to HomeGoods (or those new pair of shoes?), rest assured that none of this disappointment or this longing for fulfillment is in vain.

Its all pointing us to where we truly Belong, to the only One who can truly fulfill and who will never ultimately disappoint.

Hope

image source

Trials still come, pain still exists.  I make mistakes and rely on grace daily. But there is a hope beyond all of this for a home.  A home where I will be fully known and fully loved.  Where I will be able to fully love and fully enjoy those around me without this encumbering sin that so easily entangles.  A home where death and destruction, cancer and homelessness, addiction and hunger will no longer exist.

We will all just be home. 

Continue Reading

Decorating with Books Part Two

A couple weeks ago I shared a post on decorating with books along with links to some of my favorite ones.  You can find that here. This week I wanted to show you some of my favorite ways to use them!

There is of course, the bookcase approach.  I’ve got some books lined up traditionally and some stacked horizontally.  They are not arranged by color but by subject because that’s just natural and useful for us. Decorating with Books // The House of Figs

These are floating shelves above the desk in our bedroom.

Decorating with Books // The House of Figs

This stunning photo was featured in Better Homes and Gardens and is from Edie at Life In Grace.  I love her use of books and color throughout her home!

Decorating with Books / The House of Figs

Below is from the little boy’s room in The Montgomery House I worked on several months ago.

The thing about books is they don’t stick to a color scheme.  They provide un-matching and natural color to a room that makes it come alive. If you love to read, don’t feel like you have to hide your books!

Decorating with Books // The House of Figs

This one is from my youngest son’s nursery.

Nursery // The House of Figs

I think my philosophy about books can be said of anything you love, really.  Decorate your home with the things you love and it will fall into place.  Don’t feel like you have to stick to what is trendy or what belongs in a certain style or color scheme.  Use things you love, things that you collect, things you are drawn to.  This is what gives a home its unique and lived in feel and what separates it from a showroom or catalog that has no character or life.

How gorgeous and unique are these children’s classics?  I think I’d like to start a collection of them.

Decorating with Books // The House of Figs

Another place I like to use books?  Underneath lamps.  It seems I can never get a lamp tall enough.

Decorating with Books // The House of Figs

Books on coffee tables- love!  Right now we are in a season of life where the coffee table needs to stay pretty empty, but if I could style my coffee table with pretty and interesting books, I would.

Decorating with Books // The House of Figs

source

In this living room, I used baskets underneath to fill with kids’ books and puzzles to add in some color.  On top we had a tray for magazines- they act similarly to books in providing color that doesn’t have to stick to a scheme.

Living Room :: The House of Figs

Mantles could use some books too! Mine is pretty shallow and right above it is our TV, so I don’t use books there, but you definitely could.  This picture is from an episode of Fixer Upper by the fantastic Joanna Gaines.  These books aren’t colorful, but look like something you could find in a used book store or antique shop.

Decorating with Books // The House of Figs

This last one is a fantastic example of using books to bring color to an otherwise neutral room.  Cover up those sunflowers and books and you lose so much of what makes this room so special!  Anyone remember Brooke White from American Idol years ago? Find more of her fun home tour here.

Decorating with Books // The House of Figs

So what about you?  Do you use books in your home?  I’d love to hear how you bring what you love into your decorating!

xoxo

Bethany

Continue Reading

My Master Bedroom (And Gallery Wall Sources!)

First of all, thank you so much for your response to my gallery wall tutorial video!  If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check it out here.

I have to admit, it was a scary thing to hit publish on that one.  Its always hard to try something new and put yourself out there in a different way.  I appreciate your response to it and to all my new subscribers- thank you and welcome!!  Today I’m going to share with you some more pictures of the bedroom along with sources for all of the artwork I used in the gallery wall.

Our bedroom was always been the room that is kind of the forgotten one.

The last one to get cleaned.

The one where we throw the laundry baskets when company’s coming over.

The one place where I didn’t really have anything decorative and stuff just kind of  piled up with no plan for organization.

I realize this goes against everything I believe in because decorating is not just for the rooms that are on display.  I know that my room should be a haven for my husband and I but even I get stuck in thinking that in order to make it pretty I needed to start fresh- new furniture, new bedding, new everything.

But we all know that isn’t really true.  I just needed to get creative. I stole some of my favorite art pieces from our powder room (like I mentioned in the video) to use in our bedroom.

Why was I keeping my favorite pieces in the powder room?  I guess I just felt like I wasn’t supposed to have all that color in my bedroom.  Bedrooms are supposed to be soothing and soft.  Spa-like, right?  But who’s rule is that?

Here are a few of my inspiration pictures that helped me get over my hang ups:

bedroom inspiration2

source

bedroom inspiration

source

I went and stole that art right out of the powder room, along with a few other frames I had here and there around the house, and made myself a gallery wall.  Once it was up on the wall, Paul and I just kept saying “Wow!” and “Why didn’t we do this a long time ago?!”

Master Bedroom gallery wall // The House of Figs

Master Bedroom // The House of Figs
Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

Here are a few more pictures from around the room.  Its nice to have a little drop spot next to the bed.  Also, I could wear these two pieces of jewelry almost everyday- earrings are from Noonday Collection, Bracelet/necklace wrap is from Amazima.
Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

These are blackout curtains from Ikea.  I love them and how dark my room can be during the day!  As you can see we get a lot of natural light.

Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

Ever since baby number three came along, our bedroom has also been our home office.  We don’t do a lot of “work” here, but we do need to keep some files and things organized.  These floating shelves from Ikea help with that.

Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

Here’s a peek into our master bathroom.  Nothing fancy here, its very builder grade, built in 2000.  I’m thankful for the natural light in there and would like to update it eventually.  I’ve been thinking about how we can work with what we have- similar to what we did in our kitchen.  Instead of a drastic & expensive overhaul, how can I get creative and maybe just change out a few things to make a big impact?  That’s been on my mind lately, but for now, my favorite Ikea rugs and some greenery help a lot!

Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

Back to the gallery wall! Below I’ll break down for you piece by piece where each thing is from.  Some of them are pretty unique, but a few are from my favorite sources and will hopefully be useful for you!

Gallery Wall Sources // The House of Figs

1.  This little print that’s hard to see is actually a piece of Cavallini map gift wrap that can be found at Paper Source or Amazon!  I also have several of their papers framed in my kids’ rooms.  Here’s one of my favorites (I have this one in my son’s room and have used it in a couple of playrooms as well.).  This is another one that I love- the colors are so great.  Like to travel?  Grab one from your favorite destination, like this one from London or this one from New York City.  My favorite in my daughter’s room is this one with the luscious pink cake.  These would be so adorable in a little girls’ room as well!

2.  I found this piece of vintage art in Round Top, TX.  I just love the seaside scene and the colors drew me in as soon as I saw it.

3. This horse painting was given to me by my husband for our anniversary.  He found it on etsy.  Its a super meaningful piece to me because he surprised me with it shortly after I started this blog and wrote this post.  So happy to have found a great place to hang it.

4. I ordered this personalized anniversary print online several years ago.  You can find similar ones on etsy like this one,  this one, or this one.  The frame is from Ikea.

5.  We bought this piece from a vendor on the streets of NYC when we went about 8 years ago.  Its Autumn in New York and I just love all the color.  The frame is from Aaron Brothers.

6. This is a printable from The Nester– you can get it for free when you subscribe to her blog!  It says “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”  A lovely statement for not only your home, but your marriage, and pretty much life in general!

7. This is a hymn card from Magnolia Market that I bought when I visited Waco a few weeks ago.  This one says “Here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it.” And now I have a whole set of them that I can use in other places around the house.

8. This is a black and white photo of my husband and I.

9. I bought this camera print for my husband for Father’s Day several years ago on Joss & Main.  The frame is also from Aaron Brothers.

A couple other resources that I LOVE but did not use here- Naptime Diaries & Lindsay Letters.  I have some Naptime Diaries prints on their way for my stairwell gallery (see the video here) and I have used Lindsay Letters over and over for clients.  Just beautiful pieces!  She also has a line of things at Hobby Lobby that you may have seen before.

So there you have it… the gathering up of some random and colorful pieces from around my home to create this wall of art in my room.  It finally feels finished and like I place I actually want to hang out in. It doesn’t have be new, perfect, or like someone else’s idea of what a room “should” be.  Its our home, our style and its finally looking like it.

Thanks so much for reading!

Bethany

Continue Reading