Tag Archives | Decorating

Farmhouse Update & a Link for your Weekend!

I’m already back! Its because I really did want to share those farmhouse pictures I mentioned from Monday.  I’ve been working on this house since January and learning so much as I go. It was just the  foundation and the studs when I joined the project so its been incredible to see it come to life.  There are still many small details (some missing hardware, light fixtures, and then of course the finishing touches at the end), plus many larger details (a vent hood, furniture, and artwork) still to go.  But we have come a long way and to stop and look back at this point to breathe and appreciate where we are is really a great feeling!

Also, just one more thing before tomorrow that I hinted at earlier this week.  My friend Kelly over at Carried by Love is hosting a new series about Contending for the Faith and has invited several bloggers to write throughout the month of October.  She shared her heart about it here live on Facebook yesterday kind of introducing the series and then tomorrow I’m her first guest blogger!  I would love for you to check it out even though *gulp* its incredibly vulnerable and I probably will be experiencing some kind of vulnerability hangover tomorrow after its published.  So if you know me in real life, you’ll understand why I’m leaving town at 4am in the morning. Haha!  Just kidding.

But in all seriousness, I think its going to be a really great series so I would love for you to check it out here and subscribe to Kelly’s blog here so you won’t miss any of the posts.  She even has a FREE CUTE PRINTABLE to print out and frame!!  If you go over to her blog, you’ll find a link to download it and print.By the way, since apparently I’m blogging again, if you have not subscribed to my blog and would like to receive my posts directly in your inbox, I’d love for you to sign up for that here!  Thanks so much for reading!

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The Big Farmhouse Project

Hey there!  Long time no blog!  Its been busy around here and, today I just want to pop in and share the progress on a BIG project I’ve been working on.

This is the house from the back- beautiful brick with white siding.  The left portion of the house was built several years ago and then recently relocated on the property and the rest of the house was added on.

With the outside finished and the drywall up we are now in the process of finalizing all of the flooring, kitchen & bathroom selections, and paint colors.

Here is the Great Room.

This is more of a cozy family room right off the kitchen called the Hearth Room.

Master Bathroom:

I’ve had paint, tile, quartz, and wallpaper samples all over the place and we have narrowed in on a look.  Modern farmhouse is the goal; warm & timeless and a little bit global chic.

Its a big project for me and I’m learning so much as I go about the building process as well as focusing in on a look with using actual samples rather than just working with pictures online.  I’ve been studying Maria Killam’s True Color Expert series through her blog & e-books… any fans out there??…. and learning SO much that’s applicable to my work right now.  I’m studying different shades of white, undertones, etc.  My brain is working overtime but it has been so rewarding and exciting when I see it start to come together!

I will for sure share more as this project comes to life but just wanted to pop in today to show you what’s been going on!  Follow this project on my Instagram with the hashtag #middlebrookfarm!

xoxo

Bethany

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Current Inspiration

So I haven’t blogged in a while. But I’m still around, I’m still here! And its actually because I’ve been working more!  You may remember I took last year to kind of decide where I was headed with this design business thing. I took a class that led to all sorts of inspiration. I was doing lots of small consults, one room at a time kind of work.

This year I find myself with two big full house projects happening at once and a couple more waiting in the wings. They are both with dream clients and I’m learning so much as I work, pushing my boundaries further and further into areas that have intimidated me in the past. I’m loving it and finding the courage that I can do this.

The community of support I found in taking that class has really helped, along with a few more connections I’ve made since then.  I think I felt isolated a lot last year, wondering if I was actually doing this thing the right way.  Its nice to have community.   Plus, Paul is my constant encouragement and support- he has always believed in me and never once doubted even when I’m doubting myself.  Its amazing to have support like that.

Anyway, that’s enough for now about where I’ve been. I thought I’d share today a bit of what’s inspiring me lately for these projects…

First up this beautiful shot of a project by Marie Flanigan Interiors.  I love the contrast of light and dark.  All the different textures, wood tones, subtle pattern.  Its modern and traditional at the same time.

marie-flanagan-interiors

Next, are you familiar with Addison’s Wonderland?  She has an incredibly unique older home that they renovated and it is just bursting with pattern and color.  I love how she uses white walls to balance her love of color.  I also love all the brass and the black vent hood and ceiling in the living room picture below.

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addisons-wonderland

This kitchen is majorly inspiring me for a project I’m working on.  Especially that deep green cabinetry.  Green is the thing right now and Studio McGee does it right in this gorgeous kitchen.  I also love all the mixed metals and warm wood tones.

mcgee-kitchen

Here’s another beautiful use of a deep green in this bedroom from Traditional Home.

trad-home

And lastly, if you follow my Instagram stories, you saw that my old kitchen faucet broke last week. We’ve replaced it temporarily with a $17 one from Home Depot while I research and figure out what the permanent solution will be.  Meanwhile I’m all eyes for the art in this kitchen from Domino.  And you know I’m talking about that faucet:

domino

So that’s what’s up for now.  Follow me on Pinterest if you’d like to see more of the inspiration for these projects!

xoxo

Bethany

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My Winter Living Room

The House of Figs Winter Living Room

We’ve been busy trying to stay warm and get back to routine over here. I shared on Instagram last week that I always struggle with getting back to regular life after the holidays.  We’ve just spent so many days cozied up with our little family and then to see them all spread out in their separate directions again is tough.  It won’t be long before we’re stretched thin again and running around in every direction and I don’t like that.  Paul said its because its been easy to do the good stuff of life- to slow down, get a good night’s sleep, to read a book, to love our kids well, have great and deep conversations, play games and laugh together.  We’ve been anticipating and then celebrating God with us.  We’ve been giving gifts and receiving gifts with love and thankfulness.  We’ve been easily enjoying the very best and most important parts of life lately and now we have to go back to fighting for them.

I love how he put that because it reminds me to fight for those things.  To not just go back to the sometimes status quo of busy-ness and endless activity filled days.  To continue to fight for rest, laughter, joy.

So for these south Texans, these last few icy days have been just what we’ve needed: to huddle up and stay in for a while.  To sit around the fire under some blankets.  I’m not quite ready to jump back in to real life and am happy to enjoy the warmth of the fire a little while longer.

The House of Figs

While I did already put away the Christmas decorations, I’ve left up our greenery on the bookshelves.  It adds a little winter coziness and I always love bringing the outdoors in.  They are totally crispy and dry, but up so high that no one is bumping into them or causing needles to fall.

The House of Figs Winter Living Room

I found the blanket you see above at Target. Its actually meant for a twin size bed- which means much bigger and cozier than your average throw.  Perfect for afternoon napping and movie-watching cuddling.  I’m keeping books and magazines out in hopes that we’ll all keep reaching for them, and then I still have my morning spot that I love so much.

The House of Figs

The House of Figs

A comfy place to sit, lots of layers & textures, a big cozy blanket, and good books to read: that’s a recipe for a great winter living room in my opinion.

The House of Figs My Winter Living Room

The House of Figs

The House of Figs Winter Living Room

So that’s our winter living room.  Not a huge change, but just little ways I cozy it up to encourage continued rest and togetherness after the holidays are over.

Here’s a list of the sources in my living room:

Coffee Table: West Elm

Sectional: Unavailable, but find similar ones here.

Rug: Rugs USA

Blanket: Target

Pillows: Target & Pottery Barn & Etsy

Shelves behind couch: Ikea Hemnes

Pouf: Amazon

Paint Color: Olympic Willow Springs

Shades: Select Blinds

Curtains: Ikea Ritva

Do you change up your living room in the winter, after the Christmas decor comes down? Do you struggle with going back to routine like I do?

Happy New Year!  Stay warm, my friends!

xoxo Bethany

 

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Gettin’ Down to Bidness

a-holly-mathis-office

Saturday I drove to Brenham for Holly Mathis Interiors’ Creative Business class.  I spent the day in Brenham at her studio and then at her home for some serious inspiration and education from Holly herself.  I met a ton of other women at all different stages of doing this decorating/styling thing and the whole thing was EXACTLY what I needed.  It was like encouragement, inspiration, and a kick in the pants all wrapped in one.

First of all, walking into her studio space is inspiration in itself.  I couldn’t stop taking pictures of everything.  She’s dabbling in retail as well (her words) so it doubles as a cute little boutique: designer pillows, candles, local art, etc.

a-holly-mathis-pillows

And now I’m kicking myself- why oh why did I not come home with one of those designer pillows??

a-holly-mathis-gallery-wall

We sat down at chippy farmhouse tables with perfectly imperfect mismatched chairs to scones & pastries on blue & white china with mimosas and coffee.  We each (there were about 15 of us) had our own spot with a hand written name card that was actually the envelope for a letter from Holly and then our notebooks chock full of info and space for note taking.

a-holly-mathis-table

After introductions and a first session, we carpooled up and headed to Holly’s house for lunch.  We got to tour her house and also it was a great time to chat and find out how others in the business are doing things.  What program do they use for moodboards, how do they address pricing, how do they access “to the trade” sources, etc.  My big question was “What is the Dec Center and how do I get in??” Some of you may be laughing at me and some of you may also have no idea what this is.  It was just great because I could totally be myself and open about what I do and do not know about this business.

I’ll show you a few pictures of her house.  Of course it was adorable in every way.  It was recently photographed for a magazine due to come out in the spring I think.

a-holly-mathis-living-room

a-holly-mathis-kitchen

a-holly-mathis-boys-room

a-holly-mathis-porch

Here we are in the kitchen, spilling out into the foyer as Holly prayed before lunch.

a-holly-mathis-prayer

I loved how open she was about her faith.  If you’ve ever read her blog, you know this about her- that its a big part of her business. It was just great to hear her encouragement- to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and to pray, pray, pray.  She was also incredibly authentic and down to earth.  I loved that so much.

After lunch we headed back to the studio eager to learn more and ask a million questions.  For me, the best part was the information about making myself a “real” business.  I’ve struggled with fear and intimidation about a lot of that and have just sort of taken things as they’ve come rather than going about this in a proactive, intentional way.  I’ve got some goals for The House of Figs.  And that doesn’t necessarily mean growing and being busier… for now at least.  It just means getting some things organized and made official, not being intimidated by the whole “to the trade” thing, and starting to see myself as a real business owner.

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a-holly-mathis-workspace

a-holly-mathis-selfie

So in the words of Holly’s brother (did you know he’s Jimmy Don from Fixer Upper?  He makes all of Joanna’s metal signs!) It’s time to “git down to bidness!”

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

xoxo Bethany

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The Holly Mathis Creative Class

This Saturday I’m continuing my journey in learning more about business that I discussed in my last post.  I’m taking a class.  I’ve taken classes before- online.  In fact building this blog was part of a class I took through Jones Design Company.  But this class will be in the flesh and I will get to meet and learn from someone who’s work I’ve admired for a long time… and all in the atmosphere of this beautiful studio space.

holly-mathis-studio-space

Holly Mathis is an interior decorator who has her own shop in Brenham, TX.  I’ve followed her blog for a long time and can’t tell you how many of her images I’ve pinned over the years.  She has a way with fabric, pattern, rugs, and just knows how to create a beautiful classic Southern aesthetic.

holly-mathis-kitchen-design

And Saturday I get to spend all day with her!!!  Well, me and like 10 other people.  I’ll be learning from her in her studio and then we will have lunch at her house.

holly-mathis-nursery

Amidst taking down notes like a crazy person I will for sure be snapping away photos as well.  I’ll also try to do some insta-stories so you can catch my real-time excitement, though I’ll do my best to reign in the star-struckness and play it cool.  If I can, haha.  But in all seriousness, I’m excited to meet others on this journey, to learn and be encouraged about how to do this small business thing well and intentionally.  And hopefully get some questions answered about how the decorating/design business world actually works.

holly-mathis-study

Follow along with me on instagram if you’re not already.  And I’ll be sure to blog about it afterward as well.  Here’s to learning and growing and meeting others on this journey as well!

xoxo Bethany

 

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Fear vs. Ambition vs. All or Nothing Thinking

Aka the world’s longest blog post title.

I get asked a lot how my business is going.  I so appreciate friends being interested in my work!  And my answer varies.  In fact, sometimes I’m not really sure how to answer.  I do still take clients and I do still work.  My littlest guy is in school two days a week now so that has opened up some time to work.  Its also shown me that I don’t enjoy working the entire time he’s at school and that for my own sanity I enjoy taking some of that time to do other things like grocery shop and clean my house, listen to podcasts & music, or just watch tv.  I know that all of this is a complete luxury and for that I’m very grateful.  Not all women have the option of choosing when and how much to work and I’m aware of that.  So I say all of this out of that knowledge and with a grateful heart of the situation I’m in.

gallery-wall-layout

A gallery wall layout I’ve been working on with a client.


Sometimes I wonder why I haven’t pursued my business more, why I haven’t taken it “to the next level.”  Why don’t I feel a drive to grow my client base, make things more “official,” etc?  Some of it, I think for sure, is a little bit of fear.  I don’t actually know much of anything about business.  I know what I’ve taught myself about design, I know what I love to do, and that’s about it.  I struggle with pricing myself and how much my service should be worth.  I struggle at times with “selling” my ideas and my view of design because I truly believe it is SO subjective.

I admire my favorite designers like Lauren Liess, Shea McGee, Emily Henderson.  They all work so hard and have such a defined style and client base.  I wonder about what it must take to get to that point.  What kind of ambition, sacrifices, hours of hard work, constant learning from mistakes, networking, etc has it taken?

I told myself at the beginning of this year when my littlest started preschool I was going to take the year to decide if I was really going to “go for it” in that sense.  That I would pray, work, use the year to educate myself in the business world some and then decide: will I go for it or will I just stop? I’ve spent so long just sort of awkwardly wavering in between.  Always on the edge of fear and ambition.

playroom-design

A playroom/homeschool moodboard currently in process.

And so I have done exactly that over the past few months.

I’ve prayed, I’ve read, I’ve taken on some new projects, I even signed up for a design business class with Holly Mathis (another designer who’s work I truly admire!!) that will happen later this month.  More on that later, for sure.

And now I find myself in a little different mindset: does it really have to be all or nothing?

I read Present over Perfect recently (more on that later, too) and I resonated with so much of it.  If you’ve read it you know it speaks a lot to the workaholic (which I am not).  But it also speaks to remembering to be present in the moments when you’d rather distract or numb.  I can often find myself being lazy and/or afraid, desiring to numb rather than face whatever’s really going on.  And that distracts from my goal of doing this work thing intentionally.  That’s the word that’s coming to me in this season.  That’s how I desire this to be whether its small or big or nothing at all.  Whatever it is, I want it to be thoughtful and intentional.  Not haphazard and certainly not motivated by fear.

guestroom-design

A simple neutral guest room also in process right now.

So for now I work in a small way.  And I’m discovering thats okay.  It doesn’t mean I’m afraid.  I can work in confidence and take on what I feel capable taking on.  I want to take on what is good for our family and then say no.   I’m still learning how that looks for now, but anyway, that’s the long answer to “how’s your work going?” in case you ever wondered. 🙂

If you’ve read this far, you get a trophy now.  Thanks, friends, I’ll be back soon.

xoxo Bethany

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