Tag Archives | Decorating

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.

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

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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.

a-holly-mathis-studio

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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My Yearly DIY Post

I’m not a crafter and I don’t do much holiday decorating.  But there’s something about the crispness of fall that has me itching to create.  And I don’t mean creating gallery walls or moodboards or furniture layouts. I mean actually with my hands creating something.  Maybe it has something to do with being outside more?  I miss being outside so much during the oppressive heat of summer.  Lately I’m gazing at sunsets, watching the kids play in the yard, and hanging out on the porch.  Maybe that’s it?

watercolor-leaves-fall-diy

So I’ve found I’m in the kitchen more often, baking goodies that I normally would never be stirring up myself (my husband has the love of cooking in this family).  And last week I actually wandered around on that crafty aisle of Target looking for something fun to do with the kids.  I picked up this pad of punch out paper leaves and had no idea where it would take us.

watercolor-leaves2

My daughter LOVED it.  She worked on painting and coloring leaves for over an hour.  My littlest guy painted a few leaves.  I found myself painting leaf after leaf.  My oldest couldn’t have cared less.  Oh well, to each his own.

I didn’t have a plan for the leaves when we were finished with them, but the colors were so pretty and fall-ish that I was inspired to make a banner for the living room.  I roped some twine up there and used some masking tape to attach the leaves.  I love the organic color of the watercolor paints and how it just brings a little bit of festive whimsy to the room.  I’m sorry to say that this pad was on sale so I can’t find it online to share with you.  Maybe they still have it at your local Target if you’re interested. If not, you could use this template to print out your own, though that would involve a lot of cutting (not quite as fun and easy.)  Here are a few more simple/minimalist fall garlands that would be fun as well.

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I totally get how decorating for the seasons creates this cozy atmosphere and builds a sense of excitement, especially for kids.  But as a sort of minimalist and practicalist (I know that’s not a word), I often forget that.  I don’t like to have little vignettes of scarecrows and plastic pumpkins and hay bales around even though I LOVE the coziness of them when I walk into other people’s homes or little boutique shops.  I even study them in my friends’ homes (they don’t know I’m doing it or I would be like a weird stalker) because I’m trying to figure out how it looks so cozy.  I think it has something to do with using what you love in your own home.  Which might be why it doesn’t work for me.  When I bring in stuff that isn’t me or my style, it makes me feel cluttered in my brain.  I’ve tried and usually end up returning it or putting it in a Goodwill pile.

watercolor-leaves-diy-fall

My daughter on the other hand is constantly looking for a reason to decorate for an occasion or party.  I’m convinced she will one day have the coziest cutest house including scarecrows and hay bales that look adorably perfect for fall.  Anyway, I’m thinking I might ought to start taking her advice a little more often. She may want to paint the walls all pink though, haha.

watercolor-table-fall-pumpkin

So here’s my fall decor for this year- watercolor leaves, and you can see those little white pumpkins on the mantle too.  I picked those up from Trader Joe’s.  I also got one of the big “Cinderella” pumpkins to keep on the breakfast room table.

watercolor-leaves-mantle-fall-living-room

Cheers to the changing of the seasons, getting outdoors more, and creating a home you love, however that looks for you.

water-color-leaves-fall-mantle-diy

xoxo

Bethany

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Thoughts Lately

Hey guys, its been a while.  I’ve had some posts brewing in my mind lately but how to push past the months long hiatus without some kind of explanation?  I was a bit burned-out.  Feeling dry.    I realized I had let some things slide in my own household while I worked on other homes.  I grew discontent with my own home while I perused Pinterest in search of what would make certain rooms just “perfect.”  I over stuffed our closets and drawers, looked with angry eyes at our comfy old couch, and just plain forgot about my love of lighting candles and playing music in the house.  Its like I just forgot about the whole beauty and purpose thing.  It was weird and it wasn’t me.

The truth is I took a break this summer from most things “work” related.  I took on a few projects that were simple and enjoyable to me, like a precious miracle-baby’s gallery wall here…

baby-nursery

baby-nurserya

And I took on a few projects around our house that I had neglected that I do want to show you.  I pondered ideas about minimalism and how we stuff our lives with stuff that we don’t truly care about in order to fill some kind of hole within us and that this practice actually has a much wider negative impact than we ever imagined (here’s a simple explanation of the idea behind minimalism that I love from a blogger I love as well).

But in the meantime I rediscovered what got me started in this whole thing in the first place- my love of beauty and my love of home.  One of the things that really helped in my thought process was this article by Emily from Jones Design Company.  She had just returned from a months long road trip around the country, and after living in an airstream trailer with her family of five she was wondering how she’d feel about returning to all of their stuff.  Would she despise it and long for the simpler life on the road?  Would she give it all away?  Would stuff even matter anymore or would absolute minimalism be the way for her? Here are my favorite quotes from the article:

Our homes are here to serve us. They are meant to be a place of comfort, protection and joy. They are where we do life, where we invite others in, where we gather and grow. They are the backdrop of our lives and important ones at that.

The idea of minimalism has its benefits; there is much to be appreciated and adopted about a life free from excess…

But there is also nothing wrong with surrounding ourselves with the things we love and intentionally filling our homes with beauty…

The goal of our homes is to be comfortable, safe places where we want to spend time and invite others in. Is my house serving me in this way? Is yours?

That’s the important question.

Are our homes doing their job?

I know that everyone is different and after a life changing trip like that, many people will come to different conclusions.  But as a fellow lover of home as well as beautiful things (yes, things), I started looking around my home and wondering how I’d feel after a trip like that.  Would this place feel like home to me?  What were the things driving me crazy here and did I have control over them?  Just a few examples:  my crazy over-stuffed disorganized closets & drawers; my master bedroom that had become a holding place for junk; my living room rug that needed to be replaced; my eleven year old couch that’s a little frumpy and bursting at the seams, but seems to be like that comfy old pair of jeans.  What were the things I could accept and make better not by replacing but by changing my attitude about?  What would make sense to actually replace? What could I roll up my sleeves and do something about without necessarily spending money on but just putting in some old fashioned elbow grease?  What needed to be purged and how could I think even more intentionally about what I bring into our home?

I know I’ve talked about this before and maybe I talk about this a lot.  I guess its just something God is continuing to teach me: contentment is the theme here.  The last thing I need more and more of is stuff.  What I do need more and more of is gratitude, contentment, love, and joy.  These are what make home feel like home.

Thanks so much for reading.  I hope to be back here more and sooner this time. 🙂

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