Tag Archives | Gallery Wall

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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House Goals, 2016

Are you one to make New Year’s Resolutions? I admit I’m not big on them.  I stopped several years ago because I hated the let-down when I realized mid-January I wasn’t following through. I’m not a big goals person either, which sounds so weird and lazy to say out loud.

I’m more of a list maker, so I guess maybe I like to live more day to day.  That at least sounds nicer, doesn’t it? I want to embrace the now. I’m blogging and working now because its something that I enjoy now. But where will this take me in 10 years? What’s my long term business plan? I have no idea. And I’m okay with that at this point in my life.

But every year around this time, after sweeping up the Christmas tree remnants and packing up the ornaments, I get this intense desire to get my house in order. I want to clean, I want to organize.  I want to get it all straightened out. There have just been some nagging tasks that I’d really like to get to, but for whatever reason, I just haven’t. They’ve bugged me for a while and a few of them I could knock out in an hour or two.  So why haven’t I done something about them? Can anyone relate?

So now that I have this blog, this space to talk about all things house-related, I figured its a good a time to make some goals for this year in my home.

1. Kitchen Hardware

Kitchen Hardware
To start off, I’ve got a couple of spots in the kitchen where the cabinet hardware does not line up with the original holes. So we screwed in the top but not the bottom. Drives.me.nuts. Apparently its an easy fix. Why haven’t we done it? Oh… life, how it gets in the way sometimes.

2.  The Junk Drawers

Junk Drawer 1

Junk Drawer 2

I think its safe to say that these have gotten slightly out of control.  Oh and there’s a whole junk closet too that I chose not to take a picture of for your sake.  You’re welcome.

3. The Gallery Wall

Gallery Wall 1

Gallery Wall 2

Gallery Wall 3

Its been months since I hung up this gallery wall.  I’ve still got a few blank spaces as you can see.  I recently picked up a few new prints, but I need to get some mattes cut and its just going to take some figuring out.  So, that’s a goal.

4. The Bathroom

Master Bathroom

We have decided this will be the year of the master bathroom reno.  And not only that but also changing the flooring in our other two bathrooms as well.  We are still not exactly sure what’s going to happen in here and how it will end up, but I’m definitely planning & dreaming.

So how about you?  Got any house goals for the year?  Does January make you want to start fresh and get some organizing done?  Do you have any small nagging tasks that just need some attention?  I’d love to hear from you!

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HandUp Global Goods Office Design

Office Design // The House of Figs

Now that I’ve shared with you about this nonprofit that has stolen my heart (missed that post?  read about it here) I wanted to show you how HandUp Global Good’s office design came together.  Here’s the original design board I created for it.

HUGG Design Board

I was going for a modern global feeling that was also light and bright.  We did make a few changes along the way that worked well for the function of the office, but I was so pleased to see how it turned out.

HUGG Office // The House of Figs

Please take note of the amazing original old wooden floors!  How gorgeous are those??  The gallery wall above the desks includes functional pieces like a dry erase board and a cork board but also some inspiration like this map of Haiti and a few prints from Lindsay Letters.  One says “Live Creatively” and another one “Be Brave.”

HUGG Office // The House of Figs

This company is giving sustainable work to former street children in Haiti that are aging out of an orphanage.  The young men are skilled artisans being paid a fair wage to make beautiful bracelets.  Read more about it (and even see a short video if you want!) on their website here.HUGG Office // The House of Figs

Everyone I know who works stateside for HUGG is incredibly passionate and has been to Haiti several times.  They know these hard working young men personally and have come to love them dearly.

HUGG Office // The House of Figs

Its been a huge blessing to me to discover this company and I knew I wanted to be involved somehow.

Office Design // The House of Figs

They don’t currently have necklaces for sale, but I have it on good authority that there are more beautiful things coming… check out this gorgeousness they have on display!

HUGG Office WM_2

HUGG // The House of Figs

Office Design // The House of Figs

This is a fantastic company doing great things.  Looking for some meaningful Christmas gifts that can make a difference in someone’s life this year?  Look no further than HandUp Global Goods. I’ve already been checking a few things off my list. 🙂  Happy Monday!

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Rethinking Home with the Domestic Fashionista

I get so excited when I have the chance to connect with and “meet” bloggers doing great things on their blogs and in their homes.  Ashley is no exception to that.  I was first drawn to her beautiful instagram feed and quickly realized she had some great stuff happening over at her blog too that went along so well with my Rethinking Home series.  She was kind enough to let me show you some pictures of her gorgeous home and also share with us her philosophy and heart behind it all in a little interview.  So without further delay, meet the Domestic Fashionista

Hi! Tell us a little about yourself, your home, your family, and your blog!
Hi, I am Ashley and I blog over at Domestic Fashionista where I share about “creative homemaking for the modern day woman”!  My husband, Brent, and I have been married for six years where we have been living in our current home.  I work from home taking care of my two nephews and blogging.
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At Domestic Fashionista my goal is to share creative but realistic solutions for the everyday woman who desires to bring tangible beauty into their life and home.  I desire to encourage women to take care of their home in a way that is meaningful and a blessing to others.Domestic Fashionista 6
How would you describe your approach to decorating?
Over the past six years I have experienced many different approaches to decorating my home.  When we first got married I took anything that I could get for free and re-purposed it to work for our home.  Many of those side of the road and hand me down items are still in our home today even though my decorating style is completely different! Domestic Fashionista 1 I believe in having a few core neutral bones to the house – a great couch or dining table.  From there the design of my home can change with simple accessories or DIY projects without breaking the bank!  While I love to read home design blogs, I try really hard to focus in on what I specifically like and not get pulled into every new trend.
Domestic Fashionista 12
I am currently focused on purging my home and having more minimal but large impact decor.  I found that I was tired of always tidying my home and so I have decided to pull back and have fewer items that I really love.  I am currently turning my design style towards colonial interiors.  I really love the timeless and simplistic European feel.
Domestic Fashionista 14
You mention “life after purging” in many of your recent posts.  Tell us about that big purge- when did you do it?  What led you to it? 
I undertook a big purge this summer after reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and as a result, much of my decor changed.  I was getting rid of things and moving stuff around which forced me to reevaluate everything.
Domestic Fashionista 2
 While I did not bring anything new into my home, things started to look different.  I wanted to show what life after purging looked like – a still personal and welcoming home, just with less stuff!
Domestic Fashionista 5
I love how you recently rethought the layout of your home and shared it on your blog.  You swapped your dining room and your living room!  Tell us about that change, what led you to make it, and how its been working for you and your family!
It seems that one thing always leads to another!  After I had new eyes for all my stuff – Do I really need this?  Is it meaningful? – I started asking similar questions about my home.  Just because the previous dining room and living room set up seemed like an obvious choice from the beginning, I started to question how they functioned.  Domestic Fashionista 4I wondered if we could be using the individual rooms more often and more efficiently if I made the change.  I was letting outside opinions and design rules I had read bout make the decisions of how I used my home.  Instead I realized that I am actually the one who gets to decide these things and I wanted my home to work for me and my unique family situation!
Domestic Fashionista 7
Where do you like to shop for your home?
My favorite places to shop for my home are TJ-Maxx and HomeGoods.  I love that I can find quality items at a reduced cost. I also have grown fond of collecting things for my home when we travel.  Much of the art on my walls has been collected from different places we have visited and I love that it tells the story of places we have been in a fun way.Domestic Fashionista 9
Where do you find inspiration?  Other bloggers or books, etc?
I look to inspiration everywhere!  Like most women these days I love blogs, magazines, and Pinterest!  These are great for putting together design boards and focusing in on what style I am trying to achieve.  But I also take a lot of inspiration from traveling, homes in my own neighborhood, and hotels.  There is something about experiencing a space in real life versus seeing it in a photo.  Experiencing unique architecture, boutique hotels, and real life homes makes me feel something.  I take note of how beauty can wow me or how perfectly fitted sheets can feel so luxurious.  I not only want my home to be pretty, but I desire it to have a certain feeling.
Domestic Fashionista 10
Thank you so much, Ashley!!  
Doesn’t she have a beautiful home? I love how she rethought her home to work for her and didn’t worry about anyone else’s opinion.  I also love the philosophy of not just wanting a pretty home but looking to create an authentic feeling as well.  Her big purge has me inspired, too.  I totally relate to the feeling of being tired of tidying up my home! Has anyone else read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up?  I’ve been hearing good things about it but honestly, it scares me a little, haha!
I’d love for you to leave Ashley some comment love and then go check out her blog at Domestic Fashionista
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Chair Rails Don’t Have Feelings

Dining Room // The House of Figs

Today I’m sharing some new dining room photos with you because I updated that gallery wall.  The pictures in it were pretty outdated.  Plus I had been wanting to change it for a while, the style of it just wasn’t me- I hung those items when we first moved in, just to kind of get something on the wall, using what we had from our last house.  Over time though, with learning my style a little more and experimenting and hearing this house “speak” to me I wanted a little more of a modern feeling in that room.  You can see what it looked like before here.

So its a little more colorful now, with more clean and straight lines, and anchored by that large piece that says “Life is Beautiful.”

The House Of Figs 8

We have what I feel like is a basic suburban 90s floor plan.  The entry way opens to a formal dining room and then leads into an open kitchen and living room.  There’s nothing really custom or unique about it. When we had the floors put in we had the baseboards replaced with taller and more simple ones and I love the slightly custom feeling that gives the house.  The chair rail was already there though and had been originally painted a bright glossy white while the rest of the dining room was painted a different color.

Chair Rails Don't Have Feelings// The House of Figs

Honestly though, I didn’t love that chair rail.  I love woodwork and craftsman detailing, but this chair rail feels wimpy to me and like it didn’t really deserve to stand out on its own.  Sorry ’bout ya chair rail, but I’m just speaking the truth. Painting it white would have drawn attention to the fact that it was really just a builder grade wannabe trying to be custom.  Ouch, am I being harsh?  Its okay, chair rails don’t have feelings, I promise.  So we just decided to paint it all the same color as the wall.  Paul thought I was a little crazy at first when I suggested it but I found some inspiration pictures with similar looks and he went for it.  I love the effect it created.  We still get to see  the architectural detailing, but its not this wimpy white line across the room.  Dining Room // The House of Figs

Are you thinking of  doing something a little “out there” in your house but afraid of how it might turn out or how its a little different from the norm? Just remember- chair rails don’t have feelings!  Neither do walls or windows or tables (even antique ones) or couches or photographs or books or pillows.  We are the ones with the feelings and we get to decide what happens in our homes.  Go forth, be brave, and offend all those inanimate objects.  Maybe its time to say goodbye to some of them or recover them or repaint them.  They truly won’t care, I promise, and it just might be worth the risk!!

Dining Room // The House of Figs

xoxo

Bethany

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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

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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

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