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Gettin’ Down to Bidness

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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.

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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.

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

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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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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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 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!
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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!
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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.
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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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Weekend Reading: Favorites From Around the Web

Happy Friday!  Will you be Christmas decorating this weekend or do you wait until after Thanksgiving?  We are strict waiters around here because we love to cut down a fresh tree either the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving. I also start to feel a little crazy when the Christmas decor has been out for too long so in order for it to keep some of its magic I wait.  Anyone else get overstimulated by the extra stuff in your house or is that just me?

So since I’m not preparing for Christmas decorating, I’m doing some weekend reading and catching up with some of my favorite blogs.  I thought I’d share with you a few of my recent finds…

First off…

We Are More Than the Worst Thing We’ve Done by Jamie Ivey

Jamie Ivey

Next, The Nester made a video about sofa styling!  She talks about pattern and texture and how your throw and your pillows and your couch are like three friends working together.  Love it. Check out her post and cute video here.

Style a Sofa You Hate

Oh and speaking of Christmas, have you seen this video from Ikea (of all places??)?  A good reminder as we enter this season.  Warning, get your tissues out for this one!

Do you read Design Mom?  She does these wonderful Living with Kids home features and her latest one is one of my favorites.  Aside from having a beautiful home, the family featured also has a greenhouse that their kids use for painting and art. What an amazing spot to allow for creativity and not have to worry about cleaning up the mess!  Find the rest of the tour here.

Greenhouse

Lastly, I am just in love with this window seat and built-in reveal by Brit over at House Updated.  Check out her post here that gives lots more pictures and all the details of this beautiful space in her living room.  While you’re at it check out the rest of her blog, too, she’s got some great stuff happening!

House Updated

That’s it for now.  Whether you’re Christmas decorating or not this weekend, I hope you have a great one!

xoxo

Bethany

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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.

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

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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.

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(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?

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Weekend Reading- Favorites from Around the Web

Happy Saturday!  We are quickly gearing up for the first day of school around here, but I thought I’d share some of my favorite links with you for your weekend reading.

I am LOVING this before and after post from Amber Interiors.  Here’s my favorite room in the house.  I love the white walls and bold rug.  That antique kilim is so cool and unique, but wouldn’t have been big enough for the space by itself.  The best solution is to layer it over a larger natural fiber rug.  I just love that look and really this whole house is so right up my alley!

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Here’s another fun and colorful house for you.  My friend and I were recently comparing Pinterest boards- hers is FULL of color, and mine is quite neutral (surprise, surprise, ha!).  She described her style as boho-farmhouse and I just LOVE that description. I started doing a little searching and found this gem.  Click here to see the full tour. 

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Now, have I ever told you about my love for Lauren Liess?  She’s one of my favorite designers and her style is so unique and I feel like I can pick it out anywhere.  She and her husband are currently looking for a new home to move to and rennovate with their four children and they came across this amazing old fixer upper.  It ultimately is not going to work out for what they need but the way she describes it and the vision she has for it in this post is just inspiring!  You can see what this home was meant to be through her eyes.  I don’t think I would have the guts to take on a project like that, but there is something wonderful about bringing back to life something that was once thriving.  And how about that kids’ play castle with the working drawbridge?? My jaw dropped when I saw it.

Lauren Liess

 

Next on the list- I’ve got a gallery wall tutorial video in the works for my subscribers and I can’t wait to share it with you! In the meantime though, I am planning and hanging my stairway gallery wall (see before pictures here) and looking for beautiful and meaningful art to use.  Have you see the Naptime Diaries shop?  Every print and canvas is just stunning.  I think this one is my favorite.

Naptime Diaries Print

Do you read The Nesting Place?  She’s one of my favorite bloggers and recently moved into an old fixer upper out in the country.  Here’s a look at her boys’ bathroom before & in progress and I am just loving how it is coming along.  That mirror, the sconces, the planked ceiling!  So great.

The Nester's Bathroom

Lastly, do you listen to podcasts?  I recently discovered Jamie Ivey’s Happy Hour podcast and it is so much fun!  Each week she interviews different women- her friends, authors, bloggers, small business owners- and they talk about everything. It ranges from deep things like spiritual things, motherhood, being a wife, a believer, etc to what they’re currently reading, watching on TV, favorite brand of lip gloss, pair of shoes, everything!  Its like a fun conversation with your closest girlfriends and I end up inspired and encouraged every time.  I listen to it while I’m driving, folding laundry, whatever.  Actually the other day while my littlest was napping, I cleaned out my entire closet while listening to her most recent episode, ha!  You’ve really got to check it out.  My favorite episodes so far are the ones with Emily Lex from Jones Design Company, Jen Hatmaker, and Susie Davis.

The Happy Hour

That’s it for now. Hope you have a great weekend!  Its going to be a bit of an emotional one for us- our daughter is starting Kindergarten on Monday!  Our oldest is in second grade so it feels a little bit easier this second time around, but I think I’m still in a bit of denial and its not going to hit me until Monday morning!!  Anyone else know what I mean???  Say a prayer for me if you think about it. 😉

Thanks for reading, Happy Saturday.

xoxo

Bethany

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Home Feature: Libbie Grove Design

The other day I went to buy some jewelry and look at kids’ clothes for sale at a friend of a friend’s house.  As soon as I walked in the door though, I wasn’t looking at jewelry and clothes, I was asking if I could take pictures of her amazing gallery wall.  I had met her before but had no idea she was a talented artist and gifted designer.  Turns out she has a blog too!  She graciously let me feature her home here and use the pictures from her blog rather than the terrible iPhone pictures I had taken while there.  This is some serious eye candy, my friends!  She has a great sense of scale and color.  I love her creativity and use of space!!

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Here is that gallery wall that took my breath away in the living room.  Just beautiful!!  I also spy my favorite Ikea blanket.gallerywall girlsroom girlsroom2 kitchen kitchen2 library library2 Livingroom office

You can see much more on her blog at Libbie Grove Design.  She is also a talented graphic designer and has some great printables. She told me she hasn’t blogged in a while, but her current posts are so wonderful and worth a look, I think you’ll enjoy them!!

Thank you Kristy for letting me feature your home, and thank you everyone for reading! <3

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