May 2011

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2011.

Tommy Bahama

Five weeks ago a couple stopped into our store on a Sunday afternoon while Scott and I were working.  They had decided to update their master bedroom and bathroom.  They had started the project and had decided on the “look” they wanted but were stuck on how to implement their vision.

The couple wanted a “Tommy Bahama”/”Out of Africa” style bedroom.  They had already purchased the bed and some furniture pieces, but were unsure how to progress with the rest of the room.

Tommy Bahama

Photo from Lexington Furniture, Tommy Bahama Collection

out of africa living room

Photo screen shot from Out of Africa movie via Hooked on Houses

For me, it was a great conversation to have.  Living in Central Texas I get a lot of requests for the “Texas Tuscan” look.  But, having lived on both coasts, I have a special love for any design that incorporates a resort or beach style.

The couple called the next week to hire me to pull the room together, with the caveat that it be done in five weeks when out of town guests were coming.  Anyone in this business knows that can be a challenge, especially when the project involves customizing draperies, rugs and upholstery.  We met immediately at their home to discuss the project goals and take measurements and photos.  This is the state the room was in:

I pulled together a concept in one week and met with the couple to make their decisions.  I gave them three fabric schemes-(1) a navy, blue and white concept (similar to a Barclay Butera look), (2) a softer, watery palette with pale aqua, white and some florals, and (3) a little ‘Ralph Lauren’, with naturals, khakis and one of my favorite patterns, Schumacher’s Coconut Grove linen.  They selected the last option and we began implementing immediately.

One element that took the most upfront work was recommending items that were immediately available (had to be in stock and no possibility of backorders, which is really challenging when it comes to fabric these days).  There were a few hick-ups, the fan didn’t get shipped directly to their house, the bench fabric arrived at the upholsterer’s damaged and had to be replaced, the curtain fabric took almost two full weeks to get to the drapery workroom (forcing the workroom to rush), but in the end it all came together beautifully.

Balog Master Bedroom

This is what their bedroom looks like now.  The fantastic rug is from Merida.  It has great color and texture (a little grayish) and is not your typical sisal.  We did gauzy, unlined, draperies (5 panels) along the bay window.

Balog install_15

They have a cozy rattan chair for watching TV.  The wood side table is also a stool.

Balog install_17

Here you can see both of the natural sea fans which are mounted on linen.  They add great texture and are really unique.  The lamps have blown glass bases with iron accents and the shades are a crackle leather look.

Balog install_10

The husband has a dresser between the entry and bathroom.  We added a lamp with dimmer switch for soft lighting (I missed tucking that behind when I took the picture!).  The map picture lends to the ‘travelled’ look.  The tray has a reverse painted zebra pattern on the inset area.

The wall opposite the bed has a long dresser.  We placed a pair of large scale framed seashell prints to the left of the dresser.  The only thing left to do is to add the TV which will go between the hurricane and the orchid.

Balog install_18-1

Again, one last look at the finished room:

Balog Master Bedroom

When I left they said they felt like they were on HGTV.  It was a great treat to work with such nice people.  They were easy going, had a clear budget, made quick decisions and were just a wonderful couple to work with.  I hope you like their space as much as they do.  Who says you have to take a vacation to enjoy your room?  Make your space the way you want it to be, not the way you think it should be just because you live in a certain part of the country!

For those of you not immersed in the design world, did you realize there is a whole new category of design magazine out there?  It has been a tough few years… no more Cottage Living, no more House & Garden, no more Southern Accents.  Boy, do I miss them.  Luckily, a new genre has cropped up to help fill the holes these favorites left behind.

I love getting my home magazines in the mail.  I check the mail enthusiastically every day, hoping for a new home magazine.  I get them all.  The first to come is always the Architectural Digest, followed closely by Better Home & Gardens (I told you, I get them all!).  I slow walk reading these, knowing it will be a few more days until Coastal Living shows up.  

Luckily, we now have online magazines to fill the gap.  You don’t have to wait for the mail to arrive anymore!  While I miss lingering over the page when drinking a coffee or tearing out great ideas for my files, I still enjoy looking at the variety of pictures and stories from around the country.

Many of these magazines I would categorize as being a little more fashion forward or lifestyle skewed, than traditional magazines (other than Domino, which was one of the publications lost over the last couple of years).  If you loved Domino, you will love the new Lonny Magazine.

Lonny Magazine is an upbeat lifestyle magazine that is accessible and punchy.  The latest issue just launched on May 10th and is full of fun stories.  My favorite showcases their office remodel.  For those of you who think you can’t create a smashing workspace for a reasonable budget, there is a story in here for you. 

 Read the magazine:

Find out more about this magazine and the company on their website:

When I ask my clients what their favorite magazine is, hands down it is Traditional Home.  Traditional Home partnered with Lonny to produce a great online magazine: TradHome.  This ‘special edition’ magazine features the classic, quality look you get with Traditional Home, only slightly younger in vibe (no fussy trim or swags in this issue).  I highly recommend checking it out.

To read the magazine click here:

I really enjoyed the focus on ’20 New Traditional Designers’.  Having lived in California, I was excited to see Bonesteel Trout  Hall featured.  I have been looking at their work for several years and love the light, fresh California look.  I’ve also been admiring the work of Amy Morris in several issue of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine and it was great to see her recognized here.   Her look is classic and elegant.  Erika Powell, founder of Urban Grace is also highlighted.  Her’s was one of the first two blogs I found about 2 years (?) ago (Cote de Texas was the other) and I’ve been a fan ever since.  I love the coastal look and she accomplishes that while never looking themey or expected.  Her style just has class.  Never over the top or trendy, just impeccably put together.  I hope you enjoy reading the magazine as much as I did. 

 If you love luxury and glam living, you will love High Gloss magazine.  It is full of indulging eye candy. 

Paloma Contreras, Editor in Chief, has made it her mission to pull together a catalog of environments that are modern, chic and, above all, glamorous.  It has a unique style that really exemplifies living with panache!

Read it here:

Finally, Rue magazine is currently three issues young.  They are very electic in style– a little vintage, a little natural, focused on any kind of entertaining and, my favorite part, being positive.  It is too easy to be negative these days.  It just feels good to be around communications which are focused on improving life, not putting down oneself or others. 

You can read the latest issue of Rue Magazine by going here:

I hope this blog post will provide you with hours of entertainment while you wait for the postman to arrive with your latest home magazines!

I was lucky enough to spend this mother’s day with my mom and dad at their house.  My mom says it has been 15 years since we were actually together on a mom’s day.  Hard to believe time goes that quickly.   We used to live on opposite sides of the coast, but we now live with in two hours of each other, which makes it a lot easier for a quick day trip. 

My parents live in a small, Texas town about 2 hours from Dallas.  Their property is very interesting, with 2 historic buildings and a new, main residence that sits on a hill-top and has amazing views on all sides.  This is the view from the balcony behind the guest room.

The quest room where we stay is in the main house (there is a separate guest house with additional bedrooms).  It has a really nice feel: fresh, airy and welcoming.  I believe the toile fabric is from Schumacher.  It is a light green and cream color.

The powder bath down the hall is one of my favorite rooms.  It is beautifully put together.  It has lovely wallpaper, interesting sconces in dark, pewter iron with a couple of discrete crystals.  The sink basin sits in a great wood cabinet that was converted to hold a sink.  My mother has two long towel bars with antique towels on them.  Most of the towels she has collected from trips to the antique market at Round Top.

My mother has done a great job of ‘collecting’ items with character for her home.  This chandelier over her island was purchased in Houston.  It had hung in a historic hotel which closed it’s doors.  Having a retail store, I see a lot of chandeliers but I have not come across anything with the patina of this one.

Their home is full of original art- oils, watercolors and sketches.  Most of the art is from western artists and depicts landscapes, horses and cattle.  My favorite painting happens to be one that came from Brazil.  It’s colors are so vibrant.  It is probably not something I would have chosen for myself, but it is one of those paintings that just draws you in.  I don’t know the artist or the background, but you can see the intensity of the color in the picture below.

At the bottom of the hill on their property are two interesting out-buildings.  The first is a small, historic home which was on the property when my parents purchased it years ago.  They renovated the home and received the “Bosque County Historical Preservation Award” for their efforts.

My parents lived in this old farmhouse for about 9 months while they built the house they live in now.  It is the quintessential farmhouse with white siding, metal roof, windmill and deep front porch.

Across the street (but part of the same property) is an old gas station.  No one in town can recall when it was built, but most people say the early 1930s.  My father remembers stopping there when he was about 6 years old in the early forties.  You could buy gasoline, a loaf of bread, and rumor has it, boot leg liquor out of the back door if the shop owner knew you. 

My parents purchased this parcel of land from Foster Cherry, who lived in Austin.  Foster inherited the land from his parents.  Foster Cherry was, at one time, the Chief Attorney for John Connally, who was once the Governor of Texas, as well as Secretary of the Navy under John F. Kennedy and Secretary of the Treasury under Nixon.

My mom and dad restored the gas station, which was still in good condition.  The gas pump to the side is not original.  When my parents undertook the renovation of the property, a local friend gave to them an old gas pump that had been on her property and had belonged to her grandfather.  The pump was rusted and in quite bad condition.  The pump was sent to a restoration company in Lake Whitney for repair and now it looks brand new.  Unfortunately, the pump had to be placed behind plexiglass due to high levels of theft and vandalism.  You can see the bright color (which is supposed to be similar to what it was originally) and the attention to the character and design of the pump.  You don’t see that in today’s industrial-looking, functional-only gas pumps.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing these photos from a small town in Clifton, TX.  Hit the ‘subscribe’ button for this blog to be notified of  future interesting home and design stories.

Hello!  We have joined the party and are, hopefully just, fashionably late.  After repeated encouragements to get the store on Facebook and talk about ongoing projects I am ready to dedicate the time to share what is going on in our world. 

Being open 7 days a week, life at the store is always busy.  Interior design business has skyrocketed and my long distance project (in Montana) is at its busiest time, less than 6 weeks to completion.  Even with all these activities, it is important to take the time and reflect on what is inspiring us at the store and in the home. 

Today, I am thinking about growing up in the South and spending those hot days drinking refreshing Southern Sweet Tea.  In this month’s Southern Living they had a recipe for sweet tea and it was so easy I decided to go ahead and make it.  I can’t remember the last time I had ‘real’ sweet tea, not the kind you get in a can or a bottle filled with chemical sweeteners and preservatives.  It was such a treat to have the real thing.  It made me think of running around summer cottages with screen doors banging and rockers swinging on the front porch.  Times when families were at home together and spent hours just hanging out with no distractions, other than each other.  This weekend, take the time to just ‘hang out’ with friends, family and especially moms.  Enjoy the fresh air, the sunshine,  the front porch and each other. 

Southern Living Magazine, Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell