The Client Experience | The Patel Family

Today we are visiting with the Patel family.  Aari & Purav reached out to us to help them with their new home.  When they bought it, it was stuck in the 80s and needed a facelift to really reflect their style & needs.  The project started with a renovation---new kitchen layout, flooring throughout, closing up a niche in the wall, adding a dramatic feature to the fireplace, along with updating bathrooms & bedrooms.  We did the renovation part of the project through edesign. Once they got their design boards for the renovation, they gave it to their contractor who got to work.  


After our initial consultation in their home we got to work creating design boards for them. We did the renovation part of the project through edesign, which means, we picked out selections, created new a new kitchen layout & they over saw the construction part of the process.  Once they got their design boards for the renovation, they gave it to their contractor who got to work.  



Once their renovation was complete then we started on the furniture & decor.  This was fun because the Patel's love pops of bright colors.  We used some of what they had & then we brought in all the finishing touches.  We absolutely love the way it all turned out, but let's hear what Aarti & Purav have to say. 


Please describe your home before working with Southern Farmhouse Designs. What was your main problem with your home that caused you to hire a designer/decorator? What did you want or need for the space? 

The house was built in 2000 and had a late 90s style. We planned on renovating and needed help creating a cohesive vision for the spaces.


How did you find Southern Farmhouse Designs? And why did you choose to work with us on your project? 

Southern Farmhouse Designs was recommend by co-worker, who had worked with them before. We liked Ashley's design style and process. 


What do you see as the major difference in doing the project yourself & hiring a professional? 

If you don't hire a professional, you will likely spend more money doing it yourself.  Ashley knew where to find the right pieces for our space at the right price. She saved us both time & money.  


"Ashley was amazing to work with! We had no idea how to approach the design of our remodel and we really did not know what we wanted. She asked all the right questions to help us create spaces that we now absolutely love. She is professional, responsive and diligent about staying on or below budget! We highly recommend Ashley and her team!"


We loved working with the Patel's on their beautiful home. And as always, we are so thankful & humbled that they would trust us to take their vision & help them turn it into their reality.  It's always such an honor. 

If you are interested in our e-design process, we'd love to chat with you about your next project.  

**All before photos are from the realtor listing on  The after photos were taken by Grace Laird Photography.**

Secrets to Buying Antique or Used Furniture

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time you know that I love to have older pieces in my home.  They can be older as in true antiques /vintage pieces or older as in someone used them & I found them at my local flea market & decided to give them some love.  I love bringing life back to pieces that I find, but the most common question I get about my “used” furniture is how do I know if it’s a good piece or if it’s worth saving.  Today I want to tell you my secrets to buying anitque or used furniture.

#1 Classic Lines

I first look at the lines or shape of the piece.  I tend to look for more traditional lines in the pieces that I get, but if modern is more your style then you are going to want to look for more modern lines.  My favorite chairs for example, I found these 2 chairs at First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX.  I loved the shape of them.  I loved the curves of the arms & feet.  They were sturdy, but needed lots of love. I could see past the ugly dirty dated fabric & I knew these could be turned into something beautiful. 


#2 Sturdiness

Depending on what you are going to use the piece of furniture for , you are going to want to make sure it’s still put together well.  Rock it, open it’s drawers to make sure they open easily.  Most older pieces are solid wood, so they have a lot of life left in them, however you want to give each piece a good look over.  Now, if you aren’t needing to actually use the piece then something a little unstable will work.  Take this  dresser for example.  I loved the lines of this piece & could tell that once it was sanded down it would be beautiful, but the drawers don’t open well & the back is beginning to fall off.  I knew I didn’t need it to actually function,  so I bought it because I could see the potential in it.


#3 Price

Money is a big player in finding these used & antique pieces.  My favorite chairs met my first two rules—-loved the lines & they were strudy.  They needed a lot of love.  I know that I would be reupholstering them, so I had to that into account.  Knowing that it’s at least $100 per chair to reupholster & that didn’t include the fabric, I knew what I was willing to spend.  The chairs were a whoping $10 each.  I had to buy them.  My entryway dresser….it was in rough shape.  I knew I was going to have to give it some love by sanding it down & cleaning her up.  It wasn’t going to cost me more than just my time.  She was $30 & I gladly paid that for her.  Now for pieces that are ready to go—-great lines, perfect structure, and these are normally larger pieces I’m willing to pay a little bit more for.  Take my blue cabinet in my living room for example.  When I walked into Vintage Station in Tomball, it was love at first sight.  I loved the blue patina it had on it, the original hardware, even places on it where the old timer at the hardware store wrote what he stored in the drawers was left on it.  It’s solid wood & I wasn’t going to do a thing to it.  I happily paid more for the piece.  Always take into account what you plan on doing to the piece, whether it’s reupholstering, sanding, painting is it going to be worth it in the long run? 


If you are into really high class antiques & not “junk” that I buy, like my MIL likes to say, then I’m not your girl.  I don’t really know a ton about them.  I can tell you that they are old & beautiful, but just not my taste.  I prefer things a little beat up. :) 


I'm so excited to be teaming up with Vintage Market Days of Northwest Houston to do a giveaway for the Spring event, so you can take some of these lessons & put them to good use. It's happening May 11-13 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Conroe.  I have 3 pairs of tickets to giveaway so you & your girls can make a day or heck, check out all 3 days at the event.  Lots of vintage picking will be going on with some fabulous vendors!  Heck, maybe we can even meet up because I plan on being there.  


How to Enter:

1.  Leave a comment below & share something you'd love to find at the Vintage Market Days event.  (1 entry)

2. Jump on over to our Instagram & follow us (1 entry), like the photo (1 entry) & tag a friend on our giveaway picture.  (1 entry per tag)

3. Go to our FB page post & share the giveaway picture.  (3 entries)

**Winner will be announced on Friday May 4th on our Instagram Stories!**

Being a Good Design Client

Hiring a designer/decorator for your space can be a tough decision.  Depending on the size of your project, you’ll be spending a lot of time with them, whether that’s in person or virtually.  You want to make sure your designer is the right fit for you & your project, but also know that when you are interviewing designers they are trying to figure out if you are going to be a good client for them.  The street goes both ways in this relationship.  As with any relationship, you want them to be the right fit for you & you want to be the right fit for them.  If you are looking to hire a designer, check out my post about HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT INTERIOR DECORATOR.  It should help you narrow down the prospects.  But today I want to talk about how you can be a good design client for whichever designer/decorator you choose to work with. 

#1. Pinterest & Houzz Boards

Start curating your Pinterest and/or Houzz boards with things you want for your space.  I suggest making a board specifically for each room you are looking for help in.  With each pin you add, write specifics in the description of what you like about the picture.  Almost all designers I know want to see images that you are looking at for inspiration to make sure they can create the style you are wanting.  

#2 Know Your Budget

Talking money is always an awkward discussion.  Have your budget clearly laid out for your designer.  Let them know what you are willing to splurge a little on, so if they need to cut back in other areas they know where you are willing to cut back at.  Along with knowing your budget, you’ve got to be realistic too.  You can’t add marble, brass & high end finishes on a Wal-Mart budget.  Be flexible though because as designers/decorators we can get pretty creative on how to get the look you are looking for at a fraction of the cost.  And whatever you do, please don’t say, “Well on HGTV they bought a house, gutted it & remodeled it all for $80,000.”  They may have, but you also probably don’t live in Waco, TX.  The market is different no matter where you live.  

#3 Give Them The Full List

No matter how big or small your project is, be upfront about your wishlist at the begining of the project.  We can let you know if it’s possible within your budget or we can look for ways to save you in other areas so we can make your wishlist happen.  

#4 Give Honest Feedback

Whether we are meeting you face to face or virtually give us your honest feedback.  You may think a chair is cute that we’ve suggested but if you don’t want to commit to a printed upholstered chair then tell us that.  You won’t hurt our feelings if you don’t like things we suggest. It’s our job. We don’t take it personally.  But if you love something…be sure to voice that too.  We want to know that we are going in the right direction.  

#5 Trust

This may seem really harsh, but you hired us for a reason.  Trust us.  We know what we are doing.  We have your best interest at heart. And we can see the end result, which most clients have a hard time seeing. 

#6 Respect 

Please respect us & our time.  You may have your designers/decorators cell phone number, but it doesn’t give you free reign to call or text us at all hours.  I’ve had a former client text me at 1am.  Yes, we will become friends throughout the process, but we all need boundaries.  We have work hours set for a reason & when we aren’t working our time is very preciously spent with our family & friends. 

The Client Experience | The Frizzelle Family

I say it all the time, but I have been blessed with some of the best clients.  The Frizzelle family was no exception.  I was so honored when I got a call from Taylor, who wanted to surprise his sweet wife, Danielle, with a fresh design for their home. 

If you follow me on social media, you get to see my side of the design process, but I want you to hear from our clients, as they tell us about the design process, so we will be sharing our client's experience here on the blog over the next few weeks.  We hope you enjoy hearing what they have to say about working with us! 


Please describe your home before working with Southern Farmhouse Designs. What was your main problem with your home that caused you to hire a designer/decorator? What did you want or need for the space? 

Our home was not a home. It was plain, cold, and uninviting. We were looking for an inviting home that when we had people over we felt comfortable sitting in the living room and kitchen.

Had you worked with a designer prior working with SFD? And what was that experience like?

SFD was our first designer. The experience was like no other. Ashley and her team decorated the house while I was at work and she even walked my dog for me. I was so anxious at work all day to see the progress. The wait was worth it and the result was phenomenal. Our now home looked like a house from a magazine.

How did you find Southern Farmhouse Designs? And why did you choose to work with us on your project? 

My husband was searching around on Instagram because he knew that decorating was a not my cup of tea. He secretly contacted SFD and before I knew it she was headed over to help us with our space.


What was your favorite part of the design process? 


Do you feel your home reflects your style? 

Absolutely, Ashley is great at listening and coming up with the perfect style.

What do you see as the major difference in doing the project yourself & hiring a professional? 

Everything. I have tried many times and end up with a Pinterest fail.


What value does a designer bring to the process? 

The designer brings all the value to the process. They analyze the space, configure the dimensions, shop, and create a masterpiece.

Many people say that interior design is a luxury service & it’s too expensive. What do you say to your friends & family who believe that they might not be able to afford it? 

I would say there are many packages and design options to fit any budget. That is one thing I love about Southern Farmhouse Designs. They truly open the doors for anyone to afford their services.


Would you hire a designer again?

Without a doubt.

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers about working with Southern Farmhouse Designs?

Working with SFD has been a blessing. My husband and I work hard and at the end of the day, we sit on the couch, look around and feel like our house is a home. Not to mention, the baby nursery SFD created is unimaginably gorgeous. It will also be easy to transform into a toddler room soon!

Thank you Taylor & Danielle for allowing me to be apart of your home.  If you are interested in any of our services, we'd love to chat with you about your project.  Just use the button below to see how we can help you in your space. 

Must Have: Accent & Console Tables

We love accent tables--give your current tired side table a makeover with a fresh coat of paint or snag one of our favorites below. 

And let's talk real quick about console tables, whether you have them in your entry or behind your couch, they are the perfect way to add a WOW factor to any room by styling them with an oversized mirror, lamps or greenery!  

*Some affiliate links were used on this blog post, which means that we make a small commission from your purchase (at no cost to you). Thanks for supporting Southern Farmhouse Designs in this way!*