Home Tour: Master Bathroom

When we moved into our home 4 years ago, we pretty much touched every room in the house except the master bathroom.  It was spacious & had everything we needed for it to function.  We didn't have money in the budget to fully redo it, so we decided to wait to do anything to this space. Earlier this year my husband was giving the kids a bath & his foot went through the sheetrock due to a leak we didn't know about.  Our shower pan had ripped & water was leaking up from under the shower.  The shower had to be completely gutted, so we figured we would go ahead & redo the entire bathroom to fit our needs & taste. 

You can see below how dark & dated the bathroom was, and it was a lot bigger than our needs.  I didn't need that large of an area to get ready in.  

BEFORE

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I decided to use the large vanity area & take it in as part of my closet, so now our bathroom is smaller, yet more functional for us & my closet is bigger--win win in my book.  

We added shiplap to the entire room, a free standing tub, pretty chandelier & marble look a like tile to complete the shower. 

AFTER

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Light, airy with a few rustic elements was the goal for this space.  I couldn't be more happy with the way it turned out.  See something you love in the after photos?  I've worked hard to make it easy for you to shop this look--SHOP OUR HOME will take you to all of the products used in our bathroom remodel.

 

Paint Colors

Shiplap: Sherwin Williams Dover White

Vanity: Sherwin Williams Collonade Gray

**Before photos are from har.com & the after photos were taken by Grace Laird Photography.**

 

 

We are Texas

"Texas will again lift it's head and stand among the nations." -Sam Houston

In my past life I was a Texas History teacher.  I've taught the stories of our history.  I've read the stories of the heroes of our past & I've always been a proud Texan, (and really what Texan isn't a proud Texan), but after watching this historic flooding that has gone on throughout our state this week & watching the men & women of Texas come together to help one another through this horrific time, I've never been prouder to be a Texan.  Like my kids say, " Texas is the greatest state in the nation." 

I am in awe of the love & generosity that has been shown throughout the US.  Men & women with boats, ATVs, large trucks...really large trucks all traveling miles & miles to come to the rescue of total strangers. The donations that have poured in to all of the different organizations to help with the relief efforts.  It is heart warming & you are showing the world that loving each other is what this nation is about. If this hurricane has done anything positive it's shown that we are people who love & care for one another, no matter the color of our skin, our ethnicity, our religions, beliefs or political parties.  

There are so many different organizations & businesses that are helping with the relief efforts.  They are collecting donations, selling products specifically to donate the proceeds towards the rebuilding of our city.  If you are wanting to help or donate I'm making it super easy for you.  Below you will find numerous organizations that you can donate to.  Just click on the image below & it will take you directly to their site so you can give.  

Another fabulous way to give & be able to kill 2 birds with one stone is to shop from some amazing small shops that are selling products just for the relief efforts.  Christmas is coming & I can't think of a better way to shop.  Start shopping for those on your list & feel good knowing that these shops are giving back.  Again, click on the images below & they will take you directly to these businesses. I can promise you that you will love all of these products & small shops that they come from. 

Like I said, there are so many ways to give, and I've only mentioned a few or the numerous businesses & organizations. However you choose to give makes no difference to me, but make sure you stop & take time to do what you can. Whether it's $1, $5, $10 or $1,000, we can all do our part.  It all makes a difference.  

Yall continue to keep all of South Texas in your prayers.  The waters are beginning to recede in some areas & the tough part is just getting started.  We stand strong & united.  We are Texas.  

Texas Strong

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I don't have adequate words right now. My heart is aching for the city of Houston & all of South Texas, who has been hit hard by Hurricane Harvey.  

We have been a few of the lucky ones here in my home.  We are safe & dry, but there are so many around us who haven't faired so well. Friends who have lost everything. Friends who are waiting to be rescued. I feel helpless because we cannot get out to help due to the rising waters.  I have struggled with feeling guilty because we have been some of the lucky few. I've been moved to tears more times than not watching the selfless first responders & volunteers making rescues on the news.  I've been on my knees begging God to move the rain, to stop the rain, to wrap His arms around our city & give us peace during this awful time.

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw me share some things that were on my heart yesterday in my Instastories. (Some didn't like what I had to say & they let me know it, but many others of you sent loving messages of encouragement & I thank you! ) Many people have asked on numerous social media outlets of why Texan Christians aren't praying this storm away, and if our God was as great as we claim Him to be, then why isn't He rescuing us from this disaster.  Maybe you are doubting God's goodness during this time or asking yourselves these questions too.

 Here is what I know....God is good.  God is merciful & He loves us dearly.  When Jesus was hanging on the cross the guards mocked him saying things like, "If you are who you say you are, then get off the cross yourself. Call on your God to have him get you off this cross."  But we read in the scriptures that Jesus does cry out to God asking him to take this burden from him, if it was His will. It wasn't God's will though.  It wasn't His plan.  Now, I don't know what God is up to with this storm, but I know that people all across the state have been praying for this storm to move from us, yet it hasn't.  God is up to something.  We don't have to know what, we don't have to know why, we just have to trust Him & know that "He works all things for the good of those who love & trust Him." - Romans 8:28

Throughout this storm, we've seen God at work.  We have seen volunteers come from all across the US to help in the relief efforts. We have seen these volunteers work for hours on end in the elements to rescue people from their water filled homes.  We have seen 15 year olds drive boats to evacuate people from the flood waters. We have seen people that have little donate what they have to the shelters that have been opened. We have seen sports figures raise millions of dollars for our city.  We are seeing humanity at it's finest.  We are seeing people be the hands & feet of Jesus, whether they are meaning to or not. We are showing our country that race, ethnicity, occupation don't matter.  We are showing unity in the face of trials.  And we are showing how amazing Texas truly is.  Now I'm a proud Texan, but I've never been prouder than I am today. 

The waters will recede.  You'll stop hearing about us on your news. Don't forget about us.  Once the waters recede we have months & months worth of recovery ahead.   
 

So what's ahead for SFD?  


Once we are able to safely get out of our neighborhood we plan to gather donations & deliver them to local shelters here in our community.  As well as get into those shelters & love on those that are there & pray for & with them.  

I am currently brainstorming other ideas of ways we can help this city rebuild.  

The SFD Summer Market with Grace Grey Designs has been postponed for the time being.  Leslie & I can't imagine hosting this event right now when there is so much heartache going on in our city.  It just seems frivolous.  We will keep you updated on the new date once we have it on the calendar.  

My current clients--in the next couple of days & weeks, I'll be reaching out to all of my current clients to see what their needs are & if they are ready to move forward in the design process.  Some of the homes I've been working in may have water in them right now.   It will be a few weeks before I sit back down & start working again.

If you are interested in donating to the Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief there are so many organizations out there that you can donate through.  Below are 2 businesses that I love & our home church, and they will all be responsible with the donations that they receive.  You can click on the pictures below & it will take you directly to their sites. 

#1 Oliver & Otis- I love this company.  I'm a tee shirt & jeans kinda girl most days & I have roughly 10 of their shirts & this will be the newest added to my collection.  100% of the proceeds will go to flood victims. 

#2 Cami Monet Watercolor & Calligraphy-I met Cami in the Spring at a business conference.  100% of the proceeds she makes from her gorgeous "Texas Raised & Filled with Grace" print will go to Austin Pets Alive, who will help all the 4 legged friends that have been impacted my the floods. 

#3 Houston's First Baptist Church-This is the church that I call home & I love so dearly.  Our church will use the money they raise to give back to the victims of this horrific flood. Food, supplies, basic needs. Houston's First will also be housing a couple hundred volunteers who are coming into town from the North America Missions Board to help rebuild in the weeks to come.

I cannot thank you enough for your thoughts & prayers. To those who have called, texted, & to the strangers that have messaged me via Instagram---THANK YOU! We feel your love & prayers  We know that God is working & we trust in His plan. 


Be a blessing,
Ashley 

Back to School: Kid's Homework Station

The first day of school is upon us at my house & to say that I'm excited to have a few free hours to myself would be an understatement.  Don't get me wrong, I love my kids to pieces & we've had a great summer, but my goodness, it's been exhausting.  

With school starting back I wanted to create a little space for the kids to do their homework at in our house--a place that is distraction free & where everything is easily accessible.  Our laundry/craft room has become the perfect spot.  I have a little desk area in here where our family computer is & the room was big enough to add a table & a couple of chairs to create the perfect homework station.  

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The Homework Desk

My dad made the homework & craft table for the kids. He used plumbing pipe to make the base of the table & we bought a wood counter top from Ikea to use as the top. He also made the precious awning over the window (I love that guy).  

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Each kid got their own bulletin board for pictures & to display their art work. The barn lights are from Amazon for $40 & we used a lamp kit to convert it from a hardwired light to a lamp.  And we used my paw paw's old tool box to put markers, crayons, paper, pencils, etc in. Everything they will need is all in one spot.  And they seem to enjoy being able to decorate their bulletin board with their favorite things.  

This entire little project cost right around $300 & a little elbow grease.  Want this look?  You can shop it at the links below. 

**The links you find in this post may use affiliate accounts issued to Southern Farmhouse Designs, LLC. This means that a commissions is earned by SFD if you make a purchase via the link. In addition, the concept and images on this site are protected and may not be reused without written permission from the author. Thank you for respecting these terms.**

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Back to School: College Dorm Essentials for Him

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Last week I shared with you some essentials for the college girls in your life.  I couldn't leave all the guys hanging.  We all know that some males just need some extra help in getting all the right things that are functional & stylish, so I thought I'd help the boys out too with my college dorm essentials for him list.  A big thanks to my cousin, Jake, who helped me come up with this list.  He is a recent college grad, so he had the scoop on all things that the guys would need. 

**The links you find in this post may use affiliate accounts issued to Southern Farmhouse Designs, LLC. This means that a commissions is earned by SFD if you make a purchase via the link. In addition, the concept and images on this site are protected and may not be reused without written permission from the author. Thank you for respecting these terms.**

All college students need a good quality backpack, a planner to keep track of their classes, due dates (& parties).  The gorgeous leather journal looks so rustic & manly that any guy would love to take notes in, along with my favorite pens. For his dorm--a mini fridge is a must, along with a coffee maker so he can stay caffeinated while he studies.  I love these plastic plates that look like paper plates. And you can't forget the mini blender for his after workout smoothies. Of course a heavy duty laundry bag for when he bring all his laundry home for you to do.  Good quality towels, shower caddy & skin care is a must have for all students.  The rolling storage cart is great to store food & kitchen utensils. Don't forget a good trash can! 

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SHOP THESE ESSENTIALS

ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE | TEN | ELEVEN | TWLEVE | THIRTEEN | FOURTEEN | FIFTEEN 

Dorm Room Decor: A Modern Rustic Dorm

I love creating rooms for guys, I think manly because they all say they really don't care what their spaces look like, but when it's done right, they love it.  Here is my take on a well put together room for your college boy--clean & modern lines with the perfect amount of rustic touches. It's a pretty neutral palette and he can always change out his pillows to coordinate with his school colors or just his favorite colors. 

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SHOP THIS ROOM

ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE | TEN | ELEVEN | TWELVE | THIRTEEN | FOURTEEN

Back to School: College Dorm Essentials for Her

It is that time of year again, everyone is grabbing everything they need for heading back to school--from grade school to college. College freshman may have a few jitters about heading off to live on their own--new towns, new friends, new places to live.  Today, I'm sharing some essentials for college dorm life for her, along with two dorm room design boards that she is sure to love.  

Dorm Essentials for Her

**The links you find in this post may use affiliate accounts issued to Southern Farmhouse Designs, LLC. This means that a commissions is earned by SFD if you make a purchase via the link. In addition, the concept and images on this site are protected and may not be reused without written permission from the author. Thank you for respecting these terms.**

These dorm essentials are some of my favorite brands that I use and love myself. Investing in a good quality backpack or bag is a must & you cannot go wrong with Jon Hart.  Jon Hart bags are classic designs that will never go out of style & are nearly indestructible.  Fill the bag with the Day Designer, my most favorite planner on the face of the earth, as well as Poppin pens & a water bottle that will keep her beverage of choice cool all day long. 

Depending on the dorm & the dorm rules you may have some limitations on what appliances can be kept in the room.  A mini fridge & coffee maker is a MUST, and a mini blender for quick smoothies for those mornings when she is racing out the door to get to class on time.  

Other must haves are a good laundry tote (because you know they will be brining all that laundry home to you), good quality towels & shower caddy.  Go ahead & invest in some good quality skin & hair care for them now.  If they don't already have a good skin care regimen, this will help them get use to taking care of their skin & they will thank you 10 years from now.  And of course a good storage cart & a quality trash can that will close because we all know how stinky college kids are.  

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SHOP THESE ESSENTIAL for HER

ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE | TEN | ELEVEN | TWELVE | THIRTEEN | FOURTEEN | FIFTEEN | SIXTEEN

 

Once the essentials are all taken care of your girl is going to want a room that she is excited to welcome her friends over to. I've created two different mood boards to help you create a dorm room that she will love. Both are very versatile with neutral palettes so you can add her favorite pops of color throughout the space.  Both boards include bedding from Beddy's Beds, which I absolutely love. The entire bedding fits like a fitted sheet, the sheets are built in & it unzips.  This makes it super easy to make their beds, my 4 year old makes his bed with this bedding!  The work great on those twin size beds in the dorm. 

The first room dorm room decor look is black & white chic--blacks, white, pops of gold & blush.  You can always not sue the blush & add in her favorite colors to the space.  

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SHOP THIS ROOM

ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE | TEN | ELEVEN | TWELVE | THIRTEEN | FOURTEEN | FIFTEEN | SIXTEEN | SEVENTEEN

Next up is for the farmhouse lover.  This neutral farmhouse inspired dorm room is cute & classic.  Use pillows & blankets to add her favorite pops of color throughout the room.  

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SHOP THIS ROOM

ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE | TEN | ELEVEN | TWELVE | THIRTEEN | FOURTEEN | FIFTEEN | SIXTEEN | SEVENTEEN | EIGHTEEN

Which dorm room design is your favorite?  Next week I'll be sharing the essentials for the college boy & a design board to help you in his space!  

August: Back to School & New Transitions

Anyone else in shock that August totally snuck up on us? My kids have 14 days left of summer. I'm not going to lie, it's a little bitter sweet.

We've enjoyed our days together at the pool & soaking up every ounce of sun we possibly can.

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One learned to ride her bike without training wheels, while the other decided he could swim on his own.  A beautiful vacation to the mountains of Colorado with hiking & the kids seeing snow for the first time, along with a concussion for one little boy who thought he could flip off the bed.

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A quick trip to the beach with family, where the kids ran back & forth in the water from sun up to sun down.

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Some days have been very long---bickering, arguing & tantrums, but I have to say it's been a wonderful summer...one for the books. 


Lots of changes will be happening at SFD as we transition into the school year.  God has really been speaking to me these last few months about my workload, my home, my family & this business.  Since the beginning of SFD I have really sought Him out about things. I quickly learned that doing things my way never panned out, so I will continue to listen to Him as we move forward to the Fall. 

God has called me to step back with work and to really focus on my family, my home & my health.  It's been such a hard thing to say yes to because I have poured my heart into this business.  I have loved every single minute of working to create beautiful homes for my clients, but it's time for me to focus on myself & my family. It's the right timing. My son will start PreK this year part time & there will be no way that I can work with him being home all but 2 half days a week. 

As I move into this new season there is still a lot to get done.  My client calendar is booked through the year, so I'll be finishing up projects that I'm currently working on & with client's who have contracts with me, but I will not be taking on anything new.  My services will officially be coming off of my website as soon as my internet is back up & running. It's  a hard thing to do y'all.

I still hope to inspire you in your home, even though I won't be taking on clients.  My plan is to really focus on my blog in the months ahead---writing things that will help you in your home...from decorating, home tours, to recipes, and party planning you'll find it on the blog.  I hope you read it often & find it inspiring.  God gave me a heart for home & I want to share that with you, so that you can create spaces for friends and family to feel welcome, safe & loved in, because that is what home is all about.

So tell me, what is it that you want to read about here?  I would be so appreciative if you would fill out the survey below, so I can better serve you during this season. As a thank you, you'll be entered to win a $50 gift card to Home Goods.  Winner will be announced via Instagram on August 11th.

You can take the survey here


Thank you so much for your love, support & understanding during this transition. If you are looking for someone to help you in your home I'm working on putting together a list of my favorite ladies in the biz to recommend to y'all. 

 

Again, thank you so much for sticking with me through these seasons of life. I appreciate you all so much!! 

XOXO!  

How to Find the Right Interior Designer/Decorator

Over the last couple of months I've had a lot of different inquiries for design jobs.  Oh how I wish I could take them all on, but as many people know, designers/decorators don't all fit into the one size fits all category.  There are so many of us out in the field that are so incredibly talented, but we all have different styles that we love to work with & all different ways of working on projects.  If I took on every inquiry that came in, I'd be doing both myself & the client a disservice.  #1 I'd be so over worked & end up getting burned out faster than my Volcano candle that I burn 24/7.  #2 I can work with all styles, but my heart wouldn't be 100% in it, because the style you are hoping to get in your home may not be a style that I truly love to do.  

 Are you looking to hire an interior designer/decorator?  Here are some tips that I suggest you do before hiring an interior designer/decorator.     

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#1 Do Your Research

I cannot suggest highly enough to find someone whose portfolio looks like what you want.  And you've got to be realistic too....Sure, you may love their Instagram feed with all the bright white walls & white couches, but if you have toddlers running around that may not work for your season of life.  

I’ve had clients that want modern designs & lots of bright colors throughout their home &  while I took those clients on at the beginning of my career & did great work for them, my heart wasn’t in it completely.  I love classic, traditional spaces & farmhouse designs. Most of my work is pretty neutral with pops of colors here & there.  You won’t find me painting an accent wall in a bright color unless it’s for a kid’s space, and if you look at most of my work, you'll notice it is pretty neutral.  

Go check out the designer/decorator's website, Instagram & Pinterest page.  Look at the work they've done, see if their work looks like what you want in your home.  

Check Out Their Services

Most designers/decorators have their services listed on their website.  Check them out & read through them thoroughly.  You may not need a full room redesign, you may just need a refresh with a few new accessories, but want to get a new look by having the designer come out and work with what you already have.  

If they don't offer what you are looking for shoot them an email to see if it's something they would be willing to do.  They may say no, but it never hurts to ask.  

Look at Their Design Philosophy. 

Some designers/decorators love using higher end fabrics, furniture & accessories, while others like Ikea hacks, DIY projects & love shopping for the best deal on items. You want to make sure your pocketbook is comfortable with your designers taste in items.  For example, your designer maywant you to spend $200 on a pillow or on super expensive drapery, if that's not your thing or it's not where you want to spend your money, then you probably don't want to go with a designer/decorator that offers a lot of high end styling accessories.  And if you do end up going with them on your project, make sure you let them know your expectations on spending. 

For me,  I don’t believe that a beautiful space has to cost a ton. In fact, most of my own house has Ikea curtains and Target pillows because I don’t want to spend a ton on those items because I know that I will either change them out on a whim or my kid’s dirty hands will be all over them.  Most of my clients feel the same way. 

Do you love or have vintage & antique pieces that you want to incorporate into your home? Then you want to make sure that the designer's portfolio shows her designing with older pieces & making them work with a fresh style. 

Read Their Reviews & Testimonies

In this day & age of social media, people aren't afraid to say what they think about everyone & everything.  You should be able to find reviews of your prospective designer/decorator on Facebook, Yelp, Google Reviews, etc.  Read them all, and don't let one bad review turn you away. Go with your gut on what you believe in these reviews.  If there are 10 great 5 star reviews then the one bad review probably doesn't hold much truth.    

DO YOUR RESEARCH, DO YOUR RESEARCH, DO YOUR RESEARCH!  (Sorry for yelling, but seriously DO YOUR RESEARCH!)

#2 Is there Chemistry?

When looking for a designer, you will want to make sure you think you can work with them.  Have them come out & see your space.  Make sure they understand your vision for the space, but also listen to suggestions they may have.  Remember they are the experts. You should be able to tell right off the bat if they are someone you can work with. This is your home & you are going to want to find someone who loves it as much as you do.  You should be able to trust that your designer/decorator is going to treat your home just like they would treat their own & that they design it with you, your family & needs in mind. Even if you love the designer's work, but you know that your personalities will more than likely clash, I'd recommend not getting into a design relationship with them.  You are going to spend a lot of time with your designer, picking selections, shopping, styling, so make sure you feel comfortable with them. 

During your initial consultations have a list of questions on hand & ready to ask.  As designers/decorators we are interviewing you, just as much as you are interviewing us.  We also want to make sure the fit is right for the project so we don't mind you asking a tons of questions.  Here is a short list to get you started....

  • How does their design process work? 
  • Can they work with specific pieces that you already have? 
  • Estimated time frame for the project?
  • What's the best way to communicate with them---phone, email text? 
  • How often can you expect to hear from them throughout the process?
  • How many revisions are allowed throughout the process?
  • How & when do they want to get paid?
  • Do they have any contractors or tradesmen that they work with or recommend? 
  • How many times will they come to the job site and/or if you're working online, how many FaceTime or Skype sessions do you anticipate to have? 

Using these few tips will help you get started to finding the perfect fit for a designer/decorator on your next project. What other questions do you have about looking for an interior designer?  

Good luck on your search & remember....DO YOUR RESEARCH! ;) 

 

Home Tour: Farmhouse Kitchen, Breakfast & Dining Room

**Some of the links you find on this post use affiliate accounts issued to Southern Farmhouse Designs, LLC. This means that a commissions is earned by SFD if you make a purchase via the link. In addition, the concept and images on this site are protected and may not be reused without written permission from the author. Thank you for respecting these terms.**

I cannot believe that we've been in our house for 3 years. Man how time flies.  When we first moved in we did some major renovations to the place. The house had fabulous bones, but it was dark...really dark & a bit dated.  Since the major renovations we are slowly but surely tackling other projects around here...giving it the perfect farmhouse flair. 

 Our dining room....paint, paint & more paint.  I wanted to lighten this place up & get some updated decor in here. This space looks pretty much the same after being here for 3 years.  I have some ideas for a few minor things I'd like to do in here in the next couple of years, but I'm so happy with how this space turned out. 

BEFORE

 

Dining Room

AFTER

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The Details

Paint Color: SW Collonade Gray

Chandelier:  Pottery Barn or Wayfair

Sign: The House of Belonging

Table & Chairs: Mayfield Custom Furniture-Kaufman, TX

Head Chairs: Target (but are no longer available) Here are some that are similar from Wayfair


Next up, the breakfast nook--as you can see it was red...really red, as was the entire kitchen.  I wasn't a fan of the red or the arched transoms throughout the house.  In this area we added a shiplap chair rail, plus a shiplap accent wall.  We changed all of the window trim out to give it more of a fresh farmhouse feel & got rid of the transom.  We added beams to the ceiling to give a more texture & add a bit of rustic elements to the space, as well as continuing the wood floors through out this area. 

BEFORE

Breakfast Nook  

AFTER

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The Details

Wall Color: SW Collonade Gray

Shiplap Color: SW Allabaster

Table: Lavender Road Antiques

Chairs: World Market

Light Fixture: Wayfair

 

 


And last room our kitchen, the most drastic change to the house.  When we first looked at the house, I walked into the kitchen and immediately knew exactly what I wanted to do.  Now this kitchen, as is, is really pretty, just not our taste.  The red had to go, and so did the raised area on the island.  And I really really really wanted new windows, which my husband thought I had lost it.  I love the brick around the stove, but due to some issues we ended up having to take it down.  I'm over the moon excited about how it turned out.

BEFORE

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Butler's Pantry

AFTER

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Butler's Pantry

The Details

Cabinet Color: SW Pavestone

Wall Color: SW Collonade Gray

Countertops: Macaubus White Quartzite

Backsplash: Cotton White Subway Tile

Light Fixtures: Pottery Barn

Counter Stools: World Market

Contractor: Stillwater Builders, LLC

Photographer: Chelsea Davis Photography

 

This house has been a labor of love.  A big thanks to the guys at Stillwater Builders & Ryno Services, these are 2 construction companies who have worked with us over the past 3 years that saw our vision & have helped us turn it into a reality.  Also to Chelsea Davis Photography  & Grace Laird Photography for capturing these stunning pictures of our home.  

**All stock photos were taken from HAR.com.  All AFTER images are ©Southern Farmhouse Designs.**

Designing Women Feature-Leslie Hunt

I could not be any more excited to introduce you all to my dear dear friend, Leslie Hunt of @gracegreydesigns.  Leslie & I met via a Facebook sale group years ago.  We frequently bought things from one another via this Facebook group & I knew that I wanted her in my corner.  Sweet, humble, hard working fellow East Texas girl, who had kiddos the same age as mine & husbands who both have a love for the outdoors.  It was a no brainer that this was going to be a good friendship & I was so right.  Leslie & her family are so precious to me & my family.  We've arranged the marriage of our two youngest already.  We've vacationed (ranch trip & flea market shopping trip) together & our husbands have man crushes on one another so it works out great. I literally could go on & on & on about how much I love this girl and I know you will too!  If you aren't following her on Instagram you need to get on that ASAP!  

Share where you currently live:: Fulshear/Simonton, TX

Share where you grew up:: Gilmer, TX

Share what home means to you:: Home is what you make it. It's where your loved ones are, and it's that place you go that makes you feel like it's all going to be okay, no matter what. It doesn't necessarily have to be a place or just one place, it's wherever/whatever warms your heart.

Share where your love for home & design came from:: I have been obsessed with home decor from the time I was little. While my friends were saving their money to buy treasure trolls, I used mine to buy Antiques or to redecorate my bedroom! My mom used to be a vendor at Canton Trade Days and I would tag along with her and browse the fields and find treasures galore! She opened an art and craft mall in our tiny town when I was 10 and I worked there after school and on the weekends. It was quite the gathering place and people would stop by just to chit chat. I have such fond memories of that store and have always dreamed of opening my own someday!

Share your design style & how you make it work in your home:: My style should probably be described as "as inexpensive as possible"! I am a work at home mom and refinish and paint furniture and make random decor. I feel the need to live on as little as possible since I get to stay home with our kiddos so just about everything in our home was either free, thrifted, or bought on sale. I also love mixing styles and using pieces that can conform to different decor styles. I have a lot of rustic decor (to appease my hunting hubby), some mid century modern, and quite a bit of farmhouse decor with a little boho on top!

Share with us your favorite room in your house: : My favorite room in our home has to be the formal dining room that we used twice a year so decided to turn it into the office! It's my favorite because it was the first room I went out on a limb to convert to something we would actually use! It also holds some special pieces. The barnwood came from my dear friend Ashley's (as in Ashley of Southern Farmhouse Designs) parents ranch. The desk was a freebie from a former coworker friend that I refinished and my husband fell in love with! The acrylic chairs were a bold move for this safe girl, but you know I bought them on sale from Hobby Lobby! I also love that my husband could proudly showcase two mounts that mean a lot to him and they fit right in with the rest of the decor!

Do you have a design philosophy? If so, share it with us. : Design for you and your family, not to please everyone else! Rules are for the birds, just do what makes YOU happy!

Share who inspires you with their designs and why:: Okay, so this is going to sound totally cliche but Ashley, you inspire me more than you'll ever know! You MAKE things happen, whether it be designing a client's home, remodeling a safe house for victims of sex trafficking, blogging, attending conferences to better yourself, whatever it is, you just go for it! I could take a lesson or two from you on making things happen! So glad to have a hustler like you as a friend and mentor!

Where you can find Leslie: 

Facebook: Grace Grey Designs

Instagram: @gracegreydesigns


Isn't she the best?  I knew you'd love her!  

Leslie, you are a gem.  Thank you so much for your kind words.  I love you so much, friend!  

Yall have a blessed weekend!! :) 

Designing Women Feature-Erin Klawiter

I know I say this every Friday, but I'm so excited to introduce y'all to my Designing Women Feature today, Mrs. Erin Klawiter of @thriftyniftynest.  She is such a gem--the best encourager & cheerleader, hilarious as all get out, she will tell you like it is & her eye for design is just the icing on top.  You are going to love her & her beautiful home! 

Share where you currently live:: Dallas, Texas

Share where you grew up:: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Share what home means to you:: To me, it doesn't matter where we have lived, what our house looked like or the things we have or don't have. It's that smell that's uniquely your home's, the feeling when you walk into it after a long day, the safe place for everyone who's in it to be who they are, a soft spot to land.

Share where your love for home & design came from:: My mom, grandmother and aunts were all creative and all had beautifully decorated homes. We didn't have a lot of money but my mom would get creative. Long before spray painting was a craft staple, she'd paint dried greenery and use them throughout the house. She once stapled about 200 cardboard egg cartons to a wall and painted them...an accent wall about 30 years before it's time. Of course, I thought it was embarrassing and wanted the Brady Bunch house. Now, I admire her fearless decorating!

Share your design style & how you make it work in your home:: The only style I really have is "it's got to be washable". All of my furniture has light colored fabric that can be washed or hit with a bleach pen. With three boys and a dog, it's the only way to go. As far as a certain style, my home encompasses so many. You walk into the front door and it's a little global, traditional and cottage-y (is that a word? It is now). My living room is a mixture of vintage pieces that one might classify as "farmhouse" and contemporary and colorful with art and pillows. I think of my entire house was all the same style, I'd get sick of it really quickly.

Share with us your favorite room in your house: : My favorite room? Probably my living room. It's where we watch movies, where I work on projects on my laptop, where the kids hang out while I'm cooking.

Do you have a design philosophy? If so, share it with us. : my biggest philosophy when designing a home is to stick with classic timeless elements that won't look dated any time soon. What's popular today may be the chevron or "old world" Tuscan look that was popular just a few years ago. So many clients today are wanting to go lighter and brighter after living in their dark red and gold house, which was the trend then. Even popular trends like "modern Farmhouse" or "mid century"; unless you live in an authentic mid century home or farm, those elements that make it so popular now may be "out" in the near future.

Share who inspires you with their designs and why:: Truthfully, it's every day regular women and men who aren't classically trained as designers but who are creative and talented at creating beautiful spaces in their homes. I probably use Instagram for design inspiration more than any design book I have or class I've taken. My clients are real people with families who want a pretty space but still want it to be completely liveable. Home owners who like to decorate are my muses because they live the same kinds of lifestyles as my clients.

Don't you just love Erin & her home?  If you haven't already, jump on over to her Instagram account @thriftyniftynest & start following her.  I know you'll fall in love with her & her style even more! 

Online Design: How it Works Part 2

Last week we talked about the basics of getting started with me and my online design process.  From submitting the initial get started form, to choosing your package, your client portal, design agreement, invoicing & taking photos & measurements of the space.  Once we've gotten all of those things done then I get to work creating a custom design for your space.  

When I first start on a design project I make a mental list of must haves that the space needs to have...basics that will easily warm the space up--curtains & rugs.  I jot down any initial ideas that I have about the space, so I have them when it's time to start shopping. Then I look at the flow of the room--could it be set up differently to maximize the space?  I play around with the floor plan to see what works & what doesn't. And then I stalk your Pinterest/Houzz boards.  I use those images to get an idea of your taste & the feel you'd like to see in your space.  

Once I've made all my notes & got an initial idea in my head then I start on the first draft of design boards.  With the first round of your design board, I put a few options of everything on it--a couple of rugs, different style lamps, different styles of furniture.  I want to let you choose those first few pieces to make sure I'm working in the right direction.  I spent at least 3-4 hours per design board draft scoring the internet for the best pieces for your space. You'll receive each round of design boards via your client portal.  With each round you get to send me feedback on things that you like & dislike about that you see.  The more feedback you give me the better.  Don't worry about hurting my feelings during this part of the process, the more I hear from you the better I'll be able to get exactly what you are wanting.  

Example Round 1 Draft

This example was for a client who needed wall art for their playroom, a statement piece of art for their living room & a design for the husband's home office. 


Example Round 2 Draft

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You & I will go back & forth a lot during this design process.  You'll get roughly 3-4 rounds of rough design boards before we make a finalized plan.  We will also be looking at your budget during this time as well.  There may be some things you are willing to splurge a little bit on in your space & we may have to find other items that cost a little less to offset any splurges.  Even if there are things you'd like to be able to buy for the space, but maybe your budget doesn't allow for it just yet, I'll leave them on your board, so that you are able to purchase them when the time comes & you're ready.  

Once I get all the final touches put on the board I send it over to you via your client portal.  Your board will include: floor plan options, all of the items & accessories you need to purchase to transform your space, along with styling notes & tips. You get to review the board, sign off on it & then start shopping for your space.  The great thing about each design board is that each image that I send over is linked to it's source, so you can start shopping right away.  I really is so easy for you. 

Example of Final Design Board with Floor Plan/Budget & Costs

Online design  is really the best of both worlds.  I get to do what I love helping you turn your house into a home.  You get the look of a designer without paying all the high prices. You get to work as your budget allows and at your own pace. I'm only an email, text or phone call away with any questions you have about the space until you get it just like you want it.  

Do you have a space that needs some love?  Do you have plans for a space, but you just don't have the time to shop & put a plan together?   I would absolutely love to help you get those plans & turn them into a reality.  I'll do all the hard work for you.  I'm currently booking for the Fall.  

Designing Women Feature: Aryn Guillory

Hey y'all!  Anyone else so glad that it's Friday? Today, I sit down with the sweet Aryn Guillory of @osytercreekstudios to chat about all things design.  Aryn & I met at a Holly Mathis business class in the Fall & instantly hit it off.  She is a Houston girl with a love for simplistic spaces.  You are just going to love her & I promise you will are doing to drool over her new home. 

Share where you currently live:: Missouri City, Texas

Share where you grew up:: Spring, Texas

Share what home means to you:: Home to me is simply doing life with my husband and two boys. It's a place of lots of love, fellowship, laughter, arguments, freedom, and home cooked meals around the kitchen table.

Share where your love for home & design came from:: Growing up my dad was a custom home builder so earlier on, i always enjoyed going to visit his construction sites and seeing the homes evolve. My favorite house he built was a replicate of the "Father of the Bride" house. He designed the house to look just like it did in the movie with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton. We watched it 100's of times to study the architect and the design. It was during this process, i became infatuated with all things design.

Share your design style & how you make it work in your home:: absolutely no clutter. (what-so-ever). The design style that describes my home would be Southern - Coastal. white shiplap with casual/modern furniture and finishes. Not too traditional and not too trendy. It's gotta be (semi) kid friendly, clean lines, and comfortable.

Share with us your favorite room in your house: : My favorite room in the house is my breakfast room. The bright morning sun-light in this room is incredible. it literally takes my breath away. The best part is (besides all the walls being shiplap) is that it over looks Oyster Creek. Lots of home cooked meals are shared around our restoration hardware farmhouse table. The Serena and LIlly bistro chairs have been my favorite purchase for the home. We designed our breakfast room to showcase Oyster Creek and i dreamed about watching my boys through these windows learning to fish in the backyard with their dad. It's easily my favorite room in the house.

Do you have a design philosophy? If so, share it with us. : It's gotta look good AND be functional. You're the one living with it, so you need to love the way it looks and functions for your family. Keep things simple (less is more). Don't forget, white is a color and so is black, but don't be afraid to use color.

Share who inspires you with their designs and why:: Cynthia Collins with Collins Interiors (an owner of The Blue Print Store in Dallas, Texas) is my all time favorite interior designer. Her look to me is classic, not to fussy, and modern.  

Holly Mathis with Holly Mathis Interiors is one of my biggest "cheerleaders". She is so encouraging, caring, and hospitable. She has pushed me to follow my dreams of running an interior decorating business. I will be forever grateful for her wisdom and support.

Isn't her home stunning?  Go check out Aryn's feed on Instagram @oystercreekstudios & you can find her online at www.oystercreekstudios.com 

**Photos by Colleen Scott Photography**
 

Online Design: How It Works Part 1

A few months ago I announced that I will only be offering online design services in the Fall.  If you didn't get a chance to read why I'm transitioning, you can read about it here.  With that announcement, I've had a lot of questions coming in about how this online design process works.  Some people are really apprehensive about it, but I promise that it is a seamless process & you'll be amazed at the end results in your home.  If you are one of those people that aren't sure if it's the right thing for you, or if you're just curious how it all works, then I'm going to walk you through it today.  

First-You will check out the Services & Packages that I'm offering on my website.  Think about the space that you are wanting to update-what all does it need?  What all will you need help with to turn your vision into a reality?  Now choosing the package that is right for your needs may be a little tricky but I'm happy to help.  You'll click the Get Started button at the bottom of my services page to fill out some basic info about you & your space.  Don't worry, you are not committing to anything by filling this out.  This just let's me know that you are possibly interested in my services.  I'll get back with you within 24 hours with a more detailed list of the packages & pricing.  From here you can choose an option that works for you & your budget, but if you still aren't sure, then I get a little more information from you so I can help you decide which would be best.  

Once you've selected your package or service, then the fun starts.  You'll get a link to your own client portal.  In your portal will be your invoice, design agreement, design questionnaire, photo & measurement guide....lots of things that are going to help us kick off your project.  You pay your deposit, read over & sign the invoice & begin filling out your design questionnaire.  

Now one thing that really helps me as the stylist on your space is seeing what you love.  I always urge my clients to create either a Pinterest or Houzz board with images & styles that they love.  It's hard for me to read your mind, so seeing these things help me a ton during the design process. It keeps us from going back & forth too many times.  So before you hit submit on the design questionnaire, create an inspiration board for me on either Houzz or Pinterest.  

Once I receive your questionnaire I really start digging into to it.  I read over it a lot.  I start looking over your Pinterest and/or Houzz boards to make sure what you are saying on the questionnaire matches up to the images you've pinned.  This just makes sure we are on the same page.  I will email you with any questions that I have about the space or your style.  Then I'll send you the official start date, along with a reminder about getting me your photos & measurements.  Don't fret about those...I send you a guide that will walk you step by step on how to sketch them out & send them over to me.  It's a lot simpler than you think.  

You then submit your pictures & measurements & I get started working on your space.  

Next week, I'm going to share with you the next part of the design process...your design boards, budget, shopping list, layouts, etc.  

Designing Women Feature-Bethany Dufilho

Happy Friday y'all !  I'm so excited about today's Design Women Feature.  I met Bethany @thehouseoffigs last summer at one of Holly Mathis' design classes.  Bethany is a breath of fresh air.  She is sweet as she can be & her design style is on point.  I know you are going to love her & her beautiful home. Grab your drink of choice & enjoy! 

Share where you currently live:: Katy, TX

Share where you grew up:: I'm an army brat, so I moved 13 times growing up!

Share what home means to you:: Home to me means comfort; it means family and belonging. Its a safe-haven, a place of rest and rejuvenation. Its also a place for taking risks! For experimentation and pushing boundaries, expressing creativity and testing out new ideas. At its best it energizes and refreshes, it invites and it inspires.

Share where your love for home & design came from:: Because we moved so much growing up, there was never time to worry about the "perfect" placement of the furniture or photos on the walls. If we hesitated even a few months, we might move again before we'd ever fully moved in! So my mother never wasted any time in making any rental house, duplex, or apartment we were in feel like "home." There were always curtains hung and and pictures on the walls within a week or two of moving in. She wasn't relying on trends or buying all new furniture every time. She was using what we had in a new way and making it work, sometimes sewing new curtains or buying just a few new accessories. My sense of home and stability depended on my mother's resourcefulness and practicality and I didn't even realize it at the time! Years later when I became a stay at home mom to our oldest son, I found myself rearranging the furniture in our house, playing with the pictures on the wall, and painting and repainting. Creating home became a hobby for me.

Share your design style & how you make it work in your home:: I have an appreciation for so many design styles! But I think my favorite is a modern farmhouse look. In our own home I combine old and new, mixing straight modern lines with more traditional or rustic pieces. But I live in a 90s builder grade suburban home so I would never go full out shiplap & wood beams! I have to make it work with what I've got and for me that meant painting the tuscan orange walls white, putting in wood floors, and a classic white backsplash in the kitchen.

Share with us your favorite room in your house: : I love our living room. We don't have a huge house and this is the heart of the home. Its small enough to feel cozy but big enough to host the occasional crowd. The couch is so old and I dream about replacing it all the time but its just sort of got this well worn pair of jeans feeling now. We have 3 kids and the five of us fit so well piled on it for movie nights or Great British Baking Show marathons. The bookcases aren't just for decoration, although I do love the colors all those books bring to the room! When storage is both functional and beautiful its the best combination and what you can't see are all the baskets of toys on the two lower shelves. This room turns into a playroom pretty quickly some days!

 

Do you have a design philosophy? If so, share it with us. : The tagline on my blog is "decorating with beauty and purpose." I've never been one for tchotchkes or having stuff just for the sake of stuff. I like the minimalist trend, though with three kids and a husband it would never be possible for me! Truly though, I just love the idea of only using things in your home that you find to be beautiful or useful. I know its been said a million times before, but I think there's a reason- it just works so well.

Share who inspires you with their designs and why:: When I first got into decorating as a hobby, it was The Nester, Myquillin Smith (thenester.com) who gave me the freedom to take risks and be creative. Her philosophy is "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" which is just so freeing, isn't it? As a recovering perfectionist I found joy in realizing I could make choices for my home without fear. I could paint rooms, put nail holes in the walls, and stencil on curtains. It was my house and no one could tell me what to do. It was so freeing and in doing that I found my creativity and nurtured my sense of style.  
I also love Holly Mathis- her use of classic and timeless finishes, beautiful fabrics, and unexpected unique wow pieces is incredible.
Lauren Liess has always been an inspiration as well. She is a master with subtle color and texture.

You can find Bethany online at:

Instagram: @thehouseoffigs
Blog: thehouseoffigs.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thehouseoffigsdecorating/

Designing Women Feature-Erin Kern

I am so excited about this new series that I'm starting here on the blog.  Every Friday, I'll meet you here & we will chat with the women behind my favorite Instagram accounts.  These Designing Women are ladies who all share a love for home & design.  They may not be interior decorators or designers, but they inspire us all with their beautiful feeds where we get a little peek into their lives.  Here we will sit down with them & dig a little deeper to learn more about them-where their love of home comes from, what home means to them & a little bit about their design philosophy.  So grab a cup of coffee, tea or heck, it's Friday, grab a mimosa & let's have a little girl chat with these beautiful ladies. 


To start the series off I want to introduce to you Erin from @cottonstem I started following Erin a while ago.  Her home is stunning & I just love how real she is. Thanks to her I'm obsessed with NYX Butter Gloss & following her #CottonStemHearts creep every Thursday on Instagram.  I know you'll love getting to know Erin too! 

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Share where you currently live:: Near Tulsa, Oklahoma

Share where you grew up:: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Share what home means to you:: To me, home means peace. Peace for my soul, peace for my mind, and peace for my sweet family. My husband always says that coming into our house makes him feel more relaxed, more at ease just by the vibe it puts off, and that is the ultimate goal in how I make design choices for our family home. I want my people to feel comfy and peaceful and loved...just by being at home.

Share where your love for home & design came from:: Growing up, I was always redecorating my bedroom (after saving up my tiny allowance, of course...), and I also watched my aunt create a successful interior decorating biz from the ground up, which was so super inspiring. Those experiences certainly flipped that switch inside me to create beautiful spaces, and also I just love to create. Home design and decorating is sort of like my art come to life. I'm not a painter or sculptor or hand-letterer...but I make art by playing with pretties in people's homes via e-design, and it feels so so good in my soul to CREATE!!

Share your design style & how you make it work in your home:: Well...my style changes all the time, so I'm not sure how I'd define it. Maybe French farmhouse-y cottage? Ha! I don't really try and stay in any one lane--if it inspires me and I love it, it's going down, man. It's fun to play. I get bored easily and get that desire to create and dream and make those dreams come to life through designing spaces, so my style is kinda hard to nail down with all that swirling.

Share with us your favorite room in your house: : My very favorite room in our home is our master bedroom. This is our refuge, our place of rest, our time to be just the two of us, a soft place to land after a long day caring for our four little daughters. I kept things super white and easy on the eyes, but I added visual interest with the embroidery hoop wreath wall installation...another crazy idea that just had to get out of me or I felt I'd burst! Our bedroom is simple, soft and serene...my favorite spot to be. (Close second would be my tiny she shed office, though......!!)

 

Do you have a design philosophy? If so, share it with us. : My design philosophy: if you love it, create it...then you'll be constantly living inside of what you love. Can't get much better than that! I absolutely don't believe in trying to fit into a set of design rules, nor do I love simply replicating another's style. Of course, there's no new idea under the sun and styles and ideas cross-pollinate, but...I believe in endeavoring to be YOU in all your design and decor choices, even if it isn't trendy at the moment, even if it is different than what seems to be popular on TV or magazines. It is beautiful because it is YOU.

Share who inspires you with their designs and why:: Honestly, my biggest design inspiration would have to be my sweet mother-in-law. She has a cozy cottage that she makes so beautiful, but most importantly, she makes design choices that welcome us to use her home. We are comfortable while there, we are relaxed and at ease, and you can tell how much she loves her people by the choices she makes in setting up her house. Plus...she changes things up constantly like me. We get each other. ;)

Isn't Erin the best?  She is just so real & I love her honestly about her design philosophy & that she doesn't play by the rules.  She does what works best for her family & that's all that matters.  

Here are all the places you can connect with Erin. 

Website: www.cottonstem.com

Instagram: @cottonstem

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CottonStem/

SFD Room Challenge

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If you are anything like me, you always have ideas of how you want to update a room in your home, only to buy a bunch of stuff & then never get around to doing it.  Or you have great ideas & because you don't use the room that much, you just don't think about it & it's goes undone for 1, 2, 10 years.  For me, it's all of those things above & also time.  With 2 kids running around, I find myself coming & going & doing all the things but my grand ideas.  

This summer I want to change that for both you & me.  One room per month for the next 3 months. It can be as simple as organizing your pantry, changing the paint color of a room & adding some accessories, finish a space you started long ago, or doing a total overhaul.  Whatever your budget allows.  You get one month to revamp any room in your house.   

Not even sure where to start?  Don't worry, I'll be sharing ideas, tips & tricks to get you where you want to be via Instagram & Facebook, so make sure you are following me there. 

We will officially kick off on June 1st, so start brainstormings & figure out where you want to start.  June 30th will be our big reveal day & I cannot wait to see your transformations.  If you blog, then you can share on your blog or keep it simple & share your before & afters on Instagram using the hashtag #sfdroomchallenge  

Will you take the SFD Room Challenge?  What room needs some love in your home?  Sign up below & then take a before picture of the room & tag me on Instagram & use the hashtag #sfdroomchallenge.  

Favorite Farmhouse Lighting

Lighting may seem like it can be a huge expense, and don't get me wrong, it can be, but it doesn't have to be.  I absolutely love looking at Wayfair & Amazon for lighting.  They have a lot of similar items that you see at Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware for a fraction of the cost.  Adding new farmhouse lighting is somewhat of an easy way to change up your space.  If you have a handy husband that you can sweet talk into changing out the fixtures, you can easily get it done in a weekend.  

***This post contains affiliate links, which means a commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link.***

Here are some of our favorite farmhouse lighting--chandeliers & pendants.

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one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten

You can see below where I've used some of these farmhouse lights in my own home.  I get questions all the time about where I find them, so now you know my secret. 

Which of these are your favorite farmhouse light fixtures?  Where do you tend to go to buy your lighting?  Share your sources with me so I can be sure to go check them out too! 

 

***This post contains affiliate links, which means a commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link.***

Bookshelf Styling Tips

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Open shelving can be your best friend when it comes to styling your home, but for most it's their worst enemy. Finding the right objects and figuring out how to place them can seem like a daunting task, so hopefully our quick list of tips will help you muster up some confidence to style and decorator your own shelves.

First up, what to choose: use your best decorative items. Mixing and matching different types of items is a must, but be sure to have them match each other. A color scheme will make the entire shelving unit feel unified. Unless you have a specific color choice for the room already in mind, such as a bright color like green or red, we tend to keep the color scheme neutral. For example, for a client's contemporary office space, we chose black picture frames with white and gold decorative objects, separated by greenery in white vases and assorted books (vintage looking ones are the best!).

 

Here's a list of the categories of things to showcase on your shelves: 

1. Your favorite books

2. Picture frames

3. Greenery

4. Accent objects

5. Boxes and baskets

 

 Secondly, get rid of the clutter. Your shelves are a great place to show off all of your favorite memories and family items, but its not a place to show off everything. A cluttered shelving unit can be unappealing to look at -- all your guests would focus on is the clutter and get distracted from what you're actually trying to show off. Here's a tip: buy a group of matching gallery frames in various sizes to put family photos and kid drawings in -- show off your stuff with style!

 

Thirdly, keep it simple and balanced. Simplicity means using the fewer items the better because you don't want to crowd the shelf. A group of 5-6 books and a decorative box is about the max amount of items your want to place on a shelf. Additionally, SFD's rule of thumb for balance is to alternate between a centered decorated shelf, a symmetrically decorated, and an asymmetrical decorated shelf (meaning either left or right side oriented). 

The sketch below gives you an idea of our rule of thumb: 

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A)  Centered decorated shelf

B)  Symmetrically decorated shelf

C)  Left oriented shelf

The SFD rule of thumb here is to make sure that you don't put too of the same type of shelf orientation next to each other (a.k.a. A below to A, B, next to B, etc.). Notice that in our drawing, we didn't just go A, B, C, A, B, C to create a pattern for the shelf orientation -- you can do that, but we just get creative and go random with our shelf orientation! When you've got it all set up, just stand back and look at it as a whole. If something doesn't look right, switch it up. You've got a eye for style, so trust your design gut! 

 

Mother's Day Gift Guide & Ultimate Giveaway

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Mother's Day is just a few weeks away and we are so excited to share some of our favorite shops & gift ideas with you for your mom, wife, grandmother, mom tribe, or any lady friends in your life. Make sure you read all the way to the end for the ultimate Mother's Day Bundle giveaway!! 

1. Ellison Made @ellisonmade

www.ellisonmade.etsy.com

Ellison Made is a handmade home decor + lifestyle goods shop. They are a husband & wife team based out of Palm Harbor, Florida. Sam & Brittany make wood signs, canvas banners, burlap prints, mugs, tote bags, tees, baby onesies & more. Currently they sell their items on Etsy, but have recently launched an indiegogo campaign to try raise funds to renovate a vintage Airstream trailer into a one-of-a-kind in person shopping experience. Not only do they plan on  carrying their line of items, but they will also be partnering with many other makers & small shops to carry their items, too. There will be home decor, beauty, lifestyle & children's items. They like to think of it as a mini Magnolia Market meets Etsy Marketplace. Every dollar helps them bring these dreams to life for small businesses.  If you'd like to give to help get them in their airstream you can donate here. 

2. Uninvented Colors @uninventedcolors

www.etsy.com/shop/UninventedColors

©Uninvented Colors

©Uninvented Colors

Sara's Etsy shop began during a time of lots of (unexpected) transition in her life. In a short time, she was a college student, a grad student, a sick person, a healing person, a well person, a youth minister, a Sunday School teacher, a crisis therapist, and a grad student.  Somewhere in the middle of all of that, she decided that she was an artist. These days, Sara lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with her husband and daughter and work full-time as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Her favorite moments are the ones when a client says, "Oh! I never looked at it that way before!" That's her goal as a therapist, and she is realizing that it's her goal as an artist, too. She hope my images inspire you to see God's creation in a new and more beautiful way.

3. Sweet Tea & Sawdust @sweet_tea_and_sawdust 

www.sweetteasawdust.com

Sweet Tea and Sawdust is a custom farmhouse furniture builder. They build tables, beds, buffets and so much more. The owner, Ashlee, has been in business for 2 years and still going strong. Each of their pieces are handmade with love. Everyone has a dream of the perfect farmhouse look, and it is Sweet Tea & Sawdust's goal to help you achieve it. Ashlee & her team truly  love their clients & work hard to deliver the best for them. Sweet Tea & Sawdust has created quite a few things for some of my clients & they have also helped out by donating two custom pieces to help me with the bathroom renovation at Kendleton Farms.  

4. Bought Beautifully @boughtbeautifully

www.boughtbeautifully.org

Bought Beautifully is curated marketplace of ethical products made by artisans in manner that honors the process and the people.  And y'all, they have the most beautiful items in their shop!  Be an agent of change this Mother's day by giving a gift that empowers mothers around the globe to provide for their families, rise form poverty, and fulfill their potential.

Your purchase enriches lives, restores hopes, and shares love.

5. BeautyCounter by Alicia Nelson @beautycounter.alicia

www.beautycounter.com/alicianelson1

I had the privilege of meeting when our daughter's were taking dance class together. Alicia is  a Beautycounter educator, a transportation researcher, a handmade sign-maker, and a stay at home mom.  She first got involved with Beautycounter because she wanted the safer products for herself and her family. Alicia quickly learned that shelovse educating other women about this mission and providing them with the tools to make smart, educated decisions for themselves.

Beautycounter’s mission is to get safe products into the hands of everyone, and while we completely understand that our products may not be for everyone, we still work towards our goal through education and advocacy.

Beauty counter is committed to a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what’s required by U.S. law: They've banned the use of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals through our "Never List”—all while ensuring our products perform and that they’re as indulgent as any other luxe shampoo, lipstick, or oil in the market.
 

6. The Vintage Farmstand @thevintagefarmstand

www.thevintagefarmstand.com

I was so excited to learn about The Vintage Farmstand, not only because they have some of the cutest stuff, but they also are only & hop, skip & a jump away from me.  The Vintage Farmstand is small family run company owned by Josh & Kim. A husband and wife team of 15 years with a tribe of four active kiddos, two of which are teenagers. Kim has been able to be a stay at home mom for the last 15 years and found herself wondering ~ what's next ~ after her last child went off to school. After going through some life changing trials, she found painting and creating to be her healing place & woodworking for the hubs has been his. They have seen Christ make beautiful things out of dust in their own lives and have a passion for sharing their story with others. They can't get enough of antique stores, auctions and working together to bring life back to old pieces. Kim has the vision and Josh finds a way to make it happen. Each piece is inspired by, and created to bring promises of love and hope.They pride themselves on building a quality product and creating lasting relationships with their customers.

7. Greenwood Nursery @greenwoodnursery

www.greenwoodnursery.com

Greenwood Nursery is an Online Mail Order Nursery offering a wide selection of flowering shrubsshade treesground covers, evergreen plants, colorful perennials, small fruiting plants, and more garden plants to the home gardener. The Greenwood Team is available to offer guidance and gardening advice so each customer is successful with their gardening projects. Greenwood Nursery opened its doors in 1978 as a wholesale plant nursery specializing in propagation and continues today as a family owned and managed wholesale plants and mail order plant nursery business. Online since 1998. 

GreenwoodNursery.com offers the Best Quality Plants at the Best Possible Prices along with knowledgeable, courteous staff to help you grow your garden successfully!   I'm excited about reaching out to Greenwood to help me with my gardening needs.  Check out their site & see if you can find a plant for the woman in your life that has a green thumb. 

8. Flourish & Co. Cultivate Coaching @flourishandco_

www.flourishandco.com

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I was so excited that I was able to meet Katie of Flourish & Co. in February at the Pursuit Community Retreat.  She is a true light & I'm so glad that our paths crossed.  Katie is a certified life coach. 

 After going through some various dark times, the most recent of which involved having her world crash around her, all while raising 2 little ladies, she's learning that life is so much more. True joy and happiness isn't in the perfect, it's in the imperfect... It's in the broken where we can start to see the light shine through... It's in finding our voice, in stripping away our masks, that we find real beauty and a real life that can be lived.

Katie offers virtual COACHING FOR WOMEN & COACHING FOR CREATIVES.  Her coaching is for the woman who is in need of some encouragement and/or overall clarity in her life and has an overall desire to live intentionally. It is also great for the woman who is ready to have more margin and meaning in her life- wanting to thrive, not just survive.

9. Eclectic Soirees @eclecticsoirees

www.etsy.com/shop/eclecticsoirees

Next up we have Eclectic Soiress who is owned by my dear friend Meggie. A wife, mommy, party-enthusiast, lover of home decor and a dreamer. Meggie's shop, Eclectic Soirees, is dedicated to a crafted collection of handmade designs, perfect for parties, weddings and home decor. 

As a stay-at-home mommy, she really wanted to develop a revenue-driven creative outlet that she could build from home. Eclectic Soirees was born after her son's lumberjack-themed birthday party was featured on Kara's Party Ideas. This small shop is happily operated from home and methodically managed around naptimes and mommy duties. 

Meggie enjoys creating items that carry a distinct style and consider each creation a little work of art. On top of her Etsy shop, she also run a home decor Instagram account, @truelockdesigns, a feed meant to inspire and occasionally showcase my goods.  

10. Grace Grey Designs @GraceGreyDesigns

www.facebook.com/gracegreydesigns/

And last, but not least, Grace Grey Designs.  I have been blessed to be able to call Leslie a friend for the past 5 years.  This girl so extremely talented. She seriously turns other people's trash into the most gorgeous treasures.  At Grace Grey Designs, Leslie takes the most unexpected pieces & turns them into statement pieces for your home.  True, one of a kind items leave her shop. She is currently working on a new blog & website, but for now go follow her on Instagram & you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.  


The Ultimate Mother's Day Bundle Giveaway

Are y'all ready for the fun part?  Each of these fabulous shops have agreed to team up & create the Ultimate Mother's Day Giveaway!  Yes, one lucky winner will be receiving a box full of goodies--10 items and/or gift cards from each of these shops!!! How fun is that?  I wish I could win it. Enter below & we will announce the winner on Saturday, April 29th!