Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Dogwood

Happy Easter weekend, friends! As I was searching for something both visually and spiritually beautiful to share, I ran across the post below on Visual Forces. It's perfect. Following is a repost by Shane Eubank from 6 years ago. A great message stands the test of time.

“For the message of the cross…is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:18

“The dogwood was the tree chosen to construct the Cross that would be used to take the body of Jesus. Even though His body may have been taken from this earth, His spirit remains and every spring we are blessed with a reminder of the events that unfolded on that fateful weekend. The blooms often appear in the shape of a Cross with holes in the tips of the pedals signifying the nails that were driven into the Cross. If you look closely at these holes you can notice a faint red stain representing the Blood. In the center you will find a green bloom symbolizing the crown of thorns placed on the head of Jesus. After the Crucifixion, God proclaimed that dogwood trees would never grow large ever again. This is the reason the trunks of dogwoods are skinny and often branch off low on the trunk. The dogwood is more than a tree…it is a representation of life. With every spring we are reminded of what God did for us and given the chance to be reborn and start a new life as “children of God.” (John 3:1)

My grandparents had a dogwood tree on the side of their house when I was growing up. I remember several Easters when my grandfather asked us to take pictures by it. Seeing this post pulled those memories out of the vaults and warmed my heart today. I hope you were touched as well. Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Barrel ceilings

Have you ever stopped to wonder what makes a house interesting? Hands down, the answer is architectural detail. One piece of architectural detail I find especially fascinating is a barrel ceiling.

One word...Wow!

You may need to slow down while scrolling through these beautiful images to wipe the drool off your chin. ;)

Dramatic, right?

It's even dramatic in all white.

But, mix the two looks of contrasting brown and white and ding, ding, ding, we have a winner...beautiful!

Wonder why I've been thinking about barrel ceilings? I have a friend/client who's asked me to help her create something fun in her bar area which just happens to have a barrel ceiling. See the portion or the ceiling image above with the pendant? That's exactly what we discussed with the carpenter on Monday. Crossing my fingers that the quote is good and we'll see this vision come to life!

Monday, March 25, 2013

How a Consultation Works

You've had glimpses of this room previously, but today I thought we'd put a different spin on things and discuss the consultation process as I show you the rest of this precious room.

Not everyone has the budget to hire a designer to pull together a room 100%. Let's be honest, most of us don't. That's why hiring a designer for a consultation is a great alternative. 

Consultations give me the opportunity to come in and give you a brain dump of ideas, then you decide what you're willing to tackle and how you want to interpret the ideas.

My sweet client came to me wanting to redo her kiddos' bedrooms. She needed guidance but was willing to do all the legwork. She simply wanted me to spend some time with her brainstorming and providing guidance for the overall look.

She shared info with me like a Pottery Barn inspiration photo her daughter fell in love with. She also identified pieces of furniture that could go and ones that needed to stay. We discussed the function of the room and the fact that this room needed to carry her daughter through many years to come.

We discussed the DIY projects she was willing to tackle, like repainting the dresser. She showed me bedding and accessories she currently owned, like these cute zebra sheets and the pink pom poms.

I gave her a verbal plan and she ran with it. Along the way, I sent a few links her way for additional bedding and paint colors. Armed with our ideas, she set off shopping and pulled the room together on her own. Then, she invited me back over to do a little tweaking. (Just fyi, tweaking happens at an hourly rate in addition to the consultation fee.)

She found this cute wooden letter but felt it was blah.  We decided to wrap it in lights for a little pizzaz.

One more project in the works...adding a sliding door to the fun little nook. We tossed around the idea of covering one side of the door in chalkboard paint and the other in cork. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

She told me this piece isn't her favorite but her daughter "loved" it. And, guess what?'s her daughter's room so that's what matters!

Highlights of the consultation: (Since you're wondering...$150 for 1.5 to 2 hours)

  • Brainstorming
  • Verbal plan
  • Suggestions of stores to shop for specific accessories
  • Paint color suggestions

Client's responsibilities:
  • Shopping
  • Following general guidelines
  • Implementing the plan
  • DIY projects

Together we created a great room with designer touches that her daughter loves. The best part? Momma gets to feel the satisfaction of knowing she used her God-given talents to give her daughter a space she's proud of.

Ready for your own consultation? Do you have a space that you look at daily and wonder what you should do? Sometimes a fresh set of eyes and a few ideas is all you need to get your own creative juices flowing. Contact me if you'd like to work together:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Snip, snip...instant decor!

I was stuck at home yesterday while a window was being replaced. We had an unfortunate incident that involved the edger, a rock and our bathroom window. Ouch! It's fun to replace $500 windows right before you move out. Definitely how I like to spend my money. Yes, please read that with heavy sarcasm attached.

Like I said, I was stuck at home so I took advantage of the down time to celebrate the beautiful signs of spring that are popping up.  I've always, always loved my jewel magnolia tree and can't believe that I've never taken advantage of snipping a few branches to bring inside. It's something so simple, completely free and adds a pretty touch to any room.

Okay, confession time, I bought this pitcher for decorative purposes only and when I realized I needed to fill it with water to keep the branches alive, I actually caught myself wondering if it was safe to put water in it. Can you believe that? Uh,'s a pitcher! It was made to hold liquids. Complete lack of brain cells going on over here sometimes.

My magnolia tree isn't blooming yet, but another snip, snip on the rose bush quickly added the floral touch needed on my mantle. I don't typically change my mantle decor but I'm kinda feelin' the nature vibe going on in this little scene.

Hope this has inspired you to walk outside and find a few of nature's treasures to use in your decor!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bird Bath Design Board

An eclectic mix for the birds...
Bird bath...
Oh, there were so many "punny" possibilities for this post. Puns, alliteration...See, Mrs. Koch, I did learn something in your English class!

Okay, if you aren't rolling your eyes by now and you're still interested in the actual design happening in this post, then let's jump right in. Here's one of my recent design boards using Jonathan Adler's stunning wallpaper.

WallpaperJonathan Adler
Art: All Modern Tea Towel (Framed as art)
Mirror: CB2
Wall Sconces: Lumens
Hand Towels: West Elm
Double VanityHome Decorators
CanistersUrban Outfitters

Let's dissect this board a little. Simplicity is key with your accessories in this space since the wallpaper is so 'in your face'. We'll let the wallpaper be the star and not compete with anything else in the room. Then, let's offset those hard angles from the diamonds in the paper with the soft curvature of the round mirror. Next, let's juxtapose our contemporary elements with a bit of something rustic, i.e. the vanity. And, don't forget the art. The muted tones in this pigeon tea towel will look great matted and framed. Oh, those cobalt blue wall scones, they make quite the statement, don't they?! Gotta throw in a third color just to spice things up a bit. Remember, matchy matchy is boring. We'll tie that blue right into this design with a simple hand towel accented in the same color.

So, there ya have it, a glimpse into the thought process behind the design and a case presented to make you understand why it all 'works.'

Monday, March 18, 2013

Our House hunt continues...

We survived our first house hunting trip to Dallas with the kids. I was a little anxious about how this would play out since neither Frieling friend is looking forward to the big move. I asked our realtor/friend to keep the day light so the kids could get a taste of what's to come without having to endure a full day of hunting. Well, our realtor LOVES his job and doesn't know the meaning of a light day. We were at it for a full 6 hours!

Much to my surprise there wasn't even one single complaint muttered the entire day. Your prayers worked, friends! I ended up learning so much from our kids during this process. It was incredible.

The market in Dallas is hot right now and finding a house is going to be a challenge. Three of the seven houses in the last post were under contract before we even made it to town. We're really at a disadvantage trying to do this long-distance.

I had to kiss these doors good-bye before I even managed to step foot through them.

Some of the homes we walked through were doozies. I'm talking avocado green stairs paired with orange patterned carpet. Oh, and did I mention the mold growing on the wall? Yikes! Not to be outdone by the house with fire engine red sinks and a fully mirrored bathroom. Floor to ceiling, friends, and all 4 walls. Wowza! I really should have snapped pictures so you could fully appreciate the beauty but we were feeling the heebee jeebees and couldn't get out of these places fast enough. Pass the hand sanitizer please.

These doors gave me a little hope though...

Then, after we returned, this house popped up on the market...
Remember my love for trees?! We've never had a tree this large in our yard.

And here's what's just beyond the fence...

Our realtor promised to swing by and preview this house to see if it's worth another trip up. I have a sneaky feeling we're going to need a new car when all is said and done. Lots of miles between Austin and Dallas and our car has 180,000 miles on it already. Hold on, Betsy!

So, staying true to John and Reed's hunting adventures, not every hunt ends with a prize. This just helps build the anticipation in hopes that the next hunt will yield the trophy.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Come along on my house hunt...

It's time to get serious, people. No more looking and just thinking. We're to the point where the trigger needs to be pulled sooner than later.

Want to see what's on our plate in the next few days?

Option #1: Mid-century modern with lots of open space.
Cool house but not so sure about the quality of schools. Still need to do some research. The yard looks a little rough, but my brother owns a landscaping company so we'll have that sucker fixed up in no time.
I'm kinda digging these front doors.

Option #2: Our realtor spent several hours in this house last weekend. He was really excited about it. He kept telling me "this is the one." I kept telling him, "I hope it looks better in person, because I kinda think you're crazy!"

Love the big windows. Can't wait to slap some paint on that paneling!

Option #3: Cute entry, but let me warn you...they made this a close-up shot for a reason.

Nice, angled ceilings. Am I wrong to think someone could get lost in that fireplace?! White floors...hummm, love them but how livable are they?

Option #4: Really great curb appeal. Ahh, look at those trees! Do I want to go the traditional route?

Good bones. I'm seeing a new backsplash with new uppers. The rest is doable though.

Option #5: You know it's bad when there's only an exterior picture shown in the listing. Am I up for a challenge?

Option #6: Just found this one last night and FELL IN LOVE! I didn't even know something like this existed in Dallas. The downside? Super far commute for John, it's only 1600 sq. ft. and it just went under contract. Tears.
Pretty sure I could have had a hay day with this one.
Holy browness!

Hello, sweeties, I certainly wouldn't mind having my coffee with you every morning. 

Okay, friends, here's where you can help. This is the first time we're taking the kids house hunting with us. Please pray that something sparks some excitement in them and that they begin to look forward to the move instead of dreading it.

Check back next week for a recap of how these houses measured up in person. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stainless appliances...I'm done with you

One word...Fingerprints! I've said it before, I'm NOT a fan of stainless appliances even though that's exactly what lives in my kitchen. I have enough trouble keeping my countertops clean. Adding every single appliance to the cleaning list is enough to send me over the edge.

So, is white better? Is it the next trend in kitchen appliances? Or is it even considered a trend when it's been "the thing" at least 4, 387 times before? It's just an updated version of a good 'ole tried and true, right?
Clients often want to buy things that are going to stand the test of time. I share the secret that everything goes out of style eventually, but the color white will carry you through the trends the longest in my opinion.

Ranges are becoming quite the kitchen accessory these days. Think this one shows fingerprints as bad as stainless? Dirt, yes...fingerprints, no.

With white kitchens being all the rage, I like the seamless look these appliances add by blending right in with the cabinets.

There's a white oven in this picture? Oh, sorry, I must of missed it while I was admiring the super cool striped floor. See? White appliances don't scream for attention. They're perfectly happy serving their purpose and letting others be the star.

Large white vent hood with tiny gold accent. Yes, please.

Is anyone else ready for the stainless trend to step aside and make way for the next best thing?

Monday, March 11, 2013

How to attach mirror on mirror

Raise your hand if you have a big 'o rectangular mirror hanging in your bathroom? You know, the one the builder slathers glue on the back of and slaps it right onto the wall without thinking of the DIYer who's going to want to remove that bad boy and put up something different. 

If removing the mirror and facing the possibility of damaging the drywall is a concern, then I've come up with a great alternative. Glue a mirror on top of it!

This simple solution came to mind when my parents were trying to figure out how to fix a weird blotch on their mirror. I asked them to be my guinea pigs and let me try covering it up with another mirror. The solution sounded intriguing and required minimal work, so I was given the green light.

We found mirrors at Hobby Lobby that were light weight and looked like the backing could be removed easily. Winner!
We unscrewed a few screws and ripped the back right off. No returning the mirrors at this point...I was really hoping my idea worked.
We needed the mirror exposed for best adhesion...mirror on mirror.

Found at any home improvement store. Make sure you pick up a caulk gun while your there, too.

Caulk around the edges and don't be afraid to be extra generous with your portions.
Once the edges are well covered, go crazy in the center of the mirror too.

Now press and pray (that it doesn't fall). We concocted a support system of boxes to help hold the mirror until it had time to adhere fully. Helpful hint...make sure you check the height before gluing the mirror in place. What seemed high enough for me, cut my dad's head off! Make sure it's placed high enough for a tall person to look in comfortably.

Let's wrap things up with a little Before/After action, shall we?


I'm pleased to report it's been several months since this project was completed and their mirrors are still happily hanging in their places.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thinking about Birth

Whoa! Wait a minute. This is a home decor blog, right? Then why the heck am I talking about birth?!

Well, I'll tell ya 3 good reasons...

  1. I realized this week that I only have one trimester left to live in Austin. When you put it in pregnancy terms, you quickly realize how f.a.s.t. that's going to happen. Yikes!
  2. My cousin just went past her due date so we've all been anxiously awaiting "the call." (btw, he was born this morning!)
  3. Last, but certainly not least, Reed was baptized last weekend!!

John praying with Reed. I love, love, love the emotion shown in this picture. If you look real close you can see a tiny tear in the corner of Reed's eye.  Anyone remember what a talented artist my dad is? I'm  pretty sure this picture will magically appear on his drawing table someday soon.

Reed's spiritual birth.

It's an amazing feeling watching your children claim Christ as their Savior. My heart is full!
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