Hill Country Happy: The Best Of The West


While we all have our own personal style whether it be ultra modern or basic traditional most of us can at least appreciate good design no matter the style.  All styles appeal to me!  I love doing each and every style for clients and if I could afford to have half a dozen different homes I’d decorate them in half a dozen different styles.  And one of those styles would be Texas Hill Country.  I love this look!  I find it a friendly, welcoming style with a certain flair and a unique appeal to it.  These pieces below are all timeless, beautiful “Hill Country” pieces that would look great in the right space.  I found these at a “to the trade” showroom at the World Trade Center.  Each of these pieces are a fun, unique combination of fabrics, textures,  patterns and style.

Love This Funky Frame With All The Detail Work Mixed With Cow Hide

Cool "Western" Chair



How’d You Like To Come Home And Relax In This Amazing Chaise?   Notice All The Different Textures and Hyde’s They Used.

Great Looking Chaise



Love The Combination Of Leathers And Hyde’s, The Cool Fringe On The Pillow And The Addition Of The Chunky Nail Heads On This Traditional Style Chair. All These Details Give It Flair And A Unique Quality.  Absolutely Love It!

Western Club Chair



Great Look With The Traditional Style Sofa – Again – Covered In A Multitude Of Leathers And Finished Off With The Nail Heads.  Can’t You See This In Your Cozy Den?  Gorgeous!

Multi Leather/Hyde With Nailheads


Whatever your style run with it and don’t hold back.  If it’s a “Western” or Hill Country theme have fun with it and bring the style into every detail.  Don’t stop short with the seating.  Get creative with pillows, rugs, artwork, etc……Make your space Hill Country Happy!


Austin Oasis : It’s All About The View


Now that my brother has moved back to Texas, settling in a beautiful area of Austin, my family is able to see them more.  In fact we just took a road trip a couple of weeks ago to celebrate his birthday.   As hot as the Texas summer is it didn’t stop us from languishing out back every second we could.   The key to beating the Texas heat – swimming pools!  And that’s exactly where we spent most of our time.  With the water and the view we stayed cool and content all weekend long.   The first thing my brother did  when they purchased the home was design an infinity edge pool and had it installed immediately to take advantage of the amazing view and help beat the heat.  When you’re floating in the pool you feel like you could float right over the edge.  With the captivating view, the comfy pool, family all around (and a sister-in-law who doubles as a gourmet cook!) it was a great little mini vacation.  Take a look at their amazing views from the backyard.








Would you ever get tired of looking at all that beauty?  I know I wouldn’t.  I’m afraid they may see more of us than they would actually like now that they’re here in Texas!


I was able to get them this great iron furniture from one of my “to the trade only” sources.  It looks great and fits into each little patio area perfectly.


My brother, Randy, and sis-in-law, Gloria, relaxing on one of the decks in the outdoor living area.  The attractive, comfy furniture is from the same “to the trade” source.  The house is two story and wraps around to form an “L” shape with more decking and an upstairs balcony off the master bedroom overlooking this amazing view.



More great, comfy furniture from the same series works perfectly in this space on the other side of the house.  Great place for napping and reading. 



Friends came over to help celebrate the big day!


Ever the gourmet cook here’s a sampling of some of the great food Gloria prepared.  We had pork taco’s, fried fish, shrimp, and much, much more.  Delicious!

P8142504 P8142505

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Me and my man enjoying the view, the food and the company.



My cute, little parents trying to endure the heat, just happy to be with their kids and grandkids.



My “cute as a bug” great-nephew, Aiden.  He loves visiting his Nana and Papaw’s house.



And when we did decide to move inside for a minute or two, this is what we got to enjoy:  Marble floors, custom draperies, beautiful furniture in an elegant environment.  And the view out the window?  The same as from the backyard.  Breathtaking!



My brother built this console himself in the dining room.  Gloria did the wall niche in a Ralph Lauren metallic faux.  Great look, huh?  And I love the way she accessorized her table.



Is it any wonder why I say they might actually wonder what they’ve gotten themselves into?  We feel like we’re at a resort with our very own chef when we’re there.    Now if I could just get a massage on the balcony while I gaze out at the view.  Hmmmmmmm………

“Junkin” In Canton With The Girls

When a group of my girlfriends decided to go to Jefferson, Texas one weekend for a girl getaway we decided to stop off at the half way point in Canton.  The monthly flea market was going on and Barb wanted to stop off to pick up some things for her sister who has a shop up north.  Canton, with all it’s eclectic shops and styles is always an interesting and fun field trip.  And it has all that yummy, greasy food on a stick you’d never eat at home!      Little did we know that the July temperature of 105 degrees would actually feel like 185 degrees by the time we left two hours later.  Walking to the car with all our goodies in tow (a girl just can’t go to Canton and walk away empty handed!) was a challenge beyond words in the blistering Texas heat.  But, being the resourceful shoppers we are we rose to the occasion and drove away with all sorts of fun stuff – sweating, but happy! 

Here is just one of the fun little shops we stumbled onto in the Paul Michael’s building just outside the arbors.  Right click the caption below to check out their website:


Girls Gone Junkin’

Girls Gone Junkin' In Canton


Look At All This Yummy, Romantic, Girly Bedding!




Love This:  Shabby Chic Meets Grandma’s Attic


Refreshing Wicker Bistro Set


Accessories With Charm



Sweet And Charming



A Little Sass, A Little Class


This is such a fun shop to peruse.  You could wander around here for hours.  So much of their stuff is hand made – the purses, vests, bottles, jewelry, etc.  It all has such a warm, creative quality to it it’s hard not to want to take it all home with you – or at the very least curl up in the middle of it all with a cup of tea.   (That’s my criteria for a warm, inviting store…..if it makes me want to curl up with a cup of tea then it’s a definite thumbs up.)  Here’s a few more fun pictures of their beautiful things:

Great Hutch And Plates





If you’re ever in the area you have to stop by this quaint little shop.  The entire flea market opens up each month the weekend before the first Monday of the month.  It used to be called simply “First Monday”.  Now everyone just refers to it as Canton.  If you can’t make it out this way you can check out their charming website and blog.

Until next trip……

Kitchen Re-do: From Dated And Cramped To Divine And Classy!

The best thing about my job is seeing the amazing transformation in a particular space from beginning to end.  Well, that and working with wonderful clients like my client, Griffin.   Griffin has been one the most enjoyable clients I’ve ever worked with: Fun, funny, great taste, willingness to think outside the box and best of all – willing to put his trust in me.  He has a great little gated lake home with a large front yard and an amazing view of the lake that you can see from the circular drive the minute you pull up to the house.  The dining room windows are uncovered during the day so you can see through the dining room and out the wall of windows across the back of the house.   It’s breathtaking!  (You immediately just want to wander out back, plop down on a chaise and sip on a glass of wine.)  

This amazing view is the reason he purchased the home in the first place and it is, understandably, of the utmost importance to Griffin.  He knew when he moved in that some day he wanted to change his cramped little dated kitchen into something more modern that would enable him to see the lake from anywhere he stood.   In addition to this requirement he desperately needed it to be more functional.  After interviewing different contractors he chose Chris, with Archistructure.  (If you have read any of my previous posts his name will be familiar.)  So after my initial design plans were drawn up the three of us began to work together on the final design.  We planned and tweaked ….and planned some more.  Then we tweaked and tweaked and tweaked till we created a space that was both functional and beautiful encompassing everything Griffin wanted.  He now has an updated, highly functional, not to mention gorgeous space.  And best of all he has a lake view from every spot in the kitchen!  Here are the “Before and After” pictures:


BEFORE:  This is the original view of the kitchen entrance from the pass through area.  The pass through was big enough for a small bowling alley!  Lots of wasted space, but it gave us plenty of room to work with in expanding the kitchen.

View Of The Kitchen Entrance


AFTER: We removed the entire wall, raised the ceiling and the same space above now looks like this!  We used stacked slate for the face of the bar, hung blown glass pendants from the vaulted ceiling and added four bar stools.  Perfect for entertaining.  The stacked slate bar front is durable, stunning and compliments the granite perfectly.

Removed Wall For Bar




BEFORE: This view is of the front left corner of the kitchen facing the front yard.  You can see how tiny, cramped and unappealing it is.

Original Front Left Kitchen Corner



AFTER:  This same corner now looks like this.  A corner cook top with a granite backsplash.  Notice the raised ceiling, added canned lighting and cool light fixture, too!

New Kitchen Corner


BEFORE: The opposite corner of the kitchen had a sink and dishwasher.  No personality, no style and no space.

The Sink Area And Right Kitchen Corner



AFTER:  We replaced the window with a much larger, crank style window.  We centered the sink on the new granite countertop.  And to the far right (you can barely see it) what was once a dishwasher is now a doorway leading out to the hall for much easier access to and from the kitchen from Griffin’s office and side entrance.  We replaced the shutters with these rich, cherry woven woods.  

The New Sink, Window And Doorway



BEFORE:  The original fridge and counter space.  Again, not much in the way of personality.

Original Refrigerator



AFTER:  Class, character, elegance and space to move and work.

New Refrigerator



AFTER:  Another view of the fridge, oven and microwave. 

Another View Of The Fridge



BEFORE:  The original kitchen had a peninsula with the stove top sticking out in the middle of the space that hindered mobility.

Original Peninsula


AFTER:  The new kitchen has a spacious, functional island with a granite top, wine fridge, warming drawers, cabinets and shelving for plenty of storage.  Take a look at the slate look tile floor (we found it on clearance!) in a staggered brick pattern.

New Spacious Island



BEFORE:   This is the wall of cabinets blocking the view of the lake that had to go.  We moved the oven and microwave next to the new fridge and opened up this entire space for a spacious bar.

Original Wall Facing Lake



AFTER:  With the removal of the wall he now has an amazing view of the lake and a great place for friends and family to land when entertaining.

New Bar With The Lake View


As you can see what was once a cramped, uninteresting, dated kitchen with low ceilings (that made you feel as if you were in a cave) is now an open, spacious, updated work space.  Griffin has a large family and loves to have holiday parties at his house.  Now his kitchen provides the perfect atmosphere…..and the perfect view!

Backyard Bliss: Cozy In The Suburbs (Before and After)


 My friends and family will tell you I love hanging out in my back yard.  It’s my cozy little sanctuary and I’m out there or on my screened in porch every chance I get.  Well, at least I am each year before and after the 110 degree summer heat we endure in Texas.  This time of year most days the only time it’s bearable is very early in the morning.  Very early.  And sometimes even then it’s not pleasant.  But, when it is I’m there….having a cup of coffee and my quiet time.  In the evening my hubby and I love to sit outside and have a glass of wine.  And like most people when the weather cooperates we love to grill out — all sorts of food.  Everything just tastes better on the grill! 

My Cozy Courtyard

This picture is of my little courtyard on the side of the house.  Yes, I just changed this space again last week so this is actually the “Before” picture on this post.  But, I’ve enjoyed this area for years and it was a “do it yourself” project I did myself so I wanted to share this with you before I show you the latest change.  You know the space….the wasted area that’s tucked away in that obscure little spot — too small to really do anything with.  For the longest time this area was all grass and we left it that way so my young boys could kick the soccer ball back and forth without destroying anything.  We left it that way for years and years until they were too tall and big to have much fun there anymore.   When that time of life occurred I jumped into action and decided to make it my own little “courtyard”.  (I’d been scheming for years.)  It’s on the opposite side of the pool area and it’s enclosed little space makes it very cozy, quiet and peaceful.    Truth be told it wasn’t an original idea.  People ask me all the time, “How did you think to do this?”  Well, it’s because my grandparents, Mimi and Papaw, were avid yard people, too.  And they had a cozy little courtyard on the side of their house.  I used to love that little space as a child and wanted to duplicate a courtyard setting of my own here.

Court Yard

I plotted and planned and when the time was right I began my project.  For those of you interested in building your own little courtyard here are the steps I took to create this space:

1) First I sprayed Round Up on the grass all over the entire area to kill it. 

2) Next I laid down weed block to help control the weeds and grass from coming through.  You can dig up the grass if you’re super motivated. (I didn’t)

3) I drew out my design into little sections planning for an eating area, grill area and small gardens. 

4) Next I got brick edging from Home Depot and lined out the space where I wanted to do a brick border.  This would help me define each area I was trying to establish.

5) I added a layer of sand on top of the weed block. A good inch or two.

6) I also purchased my red brick from Home Depot and lined the edging with it to create my border, careful to make them as snug and tight as I possibly could.

7) I purchased several tons of flagstone (you can give the stone yard your square footage and they will figure up how much you need). 

8) With the exception of two of the stones I wheeled every last one of them with a wheel barrow from the truck to the yard and laid them myself.  Using the sand as a cushion I worked with the stones to get them level, adding and taking away sand underneath each one as needed.  Two of the stones for the grill area were too large and heavy and I had to get my husband and son to do them for me.  But, other than that this project was my baby. (Yes, girls, you can do this sort of thing all by yourself!)

9) When all the stone was set in place I filled in all the cracks with crushed granite that I purchased at the same stone yard, swept away the excess – then hosed off the entire space. 


When all was said and done I couldn’t wait to get out there and “decorate”.  I added the little table, a chaise lounge to read and relax in, my separate gardens and the grill.   “Mama’s Courtyard” is what I’ve christened this space.

 Courtyard - Another View

 By the way, notice the difference in the picture above and the picture below? In the picture below the entire back fence is lined with 20 foot tall photinia’s.  One day I walked out back and my neighbor behind me had decided to chop them all down to the fence line.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  What was once a cocoon of greenery engulfing my cozy yard in privacy and warmth was now open with a full view of the back of my neighbor’s house.  I couldn’t say a word, because the photinia’s were in their yard.  They had every right.  But I cried for four days.  Now I have all sorts of sun flooding in where there used to be shade.  Where I used to plant “shade” flowers I now have to plant “sun” flowers.  Where I once could sit for hours in the morning with no worry of the sun’s glare I now get blinded by the sun early on.  Before this there was no sign I even had a neighbor behind me.  I was cloaked in greenery on all three sides.  To say we were shocked and disappointed is putting it mildly.  But, the photinia’s are growing fairly quickly so I’m hoping for seclusion, shade and privacy again very soon!

Back Yard With Photinias

 Outdoor Living

I love this shot of the yard on a foggy morning.  (Notice the tall photinia’s are here in this picture, too. )  Sigh…….I wish they were back!  I miss them and my cozy, private, shaded yard.


As much as I’ve loved my little courtyard area I have been dreaming of a more “built in” cook area with a concrete floor and a serving bar.  When my husband is grilling my growing family likes to cloister around the area and I need it to be more accommodating.  The chairs tend to have to be placed on the stone just right to stay level and the grill was sort of in the middle of things so I started dreaming of a new scheme to make it look more like an “outdoor kitchen” and make the floor a more even, solid surface.  You know – just sort of “kick it up a notch” – as Emeril would say.

I spoke with Chris, a contractor I’ve worked with on a number of client jobs, to do the patio.  In fact he did one of the jobs on an earlier post.  He owns a company called Archistructure and they do fabulous work.

So although I have loved my cozy little courtyard for many, many years – just this week I had the whole thing re-done!  I took pictures of the whole process so you can see how they built my brand new patio.  Check out the process leading up to my new “After” look.

First We Removed All The Furniture, Pots and Grill

Removed Furniture. Pots and Grill

Next They Cleared The Stone And Laid Down The New Edging

Cleared Stone, Laid Edging


They Laid The Rebar And Prepared For The Cement



They Poured The Concrete And Leveled It Out

They Poured The Concrete



Concrete Slab


 They Cemented In My Flagstone Floor

Started Laying Flagstone


Cinderblocks Were Used To Form The Bar

Building A Bar


Next They Covered The Cinderblocks With Flagstone

Covered Bar With Flagstone




Below Is My New Patio And Bar!

The Finished Product


Love My New Stone Floor!

New Flagstone Bar


This Bar Is Perfect — Just What I Wanted!



Like I’ve said before, along with the footsteps of time comes change.  With my family’s ever-changing needs our home is ever-changing as well.  And I love creating new spaces that accommodate my family better as we grow and change.  As much as I loved my “do it yourself” patio I know we will get a lot of use and enjoyment out of this new, cozy little courtyard bar and patio. 

Another Field Trip Find: Savvy and Sensational!


Here’s another Becky and Sheri field trip find.  This is another one of those wonderful shops we women love to stumble onto and meander our way through – gawking, somewhat wonderstruck, at every little thing.  You ladies know what I mean!  This shop is a unique combination of traditional, contemporary, funk, farm style…you name it.  It’s filled with lots of fun styles and color combinations that you might not ordinarily consider.  It’s called Mary Cates and Co. and it’s located at 5015 Lovers Lane in Dallas right by our other field trip finds.  Sorry, no website for her at the moment.  But, take a look at some of the beautiful things she has in her shop.



I love the fun colors against the black headboard and soft gray walls.  It just makes them pop with fun and positivity.  A happy place with happy colors!



Isn’t this a great look?  The cool farm table with the iron chairs on one side and the traditional upholstered piece on the other.  And the simple row of cactus (cacti?) looks clean and understated, yet provides lots of interest with its unique look.  Combining all these textures make this a fun and inviting eating area.



A great way to display dishes.  Wish I had a wall in my kitchen big enough to have a piece like this!  The simplicity of the white against the gray looks clean and modern giving the traditional cupboard a fresh, new look.



Distressed Blue Hutch

This is a fun finish for a hutch…… distressed cerulean blue.  Adding the bronzy brown accessories makes it even more interesting.


Updated Antique Settee

 This antique settee looks fresh and “chic” with its yummy fabrics and pillows.  The “antiquesh” gold ormolu framing gives it a hip quality.  When these curves are paired with the harlequin shaped mirror and clunky iron sconces it gives it a feeling of funk and glam at the same time.


Crisp White Bedding With Browns and Blues

I love the crisp white bedding paired with rich, dark chocolate and blue.  Notice the wonderful screen behind the bed and great light fixture?



More yummy bedding with an upholstered settee.  Again the crisp white freshens up the space and the combination of textures, shapes and colors creates a warm, inviting bedroom.



 Check out more of Mary Cates And Company Below:





If you’re in the area stop by her place and pay her a visit.  You’ll be glad you did!

Until Our Next Field Trip…..

Super Cool Sofa’s: The Hunt For A Sofa To Call My Own!


When I decided it was time for a new sofa for my TV room  (or what we like to call our “mini-media” room) I started keeping my eyes peeled, on my many shopping journey’s, for the perfect sofa I could call my own.  I love animal print, leather, and a combination of textures.   Here are some super cool sofa’s I found along the way:


Leopard And Leather 

Cool, Huh?!!!!

I LOVE this sofa above!!!!!  I found it at the Horchow Outlet at Grapevine Mills Mall in Grapevine, Texas when I ran in to look at some plates and about fell over.  BEAUTIFUL!  And comfy, too!!  It had Sheri written all over it, but unfortunately, discount or not, the price tag was out of my budget.   With kids in college it presents a new challenge when it comes to doing things for little old me! It’s a time to be practical, I have to remind myself.  PRACTICAL. (I think that’s why God made me creative, because He new I’d need it during these college years!!!!)


Wood Frame Sofa W/Embossed Leather

Love The Shape of This Sofa Back And The Embossed Leather


This sofa above is another Horchow piece that I fell in love with.  I love the shape, the squishy suede leather seat cushion combined with the glitzy embossed leather.  It has a formal quality to it, but all the comfort of a slouchy, more casual sofa.  Hmmmmmm…….but, this price tag, once again stopped me short.  (For a minute I thought about pulling my son out of college his senior year, but decided maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.  So I had to pass this one up, too.)



Animal Fur W/Suede Leather Seat Cushion 

Is This A Fun Combination of Textures Or What?!!


Next I checked out a store called “The Dump”.   Though I tend to shop at “To The Trade Only” sources I’d heard about this from several friends and family members so I thought I’d run in one day and take a look.   Boy did I find some things I loved!  One sofa after the other after the other after the other.   But, as much as I would have loved to purchase one of these, an $11,000.00 – $12,000.00 sofa marked down to $4,000.00 – $5,000.00, again, just wasn’t in the cards for me.   (I revisited the removal of my son from college, but though better of it and walked away empty handed.)



Love The High Back And Single Cushion!  And How ‘Bout That Ottoman?


I wasn’t sure  if I would ever be able to find something for less that I would like anywhere near as much as these amazing sofa’s above.  But, with a list a mile long of things I want to do for my house, a son in college and a stricter budget than I wanted – I had to continually remind myself of that important key word:  PRACTICAL.  I had to be SENSIBLE and PRACTICAL and either wait till I was in a position to order something amazing like the sofa’s I’d fallen in love with or until something in my price range came along that I could love.  Then, low and behold, on a shopping trip for a client of mine at one of the few retail stores that I frequent, an absolute favorite called Hemisphere’s, I stumbled onto an incredible sale on sofas!   I was really drawn to one in particular that I thought I could work with.  It was the style I liked.  It had the leather combined with fabric that I liked…..and best of all…..it was ON SALE!  Love that!  What was regularly a $2000.00 sofa was now on sale for only $1000.00! I couldn’t believe my eyes!  The only problem was that I didn’t care for a couple of the fabrics on one side of the cushions and the pillows.  But, I reasoned, at the incredible price I was getting the sofa for I could take it to my upholsterer and have that fabric switched out to my beloved animal print.  So, in the end, that’s what I decided to do. 


Leather Sofa Before Switching Fabrics

This Is My Sofa Before I Switched Out The Fabric.  I Didn’t Like The Stripe And Paisley So It Had To Go!


 Of course, it’s not real animal print, but it gave me the look I like.  (And, yes, my hubby thought I was nuts to have fabric switched out on a brand new sofa.  But, what can I say……it’s in my blood and I just can’t help it.)  So off to the upholsterer it went.  Now I have a sofa I love with the look I love at a price I can afford.  And that’s what I love the most!


My New Sofa With Animal Print

My Alternative Sofa With New Fabric And All My Favorite Things–Leather, Leopard, High Back, Combination Of Textures And Fabrics At A Price I Could Afford!


It’s not a $10,000.00 – $12,000.00 sofa like the ones above I know, but it works for me and my budget.  And I love it!  And, as crazy as it may sound I’m actually thinking about adding another animal print to the mix of pillows to add a little more pizzazz.  I’ll let you know if I do!

Color, Color, Color Me Happy: Make It Fun, Give It Sass & Make It Savvy!!!

In what some would call these rather “dark and gloomy” times where insecurities are lying just under the surface in so many –  and people are jitterish about the economy, their jobs,  world unrest, etc;..…..and all of us are wondering what life has in store for us just around the corner – I think it’s time to put more color into our world!

Brighten up one or two of your rooms with happy stuff!  Bring in paint and splash it on older, traditional pieces – furniture and accessories alike.  Take that heavy, oppressive Old World urn and splash it with color!  Make it bright and joyful!  Take grandma’s dresser and paint flowers all over it!  Let’s have fun and let’s get happy!

Brighten Up Your Space

Color, Polka Dots And Stripes – How’s This For Happy!!!!


I actually showed these chests in an earlier post, but I wanted you to see them in this setting.  If you have a room you can brighten up and have fun with – well go for it!  Don’t just do a little…..do it up big!  Paint a wall lime green.  Hang mirrors all over the wall to reflect color and bling!   Drop a flashy chandelier  or two from the ceiling to throw in some fun.  This doesn’t just have to go in a little girl’s room.  Brighten up your office, your grown up girlie room, your sewing or craft room.  If you’re really brave — even a main living space.  It’s just the look that’ll put a smile on your guests face the minute they walk through your door!

Fun Blues And Yellows

Fun Blues and Yellows!


Fun, Bright Pink Urn With PVC And Netting

All You Need Is Imagination And Paint!


Fun Purples, Reds, Greens & Golds!

Are You Smiling Yet????



Have You Ever Seen A Happier Space????


Notice the wall hangings….they’re painted door panels!  A basic night table takes on a fresh face with the stripes.  Have an old hutch from Aunt Sally or Grandma Rose?  Paint it purple, add some flowers and……..voila! It goes from stuffy to SAVVY, SAVVY, SAVVY!

Dart Board Chest!

Soda Bottle Caps and A Dart Board Design – How Creative Is This?


Love Is Colorful!


 Paint A Wicker Chair! Don’t Stop At Dressers and Chests – Paint A Chair!


Painted Waves

Painted Waves Fit To The Contour Of The Dresser Making An Otherwise Ordinary Piece Extraordinary

Can you see what an amazing transformation a little color can make on the most basic, ordinary pieces?  Why more of us don’t have a houseful of this stuff is somewhat baffling.  Life is so serious as it is, lets put a little wiggle and a little giggle in our homes!  And don’t worry……be happy!!!!

Field Trip Find: A Charming Accessory Store Brimming With Personality


Another wonderful find that my friend, Becky, and I stumbled onto on our last field trip was a charming little accessory store, Ballard and Blakely right across the street from Armoire’s and More  on Lovers Lane in Dallas.  How fun is that?  You can buy your furniture at one store and then move across the street for the doo-dads!  Love that!  This quaint little shop is owned and operated by a sweet, lovely lady named, Abby Ballard.  We were so impressed with her and her cozy, little shop we immediately advised her she needed to get her own blog!  You’ll see why below.

Cute Entrance

Love The Warm, Welcoming Entrance


This little shop is filled with a variety of unusual pieces that would make any space more interesting.   Though, at first glance, it appears to be only traditional or shabby chic-ish, there are jewels here that could fit in almost any space.  Don’t be afraid to mix and match and incorporate unusual pieces into your space for fun, interest or pizzazz!  That’s what makes a space fun and not “stuffy”. Abby has merchandised it in a way that leads the eye gently around the store as you absorb every fascinating detail.   Take a look:


Cool Stuff!

I Took This Through The Glass Out Front


Iron and Burlap 

Love All These Textures!



Cool Corbels and Wooden "Stuff"

How About These Amazing Corbels?



Burlap Table Topper

Check Out This Burlap Table Topper!


Distressed Corner Cabinet

Is There Anything Cooler Than A Distressed Piece Like This?

Love All The Plates In The Blues And Soft Browns



Lot's Of Fun Stuff 

The Distressed Table, The Iron, The Dishes….Love It All!!!



Fun Textures

More Texture, More Interest, More Fun!



Conversation Pieces

Fun Conversation Pieces – Love The Poochy 



Iron and Wood

Wouldn’t You Love To Take These Home?



Mesh Containers

More Interesting, Unusual Table Pieces




I Want All These Amazing Bottles!







How Would You Like To See These Cool Pieces Hanging In Your Home?


Best of all her prices are very reasonable!   You won’t break the bank shopping here, but what you will do is have fun, get great ideas and create a more interesting space in your own home.    Pay her a visit!  


Becky and I are always on the hunt.  We will be sure to share our finds with you…….

Till Next Field Trip…….

From Average To Awesome: Guest Room Becomes A Cozy Sitting Room In A Romantic Master Suite


After much thought and consideration my sweet, fun, beautiful client, Jodi, and her wonderful hubby, Danny, decided to stay in their home on their quaint cul-de-sac instead of moving.   They loved their home with all it’s cozy trees, the neighborhood, their neighbors, and the schools in the area.  Having finally made the decision once and for all to stay put they felt they were ready to make some serious modifications on their current home.  They felt a need for change primarily to accommodate their growing family, but also all the entertaining they love to do and the frequent house guests they have, children and adults alike.  After contacting Chris, a wonderful contractor (who I’ve actually worked with on several occasions) to do the renovation, they contacted me to help with the overall design and color selections.  I had worked with Jodi before and was thrilled to be a part of this new, “grand” transition.  

Guest Room Before

Original Guest Room


Original View From Doorway

Original Guest Room View From Doorway

This particular space above, the original guest room, became the cozy, inviting sitting room below.  The new sitting room is right off the new master bedroom where the wall was knocked out and the additional space was created.   Chris did a wonderful job with the addition of the master bedroom and master bath, extending the hand scraped hardwood from the original space into the newly added space without so much as a hiccup.  No one would ever know that it wasn’t laid at the same time.  It enabled us to create this romantic master bedroom and sitting room that flow together seamlessly and beautifully. The end result is a wonderful “master suite”.  She and Danny love cozying up in “their new space” to watch TV, read or just hang out.  Fortunately for Jodi, and unfortunately for Danny, the space turned out so warm and cozy it doubles as her “girl space” when girlfriends are over for wine and chit chat.  Sorry, Danny!


View of the master from the sitting room

 With The Wall Removed And Additional Bedroom Created – New, Rich, Warm, Soothing Colors And Textures Create A Welcoming Space

Jodi has great taste and is very open to suggestions so when I suggested framing the doorway with Austin stone she loved the idea.  The neutral faux finish on the walls and iron sconces add to the Tuscan “vibe”. 

View of the sitting area from the master bedroom

View of Sitting Area From The Master Bedroom

Mastaer Bedroom-sitting area

Rich Patterns and Textures Compliment Both Spaces

Master bedroom ceiling

The Addition Of Beams and Faux Finish On Ceiling Creates Warm

Tuscan Detail

Master Bathroom The Tuscan Theme Was Carried Into Master Bath


I had so much fun designing this bathroom with Jodi and Chris.  Because Jodi thinks outside the box and is willing to try new things she jumped at the chance to create a unique master bath.  We brought in all sorts of textures with stone, pebbles, iron sconces, etc.  The result is an amazing spa oasis anyone would enjoy.  With the addition of this incredible new space the original master bedroom and bathroom upstairs now acts as a beautiful “guest suite” for her guests.  Kudos to Chris whose crew did a fabulous job! 


Master shower

 The Shower Ceiling Is A Mirror Image Of The Shower Floor

Master Bathtub

Pebbles On Step Risers Add Interest To Bath Area

Master Bathtub

Spa Like Bathtub To Soak In After A Long Day

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