Don’t Mess With Texas…

As long as I’ve been dreaming about this blog, I’ve been dreaming about this post highlighting the big time design that seems to always be taking place in the state of Texas. It was this month’s issue of Elle Decor highlighting designer Gwynn Griffith’s San Antonio “home” that convinced me to get er done.

I say “home” because she makes her merry pad inside an old factory. You can see it all for yourself here.

Say hello to Gwynn’s living room with the original pine flooring, floor to ceiling art (much of it by her) and my personal favorite, the hanging silver orbs. I look at these pics, albeit beautiful, but probably don’t do it near justice to the feel you get standing inside a place like this.

(I was just talking to my client about oversized bean bag chairs covered in shearling for her fireplace. Does that not sound like heaven?).

Gwynn appropriately labels this next room “the chamber of curiosities”. Notice the two toned walls, the pop of color in the display case and the subtle but powerful dose of cheetah print. A pattern you see throughout. Nothing adds style like cheetah print (I really do sound like a broken record for my loyal readers). Wash, rinse, repeat.

My next favorite was this outdoor living space with string lights (swoon), stained concrete floors that look as if they have been beautifully polished by a concrete polishing houston company (double swoon), the corrugated metal roof and the wonderful juxtaposition of all these random objects coming together. In case you were not already aware, corrugated steel roofing sheets are now a popular option for many homeowners. This is due to the many benefits that they provide, with some homeowners completely ditching their roof tiles in favor of corrugated roofing options. For example, a corrugated roof that is made from steel or aluminium will last for many years, and in most cases at least a hundred. Corrugated roofs need very little maintenance over the years, and any touch ups that are needed are very minimal, such as a coat of paint that will not take long to complete. Accordingly, if you are in need of corrugated roof sheets you can find plenty of inspiration by researching different roofing products online. Furthermore, Gwynn told me how they built this outdoor area themselves because they weren’t happy with what was there before. There used to be a simple patio but they contacted some builders and metal roofing contractors and totally transformed the place. Who couldn’t swing away here all day?

Or lay away all day here? This is spectacular AND its a guest bedroom. Can I stay here?

But this was the photo that did it. The bathroom – the guest bath! Zinc tub (are you joking), tumbled-travertine floors, the columns, the pedestal table, the art hung high above the tile wall, that awesome window and ship chandelier. This women knows how to mix it up. This is a thoughtfully collected and curated home. Way to go Gwynn. Please see her profile here.

The other reason I’m hankering to write this post is I realized four of my top ten are all out of Texas. Coincidence? Who knows. I just know they know how to do design right and their interiors make me want to jump off the couch and get to work!

We’ll start with Pamela Pierce since Christmas at Vreeland Road came early this year when I realized Miss Pierce FINALLY launched a website last week!!! Oh my was I a happy girl even though so much of her work isn’t yet featured on it. All in due time I’m sure. Let me tell you I would get silly excited when Veranda showed up and there was a Pamela spread inside. Every issue saved. Now if she’d just publish a book we’d be SET.

Here are a few of my favorites from her and you can see more here. She is an amazing talent. The kind where I can’t help but get a little emotional thinking how satisfying her life must be knowing she will someday leave this world much more beautiful than she found it and all the happiness her touch and discerning eye has brought (I’m such a sap, I know).

Square lamp shade on the wish list stat!

Gotta love the modern chaise mixed in and the perfect amount of accessories. I tell all my clients think BIG when you are choosing accessories. If there are several to pick from, choose the biggest one for impact. If you have a lot of little things, group them all together for an “oh yeah I meant to do that” affect. Affect? Effect? I can never keep it straight.

I’d love to get my hands on Miss Pierce’s floor plan. One can kind of figure it out from the above three photos. Lots of windows, doors and light. This layout seems like it was thoroughly thought through and she more than likely would’ve had to check here to get some expert help with installing these fixtures.

Have you ever laid eyes on more beautiful drapes in the perfect shade of pink? Remind you of anything? “My colors are blush and bashful”. And how they hang big and full? Awesome.

Reclaimed doors on the bookshelves.

I’m longing to do these draped benches in a dining room project. I think it would be so fun to gather around, rub elbows, toast and ciao down here. She wasn’t messin around with the wall to wall botanicals either. Drama. Love it.

Moving on to another personal favorite/design goddess is Ginger Barber. You can view her entire awesome portfolio here. There is something about this woman that reminds me of Mom. I’d like to think if she were still here, her style would be a little like Gingers. Maybe its the pair of buffalo check wing backs? Mom lovved her wing backs flanking the fireplace. Or the ticking stripe? Probably where my obsession with stripes began.

It was this picture below in Country Home that made me hang on to it to this day. I love this mix of ticking, toile, paisley, texture.

More texture and the perfect mix of patterns.

*All above images via Cote de Texas

A gorgeous powder room designed by Ginger. That sink is a dream!

Next up is Lisa Luby Ryan. If you all read Veranda religiously, you’ve witnessed her work too. She is another Texas great. You can see her such fun before and after photos here. She recently launched a gorgeous lighting collection for Arteriors Home as well.

Lisa’s dining room beautifully styled for Veranda Magazine November/December 2008 issue. That was a magnificent spread.

A redesigned kitchen by Lisa that was featured in Veranda just this past Christmas. Love the open kitchen island, the x and that oversized cattle head sitting just so. Many would think that a bit odd but that’s the kind of off beat whimsy I dig seeing others do. The silver trumeau mirror over the sink is pretty special too (great alternative if you’re lacking a window). Ikea is now making a floor length knock off for $99. Hellllo Ikea!

This table setting is magic. Thank God such talents exist!

The foyer of Lisa’s home. The petite chandelier, the beautiful holiday wreath, the stone floors, just beyond words beautiful. I think I would be so depressed taking this down after the holidays.

One of two stunning trees featured. All Oly furniture.

I’ve always admired how this table was styled for the photo shoot. Perfect scale and balance and I love that big wide rimmed glass vase filled with sand, shells and ornaments. Barely visible but if you look twenty times like I have, you pick up on this stuff. 😉

The second tree featured in Lisa’s home complete with miniature hanging vases filled with fresh hydrangeas. A total “Toto I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” moment for moi. I can barely get fresh flowers in a vase when company comes to town, let alone on my Christmas tree. Wow!

Lisa’a Master bedroom. Its not this mammoth gargantuan sitting room, slash, sleeping room, slash, dressing room lay out. This is all you need folks. Cozy, comfort, light.

For the die hard diys, this pic is for you! I picked up a large oversized cross for $5 at a flea market last year and debate whether I should cover it in something like the one below. Hmmmm. Check out the vignette. You could get lost in all those details, the mercury vases, the book bundles, the arm artifact, the crystal orb. Holy talent.

Lastly but certainly not least, is Ashley Goforth. I fell in love with her when her cute pied a terre was featured in Country Home way back. Or maybe it was Country Living? It was years and years ago and clearly she’s been blowing it up ever since. View her portfolio here. Here are just a few more of my favorites highlighted.

Broken record alert: pair of chairs flanking the fireplace! This is a do-no-wrong. This gal has such a disciplined use of restraint in her decorating and accessorizing. Everything has a purpose. Catch a glimpse of the center pillow on the sofa below picking up on the blue hydrangeas centerpiece. Now if it were me, I’d mighta made those lumbar pillows stand out a bit more, just sayin. 😉 But beautiful nonetheless.

I think we can all agree…”damn I wish my office were this neat and tidy!” Loving the brown stripe on the corner chair and the desk covered in raffia. Reminds me of the Manhattan side table from Jan Shower’s furniture line. Another great Texas talent! Her use of art deco turquoise glass makes me crazy and want to collect it.

Homerun! The gilt gold alter sticks against the clean lined coffee table. Ornate with straight, rustic with fancy, dull with shiny – opposites attract!

Loving the Rose Tarlow print on these pair of chairs below. My favorite! Ginger Barber used the same in the wallpaper for a bathroom you can dig out in her portfolio. You’ll soon be a fan too!

I love the mohair garnet colored pillows against the casual slips. A color you don’t see so often. Refreshing and easy to emulate. Afraid of pattern? Well use a bold pop of color instead. And the artwork is simple yet dramatic against that wall color.

This photo inspired my choice of pillow fabric for the beach project I break ground on this weekend. I went with a silver and brown cheetah print against a white slipcovered sofa for that beachy yet sophisticated edge look.

Way cool set of twin beds for a masculine audience.

And what’s a post on all this Texas talent without mentioning the Grand Dame Blogger herself, Joni from Cote de Texas! If you all don’t read Joni’s blog yet, its time you start. Personally I don’t think there is anyone out there that isn’t reading it. She’s on everyone’s list. 😉

I’ll never forget the day I found her. It was about two or three years ago (dang already?) when I’d finally sat down for a moment to figure out what the hell a blog was. I. was. hooked! I hit “previous post” over and over and over again until I think the end and decided once and for all that I was going to decorate my house big French Texas style and never look back. I also decided that I would someday write a blog and wouldn’t you know, here I am. Thank God for you Joni! xoxo



  1. Wow – all my favorites, I swear!!!! I adore Lisa Luby Ryan – I think she is so talented. what a great story. thanks so much for the shout out too – that was really sweet!!!!!!!

    thanks again!!!!!

  2. Ever feel like thank you so much!!! doesn’t quite cut what you’re feeling or trying to say? ;-))) As a little ole designer, carving out a passion, over here in my tiny corner of the world, it means so much that you stopped by. xoxo

  3. back again, wonderful blog… must do my clients space planning but I will be checking in to see your blog more often, have a great day…x

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