Master Bedroom Makeover

We started a design project just before the Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays last year, and have had great fun working with a client who had just purchased a new home and wanted some assistance making it special.  She was relatively recently married and this was going to be the couple’s first “real” home together.  Plus, she found out she was already a few months pregnant shortly after they closed on the house.  Mama Mia!  We were on a deadline!

After spending some time getting to know her and what she wanted her house to feel like, we got right to work.  The main areas that needed to be primarily addressed were the husband’s office space, the family room, formal living & dining and the master bedroom; of course, there were the areas in between like the hallway, powder bath, and the eat in kitchen so the house was cohesive.  Really our work was to make her house a home.    

While the master bedroom wasn’t her highest priority, I believe everybody needs a sanctuary to come home to.  Yes, the entire home should be a refuge, but the master bedroom especially should be a place where the adults can close the door to the rest of the world and just BE.  Here is what my client and her hubs went to sleep in every night before we met:


Master Bedroom BEFORE

Master Bedroom BEFORE


Forgive me in advance, all of these photos were taken with my iPhone.  And I think the shot above had me a little shaken up with the bumblebee yellow on the walls.  NOT a peaceful environment!  Plus, what to do with that weird window above the bed?  This was the only position their king size could fit in so we had to make it work.


Master Bedroom IN PROGRESS

Master Bedroom IN PROGRESS


Contrary to popular belief and “reality” TV, a bedroom makeover can NOT be done  in one weekend.  I searched and searched for an upholstered headboard (and frame) that would fit under the window and finally found one with Stanley Furniture that was the right color and style – and was JUST the right height to fit under the window.   Since the soon-to-be-Momma wasn’t sure what to expect with a new baby, we opted for simple white bedding that could be bleached easily, and a blanket that aded just enough interest, but would also be machine washable.  You can’t really tell in this shot, but it’s a deep, delicious plum color.  

We also had to find some narrow nightstands, because the closet door opens towards “this” side and swings wide.  Plus she preferred something with drawers so her husband’s side didn’t collect stuff (“stuff” isn’t the word she used, but you know what I mean).  Problem was how to fit a lamp + alarm clock + anything else on the top of a 30″ surface without it looking cluttered?


Bedside Chandelier.  SO functional and SO glam.

Bedside Chandelier. SO functional and SO glam.


Brilliant!  And you can’t see it, but there is a switch behind the light fixture so just a simple stretch of the arm and POOF there is light.   Sorry for the tiny picture, I couldn’t get it right side up in it’s original size.  Operator error, yes.  I do design better than technology, thank you.

Back to the project, because that darned window above the bed is still an eyesore, right?  I’ve got just the solution….


Master Bedroom Curtain Install

Master Bedroom Curtain Install


 A wall of fabric behind the bed.  YUM YUM.  We sewed together 3 sheer panels and put them directly in front of the window so the room would still capture the natural sunlight when they wanted it, or they could close the blinds when they wanted a cozy little cave.  We then put silk panels on either side of the window, all the way to either end of the wall.  Be still my heart.  I am in love.  

Don’t forget, these are photos captured from my phone, so bear with me until the entire project is complete and we break out the fancy camera.  Well, actually Lance’s fancy camera – he is the professional photographer dude.  

Until then…drumroll, please….


Master BR AFTER (iPhone quality photo)

Master BR AFTER (iPhone quality photo)


TA DA!!!!  It’s a quick, informal shot but I couldn’t wait any longer to share.  Scroll back up and check out that first picture, remember the bold yellow walls?  Yeah.  I like this better too.


Need a bedroom makeover?  Give us a call and we can help transform your room into the a retreat that YOU dream of.


Using Professional Photos in MLS Listings

So I think I take pretty good photos…have a creative eye and a fancy camera.  But I leave my so-called-talent for our vacation photos because when it comes to showcasing the interiors, I leave it to the professionals.  And here is why: 

This first photo is my shot.  First of all, I was distracted by my growling stomach after installing this staging and neglected to turn the lights on.  DUH.

Staged without Professional Photo

Staged without Professional Photo


And here is a professional, who was probably well prepared with snacks prior to arriving to shoot the space.  And talk about a fancy camera….  I believe this work was done by Shoot2Sell.

Staged with Professional Photo

Staged with Professional Photo


Next, this is my shot of a formal living room.  I did remember to turn on the light, and it’s not a bad shot…although now that I look closely, I see the pulls from the ceiling fan.  Sigh. That should have been edited out.

Formal Living Staged without Pro Photo

Formal Living Staged without Pro Photo


Now check out what the professional was able to accomplish.  I mean really they’ve even got the aforementioned ceiling fan AND the view into the master bedroom down the hall.

Formal Living Staged with Pro Photo

Formal Living Staged with Pro Photo


Selling a house is one of the largest transactions many of us will ever make so don’t rely on amateurs, spend a couple of extra bucks (you’d be surprised at how affordable it is) and get the best shot of your space.  90% of buyers start their shopping on line, so ensure your listing stands out above the others who didn’t use a professional photographer.  

If you need staging or a referral for a photographer, contact us now!


GRAB YOUR BUYERS FROM THE CURB and enjoy this lovely weather we are having!  Here are a few things to be sure you do:


  • Add colorful plants & flowers to your front yard – put them in pots if you want to easily add some interest
  • Power wash your siding, patios & walkways
  • Weed the garden & mow the lawn
  • Replace lightbulbs and clean their fixtures too
  • Be sure your address is easily visible from the street

Your potential buyers are driving by right now…make them want to stop with curb appeal like these:


Curb Appeal


Gorgeous walk up!


Why wouldn't you want to stop here?


Thank you to Elizabeth at Splendid Gardens for providing the photos of what curb appeal is supposed to look like!


Now that the weather here in Dallas is bearable, what outdoor projects are you going to tackle?




Open Sesame


Recently my hubs & I went to California to visit with family for a few days and then celebrate our 3rd anniversary.  We spent our special day on Catalina Island, as he had never been and it has been YEARS since I was there.  (As a side note, I’m glad they let me return because the last time I was there, I had a few too many cocktails and had a field day at the local karaoke bar…R-E-S-P-E-C-T never sounded so bad!)

We were both enamored with this little island paradise.  This is what we saw as we arrived via ferry.  Doesn’t it look a little like a European port?
 So charming!  Even in the overcast weather.

We rented electric bikes (neither of us felt like getting a workout trying to maneuver the hills with a regular bike) and headed up to the Wrigley Memorial & Conservancy:
The Wrigley Memorial honors the memory of William Wrigley Jr., who lived from 1861 to 1932. Although best known as the founder of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, largest manufacturer of chewing gum in the world, he also played an instrumental role in the history of Catalina Island. He truly loved the island, and READ MORE

Once we got up the 999,999 stairs, this was the view.  We had to pause to catch our breath. Confession:  the main reason we opted for the electric bikes is because we’re horribly out of shape right now.  The trek up the stairs confirmed it.
Say cheese:
My true love.
And here is the “design-ish” portion of this blog post (had to get it in SOMEWHERE) because I was in love with these doors and was the inspiration for the blog title.  I took about 20 other photos but I think this is my favorite.  I just love the idea that once you cross the threshold you’re somewhere else.  And between the ornate doors and the stairs, my imagination goes wild.
 Look at the detail!!!

So once we got up even MORE stairs through those doors (you can’t see, but you make a right hand turn and go up another flight), this is what you see inside the memorial.  Gorgeous, isn’t it?

And finally after a few more cheesy photos of ourselves that I’ll spare you from, we came back down into “town” as it was time for lunch.  Sadly, it remained overcast but on the bright side (pun intended) it didn’t get very hot as we “pedaled” our way around the island.

We ate at The Lobster Trap, which was delish and the perfect ending to a perfect day.  Props to the team there for amazing food & service.
If you are looking for a quaint vacation spot, this place is full of B&B’s.  We might just return on our next anniversary…and never come home.  
(Oh, and in case you’re wondering, no, I did not get paid or perked to plug the island!)

Playing With Fire

>Looking for fun and unique gifts to give this season?  Or maybe a keepsake for yourself?  Check out what a friend of mine is doing under the name “Playing With Fire”:

I wonder if this only holds decaf?
Santa is jolly because he knows where all the naughty girls live!
I could decorate a whole tree with these and some pretty gold ribbon. 
How cute is this for a newborn?
She has a cute platter for “Grandpa’s Sweets” too
(I’m getting it for my grandpa, he looooves sweets!)
This is a chandelier!
Close up of one of the lights.  Look at the cute ribbon tied below!!!

I borrowed all of these photos from her Facebook Page.  If you want to see more, check it out HERE.  Or email Katy directly:
Call Katy:  469-525-1987

She will pack and ship your custom orders so you have them before Christmas!

Oh, and no extra charge for her fun personality….

Mom…is that you???


Yay!  It’s not just my mom who reads these posts!  I woke up this morning to an email from a blog reader sharing HER holiday tablescape.  I’m so excited that I wanted to share it with you.  Here is what Danielle said:  
I saw your post about your table and you had asked what others did…not sure if that was rhetorical :) but I thought I would share my dining room centerpiece for Thanksgiving and one of my Christmas centerpieces. I only share because I am so cheap and make a lot of my own stuff. The Thanksgiving centerpiece was super easy and cheap. I found the candelabra at Kirklands for $10 (tossed back on the clearance rack and a little bruised)… didn’t like the way it looked completely so I went and bought the candles I liked and the fake floral from garden ridge. Total price $30! Same with the Christmas centerpiece…didn’t like it completely so I added my own stuff I found cheap! THe only thing the wreath had on it originally was the poinsettia flowers and the pine cones. I love decorating on the cheap!!!!!!!!

Danielle, you made my day!  Thanks for sending me the email with these photos of your lovely creations.  You continue to prove that with a little creativity, beautiful decor does not have to be expensive.
…AND you also proved that more than just my mom reads my little ol’ blog because I hope that someday this blog is going to grow up and be like Cote de Texas.  WOO HOO!

Autumn Decorating Made Easy


Look What the Cat Dog Dragged In

Admittedly, my little dog needs to go to the “spa” and get a good groom this week, he IS a little furry:
Snoozing peacefully.

Look at what came in with him this morning when he went outside and ran around our back yard:

Leaves – a LOT of them!  And a stick (?!).
A closer look.
Seriously…how could such a little critter (he’s only 5 pounds) drag in such a MESS?  I picked these all up off the floor and out of his fur when he came in.  And since I was running late, I looked for the closest thing to put them in so I didn’t come home to a mess.
A glass vase I had yet to put away was conveniently on the kitchen counter.
Sometimes procrastination comes in handy.  This glass vase I my husband (let’s give credit where credit is due) had just taken out of the dishwasher last night was still sitting on the counter and looked like a convenient receptacle for the excess foliage.  I thought it looked kind of pretty so the biger leaves I had brought in from our front yard to put it on a plate with my gourds & candles came in handy to top off this super easy autumn “decor”.
So is it high design?  Absolutely not…but it was an easy way to bring some autumn color into the corner of our kitchen while cleaning up the mess the dog dragged in AND also saving me from having to put away the vase….  Efficiently lazy?  Yep.  But I was running late.

Curb Appeal


I wasn’t sure if my flowerbeds (much less the rest of my yard) were going to survive the heat of the summer but sure enough, they are thriving with these gorgeous autumn temperatures!  
When selling your house, and whether it be vacant or occupied, it is imperative to keep up the curb appeal.  Buyers will be driving through neighborhoods they want to live in possibly even before they log on to the internet to search for homes on the market.  And neighborhoods with nicely manicured yards generally have a higher value and are more desirable…which will in turn help you justify the best (read:  highest) price possible.
I believe that even if you aren’t selling your place, it is important to drive up to a beautiful home, especially after a long day at work…it’s the first thing you see when arriving at what should be your sanctuary.  Wouldn’t you or your potential buyers like to see this when you walk up?
Jungle dog.
I think he needs some doggles to shield his eyes.
And I must give credit where credit is due and thank Elizabeth at Splendid Gardens for her & her team’s amazing work on my landscaping.  If you need it done right, on time, and for a very reasonable price, call Elizabeth and ask her to work her magic…whether you are staying or selling!

Thrifty Treasures!


Looking for a fun, unique piece to add to your new or existing design??

Veer off the beaten path and try a thrift store! You’ll be amazed at the incredible treasures you can find and not to mention, CHEAP! Check out this fun, Classic Radio Flyer Tricycle I found for $12 at Goodwill, which retails at $67.99.

Can’t wait to use it in my next project!

Pillow Talk


My husband turned me on to this great TV show called Modern Family. And if you haven’t seen it, I do suggest checking it out – it’s hilarious.  But the first time I watched it, I was distracted by those gorgeous, floral throw pillows and want some – or at least something similar – for myself.  
Does anybody know where to find these pillows?  Or at least the fabric?!  I am obsessed….  I walked two warehouses of fabric this week and couldn’t find anything similar enough to fulfill my desire.  Sad. And yes, I have googled every imaginable phrase related to finding them.  Most people are looking for the striped pillows seen in the intro so those pillows are what come up in the searches:
Cute.  But not what I’m looking for.  
Check the show out.  There are three main houses on set and all three are distinctly unique in their design styles.  All are VERY cool.  Very.
So if you have any suggestions, or better yet, the solution – I will be forever grateful.  (My husband will be too because I make him pause the TV to stare at the pillows every time a scene with them comes on.) Please.  Help.