2015 Coastal Living Showhouse

Although I have mostly written here about my interior design work, I have never spent much energy defining my career or goals too strictly. My only consistent goal over the past 6 years has been to say “yes” to opportunities, show up, work hardcreate things that challenge and inspire me- and see where that takes me.

Since I started Biscuit almost three years ago, I have balanced my client projects with product design/running the store, splitting my time pretty evenly between the two, and my work in each realm naturally enhanced the other. However, over the past year or two as Biscuit grew, I began to transition away from my client work and focus more on growing the business.

There are a lot of reasons for that- client work is exciting- I love immersing myself in someone else’s world and creating beautiful & functional spaces that are personal to them- but having two small children it can be hard to manage your time when you are so involved in other peoples lives. Mostly, though, I just love working with our team at Biscuit. My approach to interior design is very in my own head, which is not usually somewhere I want to spend an excessive amount of time, and I have found myself growing more collaborating with and learning from my Biscuit colleagues.

This spring, after a meeting with our team, I decided not to take on any new client work for the rest of the year to focus on some big things we have been working on with Biscuit– and most importantly have more time & flexibility for my family.

Literally two days later I got an e-mail from someone who has been very special to me and supportive of my career asking me to do this years 2015 Coastal Living Showhouse. Their original showhouse fell through due to weather, and they had lined up a beautiful home in Cinnamon Shores/Port Aransas but were on a tight schedule to have it finished by July to make their editorial deadline for the November issue.

Basically it was the greatest opportunity of my career, but I had doubts I was up for the challenge. Some of my design idols like Erika Powell, Ginger Brewton, and Betsy Burnham have absolutely slayed doing the showhouse the past few years and I felt out of my league. Not to mention I would have half the time designers typically get, and oh yeah- I had just decided to take some time off design work.

But then, as always…

Say yes. Show up. Work Hard. Create things.

And it was a huge challenge, but also hugely inspiring. I couldn’t have done it without my team at Biscuit and my family both of whom make the worst things bearable, and the best things even better, and were so supportive and encouraging. We all went down to Cinnamon Shores two weeks ago for the official opening party, and it was super spesh getting to show them the house and celebrate!

The full spread will be out in November’s Coastal Living– and meanwhile if you are in the area the house is open for tours through November, and proceeds from ticket sales benefit local charities.

I wanted to show y’all a few behind the scenes, and inspiration behind the design.building

The house when we first toured it in May. It was further along than the houses normally are when the designer signs on- but luckily I loved the layout and only had a few tweaks here and there. I wanted the house to fit into the community, but still bring in some fresh ideas to shake things up a bit.

On our first visit we were able to tour several beautiful houses in Cinnamon Shores, and we chose a few popular design touches used in the community- like ship lap -to carry through our design to balance some of the kookier colors, wallpapers, and materials we were bringing in.

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The next thing to decide on was the color palette. I am always very inspired by the sense of place in my design work. Especially in naturally beautiful places like coastal towns, it’s always nice when the palette of the natural environment carries through to the interiors. For instance the ocean in Nantucket and in the north east is a much deeper blue, and reminds me of the navy, red Americana color palettes favored in the region. The Florida coast is much brighter, and makes me think of preppy pinks, greens, and turquoise ala Lily Pulitzer.

The Texas coast, which I have grown up visiting and love, is a much more muted. The sand here is almost the color of cinnamon- thus the name of the community Cinnamon Shores. There is beautiful wildlife, and it is a very casual, natural vibe. I wanted the color palette of the cinnamon sand, muted green dunes, hazy blue skies, to carry through the interior of the showhouse punctuated with pops of red and pink to keep it interesting.

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(The open concept living/dining/kitchen on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd day of install!)

Install was bonkers. We were making beds as walls were being painted, but in the end it came together and I think we pulled it off! I can’t wait to see the pictures in the magazine, but I wanted to give you a little taste of what we did because November is just much too long to wait…

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I am really proud of the space, it is different for me, much more neutral- if you can say any space with a flaming red lacquered console is neutral 😉 and I am in love with it.

I am also in love with Valerie- my Biscuit work wife- who works so hard, keeps everything organized, has the best taste (and personality) and who just makes awesome things possible. I had to leave suddenly the second to last day of install for a family emergency, and she stayed and kept everything together, so just generally a huge round of applause for Valerie!

Thank you also to my most special people from Coastal Living: Steele, Nicole & Amy for the opportunity & support. I am so so grateful! Cinnamon Shores for your hospitality- I can’t wait to come back for vacation this time! And finally, to all of the sponsors for creating such beautiful products it made my job so much easier.

There is much more to say about the design, process, and experience, but I will wait until the full spread comes out- and I have had several naps- to look back on all of that because right now I am exhausted! If you are interested in seeing the home in person, there is more info on tickets and timing here!

I hope y’all enjoyed this glimpse into the project, and I will be back soon to tell you a bit more about those big Biscuit projects I alluded to earlier. Happy weekend! xoxo

Mary H. Case x Biscuit

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When our house was featured in Country Living one of the things people asked about the most was the Longhorn painting on our living room mantle. I found the piece days before the shoot on a last minute accessory run at local gem, Area, and it is one of my favorite elements of the room and totally brought everything together. After the article came out, the artist Mary H. Case stopped by Biscuit to introduce herself, and she was/is so lovely we immediately started brainstorming ways we could work together.

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I am so excited to be able to offer Mary’s beautiful work as a collection of prints for the first time! Quantities are limited, and the pieces really are so special. I am also obsessed with the glass tray we did, Art can be a tricky gift because peoples tastes are so personal, but everyone loves a good tray! I have given this one as a hostess gift to a few friends this summer, and everyone has loved it- and I think loved me a bit more for having given it to them, 😉

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The collection is available now at Biscuit, and you can read more about Mary and her work with this great post by Molly!

AL x BH

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SHOP HERE!

I bought my first piece of original art on Magazine Street in New Orleans in 2007. I was visiting Pete, and we wandered into this cute home decor shop called Perch and saw some paintings of Veuve Bottles, and this amazing lacquered portrait of Audrey profile. After talking to the ladies at the shop, we learned the work was a local artist named Ashley Longshore. I ended up buying the painting, and met Ashley when she delivered it to Austin a few weeks later.

Ashley and I have kept in touch over the years, and that Audrey painting has moved with us from Austin to Chicago and back to Houston. Every time the painting is photographed, I get a fresh slew of emails asking where people can get one for themselves. Ashley and I have always talked about finding other ways to work together, and over the years Ashley has done some fabulous collaborations, but I felt like there was still an opportunity to create a line that really captured the irreverent whimsy so many people connect to in her work.

Late last year we decided it was time to get ‘er done, and last night Biscuit held Ashley’s first Houston show in 5 years with squillions of gorgeous new pieces, and the debut of our ALxBH capsule collection! My friend and client, Rachael, who owns A Fare Extraordinaire– planned the most fabulous party. Every detail from the butterfly adorned boxwood bar, to the splatter painted truffle bonbons was so thoughtful- and as always the service and execution were on point.

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Our capsule collection is available online now– but hurry hurry! There are extremely limited quantities and once they gone…they gone. We are already almost sold out of a few items, and I don’t think supplies are going to last through the weekend!

Many Many thanks to the team at AFE, Ashley Longshore, and my beloved Biscuit girls for making this magic happen!

Makers We Love :: Love & Victory

One of my favorite aspects of my job at Biscuit is finding new, special products and learning the stories about the people and processes behind them. As y’all know, I am passionate about products being made in the USA, and we want to support our fellow makers by sharing more about the lines we love.

Every month we will be bringing you behind the scenes of a new line we are carrying at Biscuit, starting today with Meg and her line: Love & Victory.

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I’ve always been a maker. My first career was as a hand papermaker at a place called Dieu Donné in New York City, collaborating with some of the best artists in NYC in the very glamorous get-up of rubber boots and apron, so I’m certainly not afraid of getting dirty.

At this point in my career, however, I’m most interested in running a viable business and supporting myself creating work that I can feel proud of. It’s possible to make a living doing what you enjoy, and that’s so encouraging! 

I, like most designers, create things that I’d like to own. Often that involves a more modern version of something sentimental like a silhouette of my daughter or glasses bearing a family name.

I’m an intense researcher and observer; my inspiration comes from the outside, from intense observation—architecture, typography, strangers’ conversations, restaurants & bars, my 5 year old, my friends. I also have a freakish love for the deeply sentimental: mourning jewelry, tattoos, friendship and love tokens, and I borrow visually from those genres.

In addition to Love & Victory, I work as a freelance graphic designer. I actually met Bailey because we share a common friend, the artist Caitlin McGauley, who I worked with last year on her genius line of wallpapers. Most recently, I worked on the launch of Studio Four NYC’s wallpaper line in collaboration with Brian Paquette, Angie Hranowsky, and Amber Lewis. It’s been a really gratifying way to stay connected to other designers and artists, and I love employing my nerdy math skills! It’s also really handy to have an in-house graphic designer who’s available at a moment’s notice 😉

I love how Biscuit customized our hand engraved decanter set with Howdy and Texas for a little state pride. Bailey and I share a sense of whimsy in our design, so it’s perfect that it’s reflected in these. Our decanters are such a great gift—almost everyone appreciates a little drink in the evening. ” – Meg

:: shop ::

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How perfect are those silhouettes Meg did of Grace & Harry!? Click to shop these items and more from Meg’s line, including our Biscuit exclusive Texas decanter & Howdy glasses!

Welcome to the Shmamptons: Country Living!!!

The new issue of Country Living came out yesterday with a lovely feature on our Shmamptons house! I have really been enjoying the issues the new team at Country Living has been putting out recently. SO! When an editor I am quite fond of (having worked with her in the past) reached out to me in November asking if there was any way I could pretty please have the house ready for their April issue, I couldn’t say no. We were already pushing ourselves to have it furnished for the holidays, and this was just the motivation I needed to go ahead and get it finished. I am so glad we did-  we have been out there almost every weekend since then and it is so nice not having to look around and make mental notes on all of the outstanding projects. I can actually shut my brain off for the first time since I can remember, and relax with my family- who have incidentally informed me that I actually do still have a pleasing personality when I am not a crazy stress monster! Great news all around. 😉

I am so happy to share some snippets of our special place with all of you- it was a true pleasure working with the entire Country Living team and the photos by Roger Davies capture the place perfectly.

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To celebrate the feature, the Biscuit team put together a special Country Mouse Collection so that you can basically shop the story! Thank you all for the kind words thus far- I can’t wait to share some more shots and projects from the home over the next few weeks. xoxo!