Small spaces for a city mouse

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We have been in Chicago with the family for a few weeks for our big family summer trip, and it has been the best trip ever! I adore Chicago. Our time living here was so special, and we have so many friends and family here that it still feels like home. It’s hard to have your heart in two places. We love Houston, and we are so happy to be raising our babies there, but there is so much that draws us back to Chicago.

It has been great to be here for awhile and not feel so rushed to do all of the things. But we have still managed to do (and eat and drink) all of the things. We still have a few more places to try, but I promise I will report back with my updated Chicago restaurant/bar guide. (This is the one I did 5 years ago– some of the favorites on that list still hold up!) I will also add in some of the activities we have done with the kids- Chicago in the summer is the BEST for kids. We have spent hours playing in Lincoln Park, hitting up the farmers market, zoo, lake, it’s just so easy!

I never really got over having to sell our house here- it recently sold again and I tried to convince Pete we should buy it back and he reminded me that I was actually being insane. But I still do fantasize about having a little pied-à-terre in the city so we could visit friends and family as often as we wanted! This months House Beautiful is their small spaces issue, which is ALWAYS my favorite. I just love a tiny jewel box home, and this issue had Amir Khamneipur’s teensy perfect 700 sqft apartment in NYC and it is a total delight.

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That got me on a pinning spree on my recently neglected “city mouse” board. Here is a sampling of my small space favorites…

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I’ll be back next week with a rundown of our favorite things we got up to this trip!

Introducing the Austin in Pink!

Continuing our tour of rooms featuring our Season 5 Biscuit Bedding prints, today I have our Austin print in pink:

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Our Austin in blue was part of our very first collection at Biscuit, and has always been one of my favorites. I love how diverse the print is, it is sophisticated in a tone on tone room like the Master we did for the Coastal Living Showhouse, or it can be fun and youthful in a kids room. Over the years people have requested the print in a pink, and we wanted to make sure we chose tones of our favorite hue that allowed this new colorway to be just as flexible. I am in love with how it came out! I played up the girly pinkness in this setup, but I can see the tonal pinks working just as well in a more restrained scheme.

Photos by Molly Miller for Biscuit Home

Farm for the Fourth

Pete’s family takes Fourth of July very seriously. When we first started dating, I remember the first Fourth I spent with him in Chicago. His small town really goes all out- there is a parade with local veterans, the high school drill teams, and the whole town comes out and lines the streets. It seems like every house is having a bar-b-q and it all just feels very American in the best way.

This year we will be celebrating with friends and their kids at our farm, and I am really feeling festive. We are grilling, swimming, having field day races, and watching an outdoor movie. I already stocked the farm with some fun Fourth-themed ‘cessories that I shot last weekend for our Fourth of July edit– we also did a practice run on some of the recipes we are cooking that I will share next. Specifically the pimento cheese pinwheels which are a holiday celebration unto themselves.

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We ordered those red, white and blue lawn chairs after reading about the company in Garden & Gun. They will be perfect for watching our outdoor movie- we are thinking Space Jam because the kids haven’t seen it, but if y’all have any suggestions for a more 4th of July themed movie, let me know. I am obsessed with the firework cocktail napkins, and my festive new bather- oh! And we are going to be making popsicles. I don’t know who will enjoy it more, me or the kids.

  1. Watermelon Float 2. Candy-Striped Turkish Towels 3. Lawn Chairs 4. Bunch o Balloons 5. Striped Bathing Suit 6. Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen 7. Red Cooler 8. Firework Cocktail Napkins ** Baby You’re a Firework Hand Towel 

“Night Movie” Photography by artist Julie Blackmon

All images Bailey McCarthy for Biscuit Home

Grace Hall in Country Living

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Seemingly overnight, we are in full-on blazing hot summer here in Texas. I grew up in Houston, and after 30 years it is no less shocking just how hot it can get. One of the best things about our farm is that we are up on a hill, and there is a constant breeze which makes it feel 5-10 blessed degrees cooler.

I had commissioned Grace’s playhouse as a present for her 4th Birthday last August, and it’s going to be getting a lot of action this summer. Not only for the kids, but as a refuge for the adults too- since we put a small AC window unit inside! If you haven’t seen the playhouse in this months Country Living, you should check it out- but I wanted to go ahead and show you around inside!

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I knew I wanted to build a really special playhouse out at our farm, and in my internet searches for inspiration found Lilliput Playhomes. I was blown away by their work (you should look through their custom portfolio, it’s pretty impressive) and after reaching out to them to learn more about the process, I decided to commission them to build our playhouse. I wanted the playhouse to work with the overall property- our hope is that even after our kids outgrow it, we can keep it for future generations- and I wanted it to be big enough to entertain all of the kids we have out to the farm on weekends. I thought about various “Country” structures- perhaps a barn? Or several smaller structures- they have a little town in their portfolio that is super cute- and then started thinking about Texas landmarks. At first I considered remembered The Alamo (harder), and then it hit me, Gruene Hall!
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The famous dance hall in Gruene Texas! Aesthetically it fit with the other white structures on the property, and the Gruene/Grace similarity was too perfect. I gathered as many images of the interior and exterior as I could find and sent them to Lilliput to get started.

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We replicated the stage at Gruene Hall on one side of the playhouse for the kids to have a little performance venue…
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I am so impressed by Lilliputs attention to detail. Their little version of the Gruene Hall stage backdrop is perfection, and including the little Texas flag on the ceiling? Genius.

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Lilliput also decorated with some honkeytonk signs, and shelves for us to stock with the kids toys.

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There are two picnic tables inside, also inspired by the tables at Gruene Hall, where the kids can eat lunch and play games.

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Opposite the stage is a little play kitchen. It normally doesn’t look quite this cute- the kids play hard in here. I was obsessed with all of the little details stylist Becki Griffins brought in for the shoot. They even made real Root-Beer floats for the kids which were a HUGE hit. gallery-1463601006-clx060116wellplayhouse-02

One of my favorite elements was including the iconic “GRUENE” water tower perched just behind the historic dance hall in most pictures. We named ours “HAROLD, TX pop. 143” for our son, and added a slide.

The whole playhouse situation is right off of the house, next to the fire pit where we like to listen to music, watch the sunset, and roast s’mores. It really is my happiest of places.

We had so much fun shooting with Country Living, everyone was so talented and patient with our little guys, and I love having these special pictures of our kids and best family friends having the time!

all images by Buff Strickland for Country Living

Introducing the Bloomsbury in Periwinkle!

On Friday I posted a room scheme I am putting together our new Bloomsbury Periwinkle print, and I realized in all of the excitement about our site re-launching, I never gave our new season a proper introduction. This year, we re-printed three of our most popular prints in fresh new colorways, like our best-selling Bloomsbury which now comes in Periwinkle!

1 Biscuit Bedding Bloomsbury Periwinkle

Being our 5th, this season was particularly special for me. We chose to re-issue our Austin print from our very first collection, the Wimberley from our 3rd, and the Bloomsbury from our previous season. I loved picking prints from different seasons and reimagining them as part of a collection, unified by their new color ways. I love the whole process from concepting the feel of a new collection, choosing the prints and working on the color ways, visiting the factory and staying overnight to oversee printing, and then waiting for the new collection to come into the warehouse packaged and ready for their new homes!

But really, the best part is seeing how these prints that we have worked so hard on actually come together in a space. I designed a room specifically for each of the new prints, and if you have poked around the new Biscuit site at all, you have probably seen some shots from this set up. I am obsessed with this new color way, something about it glows. For me, it is the perfect balance between masculine and feminine, pretty and unexpected with the use of more olivey greens.
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I love the way Bloomsbury Periwinkle works in this space- and also can’t wait to showcase it in a totally different vibe. I hope y’all liked seeing these shots from our lookbook- I will make sure to share the other new prints soon! I will be back later this week with more images from the Grace Hall Country Living shoot!

Images by Molly Miller for Biscuit Home