AL x BH

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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!

Shmamptons :: Before & After Master Bedroom

When we first toured our Shmamptons house, there was a large room being used as a sort of man-den off of the entry. I didn’t love the idea of a secondary living space. First, the room was totally separate from the main living/dining room at the opposite end of the house. More importantly, though, our goal for the home was to spend as much quality time together, not having people hide out watching TV in different rooms.

PLUS, the “parlor” was taking up precious real estate that we felt would be better served sleeping more friends & family- and it had the best views. We decided it made the most sense to add a door and make it into another Master Bedroom, especially as we were downsizing the former master in order to add a second full bath- but more on that later.

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So here is the old den/current master when we first saw the home. Everything was really tasteful and comfortable, though the curtains blocked too much light- have you ever seen such a dark room with so many windows??

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And here is the same view now. As I mentioned, the room is pretty large, and we wanted to be able to sleep as many people as possible, so having this antique wrought-iron daybed is perfect as a reading spot or for sleeping kids in with their parents when we have a full house.

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This was the shot by Roger Davies used in this months Country Living. I love the Nobilis wood grained wallpaper, with the gauzy eyelet curtains, and traditional blue and white. The rag rug from Dash & Albert is super practical and keeps things from getting too fancy.

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This wall is shared with the former master (if you have seen the article- now the dark green guest bedroom) and originally we had planned to make the new bathroom accessible through both rooms, but it was just too tight to put a door in and really limited our options for furniture placement. I’ll do before & afters of that space next so you can see how we ended up configuring it, but I am glad we decided not to add a door so we could fit a king.

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This bed tried to break my spirit- but in the end, it was worth it (I think so, at least). The bed is from Oly and was one of the first things we ordered- knowing it had a long lead time. When Country Living called in November asking to shoot the house the first week in January, we knew we would be cutting it close. I don’t mind a challenge, but you can’t really ask other people to hustle for your opportunity, so before committing to the shoot we checked on the status of the bed and a few of the other outstanding items we that were timing concerns.  We were assured the bed would arrive right after Thanksgiving. Perfect. Plenty of time- even if things weren’t to go perfectly.

Well things went far from perfectly, and when it didn’t arrive after Thanksgiving we would call every few days and get updates that it would be here in 5-10 days. Then again, and again, until we were told it would arrive the 23rd. When it didn’t- I went in to full Nancy Drew mode and discovered that, in fact, it did arrive the 23rd. From customs into their California warehouse. Oh, and btw it hadn’t been upholstered yet. Oh, and and and, they couldn’t find our fabric.

We decided to have them go ahead and ship it straight to us, un-upholstered, so we could try to get it done here. The fabric had actually gotten lost in the mail, so B&F overnighted us replacement fabric. Even with everyone scrambling trying to make it work (and many thanks to the people at Oly & their transport company for their efforts)- the bed would be shipping over that alternate-universe week between Christmas and New Years where really, all bets are off. The hope was that it would get in around the 2nd or 3rd and our upholsterer would turn it around in 2 days so it could arrive at the house and be set up the day before the shoot on the 8th. Well, it arrived the afternoon of the 6th. Keila and I stayed up until 1 am upholstering it, our movers came and got it first thing in the morning, and there she is!

I hate letting people down, and I have been so lucky to have people like Steele (editor at CL) support my work and put so much faith in me over the years- so it was majorly stressful not knowing if this was going to come together as promised, especially in a situation so out of my control. But, in the end, it was one of those make-it-work scenarios that feels kind of like an adventure. And I hardly even notice the wobbly lines anymore 😉

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Another angle from the Country Living feature shot by Roger Davies.

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And in real life. I love all of the windows in the room- there are 6!! but it did make placing furniture a challenge. We decided to cover this one window that looked out onto the porch, mostly for privacy, but it was also a natural spot to put this vintage dresser. We put shutters on the window so it looks nice from the porch, and then hung this vintage quilt over. If we change our minds it is an easy thing to change back, but for now I love how the green lacquer mid-century dresser plays with the colors and age in the quilt.

To see more, check out this months issue of Country Living! I will wrap up the rest of the before & afters and behind the scenes next week!

 

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 :: Before & After Living :: Dining Room

One of my favorite things to do on the world wide web is to snoop images of the same spaces shot for different purposes- and see how things change over time and through the gaze of the feature.

Super-styled shelter mag photos, versus more realistic lifestyle stories, and those rare golden geese given by the internet: the real estate listing images where you can see pretty little vignettes you have pinned in the context of the larger flow of the home.

The images of our Shmamptons house shot by Roger Davies for this months Country Living are some of my all-time favorites, they really capture the incredible light, and the feel of the home. I thought it might be interesting for y’all to see the before & afters with a few new details, compared to the way the same space was styled by the Country Living team.

One of the things we loved most about our house when we first saw it was the great open family and dining room surrounded by windows that look out to open pastures.

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The living room when we toured the house :: No problems here, we just wanted to make some small changes to make it feel more like us.

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We added the built in bookshelves on either side of the fireplace for toy and treasure storage, switched out the mantle to something more streamlined, brought in layered window treatments (this pic was before the white linen panels were hung), and gave everything a fresh coat of white paint.

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The only thing I didn’t love about the family room before were the dark- and super slippery- brick pavers in the family room so we added a custom cut seagrass rug that flows into the dining area as well, and layered in a vintage rug to soften the seagrass and define the space.

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This side of the room wasn’t pictured in Country Living :: Those windows look into the kitchen- which, initially I found to be peculiar but has turned out to be a nice way to keep the feel of an open concept kitchen- while maintaining a separate cooking space free from crawling babies!

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I wanted large, comfortable, indestructible furniture and this big leather guy from Restoration Hardware is all of those things and more. We removed the back cushions and layered in some pillows to break up all the leathah and tie in some of the colors and patterns in the room.

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The hot pink buffalo check, slip covered roll-arm couch opposite the leather sofa is equally comfortable/practicl- and I love the play of the feminine details with these pheasant chintz pillows.

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This chair was originally in the dark green bedroom, but felt a little snug, so we moved it out to the family room. I think I might get a white washable slip cover to protect the upholstery- and also so that the pattern isn’t repeated from the curtains in the green bedroom. #neurotic

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So now here is the space shot by Roger Davies for Country Living. Which, I mean, you can really appreciate the genius of the photographer in the way he captured the light.

And now a similar angle taken with the iPhone…Can you spot the changes?

(Besides the quality of the image 😉 )

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They pulled out the striped rug, moved over the green lamp from the other side, and re-styled our mantle, bookshelves and coffee table. I totally appreciate how clean everything looks in Country Living- but I do love seeing all of our treasures on the shelves. I love the way they styled our coffee table and have been looking for a great giant planter- but am a little torn because it certainly looks prettier that way, but for family practicality it is so nice to have this giant expansive space that is usually covered in puzzles and games.

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When we first toured the home I was NOT into the antler chandelier, but it is amazing how laziness can really change your perspective on things.

In my initial searching, I didn’t find anything else I loved for the space, and then once we moved all of our stuff in it bothered me a lot less than the idea of continuing to spend my evenings searching for the perfect piece. So it stays, for now.

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(Sorry about the terrible sepia tone/lighting- iPhone)

This side of the room still feels a little unfinished to me- but I hesitate to bring in another piece like a buffet because it is so nice to have all of the open floor space for the kids to run around, and we have all of the storage we need for now with the large hutch on the opposite wall.

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So here is how it looked in Country Living… I love how bright and clean the space is, but I think eventually we will add some art on the walls -that oval portrait actually lives on the other side of the room- and normally we have two ikea high chairs on either side of the hutch. #reallife

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I love the way they styled our hutch with some of our wedding china on display. We use the hutch as a bar and have sprinkled in a few of our favorite vintage finds as well.

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That was a marathon post, and I am out of blogging-shape so I’m just going to cut it off there.For more info on the details check out the spread in this months Country Living

We have also put together a pop-up over at Biscuit where you can shop some of the decor in this post!

Let me know if you have any questions, and if this was enjoyable for y’all I will put together another comparative post for the other rooms next week!

xoxo

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!