Working for the weekend…

Just a pretty little scheme I am working on to help ease your transition into the weekend.

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I never properly introduced our new prints, did I? Adding that to the to-do list. Briefly, however, this is our new Bloomsbury in Periwinkle.Blooms Blue

I’ll give her a proper howdy-do on Monday.

Have a great weekend, hug your dads & babies daddies!

Pete’s New Old Office Update

We shot some items for Biscuit’s Father’s Day Edit at Pete’s new office a few weeks ago. You might remember the makeover I gave his old office at Biscuit. Well Pete moved offices last year- major upgrade he has a window now!- and I love how everything we did in his old space transitioned.

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The tenderest thing of all? He hung the new gallery wall situation himself. Too much.

I am also pretty pleased with my Father’s Day plan, which y’all helped me with, but I can’t share because I don’t want to ruin the surprise- but stay tuned on that one.

 

Country Mouse Dream House :: Rita Konig etc.

In my searchings for country house inspiration, I have found it’s difficult to find places that achieve “country” without relying on kitschy. Unsurprisingly, Rita Konig got it exactly right on her Mill Valley project in Elle Decor a few months ago…

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It’s more english-country than Texas-country but it’s layered, casual, comfortable, chic and effortless and I love it so hard.

In that same vein, Badgley Mischka’s farm has been a long-time favorite. Fancy English Country and not exactly what I am going for, but I’m not mad at it one bit.

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Shot by Roger Davies who shot our farm for Country Living last year. He is fantastic. If you want to look at some beautiful images of homes and lots of things, poke around his portfolio for a bit.

Finally, I need to see more Kathryn Windley’s home that was in Country Living awhile back.Katherine Windley Country Living by Mikkel Vang

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That’s all I can find on the matter, and it’s a real tease. I need to see more.

I also want to see more Texas farmhouse. It’s been hard to find. I like my country with some context, a sense of place if you will. There are endless supplies of east coast country inspiration, which I love, but we are decidedly Texan and it’s really hot here and I feel like that changes things a bit. Or it should. But everything I find that has a more western flavor tends to go really hard in that direction, which isn’t exactly the goal either. So if any of you have some good Texas farm inspiration, please do share!

Country Mouse Dream House

The new issue of Country Living has a really cute little feature on the playhouse at our farm that we gave Grace for her Birthday last year.

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They came out and shot the playhouse (custom made by Lilliput Playhouses inspired by Gruene Hall) a few months ago, and the kids had the best time hamming it up. It helped that their were ice cream floats involved. Becki Griffin, who we worked with when Country Living shot the house last year, did SUCH a cute job styling it. I’ll post more when I get the pics, but for now you can check it out – including pics of the inside- all shot by Buff Strickland in the new issue!

Those of you who follow me on Insta know we spend every weekend we can out at “The Shmamptons”. We love it even more than we could have imagined- the fenced yard around our house feels like endless wide open spaces where the kids can run and be free. We cook & cocktail, swim, play games and just generally feel like lucky, peaceful little country mice. Speaking of which, those of you who follow me on Pinterest might have noticed me blowing up my “Country Mouse” board of late.

As much as we love having our family time at The Shmamptons, we enjoy sharing the place with our family & friends even more. While our house- an early 1900s Victorian- works wonderfully for us, things get tight quickly when we are hosting. My two best friends are cousins, and I grew up going to their family farm that could accommodate as many people wanted to pile on a sleeping porch. I would love for ours to be the same kind of “More the Merrier” place. Especially since it’s just a short drive from Houston it’s easy for people to make impromptu visits- and so we have started to think about adding a guest house sometime next year.

Writing this post, I realized I still haven’t given y’all a tour of the place beyond my instagram pics- I should do a proper shoot of the place. Putting that on the list.

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“The Shmamptons” Shot by Roger Davies January 2015

In the meantime, for those that need more info to visualize, the current house has three bedrooms, two baths and a bunk loft. There is a wee kitchen and a big combined living/dining room. We did our renovation (adding a bath and converting the front parlor into a bedroom) in about 3 months two years ago. Last year we did a few landscape projects (fire pit, fencing the pool & adding a pavilion etc.) but otherwise have just taken our time to enjoy the place.

And I am glad we didn’t do any major projects right away. After spending two years out there, we know so much more about the property itself- the best spots to watch the sunset or catch a breeze- and what sort of setup we need to host our people.

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For instance, the bunk loft will be great when the kids are older, but for now the stairs are still too steep for me to feel comfortable letting Grace sleep up there. Most of our friends are just starting to have babies, so it will be awhile until the loft gets much use. However, the daybeds we put in the king & queen bedrooms have been great and allow us to be flexible in sleeping different combinations of friends & family. Depending on who we are hosting, sometimes our whole family puppy-piles into one bedroom; other times the kids have a sleepover with friends in one room, and the adults have their own spaces.

So! Now that we know we need more bedrooms, we are thinking about the best way to go add them. Several small casitas or trailers ala El Cosmico or The Prairie?The Prairie By Rachel Ashwell

The Prairie B&B, Round Top, TX

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Images via The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell

The Prairie is actually nearby our place, and during the Round Top Antiques Fair this year I did a little tour. I loved how all of the buildings had their own character and worked together to create a cozy compound. I have always been obsessed with tiny things, and especially Tiny Texas Houses, so I do quite like the idea of a few little guest houses.

However, the point of having our friends out to visit is to spend time together and I worry that having people separated in their own quarters will work against the QT, which makes me lean towards adding full-size guest house. Especially because we only have one small oven in the house now, so another cooking space would be helpful.

If we do go with a bigger guesthouse, it would be important to me that it fit with the scale and style of the existing home- and so I have been on a search for renovation inspiration. One of my favorites I have found so far is this house by Cuppet Architects that was in Country Living a few years back.

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So charming- this one is getting saved to the board for sure. I have also been obsessing over this book we just got in…

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So. Much. Fancy. Farm. Fantasy. And they are all in Virginia I think? I think I need to plan a road trip.

Ok, well I hope you enjoyed our little tour down the proverbial country lane. There is much, much more Country Mouse Dream House action where this came from, and we have already been working on a little something to increase our hosting capacity until we decide what to do longterm. So stay tuned for lots of bucolic inspiration to come!

Springtime Baby Shower

We have had a Biscuit Baby Boom this spring, 3 new babies in the past 3 weeks! Chelsie had her sweet baby boy at the end of April, and Valerie’s twins surprised everyone with their early arrival in May. We hosted Valerie’s baby shower at our house just in the nick of time, it turns out, and recently got some pictures from A Fare Extraordinaire (who catered/created the event) that I thought were worth sharing.

Valerie was having boy/girl twins, so we wanted the decor to be gender neutral, with a nature-inspired/Spring overall theme, with a little Where The Wild Things Are thrown in.

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This was the mood board we sent to AFE, and they took it from there…

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Val’s shower was the first proper event we have hosted at our new house, and I was curious to see if the house had the flow for entertaining I had tried to create in the design. We lucked out and had a beautiful afternoon, so the party flowed out onto our patio which was perfect!

I always love working with A Fare Extraordinaire on events, at this point we have worked together so often that I trust them to run with whatever I give them without meddling, and they know me well enough to take my inspiration and push it to the next level. I love entertaining and sweating the details myself (please see Harry’s Birthday cake for evidence), but it is also so nice to hand over the reins to someone else so you can actually be a guest at your own party.

To celebrate our new Biscuit babies, we put together a little Winnie The Pooh inspired pop-up over at Biscuit which has some cute items if any of you are looking for a baby shower gift this Spring!

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Party Images by A Fare Extraordinaire

(post was not sponsored, just giving credit where credit is due)