COASTAL LIVING 2015 SHOWHOUSE: Den & Powder Rooms Before & After

Now that we find ourselves half way through the Coastal Living 2015 Showhouse “Before & After” posts, it has occurred to me that this being a brand new house, there aren’t actually “befores” to warrant calling these “afters”.

Designing from scratch vs. renovating an existing space is a very different process with its own set of perks and challenges. I find that house-lovers tend to fall into two camps: those who imagine one day building a dream home from the ground up, and those who fantasize about renovating and restoring a home with history.

That’s an oversimplification and there are obviously people who enjoy the idea of both. But, if the reality is more of a spectrum, I would still be at the extreme end of wanting to get my hands on Gray Gardens rather than a shiny new plot of land with a view. That is in part because I love old things with history, but also because I find myself inspired by the constraints that come by working within an existing space. Given total free-reign, I’m not sure I would know what to do with myself. I guess I’m more of a problem solver than inventor.

On this project, having an extremely abbreviated timeline helped impose some such boundaries for this house, as did guidelines laid out by the various national sponsors whose product we would be working with. For example, we were fortunate to partner with Sunbrella who asked that we design one interior room exclusively using their indoor/outdoor textiles.

I love Sunbrella’s line. Without turning into infomercial mode, it really is incredible how far outdoor fabrics have come in the past few years, I often can’t tell the difference in the hand of outdoor and indoor fabrics anymore. Of course, the added bonus is that fabrics made to withstand the elements are great for the messes that comes with children- who, as parents know, seem to be equal parts adorable and filthy at all times.


Continue reading “COASTAL LIVING 2015 SHOWHOUSE: Den & Powder Rooms Before & After”

Coastal Living 2015 Showhouse: Master Bedrooms Before & After

The plans for the 2015 Coastal Living Showhouse had two master bedrooms; One light-filled room perched on the third floor, and the other conveniently located off of the main living space on the second floor. It is so smart to have two masters in a vacation home; my Mom taught me growing up that it was polite for the host to give the better room to your guests, and with a beach house so often it is multiple families coming together and with two equally comfortable masters, no one gets the “better room”. It was especially fun to design two master bedrooms in the same home, and I wanted to make them totally different to appeal to different tastes.


Continue reading “Coastal Living 2015 Showhouse: Master Bedrooms Before & After”

Coastal Living 2015 Showhouse: Living / Dining / Kitchen Before & After

It’s November, which means that this year has flown by so fast I actually feel like I blinked and missed it, AND that the Coastal Living issue featuring the 2015 Coastal Living Showhouse we designed is out! Also it means that it is before & after time! Molly and I flew down to Port Aransas last week to shoot the video tours for Coastal Living, and to take pictures of the project for our portfolio. It was so nice to revisit the project, the whole thing was such a whirlwind signing on in May and installing by July. Having a chance to tour the space after some time away was, in a way, like seeing it for the first time. Which, when I think about actually seeing the house for the first time, it was not like that at all.

I got the call about doing the showhouse the second week in May, and flew down to see the house for the first time a few days later. It was May 12 to be exact, and this is what the open floorplan living/dining/kitchen looked like:


Install date was set for the last week of July, and the magazine would be shooting the house the first week in August, with a big opening party and tours starting just after that. That meant two and a half months to get from this:


To this:5N2A7669

Continue reading “Coastal Living 2015 Showhouse: Living / Dining / Kitchen Before & After”

Biscuit Turns 3!

I have always been a big fall person. I think in general I am a future person, and no matter how old I get and how far away I get from school, fall always seems like the beginning of the new year. This fall has been especially new-beginnings-y.

Biscuit has grown a lot this year, and there will be some new things coming out in the next few months that we are all really excited about. The Coastal Living Showhouse issue comes out this month, and I can’t wait to share more behind the design of that project. Also! Pete and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary, which felt huge- and we are moving!!

I know it seems like we move all the time, but really, we left Chicago because we had to, and moving from there to Austin was a really strange decision that was so short-lived Pete and I sometimes can’t even believe it happened. I have loved our Houston house so much. Leaving Chicago and that house we put our heart and soul into was really hard, and it wasn’t until we got settled into our house here a year later that I really felt like I was home again.

As much as I love a project, I am really sentimental about our homes- I still get choked up whenever I walk past the house I moved from when I was 5!  The decision to move- even though it is exciting- was really hard for me. But, after 3 years it was time for us to make a change, and so Fall! New beginnings!

I had our old house photographed before we moved so that I could document the changes we made living there over the years, and will be sharing some of those, along with more behind-the-scenes and new images from the Coastal showhouse in the coming weeks.

But now that we are properly caught up…Today, I really want to wish a Happy 3rd Birthday to Biscuit! We opened our doors three years ago this week, and I cannot believe how far we have come and how lucky I am to be able to come to work every day with the best, most creative people I have met. This year has been really big for us, and I know next year will be even better.

AND! I have to thank y’all for that, too! This blog and all of you are a huge part of what inspired Biscuit, and I owe a ton of our success to your ongoing support. To celebrate we are doing our biggest annual sale, and the last one of the year, and we have a lot of new goodies online, so get on it!


Talk soon!



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.


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.

living room-kitchen process

(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…



marfa room - close up
Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

striped br


Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with g2 preset

bw bathroom

Processed with VSCOcam with g2 preset

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