Spring Branches

Spring in Texas has been exceptional! Our fabulous early spring is the consolation prize to the hellacious summer that we know is right around the corner. But let's not talk about that.

Let's talk about these beautiful wisteria and red bud branches instead.

Red bud trees are budding out their beautiful magenta blooms. Wisteria vines are spilling over fences, full of bees and butterflies. Like any good stylist, I usually walk the dog with my clippers in my pocket. I feel it's my duty as a good citizen to help keep the neighborhood properly pruned and I happily volunteered this vase to re-home them to my office. 

 Texas wild flowers are popping up along the highway to Round Top as well and vendors are already set up and selling for Antiques Week. Have you planned your trip? It's time to get going. Don't forget your clippers!

Room No. 5 Carol Hicks Bolton

As promised, I have more images to share from my visit to Carol Bolton's shops in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Room No. 5 was stunning. So much so that I put the big camera away during my visit and shot with my iphone instead. Sometimes you just gotta soak it all up and be free of distractions.

And I did.

This was my first visit to Room No. 5 and I loved the experience. Carol and her team are so good at creating atmosphere. Warehouses can be tricky to style, but this space felt like a desaturated, poetic fantasy world.

 

Upholstered furniture, beautiful bed linens and antique furniture. All in dreamy shades of white.

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I visited Carol during her January sale and she just announced another unloading sale that's coming up quick so get this on the books. She had some gorgeous pieces and really good prices. Here's all the info: 

Follow Carol on Facebook to see new arrivals and current sale information.

If you'd like to see Part 1 of my visit to Carol's unloading sale, click here.

Prop Styling for Business

I have the pleasure of guest blogging over on Tripp Films this week and I'm talking all about prop styling for your business. 

  Photo Buff Strickland | Styling Becki Griffin | Designer Holly Mathis for Country Living Magazine

Nikki Tripp is a Houston based videographer I've had the pleasure of working with recently on Old Glory Antiques branded video. I think videography is an exciting medium to promote business. I love the way it draws viewers in closer and allows more space for storytelling. 

Prop styling is an important component to a professional shoot and I'm sharing all the details of how I work on a branded shoot with Nikki. While you're visiting Nikki's website, take a look at her beautiful portfolio gallery and the services she offers.

If you've been thinking about taking your business to the next level, your visual story is a wonderful place to start and invest in.  I'm always happy to chat about your project! You can contact me via e-mail here.

Carol Hicks Bolton Antiquities Unloading Sale

I recently went on a really fun girls roadtrip to Fredericksburg, Texas, for Carol Hicks Bolton's French Antiquities Unloading & Warehouse Sale.  It's safe to say any designer I know that's from Texas and beyond admires Carols unique style; raw, rustic, collected and curated from some of the most romantic places on earth like Belgium, Provence and India.

Her stores and the styling are dreamy. So much so that I think anything I take the time to write is unnecessary when there are so many beautiful things to see so I'm going to let the pictures do the talking on this post. I do want to say I think every home, no matter the style, needs something old and interesting in it and you're sure to find it at one of Carol's stores. These images are from Carol and Tim's warehouse where they unload the new inventory and also held an inventory clearance sale through January.

I'm saving the pictures from Room #5, which is another store of Carol's (where I lost my mind...it was so beautiful) because it deserves it's own post. 

  The light fixture is made from tree roots.                     

Some delicious details from the unloading sale. Fun fact: I love vintage bird taxidermy. Carol has some gorgeous specimens. Reminds me of Deyrolle in Paris which I would love to visit.

I walked around this collection of antique bee skeps about 47 times, photographing it over and over..making slow motion video. They were so beautiful.

With merchandise in four stores, Tim and Carol keep things old school and do not offer online sales. If you see something you like here give them a call at 830-997-5551 and they'll be happy to help you with more information.

                                                         Allison, Carol, and Becki.

Road trippin' with my good friend Allison of https://www.facebook.com/hasbinsfurniture/ (they do fun vintage/antique pop up shows)  . Thank you Carol for taking the time to chat with us and letting us hug you too many times!!! We didn't want to leave! 

Renovate | Country Sampler Farmhouse Style

One decorating style that's sure to be around forever and ever amen, is farmhouse style. Designer Cathy Robinson Hutton and daughter Courtney Prochaska of Renovate in Houston, are doing their part to keep it fresh, relevant and affordable. You can see one of my most pinned images of their farm, The Garden Club Cottage, in New Ulm, Texas in the new Country Sampler Farmhouse Style magazine, Special Issue.

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I get emails weekly about the fabulous cow picture that hangs in the entry of the farm. Like any good art, there's a beautiful story about how this piece came to the farm and Courtney shares it wonderfully in this post. It's a touching love story and I'm honored to be a small part of it. 

So, for those of you wondering, the cow art is not available for purchase. I know I know...I wish everyone who has written me could enjoy one in their home. But there is good news! Renovate is also on the cover of the latest issue of Round Top Texas Life & Style Magazine which features new cow art that is available for purchase through Renovate.

          Photo:  Natalie Lacy Lange        Styled by Designer Cathy Robinson Hutton of  Renovate

         Photo: Natalie Lacy Lange      Styled by Designer Cathy Robinson Hutton of Renovate

I will never forget the day I photographed the farm for Cathy. Imagine driving slowly down a gently curving gravel road on a beautiful, bright, warm summer morning in Texas. The car rounds the last turn and just ahead a golden retriever is standing in a beam of sunlight that has broken through the trees. He runs to greet my car and escorts me down the drive to the house where there are a couple of horses grazing in the front garden, like pets. I'm crying because it's so beautiful and trying to get myself together to meet these ladies for the first time. We made fast friends and laughed all day. They are truly fabulous, talented Texas women.

The farm includes a darling cabin on the property that is available for vacation rentals! It's perfect for a girls getaway or if you need a home base during the Round Top shows. Click here for rental information.

When you're in Houston, be sure to visit the Renovate shop. My clients love discovering this little boutique.  It's one of my local favorites for art, gifts and furniture. And if you have a brown thumb, they carry THE BEST artificial orchids. 

To see more of the farm, visit my portfolio gallery. You can also see more wood panel cow art in my shop

Courtney shares all the latest arrivals at the shop on their Instagram account so be sure to follow them there to see what's new in the store. Inventory moves fast there so don't miss out!

Slow Christmas

For the past few years my Christmas decorating approach has been laid back and slow. That's in direct opposition to everything the internets tell us. We're told we have to "BUY NOW" "DON"T MISS OUT"..ugh...I hate all that and how it makes me feel and it's simply not required. I didn't buy one single thing on Black Friday or make a single Cyperwhatever purchase and I managed to live a full life without consequence. Instagrammers have been lighting it up since Halloween. I can't even.
I wonder if they grow tired of it by the time December arrives?

We are road tripping again this year for Christmas so I'm keeping the decor very simple. Our boys are old enough that I don't have to Santa up the place too much; but I do want it to feel festive and pretty. There are several yaupon holly trees in our neighborhood bursting with red berries so I helped myself. These will mix in nicely with fresh eucalyptus and a little fresh pine.

Let's join hands and pinky swear not to let the world ruin Christmas. All those perfect pictures we see can absolutely steal our joy. There are so many who lost everything in the Hurricane Harvey flood. My heart goes out to them. Did you know there's a link on my website if you'd like to donate gift cards to flood victims? I'm still collecting and distributing gift cards to families in my hometown if you'd like to join me.

Simple Christmas decorations like paper chains and stars, fresh cut greens, twinkle lights, candles and bowls of ornaments are so pretty...let's not forget that simple can be wonderful and finished pretty quickly. Simple can save the world....like a baby in a manger.

The Pomegranate

Dramatic, gaudy and dangerous. Sweet, tart and delicious. The pomegranate is the seasonal fruit I look forward to the most. Clearly, the most beautiful fruit in the produce department. It's a shame grocery stores don't give them the presentation they deserve (I'm available...call me!)

Life got you feeling some sort of way? Grab a pomegranate and enjoy the slow tactile delight of de-seeding this beautiful fruit. Ignore all those worthless how tos offering empty promises of quick de-seeding results. They lie.  Give yourself the gift of time it takes to appreciate the color and textures of this mythical "apple with many seeds". This tutorial is the best way to de-seed and avoid damaging the arils. 

Add them to your Thanksgiving menu with this pomegranate relish, or these individual loaded sweet potatoes. For a lighter option, this delicious salad. Recently, I thought I had reached genius level pomegranate consumption status when I sprinkled some of the seeds on my morning peanut butter toast. It. Was. Delicious. A quick google search reminded me there are zero original ideas, but that I was in good company. Cheers to a beautiful pomegranate season!

Dining Room Styling for Fall

I feel like I could promote this post as an inspiring fall styling moment and get away with it, but that wouldn't be honest. In truth, I call our dining room the problem child of our home. The biggest problem is I feel a big disconnect between the pieces in the room and how they:
1. Reflect my current style
2. Work for our family
3. Make me feel

The other part of this truth is that I have put myself on a pretty tight budget this year (your welcome, honey!) Our boys are now seniors in high school and did you know college costs a bazillion dollars?! 

Do I think this is a pretty vignette? You betcha! Is it my dream dining room? Not even. But what I do love about it and all it's imperfections, is that it's the room in our home in which I have the most styling fun, and I like that. That feels really good.

So, like I do, I turned on some good music while all the guys were gone, rummaged through accessories I already had (yes...I have a lot of stuff and I bet you do, too!) and got my fall groove on. 

The jewel toned kantha quilt is hiding a stainless steel restaurant table and tons of my work props which are stored below.  I topped the table with vintage wicker wrapped wine bottles, thrift store brass candlesticks and a few other tabletop favorites. The power hitter is my big vintage chart art that depicts moss. This piece travels all around my house and sometimes gets rolled up and stored under a bed. Welcome back chart art! Sprinkled around the chart is a small European roe mount collection for dimension

The only thing I bought was a big bundle of bittersweet branches at the grocery store and a few pears for a little styling detail. The bittersweet is very long lasting (I know it's considered an invasive nuisance in some parts of the country, but wow...so pretty and wild!) Fresh flowers are for me like Starbucks might be for you. It's just part of the weekly spending.

Total spent styling this problem child of a room for fall? $22 fun dollars. And I am really enjoying it. Dream dining room, I can see you in my future, just not right now.

The Vintage Round Top Business Branding & Social Media Workshop Fall 2017

My friends Paige and Smoot Hull of The Vintage Round Top are so good at bringing together creatives and dreamers. Their fall workshop was a beautiful experience. If you ever get the chance to attend one of their workshops, my advice to you is JUST GO!

Workshop Dream Team L-R: Maria Lichty of Two Peas and Their Pod,  Photographer Ashleigh Amoroso, Paige and Smoot Hull, Kadie Smith of Drop Cap Design and Anissa Zajac of House Seven Design

The workshops will inspire you no matter where you are on your creative journey. Having access to these successful creatives, listening to their stories and asking them questions is like jet fuel for your passion. With social media being the force it is in how we connect and conduct business, learning from the pros in a beautiful setting like The Vintage Round Top can be the thing that takes you to the next level. 

Just as the name promised, the workshop covered business, branding and social media along with hands on photography tips and an opportunity to apply what was learned during a styling session. How cool is that?

Paige shared a detailed wrap up on her blog if you would like to dive deeper into the event. It's so important to never stop learning and workshops like this are a wonderful way to connect.

Recent styling work for The Vintage Round Top

The antiques shows in Round Top, Texas, wrapped up this week after nearly a month of shopping, socializing and sweating. It was a hot one!

Luckily, my friends Paige and Smoot Hull of The Vintage Round Top hosted a very cool Business, Branding and Social Media workshop at their beautiful property in Round Top. I'm so excited to share more details about the workshop in a follow up post. But first, the styling!

I collaborated with Paige to style a vintage modern table in the Boho Cottage for a private dinner for the panelists and workshop leaders the night before the big event.

Layers of new and vintage textiles, candles, succulents, pretty glassware along with vintage elements Paige and Smoot gathered in Europe were the stars of the show.

The bold graphic of the boho table runner from CB2 paired perfectly with Paige's antique tablecloths and brass apothecary canisters filled with eucalyptus. Linen napkins with the perfect amount of casual rumpledness from World Market. We recommend NOT ironing the napkins...who wants to do that anyway? There's a party about to bust out!

 If it's in the budget, I love to use colored barware to kick things up a sparkly notch. The shimmer of the soft gold glasses made the evening feel extra special.

Stylist Tip: Candleholders work great as small planters for table styling. The geodesic tea light candleholders are from CB2. They were perfect to tuck in between the lanterns. We used two different modern brass style lanterns at varying heights. See both styles here and here

What a gorgeous space! Round Top is certainly packed during antiques week, but if you've never visited when things are quiet and normal then you're missing out. From Houston, it's an easy relaxing drive that takes just over an hour. There are a few new restaurants, galleries and my friend Holly Kuhn has reopened Old Glory Antiques in a stunning new space I'll be sharing soon. 

And that's how we created a vintage modern mix for a fabulous evening with inspiring creatives. Stay tuned for more details from the workshop!

 

 

Art Corner

If you haven't yet,  I hope you can set aside a little time this weekend to listen my recent interview with Karen and Zandra of Little Yellow Couch and the Style Matters Podcast. One of the topics that has resonated with listeners is the discussion we had about a few pieces of the art in my house.

This corner in my family room holds pieces that are dear to me for different reasons and happens to be where the only pieces of mass produced art can be found downstairs. My husband gave me the long architectural prints ages ago when we bought our first house. They're at least 6' long and very unique. The framed owl print on the media cabinet is by my dearest and bestest lifelong friend, Lori Vrba, who is a photographer and mixed media artist.

But what I get asked about most is the vintage coastal painting that literally hangs by a string.

Come hang with me and the ladies of Style Matters and hear why I think making thoughtful choices about the art in your home is one of the most overlooked opportunities in decorating.

Style Matters Podcast

Earlier this summer I talked with Zandra and Karen of Little Yellow Couch and hosts of the Style Matters Podcast. We had the best time chatting about my work as a prop stylist, decorating and the fear that comes with making design choices, thrift stores, crappy art and we even went deep with the question "why does style matter?"

These ladies know how to ask good questions and kept me on my toes. We kept coming back to the conversation of how fear can be paralyzing. It's a juicy convo but one that I hope will inspire you to not take your choices so seriously. It's just decorating! 

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Click the arrow above to listen to our Style Matters podcast. 

Grassroots fundraising for Hurricane Harvey

Over the last couple of weeks I've had a very generous response to my request for gift cards in small denominations to donate to the flood victims in my small hometown, Vidor, Texas.

This is a very simple grassroots efforts and is an easy way to put a little money into the hands of people that need help immediately. 

The problems small towns face in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey are huge. A lack of housing for those displaced by the flood, a shortage of building materials, slow insurance claims processing if they're insured at all (and most aren't).

There is a small amount of financial aid available via the Red Cross and Salvation Army but their systems can't keep up with the need and people who have lost everything are left with what volunteers have brought in for them. 

If you or a group of friends would like to collect gift cards in small denominations to donate, I am delivering them personally for as long as I possibly can and putting them directly into the hands of people that need them.

Gift cards from WalMart, Lowe's, Home Depot and Ace Hardware are a great option. You can easily grab a gift card from the grocery store while you're there. 

If you'd like more information, please email me at becki@curiousdetails.com and I will be happy to coordinate a collection and delivery for you. It's very easy!

Let's help our small Texas towns!

Coastal Bedroom

Have you ever been so delighted in your decorating choices that every time you walk in a room you're smacked in the head with joy? This is now happening when I walk into our master bedroom.

We're just back from summer vacation and I've gone all in with my favorite place/vibe/dream and have covered the wall in coastal paintings. Some vintage, some painted by me and one sneaky poster print.

It was time for a little refresh in our bedroom and I didn't want to spend much so I gathered my paintings and started a gallery wall. I want to mention our master bedroom is on the small side but the paintings don't overwhelm the room at all. It gets tons of pretty natural light and I've kept most of the room neutral.  Don't be afraid of installing big art in a small space. 

 I hit up HomeGoods for night stands. By some lucky miracle there were two matching night stands at the same store (you know that NEVER happens) so I grabbed them right away. 

I stripped the bed and simplified by removing some of the decorative pillows and adding a light cotton summer blanket. I did splurge on one big beautiful linen pillow by Pine Cone Hill that I picked up at Kuhl-Linscomb in Houston. With the wall now being a bit beachy bonkers, the bed needed just a little color and simplicity. One big soft blue pillow was all it took.

I've been really lucky finding coastal paintings for ridiculously cheap prices. I think it's because of the amount of shopping I do as a stylist. It just naturally puts the odds in my favor that I'll find a deal. The painting in the image above right was $1.00 (don't hate me). There are actually two on this wall that cost $1.00. The other was coated with a think layer of tobacco smoke scum I had to scrub off but was worth it. 

The abstracts are palette knife paintings I did myself. The only framed piece came from my friends at HASbins (top right corner). I do have one cheater piece (top left corner, also from HASbins). It's a thick poster print that was originally a store advertisement. The colors and dimensions were exactly what I needed to finish the wall so I'm using it as a place holder until I stumble upon a painting or paint one myself. It doesn't bother me a bit that it's a poster. I love the moodiness of it. 

I removed the wall mounted lamps I had previously and replaced them with some trendy brass and marble task lamps from Target that I found on clearance (the website has them at full price now, hmmm).  I love that they're adjustable and have built in dimmers. The play of the modern lamps against all the vintage is nice as well. It's all about the mix. 

This room is officially freshened and done. Until Christmas anyway. 

Vintage Seashell Styling, Gifts from The Sea

Just a very small portion of the spoils of a greedy collector. The tip of the seashell iceberg here. I've amassed so many shells over the years that I've had to reign it in a bit. Too many cabinets loaded with boxes and bottles full of shells from vacations and day trips. This restriction doesn't apply to sea glass though. There's always room for more glass. 

As I was styling this vignette for the 4th, I ran across my copy of Anne Morrow Lindbergs "Gift From The Sea".  Written in 1955, Anne used shells for inspiration as she reflected on the life of American women. 

The reflections in the book are surprisingly still in line with life today. I enjoyed rereading a particular chapter referring to the "art and craft of housework" which she says:
"need not be an enormous project or a great work. But it should be something of one's own. Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day-like writing a poem, or saying a prayer". 

These shells are my own. Layered in with botanical specimens and my own palette knife painting of the California coast from a few years back. A sailors hat and a silver tray to hold sailor's valentine souvenir boxes. 

Happy 4th of July! May your own pockets be filled with the weight of gifts from the sea.

 

Old Glory Antiques Denver

My spring work season has been a busy one, just like I like it.  A nice big flurry of projects before the slower days of summer.

I recently made my 3rd annual trip up to Denver to photograph Old Glory Antiques for owner Holly Kuhn. Spring has officially sprung in Denver!

Holly's style is hands down one of my favorites. She mixes beautiful American antiques with large scale art and just the right amount of accessories so that one isn't visually overwhelmed and can easily envision how each piece might work in their own home.

The fun starts at the front door with these whimsical glass vessels displaying vintage silverware. How many great ideas are running through your mind of how to play with these? I especially love them on that gorgeous farm table.

Holly keeps a great selection of custom chairs, many one of a kind, with beautiful fabric details.

As a stylist, you can only image how I go a little bonkers over the accessories at Old Glory. A little patina, a little texture and that collected over time look, hits just the right note.

Becki Griffin _ Old Glory Denver2017 LoRes-60.jpg

Inventory moves fast at high altitude so checking in often is the best way to get that special piece before it's gone. 

Like this absolutely delicious little console in the perfect shade of french bleu:

This trip was made even better because I teamed up with my friend and colleague Holly Mathis to also work on a little side project while we were there.

Old Glory Antiques owners, Holly and Brian Kuhn, recently moved to a beautiful new home and invited Holly and me to come for a quick fluffing session ahead of her son's upcoming wedding. The Kuhns had just moved in two weeks prior and were to be hosting extended family so we kicked it into high gear and fluffed guest bedrooms and living spaces. 

Full reveal to come as Holly and Brian settle in, but I did snap a couple of styling shots with my phone before we high-tailed it back to Texas:

The biggest and best news I have to share is that Old Glory Antiques is coming back to Texas! I don't think I've been this excited about a store opening in a very long time. Old Glory Antiques is currently under construction in Round Top with Holly Mathis working on the details locally while Holly Kuhn is holding down the fort in Denver and gathering the inventory for the Texas store. The exact opening date is still to be determined and as soon as I hear something solid I'll shout it out. 

You guys...it's going to be so good. As soon as I get the "ok" I'll share a few sneak peeks of the inventory. 

Until then, if you're in Denver stop by Old Glory at 1930 S. Broadway.

Holly Mathis in Country Living Magazine

The April 2017 issue of Country Living Magazine features the beautiful home of my friend Holly Mathis and it is soooo pretty! I was thrilled to have the opportunity to style the home for the magazine and so excited for Holly to get the opportunity to share her inspiration and offer a crash course filled with advice for designing a beautiful home on a budget. 

                                                              Photo:  Buff Strickland

                                                             Photo: Buff Strickland

This lovely little 1890's cottage was a soft place for Holly and her two boys to land as she was starting a new chapter in her life as a single mother. I'm so proud of the home she created for her little family. It's filled with cozy but practical design ideas for moms and boys, like the beautiful  linen slipcovers from Bemz

 Holly and Austin photographer  Buff Strickland

Holly and Austin photographer Buff Strickland

I thought it would be fun to share some of my behind the scenes iphone shots from this shoot and tell you how Holly and I met.

I love a good dog on set. Hunter is quite the charmer and takes good care of Holly and her boys.

I have to say, this was an emotional shoot for me. Holly and I met by chance 5 years ago at a blogger luncheon during the Round Top Antiques Week shows at Royer's Round Top Cafe. Texas designer Carol Hicks Bolton was the speaker that day. As you may already know, Carol's talent and stores in Frederickburg are legendary, so the workshop was sure to be a good one. Carol is the real deal, OG industrial, european antiques, taxidermy, all things cool, collectible and romantic, designer I want to be when I grow up. She's magic. Seriously. (ps. OG = Original Gangsta. Carol's a design gangsta from back in the day....in a good way!)

Detail of Holly's bedside table with beautiful cottage roses from Moosefeathers Florist in Brenham, Tx. Coastal painting by me :)

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I spied Holly Mathis sitting behind me in her signature blue jean jacket. It was like seeing a movie star in the grocery store! I had read her design blog and admired her work, just like you guys, and I couldn't believe she was sitting RIGHT THERE! So, during the meet and greet I worked up the nerve to introduce myself and we hit it off right away. Just a couple of designing ladies sharing our admiration for Carol and enjoying lunch on a beautiful day in Round Top. 

Styling detail of Holly's antique secretary from Leftovers Antiques in Brenham, Tx.

Fast forward 5 years and we're standing together in her living room as it's being photographed for Country Living. I love how life, and God, works like that.  

Blue and white styling options for Holly's shoot from Kuhl-Linscomb in Houston, Tx.

I've had the pleasure of working with Holly quite a bit over the last 5 years. She's been a divine source of inspiration and has generously invited me to ride shotgun on a few of her projects, like the Old Glory house design project in Burton, Texas, which was also featured in Country Living

Detail of dining table styling with classic blue and white pitchers.

There are so many great resources in the story! Holly knows her way around fabrics and lighting and antiques like no other and she's spilling it all.  Everyone deserves to have a beautiful home at any price point. It can be done! 

Love this vignette at the end of Holly's hallway. So pretty! 

The story is on news stands now and is the perfect nudge if you're looking for inspiration for spring.

Congratulations Holly! I'm so proud of you ! xo