House update

Wow it’s been a whirlwind around here. It’s amazing how it can feel like its going so slow with home renovations and then suddenly you are amazed at how it’s coming together. I have the best people working on our new old house and I am so thankful for their diligence and talent.


First off, the exterior is now completely painted white no longer gold! (Later the roof will be dark gray, someone on Instagram asked) and no we are not doing shutters.  I like the simplicity and clean look of it without shutters…seems true to the salt box design. The exterior color is SW Pure White.


Choosing a door color has been an adventure.  I love red doors but I knew from the beginning I wanted a soft pretty gray door on this house.  Dove gray. I think I tested a total of 11-12 grays.  All were too blue or too brown.  I even tried some Farrow and Ball colors.  I finally settled on SW Dorian Gray which was my first one to try! Funny how that happened.  For now, we plan on painting the entire surround AND the door.  I think it needs the color and visual weight in the middle since we aren’t doing shutters.  But I may change my mind once it’s done (sorry honey) and have just the door be gray.

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I have been eyeing some amazing lanterns at Bevelo Lighting but ended up spotting some at Lowe’s of all places that I really like.  Thank you Allen + Roth, they are nice and long and large and less than  $100! That is nice on the budget when you have so many other things to cover.

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After getting a handle on the exterior we moved inside. We (meaning Kevin my awesome contractor and his trusty assistant Alex) uncovered some great wood under the popcorn. Honestly I think there are lots of issues related to keeping shiplap in old homes. . . like “industrial really isn’t my style” and “but its gorgeous wood” and “but its so rough” etc… trust me there will be exposed ship lap somewhere (closets ha or maybe a boy wall one day) but this will be the last time you see this in this state in the living room . . sorry . . . Bottom line, hubs doesn’t like too rustic and we have lived with shiplap walls for years . . . before everyone on HGTV was doing it;; It’s cute and charming and I love it in the upstairs of our current home but I think it sifts dust possibly . . . it is rough and probably not great for asthma and allergies which the boys and I struggle with . . . so there you go. I could do a whole blog post on that decision believe me!

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But yes that ceiling is gorgeous ! What is wonderful beyond the decorative possibilities of old wood walls and ceilings i s just to see how old houses were constructed and the beautiful materials used in construction.

Moving into the kitchen.

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 The uppers came down on sink side.  But the soffit stays, yes it can happen and be okay.  More shiplap under old paneling but it was really pieced together and lot of holes, so those walls and around door will be covered with basic white subway tile and then shelves.  We are painting the remaining cabinets. Everything in kitchen is SW Pure White. I considered doing new shaker doors but didn’t want to wait for them.  They would have arrived in time I now realize but painting these has been fine too since we removed so many on sink side. Again another budget saver.

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I love how my contractor put the doors up on the garage wall to spray them. I am in AWE of the awesome finish he sprayed on these cabinets.  The kitchen has various issues, and we obviously aren’t gutting it but paint in here has been huge.  He also retrimmed out doors and windows, HUGE improvement.  I will be honest, I had a little designer hissy fit in my heart and head wanting better cabinets.  But the truth is they are fine, they have tracks and they have painted up nicely.  And it was silly to pull them out when we have other changes planned down the road….way down the road..for now and/ or the next 5- 10 years this is perfect!

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And there is the farm sink pictured above waiting patiently in the garage, OF COURSE it is going back in…along with wood counters.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my posts about the IKEA wood counter drama.  Again this could be another blog post.  Basically, I had heard and read online that IKEA was discontinuing their solid wood counters.  Then the IKEA Houston person told me that wasn’t true they just “fly off of shelves” because they are popular.  Friends helped me make sure there were none in stock in Texas at our three IKEA locations.  Once I was sure I moved forward with Williamsburg Butcher block counters via Lumber Liquidators.  They are more pricey than IKEA but they look fab and they are way less than marble or even granite.

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I won’t lie, I will miss my marble;( But we are gaining square footage and other wonderful things in this house so I will survive; These will be a bit darker and richer in color once I oil and seal them.

Okay, and I also need to say this . . . several people have said “wow this is going so fast how do you get so much done?” Well I have had my eye on this house for five years.  I was in talks with the owners for over  a year and it was under contract for months.  It’s been a long time coming and I have had plenty of time to plan and think about what I would do with this house if ever given the chance.  Sounds cheesy but I feel like I have been decorating this house in my heart for my entire life. Nutty sounding but if you are house person you know what I mean.  We love our current house but this one feels so right and like home! That has made some decisions easy (knock on wood) and flow somewhat effortlessly.  Like I just KNEW the outside HAD to be white.

But that is just the ideas, on the practical side this is all possible and is happening quickly because we have blessed with a great contractor.  They are hard to find y’all.

Oaks Renovations

Thank you to Kevin Gilmore at Oaks Renovation for all he is doing to help us get in our home and settled before school starts.  Kevin and I worked on the Old Glory project and I was so thrilled he could help with our new old house.  He is patient and creative and honest/realistic about budget and what is feasible.  I totally recommend him if you are in the Houston/Brenham/Woodlands area.  His email is above. You won’t be disappointed.

{On a side note: It’s humbling and a bit embarrassing on some level to write all of this “ME ME ME, look at us we have a new house” stuff I know but it is a design blog and what I do. But I want you to know I struggle with it a bit. Yes we needed a larger home and we are excited about the space and other things but need is relative as are wants.  #Firstworldproblems we all say. And though this isn’t hugely grand or fancy I still don’t deserve this.  That is not how things work.  Yes we have worked hard and been blessed but others work hard too.  I guess I just want you to know I am not bragging, I am grateful and I give glory to God for everything we have and I know my true treasures are stored up in heaven.  But I also appreciate beauty and creativity. And my life ins’t perfect. Anyone who knows us knows that. I don’t intentionally NOT share hard times they are just often private.  Enduring those times don’t make us deserve good times like getting a new home but I am excited and enjoying it and giving Praise to God above. At the end of the day I know even charming old houses can’t make you happy. Only God.}


Old Glory: A Sneak Peek

I blogged here about this fun summer project and it has not disappointed.  The Old Glory bunkhouse is in Burton, Texas, next to the Old Glory Antiques store that is in an old dance hall in the small Texas town.  Becki Griffin of Curious Details assisted me on this project and we had a ball pulling antiques from the store and playing to our heart’s content arranging and rearranging furniture and scheming the best look for the house.

The front entry we framed collectible pennants that represent places of meaning for the Kuhns and we went crazy with hats.  A vacation home is a great place to do something whimsical like hanging hats..something you might not do in your primary home. The vintage flag totally sets the tone.

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I knew I wanted to the space to carry over with the wonderful brand that Holly Kuhn has developed with Old Glory Antiques in Denver and now Round Top.  It’s American primitives and antiques at its best with a bit of whimsy and her furniture line mixed in to add softness and practicality.  But I didn’t want to go to hokey red white and blue so I had to practice restraint. I ADORE this old sandwich is the real deal!

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This patchwork rug is from IKEA!

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These wonderful INDIGO chairs are part of Holly Kuhn’s Old Glory Americana upholstery collection..some feature feedsacks and linen or burlap but this is indigo is truly special. So rich in color and texture.  The window behind we simply added my favorite blind from in bamboo tortoise. I love their shades because they come in custom sizes and ship fast, they can inside or outside mount and can be lined for privacy!

One of five bedrooms, I call this room below the shutter room. I am still tweaking the bedding but this is just a peek right?!;

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Originally it had a lot going on with the windows: blinds, shutters, old glass windows and curtains…we simplified with this clean cell blind from select blinds, the soft white is perfect with our creamy paint and it has no cords you just push up!


In the front room across the hall I used a new bed constructed by Amish craftsmen in Ohio…its new and queen size and comfy and sturdy but blends with Holly Kuhn’s antiques and upholstery line so well. In this room I used bamboo again from with sheer linen panels from Pottery Barn…there is no window look I love better than linen plain panels and bamboo! It really worked in this room to provide a backdrop and base layer for all of the other goodies.  The stripe duvet is from PB and the silhouettes are from Southern Gilt antiques in Houston.


Don’t you love that old luggage cart and ottoman?  I can’t wait to get better shots of this room. These are just from my cell except the one on the left by Heidi Jaster. I didn’t have the insert in the duvet yet and these photos just don’t do it justice..more coming soon I promise! Including this Dash and Albert runner on the stairs! It is just laying in the photo below but we got it installed and it looks so good!


This is a peek of what is going on upstairs! Three little iron beds with buffalo check and funky old lights. And the gypsy rug from Dash and Albert!


Come back soon to see more . . . and thank you to Old Glory Antiques for allowing me to be a part of this project. And thank you to Becki Griffin for collaborating, you are the best!

If you are interested in Select Blinds, they are offering a special code for my readers good through the end of the month! The code is Holly35 and will get you 35% off!

Also a lot of people have asked about the iron beds and they are from Restoration Hardware kids!


A new chapter

If you follow me on Instagram (something I seem to say a lot in blog posts lately, its just so much easier to post more often on Instagram, love it) anyway if you follow on Instagram you saw my big announcement.  We are moving!  We have lived in our current little cottage for 13 years.  We were newlyweds and brought home two baby boys to this little house.  It’s been my decorating lab for many years.  It has been so good to us. But after years of debating a move or major add-on and remodel we have decided to move.  To a house very similar in style and age to our current home but bigger and a better layout for our growing boys.  We are keeping the current house for now which makes the move and transition much easier. My mom is looking forward to possibly living here down the road or it may make a good spot for Holly Mathis Interiors to continue to grow.  Whatever God has in store we are grateful and excited about this new chapter.  Follow along if you are interested…There is going to be a lot of new decorating and living to talk about!


Today the painters start on the exterior.  It will soon be all white! PURE WHITE by Sherwin Williams with a Dove Gray door and surround.  NO shutters y’all and red roof will soon be gone.  I can’t wait to plant varying size boxwood orbs all around the base!


In some ways there is so much to do it’s overwhelming but that is because I am ridiculous and want to do it all now and I know how and where to make it happen if I wanted or could afford.  I want to change paint of course and lighting right away. But the truth is the house is great as is.. it has wonderful trees and old moldings and features likes an arch and built-ins etc.

One of my favorite features is the entryway and arch of course and the way the stairs split to go into kitchen or entry! Love this so much!


And it has amazing wood floors throughout, not a stitch of carpet when we moved in…thankful for that!


I love the wonderful and original old farm sink that the previous owners just restored! SO thankful they did that and loved the house so much.


We love that all of the bedrooms are upstairs


And it has a small but great little library full of charm.


It simply has great bones.  So if we can’t or won’t gut the kitchen now or redo or enlarge baths right away it’s okay because I am honestly just so thrilled to be getting the house and painting it white!  So y’all remind me of that when I start posting expensive fabrics and ideas to “do this and that” and get impatient and want it all now!  Rome wasn’t built in a day as my friend Lauren reminded me and I often tell my clients the same thing. It takes time.  This isn’t HGTV. It’s real life.  So I will be blogging about the journey but thanks in advance for remembering that life happens along the way and it won’t all happen immediately.

So there ya go!  That is what has been going on with me! WE ARE MOVING!!!  Woohoo let’s buy some paint!

Slipcover heaven

If you follow me on Instagram or have been reading my blog long you know I love slipcovers and over the past year I have been collaborating with a new slipcover artist and team! All of the seamstresses I use are great and Michelle Fritz my friend that has MAKE slipcovers iss so talented too but she is out from Houston and not always looking for crazy deadlines and volume.  When my client Stacy told me about Laura and her team I knew she would be able to help me with some clients and she has proved an amazing talent.

Aren’t they the cutest!

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{Laura K, Jeanie, Laura S and Nathan!}

Today I want to show some of their most recent work and a fun recent colloboration for one of my favorite clients.


First off, these amazing chairs! This popcorn detail (its actually a zillion perfect little french knots but I like to call it popcorn) and the length of the skirts just make my heart flutter…of course the amazing photography of Becki Griffin highlights the work of LS so well…Pretty shots Becki!


Perfection huh?  I don’t even usually like pink (sin i know) and I want these chairs!  Laura has her own linen fabrics in stock in white and flax and various weights so you don’t even have to worry about finding the perfect linen for your project. She has already done the work and keeps in stock and washed so it doesn’t shrink after the slipcovers are made . . . I love this flax color but I also love white of course!

 Becki captured these wonderful images (above and below) of Laura pinfitting at her house! Love these shots, it really shows the process. (And isn’t Becki’s house so pretty!)


So much work goes into a slipcover. And it happens in your home for the most part, Laura comes to you! Her team helps her with the rest of the sewing and other part of running a business like bookeeping etc. But she does the design for the most part and pin fitting and cutting. Truly handcrafted in America!


Photos by Becki Griffin of Curious Details

As you can see, LS Slipcovers has also mastered the ballerina tie as well.  Laura K was the lead designer on this project and did a great job! Love this chair skirt. They can do this on piano stools and barstools.


The possibilities are endless. She is really creative and can help you sketch and determine what is the best treatment of the furniture you want to slip. She can even design a custom monogram and hand monogram your fabric!

Laura and I recently colloborated on a special monogram and treatment for my client Rachel Guidry in Louisiana. You can see more of the Guidry home here in my portfolio.


This chair is for a guest room and we wanted it to be special so we decided on a scalloped skirt, ties and tone and ton monogram.  I always feel like I am writing wedding gown descriptions when I am blogging or describing to clients how and what Laura can do with slipcovers and monograms.  It’s because the details truly are dressmaker, special and frankly couture. Look at this monogram!

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And Rachel is so happy as you can tell (isn’t her baby bump the sweetest so happy for their family).

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So here is the deal if you want to work with Laura and her team and you live in Houston you are lucky, her prices are reasonable considering the craftsmanship and work is amazing and turnaround is good.  Click here to read about her prices and fabric requirements so you can get a quick idea of the investment. If you live further away like Rachel, or even states away, you can still work with Laura with a little planning and flexibility. Email her to discuss ways to make travel work and see about the travel cost.  If you really want a custom look and you have found furniture you want to repurpose the price to have her travel may be more feasible that  you think.  And if not you still enjoy her work with her Ready To Wear line for IKEA, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware chairs. She did these linen slips for my client Beth and they look amazing…those are IKEA Hendriksal chairs y’all and they never looked better!

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So there ya go, explore her site if you love this look.  And you can also email them photos of your furniture for more specific pricing. I get so many questions about Laura and her work and I wanted to share more with you of our recent designs and her process and where she will travel.  I have even more to show you and hope to soon! It’s such a joy to work with people who are creative and LOVE WHAT THEY DO! Blessings on you Nathan and Laura and your beautiful sons (and Laura K and Jeanie too!) I love what you do and love your American “maker” spirit!

Also be sure and follow them on Instagram and facebook..rumor has is LS is doing a fun giveaway soon from the READY TO WEAR line!

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Maine cottage


I’ve been in Maine this week checking on one of my favorite clients…her house isn’t huge but its so wonderful! Casual and white and clean but full of color too…its just want you want for a vacation home. Pulled together just enough and pretty but comfy and not too fussy.


I played with removing the green blankets from her little sofas and arranging her collection of vintage linens some on the backs of  her dining chairs, I like it every which way!


Overall, she has kept the cottage very simple with lots of white and blue and white and IKEA parsons chairs and loveseats. That is a CB2 ghost coffee table over wire baskets.., a great combo/contrast. The sun makes the ghost table a bit hard to see..But it is there!


Better shot of the ghost table and my toes! I knew the blue and white striped rug from Dash and Albert would be perfect with her collection of Laurie Hadlock art. See more about the wonderful artist here.


I love the antique hall tree we found at Anitques on the 9 in Kennebunk in blue Annie Sloan chalk that store! Yep the light is IKEA too, don’t you love her folded flags in the basket on the shelf. A bookshelf with glassware and dishes in a dining area is such a smart move and I love kitchen/dining items mixe with books.  A bookshelf  also adds so much interest and layering without taking up precious space from a room.


My client also has the best collection of blue and white, i love those plates on the table. She has a few great antiques in this space as well, and to me that makes the IKEA pieces and lights work, mixed with nicer Circa lights and some Barn Light Electric.


My client is so talented and has such a good eye..i just worked with her to polish the vision a bit and pick out lighting in baths, halls and kitchen and pillow fabric, rug etc.  It is still her look and her decorating.  I love working with all my clients but especially love working with ones that really have an eye  like DF and know what they like…even thought she doesn’t like drapes we are still able to collaborate; Sofas without the green blankets and vintage napkins below.


Yes those are IKEA parsons chairs above and the IKEA docksta table below with enamel barn light electric light over table with twisted cord. I think the chairs are a Martha color?


And we have the same Les Indiennes pillows so we are twinkies..seriously don’t you love their Elise print! Hers are made from yardage so they don’t have ties like the ready made ones in their retail shop..I of course love them either way;


My mom accompanied me on this trip which was a huge blessing and so much fun…I could not run my business and pursue my dreams without my mom and husband and others so its so fitting she got to go enjoy some on this trip (ERM you have to come next time!)! Thank you  DF and family for your hospitality and friendship..we love you! And thank you mom for all you do for us!


I will try to share more soon from our trip! It was so refreshing and pretty in Maine…both the landscape and the cottage interior and every little town and beach! Def “the way life should be” ;; God you are the master designer the way you knit this beautiful country together!

BEVOLO lights in NOLA

I have been obsessed with lanterns for ages and Bevolo in New Orleans (NOLA;;) has been making them since 1945!  That is good enough for me.  To me they are the standard for the best Southern lanterns and while I typically envision them in gas I am learning they can also do electric for inside over islands or dining tables or if you don’t want to install gas on your porch.


My client Marla and I had a time trying to park to go into their neighboring stores on Royal St (they also have a store out in Mandeville) but it was worth the effort.  Their two storefronts side by is a store and one is more of a showroom. Both charming and wonderful!


Don’t go to their corporate office on Conti Street (though I am sure they are plenty  nice there too)…Of course most of the old buildings in NOLA go through to a courtyard and “way back” to little secret rooms and gardens to reveal treasures, Bevolo’s stores are no exception. You walk in off street through both store fronts to a courtyard and then back the one store its more lighting and antiques…


Wow that oval table! And notice they have other lighting not just lanterns, not sure how much of it was lighting they make and how much of it was antique lighting that has been reworked, but I did notice they make their own barn light! Would be nice if you wanted the copper finishes to all match on your house..maybe barnlights in back or on garage. I also loved the ceiling in this cozy with all of the warm light.


This pile of copper perfection was back near the front with books, and gifts, and antiques and other lighting.


The store next door is a showroom and I love how they did it, Bevolo has displayed each of their lantern styles on a brick wall so you can see the mounts and how they will look.  You can also send them a photo of your house and they work with architects, home builders and designers to choose the best style and size for each home.  They are experts. They also show examples in the store and showroom of hanging lights and electric, etc.  If you are considering investing in them its really worth it to go to the showroom if possible. So glad I finally got to visit!


When you back through the courtyard of this showroom space there is a workshop with a craftsman making lanterns and showing the process..fascinating to see how they are made and the care taken with each piece.


And his workbench is wonderful huh! Love the framed photo of FDR!

Also notice how shiny the copper is compared to this photo below and to some of the other photos…it darkens and can take on a greenish patina but mostly just darkens I believe?


Do you have Bevolo or copper lanterns?  How has the patina progressed in your climate??? Thanks again Marla and Rachel for making this visit to NOLA possible, I enjoyed being with your and seeing this showroom so much!

{This is not a sponsored post;; I just love wonderful American made products and Southern traditions!}


New Orleans faves

I have started a new house in south Louisiana.   New construction but with a old Acadiana feel and look so we spent this past Monday looking for materials and inspiration and getting some basics decided…lucky me the new house is in the same town where this sweet client lives so Drew and I got to stay with her family. There is so much hospitality down there it is easy to combine family and work! You gotta love that!

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It was a treat being back in this house, still one of my fave projects ever.   Ahhh, having coffee here, what a treat. Thank you Guidrys for your hospitality as usual!


Rachel’s friend Marla is my new client and we have so much fun!  We met with her architect and then headed to New Orleans to check out doors at THE BANK.  Many of you have probably heard of this place.  It’s an amazing resource for cypress doors and more.

This is my kind of stripping! lol!


Just look at this place! That is Marla and I in the middle, hot because of the humidity but happy!

thebankwithmarla.jpgWe found all sort of inspiration for Marla’s new house and Drew had fun at the aquarium while we shopped! This is the night before after we arrived…he is at that age where every photo is the peace sign or something crazy;;;

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And he also discovered he loves BEIGNETS..he talked about them the entire way home!


We also went to Bevolo Lighting and I will post some of those phone pics (that is all I post any more it seems;) later in the week! Thank you Guidry family and Marla for being good to this Texas girl and her boy and sending us home with a big stuffed dolphin for little bro! And thank you to Aunt Kim and Nana for hosting Henry while we were away!

Leftovers big SUMMER SALE

Have you heard, maybe you have gotten the cute emails with the vintage photos???


Well Leftovers is having a BIG summer sale..a BOGO…Buy one item and get the other HALF OFF…STOREWIDE.

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So get there fast THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY…10-9 on Sat with party in the evening with Jack the Jazzman and food and drink.  You know they throw a good party and I will def be there!  And then the sale continues on Sunday from 10-6.

This is everything y’all (except special orders or custom) so antiques and bedding, lighting etc.  These are some of my favorite things below that are in stock right now…pine, wedgewood, chandeliers and gorgeous floral bedding.

leftoverssummersale.jpgVisit the Leftovers website for more info on location and directions from Austin or Houston!


Leslie’s office

I am working with my assistant Leslie to freshen up her home office. Workspaces have become one of my favorite rooms to work on in client homes and its an honor to get to do this for Leslie.



Market basket light from Restoration kids/ Be true print from Lindsay Letters/ Original art from Susie Betten Hausen/ wall lights, blue cart and kallax shelf from IKEA/ ghost chair from Overstock/ white desk from Target/ linen pinboard from PB/ flower girl print from Rifle Paper Co./ Chinoserie toile from Tonic Living

Leslie has been such a blessing to my business and to me personally I hope we can really make this space great for her, she deserves it! This is what her office looks like now . . .


Leslie is going to paint her furniture a glossy white and she already took out the computer desk  that was between the bookcases, she wants a new simple white desk to go there. We found several options at Target and online. The walls will be light gray or blue!

The drapes will be out of this fab fabric...She emailed me about it one day and I said YES and she ordered, we knew it was perfect for what she wanted, cheerful and pretty.

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These wall lights are $19.98 from IKEA..its insane and  look at the cords. They perfect over her shelves or over pinboards

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We aren’t sure about the ceiling light, I love the basket but it may not be large enough, we want something fun and fresh and Leslie has good natural light in the space. Also this is her house in a house of boys, so i wanted to use some feminine touches like the colors and themes in the art. Two of my faves are Susie Betten Hausen and this Rosa Print from Rifle Paper!

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Susie’s work is so happy and fresh! I love this piece called Lunch in Bucktown

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And I chose this print from Lindsay Letters because Leslie is honestly one of the truest people I have ever met and she has encouraged me to be that in business!  She has to have this print!

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I can’t wait to see this space come together and take shape!  Thank you Leslie for all you do for me and others…you are so special!

My closet obsession

I have to admit, I have been hit with the closet obsession bug.


{Source unknown? Please let me know if you know publications, blog or designer for above photo}

Years of living in old houses with little storage have finally taken their toll. I’ve gone crazy by actually visiting IKEA on a Memorial Day weekend to look at closet systems. I never thought I would desperately want something from IKEA with every fibre of my being (okay maybe that is a bit extreme and NO I am not pregnant and nesting) but there is something quite psychological that takes place in a woman’s brain when she rounds the corner of the IKEA and sees over the little flag of her cart the perfect closet, with dressers smushed together to create an island. Not that I have room for an island in my kitchen much less the closet but its fun to stand there and dream! So I have been doing a little closet research and apparently IKEA really does have it down in this department. THE BILLY and THE PAX for starters. I will be honest I am not impressed with the rods on their ALGOT system (which is actually what I think is shown in the closet in the fab photo above) but let me know if you think different. Because really we all know dream closets are not made of rods and drawers anyway right? They are made of WALLPAPER!

Seriously unless you have a huge closet or very few items to store, wallpaper may not be practical. Apparently what is important and what involves math skillz is the dimensions!  I have 63″ to work with in my proposed closet space… an IKEA PAX unit is 23″ deep (they also make a shallow 14″ version…i was excited when Carmen at Ikea told me that bit of PAX trivia).  In case you don’t know about the PAX it is the closet wardrobe system at IKEA? A lot of people put them out in bedrooms and hack the doors in brilliant ways and add trim to make them appear like built-ins (apparently HACK is the term for taking from IKEA and making it more interesting more unique). You may have heard of Jenny Komenda and her Domino hack….I adore the color and hardware. It looks amazing. Click here to see more on her blog including a post on how to kilz and paint IKEA furniture.


Link to the Jenny’s article in Domino affectionally called ODE TO PAX. Love it!

My friend Lauren P (who is classy and smart AND loves IKEA) turned me on to the idea that the PAX could be used inside a closet with no doors and the unit would cover a door (old house with unused door to tiny closet long story;) and provide an amazing base for rods and drawers.  She also pointed out that using the PAX with no doors is much cheaper and feasible (basically $90 a shell)..apparently the doors and the ugly shoe trees are where things add up.  She had me hooked.

And like I said you can do so much with PAX, add drawers and cubbys for shoes and bags, even wallpaper the back. I think this pinned photo is from IKEA themselves?

ikea photo

My proposed space is 10’6′ x 5’3″ and it has windows and doors (like I said one of the doors goes to a tiny old closet in the room that is now a larger closet, you gotta love old houses) so its a funky space but i love that it has windows and isn’t teeny tiny. I know my sketch isn’t totally accurate so need need to email;; I am not really worried about the length of the room, I know a combo of Pax of Billy units will almost entirely cover the walls and go to ceiling (I may trim out), what I am concerned about is walk space or lack of between rods and or units. SO here are the options;

Master all pax

What I am trying to decide is if 26-29″ is enough space between units for walkway.  I know I know there are bigger issues in this world but this is just my little closet fun.  Other people watch reality TV or play golf I do this.  SO if I use Billy bookcases it gives me 3″ more…I just dont know if that is worth it. THREE INCHES?  if 26″ is too narrow then 29″ might be too.


But honestly in looking in my Mom’s closet and other real life closets the walkspace in small walk-ins is often only about 24-26″ (even the owner of California Closets told me this). It will like look very similar to this (a reason to just do rods and not units like below)


Love this image from SO SUPER SAM

If I can’t  or don’t do Pax on both sides (wide on one side and shallow on the other) maybe I just do nothing on other side (short side with door)? After all I will have ten feet of double rods and drawers and shelves (that is lot for this girl) and I could make it end in an L shape on far wall. I could do that with corner piece to “kill” unit (which I can’t draw but its nice) and then use the wall opposite the Pax units for mirror and hooks and not try to do hanging on both sides.  Does any of this make sense.  Again, first world problems I know.

Mastercloset L shapes

Is your head hurting, anyone still reading? lol.  Good think I have weeks to figure this out;

Apparently Sarah Richardson’s sidekick the ultra chic Tommy Smythe has also used the PAX in his chic man closet. With doors of course!


Link here on Tommy’s article. It’s good.  I love his use of color and the PAX with surrounding dark walls..In fact, I am really on a dark closet, dark bedroom “kick.”

So there you go, the possibilities are endless. No wonder they call it the PAX…hello PAX ROMANA..if you can have a great closet there will be PEACE..peace PAX get it..anyway it all made me go to IKEA on a saturday, Memorial Day weekend Saturday and it was educational. Also the blog Drive by Decor has a great review of the PAX system and what components to avoid (the cute wire baskets apparently) its a great post!


It may turn out for me and others that the PAX “case” just takes up too much space/footprint.  You may just want rods and shelves and drawers and if so apparently ELFA is the way to go (or you can do Algot system from IKEA like the top photo combined with other Ikea pieces for drawers).  Elfa  ooks great in Lauren Leiss’ closet here below (this may be her old closet in previous home?) Link to post here.  People who buy Elfa at  Container Store LOVE IT..I read so many RAVE review online but silly me it looks very similar to some of the systems at Lowes and Home Depot…but apparently the quality is tip top and its very flexible you can arrange it and add to it. I would love to know the dimensions of this closet I think its similar to what mine may be.  I may have to go with Elfa (or a plain rod from Lowes and a few Billy bookcases because apparently Elfa can really add up $$$) but for now I am dreaming big.


Yep dreaming of gray painted closets with plenty of storage and organization. PAX = dark paint!  I am thinking Amtherst Gray!

I leave you with this beauty from Hammersmith of Atlanta.  This is sooo custom and so very not IKEA but great inspiration for color.


What are your thoughts?  DO you like a white closet or a dark closet?  Do you think I should go with L shapes or do Pax on both sides, is your small walk in closet more than 29″ walk space or less? Any experience with Elfa, PAX or any of the other systems.  I actually talked with California Closets yesterday and will report more on that soon. In the meantime if anyone has figured out the IKEA online planning tool for PAX, email me; It’s beyond my skill level apparently.

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