::apothocary jars::

These jars are everywhere and I really love them–all shapes and sizes. Remember how everyone was trying to track them down at Sams Club and they kept selling out! I bought these at Michael’s but I have seen wonderful really large ones at TJ Maxx and Marshalls and of course Pottery Barn, Target, and Crate and Barrell, just to name a few. My question is, WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO FILL THEM WITH??? I get tired of lemons and I love my antique christmas balls in them during the holidays but honestly mine stay empty a lot because I am never happy with anything I put in there..I have a friend who has a HUGE jar filled with old hornets nest (or some kind of nest) very cool. Here are some of my ideas for things to go inside..please add your ideas in the comments.

*jelly beans, any kind of neat classic looking candy, I once did twizzlers in the tall skinny jar
*moss balls off of trees, cute with a nest and even fake snow in January
*old tiny book, would be great to open a book and fold down some pages like a fan
*broken piece of china
*glass Christmas balls, ornaments..
*an old silver cup
*old photograph
*vintage jewelry boxes

Cant wait to hear what yall have to say!

{my jars currently have a shell, eiffel tower salt shaker, old books, old printmaking stamp, old books (a German copy of Luther’s Catechism) jewelry box from my grandparents wedding rings, and you cant see it but my grandfather’s graduation name card, and my favorite little dollhouse chair}

*****edited to say..”Be sure and go see what the brilliant nester has to say about a similar subject and notice HER cute jar!”


Chalkboards are everywhere! Ballard has some precious styles with shabby frames or gilt…and they have one that is huge! This blog shows two neat ideas for large chalkboards in a kitchen..above cabinets and on sliding doors..ver cool! Pottery Barn Kids and Land of Nod each have them in various sizes and shapes that will work either in or out of a children’s space. But of course we all know the easiest way to achieve this look is with good ol’ chalkboard paint..cheap ($12 at my Home Depot)and so easy (I used the brush on but they have it in a spray can as well). I have been wanting to do this for several years. I contemplated painting the bottom half of one of the old 1940s doors in my son’s room..or my sad little fridge (ca. 1998..cheapest fridge they had at Waco Circuit City!;;) I decided to do my laundry room doors on my back porch..why?? two words: CHALK DUST! I decided the backporch would be a better place for him to play with the chalk than in my kitchen or his room! I finished last week and the little man loves it..and I love the look. FYI..remember if you want a really vintage look, krylon also makes chalkboard paint in the vintage green..I used black on my project but I like the green too!

::more monograms::

I wanted to share two pictures of monongrams in our home. The first, are “D”s on my son’s little play chairs (my husband insists little boys don’t need monogrammed chairs but I disagree)…and yes they actually stay on pretty well..he took them off a lot at first but now ignores their presence for the most part. I made these with plain ol’ red ticking from Wal-Mart. It is cheap, washable, and so durable. I simply covered these little IKEA chairs with a basic “sew a pillowcase” concept. I turned the fabric inside out over the back of the chairs, pinned and sewed. Are the perfect?? absolutely not..but they are cute and unique. On a homemade, imperfect treatment like this it is best to monogram AFTER you “make” your creation. And isnt my little model a cutie?

The big brown pillow on the master bedroom bed is made from large dinner napkins. I had one monogrammed in white so there would be bright contrast on the dark patterned fabric and then had my sewing lady sew on the little stiched seam (not the outer edge) so there is a cute little edge…On a project like this pillow, where I had someone else do the sewing, I had the monogram done FIRST. So be sure and think through when do the monogram application..before or after you finish sewing!

::slipcovers & monograms::

Two of my favorite things are slipcovers and monograms. Of course both are very popular right now but both are also timeless and certainly not a new idea. So many little shops are doing beautiful monograms now that is not difficult to find someone to help you personalize just about anything!

These monogrammed slipcovers really transformed this dated almost “retro” dining room set. The seats were covered in a wonderful fabric but the cane chair backs needed, well they needed covering! But we did not want to throw the chairs out because the shape of the back is very interesting.. The client purchased an ivory duck fabric and we had local slipcover artist (she really is an artist) Michelle Fritz work her magic. Her work has been seen Country Home and other publications..she is amazing! Her business is called MAKE, isnt that cute?! Email me if you live in the Houston/College Station area and are interested in reaching her. She does wonderful ruffles, knife pleats, and other dressmaker details. Once we had the slips made, the client took the slips to a local embroidery shop and chose a font and thread color (choc brown which looks great with her rusty orange walls). This dining room is not large but the chairs and slips (and monograms of course) are very dramatic and yet casual.

Slipcovers can be intricate and “hired done” or you can do an easy treatment at home..watch for more posts on DIY slips for children’s chairs and of course, more monograms too!

::How I got started::

I get this question a lot, especially since the first feature in BHG (June 2005). My education is not in design. In fact my undergrad degree is in History and my master’s degree is in Museum Studies. I did take as many art classes as possible along the way but the small college I attended did not offer many and certainly not an interior design degree! My grandmother was a decorator in the Waco area for years and she took me to “Market” a lot growing up, so that definetely planted a seed. My mom is also a realtor so really I inherited my love for houses from them. After college and marriage, we were really blessed to be able to rent and buy several really neat little homes. Living in those houses really got my creative juices flowing and I soon realized my heart was not so much in museum work (although I learned a great deal and knowledge gained in that field has certainly augmented my journey into design)but was truly in decorating. In 2002, my mom and I opened a little shop in Chappell Hill, Texas, called “FrouFrou Ranch” it was a lot of fun but ended up being only seasonal since we both still had full-time jobs. Later that year, I started SHABBY SOUTH INTERIORS, launched a little website, and rented a booth at a local junk store. Thus the very first business cards pictured above. I did a couple of little “shows” and sold things in my booth and another store near Houston and it was a great creative outlet. In 2004 I was contacted by BHG (via a decorator friend)about doing a feature on my house for their DIY publication…later they cancelled because they wanted to do a “baby room” and I did not have one. This was particularly upsetting because we were trying to have a baby but were not pregnant yet. Later that year (when I WAS expecting and ironically decorating a nursery) they called back and were ready to do the article..this time in the big mothership publication. Isnt it interesting how God works things out–His timing is truly perfect. They came and “scouted” our home the week before our son was born and did the actual shoot in January 2005 when he was just a few months old (which was great timing, because all of his baby stuff..toys..etc..had not yet taken the house over).. By the time the article hit the stands, our little boy was 8 months old and I was staying home with him full time. The article turned out to be great advertising for Shabby South and I started getting calls for my design work. The timing was perfect (again a God thing I know) because I was now ready to get out of the house and leave the baby a bit here and there. It just worked out perfect and I have really appreciated that exposure. BHG has continued to “recycle” the article in their other publications which has been great. This year, I decided to drop the name Shabby South and re-launch as Holly Mathis Interiors. It has been a really fun journey to this point, I love working with people on their homes and helping them create spaces they love for their families. Stay tuned for more!

::New Blog::

I am so excited to welcome you to the new blog for Holly Mathis Interiors. Some of you may remember my first website, www.shabbysouth.com, which I loved but earlier this year, I decided to stick with my name to avoid confusion.

I plan to begin posting by sharing areas of my home that have been focused on in the publications on the sidebar. I will also share some shots of recent projects including kitchens, baby girl nursery, toddler rooms, tiny bathroom, tween room, etc.. As well as focusing on common challenges my clients seem to encounter like how to group and hang family photos!

So welcome to my home! Thanks for your interest and please email me in the sidebar with any questions.
Thanks, Holly

{school aRt}

I’ve been working on a messy (but fun) project this summer..art for a school library! I tried to use bookcovers from their stash as well as old book pages (from my stash) on each piece..I think my fave is the little houses made from Beverly Cleary covers! I also striped the sides..very easy..not perfect but cheerful and fun. These pieces are very large..4’x5′..I cant wait to do something smaller now!

{project PrOgResS}

Drew and i finally got the stool recovered… and a fourth canvas picture for Jana!

{nEw pRojEcT}

I am working on a new project for a school library! My dining room is a mess but I’ve found some great inspiration and it is going to be so much fun.

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