Texas Beauty

Here to share some authentic Texas beauty with you  . . . at least I think its beautiful.

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Kind of a beautiful mess kind of a thing which I love.  Authentic, time worn, a little sad maybe, neglected, but still beautiful in its own way. Kind of the way I believe God and those closest to us see us when we aren’t at our best.  When we have renovations going on, Still lovely.

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My clients that bought this little gem in a small nearby town (much like the one where I was raised) are native Texans but work abroad.  They visit a few times a year and this 700 sq foot little house is going to be remodeled for them so they have a place to stay when visiting their hometown. I love their vision and desire to update and restore this little house.

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This house has been neglected. But in its decaying state I was startled by its haunting beauty. This house is like people and hearts.  We are rotting and decaying but God and those He places in our lives to stand beside us see beauty.  I don’t want to overstate or over spiritualize but I think its such a picture of our state and God’s love for us when I see something like this.  It was honestly a blessing and treat to see this mess of an old house.

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Rotting, decaying but beautiful.  Just like me.  I need so much “work” inside and out, I need “restoring” daily in fact, I am such an “Ongoing project” and “renovation” but God and the people who love me don’t give up. It’s really a miracle. In fact, it is a miracle.  An Easter miracle of love and beauty and learning that being perfect isn’t required.  God see us they way we are, where we are.  He sees beauty and loves us even when others only see an impossible fixer upper. Something that should be gutted or bulldozed.  Like this old shed.  It’s sitting on the ground just rotting.  But my client want to salvage it, want to repurpose it, make something out of it not just throw it away.  I love their thinking and how its consistent of the bigger picture of the main things in life.  Concepts like “don’t just tear down everything” and “look beyond the surface”… sure sometimes the pruning has to be painful and deep and yes some gutting and rewiring will take place.  But the soul and the strong boards and fiber of this how are salvageable and so are you and I!

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But things have to be updated in order for them to live there…it can’t just stay this way huh?  I mean Anthropologie might love to use for a catalog shoot but reality is this house is decaying and it needs some updates.  It can’t stay stagnant, it must change or it will be too far gone to be of use anymore.  So I am excited to be a part as they go down to bare walls and shore up foundation and rewire and plumb and make this place able to be home again.

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Just wanted to share..during Texas Antique Week (or “Round Top” as I call it) there is a lot bling and so called “beauty” and grunge hanging around which is totally fine and cool and dandy but I am glad I got to see this fading beauty last week to remind me of the authenticity and rawness of life. Not contrived or trying to hard just authentic.

More from Southern Living cover

Now let’s go inside the house in Birmingham. You know the one that is on the cover of Southern Living this month! Go back here and read if you are wondering what this is all about.

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I so wish I had taken my good camera, but iphone shots are better than none right?  Next time I go to the Cain’s home I will get better shots for sure! Ok let’s start back at entry.

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I adore this beautiful mirror, the grasscloth paper and of course that amazing lamp.  While I was there, Ragan and I found a great faded blue and white bowl for beside the lamp.

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Past the entry and down the hall, Ragan did an amazing gallery wall mostly of her wedding day and her parent’s wedding day.  They both had their wedding reception at her Grandparent’s home in Eufaula, AL, her hometown.

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Rugs in every hallway, they don’t “match” but they flow and add so much soul.

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I could write an entire post about Ragan’s rugs and layering of rugs and mix of rugs.  She had natural on the stairs and as a base on both living areas with old persians layered on top…And she has old persians in every hall and nook and cranny..i love the mix and the COLOR…even a small one here at the base of the stairs.

You can see this one peeking out below her coffeetable/ottoman in living room!  She also has books everywhere which I love!

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And her majolica, oh the majolica collection.  But lest you think it’s “old lady” she also has some ghost pieces and Jonathan Adler pillows and Chiang Mai dragon here and there to lighten it up. Its a mix of traditional with a bit of funky and young sprinkled in… just look at the downstairs powder, def “new trad” in my opinion.  And I love it. I was so inspired.

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Look at the floor in this powder, and the mirror over the vanity is a rich blue, not navy but not peacock, but def a fun pop of color! A local Birmingham designer did help Ragan with this space. Notice little rug.

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Yep that is me getting the shot for YOU.  And I think the mirror is not quiet that shade of blue but it is bold and very cool.  And trust me I asked and discussed with Ragan before I took pictures of every room in her home.  Look more unlacquered brass and some trinkets. I don’t know what these are called but Ragan collects them. And in case you are wondering how she can have little things like this sitting about, well there are no littles YET but hopefully soon. Until then its Judge and Gypsy the dogs.

Okay here is the kitchen. I love that is small and in keeping with the 1930s integrity of the home.  They could have torn down walls and done a mega kitchen but they didn’t and it’s great. I only got this one tight shot..it has stove on left and fridge on right. And pantry and more storage and cabinets in laundry/butler area.

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 Soft gray cabinets, marble counters, THAT RUG, and then stainless backsplash to give it a bit urban edge.  PERFECT COMBO.  Ragan’s husband Brad found much of the unlacquered brass on Ebay!

Next to the kitchen in close proximity is the utility space, really an extension of the kitchen but a separate room. True to the house and how things were built then…its a fab laundry room and butler pantry combo..a great work space full of storage and the most amazing color cabinets and WALLPAPER.  All of the walls and trim in the home are white dove except for the wallpapered laundry room and entry in grasscloth.  We are about to paper two bathrooms, one is already swathed in linen. So this room THESE CABINETS, JUST LOOK!

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How about that Brene Brown/Teddy R quote on the pantry door!?  AND THAT RUG! and the ceilings.  And the paper. Ragan had help from a local designer choosing wallpaper in the laundry, dining and one bath, the rest of the house she has pretty much done on her own.  And all of the walls are a creamy white.

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Now the den.  This was a formal dining room but they made it a den and put the formal dining room off the front entry (which was a bedroom)

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Notice the rugs, and I like the horns and the family tree.

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The love of family and history is so evident in this home.  It’s one of the things that makes it so Southern I think, the family trees, photos and even family crests. But mixed with so much color and the Schumacher fabrics it stays young and fresh.

Two words: BAR. HARDWARE.

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Notice her stacks of design books.  She may be an accountant by day and she has worked with other designers and now me but make no mistake, this Ragan Cain is quite the decorator! She def inspires me! I mean just look below. This is the wall beside the bar.

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This wood wall in the den (it’s opposite the wall above) was clad in wood from Ragan’s grandad’s barn. Love that. More history and layers. The painting is from an estate sale and notice the Jonathon Adler pillow on the plaid chair;

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And the other wall in this den looking out to more formal living area.  The blue sideboard is from Scott’s in Atlanta. I love Ragan’s pops of color, notice the frame and the shade on lamp by stairs.  So good.

This is the view from front back toward kitchen sitting room area.

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From the kitchen looking that direction…showing all angles here because I love this space.

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The buffalo check wing chairs and a great gallery wall with that pop of brighter green lamp!

And from the stairs looking down . . . along with some snips from formal living room. I am showing random shots mixed together but I love how little pieces from different rooms weave together to tell the story of a house and more important the people who live in the home.

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I love how she framed this typewritten invitation to a BBQ and framed and leaned in the yellow section of her bookshelf, notice on the wider shot above the close up its on the shelf above the silhouette.  This is one of my favorite things in her home…crazy huh? But true! I want to go to the 4-N-1 Club! By boat OR car!

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We might be adding a bit to mantle as well but not much.

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 Down from the fireplace is a alcove, set back area and Ragan found the perfect antique for the spot. Adore this old English hutch with the majolica and again more little memories framed and tucked in here and there. That big piece is from Scott’s in Atlanta. Another old rug down the hall to bedrooms.

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Below is just one small area we are tweaking, simply changing out pillows.

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So what am I doing in this house?  Why was I even there.  Well Ragan hired nearly a year ago to work on a small sitting room at the top of the stairs which I will show you next week.  We have been emailing back and forth and decided to just get together in person to finally finish it off. Also just a few touches here and there like the pillow on the sofa above, recovering a chair here and there and some bathroom wallpaper…Just some random tweaking mainly!

Now a wider view of this space. I love her bookcases and how she arranged books by subject and color and filled with little frames memories like this below . . . And I like that her books are actual books from her childhood and on up into adulthood as her interests changed. It’s  a blending of things not just an attempt to decorate and go out buy books just because of their spine color.   Their bookcases really tell a story of their lives and interests.

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These are the prints and since the stairs are in this room they will flow so nicely I think . . .The top one is Cathay Toile by Marvic and I think its a bit brighter in person and then the small print is by Sister Parish Design.

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Back down the hall to the Master, the monograms on the bed I will have to tell you about later…by an amazing monogram designer in Birmingham.  And we are adding the chinioserie wallpaper from Thibaut pictured below to the master bath…the colors are perfection. My phone camera did not do her bedding justice.  I will have to get better shots of that one day!

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So do you want to see more upstairs and see more about the little space I am working on??? It’s going to be a bit funkier and less traditional but no worries, the upstairs bathroom will be swathed in more Thibaut chinoiserie!

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Check back soon and thank you to Ragan and Brad Cain for letting  us step inside their Southern Living cover!

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