Decorating with Whitney English

I talked about my work with Whitney English in a blog post here.  This past weekend I made a quick trip to OKC to see her and work on her home again.  When I say quick, it was quick, I was literally only there 30 hours, but as two busy mamas used to being on a tight schedule we were able to put our heads together and talk non stop about fabric, rugs and pillows, pillows, pillows.


Out to dinner at Ludivine on Sat night in OKC..yum! And I must say she has cutest family on the planet!


And they were so good the entire time I was there.  The Kolb family may not be perfect Whitney will tell you but they are pretty darn special to me and I enjoyed being in their nest for even a short time. One of my favorite things Whitney has accomplished in the past year we have been working together is painting her exterior brick, adding the perfect color handmade shutters for charm and painting her fireplace brick..all huge, you can see snapshots of it all below and if you want to follow more of our decorating adventures look for #hollyhelpswhitneydecorate on Instagram! And these are just random instagram shots of Whitney’s progress over the past year documented on pinterest and or phone pics from this weekend…Once complete, we will have full room shots to share and I can not wait for that time. But it does take time, don’t be fooled by HGTV, real life decorating with budgets and kids and  a business and life does take time.  And that is okay, I have watched Whitney enjoy the process and its been a delight!


Whitney and I pictured above last Spring at a blogging conference. Ok so, enough gushing I will let Whitney share in her own words below . . .

Hi, I’m Whitney English. I’m a friend and client of Holly Mathis. I say friend AND client because when you let someone into your home, that friendship thing happens fast. Decorators have to be friends because they see your piles of laundry, your corners of junk, your clutter and your unfinished projects, and they have to love you anyway. That’s what Holly does for me.

I use Holly’s design coaching services. I don’t think she really calls it coaching, but that’s what it seems like it is in my head. I’m not a full-project client, partly because I think it’s fun to just get a little feedback and then run with a lot of her ideas. Last January, Holly made a trip up to Oklahoma to see our house. The Christmas tree was still up, and I literally had no money to spend. I think she might have thought I was a little bit crazy. But my mom is a savvy shopper and has a knack for finding amazing deals, and I just wanted to be educated on the direction I needed to go. That’s where Holly amazingly stepped in.


I like Holly’s style for several reasons. First of all, it’s comfortable. As much as I love cute little antique French chairs, my husband isn’t a huge fan, and Holly’s style can work both ways. She understands that husbands want a big leather chair, and isn’t afraid to tell me to tone it down on the French chairs. Or paint something, like brick, lots of brick has been painted!


The second reason that I like Holly’s style is that it’s a fresh version of cottage style. She’s always making suggestions that feel modern, and mix well with my chippy paint pieces. Her suggestions seem to lead me to a “lived in” feeling in rooms, and I like that she recommends a balance of finishes and textures, making a room seem like it’s been curated over time. It’s great for families.


Another reason I love Holly’s design advice is because it’s honest. She was at my house just last weekend, and I asked her what had to go. In her sweet, loving, voice, she told me that a chair in my living room was just “grandma”, and dirty, and needed to be reupholstered something awful. She also told me I needed to organize. There is love in her truth, and I appreciate that.
Several friends have asked me why I use Holly, even though I have a design background. And I have several reasons for that as well. First of all, even designers need third-party perspective, especially when it comes to decorating for families. Sometimes husbands and wives can get into arguments about whether you keep the leather chair or toss it, and a decorator’s vote can help break the tie. Secondly, the more expertise you can add to a design project, the more depth it has. I use this principle on branding projects, and wholeheartedly believe that a good brand needs a team of designers to polish it. Holly is on my home decorating team. Thirdly, sometimes you have to make a split second decision, and you can freeze. I’ve texted Holly from garage sales, where I’m trying to decide whether to spend $20 on a nightstand covered in chippy paint. Fourthly, decorators stay up-to-date on design resources. Holly is constantly scouring all the shelter mags and the home catalogs, so she much more educated on what is available at what price, and how I can create an up-to-date look on a budget. Sometimes just paint.
My house is lived-in, with three kiddos, so getting every room to look perfect is always going to be challenging, but I’m so grateful to Holly for her ideas and guidance.


Boy Bathroom Sources

Thanks for the wonderful response and kind words about the boys bathroom I posted a few weeks ago….several of you have had questions about sources so here is some more information.

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To begin with we clad the walls with beadboard painted out in BM white dove and the walls were painted BM chelsea gray.  Other big changes to the bones of the room included replacing the faucet and the light above sink.  The light is the pullman light from Shades of Light and comes in different finishes.  Love this light.

The mirror is from Ebay! Similar here


Accents like the horns over the toilet and art came from various sources.  The horns came from Old World Antieks, a Texas store and Round Top Antiques Fair vendor.


The bug print and cowboy print are from one of my favorite illustrators and designs, Anna Rifle Bond of Rifle Paper Co.  Love those prints! The wooden football plaques are vintage.


The wooden letters are from the Restoration kids division of Restoration Hardware, they are another fave of mine when working on kid spaces.

Clock is from IKEA. I adore the vintage clock at Schoolhouse Electric and I believe Rejuvenation has one but you can’t beat that Ikea price! The little plant is also from IKEA as well as the jars. My client painted the top of the jars with rubbed bronze color spray paint!

The frames with burlap mats are from Pottery Barn.


The big towel hooks are from Lowes.

The nautical rope towel ring is handmade from Etsy.  Source here. The mason jar soap dispenser is also from Etsy.  There are a number of sources on etsy that carry the jars dispensers we bought ours here.

Other sources include the faucet and natural rug is from World Market.


Also I want to note the SHOWER CURTAIN IS FROM WEST ELM BUT NOT LONGER IN STOCK.  I think they have restocked it before so you might keep checking.  Sorry to type in caps, not yelling but I have been asked that question a lot and want to be sure the answer is easily visible. Its such a great shower curtain because its not a full on chevron, more of an Ikat…love it. And lastly, the little wire basket on the back of the toilet was made from two small storage baskets from Brook Farm General Store.  We could not find a wire basket the right size so my client ordered two small ones and roped them together to form great and looks good too!

You can see more about the bathroom here. I have done this little boy’s bedroom shown here and the bathroom, can’t wait to show you his playroom/tv room in January!


Thanks for looking and thanks to everyone that pinned these rooms to Pinterest…always fun to see my work pop up there!



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