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!

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.


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