So, if you haven't already heard, Shauna's home was featured in the May 2019 issue of HGTV Magazine. It's also the cover shot, which is amazingly cool. However, the release of the magazine is somewhat bittersweet considering what was happening behind the scenes with Shauna and her family during the week of the photo shoot. Read below for Shauna's story.
When I first heard from HGTV Magazine about possibly featuring my house in their magazine I was blown away, but also knew the reality too. I’ve had interest from magazines in the past, but it seems like it always fell through. After some back and forth with an editor (sending different shots of different rooms using different angles) I received the best email ever. HGTV Magazine wanted to show my home in their house tour section! It. Was. So. Cool.
After a few more weeks of hammering out the details the editor emailed me again and said they were also considering putting our house on the cover. SHUT. UP. It was almost too much. Suddenly it felt like everything I’d been trying to do to be taken seriously as a designer (yes, I need to be validated sometimes!) was getting me somewhere.
It was a couple of weeks later that I was told yes, we’d also be the cover shot. It was an incredible feeling, I won’t lie. Because the cover is a huge deal, our shoot was pushed back weeks and would go from a two-day shoot to a five-day shoot. I was also informed they would be shipping approximately 80 boxes (!!) of items to be used in the shoot. Soon after, they were right, box after box after box began showing up at our house.
On July 30, 2018, a crew of strangers showed up on my front porch (HGTV people, a stylist, a photographer, etc) and thus began one of the most fun weeks of my life.
Or so I thought.
Right before all of this, my daughter, Presley, gave birth to her third child (Emerson Faye) on July 25th. We were so happy and excited to meet her and have her join our growing family. After a few days something was happening to little Emmy, and no one was sure what it was exactly. She was hospitalized while doctors tried to figure out what was wrong. The photo shoot was happening and I found myself splitting time between being at the hospital and being available for the magazine crew. I wasn’t terribly concerned about Emerson at the time because the doctors couldn’t really find anything wrong with her. I assumed she would get well and be home soon. At the end of the week (Friday) we said goodbye to everyone from the magazine and Emmy was released from the hospital. I could finally exhale after a stressful and exhausting week. Jeff and I were looking forward to a restful weekend.
Sunday, August 5, my daughter called to say Emerson stopped breathing and paramedics were on the way. I raced to her house and followed the ambulance to the hospital. After a few hours we were told to gather up our family and friends because Emmy Faye wouldn’t be going home. Her organs were failing and she wasn’t going to survive.
It was the worst news I’d ever gotten and it was so unbelievable. The next 24-hours were surreal. We were living out a nightmare. Our family was thrust into a swirling tornado of tragedy. Writing this now takes me back to that moment in time and it still stops my heart, punches me in the gut, and takes my breath away.
The magazine is out now. We are in the May issue and as promised, are on the cover and featured in the house tour section. It’s so very exciting, a real pinch me moment. But it’s also bittersweet. Seeing the photos and remembering being there and seeing it unfold while also driving back and forth from the hospital to make sure Emerson was okay, it makes me really sad. I’ve tried to stay upbeat and hold on to the fun memories of that week back in July of last year, but it’s a struggle. I’d gladly give up any career success or checks off my life list (being featured in a national publication is high on that list) to have our sweet Emmy Faye alive and learning to crawl and laugh and know who I am.
But I don’t get to choose that. It’s not an option. Instead I’ll try to stay positive and forge ahead. I’ll keep striving to be the best version of me and lead by example. Work hard. Be kind. Bring color into people’s lives.
That’s really all I can do.
I want to thank everyone at HGTV Magazine for the opportunity and the outpouring of love and support they showed me and my family during that terrible time.
And thank you to all of you who have championed me and congratulated me and bought the magazine and sent such kind notes. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.
Now, here's some behind the scenes photos that we've been hanging on to for 9 months so we could share them with you now!
So, the 80 boxes of product that were delivered were unpacked and staged in the garage. 80 boxes of vases, platters, lamps, figurines, trays, pretty much anything that could be used to style. A lot of this stuff was rented from two different companies in New York that well, rent out stuff for photo shoots, so it was important for the Assistant Stylist (Kalen) to keep up with what went where, etc. Serious tasks here.
Shauna's laundry room became flower shop central with buckets and buckets of flowers to be used for the shoots. Wanna know how to make peonies open? Stick 'em in warm water and in the sun. But not for too long, because then they burn. It's an art.
Other fancy jobs of the Assistant Stylist include ironing bedding and towels and trimming the "hair" off of the palm leaves. Bonus styling tip, to make the flanges of the pillow shams stand up so pretty in the photo we used masking tape on the back.
So, the cover. Because the cover had to be approved by the Editor back in NYC, there was a lot of back and forth. Take a photo, send it to NY, get comments back, move the vase to the other side, take a photo, send it to NY, we need something tall and green on the left, take a photo....you get the idea. TWO DAYS LATER, the image was approved. Jamie, the HGTV Magazine Home Editor and Matthew, the Stylist were pros, and a lot of fun, and made the process way less painful than it could have been. Also, they were considering changing the color of the chest to aqua in the final cover, so we had to style both ways just in case.
Thanks again to everyone from HGTV Magazine for being so amazing. Can't wait to work with y'all again!
It's been quite a whirlwind couple weeks here at SGD. Last week we went to the big Texas Antique Weekend show in Warrenton and Round Top, Texas. If you've never heard of it, it's like the biggest flea market ever. Spanning over 10 miles and three towns, there are barns, fields, tents, driveways, pretty much any flat surface available selling antiques, home decor items, vintage textiles, rugs, furniture and whatever this is.
The venues range from high-end designer showrooms to makeshift tents with card tables and tarps. Our favorite places though, had bold colors, rich textiles, and amazing hand-crafted details. Punkie's Place was a color explosion that hit you right in the face when you walked in. Mexican textiles, embroidery, and kitchy accessories layered upon layer upon layer. We found the cutest embroidered Mexican dresses here!
While Punkie's Place was a legit house, the vendors from Africa sold baskets, beads, textiles and the craziest beaded furniture on tarps on the side of the street and in tents. Keep in mind when you go that there are ALWAYS more than one vendor selling the same thing. The first one we came across selling these beaded chairs wanted $2400 for one. Three tents later, we found someone selling pretty much the same thing for $800. Everyone is there to make a deal, so be savvy and don't take the first price you're given.
On our last day, we saw a post from the owners of Hale House here in Fort Worth with the most awesome dining chairs. The hunt was on at that point to find those chairs. We ended up at a venue called Blue Hills and while we didn't find the chairs (the vendor was only there the day before), we did find Karma Living. Pretty sure they were ready for us to leave after snapping a thousand pics, wrecking countless displays and running around the store like we'd never seen an embroidered pillow before. SUPER good news is that they have a showroom in Dallas so you can bet your sweet biddy that we will be there often creating just as much havoc. You can buy their products on Amazon or Wayfair.
The show runs two-ish weeks in April and October. Plan early if you want to go, there really aren't hotels and rentals book up quickly. We booked our AirBnB in Brenham in December. It was about a 20 minute drive to the show, but that's pretty typical. Cash is king and will get you even better deals. Bargain hunt, like we said, many vendors sell the exact same thing. However, if you LOVE it, buy it. You either won't remember where you found it, or it'll be gone by the time you go back.
All the great stuff we picked up at the show is now for sale on our SHOP page! Check it out for all the goodies.
OK y'all. Today is the biggest sale of the year at Wayfair and we are so excited that so many of our favorite things are on super sale. It's a one day sale, so you have to act fast but I'm telling you, these prices CAN'T BE BEAT!!
1. Newburyport Rug--We loved the washed colors of this rug. Perfect for a boho vibe.
2. Deloris Two Door Cabinet--If you don't recognize this, well then you haven't been paying attention. The centerpiece to Shauna's entry way.
3. Efrain Chandelier--This amazing piece has been used in many projects, including this office space. A great look at a great price.
4. Beverly Linen Sheets--OK, this is serious. YOU NEED THESE SHEETS. Everyone in the office has bought them and won't stop gushing. Even at regular price (about $100 a set) they are a steal, but on sale??? I'm struggling to not buy every color.
5. Lorna Pouf--This is just so happy, it needs to find a home. Why not in yours?
6. 'Even Flow' Canvas Print--Graphic color doesn't have to be overwhelming. This piece adds just the right punch to that blank wall.
7. Prairie Coffee Table--Simple and sleek and no sharp edges to bang your knee on. This coffee table is a winner.
8. Melbourne Beach Lamp--This guy comes in a variety of colors but the cool aqua reminds us of the beach and well, who doesn't love that?
9. Coral Springs Lounge Chair--Shauna fell in love with the style of this chair. The fabric? Not so much. Luckily, with so many great fabric resources to choose from, finding the perfect one was a cinch.
10. Borowski Area Rug--Think of this rug as your favorite pair of jeans. Feels great, goes with everything, and looks amazing.
Don't forget, sale ends at midnight!
This post contains affiliate links.
It's a happy day when Anthropologie marks down sale stuff an additional 40% off. Like a "where did my whole paycheck go?" kind of happy day. Of course, we are eating dollar tacos for the next week, but hey, they are on very cool plates. So, get your mouse ready, these are our faves.
Discount applied in cart, so ignore the prices you see here. Post contains affiliate links.
We love to use decorative elements in unexpected places. Paint on the ceiling, wallpaper behind shelves, and our latest obsession, tile on stairs. We first did this in the Cox project on the step up to the kitchen. It turned out so amazing that Shauna had to do it at her own house.
So, Shauna reached out to our friends at Fireclay Tile to see if they wanted to partner with us on the stairs project and they were all in. Now, you would think she would go all color and pattern, right? Well the one thing about tile is that it is pretty permanent. Not as easy to switch out as a rug or lamp so remember our mantra, "neutral base, pops of color and pattern". So, white it was, but as you'll see, not the least bit boring.
By rotating the orientation on every step, it gives that extra design element that totally elevates the look. Such an easy trick. Well, maybe not for the tile guys but they are used to our wacky ideas. Y'all seriously, check out Fireclay Tile. All hand made in California. Amazing patterns and colors. We just bought an amazing peacock blue Moorish tile for a fireplace and can't wait to see the finished product!
Tile resources: Ogee Drop pattern in White Wash
Well, we've missed you too! It's been a crazy 6 weeks since we started shooting photography for the coffee table book. Between photo shoots, keeping up with client projects, styling, a quick trip for Shauna and the fam to Disneyland, it's been a whirlwind! We are taking a pause in the book project to catch our breath, see where we are and what we still need, but we wanted to give you a sneak peek in to what a photo shoot day is like.
What we'll do for the shot...
9 am: Shauna and the team arrive to the home loaded up with pillows, rugs, and accessories to freshen up the space for photography. Fresh flowers, plants, food, candy, and anything else we need as props are also brought in. It seriously looks like we are moving in to stay. Someone takes pics of the client's home before we start re-styling so we remember how it needs to be put back together.
10 am: The photographers arrive and Shauna goes over the shoot lists, determines which photographer will shoot which room and the shot sequence. Shauna works ahead of us, styling the room to get ready for photographers to slide on in and do their magic.
10:30 am: Shooting begins. Style. Shoot. Tweak. Shoot. Tweak some more. Shoot. Shauna reviews. Tweak some more. Shoot. You see where this is going. We usually have no fewer than 25 shots before we get to the one where everyone agrees, "that's it!"
12:30 pm: Everyone starts rumbling about lunch so someone (usually Riley) is voted to go get food. We stand up in the client's kitchen and scarf down Whataburger (if we are feeling indulgent), an Eatzi's salad (if we are feeling fat) or the charcuterie board we just finished shooting for the Entertaining section.
12:45 pm: Lunch break over, back to work.
1:30 pm: This is when we start getting a little wacky. Need to let off stome steam, be a bit silly, walk away from the set just for a minute so we can come back to it with fresh eyes. Sometimes we get the insane idea to include the family pet in the photo and then either cry or cheer based on the result.
3:00 pm: Time to start wrapping up. Our creative brains are fried and we have a shit-show of a mess to clean up. Here is when those photos we took of the client's home before we started come in handy. Sometimes, the client loves the re-style so much that they want to keep the rug/pillows/bedding/whatever and well, we always love it when that happens.
4:00 pm: Loading up. Our photographers killed it, yet again. Now to prep for the next one!
We love having models!
The master at work...
It's always exciting to get a call from Meda at 360 West looking for content for the magazine. We shared with her the Cox project that we worked on last year and after meeting the home owners (and their precious pooch), she was sold on the story. What we love about the Cox project is that it was something completely out of the box for Shauna. The bold, colorful, eclectic style she is known for was replaced with a light, refreshing, subdued palette accented by great art, pops of color, and unexpected details. "I admit when I looked at her website, I wasn't sure if we would be a good fit. But she stepped in, took over, and we have never looked back," says homeowner Erin Cox. Read more about the transformation in the March 2019 issue of 360 West Magazine, and check out our before and after photos below.
Isn't it amazing what a coat of white paint can do? Painting these bookshelves was the first step in transforming this dated living room to a modern, airy space.
The homeowners felt that the dining room was a space better used to entertain so we transformed it to a chic lounge. Read more about the lounge here.
Gary was thrilled to see an updated recliner included in the design for his den. See? Comfort CAN be stylish!
Updated wallpaper from Hygge & West, new light fixtures and mirror were all that were needed to give this powder bath a chic new look.
This space just to the right of the front door was an awkward spot that provided a challenge to Shauna. Now it's a cozy nook to chat on the phone, go through the mail, or wait for your husband who can't find his keys yet again.
Wallpaper with metallic accents and white drapes and bedding allow a colorful rug and artwork to pop while still keeping a serene vibe.
The master bath was completely reconfigured to create a zen-like wet room for shower and tub. Brass fixtures and mirrors in vanity with it's subtle floral wallpaper provide a glamorous contrast to the tub area. Bathroom resources here.
Our latest Friday Finds from Anthropologie are just the remedy for these chilly February days. Hope you enjoyed those few days in the mid 70s, they will return, we promise. In the meantime, freshen up your home with these bright, beautiful finds.
Ok, so I have to admit, I didn't know the specifics of Galentine's Day. Much to the chagrin of my daughter's I do not watch Parks & Recreation so when researching for this blog I did not realize that IT WAS YESTERDAY! Ugh. Whatever. It's OK because the cocktail recipe I wanted to share with you is so good, you can use it tonight for a Valentine's Day celebration. Or just make up a new holiday. In Japan, Valentine's Day is specifically for women to give gifts to men. White Day, which is on March 14 is when men give gifts to women. So, there you go. Just go make this drink and celebrate the fact that you made it to Friday.
FR Distilling Sparkling Gal recipe:
1oz TX Whiskey
½ oz Cranberry Juice
½ oz Blood Orange Juice
¼ oz Lemon Juice
¼ oz Simple Syrup
Mix whiskey, juices and simple syrup in shaker with ice. Pour in to glass and top with prosecco. Garnish with orange peel curl.
Before we get in to the nitty gritty of this post, a little disclaimer. None of us here in the SGD office are fans of Valentine's Day. We don't celebrate, we don't expect a gift, we think it is a bit ridiculous and to be quite honest, our significant other should not need a day on the calendar to tell us how much we mean to them. I mean, do that on February 25th, or June 6th because you WANT to, not because there's a store full of pink and red overpriced flowers and crappy candy boxes that are making you feel obligated to.
BUT, we know that there are those of you out there who, well, feel otherwise. And the retail industry loves you and your significant others for spending loads of cash on gifts. It would be neglectful of us to not share with you some of our favorite things from Anthropologie that you can subtlely suggest to said person as the perfect thing to show you how much they love you.
At this point in the calendar, you are probably sick of all your winter clothes. So, these fun, springy accessories are just the thing to get you geared up for warmer weather.
Girls love stuff that smells good. Stuff for her body, stuff for her room, stuff for the shower. And you can't go wrong with these fragrances from Calypso St. Barth, our favorite art glass candle and lavender bath soaks. Throw in a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and she will be in heaven!
Easy, peasy dressing is your girl's best friend. That's why we love this kimono. Jeans and a white T just got way more interesting. This silk sleep set checks all the boxes for even non V-Day fans. Cute, cool and sexy. Way better than a sleep romper. Yes, that's a thing and I just can't even.