As is per usual with weather in Texas, we went from highs in the 70s to highs in the 40s in a matter of days. So, all of us naturally started digging through our favorite soup recipes in order to prepare for the pending hibernation that cold, rainy weather brings. Some recipes, like our favorite Gumbo, are dang near perfect just the way they are. But butternut squash soup is a tricky one. Every recipe we've tried seems to lack something; it's too runny or too creamy or not spicy enough. Which left Shauna no choice but to play mad scientist and find the perfect blend of several recipes to create THE perfect butternut squash soup recipe.
So, cutting to the chase, because we know how frustrating it is to find a recipe online and have to scroll for days to the ACTUAL recipe.
Shauna's Butternut Squash Soup
2 TBSP olive oil
3 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 TBSP fresh sage, chopped
1/2 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped
3-4 cups vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
1 TBSP curry powder
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for garnish (optional)
Heat olive oil in Dutch oven
Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent
Add squash to the onions and cook for 7-8 minutes until soft
Add garlic, sage, rosemary, and broth. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add coconut milk and curry powder. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour the soup in a blender in batches until smooth.
Serve hot and garnish with pepitas and fresh rosemary.
That's it! Easy, peasy. What is your favorite soup recipe? Share with us here and we'll post all of your favorites on a future post.
Remember that Spanish style kitchen refresh we shared with you a few weeks ago? You'll remember that this is a house is a project in progress. Like many of our projects, we start with one room, spend all the client's budget, then wait a few months or a year or whatever and they ring us back and say, "OK! Let's do the living room!" It's the best.
So, in the midst of kitchen update, we also tackled the dining room and guest room, and for the record we've already told this client that we are quickly running out of rooms and they are going to have to buy a lakehouse or something because we are not ready to quit them yet. The dining room was already on the small side, but the heavy furniture made it feel even more crowded despite the high ceilings. And the brown.... well the brown was just blah and did not reflect the bright, exuberant family that lived here.
Dining Room Before
By the way, mirrors are a great alternative to art, and there are some great mirrors on this wall. But, when clustered all together like this, they lose their individual design characteristics. Your eye doesn't know where to go because there's so much going on. Pick one large mirror or 3 smaller mirrors to make a statement!
Dining Room After
I know you are wondering how in the world we got a sideboard to fit in this room. Well, first off it is only 17" deep, and trust me, we went back and forth as to whether or not it would fit comfortably and still leave enough space to scoot the chairs out. The first table we chose was a little too wide, but this one from West Elm is 40" wide and fits the space perfectly. The chairs are from Wayfair, and they are the same ones that Shauna put in her dining room. We had the backs of the chairs reupholstered in this yummy embroidered fabric from Schumacher for a one-of-a-kind look. Drapes from Pottery Barn have also been customized by adding a trim tape, a fraction of the cost of custom drapes.
You know how much we love Oushaks, and Shauna just happened to have a smaller version of the one in her new living room that worked great here. The Oushak possibilities are endless so, if you are in the market, you know where to come.
The sideboard is styled simply with white lamps and colorful decanters to allow the Allison Castillo art to shine.
PRO TIP: Group décor elements in odd number arrangements so there is always a "center" point for your eye to focus on.
Dining table: West Elm
Dining Chairs: Wayfair
Upholstery Fabric: Schumacher (available here)
Sideboard: Four Hands
Art: Allison Castillo
Lamps: West Elm
Decanters: Pols Potten (available here)
Rug: Oriental Rug Galaxy (similar here)
Drapes: Pottery Barn (trim here)
Chandelier: Visual Comfort
Check back to see what might be our most popular Instagram bedroom yet!
This post contains affiliate links and we maybe compensated for purchases made via these links.
How amazing is it when Mother Nature complies with the calendar and the first day of fall blows in with overnight lows in the 50s? Yes, daytime highs will still creep toward 90 for the next week or so, but here's hoping that cool breeze lingers on.
Our inbox has been overflowing with new fall merchandise from some of our favorite brands and considering all the issues the design world has had with supply chain and production, it's encouraging to see that there actually IS new stuff! One of our favorites, Serena & Lily is known for their California Cool aesthetic and was selling wicker and rattan way before it was a "thing". Their easy, breezy color palette is inspired by the calm colors of the beach, and the rich textures of sand and rock. For fall, these colors layered with terracotta, ochre and a saturated chartreuse green, will easily transform your home to the warm and cozy nest you can't wait to burrow in to.
1.Dip Dye Oval Stool--Whether holding bath essentials or your favorite plant, this teak stool is one of our favorite accents.
2. Cuesta Pillow Cover Chartreuse--We're having a love affair with green lately and this is just about the yummiest pillow we've seen.
3.Pacifica Outdoor Sconce--Yes, outdoor! Who says the indoors gets all the cool lighting?
4. Bellport Guest Towels--Woven from Turkish cotton, you'll want to have a second set just for you.
5. Positano Linen Duvet Cover Terracotta-The ideal temperature regulating fabric, linen is our favorite choice for fall bedding.
6. South Seas Side Cart--Bring the cocktail lounge to any room with this sleek black rattan cart.
7.Fisherman's Knit Throw Ochre--Exactly what you would expect a fisherman's knit to feel like; chunky, cozy and worthy of an afternoon nap.
8.Blake Raffia Nightstand Indigo--A quick and easy way to update the bedroom and like your favorite pair of jeans, they can go with anything.
9.Larchmont Mirror--Pretty sure our 1970s living room had a mirror just like this. Everything old is new again.
There's loads more new arrivals to check out AND through October 4, save 20% during the Fall Design Event with code NEWSEASON. So head on over to Serena & Lily and find your own favorites for fall, or hop on over to our Shop section for more of our top picks.
This post contains affiliate links and we may be compensated for purchases made through these links.
About nine months ago, we received an email asking if we could consult on a new home build in San Antonio. After some communication back and forth, the potential client, let's call her Lisa, said they had changed plans and were not going to move at this time and were staying in Fort Worth. Fast forward 6 months and Lisa reached out to us again to say they had bought a new house in Fort Worth and wanted to hire us to renovate their 1960s ranch. It was not necessarily going to be their forever home, but there were several things that had to be addressed before the family of 4 could move in.. Dropped and popcorn textured ceilings, 9 different types of floor covering, bad paint, mirrored walls, dated bathrooms and a kitchen all needed to be renovated and updated. In addition, new can lighting to be installed throughout the house all within a tight timeline of 8 weeks.
As you probably know, Shauna is always up for a challenge so we called in our team to get bids going and started demo within the next week. Here's where we started:
Kitchen and Family Room
Jack & Jill Bathroom
What you don't see in the images are the original terrazzo floors in the entryway and down the hallway. We knew we wanted to preserve those, so they were covered up before any demo work began. Then our crew dug in to scraping the ceiling, removing the mirrored wall, tearing up carpet in family room, wood floors in living and family room, and tile in kitchen. Four different types of flooring there, now all one consistent unstained white oak wood floor. We also painted everything our favorite white, Sherwin Williams Snowbound.
In addition, the two bathrooms were demoed and on their way to becoming their beautiful new selves. The clients had a move-in date rapidly approaching so we had to get at least one bathroom functioning before their deadline. Kudos to our team for stepping it up in that last week to get us there. Now for the kicker. As Shauna was doing a walk through with the client, Lisa broke the news to Shauna that her husband had accepted a job in San Antonio and they were NOT in fact going to move in. So, the "Operation: Move in" quickly turned in to "Operation: Sell" and the team got everything on the punch list completed to list the house for sale.
Here's where we ended up. Ignore the furnishings, these were rented to stage the house. Except for the rugs, those are for sale!
We debated about moving forward with the hot pink grasscloth wallpaper after we knew the house was going to be sold, but it had already been purchased and, what the hell. Someone will love it.
Wallpaper: Thibaut (similar here)
Chandelier: West Elm
Kitchen and Family Room
We never knew we'd love a green kitchen as much as we do. We kept the original cabinets, adding a shaker style trim to the door and new hardware, then painted this gorgeous green color. The countertops are original solid surface with a wood inlay on the edge so we definitely wanted to keep those. Backsplash was updated to a chevron patterned marble. You'll also notice that we raised the cabinets in the eating area to go all the way to the ceiling to make room for coffee machines and the like on the counter.
In order to open things up, we removed the upper cabinets between the kitchen and living room. No one likes being stuck in the kitchen away from the party.
Cabinet paint: Starboard by Sherwin Williams
Tile backsplash: Tile Shop
Cabinet hardware: Rejuvenation
Jack & Jill Bathroom
Since the bathroom was to be shared between the couples' daughter and son, we wanted something durable but still fun. We replaced the original tub with a deeper one, raised the height of the shower head, and had just enough room to install a double vanity. The floor looks like cement tile, but is actually porcelain, a much more durable and economical alternative.
Tile floor: Wayfair
Faucets: Moen from Build
Mirror: Serena & Lily
Shower curtain: Anthropologie
Our client wanted to keep the stool cutout section of the vanity so we found this great piece that fit perfectly in the existing space. The space plan of the bathroom did not need to be changed so everything we did was cosmetic. This gorgeous Zellige tile was our jumping off point for the shower and we paired it with a large terrazzo style hex tile on the floor. The brass fixtures and hardware add a modern pop.
Shower tile: Zia Tile
Floor tile: Tile Bar
Shower fixtures: Moen from Build
Vanity: Signature Hardware
Sink fixtures: Moen from Build
Mirrors: Serena & Lily
Lighting: Shades of Light
Vanity Stool: Pottery Barn
So, after a mad dash on our punch list, the house was finally listed on the market. Last we heard, after the first weekend they had 6 showings and a full price offer. I feel like this is an episode of "Love it or List it" without the annoying British woman. Here's hoping Lisa hires us to come to San Antonio to design her new home.
Some images courtesy of Realtor.com. This post contains affiliate links and we may be compensated for purchases made via these links.
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale ends on Sunday and there's loads of great deals for you and your home still available including Shauna's favorite sneakers, chic crossbody bags and cozy throws for those hopefully soon to come cooler weather.
Check out our top picks below and shop more of the sale here.
1. Ilse Jacobsen Tulip Slip on Sneaker
2. L'Or de Seraphine Ceramic Jar Candle
3. Clare V Midi Sac Crossbody Bag
4. Pendleton Rio Canyon Fringe Throw Blanket
5. Stag EKG Electric Kettle
6. Palm Springs Pool Day Art Print
7. Dash & Apple Pineapple Cutting Board
8.Peri Home Fringe Pillow
9. Marc Jacobs Shutter Crossbody Bag
10. Born Inti Slide Sandal
If you are anything like us, it's getting to that point of the summer where we are bored with our closet, bored with what to cook for dinner, and just want to soak in the pool all day. You deserve some retail therapy and look at how much money you are saving by shopping on sale? So head to Nordstrom.com now and go buy yourself something pretty.
This post contains affiliate links and we are compensated for purchases made via these links.
One of our most popular main bedroom and bathroom projects, and one of our earliest were for a client that, to be honest, is one of our favorites because she says "yes" to every wacky idea we come up with. You may recognize this room from the way back machine. (Resources below)
And this bathroom... (details on the bathroom here)
So, when the client reached out about updating her kitchen, we didn't hesitate to say yes. As we mentioned, the home was custom built in a Spanish style with soaring ceilings, wood beams and gorgeous Saltillo floors. We knew right away that we wanted to amp up the hacienda vibe but also infuse some modern elements. Paint, as we preach over and over again, is a gamechanger. Never underestimate what a difference a coat of paint can make.
I mean, paint! We went with white on the uppers and a dark gray on the bottom to allow the tile backsplash to shine. Both colors also play so well with the warm granite countertops. New hardware in brass pops off the cabinets instead of getting lost in the previous sea of brown. And let's talk about this tile. Handmade cement tile from Zia Tile that gives us all the Spanish Mediterranean feels and adds that much needed infusion of color we can't live without. The addition of a vintage runner makes it such a fun place to be, you might even have volunteers to do the dishes!
Cabinet uppers: Whitetail from Sherwin Williams
Cabinet lowers: Peppercorn from Sherwin Williams
Hardware: Signature Hardware
Backsplash Tile: Zia TIle, similar here
Pendants: Visual Comfort
Rug: Vintage from Chairish, similar here
In the dining area, the first order of business was to paint the sideboard a bright blue to play off of the tile backsplash. Add a pair of lamps, a plant and this amazing artwork from Marianne Rodriguez to create a dramatic focal piece that draws you right on in. The existing dining room table was updated with new wishbone dining chairs and a gorgeous Oushak rug. Remember that your wood tones don't have to match! In fact, it's way more interesting when they don't.
Dining table: Pottery Barn
Dining chairs: Wayfair
Rug: Oriental Rug Galaxy
Sideboard paint: Briny by Sherwin Williams
Art: Marianne Rodiguez
So, the lesson for the day is, "When in doubt, paint." And the second lesson is, "Say yes to everything Shauna suggests." Trust us.
This post contains affiliate links and we may be compensated for purchases made via these links.
Back in 2019 (seems like ages ago, right?) we wrote about all the Fall trends that we were swooning over at Anthropologie. It seems we are always swooning over something at Anthropologie but that's another blog post. The trend curve for home decor is a mighty long one, primarily because of the investment made in buying furniture. Unless you are Jeff Bezos or something, you likely can't afford to redecorate your home every couple of years. (If you ARE like Jeff Bezos and CAN afford this, please contact us immediately so we can help you spend your money.)
ANYWAY, one of the trends we wrote about was rattan and cane furniture and let me tell you, the obsession has not waned. No longer relegated to the patio or sunroom, the incorporation of natural elements in a space adds an additional level of texture and warmth. Plus for us Gen Xers, rattan and cane furniture rank right up there with macramé and avocado green on the nostalgia meter and don't we all need a little vintage flashback in our lives?
I know, I know, get to the point you say. We've rounded up some of our favorite cane accent chairs with price points for every budget. Don't be discouraged if they are out of stock until September. Remember that long trend curve. Plus, if you love it, it will always be on trend.
1. Ankara Black Cane Chair -- Crate & Barrel
2. Mulholland Cane Chair -- Industry West
3. Autumn Club Chair -- One Kings Lane
4. Linen Cane Chair -- Anthropologie
5.Carole Rattan and Metal Chair -- Urban Outfitters
6. Marte Lounge Chair -- Urban Outfitters
7. Hallie Lounge Chair -- Urban Outfitters
8. Tulip Accent Chair -- One Kings Lane
9. Henredon Cane Back Chair -- Chairish
This post contains affiliate links and we may be compensated for purchases made via these links.
Last month, we issued a call for all of your favorite gifts for mom for Mother's Day, and I have to say, it was one of our most popular posts. Such great products from both well-known retailers and small, independent businesses (who we know can take all the business we can throw their way!) So, to be fair to Dad, we asked again for your favorite gifts for that special man in your life. And while the overwhelming answer was "he just wants to take a nap", we did get some great gift ideas that can be COMBINED with time for a nap to make his day even that more special.
STYLIN DAD--he can always use a little helping hand when it comes to the wardrobe. Colorful summer shirts from Bonobos and the Anson Belt Gift Box with an assortment of adjustable belts and buckles keep him presentable on date night. Workouts are also way more chic with the Pace Short from Lululemon.
SELF CARE DAD--They all love the gadgets, and the Theragun Therapy Gun checks all the boxes. And help him keep his side of the bathroom tidy with a stylish Dopp kit from Jon Hart.
CHEF DAD--Specializing in all things cooked outdoors, the Ooni pizza oven will be the star of the next neighborhood cookout. Grill Trays from Williams Sonoma make it easy to safely prep and cook that big ol' steak.
HARD TO SHOP FOR DAD--He likes the eccentric, different, special stuff that he would never spend the money on himself. Coles Woodworks is a local artist who makes trays, shelves, coasters and probably anything else you can dream up. For hanging in the pool, spend the money on these virtually indestructible Pool Floats from Frontgate that will last well beyond this season (model not included). And for scooting down to the wine store, the micro-scooter from Sidewalker USA will seriously make all the guys in the neighborhood jealous.
If you've been following the progress on Shauna's house, you'll know that the renovation of the courtyard was a last-minute, lightning-fast process that was completed with the goal of being included in the HGTV Magazine story. Sadly, the courtyard didn't make the cut but not to worry. We have it on inside information that it will be featured in a publication near you very soon. The highlight of this amazing space, which serves as Shauna's very own private cantina, is the mural that covers 2 of the walls. And when Shauna was planning this space, we knew the perfect person to execute this colorful masterpiece, Mariell Guzman. If you live in Fort Worth, chances are you've seen Mariell's work around town. And if you haven't? Be sure to jump in your car the minute you finish reading this and GO CHECK IT OUT.
We caught up with Mariell after a recent photo shoot in her studio to give you a peek behind the curtain at this talented artist.
SGD: Can you briefly walk us through your story? How did you get started and how did you get to where you are today?
MG: As far as my creative journey, I’ve been doodling/painting ever since I can remember. I grew up always falling asleep with my journals full of drawings and continued throughout my upbringing, whether on canvas, napkins, receipts, or even doodling all over my arm in class. I never really stopped creating. It’s always been very therapeutic to me to escape in my creative process. I’m also very lucky to have grown up in a very creative family; my mom, sister and brother all paint and have their own style.
So yeah, overall being an artist has always been deeply intertwined with my identity.
I went to The University of Texas at Austin to study Studio Art and then moved back to DFW in 2018. I’ve basically been developing my art career since then and figuring out where my art belongs and the audience that responds to it. It hasn’t been an easy journey at all and it’s been a lot of trial and error, but I’ve just persevered because there’s no other way I’d rather build a life for myself other than being able to be creative everyday.
SGD: Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
MG: Overworking myself because I took every opportunity that came my way. This led to very unhealthy habits, such as sleep deprivation, lacking social life, always being anxious, and overall forgetting I’m a human being at the end of the day and I need to rest and refuel my brain and body.
To be honest, I’m still gradually getting better at learning how to balance my work/personal time.
I’ve undervalued my self and my work a fair amount of times with the hopes that it would lead to something better down the road. Some of my biggest projects when I was starting out, I actually did for free solely for the exposure I would get at the events. Which is crazy to think about now, because no one should expect an artist to spend 50+ hours creating something for free. Yet, so many young or “emerging artists” accept this as the standard because we simply want our work to be seen.
SGD: What are you most proud of and what sets you apart from other artist?
MG: To be honest, I’ve been working almost non stop for the past 3 years. I’ve struggled to slow down and really reflect back on my accomplishments in my career so fast. In a way, I haven’t really even dedicated time to let them all sink in.
I truly never imagined that I would be able to be a full time artist in my mid 20’s and to have painted over 30+ murals in various states and Mexico. I’ve also had the honor to work with various big brands such as Dickies, IBM, Pepsi and more. Overall, I’m genuinely the most proud of the fact that I get to live my dream this early in my life. I’m beyond grateful to feel the pure joy of creating everyday and continue to have opportunities to add colorful experiences to people’s lives with my works of all scales.
SGD: What advice would you give to someone at the start of his or her career?
MG: General career advice
SGD: What artists do YOU admire and why?
MG: So many, I could go on another rant for this but I’ll keep it short and choose one.
Helen Frankenthaler is a big one for me. She was one of the first women artists I was introduced to from the abstract expressionism period. I admire her tenacity, experimental/playful painting process and overall bravery to make huge scale paintings and make room for herself in the art scene in that time period when the scene was male dominated.
Her story was extremely inspirational to me and motivated me to challenge myself with scale and enter the mural scene.
SGD: If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
MG: If I wasn’t an artist, I would definitely be a marine biologist. I’ve been continuously fascinated by ocean life since I was young.
Where to find Mariell:
Once again, we've been shown favor by the Home Design gods and had Shauna's home featured in HGTV Magazine. The June 2021 issue which came out last week was just shot in February. Meaning we didn't have to wait 10 months for the issue to come out like we did the last time. Also, we are pros now at staying out of the way of stylists and photographers. Unless we are grabbing some behind the scenes shots to share with all of you. Be sure to grab your very own copy at any newsstand because it's just way better to see it in person than on the screen.
Behind the Scenes
Ahh, the magic of photography! The team that came to do the shoot was so amazing to work with. Shoutout to Photographer Molly Culver and Stylist Jenny O'Connor for making your home invasion a walk in the park!
Get the Look
Click on the links below to shop select pieces in the story and also check out parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Shauna's entire home reno for more info!