Watson & Mayberry

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Guest Feature: Olivia Rice & her charming east Texas home

Guest FeatureSteph SheratonComment

I'm under the notion that when you find a good thing you should share it. No, not offering' up my handsome husband for date nights, but my ride-or-die homegirl & past college roommate Olivia Rice has an eye for creating a home that I just HAD to highlight! Checkout our brief dialogue on the subject & feel free to fall in love with her gorgeous east Texas home via the photo candy:). Cheers!

Olivia & husband Micah.

Olivia & husband Micah.

Tell us a bit about yourself & how you'd describe your home.

I went from living in a small town outside the city of Seattle to living in a small town outside the city of Dallas. Quite the climate change, I know, but that’s what happens when you fall head over heels for a Texas boy. After seven years of living in our charming east Texas town, it continues to win my heart every day. It’s the kind of town where the grocer still walks your groceries to your car, where the local postman stops at the neighbor girl’s lemonade stand, and where we pull folding chairs to our front lawn to watch Fourth of July fireworks over the high school stadium. Our 1920’s bungalow home sits on the kind of street I grew up only reading about – lined with Colonial, Victorian, Tudor and cottage style houses all shaded by hundred year old pecan and magnolia trees. I never imagined I’d live in an old house. When we moved in I didn’t know the first thing about decorating or home renovations, and quite honestly, I still feel like a rookie!

What are a few of your favorite projects you’ve done in your home- details that you’ve created that you are most proud of?

My husband and I really wanted a buffet in our dining room, but my goodness, those things are not cheap! We were bopping around Home Depot one day and ran across a raw wood shop bench for $70. We both looked at it and then looked at each other like, “can we make this work?” We brought home, painted and roughed it up a little bit, and bam – the perfect dining room buffet! We laugh every time we remember that it is a tool bench.

Our room divider was one of the first pieces we found for our studio apartment during the first year of our marriage. We rescued the panels from my brother-in-law’s garage and fastened them together for the ultimate statement piece. We couldn’t afford a Christmas tree that first year, so we strung lights and hung ornaments on it. It was perfect. Fun fact – it was originally a window display at Neiman Marcus.

You know when you have an idea pictured in your head, but you have a sneaking suspicion it won’t turn out as good as you hoped. Well, that was NOT the case with our book lamp! Constructed out of vintage books and a wire basket for a shade, this piece is one of my ultimate favorites.

Having flowers in my house is such a treat. They add so much color and joy. So, when I stumbled upon one of Lia Griffith’s tutorials on how to make paper roses, I knew I had to try it. These beauties won’t ever wilt and are the perfect accessory to any mantle or dining room table.

With zero home renovating experience under our belts, my husband I decided to tackle a bathroom – eek! Hours of YouTube tutorials and coveted help from some handy friends later, we were in awe of what we were able to accomplish. If someone would have told me five years ago that I would be cutting and laying tile, taping and bedding walls, and building floating shelves I would have cried laughing. And now I feel like I can take on the world, ha!

You’ve been in your home for five years now. What have you learned along the way? Any tips for new homeowners or other folks wanting to redecorate?

Shop in your own home first. When I get bored with a spot in my house, like my mantle, the itch to buy something new is often irresistible. But, more often than not, simply switching up your existing pieces can make it feel like a brand new space, without having to spend any money. This is what my husband affectionately calls “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” ha! I will walk through the house pulling everything off of shelves, bookcases, tables and the mantle and plop it all on our dining room table. Simply lumping your pieces together in one hodgepodge can inspire a new combination of colors and textures. You’ll be amazed at how “new” your stuff will feel just placed in a different spot around your house.

Take it one space at a time. Decorating is overwhelming - so much space to fill, so many projects to complete. Pace yourself and take it one space at a time. I’ll admit, this is not easy for me. I look at a room and I see ten different projects and I want all ten done at the exact same time. Take your time, find pieces you love, and don’t rush to fill up your home with a bunch of clutter right away. For every cute corner in my house, I have three more just begging for attention.

If you love it, go for it. Your home is a reflection of you – of your family. Style it and fill it with pieces that make you happy. I know there are rules about how high to hang your curtains, which colors go best in certain season, and the ideal way to mount a photo collage, but at the end of the day, you have to live in your house and you should love it. The best compliment I receive about our home is when people tell me that it matches us – that it reflects our personality and style. Our desire has always been that our home is a place where people feel welcomed and loved, and if I can accomplish that with a cute chalkboard sign, colorful throw pillow or plate of chocolate chip cookies, you better believe I’m going for it!

Where do you look for inspiration?

Absolutely everywhere! Magazines, Instagram, blogs, storefronts, antique malls, flea markets, and my friends’ homes. I love that you can find inspiration anywhere. I also don’t think there is any shame in seeing something you like and simply recreating it. That is how I learned to decorate my house. I would see a picture of something I liked and I would replicate it. After doing that over and over, you start to get your own eye for design and feel more comfortable trying something original or unique. Like anything, decorating just takes practice.

She's such a peach, right?! Follow her insta @oliviarice & gander @ her blog www.griffithave.com where she shares random thoughts & everything she writes seems to strike a chord with me. As lovely as her home is, her soul is even more so. Feast your eyes on a few last photos of her charming slice of heaven.