November 6, 2012

Come Visit Us at Scout Design Studio!

Long time no post huh? Well I will readily admit that being a mommy of 2 is way more busy than my old leisurely life as a mommy of  1! Banks just turned 6 months the other day, and while he is still not sleeping through the night, I feel like I am getting my groove back. I thought I’d give you all a little update on Gypsy Soul Interiors, as some things have changed over the summer!

Grace and I are still working our tush’s off to find great unique vintage pieces, only now, we have a real store to sell them out of! We have our garages back to *gasp* … park in! Most all of our inventory is now available at Scout Design Studio at 155 Howell Street in the Design District. Store hours are Tues- Sat 10-6, and Sunday and Monday by appointment only. I say most because we are both super busy with design jobs, and most importantly, little people, that it sometim

August 30, 2012

Another confession, a cleaning product and popsicles. How is that for random?

Anyone else ready for pre-school to start? I almost drove both kids to the liqour store today to pick up some Skinny Girl Margaritas. Unfortunately, I couldnt get my Sh** together enough to make it out the door before 3. Luckily we had friends coming over who brought wine. That being said, I apologize for the lack of blog posts lately. Especially blog posts that are not remotely thought provoking or even design oriented at all.

Todays post is a melange of a few mommy tips that may or may not be helpful at all. Gosh I am chipper this evening huh?

Here we go.

#1 ) A confession. I color my own hair. Well for the past 10 months I’ve colored my own hair. I have had it professionally colored for almost 20 years, yep, since the 7th grade. I was literally.  Dark roots since birth, coupled with the fact that I have horse hair, as my grandmother referred to it, I have never received compliments on my hair. I would be interested to know how many kitchen remodels I could purchase with the amount I have spent in salons over the years.

When prego withBanks, I was sick as a dog. I was able to get my hair half colored once before puking in the salon. So I had to move on to plan B. Plan B was to highlight my own hair at home without all the salon smells. I paint on canvases so I figured I could paint on my hair too. Lord knows I have seen enough stylists do it. I headed to Sally Beauty Supply, where for a whopping $8.93 I was outfitted with the tools to highlight my big horse hair. The ladies at the store showed me what I needed, and ask them what level of developer (look at me throwing around lingo) you will need based on your natural color. For my dark blond/ mousy brown base, I use a level 30 developer. I also chose the “Blue” highlights instead of “Violet” to eliminate any brassiness.

The highlights I use.



The ladies at the store told me to mix the developer with highlighting powder until it looks like jello. Yep, it is just that technical.

It looks like this when it is correctly mixed.

I am too lazy to write all the steps on where to brush the color, but its really pretty easy. Basically grab a 4 year old who has a similar hair color to you and observe where the natural highlights hit. Luckily, I live with a 4 year old who has the exact same hair that I do, sans the 20 years of highlights.

Brush it on and leave for approximately 30 minutes. You will look hot during this process. Like this.

Hot I tell ya.


Ok, so after 30 mins, you simply wash out. I use a Redken product called ” So Silver” shampoo and condition to eliminate any brassy tones. It works wonderfully.

As you can see the highlights are super natural. I have to admit, I have never felt more confident about my hair color. I knew I was on to something when the uber stylish Sam Sano commented on how great my hair color looked recently. I have never in my life received compliments on my hair so it was kind of a big deal. Hmmm, maybe I should forget furniture and start “fixin hair”? j/k


If anyone out there hates the cost/ smell/ experience of a salon, you may want to try your local Sally Beauty Supply. Don’t go buying hair color at the grocery store though. Those products are totally different and will turn your hair orange.


Tidbit of Info #2 ) If you want to have your 4 year old help you clean, give them their own spray bottle filled with water, vinegar and lemon juice. Caroline calls it her “squirt cleaner”. The combo of liquids is obviously non-toxic, smells great and cannot hurt finishes. She had a ball helping mommy clean today!


The flower crown helps too.


#3) My last potentially useless tidbit of info is what fun we had making watermelon popcicles the other day. I am sure there are fancier recipes for watermelon popsicles, but this is what we had in the pantry and they were delish.  I put watermelon in a colander centered over a glass bowl and let Caroline go to town. She squeezed and pounded all the juice with joy. Once she was done, I took a knife and shredded the watermelon into tiny pieces. We filled popsicle molds 3/4 full with juice only, then added a squirt of Agave nectar, squirt of lemon juice and small chunks of watermelon to each mold. Once frozen, we each had one and they were so delicious. I also highly recommend this popsicle mold with a straw to suck all the potentially white sofa staining juice from the bottom. (And yes, that is a Bumbo seat on my counter, and yes I know they have been recalled. )









So there you go. Hope these little bits of info may help you out around your house with little ones!

Happy Shopping!!



August 27, 2012

Dirty Little Secret #2

Dirty Little Secret #2 – All my crafty ideas do not turn out well. Being an artist and a mom is all about accepting the fact that you make mistakes, lots of them. I thought you would enjoy this pic of a blog post/ craft project gone awry.

Sad little girl with sad little crayon project.

I had read this blog post from The Mrs. Preppy and loved the idea. I thought I was going to go one step further and make this gorgeous melted crayon extravanganza. Lots of things went wrong with this project. So you do not make the same mistake, here are my lessons. A) not all crayon colors melt the same B)those cheapy crayons you get for free at restaurants are made of mostly oil, which pools and then turns grey. C) It takes a freaking long time to unwrap 900 million crayons. Moral of the story, this project sucked.


Here is to a fun week and hopefully a successful craft project!


August 14, 2012

“Bling” Dallas Style!

I am genetically pre-disposed to love costume jewelry. My grandmother, Beverly, or “Bebby” as we called her clearly passed on her love of faux baubles to me. At 80 something she was known to pair a leopard top with a mint green skirt and the gaudiest CZ pins you have ever seen to church on Easter. At 14, it was embarassing. As I have gotten older, I love it. This is also the grandmother that my father lovingly referred to as “the narc” because she flew planes with the Civil Air Patrol looking for marijuana fields in her 70’s and 80’s. Bebby didn’t give a s*** what others thought of her and her ensembles. I possess that gene, and frankly, I hope I pass a little of that on to Caroline too.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love “real” jewelry too, but the life stage I am in right now means that my real jewelry is usually in my jewelry box or it will be broken or barfed on repeatedly. So where do I go for the best of the best in bling? Sam Moon of course!!! My in-laws were in town last weekend and out of town guests are always a good excuse to head down to Harry Hines and shop. Another little tidbit, if you go to the HH store, check out the cheapy clothing stores in the shopping center, I have found some really cool trendy tops at these places.

While at Sam Moon, I snapped a few pics of some of my fave pieces. Disregard the quality of the iPhone pics and my lack of make-up. If you haven’t been in a while, you may be surprised! And secret confession #2 (the Cracker Barrel kitchen confession was #1), the gold quatrefoil bracelets that I always wear, and so many of you have commented on, are from Sam Moon. I just buy several packs of them so when the “gold” starts to peel off, I toss them and open a new pack!

Think Sam Moon is just jewelry? Take a gander at the purses, sunglasses and hair bows that also made there way into my shopping basket. In even better news, you can always purchase hair extensions, tacky polka dot luggage, and bedazzled cell phone cases there too (wink, wink). In all seriousness, I love Sam Moon and am not afraid to admit it.

Bad pic, but I LOVE statement bracelets. This peacock kind of rocked my world. With a simple white dress and gold earrings? Yes please!


Along the same lines. So cool.



Thought this little chevron ring would be fun for a night out. Especially since my "real" rings are still a little tight after my pregnancy.


$3.99? I'll take two!


Adore this bag! It came in several colors, and best of all was under $30. Score.

Cute little clutch. Came in a few colorways.




Picked up this little dandy hard clutch. $11.99. Seriously.


Fell for this print hook, line and sinker.



If I wore chunky necklaces, I would have bought this. I do not wear big necklaces due to my large head and short neck. I am not kidding you, I am pretty confident I have the largest head of any girl I know and big necklaces do me no favors.


Another awesome bracelet. Bought this to wear with a solid cocktail dress to a wedding this weekend, but ended up wearing it in a photo shoot.

I really loved these necklaces. It would be cool to wear some of the turquoise with the orange ones. Best part? The "sets" were $6.99.


Since when did Sam Moon sell Tory Burch for $5.99?


Best value in all of Sam Moon? The giant packs of Bows for $11.99! A must for any cute Southern girl.

Want to see some Sam Moon goodies in action?

Check it.
Check it.
Seriously, love that bird on my wrist!


Yep, all the “gold” jewelry is Sam Moon too 🙂

Pictures above are all from

Happy Shopping!!!




August 8, 2012

Oh sure, we have one of those!!!

I thought it would be fun to pull inspiration pictures for some of our pieces in inventory right now. Most of our pieces need some “vision” to bring them to full splendor. I hope these photos will help a Gypsy Soul piece find its way into some of your uber glamourous homes! Remember, we offer full painting, wiring, upholstery and carpentry work on any of our items for sale. Just ask, we can usually do it 🙂

I’m an art addict. I love to paint it, love to sell it, and love to style it. Both these examples show that abstract can be subtle and refined at the same time.And if you love those two abstracts, check out ours here! 

We all know how versatile upholstered stools are for seating or table top use. Love these two inspiration pics. Remember, we can always add a skirt to any open leg ottoman we have. Yes, we have several pairs of gorgeous upholstered stools!!!

I’m not sure I could love a vingnette anymore than I love this one. The wallpaper, lamps and credenza are perfect. I am obsessed with the dresser/ credenza we have, and love the idea of leaving it natural wood.

Channel back chairs aren’t just for your grandmothers anymore!!! Oh yeah, we have a pair of those too 🙂 As well as these! 

Anne Petty taught me to love a good antique rug. Hope these pics inspire you to move the runners out of the hallway. (Although they look great there too!) Grace has found two amazing Persian runners! My fave happens to be the one with a Greek key border 🙂

I am a sucker for a bamboo chandelier. I like how the options above really show the piece in a variety of settings and levels of formality. I could not love this chandelier in our inventory any more!!!

I’m digging how masculine the top picture looks, and how perfect the second pic looks with the headboards painted black. Ours are in perfect condition, but it would be so easy to repaint our pair of twin headboards if you desire 🙂

Contrast piping makes its way into most of my designs. I think the pink on white is such a fun pop. Also, love the glamour of the magenta sofa. But, I honestly think the loveseat we have is an even more exceptional shape.

You just cant get a more stylish dining set than the faux bamboo Chinese Chippendale style. We also have two other tables in the faux bamboo style.

Last but not least. We all love a good console table. I am really drawn to the styling in the second picture. I’d love to see our table painted black too! Check out the herringbone option we have too!

All pictures from

Happy Shopping!!


July 31, 2012

Last Call on the shipment Hotlanta!

Need to know what else is going by tomorrow!

July 30, 2012

Shipping to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia!

Good news if you are in the deep South this week. I have extra space on a shipment heading to Atlanta so we can add some pieces at minimal cost.

If you have been wanting to purchase something but worried about shipping, now is the time!!!


Email me with any questions 🙂


Happy Shopping!


July 27, 2012

Monogram Mama

I have monograms on the mind lately. Being a good Alabama girl, I have to admit that most of Banks’ onesies are monogrammed, as are his bibs and burp cloths, and don’t even get me started on Cici’s clothes. I mean, they just don’t look finished unless their name or initials is embroidered front and center. I also am working on two little girls rooms and I love incorporating monograms in children’s spaces. A monogram is also an excellent design element in adult spaces as well. I pulled some of my favorite monogram examples from my files for you to enjoy! I will be back next week with more regular blog posts! I’ve missed everyone, but loved every minute of focusing just on my kiddos 🙂

Love everything here, the wallpaper, headboards and unique monogram rock the house!




Admittedly a bit "safe" for my taste, but so elegant.



Love me some Leontine, unfortunately, the mister does not love the price so much.


This looks like a "Kristen" room. Digging the color combo, pattern mixing and monogram font.


You rarely see monogrammed bedding with a masculine look. This is done perfectly.


Simple and lovely.



Usually I am not a fan on monograms on the walls in adults rooms, but this appeals to me. Great room too!


So perfect and so cute. Sweet with a little sass.


What a great font? Love.


View Into Dining Room From Living Room

This is a dining room I did for a client. Still love the unique font we chose for the Parsons slipcovers.


And here is the “Oh No She Didn’t” section. I am all about monograms, but really?

You chose turquoise with a zebra border for your periwinkle Quest. Interesting. How many cats do you have?



I would have liked this in 2003, sans the butt bow on the chair.



That's a monogrammed toilet. I can picture the person that has this in their home. They also own a purse with a picture of their pet and or grandchildren printed on it.



This just looks flat silly to me. And I know some of you will get all fired up and try to defend this silly lamp. There are just too many design elements going on here.


I have to say I am a bit on the fence here. Weigh in, yes or no?


Not feeling these.

All photos are from Pinterest 🙂

I am always looking for new monogram inspirations! Send me some of your faves!!!

Happy Shopping!!!!



July 11, 2012

Team Golden Rhino on Four Houses!

I am sure many of you have seen the recent promo’s for a new show on TLC called “Four Houses”. If you are from Dallas, you may recognize one of the contestants as the Big D’s own Meredith Grabham. She is hysterical on the commercials and as always looks stunning! Well the back story goes that I was scheduled to do the show and unfortunately production ended up being end of April, which happened to be about a week before Banks was born. Most of you know, this is the kind of thing I had been waiting for a long time. My dream is to be on TV in some capacity at some point (Lord knows how many times I have tried out for the Real World and Jeopardy. Clearly I am not slutty enough or smart enough apparently). After a long and really tough pregnancy, I knew there was no way I could shoot in their time frame and spend 10-12 hours a day for a week working on the show. The casting director was so sweet and we got to talking about Dallas and how I had so many great stylish friends here that may be interested. She asked if I was serious and did I have a name to suggest. Now, no one get offended here, because so many of you have amazing homes to showcase, but I had 100% no doubts on who to send their way, my dear friend Meredith Grabham. Meredith is truly one of the kindest, funniest and clearly most stylish people I know, which you will see on the show.


Meredith and I met shortly after I moved to Dallas and we had an instant connection. She and I get each other in a “yes, I- am- a- crazy- artist- type- who -speaks- her -mind- a- bit -too- much -for -a -traditonal -Southern -woman, but- still- insists- that- my- children -wear -smocked -clothes -and -big-bows -until -they- are -7” kind of way.  So I called Meredith, half wanting to cry because I really wanted the opportunity and half thrilled for her because I knew she would rock this. Of course, she was super excited, and super nervous and I could hear her wheels turning in her mind about what needed to be changed in her house and how fast she could do it 🙂


Meredith’s episode will air this Monday and while we do not know the outcome yet, I can’t imagine that she did anything less than WIN! She was kind enough to write an entry detailing her fun experience on the show. Let’s go Team Golden Rhino! (You will understand the rhino reference after the show airs on Monday).


From Meredith…..


A Little Show Called ‘Four Houses… and a Golden Rhino’

(Which happens to be my golden rhino and one of my most prized possessions)

Mondays on TLC @ 9:00pm


Four personalities, four styles, four opinions, four ladies, four houses and a production crew… these are the ingredients for a whirlwind week and an unforgettable experience.


Here is the backstory.  My name is Meredith Grabham.  I am the mother of 3 sweet babies, the wife of a very patient man, a decorator and artist in ALL of my free time.  I am very carefree and believe that you only live once, whatever comes your way, go for it!


So it all began as I was in a meeting with a new client, trying my best to figure out how to merge his southwest aesthetic with her modern sensibilities in one room and my phone rang.  Of course I let it go, but it kept ringing, texts were dinging and I finally had to check.  It was our very own Gypsy Soul, Kristen Dowd calling to say, “You’re either going to love me or hate me but I gave your number to a production company in New York.  They’re filming a design show and looking for people for the Dallas show.  You’re the only person I know crazy enough to do it.”  I have to give Kristen all of the credit because they actually wanted to film her but she was expecting Banks to arrive any day, so she gave them my number.  After a brief sweaty, excited, worried, doubtful, hopeful, panic attack followed by countless phone calls, Skype interviews, photo taking and sending, emails, crazy contract negotiations, worrying about all of the unknowns and figuring out who would take care of my babies during 5 full days of filming, they chose me to participate and I said yes.


It was surreal.  After almost driving myself crazy with all of the details, lets be honest, hair and makeup and wardrobe were on the top of the list.  Partially because I was trying to minimize looking like an idiot on television, partially because I wasn’t going to be able to completely redecorate and repaint my entire house the way I wanted to deep down in my heart, but also because I had zero information regarding what was about to happen to me, to my house, to my family and to the other 3 strangers I was soon to meet.  What else could I do?  I also have to add a disclaimer here about “reality “ TV.  At this stage I know we are all very suspicious about how “real” all of this “reality” actually is.  In this particular case it was painfully real!  I mean, going in we knew nothing other than the premise of the show:  4 houses were going to be critiqued and judged by the fellow homeowners.  The winner was going to get $10,000 and a spread in Elle Décor (later changed to Better Homes and Gardens)!  They kept us very uninformed every step of the way.  As annoying as it was, it did keep our initial opinions and reactions completely raw and unedited.


The first day of filming finally arrived.  A car service arrived to take me to the first undisclosed location.  As we headed west toward Harry Hines I got a little concerned and called my husband to send out a search party if I didn’t turn up.  We drove and drove and drove.  The driver knew less than I did about where we were going or why, which was even less reassuring.  We finally arrived at a Starbucks, grabbed a quick grande-non-fat-three-pump-mocha, and a 12 year old (looking) production assistant whisked me into a big white VAN.  I was really not happy about riding in a van with a 12 year old I didn’t know.  There is way too much CSI and Law and Order at my house and I am officially scared of vans.  I soon realized that they were doing this whisking because one of my competitors was arriving for her morning pick me and up and we weren’t allowed to see each other for any reason at all, again to preserve all judgment toward one another.


So we drive and drive some more.  Followed by an hour or so of sitting and waiting and chit chatting in the van with the 12 year old aspiring director/screen play writer.  Imagine all of the things we had to talk about.  Thank goodness I’ve seen Dumb and Dumber.  Anyway, after what felt like hours of waiting and fretting about my clothes wrinkling and my makeup melting off, we pull up to the entrance of the first home.  A nice man with an English accent, a fanny pack and bags of gear appears out of nowhere.  He has me step out of the van, put his hand down my shirt to put my mic on and they say, “Ok you’re ready.  Walk up that hill and just say whatever comes to mind.”  I so pleasantly reply, “What?!  That hill!??  That huge rocky hill with no end in sight?  In these shoes?“   They look at me like I’m some sort of crazy princess.  A guy with a big camera appears on the horizon and they say, “Yeah, go.”  And that’s how I was prepared for the first day of filming.


After that in depth initiation to filming a television show, the first home tour began.  We all were allowed out of seclusion one at a time. First to critique the exterior of the home and to try to predict what we would find inside.  Then we were to enter the home, and meet each other, all on camera of course.  From that point on, mics were always recording and cameras were always rolling.  We would tour a room or two, then stop for one on one interviews.  If we weren’t in the middle of touring a room or doing an interview we were being “babysat” so that we didn’t discuss anything personal, reveal anything about our homes to each other, or talk about what we were seeing off camera…  15 hours a day, 5 days in a row.


At this point I was thinking, this is going to be a breeze!  I have lots of opinions. I am acutely aware that some are good, and some are bad, but also that they are all pretty severe in one way or another.  This is like a dream come true.  I get to walk into a stranger’s home, while they are not there and just say whatever I want about whatever I want.  Hold the phone! Boy was I wrong.  This entire process proved to be one of the most difficult, thought provoking, self-exploratory, exhausting and emotional 5 days of my life.  I didn’t take into account the feelings I would have for the other women or the fact that no one there knew me, or understood when I was serious or trying to be funny.  They hardly knew my name.  I didn’t think about how the other ladies would perceive me if I just let it rip about a pillow that really irked me, or a window treatment that I found hideous or the effect it would have on their opinions of my home.  Most importantly I didn’t prepare for the fact that never in my life have I done what these nice people from New York City were asking me to do.  I have never walked into any place and freely spouted out my unfiltered thoughts.  Of course, the unfiltered thoughts are always there, but no one would ever dare say them.  That would just be rude.  Everyone knows that if you can’t say anything nice, you say nothing at all.  Saying nothing at all really doesn’t work for TV producers, let me tell you.


On the flip side, was the day that my own home was the one being toured, critiqued, loved and hated.  I didn’t have a clue how to prepare so I didn’t.  The crew arrived and we promptly began our tour… after I got my mascara, lip gloss and shoes on.  Of course I wasn’t ready on time.   Another perfect example of the reality aspect is the way the “tour” proceeded.  It was presented to me as if we were just going to practice in each room real quick.  So, that’s exactly what I did.  I just said something to practice and moved on.  I realized too late that we were not practicing, that was it.  Whatever I said, more horrifically all of the things I did not say were just going to be the way they were.  Done.  Too late.  I have since lost hours of sleep over all of the things I should have said.  Part of the premise of the show is being proud of your home.  I am not a proud person at all.  But I should have at least mentioned the things that are special about our home.  Maybe the fact that our kitchen won a huge design award in Dallas would have been good to mention.  Maybe the fact that my husband and I designed and built our home could have been mentioned.  I would have loved to tell that our 3 kids ride their bikes around inside and I love it.  Or I should have mentioned my strong feelings about decorating with children or the cool ways I ended up with some of my favorite things.  Maybe how important art is to me…. the list never ends.  I was like stunned or something.  I don’t know what in the world happened.  I know it wasn’t good though.

Water under the bridge.  Better luck next time.  What can you do?


Each day was basically the same.  Car service, lots of driving, random Starbucks, van, more driving and waiting, get a mic, walk up to a house, critique, predict, go in, join the other three girls, do your best to be nice, then give the house scores on originality, livability and style.  After a full day we would finally get home around 12 or 1am.  As the days went by we all began to realize how different each of us were from each other and similar we were at the same time. We all had big personalities but the casting seemed to be almost more important than the homes themselves.


Finale day we all had the opportunity to kind of come clean and tell each other what we loved and hated about each other’s homes.  That was very cathartic and a huge relief!  We four girls really developed a bond throughout the intense 5 days.  The crew was amazing, so kind and thoughtful.  They were very patient and very encouraging. It felt like we were just warming up when it all ended.  Right when we figured out how to say, “I hate red!” without making the girl who loves red cry, we all go our separate ways.  Finale day comes and goes and boom!  Cold turkey.  Ripped the band-aid right off.  Like it never happened.


Until this last week or two.  Reality re-set in when I hear my voice saying something ridiculous and sassy on TV.  Dear lord have mercy.  I have zero recollection of what crazy things I said or did and I will see it for the first time with the rest of the world.  I am petrified of what they’re going to show.  Hundreds of hours of filming squeezed down into 45 minutes.  So please forgive me in advance.  I do typically try to be nice.  ; )  I would love to tell all of the juicy details, but unfortunately I cannot.  You’ll have to watch TLC Monday night, July 16th at 9:00pm.


We do not have official pics but here are a few that we caught from the television promotions!


Happy Shopping!

Kristen and guest blogger Meredith






June 29, 2012

Gypsy Soul Interiors and Scout Design Studio Warehouse Sale!!! THIS WEEKEND

We hope to see everyone tomorrow and Saturday at the GSI and Scout warehouse preview sale! Check out the pics below, so many cool things!!!

155 Howell Street

Friday June 29 6-9PM

Saturday June 30 9-3PM.


Happy Shopping!!!