I'm a Working Girl (Not that Kind)

I've been told that Beyonce has the same hours in a day as me, but I think she must have a secret twin. Or more likely a farm of mini Beyonce clones waiting in incubators for the next concert/video/diaper change. Check her dance moves for deja vu glitches in the matrix. In the meantime, I've decided to stop apologizing for my light posts and just pretend that no time has elapsed. Because we are good friends and that's how our relationship works -- smooth and easy as Beyonce's cheeks (both sets). Here's what's happening in the elaborately choreographed video of my life.

If you are following me on instagram (and why wouldn't you be???) you know that I recently completed this super sexy conference room for a client in California:

austin interior designer

BAM! It is glamazing. Art is by the fabulous and very talented Meredith Pardue, the inlaid brass credenza is by Emporium Home, and the chairs are classic Saarinen numbers in black iris wool that my client insisted on... she was so right. She's an artist herself so she has great eyeballs. I'm hoping to see this in person and tour the rest of the office that we worked on. Many thanks to my sweet client for providing this lovely photograph.

Meanwhile, project Mid Mod is moving right along with its bad self. We finally decided on this huge enormous gargantuan Berber rug for their living room:

erin williamson design

It even comes with a tiny human! Prepare your eyes for a whole lotta psychedelic upholstery up in here. I want to move into this house so very badly.

We stalled out a hair while choosing fabric for the Milo Baughman sectional I found at a consignment store:

moroccan milo baughman

To keep the pink Moroccan party front and center we're painting the wall Galapagos Turquoise and going with 40 (million) yards of WHITE fabric on the sofa. In a house with red wine, a dog, and an adorable eight year old. Suffice it to say I am being very very picky about the fabric quality and cleanability factor.

Speaking of said eight year old, how cute is it that she bid on and won this six foot tall bronze giraffe at auction all by herself? I mean... that kid is going to own Christie's by the time she turns 18. She's a star.

design crisis

And speaking of fabulous auction items, a new client scored this incredible Mazzega chandelier the very same day:

erin williamson design

This particular client is quite the character. When I walked into her house, every single thing was beige. Every. Single. Thing. Initially I wasn't sure why she wanted to hire me, but she is so funny and charming and down for everything and I seriously love her to pieces. My vision for this home is neo traditional and sophisticated, but with some signature weirdo items and fantastic paint colors sprinkled throughout. High hopes.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, crazy wallpaper law office got put on hold because a new baby got in the way. Those babies! Always putting a wrench in the works with their cute little faces and stinky baby feet. Is it wrong that a (very small) part of me wants another one? Don't tell Ben. Anyway, the office is close to completion but we had to get started pronto on the nursery, because BABY!!!

scalamandre zebras

It's going to be good. I love people who love wallpaper.

Oh hey, here's a quickie pic of a completed bathroom I did for a client with a sweet vintage bungalow in a lovely hood:

austin interior designer

The task was to gut the room but put it back in such a way that it felt classic and period appropriate. We're slowly working our way through the house, so hopefully I'll be able to shoot the whole shebang early next year.

And I finally got around to shooting this living room I finished last year for a young couple who are also having a baby... I'm working on their baby boho nursery right now. Because BABY!

austin interior designer

austin interior designer

And that is the end of my recent client project updates. I have several more soon to be completed projects but I'm holding out for finished shots to share. I can share that this happened:


Why yes, I did participate in Diffa's Picnic by Design event benefiting AIDS services of Austin. I was so flattered to be invited to design a table alongside some of Austin's best and brightest designers... not really sure how I ended up there, but I don't think I embarrassed myself too terribly. Many thanks to Jake and Kasey Holt for the photography, and to Gillian Bryce Fine Art for donating the most insane geometric objects that took my table from 18th century painting to David Bowie in Labyrinth. Dance magic dance!

Ok, now that I have recounted my entire summer of projects (not really) and everyone is asleep I think I can stop. Tomorrow I am off for Round Top Part Deux with the fabulous and sassy Sarah Stacey. Stay tuned for tales of our hijinx, including mimosa popsicles, denuded wallets, and oodles of purchases that will amaze you. No, really. I bought this last week:

mid century lighting

Milo Baughman? Sonneman? Lightolier? Whatever it is, it's even bigger than my "baby." Wait til I show you the giant Memphis teapot I nabbed. Apparently I have scale issues.

Now I'm going to make like Beyonce and do 20 things at once while wearing fishnets and six inch heels.

Life is good.

One Room Challenge: Week Six -- Reveal!

Hi everyone, welcome back for the final week of the One Room Challenge! For the past six weeks a host of bloggers have worked tirelessly to take one room from a zero to a hero. [Catch up on past weeks HERE.] Let me tell you something: this challenge ain't for wimps or wussies. Six weeks ago my husband loved me, my children recognized me, and I weighed five pounds less. Apparently the threat of utter public humiliation makes me hungry. Was it worth it? I don't know, donuts are pretty delicious. Imagine this bathroom is a giant frosted donut. Nom nom.

erin williamson | design crisis

I really hope you like it, because I kind of love it. It's magic mushroom mystery submarine crazy. I so very much wish you could come visit in person because this is the hardest room in the universe to photograph EVER. And unlike most photoshoots where I am piling laundry into corners out of the camera's view, I think this space looks so much better in person.

erin williamson | design crisis

Also it is tiny so there are really only two angles, but somehow I managed to take 300 pictures. I hope you like to look at pictures of my bathroom on the internet. Let's hit the rundown.

erin williamson | design crisis

You may recall that I scored this handsome Altman's faucet on ebay. Some days I wake up filled with worry... will the brass trend die a horrible chevronesque death due to ubiquity and overuse? It might. But if you like it, do it. I think someone famous said that once.

erin williamson | design crisis

Cb2 Torked it out of the park with this mirror. It really goes everywhere, and it especially works when you have a lot of things happening in a small space. Pare. It. Down. It's awesome, except after we (Ben) hung it I decided it was about two inches too high and now there is a big hole in the wallpaper, but don't worry you can't see it because I am a wizard with concealer.

erin williamson |design crisis

My pare it down principle somehow does not extend to lighting, because when faced with electrified shiny things I can't seem not to take it to the maxxx. I am in sweet love with this Mazzega chandelier I picked up off ebay for pennies on the dollar. I swear this thing is 20x more impressive in real life. It's spun from Charlotte's webs and angel tears.


After we (Ben) hung it, I decided it was two inches too high so I made him lengthen the chain, which required disassembling and reassembling with held breath and eyes wide shut. The fear of possible breakage will continue to give me ptsd for weeks.


Ike was sooooo excited about this soap dish -- this glass soap dish that I didn't want him to use. He actually started crying when I tried to take it out of HIS bathroom. Because he thinks the bathroom belongs to him. Don't say I never spoil you, kid. You can have the soap dish too.

When it came time to hang last week's proposed lucite towel ring, I balked. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me until I scrolled through my ginormous collection of bathrooms on pinterest and realized that none of my favorites had a towel ring. Zero. A few had petite towel bars, which at least keep things nice and flat instead of scrunched up and germy. I decided I didn't want anything hanging on that wall... it just felt cluttered. Then I decided I hate regular hand towels so I "made" these from a vintage linen tablecloth with metallic embroidery, and by made I mean "tore artfully."

erin williamson |design crisis

All is not lost, lucite lovers. I did end up using the paper holder with fancy BLACK toilet paper, courtesy of my sweet friend Rebecca who knows my heart's desires so well.

erin williamson | design crisis

How have I lived so long without black toilet paper that my children aren't allowed to use? It's amazing. Thank you, Rebecca! When I opened the box I almost wept with delight and maybe a little bit of first world self loathing. The fact that it's a gift makes it ok. SCORE.

erin williamson | design crisis

Speaking of great friends, let's talk about my amazing art courtesy of Gillian Bryce Fine Art. I have 800 million paintings, but this wallpaper is tricky. Nothing I had worked and I was slightly EXTREMELY panicked, but I stalked the 214 Modern Vintage booth at High Point via facebook like it's my job (it is). And then I spied this beauty amongst a host of angelic creations including many beatific William Fredericksen paintings and collages (also obsessed). Gillian overnighted this hero to me... I'm kind of speechless in love with her and the art. That is service, y'all. I highly recommend checking out her giant art collection. It's excellent.

erin williamson | design crisis

Did you notice the spray painted blinds? Thanks to all my instagram buds who encouraged me to paint my fingers and toes black. I'm happy to report that it worked pretty well (on the blinds). We'll see how they hold up to a baby who likes to eat the wooden bobs. Please don't call CPS. I know the heimlich.

So I think that's it for my sources. Want to see a little freestyle action? These are the moments (cue teary montage):

erin williamson | design crisis

erin williamson | design crisis

erin williamson | design crisis

erin williamson | design crisis

And what would a makeover challenge be without a proper before and after? Put on your sunglasses, because the before pictures might blind the old and infirm. That's not you, right?




erin williamson | design crisis

erin williamson | design crisis

erin williamson | design crisis

erin williamson | design crisis

And that, my friends, brings us to the end of our soap operatic journey through shame and into redemption. It's been a long, dusty, expensive road, and I think I've earned a bottle of something cheap and strong to celebrate.

Thank you ever so much to Linda of Calling it Home for organizing and hosting such a lovely and talented group of designers and bloggers! This challenge gets better every round, and I'm honored to have been included. If you haven't already, please do go visit the other participants to see their epic finales.

I myself plan to bust out a donut, drink some ripple, and try not to make Ben hang anything two inches away from perfection for at least the rest of the day. Until next time!

Abby M. Interiors

Because it’s Awesome

Bijou & Boheme

Calling It Home

Chez V

Chinoiserie Chic

Copy Cat Chic

The Decorista

Design Crisis

Design Indulgence

Design Manifest

The English Room

The Glam Pad

Little Black Door

Mimosa Lane

My Notting Hill

The Pink Pagoda

Simple Details

My Sweet Savannah

Verandah House

The Down low on Bungalow

Thank you SO MUCH for all of your kind comments on my very hasty post last week. I must confess that running a mini PR blitz focused on me me me left a bitter taste in my mouth. I worked super crazy hair pulling hard to get everything ready for the Bungalow feature, so I'm on cloud nine that the shoot turned out well (and is over!). I read and savored every single sweet word sent this way... but putting my name in flashing lights and hoping for cheery facebook comments and instagram pats on the back is not really where my heart is at. My heart is in the story. So let's talk about the shoot and subsequent interview. Let's talk about how intimidating and nerve wracking it is to know a fancy photographer (Buff Strickland), stylist (Ann Lowe), and writer (Tolly Moseley) will be scrutinizing you and your home. I'm a one stop mom and pop shop, and when I post tours of my place I take the pictures and do the styling and tell the tales. It is HARD to give over control to other people when you are an OCD nightmare.

bungalow buff strickland

Can you see it on my face? That is fear. That is the face of a cornered wild animal attempting to play it cool. IT'S NOT WORKING.

So the day of the shoot, Buff (aka photographer for House Beautiful and every other shelter mag on the planet) and Ann (stylist to stars like Tribeza and Camille Styles) show up at my doorstep with a boatload of equipment and gargantuan buckets of flowers. Holy panic attack, I am not a flowery flower kind of a girl. But look:

bungalow buff strickland

bungalow buff strickland

I am a changed woman. The importance of a few well placed flowers can not be overstated. I am obsessed with those orange gladiolus.

For those of you wondering where the green chairs went, fear not -- they are safely stowed in the attic. They do not look as good with orange gladiolus.

bungalow buff strickland

Buff and Ann were probably wondering why I sat watching them the entire time like some old lady who thinks whippersnapper rapscallions might knick the knacks from her shop, but I couldn't help myself. Beyond just feeling like a nervous weirdo, I was really interested to see what happens behind the scenes. And what happens is heavy furniture gets moved, flowers are constantly rearranged, and pillows are replaced from shot to shot:

bungalow buff strickland

 Goodby peach and ikat pillows, hello leopard.

bungalow buff strickland

Lamp cords are magicked away.

bungalow buff strickland

For this shot Ann reimagined the playroom as a cocktail lounge, which is frankly fitting. Because at the end of a long hard day negotiating lego wars between two boys, a good old fashioned G&T goes down right smooth like. You can see the rest of the room in a tour I shot HERE... man now that I've seen Buff's stuff I should seriously fix my old dark pictures.

bungalow buff strickland

Those of you who followed the One Room Challenge might remember my dinette makeover... and no the wall color here is not the result of fancy photo editing. Yes, I did repaint it AGAIN... five days before the shoot. And yes, Sanders chose the color.

bungalow buff strickland

bungalow buff strickland

Not much has changed in Luke's nursery since I shot the last tour HERE. I really like Ann's styling -- it's effortless, and that ain't as easy as it looks. Oh I did buy a cute mobile from Furbish. You know I love me some hot air balloons...

bungalow buff strickland

I lugged the chandelier from Ike's old room to our new house because it turns every room into a sweet fantasy land filled with sparkles and rainbow kisses. I need to shoot a full tour of this space because there are a lot of good nooks and crannies, if I do say so myself. I thought Buff did a super amazing awesome job here. This is a really really really hard room to shoot. Which is why I haven't shot it yet. And maybe never will...

bungalow buff strickland

I do, on the other hand, plan to shoot a full tour of my bedroom makeover. Blood, sweat, and tears people. I wrung my hands over whether I could transform our old master bedroom into this during the two (!) weeks that elapsed between when Bungalow asked to shoot my house and the shoot date... But I'm so happy with the way it turned out and I want to show you the other side of the space where my fancy Jenny Andrews Anderson jellyfish painting reigns supreme. It's sick.

bungalow buff strickland

I owe Buff and Ann a huge thank you for double shooting the naked lady pillow and gold pillow on every single setup... I just couldn't decide if naked lady was too risque. HA. Oh, also the quilt is too short and they had to cheat it from side to side in every shot. Let no one ever say that photographers and stylists don't work hard for their money, because they do. Also photographs lie, so don't ever beat yourself up for not looking like a magazine.

Honestly Buff and Ann are two of the nicest, most talented people imaginable. I can't think of two lovelier ladies with which to spend an afternoon biting my nails into the quick. And look -- I was so busy worrying for nothing. They did an AMAZING job.

Of course I would be remiss if I did not highlight the fabulous Tolly Moseley, editrix of one of Austin's oldest blogs Austin Eavesdropper, for writing a kind and insightful article to accompany the pictures. That girl is a gem. Adorable.

I hope you all have a chance to check out the magazine, and to look at some of the other features. Meredith Pardue's house is definitely worth the click over.

So there you have it. Thank you, Bungalow for inviting me into your network of talented people. It feels good to gush about someone else besides myself.

And thank you out there for continuing to read and comment on Design Crisis after all these years...

You guys helped make this happen for me, and I am eternally grateful.