The Casita at the KW Ranch

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The KW Ranch front gates.  The main house where Kirk and Shannon live is seen at the end of the gravel drive.

 

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And looking back on the front gates.  Across the street is the Southern Rose Ranch where we stayed this past Christmas.  Though we usually stay in the casita at Shannon’s ranch, it was booked up with other family members.

 

 

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The long gravel drive divides the front lawn into two sides, left and right.  Past the lawn  are the left and right pastures for the horses and donkeys and Bella the cow to roam on.  In back of the house is another large pasture for the animals.    Here is the right side lawn looking back towards the front gate.  This is the view that the casita bedrooms look onto.

 

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And looking the opposite way on the right front lawn, the casita is hidden behind the large Live Oak tree, right next to the red barn on the right.   Cutting the grass is a major event!!

 

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The left side of the front lawn with its red swing and chairs under the Live Oak tree is my favorite private spot.

 

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My niece and nephew on their horses.  I took this picture a few years ago, Caroline is so grown up now!  Here you can see part of the main house.  The casita is to its right – across the gravel drive.

 

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A BEFORE shot of the casita.  The prefab building was on the property when Shannon and Kirk bought it.   It was one room, which started out as Kirk’s office.  The other side of the building was used as a tool shed.  Connecting to the casita was a covered car port.   Once Kirk relocated his office downtown, the casita was turned into a guest bedroom.  Several years ago, the tool shed became a second bedroom and a weekend house for Shannon’s mom, Dottie Wills.   Shannon and her mother always had big plans for this humble building.  Since there was no bathroom, guests had to walk across the drive to go inside the main house.  Try doing that on a freezing Christmas night!  Not fun, I can assure you.  After living here for many years, the final renovation took place this past year. 

 

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BEFORE shot of the carport.   Now, all the bikes and lawnmowers, etc. are stored in the red barn.  Today, this carport is the living room, bathroom and kitchen of the casita. 

 

 

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Another BEFORE picture of the casita.  Shannon painted the walls gray and the doors, red.   A sign reads “Dottie’s Casita” in honor of Shannon’s mom.  In the renovation, this red door was removed.  Now the entrances are on each side where two porches were built.   The right side porch leads to the bedrooms and the left side porch leads to the living area.

 

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The new porch on the right side.  This porch looks onto the front lawn and the gate.  It was screened in the day I left.  The building remained gray to match the main house, but the doors are no longer red.  Shannon’s mother likes a much quieter d├ęcor palette than Shannon, as you will see.  Plus, she is not into Mexican folk art, rather she loves French antiques.

 

 

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This side porch has doors that lead into each bedroom.  All the porch furniture was recovered in new green Sunbrella fabric.  Dottie loves gray-green, it’s her favorite color.

 

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Sconces flank each door.  Here you can see the vintage iron porch furniture that is painted gray-green.  This side overlooks the pasture and barn where Kirk’s vintage red Coca-Cola truck is parked!  You can get a glimpse into Dottie’s bedroom here. 

 

 

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The new porch on the left side overlooks the back yard and the red barn.  The furniture here is more in keeping with the ranch theme.  This door leads to the new part of the casita, the living areas.

 

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The main living area.  The walls and ceilings are beadboard – there is no sheetrock in the new addition.  The floors are a bronze colored concrete.   The dining area and bathroom are seen on the back right. 

 

 

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Here you can see the tall vaulted ceiling.  There are two ceiling fans (this is Texas!) and the wood chandelier from Aidan Gray in between them.   The kitchen is located past the living room area along the back wall. 

 

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A night shot of the casita shows the slipcovered sofa and chairs – and the two French chairs that wear a yellow toile fabric.  Here you can see the stained glass window in the kitchen.  This window has traveled between Wills houses for the past 30 years.

 

 

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Above the TV are two urn prints with a deer head in between.

 

 

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The kitchen is an accumulation of furniture – not cupboards.  An oval shaped island separates the kitchen from the living area. 

 

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A rustic cabinet with a wood top and metal drawers acts as counter space.   The refrigerator and stove are not built in.  The dishes are stored in the corner pine cabinet.

 

 

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The oval island is topped with a thick stone slab.   It holds wine, pots and silverware.  Along the back wall is a wood cabinet that hold the sink.

 

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The nighttime view from the other side.

 

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One of the bedrooms is located of the kitchen area.

 

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This old, rustic piece holds the sink with its gorgeous nickel Perrin and Rowe faucet.

 

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On the opposite side of the addition from the kitchen, the bathroom is located through the double door.  The sink is located in a gray painted vintage piece with fleur de lis knobs.  That’s moi in the mirror!

 

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Another vintage wood piece holds the towels.

 

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The casita is really a home away from home for Shannon’s mother, Dottie.   It has everything she needs here and it is totally independent from the main house.   There’s even a washer/dryer located here behind these closet doors with glass knobs. 

 

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The shower was designed for wheelchair access if it might one day be needed.  The shower entrance is flat to the floor so that the chair could be easily wheeled in.   The shower is completely tiled in subway sized tiles.  A window looks onto the porch and the red barn.

 

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There also a hand held faucet outside the shower – for the future, if need be.

 

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This bedroom is the original office.  Over the years it became a guest room.   When the renovation happened, it was painted this dark brown with a light French blue ceiling.  Wall to wall seagrass was installed over the linoleum tiles that were once the office’s floor.

 

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Blue accents are found throughout the room.  Candlestick lamps came from Indulge.

 

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Across the rice bed is this antique French day bed for extra guests or for a sofa.   The windows have burlap shades.    Two French styled chairs are covered in light linen. 

 

 

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Taken at night, in the corner is an antique Oriental chest atop a wooden base.  The TV is located inside here.  This door leads to the front porch that faces the lawn and the gravel driveway. 

 

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Here you can see into the kitchen and living area.  All the space located past the bedroom door is new.  That is the space that was once the carport. 

 

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I love the day bed with its tall sides.  It looks so inviting!  The outside fabric is a damask while the interior fabric is a solid.  The lamps has a cute slipcovered shade.

 

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Dottie’s bedroom is located on the other side of the guest bedroom.  This was once the toolshed part of the original building.  It was converted into a bedroom several years ago.   The ceiling was raised to the rafters.  Outside the door is the front porch which faces the lawn and gate.  The walls and ceilings are beadboard, the floor is wall to wall seagrass.  The color of the room is a soft nude/peach.

 

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The bed and chairs are French.   Dottie loves Oriental accents and accessories.   The shades are also burlap, as in the guest room.

 

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I think this chandelier is so gorgeous and I love its medallion. 

 

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Dottie uses the French desk to put her make up on.   Through the door is the living area.  Again, everything past the door is new – it was added onto the two bedrooms just this past summer.

 

 

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Just like in the guest room, Dottie’s room has its own French day bed, ready for a grandchild or an afternoon nap.  I love that highboy.  I think it’s gorgeous.

 

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At the head of the daybed is a French armoire and a tiny French side table.

 

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Did you know that there is a connection between the KW Ranch and the White House? 

Shannon’s father and Dottie’s husband,  J. Anthony Wills, was a respected and very talented portrait artist who painted many notables from CEOs to politicians to Presidents of the United States.

 

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If you have visited the White House and used the grand staircase, you have probably seen two of Shannon’s father’s portraits that are hanging there.

 

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J. Anthony Wills’ portrait of  Dwight D. Eisenhower is part of the White House permanent art collection.  Notice his hands – they are so lifelike,  just incredible.  Wills was in total charge of the sitting, from choosing the backdrop and posing position, to even helping his subjects pick out their clothes for their portrait. 

 

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Besides Eisenhower, Wills’ portrait of Richard M. Nixon also hangs in the White House. 

 

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Here’s a photo of the young artist on the left – J. Anthony Wills – taken in 1945.  He had painted this portrait of Charles W. Nash – founder of  Nash cars.  You might be too young to know about Nash cars!

 

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Prints of Shannon’s father’s four most famous portraits hang in the red library of the main  house on the KW Ranch.

 

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Also hanging in the library is this portrait of Shannon – her father painted her and her sister Anthea as a surprise for their mother.  Who would have known looking at this young innocent teenager wearing three thin bracelets – that one day she would own hundreds more bracelets that she stored in a Mexican themed closet????

I’ll bet she still owns these three bracelets and ring.

Just kidding!!!  No more comments about the closet, please!!!!

 

I hope you enjoyed seeing the guest casita at the Webbs.  As of right now, it’s not a B&B, but I bet one day Shannon will decide to become an innkeeper and open its doors.  It’s so close to Round Top, it would make a perfect place to stay while antiquing at the fair.

 

 

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Pancho says adios from the KW Ranch. 

 

A Closet to End All Closets!

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I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Years!    It always seems to go by too fast especially after all the hard work and preparations.  As you know, we spent the holidays with Ben’s family – at his brother’s ranch in Chappell Hill, Texas.  His wife Shannon is a wonderful decorator as is her mother.  Her father is a portrait artist, so a good eye runs in the family.  When Shannon and Kirk first bought the ranch, the house was nice enough, but after a few years, they completely renovated it from the floor to the ceilings – adding all new windows and extra footage.  They put in a totally new kitchen, master bathroom, and a large mudroom, along with an office for Shannon and extra space in the living room.   Shannon loves the rustic Texana Ranch look, along with a heavy influence from the south of the border,  Mexico, – and a touch of French antiques.  She loves bright colors and organized clutter.  The change in their house was phenomenal.  What was once a typical ranchburger became a showplace of casual sophistication.  

This year there were two new additions to the KW Ranch.  One was the Casita, which started out as a small shed with an enclosed room and a garage to be born again as a two bedroom guest house that could be on the cover of any design magazine.  The second addition was a new closet for Shannon.    Now, it’s not just any closet – the space could be mistaken for a boutique.  I might even say that many boutiques aren’t even as cute as her closet!    It’s a dream – a fantasy of dazzling colors and textures, a monument to cowboy boots and designer purses, a jewelry store hidden among furs and Mexican dresses.

The first time I walked into the “Closet”  - my jaw dropped.   I was stunned by it all:  her collections of bracelets and bags and shoes was amazing.  Where had it all been stored before this closet?   The former closet was a very long, extremely narrow space that you had to turn sideways to walk to its end.   It was impossible to find anything in and I didn’t blame Shannon for wanting a new closet.   Now that it’s all complete, I can’t imagine how she managed all these years without it. 

So, without further ado….here is Shannon’s new closet.  Enjoy!!!

 

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To enter the closet, you first pass this short hallway in the master bedroom.  Past here is the master bathroom – which connects to the new closet.  On this antique chest, Shannon keeps a collection of perfume bottles with sterling silver tops. 

 

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Eagle eyes may remember this bathroom – I showed it on the blog after the first renovation.  When you enter the bathroom – your eye is led out the casement windows to the side yard.   The closet is through a door to the right of the tub – and to the left is Kirk’s side of the bathroom and the shower stall.  The large bathroom is made up of two distinct areas – one feminine and one masculine. 

 

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Upon entering the bathroom, Shannon’s sink is on the direct right.  It’s a painted bowl inset into an antique bombe chest topped with an aged piece of marble.

 

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And to the immediate left of the door, across from the sink are these two cases that act as the bathroom’s closet. 

 

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Looking back to the entrance to the bathroom.  Of course, I took these during Christmas, so all the decorations are still up.  This tree is silvery with turquoise accents that mimic the color of the bath’s turquoise ceiling.

 

 

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Here you can see where Kirk’s side connects to Shannon’s side.

 

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To the left of Shannon’s tub is Kirk’s side of the bathroom, with its wood vanity and two copper sinks.   The shower stall is to its right.

 

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A close up of Kirk’s sink with its Mexican pottery accessories.

 

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The shower can fit several people or more in it.  The floor tiles found throughout the house continue up the shower walls.  They are mixed with colorful Mexican styled tiles.  The towels are all monogrammed with the KW Ranch brand. 

 

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Even though the ranch is in Texas A&M University country, the UT Longhorns are represented in the corner tiles.

 

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Here, you can see the vaulted ceiling with the warm turquoise paint. 

 

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This large plaster relief hangs on the left side of Shannon’s tub.

 

 

 

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While a set of shelves are on the right.

 

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Outside the windows, Shannon placed this sculpture in the garden. 

 

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Just to the right of the tub, this small vestibule leads to the closet.  The double doors have carved glass knobs while the turquoise ceiling has a crystal chandelier.   For the past several years, while planning the closet,  Shannon has been collecting architectural elements for it.

 

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This is the first glimpse of the closet when you walk in.   The ceiling is vaulted like the bathroom and is also painted turquoise.  The floor tiles are the same found throughout the house. 

 

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To the right behind the chair is the ceiling to floor shoe rack.

 

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Two gray painted chests back to back make up the island that separates the two sides of the closet. On the right, there is a vanity table. At the end of each aisle is a tall window. Hanging from the ceiling is a festive chandelier made up of different colored crystals.

 

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There are three hanging clothes bays – left, center, and right.  The two chests are filled with jewelry, fine and costume.

 

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In front of the chests is a red leather bench.

 

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Two tapestry pillows rest against the chests.

 

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And resting on the bench is a tequila bar – by Jan Barboglio.   Last summer Shannon and friends actually had a tequila party in her closet!!

 

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On the left side of the closet is her collection of cowboy boots.

 

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The boots reach from the floor to the ceiling.  Amazing!!!  Notice her beautiful turquoise concho belt hanging from the cowboy hat.

 

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On the left side of the closet, the chest has glass doors with red flower knobs.

 

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Baskets are lined up for storage on the left side. 

 

 

 

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On top of the back to back chests are a collection of Catrina dolls from San Miguel, Mexico.  These skeleton dolls are used in the Day of the Dead celebrations on November 1 –2, or as it is known here – All Saints Day.   The skeleton image is very popular in Mexican art.

 

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Close of the Catrina pottery which fits in so well with Shannon’s rustic Texan/Mexican design theme. 

 

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The mirror also depicts a Catrina doll.  Notice the collection of vintage Louis Vuitton luggage on top of the clothing bay.

 

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Shannon collects the metal roses – here one is used in this green cross.

 

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Costume bracelets and turquoise are held in authentic Mexican clay dishes.

 

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Looking back towards the front from the left side.  You can see the glass fronted chest and the turquoise painted mirror.  Of course there’s a flat screen TV here!

 

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Close up of the mirror that perfectly matches the ceiling and the turquoise jewelry.  The door to the right leads out to the bathroom.

 

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Quila, one of their five springers (and litter sister to our Georgie) is watching over her namesake – the tequila bar.  

 

 

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Everything in the closet is perfectly organized.  Even the shoes are organized by name brand.

 

 

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All her Tory Burch shoes are stored together.

 

 

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Of course if Quila is here, so is Lucy!!!

 

 

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While Shannon found the two back to back chests in a store, she had her carpenters make this chest.  The red rose knobs match those on the chests. 

 

 

 

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Her “better” purses are stored here – just like you would find in a boutique.

 

 

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Next to the built in chest is the right side aisle with its vanity.

 

 

 

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While the left side chest has glass front doors, the right side chest is left open for easy access.  All her costume  jewelry is stored in hot pink boxes she found at Target.  The pink really pops with the turquoise and reds.

 

 

 

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Closeup of Shannon’s costume jewelry.   She has more turquoise that anyone I have ever known!

 

 

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Every little piece is stored separately. 

 

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Atop the right chest – more bracelets and necklaces.  Notice the mirror and lamp. 

 

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Donna Cummins, innkeeper of the Southern Rose Ranch bought the mirror for Shannon’s Christmas gift this year.  It matches the closet so well!   Look at those bracelets!!!!   Shannon NEVER EVER throws anything away.   She’s been accumulating this collection for 30 years now – she just turned 50. 

 

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Turquoise and white ring tray.  I’ll take this home, thank you very much!!!

 

 

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A close up look of her beaded necklaces and more bracelets. 

 

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Across from the center chests is the vanity desk flanked by crystal sconces.  More purses hang from hooks placed throughout the closet.

 

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Atop this bay is her collection of LL Bean bags.  Whenever we go to the beach together, we have so many of these bags – thanks to her gifting us a different bag each Christmas.  Once we counted them and between us we had over 20 LL Bean bags that all said Webb. 

 

 

 

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I hope you enjoyed visiting Shannon’s Boutique, I mean, her closet!  When we decided to take pictures, her friend, Tikaa Cone, helped clean it up to get it ready for the photoshoot. Tikaa is from nearby Brenham and writes a cute blog called Green Acres HERE.  Tikaa told me I should come photograph her closet too.  So, the next day, we drove to her house to check it out.

 

 

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Tikaa also totally outgrew her small closet a few years ago, but she had no room to built a new space.  Instead she took the needed space from her bedroom.

 

 

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She created an entirely new closet by moving the wall several feet out into her bedroom.   Her bedroom is still quite spacious, so it must have been huge before the new closet was built. 

 

 

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Tikaa and  Shannon are very similar, with similar tastes.  They are both “organized hoarders” as they call themselves.  Nothing gets thrown away.  I am the opposite.  If I haven’t worn it in two seasons – it’s gone.   Here is her closet – it’s long and narrow.  She is very girly girly – so she painted it a warm pink.   The left wall is all hanging space, while the right wall is all open shelving to house her purses, shoes and jewelry collections. 

 

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Instead of shoes, the vinyl sections hold all her bracelets.  Whoa.  I really need some new bracelets!  I don’t have hardly any and these two girls have thousands of them.

 

 

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On the ceiling she put in a contemporary light fixture.

 

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Like Shannon, Tikaa’s closet is very organized.

 

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Jewelry boxes and trays and baskets hold her different pieces.

 

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She owns more Louis Vuitton purses than anyone I know.   I should have taken one or two – she would never have missed them!   (Another thing I need – I don’t own even one!!!)

 

 

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Baskets neatly hold her shoes separated by brand.  Here are her Bernardo sandals.  (Another thing I need!)

 

 

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This is her silver sparkly sandal collection.

 

 

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And, like Shannon, she has a large Tory Burch collection.  (OK, I see a theme here – another thing I don’t have one of!!!  I am SOOO deprived!)

 

 

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Her purses are organized by style – here are her straw bags.

 

 

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And, at the end of the closet is a small chest where she rests her Ipad.   Notice her Catrina head on her mirror, just like Shannon.  YES!  I don’t have a Catrina head anywhere either!!!!

 

 

 

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 My closet is such a disaster.  Seeing these two closets made me want to redo mine.  I want a chandelier and seagrass carpet in mine.  I would love to have those Ikea closets with the doors that close up and keep your things dust free.  But just the thought of emptying out my closet and starting over makes me rethink that proposal.   Plus, I am not like Shannon or Tikaa.  I don’t like to hoard, I like to purge and replace!! 

 

 

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Ok – here is my disaster of a closet!  Clothes really aren’t my thing.  I’ve said this before, but in the summer I wear white linen and in the winter I wear black wool.  That’s pretty much it.   Here you can see my white linen shirts with just two or three colored ones thrown in. 

 

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Even my everyday sweats are color coordinated – white for the summer and black for the winter.   So boring!

 

 

 

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The only color or pattern I wear is with my scarves and wraps.  It’s funny how fashion changes.  I used to wear a bandana around my neck – every day.   Then, I went through a phase where I wore a vest – every day.  For a few years I wore either red or blue and white striped tees with white shorts in the summer.  I don’t wear shorts anymore – ever.  Another phase I went through was Talbot’s Irish linen suits – in all different colors and cuts.  Today, I mostly shop online only and wear Eileen Fisher.  Clothes just aren’t my thing – which is why I probably don’t really care what my closet looks like – though Shannon is determined to help me redecorate mine.  We’ll see!!

 

 

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A special thanks to Shannon and Tikaa for sharing their closets today.  Be sure to visit Tikaa’s blog HERE to read about this Catrina gourd that was hand painted by a friend of Shannon’s for her Christmas this year!   It’s a really interesting story.

Next up is the story of the Casita renovation.   It’s so cute – I can’t wait to show you it!!!!

Again, a Happy and Healthy New Years to All!