Author Archives: theirishlady

The Cottage At Chappell Hill – Bed and Breakfast Design


Where I live and work is always a fusion of new and old.   Somehow it just happens that way.  Perhaps, it is because the majority of the properties are antique houses  with so much darn character you just fall in love instantly.  I had the privilege of decorating this quaint bed and breakfast beauty.  It is open to the public by reservation only – year round.  You can visit the website here:


The following photo is the sitting area of the master of The Cottage at Chappell Hill.



Here is a peek in the kitchen area where a buffet and plate rack serve as the coffee and breakfast center.

An up close of the sink area.   My client has a fantastic eye for good bargains and would find a lot of things on her own.   She would ask, “Can you use this?”   Of course I can, what great taste she has…

There was an old fireplace mantel that I had used many times for store displays.  It received a coat of chalk paint and serves as the headboard.

A view of the modern living area or front parlor as they would say in the “olden days”.   Some of the oil paintings are from local artists depicting everyday life from that era.

A view of the bath with the buffet turned sink vanity.   An old crate mounted to the wall serves double duty as a towel holder.

A bit of a bounce around, but I wanted to share the view of the kitchen with the clock because the owner’s hubby picked it out and thought it wouldn’t be used.   Here it is in a place of prominence…I loved it.

The plate rack in this photo belonged to another client who was ready to let it go.  Instead of placing it in my antique shop, I suggested it for this client.   It serves multi purposes keeping the coffee bar free of plates, for storage and it is just so pretty.  The dishes are a hodge podge of good deals found by the client.

One final shout out –   The photography was done by Scott Hill, of Brenham Portrait Gallery,  who has been shooting (no pun intended) Brenham and Chappell Hill families for years.   You can find the website here:




















When you live in a rural area a porch becomes a thing of necessity and the fifth room of the house.   It can express the personality of the home and exist as a functioning extension of the home.  My own home has three porches: the breezeway where mostly shoes wind up by the mudroom door, projects sit to dry and it serves as the gateway to the garden, pasture and garage; and,

the front where guests enter and we sit in the mornings to avoid the hot summer sun that rises in the back of the house;

the back porch serves as a sitting area, dining area, grilling area, roasting area in the fireplace and downright hangout for everyone in the house.

This settee was a fabulous find from an antique dealer who let me rummage through her storage units.   She had this beauty tucked under some other things and it looked nothing like this.   With new cushions and an updated paint job, I thought it turned out really well.

The next photos are of a screened porch that belongs to a client.  We chose plush seating, outdoor lighting a minimal of accessories.  My favorite are the old swinging doors used to accentuate the space for the small dining area you will see in the next photo and to break up the screened area while still providing that country view we all love.

A smaller table makes for a more intimate outdoor dining space.

All of these porch pictures are making me long for a crisp fall day so I can sit out on my porch with a good book and a warm cup of tea.  Instead,  I will have to settle for my secret place where the sun can’t reach and there is still just the slightest breeze catching the leaves to make for a comfortable spot out of the heat with a cool glass of iced tea…relaxing.  (This was at dusk when the low lights are emerging before dark.)

Porch Swing


Through the years there have been many porch swings in my life.   The one that stands out the most belonged to my Aunt Bell.  It was on her front porch in The Heights of  Houston.   Many generations sat on that swing.    There were cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents some of whom are still here while most have passed.   Funny how I can remember distinct conversations because of that porch swing.   Little details and fragments float up to the surface of my memory along with the rhythm of the back and forth of the swing.

Lately,  porch swings have been requested by some of my interior design clients.   I searched high and low to find one ready to buy to no avail so my sons built and stained this one.   I am so proud of them and all their handy work.  I hope my client and her family enjoy this one and create many happy memories on their very own porch swing.

The Irish Lady and Sons Porch Swing


Rosemary Parmesan Cheese Straws



Rosemary Parmesan Cheese Straws


Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets

1 Large Egg

1 Tablespoon Milk

1/2 Teaspoon Dry Mustard

1/8 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1/2 Cup Grated Fresh Parmesan Cheese

4 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Rosemary



Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Dust a large cutting board with flour and unroll one puff pastry and lightly dust top of  pasty with flour.    Whisk together all ingredients except cheese and rosemary.   Brush wet ingredients on top of puff pastry.   Sprinkle half of the cheese all over top followed by rosemary.  Cut in 12 strips and place on parchment.  Bake for ten minutes and then turn over and back three more minutes to brown.   Enjoy!


What Happens On The Porch Stays On The Porch



Just the word “porch”  has a warm inviting tone and was derived from the latin word portico.  The Romans designed an extension of the main structure of their buildings to create covered areas leading into  courtyards.  There the elite and upper class of their time would gather to dine or hold private political discussions.   When traveling abroad you won’t hear the word porch, but words like loggia, veranda or the same latin portico.  But here in The South, porch means so much more.   To find out more please join Jennifer Hermann and me for food, fun and design tips just about the ever gracious southern porch.


Hermann Furniture Presents:


“What Happens On The Porch

Stays On The Porch”

April 23rd, 2014

12 to 1

Box Lunch Provided By:

Funky Art Cafe

Cost of $10

Reservations Required

For Information Call:  (979)-836-7231



Antiques at Hermann’s Antique Mall – Brenham, Texas


Here is what is new in my booth at Hermann’s Antique Mall:

Chalk Paint Duncan Phyfe Double Drop Leaf Pedestal Table and Four Tulip Back Chairs with Needlepoint Seats – Located in the front window in a friend’s space…

The Irish Lady Chalk Paint Furniture


Duncan Phyfe China Cabinet done in Chalk Paint and Gold Leaf – Located in front window in a friend’s space…

The Irish Lady Chalk Paint Furniture

A Pair of  Porch Ready Rocking Chairs, Chalk Paint Mantel,  Chalk Paint Mirror – Located in the Back of Hermann’s Antique Mall  in The Irish Lady Booth…

The Irish Lady at Hermann’s Antique Mall

Antique Rocker with Fresh New Animal Print Upholstery, Blue Chalk Paint Desk, Some Unique Accessories – Located in the Back of Hermann’s Antique Mall in The Irish Lady Booth…

The Irish Lady Antique Rocker – Animal Print, Chalk Paint Desk

All waiting for a new home.