Archive for January, 2012

Birthday and a Segway Tour!

Happy birthday to me!  We decided to go on a tour of  downtown Austin to celebrate.  Who am I kidding?  We don’t really do anything for our birthdays… just kind of happened to book it at this time. (We rebel and don’t do birthday gifts for each other.  We like to give little gifts throughout the year.)

I decided I love Segways when we went to Disney World with friends in 2006 and got to try them out at Epcot.

I was exposed to Segways only for a brief demo and quickly got reprimanded for going too fast.  But, I knew I loved them.  And, I was right.  We had a blast on our tour!  And, we got to go the maximum speed of 12 mph with no reprimand.  Yay!

Here we are on Segways in front of the Texas capitol building, getting ready for our two hour tour.

Austin Segway-015_thumb[2]_thumb[1]

And, a little closer up at the Driskill Hotel, where we stopped to warm up.  I’m not photogenic – don’t make fun!  Yep, that’s a borrowed jacket that I’m wearing.  I thought I would be fine in a t-shirt.  And, well, yes, that is total helmet hair and we did block the cow’s head.  Oops!

Austin Segway-154_thumb[2]_thumb[1]

Do you have any idea how hard it is to take photos while on a Segway?   Well, let me tell you – very hard!   You’re never really completely still, even when stopped.  You are balancing and rocking a bit no matter what.  So, yeah, didn’t get to take the best photos, but the ride was a blast!

Here is some of what I captured along the way.

Austin Segway-010

Austin Segway-018

Only in Texas?!

Austin Segway-021

Around town.

Austin Segway-035

Austin Segway-055

Our tour group.

Austin Segway-057

Austin Segway-061

Austin Segway-066

Town lake.

Austin Segway-083

Austin Segway-095

Austin Segway-107

Austin is known for it’s bats.  1.5 million make a home here under a bridge that runs along the southern border of downtown. This bar on 6th street is named in relation to our bats.

Austin Segway-120

The Driskill Hotel.

Austin Segway-124


Austin Segway-136

Austin Segway-137

Copper ceiling.

Austin Segway-150

Austin Segway-155

Hope you enjoyed the tour!   Have you been on a Segway?  They have these tours in most cities!


Arcadian Lighting Giveaway!

I am excited to introduce you to Arcadian Lighting!  It’s definitely one of my go-to places for lighting and other decorating accessories.  And, it’s very true that lighting can make a room!  Don’t forget this touch – not only lamps, but overhead lighting.  It can set the mood of a space.

“Founded in 2002, Arcadian Lighting started selling decorative home lighting fixtures and lamps online, and has become one of the top Internet retailers for home lighting products.”

Today, I am teaming up with the folks at Arcadian Lighting to host a fabulous giveaway!  Arcadian Lighting generously offered one of Hyphen Interiors readers an opportunity to win a $75 gift card giveaway and the lucky winner will get to pick any of their favorite product/ products from Arcadian Lighting.

Here are some examples of the awesome things you will find for under $75 on their website!




image   image


And, some other fabulous things that they have:





I want them all!!  They have the best selection.

Here are the rules to enter.

Terms and Conditions:
1. This giveaway is open to United States and Canada residents only. (My international readers, sorry.)
2. Only ships to the current continental US (48 states). If the winner lives in Hawaii or Alaska or Canada, the winner must pay the additional fees that may incur.
3. A special code will be given to the lucky winner and it can only be used once.

To Enter:
Simply visit Arcadian Lighting and let me know what you would buy with your $75 gift card if you win (be specific).  Leave a comment telling us what your favorite item is.

For additional entries (one extra entry for each of the following):
1. ‘Like’ me on Facebook and leave a comment here on the blog.
2. ‘Like’ Arcadian Lighting on Facebook and leave a comment here on the blog telling me you did.
3. Follow Arcadian Lighting on Twitter and leave a comment here on my blog telling me you did.
4. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment here on my blog telling me you did.
5. Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment here on my blog telling me you did.
6. Mention this giveaway on your Facebook status and leave a comment here on my blog telling me you did.

The deadline to enter is 5pm on January 25th. The winner will be chosen via and announced on Thursday, January 26th.

Good luck, everyone!


So… About Austin…

I know, I know, it has been one month exactly since we packed up and headed to Austin from Phoenix, and I haven’t said much about it.  I’m surprised too!


Many have asked – how do we like Austin?  It’s been a whirlwind getting here.  It all happened very fast and between selling, packing, moving, the holidays, unpacking, client work/ jobs, having colds and looking at houses in Austin.  We’ve been quite busy!   And, I haven’t had a chance to say much.

That’s why I had so many blogger friends guest posting for me during that time.  I hope you didn’t mind.  I love sharing other people’s work with you all!


(Down the street is a family who participated in the cow parade and they now display the cow in their front yard.  It’s actually pretty, I think.)

Well, I’m breaking my silence and telling you all what we think of Austin so far…  the pros and the cons.  And, as we look for homes to buy, I’ll share some of that with you as well.

I’ll start with the CONS of Austin that we have discovered so far, so that I can end on a positive note.

1.  Roaches.  I have not actually seen any roaches yet, though we did see a giant tree roach in a vacation rental we stayed in back in October.  I hate roaches.  Texas has them.  We didn’t have roaches in Phoenix.  We did have scorpions, but guess what, they have scorpions in Austin as well!

2.  Drivers/ Narrow Roads.  Okay, so inside the Austin city limits, all of the roads are narrow.  Most lanes are only about 10 ft wide.  It feels like you are so close to other cars.  And, on top of that, the drivers here are very aggressive.  They will cut you off with no problem.  Expect to be cut off.  Lots of times.  Not so in Phoenix.  The roads are normal and the drivers are good – especially when those traffic cameras are up!


3.  Weather/ Humidity.  It was rainy for the entire first week we were here.  Rain like that is very rare in Phoenix.  In fact, in Phoenix, I could see how a child could grow up and barely know what a cloud is…  Here, not so much.  But, I must say, in the past week or two, the weather has been very nice!   About 70-75 degrees on average, partly sunny.  The humidity is higher here – about 75% on average compared to maybe 15% on average in Phoenix.  But, I’m actually fairly used to it.  It’s not bothering me too much…

4.  Allergies.  In Austin, cedar is prevalent.  And, it’s cedar season – pollen counts are very high.  Most everyone has allergy symptoms like runny nose and a sore throat.  After my husband and I got over a cold that we caught, I had just one good day and I was sick again with continuous headaches and generally feeling ill.  Everyone assured me it was the cedar.  I was freaked out because if it made me this sick (more than allergy sick), I would need to head back to Phoenix asap.  But, come to find out (and this is still in the process of being confirmed), it seems to be the amount of boxes and packing material getting into the air while unpacking that is making me sick!  Whew!



5.  Home Prices/ Cost of Living.  Our home in Phoenix – 3000 sq ft, pool, large lot can easily cost twice as much here (in the S/SW Austin area).  Ouch.  It hurts.  We’re trying to adjust budget and expectations, but it is a challenge.  The big difference?  Well, Phoenix prices dropped by about half from 2006 to 2009.  Yet, Austin home prices have stayed steady so no true drop.  Good for those moving to Phoenix or buying after 2009.  Bad for those of us moving from Phoenix to a healthier market.  However, it’s good to be in a healthier market in other regards.  Property taxes are also quite a bit higher here, but there are no state taxes.

6.  Traffic.  Just like most cities, Austin has its share of traffic.  It may be smaller than Phoenix, but traffic wise, it’s just as bad or maybe worse due to road construction.

Now for the PROS of Austin!

1.  Unique shops.  On the south side of Austin, there are lots of small unique shops.  All sorts of small mom and pop shops are keeping Austin weird.  I can’t wait to explore them!  Phoenix had a real shortage of these!

Some are not even small… This large grocery store had been converted to handmade products and a farmer’s market.


And, well, there were other surprises inside.


Keeping Austin weird!

2.  Blogger Meet-up.  We already had a blogger meetup with four bloggers in the Austin area – Dana from Make Them Wonder, Allison from House of Hepworths, Jessica from Hill Country Homebody, and me!  Fun, fun.  We met up at the cutest little restaurant downtown called The Waltons!  Loved all of those girls.  I wish we had taken photos of us together, but we didn’t!  Can’t wait to meet more bloggers in Austin.



3.  Sprouts Farmer’s Market.  It’s a grocery store that is a lot like Whole Foods, but cheaper.  We had them in Phoenix and thank goodness, we have two in Austin!  It’s not many, but it’s more than zero!  I do half or more of my shopping here.  Most produce is local and the meat is all antibiotic and hormone free.   But, most importantly, I find my special allergy friendly foods here!



4.  Trees.  Yep.  We didn’t have real trees in Phoenix.  They were all tiny and fairly short, except for some of the palm trees.  It’s nice to have some oaks again!  We’re set on having a lot with some trees on it!

5.  Scenic / Springs.  Phoenix is scenic in its own way.  It has the most park land within city limits of any city in the US.  But, Austin is also scenic.  It has rolling hills and natural springs.  And, trees. Did I mention trees?


6.  The University of Texas.  It’s in Austin.  In Phoenix we had ASU, but it’s nice to be near our alma mater again!

7.  Y’all.  It’s nice to hear that term being thrown around here again.  We haven’t heard it much in over a decade.

I could probably think of a few more like being closer to family, it being more cultural here and so on.  But, that is good for now!

If you want to see more photos from Austin, see a previous post here.

This weekend, we’re taking a Segway tour of downtown!  Looking forward to exploring Austin more.  Having only lived here for college, it’s a whole new experience this time around.

But, yep, folks, that’s what we think so far!  We’re only one month in, so a lot can change still!  I’ll tell you more about our home search soon.


Guest Post – Patience from White Lacquer

Please welcome Patience from White Lacquer today.  My nephew is getting married soon and plans to have his wedding in an old barn.  So, I’ve been paying closer attention to all of the rustic wedding photos out there lately!  Well, Patience is also getting married soon and always has tons of wedding eye candy on her blog.  So, I asked her to share some today!

Hey there Hyphen lovies!!!   My name is Patience….I have a lil blog called White Lacquer.  I was so flippin’ excited that Kristy asked me to guest post for her during this exciting time.  For the last 8 months, I’ve been ridiculously obsessed with weddings….probably due to our pending nuptials.  So, I thought I would share with you my dream wedding….with an unlimited budget in mind.  I’m actually pretty thrifty by nature, so I plan on using some of these elements on our special day, but with a budget in mind.  Anyhoo….its party time!!!

We’ll start by how cute my dress….hair….and make up will be.

Pinned Image

I just ordered my dress….it is somewhat similar to this one.

Pinned Image

I’ll be wearing a glamorous bird cage veil.

My hair will be up and somewhat more formal for the ceremony.

Pinned Image

And then for party time….down and waivy.

Pinned Image

And in case you’re wondering, I’ll totally be posing hot just like this.

Gorg smokey eyes?  Yes please!

nude smokey eye

But enough about me.  My bridesmaids will we wearing lovely shades of blush, cream, taupe, gray, and peach.  These photos will last a life time, so I want them to feel just as special as I do.

Pinned Image

Joshy Bobby, {the luckiest man alive} will wear a gray suit and will be even more excited than this guy.

Pinned Image

The scene of the ceremony and party will look like this:

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Pinned Image
Pinned Image

{I couldn’t find the groom pic, I promise he’s important too!!!}

Pinned Image

We will take ridiculously romantical pictures like these….courtesy of some of my best gals:  Tina and Lauren.

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

I know what you’re thinking.  Get a room, right?  It’s just such a magical moment.  I could go on all day about it.  For weekly Wedding Wednesday updates….head here.

One thing is for sure, there are some elements we will for sure have.  Chandeliers.  Peonies.  Trees.  Each other.  In no particular order of course.

Thank you so much for having me share some dream wedding details, Kristy!!

Pinned Image

Thanks, Patience!  Such lovely images!  Did you all obsess over your wedding?

I actually didn’t – I just wanted to be married to my best friend.  I couldn’t care less about the ceremony and party beforehand.  I didn’t grow up dreaming about my wedding at all.   I was much more of a tomboy.  I actually thanked Michelle over at Decor and the Dog for saying she hated going to showers of all kind.  So do I.  Love the friend, hate the shower.  I just don’t make a great “girl” in that way, I guess.

Yet, the truth is, today, if I had to do it all over again (15 years later renewing vows), I would be much more obsessed with my wedding, I’m sure!   Back then, believe it or not, I had a budget of only $2000 and yet over 300 guests!   It was kept very simple.   Yet, it was great.  And, of course, there was no Pinterest back then.  Who am I kidding, we barely had the internet at all!!

Did you obsess over one thing more than another?  Or, just everything?   Was it a stressful process?

Painted Chair Success and Failure

If you never grow tired of seeing these transformations, check out this yellow chair that a reader painted!   This reader used latex house paint.


Don’t you love the detail on the seat cushion? She added that with a Martha Stewart stencil.

She said she bought the chair for $10 and painted three coats of yellow on it.

Then, she painted the wood areas white with spray paint.




She spent $10 on a chair and the first time, it didn’t go as well. She said she thinks it was due to the fabric being the type to have lint balls all over it. So, in the spirit of trying to make it work, she went out and bought a second $10 chair and this time, it worked! She did this for a friend who was trying to find a yellow chair!


Looking good! Lucky friend.

This reader/ blogger from Burlap and Fade said she had a chair fail because the paint she used was too thick.

Here is the before and after photo.


Up close.


Clearly too thick and not too attractive.  It’s very important to let the paint really soak in, even if you have to work it in or water it down a lot.

Let me know if you paint a chair.


Client Progress – Family Room

A special thank you to Kimmie at Sugar and Dots for featuring two of my rooms in her best of 2011 post! I was so excited to hear about it!!

Now, to my post.  I love getting updated photos from e-design clients as they work on completing their rooms.  The last update I gave was here.

Here is the 3d drawing we put together for the rooms as we explored options.


We landed here.  The furniture is just approximated, but it’s very helpful to get an idea of the finished project so that you know if this is a good direction for you.  Sometimes things can look good on a story board, but not in real life.  After all, they won’t all be crammed together in a square that depicts items not to scale.  The objects on a story board end up spread out and life size when executed and that can make it look much different than you thought.


Straight on view of the entry area.


And for the family room with specific items pasted in to demonstrate how accessories can impact the space.


Then, we tweaked the story boards and came up with these final storyboards for the entry and family room.  Next to each other, you can see how they flow.

entrystoryboardnikki2 image

Here is my client’s progress so far.


Part of the process was giving her a shopping list, but I also let her know which items have freedom within to put her own touch on it or to find a bargain.  For example, with the lamp, the scale is most important, but color can vary and still look good.

Might I remind you of the before image, before we started working on it.  Lots of red and brown.  The long sofa was arranged on the shorter "wall."


I know, cool house, right?!  It’s an old barn turned house.

And, another view of how it looks now.  We lightened and updated the space.


She still needs to add some personal photos for a gallery wall over the fireplace.  Don’t you love the texture of the wicker coffee table?  The scale is much better for the room, as well.

She really didn’t want to repaint the walls just yet.  However, she is still considering adding more color.  Maybe via curtains and eventually repainting the rust colored walls to either a dark taupe or blue.   If she did this, the rooms could one day look roughly like this (a 3d drawing without the details).


What do you think?  Or, it could even roughly look like this.


Back to this plan, though.  What about the entry?  Where is she with it?  Here is where it currently stands.


I LOVE that  white dresser. Those lines are amazing.  She found it on Craigslist.  I’m so jealous.  And, those lamps are amazing as well.

She still has to paint the stripes in the entry.  Add some green.  Create the subway art.  Add the rug.  But, I love how it’s looking so far!

And, from the opposite angle so you can see the piano.  You can get a glimpse of the master that we designed together as well in the photo below.


A slightly different angle.


It’s coming to life!  I know it may be better for the chairs to be switched with the sofa so it appears more open as you enter, but she did not want the sofa in front of the window.



Looking pretty good!  She says it feels much warmer and more inviting than before.  I love seeing her progress images.

The 3d drawings really helped her envision things along the way so she had a clear idea of what was worth trying in the room, as most things were ordered online.

It was definitely a collaboration between me and the client – what works for her, what she needs to keep (like the paint colors and sofas), her taste and her budget.  This is why my company is called Hyphen Interiors – it’s a collaboration.  And, lots of fun!

If you like what you see and are interested in help with a room in your home, email me at


Follow Up on Curtain Rods

Shannon from Shannon Berrey Designs did a post on Dec 30th about how to make inexpensive, yet custom, curtain rods.  It was an excellent post.  She got several questions on how she actually attached them to the wall.  So, today’s post is a follow up to that.  If you didn’t see it, check it out!


I failed to include how I hung my PVC rods, so I wanted to do a little follow-up. I don’t have these curtains hanging any longer. When I went to ‘reenact’ the hardware set-up, I realized I had become fuzzy on exactly how I did it. But, my husband and I put our heads together and we have the details.

Just remember that these were stationary panels. I never intended for them to move. That is why the hardware solution we came up with worked.

Because the PVC is much bigger than a normal store-stocked rod, normal curtain hardware isn’t equipped to work. We used {2} 6″ L-brackets, {2} 2 1/4 bolts, and 4 screws {type depends on if you are screwing into sheetrock or studs} Let’s pretend that my hardwood floor is actually the wall:


The L-brackets are placed with the base down and screwed into the wall. I placed them about 1′ in from the finials on both ends. I placed the bolt in the last outside hole, bottom up.


You could put a washer on top to hold the bolt from falling out, but I didn’t. I found that when I placed the rod with the curtain panels shirred on, onto the L-brackets, just the pressure of the rod against the bolts kept them in place. The curtains and rod don’t have any desire to roll off. They are real happy just sitting still. :)  By the way… this is a 2-person job.


Use your imagination and pretend that there are curtains in the above picture. The screw just gets hidden inside the shirring and you don’t see it at all.

I am pretty confident that there are much better ways to hang these, but, this worked for me.

Hope this helped!!

Thanks so much, Shannon!  So cool of you to come back and visually show us how you did it!


New Paints To Use On Upholstery!

I like to keep my reader’s up to date on the painted upholstery front.  This is the latest information that I found.  A Pinterest Addict is back with more painting tips.  This time instead of latex or acrylic paint, she used Tulips Fabric Spray Paint that she found at Michael’s.

Here is how it turned out!   Isn’t the color great?!


Here it is before.


She used four bottles of Tulip’s Fabric Spray Paint and could have used a couple more!


She said it’s not crunchy at all, so perhaps this would be a great type of paint to try on upholstery!  If you try it, let me know!

Here is the chair after one bottle of the paint.


And, completed.


Check out her blog for more information.  The only drawback that I found is that there seems to be limited colors available.

There is another paint I just read about on Not Just A Housewife.   DecorArt’s SoSoft fabric paint.


She painted this chair that she bought at ReStore.

image  image

She emphasizes how important it is to water down the paint and really work it into the fabric.  She’s right – if it sits on top, it’s more likely to be crunchy.  She also found that sitting on it helped to soften it and ended up sanding it a bit.  Check out her full explanation of what worked for her here.

Have you painted a chair?  What works for you?   What paint do you prefer?