Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Slips and Style

Upon first glance, while driving through our town, one might think it is a typical small town with lots of ordinary houses along big, wide tree lined streets. After fourteen years, I am still in awe of the charm and talent that resides in some of those "ordinary" houses. Many times they are charming bed and breakfast houses, or the homes of incredibly creative artists or designers.

One of the first people I met when we moved to Fredericksburg was Debbie Phillips, also known as the talent behind "Simple Slips". She has continued to amaze me over the years with her flair for decorating and her ability to make a slip cover , a window treatment or a pillow in just about any style one needs. She has a great eye for scale and design and whenever I take her a design proposal, I am always quick to say "I'd love your input - what do you think?" She has the experience and the eye!

Debbie has lived in a number of different houses since I have known her. She leaves her mark where ever she lives and believe me, it is a compliment if someone walks in a house and asks "Did Debbie used to live here?" Her knack for cottage decorating has gotten her homes published in Country Living and Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, to name just a few.

Her latest home is a stone cottage at the end of a quiet street. She has her studio in the back of the house and has a wonderful bed and breakfast across the courtyard to the side of her house.

She has always used color in her homes, but has been known to create beautiful white on white rooms, too. This time she has used really rich color and of course, I love it! Her kitchen/dining area is a turquoise shade of blue that really shows off her collection of ironstone and old breadboards.

I love the mix of blue and yellow on this wall.

So, so clever - why didn't I think of putting my daughter's little tea sets in a big glass jar!

Debbie found the folky pot rack at our local Trade Days market and painted the animals to custom match her kitchen!

The yellow transitions into the living room and is the perfect backdrop for her collection of new and vintage paintings.

I asked Debbie quite impromtly if I could photograph her house, so we didn't do any real styling ahead of time. Neither of us noticed the crooked lampshade or the curtains tied in a knot. I'll bet that is to keep them out of the way of her new puppy! Everything you see, from bed linens to shades to shower curtain, is a custom piece made by Debbie.

The walk over to the guest house is through the newly painted patio and courtyard. I wish it were spring rather than a dismal winter day, but the color is vibrant and fun regardless!

I love the diamond design across the middle of the periwinkle wall!

Here we are at the entrance to La Vie Est Belle! If you are interested in more information on this quaint b&b, click on the name and it will take you to the local lodging service, Gastehaus Schmidt. Then do a search for La Vie Est Belle!

The cottage has two bedrooms and one bath with a great kitchen and sitting area. Of course, charm is oozing around every corner.

Classic blue and yellow - sweet with a French feel. Notice the diamond details in the corner.

More great paintings..............

Blue and white platters greet guests as they walk through the front door...............

My favorite spot - the cozy sitting area and precious painting above the sofa.

More special detail in the second bedroom ................................

........and to top things off, a collection of old black cloches adorn the bathroom walls and the vintage dress form who lives there.

To see more of Debbie's work, see my post called "Beauty in the Details". Debbie made all of the fabulous window treatments for my friend Leslie's house.

For information on Simple Slips, call 1-830-990-0616. Debbie does not have a website and is independent , but she would be glad to help you if she can!


  1. hi - loved this! what a darling house! I especially loved the family room !! really neat complex with the guest house.

  2. Hi, I recently discovered your blog and *love* it. I am a Cali girl but I dream of going to Texas Hill Country and antiquing with my Mom. A dream vacation for sure. I am so inspired by this post and I want to mention it on my blog - I love everything about your friend's house but I love love love the little girl's tea set in the glass jar. So sweet and charming. Please contact me through my blog if it's not okay to feature you....

    Reese & Marie

  3. Hey! I'm glad you stopped by. Great post. I especially love Debbie's collection of paintings. And the tea set in the glass jar -- cute!

    I found out about your blog awhile back through Joni, but when I added it, it doesn't automatically update when you have new posts. I don't know if that has to do with your blogger set-up or what. :-/

  4. Oh my gosh! You know how I love blue and white. Thanks!


  5. Hi, I'm embarrassed that I neglected to put you on my blog list until now. I have been a subscriber all this time, however. I really enjoy getting your posts. You're on my blog list now....



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