Thursday, March 16, 2017
Inside a Bedding Designer’s Charming Texas Farmhouse
While designer Bailey McCarthy may spend her weekdays in Houston, designing pretty and playful bedding for her company, Biscuit Home, and keeping readers of her popular blog, Peppermint Bliss, inspired, weekends are all about taking advantage of Texas’s wide open spaces. After their son, Harry, now two-and-a-half, was born, Bailey and her husband, Pete, began searching for a place to get away for quality family time with Harry and big sister Grace, now five. “We wanted somewhere that we could drive, where we could be together without distractions,” Bailey says. “We pretty much drew a circle around Houston to include anywhere we could get to by car in under two hours and started looking from there.”
Within that circle was Bellville, TX, a little over an hour outside Houston, and a charming Victorian farmhouse. The couple was instantly smitten. Texas native Bailey brought a “refined country-granny vibe” to the home while making sure it could stand up to “dirty dogs and wet bathing suits.” She raided her mother’s storage unit to find pieces from her childhood home that could be incorporated with treasures from antiques fairs and local “junktiques” stores.
Life at the farm is similarly casual. Most weekends are spent with family and friends by the pool and the firepit, with margaritas for the adults and outdoor movies for the kids once the sun goes down.
Bailey chose durable pieces for the living room, including an “indestructible” leather sofa and coffee table and a sofa slipcovered in a pink check. “Chintz and mixed patterns are great for hiding stains,” she says. Even the vintage toys and games fit the casual country vibe. “I think they are charming, so we keep them out on the shelves where the kids can easily access them—and put them away as well!”
The living room’s art is an eclectic mix of local finds, such as the Mary H. Case painting above the fireplace, and family heirlooms, including a portrait of Bailey’s great-great-grandmother “It’s actually superspooky,” she laughs. “I like the mix of the family heirloom, the more modern piece, and the really traditional landscape.”
The kitchen had been renovated by the previous owner but wasn’t Bailey’s style. Since the room doesn’t get much light, the designer embraced the darkness by painting the cabinets a glossy black. She added a fixture from Circa Lighting as a nod to the home’s rich past. “I just wanted something that felt kind of Victorian but then also had a modern vibe to it.”
Bailey removed the kitchen island, leaving room for a coffee bar. Open shelves display vintage pottery that her mother has collected over the years. “I love adding to it with my own finds,” Bailey says.
Since the kitchen is on the petite side, Bailey uses the dining room’s vintage hutch as a bar and serving station. She topped it with a German botanical chart she scored at the Round Top Antiques Fair. “I was just obsessed with it. I love how graphic it is.“
The bar displays colorful vintage glassware, copper mugs, and julep cups from family christenings.
The round table is perfect for a crowd but doesn’t feel overwhelming when it’s just the family of four. “When you have a long skinny table, it just feels empty, whereas with a round table you can just keep squeezing people as more come,” Bailey notes. It took her a while to come around to the antler chandelier, which was left by the previous owners. “Once I got everything in there together, it just felt fun to me, so I left it.”
Like the kitchen, this guest room receives minimal light, so Bailey went with Benjamin Moore’s Alligator Alley for the wall color. “We wanted to make it feel like a cozy cocoon,” she says. The deep green provides a beautiful contrast to the natural-wood four-poster bed and the ornate table lamps.
“I love all of the collections of items from my childhood mixed with our vintage finds,” says Bailey. “In Grace’s room there are some vintage flags I found at the Round Top Antiques Fair, as well as some framed Peter Rabbit etchings that were in my nursery.”
GP & J Baker’s cheery Nympheus pattern brightens up a small bathroom. The vanity and the claw-foot tub are new but fit the home’s Victorian vibe.
A vintage quilt adds a touch of Americana and, as chance would have it, is embroidered with “Harold,” Bailey’s son’s name. “It’s not really a family heirloom, but it feels like it is.”
Another bedroom, which was once the home’s parlor, was decorated with a country-chic Gustavian bed upholstered in a gingham fabric. Since there are only two bathrooms, Bailey added a small vanity by the bed. “I wanted a little place to get ready that doubles as a bedside table.”
Constellation-print bedding by Biscuit Home, Pendleton blankets, and army-green Schoolhouse Electric beds in the loft let little guests feel as if they’re sleeping under the stars. “We kept it a dark blue like the night sky and wanted it to feel a like an old-timey boys’ camp,” Bailey says.
While Bailey usually takes a more-is-more approach to color, she wanted to keep things light and airy at the farm. She balanced brighter pieces and fabrics with tranquil wall colors, as seen in this charming guest bedroom, which takes its palette from a vintage quilt. “This house is all about the outdoors—the views and the light—and I didn’t want anything to distract from that,” she says.
Bailey and Pete didn’t need to do much to the farmhouse’s exterior to make it picture-perfect. “We added scalloped shingles to enhance its existing Victorian charm and gave it a fresh coat of paint and a cute pink Dutch door,” Bailey says. “She already had so much going for her, our touches were just a bonus.”
“Unless it’s raining, we pretty much always have a fire in the firepit,” Bailey says. “The kids do s’mores, and sometimes in the fall, if it gets dark early enough, we put on an outdoor movie and all hang out over there.”