I would never consider myself an interior decorator.  I don’t have a defined style and it might take several years before I find the perfect piece for any given space.

So, when I took on the challenge of pairing up with Invaluable, the world’s largest online auction, to design an interior space around a unique painting, I jumped at the chance and why not?  I always love a challenge, a chance to learn and the opportunity to share with each of you.

As I started brainstorming, I kept telling myself, “I am not a designer, I am not a designer.”

Sure, I am…and as it turns out,  so are you.  We are all designers- whether you are decorating a space, staging a picture, styling a makeover or yourself.
We all drift towards certain objects, certain styles because of how they make us feel.

I took several weeks to think about what my what my particular interior decorating style is.  I walked around my house and thought about the  spaces I’ve lived in the past, and realized that memories are the major influences in my choices. My past and present living spaces are filled with things I’ve collected from trips, antique elements, pictures of loved ones, things that remind me of the past. Everything tells a story.

I looked at countless beautiful paintings at Invaluable, when I finally came across this painting…

Texas Bluebonnets by Jerry Ruthven.   Painted in 1947.

Texas Bluebonnets by Jerry Ruthven.
Painted in 1947.

I saw the country side filled with bluebonnets, I felt the warmth and peaceful solitude and immediately thought of home- the most powerful and treasured memory I have.

I remember walking along this same path at my grandfather’s farm, running towards certain adventures at summer camp and ambling towards a fishing hole.

Bluebonnets were on the fringe of memories captured in pictures of my sister and I in soccer uniforms and our Easter best.  Bluebonnets were present in my best friend’s wedding bouquet, in my mom’s garden and they are along the highways that welcome me home from Colorado.  They are treasured by Texans and you could win a free night in jail for picking them.  Bluebonnets are the superstars of all the Texas Wildflowers and the bold blue color dominates the landscape in late spring..

After picking this painting I got to work designing a living room around it.Invaluable

I designed a living room space that is a rustic kind of Texas comfort with Bluebonnet blue and the bold red from the Texas wildflower known as Indian Paintbrush. I chose throw pillows that reminded me of picnic blankets laid in the grass- a red check and the blue stripe of a grain sack. I fell in love with the red throw that has an antique design to it that reminds me of a wedding ring quilt.  Finally, I added a small, rustic barn wood windmill to complete my Texas Rustic Comfort look.

Is this style trendy and en vogue?  Yes, and it always will be, because when you decorate with memories and stories they never,ever go out of style.

(Red Blanket from Pine Cone Hill.  Olivia Console Table, Carissa Cabinet from Joss & Main.  Folk Art Windmill, Red Check and Blue Stripe Grainsack Throw Pillows from One King’s Lane.)

The Invaluable challenge was not a sponsored post and I did not get paid for my opinions.  I did however just acquire a fantastic place to spend loads of money- don’t believe me?  Just search Invaluable for antique or vintage cameras…seriously oh la la.


  1. Sara Rayburne
    December 9, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Great story!! Love the design… bluebonnets are my favorite!

    • bernadette
      December 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      All of these memories just came flooding in when I saw the bluebonnet painting- loved your bluebonnet blue bridesmaids dresses as well as your bouquet.

  2. Ranell
    December 9, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Bernadette, what an amazing opportunity. I am very familiar with Invaluable. I peruse it quite often and even frequent several of the auctions on this site. They are quite amazing. I love everything you picked out. Especially the red buffet. Congratulations!f

    • bernadette
      December 9, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      Thanks so much! I was thrilled when they reached out to me. The challenge was a lot of fun and I hope to work with them in the future! Oh, and I wasn’t kidding about the antique cameras- Invaluable has some awesome treasures!

  3. Derek
    December 9, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    I like it! Good memories make good stories! And good design!

    • bernadette
      December 10, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks, buddy. You’re the best 😉

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