Why I Wouldn’t Hire Joanna Gaines to Decorate My House


I don’t think it will come as a surprise that Lady Benton's interior style is not the style of Joanna Gaines. And while I say that, don’t think that I am not a fan of Joanna and Chip. Quite the contrary, not only do I think they are talented beyond my wildest dreams, more importantly, I think they are very decent people and I respect them very much. It’s just that I am not by any stretch of the imagination a minimalist and mid century modern is never going to be a term in my vocabulary. Chip and Jo do what they do, and there is none better at what they do, but it is not for me. I frankly like wall space, and am not a huge fan of open concept for that reason. I would however, love a Joanna Gaines kitchen, and I do absolutely love her gardens.

Designers I admire

There are very few people I would give a carte blanche to decorate my house without me having a say -- Ralph Lauren is one, Mario Buatta and the late Charles Faudree would be the others. There are lots of designers that I would love to work with alongside in choosing things for my house: Eric Ross, James T. Farmer, Linda Floyd and Mallory Mathison are just a few whose work I admire greatly. But I am a very big believer that your house should totally reflect its owner. How can it do that if you are not part of the process? My look isn’t for everyone, in fact, some would call it woefully out of style and too traditional looking. But it’s totally me. And I have carefully chosen each and every item in my house because something about it spoke to me.

My style

I wandered around for a bit trying to find my style. Loving Texas as much as I do, I love Western Interiors and could be very at home in a log cabin with indian blankets and cowhides on the floor. But it was a trip to England and France in 2012 that largely influenced my home as you see it today. I absolutely fell in love with Blenheim Palace. And I cried at Versailles. And then there was that little show called Downton Abbey. I can’t tell you how much I loved Downton the first three years. I simply was overwhelmed at the majesty of it all and while I knew I couldn’t possibly replicate it, I knew that I could capture a small essence of the look that I call down home elegance-- Edwardian inspired interiors fit for a queen on a farm in the middle of nowhere.

In my lifetime, I have bought very few brand new pieces of furniture. My bed is one. Bought at the height of the four poster craze, my husband secretly drove an hour away and bought the bed and stored it in a neighbors barn. He intended to surprise me for my birthday but he couldn’t wait and told me at about 9 o’clock that night. Of course, then he had to go get it and put it together because patience has never been my gift. It was one of the most thoughtful meaningful gifts I have ever received. In addition to that, my son was born in it. No, we will never ever get rid of that bed! Everything else in the house has been bought second hand--at antique stores, estate sales, auctions, craigslist. It is full of finds under $20.

So without further ado, here is my living room.


My mother's day gift

And last but not least, I want to share with you something else that has a place of honor in the living room. These flowers Jackson made for me in his floral arranging class. Now if you know Jackson, this is not his forte at all, he had to fulfill a fine art credit. But he made this arrangement for mother’s day. Being that he goes to a public school, their budget wasn’t all that big, but he picked the red flowers because he knew I liked red and the green and white stripes he painted on the mason jar because he knew I loved green and white stripes and use them at Covenant Farms. It too was one of the sweetest and most thoughtful presents I ever received. Thank you for stopping by!

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Thank you for stopping by!

Until next time,

Lady Benton


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