Browsing Tag



Lake Tyler Petroleum Club | Bridal Suite Redesign

A few months ago, the ladies at the Lake Tyler Petroleum Club contacted me to consult the new design of the Harbor Landing Bridal Suite. Before, the suite was useful, but didn’t feel romantic or pretty.

But after, ya’ll! Natural light, monochromatic patterns, modern elements and subtle pops of color make all the difference.

Bring on the brides!

Venue: Lake Tyler Petroleum Club

Photographer: Matthew Hogan

Stylist: Me


Eclectic Modern Great Room | Phillips Family

This just might be the best birthday gift idea ever… a couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Zack, a husband wanting to surprise his wife Kristen with a newly designed living/great room for her birthday.  Y’all, seriously, is that not what every girl would want!?!  Impressive, right?  And it was all his idea!  They moved into their new home over 4 years ago, with newborn twins and a toddler… so of course busy baby life happens and suddenly a few years have passed before they had any time to take a breath and think about home design.   I met once with the Kristen and Zack to get a feel for what their needs were, and to take a few “before” pictures.

You should know… I will soon have professional (and non-blurry) pictures of this space, but I just couldn’t wait to share the project with you!



Kristen and Zack already had several things going for them in their space.

Things I loved:

  1. The perfect muted teal wall paint by Sherwin Williams
  2. The simple modern raw wood mantel
  3. All that amazing natural light
  4. The fabulous vaulted ceiling
  5. The acid washed concrete floors that Zack did, himself!

Kristen and Zack needed a new sectional and area rug for starters.  Kristen showed me the sectional they were thinking about- and it was perfect!  (So perfect, might I add, that I’ve already been trying to figure out a way to make the same one fit in my much smaller living room!)  Sofa, check.  So we went straight to thinking about area rugs.  Kristen loves bright cheery color and had 8 or 10 rugs saved for me to look at.  I especially loved the option with the faded, hint-of-Aztec pattern.  Lots of color, but not too strong of a pattern from across the room.

Wonderful herringbone pattern on the sofa.


Bright and happy modern rug.

Next was hunting for and gathering the new decor!  (Hair pin legs… yes, please.)







I added a watercolor piece I painted as part of their gallery wall, to keep their gallery unique and custom.


On Design Day 1, I brought over a truckload of goodies, and began placing and staging them.  I also planned out the gallery wall above the TV and used paper to help me visualize the layout.  I wanted the art to go uphill, following the architectural detail of the vaulted ceiling.  Getting this part just right *might* have taken me about 20 tries.  But I couldn’t stop until it was perfect!

On Design Day 2, my hubby Doug came to help me hang all the curtain rods, art, and mirrors.  His math brain can get it all calculated and level on the first try. I, on the other hand, would still be over there attempting to get it all right… with about 117 unnecessary holes in the wall.  And obviously  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to catch him in the act.

The art, installed!

I hand painted “be still, my soul” on two large canvases as an anchor piece to ground the large back wall.  With a strong wall paint color and a variety of colors throughout the space, I opted to keep this art clean and simple.  Balance is so important when choosing wall art and color combinations.  Kristen had this beautiful antique church pew and accent table, which I used to create a seating area by the front door, and it also serves as overflow seating for guests, as it faces the TV from behind the sofa.

In our initial consult, Kristen talked with me about needing a way to capture and organize her kiddos’ art.  We all know a fridge front can only hold so much!  I used picture ledges and thin frames to showcase the artwork, and encouraged Kristen to rotate the art out every month or so.

The mantel art may be my favorite.  A few years ago, Kristen had one of Zack’s favorite photos of them turned into a sketch.  Finally, it’s now framed and serves as the focal point of the mantel.  Personal pieces are the key to making a home “yours”.



Here’s the space, completed!  I pulled geometric patterns and a blend of rustic and modern accents to create an eclectic, bold style which Zack and Kristen love.






I am thankful for this opportunity to style a space for this sweet family to live and grow in!


xo Kristal


Events, Photoshoots

Bright and Bohemian | Stone Oak Ranch


stoneoak-6Lavender, coral, red, blush, tangerine, gray and navy… this color palette is full and vibrant, and I love it!  Using layers of color in your florals can build richness and depth.  And who doesn’t want that?  La Bella Blooms took what was in my mind and ROCKED IT.  Photography by Gema captured it wonderfully, and without a doubt, Stone Oak Ranch’s new pond ceremony cite made this shoot complete.  Many of the elements that made this shoot so detailed and perfect are from Pursuing Eden Rentals.  Working with a talented team makes all the difference in the event industry!stoneoak-50













For the tables I made DIY concrete votives to add a natural yet modern element.  My conclusion… a messy but inexpensive project!  They took about 24 hours from the start until they were dry and ready to come out of their molds.  I used recycled water bottles and cups for an assortment of sizes and styles.









Venue: Stone Oak Ranch

Photographer: Photography by Gema

Florals: La Bella Blooms

Rentals: Pursuing Eden Rentals

Models: Lauren and Nathan Nichols

Styling: me


3 Reasons You Should Hire a Photoshoot Stylist

I know, you are a very creative and talented photographer, and you may be thinking, “I’d never hire a photoshoot stylist- I know how to design!”  This post may be for you.

Three reasons you really should hire a stylist:

1.  Two heads are better than one.  A good stylist will listen to your vision and merge them with their own creativity to produce an outstanding shoot.  Remember, a stylist’s job is to make the photographer look better!  Your ideas are great, I’m sure!  Why don’t you combine them with the ideas of other experienced professionals to create a shoot that sets your work apart?

2.  Wedding blogs and magazines want to feature photographers who connect with other vendors.  They see enough submitted posts by DIY photographers… I suggest you work with and credit a stylist to help you appear even more experienced and legit, and to make your submission stand out.

3.  On the photoshoot day, your job should just be taking pictures.  Leave setup and staging to a stylist!  After shoots I style, I repeatedly hear how stress-free and focused the photographer felt.  They were able to focus on the art of photography, imagine that!  On the other hand, I also hear many regrets when a stylist isn’t brought on board, including: I thought I had enough product but the scale was off, it looked good in my head but something was missing when I set it all up,  or I ran out of time to do all I had envisioned.

These photos are from a shoot I styled a couple years ago that were published in Smitten Magazine, Style Me Pretty and more.   Brandi Smyth, photographer,  and I worked together planning this,  and the results were loved by thousands!








You can find some some great stylists out there.  I urge you to connect with one for your next shoot.  Curious to see how I can help?  Shoot me an email- I’d love to work with you!


Photography: Brandi Smyth 

Gold Sheer Dress: Handmade by MDSewingAtelier

Grey Chiffon Dress: Paolo Sebastian from Nearly Newlywed

Hair Piece: Cristina Vine by Jannie Baltzer

Hair & Makeup: Bel Viso Makeup Artisty

Groom’s Attire: Tallia, courtesy of John Pickens

Cakes: Silver Palate Cakery 

Rentals: Pursuing Eden Rentals

Floral Design: Mandy Cathey

Paper Goods: Chez Rivage

Styling: Me

Events, Personal

Arden Rose | First Birthday

Christmas is so soon, and here I am sharing some summertime pictures!  But, I think you will want to see these.

Everyone talks about the immeasurable love you have for your children, but I did not understand until God sent this beautiful ray of sunshine into my life.  And to know He loves me as His child… I do not deserve it!  Thank you, Jesus for making a way.

Our sweet girl Arden Rose turned one in July, and we had such a happy party!  I’m honored to say her big day was featured on Kara’s Party Ideas‘ Blog, Facebook and Instagram accounts very recently, and I can’t wait to share it with you now.

© Jill & Kay Photography

It didn’t take long after AR was born for everyone to start asking what her first birthday party theme would be and how we would decorate!  Most importantly, Doug and I wanted the party to be a place for our family and friends to gather together, spend time with those we don’t get to see often, and especially to celebrate Arden Rose’s big day!  My parents, “DeDe and PopPop”, enjoy cultivating their yard and flower gardens, so I decided their beautiful backyard would be the perfect place to party.  Arden Rose’s personality is dainty, soft spoken and reserved, so we thought the design should be girly and organic, with a touch of glam.  The first detail we chose was the fabric for AR’s party dress, which DeDe lovingly made by hand.  With the coral, peach, tangerine and pink color palette selected, we were ready to plan!

To welcome everyone to the party, we set up a display of AR’s month-by-month photos and a time capsule box for guests to write notes, advice or scripture for her to open when she turns 16.  We used a market cart and other props to create the feel of a fresh flower market.

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

Curved under a grove of trees, we set out mismatched chairs and barnwood benches around a long row of tables with organic loose weave cotton and gold sequin runners which showcased amazing fresh florals.

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

Since July in Texas is hot and humid, we opted for a morning brunch party and served scones, donuts, fresh fruit, quiche and gluten free muffins made by my sweet friend, Kimberly.  Organic milk and orange juice were offered in the cutest little milk bottles, displayed in a vintage baby bathtub.  I hand-lettered in gold all of the eats and treats signs.

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography


© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

The sweets buffet, cake stands and gold sequin backdrop showcased AR’s smash cake, which was also made with love by her DeDe.

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

Arden Rose is blessed with the best Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and friends, who all came to celebrate with us.   I made a backdrop of flowers for AR to open gifts in front of and I think this was my favorite spot at the whole party!  Seeing her precious face light up with each present brought so much joy to us and to our guests.  Arden Rose is one loved little girl.  Her favorite gifts were her books, vintage piano from her great-grandmother “Temah”, and her dolls, especially Polly, handmade by DeDe in a matching party dress.

© Jill & Kay Photography




© Jill & Kay Photography


© Jill & Kay Photography


© Jill & Kay Photography

To thank all of the littles for coming, we made coloring books full of AR’s favorite things, and DeDe made felt crayon caddies, staying in the party’s color palette.  Playtime in the yard consisted of bubbles, foam noodle games and other toddler toys, and it was a big hit too, with quilts ready in the shade for cooling off when needed.

© Jill & Kay Photography


© Jill & Kay Photography

We decided to hire professional photographers to capture the memories for us, and I am so glad we did! I am very thankful we can look back on these photos in years to come and remember all the wonderful details: smiles shared, hugs given, prayers lifted up, and memories made.

Back to December (but still hot down here in Texas at the moment!); I wish your family a very merry Christmas, and pray for Jesus’ unconditional love to be made real in a special way in your life during this season.

Photography:  Jill and Kay Photography

Rentals: Pursuing Eden Rentals

Florals:  La Bella Blooms

Stylist: Me







Today is a very special day!  I am excited to share the newest part of my adventure with you.  Most importantly, I am dedicating this journey to my Savior.  I pray that I can serve others and share His love in every interaction and relationship I have.  Jesus is showing me so much of who He desires me to be as His child, and I am still learning and growing as I follow Him in this adventure.

Eight years ago, my husband of one year, Doug, and I moved out of our little apartment and bought our first home.  It was bad y’all… as in our dear, sweet realtor couldn’t hold back the heebie jeebies as she showed us the property.  I could describe just how bad it was, but then you would all know for sure we were absolutely crazy for buying it and even crazier for moving right on in.  If I had only considered starting a blog then of our adventures on that remodel journey… well, I feel sure that we would have been the perfect reality tv show.  It would have been called How To Live With Lawn Chairs As Your Only Furniture For Two Years.  But as months… ok years went on, we made it our home and I truly found so much joy in planning and designing every square inch.  Even the underside of every shelf in every closet had a fresh coat of paint, we widened some doorways and walled in others, installed new lighting, replaced hardwood flooring twice (thank you leaking water heater), tore out old cabinets,  salvaged other old cabinets, dug ditches and landscaped, and of course about a thousand other things.  Much of this was with the wonderful help of our families’ contributions of expertise, sweat and sacrifice.  We didn’t even have a TV… just seasons of The Office on DVD (hello, I could not have made it through without Jim and Pam by my side) which played on a laptop, balanced on a plastic table, with a bed sheet push-pinned to cover the window.  Welcome to our Friday date nights.  Anyways, when the projects were (mostly) done, enough to lay out some rugs and bring in the real furniture, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep!  I was finally able to unpack and design with what I had been collecting for over two years!  With no HGTV, Pinterest or Instagram, designing looked a lot less “organized and inspiring” and a lot more like “here are all the clippings I snuck out of the waiting room magazines and ok yes I did just take a picture of your bathroom for inspiration”.  My Idea Notebook was overflowing with tattered fabric swatches and wrinkled sketches.  My Sherwin Williams color swatch book traveled with me everywhere in my purse… pretty sure they finally gave up on me ever returning it.

About the time the house came together, Pursuing Eden started growing, and I’m talking about an all-in, have no life kind of busy, where people think you are either amazingly driven or dysfunctionally consumed.  By the way, both were at times true.  God has been teaching me a lot about balance.  Within five years, we were growing at Canton First Monday, renting to hundreds of clients a year, buying an actual storefront, designing and decorating interiors, and gaining some fantastic employees.  Then in 2014, God gave us our biggest blessing yet, our daughter, Arden Rose.

Through all of this, I have realized it’s time to branch out as a stylist to better serve you.  In many ways, I’m doing the same things I’ve already been doing through Pursuing Eden, but now it is clearer and more defined.


I will specifically focus on styling events, photoshoots and interiors.  Now, clients have more choices and options, and I am able to travel.  Not sure exactly what a stylist is?  Click on the website tabs to learn more!  Did you know?  A stylist is not an event planner or coordinator, but a stylist is a designer who works with props and decor to create a cohesive, unique space.


Happy you’re here!



Photography:  Brandi Smyth

Venue:  White Sparrow Barn

Florals: Mandy Cathey

Styling: Me