Mindy Rowland-Hess

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Mindy Rowland-Hess
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A Positive From A Negative

Another one of my estate sale finds, was this modern egg-shaped  faux cement accent table.  Love, love, loved it.  Looked perfect with my modern patio furniture.  But my husband had other uses for it, like a footstool.  Wrong; he feel right through it, making a big hole in the top.   Just as it was about to be tossed out, I had an idea, how about a planter.  Actually I think it looks better now then it did before. 

My Folding Chair Overhaul

These folding chairs have lived in five houses over the last 30 years.  Still functional, but in need of a little TLC.  It occurred to me that they were the perfect solution to my patio makeover.  I purchased outdoor fabric that coordinated with my other patio furniture, then picked up cans of gunmetal spray paint.  They now function indoors or out.


I acquired the 8ft piece of drift wood, not really knowing what I would do with it, but was so naturally beautiful, I was determined to fit it in somewhere.  My ceiling height restrictions limited me to the stairway.  It makes a great statement in my entryway. Humblenests.tumblr.com


I have a ritual four times a year that drives my husband crazy.  I go through the living room and change out the pillows, artwork, and accessories to fit the season.  Winter to spring, I lighten up; accessories in pastels pop-up on my coffee table, a plant here and there (real and fake), replace fur or heavy textured pillows with linen and silk.      

 Sometimes I move art around to match the mood. 

I quickly find myself shifting into summer mode.  Spring in Texas is fleeting.  In the summer, my fireplace features a twisted grapevine, fruits are displayed in bowls, and pastels are replaced with bolder colors.                      I                                                      

With fall, color goes a little darker and textures heavier; by December the house is in full holiday spirit.

These rituals take my humble abode from hum drum to festive and inviting.  Humblenests.tumblr.com

My Color Journey

Color – I have found it is very important to me.  It emits emotions, good and bad; makes surroundings beautiful or ugly.  Color is one of the most important steps in decorating.  A suggested reading for my decorating course is Color Magic for Beginners, by Richard Webster.  I confess that I have not read the entire book, but in his introduction he points out that colors have three main aspects.  It effects the mind and emotions, has healing properties, and can encourage spiritual and developmental growth.

I began to reflect on my color journey.  My first apartment color palette in the late 70’’s was brown, rust, and mustard.  Then my first home took on hues of turquoise and gray, which led me to my southwestern phase of turquoise and terra cotta.  It was during that period that I painted my bedroom this peachy/pink color, and my husband although tolerated it, was not too fond of the fleshy tone on our bedroom walls.  The list goes on and on, but I realize they had one thing in common; they were bold and brave.

Fast forward to the present, I am older and I like to think more sophisticated, and with that my color preferences are more subtle.  Instead of walls with bold colors, I have suddenly turn to white.  In fact I am thinking I should create a new Pinterest board called ”White Rooms’’.  I still have color in my life; paintings, pillows, accessories, etc., but my eye then takes a break and rests on my calming white walls.

As I mentioned earlier, I am taking my decorating hobby to the next level, and studying design.  Color as you can imagine is a part of every lesson.  This new awareness has turned me into a color snob.  When I enter a room I am critiquing the wall colors.  I have an immediate reaction: either I love it (the wall colors at a local museum complement the art perfectly), to feeling uncomfortable (those same awkward peachy/pink walls in my bedroom have somehow popped up on my mother-in-laws living room walls).  This awakening has spilled over to other aspects of my life, like cooking.  Now I analyze my food choices to be sure they are complementary colors on the color wheel.  While shelling purple peas the other day, I was struck by how mother nature could create something so colorful and beautiful (and yes they are compliments on the color wheel).

So my closing thought is respect color, because it is powerful and one of the most important steps in designing a space.  And above all go with what inspires you.

Freshen Up!


I wanted to share an experience I had today.  True confessions; I had not been back to my dentist in over a year.  I have been going to my dentist for over 25 years, and throughout all those years he has had the same office décor.   Needless to say it was long overdue for a facelift.  When I walked in for my appointment I thought I was in the wrong place.  The waiting room had been completely updated.  Of course being a decorating junkie, I immediately scanned the room, taking it all in.  The room was decorated in what I would call transitional style; not too modern, but not too traditional.  All the doors to the rooms were opaque glass.  There was a faded dark blue tapestry rug on the floor, with  chairs upholstered in soft burlap.   I settled into the rich brown tufted leather couch, and chose a magazine from the gold finished wrought iron and glass coffee table.  Suddenly my mood lifted.  I felt compelled to go up to the receptionist and order a glass  of chardonnay.  Probably not too cool at 9am.  Just the simple act of glancing through a magazine made me feel chic and sophisticated.   I wasn’t waiting to get my teeth cleaned; I was waiting for a dental spa treatment. 

My husband had his teeth cleaned last week.  I called him after my appointment and said, “What did you think of the new waiting room?” He replied he hadn’t really noticed any changes. 

The experience re-enforced my feelings for design.  It is not just about aesthetics, it much, much, more.  It is about how it makes you feel.  Walk around your house or your apartment, and check your mood.  Do your surroundings make you feel good, or indifferent?  If you are feeling mediocre then maybe it is time to freshen up.