He actually shipped me away with a girlfriend for a fun two night get-away while he stayed home on kid duty and we got to shop, eat and sleep our hearts out. Of course I want to share my mini vacay with you all, I think you’re gonna love it just as much as we did!
I would say my personal style lies somewhere in between the farmhouse of Joanna Gaines (AKA Fixer Upper) and the look of Miranda’s Ladysmith. Both ends of the spectrum have great details in decorating we can all learn from regardless of our style. Exploring The Ladysmith got me wondering who did the decorating. I was completely enamored. It was a perfectly polished mix of edgy meets soft and chic with in your face wallpaper and unexpected touches in every room. When I asked the Innkeeper, Ashley, she kindly put me in touch with funky force behind the space…and NO it’s not the Junk Gypsy’s like so many people think (even thought those girls are great)!
Miranda’s Interior Designer is Phara Queen (yes that’s her real name) and I was lucky enough to snag some time talking with her. We chatted about Adam Levine and Round Top furniture, but I also got some great tips on how to get The Ladysmith look! Today you’ll get to meet Phara and the hotel, then over the next few weeks I’ll share three ways to incorporate the style into your home. Free lessons from a designer that loves blurred lines and tips from a gracious hospitality mecca! yay.
Phara’s story is a great one that will get you itching to examine your call. Phara started out like so many of us do, following the practical route. Out of high school she got an elementary education degree and taught school for a year to quickly learn that was not for her. Sometimes the easiest path to a paycheck doesn’t always pan out. She did life…marriage, kids, the norm for a while and then in 2007 (at age 44) decided to go back to school to get the decorating degree she longed for. Phara says it wasn’t a complete re-invention but a return to a love, “I needed to fill my time with something that I was passionate about and I’ve always been passionate about interior design.”
After breaking away from a partnership gone south at age 50 Phara stepped out on her own. Armed with a degree in Interior Design, which she will quickly tell you is different than someone who just decorates, Phara was looking for a fresh start. In her words, she found herself in the right place at the right time. Within three months of being solo, Phara was on board to design the soon to open Ladysmith Hotel. What a fun gig to kick off a new season in life!
A friend of a friend passed her name onto a contractor looking for someone with a “cool vibe” to work on a project he had. When Phara’s name landed in his lap within a few hours the two were talking and he asked if she had ever heard of a shop called The Pink Pistol. Phara’s answer was no. He soon revealed the name of his client.
Times have changed.
It turned out to be just fine that Phara wasn’t the head of any country music fan clubs and she has since grown a great appreciation for the genre. Timing also brought together two boldly creative souls, breathing life into a renovated downtown building that’s more than a hotel, it’s an experience.
The Ladysmith décor comes from the marriage of a trusting client and a decorator’s desire to push the limits beyond expectations. Phara says when she has a client that trusts her it’s everything, “the mutual trust and creative collaboration that Miranda and I had together…the proof is in the end result.” In the beginning Miranda thought she wanted a Shabby Chic feel to the hotel and had pictures placed around the rooms for examples. Phara went home, worked up three scenarios and brought them back to Miranda. One was Shabby Chic, one was Shabby Chic with a twist and the last was what you see today. A shabby Chic meets Rock ‘n’ Roll feel that was love at first sight for the country crooner. As a designer, Phara feels it is her job to bring something unexpected to the table and nudge clients to the edge of their comfort zone. In the Ladysmith, she wanted guests to have a true taste of Miranda’s personality…not just a hotel stay.
When the duo met for the first time Miranda drove Phara around Tishomingo, exploring her storage units and barns chock full of furniture and treasures she has collected over the years, many from her outings to Round Top, Texas. Phara pulled from the stored up goodies, furniture from Miranda’s farm and other local shops then put her spin on tying it all up in a big edgy bow. They had fun brainstorming to name all the rooms in the hotel. I imagine those were some fun conversations. Rooms like Flutterby, The Judge, and Curtain Call. All playing on the unique feel each room holds. When Miranda asked what she was most proud of when the project was complete, Phara said the way it all came together in the end. I couldn’t agree more. She should be proud. This space is everything you’d hope it would be.
You can spend the day shopping Main Street, grabbing a real soda at the Pink Pistol, eating at the local Mexican Restaurant or spend a spa day and then be pampered morning and night at The Ladysmith. You’ll wake up to a fresh home cooked meal and close out the day with a nightcap in the Losa Lounge, complete with a private bartender for guests only.
Over the next few weeks we’ll talk about a few ways to steal some style tips from The Ladysmith and talk some more with Phara. I can’t wait to show you the rest of the place. Let me know if you have any burning questions about the space and I’ll work on getting the scoop.
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