We are happy to announce we are now serving the beautiful area of Murrells Inlet and it’s surrounding areas. What a beautiful place to call home and so full of inspiration! Our new house is a definite work-in-progress and I will post before and during photos very soon. We are also designing a house for a client right now and are working on a post for that. If you need help with your design project, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’re ready to take on new clients and challenges. We look forward to serving you! Please contact us if you have any questions.

The dilemma:  We needed a display to showcase all of the ribbons that our amazing dog child Brady has earned! We are so proud of him and want to show them off in a way that fits in with the style of our house. So, off to Hobby Lobby I go to get ideas. I went in thinking I would find something pre-made, honestly, with lots of hooks to hang the ribbons. Nothing. Next I was thinking of a long drawer pull to hang the ribbons from. Nothing still. Then I meandered over to the frames, which happen to be half off!, and these beautiful rustic frames spoke to me.

Solution! Wire tied to eye screws to create rows of wire which I could hang the ribbons from inside the frames. I have three frames in total and one is finished. I’ll take a photo of the frames on the wall when they’re all finished.

Next week I am fortunate enough to photograph a family of four. The family consists of mom, dad, six month old daughter and dog-child. In preparing for a shoot, I scout the location (that will be in a post later this week). I try to go at the time we plan to shoot and determine the best locations for shots and where the sun is just perfectly coming through the trees or shining on the grass, etc.

Before I scout a location and even more important than that, is to determine some ideas for the shoot. Most moms will have some specific shots in mind and that’s great, but it’s always a good idea to come with a few of your own creative ideas. After seeing the location, ideas will come but most of the time, I find myself in the same place you do – Pinterest!

A moment to be honest, please – there’s a line between cheesy/ corny posed photos and real life photos. I think there is a place for both. However, I prefer most of my images to be “how did you catch that?” vs. “how did you make her sit like that?” My favorite motto with interior design is that home is not perfection, it’s comfortable. I think the same is true with photography. It’s not perfection; it’s real. It’s beautiful in its imperfections. Okay, back to the upcoming photo shoot…

This photo shoot is a photo announcement + Thanksgiving card so playing up the fall season will be great. Immediately I think pumpkins, leaves, blankets, scarves, etc. I always take note of my ideas and take them with me to scout the location and then on photo shoot day, complete with the gear needed for the shots. We may not get to all of the shot ideas, but by keeping everyone moving and having less down time, you’ll see less nerves.

I am in love with these photos! They are so natural and real looking. I hope I can get some great close ups like these.

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While the counter height stool is gaining in popularity, they aren’t as common as their cohort, the bar stool. I happen to love a counter stool because it allows you a single larger slab of counter vs breaking up the surface and your line of sight with a raised bar. They are great for kids too because who wants to climb up to a bar stool, when you can easily sit on a counter stool?

Counter stool vs. bar stool height:
Counter height is 36 inches high so stools are limited to 24-26 inches high at the seat
Bar height is 42 inches so bar stools are around 30 inches high at the seat

Examples of counter stools:

Examples of bar stools:

This brings us to my friend’s search for the perfect counter stool. Currently, she sits on a counter stool at work – a hard wooden one with a (now flattened!) Target cushion.
She enlisted my help in finding her a new counter stool. Through searching, I have become very disappointed in the limited inventory of reasonably priced counter stools. A custom counter stool? No problem! But, a single chair runs upward of $500. And bar stools come in a limitless number of styles, fabrics, and many can be found at reasonable prices!

For this particular search, we are looking for a reasonably priced  (up to $150), comfortable counter stool that will complement the decor her office. Is her office a kitchen? (;


Here are some options I considered. Which is your favorite?
The Provence Counter Stool – $135
beautiful – yes
durable – fabric is light colored so may wear (blue jean friday all over it!)
reasonably priced – yes
comfortable – in the seat but no back cushion
fits current style of space – no
The Branson Counter Stool – $70
beautiful – eh, clean lines but the color is not right
durable – yes
reasonably priced – very much so
comfortable – may be a little stiff in the beginning but “leather” only gets better with time
fits current style of space – leather is classic but the color of the wood and “leather” will not complement the other chairs
The Kenton Counter Stool – $165
beautiful – yes
durable – fabric seems a little light
reasonably priced – on the high end of the budget
comfortable – the seat looks pretty comfortable but the back has no cushion
fits current style of space – it does have the same feel as the other chairs but the cris-cross back will compete with the straight backs of the other chairs
The Corey Counter Stool – $85
beautiful – yes
durable – fabric seems a little light but it is microfiber so easy to wash
reasonably priced – yes
comfortable – looks very comfortable
fits current style of space – yes


The winner?


The Corey Counter Stool! It is a perfect mix of form and function for my friend’s office. It’s on order for her and I will update the post with a “happy camper” picture when it’s in!


If you have any questions regarding this post or need help at your own home (or workplace), please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Decorating your home for the holidays does not have to be as stressful as getting your mother-in-law’s pecan pie recipe right! Here are a few easy and quick tips for sprucing up your house without breaking the bank!


For Halloween, use drink containers to create a scary lit path or decorations for your house. See craft here.

photo originally from Family Fun magazine


For  Thanksgiving, the use of craft paper is very trendy right now (& classic too in my opinion). Use it as a tablecloth or as a runner on your table.

courtesy evette rios

courtesy evette rios









For Christmas:

  1. “Christmas” fern leaves are particularly Christmasy when bunched together with a red ribbon. Display them on tables or around food platters.
  2. Grayed and weathered sticks of varying sizes can be wrapped with twinkling lights and put into a vase or basket you already have.
  3. Decorate with food – cranberries in a hurricane, candle holder, or glass vase can make an easy and practical decoration.
  4. Instead of an expensive tree skirt, use an inexpensive red tablecloth to drape around your tree. You can reuse it throughout the year, especially 4th of July and Memorial Day!
  5. Making your own wreath from scratch can be time consuming – buy an inexpensive pre-made wreath from Hobby Lobby or Target and spruce it up with battery powered twinkling lights, glue extra leaves from your yard to give it some extra fluff, and add a few ornaments from your tree. Weave a festive bow throughout and you have a very expensive looking wreath for very little money.

We hope you enjoy these quick and easy ideas to create a special environment in your home this upcoming holiday season. More holiday posts to come. If you would like help decorating your house for the holidays, we have holiday room and house decorating specials. $40 per room or $250 for your house. We will make the most of what you already have!


abfdesign is your destination for all things home. April Fowler, owner and lead designer of abfdesign can create for you the space you’ve always wanted. She can photograph moments that will last a lifetime and soon, she’ll be able to help you find the home your family needs to thrive. Please bear with our fledgling site until we are completely up and going! In the meantime, browse where you can to find more information and get started today making memories in spaces that inspire.