See how the singer and her decorator made a big style statement in small-town Oklahoma.
Take a stroll down Main Street in tiny Tishomingo, Oklahoma, a town of roughly 3,000 that's a good 45 minutes from the nearest big city, and you probably wouldn't expect to find much in terms of cool design. But step inside , located in a restored commercial building dating back to 1901, and you'll find yourself in a fabulously colorful and eclectic space that combines the creative eye of its famous owner, Miranda Lambert, and an Oklahoma City-based designer named . (Yes, that's her real name.) Here, Queen shares her insights on working with the songstress to create an eye-catching and inviting lodging that's drawing as many raves as the singer's chart-topping albums.
"Miranda initially talked about the look she wanted to go for being shabby chic, with lots of muted colors and ruffles," says Queen of her first meeting with Lambert back in late 2013. But after going home and putting together some ideas, Queen presented Lambert with three options, one that was traditional shabby chic, one that was shabby chic with a twist, and one that was shabby chic meets rock-and-roll. "I was secretly hoping she would go for option number three, which she did, because that's who she really is," says Queen. "If people were going to travel all the way to Tishomingo, I knew they'd want to get a true sense of who Miranda is."
During the initial design process, Lambert took Queen to three nearby storage units that were piled to the ceiling with various antiques and other items Lambert had picked up over the years in Round Top, Texas, before she even thought about opening a B&B. Queen ended up using about 90 percent of it in the hotel, including an old Tilt-a-Whirl car that she had made into a couch and festooned with a "Here Comes Trouble" pillow. It sits next to an old confessional turned photo booth.
Queen also got a lot of the pieces for the Ladysmith from Lambert's boutique across the street, called the . "I got several of the chandeliers from there, and the Marilyn Monroe statue," says Queen. "The jukebox is also from the Pink Pistol, as is the pink knight in the lobby. The knight had been on the patio of the Pink Pistol and has an actual bird's nest in it, which I never took out."
During the latter stages of the design, Queen stayed at Lambert's nearby ranch for several weeks. "One day I told Miranda, I'm going to shop the farm," says Queen, who handpicked several items from the ranch to move to the hotel, including a set of dining room chairs that she cut the backs off of and had reupholstered to serve as low-slung stools in the bar area (pictured at left). "Always try to look beyond something's intended purpose," she recommends. "And don't be afraid to paint it."
The one thing that delivers the most bang for your buck when it comes to decorating, per Queen? Pillows. "You can bring in a lot of color or pattern with pillows if you keep the background neutral. If you're afraid to commit to a color or pattern in a big way, do it on a pillow, and make it zippered, so you're not committed."
Each of the eight guest rooms at the hotel has a clever name, like Laci Jill, After Midnight, and Working Man Blues (the latter of which Queen says Lambert named after a Merle Haggard song). Flutterby features an en suite bath, a bold wallpaper with butterflies and flowers, and a headboard fashioned from an old garden gate.
"I love wallpaper," says Queen. "It's a great way to bring in a pattern, and you don't have to do it on every wall in the room. Most people say start with the rug, but I say start with the wallpaper and build around it. It should be your jumping-off point."
Noticeable throughout the property is Queen's ability to cohesively mix colors, textures, and patterns, which she says keeps things interesting and your eyes moving. "There was a fine line between it looking too hotelish and too carnivalish," says the designer. "I just see it in my head and am able to edit what doesn't work." One trick to successfully combining colors and patterns in your own decor, she says, is to Google the color wheel. "It shows you what colors go well with each other, and also lets you see all the color combinations that are possible."
The most challenging room to design was the Losa Lounge, says Queen. "It's a big room, and has three doors. Knowing it was going to be a gathering place, I had to consider traffic flow. I wanted to give everyone little vignettes to sit in, but didn't want it to be so separate." A highlight of the Losa Lounge is the custom bench Queen had made from the hood and front grill of a 1951 Ford truck, just visible behind the Marilyn Monroe statue.