Mother’s Day FEATURE: Lauren Gebauer


Mother’s Day is one of our favorite holidays at Rubies Home Furnishings. The store was named after Ruby Sherman, the grandmother of owners Kim Smith and Karlyn Pugh. When deciding the name, Kim and Karlyn wanted to honor their grandmother who exemplified a Proverbs 31 woman, often referring to scripture, “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies” from Proverbs 31:10. The heart and mission of Rubies Home Furnishings is to make the homes of each customer a treasure – extending peace, warmth and joy through something as small as a coffee mug or candle to something as large as a dining table or living room sofa.

At Rubies, we know that mothers can carry a lot of responsibility when it comes to the home. Mothers are there to wipe our tears when things feel sideways and are at the front of the crowd cheering us on in all of our successes. We also understand that a lot of women – whether it be a birth mother, a stepmother, foster mother, adoptive mother or even a close family friend or aunt – can take on the title and honor of “mom” as a role model and caretaker for a child. In honor of mothers everywhere, we want to honor all of you. And today, we are featuring one of our favorite local moms, Lauren Gebauer.

It Starts in the Heart

Both Lauren and her husband, Ben, had a heart for adoption even before they met and were married. Lauren says that she began silently researching adoption about a year into their marriage. During her research, she was led to some information about adoption through foster care. She brought this up casually in discussion with Ben, and while he agreed that this might be something they should consider, he felt it wasn’t yet the time for them to pursue it.

A little over three years ago, Lauren said she really felt the prompting once again to find out more information about foster care. Lauren and Ben attended an interest meeting. Before they exited the parking lot after the meeting, Ben said, “I think we should go for it!” The couple began attending the necessary classes and home studies to earn their foster care license, which they officially received on April 27, 2016.

Just after a month of being licensed for foster care, they received a placement on May 26, 2016 – a little boy. Since their first placement, who still lives with them today, Lauren and Ben have had seven other children come in and out of their home. Lauren realizes that not all husbands and wives are on the same page when it comes to deciding whether or when to foster or adopt, but she believes that since God called them both to adopt when they were young and unmarried, it has made the process so much easier for them as a couple.

On Being a Mom

With packed schedules and lives full of commitments and events that don’t leave us much room to relax, Lauren believes motherhood has taught her to slow down and enjoy each moment. When she looks at the children in her home, it’s easy for her mind to wander in a million directions, thinking about their futures and who they will become. It’s those times that Lauren reminds herself to be present and not to forget the simple, beautiful moments that each day brings.

When it comes to challenges, Lauren says that parenting constantly reminds her that she is far from perfect. She feels that society, social media and even other moms sometimes place too much pressure on parents to feel the need to be perfect, when it’s impossible to expect anyone to fit that standard. Having grace for herself is an important lesson motherhood has taught her.

Wisdom from a Foster Mama

In the same way new biological parents can feel overwhelmed or ill-prepared as they start their journey in parenting, Lauren says that it is the same for foster care. There are many things she wishes they had known before they began their journey as foster parents (check it out on her blog here). She says the best advice she would give to anyone beginning the journey into foster care is to set up a good support system. The agency that a family fosters through generally do not have resources available to advocate for the foster parents or look out for their best interests. She believes finding family, friends, a home church and even other foster families to walk the long road with you is important.

Inspiration That Leads to Impact

Lauren spent a large amount of her childhood on stage or in rehearsals and she credits the majority of her positive childhood memories to her mother. Now, being a mother herself, she says she realizes just how much her own mom sacrificed to allow her to participate in so many things. In talking about her mom, Lauren says, “She worked full-time in the medical field and also drove my brother and I around to rehearsals, sewed costumes, spray painted tap shoes and curled hair, while somehow still managing to have amazing food on the table for us every night.” Lauren calls her mom a real-life Wonder Woman.

Today, the influence of Lauren’s mother plays a big role in how she loves on and nurtures the little ones in her care. Lauren is now setting her own example for what love looks like and, ultimately, that love will continue to make an impact for generations.

Connecting with other foster parents, she says that every few weeks she would see someone ask for recommendations for books for foster children that would relate to what they were going through. Lauren’s journey through foster parenting led her to write a book for young foster children, a short and encouraging read, called Come to Find Out. You can purchase her book on Amazon here.

To read more about Lauren and her journey through life and as a foster mom, you can check out her blog at


Create Your Own Outdoor Oasis This Spring

Furniture at Rubies Home Furnishings

The weeks before the Mississippi heat turns up this summer can almost make one forget that hotter days are coming. A beautiful spring day in the mid-70s urges all of us to get outdoors, so let’s enjoy it while we can. And as summer break gets closer and travel plans firm up, we want to remind you that there may be a vacation awaiting you just out your very own back door before summer begins. We’re here to provide you with a few simple tips to make an outdoor oasis in your own back yard this spring.

Color is King
The patio or deck is one of the favorite places for entertaining family and friends during get-togethers. To lighten up your space, add a fresh coat of colorful spray paint to your existing iron table and chairs (especially if they are a bit rusty). We love turquoise, teal, yellow or orange tones on the outdoor furniture to send a “summer is near” vibe. Adding new colorful cushions in those chairs can be a fun addition as well. At Rubies Home Furnishings, we have a variety of colorful table linens and accent pillows to make that special event or weeknight dinner a little extra festive.  We also love to get festive with flags. Rubies has bright and cheerful flags that make for a super inexpensive back yard accessory.

It’s also never a bad time to add color with plants! Whether it’s a large pot full of marigolds, or some  daisies in a small pot as a table centerpiece, freshly planted flowers can make a big statement on a patio, porch or in the back yard. We also love the way a fun colorful planter can totally change the look of a space on your porch or deck no matter what it holds.

Outdoor Furniture at Rubies Home Furnishings

Most people don’t think about how much the simple addition of accessories can bring a patio space together. We think texture is a big win outside and can really spice up your patio space. A nice outdoor rug in a neutral shade or color can make a space seem super cozy and inviting. Also or small versatile ottoman can add an unexpected touch. Our sister store, City Home Center, has outdoor rugs galore, so be sure to check them out if you’re in the market.

Crave Candles at Rubies Home Furnishings

Let There Be Light
Lighting can be another key component of your outdoor oasis. There are numerous alternatives to outdoor lighting depending on the effect desired and the amount that one wishes to spend. Solar lights that lend a little ambiance without adding to the electric bill are great for accent lighting in small areas. These lights are self-contained and can be easily mounted anywhere in the yard. If you’re not into Solar lights, we’re also partial to candles here at Rubies. A candle can make a simple night outside turn into a super cozy or even romantic evening. We recommend cute lantern-style candle holders for a perfect table topper or even on the ground - whatever fits your space.

Crave Candles at Rubies Home Furnishings

The back yard may be a last resort for the busy family trying to fit in time for work and relaxation. But if you don’t plan to head to the lake or camping for the weekend, sometimes these outdoor updates can bring the vacation to us. By creating an oasis in the back yard, you will be giving yourself and your friends a place to unwind and relax. Enjoy your yard this season, and be sure to visit Rubies Home Furnishings for those spring and summer outdoor décor staples. 


Spring is Here: How to Prepare for a New Season in Your Home


What’s better than a lovely, inviting home with scents of Spring and the delicious flavors and aromas of baking? At Rubies, we believe your home can be inviting and creative as you are. And we’re here to bring you the best of home decor, from cozy traditional vibes to vibrant new looks.

Now that the days are (finally) getting longer, it's easy to tell when your home needs a little interior face lift.  It doesn't have to be a big investment or even a big change--in Spring, it's the little things that count. Try these four boosts to fill your space with the freshness and energy of the season.

1. Lighten it up. After months of artificial light, it's time to let the sunshine in! Take down or pull back your dark drapes and let sheers and lace take the spotlight.  Pull those heavy afghans off the couch and replace them with a pale cotton throw. Maybe an update to your comforter in a bedroom is just what you need to lighten a room up. Think about adding some sparkle to spaces with darker walls and furniture. What about silver or brass-toned picture frames instead of matte black?  Take down a piece of wall art or two and replace with mirrors.

2. Freshen it up. Your grandmother wasn't wrong to put fresh flowers on tables and counters and mantelpieces in Spring. Their color and fragrance banish winter better than anything else.  Your budget doesn't stretch to fresh flowers every week? Try making a bouquet of daisies and daffodils, or grab some pansies or flowering bulbs at the store and add them to the pot at your front door.

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If real flowers aren’t practical for you, Rubies has so many beautiful pre-made artificial arrangements and pieces to fill a basket or add to a centerpiece in your home.

3. Don't be afraid of color.  With more light in your spaces, you have more room to experiment with color.  What's your favorite? Bright pillows, a silk scarf draped across a curtain rail, even a photograph on the wall can make your whole room pop with energy.  After the dreary weather and long nights of winter, you deserve it!


4. Spring scents.  Now is the best time to start replacing your cranberry and cinnamon-scented candles with lavender, jasmine or citrus cents to reflect the season. There’s still good use for the fall and winter scents next year – simply tuck them away in a cabinet and pull them back out when the season is right. Fill your home with scents of Spring to give you a little extra hint of the season.


Decorating a Beach House with Rubies Home Furnishings


It’s not every day someone calls you  up and asks  you to decorate their beach house. And in our world, it’s almost like a dream when someone does. We received a call a few months ago from one of our customers who had recently purchased a beach house in Orange Beach, Alabama. She and her husband had always hoped to have their own  beach house, and the day had finally come for them to buy one. They wanted a place to relax and enjoy life in a completely stress-free environment. And one of the first steps to this stress-free lifestyle was handing the decorating over to Rubies. 


“Since we have new arrivals on a weekly basis, many of our shoppers come in each week just to see what’s new in the store,” said Kim Smith at Rubies. “Since this customer is here so often, she knew we could also do special orders with our furniture brands, which meant the opportunities were truly endless.” Taking a beach house design start to finish would be a fun – but very detailed – process. The Rubies team was up for the challenge. 


Determining Style 
The customer knew she wanted coastal, but she always wanted livable – something that felt like home but had a coastal touch. “Since this place is to serve as a getaway for weekends and summer break, they wanted something that didn’t scream “beach.” 

 The Rubies team started in the living room, since it was the central part of the beach house. Through Rubies, the client was able to choose a sofa and chair from Fusion Furniture. The neutral sofa came with coastal pillows, and she added a recliner with custom fabric using the Best Home Furnishings fabric wall at Rubies. “We added accent pieces and tables from one of our favorite brands we carry, Crestview,” said Karlyn Pugh, co-owner of Rubies. “She wanted something that had a driftwood or natural wood look, and Crestview carried a lot of items using this style.” 

Rubies Home Furnishings
Rubies Home Furnishings Living Room
Rubies Home Furnishings Living Room

While the client hand-picked several pieces of furniture from the showroom floor at Rubies, she also looked through catalogs of the dozens of brands the store carries to find the bedroom furniture she was looking for. “We love that we are able to make this process easy for our clients,” said Kim. “She was able to come in and buy everything for the bedrooms – from furniture and mattresses to comforters – all in one place.” Each bedroom carried the subtle coastal theme but used different colors to do so. 


When it came to décor, the client went to Rubies for everything floor to ceiling. From candles  and candle sticks to custom arrangements and more, the entire place was decorated in one-stop. And, because this client was a long-time family friend, Kim and Karlyn were able to go install and use rugs from their sister store, City Home Center, to decorate the home. 

If you’re planning a total overhaul on your home or buying a new one, Rubies can help you make the process completely stress free, allowing you to choose everything you need all in one place. Let Rubies help you make your home – or beach home - a treasure. 


Decorate Your Mantel


When it comes to decorating, one of the most important places to keep in mind is your mantel! Mantels can appear to be a “catch-all” if you simply set out some knick-knacks here and there to fill up the space, but a well-thought out design will be sure to receive attention and admiration from family and guests. From family pictures to beautiful art to your favorite “what-not” passed down through the generations, a personalized mantel space will require some thought and planning. So let’s get those creative juices flowing!



If you have the space for it, adding a mirror can have dramatic impact. A beautiful mirror with intricate trim or a colorful frame draws attention to the space while also opening up the room and making the entire space look larger from the reflection of the rest of the area. Keep in mind that if you use an oversized mirror for your display, you’ll want to scale other items used for decoration accordingly, so as not to have an overwhelming, heavy look.



Speaking of scale, let’s talk about a few things NOT to do when planning your mantel design. Don’t attempt to fill up every inch of space on your mantel, as it can leave behind a look that is crowded and sloppy. However, you also want to make sure that the space doesn’t feel “empty,” with just a few items that may be spaced too far apart. You’d still draw attention to your space, but not in the way you desire.

Sizing matters, too, and is important whether you are going for a look that is simple, or one that makes more of a statement. We love the impact of this look from The Inspired Room.



Once you have your décor selected, you can make the area even more dramatic with the right lighting! Use sconces as a part of the display, or install recessed lighting that focuses on the mantel area. We love using lamplight and focal light like these to create the look of a room that is inviting and cozy for a quiet evening with family.



One of our favorite things about mantel décor is that it can be changed out with the seasons or for the holidays so easily. The size of the area makes the task not as overwhelming as redesigning your entire space, while it can still have a huge effect on the rest of your room.

The obvious seasonal decoration when we think of mantels includes garland and stockings in many cases, but we can think of lots of other times throughout the year when you can use your mantel as a celebration display! Fall brings with it deep and impactful oranges and reds that get us ready for Thanksgiving, and adding in some light or bright color for spring can get you out of the winter blues.

You might also consider changing your décor with other events, like the start of a new school year. Update family photos with new pictures of the kiddos, and use this time to freshen up the look of the entire space.



While the décor you choose guides the look and feel of your mantel design, you might be looking at your own mantel now and thinking that the finish or color just doesn’t achieve the impact you had in mind. No problem! It can be a fun project to refinish a mantel, maybe by painting it if it’s made of bare wood, or by covering it up with stone tiles for a completely different look (check out the fabulous tile options at City Home Center). What’s even better is that a project of this size can be completed in just a few hours? Having your space looking new and updated in much less time than a complete room reno!

Now that your mind is full of design and decorating ideas, what do you do if you don’t have a mantel? Make or buy your own, of course! Maybe you have a fireplace or entertaining space that doesn’t have a mantel to show off. There are plenty of DIY options out there to complete your space with a look that suits you. Check out this design idea at the Addicted to Decorating blog.

You can also purchase an electric fireplace or entertainment center to use as a makeshift mantel. We have great ones in stock now, and would love to show you the options at Rubies. The design tips above still apply, and, in this case, it would be easy to move your focal “mantel” space to a different location in the room if you choose to redecorate down the road. Not already having a mantel also means that whether you DIY and build your own or purchase one, you get to choose the design and the material – from stone, to wood, to marble – with no renovation required!

Whether you need to purchase a new piece of furniture to create a mantel display, or you just need to freshen up your current space with some new design elements, Rubies Home Furnishings is ready and waiting to help you create a space you’ll love for years to come.



How to Declutter and Minimize Your Carbon Footprint in Your Home


Minimalism and environmentalism have the potential to keep the earth healthy. By consuming fewer products, you produce less trash and harmful waste. You also help preserve resources such as water and help prevent carbon emissions that occur when shipping items to your home. Here are a few ways to minimize your carbon footprint and declutter your home.


It’s important to sort your possessions by category. This can help you from feeling overwhelmed and needing to do it all at once. Some categories might include food, clothes, bathroom items, entertainment, and other themes in your life. Some people favor the Marie Kondo method when dividing up their things and figuring out what they want. Use boxes to keep track of everything; for the items you keep, put them in more decorative or aesthetically pleasing boxes.


While sorting your things, it’s inevitable that you’ll end up with a lot of loose paper, photos, and documents. One way to keep your mementos in your life is to digitize them. You can use a scanner or even your phone to digitize and store old photos. Some phones offer apps to scan your items, but you can also just take pictures of everything. You can place them in some kind of cloud storage that will keep your items safe. Some examples of cloud storage include Google, iCloud, OneDrive, and iDrive, all of which have free options with plenty of space to go around.

Recycle Big and Little Items

After you’re finished with using them, clean and recycle glass, plastic, and paper. Research has shown that some indoor furnishings can negatively impact the quality of the air inside our homes. As such, some of your furniture might be better off donated, sold, or even recycled. You can also recycle older appliances after you’re finished with them, including your oven, microwave, toaster oven, or even your fridge. Your mattress is also something to recycle. Many recycling centers can pick up your items or donate them for you.

Recycle Electronics

According to the EPA. recycling electronics can preserve natural resources and prevent air and water pollution. After your old laptop or cell phone dies, you can take it to a local recycling center or search online for other options. Some retailers such as Best Buy also offer a recycling program for all your used electronics.


If you’re hoping to make a little extra side money, you might have some perfectly good items you can sell online or at yard sales. As long as your items are clean, in good shape, and are working fine, you can probably find them new homes.


Many items can be donated to the local charity or thrift shop, but did you know that each item in your home has a place they can be donated? Some charities, for example, will take your old cars. Books, meanwhile, can be donated to troops overseas, relief shelters, or your local library. The Salvation Army will pick up your furniture, and you can also donate to furniture banks for people trying to get back on their feet. These contributions are all tax-deductible.



After decluttering, clean your house at least twice a week. If you haven’t already invested in one, now’s the time to get a good quality vacuum. Cordless vacuums, in particular, are generally very easy to store, and you won’t encounter any cords to trip over. They’re light, so you can also get easy spots instead of having to haul it all over the floor.

Also, think about the products you use, as some cleaners are harsh on the environment. According to the Washington Post, cleaners and common chemicals now contribute to air pollution nearly as much as cars. Use natural cleaning agents, such as vinegar, Borax, and baking soda. You can also research environmentally safe cleaners and order them online.

Finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is important. When decluttering, consider recycling your old electronics, along with your older appliances. Clean with natural ingredients and upload your documents and photos so you don’t ever have to worry about losing them again. You’ll help other people, yourself, and the environment.

A big thank you to Alice Robertson, guest blogger and creator of Tidy Home for your healthy home tips for us!


The Love Story of Grant and Hope Staples


Happy Valentine’s Day to our wonderful customers and followers! We want to take just a few minutes to celebrate love by featuring one of our favorite local couples, Grant and Hope Staples.

If you’ve ever met Grant and Hope, you’ve probably noticed their love for one another that permeates the air around them. They affectionately call one another “Lovie” and “Dovie.” Even on days full of ministry obligations, when exhaustion sets in, you’ll see the strength of a marriage where they not only cling to the Father but also lean on one another as they impact the world around them. The love inside of them spills onto others as well, as they’re always willing to pray for others, whether in the front yard at the Glory House or when you bump into them at a local restaurant.

In the beginning…

Grant and Hope met at Grace Covenant Church. Hope, a single mother of three, was working in the nursery to make extra money. At that time, Grant was a part of a Christian band called Somethin’ Real that played at youth camps and retreats. The band played for a youth camp at Grace Covenant on an evening Hope was working in the nursery. Grant and Hope had mutual friends at Grace Covenant who introduced them, and one evening, several people gathered around Hope to pray for her and her children. Grant led that prayer. It was a year before the two would cross paths again, but the seed was planted. 

In God’s Timing

Grant and Hope began dating a few years later, but then broke up for over three years due to Hope’s fears of relationships based on past hurts. Grant was also fearful of failing a family with children, and didn’t feel ready for a forever commitment. Walking away was hard for both of them. After nearly three years of being apart, Hope had the opportunity to be a missionary in Honduras. While Hope was there, Grant’s friends asked him a profound question, “Are you a better man with Hope?” Grant knew he was. This conversation along with several other confirmations led to Grant popping the question when Hope returned from Honduras. The two were married at Grace Covenant Church on May 20, 2006.


Following God’s Lead

The two lovebirds felt a calling on their lives a few years ago to purchase a house in downtown Laurel and give it the name “The Glory House.” It’s a place where hope and prayer are combined with meeting the needs of local residents and traveling missionaries. Grant and Hope believe in being the hands and feet of Jesus to our community.


Through The Glory House, Grant and Hope, along with their team and other volunteers, are able to share the gospel and the love of Christ through several avenues, including a food and clothing ministry, discipleship opportunities for all ages, construction and home repair and hosting short-term mission teams. The food pantry is open weekly, and they host a third Sunday community meal and worship service in Gardiner Park that includes distribution of food bags to those who have need.

The Ups and Downs of Life in Marriage

Grant and Hope are polar opposites when it comes to their personalities, and they will admit that sometimes finding a balance can be hard, even after 13 years of marriage. Regardless of their differences, they both love having one another to experience life with - on both the good days and the bad.


They believe one of the biggest challenges in marriage today is the number of things constantly vying for their attention. Since Grant and Hope live in the house from which they operate the ministry, they believe it is necessary to take time to rest and spend time with family.

Keeping the Fire Alive

So what’s their secret to staying “in love?” They credit six things – laughter, compromise, communication, trust, love and Christ. Hope says that Grant offsets her Type A personality by always being able to make her laugh. They agree that the Bible offers the best wisdom in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” As for compromise, Grant and Hope go against the “me-culture” to serve one another, and they put one another’s desires and interests ahead of their own. Open and honest communication, even when it’s hard, builds trust.

This sweet couple knows that love is an action not merely a word. They believe that the misuse of the word love as a feeling is the downfall of so many marriages. Their definition of love is defined in Scripture in 1 John 4:7-11, because they know that without God, there is no real love. They credit Christ for keeping them together. “Our belief is that if we say with our mouth that we trust Him, then we better act like it! We must trust Him with our marriage, our family, our business, our ministry and every single aspect of our lives,” Hope said. They both believe that Christ must be at the center of their marriage, for “a threefold cord is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).


At Rubies, we are thankful for people like Grant and Hope in our community, who share the true meaning of love inside and outside of their home. If you are interested in giving financially or becoming a volunteer, you can find out more details at


Rubies Home Furnishings Bring 700 Unique Custom Fabrics to Laurel


New Best Home Furnishings fabric wall provides more options for homes in the Pine Belt  

LAUREL, Miss – February 6, 2018 – Rubies Home Furnishings, located on 16th Avenue in Laurel, announces their new fabric wall from Best Home Furnishings. This recently-completed investment was made to bring affordable, custom-made furniture to the Pine Belt. The fabric wall offers over 700 fabric choices for local shoppers, all available in a variety of Best Home Furnishings furniture models.  

Best Home Furnishings, headquartered in Indiana, makes chairs, sofas, recliners and motion sofas and boasts one of the most innovative furniture plants in the industry. The company’s product selection has grown to hundreds of different styles in over a thousand diverse cover selections. In addition to fabric, Best Home Furnishings also offers leather options as well. 

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“Jones County has become a thriving place for home renovation in the South,” said Kim Smith, co-owner of Rubies Home Furnishings. “At Rubies, we’ve see the demand grow for home furnishings and are thrilled to meet with the variety of options Best offers.” The ability for Rubies Home Furnishings shoppers to affordably customize the look of their homes has been a mission of the store since it was founded. 

“We opened Rubies in 2016, as the demand for furniture was growing outside of the walls of our sister store, City Home Center,” said Karlyn Pugh, who owns and manages both Rubies Home Furnishings and City Home Center with her sister, Kim. “We are excited to offer more options to our customers not only in Jones County but throughout the southern part of the state of Mississippi as well.”


Rubies Home Furnishings has become known for their friendly and knowledgeable team. With the new fabric wall, the staff at Rubies will assist with the entire process – from ordering to delivery – and ensure clients get the perfect piece of furniture for their home. 

For more information about the style options offered by Best Home Furnishings, visit them online at To see the fabric wall, Visit Rubies Home Furnishings at 2139 Hwy 15, Suite A, in Laurel. You can also visit them online at, or on Facebook or Instagram.

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