Missing Cottage Living

Looking back through some of my favorite cottages...



I. LOVE. this kitchen.


*and this room- great mix of functional, comfortable and classy.
Mthompson bedroom 
Megan thompson bedroom 
Thompson nursery

TTN: you could do this with an unused closet space; take off the doors, put up some curtains, possibly a light fixture, and create a special nook.

<Atlanta decorator Tyler Colgen; photography by Megan Thompson>


CL 1

See the ghost chair in the background..??… Or DO you?? :)

Love the mix of materials in this room- subtle but plenty of texture.





TTN: Again, it's very subtle in color but the mix of textures keeps it from falling flat- and keeping it fabulous!

-love seeing that antique iron bench at the end of the bed rather than the standard bench. Sure, it's not as functional but it looks awesome.



<Chaffee Braithwate via Duchess Faire>


Another one of my favorites.. Haskell Harris' (previous) home. She's the associate editor of Garden and Gun- so it doesn't surprise me that her style is impeccable. She has since moved from this adorable cottage (to Charleston!) but its' too good to pass up...

Haskell harris cottage

Haskell harris 2


Haskell harris 4

Haskell bedroom
So cozy and classy.

Haskell harris 5
<Haskell Harris via Cottage Living and Southern Living>

Eclectic cottage:

Lee Kleinhelter, owner of the Atlanta store Pieces, has lived in (and designed) some fabulous homes over the years. I like this one in particular...

Lee K cottage

Lee K cottage 2

TTN: Apparently Lee agrees with me-! (see texture quote above)

Lee K cottage4

TTN: Swing in the corner? Check.
Lee K cottage
Lee Kleinhelter, via Cottage Living

Hacienda cottage:

Cynthia david and issac preminger CL cottage 

Cynthia cottage 2

Cynthia cottage 3

Cynthia cottage 5
Cynthia David and Issac Preminger's home via Cote de Texas

Dear Cottage Living,

we {still} miss you dearly.


 *if you haven't voted for your favorite Boy Room- be sure to cast your vote over the weekend! I'll be back with a budget makeover for the winning room.


Paint Post- Whites & Neutrals

I heard somewhere that the human eye can perceive an average of 5 million colors... or something equally insane. It's no wonder paint decks are so huge. And for most people- extremely intimidating!

 So, let's just start with the most important part: Neutrals

You will find that most of these are Benjamin Moore colors. I hate to show favoritism but... I can't help it. I love their neutrals.

Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee that any of these colors will go perfectly in your home. These are just ones I continue to go back to. I use 3-5 paint decks in almost every paint consultation and still recommend putting up sample boards. 

One more thing: The 'swatches' below are not a perfect representation of the actual paint color. I hesitated to include them but thought a wordy Monday post would be too boring for yall me to handle. So here goes...

Grand teton white 
 Benjamin Moore- Grand Teton White AC-42- a great all-over neutral. Not too dark, not too light. 

White dove
 Benjamin Moore- White Dove OC-17- my personal 'go to' trim color. I don't like to use stark white. This one is easy on the eyes and easy to work with.

Dove Wing OC-18 is a good one too. 

Sherwin William's Dover White SW6385- A fresh white with a tiny hint of cream in it. Very pretty on cabinets.

Manchester tan
 Manchester Tan HC-81- one of my favorite neutrals. Has more 'grey' in it than 'cream' but is soothing and you'll never get tired of it. In fact, in my opinion you can't go wrong with any of the neutrals on that entire sleeve. One of them being:

Grant beige
 Grant Beige HC-83- always a winner if you're looking for a neutral grey. Tapestry Beige OC-32 is a good one as well. These colors look great with blues and greens.

 Pittsburgh Paints PPG (the new porter)- Morocco Sand 515-3- a pretty cream; great for large rooms

Sherwin William's Softer Tan SW6141- a pretty creamy beige. And one step darker:

Picture 12
 Sherwin William's Macadamia SW6142- a warm and cozy neutral; sometimes I describe it as 'buttery' but then I kick myself for sounding like I'm describing a chardonnay. Great for bedrooms or dens. 

Abingdon putty  

Two good neutrals with a little green undertone: Benjamin Moore's Carrington Beige HC-93 or Abingdon Putty HC-99 (pictured above) 

PPG's Antique White 516-2 - another great neutral with a hint of grey, tiiiny hint of green. Looks awesome with sagey greens.

Ok, those are just a few of my faves. Next time I'll share my foolproof blues and greens!

For a helpful online paint matching tool click HERE. (Or you can find it below this post.)

Are there any neutral paint colors you have used and loved? If so, please share! 


She works hard for the money...

I recently subscribed to Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles... simply because I'm addicted to magazines and am stocking piling inspiration for fear that these hard copies will cease to exist. Y2K all over again. I'm slowly making my way cross country with these subscriptions. (I signed up for Birmingham H&G too but haven't gotten one yet? Any other states I might need?)

Anyway, I'm loving AH&L. I got the May issue in the mail and flipped open to... My new dream office. 

I'm dead serious. This is it. 

And I should have known it would be none other than Suzanne Kasler's...

Kasler office 1 

I"ll tell you why it sings to me...

  • Lots of work surfaces.. I NEEEED that desperately. 
  • It's Cozy.... Feels like the upstairs loft of a home.


Screen shot 2010-05-03 at 6.50.06 PM

  • It's effortlessly stylish. 

Picture 3 

  • It's realistic! And it looks like cool people work here.

Picture 7 Picture 6 

  • Wall to wall seagrass. Check!

  • Here's the thing I have learned over the years about the office(s) of an interior designer. (Mainly-mine!) They are ticking time bombs. Like clockwork- every 24 hours a 'creative bomb' -or two- goes off and there is a minor explosion of fabric samples, papers, materials, purchase orders,..you name it. You can clean it up? But more than likely you don't have time as you frantically run out the door (10 minutes late-always) with fabric shrapnel attached to every corner of your stylish black outfit while you sling around your bag of bricks. Literally people- sometimes it IS bricks!) And you can't have anyone else clean up after you because your stack/vision is placed strategically in a way that only YOU (and people who speak freaky-deaky-Dutch) could figure out.  And By the time you get back you definitely don't feel like tidying up so you gently place your 'stack' aside shielding it from tomorrow's bomb. Hencestacks all over the place! 

So when I saw this picture I thought- YES! Put those messy little stacks in baskets!

Picture 5

  • Organized clutter. (My favorite)
  • It's open but still has private nooks. 
  • It includes a chic lobby for stylish clients (like my friend Holly from Things that Inspire. Holly, if you're reading- do you meet with Suzanne here or at home? Just curious... It's win/win either way I'm sure!)

Picture 4 

  • A synchronized crew.? Yes, I'll take two.

  Picture 9 

After going through this article with my mouth hanging open gasping at the turn of every page, I can officially say:

a. I'm SO jealous it hurts 

b. I'm equally inspired.!! 

c. So my new goal: work hard for the money so I can get an office like this that'll treat me right. !!

(Go ahead and listen to it) it'll be in your head all day regardless. SORRY

In the mean time I will just go to the next best thing: The office Kasler styled for Ballard Designs...

Suzanne kassler for ballard_thumb[2]
Very pretty!

But I like the real deal. Bigger space, less stacks, more time, 

Tick, tick, tick, tick...


PS- If you are a designer, work for one, or deal with fabrics daily- would you please mind sharing your organizing system? I've tried organizing them by color, by style, and it still just doesn't feel right. IT could just be me! but I would love to hear your tips. Thanks. :)

All images via AH&L magazine. Photographed by Erica George Dines.

 Go get a subscription! 


I want to....

Wake up in this bedroom:

Good mix domino mcgee052
via Domino Mag 

Get ready for my day in this antique chair...

Designer Amy Morris; photography by Emily Followill

Open the windows in my bedroom to check the weather... 

Tammy connor 
Designer Tammy Connor via AHL

Make my coffee and breakfast in this kitchen...

Renea abbot kitchen:vvl 

Designer Renea Abbott via Velvet & Linen

Catch up on wordly news design blogs cuddled up in this spot (puppy included)...

Mary evelyn settee
designer Mary Evelyn McKee 

Read my latest Elle Decor beside this pool (as I dip my feet in the water to cool off)...

The Perfect Pool - Martha Stewart Living
Martha Stewart Living via Limestones and Boxwoods

This becomes exhausting so I probably should take a nap. In the guest bedroom... 

Melanie turner
Designer Melanie Turner Benecki via Benecki Fine Homes

Then have friends over for an early dinner in my pretty dining room...


and play a group game of Balderdash in this room...

Both pictures above: Designer Sara Scaglione via House Beautiful

And end the day with a glass of wine {and something sweet} in my favorite spot in the house...

Westbrook porch HB 
Designer Barbara Westbrook via House Beautiful

Is it TOO much to ask ??? 



Knock Knock

Who's there?

Oh, it's Rachel....and she's moving in.

 I know this house has been all over the blog world and on the front of a magazine but I had to put it on nestegg. I couldn't help it! Must be love...


Jill Brinson, interior designer and creative director for Ballard Designs, has an knack for style. Her house is rustic, timeless... and effortlessly cool

I don't have time to tell you all the reasons I love this house so I'll just pick ONE favorite thing about each room. (deep breath- this is going to be difficult)

  • the feminine (almost diva) touches to this room against the rustic, masculine pieces. EX: the splash of pink, the shiny sconces. Brilliant MIX!


  • the white washed cabinets with chicken wire
  • oh and the lanterns! AND the wicker chair... this is clearly impossible.


  • the fact that she got this gazebo from the anthropologie store in the mall


  • the UH MAY ZING iron window


  • the different cased openings on either side of the fireplace. She's not matchy matchy-! We're going to get along great.


  • the old shutters used as closet doors


  • The soothing gray outdoor furniture....who is ready for spring?


  • I don't know if I can choose just one. But I think the main reason I love this kitchen is the span of windows above the sink instead of upper cabinets.


  • The fact that this beautiful wallpaper is unexpected yet perfect.


  • The chairs... and the view. Are we seriously in Atlanta??


  • The unique vanity with a small mirror (from Target) in between the sinks rather than spanning the length of the wall.


  • The tub. (Everything about it.)      *I did not notice a guest room so I'll just put my things in here thank you. Wake me up in a few days...

Did you love this house as much as I did? Would love to hear your thoughts.


 Click here to read the article.

All photos taken by Simon Upton via House Beautiful

green & amber

I recently came across one of my favorite House Beautiful features styled by one of my favorite architect/designer combos: Bobby Mcalpine and Susan Ferrier.

Remember this one?


When I saw the pictures again I remembered only two parts of the article:

1. Apparently the clients were redheads so Susan used an amber and green color palette to complement their coloring. 

2. Everything I loved in the pictures came from Paris. (go figure!)

This kitchen and that light fixture... drooling over here.



The attention to detail is amazing. I recommend scrolling through the pictures one more time... 

To read the full article click here.

photos via House Beautiful

Neutral Love

Part of me wants to have a neutral home.

The rest of me wants to have a colorful, energetic home.

This is why I love my job- I can get both.

Meanwhile, my home will sit around in LIMBO waiting for me to make up my mind (and make more money). But this particular home has been sitting in my I love neutral files. It makes me want to strip out all the clutter, open all my windows, and breathe easy.

Veranda 1Veranda 2

Veranda 3 

*put a dog in it! 
Veranda 4

Veranda 5Veranda 6 

I just recently found that one of my favorite design bloggers/interior designers in California, Brooke from Velvet & Linen, posted about this house a while back because her husband was the architect!! Talk about talent in a family. They have three kids but with those creative genes I think they should bless this world with more.

Veranda 7
Veranda 8 

TTN: Slipcovered dining chairs... LOVE. I'll do a post soon about this concept- it deserves its own. Also, notice the neutral mixed with gold accents. In most situations I advise people to use "pops of color" in their rooms UNLESS they want to go all neutral- then I advise "pops of gold" accents. Or silver. Depends on the space...

Veranda 9 

There is nothing more cozy than simple, light bedding. *I also have a client that loves this house and thinks a flat screen TV comes out of that ottoman at the end of the bed.... Thoughts?
Veranda 10 

The artwork in this house is beautiful. 
Veranda 11 

TTN: I want to talk about this bathroom- the mirrored doors into the water closet(s)?... great detail. Imagine these with normal doors painted the trim color. Not worth a photograph, right? Consider replacing your doors with glass or mirrored inserts. Then painting a darker color. It would make a world of difference.

Veranda 12 

The bedrooms are my favorite part of this house
Veranda 13 

the kitchen wasn't really photographed in this article... Hmmm.. I'm very curious to see what it looks like!! I'm sure I'd love it.
Veranda 14 

OK, I'll buy it!

(Have your people call my people.)


All images from Veranda

Rooms I won't get tired of...

When I saw the latest House Beautiful in the mailbox  I did the usual:

(gasp!)- quickly grab the magazine- YESSSSsssss!


And then I read the feature title: Rooms You'll Never Get Tired Of

This oughta be a good one...

But while flipping through I found myself getting tired of some of the pictures. Don't get me wrong- some of the rooms are beautiful but I wouldn't label them with "Never get tired of." For example:


I think I would get tired of that. Just my own personal opinion!- take it , leave it, or leave a rebuttal comment.

But, assuming you might be here because you like my opinion I thought I'd give it a whirl:   

 if they asked ME ??

A bedroom I'd never get tired of...

Jeffrey bilhuber bedroom via flickr

foyer I'd never get tired of...

Barbara westbrook house b

dining room I'd never get tired of...


kitchen I'd never get tired of...

Kitchen urban

A porch I'd never get tired of...

Outside love

kid's room I'd never get tired of...

Via katy elliot

wet bar I'd never get tired of...

Habitually chic

A sunroom I'd never get tired of...


living area I'd never get tired of...

Martha stewart living room

home office I'd never get tired of...


bathroom I'd never get tired of...

Bathroom david kleinberg

screened porch I'd never get tired of...


.. but that's just me.


(1) jeffrey bilhuber via style chronicle (2) barbara westbrook via house beautiful (3) via W magazine (4) via urban grace (5) via house beautiful (6) via katy elliot (7) via habitually chic (8) elle decor (9) via martha stewart (10) barbara westbrook (11) david kleinberg via elle decor  (12) bobby mcalpine

Headboard Thoughts

Last year Southern Accents had an article called "One Headboard, Three Looks." I remember this article because I always find it interesting which "look" people prefer. I also remember this article because it contained none other than: My ideal bed.

One of these pictures is what I want my bed to look like. I'll tell you at the end.
But before I tell you which one I covet- I want you to pick your favorite and let me know in the comments section.

One Headboard
(because we can all agree that it's fabulous... and bejeweled!* (with nailhead)

Three Looks
all styled by Birmingham designer Liz Woods

#1 Blanketed in White


#2 Shades of Gray
#3 An Appealing Pattern
Which one do you choose?
Or if you can't see yourself sleeping in these beds you can choose to veto all of them.

Which one do I choose?
You probably could have guessed...
#2. Love at first sight...

So I did what any scatter-brained, magazine inspired, have-to-have-it-NOW, interior designer would do:
I started shopping.
Then I quickly realized that this #2 bed would not only empty my wallet- but it would flat out destroy our nest egg.
For example:
Scroll coverlet (the beige one)- Matteo Bedding, gorgeous but pricey

And the rope blanket.... Oh, the rope blanket. You are killing me with that price tag. Not to mention the name of the color about send me over the edge: Earth.
Although it is gorgeous I knew that my cat and any other future animal would ruin it in a heartbeat. So I began my search for a more affordable version of #2.

For the scroll coverlet and shams:
 Dillards. Much better price and has the same texture to it (you can't see it in the picture so you'll have to trust me on that one)

To replace the rope blanket:
Graphite restoration
The Diamond Matelasse coverlet in graphite*- from Restoration Hardware

I also found that Eileen Fisher's collection at Garnet Hill has a charcoal/gray color that is similar:
Eilein fisher
I actually found a very similar look but it is only in throw blankets and pillows:
West elm
from west elm! in clay* color

Empire Embroidered sheets in gray.

And as for that gorgeous bolster pillow?  "Taupe Verno bolster" by Archipelago.
I"m at a loss. And I still can't find any info on it- In other words:
Drop it. You can't afford it.
Waste 3 hours of your life looking for something similar online.
Force your blog readers to come up with it.
Be patient. I'll stumble upon it (or something like it) one day.

I have a feeling it might involve some of these fabrics:
John Robshaw fabrics... Maybe this guy from his website can help me-
John robshaw
or just give me one of those bags!!!


Somethings Gotta Give

I met with a prospective client yesterday about plans to renovate her existing house. We were going over what style she likes, etc. and she said
 "Well, there's this house in the movie..." -I immediately interrupted- "Something's Gotta Give, right?"

Talk about a dream home...

Somethings gotta give

Designer James Radin

These pictures don't do the house justice- go rent the movie.

Someone's Gotta Give Me That House.


Speaking of Faves...

The first time I saw this article in House Beautiful (several years ago), I immediately tore it out and put it in a separate folder from the rest of my 'tear outs'... It has been sitting in an exclusive section of my extremely disorganized file-folders called "Favorite Houses."
 I think it might be the color scheme... it is natural, blue/green, inviting, earthy... I just LOVE it!! But what else can I expect coming from architect/designer Bobby Mcalpine?? His work is unreal.

One of his interior designers, Susan Ferrier, was the designer for the house. All I can say is: You go girl.

Enjoy the pictures...


TTN: This room would not be the same without that throw blanket. Perfect example of the importance of accessories. 
*Also- curious about these floors, walls and ceilings?
They are pecky cypress ceilings/clear cypress walls and floors: stained dark,washed over with a lighter lichen color, and finished with another blue wash- creating an unique ancient look!

LISA CREGAN: I covet this house. How do you create something from brick and mortar that tugs so hard on the heartstrings?

BOBBY McALPINE: I think a lot of good architecture is like that. Remember that beautiful scene in the movie Out of Africa — the lions lying on the grave, wrapped in their own thoughts, unaware of being seen? I wanted this house to be that way. An approaching figure gets a glimpse of the composition, unwatched. It's like a little Episcopalian church in England — there's no front door, you enter from the side so you can enter unwatched. It implies a broad invitation.

The powder room... I'm not even kidding. If I was a guest in this house I would find excuses to go wash my hands: "Will you look at that! I found another speck of dirt under my fingernails! Please excuse me while I go wash up." 
TTN: Ann Sacks tiles, Peacock Paver floors. 

TTN: Wall of pictures actually goes behind the bed- nice detail.
Wall Color: Sag Harbor Gray, Benjamin Moore
Oh yeah, and: a spotless bedside table with a perfect arrangement of flowers and a water glass? In my dreams.
FIG tree branches... where can I get these??
Kitchen Cabinet color: Danville Tan, Benjamin Moore. 
TTN: The kitchen islands (oh yes, you need two) are so tastefully designed. Nothing too overdone- no frilly brackets or ornate door styles- simple and handsome.
OTTN: mismatched chairs that go together=Talent.
TTN:  they hung some artwork in between the windows- love that.
This swing: I daydream about
My birthday:June 24th

And your inspiration for that perfect, simple swing?

Bobby Mcalpine: I like to take something that's almost Puritan and do something sexy with it, breaking all the rules. The swing is on a walkway between two gardens, and those gardens really were the point of this whole thing. Every magical place and good house has an offering, something so clear that it's forever memorable. This house's lesson is that there is a beautiful life to be had, and that a beautiful life is, in fact...simple.


But What About ME?

This month's House Beautiful issue had an entire article titled "Everybody's Favorite Everything!" and it went through a list of designer's favorites! I just loved the article so much I decided that I wanted to share MY favorite everythings. Because I'm just so fabulous (and everything)

<using the same topics they used>

The appearance of dahlias and the smell of gardenias
(images from flickr)

Any glass or ceramic lamp.. Obviously you can find these anywhere but if you are looking for a classic:


are handmade, ceramic and beautiful. Since they are expensive just use his shapes, colors, etc. to help you pick out the perfect knockoff.

Lightbulb/Wattage: Soft 60W or pink lightbulbs! Or better yet:all in one!

I've searched high and low and have found that these sheets are the best out there. Belle Epoque And they just keep getting better and better after each wash!

Click here to get some- it's the only place I could find that sells them on the internet.... or just contact me and I'll hook you up!

The Dyson Slim


 for those of us who can't handle the bulky, heavy ones (like me!)- this one is perfect.
Coffee Table Book
House of worship
I'm in love with this book for the following reasons:
1. It is where Hoyt and I got married (Linville, North Carolina) and where he asked me to marry him (right under that adorable front porch)
Engaged!! 012
2. It is where I grew up every summer (not actually inside the church, but all around it)
3. It has many other gorgeous churches inside these pages
4. Inside this particular church there hangs a sign that I love. I think it represents the beauty of churches everywhere, and the beauty of this book.
Engaged!! 0ss15
Click here to order.

Tazo Chai Tea
Tazo chair

Artist (from any time period?) (Sure.)
(i'm asking and answering my own questions here- I really need to get out more.)

This is a tough one but I have always loved Piet Mondrian's early works:
Piet mondrian

Piet mondrian red tree
Piet mondrian 1
Piet mondrian mill
Click here to order. 
(ha, just kidding. I wish.)

All Purpose Glass
Heath ceramics
-recycled glassware from wine bottles!! Go green.

Comfort Food

fish and grits (can you tell I'm from the South?)
Last resort salmon and grits
This is a picture of one of my favorite dishes from Last Resort in Athens, GA. My mouth is watering as we speak... or as I type.

As I read through all of the designers favorite toothpastes I came to the conclusion that I am very sheltered (or just a misinformed commoner) in the dental hygiene department. Some of the answers to this question were: Elgydium, Marvis Jasmin Mint, Tom's of Maine, etc.
Whatever happened to Aquafresh or Crest? I use Crest but switch it up frequently.

I guess it's about time I give credit to the sofa behind my"nest egg" banner. This particular sofa is from Hickory Chair- called the Elinor sofa. 
Emory sofa hickory chair
Representing the "transitional design" that I like. Simple lines, classic look, fresh style...I wouldn't call it my favorite sofa, but I do love it.

Tough call... I always keep going back to Schumacher's Imperial Trellis inspired by Kelly Wearstler-
270721150033605003363 2707211 5003362 5003361 2707215 2707211 2707214 27072132707212

Chloe sevigny apartment house and garden


Sevigny's entry hall from House and Garden article... mixed with those floors- and the bold sconces... And she even has a matching bike! What an overachiever! 

(Whatever, you're just jealous.)

(That I am.)


(Happy Tuesday!)