Brass Revival

I saw this kitchen in the recent Canadian House and Home- The hardware. OMG.

Stylist Sasha Seymour did the design of her own kitchen. (to see more of the home- click here) The chevron floors, the tile around the fireplace, the glossy white cabinets, the sweet puppy dog, the windows- I love it ALL. Oh yeah, and the cabinets are from IKEA! She just customized her own hardware- apparently "from ebay and misc antique stores." Great- So we can't copy her. :/

Also, it says that they were planning on doing the open shelves wrapped in brass but decided last minute to instead run it along the toe kick. Genius. !!

And then a few weeks ago Bill Ingram's charming cottage was featured in House Beautiful. I fell in love with the kitchen island- especially.. the brass hardware.

I love the juxtaposition of the rustic wood and the shiny brass. Also see how he didn't try to match the faucet with everything? Follow his lead. It's good to mix and match.!

Another shot of the kitchen...

One more- A kitchen by Amy Meier...

And the gorgeous hardware combination...

What can I say? I'm into inset unlacquered brass hardware these days.

1. Flush Ring Pull

2. Card Holder Drawer Pull- by Rejuvenation

3. Campaign Hardware- by Ansaldi & Sons

4. Flush Finger Pull- by Rocky Mountain Hardware

And while we're on the subject... check out this tub fixture from Waterworks Etoile Collection

Isn't she pretty ?

Tid Bits: Progress

Just got back from a whirlwind trip to Scotts Antiques in Atlanta then directly to Montgomery, Alabama to check on one of my babies projects. Remember my whimsical/elegant client? Although all of the rooms are still under construction, I had to share some progress pics. 

Update: the marble is in, and the tile is up. I squealed when I saw it!

It. is. stunning.

It's such a happy kitchen. Can you tell?

More progress in the Master Bathroom...

*One of my new favorite combinations. Kohler's vibrant brushed bronze finish (this one is the Purist faucet) + calcutta gold marble = perfection. It seriously makes my mouth water!@ I know, I'm weird.

(disregard the sawdust and fingerprints--- oh the joys of construction!)

A glimpse of the master shower… which literally used to be a closet.

The wet bar...

*Soapstone hasn't been sealed yet but I already love it. See the tiny dark mark right above the faucet? That is where I licked my finger and rubbed on the stone. Once sealed it will turn that charcoal color and really show off the veining. (just in case you weren't familiar with soapstone)

And the den…

Which is quickly turning into my favorite room.

Yay for progress!

More to come… 

 Marble and stone slabs are from Artigiano Stone -New Orleans, LA; Master shower tile from Mission Stone and Tile - Nashville, TN; Kitchen tile is Walker Zanger Ashbury tile from Crossville Tile in Montgomery AL

Sneak Peak: Elegant + Whimsical Kitchen

 el·e·gant adj: tastefully fine or luxurious in dress, style, design, etc. 

whim·si·cal adj: Playfully quaint or fanciful, esp. in an appealing and amusing way.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I just got back from meeting one of my out-of-town clients where they are doing a major overhaul on an old, traditional home. It's going to be the perfect mix of elegant and whimsical- I can't wait to see it come together.We finally have the kitchen planned out and I'm so excited about it, I just have to share with you...

Screen shot 2011-01-09 at 5.19.05 PM Screen shot 2011-01-09 at 5.16.53 PM

A simple, classy canvas: White Dove cabinets + white marble (Pretty white marble is hard to come by lately. We are still on the hunt for the perfect Calacutta Gold slab- Anyone seen one lately?)

With a gorgeous backsplash tile-

(drumroll please)


Backsplash tile

Walker Zanger Ashbury tile in powder blue. Gorgeous.


Oh wait, I'm not done yet.

Centered in the kitchen will be this beauty, who lovingly refer to as "Frenchie"...

Le cornue

+ this antique island on casters (found at ABC Home in NYC)

Kitchen island

+ Kohler hi-rise bridge faucet + Rohl white farmhouse sink
Kitchen faucet Shaw sink 

Two of these lanterns in a custom paint finish…

Screen shot 2010-11-08 at 6.42.17 PM Screen shot 2011-01-09 at 5.35.44 PM

Now you see why I'm so excited??!!!!

Finished product coming early spring.


Kitchen Living

Let's be honest- nowadays people live in their kitchens. And I love seeing houses that attempt to blur the line between the kitchen and living room. Or kitchen and dining room. Thinking outside the traditional layout of a home and creating a space that is more functional for their family.

I saw this kitchen recently and really liked the concept- (and the design, of course)...




Can't decide between having a table in the kitchen vs an island? This way you have both! They put a slab of stone at the end of the dining table (raised to counter height) so it would feel like a part of the kitchen. I love this idea.

So, the question is: "Where is all the stuff??" 

In a working pantry adjacent to kitchen/living area. I've learned that the best way to combine a kitchen/living/or dining area have a bigger pantry.



A 12' long secondhand sink that they found at a restaurant supply place. Very cool... and very functional.

 The owner, Ruard Veltman, says: "I'm torn between two things: a very clean, modern kitchen with everything hidden, and a very utilitarian space with everything on open shelves — glasses, dishes, equipment, food. By having two rooms, I can have it both ways." 

Another kitchen I could see spending a lot of time in...


The owner is Richard Norris (who is the business manager for Mcalpine Tankersley in Montgomery, AL- meaning: he had GOOD help!). He wanted the kitchen to have the feel of a traditional dining room. So the sink area acts as a buffet/sideboard and the oval island a dining table.

Where's all the stuff? In the pantry.


Ina Garten's kitchen definitely doubles as a living area. 

Where's the Barefoot Contessa's {endless supply of} stuff??

My point exactly.

On another note, thanks again for all of your incredibly nice comments from my last post. Seriously, y'all are too good to me. 


(1) Designer: Ruard Veltman via House Beautiful; photo credit: Eric Piasecki (2) via House Beautiful; photo credit: William Abranowicz (3) via House Beautiful; photo credit: Simon Upton

Dressed to Renovate

I'm back... and I finally have some recent projects to share with you. 

Today- A kitchen renovation! I especially enjoy these kinds of projects because a) I love kitchens and b) I love knocking out walls. Being able to transform a space by removing/adding walls is fascinating... it keeps me up at night. (in a good way :) ... (if there IS such a thing?)

To hold your attention here's a sneak peek: 


 This particular client is a super talented wardrobe consultant here in Nashville- Tina Adams from Tina & Rebecca. Tina and I love to discuss the parallels in our jobs... we both assist people in makeovers- whether that's your wardrobe or your living room.  She told me in the beginning- "I dress like I decorate my house: mostly whites and caramels  in classic shapes with some subtle modern touches thrown in for good measure.  Pops of color here and there.  Love vintage."

Now, when a client says this to Tina she thinks: "a fitted white blouse with knockout jewelry," and when she said this to me I immediately thought: "Splurge on the marble countertops- then add rich paint colors and interesting lights."

At-white-shirt-604= 865c994113d1

So we did just that.

(Drumroll please..)





after !


(If it came with a sound effect it would be THIS.)

After our first meeting I came up with a rough plan that involved some minor demolition... 

Adams kitchen plan
 <We ended up changing some things that are on this plan but you get the idea>

 The main concept was getting rid of the "breakfast room" attached to the kitchen and expanding into that unused space. 

before (you can see breakfast room in the back)


 after !


Ahhhh.. so much more space!



 after !


I snapped this picture shortly after Tina made me the best slice of sourdough bread I've ever had. Her client from Knoxville has nursed/fed this dough for years! I had it toasted with jelly on it... Amazing. I'm going to need to get in touch with this Knoxville client ASAP.

Anyway, back to the kitchen...


I have to admit- my favorite part of the entire renovation was the jewelry light fixtures. (Shocking, I know- Rachel loves light fixtures!?)


I had seen these lights online (new design by Suzanne Kasler for Visual Comfort) but had not seen them in person. Since they were a Kasler design I knew they had to be fabulous so I bit the bullet and ordered two.  

Tina and I both squealed when we opened up the box. Then squealed again when they were hung, and ... you get the picture. I'm obsessed with these light fixtures. They add so much to the room- like Tina says: "They're the perfect pair of earrings"... or Steeplechase hats?

Tinacrown  Photo
 I couldn't imagine these lights against any old white ceiling... so we had the ceiling painted Sherwin Williams Magnetic Gray in satin oil finish for a soothing backdrop.

We also tied in a vintage look with the hardware. The egg shaped knobs and the pulls are both in antique brass from Restoration Hardware. Not too shiny, not too dull- a great mix.

IMG_8385  IMG_8372


 We used an existing piece (a flea market find by Tina) for the 'kitchen island'... I like how it adds a feminine touch to the kitchen. 


Makeover Complete.

Now it's time for my wardrobe!

 To find out more about Tina & Rebecca Wardrobe Consulting check out there great blog! HERE.


A few of my faves...

As seen in:

Jill Sharp's kitchen! (I read in the resources that these are Ballard Design stools) Can be found HERE.

Picture 1 
as seen in:

a kitchen by Susan Ferrier. The barstools can be found HERE.  

2modern barstool 

As seen in:

Picture 2
A stylish kitchen designed by Erika from Urban Grace. Can be found HERE

Picture 8
as seen in:

this bright kitchen from Met Home;  stools can be found HERE

Something similar (with slipcovered 'hat' which I LOVE)...

Source unknown; stools can be found HERE.

Picture 3 

as seen in:

James radin
 a kitchen by James Radin. Similar ones can be found HERE

And some others I like that don't have a picture to go with them:

Picture 4Picture 68-kitchen-best-1208-xlg-84309211

Noir stoolPicture 7 Picture 5 

(1) Bungalow 5 (2) Z Gallerie (3) Bungalow Classic (4) Noir(5) Pier One (6) World Market

Musical barstools, anyone?



martha, martha, martha...

I hope everyone had a good Valentines Day!! 

This "holiday" always reminds me of.... 


Martha Stewart.

(Bet you didn't think I'd say that one!)

Maybe it's because I'm always reminded of all the things I'm NOT doing for the one I love. When I grab a Hallmark card and sign my name at the bottom I should be doing things like... making customized tea bags or fortune cookies.

Martha tea bags  Martha fortune cookies

I have to constantly remind myself that Martha has an endless staff of helpers. I repeat: She. Has. Help.

With that in mind, I'd like to introduce you to her SET kitchen...  (originally spotted on remodelista -thanks to Angie for sending!)

Martha set

I guess if my 'pretend kitchen' looked half as good as this I'd be happily making custom fortune cookies too.

Martha set kitchen1

TTN: *the vintage rolling pins

*the brackets (below the upper cabinets) are such a nice detail that help make the cabinetry feel more custom

* the paint color for this cabinetry... love it. So subtle and different. If all of your bathrooms have the standard 'trim color' cabinetry consider repainting one of your bathroom vanities a soothing color like this one. According to this blog post- the paint color is, in fact, one of Martha's colors. Mourning Dove Gray (MS 151) 

*The simple, tiny knobs. I think this is a great addition!! Seriously, I'm thinking about switching out all my knobs to these:

Round cabinet knob
Baldwin Round Cabinet Knob, can be found here for $6.  

Martha set kitchen2

TTN: Notice how Marthagroups similar items together when accessorizing her kitchen. 

TTN: That marble butler sink paired with the two bridge faucets... love.

And the VIEW!! (kidding)
Set kitchen  

For a complete list of resources click here.

Martha's fabulous set kitchen is modeled after her real kitchen in Bedford, New York. I'm sure you've seen it many times before but for kicks, here is the original...

Martha kitchen 4 

Marthas kitchen2
Marthas kitchen 5 

Marthas kitchen 6
Martha's kitchen

To get this look combine all shades of white, cream and tan dishware together...  And please invite a small army over for dinner. 

Picture 3
 Crate and Barrel's classic pottery

Putty pottery
Pottery Barn's pottery in Putty

And ofcourse...

Martha's dinnerware at Macys. Can't go wrong there!
Picture 4 


Ivory pier one 

Pier One Ivory Dinnerware

*** Sidenote: I have been a bad blogger. For all of you who are everyday readers, I am sorry I have been MIA. I've been busy with work, traveling a lot, fighting off the southern snow storms (okay- just one), and haven't had much computer time this past month. I plan to be more consistent with my posts. Promise!

Now, if only I could locate my endless staff of helpers...


 all martha's images from martha stewart website

rustic, elegant barstools

I love these barstools-

Barstools 2

Ahg barstools

What a great way to add elegance to a rustic setting. 

Speaking of rustic elegance... Neillie, a very talented event planner in Birmingham (with a wonderful blog- To the Gathering) did a special post about rustic, elegant weddings. She asked if she could use my wedding video in her post and ofcourse I was honored!! I also sent her a few more pictures from our wedding weekend. If you're planning a wedding or just like the term 'rustic elegance' check it out by clicking HERE

Barstool images from Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles


Raise your hand if you thought this was going to be an announcement that I was pregnant! You blog readers... Keep dreamin'!!!!      < and NO, Mom, I wouldn't break the news to you via nestegg >

I'd like to introduce you to one of my babies. This baby has a roof and a chimney, and I've been taking care of it since it was just a pile of rocks by a lake--freezing my b*tt off and discussing foundation plans through chattering teeth. This is one of those projects where I have had the pleasure of being involved in every decision- all the way down to the window mullions.


This project has been going on for the past year

In this past year I have become part of a family.

I have been on roadtrips to visit Grandma, 

sent and received over 1000 house-related emails,

and I have watched this family struggle with cancer as their healthy son, Stuart, was diagnosed with lymphoma at age 31.

In this past year I have tried to find balance in building a house and praying for someone's life. I'd call my client-"Hey! Did you like the tiles I dropped off at your house? (same breath)-How's Stuart's blood count??!"

So, needless to say, this baby is very special to me.

Construction phase is nearly* over and a new chapter will unfold. But I wanted to share a sneak peak into some of my favorite rooms:



Screened porch off of kitchen... not too shabby. *I know, the light fixture needs to be lowered. 


Looking into the master bathroom...




in the screen porch looking back into the kitchen


Living Room fireplace


*Susan and I deciding on which sisal rug to put in the main room. Don't you think this house calls for some sisal?


Susan sitting on top of her new marble countertops.. hey, it's her marble she can sit if she wants to!

So, one year later, we have this pretty kitchen...

And one year later we have a cancer survivor!!  I have watched this loving family fight a ferocious battle with cancer and WIN! 

To read about Stuart's life-changing story you can start by clicking here. His unassailable faith and love for the Lord is amazing. Here is a little clip from his blog:

Having no choice but to slow down in life will force me to connect my head to my heart a little better, and really tabernacle with the Lord in the here and now. That's really the only place that He can meet us: not in the nostalgia of the past, or the fear of the future... but right here, right  now. There is no grace for events that never come about, so let us not spend any time worrying about whether they may come or not. 
Let us just sit for a moment, at these crossroads of uncertainty, and meet God right here. To Him be all the glory. It is well.


To be continued...


Builder: Jake Huckaby, D.I.W.P., jakehuckaby(at)

Neutral Home


Just getting back into town from a wedding weekend in Atlanta... Laundry all over the place, emails galore, and a little present from Hobbes:


Even though we spoil him with a house sitter he likes to remind us that he does NOT enjoy being left on the weekends.

While I play catch-up I wanted to leave you with some eye candy this Monday morning. 

Most of you remember this home from a recent House Beautiful article because of the bold kitchen...



But do you remember the rest of the house?
















Designer Christina Rottman

Photos by Mikkel Vang


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.


Let There Be White: Kitchens.

Love it or Hate it??

Please cast your votes for your favorite 'white kitchen'!! While you peruse through some of my favorite white kitchens please take a minute to notice how each kitchen has unique elements to set itself apart. Okay fine, I'll do it for you. Jeeeez, do I have to do everything around here?? :)

TTN: Things To Note

OTTN: Obvious Things to Note


Carl Daquino elle decor

TTN: blue tile, chairs, light fixture (so cool! although I can't really see it)

Designer Carl D'Aquino, image from Metropolitan Home


Thad hayes white

TTN: old white appliances, stools, light fixture= all have same feel; glass cabinets and hardware placement (a little odd but i like it)

OTTN: 2 pineapples seen canoodling on the island

Designer Thad Hayes, image in Southern Accents


Susan tully house b2

TTN: black countertops and hardware, tall tile backsplash, killer stove

Designer Susan Tully, image in House Beautiful


Susan ferrier houseb

TTN: Bongo stools, brackets supporting island overhang, great artwork in the kitchen to pull together black accents

Designer Susan Ferrier, image in House Beautiful


TTN: This look will never get old; classy, simple, lime green accents, farmhouse sink and bead-board backsplash- cool faucet too
Image from Better Home and Gardens

Nathan egan
TTN: black island, pot rack, oooo pot rack with light fixtures hidden beneath (look veeeeddy veddy closely)
Designer Nathan Egan, image from

OTTN: modern much?
TTN: amazing view, frosted? glass partition wall, not one crumb in sight (moms, keep moving- never gonna happen..)
Image from Architectural Digest


Elledecor 2008
TTN: I spy Lemon!, lucite barstools, punch of color in the roman shade, marble backsplash tiles
OTTN: adorable girl quietly doing her homework in a super clean setting (Once again Moms, keep moving..)
image from elle decor 2008

Hague637style files
TTN: open shelving, creative cabinets with cut out pulls, concrete (?) countertops.. anyway, something soothing and gray
image from style files

Urban grace kitchen
TTN:light blue painted island, open shelving with stainless (unique!) brackets, glass blue pulls, "pretty clutter," well done!
OTTN: I spy lemons
Designer Urban Grace Interiors, image from her blog

TTN: great use of space while allowing entire wall of windows to be 'cabinet free', light fixture above sink, and honey do melon!- nothing else really... it just looks so calming I want to crawl into the picture and sit at the island while someone makes me chicken noodle soup. Anyone want to join? (We don't have to have chicken noodle-)

Jodi caden elle decor 
TTN: different refrigerator, bridge faucet, neat light fixture, black countertops around perimeter, marble on island 
image from elledecor

Kitchen chicago martha
This is Martha Stewart's kitchen in her Chicago apartment.
TTN: I like the built-in refrigerator panels, wine bottle storage, and the funky light fixture to mix things up a bit

Kitchen manhattan martha
oh, and her manhattan apartment as well.. (sigh) must be nice. This is really different- but I like it.
TTN: Very kid friendly! (moms,we're back in business!)- minus the ladder on casters.. eek, that's a trainwreck waiting to happen; different colored chairs (you know martha painted them herself), white washed floors, tall,open shelving with anything from books to tea kettles.
both images from martha stewart living 

Kitchen mary evelyn
This is a Mary Evelyn design as well. Actually, it used to be hers! 
TTN: slipcovered chairs around an antique table, backsplash tile is not your usual shape (love it), simple hood design, didn't try to 'over design' the kitchen
Designer Mary Evelyn McKee, image from Southern Accents

Kitchen southern accents suzanne kasler
I know this kitchen has been over posted, but I LOVE it. It makes me happy. 
OTTN: I spy lemons. baby blue tile
TTN: grass shades, matching stools (just the right amount of "matchy"- anything else blue and it would be too much), love the long hardware pulls, and the cooktop knobs- white!? who knew.
Designer Suzanne Kasler, image from southern accents

Kitchen white SA
TTN: black and white floors, tall french doors and windows, skinny island with great faucet,
OTTN: honey-do melon again?... Gotcha! (same kitchen as #11:)
image from southern accents

Southern accents
TTN: open shelving, backsplash tile goes almost to ceiling!, amber accents, look great with brass hardware
OTTN: They must not have kids, or even live there for that matter. 
image from southern accents

Cast your votes! #1-18! You can pick more than one (if you're feeling extra inspired!) or you can shoot them all down. 

TTN: Click on "Comments" below and scroll to end of this post to enter your comment. I'm interested to see which ones are chosen as Faves....

OTTN: These might make a dent in your nest egg, but I just couldn't help myself. Maybe when I have a 'kitchen winner' I will help you piece it together with less expensive materials... just a thought. .. actually, this whole blog is a bunch of thoughts. So I guess it's more like a thought within a giant web of thoughts. A sub-thought. Is anyone still reading this?? If you are, Go Vote. (and sorry for rambling)


images from: