My Work

Shiny and New : Take 2

Aaaaand we're back.

If you missed {Take 1} click here. 

New uses, new looks, in with the old and out with the new.... or something. ??

I found these antique doors at Scotts and thought they'd be perfect for solving the #1 Family Room Dilemma. It was a stroke of luck that the client's TV fit snuggly behind them. 

Made New: reupholstered in Jim Thompson's Magilan in celadon;  frame untouched- loved the finish! *the original fabric was cool but it smelled terrible and was falling apart so it had to go. Bye bye.

As you can see I love ottomans with feminine curves and shapely legs. 

Made new: 1st was reupholstered to match client's drapery fabric. Kravet's Water Tint in Heather; 2nd is reupholstered in a stunning Jim Thompson cut velvet. 

Made New: Just some shiny,new legs....

For the brass bar I was inspired by this picture and decided to make this low, brass chest into a bar area (although it's not quite styled for one yet;). We had the base custom made to fit and raised it up to counter level. I love the drama of the skinny legs and the heavy brass.


This (already beautiful) antique chaise got a fancy new outfit.

Made New: Reupholstered in a Holly Hunt/Great Plains leather; Kravet's Hidden Pearl cording; Back of chaise is upholstered in Schumacher's Taza Damask Champagne; custom pillows and bolsters; bedcover by mela & roam!

Here's to a fresh new start!

Give those ugly ottomans a chance in 2013.

Shiny and New

In honor of the New Year I'm dedicating this post to making things new. Whether it's reupholstering an outdated chair, refinishing a frame, or finding a new use for an old piece- it's the best way to add uniqueness to your home. I find it much more exciting than purchasing from a catalog. There are so many I want to share that I had to divide it up into 2 posts. So check back for Part 2. 

Hopefully this will inspire you to go in your attic, find that old grandma chair and look at it a little differently.Go and brush your shoulders off. 

Here's to new beginnings! 

Made New: reupholstered in Schumacher's Gainsborough velvet in Lake

Made New: reupholstered in Kravet's Poetical color 110, frame untouched

Made New: frame repainted antique white; reupholstered with Robert Allen's velvet in Portabello, seat fabric in Schumacher's Maya Ikat Print in greige. *The majority of my re-upholstered pieces are for one particular client- the chair model diva pictured above. She can scout a makeover from a mile away. And always sees past the heinous fabrics with me to create one of a kind pieces. She is smart with color and pushes me to include more bold fabrics, which has been a challenge for me- but one that I have loved! You can probably guess which pieces belong to her... 

Made New: reupholstered in Quadrille fabric: Henriot Floral, Lilacs on Ecru; contrast welt and arm pads in C&C Milano fabric; frame left unfinished. I have to say I love how this one turned out- so pretty in person. Same goes for baby. Mother responsible for intoxication may or may not be pictured above. 

Made Foolproof: We shipped the bolt of fabric to be treated at Nanotex before recovering the chair. We use this often for clients because it provides long lasting protection by resisting spills and stains on any fabric. Look into it if you have drunken elves or like to drink red wine. 

Misc chairs

Made New: 1st chair- recovered in a Sanderson check; 2nd chair- seat recovered in Hable Construction print through Hickory Chair ; both frames untouched.

 If you've been in my office over the past year you may have seen this next beauty (and a few other ugly ducklings) sitting in the corner. It's funny because I've watched everyone do a double take as they spy it on their way out the door. They raise their eyebrows and look back at me with skepticism. Pfft-interior designer.

Made New: spray painted with black lacquer; reupholstered in Designer's Guild Aranjasa weaves in olive; welt in Osborne and Little's Taisho Velvet Cord

Lastly, even old fireplaces get new homes...

My client found this old fireplace surround at Preservation Station. Like most old pieces this required a lot of extra work and dedication (building around it, refinishing, etc.) But I'm so glad we stuck with it because it is perfect in its new home. Made new: tile surround in Ann Sack's metallic Savoy tiles; accessorized with a bust I found at Scotts

Most of these pieces I find (or my clients do) in flea markets, antique malls, etc.- where it usually requires digging to get to.  I always pay attention to the frame shape, the finish, and if the condition is worth the price. You can find great deals this way. If you have the patience and vision to reuse something old you will wind up with a one of a kind piece that nobody else has. AND it's great for our environment. That's right- I'm pulling out the earth card. Like I do at the start of every year in an attempt to make myself feel better for all the bottled water I have rolling around my car. ;/

*Stay Tuned later this week for Part II*

Happy Shiny New Year!

Trad Home / My Nashville Tour

Recently TradHome asked for me to be their tour guide through Nashville for a day highlighting my favorite local shops, venues and artisans. After five years of living here I have fallen in love with this city and have found some truly special spots. I was thrilled to get the chance to show them off.

What is Tradhome?: TradHome is the fairly new online magazine that is a collaboration between Traditional Home and Lonny. If you like this blog you will love this magazine- trust me. 

They sent over photographer Colleen Duffley, (that has shot for every cool magazine you can think of!) to follow me around Nashville for a day. And I mean one FULL day. We hit it off immediately and had the best time running around town in her assistant Kevin's pickup truck. Colleen is so talented- as you flip through this entire issue you'll see what I mean. 

We went by my favorite spots including Peter Nappi, The Perfect Pair, Imogene and Willie, Preservation Station, Burger Up, etc. This city has so much to offer it was hard to narrow it down!

Sign of a good photographer...

I know, I may have you intrigued with the popsicles and the antelope. Read all about it in the new TradHome magazine:


10 pages full of pictures and the adventures of our day (my hit list) can be found on page 164. Followed by two local homes by the talented architect Bobby Mcalpine and designer Ray Booth. As always they do not dissapoint. And I am beyond honored to represent Nashville with these two. 

The magazine also highlights San Antonio, Washington DC, and Scottsdale- with gorgeous homes by David Michael Miller, Mary Douglas Drysdale, and more. 

This issue is really good. 

Check it out.

...And I hope you enjoy my favorite Nashville spots!

Y'all come back now,

All photographs by Colleen Duffley Photography. She's also in charge of studio b.- a creative venue that brings together the best of the best and the up and coming in the fields of photography, art, design, literature, food, and wine. Brilliant idea. 

Cece and Elle's Room

One of my first experiences with long distance clients (true E-design/ without ever seeing the space in person) was a bedroom for twins girls. After having everything delivered and installed a while back I have been anxiously awaiting pictures. 

Last week this little gem popped up in my inbox:

First we should introduce you to the owners of this sweet room... Meet Cece and Elle (the most adorable twin girls I've seen since Mary Kate and Ashley. For reals.)

Seriously?? I know you're looking at the headboard...

For long distance clients the process is a little different. The client does a little more leg work on the front end- sending pictures, measurements, and inspiration images. 

With that information I come up with an initial floor plan and a presentation board that looks a little something like this...

I then mail samples, memos to the client to finalize colors, fabrics, bedding, etc. 

Obviously some things change from the initial plan once we get started. I always like to include atleast a few old, unique pieces and those require some searching. For example, I found these cute antique chairs at Scotts that I wanted to use in front of the window.

Perks of being a long distance client? You receive "insert Rachel for scale" pictures. Where you can really see the scale of the furniture-.... I'm basically a virtual Vanna White.

See.?? The chairs are small. Kid size.

And perfect for bla-bla dolls....

*custom game table painted "Borrowed Light" by Farrow and Ball 

*is anyone impressed that I know what a bla-bla is. 

*Headboards from Hickory Chair- available through RH, bedding by Serena and Lily, bedside table by Bungalow 5, lamp from Arteriors- both available through RH

*light from Ikea!

*view from the room- can't help you there* 

*Vintage suitcases from various different sellers on etsy. We had a mirrored top made for it. 

We are still working on this side of the room, but waiting on the right piece of artwork is never a bad thing. Chest by Bungalow 5 through RH; custom made bookcase tower, artwork through etsy; lamp base from Pottery Barn, lamp shade through etsy seller. 

I always say to keep kids rooms simple. Sure your kids will cry for a cobalt blue room and accuse you of trying to ruin their life... but that's besides the point. Think about the tone, the mood you want to set for the room. 

While the twin's room still feels young and full of life, it is also very serene and peaceful. Which is exactly what you want to encourage in a bedroom with two 4 year olds. If you took out the artwork, and a few accessories you'd still have a neutral palette to work with. And when they come in with their hot pink superman capes and polka dot beach balls?? There's your pop of color.

Ok, one more.. because they are just that cute. And so happy in their new room! :)

(Thanks to Fireflies 3 photography for sharing most of these images; and to my clients for giving me permission to show off their beautiful girls!

Virtual Vanna- don't wear it out. 

Barn Love

I'm finally having some of my work photographed.

If you read this Garden and Gun article you saw a glimpse of Ronnie Dunn's barn. Located right outside of Nashville it sits on a gorgeous plot of land that overlooks a picturesque bluff. Needless to say, it has been a really fun project. I've loved working on the land, working with the Dunns, the boys on the farm, the peaceful porches, the fishing ponds and 4-wheeler trails, clear night skies and baby deer.. You get the point: I got alot o' love for this spot.

The photographs below are taken by the very talented Caroline Allison. She was extremely pregnant when on this photoshoot but still managed to crawl into tiny corners behind the camera and do a fantastic job.

These are just a few of my favorites. The rest will be on the website* soon...


There's something about this place that just makes you want to breathe deep, kick your feet up on the porch swing and never leave. And maybe listen to some country music??? Yup. I think so.

And if you need some new tunes Ronnie has a new solo album out- get it. It's GOOD. 

* To contact the photographer, Caroline, click here. And just in case you were wondering, last week she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Congrats to the family! And Caroline please hurry up and get back to work. :) 

* Calling all web designers. I am hiring. If you're interested please email your info and rates to rachelhdesign(at) or leave a comment below. Thanks!

* If you are interested in purchasing a custom swing (like pictured above) email us for pricing and more information. 

* Ok I think I'm done. Bye bye now.

diary of a trucker… or something like that.

It's June, folks. JUNE.

I had every intention of sitting down tonight a week ago and blogging about Linville, Camp Cousins, some recent installs, other lovely things. (And I will- I promise.)  But you know I love to remind you that my job/life is extremely UNglamorous. And honestly, after 12 hour work days I can't help but want to sit in front of the computer and mash the keys like a toddler. These are the things that run through my head as I try to come up with a decent post. Some complaints, some praises, a few things I hate (excuse me- my grandmother taught me to use "strongly dislike"!), a few I love, and some good ole' random thoughts.

I've decided I...

Strongly Dislike: Uhauls.

Yes, I drove one by myself this past week to a clients house. Had to get a few things down south prior to an install and just made sense (at the time) to take matters into my own hands. So, I tried it. And now I think it's safe to say this trucker has retired. Every time I jumped {a good 4 ft} down out of the front seat I felt like I was in the traveling circus. And my leg was sore for days from pushing the accelerator. Who knew?

Love: Cruise control. Missed it.

Oh, and LOVE: what was INSIDE the Uhaul: Some pics of a few...

An antique french chaise lounge- love the legs on her. 

A new headboard- this fabric is so much prettier in person. Wool heather gray with soft pink… Yum.

OK, back to complaints.

I Strongly Dislike: Cicadas. Ever heard of the Cicada Swarm in middle Tennessee? Neither had I- until a few months ago. Every 13 years millions emerge from their underground nests and swarm the air. It's kind of like Leap Year but with bird-size loud flying red-eyed creatures that look like this

and sound like this

And they emerge from the ground by the millions. 

They latch on to you when you least expect it. Today I was on the phone with a client and had my phone sandwiched between my shoulder and chin. Reached up to pull my hair in a pony tail and BBBRRRRRRRRRZZZZ A giant cicada nested IN my hair, rattling behind my ear. I screamed, yelled a very enunciated curse word, threw my phone across the room and did what appeared to be an African tribal dance across my office. Luckily my client is a local Nashvillian and didn't think anything of it.  Rattle-Scream-Cuss-Stomp? Must be cicada.

Although I do appreciate getting the experience of living through a natural insect phenomemon- who am I kidding- GO AWAY CICADAS.!!

Love: Home cooked dinners out on the porch with people I love. 

Cicada Enchiladas- dig in. I'm kidding, but some people aren't.

Love: little makeovers- making average things look fabulous.  

Tolias chair before. 

After a little custom fit mini-skirt in Donghia vinyl fabric (with a little sheen!) you get Sassy Tolias Chair! Form, Function, glam it up. Check.

That bird claw coming into the photograph would be MINE. I try to illustrate that the top slides off the barstool in an effortless, Vanna White way and my hand defaults to claw position., which I strongly dislike.

Love: Owning my own home.

Strongly Dislike:Construction on my own home. Especially when you don't have the time to manage it.  I deal with unreliable subcontractors and vendors ALL day long (everyone has their days)- and yes, it is difficult to manage at times. But now I fully understand the client's perspective. I become a raging bull when people are careless and forgetful with my home. We're having the roof replaced. Today I showed up at 7pm to a explosion of old rusty roof debris all over my kitchen. (A month ago I took down the microwave that goes above the stove and gave it to my electrician.) Exhaust fan/hole in the wall is still there- OOPS. Debris-everywhere! Sure wish I kept that microwave there. Minutes later I get a knock on my door- one of the roofers who doesn't speak English asking if he can use my microwave to heat up his dinner. I laughed. I communicated that actually I had ROOF on my stove and in fact, NO microwave. ROOF… ON THE STOVE.!! I think he thought I was speaking another language so I just gave him a fork and said I was sorry about his frozen dinner. I still feel bad about it. 

Love/Strongly Dislike: when my mom sends me text pictures of puppies down in Hale County, AL that need homes.

I'm on the market for a dog- a medium sized, rescue dog that desperately needs someone to love him or her. But I can't get one until July, so don't worry-Y'all have some time to help me.:) I would prefer puppy. I love labradors, golden retrievers, boxers, spaniels, any medium sized dog will do. However, I have found a love for a small little friend that lives with one of my clients named Cricket. She likes to show off when she just gets her haircut, so she runs up to me and snuggles everytime I come in the house.

Can't get much done with that face…

Love: The new Calypso Line at Target- I recommend their travel bags and their jewelry. Go getcha some.

I've been wearing these earrings non-stop lately….

Confession: I buy too much crap at Target. Not enough groceries.

Love: this photo I saw in some coffee table book I was perusing through recently: 

Despise: Packing and Unpacking within 2 short days.

Love: when clients turn into good friends and ask you down to their beach house for the long weekend. 

Rosemary Beach of all places- heaven on water.

Loved: getting to relax, enjoy the ocean, sit on the beach at sunset and drink a Corona while the sun goes down. 

Strongly Disliked: Leaving.

Although we did fly back from Panama City Airport (took ONE hour to fly back to land-locked Nashville! Love.)  

Thanks for listening to the Trucker Diaries. 10-4, good buddies.

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.


Note to Year {2010}

Dear Two Thousand and Ten,

It's time to say goodbye.

Just when I got used to writing you down,

you leave me high and dry.


You were a good one, and I'll try to recap-

but there is no way to attest.

The adventures of this year- seriously-

I've never felt so blessed.

Market trips and antique shows-

I've become quite the scout.

But after a full day of shopping,

I'll admit- I get WORN out.


Wrapped up some projects and started new ones,

Taking (few) pictures along the way... 


Lots of work and travel, 

including a trip to Santa Fe.

SF sky

Fell even more in love with light fixtures,

and porch swings- for an outdoor recline.

So I decided I wanted to make my own

and dabbled in product design...

Screen shot 2011-01-02 at 9.56.32 PM


We experienced a FLOOD in Nashville-

Boats were cruising down streets.

Then suddenly it was summer

and we fled to avoid the heat.

Went up to New York and the Hamptons

IMG_8575 IMG_8878
and on tour with Brooks & Dunn-!

Then back to Nashville to find a familiar face

on the cover of Garden and Gun. !

Spent some time outdoors,

fishing with my favorite guy-


Planned a big party and a "Haunted Trail" 

IMG_0452 IMG_1581IMG_1583 

And that mask makes me want to cry.


I've moved to a bigger office

piles of fabric books galore.

But I don't care how messy it is,

I'm happy to spread out on the floor! 



This year I've struggled with balance-

business woman + friend + wife,

but I listen to the advice of my coffee mug-


"Don't let your inbox run your life!"


Just went to Sunny California to visit Hoyt's family-

it rained the entire time!


then down south to Alabama- 

first White Christmas since 1889.


(OKay it was 1880-but a girls gotta rhyme.)

For me, the best "recharge"

is time with the people I love.


So tell 20 11, I'm officially ready  !!

Well….. sort of.



My Office... In Progress

Office board copy
Seems like just yesterday I was posting about moving offices. Well, I'm on the move again because I've officially outgrown my previous space! Sooner than expected. In a matter of months I was spilling out into the hallway- gasping for air. It's TINY.

If you were a fly on the {tiny} wall you'd probably overhear a conversation between Amy and I that goes alot like this: 

What happened to that grass shade sample? -me

You're sitting on it.-Amy


Could you hand me that CFA form that's right by your hand? No, to the left of the stack. The second stack, under the stapler.


Where's the phone? Are you sitting on it?

No... I'm still sitting on the grass shade sample. It sounds like it's coming out of the sheer fabric bin.- Oops.

 Anyway, you get the idea. I know I'll look back on my first office and laugh- and wonder how in the world I survived it. But after much searching I found the perfect spot for my little nestegg. As luck would have it- it needs some major help. 

Photo 4

Photo 2

The top 5 reasons I love it:

1. The location! Is perfect.

2. It's empty and needs help.

3. Tons of space.

4. The view... overlooks a creek and a floral shop.

5. Has an exposed brick wall! YEssss!

Here's my plan for the front space:

Photo 2
Messy, but looking better...

Progress office

And what is most important??! LIGHTING!

How can I pick out fabrics and paint colors in fluorescent lighting? Atleast that's what I used as a "doctor's note" for my landlord.

I had the acoustical ceiling tiles ripped out- and Voila!! 13' ceilings! I don't mind the industrial look but I am going to have the ceiling painted dark brown/black so that all the ductwork, etc. disappears.

Photo 2

 I wanted better lighting in this room since it'll be the main studio/conference space so I picked out these pendants from Lowes for overall lighting (they'll sit up fairly high in the ceiling). These bad boys are only $35 from Lowes- can't beat that. 

Lowes pendants

I might paint them a color.... remember the pendants I saw in the bookstore in the Hamptons?? 

Blue pendants
Yup- like those.

Then over the big work tables I'm planning on dropping down some sort of pendant shades- something like these from Restoration Hardware... 

Restoration pendant

because I want to be like Suzanne Kasler.... 

Suzanne studio

in her faaaabulous studio.

The Color Scheme

Bhg decorating baskets  

(from BHG Decorating book)

 Keeping in mind that there are a lot of colorful elements in my field of work (HELLO fabric samples) I want clean, crisp, white walls. And dark -almost black- trim and doors. Mixed with wall-to-wall seagrass and other natural textures I think this will provide the perfect backdrop for all my STUFF. Like this room by Kay Douglass-

Kay douglass color scheme

I noticed that most of the working environments I was drawn to always had that crisp white incorporated in them.

Screen shot 2010-11-28 at 10.37.58 PM

Russell + Hazel studio via Traditional Home


Windsor Smith's studio via House Beautiful

Screen shot 2010-11-29 at 8.47.55 PM 

Serena & Lily's studio via Traditional Home

Suzanne studio4_thumb[4]

Suzanne Kasler's studio via AHG

Abranowicz_office martha sl

Abranowicz office via Martha Stewart

So I'm planning on hitting up Ikea for some basic white shelving. I also think this contrast will look against the exposed brick wall.

Lack wallshelf unitLack bookshelf

I also like some organization with a little color in it...

Screen shot 2010-11-29 at 8.47.40 PM

Tara Guerard's studio space via Traditional Home

Screen shot 2010-11-29 at 8.48.45 PM

<via Canadian H&H>

Lastly, I plan on having multiple inspiration boards...

InspirationViaa perfect grey Img_barbara-barry_4 traditional home 

(1) via A perfect gray (2) Barbara Barry via Traditional Home

This one is my favorite...

(via Elle Decor)

To be continued.... moved, and setting up shop in 2 weeks.! Yay!!! (and God help me!:)


Oh, and if you are ever looking for office space in the Nashville area call Char Ford. She's the best!! ( (at)


Tid Bits {take 1}

I'm back. From a long weekend at High Point market.... It was my first time and I had a blast! I have many stories and pictures to share with you soon.

In the mean time... I was unloading all of my iphone pictures from my camera (since I took a million at market- as in-I exceeded the limit) and found old snapshots of random 'tid bits' of my work. It's hard for me to let go of perfection when it comes to these crummy phone pictures ("OH no, there's a trash bag in the corner of this shot. Delete.") but I'm beginning to learn that, for me, it's the process that is most interesting. So I'm starting a 'tid-bit' series- in hopes that you might enjoy some of these random "along the way" pics with me...

{take 1}

This past summer I installed some new outdoor furniture for a dreamy pool area...


Relaxing much?

And here's a custom table I designed and had made for a client- (Thanks to Woodstock Vintage Lumber!) I was so pleased with the end result...


Can't wait to show you where this table ended up- pictures to come.

A small swing, mid-construction:


A gorgeous custom light fixture installed... (inspired by one I adore from Niermann Weeks- unfortunately theres was too small for the space so we had a similar one custom made in town)

I'm in love.

Another thing I love to do is draw and sketch. (I'd like to think I get this from my mom.) I sketched a series of black ravens for a certain project. Sounds eerie, but hey- Tis the season!

Exhibit A:


I had them framed with old barn wood and crisp, white mats....


Then hung the series in a powder room...

See, this is where the iphone doesn't suffice. I'll have to come back with my real camera so you'll believe it's actually a bathroom.

Speaking of sketches...

Apparently I parked illegally somewhere- or in front of a store that didn't appreciate me walking right past them to go to dinner next door. So I walk out an hour later and found a folded note attached to my car. Anticipating a HATE message I was surprised to find a nice little drawing... that got the point across clearly.

I laughed by myself for a good 5 minutes...I kind of want to frame it.

And I kind of want to end this tid-bit post on that note. 

Be back soon with Highpoint pics!


(and be careful parkin')


Garden & Gun

Remember when I posted about the barn swing being the highlight of my year? Well apparently it's the gift that keeps on giving. 
Little did I know that this special swing would find its way to the cover of a magazine. .!!?

GG Cover
From the second I got the news I have been speechless since.  I am beyond honored to be a part of this awesome magazine and among the list of talented southern designers and artisans. (Including my friends, Matt & Carrie, from the hippest store in Nashville- Imogene and Willie.)

Really... Speechless.


Full of soul and Southern charm, Garden & Gun has become one of my very favorite magazines. It's not just for Southerners! Once you pick up a copy you'll see-  It's effortlessly cool. Their writing, photography and approach to stories is so down to earth and REAL. No bells and whistles. No team of stylists. What you see is what you get.

Haskell Harris, the {effortlessly cool} associate editor, called and said "OK, we're sending a photographer over in one week to photograph you at Ronnie's barn."

I panicked.   "But.. what do I wear?!!"

 "Well... what do you usually wear when you go out there?" she asked.

"Uhhh....jeans and my cowboy boots." 



*Thanks to all of you who have sent me sweet, encouraging emails and comments. I am so very grateful.

 Garden & Gun, August/September Issue 

Go getcha' one!!


*Special thanks* to Haskell (read her stylin' blog!) , Ingrid, and the G&G team- y'all rock! *to Tina Adams for helping me put those jeans and cowboy boots with the right tops and accessories:),* to Hollis Bennett- the incredibly talented photographer that is responsible for these pictures, *to my encouraging and patient husband, Hoyt- for sitting there at the shoot and telling me when my hair was stuck to my lip gloss * to RD and Janine- for letting me take over your swing, and for challenging me to be the most creative I can be.  *Thanks y'all*

Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Room

Hey guys- Is anybody out there?!   I need to invent a button like Pandora Radio to reassure me...

Screen shot 2010-07-21 at 2.06.09 AM 

Sorry for my lack of posts. I have been overwhelmed with work and travel so I really appreciate your patience with me as I get back on track. (I'm speaking to my entire family, friends, clients and blog readers. Yes, I've even been screening my own mother!! Shame on me.)

 Sometimes I find myself being consumed with work or getting tied up in trivial things. Then, at just the right time, I get an email from someone welcoming a new baby into the world. Reality check

God is good...and what better proof than the miracle of birth.?? 

Recently I got an email with this sweet birthday face-

Jack is here!
 Meet Jack. His mom is one of my cousins (which makes him my...? not going to attempt) - Remember this post? She lives in our great-grandmother's old home. Needless to say, decorating the nursery was a treat and I can't wait for little Jack to enjoy his new peaceful room...

 <insert one of my favorite children books>

Good night room
Good night moon
Good night cow jumping over the moon

Good night light and the red balloon...


Goodnight bears
Goodnight chairs
Goodnight kittens
And goodnight mittens


 Goodnight clocks

And goodnight socks
Goodnight little house
And goodnight mouse



Goodnight comb
And goodnight brush
Goodnight nobody
Goodnight mush

IMG_8822  IMG_8828
 IMG_8832  IMG_8826

 And goodnight to the old lady

whispering "hush"


Goodnight stars
Goodnight air
Goodnight noises everywhere...


 A few details....

  • Bedding is from Serena & Lily- Dylan Collection
  • Screen shot 2010-07-21 at 11.37.07 PM
  • The curtains were done by my seamstress in Nashville. I can't claim the design- I saw it at a friends house and loved it. So I had that same box-pleat trim made for the leading edges. I think that little detail ended up adding a lot to the room.
  • The wooden blocks and animals were from her mom's attic (I'm telling you- hit up your mom's attic and who knows what you could find!!.. And if you're in the south I recommend a bathing suit with a hand-held fan.) 
  • There was one wooden animal- the giraffe- that her grandmother brought back from Africa years ago. They had it made into a lamp and found the perfect shade at Anthropologie.

 "Every good and perfect gift is from above."-James 1:17 

Since I'm sharing some baby love I want to say CONGRATULATIONS to some clients/friends/readers I know that have recently welcomed new babies: 

Lindsay, Brooke, Alice, Amy-any day now!!, Shelton, Kim, oh gosh- I know I'm forgetting a ton.  

Anyone else welcomed a new baby? What is his/her name? I want to hear! (You have the right to baby-brag)


(to purchase Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, click here)

MAQs.... let's try this.

I've gotten a lot of emails and comments asking details about projects I post on the blog. I am truly flattered that you ask!! Really, I am. But since my clients pay me to come up with a plan for their home and implement the design I can't share every detail of their project on the blog. That wouldn't be fair to them. It's the tricky part of this business... and blog. 

BUT- here's what I will do. Any time I post projects that I've done I will answer the most asked question (MAQ). I've thought about this for a while and it seems like a happy medium. 

***The MAQ from my last post was- what is the dark paint color of the cabinets?

Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze.

(It's a great color- I use it often.)

 Thanks for understanding and I really, really appreciate your encouraging comments. It means SO much to me!


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.

Haley's Room

I've had a few people email me asking how on earth to decorate a teenager's bedroom. So I thought I would share a project I finished recently...

Haley's Room.


Take Note

Haley: age 15, cowgirl, likes bright colors, PB teen decor, her pony, lots of natural light-not to be confused with Twilight- another love.

the Mom: a western Martha Stewart with edge; Exquisite taste but does not like bright colors, patterns or anything from PB Teen. 

the Dad: a musician; in decorating words: keep it interesting. But without color, please.

Me: in over my head.

Haley room plan copy 

Let's start from the beginning: the inspiration behind this room-

{ the wings }

These angel wings were picked up by Haley's parents on a road trip out West. We all agreed they would be perfect for her room.

So I made them into a headboard... 


IMG_6676 IMG_6736 



They collect,

They display.

With that in mind I designed a set of bookcases with a built-in desk and had them installed on the far wall. 


At one point I had these shelves 'styled' the way I wanted them but then quickly realized it wasn't fitting unless Haley did it herself...


Much better.



IMG_6627 IMG_6688

Chest of drawers from Manor in Nashville; charming chandelier by Stray Dog Designs 



The drapery panels were custom made with decorative ties to make them a little more youthful. Decorative hardware from Anthropologie.



A "boring" bench was slipcovered in a hot pink fabric. 

Custom slipcovered bedside tables- with a little feminine, bright? detail...

 IMG_6640 IMG_6772

And my favorite moment in the room...



1. The Painting

I commissioned a talented artist and friend, David Mcleod, to paint a portrait of Haley's beloved pony- otherwise known as Buni. He captured her perfectly... (click HERE to see more of his work)


Look familiar? You might have seen Haley and Buni in THIS famous music video !

2. The Chairs


Classy, bright fabrics?  Peter Dunham to the rescue!


Bernhardt chairs covered in Peter Dunham's Blue Kashmir Paisley. Love it. 


This cowgirl has quite the view from her bedroom... 


And quite a precious sidekick...


Fuzzy ottoman from West Elm



Let there be Light

One of the best parts of my job is when I see things come to life. It's like a Disney movie, really. (I expand on this experience in this post)

 So, about a week ago I experienced yet another Disney moment....

One of my projects is a big barn.

(And in this Disney story I am just a weeee hobbit.)  ^me^

 As you can tell from the picture, everything about this barn is HUGE and masculine.  Remember the swing? Same place.

 In the great room there are 25' ceilings and a kitchen island that is over 13' wide. So looking for an island light fixture became a bit of a problem. 

 I wanted something large (obviously), industrial, and somewhat indigenous. And let's not forget: masculine


I had been sketching up ideas for a few months and nothing was clicking.

Then one day.... it clicked. 

WB kitchen Light2 


So I color-coded a set of construction drawings for The "Boys" (what I like to call the extremely talented boys men that work on the property and can build almost ANYTHING in their sleep) ...

Wb kitchen light1 

and the construction began.

Picture 2 +Picture 3 +Greg chain 
 With the help of The Boys, Tommy the electrician, the Client, the Knot Magician, (3) Restoration Hardware 16" Benson pendants, some old barn wood, a local welder, a large lift, and a bunch of other tools I don't even know how to spell, we were able to make it happen. (Note: this would NOT have been possible without these talented people)

Then two weeks later.... 

Picture 4
 It appeared right before my eyes....


WB 2010 3 6  


<insert Hobbit for scale... seriously- look at my head, then look at the light. It's huge.>


WB RD 36 2010 

Fits right in...

More pictures of the barn to come. It's not finished, yet. But you'll be the first to see them!


<I wrote this post a few days ago... and am now on vacation.!! >

Picture 1
A rainy day on the coast? I can't complain.

Have a great rest of the week!

Be back soon...


This little piggy went to market...


And came back with a lot of SWAG.

Michael Scott: "SWAG! ‘Stuff we all get’. I basically decorated my condo for free with all of my SWAG!"

Here are some images, taken via iphone....


stacks of old pottery bowls.... beautiful. 


A huge crown! My client collects crowns so I couldn't resist.  <insert Rachel for scale>

I like how these botanicals are framed with black mats and black frames instead of the usual cream color. The black wall sets them off even more, don't you think?

IMG_0989 IMG_1012 

Trunks covered in vintage flags... pretty cool. 

love these floors


and these pendants,
IMG_1004 IMG_1006 

fun lighting,

IMG_1023 IMG_1043 

pretty mirrors,

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interesting wicker pieces,

IMG_1039 IMG_1042
great artwork,

beautiful bedding,

and accessories. I love the succulent on the coffee table (next to the feet:)

AND best of all I ran into Brooke Giannetti from one of my very favorite design blogs- Velvet & Linen. Brooke and her super talented (and handsome!) husband, Steve Giannetti (who was featured in this past issue of Veranda) came over from LA to find new items for their store Giannetti Home. Not only are they attractive and talented- they are the nicest couple! I could have chatted with them all day long. Here is their latest project- their very own powder room- that I have been drooling over for weeks:

Giannetti powder room

Isn't it stunning?? Read about the before and after HERE.

 I love blog friends- they always end up being even more wonderful in person than they are in cyberworld.... Imagine that!!

I had so much fun in Atlanta and feel inspired for this new year! ,

But this little piggy's glad to be home.

{Images from the showrooms of: Bobo, Four Hands, Stray Dog, Blue Ocean Traders, Regina Andrew,Vagabond Vintage, Natural Curiosities, Artesia, Halo Styles, and probably a few more that are escaping me at the moment}



It's a Swing Thing

If you have been following the blog lately you probably know two things about me:

1. I have a THING for BARNS

2. I have a THING for SWING(s). Porch swings to be exact. 

I've been tearing them out of magazines, sketching up designs, blogging and daydreaming about a giant porch swing for YEARS.... just waiting for a client with an open mind and the right amount of porch space. Preferably porch space in or around a barn.

Well guys, my little dream has already come true. I've designed the unthinkable- A giant swing on a barn porch.       

Swing pic 

<This photo was taken a few weeks back when the frame was finished and hung- The builders had me stand on it to illustrate the SIZE of this sucker. <insert Rachel for scale> 


Let me back up...

and give credit where credit is due. This could not have happened without several key players:

1. The client- for graciously letting me design my dream on 25 square feet of his porch. (thanks RD)

2. The builders- for creating such an awesome structure based on my really rough sketch.... amazes me every time.

3. the rope-  I had a hard time coming up with a rope resource (there are no giant ROPE stores in Nashville, Tennessee-- shocking, I Know!!!) so I did what any 21st century designer would do- I googled, ordered, and hoped for the best. The rope ended up coming from none other than Christian's Fitness Factory. (who knew?) And it could not have been more perfect.


5. The Knot Magician- this key player was one I did not see coming. (Meaning- I did not plan for him but looking back I don't know what I would have done without him) So one day I show up at the barn and a guy named Leo (a worker there who I hadn't met) was sitting on the porch weaving a fabulous knot into our christian-fitness rope. I gasped.... "Hi!! WHO ARE YOU? AND HOW DID YOU DO THAT??!!!"

Ends up- Leo is from Mexico and his grandmother taught him how to weave this perfect knot. Valuable team player? I think so.


Once again, <insert Rachel for scale>

6. The Workroom- for making these cushions in such speedy time.


7. And lastly,  The setting- What's a good porch swing without a beautiful view?? <I can't claim this part>


This swing has been the highlight of my month... and it might even carry over to the next one. It turned out better than I expected and I owe it all to our speedy team:

We drew out the design, found a spot, measured for scale, built the frame, found the rope, tied the knot, hung the swing, picked the fabric, chose the stain,  made a template, rushed the cushions, fluffed the pillows, tested it out, took a picture..... just in time  for Halloween.

<insert Rachel for scare>

Happy Halloween!


Let's play Rachel

I went over to a clients' house yesterday to go over their new master bedroom plan. This particular client has a house full of excitement- five adorable young kids from the ages of 4-months to 11 years....never a dull moment! I've met at their home several times--- hauling in wallpaper books, carpet samples, fabrics, etc.- the kids always helping me carry things. Within minutes the table is covered with materials as the parents and I discuss their home. The kids come and go- sometimes the girls sit and listen for a minute, others just breeze on by with a posse of neighborhood kids following closely behind.

Today I get an email from the mom. Apparently, early this morning the kids were playing in their room and she heard Lucy (age 7ish) saying to the boys: "OK, now, let's play Rachel."

Mom popped her head in and asked, "What is 'playing Rachel'?"

to which Lucy responds:  "It's where this girl comes and designs a new house for all the playmobil people!"



If you are like Lucy you might think that my daily life is glamorous and fancy-free. If that is the case I have misled you! This blog tends to show the best parts of my job and the little tidbits of my life that are fun and entertaining. Well, let me give you a glimpse of the {ugly} truth: I haven't cooked a meal in months, done laundry, or even unpacked my bag since Rye. I am always at least 10 minutes late, even on my best days. I have rolls of fabric, lamp shades and misc. furniture spilling out of my car at ALL times. I take weeks to call my friends back and even longer to return some emails. I keep forgetting to feed my fish and my precious herbs are beyond dead. I moved my office out of my home so I could keep both of them clean and organized but now instead of one disaster-zone I have TWO. I continue to find myself wearing the wrong outfits to construction sites, lifting furniture that is 4 times my size, spending hours in a small bathroom with a plumber discussing toilet placement, or on the side of the road cursing at my iphone for giving the wrong directions to a meeting that started 10 minutes ago!!  SO, before you opt to play Rachel I would highly consider drinking strong coffee and wearing shin guards.

Playmobil knight 

You'd think I'd choose to unpack my bag before I sit down to blog. I can't really explain it other than blogging is like writing in your diary or scrapbooking, but better. Therapy for me, really. Did I own a diary before blogging? No. Am I still using the analogy as an excuse for not returning emails? Yes.

Trivial complaints aside- I love what I do. God has truly blessed me and continues to open new doors.. I am living out my dream job and for that I am extremely grateful. One reason I enjoy it is because I get a chance to work on all kinds of houses- each client challenging me with a different style.  Every project starts off with a stack of magazine pictures that eventually widdle down to one or two: the ones that either inspire us or just simply capture what the client loves. Here are a few of those images that I refer to often.... (let's play Rachel, shall we?)

TTN: the variety of styles

Spider chandelier brass 

Nathan egan 

Country modern 1 

Susan tully houseb

Sarah room

Bedroom riverside martha

Domino sept 07



Windmark 2

Is there a magazine picture you keep going back to?

Happy Weekend everyone.

And to all my playmobil people... Thank you for being patient with me!

(1) via domino mag (2) Nathan Egan (3) via urban grace (4) Susan Tully (5) source unknown (6) via martha stewart (7) Johnson Hartig via domino (8) Hattie Wolfe (9) via domino mag  (10) Phillip Sides, via Southern Accents....*and all playmobil pictures from their website :)