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

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')


Lifting Up Nashville- A Flood Story

As most of you know Nashville experienced a record-breaking flood back in May. (If you need some background/ or have time- watch this video.)

It truly was a disaster. Some places were hit a lot worse than others. Houses were completely gutted with ruined possessions stacked into a trash pile in their front yard- for weeks, even months.  I wanted to help (in ways other than sending in money), but didn't even know how or where to start. 

The week after the flood I got an email out of the blue from Katie, a loyal blog reader and a recent victim of the flood. She explained her situation... Recently married. Living in their very first home in Bellevue right by the river. The water came through the windows so suddenly that they had minutes (literally) to grab their dogs and run for safety. They were able to make it to a family friend's home and turned on the TV to find the news zoom in on THEIR house. They sat there in shock as they watched their beloved home go under water... 

(their home is the middle one, and this was MID flood)

I find all of this out later but in the initial email Katie basically said, "We lost our home in the flood... and we're trying our best to piece it together. I'm overwhelmed. And was wondering if there was any way you could help me with some design advice- ?"

Are you kidding?- an answered prayer! I called her immediately. 

She told me how scared she was. And how the waters came up above the lower kitchen cabinets, ruining nearly everything on the bottom floor. Once they were finally able to make it back into their home (after the waters receded) they walked into an eerie MUD pit- 


 that didn't feel a bit like home.

Katie kept saying: "I know I'm grateful to own a home, but the thought of moving back into the exact same house where we ran for our lives makes me sick to my stomach." 


Honestly, it made me sick to mine just hearing her shaky voice over the phone. After a long discussion I insisted to meet them at Lowes one day to help knock out the decisions.

And we did. We were running around Lowes making selections right and left! Extreme Makeover- Super Speed Edition. (It was fun!.. right guys??:)

The kitchen used to be really dark so I knew lightening it up would make a huuuge difference. They were able to salvage their granite (yay!) so we picked neutral paint to go with it. Katie also has a great eye for design and she did a lot of this herself, so it was really fun to work with her.

Ok, I'll stop talking. Before & After pictures are much better!



after !!


To save some money, we decided to leave the doors off on one section of the kitchen. I think the open shelving ended up adding a lot to the room.


after !!




(this was all Katie- she picked out those awesome lamps at a flea market. I love them.)

before (master bath)








after !!




Remember the cool posters designed to raise money for the flood? They are perfect for this spot. 


I cannot take credit for putting this home back together. A wonderful team of volunteers worked long hours (of manual labor!) to rebuild it. Not to mention- Katie and Austin (above) poured their hearts into putting comfort and life back into their home.  I just helped with selections, made new friends, and blogged about it. :) 

So, you can join me in saying:   Welcome home, Katie & Austin!!

(Bus Driver, Move that Bus !! >?)

Happy weekend,


THE DETAILS: (all from Lowes, who were supporters of the flood, where Home Depot was NOT)

Kitchen cabinet paint color (and trim): Valspar, Del Coronado Taquila

Living Room & Kitchen walls: Valspar Light Raffia 

Bedroom walls: Valspar, Cincinnati Hotel Brigg Beige

Bathroom walls: Valspar, Bay Sands

Bathroom tile: American Olean, white ceramic, 3x6 

Kitchen hardware: Gatehouse bronze cup pulls and knobs 

Kitchen pendants (another one of Katie's fab selections!): Ballard Designs! You can pick a fabric.


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...


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!


Industrial meets Old World meets...


I have a client that built a barn. 

The setting, structure and environment are perfect- but the inside is bare.. and needs some direction.

We're piecing it together with a few things in mind:

He wants it rustic but also a bit whimsical (so his wife and kids will actually come out there)-

Along the lines of industrial with a trace of old-world and, well... barn.

I've been looking at these pictures a lot for inspiration and thought I'd share:
The lines of that slipcovered side chair....***

***sidenote***You know when you're really hungry and you look through a cookbook-- and every single image jumps out at you like it's the first and last meal of your life--- Your mouth waters just by looking at it.? Well I experience the same type thing when looking through these pictures. It's hard to explain but in a weird way this chair makes my mouth water. 
<Don't judge me.>


One of my ALL TIME FAVORITE dining rooms.

<Kay Douglass- via House Beautiful>


<Designer Ginger Barber, via House Beautiful>

Coat rack
<Myra Hoefer, via House Beautiful>


<above 5- Bobby Mcalpine via his website>


<Ina's farmhouse- via House Beautiful>
<Thom Filicia, via Domino>
Steven gambrel
<Hattie Wolfe, House Beautiful>
Elle decor 1
<Elle Decor, Sept 2009>
Porch swing
<Bobby Mcalpine, House Beautiful>>

All of my projects are a creative outlet for me but this one in particular has my imagination on overdrive. (In a great way...)
I think it's because I love this mix of old world, industrial, rustic, whimsical-- it's soothing while at the same time   mysterious

And yes, I find it mouth-watering.

Mr. Vanity

One of the biggest (if not THE BIGGEST) perks of my job is seeing things come to life. I feel like a lot of people have those perks- scientists, artists, builders... their ideas at some point turn into something tangible. 

It's no wonder the Disney creators assigned names to all of their little sketches. They made teapots, candelabras, rugs, and clocks come to life! It's why the anticipation of Disney World is so exciting for kids- because the Mrs. Potts that they've seen on paper and a TV screen for so many years--? You get to see her, shake her hand and even take pictures with her!!!

Mrs. potts

So when I get an idea in my head I sketch it out on paper, pass the sketch along to the builder or fabricator, and wait... hoping that it will come to life so I can experience my grown-up Disney World moment.

I'm finishing up a project where the the wife wants her powder room to be the one room with LOTS of color! In fact, at first she wanted her whole house to be painted different, easter-egg colors but I wouldn't let her. I think people get too excited about paint colors that they end up limited with what they put in the room. She agreed. So we stuck with a more neutral color palette throughout the house. But the powder room-? Her secret haven.

So we picked out red glass tiles for the floor and a bright, fun wallpaper for the walls (and ceiling!) 

 The husband, Mike, is a Master of the Arts. He is one of the rare people in this world that can visualize something AND create it!!! His talent is through the roof- literally. But as you can imagine when building his own house he was experiencing creative OVERLOAD! So he recruited me for help. 

When it came time for the vanity design I wanted something that was more masculine and industrial to counteract the wallpaper and tiles.
I quickly sketched a picture of an imaginary Mr. Vanity and handed it over to Mike....
Drawing of vanity
"Wrapped metal? Seriously?" was the response.
"yeeaaahh, but the wrapped metal legs taper a know, flare out at the bottom."
"I'll see what I can come up with."

Months went by as the house continued to evolve... plumbing, tile, wallpaper...

And just yesterday I went by to check on the progress, walked into the powder room, and 
My heart skipped a beat.
And there, right where I imagined, was  Mr. Vanity standing tall and proud.... 

with his nice, solid top and handsome, steel legs...
(that flare out a little, might I add!*)


A nice fit for Mrs. Potts, wouldn't you agree?

That's Mary Catherine. You'll hear more about her in the future as I plan on making her my full time assistant.

I realize that it's easy to love seeing things come to life when you miss all the work in between! So props to all of you who can build, fabricate and construct. I have no idea how you do it but I continue to be amazed...  And I'm thankful for people like you. In this case, a special thanks to Mike for making my Disney dreams come true!

More photos of the rest of the house to come...

For more on Mike's work click here.
And to book a vacation to Disney World click here.

Modern and Rural

I have a client that lives in the city with her husband and 3 kids. Although they love their house and neighborhood, they lack one major element: a backyard. They need a place where they can let the kids run around, play sports, have people over for cookouts, and most of all: some room to breathe.

They are looking at farm land to buy for a 'getaway' retreat... so naturally we've already started brainstorming. Their style is


, funky, and fun! (Atleast it's fun for



After our talk last week I wanted to send her some pictures that I thought were inspiring, but hey- why not share them with you too?


Find inspiration...



I am


this simple kitchen. I thought I was over my concrete phase but my heart skipped a beat when I saw this picture---- I guess that means I relapsed.


images via






Cabin635style files
Cabin635style files

images via s


Carina schott domino
Carina schott domino
Carinna schott
Carinna schott

images of Carina Schott's home featured in

domino mag

Modern nick noyes
Modern nick noyes
Nick noyes
Nick noyes

images via


 magazine, architect 

Nick Noyes


Sunset Magazine

's Lake Tahoe Idea House

Arthur cassas
Arthur cassas
Arthur casas
Arthur casas
Arthur casas 3
Arthur casas 3
Arthur casas 4
Arthur casas 4
Roy mcmakin 1
Roy mcmakin 1
Roy mcmakin 2
Roy mcmakin 2
Roy mcmakin 3
Roy mcmakin 3
Roy mcmakin 4
Roy mcmakin 4
Roy mcmakin 5
Roy mcmakin 5
Roy mcmakin 6
Roy mcmakin 6
Roy mcmakin 7
Roy mcmakin 7


Roy McMakin


apartment therapy

After scrolling through all of these pictures I found myself taking a deep, long breath.

I guess that means we've successfully found our inspiration.

(You should try it too)

Happy Tuesday.


Project Maverick

I thought it would be a fun idea to share a small project with you. From start to finish! I am working on a small cabin for a client in Alabama. They are wanting a 700(ish) sq. ft. bungalow on their property located on a quaint, lake-side road called Maverick Drive. 
So, to keep it anonymous we will call it: Project Maverick. Sounds top secret anyway so it works out great.

Currently, we are in Phase I:

We.have. Property. 
Plans in Progress.

You can't tell from the photos but the view from this lot is SO great. It overlooks a very private sector of the lake that is peaceful and charming.

Lake lot

Lake lot2
There is a fairly steep incline that leads down towards the lake- and the view is incredible. It immediately reminded me of the cabin Hoyt and I stayed the first few nights of our honeymoon....The best part about it was the screened porch. I would try to explain it but I'll just let you see for yourself:
Table rock 2
Honeymoon 011
It was designed in a way that made you feel like you were floating atop the Blue Ridge Mountains.
(Go to their website to book a weekend getaway! It's amazing.)

So, with this in mind*- I started searching for more inspiration:
*similar concept designed by Bobby Mcalpine
The Kitchen:
I want little to no upper cabinets- so we can take advantage of the view while you stand and wash your dishes. 
Like this picture:

I cannot remember where I found this picture- it's saved in a misc. folder. Sorry! If you recognize it from somewhere please let me know so I can give it the proper credit.
Bobby mc
Or this one (another cabin by Bobby Mcalpine): LOVE this kitchen layout!! 

Outdoor-screen-porch-nancy braithwaite
A screened porch by Nancy Braithwaite- Lovin' this cozy look, and that light fixture!

Okay, so here is the floorplan I've come up with so far:

*I am not a certified architect so if you are a builder or an electrician or any of the above- you might immediately find things that are structurally not possible. In fact, you probably will. I'm just here to give ideas... 

Floorplan 1069
Floorplan 1070

I'm sure this will be tweaked and moved around some but atleast you get the idea of what we're after. I like the openness of this floorplan and the areas that really show off the view. 
I sketched up some exterior ideas but they might not really line up with this latest floorplan.... Oh well, I'll share anyway:

Maverick is going to be cute, huh?

Oh, I'm sorry- (clear throat/deep voice) Maverick is going to be handsome.

Stay tuned for monthly updates on the project! And please feel free to share your opinions or ideas with me- I'd love your help.
Roger that? Over and out.