Missing Cottage Living

Looking back through some of my favorite cottages...



I. LOVE. this kitchen.


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

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

<Atlanta decorator Tyler Colgen; photography by Megan Thompson>


CL 1

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

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





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

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



<Chaffee Braithwate via Duchess Faire>


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

Haskell harris cottage

Haskell harris 2


Haskell harris 4

Haskell bedroom
So cozy and classy.

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

Eclectic cottage:

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

Lee K cottage

Lee K cottage 2

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

Lee K cottage4

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

Hacienda cottage:

Cynthia david and issac preminger CL cottage 

Cynthia cottage 2

Cynthia cottage 3

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

Dear Cottage Living,

we {still} miss you dearly.


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


A Chapel

In the heart of the woods in Birmingham you might find a chapel. 

It's private, unassuming, and in my opinion- perfect.

One of my relatives commissioned the incredibly talented architect, Bill Ingram, to design a quaint chapel tucked in the woods behind their house.

It's simply a quiet retreat. Where you can go to have alone time, pray, or just to be still


On Bill Ingram's website there's a wonderful statement about the art of restraint. I think it's quite fitting for this chapel, this architect, and this blog post... so here is an excerpt: 

"It seems that, somewhere along the way, ours has become a cluttered world.  

We inhabit cluttered spaces.


And, in many ways, our thinking reflects that environment with noise - with gadgetry and ornament.  

And the spaces we fill are distracting. 

We seek balance in our lives with things

But... balance is found in the art of restraint. 
IMG_8717  IMG_8671 

By definition, elegance is the height of art. Elegance and opulence must never be confused - for one chokes the sensuality from the other.  

When a space is in harmony it resonates.


It beckons peace. 

Creates romance. 


 It gives quiet drama to our living.


 It enhances our spirit."

Well said, Bill.

Here's to finding a space in your home that brings you peace. 

pictures from me; quote from Bill Ingram Architect website




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)

window seats and (preferably) window beds

Cottage living window seat 

TTN on window seats:

*If you're going to have one, I recommend making it as deep as a bed. Trust me on this one! Nobody sits on the window seats that are 18" deep. They're just not comfortable! But if you make it a window bed- it'll be the new hot spot in the house.


Window seat hb

Picture 4

*Throw a blanket on your window seat so it'll look comfortable and inviting (even when it's not!)

And while you're at it, put a few books there too.

Domino window seat 

*Provide extra lighting. Swing arm or wall sconces are a great addition to any window nook.
Newlywed diaries cotliving 

Elizabeth dinkil design 

*Add comfortable pillows- some that you can really sink into it. But not too many! Make room for a booty.

Window seat domino
Via decorno 

*Provide storage underneath if you can. I would either choose deep drawers for blankets, etc. or I would leave it open for books like the picture above. 
Remodalista window seat 


IHeart this one. Has a window seat bed ever looked so inviting?


(1) Cottage Living via pure style home (2) Domino Mag (3) House Beautiful (4) via Belgian Pearls (5) via domino mag (6) cottage living via newlywed diaries (7) Elizabeth Dinkil Designs (8) via HGTV (9) domino mag (10) house beautiful (11) via decorno (12) via remodelista (13) cottage living....I miss Cottage Living and Domino! :(

Knock Knock

Who's there?

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

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


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

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

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


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


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


  • the UH MAY ZING iron window


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


  • the old shutters used as closet doors


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


 Click here to read the article.

All photos taken by Simon Upton via House Beautiful

Vintage Christmas

One of my favorite boutique stores in Nashville is one called Gilchrist-Gilchrist. I recently went in the store and felt like I walked into a winter wonderland. No joke. But it's always like that- The whimsical cottage feel, beautiful vintage finds, the laid-back vibe, good company, soothing music, ALL result in one charming store. 

The owner, Genia Gilchrist, takes shabby chic to a new level. I knew she had style but THEN I saw her house in Southern Living... MAJOR style. Good thing she shared some of her Christmas decorating tips!!.. Here are a few:


Welcome guests with festive porch planters. {These are filled with small spruce trees and filled with magnolia leaves.} Keep it simple, keep it green. (that's my input. Ok, now my input is in green)

That's Genia! She's sweet as pie. And check out her boots! :) 


Indulge your senses- and put a jar in the family room full of Christmas cookies. {Yup. Ours cookies would be gone within a day.}

When it comes to decorating your Christmas tree- MORE is better.


Sneak in Sentimental pieces. Her tree skirt is made out of an old petticoat- a gift from her friend. She took the skirt apart at the seam and laid it around the tree base. ....{ I want one!!}

Set the mood with mercury glass.


Genia is a big fan of mercury glass- and how can you argue with her looking at these gorgeous pictures?? Click here for her very helpful tips on buying mercury glass.

Tie it together with One Color. 

Each year Genia picks a color and buys different types and textures of ribbon in those colors. She ties them to all of her wreaths and even wraps her Christmas presents in them that year! (see picture above of the gift under the tree- Such a good idea! )


Use clear glass to serve as a subtle back drop when displaying Christmas decor.

Hang garlands in unexpected spaces. Don't limit them to front doors and banisters... For fresh garland she recommends The Garland Farm. (Love this image)


Wreaths of three unify a space.

Another one of her style secrets: Stack a few wrapped presents in unconventional spaces to add pops of color in any room!


Group heirlooms or collectibles together to make an impact. (Looks a lot better than having them scattered throughout the house, doesn't it?)

Dress up great finds like this vintage window frame! And mix metallics with fresh evergreens. 

Embellish what you already have. 

Genia incorporates vintage bottlebrush trees and reindeer into her year-round mercury glass collection. She then adds sprigs of greenery and seeded eucalyptus for accents.(this pretty picture reminds me a lot of her store)

To read Southern Accent's full article click here.

And if you are ever in Nashville you must stop by Gilchrist-Gilchrist. Genia's home is just a glimpse into the unique pieces you'll find in her store. Not to mention the friendly little butler that greets you at the door. (Click here to see him)

 And the bedding!!  Oh, the bedding. Which reminds me- I ordered a gorgeous pillow and have been meaning to pick it up from her for weeks. Genia, if you're reading- I promise I haven't forgotten! But I think it'd be best if we met at your house. OKOk, cool.   :)


All photos through Southern Accents by Laurey W. Glenn


Tree Hugging Home

Recently I got an email from a good friend about a very interesting home featured in The New York Times this past week. Have you seen it?


Architect Roald Gunderson and his family (below)


Is it just me or does he look exactly like Liam Neeson

Anyway, this talented man has made a career out of working with trees.


He built his home and greenhouse using WHOLE trees for structure after many years of bending and pruning them...

“Curves are stronger than straight lines,” he explained. “A single arch supporting a roof can laterally brace the building in all directions.”

According to research by the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, run by the USDA, a whole, unmilled tree can support 50 percent more weight than the largest piece of lumber milled from the same tree....(What!?? Crazy.) So Mr. Gundersen uses small-diameter trees as rafters and framing in his airy structures, and big trees felled by wind, disease or insects as powerful columns and curving beams.


Love this room! And love this fact:

“For every ton of wood, a ton and a half of carbon dioxide is locked up,” he said, whereas producing a ton of steel releases two to five tons of carbon. So the more whole wood is used in place of steel, the less carbon is pumped into the air."


<Talk about a railing design>

“I’ve taken 20 trees per year off one acre, for 12 buildings,” Mr. Gundersen said. “You can never tell that we’ve taken out that much wood.”

After he built the house for his family he built this solar greenhouse for his wife with thick straw bale walls...

and to top THAT off: Ms. Baxter manages a community forest project modeled after a community-supported agriculture project, in which paying members harvest sustainable riches like mushrooms, firewood and watercress from these woods.

I wish I had time to manage a project that cool. 

And I wish I had a greenhouse like the one above to nurture a garden. But as I look at my DEAD herbs I think I should wait on that...

Garden rip

via wide open spaces

Back to the amazing tree house...


"In architecture, how materials come together and how they are connected is really the god in the details," Gundersen said. "The connection is where things will fall apart," he said, adding that the crook of a tree "has been time-tested by environmental conditions for 200 million years."


Driftless Farm Bookend Branching Columns_small_crop_001

If anything makes me want to GO GREENthis article does. I have a heart for trees and it has always made me sad when I see one go. :(

 Powerlines, shmowerlines.

 Instead of knocking down trees why not build a house with them or around them?


For the Whole Trees Architecture website click here.

Click here to read the full article by Anne Raver

Photos by Paul Kelley for The New York Times

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.

Casa Rashida

The other night I watched the movie I Love You, Man... not the best movie BUT the lead girl was Rashida Jones. And one thing is certain about Rashida: the girl can decorate.

Remember her apartment featured in Domino??
Loved it. 
Still do.
Rashida 2

Rashinda jones domino
Rashinda jones apt. domino
Rashida 4

photos via domino mag and flickr

And THEN her other home was featured in Glamour several months back-
Rashida glamour 1
Rashida glamour 2
Rashida glamour 3
Rashida glamour 4
<photos via sohaute>

She is too cute! And insanely stylish. 
<Girl crush alert?!>

***I know I said I would piece together the winner of the Twin Beds... but yesterday was so busy and I ran out of time. I will soon though! 



Hoyt and I finally saw the movie Up last night. We both absolutely loved it!
It's a touching and precious story that reminds us to appreciate every step of the way... 
If I were to float in a little house to Paradise Falls I wouldn't mind if it looked like one of these:
Architectural Digest, designer Jeffrey Bilhuber
Toad hall kasler
Architectural Digest, Toad Hall- Architecture by Jack Davis, Interior Design by Suzanne Kasler
the above 3 images are Carmel-by-the-sea cottages in Carmel,CA via Linda Yvonne flickr images
Catskills-House-19th-Century-cottage living, jason oliver nixon
Cottage Living, designer Jason Oliver Nixon
Cottage living jeremy samuelson
Cottage Living, designer Jeremy Samuelson
Cottagegothic elements of style
Country living nantucket cottage
Peter bahouth tree house, cottage living
via cottage living, designer Peter Bahouth
Thomas callaway
Simply seleta 
Cottage living, lnn karlin
Cottage Living designer Inn Karlin
Martha sprinkle house
a gingerbread house by Martha Stewart
If my imaginary house is going to be floating across the country it might as well be edible, right? 
The house from Up-

Have you seen it yet?
If not, go tonight. 


Getaway Camp

I remember reading this article in House Beautiful last year and thinking 3 things:

1. Different yet charming.

2. The builders must have reeeeally complained about that built-in refrigerator.

3. I want to go to there.

 Napa Valley, anyone?

the fridge*



Let Me Be Your Guest, Revisited

After I posted the post below (like an hour ago) I did some more research and found more, even better pictures of this charming guest house. Because, like you, I was dying to see more of the interior! 

Not only did I find more pictures but I found the interesting, quirky story that goes with it:

Angele parlange

Once upon a time...
This cottage was once an oversized birdhouse.
 (Pretty sure my good friend Melissa just fainted at that comment- she hates birds)

I found this information on Apartment Therapy where she writes:

 This small structure called a pigeonnier was built on the grounds of a Louisiana estate around 1750. Its original function was to house pigeons which, at that time, were considered haute cuisine. (a.k.a. fiiiiiine cookin')

Angele parlange 1As the years passed, and pigeons were no longer raised, the pigeonnier turned into a very pretty storage shed. When Angèle Parlange, a fabric/fashion designer and author of Creole Thrift, returned to her family home, she decided she needed her own space.
Angela parlange 3Angèle's brother helped in the renovation by replacing the beat-up brick floors on the lower level with hardwood. He also designed the custom ladder which lifts one from the sitting room to the second floor bedroom. Angèle decorated with goods and textiles from her worldly travels and tons of pink, as she believes one should always "use feminine colors in excess."
*I want to note here that I would not have chosen pink if I were revamping this bird house. But seeing it done this way I feel like pink is genius. It needed a pop of color to go from 'birdhouse' to 'guest retreat'- anything else would have made it muddy and blah looking
Angela parlange
No joke- the built in bookshelves used to hold pigeon nests!! And check out the old brick floors...
SO cool! 

And the birds lived happily ever after.
(Roll with it...)