Friends

With me on a shopping spree

Went to Scott's Antique Fair in Atlanta last week and found some great things.

I buy things with a specific client in mind so,  as you can see, I have projects with ALL different tastes.

But the common thread being that I love every piece I choose to get, for different reasons. And then I come across things that might not have a specific home YET but I just can't go back to Nashville without it.

Alot of it was not photographed but this is what I took away from the day:

*hutch piece in background, only 8" deep, perfect for concealing a flatscreen!

A bust. why not.

old vintage hardware,  and pillows.

And my personal favorite:

Obsessed with this antique mirrored coffee table!! Had to get it. Might need to test it out at my house for a while?? :)

The girl to the left is one of my best friends- Katie. I stay with her everytime I go to Atlanta and whenever she has days off from work I somehow convince her to follow along as my "assistant" for the day.

Apparently they were expecting us:

I texted Hoyt this picture and he responded with: Where are you? A homeless shelter??

Hmm.. the setting does look questionable. 

No, just shopping for my clients digging through junk outside of South Building. Apparently it was on the verge of raining so they were covering things up. All these factors making it impossible to find someone to take our picture, and even more impossible to convince Hoyt that I'm actually working, and Katie's actually helping.

 Another whirlwind trip that was fun and successful. But also exhausting. After traveling every single week over the past month I can't tell you how satisfying it was to finally press that beloved button on my GPS- 

Go HOME.

And stay a while!

Hope you had a good weekend.

 (thanks "and friend" for helping me all day. love ya)

Another one bites the dust...

Metropolitan Home is shutting its doors. :(

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There are no words.

Just pictures...

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I pray for all the people that worked so hard for this magazine and are having to pack up their belongings and start over. Especially my dear friend Lenora Jane- who wrote in an email today:

 " I know 'when one door closes another one opens', 

                                      but damn- I did not want this door to close."

Neither did we.

We will miss you, Met Home.

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Rooftop Party and flowers

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This weekend I helped throw a party for Hoyt's, and his good friend, Russell's 30th birthday. A group bday party with a handful of Hoyt and Russell's close friends and family. 

The invitations:

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I thought it was pretty funny. (Made from yearbookyourself.com) That was the only embarrassing thing I was allowed to do for the whole get together. Trust me, I wanted to do more.

We scored BIG with the location. Russell is a contractor for Brasfield and Gorrie, the company responsible for constructing the Pinnacle Building in downtown Nashville. It is the first new building to gain LEED Silver Certification- a national standard that measures a building's greenness, or environmental friendliness. So we were able to throw a rooftop party atop this fabulous new building!!

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Since the setting was so beautiful we didn't have to decorate much at all. We just put small arrangements of zinnias on the tables, with burlap tablecloths and some striped ones from Target. 

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birthday boys and their girls- it took about fourteen different tries to get a good picture. Hoyt is known for blinking every time someone says CHEEEEESE. Exhibit A-

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Annoyed

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the early arrivers got to see the sunset...

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*unedited

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This giant storm cloud came rolling in... along with a swarm of black birds. All of a sudden it felt like we were overlooking Gotham City.

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Good news- it did not rain. And the weather was perfect!

On a similar note: Have you seen the new fall issue of Flower magazine? It got me really excited about the autumn season!!! It included a bunch of simple flower arrangements that are just beautiful. For example:

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Pick up the latest issue to see more! Or click here to get a subscription.

Which brings up another thing I've been wanting to post about. How cute are these cards? Stationary by Courtney Khail, spotted via flowermag blog.

Courtney stationary

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Click here for her website.

Sorry, I got a little side tracked! back to birthdays-

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This is a picture of Hoyt when he turned three.

This time he turned thirty and although he wasn't AS excited about his birthday, I think it turned out well. 

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austin

I took off for Austin, Texas this weekend- a spur of the moment trip to visit one of my girlfriends. First time to Austin (or Texas for that matter)- and I loved it! 

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That's Celeste. She's a rockstar. And quite the tour guide! 

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We toured the town on bikes. All day. 

And the day was beautiful...

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 and apparently very 'cool' for Texas weather. Although we did hit up some fans every now and then...

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Then we stopped by the local animal shelter called Town Lake... WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF? I'll never know. 

I couldn't help but photograph these faces. And I'm not kidding- it's like they were asking for a photo session..

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<cue Sarah Mclachlan song>

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What did I tell you? Heart. Wrenching. 

If that doesn't make you want to hop over to your nearest shelter...

Good news is: Celeste filled out an application. She's going to get one!! The story is a little more complicated- involving a dog that's not actually hers that she's trying to re-possess. Hmmm.. Stay tuned...

We then finished off the afternoon by jumping in Barton Springs-

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 why don't they have one of these everywhere?

I finally met her cute boyfriend-

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Dinner at this fabulous little restaurant called Parkside-

love this shelf system-

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Most of the decor that I saw in Austin was alot like this- simple, sustainable, no frills, no fuss. Just a really laid back urban vibe... Not like any other city I've been to. 

Went by Hotel San Jose on South Congress- ever been? 

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<photos from southern living>

Also went to another really cool place called Eastside Showroom. Didn't take pictures but loved it. 

and then there was dancing.. ofcourse.

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Lots of laughs...

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and I mean belly laughs!

IMG_4020Love you Celeste! Thanks for showing me a good time. 

Oh, and while we are OFF the subject of design:

Hoyt turned 30 yesterday!! Happy Birthday to my sweetheart. 

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All pictures (except the few I cited above) by me- *Some people have inquired about this: I slightly edit these pictures in iphoto (sometimes I use Photoshop Suites but mainly just iphoto)- convert some to black and white, crop, etc. It's easy, I promise.

lollie belle

 If you haven't noticed already I like to brag about my friends. I guess you could call it 'brag blogging' or BLAgging... if you were so inclined. I am blessed to be surrounded with talented, creative people and lately I have been feeling a tinge of guilt for hoarding these artists to myself. Artwork is such an important element in a home but many people just don't have the resources to find a painting that means something to them. You can walk through galleries all day long, spotting beautiful artwork here and there, but alot of times the story behind them is missing. In hopes that I can help provide a story I've decided it is time to unlock my secret resources and try to introduce one artist every month on the blog. 

This is not an advertisement or a ploy to make money. I don't want to sell my friends, I simply want to share them with you.

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 I've been preparing this post for a while now- with the help of Lollie- because I've been really excited about this particular introduction. I apologize if it's a little lengthy but I've had trouble cutting it short! 

So, without further ado, I'd like you to introduce you to a lovely artist. This girl is one of my closest friends who carries an innate gift of creativity and style- Laura Roebuck. (also known as Lollie)

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(I know, she's hard to look at....my eyes!!)

I met her at UGA and we've been besties ever since. She now lives in Oxford, Mississippi with her hubby who's finishing up law school. She's painting and doing some other creative stuff- I could go on and on about how lovely and artistic Lollie is but I decided to do a little Q&A so you could figure that out yourself. (From here on out I'm in blue) (to get the full effect of some of these pieces, double click on them to enlarge)

What is your favoriteluxury in life?

Lollie: My first thought is good food. It gratifies  your senses.  It looks beautiful, it tastes good, and the experience creates an avenue for quality time with people. Thus, leading to my second answer, which would be the relationships that I have been given.

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<the small watercolors above are in her etsy shop! click here for more>

Who has inspired your artistic style?

My first love, like so many, was Van Gogh. Then came Gustav Klimt’s beautiful figures, Toulous Lautrec’s quirky night scenes and beautiful, acidic colors,  and the expressionist form of Egon Schiele’s lines. There is also, of course, Degas and Monet for the way that they apply paint and use color, as well as much of Piet Mondrian’s work.  This list goes on….

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I have to insert here that when Laura first started painting classes in college she'd come home with these HUGE paintings that were absolutely stunning!!  This water tower in particular was one of her firsts (which is taller than me)... You should have seen our jaws hit the floor when she brought it home from 'art class' :) 

She came home soon after with yet another life-size painting of her boyfriend (now husband) that is amazing in person.. and charming.

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Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project?

I would be thrilled to learn a thing or two from any of the above masters, but as far as today goes, I love to work with individuals. It is exciting for me to work for someone on a commission to put in their new home or to memorialize a past moment or even give as a gift to someone they love. Tailoring a painting to each person’s needs and wants keeps the process fresh. Every one is different, and so each painting brings new ideas, different inspirations, and learning.  And the best part about it is that it becomes very personal to the individual that I’m working with and myself, which is really gratifying.

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What books are currently on your bedside table?

I have a stack of books beside my bed that I just ordered  and are on my “to read” list. There is “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” “Catch a Fire” a biography of Bob Marley, and “Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry”- a beautiful book on another love of mine, metalwork.  On top of those, is a rotating copy of one in the series of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. I’m a nerd, and I will never get enough of those books. Then, there’s a book I most recently read, “Same Kind of Different as Me”-so good, and finally, “The Book of the Dunn Cow”- one of my most favorite books. It sits there, because I love the cover and the story is so dear to me... I told you it was a stack. (Wow. Way to make me feel like a slacker!!)

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What inspires your creativity and designs?

I love scientific illustration and botanical prints. Much of my work is based on the study of a singular object. So I flip through books, magazines,  and photographs to find curiosities that I think will translate well through paint always feeds me when I am in a rut. I love to find and photograph landscapes, as anything flora or fauna* will usually end up in my work. When I am beginning a new painting, I will look through the books I have on my friends Egon, Vincent, Gustav, etcetera and will find inspiration for color palette, composition, and technique. (*You used the term 'fauna' in this paragraph... Lord of the Rings Nerd Alert!! :)

 Here are some 'bug prints' she's been working on recently:

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Wouldn't a group of these look great in a kid's room? Or any room for that matter.

 What is your most prized possession?

My wedding band and engagement ring.

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Her husband had it made based on her favorite leaf- the gingko leaf. So pretty, SO laura.


What are the things life you cannot live without?

I can’t live without Jed, my most wonderful hubby and best friend. Of course, I can’t live without my family or friends-this includes you lovely! (thanks :)Then there’s the vitals such as mechanical pencils, cereal, a good paint brush, makeup- think about it- I get to paint on my face, bath tubs, the South- I could never leave for too long, farmer’s markets, old things, Tim Keller, windows, books, a good movie, potted plants, coffee!,  jewelry, magazines, slow meals with people that I love, and my kitties-Lucy and Prudence.

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(this is not one of her kitties, it's actually a goat..? Whatever, it seemed fitting.)

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just like PAINT, a little bit of lollie goes a long way... for example, the piece above is in the background of this photo: 

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Not all the time though. For example, this little painting...100_6798

in a setting:

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I think it would look good propped up against a kitchen backsplash... Instant color that you can enjoy every day. Another one that's the same size:

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What outfit would you wear to your art show?

*I have to insert here that Laura is by far my most fashion-forward friend I've ever had. She is always ahead of the trends... I remember when she first walked around in Uggs. We were all thinking 'what the h*ll is she wearing?!" Anyway, all that to say- I asked her to put together an outfit for us:

I am lovin’ this gorgeous jumper. (from here)

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I think it is very regal, but I would want to funk-tify it a little (of course!). So, I would add my short, vintage cowboy boots, some chunky gold jewelry, 

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art show by lolliewroebuck featuring Anthropologie

layers of necklaces included my favorite feathered piece,

100_6813  this poppy red clutch, and- if it’s cold- this great scarf with some red lipstick to boot!... nice.

Do you miss me?

Too much. 

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(I miss her, too.)

I feel much better now for sharing her with you. Isn't her work great?? Feel free to spread the love to your friends, your blog readers, whoever. 

*Some of the paintings I included in this post are SOLD, some are not! If you fell in love with one that is sold- have no fear! She does commissions all the time and can create one specifically for YOU.


Email Laura for more information:

lolliewroebuck(at)gmail.com

For her website click here.

For her etsy shop click here.

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On the Market with Mimi

I got another email from my friend.

The friend that lives in Birmingham and sends me pictures of fabulous houses on the market. (click here for the last one, if you missed it)

The friend that is coaching me on how to perfectly decorate her future home.

The friend that is causing me to stalk houses in the wrong city.

I love the emails. It's basically a Weekly magazine that's like walking through Sunday Open Houses but never having to get up. Or like a virtual tour through all the homes you wait until dark to slowly drive by so you can take a peak inside when all the lights are on.... No? Just me?

Moving right along...

House #1

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TTN: the driveway, love it.

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TTN: -limestone countertops

-shape and design of the island- rarely do you see one like that

-the brackets underneath the upper cabinets (on either side of the sink)- nice detail*

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TTN: -I like the chairs/sofa with the waterfall skirts

-rug on rug

-what is that empty frame above the painting?? Don't worry, I don't get it either.

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Lovely Master Bedroom...

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Closet? Check!

TTN: 3 framed mirrors instead of one big one

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Guest bedroom.. I like the grass shades in this setting.

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It's nice to mix up the bathroom cabinetry. Instead of just going with the regular built-ins, change it up!

TTN: -the tapered legs

-the fixtures mounted on the wall

-stainless steel undermount sinks? You don't see that much in residential bathrooms. I like it!

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In love with this outdoor area!! Why? Because it looks like a continuation of the house rather than a bunch of chunky outdoor furniture. 

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By the way, this friend that I keep talking about has a name:

Mimi Nolen

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She's a realtor in Birmingham so if you're looking for a house and you want someone that has a great sense of style, she's your girl. 

I'm not kidding, Mimi is SO good at what she does. So, for a few minutes I pretended she wasn't a friend and asked this expert a few questions:

Have you noticed a house plan or layout that people tend to lean towards?

People are really big into the open kitchen, den/living rooms right now.  That's why our TVs keep getting bigger and bigger- people are watching them from 2 rooms over! Also, something I have noticed is people are leaning towards smaller, more quality space vs. a lot of unused square footage. 

Does a house sell better with furniture or without?

Yes, a house definitely sells better with furniture.  But, the right furniture is important.  Buying and selling homes is an emotional decision, people buy from the heart, so when you go into a home that "feels" like you, you are more likely to make an offer on it.  Sometimes it's hard when you are a showing a total "redo" for people to visualize what could be done with the space.  That's where a great designer comes in! 

Amen! What's your favorite part about buying and selling homes?

I am loving working in the real estate market right now.  Things really aren't like what you watch on TV.  All that is going on is totally normal and it won't be too long before it gets better and then happens again! I think the key is finding a home that you really love and a place that makes you feel comfortable.  The rest is just details....

House #2

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 *I don't have enough time to point out 'things to note' but isn't this house adorable? Especially the setting!! 

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Ok, so I didn't tell her to send me the cute, affordable ones. For fear that it might tempt me to move back to Birmingham (leaving Hoyt to fend for himself during business school)!

But if you are on the market and living in Birmingham, call Mimi. Or atleast get in touch with her so you can sign up for the House-Stalking Weekly subscription. Believe me, you won't regret it. It's alot healthier than the drive-bys.


mimi nolen

RealtySouth

205.908.8767

mnolen@realtysouth.com 

<also, contact her if you want more info on these houses for sale>


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Book Talk

One of my best friends, Lenora Jane, is an associate editor for Metropolitan Home in New York. In my world she rightfully owns the "My friend with the coolest job award." 

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To put a face with that (double) name:

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Lenora. Jane. She's such a fashion DIVA!!!

TTN: Nice wool sweater- looks great with the turtle neck!

Okay fine, she grew up...

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(and she's going to kill me)

Anyway, she called me the other day and left a message along these lines:
"Rachel! You have GOT to get the new Met Home book "Glamour"- it's incredible. Go get one! Trust me- just do it."
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Something you might want to know about me: If you are as cool as Lenora Jane AND you live in New York I'll basically do whatever you tell me to do. So I hopped in my car, zipped over to Borders and got the last copy they had.

Here is a preview:
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"Part of being glamorous is taking risks."-Jay Jeffers
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"When a client says 'glamour' it's code for 'Design our home so people will swoon when they visit.'"-Michael Berman

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"Glamour is the effect a room has on the people in it."-Kelly Monnahan

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"Any repeating geometric shape is glamorous." -Scott Joyce

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"The key to glamour is not caring what anybody thinks of you."-Jonathan Adler

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and my favorite: "Glamour doesn't have to break the bank, but it should break the mold!"-Vicente Wolf

Amen Vicente! (Although I don't think I've ever seen any design of his that does NOT break the bank but it's a nice thought)

Remember when Domino came out with their book? It's like that. But with a little more edge! And instead of being a room-to-room guide in decorating this book breaks the mold (go figure) and is divided into 3 sections: Concepts, Objects and Rooms.
Concepts- the basic notions that make up a glamorous room (Scale!!-*most important in my opinion, Luster, Palette, Antiques, etc.)
Objects- the tangible items in glamorous homes (staircases, fireplaces, draperies,etc.)
Rooms- house tours showing how designers put it all together!
*I love that fireplaces and staircases have their own sections. It's the kind of stuff you google hoping to find something worthy of recognition.

Glamour is stock full of beautiful images that you may have seen before in Met Home- but definitely not this quality. It's truly one of those coffee table books that you find yourself petting the pages they're so pretty. 
(No? Just me?)

Lastly, I love this book because the author (Michael) and designer (Keith) dedicated the book to their mothers:
Not because they are particularly glamorous (although they have both had their moments) but because they taught us early that no place is more beautiful than home.

For more information read an interview here
To do what Lenora Jane tells you to do click here.
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