Archive | April, 2011

Restoration at its finest.

28 Apr

In 1859, someone took hammer to nail and built a white house of great stature. I can only imagine how life might have been on this plantation home in Bolivar County, Mississippi. When the Civil War tore through the south, many homes were left abandoned. In 2010 this home was restored. Can you imagine bringing this house back to life—mercy. The results are beautiful.



Photographs from Gone: A Photographic Plea for Preservation

Photo Credit: Neil Dickerson


I’d rather be at the beach (house).

25 Apr

The glider caught my eye and the rest of this relaxed beach house followed suit with smart charm and drops of color here and there. These are my favorites from the California home featured in Country Living.

All these tiny green chairs in a row–love ’em. There are more pictures here.  Isn’t this a great house?

From Rain Boots to Rugs

21 Apr

I’m inspired by galoshes. Random? Maybe, but I’m inspired nonetheless. On any given rainy day, Ashley and Zana are apt to be sloshing around in these rain boots. Ashley wears the stripes. Zana wears the “zags.” When I need some cheering up, I borrow Zana’s zags. Things start looking up when you wear zig zag galoshes.

I’m drawn to chevron/herringbone/zig zag patterns these days. In my search for area rugs I ran across a few chevron patterns. If Zana’s boots were a rug…

Via Domino Magazine

Via The Fabulous Design File

Via The Design File

Via West Elm

There is something cheerful and happy about a striped rug. If it’s the right stripe. There can also be something jailbird-ish about stripes. If Ashley’s galoshes were a rug….

Via Lullaby Interiors

Via Alkemie

Via EstiloyDeco

Thanks for reading.

Jana chose blue.

18 Apr

Last week I mentioned the Kelley’s kitchen project.

She and I got together and slathered samples on the wall–of the five samples there was a distinct and clear winner: Mountain Air from Sherwin Williams. We gave green an honest go of it. But blue prevailed. Apparently, Kermit is right. It’s not easy being green.

The Kelley’s have a ranch-style home in a sweet Nashville neighborhood. I dream of flipping a ranch style house because I think they have the very most potential for dramatic change. I stalk Allen Perry’s site looking for the right ranch at the right price. I’ll let you know when I find it.

The goal for their kitchen was to create space in a small galley kitchen and increase functionality. With three kiddos and a lot of friends and neighbors their home has a lot of traffic. Our goals were to open up the space both physically and visually.

Here’s the kitchen before.

Here’s what I love about this project: The kitchen is lighter without light. Brad bricked in an existing window. There was once a window where the refrigerator sits. This is a testament to the power of paint and white tile.

Here’s a peek at the results.

You can see more pics on the Kelley’s blog.

By the way, while you’re looking at their blog read a bit about their story. I’ve forwarded a link to this post to so many friends because, quite frankly, there is more wisdom in this post than half the books I’ve read this year. And, speaking of books, Michael’s book, Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal: A Boy, Cancer and God is in the works and will release next year.

Thanks Jana and Michael for following my house journey–glad it led you to a new kitchen! Many blessings!

You know where you are? You’re in the jungle, baby.

11 Apr

I can hardly remember this place. But, it is a true and real place from which we started—tile painted jungle green accented with an oh-so-seventies patterned wallpaper. Cross my heart, every time I see before pics of the bathroom “Welcome to the Jungle” runs through my mind. And next I think of Slash and his moppy hair. And then I try to think about something else.

I don’t think about the guys from Guns and Roses much anymore.

Much better.  I think this is much better. Forward progress. But, alas, it is plain and boring and not where it should be. This bathroom is in purgatory. The limbo that exists for rooms that are “on the list” of things that are yet to be completed. I also refer to this as “makeshift mode.” It’s the place you get to when you slap things on the wall in an effort to make it functional. Wallpaper = best solution ever.

I’ve got a pile of samples. I taped my top two to the wall last night. I stood back and stared. I will decide this week. I can’t live in this limbo, will it be Mod Green Pod or Aimee Wilder? I like them both so very much.

Green or Blue? What would you do?

6 Apr

In the midst of my renovation,  Michael called and said that he and Jana like the blog and they like what we’re doing. They also said they’d like for me and Brad to revamp their kitchen. We’re sort of busy right now…  I kid. I kid. I was flattered because it’s such a nice complement to hear someone say, “We like what you like.” They were also willing to wait for my project to wind down, which is also a complement. They waited several months.

Brad can remodel a kitchen with his eyes closed. I am, quite frankly, tagging along with stacks of pretty pictures, paint chips and personality. We met in Michael and Jana’s galley kitchen and talked about moving doors and closing windows–ways to open up the space. The work began roughly two weeks ago and is nearly finished. Earlier this week I met with Jana and Michael to look at paint colors. They’ve narrowed their options down to green and blue. Tonight we paint sample colors on the wall. You know how much I love samples.

I’m posting a few pictures for inspiration. I can’t wait to see what Jana chooses and show you a few before and after pics of her kitchen.

Designed to the Nines


Decor Pad


Home Is Where the Heart Is

1 Apr

Ilse Crawford’s book, Home Is Where The Heart Is, remains my favorite book regarding creating a home. It is a book of gorgeous photography taken by Martyn Thompson;  a book of theories, ideas and beliefs on what it is that makes a house feel like a home. She explores the elements that set us at ease within spaces, the layers that create a comfortable and safe place to be–by this I mean creating a space in which you are not only at home but at home with yourself.

Houses have that power, you know. Houses partner with people to create a tiny spot on the map that the whole world can’t reach. It is a place in which you can determine what comes and what goes; what is celebrated and what doesn’t stand a chance–this is my favorite thing about being a homeowner. It is my joy–and my responsibility–to determine the rhythm of my house.

Gaston Bachelard is quoted in the book, “For our house is our corner of the world… It is our first universe, a real cosmos in every sense of the word” True. Very True. Bachelard’s thought and this image both reminds me of  Julie’s son, Asher. His room is his universe, a cosmos of his own. I find it to be perfectly Asher, which makes his room so perfect to me.

I enjoy design books. I have stacks of them. I look at them constantly. Once upon a time, before the print industry took such a hit and magazines dropped like flies, I subscribed to an obscene number of quality lifestyle/interior magazines. It would be quite easy to let those opinions rule the way my house looks and feels and that would be a shame. My aim is not to have the most beautiful house on the block. My aim is to have the most welcoming house on the block. If it’s pretty, that’s a bonus. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyway.

Enjoy your weekend. Thanks for reading.