Archive | February, 2013

Eastwood Project Update // Progress and Plans

26 Feb

Let me give you the fast-as-lightning visual update:

NES came to the lot and gave us power. Now Snap is in my headIt’s gettin’, it’s gettin’, it’s gettin’ kind of hectic.

Temporary Pole // Power

Just add concrete for footers.

Pouring FootersNext: Block. Lots of block.
Foundation Blocks

Foundation Blocks


Foundation Block


Here’s a peek at what we aim toward. This is really close to final—one of the later versions. I cannot tell you how many times we edited ourselves. There’s room for change and I’m sure we will change some things—perhaps the number of windows, we might lose a balcony or change a balcony. There’s room for flex.  

It’s so funny to me how huge this thing looks in the drawings but the lot is really not that as large as these drawings might imply. Prepare yourselves for lessons in scale.  

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

There you have it. You approve?

Thanks for reading.



White Houses: Exterior Inspiration

22 Feb

It all starts with Post-It notes.

Loads of books, piles of magazines, Pinterest, and Post-It notes—that’s where I start chasing down ideas. house inspiration

Next, you share the bounty with the contractor and the architect and you say, “Guys, this is the stuff my dreams are made of.” 

architect. builder. ideas.

Right after that things start coming together.

Somebody asked me, “What’s the most exciting part of a project?”

The ideas. I love the ideas. I’m addicted to possibilities. I also love the smell of lumber but that’s another conversation for another post

The lot we are working with is perched on a hill between 12th South and Belmont and looks toward the East. I suspect the sunrises will be gorgeous. As we plan, we continue to think about the view and in my mind the house is white.

Here are a few photos that have served as major inspiration for this project.

These houses from Rosemary Beach inspire me:

Rosemary Beach Home

Rosemary Beach White House

You might notice that these houses I’m inspired by are white. I am also into farm houses. Again, I am full of surprises. 

Screen shot 2013-02-22 at 10.17.39 AM


White FarmhouseBarnes Vanz Architects

modern farmhouseInspire Your Life

Contemporary FarmhouseHGTV Green Home

There’s more where that came from. 

I started a farm house board on Pinterest. If you’ve seen anything pin-worthy be sure to leave a comment. I’d love to see it, too!

Thanks for reading!


Starting a business and other acts of faith.

15 Feb

Last year I participated in Dream Year, an experience that helps people accomplish a dream over the course of one year. A month into the program, Ben asked a few questions about the logistics of my dream, how it could become sustainable and eventually profitable. The questions did what good questions do.

In waltzed clarity.

A week later I emailed Ben: “I cannot stop thinking about our conversation. I have to change plans. Forget the proposal I submitted. What I really want to do—and I mean really, really, down-deep-within-me want to do work with Brad to design and build houses—that’s my dream. Help me figure out how to do this.” And just like that I jumped the tracks.

I spent a few months doing the not-so-fun parts that come with establishing a business: paperwork, bank visits, repeat. And, I needed a name.

Creating a brand. It can be so brutal.

For me, it’s an act of self-awareness and hope, a thoughtful process of articulating the essence of who you are and where you want to go. (Unless your Bing or Twitter and you just make or reinvent a word.) When Ben asked me to articulate my strengths or what this brand really is one word continued to resurface:


I am a gatherer. I gather people. I gather pretty things. I gather ideas and inspiration. I’m good at gathering.

But what to name a business and a blog: Gather. Gathered. Gathered ideas. Gathered home. Gather up. Gathered. BLAH. NO. Gather. Gathered inspiration. NO. Blah. What? Gather. Gather and Build. 


Gather and Build.

I will gather what we need. Brad can build it. It has this go-forth-and-prosper sort of feeling to it. It’s all action. Go and do.

I emailed the exceptionally talented Matt Lehman and gave him my “I have a dream” pitch and said could you bring it to life? In a logo? And will you help me brand myself? Matt came back to me with 7 logo options and 30+ variations of those logos. Killing me with beauty. He almost killed me with beauty. This particular logo and its variations captured it. UGH. So. much. to. love. 

Logo options // Matt Lehman

Here’s some advice from Dream Year: Always work with people who are better than you—find people who are among the best in a field and surround yourself with those people. In practical terms, do not design your own logo. Unless you are a professional graphic designer, you should step away from InDesign or Illustrator or whatever and hire someone who is smarter than you. 

That advice served me well. Here’s the winner:

Screen shot 2013-01-24 at 2.56.15 PM

Someone much smarter than me is helping create Gather and Build (dot. com) and eventually, this blog will have a new home. I’ll highlight the projects Brad and I work on along with other fun projects I’m working on the side—like house staging and such. And, of course, inspiration. Lots of inspiration.

You are kind to stay tuned after all these months—I’m really grateful. Thanks for sitting tight through the silence. I hope you like where we are headed. To quote Sleeping at Last, “The future is brighter than any flashback.”

Thanks for reading,


P.S. I love that gathering has ties to farming. My father would be proud. Did you see the “So God Made a Farmer” spot during the Super Bowl? Tears. In my eyes. 

Building a New House: A Conversation with the Contractor

11 Feb

I said: “Brad, there’s something bad happening around here. People are building houses—as in, other people are building houses that I want to build.”

He said, “It’s infuriating.”

I said: “It’s like an epidemic. Or a pandemic. Or, whatever the word is for a bad thing that happens to good people. We should do something.”

He said: “Definitely. Let’s build something.”

I said: “What about this? Can we do something with this?

Screen shot 2013-02-10 at 6.13.33 PM

And he said, “We can.”

So I said, “Well, can you clean this place up so we can start from scratch?”

And he said, “Absolutely.”

Screen shot 2013-01-01 at 5.26.36 PM

Screen shot 2013-01-01 at 5.26.55 PM

And Brad said, “Let’s build something with a view.”

And I said, “Fine by me.”

Screen shot 2013-01-01 at 5.27.11 PM

And, that’s pretty much how it went.

Except that the conversation happened over the course of a year.

Screen shot 2013-02-11 at 8.13.15 AM

To date, we have cleared the lot and the excavation work is finished—now for the fun part. So much more to come!

Thanks for reading,