Archives for the month of: May, 2011

This is your LAST CALL for the Give Away drawing.

There are three different ways that you can  get your name in the drawing:

1. Hit the like button on this post (your name goes in once)

2. Hit the like and the share button on this Post (your name goes in twice)

3. Hit the like, the share and the subscribe button on this Post (your name goes in three times)

If you’ve already done that have a friend subscribe, let me know you did it and your names goes in two more times!

Good luck everyone.

Tomorrow at this time someone will be the happy owner of a beautiful Peniel Pillow.

There are so many beautiful options on the market for tile today that you could literally spend weeks trying to decide what to use. Unfortunately some of the options will seriously date your house so you have to think long-term when choosing the hard surfaces for a home. I tend to stay pretty classic but that doesn’t mean you have to be boring.

For instance the tile used for this master bath is a very sophisticated (some might even say sexy) product called textile that I found at Jenkins Brick.

It looks like the walls are covered with linen and comes in a nice range of colors. We used the 12 x 24 size with a staggered joint installation.

We wanted a very clean contemporary look so we kept the joints as small as possible and matched the grout to the “linen” lines as closely as we could (which also means less grout to clean). The tub by Victoria and Albert is a freestanding white work of art. It hasn’t been installed yet and I can’t wait to see it.

There are some tricks of the trade you can use to achieve a great custom look while using very reasonably priced in- stock tiles. For the childrens’ shower we used Antares Platinum (at an average cost of $3.60 sf) in various sizes and directions to accomplish a much more expensive look. The bottom 3/4 of the wall is done in 20″ x 20″ squares run straight. On top of this is a border of 4″ x 4″ tiles that mirror tiles on the floor. The top section is finished with 13″ x 13″ tiles run on the diagonal. The feel is that of tumbled marble without the price tag.


Short on space? Have your tile mason make a raised ledge out of your marble or granite. It is just big enough to hold a lovely silver shaving kit or a bar of soap and frees up the real counter. You have to carefully select your faucets though to make sure you have enough room to raise and lower the drain stopper. We didn’t think about adding the ledge until after the fact so we had to swap out the fixtures.

 Tomorrow is your last chance to sign up for the give away. Go here and scroll down to “Give Away!”  to find the rules on how to be entered in the drawing. If you are already registered but would like to better your chances get a friend to subscribe to the this blog; shoot me an email  ( telling me that they are your contact and your name goes in TWO MORE TIMES!

If you want to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at



We just completed the mid-May inspection of the Florida house. It is so exciting  to arrive after a 3-4 week absence and see the progress.  Have I told you how much I LOVE this builder? This trip was all about color, tile and light placement.

I was so pleased with the results of the whitewashing and glazing. We used a Benjamin Moore semi-transparent deck stain, cutting its color to 50% for use on the wall boards. The color, “Ashland Slate,” has a grey-green undertone. I will talk more about the process that we went through to arrive at the cabinet color in a later post. Color selection for this house was extremely tricky.

Notice also the addition of the ceiling beams. If you remember from the first post, the plans called for a painted, coffered ceiling the same as every other house in the neighborhood. To add character and visual weight to this room we wrapped the beams in a veneer of antique pine. What a difference!

  The next change (remember, proportion is king) was to run the flooring horizontally and not vertically. This meant that the boards would now visually expand the width of the room. You have to be careful with long rectangular rooms. Vertical floor boards can make them feel like bowling alleys.

 This changed allowed us  to add a lovely border around the perimeter of the room as a bespoke feature. Didn’t the floor guys do a fabulous job with that radius around the stairs! When it’s time to choose rug sizes start inside this border and come off 6″ so that you don’t cover it up.

Stay tuned!

And if you haven’t registered for the give away go here scroll down to Give Away! and follow the directions. 

To say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at



In a former post I asked you to notice the header above the doorway leading into the stair hall.

Here is the picture.

Even though the ceilings in this residence are a generous 12′  having a horizontal bar blocking the visual line into the stairwell made you feel like you needed to duck. We made the decision to remove it, lower the top of the opening by one board so that it lined up with the top of the door frames and trim it out as a cased opening.


It was a simple, inexpensive change but what an impact.

Suddenly the opening feels grand and welcoming.

It’s little things like this that a professional designer brings to the project.

 If you missed the last post click  (here) to find the rules for how to sign up for our give away. The drawing will be held at the end of this month.


If you want to say “That was fun!” at the end of your building project contact us at


As a way to honor both our readers and my sweet friend, Rushan Smyth, founder of Peniel Pillows of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, we are giving away one of my favorite Peniel Pillows.

“Peniel” pillows are gorgeous high-end decorative pillows that are all based on scripture passages. Each hang tag explains the symbolism.

This particular pillow is called Jacob.

There are three different ways that you can  get your name in the drawing:

1. Hit the like button on this post (your name goes in once)

2. Hit the like and the share button on this Post (your name goes in twice)

3. Hit the like, the share and the subscribe button on this Post (your name goes in three times)

Tell your friends! The drawing will be held and the winner announced at the end of this month.




Blessed is the man ( or woman) who gets to design a gorgeous home at the most beautiful beach in the world and call it work. Add to that the fact that the team has been phenomenal (shout out to John Brown of Gulfview Construction), the homeowners a delight and the seafood not too shabby; and you have yourself a blueprint to be copied. This Alabama designer has been working on just such a project since January and I thought you might enjoy seeing a bit of the work in progress. I wish I had a time-lapse video for you but the first set of pictures show frame-up and the next set shows what happened in the following 4-5 weeks. We are now dried in (that means the roof is on, all windows and doors are in and the house is secure); drywall is up; wood is up for walls in main living area; trim is complete and painters are painting. I will soon do a post on paint selection in different parts of the country. It gets tricky. Enjoy! And if you want to say,”That was FUN!” at the end of a building project  call us at 334 356 3652.

                                                                                                                                                                   Kitchen / dining end of great room

 Upstairs playroom and “study hall”


 View from one of upstairs porches

Fast Forward


Siding and roof go up

Color looks great. Notice the bi-level porches that wrap 3 sides of the house


Love, love, love these mighty corbels!

The window in that little outbuilding was just screaming for a window box. So, we gave it one. 🙂


Yes! I knew those walls wanted to be wooden. Just wait until they get color.

Pay attention to this header. We will discuss this more in a future post.

Future fantasy little girl’s room



Someone just sent me a link to House of Turquoise‘s blog where a photo shoot of one of Erin’s houses featured the fabric I designed for Duralee made into a pillow. Thanks Erin! And thanks to all of my eagle eyes who help me spot it.

                                                                                                                The black and white graphic is from the Linea Graphics Collection by Duralee Fabrics.
                                                                                                                                                          Let me know if YOU spot it somewhere.
And if you want your building or re-decorating project to end with the words, “That was FUN!”  give me a call. We handle all of the details so that you don’t have to. 334 356 3652 

I come from a long line of women who can grow anything and who always have beautiful gardens (I have no idea what happened to me) so naturally to me Mother’s Day is synonomous with flowers. I saw these beauties walking through my neighborhood today. I hope you had time to relax and enjoy family on this special day. I am blessed to still have my Mama so we enjoyed smelling the roses together.









Isn’t she beautiful. Love you Mama. Happy Mother’s Day everyone.

If you missed part one of my Grape Expectations post click here.

I really am continuing this post just so that you can see the last pictures of the grape stomping event. 

You wouldn’t want to taste the end product but it was a lot of fun.

These cute wine glasses were by Linda Brennan.

Blue Canoe by Susan Smith

 oops, I don’t think we cared for that one. LOL

And now for a page straight out of “I love Lucy”…

Go Grace Go

Score: kids 2 adults 1

Come on Emma, we need another kid!

Jake will do it.

Well…it was fun…

Let’s raise a glass to all of the hard working folks at The March of Dimes.

The sky looked just like this on Saturday as I walked down the street to take part in

Grape Expectations

The March of Dimes fundraiser held at The Waters.

But this was not the sky.

It was the work of this man: one of our fabulous decorative painters in Montgomery, Mark Cole, a featured artist for the

art show and wine tasting that drew so many out to enjoy the glorious day.


Angie from The Waters and Kim from RSVP spear-headed the efforts. Thanks Ladies.


Sorry Barrett I had to use this one.  I thought it was hilarious that you struck the same pose as the girl in the portrait.

Ed Gannon  shared his amazing array of olive oils. Yum!

I loved this metal work by Jonathan Larkin.

This is one of my favorite “tree pictures” by Josh Moates of Kim Box Photography.

Don’t miss part 2- Grape Stompin

If you want to actually ENJOY your building project contact me at


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