Archives for the month of: August, 2011

At the end of this very hot summer I am gearing up to do a series of posts aimed at those who might be getting ready to build or are needing to get the house ready for the holiday season. These posts will contain very practical information like how to read a blueprint or how to draw a room to scale. They will also answer some questions that I receive often about dining room tables and lighting etc.

BUT I was just wondering…. What’s on your mind? Are there specific topics that you would like for me to cover?

After all this blog is all about YOU my faithful reader so I want to give you, to the best of my ability, the information that you are interested in. You might have a really fun topic that I had not considered. Let’s talk.

Go to the comment section and leave me your wish list. Think of it as an early Christmas list. Let’s have some fun! Thanks in advance for all of the fun ideas.

Bye Bye Summer it’s time for us to sail on to fall.

If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project

contact me at



A big thank you  goes to Megan Moseley of The Walton Sun for the great article she wrote about our work  on 30A.

To read full article click here: walton sun article

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


As I approach post number 50 I thought it would be fun for me to look back at the very first post and see how things are progressing. Am I getting better at this thing called blogging? Has my “voice” been consistent? Readership has certainly expanded and includes 5 countries now but  am I working everyday to give you information that is useful, interesting and worth the time that you so generously allow me? I really hope so. 

I found two of the paragraphs from  #1 to be interesting. It’s fun to read  what you said about yourself a year ago and see if you agree. LOL

This is what I said back then,

“I am an artist. Not one who paints with oils but one who creates worlds. I am an interior designer/decorator by trade but I also sing and dance a little. I love using beautiful flowers in the worlds that I am creating but can’t grow one for the love of money and I just recently started designing fabrics and furnishings. My first pattern is now available world-wide through Duralee Fabrics. I will post a picture of it later.

Mainly though I am a collector of people. One of my favorite parts of this world that I live in is that I get to interact with the most interesting and highly energized people on the planet. We don’t believe in the word no. We don’t like to hear, “that can’t be done”. We get frustrated, yes even sad, when the people around us give up or get overly pessimistic about the days that we live in. We are the eternal optimist. Things will change for the better. The day will return when we actually have clients again and yes, projects will get approved again… some day.”

I love that last paragraph. It is still true to me. And the phone did start ringing again. The sun still shines every morning. I used the down time to learn new skills which I am now using in the business. I actually had TIME to have long lunches with friends that I had neglected for several years. Yes, we all still face challenges but life is good. God is good and He holds me. Therefore, I will fix my eyes like flint on His face and I will walk every day in the knowledge that I have a destiny to fulfill. Part of that destiny is to be an encourager to you my dear friends. For you, too, have a calling to fulfill.

So when times look bleak remember to look around at all of the good that surrounds us everyday and to rejoice! And I will rejoice with you.


photo by linen and velvet

Let’s choose to enjoy the journey.

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


Since the movie “Out of Africa” debuted I have had fantasies about that house and that land. Recently I discovered the architectural firm WATG and had to literally tear myself away from their site. I have never seen such an array of incredible projects from any one firm.

The one that really got me though was the Sasakwa Lodge in Serengeti, Tanzania. It is operated by the Singita Grumeti Reserve and I WANT TO GO THERE!!!

The hilltop lodge was designed in the style of an East African colonial manor home. It has awe-inspiring views over the Serengeti plain and is on the migratory route crossed annually by more than a million wildebeasts as well as serving as the home of large herds of resident game according to the property management.

The lodge is made up of one to four bed suites arranged across seven cottages each with their own infinity pool and private gardens.

All photos are courtesy of WATG.

Then I discovered THIS and got REALLY excited- the company that does the real African Safari glamping (glamorous camping which is the only kind I like) complete with oriental carpets and antique gramaphones. Oh yeah Baby!

  Can’t you just hear that beautiful scratchy big band sound?

 Ahh, a little bit of The Ritz in the middle of nowhere.

photo slim paley

 All photos Calvin Cottar’s 1920 Safari Camps

Happy Friday dreaming.

If you own property in South Africa and need a great designer to make your dreams a reality CALL ME at 334 356 3652. 🙂

I got a new subscriber yesterday ( who needs to add their name to their profile so that I can thank them properly LOL). In trying to determine what kind of blog they write I ran across a link that had been shared and I found it fascinating.  I don’t normally just re-post something but it was so appropriate for the times that we live in I just had to share.

Perhaps it caught my eye because we live in a bungalow or perhaps it’s because I have been thinking so much recently about how expensive square footage is and longing to design  the ideal smaller house; whatever the reason I loved the post.

Here it is:

“Today I would like to highlight a series of projects submitted in 1911(ish) to the “Brickbuilder”, an early 20th Century trade publication.  Having sponsored a nation wide competition, the publication received over 650 submissions from around the country.  The 100 top entries were published in 1912 in a catalog distributed by the Brickbuilder, and have been republished in a book called 100 Turn of the Century Brick Bungalows with Floor Plans.  There were two requirements for entry, first the bungalow had to be built of brick, and second it had to come in at a cost of $3000 or less. ( A comment on this post said that According to Wolfram Alpha $3000 in 1911 is the equivalent of $71,995.11 in 2011.) I love these projects for their simplicity but even more so because of Brickbuilder’s attempt to make the resulting projects affordable by keeping the cost requirements low.  Why aren’t we designing and building things today with the same spirit if not the same form?

Design By Leo N. Denler, Buffalo, NY
Design by M. A. Ward; Chicago, IL.
Design By HArry F.C. Mennecke; NY, NY
Design By Wetherill P. Trout; Philadelphia, PA
Design By J.H. Taylor; Montreal, Que., Canada
Design By Harold Field Kellogg; Boston, MA
Design BY Henry W. Hall & Hugo K. Graf; St. Louis, MO.
Design By George C. Crockett; NY, NY.
Design By J. Theodore Hanemann; NY, NY.

All images in this post are from the library of CJ Builds LLC.  The following resource was used for this post:

100 Turn-Of-The-Century Brick Bungalows with Floor Plans::  Rogers & Manson; Dover Publications, INC.  1994

I hope that you found this enjoyable.

If you need help planning YOUR perfect bungalow contact me at


In Crans Baldwin’s  blog,  A Glass Half Full, an April  entry includes this statement:

“You know, I am not a designer, just an ordinary client involved in the design business. However I value what designers, real designers, bring to the party. They do the homework so I don’t have to think about it. They plan, they envision, they draw, they select and specify, they measure, and they consult me when it matters. They deal with late shipments, wrong shipments, mistakes, finish problems, difficult installations, problem suppliers, last minute substitutions, etc. Buying at retail is different, with different expectations. Working with a designer is like working with any other profession, and it has little or nothing to do with retail….”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

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

Just days after I posted about the historic Gay House (here) a friend started talking about another amazing old house in Montgomery that hubby and I actually looked at a lifetime ago, the Winter House.

The story goes that there is a tunnel that was used to escape Wilson’s raiders that leads from the basement to the river.

 The old grainy photo is from some ancient files that I dug up but take some time to examine this glorious structure. Notice the unusual balustrade around the porch and the trim detail between the columns. It looks like a key hole. See it? I love that charming little window over the front door. Steve Mouzon you need to jump in here with some more interesting info on this house.

 And speaking of front doors does it get any better than this? I want them.

 I know. It makes me cry also. Check out those corbels. How many must there be in all????? And by the way this is how shutters are SUPPOSED to be used. Have you ever seen the vinyl version that some builder stuck on a building BACKWARDS!  Please.

Love, love, love those fish scale shingles and that awesome window.

Southern Accents you might be headed back to town.

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


Last night at about the midnight hour I was perusing random blogs to see what new friends I might find when serendipity happened.

Blog A led me to blog B…. and suddenly I stumbled upon

6th Street Design School

Kirsten was saying that she had a great time on a family trip but was glad to be home….

Suddenly I scroll down to her last picture and the caption says:

“Plus I came home to some beautiful fabrics on my doorstep.”

See that black and white fabric?

THAT’S THE FABRIC I  DESIGNED  for Duralee Fabrics!

(I know, I should be cool about it but I will NEVER get over the thrill of people liking my work enough to actually want to use it. It’s just such an awesome blessing.)

 Here it is shown on The Jennifer Chair from my new furniture collection.

My Sales Representative sent me this one of

3 Sisters Clothing

using for one of their spring jackets.

And this picture was sent in of “a sighting” where it was used as drapery.

I just might have to join my little granddaughter in a big ol’

HaPpY dAnCe! (big smile)

If YOU happen upon it somewhere I would love to see the pictures.

For more information on the products talked about here contact me at

Sometimes you will find that you have pieces of furniture that are just simply too short for the ceiling height of the room.

case in point

There was way too much blank space about the TV cabinet.

In journalism this is referred to as “white space” and I use that term often to help clients understand when empty space is needed to help the eye rest and when it must be filled in order to please the eye which is ALWAYS searching for that golden mean (the perfect proportion).

In this case we tried item after item. It was a little like the 3 Bears. Some things that looked huge in the store were way too small. Some were too visually heavy and detracted from the overall wall and then we hit upon the beautiful old garden gate and it was “just right.”

Simply resting the gate on top of the cabinet added an overall  height of @ 3′ and drew the eye upward to where it wanted to rest.

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


Fun With Laduree.

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