Archives for the month of: January, 2012

For all of you who think Interior Design is such a glamorous profession hang with us on days like this.

It was tile selection day for the beach project.

Here I am working with Billie from Destin Tile and Stone making the tile selections for the baths and kitchen.

I love this grey strie that we found for the downstairs master. The glass tiles are used as an accent band on the walls.

Here is a close-up of the glass tile.

It is actually a combination of tile slivers and smoky glass and it is beautiful but I have to tell you that I am being very careful how I use all of these specialty tiles.

I know the tile reps would hate it if they could hear me but I am afraid that they (the glass tiles) are going to scream

2010 like big hair screams 1980.

Just don’t date yourself too much.

We did a little special touch in each room and one of my favs is the river rock on the floor of one of the upstairs showers.

Now, here’s where the glamour part ends.

There is no such thing as a decorator who doesn’t work out.

Everything that we deal with is heavy. HEAVY I’m telling you, tile, granite, wallpaper books, fabric books, paint cans.

And step aerobics? Are you kidding me? We INVENTED that. We are up and down ladders all day.

So here we go in our cute little clothes (sometimes) to the granite yard… in 120 degree weather.


You know I’m just kidding you.

I actually find the granite yard quite exciting.

 It is hard to believe that all of those different colors and patterns were just buried on the side of some mountain until someone figured out a way to excavate them.

God is so creative. That’ s why I love to hang with Him.

We found this beautiful black to go with the grey strie’.

 Don’t you think that’s great looking?

We were trying to find remnants to use in the upstairs baths. That’s a trick I use that allows me to use a more expensive product. You don’t need the whole slab…. IF you can find a piece big enough for your needs left over from a job that someone else with very good taste used. 🙂

For this phase we went into the marble warehouse.

 These are the giant machines used to wet cut the slabs.

This slab is being readied for its cut.

I am determining what size I have to have for each vanity.

Then we narrow down by size and try to find one that will match the tile.




Three hours later we shake the marble dust from our clothes and after determining that we have

 the right colors

in the appropriate sizes,

 available at the required moment,

for a price that is almost within budget

 we pack up another 50 lbs of samples and call it a day.

Hopefully when we present it to the clients we won’t have to start all over. LOL

Thankfully, that rarely happens but there are those days….

So there ya have it. A day in the life of.

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



I haven’t let you in on the latest job down on 30A but we are far enough along now that you can see what’s going on so … here we go!

This house is located just down the street from the last one but the builder for this project is

Boyd Martin of Martin Properties.

We have met some of the nicest people and thoroughly enjoy being down there.

Our first site visit was for the framing portion of the job. This is one of the most important visits because it is here that all of the important decisions have to be made concerning proportions that need to be tweaked, wiring, cabinet layout changes and a long list of  “is this in the appropriate spot” and “does that meet code” type of questions.

Here, Boyd and I had just begun our initial walk-through and were concentrating on lighting and electrical outlets.

There were several areas that I knew  would need art work so now is the time to decide if you need junction boxes in the wall for special lighting or if a plug needs to move 3″ to the left  to keep a cord from stretching across a wall when it could be behind a chest. 

But it we move it will it still be within code?

 In each city and within each type of development, whether residential, commercial or mixed-use, a designer has codes that must be adhered to. One of those codes stipulates how far apart electrical outlets can be from one another. So if I moved one it could throw an entire room off unless I knew I had some “wiggle room.”

Below is a view from the kitchen showing the front wall of the house. There are three sets of French doors opening onto the front porch.

Directly opposite the first set of doors is the stairway to the second floor.

Below is a view of the dining room which is on your right as you enter the house.

I hope to use two large paintings flanking the triple window so it is here that I was concerned about the placement of junction boxes and/or wall outlets should I decide to use portrait lights or  possibly lighted cabinets in lieu of art.

Also, think about things like electric ice cream freezers. Are the exterior outlets appropriately placed for when you are ready to try that new recipe of peppermint swiss almond?

I once visited a VERY expensive house,mn  that a friend of mine was building in a very exclusive part of the city and as we walked around the outside I commented, “Are you aware of the fact that you have no electrical outlets at all on the outside of your home?”

Needless to say it was not a happy revelation. The house was already bricked and close to being finished.

It was an expensive problem to fix and could/should have been caught so much earlier.

This house has so many wonderful porches and this is my favorite. It is upstairs off one of the guest rooms and it is here that I would live with a massive stack of magazines and a pitcher of iced tea with lime. ( I know, I’m a real partier.)

I asked Boyd if he would please add some extra blocking here… and there…  in the ceiling because…

if it were MY house it would most definitely have a bed swing- maybe two.

Don’t you want to come visit?

This room will be the greatest challenge of the house. It is a bunkroom but it is very long and skinny.

It is perfect for built-ins but the owners are concerned about the difficulty of making the beds so I’m not sure what the final plan will look like for this room. Got any ideas?


When we went back downstairs Scott, the cabinet man, was waiting for his walk through.

Scott and I worked together on the last project so we were happy to get to collaborate on another one.

The biggest issues we were facing were the re-working of an upstairs bath and one wall of the kitchen.

The kitchen is basically an L shape with a huge center island.

On a previous visit Scott and the owners had made some changes to the short L that looked good on paper (except for the fact that the base cabinets were not centered on the window which was making me crazy) but standing in the space I realized that we had a problem.

There is a short wall that divides the dining room from the kitchen.

A pantry had been added on the kitchen side of that short wall adjacent to the refrigerator.

However, standing at the front door I was afraid that the pantry was going to stick out so far that you wouldn’t even see the window.

In order to find out, we staged it by moving a large beam into place to represent the pantry face. Sure enough, it was way too big and completely concealed the view of the window thus making the room feel small and closed in.

It sure is nice to have four heads working on a problem like this. ( Hubby, the writer aka camera man, was throwing out suggestions also.)

In the end we shifted everything to the right, centering the cabinetry on the window which made me very happy. We removed a small base cabinet, and due to the shift, we made more room between the fridge and the island AND erased the problem of the blocked window while retaining the pantry.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Next up…. tile selections.

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




I am SO very proud of my school and our program. 

Interior Design students and Auburn’s Interior Design Program Named Best in Nation by DesignIntelligence

 will parker

Pictured above is Will Parker one of our recent graduates and one of  the best architectural renderers around.

 The undergraduate interior design program in the College of Human Sciences at Auburn University is the best in the U.S., according to DesignIntelligence magazine.

For its annual survey, “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools,” the publication asked 277 leading architecture and design firms which schools best prepare students for success in theprofession. Based on interior design programs accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA),

Auburn was ranked No. 1 in the nation, along with Savannah College of Art and Design.”Being ranked #1 is a testament tothe efforts that both faculty and students have made to ensure that our graduates are indeed prepared for theprofessional world,” says Consumer Affairs department chair Carol Warfield. According to CIDA, accreditation requiresstudents to apply knowledge of human behavior, history, space and form, materials, environmental systems andconstruction, among others, to the design of residential and commercial spaces.

With a CIDA-accredited interior design degree, Auburn graduates are eligible to sit for the NCIDQ licensing exam within two years of full-time professional practice. Auburn graduates consistently earn placement with top 100 architecture and design firms each year.

“We are pleased to be recognized as one of many excellent design programs offered here at Auburn,” says June Henton, dean of the College of Human Sciences.

 The interior design program also placed third nationally for cross-disciplinary teamwork. “Our students work very hard to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving and increasingly interdisciplinary field,” says Paula Peek, Interior Design program coordinator and W. Allen & Martha Reimer Reed Professor of Interior Design.

Additionally, DesignIntelligence cited the growing importance of collaboration and communication in design education. “The interior designer doesn’t just hand down a set of drawings and walk away,” says assistant professor Shari Park-Gates. “Good communication with clients and other building professionals is essential in every step of the design process.” “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools” ranks undergraduate and graduate programs from the perspective of leading architecture and design firms.

For more information on Auburn’s CIDA-accredited interior design program in the College of Human Sciences, visit

They have worked so hard and so deserving of this. Having served the school as Vice President and President  during my undergrad years and now as an advisory board member, this program and these students are my babies.

If you are looking for a great place to begin a fabulous career check us out!

Oh, and War Eagle!

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



Remember when I introduced you to Pantone’s color of the year?

Well it was ALL OVER market.

Orange, purple, turquoise, gray… wait I’ll show you.


So that’s a snippet of the color story.

Here are some of the trends that are continuing or just hitting their prime:

Bleached woods

Architectural Salvage

recycled art



driftwood everything



wood,wood,wood I loved these.






maps and architectural prints


natural elements mixed with teal, turquoise


really beautiful sisals

 You get the idea.

Sorry that the pictures aren’t top quality but after thirty years of this I have learned to leave every

ounce of unnecessary weight at HOME when it’s market time. The phone has to suffice as a camera.

I hope you enjoyed your little tour and

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

You can purchase many of the items you see on Foreverdesign simply by contacting the above address.



Alabama Magazine

Many thanks to Julie Hall Bosche’, Sarah Brueggemann and Bishop Chavers of Alabama Magazine

for the wonderful 8 page spread in the January/February edition.

And thank you to my dear friends, Jere and Sara Beasley, for entrusting their beautiful home to me for all of these years.

The Royal Treatment

Published January 14, 2012

“As you follow a broad drive bordered by immaculately manicured grounds and approach the house at the end of it, you might feel you’re a bit underdressed. After all, the structure’s grand facade with its stately white columns give the gorgeous home a formal, imposing presence.

But relax: If the unpretentious beauty found within those double front doors doesn’t instantly set you at ease, Sara and Jere Beasley’s genteel Southern hospitality certainly will…”

To read the full story

Pick up your copy at Books a Million, Walmart or wherever fine magazines are sold.
Photos by the fabulous Rus Baxley
And if you would like to say, “That was fun!” at then end of your project contact me at

Do you know about erosion cloth???

We seem to constantly be giving parties of one sort or the other: wedding showers, rehearsal dinners, baby showers etc. etc.

Therefore, we (my neighborhood  party elves) are always on the lookout for new and different ideas.

Yes, we love Pinterest.

But this erosion cloth has our little brains buzzing!!!


It looks like something Peter would have used as a fisherman’s net. It is a fabulous texture and color and will allow you to morph it into just about any shape.

You can stretch a hole in it so that candles sit flat on the table without rocking.


Then you can pull it and the hole will heal itself. It’s just great.

HOWEVER!! You must plan ahead. The reason it is called erosion cloth is because it is used in

landscaping to prevent…. erosion. It is treated with some sort of oil. Therefore it has a really

“unique” smell. Something akin to burlap + motor oil. I know…

We left it outside for 4 days before the party to air out and it was fine after that but you don’t want to be closed up in a car with it for too long. haha



 You could make it as elegant or rustic as you want.

We can’t wait to have a barn party and use it for drapery on a bamboo pole.

 This time we went with a boot scootin’ barbeque theme that included everyone’s favorite pulled pork BBQ, baked beans, coleslaw and bread.

Along with beverages of the adult variety there was homemade lemonade, and refreshing lime water.

Then we get to the fun category… dessert!

Neighbor Gayle came through in a big way with these adorable cookies

 and THIS

 individual Paula Dean banana puddings. She was really showing out and we were glad.


 A fun time was had by all. Go get you some erosion cloth and let me know how you decide to use it.

Do you like my new find?

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
























flower arrangement with peeps and jelly beans

“Pantone has announced that its 2012 color of the year is Tangerine Tango.

This reddish-orange hue will give consumer products the shot of energy and boldness they need,especially in the kitchen and bath category.

Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is already appearing in designer showrooms.”

Shown here as knobs:



Victoria and Albert go bold with latest tub design

and here, as countertops:

hmmm, I am loving orange but I don’t think I will ever be using it like this.

What are your thoughts?

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




Are You Ready For This?!?!?!

As the world speeds on in ever new and changing directions the design world leads the way.

Sometimes I feel like I am living in a Sci- Fi movie but I love it (at least once the children stop laughing at me as I struggle to master the latest and greatest technology.)

THIS you have to see to believe.

This is the house that you will soon live in, the office you will soon work in, the city you will soon visit.

I can hardly WAIT to design my first one…. it could be for you? Just sayin’.

From Corning. Enjoy. 

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


I never got to post the final pictures from the Christmas decorating marathon

 but now I have a reason to let you see just a peek into the last house.             



This lovely old southern home in Montgomery, Alabama  got all decked out in its holiday finery.

From the angels at the front porch

to the lamb by the front door

arms were  opened to welcome the arrival of the new born King.

silhouetted against the morning light the square boxwood wreaths found a home.

Birds, artichokes and hydrangeas filled the beautiful staircase in the foyer.


Want to see more of this beautiful home?

Watch for the January issue of Alabama Magazine due on newsstands today!

Just had to tease you a little bit.


I hope you enjoy.

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


I really didn’t intend to drop you like a hot potato

 it just got c c r r a a z z y y around here.

I hope that your holidays were wonderful and filled with all of the people and things that you love most.

After some stops and starts due to illness ours got back on track and involved lots of food, lots of travel and

most importantly

lots of love… four generations of it.



We closed out the celebrating with our daughter and her family at their home with my Mom.

 Would you believe  I forgot my camera at every single gathering?

These are the only ones I could nab from Facebook.

All of the Barganier girls got just what they wanted for Christmas!

Every single one of them…

Maybe she can teach her Gigi how to use it.

At one point I looked around and the cousins were all holding each other’s babies. Pure Joy.

As we counted our many blessings YOU kept coming to mind. What a joy it has been this year as I have met” so many new blogging friends sharing each others successes and trials. You are now a very important part of my family.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for all of the kind words.

Thank you for “sharing”.

And thank you in advance for all that we will discover together in the coming year.

I can’t wait to share with you all of the wonderfullness that is already happening this new year.

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


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