Archives for the month of: February, 2012

It’s time to pull Mr. Oscar out again. ( Funny, I think last year’s give away was at Oscar time also.)

And the winner of the beautiful Donnie Sasser original




Congratulations Donna! Please let me know how I can get your painting to you.

For those of you who were not the lucky draw this time

you can still get your very own “Donny” at

Itz A Gift

in the Peppertree Shopping Center just up from Chappy’s in Montgomery, Alabama.

Thanks to all who entered. And don’t give up!

There will be more giveaways coming.

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




I jokingly asked The Writer yesterday if someone had declared this National Kitchen Renovation Month since I got 3 kitchen calls in one week. LOL

They are each drastically different so I thought it might be fun to share the “befores” with you.

The first one is a planned major over-haul in an old southern Colonial.

I think you will be amazed by the after. ( I hope. haha)




The second one is the funniest. It involved a call from someone who had been highest bidder on an in-home consultation I donated to the Shakespear Festival for their fund-raiser and her re-do is due to a sewer line problem.




I have often had people say to me-  heck, I have said it myself  –

 “I don’t cook”.

 But we don’t really mean WE DON’T COOK.

We just mean…. not a lot.


She means it. I started opening kitchen cabinets and guess what I found?

Hard Cover Books.

In every single cabinet.

Not one sack of flour, box of cereal, can of peas. Nada.


That cracked me up. (She gave me permission to post this by the way. She thinks it’s funny, too.


 I can’t believe this picture turned out so fuzzy. It’s a classic.


The last one is just an update, nothing very dramatic. Granite to replace Formica,

 new backsplash,

 new granite composite sink ( have you seen those? Pretty cool)

some window treatments.

This is a perfect opportunity though to discuss undertones of color. I will do a more extensive post on this at some point but this picture is a great teaching opportunity.

All paint color starts out as a tinted base. This is refered to as its “undertone”. Undertones MUST be in the same family or you end up with a real challenge. In this case the wallpaper has a cream background but when you compare it to white you realize it is very yellow. The paper also has a lot of pink and blue.

The trim is stark white.

The tile floor is a neutral but with gray and pink veins in it. So now we have a gray undertone competing with a yellow undertone.

Throw in the cabinets…. orange.

The lighting is fluorescent which makes the orange even more pronounced against the blue.

This is where I am often called in to “fix it”.

 Once you have gone that far down the trail there is no easy fix. You can only try to make it better. In this case I am trying to take as much color away as I possibly can on the countertops and back splash since they want to keep the paper.

Get the undertones right from the git-go and save much heartache.

So what’s your kitchen like? Old World? Classic Colonial, Shabby?


And remember,  

Kitchens are once or twice in a lifetime projects, typically. We want to pay attention to new ideas, absolutely, but seek longevity in design and materials as well.

Choose wisely.

If you don’t have you name in for the Donnie Sasser painting giveaway go here.

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


photo from Inspired Design

Sometimes you start down a path not knowing exactly where it will lead


But if you just keep taking one step at a time the destination will eventually reveal itself;

such is the case with this blog.

I started it because so many people told me that I should, but I had no idea what I would write about or if I even had anything to say that you would find interesting.

I realized this morning that I have reached a milestone-

POST 100!

So in celebration of that we are going to have another give away.


I wish I could add some flashing lights, bells and whistles

or confetti.

But this is even better!

My sweet friend, Sherry DeBray, from

 Itz A Gift

is donating this

 An original Donny Sasser available ONLY at Itz A Gift in Montgomery, Alabama.

Thank you SO much Sherry. I wish I could win. I love “Donnys”.

The drawing will be held on the 29th.

That only gives you one week to register.

This is how it works.

Scroll down to the very bottom of this page and hit the “like” button… your name goes in the hat 1 time.

Hit the “share” button and your name is entered 2 times.

Leave us a comment telling us why you like the blog  or what you would like to read about and you get 3 chances to win!!

It’s that simple… now get clickin’.

Then start down your path and before you know it

photo by Suzanne Israel

you’ll be soaring like the…. egrets. LOL

Have a happy, happy day!

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


There’s so much to write about this week I need more days.

A sweet friend’s daughter got married this weekend and I got to help stage the reception.

There’s nothing better than being surrounded by piles and piles of fresh flowers, fresh fruit

and amazingly creative people.

Decorator extraordinaire Janna Lubert

and caterer extraordinaire Beth Bridges brought me in.

 Those two are so amazing they didn’t need me but I’m glad I got to hang out and help.

Unfortunatley, the crowds descended on us before we had time to get the cameras out so I had to shoot through people and in some cases the yummy food was already disappearing but you will get the general idea.

cheese table

This was fun.
You will be able to see in the next photo what made the coffee bar so popular.

coffee station

 Individual Krispy Kreme Donut holes in each cup on their own cute little personalized pick.

They were fighting to get to the cake. You would have been, too.

Bottom layer was strawberry.

Middle layer was red velvet.

Top layer was buttercream.

Yum. Yum.

And then there was the Groom’s table.

This is where The Writer hung out.

Individual homemade banana pudding.

At this point things got too busy for picture taking.

I am so sorry you can’t see all of the gorgeous giant lanterns,

and the enormous basket filled with tiny burlap bags filled with heart-shaped bird feeders,

or the “happily ever after” sign  hanging on the basket by the adoreable chalkboard message from the couple,

or the……..

It was fun.

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



This is how I would like to give!

How much of it do you think is chocolate???

So what do you have planned for your Valentine?

I don’t think it was a Valentine’s party but it could have been. Friend Bob Vardaman,  Montgomery’s favorite event planner, dressed my favorite building in town – The Blount Conservatory- for a party last year.

I wish I had been there!

photo courtesy of McAlpine, Tanksersley

My little ballerina ( who wears her pink tutu to bed) would love this as much as her Gigi does.

You can’t believe what a great dancer I am in my head!

I’m not a fan of red roses but these are a great option!

pretty pink peonys

or these

Red bike, blue jar, pink flowers

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my precious friends, fans and followers!

You have made my year so special.

And to The Writer,  my awesome children, MC and IV




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


So here are some of the final tile selections for the beach.

Downstairs Master Bath
Below is the kitchen countertops, island granite and backsplash

Below is the upstairs master bath.

This is the hall bath but the floor is not orange something went goofey with the lighting.

And this is the front upstairs bath. I can’t wait for you to see how if turns out.

That’s a wrap for tile and grout.

Next week we move on to paints and trim.

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


We missed Italy on our last trip but this gem might be the centerpiece for some future trip.

It took five years to renovate but it is now open to the public as a luxury hotel in Southern Italy.

I introduce to you

Palazzo Margherita by Francis Ford Coppola.

Just give me the entryway. Have you ever seen a more beautiful doorway?

This is one of the common morning rooms.  Bella.

All of the walls are hand painted and look at that fabulous floor!


I’m glad I didn’t have to measure off each of those stripes but whoever did it did a beautiful job.

May I extend my stay, please? And, yes, that “marble” is faux.

The Murano chandelier however is the real deal.

 The Sophia room named after Coppola’s daughter.

Be still my heart I want those floors. The Francis Ford Coppola room that welcomes the breeze as it ushers you

out to

the terrace. Coffee?

Where are you dreaming of going on this good Friday?

I am off to stage a wedding for sweet friends. Have a fabulous weekend!

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








Remember the lightning round from Jeopardy?


Well I am going to put this in fast forward to catch you up on what’s been going on in Florida.



building site


Foundation going in




framing still


moving on




testing exterior paint


porch rails go up
So there you have it: The Lightning Round.
Stay tuned. Tomorrow we will look at some of the final tile selections then it’s on to paint.
If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at


%d bloggers like this: