Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Decorators’ Show House

This past spring, my mom and I visited the Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Southeastern Showhouse. The show house is held every year – it used to be The Atlanta Symphony Show House, but now it is run by Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Magazine. (This year was the first year it was held by AH&L.) The show home is always in Atlanta’s toniest residential area, Buckhead. This year was special – two of my favorite designers had rooms – Suzanne Kasler and Phoebe Howard!!!

 

This is the front hall. If you look past the hall table, you see a couple of ladies admiring the chandelier in the dining room designed by Suzanne Kasler.

 

IMG_0471

Here is the study/library which is on the other side of the front hall (on the front of the house).

IMG_0469

 

 

IMG_0470

 

 

IMG_0468

And here is the dining room by Suzanne Kasler. It is so elegant and refined. The chandelier is so gorgeous! I love how her style is luxurious and elegant, but not stuffy – I like how she has a little edge added in with the accessories.

IMG_0473

 

 

Check out the lacquered ceiling – isn’t it gorgeous!!!! A better picture of the chandelier-

 

IMG_0472

I love the clean lines of the fireplace. Notice the herringbone pattern in the fire box – so pretty!

 

IMG_0474

 

I like the funkiness of this lamp – just the right amount of glam.

 

IMG_0475

 

Perfection….

 

IMG_0477

If you like Suzanne Kasler, but, like me, can’t afford her services, more accessible items designed by Kasler are available at Ballard Designs.

 

Here are more pictures from the show house. So much gorgeousness! Enjoy!

 

This is the living room, which is off of the kitchen. If you are facing the fireplace, the kitchen is directly behind you and the backyard is to your left.

IMG_0479

 

This wall of windows in the living room is on the back of the house – the fireplace is to the right. You can just see the pool over to the left through the windows.

 

IMG_0481

 

Look how tall the windows are! This room gets incredible light!

 

IMG_0482

 

You can see the kitchen to the right as you walk in from the living room. Love that painting! Isn’t the lantern in the kitchen yummy!

 

IMG_0483

 

A built in coffee station in the kitchen-

 

IMG_0485

 

The kitchen cabinets are a warm gray. The counters are some sort of quartzite – I don’t remember the name. Love the proportions of the backsplash tile.

 

IMG_0487

 

That hood! It is really the star of the kitchen!

 

IMG_0489

 

Here is the island sink – the faucet is so pretty and feminine.

 

IMG_0490

 

A mirrored cabinet in the kitchen. I love the “x”s!

 

IMG_0495

 

And this – taxidermy has been popular at the show homes!

IMG_0496

 

Here is one of my favorite rooms (other than the ones by Kasler and Howard). I love the green of the plates and pillows – it just feels so fresh!

 

IMG_0497

 

Aren’t those pendants awesome!!!!

 

IMG_0499

 

IMG_0500

 

Someone give that poor cat a sandwich!

 

IMG_0502

 

Here is the butler’s. Love the “x”s on the glass doors.

 

IMG_0505IMG_0506

 

A powder room. Love the gorgeous wallpaper and the backsplash shape.

 

IMG_0509

 

And the fabulous master bedroom by Phoebe Howard!  Love this screen on the wall – it feels like a piece of art. Love the black against the neutral walls and sofa.

 

IMG_0518

 

The pretty fireplace. Love the brick in the firebox.

 

IMG_0520

 

A desk in front of a window facing the rear of the house.

 

IMG_0521

 

IMG_0523

 

This aqua is so soft and pretty. My iPhone photos don’t do this room justice!

 

IMG_0524

 

Phoebe Howard is very inspirational to me – she is a “decorator” rather than a designer, if you are following the strict definition of the terms. She talks about this in her book, “The Joy of Decorating.” She did not go to school for design, but rather learned on the job working on projects with her architect husband, and at her store, Mrs. Howard.

I think design is a career that if you have a good eye and style, you can educate yourself about design (learning on the job is the fastest way!) and running a business. There are many top tier designers who are technically decorators because they don’t have a degree. Just to name a few are Kelly Wearstler, Vincente Wolf, Darryl Carter and Charlotte Moss. They all have fabulous taste and have figured out how to parlay that into a busy career.

 

IMG_0525

 

I’ve learned so much from doing the design work in my job, and spending lots of time looking at the work of designers I admire. And going to lots of show houses!!!!!

 

IMG_0527

 

Here is the master bath. Wall to wall and floor to ceiling marble! Luxurious!

 

IMG_0528

 

IMG_0529

 

IMG_0530

 

IMG_0540

 

Here is the lady’s dressing room. The window is on the front of the house.

 

IMG_0541IMG_0542

 

A secondary bathroom – love the stone on the vanity.

 

IMG_0548IMG_0549

 

A sweet lamp in the “mudroom.” This is more stylish than any mudroom in my house! Mine would be full of muddy sneakers and backpacks!

 

IMG_0551

 

More mudroom.

 

IMG_0553

 

Ceiling in the mudroom – gorg!

 

IMG_0554

 

Outside on the terrace level.

 

IMG_0558

 

A secondary bedroom.

 

IMG_0566

 

Love this tile. It looks handmade – lovely. The color is still neutral, and is an nice break from white subway tile.

 

IMG_0567IMG_0571

 

IMG_0576

 

A sitting room with snack station.

 

IMG_0579IMG_0578

 

A secondary bedroom designed by Parker Kennedy Living. I saw them speak about color at ADAC not that long ago. Love the exuberance of their designs (and the chinoiserie, of course)!

 

IMG_0589

 

 

IMG_0590

 

 

IMG_0591

 

 

IMG_0595

 

Here is an upstairs game room.

 

IMG_0601

 

My favorite – blue and white! This is an outdoor vignette right off the dining room. So cute!

 

IMG_0604

 

IMG_0605

 

The beaded chandelier over the little sofa:

 

IMG_0606

 

And… the pool. Aren’t those umbrellas the best? Perfect!

IMG_0610

 

Here is a console in the pool house. This window overlooks the pool.

 

IMG_0617

 

The pool house kitchen. Do you think anyone but caterers work in this kitchen?

 

IMG_0620

 

This was a lovely house – really the vast majority of the rooms were home runs for me. There was a quiet elegance that ran through the whole house. I love going to show homes because they are inspirational, and also, experiencing a designer’s work in real life is so different than seeing it in a magazine or on the computer.

Do you think I can write off the tickets as an education expense?  ;-)

 

Ch..ch..ch..ch..changes…

Have you ever been at a point in your life when you know things aren’t working, and changing them is scary, but you know you have to do it anyway? Well, I’ve been living it for the past few months.

I’ve not been able to write since May because I’ve had some big changes in my life that haven’t left me any room for extras. After staying at home and working for my husband’s business for thirteen years, my most recent job has been working full time for a remodeling company doing design work. I jumped right in to 40 hours a week at an office after many years of having schedule and work location freedom. Jumped right into the deep end without a life vest!

Thing is, I really loved my job. Working with my clients was the best – I designed their spaces and I helped them select finishes such as tile, counters and paint. My greatest pride was when the job was done and they were so happy! I love it when clients are thrilled at how their home turns out – it really is the best!

I have to say, I learned tons on the job – I feel like I got all of the learning of a degree while getting paid! I feel very blessed that I was given the chance to design for the remodeling company. Working in my design job showed me my path in life, and for that, I am so grateful. I loved my job, the design work and working with clients – but the hours, not being able to work from home, and the lack of time off just became too much (I only had one week off a year, which is really challenging with three children). After many discussions with my husband, tons of research, writing  and re-writing pro and con lists, I decided I wanted to continue what I’ve been doing, but with a more flexible situation, so I decided to freelance.

It was a huge scary leap, and thankfully, with my husband’s support, I went out on my own in mid-May! We had been talking about me freelancing for awhile trying to figure out what I should do. Having the extra income has been very nice, and I didn’t want to let that go!

Luckily, a neighbor who needed help with her kitchen renovation found me through the grapevine. She was pregnant at the time, and wanted to get her kitchen done before the baby came – I know that sounds like extreme nesting, but it is not all uncommon to take on a major reno right before a baby comes!

This kitchen was so fun to work on. My client wanted a black and white kitchen with a blue island. I keep hearing that blue is the new black, and I just love it – it feels so fresh. The kitchen started as an ok 80s reno in a 1960ish ranch. My clients are very lucky that their kitchen is pretty large for the neighborhood – most kitchens around here are not eat-in. Theirs is big enough for a kitchen table and an island!

Here’s how it turned out:

 

Hite-2

Don’t you love the vent hood my awesome cabinetmaker made? And check out the knobs and pulls – y’all those came from Home Depot! Don’t they look sweet!

What I love the most in this kitchen are the Thomas O’Brien Katie pendants in polished nickel. I want them in my house so badly!!!! We mixed the brushed nickel of the knobs and pulls with the polished nickel of the pendants – so cute!!! Right after the electrician installed the pendants, my client’s husband called me and said, “The pendants look weird.” I though, oh no, what can be wrong. When I went over, I saw that they had installed filament bulbs, which normally look cute, but in these fixtures, the filaments reflected off of the inside of the glass globes – and it did  look weird!!! They changed to a normal bulb, and it looks just fine. Phew!

Most of the blue and white is mine – the little plates and wine glasses are my client’s. Photography is by my lovely husband! I tell you, it really helps having professional photos made. I’ve started a Houzz page, and a bunch of the photos are by moi, and they pretty much look horrible next to my husband’s photos! Oh well, you’ve got to start somewhere, right? I can’t ask him to go back and photograph my past projects – it just takes too long. I’ll sweet talk him into photographing my future projects, so the photos will get better!

Hite-1

Here you can really see the gorgeous blue of the island. We had the face plate of the outlet painted to match. Check out he floors – they are Squall slate – aren’t they pretty? What I like about this line of slate (there are other colors) is that the colors really don’t vary. There will never be a bit of orange in it. It is very consistent, which I love. This is my third project using this line from MLW Stone, I just am so happy with it.

The perimeter counters are my favorite granite, Leathered Black Pearl. It is pretty much the only granite that doesn’t feel “granite-y” other than Virginia Mist. I use this granite pretty frequently. The island has Caesarstone Frosty Carrina. I like this color because it is a subdued stone-look. I like how the pattern is subtle – you really have to get close to see it. Very pretty!

 

Hite-3

 

Here’s the fab vent hood! I am partial to cabinet vent hood cover – I just love the way it finishes the range area. So elegant! These clients were so nice! I love everything they picked out – it came together so nicely. And…their neighbors came by and loved it, so I am starting on their kitchen next week! I feel very blessed that I’ve had work come my way. I just hope that it keeps on coming!   ;-)     Keep your fingers crossed for me!

YETI

I don’t know if this is just a southern thing – but folks down here are CRAZY for YETI!

 

16264-Hopper40-coming-soon-1100x430-v1

 

Here is the version that has been a workhorse for sportsmen.It has become sort of a thing for everyone else, the way North Face has for outerwear. When we were in Kiawah last summer, YETI was everywhere.

Yeti cooler

 

From what I know, YETI coolers started out as the cooler of choice for fishermen and hunters because they have exceptional cooling ability. There have been pictures circulating the inter webs showing YETI insulated cups surviving truck fires with ice cubes still intact!!!!!

 

My father, the man who officially is impossible to buy gifts for because he needs nothing, has gotten on the YETI bandwagon, for which I have breathed a sigh of relief, because FINALLY I can get him something that is not movie tickets!!!!

 

For Father’s Day last year, I got him a YETI hat and little can holder attachment that you put on the cooler. Thankfully, there are endless cooler attachments and YETI gear that can fulfill my dad’s gift requirements for awhile now!😉

 

cup_holder1yeti-6-panel-hat-gunmetal-gray_3

 

Or, you could get your dad (or husband or brother) this:

 

600x600_billboard-navy_8_1

 

So, is your dad as difficult to buy for as mine is? I think this is the fun kind of gear that most men can get excited about. What do you think – is this a good gift for Father’s Day?

 

 

 

Painted Brick

I just love a painted brick house – it looks so fresh and cheerful. My favorite color for painted brick is a soft grayish white – that’s what I painted my house. If you are thinking about painting your brick, here are some gorgeous inspiration photos.

 

I love the painted brick on this one. Often I like unpainted brick on classic two story houses, but this house would not have been as charming, and I don’t think the Chinese Chippendale railing would look good against red brick. I love how the little “roofs” of the bay windows look sort of like a pagoda. Cute!

 

1930s Colonial

 

 

Here is a nice example of a contemporary home. I like how the white is a soft white – the texture of the brick and the softness of the paint color are nice against all of the straight lines. Don’t know if I’d like living with all of those huge uncovered windows – kind of like living in a fish bowl! Maybe they have a really long front yard and lots of tall bushes out front?

 

 

Williamstown

 

 

This house is so charming. I love how the brick and the trim are the same color. It’s like a clean-lined version of an English cottage. I like everything about this house: the pitch of the roof, he porte cochere, the front entry and the arched front door. So charming – I’d move into this house tomorrow!

 

 

Majestic Oaks Residence

 

Here’s a more formal house. Or should I say “manse?” This looks pretty big!!! I love the black of the windows against the soft white of the brick. About the only thing I would change is the front door. It feels like it needs something more solid there.

 

Symphony Design Home

 

Another charming stripped down cottage. I say cottage meaning style – this house definitely ain’t little. It’s probably more than double the size of my house! I like the details like the dovecote over the upper window on the left. I also like the color of the trim against the white brick. It’s hard to tell whether it’s gray or a sage green. Either way, it’s pretty. Love the copper downspouts, too!

 

Cotswold House Exterior

 

I’m pretty sure this is a poolhouse – isn’t it fabulous?  Love the dark of the doors and window against the brick. Also LOVE the orange and white stripes on the chairs – isn’t it fun? Doesn’t this look like a place that Slim Aarons would have photographed?

 

Torrey Pines

 

Here’s a good example of a more creamy white-ish color on the brick. It’s darker than I personally like, but it still looks good. I like how the cream unifies the different materials used on the body of the house. The bump out to the right has different materials than the front of the dormer window above the roofline. If these were different colors, it would be too much. This is one where I think it would look better if the corbels and shutters were lighter – they feel a bit heavy now. The windows could stay dark, though.

 

Buckhead

 

Here’s a sharp example of modern white brick. I love how clean this is. The brick really warms it up. So pretty.

 

Brisbane Street House

 

Here’s a stripped down farmhouse style home. Again, I like the dark windows against the white of the brick.

 

Mason

 

Here’s another charming “cottage” style home. I love the swooping roofline of the second story. I would be happy in this home!

 

Modern Rustic Renovation

 

Here is a nice contemporary in white brick. Again, I love how the texture and color of the brick softens the hard lines of the architecture.

 

Hickory Residence

 

Here’s a bigger home – love the shutters and the gutters (hey that rhymes!).

 

Brookhaven

 

Here is a lovely formal home. I love the repetition of the planters. The taupe-y color of the trim is pretty with the brick color. It’s a very soothing combo.

 

CLEAN TRADITIONAL

 

 

Here’s another cute house – couldn’t this be a Nora Ephron movie set? I like the soft grayed down blue of the shutters against the white brick. Charming!

 

Urban Building Group: Charlotte, NC

 

And dovecotes again! So pretty. Love the espaliered plants on the front wall. Very pretty house.

 

Trimble Road

 

So, do you think you could take the leap and paint your brick?

 

 

Onyx fabulous

Today, the weather was great – it was a little cooler than normal, but it was nice. When I got home from taking my youngest to gymnastics, I picked an organic roasted chicken I got from the farmer’s market and made chicken salad with green apples and toasted pecans for their lunch tomorrow. (And I do mean picked a chicken – picked off the meat – rather than picked up a chicken. Maybe I am more southern than I realize!) This is not a normal occurrence for me to be so ahead of the game!😉 I did some straightening up and planted a few strawberry plants in a container as well.

In the evenings, I am usually too tired to do much – most days, I wake up at 4 or 5 am, start the coffee and then make the boys’ lunches. The easiest days are when I have leftovers to send with them. Some days, they buy school lunch. Not ideal, but we are in survival mode.

After 13 years of working at home for my husband’s business, it’s been a huge challenge working outside the home full time with minimal holidays off (we had to work Christmas Eve last year), one week off a year and no benefits. Needless to say, I am a few loads behind folding and putting away the clean laundry.

Working with great clients is really what keeps me going. I love getting to know them and helping them get the room of their dreams. I recently finished the kitchen of one of my favorite clients. He loves to entertain and wanted to have a kitchen where he could cook while he entertains. His old kitchen didn’t have an island, so adding one was super important to him. The counters are one of my favorites, Caesarstone Organic White. (I took these photos, so they are not the best. My husband is editing them for me, so I should have more soon.)

 

20160413-3501

 

The kitchen opens into a den (on the other side of the island). On the wall to the left of the island we added a bar. My client wanted to do a backlit onyx backsplash on the bar. When he told me this, I started researching where I could source onyx. I called my fabricator, and he said a slab would cost around $5,000! What!!!!! So, I found these 12×24 vanilla onyx tiles from Artistic Tile. Still expensive at about $65/sf.

We placed them vertically – my cabinetmaker made a little rail at the bottom to hold the tiles in. The electrician put some strip lights on the wall behind the tile. Isn’t it fabulous?

Wouldn’t you love to be invited to a party at this home?

20160413-3497

Country road, take me home….

It was spring break for most of the schools in Atlanta last week. Most of my friends and neighbors were posting pictures from the beach on Facebook. A few of my friends broke with the crowd and went to the mountains.

My family loves to go to the mountains in the area where northeast Georgia meets western North Carolina. A couple of years ago, my parents rented a house in Highlands, North Carolina for a month at a time. Highlands is only a little over two hours away from Atlanta, so it was so nice to go up to the mountains for the weekend whenever we wanted to.

I love Highlands because there are tons of outdoor things to do like hiking and exploring waterfalls. There is a great nature center right in the center of town – I love to take the boys there – there is a bog garden, a garden full of native plants like mountain laurel and rhododendrons, lots of taxidermy of local wildlife and several live snakes, turtles and lizards. Perfect for boys!

There is also a cute gourmet grocery store where we go for coffee during the day. In the evening we like to go to the Wine Garden at the Old Edwards Inn for a drink before dinner. Here is the bar area  –  we like to sit a table rather than at the bar.

 

9ea35e5d65d60ce203a4f4a943a4e252

 

My sister in law’s sister got married at the Old Edward’s Inn several years ago. She had her rehearsal dinner at the Inn right by the pool – it was so pretty.

 

Old Edwards Inn 2

 

Here is the entrance to the Inn when you are on Main Street. The Wine Garden is on the left. Hint – if you stay here they have mini fridges around the Inn that have Dove ice cream bars!

 

Old Edwards Inn entrance

 

Here is The Farm, where my sister in law’s sister held her (spectacular!) wedding:

 

6_of_Four_Photography4

 

Here is the main “barn” – I danced the night away with my youngest, who was just a bitty then (he is 8 now, sniff).

 

ChaffinWedding-241

 

The_Farm_at_Old_Edwards_Barn_Pavilion

 

Here is a view of the entrance to the property:

 

DeMossWedding5-07-018

 

There is also a house on the farm property that my sister in law’s parents rented for the wedding. It is amazing!

 

6_of_Four_Photography5

 

Here is the kitchen. We went for drinks on the back porch – this house was so cute!

Farmhouse_Kitchen_at_Old_Edwards

 

Highlands and its sister town (20 minutes away) Cashiers hold a special place in my heart. It’s an area surrounded by spectacular waterfalls, hiking trails and gorgeous views of the Smoky Mountains. The air has a fresh smell that you just don’t get in the city. There are lovely rhododendrons and mountain laurel everywhere.

 

North Carolina also was a favorite for designer Charles Faudree. I love this home that he designed in Cashiers.

 

Charles Faudree 12

 

Most of the homes in the Highlands/Cashiers area have lots of wood on the walls and ceilings. I like how Faudree used it just on the ceiling here.

 

Charles Faudree 4

 

I’m not usually a plaid lover, but this is perfection. I love how Faudree painted the ceiling in the dining room. I love the walls, aren’t they gorgeous! And the antler chandeliers – everything is just perfect!

 

Charles Faudree 3

Love the railing here. We’ve rented several homes in the area, and people can go crazy with the “mountain” theme. Faudree was so excellent at creating an environment. This home feels like you are at the mountains without having to have bear doodads everywhere. Love the fabric on the chairs!

We spent the last half of spring break in the North Georgia mountains. It was fun, but it’s not as pretty as Highlands. We came back Saturday, so I had a couple of days to get ready for the week, but it sure was hard getting up at 5:30 yesterday and going to work!

 

Charles Faudree 2

 

So, are you a mountain person, or a beach person. Or both?

 

 

Cheap date night with tapas and tile!

 

Last Thursday, Porcelanosa had a grand opening party for their new showroom. One of the perks of my job is that my vendors have events from time to time – there is always good food, music and drinks. We get a babysitter and have a cheap date night out! It’s always fun! Porcelanosa is a Spanish company, so the party served tapas and had Spanish music and dancers for entertainment.

 

This grand opening party had more guests than any other vendor event I’ve been to. Guest were very chic, too! I tell you, designers are some stylish people – there was fashion inspiration everywhere! I learned a new thing or two!

 

I really like Porcelanosa tile – I haven’t used it yet, but I’m going to get more familiar with it. The store manager made me a sample kit a few weeks ago with a bunch of pretty gray and white tiles. Porcelanosa has a more contemporary European feel, which is just gorgeous in the right situation.  Here’s a pretty gray and white bathroom with Porcelanosa tile. That’s an impressive shower, isn’t it?

 

 

I like the texture of this tile running vertically. It’s a nice way to add interest while still keeping with white tile (you know how I love a white backsplash!)
Here’s another gray and white bathroom. I like the soft variation of grays in the wall tile.

 

 

Here’s another bath with this textured tile. It’s pretty obvious I like this tile, isn’t it? Do you think you could use textured tile in your home?