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.



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








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.




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



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




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







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.



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.




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




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!




A built in coffee station in the kitchen-




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.




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




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




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




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



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!




Aren’t those pendants awesome!!!!






Someone give that poor cat a sandwich!




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




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




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.




The pretty fireplace. Love the brick in the firebox.




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






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




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.




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!!!!!




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










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




A secondary bathroom – love the stone on the vanity.




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!




More mudroom.




Ceiling in the mudroom – gorg!




Outside on the terrace level.




A secondary bedroom.




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






A sitting room with snack station.




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)!













Here is an upstairs game room.




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






The beaded chandelier over the little sofa:




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



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




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




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?  😉



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.




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:




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






Here is a view of the entrance to the property:




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




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



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?



Palm Beach Preppy

Do you have a morning routine? Every morning I get up by 5:45 a.m. The first thing I do is brush my teeth and then make some coffee. Then I usually make the boys’ lunches (I really should do them the night before – I need to get more organized!) and then get ready for work. Every day, Parker gets up and makes my breakfast while I get ready. Isn’t that sweet?

I like to start my day taking a little time reading about current events and design. I love these quiet moments at the beginning of the day when I am drinking hot coffee – no sugar and lots of half and half. Lately, it’s starting to get warm here (it was 85 degrees today!!!!) so I’ll be switching to iced coffee soon.

Today I woke up at 4:00 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got a little more quiet reading time. I have my favorite blogs that I read regularly – The Pink Clutch is a new addition to my reading list that I discovered when author Paige Minear gave a talk at ADAC on color.

A recent post by Paige is about her trip to Palm Beach, which has got to be the preppy capital of the world. I’ve never been there, but when I think Palm Beach, I think Lilly Pulitzer, Celerie Kemble and Bonanno sandals. Most people think of Jack Rogers sandals first, but Bonanno’s are the original. There is a good post about it here.

Palm Beach also makes me think of tropical landscapes, which of course, include palms. Here is Nate Berkus’ living room covered in the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel Martinique Palm Leaf wallpaper. I love the lush tropical feel of this room.



Here is Dorothy Draper’s earlier version of this print:




Carlton Varney Brazilliance mar-a_largo_chair_1


Carlton Varney’s refresh of Palm Beach’s The Colony lobby:


Carlton Varney ColonyHotel_Lobby_Best


When it’s in the 80s with blue skies and the azaleas popping, I’m starting to feel like trading in my boots and knit ponchos for these.



Rickshaw Design Booti Nantucket Red


Wouldn’t you love to sit outside with a drink in the evening here? I love Celerie Kemble’s work! It’s so fresh and cheerful. Love the green print fabric.


Celerie Kemble photo+1


Love this tropical bedroom by Celerie Kemble.


Celerie Kemble photo+2


Are you feeling spring fever too?




Spring is in the air…

celerie kemble green leaf sofa

We’ve had unseasonably warm weather the last couple of days, even for Atlanta.  It got up to 70 degrees yesterday – it was a glorious sunny day with blue skies. It was gorgeous, but I spent most of the day in the office (boooo!) so I didn’t get outside as much as I would like.

I really prefer to be out in the field, meeting with clients, getting samples and being on the job site. I’m just not a sit behind the desk kind of person. I wish I could’ve brought my laptop outside to work. Maybe I should the next time we have such a beautiful day?

Even though yesterday was the last day of February, the warm sunny weather got me itching for spring. I’m ready to put away the sweaters and break out the preppy tunics and sandals. For the home, when I think of warm and preppy, I immediately think of Celerie Kemble.

Don’t you love this cheerful living room by Kemble? I love the way the red accents play against the green of the sofa and the frog stools. Can you just imagine yourself sitting on this sofa with a cold drink enjoying the cool coastal breeze?

Are you ready for spring?


It’s so wrong but it feels so right

There is something that I absolutely love about this kitchen, so much that I keep returning to this image again and again.



The thing that is crazy about it, is that if you go by strict NKBA guidelines, it is wrong, because the dishwasher opens in front of the sink. BUT, who cares???? This is gorgeous!!!!


This is an itty bitty kitchen, where the trash pull out is to the left of the sink, and the dishwasher is on the corner to the right of the sink. There is no way you could do anything else. You know what? Sometimes  you have to work with what you’ve got, and I think Terracotta knocked it out of the park! Lovely work!


I wanted to add something – I’ve been thinking about this kitchen all day. I love the style of it so much. When you remodel, sometimes the space is awkward and there is nothing you can do about it. I’m working on a kitchen right now where there is this jog in the wall, and the client wants to add an island  so the fridge has to be on it’s own in a corner. It’s not ideal and violates all sorts of kitchen design rules, but sometimes you have to roll with it! 





I’m about to wrap up a colorful bathroom. My clients are a super sweet couple who just do not do white. Their bathroom was originally all white with 80s looking shiny brass everything. Not brass in a good way at all!

My clients do not have a white wall in their house – they love blues and greens the most, and they told me they did not want another white bathroom. They were looking for a serene, spa-like feel. They eventually chose a 3×6 glass tile in a pretty darn good match for Benjamin Moore Bath Salts.

BM Bath Salts 624

It’s a pretty, soft grayed down green. We are painting the walls in the 100% formulation of Bath Salts, and the ceiling at about 30% formulation of Bath Salts. I love a white bathroom, but it’s been a refreshing change of pace to do color! My Construction Manager and I were talking about how our clients love color,  and how most of our clients (like over 90%) do white tile and white walls. I don’t dislike white walls, but I don’t have one white wall anywhere in my house. I do love white tile, but I have to have my walls painted in some color. I have mostly grays and greiges on the walls – the only true colors I have are a soft mauve in one bathroom and BM Palladian Blue in my younger boys’ shared bedroom.

So, I guess you can imagine that as much as I love color, I would really like San Francisco designer Palmer Weiss‘ work!

Here is a lovely San Francisco home that was featured in House Beautiful a while back. I love the bright pops of color – so cheerful! Weiss uses a lot of white on the walls, it is so fresh against the saturated colors of the upholstery and drapery. Check out the animal print runner on the stairs!!!!!! LOVE!!!



My teeny tiny front hall is a chocolate brown right now – I’ve been itching to paint it a green like this for awhile. Isn’t it pretty? I don’t have walls that are perfect enough to lacquer like this.  I’ll probably stick with flat or maybe a satin finish. The less sheen you have, the more forgiving the paint is of imperfect walls.



Love the foo dogs, blue and white and the pop of yellow on the chairs!



This room is a bit more muted, but those yellow curtains really brighten things up.


Love the indigo of this sofa against the brighter blue bookcases. It feels so youthful. The orangey red pillow and edging on the blue pillows is a nice contrast because the colors are complementary (opposite on the color wheel). Weiss has a great attention to detail – notice the piping on the sofa and how it relates to the lighter blue of the bookcases and pillows. Details like this really are everything and make a room feel special.



This is probably a bit more muted of a green than I would pick personally, but it is a warm enveloping color for a study. I like how the red in the art is complementary to the green everywhere else. Love the rug – is that a David Hicks pattern?


The girl’s room is so cheerful and girly! So cute. Weiss uses complementary colors often. Here the pink is a complement to the green. They are the same value (darkness) but are still as opposite on the color wheel as red and green.


The sunroom is my favorite room in the house. It looks like there is a pretty grasscloth on the walls. I love the blue mixed with the raspberry accents. And that tortoise side table!!!!! So pretty. This room is just so fresh and welcoming and pretty. This is color done right! Did I say pretty?  Pretty!



Which is your favorite room?

Indigo is the New Black

Indigo has been a trend in fashion for a while now.

I love these gorgeous dresses by Valentino that look like they were inspired by blue and white porcelain. Mark Sikes discussed the blue and white trend in fashion in 2013.

valentino blue and whitevalentino blue and white4valentino blue and white3valentino blue and white5valentino blue and white6valentino blue and white2valentino blue2

Fashion has an incredible effect on trends in decorating. Blue and white has been going strong in fashion and interior design for several years, especially in textiles and my beloved blue and white porcelain.

Do you remember the scene in “The Devil Wears Prada,” where the Anna Wintour character lays into her assistant?

“…This… ’stuff’? I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? …And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of 8 different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff.”

― Lauren Weisberger, The Devil Wears Prada


I feel like home decor is influenced by fashion; however, I feel like indigo/navy is one of those colors that is just timeless. It’s nice to see it embraced by fashion, but I think this is one of the rare times that fashion is not dictating the popularity of this color.

John Robshaw is known for his hand blocked Asian and Indian inspired fabrics. He has some gorgeous blue and white or almost white fabrics. Love the elephants on this cute ottoman. Isn’t the pattern charming. I have a soft spot for elephants – I love this fabric!



The fabric on this settee is one of my favorites from John Robshaw. I’ve had a swatch of it for about four years now. I’m determined to use it somewhere!johnrobshawsetteindigo

I love the fabric on the headboard here. Love the exotic shape of it too!




An easy and more cost effective way to bring indigo into your home is with pillows.



When I think of blue and American decorating, I immediately think of Michael S. Smith. He uses lots of blue fabrics and blue and white tiles. I LOVE the hand painted wallpaper in this dining room (I’m assuming it’s wallpaper and not a mural – I don’t know for sure) mixed with the blue and white porcelain and fabric. So elegant!



Smith often uses Portuguese tile. So pretty and west coast in feel. Just love it! He’s designed homes for Cindy Crawford and redesigned the White House.

michael s smith portuguese tiles




Blue is moving into the kitchen now. I think trends start earlier in fashion and fabrics because it is much easier to change out a pillow than kitchen cabinets. I’ve loved gray for a while, but dark blue is looking so fresh to me now. Gray is here to stay, but I think indigo is the new black – it has the visual weight of black, but it feels fresher.


This to me this is the perfect indigo for an island. I like how it works with the gray cabinets. For me personally with the floors, I’d rather have hardwood than the light tile. That’s just a personal preference.


Again, love the blue, the floors, not so much. I’d love to see hardwoods here.


This is a pretty lighter blue. This feels very coastal.


This blue is right on – love the brass and open shelving. Wish the pendants were bigger – they are very cute, though.



I like how this blue has a slight green undertone. It looks pretty with the white uppers.


Yup – great blue.  Wouldn’t mind the uppers being in white.


Indigo married with the moroccan tile trend AND brass – too sexy!


Can you trade in your black or gray for indigo?