New carriage lights!

Well, it’s been a minute since I’ve written anything, hasn’t it?  I made a HUGE life change in May. I left my job doing design work at the remodeling company because I got about two seconds of vacation time and it was becoming very stressful having three children at home and no time off. I made the leap to being in business for myself, with the blessing of my thankfully very supportive husband.

I completed my first kitchen on my own in June. It turned out really pretty. We used Thomas O’Brien Katie pendants. LOVE them!!!!


I’ve since finished another kitchen that has pretty open shelving and a bit of a midcentury vibe. My husband will hopefully  photograph it this weekend. I’m also about to finish a kitchen that has an awesome rustic beam and I am also about to finish a zen bathroom.

In October, I was hired to decorate three rooms in a house. The homeowners were thinking about moving and their real estate agent told them to get rid of all their furniture so the house would sell faster!!!! Wha’????? Well, they decided they want to stay, so I helped them furnish their den, the keeping room in the kitchen and their dining room. And…the homeowner wanted everything before Christmas! To say it was a whirlwind is an understatement.

I specified two custom sofas, two custom club chairs, custom pillows in four fabrics, custom sisal and seagrass rugs, custom bamboo blinds and curtains, two end tables, a coffee table, a console, two wicker chairs, another coffee table, three upholstered stools, three barstools, a dining room table and dining chairs. Whew! It was a lot of work and hectic, but my client was so sweet and awesome. I hired an assistant who helped me style everything on the install day and it was so sweet when my client texted me later that day when she saw everything – she was so happy! She gave a me thank you gift of a bottle of Verve Cliquot – yum! We enjoyed toasting with it on Christmas day!

I also worked on two spec homes and three custom homes for builders. I love doing the spec homes – they give me a budget and I go to town selecting all of the hard finishes. Lighting is the hardest part to choose. For a five bedroom home, the budget is $4,000 – $4,500, which sounds like a lot, but once you choose all of the the utility lights, under cabinet lights and the door bell, I have to find chandeliers that are in the $300-$400 range. It takes a lot of time to find pretty lighting that doesn’t cost much!

And on a personal front, I finally!!! found my carriage lights (after a year of having no lights on the front of my house!).

I ended up going with carriage lights that are handmade in North Georgia. They are so pretty. This is the first one we considered. It looked too small.


We ended going with these, which I love!


They are 24″ tall, which I think is a much better scale for the front of the house. Don’t look at the sad, sad urns that are naked. I just got rid of the evergreen boughs that were in there. I need to find something that can work in the deep shade of the porch. Maybe some camellias?




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?






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.




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.




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!).




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.





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?