Recipe: Field Peas with Roasted Tomatoes and Okra

It’s time we talk about recipes and food here at Gather & Build. I’m interested in the whole home—the kitchen is the heart of a home and the food that’s created therein is an important part of what makes a home cozy. I’ve long loved dinner parties and entertaining; I’m hoping to bring a bit of those experiences to this space.

A week or so ago, Joel and I had dinner at City House, home of James Beard Award winning chef, Tandy Wilson. We popped in on a Sunday evening and luckily snatched two seats at the pizza bar which afforded us the opportunity to watch the chef and his team work their magic. We ordered a field pea and okra dish that consisted of simple and fresh-from-the-farmer’s-market ingredients. Perched on my seat, I watched okra dance around in the hottest of pans and had the okra epiphany of my life: I suppose you don’t have to batter and fry okra after all; you don’t have to bread it at all.  I took note of the foundational ingredients and determined to create a version of this for myself.

Last night I had dinner with friends and served this as a side. It was a huge hit. Let me tell you about it!

Ingredients I Used:

  • 16 ounces of cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb. fresh field, crowder, or black-eyed peas
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 French baguette
  • 1 tbsp. cooking oil (I used peanut)
  • 1 lb. fresh okra
  • parmesan cheese

The Process:

This is where I warn you that this recipe is written from “experientially” and not technically. Most of the time, I don’t measure anything. Like ever. So, if you need your recipes to be really tidy…  Let’s get on with the process.

Gather up one pound of fresh peas. I found these beauties, already shelled, at the Nashville Farmer’s Market.

Farmer's Market Peas

Boil one pound of fresh peas for 20 minutes, or until just tender.

Some things to note:

  • This recipe will work with black-eyed peas, purple hull peas, crowder peas, or field peas—all are peas, each have different qualities but if you have a favorite, go for it.
  • Do not overcook the peas; nobody likes mushy peas. 
  • Frozen or canned peas would work as well. If frozen, cook until tender. If canned, simply warm the peas and then drain.

Remove the peas from boiling water and rinse with a cold bath to stop all the cooking and set aside. You’re looking at one pound of freshly boiled white crowder peas, folks. 

White Crowder Peas

Now let’s roast some tomatoes. I used Trader Joe’s mini heirloom tomatoes.

Cut the tomatoes in half, drizzle with olive oil and finish with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Place in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Cherry Tomatoes    

Meanwhile, there are croutons to be made.

Slice a french baguette to create two pieces. From there, tear or cut the bread into cubes or small pieces.  

French Baguette

Melt two tablespoons of your very favorite butter in a pan and add the bread. 

Can we stop here to talk about butter for one moment? Everybody go get some of this butter. And if you’re in Nashville, go to the store now. I popped in Kroger yesterday to grab the baguette and saw that my beloved European Style butter was on closeout sale. Naturally, I panicked and bought two boxes. Why, Kroger? Why?

Turn the bread to coat as evenly as possible and brown. Once browned remove the croutons and set aside. 


Your tomatoes should be nice and roast-y by now.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Once they’re all done, scrape them up and add them to a food processor. Puree them to a wonderful pulp and set aside.

Note: You should come out with, at it’s thickest, a tomato paste. If it’s not quite so thick, that is a-okay. As I said to my friend, Tyler, we want this to somehow be around the peas but not stuck to the peas, does this make sense? Clearly, what you’re seeing here is thick. So I added a bit of water to thin this out. By a bit, I mean 3-4 tablespoons.

Pureed Roasted Tomatoes

Now is a great time to prep the okra. 

Chop okra into one-inch pieces. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Add a tablespoon or so of peanut oil (or any oil that can handle high heat) into a seriously hot pan. We are going for a sear, people. 

Turn okra frequently, allowing for the slightest char. Overall, you’ll cook the okra for three or four minutes. I mean honestely, I did not time this. I bounced back and forth from the sizzling okra to the pea mixture. I’m thinking three to four minutes went by. 

Now’s the time to get multi-tasky.

In a large bowl combine peas, roasted tomatoes, and croutons. Use your hands to toss the ingredients together. You want the croutons to get some of the tomato juices, trust me. 

Transfer the mixture to a serving platter and top with hot okra, straight from the skillet. 


Okra Field Pea Salad

Garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese. Be generous about it, okay?

Over all, we loved it. We ate almost every bite. I’d say this is not the sort of thing that “saves well” so eat it all up.
This dish served six people and we were not shy about giving ourselves second helpings.


The only spices I used were salt and pepper, to taste. Next time I think I’ll add red pepper flakes to the okra before flash-frying—I like a little heat. Next time I will likely leave the tomatoes whole (so they lose less juice) or cut back on the roasting time.

I hope you’ll make this dish before summer slips away from us.
And I hope you’ll let me know what you think of it!





At some point during cooking, my pup Jeff noticed a baguette on the counter. So he did what only he would do, he sat and stared. Like he did here. And here. Every day that dog makes me laugh.

Jeff Sees Bread


12South Tour of Homes: Drop By and Say Hi!

Eastwood Guest Bedroom

The 12South Tour of Homes is today!

Aside from the obvious, that means I spent yesterday frantically cleaning my house. Typically when I’m overwhelmed I do the thing that needs to be done least but seems most accomplishable.  That would explain why earlier this week I decided to repot all my house plants rather than hang things on the walls that have been leaning against the walls for two years. How does that happen? How does time pass so quickly while your artwork just leans against your walls?

The tour runs from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. You’ll find seven unique homes, each with their own spirit and personality. You’ll also find an amazing backyard garden that blew my mind.

If you’re in the neighborhood stop by, I’d love to see you. And then take yourself down the street to Jeni’s Ice Cream or Las Paletas. Because 75 and sunny—which means it will be a wonderful day.




Roundup: Succulent Planters (and my thoughts on house plants)

Do you ever find yourself staring at some corner of your house (or a table, bookshelf, a nook or cranny) thinking it needs something?
Me, too. All the time.

I often look at nooks and crannies of my house and think, you need some life—a living green thing. House plants have a way of softening spaces, proving that bookshelves and countertops hold more than lifeless stuff.

I love house plants—I’m into small, manageable plants.

The reign of succulents as the easiest plant in the world to grow continues. I know this is true because mine are still alive. Last spring I bought three plants in hopes that they would make it and I could then expand my “garden”.


I found these at Trader Joe’s. They were far more affordable than any others I’d stumbled upon. I deem them affordable because they were larger than some I’d seen at Home Depot and they came in a tin pot which saved me the expense of buying pots for plants I wasn’t sure I could grow.

Tray of Succulents

After a month under my care, they survived. I added to my collection and have continued to do so. Over the summer my succulent population has grown, I’m teetering on the edge of crazy plant lady territory.

Now that I’ve got one summer of succulents under my belt, I am willing to invest in a few planters. I’ve been searching here and there, mostly online, for small planters.

Here are some of my favorites.

Marble Concrete PlantersSORT London

Cement Plant PotMica Rica

Geometric Concrete Planter
Concrete Planter : Square planter : Round Planter : Geometric PlanterOK Concrete

Succulent Planter by RossLab

Ceramic PlantersBarruntando

Succulent Planter with Pink Glaze



Geometric Planters : Modern Planters : Succulent PlantersMelissa Maya Pottery

Herringbone Square PlanterElizabeth Bonetti

Clay Succulent PlanterMelabo

Striped Mini Succulent Planter

Concrete Succulent PlantersUC Design

Copper Dipped Small Cement Pot : Succulent PotSORT

Ridged Zinc PotAnthropologie

I’m not sure exactly where I’d put a hanging planter in my home—I have one nook that might work—but if I decide to go for it, here are my first choices.

Hanging Planter Olis CupboardOlisCupboard


Hanging Planter ebonotti
Elizabeth Bonetti Handmade Ceramics

Ceramic Hanging Planterle collecte

Porcelain Hanging PlanterHang with Me Ceramics

For larger indoor plants, here are a few that caught my eye.

Banded Rattan Plant BowlTerrain

Wood Egg Pot for Plants from TerrainTerrain

Arches Terracotta PotTerrain

Dark Blue Ceramic Rivage Pot Home Depot

Home Depot

If you’ve failed at succulents, try again.

My best advice is give them what we would consider a near death experience. As in, do not water them.

When you walk past the succulent in your home—the one you’re going to try again with—and you gasp wondering when you last watered it, in that moment give it a tablespoon of water. Seriously. If you think you’re killing it, it will probably live. Remind yourself that this domesticated plant was actually born for deserts. Just go ahead and feel fine about your neglect.

Funny Succulent Planter
Karen Lorenc

For better advice than mine, I like this article from Gardenista: 9 Secrets to Growing Succulents Indoors. They offer solid advice on how to choose succulents and keep them alive and thriving.

What’s your best advice for growing house plants? And, have you seen any great planters lately?

Tell us!



2 Artists & Etsy Shops You’ll Love

I moved into the Eastwood House—last September to be exact. Get this: The walls are still bare. I’ve got my reasons.

  1. My style evolved. 
  2. There are so many windows—I have little wall space so I must choose what I want wisely.
  3. It’s so peaceful, all this white. I don’t want to clutter it up.
  4. I’ve waited until I decided on curtains—they will frame the room and the art should balance not bunch the room. You get me?
  5. I wanted to find a few new pieces.

I recently discovered a few artists who sell their work on Etsy.  I’m pretty much obsessed with these ladies. Their prints are two things I love: interesting and affordable—not to mention quite beautiful.

Meet Lisa Golightly.

Etsy Artist Lisa Golightly All In a RowAll In A Row

Lisa Golightly, Team VictoryTeam Victory

Lisa Golightly, Smile and WaveSmile and Wave

Lisa Golightly, Team SpiritTeam Spirit

Lisa Golightly, From Up High 2From Up High 2

Lisa Golightly, Flotation DeviceFlotation Device

Lisa Golightly, The Party Guests
The Party Guests

There are many, many more where these came from. Head to her Etsy Shop, Kiki and Polly. Much of her work reminds me of my childhood—dear relationships and slivers of time that are long gone yet still very much a part of me. I am drawn to her work for this very reason. Double Dutch and From Up High remind me of my sister. Pink Bather brings back memories of my mom, the unofficial queen of sunbathing. True story: My mom kept two versions of a plastic folding chaise (think K-Mart). One covered in an old quilt for comfort’s sake. The other with a hole strategically cut from the center panel so that at 7 and 8 months pregnant, she could indeed get an even tan. I remember playing in the backyard and seeing her belly, full of life, grazing the grass yard under her lawn chair while her back soaked up a share of vitamin D. Thirty years later my sister is equally fond of the sun, tans easily, and never burns. It happened to her in utero. 

Now, can I introduce you to Clare Elsaesser?

Etsy Art Clare ElsaesserSo Much.

Etsy Art from Clare Elsaesser Sweet DreamsSweet Dreams.

Etsy Art Clare ElsaesserBird In Hand.

Etsy Art Clare Elsaesser Pillow LandPillow Land.

Etsy Art from Clare Elsaesser youre nextYou’re Next.

Etsy Art by Clare ElsaesserArrangement.

Etsy Art Clare Elsaesser NovemberNovember.

Etsy Art by Clare Elsaesser Spring DressSpring Dress.

How have I decorated a single wall without her? All of it—everything she does—makes so much sense to me. Now, please excuse me while I place my order for her print, So Much. It sums up how I feel about flowers and people and life—gather up, squeeze when you hug, keep it beautiful.

Since many of these prints are standard sizes, you can frame them inexpensively with wall frames from Target. I chose this wood frame and this wooden box frame—quite affordable—for my prints.  I’m a fan of West Elm Gallery Frames, too. Good luck picking just one!



All images are the work of the specified artist. Please credit them as you pin and share images. 

Christmas Gift Giving Guide

Oh, friends.

It’s November.  I know that you know. But let me just tell you that sometimes I’m like, What? It’s November. 

And that means, if I’m remembering correctly, that December is right around the corner.

LifeWay Women asked me to write a quick Christmas gift-giving post for their blog. It went live today. I hope you’ll jump over for a few gift-giving ideas.

Here’s a sneak peek. (Links are on their blog.)

gift guide for gals

Gift Guide for Hosts Hostesses

And, just to catch you up on things.

  1. I moved. My sister is now the happy (oh-so-happy) resident-in-chief at The Bradford House.
  2. I moved into The Eastwood House. All I can say is never-say-never. I mean, I never planned to live there. But I am. Because it’s the right thing to do for this season. We make our plans and God arranges our steps. I’ll just be over here, in my corner of the world, eating my words and proving that the Bible, particularly Proverbs 16:9, is true.
  3. I met a guy.
  4. We’re getting a dog. Actually, we’re getting a dog today. As in, at the end of this work day. A goldendoodle. His name is Jeff. Jeff is the dog. Not the guy.

Surely this explains why I haven’t written a blog post in a while….



Eastwood Project: House Tour

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort—at least, that’s what Jane Austen says. I’ll agree with Jane on this one, especially in the case of the Eastwood house. There’s a great deal of comfort to be found here and a considerable amount of care.

Here’s the final product; this is your room-by-room tour. I really hope you like it as much as I do. I’m so happy to share it with you!

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Brad (Skipper) and I met a few times to come up with the concept for Eastwood and quickly pulled Brad Northcut, a terrific architect and great neighbor, in on the project. Northcut took our ideas and breathed life into them—turned our sketches into plans.

I am a fool for little details and so I took those plans and tried to add “little things” that would both “make sense” and add character without trying too hard. You know what’s worse than nothing special? I’ll tell you: too much special. 

There’s a hand-painted tile mat at the front door. 2117_living_6

From the front door, there’s an open-concept living and dining space with so much natural light. Never skimp on windows, y’all. 

2117_living_1Living Ceiling details and Barn Light Electric lighting.



From the dining space, built in cabinets wired for TV and music. Speakers run through the downstairs entertaining space and on the front and back porches. Music and natural light—you need both of those to be truly happy in a space. And maybe a dog—yes, I’d say you’ll need a dog if you live here.

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

White Living Room


I’m pleased with the kitchen—I could cook a hundred meals here without a single complaint. I love the way the base cabinets turned out, such a nice anchor to tile walls and white space. And, my dear friend Dave at Community Tables built a lovely table for the banquet area. I wanted something with casters that could easily double as a serving buffet for dinner parties—I love what he came up with. He is doing such terrific work if you need any custom pieces! 

Galley Kitchen, Dark Cabinets White Subway Tile // Eastwood Project

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Galley Kitchen

The butlers pantry in the hallway is perfect for hiding, well, junk. You know those pieces you use once or twice a year that take up space? The pieces that you wish you didn’t need but when you need them, you need them. Hide them here. And, The space is finished out with a beverage refrigerator and a custom weathered gray wooden countertop by Dave.

Butlers Pantry Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Here’s the downstairs bedroom. It has access to a porch and is situated in the back of the house directly across the hallway from the bathroom—I would use it as the guest bedroom and stash all my people in the upstairs bedrooms. Hide the messes in life, we’re all good at hiding the messes aren’t we? I’d hide my messes upstairs near the laundry room!Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Here’s the bath I mentioned. That sink is one of my favorite pieces in the house.
Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Somebody won’t like these stairs. I’m not her.
I’ve been thinking about painted stairs and painted runners for a while and this house seemed to invite the idea. Both staircases (to the upstairs and down to the basement/garage) are painted in this style. I like the way it ties the spaces together and creates some continuity in the design. I used red wall lighting from Barn Light in both stairwells, too.

Painted Stair Runner

Red Barn light Electric Lights

And, here’s a close up of the lights. I love their school house collection.

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

The upstairs hallway has an inlaid runner.

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

The lights in the hallway are also Barn Light. I wanted to use just a touch of red here, so I opted for a red/white chevron cord. It’s possible that nobody would notice but it mattered to me, so I went with it. I think what I most love about designing a space is the opportunity to surprise people. In this little pathway, the floor grabs your attention, then the light fixture, and eventually the red in the cord is noticeable—that’s fine with me. Design and details shouldn’t overwhelm you. If you walk in a space and are overstimulated, you will soon dislike the space. I think it’s unavoidable—you’ll feel cramped. I hope to never make you feel cramped. 

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

The master bedroom is at the top of the stairs.

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

And, the master bath is entered through a pocket door.

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Master Bath Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Upstairs living space with second-floor porch—beautiful views of Nashville included. White Paint

From the porch:


Here’s another upstairs bedroom and the hallway bath.

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

The second floor is finished off with a laundry room and another bedroom and hall closet. Overall the house has nice storage space and ample attic space. The garage has room for a generous workspace.

And, finally, here’s the back exterior. The patio space turned out wonderfully—fire pit included and still there are southeastern views from the patio making this sweet little spot perfect for entertaining or for just being. Don’t we all need to slow down and “be” a little more?

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

There’s a little parking spot here to make dragging the groceries in a bit easier—I’m a I-can-carry-it-all-in-one-trip dragger, if that’s you too then know that you were considered in the build of this house. 

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

That’s Eastwood, y’all. It feels so good to be finished. I do hope you like it.








Living In the Light

I get three questions on the regular. When I say regular here’s what I mean: Every. Single. Day. Multiple. Times. A. Day.

  1. When are you going to be finished?
  2. Is the house on the market?
  3. Don’t you want to live there?

Great questions, y’all. Great questions. 

The Eastwood house was never for me—I entertained the idea but I really love my home. My home is one of the most comfortable spaces I’ve ever known. Like a sponge, it soaks up troubles and worries and sets people at ease. I’m in no real hurry to move on from that sort of shelter.

But I feel this itty bitty pull. There is this one thing about the Eastwood house…

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

I want to live in that kind of light. 

Light pours into Eastwood. From every angle, at every turn, light effortlessly rolls through the space. I’m taken with light, smitten with the idea of waking up to that kind of light and living my life in the light. Maybe it’s the morning person in me, maybe it’s the hopeful person in me, maybe it’s the optimist—whatever it is, it’s a force within me.

Here are a few more pictures from earlier this spring.

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

I am not so much attached to the house. It’s just a thing, you know. A possession. Something that has the potential to be destroyed. But the light…

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

Do yourself a favor—live in the light as much as you have the chance. 

Heaven help us, we will actually tie a pretty little bow on this project within a week. And then you’re all invited to come take a walk through and celebrate with us—open house details coming soon!



Inside a Beautiful Brooklyn Loft

A fraction of me has always wanted to live in Chicago.

That city is dear to me for many reasons and when I’m there I feel a peculiar fondness that resembles the feeling of being at home, of belonging. If I weren’t in Nashville,  perhaps I’d be Chicago-bound. If so, I’d head straight for Lincoln Park and reinvent myself on its tree-lined streets.

Since this is all hypothetical, let’s also pretend that I have unlimited funds and I’m can afford the most perfect place to live ever. Great.

I’d be hard pressed to find something more perfect than David Karp’s Brooklyn loft. It’s the beautiful work of NYC firm, Gachot, and there’s nothing about it I don’t appreciate. Very much.

So, what I’m saying is I’ll take this Brooklyn loft in Chicago. Thanks.

Take a look.

Karp Tumblr Kitchen

Karp Tumblr Living

Karp Tumblr Master Bedroom

Karp Tumblr Master Bedroom 2

Karp Tumblr Master Bath

(Photos via Gochet)

Let’s make a list of everything we like about this.

The floors. The brick. The lighting. The steel walls. The brass fixtures. The subtle “chicken wire” glass in the kitchen cabinets. The penny round tile + clawfoot tub. The light. The light. The light. This could go on and on.

Have a lovely day,



Friday Update: Life Is Blowing My Mind

This post is way more story-of-my-life, personal stuff so if you only come here for pictures I’ll try and keep it short and sweet.

It’s been a weird week in the nicest way.

Images from the Refresh magazine shoot surfaced on Better Homes and Gardens this week. Here’s a link and a few of my favorite pictures taken by Jeff Herr, who is an absolutely fabulous photographer.
bradford bathroom bhg

bradford bathroom

Bradford Dining Room BHG

June on Porch BHGSide note: It’s weird when someone else styles your house. There’s more stuff in the photos than in my normal day-to-day house but I learned a lot about styling photos, anchoring spaces with color, etc—such a good experience.

A few weeks back I got an invite from HGTV to pitch a few of my favorite projects to their design team. Seriously,is this real? It’s real.

I called my friend Rich and he willingly came over and snagged a few shots of the details at Eastwood—it’s hard to shoot an unfinished unfurnished space but he made it shine. I’m so grateful.

rich k photo // eastwood house

My weekend revolved around multiple trips to FedEx Office and my dining room turned into a workroom. Must build some studio space. 


Which led to these boards. I think Rich captured the house beautifully, particularly since we could only shoot certain angles.


Micah shot the Bradford project for me a year or so ago. His shots are gorgeous, too.

Bradford Avenue Pitch // Gather & Build

I very much feel like God gathered up all the talented, loyal, generous people and said, Here you go. These will be your people. They will help you. You will help them. And I’ll shine through in your work and everything you do. Except when you throw fits. 

Let it be. Let it be.

The meeting went very well. I’m excited about being part of their professional network—more info to come as I learn more about it.

In the midst of getting ready to meet with HGTV, I got an email from a casting agent regarding this show (which has absolutely nothing to do with HGTV):

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 9.10.07 AM

 I mean, what? 


But then I was like, we (me and my fave contractor) should apply. For kicks.

We applied. They emailed. They called. They wanted us to move forward. It was flattering until they said, “You have to leave on March 26 for six weeks and go to an undisclosed location and live with the people you compete against.” Suddenly this felt more like Big Brother than Property Brothers.

Pass. For a lot of good, solid reasons this is not the right fit at the not right time. Maybe something else another time?

Lest it seem glamorous or ridiculous or just too perfect…

In the midst of all this a pipe in my basement burst—nothing like an inch of water in your laundry room to put an HGTV pitch and a casting call in perspective. And, @patsyandjune had to have a “paw wash” like every. single. time. they. went. outside.

Patsy's Paws

Happy Friday, y’all.




I dream of spring. I dream of green.

Winter is winning.

Everything is looking oh-so-dreary, typical winter stuff. But everybody’s in it together, right? We’re all cold. From sea to shining sea we are frigid.

I can handle the cold but what’s sending me over the edge is all this static electricity. If I could banish two things from my life right now, hands down I’d pick static electricity and dry skin. Dry skin and enough static electricity to start a fire are the worst of my problems right now and for that, I am very, very grateful. Things could be much worse. 

Each and every year winter makes me long for spring. In the meantime, I’d settle for something green. Anything green. If everything around you is looking dead, just add green. It’ll bring things to life.

Here are a few images with enough green to make me happy—keeping me hopeful that spring in all its green is just around the corner.

Green Curtains, Reese Witherspoon Ojai Home

House Beautiful

Green Kitchen Cabinets


Caitlin and Caitlin LoftCaitlin and Caitlin

Designed for LifeDesigned for Life

Meanwhile, I’m starting to relate with this kid. So funny!

Stay warm friends!




Eastwood Project Update: Living Room

Oh, hey. We’re still building a house.

If it seems like it’s taking for-ev-er, well, it is.

We paused for a few months to wrap a few other projects. And then, of course, life kicked in with its major developments.

Brad and Nat bought and are completely renovating a historic house, as in, we spent New Years Day scrubbing antique heart of pine flooring with bleach water so that it could be reinstalled. Yeah. For real. I have pictures for you. I spent a Saturday on a 10ft ladder painting at Brooks and Ashley’s “new” historic home in East Nashville. Once they are settled I’ll show you the before and after of their kitchen—it’s crazy.

And we spent the day before Christmas Eve loading a moving truck, packing up some of my favorite people on our planet, the Killingsworths, who have up and moved to Colorado. I hate goodbyes.

Brad is just wrapping up two gorgeous—and I do mean gorgeous—new builds.

Now we’ve decided to pick up where we left off with Eastwood.

And we’re really close to done.

Really close. 

I think this is where I left off with the living room images.

We’ve been aiming for something a little less traditional with the interior. I wanted to create a clean and loft-like feel in the main living + dining area. We opted for no-frills trim work and exposed ceiling—all to be painted a crisp white. The windows. The windows make the difference. If you are renovating or building there’s one place I would urge you to splurge, or at least don’t skimp: windows.

Gather & Build: Eastwood Project, Living Room with Marvin Windows and Sherwin Williams Paint

Gather & Build: Eastwood Project, Living Room with Marvin Windows and Sherwin Williams PaintWhite walls and dark stained floors will always be a classic and beautiful look. Again, we are veering just slightly away from traditional with this project.

I tried a few samples and I really loved the Classic Gray stain. I wanted to pull the trigger on that but with so much hardwood square footage it felt like the wrong move as it is more of a color commitment. And, considering I’m not going to live here, I hate to stick someone else with gray. Weathered Oak has just enough gray/putty undertone without too much color. I’ve worked the classic gray into a wooden countertop. It’s beautiful!

The room fills up with light in such a soothing way. I feel really at ease in the space. I think that’s what we (Amy and Brad) are always striving for when we arrange a house. It’s gratifying when the house feels the way you hoped it would. We’ve moved slowly with this project but the house is better for it—made with love and without cutting corners. What’s that old saying? Time is money? If that’s the case this house is worth a lot. :)

Gather & Build: Eastwood Project, Living Room with Marvin Windows and Sherwin Williams Paint

Gather & Build: Eastwood Project, Living Room with Marvin Windows and Sherwin Williams Paint

Gather & Build: Eastwood Project, Living Room with Marvin Windows and Sherwin Williams Paint


And here’s the exposed ceiling. Love. Love. Love.
Gather & Build: Eastwood Project

So, there you have it. Our progress in the living room thus far. Not much left to do—just a little tile in the floor and a few light fixtures.

I hope you like it!



Bright Idea: Barnlight’s New Lighting Collection



I’m overwhelmed. 

I’m behind on email among a lot of other things.

But I’m not overwhelmed about the projects or my schedule, I’m taking that in stride. I am overwhelmed about an e-mail I’m finally getting around to reading.

I have been staring at this e-mail and I’m overwhelmed by how incredible this line is.

Check it out:

Barn light Electric



This new line and collaboration between Barn Light and Veronica Valencia—it’s fun, happy, striking, and beautiful.  

bl houston-street-soho-sconce-magenta bl houston-street-soho-studio-sherbet bl houston-street-soho-stem-mount-turquoise bl lafayette-street-soho-studio-blushpink

I love everything about this. I thought you would, too.



With Love from Me to You

Merry Christmas

You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello: Front Door Decals

I’m not the wall decal type.

Until today.

I stumbled upon this Tasty Suite‘s etsy shop and found these door decals that leave me feeling, well, happy.

Without hesitation I’d spend $7.00 to tack this little greeting to a painted front door. In a heartbeat, y’all. Just one little heartbeat.

Hello, Front Door Decal

And here’s a larger version.

Hello Decal

If nothing else, this is awfully friendly.

And maybe the world could use a little friendly right now.




Gold Rush: Five Favorite Brass Pendant Lights

Confession: When I noticed brass fixtures making a comeback, my first thought was ick. 

I always tell you the truth.

I’ve since come around to the beauty of brass. Brass fixtures are classy meets warm meets old world—that’s my summary. Take a look at the Alhambra Kitchen Project by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design and you’ll see how nicely brass works.

This kitchen is absolutely beautiful but then so is everything Jessica Helgerson does. I challenge you to find something associated with her brand that’s not beautiful. 

Jessica Helgerson, Alhambra Kitchen Project

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 In the spirit of brassiness, here are five brass fixtures that I hope to use in projects:

Sequestered Cage Pendant, Brass Pendant

Sequestered Cage Pendant

Fargo Stem and Loop Pendant 

Fargo Stem and Loop Pendant


Brass Pendant, School House ElectricFactory Satellite

Isaac Brass Pendant Light, School House Electric

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 7.33.16 AMIsaac Light Pendant

George Brass PendantGeorge

And here’s a chandelier, for good measure. 

Tangled Brass Chandelier, School House ElectricTangled Chandelier

Go for the gold, folks.




Wild Cards: Inside Ace Hotel

Each time I see a picture of an Ace Hotel, whether it be the Portland, NYC, or London or other locations, I think: I like these people. And I could stay with them for a while.


All photos via Ace Hotel.

They’re reframing the business, setting the scene for a brand new way of life in the hotel industry. Boutique hotels are on the rise. And while many of them have wonderful interiors, Ace has managed to create something that feels like home. Something with a strong pulse and and warm personality.

Their philosophy is beautiful. My favorite lines: We are not here to reinvent the hotel, but to readdress its conventions to keep them fresh, energized, human. We accept the hotel as a potential for real, fluid community. We believe that hospitality is compassion, that it is not servility but genuine concern for others’ well-being and the ability to live with empathy. 

Don’t you want to stay there? With all the other empathetic and soulful people. Automatically, I trust everyone who’s associated with Ace Hotels. It seems they’ve got heart. And we all love something with a little heart, don’t we?

Take a look inside .


Ace Hotel Portland

Ace Hotel

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Ace Hotel

Ace Hotel

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Ace Hotel New York

If you’re intrigued, here’s a great article about The Ace Hotel and Roman & Williams, the interior designers behind the NYC Ace.



Seeing Stripes: Bathroom Tile Inspiration

Every Day I'm Hustling PillowThis is how it goes when you build a house: crawl, crawl, crawl, run, run, run. The beginning is exciting with framing and structure. The middle is just “blah” as the changes aren’t always obvious but the final stages are loaded with bang for the buck—tile, paint, stain, countertops, lighting, appliances. Everything comes in one huge dose at the end. And you find yourself hustling. Seriously hustling. We are nearing the end of construction. Every day I’m hustling. (The pillow is the work of Michelle Dwight Designs and is available via Etsy.)

But the end, well, that’s where the details manage to both stand out and work together, telling the story of what we envisioned from the beginning.

Tile is one of my favorite textures in a house so, of course, I use it in large doses where and when appropriate.

Mission Stone Tile is my go-to for tile. Thank you Amber, for being most gracious and so good with details! I met with Amber and told her I wanted to work stripes into the downstairs shower. We pulled a lot of options but in the end I felt that the simplicity of subway tile would best accomplish the feeling I wanted for the space.

Here’s a shot mid-installation (without grout).

photo (24)

I’ve scoured the world wide web for inspiration and here’s the thing about stripes: you can dress ‘em up or dress ‘em down, depending on the tile. Stripes work in bold applications and just as nicely in neutral and subtle applications. Take a look at these beautiful spaces—you’ll be seeing stripes in no time!

Gray and White Striped Shower Tile

Lizz Caan

Striped Shower Tile, Lulu Design

Lulu Designs

Striped Shower WallsNew York

Striped BathroomButler Armsden

Contemporary Bath w Green and White Stripe TileAnthony Wilder

Eclectic Striped Bathroom Tile Green Belt Homes

Striped Tile in Shower by Divine KitchensDivine Kitchens

Striped Bathroom Tile Houzz

Sarah Richardson Design Striped Shower Tile

Sarah Richardson Design

Penny round tile is an affordable option. It’s able to be both whimsical and classic. While it’s used as an accent here, I would love to see it in a stripe application.

Penny Round Stripe in BathroomHarry Braswell

Thanks for reading, friends.

I do hope life is treating you kindly.



Etsy: A Few of My Favorite Things

November is hands-down my favorite month.

As best I can tell it’s nearly perfect with boots-and-a-sweater weather and changing leaves. Men grow beards, even if they are no good at it, and there is a tried-and-true commitment to thankfulness. November makes me want to build a fire and make soup. The only thing November lacks is March Madness but I can’t have everything I want, can I?

In honor of favoritism, I’ll share a few items from Etsy shops that I’ve tagged as favorites. 

Do check out these shops!

Dipped Pendant from Typewriter BoneyardTypewriter Boneyard

Watercolor Bird ScreenprintI Screen You Screen

swiss cross throw pillow coverSassy Stitches by Lori

Vintage State Flower Map, Vintage MapOde to June

Modern Kilim Pillow CoverSheepsroad

State Chalkboard Map by Dirtsa StudioDirtsa Studio

Folklore and Fun Cup & SaucerNinainvorm

Screenprinted Tea TowelOh Little Rabbit

Be Brave BannerSecret Holiday Co

 In other news.

Would you look at the stripey leggings? I would completely dress a kiddo in these.

Etsy Baby Leggings by The Little SpoonPhoto from The Little Spoon , credit to Alicia NYE Photography

Because I love you, here’s my favorite song about NovemberSpeaking of men with beards. And a banjo.




Mornings at Eastwood

The Eastwood house is packed with porches.
Eastwood Project by Gather and Build

It’s situated on a hill and faces eastward. There is something about the view that makes me feel as if I’m not in Nashville when I’m inside, much less tucked in a side street between the bustle of 12th South and Belmont Boulevard. Somehow it feels “other.” I can’t explain it but everyone who walks inside understands this and inevitably says, “The view… I don’t feel like I’m in Nashville.”  

Here’s a picture Brad snapped from the one of the living room windows earlier this summer.

Eastwood View

This morning I was up before the sun. While I was out the sun decided to join me so I ran over to Eastwood because I’ve been wondering what sunrise is like from the front porch. Here’s the view from my seat on the top step at 6:40 a.m. 

Nashville Sunrise from Eastwood Avenue I sincerely hope that a morning person gets this house.

It would be a shame to miss this every day.




What Does the Fox Say?

Woodland Creatures—they’re cuter than ever.

I’m into foxes. So are the folks at The Paper Source. Their latest catalog  is loaded with all things foxy. Before we go any farther, are you one of the zillion viewers of this video:  What Does the Fox Say?

Take a look at all this foxiness!

Paper Source Fox GlassesPaper Source

Fox Tea TowelTea Towel

For the kids:

Vintage Modern Boy's Nursery by Niche InteriorsWork of Niche Interiors as seen on Houzz. Print is available here from Sass & Peril

Retro poster - fox, vixen, forest animals - vintage printEmuDesigns on Estsy

Fox Knitting Pattern from EtsyIn case you knit and you’re interested in knitting quite possibly the cutest hat + hood + scarf ever, get the pattern here.

And for grown ups:
Fox Art


I love this fox on the mantle seen on Houzz.

Fox Decor

For your walls:

fox wallpaper

From Pinterest

Holli Zollinger Foxen WallpaperHolli Zollinger

Rosemary Milner Fox Wallpaper

Rosemary Milner

And a foxy Friday to you,



London + John Lewis Home

Have you been to London? It’s everything you want it to be and a little more. I just spent some time there and it was time well spent—such a lovely place. Here are a few snapshots from my trip.

London + Italy

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Being the magazine junky that I am I grabbed a home decor magazine for the flight home and tucked inside I discovered the John Lewis Home Catalog. Aside from noticing the quality of paper and the binding (the marketer in me was quite impressed), I thought it was such a beautiful catalog. Immediately felt the I-wish-I’d-seen-this-two-weeks-ago pang. I guess I’ll just have to return to London and visit the store.

Here are a few shots from the John Lewis Catalog.



I’m loving the whole warm and cozy vibe.photo_2



And, this bunny pillow—I like it.

John Lewis Home


And then for those of who love a cheery space:photo_4


John Lewis Home Catalog

Samuel Johnson said, “Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” I just might agree with him.



Whitewashed Wood Floors: Yes or No?

Obsessed. I’m officially obsessed with white. It’s nearly clinical.

This is not new information. For the Bradford project, we whitewashed the master bath floors.

Master Bath Whitewashed Floor: Gather & Build


It was trial and error—we sanded the first attempt away and felt better about the second attempt. Whitewashing can be tricky. I wasn’t so sure about the results but decided to live with it and it has grown on me. There are some new techniques and products for white washing and I can’t lie, I’ve considered whitewashing the floors at Eastwood.

Imagine this space, painted white with whitewashed floors. Do you like that idea?

If you could also pretend that this photo wasn’t taken on one of the zillion rainy/overcast days we’ve had this summer that would be great—a little sunshine to brighten things up.

Eastwood Project: Gather & Build


The verdict is out but here’s some inspiration:

Whitewashed Wood FloorMarjon Hoogervorst

Wide Plank Whitewashed by DinesenDinesen

Whitewashed pine wood floorsI Heart Pine

Whitewashed wood floorsla maison d’ anna g

Whitewashed Oak FloorsPlastolux

White Washed FloorJennifer Banes

To tell the truth, I wonder if whitewashing the floors will turn people off? Some lucky body will live in this house—if we do it right maybe they won’t be able to resist whitewash? Sometimes you have to show people what they like and maybe this is one of those times. What to do, what to do…

Thanks for reading—you all are loyal.



Etsy Art: One thought. Six interpretations.

“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” Is that the nicest thing you’ve heard all day or what?

This sweet thought penned by Roald Dahl, who wrote wonderful children’s books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda, is all truth. 

Maybe this hits home and you want a little reminder for your walls?

I’ve found six interpretations via Etsy. Each credit below the image links straight to the Etsy page where you can check out the artist’s work.  Nab your own print if you wish!

GabriJoyStudios, If you think good thoughtsGabri Joy Studios

Always Look Lovely Print
Petit Ink

11x14 Roald Dahl Print Kensie Kate

Always look lovely . Poster printStyle Dahlia

Think good thoughts, always look lovely print.Honey and Fizz

Honey and Fizz screen printed the quote onto a linen banner. Suddenly I adore Honey and Fizz.

Love. This.

If you think good thoughts always look lovely quote on bannerHoney and Fizz Banner

There’s a lot of truth to this, even if it’s a sugary thought. What’s on the inside has a way of working it’s way to the surface, for better or worse. Let’s all be lovely, okay?



Ellen’s Santa Monica Ranch

My sister and I are serious Ellen fans. We DVR the show and watch it almost every day after work. She’s funny and outright kind—my favorite combo.

Confession: Deep down we have this far-fetched hope that Patsy Cline & June Carter will end up on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, considering she loves animals so much. I mean, we’re not sure how that will happen but we feel like they are our only hope.

Did you see her Santa Monica Ranch from the May issue of Elle Decor? It is a beauty—a merger of sophistication and rustic charm.

The 26-acre property hosts 8 cabins and a horse barn—even the barn is beautiful.


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Check out Elle Decor for all the details and more pictures.

And, about The Ellen Show. Here’s one of my favorite Ellen pranks: Dennis Quaid needs a jump. 

Hope your Monday is bright,




Pendant, Pendant In the Hall: 14 Great Hallways and Pendants

How many hallways have been overlooked? Who can count?  In the grand scheme of decorating a home it’s easy to bypass the hallway because, after all, its something to be passed through.

My hallway is one of my favorite spots in my entire house. I love hallways. 

Bradford Avenue Hallway

Bradford Avenue Hallway Yellow Lights are Barn Light Electric.

Because of this, I am convince every hallway has potential. Do you remember what that hallway looked like? Here’s the before picture. 

We’re working to give the Eastwood hallway a personality. Brad and I measured and made room for a bit of pattern to be laid into the floors. Now we need a few pendants to finish the space. That calls for a bit of inspiration.

Take a look at 14 beautifully executed hallways and the pendants that set them apart.

Moroccan Pendant in HallLonny

Hallway PendantThe Anderson Studio

paper lanterns in hallway

John Maniscalco Architecture

Modern Gold Red Hallway PendantA Good Chick to Know

Hallway PendantsROMAN LEONIDOV

White Hallway with Pendant LightingMuskoka Living

Drum Pendants in HallwayHeavy On the Veggie

Large Drum Pendant HallwayMaterial Girls

Hallway LightingAttic Mag

Woven Pendants in HallwayElle (France)

White Hallway with Shell PendantsMy Ideal Home

I found these images featuring pendants at different heights. Love this look!

Fun Hallway PendantsThomas Shafer Architects

Pendant Lights at Various LengthsCWB Architects

Pendants at Various HeightsSB Architects

 Here’s my lighting board on Pinterest if you’re in need of pendants. Or a little more inspiration.

Thanks for reading! Which one of these hallways do you like?



Eastwood Project: Instagram Update

We are busy with the Eastwood Project in the best way. Most of the big decisions are made and now we watch it come together as we work toward a late September early October finish. This really is the good part.

What’s been going on:

Tile selections. Paint selections.

I’m crazy about this happy penny round. Can’t wait to see it in its full application.

Gather and Build: Eastwood Project Update

I’m tracking down details.

Preservation Station is my go-to for the details I love. Julia and her team are helpful and when I say, What if I took this and…. they usually take that idea and make it better.
Gather and Build: Preservation Station

Brad is keeping everything moving with the construction. 

Drywall is up.
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Hardwoods are down.

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Cabinets are ordered.

Gather and Build: Kitchen Cabinets

The home inspectors approve.

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Patsy Cline and June Carter are completely paws-on for this project. They think they are construction dogs now. Soon enough they’ll be wanting to ride around in the back of Brad’s truck as he moves around from job site to job site.

All the while, Patsy has assumed the role of creative director for the project. I can’t bring myself to tell her she’s actually my assistant.
Gather and Build: Creative Director

Follow G&B on Instagram if you wish!

Have a happy weekend.




Amazing Space: Ten Churches Converted Into Homes

Let’s talk about conversions. And not in the biblical sense.

I’m fascinated by the idea of transforming a church into a residential space, whether condos or a single-family home. I think the greatest challenge would be finding balance. I find these buildings to hold a history of reverence and it would be a challenge to make the most of the architectural elements and at the same time “un-church” it. 

Below are pics from around the web (and the world) of homes that once held congregations.

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church converted to home

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Church converted to house


Church Remodeled to House

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Harrison Hyde Architects Church HouseFrench by Design (Architect: Harrison Hyde Architects)

Fish Creek Church House, Grand DesignsFish Creek Church House

church loft chicagoRate My Space

Converted church into a residence Utrecht, the NetherlandsZecc Architects


Church Converted Into HouseFrom Bagnata Architects

Church Converted into

Toronto Church CondoToronto Life

While I love the white interiors and the windows I am not so sure I could go for it.

Could you live in a church?



The Look for Less + a Giveaway

Compare and despair—I live by that motto. My friend, Melissa, brought that catchy little reminder into my life years ago and it serves me well keeping me out of the comparison trap and in my right mind. She also says, “do the next right thing” which is some of the best advice I’ve ever been given.

So here’s the next right thing for you:

Check out Kirkland’s.

We all love a deal. We all love to find the piece that fills in our decorating gaps. Kirkland’s contacted me regarding a sponsored post and after a few minutes perusing their site, I broke my rule and started to compare: they have the look for less.

Kirkland’s gave me a couple $25 gift cards and I’m going to pass them along to two lucky winners.

Here’s my roundup—the things I found at Kirkland’s that can help you accomplish “the look” you’re trying to achieve for much less:


Let’s start with lighting.

The French Cork Lamp is regularly $79.99 but is on sale right now for $59.99 and so is the Rope Twist Table Lamp.  It’s regularly $59 is on sale for $49.

The Look for Less // Glass Lamp


The Look for Less // Rope Lamps

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Check out these mirrors! At the moment the regularly priced distressed Cream Sadie Arch Mirror is on sale for $127.49 while the Red Geo Mirror is on sale for $29

The Look for Less  // Mirrors

The Look for Less // Red Geometric Mirror

Now on to Seating

I like variety in the chairs around a dining table. If you want to add texture with wicker, Kirkland’s has a steal for you! Take a look at the Seabrook Wicker Accent Chair. Kirkland’s Francis Wicker Bench would look at the foot of a bed or in your foyer. The Brown Parsons Chair is comparable to Pottery Barn’s Grayson Side Chair.

Wicker Side Chair // Look for Less

 Wicker Bench // Look for Less


Look for Less: Chairs

 If you’re into quirky rustic cabinets the Sheldon Rustic Wood Cabinet might be right for you.

Look for Less


And for the entertainers

Kirkland’s Glass Drink Dispenser comes in at twenty dollars less than a similar dispenser from Crate & Barrel!

Glass Drink Dispensers // Look for Less

I have two giftcards worth $25—who wants one?

You can safely enter to win here (all we need is an email address to enter—we’ll contact you!):

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Bold to Beautiful: Eight Bright Ideas for Bathroom Vanities

I’m not a huge fan of traditional bathroom cabinet/vanity combos.

Reason one: I grew up with a pedestal sink. Reason two: It’s so normal.

I think it’s no big deal to use alternative storage.

I have an antique dresser in my bathroom where I store make up, hairdryers, brushes, etc. I painted an old buffet that now holds jewelry, medicine and hair products I never use.

Like this. This is such an Amy move:

Dresser in BathroomPanageries

I just don’t care about cabinets under the sink. Brad (the contractor) tells me that’s not practical. I bet he didn’t grow up with pedestal sinks. I bet he was a cabinet/vanity kid.

This week we’re ordering cabinets for the Eastwood project.

I’ve convinced him that we should go for something different in the downstairs bath. And he’s convinced me to do cabinetry upstairs. It’s all a game of collaboration and compromise, friends. But we agree that we should do something fun for the “kids” bathroom upstairs. We’re looking for bold and different–a splash of color.

From modern and minimalistic to traditional, here are eight bathrooms that have my creative juices flowing.

 Yellow Bathroom CabinetsApartment Therapy

Yellow Cabinets in BathroomNew York Times , (Photo Credit: Matthew Millman for The NYT)

green bathroom vanityScott Lyon & Company

Red Bathroom VanityHouzz

Teal Bathroom Vanitypaper blog

Bright Blue Bathroom VanityMartha Stewart

dark blue vanityJones Design Build

blue bathroom vanityAvenue B

Tell me what you do.

Are you a traditionalist or does your space allow you to do something different? And, what do you think of color on the cabinetry?

Like or dislike?



Flying High: Airplane Garland

Let me shoot straight with you. I do not need airplane garland.

I don’t have a little boy’s room to freckle with paper airplanes.

But I want to.

Let me clarify: I want to make paper airplanes. I do not want to walk in my front door today to find I’ve been given a four year old. As much as I love the four year olds of the world, I would have no idea what to do first. I guess we’d start making planes.

Who’s got a little boy in need of a little whimsy in his room?

I’m game for folding paper with you. I think we need a little fishing twine and paper to pull this off without a hitch.

Paper Airplane GarlandAs seen on Ruffled

Paper Airplane GarlandStyle Me Pretty

The photos here are from the credited blogs. I hope you’ll take time to read about how they used paper planes! I also hope you’re having a lovely day.