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.
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.
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.
Side 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.
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.
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):
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.
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.
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.
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.
White 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.
And here’s the exposed ceiling. Love. Love. Love.
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.
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 .
If you’re intrigued, here’s a great article about The Ace Hotel and Roman & Williams, the interior designers behind the NYC Ace.
This 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).
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!
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.
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.
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.
I sincerely hope that a morning person gets this house.
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?
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.
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.
And, this bunny pillow—I like it.
And then for those of who love a cheery space:
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
Check out Elle Decor for all the details and more pictures.
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.
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.
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.
Brad is keeping everything moving with the construction.
Drywall is up.
Hardwoods are down.
Cabinets are ordered.
The home inspectors approve.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Patsy Cline and I are so very happy to be hanging out today as guest bloggers on the Better Homes and Gardens Style Spotters Blog. As you can see below, Patsy is happy about the opportunity. Her sister, June Carter, could not participate due to a bad hair cut. Fur real, y’all.
Patsy and I have posted a few shots from around our house—tips for decorating with flea market finds.
I’m pretty sure the last Eastwood image I shared was that of some decking and framing. Yes, I just checked. It’s true. So much has this update.
By all means, let me catch you up to speed.
Framing, siding, roofing, and a whole lot of porches. The view. The view is officially ridiculous. I keep thinking I’ll get up early and catch a sunrise. I also keep thinking I’ll learn to make pasta from scratch. So there’s that.
But here’s this:
Eastwood as of yesterday.
I love all the light that’s coming into the house. Thanks to Marvin Windows.
This is the galley kitchen. I’m standing at one end looking toward the exterior kitchen door which leads to a “eat-in porch.”
A little earth work happening at the back door. Essentially, he’s making a back yard.
I love a white house but as we all know, there are 1.2 zillion shades of white.
I grabbed my Sherwin Williams colors and settled on Dover White. A few minutes later I decided to zip over to the house with paint swatches in hand—for good measure, of course.
Yes. Dover White wins.
Next phase is all good stuff—cabinets, flooring, drywall, paint, and lighting.
Do you know about Lindsay Letters? If not, you’re missing out. Lindsay runs a charming and sweet stationary shop filled with beautifully hand-lettered prints.
In honor of friends Jim and Elsa, who are getting married this evening, I thought I’d share a little print I happened upon that will probably be my go-to wedding gift from this day forward. As long as I shall live.
Betsy’s mantle seemed un-Betsy to me. Actually, it was just the painting. I didn’t dislike it, I just couldn’t place it in what I know of Betsy.
Here’s the deal.
Her husband’s grandmother painted and Betsy has several of her paintings. And in walks the tension: this isn’t really my style but I don’t want to get rid of it.
At the risk of seeming insensitive, I want to let all of you off the hook. You do not have to keep the painting your great aunt painted on your mantle—you can put it in the least trafficked room, it’s okay.
And, while we’re talking about this: you do not have to keep the china you haven’t used in ten years, your mother might gasp but you could get rid of it…
Aside from the picture of four awesome children, Betsy’s mantle didn’t really say much about Betsy. She is simple and comfortable and loves all things old—chippy furniture, mason jars and quilts. Lots of quilts.
So we used what she had and added a few things and made it feel more like her with a few simple changes. It will continue to evolve as all mantles do but here’s phase one.
Here’s what we used:
Betsy had this section of a quilt top and wanted to use it somehow. We used a staple gun and wrapped it around a canvas from Michaels. Of course, if she wants to add a frame later, she can easily pop the canvas into a frame.
Paper Flowers from West Elm which are on sale right this minute. You could also make these with a few small branches from any tree in your yard, some tissue paper and a hot glue gun.
LifeWay Women asked me to contribute to their blog, All Access and I could not be happier about it.
Today I’m posting on their site. I think you all will love the prints that I found to share with the All Access audience—all available on Etsy or by digital download. That means quick and inexpensive art for you!
I’m grateful for the opportunity to share!
The people who make LifeWay Women happen are so dear to me. I hope you’ll hop over and check it out.
Lainey, Lucy, MC, and Claire—each girl spunky in her own right. This week I’m flying west to catch up with Paige, one of my favorite people on planet earth. She is a firecracker, full of creativity and life. I’ve been thinking about her (and decorating her room).
Here’s my attempt at summing Paige up in print and picture.
Look at that fierceness. It seems she’s rubbing off on her baby sister.
I’ve been thinking about her gobs as I can not wait to scoop that child up and squeeze her.
She has an outrageous sense of style. She loves pink. She has no lack of confidence. She is sure and I adore that about her.
Already she knows who she is. Those of us who know her will just have to wait to see what she becomes.
Perhaps she is a wildflower….
I hope that regardless she will be brave.
And that she will be a light.
Although I think she has no choice.
Today’s featured art is from I Screen You Screen, Katie Daisy, and Silver Tree Art. Please check out their Etsy stores and support their work! All of these pictures are from the instagram account of Paige’s mom. And you can support her with prayer.
Each year on my birthday I make a list. Larissa introduced me to this—when she turned 31 she wrote a list of 31 things to do by 32. The exercise of listing things (big and small) challenges me to make the most of my year.
Last year my list included:
Get to know my neighbors.
Eat more kale.
Go to more concerts. Taylor Swift, here I come. #red. #noshamehere #i’mfeeling22justthinkingaboutit
Start a new blog + business.
Say yes more.
I determined to say yes to the things that make me a little nervous—those things that sometimes make me feel vulnerable or push me right past the edge of my comfort zone.
Over the weekend I worked on inspiration + mood boards to help establish creative direction for a corporate office overhaul.
I said yes to the challenge mostly because it made me a little nervous to work with commercial/office space rather than residential space. But what could I do? I had that I-don’t-want-to-fail feeling and I knew I had to say YES.
Here are ten (or more) home offices to inspire you (regardless of space and size).