Be Our Guest: Today’s Post Is at Better Homes and Gardens!

Big news!

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.

BHG Style Spotters Blog

 

 

decorating with vintage

 

Hop on over to BHG Style Spotters for the whole post.

x,

amy

 

 

Eastwood Project Update

 

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.
Eastwood Project Progress

 

I love all the light that’s coming into the house. Thanks to Marvin Windows.

Screen Shot Gather & Build: Eastwood Project ProgressThis is the galley kitchen. I’m standing at one end looking toward the exterior kitchen door which leads to a “eat-in porch.”

Screen Shot 2013-0Gather & Build: Eastwood Project Progress

 

A little earth work happening at the back door. Essentially, he’s making a back yard. Gather & Build: Eastwood Project Progress, Back Door

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.
Gather & Build: Eastwood Project Progress, Marvin Windows

 

 

Yes. Dover White wins.

Gather & Build: Eastwood Project Progress, Sherwin Williams PaintNext phase is all good stuff—cabinets, flooring, drywall, paint, and lighting.

Thanks for giving me a minute to catch you up!

x,

amy

A Perfect Wedding Gift: Wedding Vows Print

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.

Here’s her Southern Wedding Vows print.

Lindsay Letters Southern Wedding Vows

 

Lindsay Letters Southern Wedding Vows

Lindsay Letters Southern Wedding Vows

 

I also love her Unity print from The Book of Common Prayer.

Unity Prayer from Lindsay Letters

 

Happy Wedding Day to my sweet friends, Jim & Elsa!

And Happy Weekend to you!

x,

amy

 

Quick and Easy Mantle Makeover

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.

Mantle Before

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.
Mantle After

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.

Quilt Top

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. 

Here’s some inspiration from West Elm’s blog:

West Elm Paper Flowers

West Elm Paper Flowers

We grabbed the plate from the sale table at Anthropologie along with a couple classic novels with revamped covers.

Anthropologie Classic Book

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 7.35.36 AM

 

Here’s an older post of my mantle in progress. And it looks like this today.

Thanks for reading!

x,

amy

 

Art for the Heart: Guest Posting on LifeWay Women Blog

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!

LifeWay Women All Access Blog

 

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.

x,

amy

 

She Is Fierce: Prints for Spunky Girls

I know a few great young ladies.

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.

"And though she be but little, She is Fierce" from I Screen, You Screen

P + N

 

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.

Do you suppose she's a wildflower.

Perhaps she is a wildflower….

Paige

I hope that regardless she will be brave.

Be Brave and Kind.

And that she will be a light. Be a light to the world. by Katie Daisy

Although I think she has no choice. 

paige

Today’s featured art is from I Screen You ScreenKatie 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. 

xoxo,

Amy

 

 

Office Challenge & Ten Home Offices You’ll Love

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.

Say Yes Banner from Etsy

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).

The Closet Office

Office NookPinterest

 The Kitchen Nook 

Kitchen Office NookHouse and Home

The Studio

Studio Office with Garage Door

Houzz

The Corner Office

Office In a CornerSource

The Basement / Man Cave Office 

Masculine Office + Mancave OfficeSource

 

The Vintage Office

Vintage Inspired Home OfficeSource

The Collector’s Office

Office with Tall Ceilings and ShelvesHouse and Home

The Industrial Office

Industrial Office DecorFrom Best Home Design Inspiration


(And Industrial + Eclectic)

Industrial Eclectic OfficeSource

The Loft Office

Office in Loft SpaceSource

 

The Office I Dream Of

Office Space, Indoor Swing

Check out this pinterest board for my favorite studios and workspaces.

The Say Yes Banner is available in Available in this Etsy Shop. Maybe I should hang that in my office?

x,

amy

 

Bathroom Tile Inspiration: Five Looks I Love

Framing, electrical, shingles—those are the decisions I’ve been making on the Eastwood project but we’ve just rounded the corner and are heading toward the parts I most enjoy. Wood floors, cabinets, and my favorite: tile.

Here are five bathrooms I’m liking right now.

Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 10.32.51 PMHome & Design 

 

Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 10.36.45 PMAhmann LLC

 

Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 10.40.06 PMSarah Richardson Design

 Penny Round Tile Walls The Tile Shop

Herringbone Shower Tile Houzz

Maybe I like a little gray in my tile?

x,

amy

Call for the Butler: Three Pantry Must-Haves

Once upon a time, a butler’s pantry was a necessity for tucking away family silver and fancy china. Traditionally tucked into a hallway between the kitchen and dining room, the butler’s pantry served as a place to prep for setting the table and serving a meal. If it seems antiquated or unnecessary, all you need is to throw one smashing dinner party and you’ll be ringing for the butler. Pronto.

After a walk-through with a friend and staring at the drawings for the Eastwood project, I found a nook in the hallway that could become a butler’s pantry. I’m working on the design among so many other things—an update on Eastwood is coming this week.

Here are my three must-haves for the butler’s pantry.

1. Tall Glass Doors

Jessica Helgerson KitchenBy Jessica Helgerson

 

2. Dark Hardware

Butler's Pantry from Jessie Webster's homeAs seen at Design Sponge

 

3. Ample Light

butler's pantry from covenant kitchensVia Covenant Kitchens

 

I’m also inspired by this clean and modern design by Dillon Kyle Architecture.Butler's Pantry / Modern Butler

This cabinet with leaded windows and a zinc counter top from Peterssen Keller is a beauty.

butler's pantry with leaded windows

 

Have a lovely day,

amy

 

To Do: The List Goes On and On and On

Do you know what the worst week of the work year is? The week before you go on vacation.

Do you know what the second worst week of the year is? The week after you return.

Last week I went with my sister, mom, and a few cousins to Rosemary Beach, which is one of the loveliest places in the South. Aside from soaking up appropriate amounts of Vitamin D and reading Gone Girl  I caught up on some of my favorite blogs and magazines. And, I discovered a new blog. New to me, of course.

A Pair of Pears. Don’t you like them already? Jake and Jamie Barlett are creatives who make artsy things and share good design and great ideas. Barletts. Pair. Pears. Clever people. I want to know them and work with them and talk about ideas with them.

They are getting me through this hairy work week with this free printable from their site.

To Do List Printable from A Pair of Pears

Get the printable here. It will make your to-do list, well, prettier.

I’m completely serious about you checking out their blog.

A Pair of Pears Blog

You’ll be glad you did.

x.

amy

 

 

 

 

Everything Nice: DIY Decor for Girls

We all know what little girls are made of: sugar, spice and everything nice (and the occasional dose of spunk and bite). Don’t you think their rooms should be made up of that stuff, too? I’m pulling together a few DIY ideas for an upcoming project.

I think each of ideas is an affordable option for a growing girl which is always a bonus!

Honeybee Vintage Paper Heart GarlandSource: Honeybee Vintage 

 

Adriel DIY Nursery WallSource: Adriel

I love these wallpapered boxes. They make a fun shelving/display option.

Wallpapered CratesSource: Family Living

Mostly, I’m thinking something absolutely must be dangling from the ceiling. Because that feels like magic when you’re a kid.  These paper flowers in a cluster on the ceiling could be the perfect solution. I saw this on Flickr.

paper flowers from ceiling

Just add garland and you get this sweet gathering of paper fun.

Paper Flowers from the ceiling

And I saw this on Lizbeth McCray’s blog but it is from Under the Sycamore, which is a terrific blog. Read it!

Paper Lanterns and Flowers

 

x,

amy

Home Sweet Home to Me: Etsy Art

Out of pocket—sometimes that’s the best place to be and at other times, well, the old saying is true: There’s no place like home.

There’s a thick sense of  nostalgia and community here in the south, easy comfort found in a glass of sweet tea, a hydrangea bush in full bloom, or a welcoming front porch swing. It’s cliche. And it’s true. 

Every Traveller from Kristen Vagaard Etsy shop

 

Kristen Vasgaard has her thumb on the southern sentiments that quickly transport any of us who have roamed right back home. Playing with lyrics and quotes, her Etsy shop is packed with prints paying homage to the places that so many of us in the south call home. These are just a few.

Screen shot 2013-06-14 at 10.57.09 AM

Kristen Vasgaard Kentucky Print

Screen shot 2013-06-14 at 10.24.16 AM

Kristen Vasgaard Carolina Print

All images are the work of Kristen Vasgaard and are available in her Etsy shop. She blogs at Pen Meet Paper. Drop by her blog, her hand-lettering and illustrations are such eye candy. Thanks to Kristen, for sharing her work with the world.

Have a lovely weekend,

x,

amy

 

Inspiration: Traveling Mama’s House Tour

I can’t think of the last time I saw a home in Denmark or Sweden that I didn’t want to pin to pieces. Scandinavian influenced design is hands-down my favorite. I stumbled upon this fabulous house tour featured on Houzz and had to share.

Traveling Mama House Tour from Houzz

Screen shot 2013-06-11 at 8.23.58 AM

Screen shot 2013-06-11 at 8.25.29 AM

 

Take a look at  Traveling Mama’s home as featured on Houzz.

Enjoy!

x,

amy

The Old College Try: Decorating with Pennants

Here are a few ideas for bringing a little spirit to your walls and halls.

Let’s start with these pennants from Three Potato Four. They are so well done—gentle and virtuous reminders to think good thoughts and do the next right thing.  Three Potato Four is having a moving sale. And you will love everything in their shop. Check it out.

Three Potato Four Pennant Three Potato Four Pennants Pillows from Schoolhouse Electric Pendant Pillow from Schoolhouse Electric   Give it the old college try with this  DIY tutorial for making your own wooden pennant. DIY Wooden Pennant Go team!

x,

amy  

If I Was From Paris

Herringbone Wood Floors
I’d agree with Grace Potter and say, “oh-la-la-la-la-la-la.”

When I renovated the Bradford house, I obsessed about the floors. I really wanted to do reclaimed wood but it was a huge investment and I didn’t take it lightly. Take a look at this post from the past where I talked about fine French flooring. Maybe I was more dramatic in 2010? It sounds like I thought I might die of making a decision regarding hard wood flooring.

Paris Apartment

Nothing’s really changed here. I’m obsessing about the floors in the Eastwood project even though I promised Brad (the contractor) that I would not obsess this time.

I’m not going to be over-the-top.

I’ll let things go.

I’m not going to live there so I won’t be as emotionally invested.

I won’t obsess—cross my heart.

Famous. Last. Words. 

This is why I absolutely never ever say “hope to die” when I cross my heart. And that’s just dumb—nobody hopes to die or stick needles in their eyes.

Nothing’s changed. I still care about every detail. And I still think these floors are nothing short of oh-la-la.

Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 9.21.27 AM

 

Bonus: 

1.  If you want to see more af a beautiful Paris home, check out this house featured on Design Sponge.

Design Sponge Paris Home

2. This hand cut map of Paris—I can’t think about how long this might have taken to create.

Paris Hand

3. While I do like If I Was From Paris I have to tell you that Stars” is my favorite Grace Potter song.

4. Audrey is right.

Paris Is Always a Good Idea

4. I still like Polaroids. I’m not over it.

Paris Polaroids

5. If you like the first image in this post, you will love this house tour on French By Design.

au revoir,

amy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refresh: Behind the Scenes + Styling Photos

Refresh Magazine Cover

 

Take a hundred pictures—that’s what I’d do differently. When the Refresh team moved into my house for a few days, I considered myself a student, learning much about what’s needed to stage a photo for print. I only wish I’d taken more pictures of them in action. I also might have used my Cannon instead of my near-death iPhone.

Refresh Team // Photoshoot

Editng

IMG_8271

We spent two days looking at my house from every possible angle, rearranging rooms, and moving things about. In that process I observed so much about what makes a room work in photos.

Here are five tips for styling your house for photos:

  1. Flower Power. When you look at a table or bookshelf or mantle and think, this needs something, chances are fresh flowers will do the trick. Fresh flowers are the best gap fillers.
  2. Eat Your Veggies. But don’t eat your fruit. Kitchens need color. Sliced watermelon, a bowl of strawberries, or pears piled in a basket at the center of an island are tried and true ways to add a pop of color. Stick with one type of fruit—a wooden bowl with twenty tangerines piled in it makes a stronger impression than a hodgepodge of mixed fruit.
  3. Add Layers. If you have a pile of books on your coffee table, place them in a tray (like this one from West Elm) and you’ve got dimension in an instant. Throw an extra quilt on the bed or another pillow on the couch.
  4. Think Outside the Prop. Take items like bar stools or suitcases and use them in unexpected places. Drag your the stool into the bathroom and place folded towels on it. Tuck a suitcase under a coffee table and add a stack of books to it and you’ve used props in new ways.
  5. Do Your Homework. Thumb through a magazine and take note of the pictures you favor. What’s the common thread? It’s okay to be a copycat and recreate it!

And, here’s a peek into the article:

Refresh Magazine: Hallway

 

Refresh Magazine; Dining Room

 Photo Credit: Jeff Herr

Refresh is on news stands now—you can find it at the grocery store, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and so forth. The magazine includes an extensive list of resources (where to get things) and plenty of advice for  how to pull it off. Check out the Better Homes & Gardens Blog for ideas, inspiration and the latest trends.

x,

amy

Golden Girls: Four Nashville Artisans

Sarah and Bendrix Gold Foil Art Print

This perfectly styled room featuring prints from Sarah and Bendrix is proof enough why decorating with gold is a good idea. Whether you use it in small doses or fully commit, gold foil prints add something special to any wall.

Katie Gastley print Fab.com From Fab.com

 

My hunt through the pages of Etsy looking for gold led me to my own backyard.  What are the odds?

Here are four fabulous choices from Nashville artisans. As if I needed more reasons to love this town.

Stephanie Creekmur’s southern sayings like, “Hey Y’all”, “Heavens to Betsy” and “Hold Your Horses” are available in her Etsy Shop.

Heavens to Betsy

A touch of gold from my witty friend Lyndsay’s Avant Cards Etsy Shop

Everything is going to be Amazing

 

From the Etsy Shop of Charm and Gumption, who I happened to bump into at the Porter Flea on Saturday—these are even prettier in person. Trust me on this.

Charm & Gumption Gold Foil Prints

 

And, a favorite from Oh My Deer. Her handwritten fonts are just perfect.

Oh My Deer Gold Foil Proverbs 31:29Note: Oh My Deer’s Etsy shop is closed for a quick vacation. She’ll be back and her work is worth the short wait.

 

I have two bonuses for you today. 

All that means is that I have two more things to say that are just barely about the title of this post but I want to tell you anyway instead of keeping this perfectly on point. I’m generous like that.

1. This is my very favorite song about Nashville. “I’m going back to Nashville, thinking about the whole thing….” It makes me feel sentimental and thoughtful. How happy was I when I found out this song was written about my friend, Liz? I like it twice as much now.

2. Maybe you’re like enough with these Nashville girls and their gold foil? (Maybe you’re angry?) But seriously, maybe you want something gold for your desk and you’re crafty. Is this a stretch?

How ’bout a little DIY project?

Well, Chelsea from Lovely Indeed  would like to help you add your own gold. Get step by step directions for this mousepad on her blog Lovely IndeedChelsea is not in Nashville. That’s the only thing that is keeping this off-point. 

Lovely Indeed Gold Mousepad

 

Or, make this paper mache bowl from Kelli Murray’s blog:

Kelli Murray DIY Gold Paper Mache Bowl

Go for the gold, folks. 

x.

amy

It’s Eclectic: Three Living Rooms + Three Tips

The designer in me has a split personality—half eclectic and half, well, I am not sure that I can put my thumb on it right now because my style, well, it’s always changing. I’m feeling a little classic lately. What’s that about?

Here are three eclectic living rooms that I find charming.

Up first: Lucy’s living room. Owner of Fenton & Fenton, her above-shop house was recently featured in the Australian publication Inside OutHere’s a shot from that spread.

Inside Out Magazine: Lucy Fenton's Living Room

Next, the work of Design Manifest . Check out their blog for more where this came from, such nice work.

Design Manifest Interior Design

Last but not least, Joy Cho’s house. I first saw her house in Anthology Magazine and have since seen it a zillion places, including Emily Henderson’s blogI am crazy about her gold + white wallpaper. I used it in a client’s bathroom. Turned out wonderfully.

Joy Cho's Living Room

Speaking of Emily Henderson, I love her living room. Don’t you?

Emily Henderson's Living Room

Sometimes eclectic is assumed to be mix and match but there’s a method to the madness.

Here are three tips:

  1. Keep it in neutral. If you want your eclectic style to take off, start out in neutral. White walls leave room for your accessories to steal the show.
  2. Anchor down. Use color in a larger piece of furniture or a rug to pull the eye down and anchor your artwork and collected pieces. Otherwise everything just feels as if it’s floating along rather than part of a big picture.
  3. Pull it together. Whether it’s a pattern, shape, texture, finish or color—having one common thread that moves throughout the room will make sense of your collection. So if you like geometric patterns, use them on a pillow, in a piece of art on the wall and again on the rug. If high-gloss finishes are your thing then use them on a few frames and your coffee or side tables.

 

My Name Is You

Here’s a bonus:

While I was working on this post I listened to My Name Is You on Spotify. Their new record The Fortunate Ones is lovely. It’s very good work music + travel music + cooking-in-your-kitchen music.

I particularly like the song Bark + Bite. The lyrics “If I asked for all of your help would you give it to me?” grabbed my attention.

Isn’t it hard to ask for help sometimes?

x,

amy

Zachary Smith: A Cut Above

Zachary Smith’s work will eventually make it’s way into Lauren’s house. I am sure of it.

Lauren works as a graphic designer. Naturally, she loves typography and art. But if I had to use one word to describer her, I’d say she is an adventurer. Per her Instagram account, she can be found in the mountains, or canoeing, or white water rafting at any given moment. She is the person who told me about geocaching, which honestly, I’m still not sold on. She is also most likely to do it herself when it comes to the renovation and redesign of her own first home. She’s unafraid.

Once I mentioned to Lauren that I admire her adventurous spirit. She told me that she tries to say “yes” to opportunities—she’s willing to give life a try. Note to self: just say yes.

For obvious reasons, I thought of her when I saw this on his website:

Zachary Smith Typography and Saw

 

Zachary is a fabulously talented 21-year-old, a self-described typographer, illustrator, and designer on the grind. While his Tumblr followers patiently wait for his online store to open, he’s still feeling the love as he continues to earn the support of many fans.

Here’s a little more of his work:

Zachary Smith Work Hard Stay Humble

 

Zachary Smith Saw

You can follow Zachary’s work here or like his Facebook page—it’ll make him feel good. Like the G&B Facebook page while you’re at it! All the photos here are from Zachary’s site and the credit is his.

Here’s to inspiring friends, Zachary Smith’s artistry, and an unflinching spirit of adventure.

Let’s all say “yes” a little more.

x,

Amy

The Bradford Project: A Visual Recap

A few months ago my friend Jenny said, “You never posted final pictures of Bradford Avenue.” And I thought, if blogs were children the Department of Child Services would surely shut this down and cart me off for neglect. I also gasped when she said it—completely sincere reaction, I tell you.

Here are a few pictures from Bradford—my first love.

You can thank Jenny. 

Bradford Project Living Room: Reclaimed Wood Floor, Skinny French Doors, White Living Room

Bradford Project Living Room: Reclaimed Wood Floor, Skinny French Doors, White Living Room

Screen shot 2Bradford Project Living Room: Reclaimed Wood Floor, White Living Room

Bradford Avenue: Vintage Art, Wire Baskets

Bradford Avenue Project: Vintage Levels, Map Decor

Bradford Avenue Project: Hallway, Chalkboard with Chair rail, Barn Light Electric Lighting, Barn Door

Bradford Avenue Project: Hallway, Chalkboard Wall, Sugarboo Art, Barnlight Electric

Bradford Avenue Project: Bathroom

Bradford Avenue Project: White Kitchen, White Subway Tile Wall, Concrete Counter Tops, Reclaimed Wood

Bradford Avenue: Master Bath, trough sink, White subway tile, gray grout,

Bradford Avenue: Master Bedroom

Photography compliments of Micah Kandros.

x,

Amy

Gatherings + Cinco de Mayo

In honor of a valid reason to eat chips, salsa, and all the tacos you can hold, I join you in celebrating Cinco De Mayo this weekend! I’ve gathered a few things—starting with these Hacienda Melamine Plates from Anthropologie—inspired by this festive holiday.

Hacienda Melamine Plate from Anthropologie

These stairs are only the tiniest sneak peek into a lovely Spanish Colonial home featured on Houzz. The work is that of Tim Barber, LTD Architecture. 

Spanish Colonial Home Stairs

This Avocado Mint Candle (also from Anthro) is the freshest candle yet. I love the scent and the packaging.

Avocado Mint Candle from Anthropologie

Trader Joe’s is hands-down my favorite stop for fresh flowers. Using cans is a festive and fun way to spice up your arrangements. Here’s an entire post dedicated to a fiesta decor.

Flowers in Mexican can

I’m looking for the perfect drink dispenser. Here are two faves:

Glass Beverage Dispenser CB2World Market Savannah Drink Dispenser

First, a glass dispenser available at CB2. I am also a fan of the Savannah embossed drink dispenser from World Market. If you’re looking for something acrylic, Target has good, affordable options.

And, finally, Larissa gave me this healthy and yummy recipe for fish tacos last week. She wrote about it on the LifeWay Women blog today. I made this for dinner twice last week…. It’s that good. 

fish tacos

Enjoy your weekend!

x,

amy

Every Thing Will Be Okay.

Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly get-me-out-of here all I want to do is run away. Let's Run Away Screen Print Art

Better yet.

Let's Run Away

But since it’s not always the most practical thing to run away—responsibilities, people I love, pets I love, and then the whole I-don’t-want-to-lose-my job-thing—instead, I say nice things to myself.

Like.

It's OK Banner

But let’s be honest. Somethings aren’t OK and you might want to take that sweet little banner and say, Do not be positive with me right now. This is a bad deal. It’s not OK. 

In that instance, I’d say go with this:

Everything Will Be Okay Screen Print

Because eventually everything will be okay.

Get something fun for your walls here:

Let’s Run Away and Every Thing Will Be Okay  and are by I Screen You Screen on Etsy. I’ve got a couple of prints from I Screen You Screen and I love them. This If You Work Really Hard print is on my office bookshelf.

It’s OK banner by Secret Holiday & Co. Let’s Run Away to a Beautiful Place is on Etsy via Print Press by Flea Market Trixie.

x,

amy

Gatherings: Best of the Web

Pretty things abound. Here are some things I’ve seen this week that I think you’ll enjoy.

I am the pickiest when it comes to coffee mugs. I prefer tall slender mugs to big bowlish mugs—the coffee gets cold quickly, too much surface space. And I like the way a skinny mug feels in my hands. This one meets my criteria.

Anthropologie Pinched Corners MugPhoto from Anthropologie

This mind-over-matter plant container makes me smile.

If I had to live in a barn I’d choose this Michigan barn.

Speaking of barns… West Elm has the sweetest Love Thy Farmer tote bag. And, I do love my farmers.

I’m into kale. I want to Jodi’s  recipe for crisp kale and brussels sprout tacos with avocado and white bean creama. Everything is good when it’s in a tortilla, right?

What's Cooking Good Looking: Crispy Kale + Brussel Sprout TacosPhoto from What’s Cooking Good Looking?

If you’ve got a bare wall in your closet and a few clipboards here’s a fun idea for your chunkier necklaces.

No matter how smiley the dustpan, I will likely never feel happy about sweeping.

Finally, my favorite wallpaper in removable tilesFor those of us who like to change with the weather.

Hygge & West Removable Tile Wallpaper by Oh Joy!Photo from Hygge & West

x,

amy

You’re Invited! 12th South Home Tour

You're Invited. 12th South Home Tour

The annual 12th South Home Tour is this Saturday. Eleven fabulous homes are on the tour and it promises to be a day of neighborliness and inspiration.

While you’re in the neighborhood stop by Edley’s Bar-B-Que or Burger Up for lunch, grab some coffee at Portland Brew or Frothy Monkey, or drop in at Imogene + Willie, even if it’s just to say hi—they’ll be glad to see you.

Get your tickets for the tour here and come see us in 12th South!

 

Lately: An Eastwood Project Visual Update

The last time we talked there was a foundation. How ’bout I walk you around the project and catch you up on what’s happened?

While we are pretending, let’s time travel back a week. Let’s say I parked my car in the back alley behind the house and you just hopped out to find the crew hard at work.

Foundation. Meet your floor.And just like magic, we’re standing on the first floor in the hallway looking out multiple doors/windows. This will all become clear with time.

Eastwood First FloorHey, Brad, fancy meeting you here. We’re just looking around.

Eastwood First FloorLet’s go upstairs and see what the guys are working on. Stairs with a landing are my favorite kind.

Eastwood StairwayHello, second floor.

Second Floor DeckingWe’ll get out of the way so you guys can turn that pile of 2x4s into studs and walls.

Eastwood Second FloorThat’s the quickest tour I’ve got in me—proof that we really are building something. 

Street View
Thanks for reading, 

amy

Easy Updates: Leather Pulls

I’m in the mood to rearrange the furniture, paint the bedrooms, change the bedding—I blame spring. This happens every March. 

Here’s the next thing I want to do:

Update a dresser with leather pulls—so easy and affordable that I am looking forward to the next flea market to snatch an old dresser and get right to work. I first saw the picture below in House and HomeThis is my favorites of the ideas I found. It’s dark and moody—how we like our dressers, not our people. 

DIY Leather Drawer PullsHouse and Home

Just when I choose a favorite I realize that tabs are all the rage. Strips vs. tabs. The debate begins. 

Leather Drawer Pulls // Martha StewartMartha Stewart

leather pulls // dresserA Home’s World

Both House and Home and Martha Stewart offer an easy step-by-step guide for adding leather to your dresser’s mix. (Just click the links under the pictures and you’ll find a supply list and instructions.)

Leather Cabinet Pulls

Pinterest

And for the cabinets in your life:

Leather Drawer Pulls for KitchenRemodelista

leather cabinet pulls // elle decorElle Decor

Leather Drawer Pulls Bathroom CabinetFrench by Design

Leather Pulls Bathroom CabinetsA Home’s World

Should you decide to revamp a piece of furniture and add a smidge of leather to it, well, good luck and I want to see your before and after! Message me. You can totally do this! 

Thanks for reading.

Eastwood Project Update // Progress and Plans

Let me give you the fast-as-lightning visual update:

NES came to the lot and gave us power. Now Snap is in my headIt’s gettin’, it’s gettin’, it’s gettin’ kind of hectic.

Temporary Pole // Power

Just add concrete for footers.

Pouring FootersNext: Block. Lots of block.
Foundation Blocks

Foundation Blocks

Progress.

Foundation Block

 

Here’s a peek at what we aim toward. This is really close to final—one of the later versions. I cannot tell you how many times we edited ourselves. There’s room for change and I’m sure we will change some things—perhaps the number of windows, we might lose a balcony or change a balcony. There’s room for flex.  

It’s so funny to me how huge this thing looks in the drawings but the lot is really not that as large as these drawings might imply. Prepare yourselves for lessons in scale.  

Eastwood Project // Gather & Build


Eastwood Project // Gather & Build

There you have it. You approve?

Thanks for reading.

aj

White Houses: Exterior Inspiration

It all starts with Post-It notes.

Loads of books, piles of magazines, Pinterest, and Post-It notes—that’s where I start chasing down ideas. house inspiration

Next, you share the bounty with the contractor and the architect and you say, “Guys, this is the stuff my dreams are made of.” 

architect. builder. ideas.

Right after that things start coming together.

Somebody asked me, “What’s the most exciting part of a project?”

The ideas. I love the ideas. I’m addicted to possibilities. I also love the smell of lumber but that’s another conversation for another post

The lot we are working with is perched on a hill between 12th South and Belmont and looks toward the East. I suspect the sunrises will be gorgeous. As we plan, we continue to think about the view and in my mind the house is white.

Here are a few photos that have served as major inspiration for this project.

These houses from Rosemary Beach inspire me:

Rosemary Beach Home

Rosemary Beach White House

You might notice that these houses I’m inspired by are white. I am also into farm houses. Again, I am full of surprises. 

Screen shot 2013-02-22 at 10.17.39 AM

TruexCullins

White FarmhouseBarnes Vanz Architects

modern farmhouseInspire Your Life

Contemporary FarmhouseHGTV Green Home

There’s more where that came from. 

I started a farm house board on Pinterest. If you’ve seen anything pin-worthy be sure to leave a comment. I’d love to see it, too!

Thanks for reading!

amy

Starting a business and other acts of faith.

Last year I participated in Dream Year, an experience that helps people accomplish a dream over the course of one year. A month into the program, Ben asked a few questions about the logistics of my dream, how it could become sustainable and eventually profitable. The questions did what good questions do.

In waltzed clarity.

A week later I emailed Ben: “I cannot stop thinking about our conversation. I have to change plans. Forget the proposal I submitted. What I really want to do—and I mean really, really, down-deep-within-me want to do work with Brad to design and build houses—that’s my dream. Help me figure out how to do this.” And just like that I jumped the tracks.

I spent a few months doing the not-so-fun parts that come with establishing a business: paperwork, bank visits, repeat. And, I needed a name.

Creating a brand. It can be so brutal.

For me, it’s an act of self-awareness and hope, a thoughtful process of articulating the essence of who you are and where you want to go. (Unless your Bing or Twitter and you just make or reinvent a word.) When Ben asked me to articulate my strengths or what this brand really is one word continued to resurface:

Gather. 

I am a gatherer. I gather people. I gather pretty things. I gather ideas and inspiration. I’m good at gathering.

But what to name a business and a blog: Gather. Gathered. Gathered ideas. Gathered home. Gather up. Gathered. BLAH. NO. Gather. Gathered inspiration. NO. Blah. What? Gather. Gather and Build. 

YES.

Gather and Build.

I will gather what we need. Brad can build it. It has this go-forth-and-prosper sort of feeling to it. It’s all action. Go and do.

I emailed the exceptionally talented Matt Lehman and gave him my “I have a dream” pitch and said could you bring it to life? In a logo? And will you help me brand myself? Matt came back to me with 7 logo options and 30+ variations of those logos. Killing me with beauty. He almost killed me with beauty. This particular logo and its variations captured it. UGH. So. much. to. love. 

Logo options // Matt Lehman

Here’s some advice from Dream Year: Always work with people who are better than you—find people who are among the best in a field and surround yourself with those people. In practical terms, do not design your own logo. Unless you are a professional graphic designer, you should step away from InDesign or Illustrator or whatever and hire someone who is smarter than you. 

That advice served me well. Here’s the winner:

Screen shot 2013-01-24 at 2.56.15 PM

Someone much smarter than me is helping create Gather and Build (dot. com) and eventually, this blog will have a new home. I’ll highlight the projects Brad and I work on along with other fun projects I’m working on the side—like house staging and such. And, of course, inspiration. Lots of inspiration.

You are kind to stay tuned after all these months—I’m really grateful. Thanks for sitting tight through the silence. I hope you like where we are headed. To quote Sleeping at Last, “The future is brighter than any flashback.”

Thanks for reading,

Amy

P.S. I love that gathering has ties to farming. My father would be proud. Did you see the “So God Made a Farmer” spot during the Super Bowl? Tears. In my eyes. 

Building a New House: A Conversation with the Contractor

I said: “Brad, there’s something bad happening around here. People are building houses—as in, other people are building houses that I want to build.”

He said, “It’s infuriating.”

I said: “It’s like an epidemic. Or a pandemic. Or, whatever the word is for a bad thing that happens to good people. We should do something.”

He said: “Definitely. Let’s build something.”

I said: “What about this? Can we do something with this?

Screen shot 2013-02-10 at 6.13.33 PM

And he said, “We can.”

So I said, “Well, can you clean this place up so we can start from scratch?”

And he said, “Absolutely.”

Screen shot 2013-01-01 at 5.26.36 PM

Screen shot 2013-01-01 at 5.26.55 PM

And Brad said, “Let’s build something with a view.”

And I said, “Fine by me.”

Screen shot 2013-01-01 at 5.27.11 PM

And, that’s pretty much how it went.

Except that the conversation happened over the course of a year.

Screen shot 2013-02-11 at 8.13.15 AM

To date, we have cleared the lot and the excavation work is finished—now for the fun part. So much more to come!

Thanks for reading,

Amy