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).
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.
Once upon a time, a butler’s pantry was a necessityfor 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Fouris having a moving sale. And you will love everything in their shop. Check it out.
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.
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.
Take a hundred pictures—that’s what I’d do differently. When the Refreshteam 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
This perfectly styled room featuring prints fromSarah 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.
And, a favorite from Oh My Deer. Her handwritten fonts are just perfect.
Note: 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 Indeed. Chelsea is not in Nashville. That’s the only thing that is keeping this off-point.
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 Out. Here’s a shot from that spread.
Next, the work of Design Manifest . Check out their blog for more where this came from, such nice work.
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 blog. I am crazy about her gold + white wallpaper. I used it in a client’s bathroom. Turned out wonderfully.
Speaking of Emily Henderson, I love her living room. Don’t you?
Sometimes eclectic is assumed to be mix and match but there’s a method to the madness.
Here are three tips:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly get-me-out-of here all I want to do is 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.
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:
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 Hardprint is on my office bookshelf.
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.
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 Home. This is my favorites of the ideas I found. It’s dark and moody—how we like our dressers, not our people.
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.)
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.
Loads of books, piles of magazines, Pinterest, and Post-It notes—that’s where I start chasing down ideas.
Next, you share the bounty with the contractor and the architect and you say, “Guys, this is the stuff my dreams are made of.”
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:
You might notice that these houses I’m inspired by are white. I am also into farm houses. Again, I am full of surprises.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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,
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