not afraid of the dark

You know white is my first love, but I gotta say I’m loving that we went a little dark in our new house.  Anisa had to hold my hand a bit, but I have no regrets.  It is true what they say about you will love the risks you take most of all.

We went dark in our entire master suite, molding and all (it is really a very dark green).

Here is how it looked when we bought it:





We knocked out the wall on the left to make the master bathroom bigger (and added french doors).  To the right was a bedroom.  We stole that room to make it our closet. (Yes, a total dream.  I’ve never had a walk-in closet like this).  We made our bedroom just a tad larger and had to move one of the windows.  The best part about renovating is you can customize anything you want (within budget, of course).  My dream would have been to remove these ’70s windows entirely, but windows are expensive, yo!  Instead, painting the window trim the wall color helps to camouflage their age a bit.  We measured our queen-sized bed and made the windows flank it perfectly.

(our outlets are now black, too, by the way…and our bed is in and it is partially decorated.  The light is vintage from a boutique in New York.)


Our bathroom is the same color, trim and all.  I went with white tile and a white tub and sink to brighten it up.

Again, not entirely decorated.  It takes time and money and I’m still getting a feel what what is supposed to go there.  If you listen close enough, the home will tell you :)

(these knobs are from anthro.  They have the best ones, in my opinion)


The boys approve of mama’s tub:


And what inspired me to go dark?  Not too sure–probably these designers:

Barbara Westbrook (especially her use of dark trim and dark shades–so elegant).  I think it would be such a different room with white moldings and light shades


You know, she worked for Nancy Braithwaite before she went out on her own.  I’m not surprised that I was also inspired by Ms. Westbrook’s former boss, too:




unnamed-12I know this was in Cottage Living forever ago (Braithwaite–her daughter’s Atlanta bungalow), but it will never be old to me.  It is elegant, calm, earthy, and I love the white bedding and white sink against the backdrop of the dark (our sink is in front of our window, too, thanks mostly in part to their design.)

I mixed polished nickel and antique brass in both rooms.  You can’t do black without some brass, thanks to Jenna Lyons in Domino

unnamed-36Here are a few more of the dark images that inspired me to go for it (with unknown sources.  Please tell me if you know designer/photographer/publication)

below:  note dark millwork, too:



Bungalow Classic can do no wrong:

the white accents and wood tones are a must when working with dark colors, in my humble opinion


love the simplicity here:



And Tom Scheerer can do nothing but beautiful:


I fell in love with this dark shop, too:


Speaking of shop, we will be introducing our new website (easier to navigate & well-orgainzed, and pretty!) and our online shop will be up-and-running soon.  Here is a peek at our logo:


by the way, Anisa’s home is under contract!  I can’t wait to share her renovating adventures….

Have a great weekend,






Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you!  We had a good Christmas in our new home.  I don’t think we left at all except for a grocery run a few times.  Poor Liam got the flu then I got it.  This is the first time in my life I caught it and it truly knocked me sideways.  I will never miss my flu shot again!

But there are gifts with being sick at Christmas.  Instead of being consumed with busyness we really had time to be together.  Being confined to my bed meant I had time to begin my Donna Tartt novel that I’d yet to crack open and finally got around to flipping through my Coastal Livings and the new Domino that were waiting for me.

Chris and I had time to watch the complete Jesus of Nazareth miniseries that comes on each Christmas on the free religious channel.  Just like with subtitles, after you are a few minutes in your mind forgets about the 1-800-find Jesus number in the bottom of the screen.  I also was transfixed by the Spelman and Morehouse College Glee Clubs’ Christmas concert on tv.  I cried through the whole thing.  I am sure Chris thought I had lost my mind.

We are all better now and looking forward to the coming year.  We are bit-by-bit emptying our PODS that is sitting in our driveway and slowy moving in our new/old home.

I want to share the images I’ve been carting around in my head and on my laptop which have inspired the design of our renovation.  We wanted a modern barn kinda feel, and I think that is what we got.

Here’s the inspiration (picture overload warning):

Windsor Smith for Veranda’s House of Windsor:  (the dark windows & doors & all the light pouring through.  The touch of glam in the chairs and the contrast of dark and light—you will see this contrast in most of the pictures)


For the stairs and the rail we wanted simple & clean.  White treads (there are no risers) and no decorative millwork at all.  Think old saltbox homes and shaker-style.

This is the picture I gave our contractor (credit unknown):


I also kept going back to this image from Tom Scheerer’s house published in House Beautiful:


Here is an instagram pic of what it looks like (Olii loves sunning on the flagstone)


We may wrap them in leopard eventually….


We went dark in our master bedroom & bathroom.  Our bed is white as are our linens, so it feels a bit lighter than you might think.  I was scared to take the risk, but Anisa talked me into it.  So glad she did!  It’s my fave.

inspiration:  Miles Redd in Domino.  Dark but not cold–warmth in the natural elements.



And this dark but light bathroom from Cottage Living is just the best!


Again, all I have are instagram pics.  Here’s the bathroom.

If you go dark, I recommend going for it with moldings & trim and everything.  If you’re gonna do it, commit all the way.unnamed-84

I know it’s a mess, but cut me some slack.  Still moving in….



In the living room, I completely copied the style of these built-ins.  I couldn’t beat it, so I chose to flat-out copy the design.


I started filling the shelves yesterday.


In the kitchen, we went with a black sink (inspired by Roman & Williams)


Plain, flat-front cabinets (I die over this kitchen so much!  credit unknown)


And carrera marble tops.  DuPont has a new product called bullet-proof.  It ran us around $500 to seal it, but they guarantee it for 20 years!!  They will replace the marble if it stains.  So far, so good.  (and we are kinda messy)


This picture inspired our hood (simple, squared-off).  McAlpine Tankersly in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine.


This kitchen in Martha Stewart was the inspiration for our waterfall peninsula:




Some random images which really inspired the “feel” of the home:




(cream walls, dark furniture, hints of color, natural elements)



The picture above influenced the lighting in the boys’ rooms—deep bowl pendants from Barn Light Electric. (image via Elle Decor)


Please don’t judge the soda.  I usually don’t keep it in the house but we were sick.



Roman & Williams goodness (I believe World of Interiors in 2008)unnamed-33

The image below is the reason for the white floors upstairs:



The country but clean feel from Garden & Gun:


(image below unknown.  Love the detail & the boot storage)


We went with plaid wallpaper and 1″ x 8″ boards below in our powder room:  Love our dark doors, too–



And we went with a black front door with full-light because of this door.  We didn’t do metal, though.  It would have put us in the poor house.


I know this is just a taste, but it just takes time.  I have dreams of getting our home published, too, so I might save the full-on shots until I give it a go to see if there are any takers.

I do hope your Christmas was merry and that your new year is off to a good start!





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