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!





pretty cool before & after

I gotta say, this is one of our favorite transformations.  We did our best to just translate the style our clients wanted into this ’70s ranch.  Enjoy the before & afters!

Decorative glass definitely has its place, but we didn’t think this home was one of them.  The side lights had to go as well.

(all good photos–Jennifer Kesler Photography)









To give a sense of entry, too, we suggested they add a wall (the small wall to the right), so guests don’t walk directly into the dining room.  The wall where the mirror lives is new, too.  The room used to be the step-down den, and it is now the new master bedroom.


entry mirror and dr


Below you can see the former den, popcorn ceilings (now gone & BM Palladian Blue), and what was the dining

Here is another picture of what the dining room looked like in its former glory.


As will all projects, we mix the old with the new.  The clients owned the mirror and Anisa gave it new life with some chartreuse paint (BM angel trumpet I believe)  The buffet, table and chairs were all pieces they owned.  They were obviously open to painting the chairs white for some contrast (actually SW creamy) and covering the seats with some Hicks’ fabric.  The oversized mod lamps were new, too.

dining room


Before, this is what the family room looked like.  A pretty bad fireplace surround, more popcorn ceilings and engineered wood floors (that weren’t in great shape).


They discovered brick underneath this stone–such a great find!  We painted it white and raised the ceilings, too.  A capiz pendant replaced the ceiling fan.

lr right

The old panelling stayed, but it was given a fresh coat of paint.


living room



mantle vignette


To the back of the living room sat one of our most challenging rooms ever:  this odd kitchen below:

The windows with the great view to the golf course and pool are awesome, but this layout threw us for a loop!

It had this strange little island with only an electric range in it.


The space was great, though–so we thought it best to break up this looooonnnnng room into different spaces with different functions:  a banquette area along the back so you can hang out there and enjoy the view, the kitchen in the middle so you can use existing plumbing for the sink and have windows above it, and a game/homework table area closest to the living rooms.  This is how it turned out–we (and, most importantly, they) are happy with the results!

breakfast nook





bk nook vig






kitchen full





The tiled hood with dark grout is my favorite thing in the house!  (okay, the white Viking with white knobs, too!)



really, really love the SMEG, too–

smeg love



One more new addition in the house–a few new powder room next to the laundry.  Yes, we love the teal, driftwood & brass!

half bath

Thanks for letting us share!

Next post I’ll update ya on our house renovation–it’s looking great.

Hope you’re well….



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