a kitchen transformation (dark to light)

The clients:

A young family.  He loves Jeff Lewis–modern, elegant & masculine.  She loves cottage with a touch of rustic glam.


The dilemma:

This is their “now” house–maybe live there three years or so.  How do they make it their own, but still have it be not-too-personal so it will appeal to a large market when they plan to sell?


What they have to work with:

Dark-stained cabinetry, an angular island with a raised bar, not much lighting and, shall we say, not the best tile.




Our plan:

Keep it neutral, but not boring….

Biana Quartzite countertops (sleek and white like marble, yet not as porous.  We LOVE marble, but perhaps not the wisest choice for resale.)

2″ x 8″ white ice glass tile.  The glass gives a pearl-like shine and the herringbone pattern is not your everyday backsplash.  Your tile guy will hate this pattern, but it is so beautiful!

warm gray throughout the house–BM Revere Pewter

creamy white cabinets (not-too-gray)–BM White Dove

neutral & warm island–BM Northern Cliffs

dark hardware & dark linen shades for the pendants add some contrast & elegance  (Shades of Light fixtures)

Knock down the breakfast bar feature in the island and keep the surface flat.  Coincidentally, because they did not have to tile any backsplash in the island the price to cut it down was really a wash.

Where did they save money?

Keeping the cabinets & just painting them

Keeping the stain of the wood floor (not our favorite shade–nor the clients’), and working with it

Going outlet malls and doing the shopping themselves–they just bought the plan from us.





That tile is a little bit Jeff Lewis and a bit glam, don’t you think? :)


I know Anisa’s family in Canada reads the blog, so please know that we are thinking and praying for y’all.  Her grandfather passed away yesterday.  She loves him so!



methane winner & staging our home to sell

Sorry this is late!  Rankin won the “J” and Pam won the “Q”!  We’ll do another Methane giveaway in September.

Boy, I’ve been a little MIA lately. Our internet has totally been out, the a/c just got fixed, Liam got a stomach bug (got it quickly and he quickly was feeling better–gotta love kids), had a photoshoot here and at Anisa’s home Saturday for Southern Flourish Magazine (so excited), and an open house here on Sunday.

Yes, I’m ready to go back to 30A, but maybe this time just Chris and me?!

This picture does not capture how hot I was getting this house clean and staged in about 98 degrees inside.  I feel totally prepared now to try out for Survivor, though.  I’m not kidding.

(sidenote:  how cute is my phone cover from JCrew?  I love it.)

I really have a passion for staging homes.  It may be a blander form of decorating, but it is still fun and fulfilling.

I believe that once your home is on the market, it is not yours anymore.  It quickly turned from your home to being a product you want to sell.

This is so difficult because we are emotionally tied to our homes, but you really have to keep putting yourself into the shoes of the people looking at your home.

Here are a few tips I use:

1.  Change your art to something simple.  I had some bright paint-by-numbers over the bed that I love, but they are a little too kitschy for most people.  The birds in “gilver”  (gold and silver–Anisa and I love some gilver) frames are simple, trendy, and not too many people will dislike them.



2.  In your bathroom, stash all your personals in your medicine cabinet or tuck away somewhere else.  I would just leave out a few nice looking things:  perfume, a cool old-fashioned razor, a candle.  Is it extra effort?  Hell yeah.  But you want prospective buyers to envision their stuff there, not just thinking about why there is Goldbond powder next to the sink.    (close the toilet lid, too–just looks better)

3.  Pretty obvious one, but add fresh flowers.  Our poor hydrangeas didn’t make it this summer, but Kroger had some.  No, they weren’t really cheap, but I think it is worth it to give your home its best shot.  I think of it as your home putting on her best dress.

4.  Again, to depersonalize, consider turning your books the wrong way out.  It gives them an idea of what kind of furniture they can put there, but they won’t spend all their time trying to figure out what the homeowners like to read.

5.  Hide your stuff.  You wouldn’t believe how much you could usually find on this armoire.  Looks so much better just hiding it all.

and use a tray, too.  Just always looks better…

6.  If you have another “legal” bedroom (one with a closet and a window), then go ahead and stage it.  This is where my office was, but we hope it will increase our value to show (and list it) as our fourth bedroom.

I’ll have a few more tips later.   I really missed y’all!  Julie









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