more behind-the-scenes, a baby & a break

Thanks to any of you who watched the show!  If you missed it, well here it is on youtube:


I will do my best to answer Abby & Lissa‘s questions about preparation for the show.  Yes, Anisa absolutely knew what the rooms looked like before the show.  Production sent her a video of the family and detailed pictures and measurements of the rooms.  If my memory serves me, I think all the information got to her about three weeks before filming.  It was crazy to design, present and install four rooms in about three weeks’ time.  Each designer had to present a plan for the winning living room in the case that he or she was chosen.  That is a whole lotta planning and a whole lotta sourcing.

Here is the office that wasn’t shown (they cut the show from an hour to thirty minutes).  I can’t recall her exact budget for the show, but I know it wasn’t a ton.  The fun pouf below we rented for Pieces for the day:

The glass lamps are from Anisa’s home, the desk is her custom farm table our carpenter built from reclaimed wood, the rug and slipcovered chairs are from West Elm.

Besides the winning room (the only design which would actually stay with the family), this was a room the designers could paint.  Well, Travis painted it.  Every day he repainted it!

She chose a warm gray:  Benjamin Moore Sparrow:


The panels we yanked out of my bedroom and from her stash from her former home.


The gracious Jonathan at MG + BW Atlanta loaned us the lovely gray tufted chair.  It truly took a village!



The other desk on the right is a hodge podge of a West Elm parsons desk, RH mariner sconces, a vintage lamp from Anisa’s desk, and a basket from my entry.


The sunroom was the first challenge we participated in.  We had a blast!

Yep, here she is propping up some IKEA curtain rods in her lace dress.  Love it.

Can you say “more is more”?

Anisa called this room “Hamptons meets the farm”.


If you watch the show you will see a total transformation!  I gotta say I loved this room.  She had Chris the electrician install the lantern (Ballard) as well as a string of cafe lights (Smith & Hawken from Target I believe….or maybe World Market?).  Texture, texture, texture was the goal:  inexpensive panels from IKEA, a slipcovered sofa from IKEA as well, a raw wood table from West Elm, and tolix bistro chairs from Pottery Barn.


The color was still corralled….the banquette area was kept all-white.

She kept color on the table (a ton of glass bottles from West Elm) and in her painting on the window (an Anisa original)


Since this porch is next to the pool, it’s good to have a spot to sit in your wet suits (and you always need Hunter boots at the pool, right?  Especially in the summer in Georgia?)



We had two hours to prepare & fluff this room…


And I just gotta tell ya….can you imagine planning to install everything in a room (I mean every last thing) in an hour, or two, or three…then break it down and get it stored or drive it home, then get everything ready for the next day to install another room…it was probably the hardest I ever worked and I was just her assistant.  Doing this really gave me empathy for my husband who is on the set all the time and working those hours.  It is fun and craft service is awesome (snacks always abound and a catered lunch everyday), but tv ain’t for the faint of heart.


So, when Anisa won, production wired her $10,000 to complete the living room.  What she chose to use the money for is what we usually always recommend to our clients:  the bones of the room & lighting.  It makes all the difference.


The bones?  The 1″ x 10″ boards she filled the room with (okay, Daniel filled them actually–The best contractor!)

Per her request, Daniel also found reclaimed barnwood and installed boards vertically on the mantel.  Don’t you love?  The sconces are actually outdoor carriage lights.



Jennifer Kesler Photo


I love that she painted the mantel gray (I can’t remember the exact one).  Just a soft, warm & lovely room.



The Minnick family only had one request, “We want a new tv!”.

She did fulfill that request, but to do so she budgeted for Daniel and his crew to build storage and a place to put the electronics.  Because they love videos and family game night so, she also bought them a coffee table with wheels so they can roll it as needed when they are gathering and playing.



Jennifer Kesler photo

Kate Dukes, an artist who helps us from time to time, came on install day to help with hanging the long family photo wall.  It took hours to get it right!


Jennifer Kesler photo


Mrs. Minnick did let production know that she was a fan of Southern Living Magazine.  The large-scale custom floral panels are a nod to the south.  The lines of the furniture are masculine and strong, so the soft panels were a good choice to contrast that.


Jennifer Kesler photo


The Minnick family is a dear family built on faith.  Anisa found it fitting to donate her word art to the room.  We sneakily covered “Proverbs” in the hopes that HGTV would air it.  It worked :)


So I don’t think this post can get any longer.

Oh, and the part about “a baby and break”?  Well, she is taking time off to add to their sweet family.  She has had a big year indeed!  I am taking a break, too…but for the beach.

See y’all back here later on.  (but it is funny as soon as I say that I’m taking a break that I am flooded with inspiration for posts.  What is up with that?)


Julie & Anisa


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  1. All of these rooms turned out beautifully! I really love seeing the bold color in the office and bedroom. The office and it’s accessories knocked my socks off! Love the brass reading lamp and all of the lighting for that matter. The scale and choice of lamps works so well. All topped off with the chevron rug and parsons table! Hope you’ll be sharing your resources. Least I forget, those lanterns over the fireplace with the planks are Awesome!

  2. All of these spaces look amazing! I can’t believe you all pulled all of that together within weeks. Wow! You two must be exhausted and so glad that you two get a nice break….relax!

  3. Wow, very admirable, congratulations!

  4. You are both Rock Stars….and need your own TV show! So much talent and hard work went into this for you guys and it really showed…..hope you both have a great “break”…..

  5. so glad you posted this as the show just went too fast to take everything in. don’t be gone too long–!


  7. Holy moly, my head is spinning at how wonderful these rooms came together. I thought I really loved the office, then I saw the sunroom, and then the family room. The sunroom is so beautiful. But I also really love the shot of the living room with the floral panels shown – those are really great. Whew, job well done ladies!!!!

  8. So beautiful!!!! So much inspiration here, and I’m super happy it’s a long post so while you two are on a much needed break, I can keep looking at all the lovely designs! *Love that you snuck in the Proverbs ;)

  9. I am in love! She did a wonderful job, perfect really. Umm, and getting proverbs on there was genius. You all are amazing!

  10. Julia and Anisa – this is some of my favorite work I’ve seen of y’alls – UNBELIEVABLE! It makes we want to get home right now and work on my own house.

  11. Wonderful job and congratulations to Anisa (and you) on a job extremely well done! Can’t imagine the time crunch you guys had to work within. Crazy. But you pulled it off without a hitch!

  12. Nice

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