I’m still here.  Don’t give up on me.  I know I’ll be back, too.

It’s just been quite a season for all of us apparently.

I saw the best quote, “Let us love winter for it is the spring of genius.” -Pietro Aretino.

Not assuming genius is sprouting around here anytime soon, but you do need that time to go inward.  The stillness.  Fires.  Reading. Cooking.  Watching my new favorite show with Chris, True Detective.  Those writers sure had their winter of genius.

(my view from my car during Atlanta’s crazy apocalyptic traffic jam)


This winter I’ve realized how much I’ve missed reading.  Books have  always been my first love.  I’ve stocked up my Kindle, iBooks and our pretty new shelves and doing my best to absorb them one-by-one.  I had to buy Donna Tartt, of course, but I have to start her first hit Secret History.


I haven’t fallen at first glance, so maybe she’s a slow burn.  I just wanted to give her due respect before I embarked on Goldfinch.


I’ve also been into anything Anne Lamott this winter.  I just feel like I’ve met this kindred spirit with her (isn’t that what books are all about?—que Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting when he says that, “Sure, I have friends.  I have Nietzsche and Camus….” (I’m sure he quoted other authors than these, I just can’t remember who.  But y’all saw the movie.  If not, you’ve got to.)


But Ms. Lamott is just everything radical and everything Christian (which are synonymous to me).  It is difficult and SO rare to find a Christian writer who inspires me and I connect with.  She is about what she is for, not what she is against.  She is for love and truth and forgiveness and grace.  I really am a misfit toy and she has never quite fit-in, either.  I’m a hippie Christ-follower in a suburban sea of FoxNews angry anti-everything “Christians.”  I don’t know why in the hell I’m choosing to write so transparently tonight.

What else?  On a (hopefully) lighter note (pun intended) I’ve read Wheat Belly.  I saw this book peeking out on our very fit empty-nester client’s coffee table a few weeks ago.  She’s got some major body going on, so whatever she’s having, I’ll have.   Then, my sister texts me a YouTube link of the author’s talk somewhere.  These two events, on top of Chris’ desire to eat less wheat because his best friend lost 20 lbs doing so, got my butt and my Armada headed to Whole Foods.



I did have about 48 hours of wheat withdrawal (insane, right?), but haven’t missed it at all since they have stopped.  I’ll give you an update in a month or so to see how I’m hanging in there.


In other news, we are still moving in the house.  I’m sure it will take a good year or more.  How long until you felt really moved in?  Our first night here was November 7th.

We had our first party in our new house last Saturday.  It was wonderful.  We finally had Chris a birthday party with his buddies from elementary school.  We had kobe meatballs and chicken satay and lots of wine and craft beer (Chris is a real beer-lover, so his friends gave him new concoctions even he hasn’t heard of.)  I stayed up until 3!!!  (Haven’t done that in probably 10 years).  Chris kept adding logs to the fire and his talented buddy, Rich, played the Beatles on the guitar and I happily (to myself, not others) sang along.

The fireplace is in this room below, the “cozy” room as we call it.  It is almost “done”, therefore, I can hopefully move money and energy to the other rooms in the house.  Nothing gets you decorating and hanging art like having a party.  What is that about?  I know I’m not the only one.  Do tell.

My sweet Wyatt is modeling it for you.  Boy, I sure love my two boys.

I’ve got two vintage chairs at the upholsterer (should have been done yesterday, but I’ll give them grace for the snow and all, and because all I said earlier about Anne Lamott and stuff.)  They are some badass chairs I think you will love.

Below this picture you can see the lamp that goes in between the two new-ish chairs:




You can kinda make out the lamp.  I know the shot is blown-out.  There are now panels & art on this side of the wall, too.




So don’t give up on me!  We are working on some cool projects that I know we will get to sharing soon.

We have a bathroom coming out in a magazine in a month or so and I’ll post those pictures.  This month or next we are shooting (well, a magazine is shooting) a kitchen we finished last year.  We will post all the details and behind-the-scenes.

Anisa and I are working on a beautiful multipurpose family room (the client with the wheat-belly bod)  as well as preppy & eclectic bedrooms for girls.  Heck, we are even designing a dental office in New York and an historic bathroom renovation in Alexandria, Virginia.

It is so difficult writing so vulnerably in posts!  I get to this point and I want to delete it all.  But, so far y’all have been quite nice.  So I’ll choose publish instead.

back soon,




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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