southern cottage trad (peek)

I don’t know why I feel the need to label everything, but I can’t help it.  Maybe I just can’t get Emily‘s style diagnostic out of my head.

Anisa and I totally do a style diagnostic.  We look at their clothes and their home and do our best to study what they love.

With this client (and friend), we wanted to marry the traditional southern Greek revival home with the intimate, cozy cottage style they love.  The house is large, like six bathrooms large, so tiny cottage it ain’t.  But, why can’t you live in a grand cottage?

Like always, it ain’t done yet.  I reckon I need to say fixin’ now, too, since I’m in my full drawl now.

But in the progress stage is where we all are, ’cause ain’t none of us done.

My motto:  ”Progress, not perfection.”  (I first heard Brad Pitt say this on Oprah, so of course it has to be good.)


This is currently what you see when you enter.  Grand is appropriate, don’t you think?

The molding is new, and soon (tomorrow) it should all be white and glorious


Glorious and cottage-ish like this:


or this (Steven Gambrel)


just so you get the point here are a few more (uncredited) lovely entries…





I’ll finish that set with a favorite from Phoebe Howard (or her husband, but definitely one of them)

As you continue down the foyer you will enter the breakfast & keeping room (Oh, I really would love a keeping room.  Do you have one?  Do you love it?)



They plan to use this room as mainly a family game area.  Don’t you love that idea?  We had Don, our carpenter, construct a game table just for them.  A coffee table was too low and a bistro table too high.

I gotta say…I love the idea of four chairs facing one another.  No tv or fireplace as the focal, just each other.  Lovely.



Yes, I know the decor in the mantel is changing throughout the pictures.  We couldn’t make up our minds, then finally settled on randomness.


The queen of random :)


Like this.  We thought there are so many pairs, symmetry and right angles already–we needed to break that up.


See….in the adjacent family room there is not much random at all:

a wall of family photos (sepia)

And we have a pair of gliders, two matching table lamps & two floor lamps.  Pictures of those will have to come later.

(this is how it looked when we began–)


The mantel boasts a pair of large lanterns, too, which flank the tv (they will be white before too long)


Although I called it a breakfast room, it is really their everything room.





Please tell–if you did a style diagnostic on yourself what would you call you?




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  1. I LOVE what you ladies did here…I can’t wait to see finished pictures. I love the mix of styles here. I would say that I’m country and rustic with a hint of modern. I like for things to have just a bit of an edge or quirk, but I really, really country and rustic styles.

  2. I love cottage style and really miss the mag. Question: where did you get those white porcelain pieces of fruit?


    Maureen in Decatur

  3. I can’t wait for the final reveal, I love that you made the space feel updated and still kept that warm and cozy cottage feeling! I think my design aesthetic is more of modern/contemporary traditional… hmmm… I don’t think there’s a design aesthetic like that yet. :-)

  4. This is going to sound totally high maintenance. It’s supposed to be a compliment. Pinky swear. Y’all are one of my favorite blogs since I found you via YHL, and I check you obsessively, while checking pockets of pants whilst during laundry hoping to someday hire you. But. I wish you posted more! I know you’re busy designing the rooms I adore, so I get it. You have kids, and a life, and jobs. But I would LOVE LOVE LOVE more posts here, and I know I’m not alone. :) Just file that away. As a compliment.

  5. I would love to know where you got the white pears & apples in the bowl on the table – they look ceramic, but do I see candle wicks? I see in a previous comment that Maureen from Decatur wanted to know as well. I’m Sarah, also from Decatur (GA). :-) Thanks!

  6. where did you get the dining end chairs? I’ve been looking everywhere for some end chairs and those look perfect! Love everything you’ve done with this house too by the way!

  7. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having problems with your RSS.
    I don’t know why I can’t join it. Is there anybody else having identical RSS issues?

    Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond?


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