Keeping Room–Before & After


I feel as though I just moved in to my house yesterday!  I’ve been working so hard on just trying to get unpacked, purging unwanted items and organizing this house for the way we live that I’ve forgotten to share with you all of the work that has been done.

This house has a keeping room (or hearth room or family room) which is a smaller family room right off the kitchen.  I love it!!!  It is the main gathering area for the family.  I can be in the kitchen cooking and still see everything and everyone.

Here are the before pictures.  As you can see, the built-ins were the same color as the kitchen cabinets and there was carpet.  Oh, and the walls were green.



We were going to keep the carpet and just let the kids and dog destroy it, but upon further inspection we found that it was already destroyed.  You can kind of see that it was much lighter under where the previous owners couch used to be.  And it smelled of their dogs.  Prince Charming and I agreed that no amount of carpet cleaning could undo that.  So, we decided to put in hardwood floors to match the rest of the house.


I had the bookcases painted in Creamy and Urbane Bronze on the inside, both by Sherwin Williams.  I love the way they turned out.  And check out the floors, pre-stain.  They added such a great flow to the kitchen and keeping room.  I didn’t realize what an impact they would have until they were in.  Awesome!!


These little wing chairs got a make-over for the keeping room as well.  I grew up with these chairs in my home and my parents gave them to me last year.  They sat in my garage last year while I figured out what to do with them.  When we moved, it was time for their big Ta-Da!  I had them reupholstered in a wonderful greige fabric I found at the Metrolina Expo.


Didn’t they turn out great!?


The medallion pillows I had custom made out of remnant fabric I found and yellow, iridescent burlap.  Who could pass that up?  The coffee table was a find on Rue La La and the rug came from


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Trim and bookcases: Creamy        Walls: Kilim Beige             Back of bookcases:Urbane Bronze

All paint by Sherwin-Williams.

Also sharing at Thrifty Decor Chick.

Maine Home + Design

While on my trip back to Maine over the weekend, I stumbled upon a magazine: Maine Home + Design.  I had no idea that it existed, but I am glad that I grabbed a copy.

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It has the most beautiful coastal homes in it.  I fell in love with the rustic quality of the house on the cover.  I just had to share it with you. 

This home is in Kennebunkport, ME.  You may have heard of it.  The Bush Family lives there.  (Not the house, the town.)  It is a beautiful town and I am hoping to get back there this summer.  If I do, I promise to take pictures!!!

Nantucket Style and Inspiration

I just love the coast, don’t you?  The sand, the sun, the breeze, the colors, the relaxed atmosphere… What’s not to live?!  Being a New Englander living in the South, I am torn.  The New England coast is gorgeous and relaxed.  It doesn’t get too hot (although it can), humidity is fairly low, and there is just an atmosphere that I can’t explain.  But I do think that Nantucket, off the coast of Massachusetts, really exemplifies that atmosphere. 

I just felt the need to lighten and brighten up my new house, perhaps it is the time of year, and I looked to this little island for some inspiration. 


(Above images all from Traditional Home)





Nantucket Historic House for Rent

You can even rent this one!

Are you feeling inspired?!  I am!  The light and bright rooms, but not totally white.  Little bursts of color here and there.  Antiques mixed with comfy, upholstered pieces.  Traditional yet comfortable.  That is the look I am going for.  Next stop, the fabric store, oh and the paint store to pick up some samples, and the…..  I better stop now!

Craigslist Chair–Before and After

I am totally in the throes of packing!  We closed on our home on Thursday!  A few days earlier than we had originally planned but everyone was ready so why not?!  I am sooo excited!  My Prince Charming has allowed me to redo the kitchen and keeping room (yes, I have a keeping room!!!!!) immediately and I can’t wait to share it with you.  Meanwhile, I have been planning some other odds and ends and I thought I would share one with you.


I bought this little accent chair off of Craigslist for I think around $50 bucks.  I’ve had it for over a year and just haven’t messed with it.  It became a clothes rack in my bedroom.  But recently I decided to show it a little love!







The Annie Sloan came out!  French Linen is a beautiful gray color.  I painted 2 coats on the chair and then lightly distressed it.  I didn’t want this chair appearing too chippy.  I had the best fabric picked out for it and the grey would look wonderful with that fabric. 




After it was painted I went over it with Annie Sloan Dark Wax.  I let it seep into the crevasses of this chair.  There was some detailing on the arms that I really wanted to come through.








After all of the layers had dried and I buffed it really well with an old tee shirt (my rag of choice), I sent it to the upholsterer.  I do not attempt to upholster myself.  I think it is quite a talent, and I don’t have it! 

This is what the chair looks like now:


Yes, those are boxes in the background.  There’s just too many of them to hide!!!

I’m not sure where the chair will go in the new house, but I need to find a proper place for it.  I just love the way it turned out!!

Design Idol: Sarah Richardson

What can I say?  I love her!  Sarah Richardson is an amazing designer.  Her aesthetic is so clean and comfortable, yet elegant.  I am always amazed by how many textures and patterns she can effortlessly wind into a room.  I also love how Sarah uses cast-off furniture and gives it a new life with paint or new upholstery, something I love to do myself!  Her keen eye for using antiques and vintage finds is fantastic.    In my opinion, HGTV does not have her show on enough!  And I truly can’t get enough of Tommy either!  My favorite Sarah’s House series was when she did her farm house.  Here are some photos from that series:  (all photos courtesy of







(Tommy Smythe did this room.  Look at that ceiling!)






Sarah's House

My goal is to put together a home with so much color and life, but have it flow as seamlessly as Sarah’s farm house does.  I just love it!  Thank you, Sarah Richardson, for being one of my design idols!

Rainy Day Décor Inspiration

On a rainy day (and we’ve had plenty lately) I love to spend it indoors dreaming about what I’d like to do next.  I’ll play on Pinterest to find great ideas or browse other blogs.  But this past rainy day I ventured out to a couple of the best places for me to be inspired.  There are plenty of other places I go to for inspiration, these just happened to be two that I was near by on this rainy day. 

My first stop was B. D. Jeffries.  This store is absolutely amazing!  The décor is rustic without being lodge-y, luxurious without being stuffy, industrial without being harsh, it’s just a design wonder!  But all beautiful design here comes at a price.  $$$$


So, after seeing all this beautiful furniture and décor that is sooo fabulous I decided to go to a place just as fabulous, if you have some imagination.  I headed to the Gibson Mill Antique Mall.  There are so many wonderful spaces here:  some look like someone’s garage sale, others look like Grandma’s estate sale, yet others look like an interior design shop.  My favorite place is the remnant fabric area!

This was my favorite find of the day:

Good advice!

Words to live by.


What has inspired you lately?

Atlanta–Design Inspiration Trip

I really believe that Atlanta sets the design standard for the South.  Some amazing designers have come from there (Suzanne Kasler, anyone?) and there are boutiques galore down there.  After having subscribed to Atlanta Homes magazine for quite some time and salivating over the copious amounts of interior design boutiques they have, I just had to go.  My dream is to open a home boutique so I chalked it up to research and inspiration.  I grabbed my dearest friend, Shannon who shares my love of a good boutique, and promised a weekend of interior design eye candy.  And some good food.  And a comfy hotel room with wine and no kids.  Needless to say, I didn’t have to ask her twice. 

We had a whole list of places to go: Huff Harrington Home, The Miami Circle Shops, B. D. Jeffries, J. Tribble,  just to name a few.  Not to mention the Ballard Designs outlet (there are two!) and a great furniture warehouse called The Dump

Here is a bit of what we found.






I fell in love with these lights at The Lighting Loft.  I think I will have to go back to Atlanta and buy them when I have a house to put them in!

Oh, and this chandelier too!

All in all, we had a wonderful trip.  Such a good time, in fact, that I forgot all about snapping pictures half the time!  There were plenty of interior design boutiques to inspire, and plenty more that we didn’t make it to.  We’ll save those for next trip!

New England Hospitality

We all know about Southern Hospitality.  There is truly no place like the South for chatting with a perfect stranger just to pass the time in the grocery line.  Or to welcome you with a homemade treat when you move in next door.  But did you know that New England has hospitality too?  I grew up in Connecticut and while I truly feel that I belong in the South, I can’t let go of the warm cozy spaces that you can only find in New England.  The elegant farm houses and the cedar shake houses.  The roaring fires in oversized fire places and creaky, wide planked floors.  You may not get chatted up in line anywhere, but if someone invites you in to their home, you’ll never want to leave.  Check out these rooms that I have used as inspiration.

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(image from here)


Just imagine the throw blankets strewn on each couch, a fire in the fireplace, wool socks, some great antiques and a cup of hot cocoa as you watch the snow fall.  That is the New England hospitality that I remember! (and miss!)

The Beauty of Greige

What is “greige” you ask?  The actual definition from is “Not bleached or dyed; unfinished. Used of textiles.”  My definition is that it’s a cross between grey and beige and IT IS FABULOUS!  It is so fabulous because it can be warm or cool, it matches everything, and it comes in many different shades.  I believe it is so popular right now because of the popularity of burlap and grain sacks.  It is the exact color of burlap and grain sacks. 

Traditional | Home Offices : Designer Portfolio : Candace Olsen  HGTV - Home & Garden Television

This room by Candice Olson is decidedly greige.  Look at the rug alone.  Shades of white, grey and beige.  And the grass cloth wallpaper, which is to die for, has many different tones of white, grey and beige. 


A front entry done in greige can set the tone for an entire house.  Is it grey?  Is it beige?  Luckily it can be both!  (image via pinterest)


I adore this home office!  So soothing and relaxing.  I’m not sure I’d get any work done.  Just look at how the greige bookshelves make the antique books stand out. 


I could do without the sheep’s head on my wall, but the wall color paired with the creamy couch is very cozy.  And here’s some burlap for all of you lovers out there!

Here are some beautiful greige colors from Benjamin Moore.


I love them all.  I’m thinking that Coastal Fog and Feather Down need to make an appearance in my next house.  How about you?  Are you going to go greige in 2013?

Décor Trend: Antlers

Whether they are faux or real, antlers are popping up in beautiful home décor.  Some are painted, some are resin, some are still attached to a head!  All of them make a design statement.  I am loving it!  I grew up in a home where antlers came easy every winter but were often disposed of.  Now I find myself asking my dad to keep them for me!  Check out these beautiful and luxurious rooms with antlers.  They add a natural vibe and a very traditional feeling, even in some untraditional finishes.


Very rustic and casual cool – antlers as a towel rack!  (Image via google)

Inspiring Interiors

Chandelier anyone?  (Image via pinterest)

Suzanne Kasler Atelier Antlers

Suzanne Kasler does it again!  (Image from Ballard Designs)

(Images from Z Gallerie)


And just for fun…. (Image via google)

I can’t wait to add more antlers to my décor after the Christmas decorations come down.  What a wonderful way to fill the space and keep it cozy and wintery for the rest of the season.