In The News ... 4

Time is flying by...Spring has sprung and school is almost out for Summer. What the what?!?

Here's a little bit about life lately:

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You know what they say about Spring showers? I believe it this year because the garden has kicked it into overdrive. The jasmine espalier is in desperate need of a haircut, but for now we're enjoying the fragrant blooms. Especially now that the gardenia has joined in on the fun! Check out this same wall in the beginning...

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A friend introduced me to the Keto lifestyle, which has paved the way to a whole new collection of recipes. We're trying all sorts of new and different alternatives to your standard carbs. A recent hit was this cauliflower risotto with mushrooms and peas - delish! Find the recipe here.

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After taking over a small section of our guest room for an office, then never using it and selling off all the pieces ... the office is back, bigger and better than ever. It's taken over the whole former guest room! It's definitely a work in progress, incorporating the antiques takes a little effort (worth it, tho!) but I am loving having a creative nook of my own.

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And, in the final bit of news and one of the biggest factors in creating the bigger office is that I have decided to expand my business by opening a small design retail space. The space will be heavily influenced by all the things I love the most - pairing European influenced furnishings with more modern pieces, cooking and entertaining with style, as well as creating a charming outdoor space. I'll definitely be sharing more details as I go along! For now, there's much to learn and lots of research to be done. 

More to come...

Spring Porch

If the pollen we're seeing in Charlotte is any indication, it seems like Spring might finally be here to stay! Which means it's almost time to give our outdoor spaces their Spring time cleaning. And, if you're anything like me, that might also include a little Spring time refresh.

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You may remember our Summer refresh from last year (read about it here ), but it will come as no surprise that we'd like to mix it up again. Partially inspired by the porch from our Spring Break trip and partially due to necessity we (ok, mostly me) have a couple ideas we're throwing around. 

Take a look at some of these super inspirational porches that have gotten the old wheels spinning!

The biggest change I'd love to make is to loose the black stained wood flooring, railing and steps. I'd love a more muted color similar to the grey in the above image. Sadly, I don't even know if this is possible, but it's definitely worth looking into! 

Does anyone know if this is possible without stripping the wood all the way back to it's original state? 

If the first change on the wish list is a doozey, this can be the opposite - adding more lights. We currently have lights draped over the patio, but we'd like to extend them onto the porch for some added ambiance. Easy enough, amiright?

Time for another big change to add to the wish list...privacy shutters on the far end of the porch.  Not because we feel overlooked, honestly, more because the porch is always so dirty and a screen might cut back on that. Plus, it's just so cozy. You know me and cozy, hand in hand. Lots of love for coziness around here.

I'm including this image in my inspirational round up because I just love how the space makes me feel. A true reminder to carry the indoors out and vice versa to create one unified space. 

Last year, we added a fun art piece to our patio - making what used to be an empty corner feel much more loved and full of personality. Hopefully I can find more ways to continue that feeling throughout the porch.

We shall see, lots to think about!

More to come...

Southern Spring Travels {Savannah, Tybee, Beaufort}

This Spring Break, I feel in love...

With a house. A region. And two towns, in particular.

Yup, it was a big week. 

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Welcome to Sundew Cottage on the ecclectic island of Tybee, Savannah's beach town. 

We knew we wanted to explore Savannah with the kids, but also wanted to squeeze in a little beach time, if we could. Staying in this adorable cottage was just a perk that came along with the trip, but truth be told, it was much more than a perk - more like a highlight! 

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The screened-in porch being the true gem of the cottage - Great for sun drenched mornings, afternoon naps, family dinners and chilly evenings, too! 

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We explored Savannah by day, dining out and taking in all the city had to offer than slipped back to the cottage in the late afternoon to enjoy a dip in the pool, cook a meal in the gourmet kitchen and enjoy a glass of wine (or two) by the fire at night. It was truly delighful.

Some of the highlights from Tybee were: the Social club for Blue Grass Brunch, The Cafe & Bakery on 80 for take away lunch, The Crab Shack for creekside dining, Wiley's Championship BBQ for really good ribs, and Scuba Steve's Seafood for shrimp right off the boat. Honorable mention to Gerald's Pig & Shrimp, which was closed when we tried to go, but looked so fun!

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We spent a couple of days wondering through Savannah - taking in the squares, the architecture, the atmosphere and, of course, all the good eats!

Most notably, we enjoyed the Old Savannah Trolley Tour, which was a great way to keep the kids engaged while we explored the whole historic area. The kids also loved the Dolphin Magic Tour on the river, which allowed us to view the two local forts and the Tybee lighthouse.

For lunches we enjoyed the Old Pink House as well as The Little Duck Diner. Of course, no trip to Savannah would be complete without a visit to Leopold's for ice cream made the old fashioned way. Special shout out to The Grey, which we wanted to try but just couldn't make it work. 

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Our last day was a dreary, rainy one - we decided to skip town early and head home, but first ... a detour! Not just any detour, only the best detour to date - to Beaufort, SC. What a cute little waterfront town!!

We only stopped in for a couple of hours, just enough to grab a great lunch at the Wren, walk the main street and take a driving tour of the historic district - including the house from the Big Chill! Next time we'd love to take the historic home tour via horse drawn carriage, Southern Rose Buggy Tours.

We had such a nice time touring this lovely area of the South that we're already making plans for another get away. And, of course, it's inspiring a project at home too!

More to come...

A New Great Room {Client Work}

Surprise, surprise...

I'm back, so soon, sharing the before and after of a recently completed great room for a repeat client (my favorite kind).

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This was a top to bottom makeover including new wall color, layout, floor coverings, furniture, etc.

I do a lot of work that includes client's existing furniture, which I enjoy, but having the opportunity to create an entirely new space is always a favorite because the transformation is so clear.

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We choose a tight color palette, mostly shades of grey with mint/seafoam accent, for this project - pulling inspiration from the architecture of the home and some existing kitchen furnishings to tie the spaces together.

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Texture and pattern were key players in this project. Area rug, cushions, throw blankets and eyelash poufs all in similar tones, but varying patterns and textures keep the space interesting while maintaining the minimal palette.

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Small details like the nailhead trim speak to the lighting fixtures in the kitchen to help coordinate the two spaces.

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Funnily enough, one of the first projects I completed for this client was an update to the mantel and help with art placement (then we moved onto the master bedroom, which you can read about here). I choose the urns for her mantel not knowing that they would be a major influence on the great room over a year later. 

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No good reveal post would be complete without a good before shot to remind us where we started . Go ahead and feast you're eyes on this image - camera phone, bad lighting and all.  

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Yes, we've come along way and the transformation couldn't be more clear. Clean and crisp, but still cozy - one of my favorite combinations. 

Big thank you to the Valentine Family for trusting me (again) to make this happen - I hope you love it as much as I do!

More to come..

Spring!

Spring is in the air...for many of us, it's been a long time coming...so we're extra excited this year!

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I'm in the mood to work on the yard,

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Do a bit of travel, 

Finish off some on going client projects, 

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Add some Spring decor to my own home, 

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And share some recently finished projects.

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Yes, there's a lot to look forward to this Spring. 

More to come...