we interrupt your regularly scheduled program…

I love my bedroom.

Seriously, I do.

But this has been my view since sometime Friday, and I’m about over it.

This flu/ strep throat mix (because only WE are lucky enough to get both-  lottery winners here) has wreaked havoc on our home.

It made my angel Macy pass out, hit her head extremely hard, and spend a grueling night in the ER undergoing tests.

(and completely and utterly terrify her brother and sister in the process)

It took the laughter from my precious Mia.  (and if you know her, you know that is extremely hard to do)

It has had my normally rambuncious little boy listliss on the couch for days on end.

It took our spring break Disney trip.

And it took church from us yesterday.

I look more forward to church each week than anything else.


We all seem to be heading in the right direction, but I wanted to pop-in and let you know I’ve not disappeared.

I have so many projects to yak about on the blog- so hang in there 🙂


By | March 13th, 2017|Design, Home & Garden, News|

colors, trends, and other items of interest…


The first part of last week found me at Pottery Barn in Green Hills where Sherwin Williams hosted their annual ColorMix event.

In the early morning.

At 8:30 a.m.

now, please realize that  I rise and shine every day at 5a, so early is my time.


nashville traffic.

for. the. love. of all the things!!!

I finally arrived at 9:15, but thankfully my biz bestie, Kristie, aka The Decorologist arrived on time and saved me a seat.  She and I do lots of these events together because it’s fun, and we get to call it work.  In fact, I believe the very first event we attended together was a Sherwin Williams ColorMix event several years ago- and it’s all been uphill from there!


(here we are sharing our color commentary on the forecast with each other via text because we weren’t sitting beside each other.  or maybe we were discussing where the coffee was located??)

Designers from all over converged on Pottery Barn for the ColorMix 2017 color forecast!




This year’s ColorMix2017 event introduced us to SW’s four new color groupings in their forecast:









The images above (from Sherwin Williams) include the colors in each category, and serve as inspiration for the collections.  I won’t list all the new hues individually, but you can find them on the Sherwin Williams site.

Will I be specifying any of these colors in the year to come?  There are one or two in here I can see myself trying out- perhaps on a ceiling.

And in case you missed it a couple of months ago, SW announced their Color of the Year 2017- Poised Taupe.

This is one color that I’m fairly certain you won’t see me specifying.  Lavendar undertone taupes aren’t my jive.

The highlight of the event though, was getting to see our Sherwin Williams designer rep, Amanda Farris.  Amanda had been our rep in this area for years, but had taken another job a year or so ago. Much to our delight, she is BACK!  We had gotten pretty spoiled by her, and it was really hard for them to find someone to fill her shoes.

Me, Amanda, and Kristie


She gave us lots of goodies, and even though we may not specify the color of the year for walls, we will definitly use it on our tootsie-toes!

Amanda gave us the color of the year in polish form after we swooned when we saw it on her toes!!

thanks Amanda!

Here are a few images I collected the rest of the day as Kristie and I made our way around Nashville on a bit of a design crawl-

Spring at Pottery Barn was in full swing!

It was still early and the morning sun was beaming throught the windows, so it made it a bit difficult to get clear shots without highlights.

We then visited a couple of vendors that had reached out so we could see what they had to offer:

Samples galore- we LOVE when our vendors offers us samples!

next we made a quick stop by Merridian to check our their current inventory- they had some new pieces that were completely stunning!

Toward the week’s end, it was time for my National Kitchen and Bath Assoication meeting, featuring kitchen and bath trends found at KBIS (the industry’s national kitchen and bath show)  2017.  Here is a snapshot of some of the things we saw and trends that were featured.

Image from The Decorologist 

Predictions to come for 2017-18 are:

Lighting– in cabinets, toekicks, and drawers.  It’s trending BIG.

Organization– organization continues to be high on the list for cabinet buyers.

Base Pullouts– the base cabinet pullout will continue to be a favorite.

Tall Organization– taller pull out cabinets will begin to emerge.

Large Format Tile– using large format tile on islands with built in induction cooktop.


On Friday of this week, I will be attending the Blogger Event and Media Day for the House of Hope Designer Showhouse by Carbine and Associates!

I can’t wait to tell you all about it and bring you pictures of the rooms created by the designers!  My sweet friend Amanda Carlson of Amanda Carlson Interiors designed the boy’s room, and Kristie specified the interior and exterior color scheme for the entire house!  I’ll share more details in the post this weekend, but all the proceeds from the sale of this home will benefit several children’s charities in the area!

Creating and design is my love and passion- and when it’s shared with friends, and benefits children too…..well, that’s just icing on the cake!

don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you won’t miss an update!

and check out my newly updated web site….I’m sharing my personal design library with some favorites from my collection- and MY book is also available through the site as well!

Until next time-


By | February 27th, 2017|Activities, color, Design, Events, Home & Garden, Sherwin Williams|

and sometimes it takes a year…or so.

Although I can look at the date on our agreement, it really doesn’t tell me much about when it was that I first met her.


When we finally put it in writing…this project I was going to complete for her …we had already met several times.  I had long since taken pictures-  and dozens of email conversations had ensued.

I’m not really even sure how she first contacted me.

did she call?

was it email?

could’ve been a Facebook message.

Couldn’t tell ya.

What I can say is this-   sometimes when we make plans, God has way of saying, “hold on just a second  nine to twelve months or so.”

I have other plans.

Since I met her that first day….. this client of mine….. (we’ll call her Mrs. L)-  I have been with her through pregnancy, a 9 week hospitalized and very serious bed-rest, watched her first born start kindergarten, and see his ADORABLE photo of his 100th day in school.

If I could share that I SO would.

Because it is truly SO. MUCH. MORE. PRECIOUS. than the before and afters of her amazing space.

and I KNOW that she would agree with me on this wholeheartedly, even though she loves her new space.


So anyway.

It took me quite a while to locate her before pictures while drafting this post.

Since I took those photos, I’ve moved my office.  Twice.

I’ve changed computers.  Twice.

And although I always most times rename all my pics and put them in seperate files, sometimes they get doubled up in other files.

as was the case with these.

and I hadn’t looked for them in SO long, it was a fun little game of LET’S CHECK DROPBOX, LET’S CHECK DOWNLOADS, LET’S CHECK PICASA, LET’S CHECK THE CAMERA FILES………..and so on, before finally locating them in a hidden folder only I could find entitled WORK BEFORE PHOTOS.

I’m clever that way…..no one would ever know what that file contained.


so when I finally found them, I had really forgotten what the space looked like before.


You see…. Mrs. L had this huge basement room in her incredible home, and she wanted to turn it into a mudroom.  She wanted storage, most notably for her twelve foot Christmas tree that was currently occupying her guest bedroom closet.  The room is right off her garage, and would make the perfect place for her child (now children) to hang coats, hats, store shoes, etc.

Here it is in it’s before state- this view is looking toward the stairs that go up to the main floor- they are behind the wall with the light switches.

And here is a view looking toward the other side of the room- and my before photos are not very representative of the scale of this space- you’ll  notice in the corner there was already plumbing roughed in during the construction of the home.  Good call Mrs. L 🙂

(and again, this is why I say all many contractors should be women.  forethought.)

And one last view toward the other corner of the room…


oh, did I mention this room has a RADIUS wall in it?  why, yes….there are THREE corners and a semi-circular wall!


So we planned. And talked.  And planned.

And then she got pregnant.

a very difficult pregnancy it was.

So we stopped.

Fast forward twelve or so months (because we really didn’t pick back up until after she had been home several months) and we began again.

After working with my cabinet gal, we came up with a design that would give Mrs. L everything she requested.

So we wired for new lighting, ran some additional plumbing, drywalled the ceiling, painted the space, and ordered the cabinets.

And here, after many months, is the completed project!  I’m so excited to share it, because it is such an incredible and swoon-worthy space!!

IF. ONLY. we all had this kinda space….amiright????

One more look at before:

And now….AFTER!

I mean….can you EVEN???


And NOW:

This corner…..

(hey Mrs. L- check out the register below…..there’s that metal I was hitting!!! LOL)

now looks like this!

and a few more afters….


And let’s talk a bit about this bench, shall we??

Mrs. L, along with being a professional in her career, is also a farm-girl.  The bench is made of barn wood from one of the barns on her property that she RIPPED OFF AND HAULED UP THE HILL HERSELF so we could add this special touch to her room.  We also added shelving in a little hidden alcove made of the same barn wood:

Mrs. L added some of her grandmother’s treasures to the shelf that absolutely completed this space.

So if you made it to the end of this post, congratulations!

It’s a lengthy post that’s been a long time a’coming, but just like this room- being able to write this post after seeing the smile on Mrs. L’s face- was worth the wait🙂


Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing- my next post will be about a space that contained some fixed elements unlike any I’ve ever seen installed!




By | February 13th, 2017|Design, Home & Garden|

out of my comfort zone…

Last week I told you I was putting the finishing touches on a room for some clients the next day….and the room was a bit atypical of my usual design schemes.  I have to admit, when I met my clients last year, I was a bit unsure of just how I would please them.  Lions, and tigers, and bears (oh my!) are not usually given a second thought when I’m designing a space.  But here?  Here, they would be the center of attention.

You see, my clients are avid travelers, and before relocating to Tennessee, lived out west for many years.  They love the outdoors, and the lady of the house has a certain affection for bears.  The first thing she showed me on our intial consulatation (and the last thing I hung last week!) was one of her prize posessions- a small bearskin.  And THAT was the inspiration for the room.

Well alrighty then.

As I left the consult that day scratching my head, I thought to myself…..”well, it would probably be better if you go ahead and bow out gracefully now before you design something for them that is in NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM WHAT THEY WANT BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT THE OUTDOORS, WILDLIFE, BEARS AND THE LIKE!!”

However…..this couple.

They are just SO precious and make me smile literally every time I talk to them, and I so wanted to work for them.

So……on I forged.

On a wing (NO pun intended) and a prayer!

The project is now complete……and I never thought I’d say this, (because I was so unsure about creating the space they envisioned) but I’m so sad.  As is the case with most of my clients, we became friends.  When you spend so much time with people in their home, it is almost inevitable.  They have become dear to me, and have told me so many stories of their adventures through the years……I’m going to miss spending time with them.

Here is the space before:

They asked for a multi-functional space.  They wanted this room to serve four purposes:

  • extra area for eating/ game playing
  • extra sleeping space for visiting adult children and grandchildren
  • tv viewing area
  • office area with possible built-ins

And here is the completed design:

We began by removing all the old flooring.  We then scraped the textured ceilings.  I created a new lighting design plan that included removing the single ceiling fan, and adding two ceiling mount fixtures, recessed lighting, and also added some floor plugs.  In the above photo you can’t see- but there were two doors on the left side of the room to the attic.  We closed one of those in, giving additional wall space to utilize.  Specifying a calming and light color, we painted out the entire space and wrapped the color from floor to ceiling- even the millwork (save the built-in).

And then….the built-in.

I mean…does it get anymore amazing?  My super-calafragilistic-expe-alidotious trim carpenter built this AH-MAZING specticle of a bookcase/ windowseat/ storage unit that spans the entire back wall, framing out the window with an oh-so-cute window seat.  Let’s get a bit closer look, shall we?

Oh how I smile every time I look at it!

My clients are book lovers…did I mention that???  Another reason I love them so much!

Here’s the room from the opposite side:

Before (precious Mrs. L, always smiling!  and Mr. L-ducking from the camera) :

(and there’s the little bearskin…..forelorn and lonely, waiting on the the end table to take it’s rightful place in the room……)


From this angle you can see the sitting area designated for tv viewing, and to the right- a beautiful iron trundle bed that raises to make a queen size bed.  Behind the bed and in front of the staircase you can see the table area for eating/ game playing.

My client is of Amish descent (Mrs. L, that is) so they hopped in the car and took a little road trip up north.  They do that like I hop in the car and go to Mt. Juliet.  Anywho….they visited some Amish communities, and using the design we created, had an incredibly beautiful table and six chairs built.  I’ve seen nothing quite as exquisite in my time, and it is truly stunning.  They also had a rolltop desk built, but mid-project decided to move the fourth requested area (office) to another room, which worked out nicely.

And there she is….on the back wall in all her (or his?) glory!  The sweet little bearskin Mrs. L requested be the feature of her space.

By breaking out of my comfort zone and stretching out there a bit, I found that I enjoyed the challenge much more than I thought.  Fear of making a mistake causes so many good things not to ever come about.

Mr. and Mrs. L are thrilled with their new space.

I’M THRILLED with their new space!

And I’ve learned that the more unsure I am about a project and my ability to create it……the faster I had better jump on it!


By | February 6th, 2017|Design, Home & Garden, outdoors|

projects, events, and the wild, wild west!

Tomorrow, I’m going to hang the last piece in a room I designed for a precious couple that I met last year at Wilson Bank and Trust‘s Southern Home and Garden Expo. This is a great event WB&T has put on for years to showcase local building, design, and garden contractors, and I’ve met some of my favorite clients at this event.  The expo is fast approaching weekend after next, and I’m looking forward to it being in our new Convention Center this year.

The room I’m putting the finishing touch on tomorrow is one that was completely out of my design aesthetic, and unlike any I’ve decorated before.  But I love a challenge, and this couple is completely delightful…..I’m kinda sad tomorrow will be the last day I will spend with them.  To give you a little idea of what I mean, the last element I’m hanging tomorrow is a small bearskin rug, and a vase for feathers.

Outdoors.  Bears.  Woodsy.  The West.  Wildlife.

These are some of the words used when first discussing this project with my clients.   Here are a couple of before photos of the space:


You’ll have to wait until I get some good after shots tomorrow to see just what we did with this space, but let’s just say this won’t be my last “woodsy” decor.  It’s been so much fun!  And no matter what profession you may be in, I believe it’s good to break out of your comfort zone as often as possible!

Another current project is for a young professional in Nashville.  He’s just purchased his first condo, and I’m so excited to have been hired to add a bit of decor and take this already nice space up just a notch.

Should have some prelim design elements pulled together this week, and can’t wait to share them!


And then there’s this.

This French Country beauty is incredible, and I have been consulting on some of the interior and exterior finishes.  Here’s a small sampling of finishes selected, and I do mean SMALL sampling.  The scope of this project is hard to even describe.

Last weekend, I attended the Real Estate Staging Association convention in Las Vegas.  This is a first class event put on by our national organization, and the weekend is packed full of training and networking-  I SO look forward to attending this each year.  Back in December, I learned that I was selected as one of the Top Ten Redesigners USA. by RESA.  The USA designation is because our association includes members in Canada as well.  I was SO honored to receive this award as it is voted on by my colleagues and board members of the organization.  I’m always humbled when someone enjoys my work, but when those in my own field selected my work to be included in the top ten….well that was an honor I will always be so proud of.

Here I’m with Shell Brodnax, CEO of RESA!

With my Tennessee RESA girls!


But then at the award night, I was blown away to win State President of the Year for RESA!  Our organization is growing by leaps and bounds, and I’ve been so excited to serve as TN State President last year and again this year.  The night was truly one that I won’t soon forget.

On Thursday night of this week, I’m tickled pink to have been invited by Scott Harris, a dear friend and local West Main Realty/ Century 21 real estate agent, to speak at an event put on by the committee he chairs of Young Professionals with EMTAR- The Eastern Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors.   I know as agents they are all familiar with real estate staging, but I’m going to tell them everything they don’t know about it.   So looking forward to this event!

On Friday, I’m headed with my #designcrawl girl and business bestie, The Decorologist, to the 2017 Antiques and Garden Show.

Nate Berkus.

Brooke and Steve Giannetti.

Yes, please!

So….. no doubt Friday will be full o’ fun!

oh and one last thing!

(and just so ya know, these are Amazon affiliate links)

Y’all KNOW I love to read…..and I love being part of launch teams for new books……..  I was on four last year!

I just found out that I’m on the team to launch Rachel Macy Stafford‘s new book “Only Love Today.”  I’m sure you’ve heard of her…..she the “Hands Free Mama.”  This girl can write, y’all.  And she can write words that get right down deep to your soul.  I’ve only just begun, but I believe it may be my favorite of hers yet.  More on this one to come!


Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a post- and when ya do, we’ll send you a chapter from my book!!




By | January 31st, 2017|Design, Home & Garden|

Magic in the Paint

I think most of us would agree that when it comes to transforming a space, the quickest (and oftentimes least expensive) way, is with color. A $30 gallon of paint holds within its realm so much possibility. Fresh, new, possibility—and this is the time of year we all want that!

Color is such a powerful thing. It has the ability to affect our mood, our thinking, and even how we associate things with one another. That’s why I’m always baffled when someone puts more thought into what they are having for lunch than what colors they are going to paint their home.

A few of the most often asked questions I receive are these: “What color should I paint my ______?”  (You fill in the blank.)  Or, “What color is popular right now?”  (Really?  You want to paint your home the “popular” color?)  And the best one is this: “I saw this new paint color in my friend’s house, and it was FABULOUS! Just fabulous I tell ya!  So I painted my den the same color and it’s AWFUL! They must have mixed it wrong… it looks nothing like her house!”

Let me fill you in on a little secret… there is no magic paint color.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it doesn’t work that way. What you have to discern when painting a space is undertone and placement. THIS is the secret.  This is why your friend’s color doesn’t look good in your space.  If you don’t take into consideration the undertones of the fixed elements in the space, the lighting and its direction in the space, and the placement of the color in the space; it will read wrong every single time.

Here are a few examples on one of my current jobs.  My client has lived in her beautiful home for a couple of years, and she was so spot-on in the selection of all her millwork and detailing of her new build. However, when I initially consulted with her, she said it she didn’t feel as if it were warm or pulled-together. As we walked room to room, she began to tell me she didn’t like this color or that color, and before leaving she asked me to paint wherever I felt might need a fresh look. It wasn’t that she needed a fresh look, it was that the colors chosen needed to work cohesively with the beautiful detailing of the home.



The first room you see when entering the home is this beautiful dining room with a radius window wall and curved tray ceiling.  However, instead of noticing the detailing in the windows and radius, your eye is drawn to the division in the wall with contrasting warm and cool colors working against each other on either side of the chair rail.  By simply extending the wainscoting to the other side of the cased opening and painting it out in the trim color, the space instantly changes and all you see are the details, not the paint.








Viewing the dining room from the foyer, you immediately notice the stained column. This architectural feature was placed in the house and plan for support, and to define the parameter of the dining room. By staining the column, it disappears into the den beyond, fades into the stone of the fireplace, and shows no relation to the dining room. However when painted out in the trim color, it provides definition to the space and anchors the dining room.








In this great room view, there are three colors with three very different undertones. Identifying them, and choosing hues with complimentary undertones make the new colors work together instead competing with each other. This was a hard sell to my client, Ginger, because she loved her blue in the kitchen. But I believe, if asked, she would say this is one of her favorite changes.









In the master bedroom before, the placement of the dark color on the wall and in the tray ceiling created division in the space. By lightening the walls, and raising the dark hue to the ceiling draws your eye up, and makes this large room seem even larger.








Many thanks to my clients, Brad and Ginger Raines, for allowing me to share their incredible home with Wilson Living readers.  As of press time, we were not completed with this project.  If you want to follow our progress, like Superior Construction and Design on Facebook to see the rest of this breathtaking home.   It was especially fun to feature Ginger’s home as she is a mutual client of mine and my Wilson Living: Coming Home photographer Chesley Summar’s.

For more information on Chesley and Ginger:

Chesley Summar:  www.chesleysummarphotography.com
Ginger Raines:  www.intriguegym.com

By | July 28th, 2016|Coming Home, Home & Garden|
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