Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sneak peek: the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles 2016 Southeastern Showhouse

I was able to get a sneak peek of the the much anticipated Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Southeastern Showhouse, and it is truly amazing. Many of the most talented designers from the Southeast are represented, including some of my long time favorites - Suzanne Kasler, Bob Brown, Phoebe Howard, and Melanie Turner. Over 30 designers were involved, so the list is long!  The doors open to the public on Saturday, April 23; tickets are $30 at the door, and the beneficiary is Safe Kids Georgia.  

Here are some highlights from the house, although this barely scratches the surface - the house is 22,000 square feet plus a 2800 square foot guest house with a bedroom, living area, and full kitchen. The designed outdoor spaces encompass an additional 6500 square feet. 

The two story entry with a double staircase, design by Melanie Turner

The formal dining room was a favorite of mine. I knew the minute I saw it that Suzanne Kasler was the designer! Note the walls and ceiling - they were done in a high gloss lacquer treatment that took 72 hours to dry.

The plaster architectural forms on the dining room table and mantel were purchased at a small store in Paris.

The study by Robert Brown was one of my favorite spaces. I love the layering of the art on the mantel. 

Three sides of this room are floor to ceiling bookcases. 

Upon closer inspection, it looks like all of the books in the room are placed with the leaves facing out, giving a uniform but varied look to the room. 

The Great Room is a central space in the house, and was designed by Barbara Westbrook. The expanse of the space was difficult to capture on a camera - it has to see seen in person to appreciate it!

The second floor balcony gives a different perspective on the space. To the left of this space is the kitchen, which was such a hub of activity that I did not get a picture!

A beautiful formal powder room was difficult to photograph, and this picture doesn't do it justice! It was such a welcoming, cozy space.

A view of the custom sink. Note the clever built in iron attachment for the hand towels. Design by Cam Reynolds and Jenny Taubel of Gramercy Home.

The master bedroom by Phoebe Howard was also breathtaking. It was impossible to capture the volume of the space in a picture (the room is double height - the ceilings must have been at least 20 feet), so instead this vignette will have to give a feel for the style of the room. 

A wonderful art arrangement in the master sitting room, by Amy Morris. This space is the future closet of the master bedroom; the builder is going to customize the closet for the future owner of the house. Note the custom ceiling treatment. All of the lights and lamps were on in the house, which was welcoming but made photography a bit tricky!

The back stairs had a lovely transitional area, and this vignette by Melanie Millner caught my eye.

Although this wasn't a designer space, I think it is interesting to see what finishes are being selected for secondary bathrooms in a speculative house. This bathroom was beautiful - on the right is second sink. Simple hexagon tile with gray grout on the floor, and a mix of subway tile and square tiles on the shower wall in a soft green/gray.

Another secondary bathroom with both a built in tub and a shower with an interesting etched design on the glass. I like the cream and gray tones used together.

This quiet transition space by Brian Watford was beautiful. The walls look like they are treated with fabric and nailhead trim. I would love to go back and check!

It was a rainy morning, and the landscape crew was working full force to get everything installed by opening day on Saturday. 

 A view of the pool and 2800 square foot guest house. My pictures of the spaces in the guest house did not turn out well, so you will need to visit for yourself to see the rooms in person! 

It was too crazy and rainy to get a picture of the front of the house today, so I am using this one from the @southeasternshowhouse Instagram account. Check it out, there are many beautiful pictures.

Based on this sneak peek, do you have a favorite room? Looking at the Instagram account, I realized that I did not even see some of the upstairs bedrooms (and I did not show the ones I saw in this post). There is so much to see! All of the spaces were so beautifully designed and had such unique and interesting ideas. I highly recommend visiting the house for some incredible inspiration!

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For information on the AH&L Southeastern Showhouse, please visit 

APRIL 23 - MAY 15, 2016



APRIL 23 - MAY 15, 2016

Thursdays - Saturdays, 10:00am - 4:00pm
Sundays, 1:00 - 4:00pm
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays
NO PARKING is allowed on Northside Drive.
Please park at 500 Fairfield Rd., Atlanta, 30327, and follow the signs to park along the Top Hat Soccer Field side of the road and proceed to designated shuttle loading zone. Attendants will be positioned at each point to assist you. 

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Queen's Houses: Sandringham House

Today is Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday. To commemorate the day, I thought it would be interesting to show one of the houses that the Queen herself owns (versus the ones that are owned by the Crown) - Sandringham House.

Sandringham House

Sandringham House was built in the 1870s, and has been a private home for the British Royal Family for four generations. The Queen spends Christmas through February at Sandringham House, and this is where many members of the Royal Family gather for Christmas celebrations.  It is described as neo-Jacobian in style.

The details of this beautiful house can be appreciated in this image, found on flickr.

It looks like this might have originally been a porte cochere, however it now has a ramp for easier wheelchair access. 

The Norwich Gate, the formal entrance to the estate.  Image Source

Sandringham library, which is noted as being a former bowling alley.

The ballroom, which is also used to view movies. Note the chairs lined up! Image source

A beautiful staircase at Sandringham House.

The drawing room.

The Saloon, Sandringham.

View through the arches at the other side of the Saloon.

A picture of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in the Saloon. Image source.

Certain areas Sandringham House are open to the public during the summer. I am going to have to put this on my list of places I would like to see over the next 10 years!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My house: a new lantern for the groin vault hall

When we decided to build a house, my husband requested that I space out the interior design over a 3-5 year time frame. I have definitely honored that request - we have been in the house for 4 1/2 years, and we are still working on the interiors (although after working on the living room and dining room this year, things feel more complete). I am very patient when it comes to finishing the interiors, and I like that my house has evolved over the past few years rather than being decorated all at once.

This is how my groin vault hall has looked since we moved in 2011. I included this image from an old blog post on lighting in my house to show that we still had items that we had not selected even a year after moving in, and that we wanted to focus on finding the right light fixture for the space rather than just picking something that happened to be on display at the local lighting showroom. Every time we tackled an additional phase of the interior design, my designer would contemplate this space and note that it needed a special fixture, but one never materialized.

Over the years, I have periodically checked to see how designers and architects I admire handle the lighting in groin vault areas. A few years ago, I wrote a post on groin vault ceilings to collect the images I had found in one place. Lanterns seem to work well with the style and lighting requirements of these special areas.

When we began the final phase of the design for the main floor, the groin vault lighting was high on the priority list. It is a central passageway in my house, and is located adjacent to where the piano is placed. There is a functional need for additional light as well as an aesthetic need to replace the bare lightbulb that has graced the space for over four years.

Here is the lantern that my designer selected for the groin vault hall. It is by Formations, and is made of wood painted in custom colors. It took 8 months from order to delivery. I think it looks great in the hall, and it is nice to have an additional light source for the piano, which is located to the left of the center arch.

More to come later on the rest of the new design elements in the house; we are still looking for a few items the finish things up and complete the spaces.

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Things That Inspire Favorites: Oz Naturals Vitamin C Serum

Things That Inspire Favorites: Thera Breath Oral Rinse

Saturday, March 26, 2016

On the market: a beautiful house with a transformed kitchen

Spring is here, and so is the house selling season in Atlanta! As I drive around town, I see for sale signs everywhere. It seems as if people who have held off on listing their houses over the past few years are taking advantage of Atlanta’s robust real estate market, and many houses I have admired from afar can now be see online.

One house in particular caught my eye this week. I saw the home on a fundraising tour a few years ago, and remember really liking the serene feel to the house and property.

This impressive 11 year old house sits on 4 acres in the prime area of Buckhead. The inside is as beautiful as the outside - there is a serene feel to the house and property. No architect or designer is noted in the house listing, so if anyone has information please email me!

I don’t remember seeing the diamond/cabochon painted pattern on the entry floors. I wonder if this is a new design?

The dining room has a serene look and feel, and one of my favorite chandeliers is the scene stealer – the Niermann Weeks Swedish Crystal Chandelier. The lovely delicate lines are perfect for the room and for the overall feel of the house.

In the title of this post, I noted a transformed kitchen. The original kitchen won an Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles kitchen award, and was designed by Design Galleria when the house was built in 2005.  The updated kitchen retains the same bones, of course, but was freshened up by the new owners; note the counter tops, cabinet hardware, and counter tops, then look at the “before” kitchen pictures below.

Here is the kitchen as it was designed when the house was new in 2005. In 2005, I remember an acquaintance building a house with marble counter tops, and that was a novelty at the time. Black granite counter tops were very much in style back in 2005.

A view of the range - note the moldings and details. I featured this kitchen in a post I wrote in 2009 about kitchens (click here to view) - one of my all time favorite posts! I studied every detail of this kitchen when we were designing our house. 

Now compare to the updated kitchen with its marble countertops and updated nickel pulls and handles (image captured from virtual tour), and a TV over the stove mantel. If you go back to the real estate listing picture, note how the light fixtures have been updated too; they are streamlined globes with much simpler lines.

Continuing with the tour, an elegant kitchen eating area also features a Niermann Weeks chandelier. Note the beautiful detail on the curtains.

The family room connects to the kitchen and eating area. I love that the arched doorway continued the shape of the built in shelves, and the placement of the TV on the wall instead of the mantel is so interesting!

Another highlight of the main floor, captured from the virtual tour – a lovely groin vault hall and herringbone floors.

A detailed view of the iron railing, in the upstairs landing.

An upstairs sitting room with accents of pink in the art, the window seats, and the bookshelves.

A serene master bedroom.

When I saw the house on tour, the rooms I remembered the most were the teen rooms. They were not in the real estate listing pictures, but they were in the virtual tour. The pink chandelier is the perfect touch for this room!

Another fun teen room with a surfing theme.

The back of the house and a view of the pool.

Finally, an aerial picture of the house and the 4+ acres of property that it sits on. This captures what constantly amazes me about Atlanta – there are houses with acres of property that are surrounded by trees, yet are located just 15 minutes from downtown Atlanta and right in the heart of Buckhead.

The house is listed by Atlanta Fine Homes/the Bayne Group; listing can be seen here. There are quite a few rooms that I did not feature, so if you want to see more I encourage you to view the listing!

I hope you enjoyed the tour! Did you have a favorite room? What did you think of the kitchen update? I liked the old kitchen a lot, but I love the new fixtures and the marble counter tops, which futher emphasize the serene and light feel of the house. 

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