LLI Before and After

Hello there! It’s been a while since I’ve posted so I figured I better come back with something good to show you!  Nope, it’s not my kitchen. I’m waiting on one teeny, tiny detail to arrive.  Fingers crossed it happens this week!

I affectionally refer to this house as “Bungalow Blue”, and I think you’ll see why.  It’s located in the quaint, beach community of Atlantic Beach and belongs to the sweetest retirement-age couple.  My clients brought me in on this project to help bring this house out of the 80’s and to create a casual, pulled together home where they can entertain friends and family.

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I wanted to diminish the heavy feel that the flagstone fireplace created so we added tongue and groove to the top portion and painted the existing mantle.



In the picture below, the room on the right with the chandelier was actually the dining room.  We switched the placement of the dining room and sitting room so the owner’s can take advantage of the view and natural light in the sunroom.  All of the trim was painted white throughout the house, however, we left the beams stained.  Notice the heavy trim around the entrance to the sunroom.  With some convincing ;) it was painted white.  This visually lifted the height of the entry to the sunroom and cut down on the angles and transitions.

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Former dining room turned sunroom.

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The family room…..

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To update the stair railing without having to incur the expense of replacing it all, the contractor ran a 1×8 board on top of the bottom of the rails to hide the exposed screws….

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Voilia!  Talk about the power of white paint!


My carpet installer bound the edges of several 4×6 Dash and Albert rugs and used them to recover the stairs. Inexpensive and durable….win, win.


Most of the furnishings were new, however, the homeowner’s had a few antique pieces that they wanted to incorporate in the design plan.  One of them being this adorable secretary.


185 Thanks for stopping by!

Hope your week gets off to a great start.


Posted in before & after, my design | 10 Comments

New Year….new kitchen!

Hello friends.  Happy Holidays!!  Our family was reminded this week that things don’t always go as planned.  You see, all 5 of us came down with the flu last weekend.  House guests had to cut their trip short, parties were cancelled, dinners were missed and well, it was the pits.  By the time we started to feel better it was Christmas Day.  I really missed enjoying the days leading up to Christmas, however, grateful that we were able to get together with our family (and that they wanted to be around us!) to celebrate the day.

I’m excited to share with you our journey (and agony!) as we embark on a kitchen remodel next week.  I’m super excited but also very nervous as I know first hand how things can go wrong regardless of how much you plan and how many sleepless nights you have ;)

Here are some pictures of our existing kitchen.  This will give you an idea of the layout.  As you enter our house, you pass the sitting room on the right and then it opens up into the kitchen and dining room area.

That big post is already gone.  I was so glad to get rid of that thing!!  It’s amazing how much that one change made.  It completely opened up the space visually.

As you can see we do not have a lot of cabinets, i.e storage.  The microwave above the stove broke a few years ago and I didn’t want to replace it since I knew “one day” we would remodel the kitchen and I would place the microwave in another area.

The stove and refrigerator are staying in the same location.

The biggest change will be in the this area.  I call it the boomerang.  The wall with the upper cabinet is being removed and the cabinets with the sink and to the left of the sink are being removed.  We will create a peninsula counter that will have the sink, dishwasher and can seat 4 barstools.

The armoire is currently used as our pantry and houses our microwave.  This wall will have a built-in pantry and upper and lower cabinets…lots of storage!  Not to worry, the trash can will have it’s very own cabinet.  No more hanging out in plain sight.  The sconces have already been relocated to the stairway.

The electrician came yesterday to wire for the island (marked off in blue) which will house the new microwave.  Oh, the dust that little project created.  All of the tile throughout the main areas of the house and the wood in the family room are being replaced and we will have the same hardwood floors going throughout.  Let the dusting begin!


Now for the pretty parts.  White inset cabinets, polished nickel finishes and smokey taupe paint on the island.

And my counter top!!

Since we are replacing all of the floors, we basically have to move all of the furniture, pictures and accessories out of the house, in addition to emptying out the kitchen cabinets.  The pod comes Friday and I better get busy packing.  Off to get boxes!!

 Happy Holidays!

Hope you’re enjoying this time with your family and friends.


Posted in kitchens, my design, my house | 8 Comments

Palmetto Bluff – Shoreline Construction

Well, hello there.  Nothing like a “little” break from blogging, huh?

I’m happy to be back and and excited to share these pictures with you.  While in Savannah for a “couples weekend” back in August, we managed to drag the guys to Palmetto Bluff to visit the Southern Living Idea House.  Don’t think the guys walked through the house with us.  Oh, no.  That would have been torture for all parties involved.  Picture them dropping us off and heading to the golf club to have a few cold ones while we happily walk around taking in every last detail.  As you’ve seen in the magazine, the Southern Living house is beautiful….I think even prettier in person.  But to our surprise there was a row of idea houses.  Yes, houses!  All built by Shoreline Construction, the same builder of the Southern Living Idea House.  Since you’ve already seen the SL house, I will fast forward to the model homes.  Of course, they are grainy iphone pics but you still see all of the great details that went into these house.  The interior design is by J Banks Design Group.  Enjoy!






Isn’t this the prettiest staircase you’ve ever seen?!?


I want need this rug.









I could certainly handle doing my 15 weekly loads of laundry in here.



Nice built-in storage.










How’s this for a walk in pantry?!?


Thanks for stopping by!  Hope your week gets off to a great start.

Posted in Low Country design, Palmetto Bluff, Savannah | 8 Comments

My new botanical prints

You know that feeling when you have a blank wall or a space to fill, you can’t find the right thing and you’ve been looking forever?  I’ve been on the hunt for the past couple of years to fill the space on each side of my hall mirror, which has sentimental value and it’s a keeper, but I’ve had no luck.  Sure I’ve tried several things and put a couple dozen nail holes in my walls (that’s part of the process, right?) but it never felt “right”.  I never “loved” it.  I’ve been a long time fan of Becky Davis Botanicals and even wrote about them here.  I knew they would be the right thing but with so many other things on my wish list, they would really cut into my budget.  As I was growing desperate and getting ready to plunk down a pretty penny, I discovered her prints on FramedArt.com.  Now don’t get me wrong, I still hope to own the real thing one day and I believe they are worth every penny, but for now I am very happy with my prints and I’m glad I can check this one off the list.

When I showed you my foyer, some of you asked about my bench that used to be in the foyer (it’s musical chairs at my house, friends), it has found a new home in the hallway across from my kitchen.  It is usually covered with backpacks and my purse but I tried to pretty it up for you.







Thank you for stopping by today!

Posted in art, display, my house | 11 Comments

A few before and afters……

A while ago, I posted about a bathroom remodel that I was working on and I asked you to guess which antique table we decided to go with for the vanity (if you follow me on Instagram then you got a sneak peek!)  Here are a few before and after shots of the bathroom, although please keep in mind these are not the ‘styled & professionally photographed’ after-shots, but then again you guys know me better than that.  ;)


The easiest way to hide dated wallpaper is to cover it up with a wall treatment and these planks did just the job.

The bathroom is part of a basement living area that also consists of a family room and a small secondary kitchen.  My client wanted to make a few cosmetic changes to the kitchen that would update the look without gutting it.  She already had a navy blue sofa and we selected 2 navy and white striped chairs from Ballard’s in the family room (you can see a little bit of the chair in the picture below).  So for the kitchen design, I worked off all of the navy and white and went with a classic, nautical look…..and the fact that this home is on the river, it just seemed perfect!

Kitchen:  Before

Kitchen:  After

You know I love seersucker!

We added navy grass cloth and a polished nickel light fixture and my client painted the existing table and chairs.

The antique ice chest was in her garage, yes, her garage!  She texted me one day and asked if I thought this would work in the kitchen.  I quickly said, “yes, and what else do you have in there?  I may need to come shopping”.

We are now working on the upstairs living room and dining room and I promise I’ll have real pictures to show you when it’s finished.

And just so you know I mean it…I signed up for The Lettered Cottage “Shoot Fly Shoot” course last week.  The thought of finally learning how to use my camera has me beyond excited!  My friend Maria is taking the course with me so we can hold each other accountable (Maria, have you started yet?!?)  Uh-ha, see what I mean?

Have any of you taken the course?

Thank you for stopping by!


Posted in my design | 8 Comments

A glimpse at my week….

Hello Monday.  You came too soon.

Thought I’d share with you what a typical week looks like, although no 2 weeks are ever the same.  But then again, that’s one of the things I love about my job.

I’ve been working on this great room with a sweet client who lives in a cute, historic cottage.  The dining room is about to get built-in’s on each side of the window and a built-in buffet under the window.  What an impact that will make.  In the meantime, we worked on the gallery wall to the left of the dining room.

My client had been collecting frames and pieces for the past year but wasn’t sure how to put it together.

She cut out a template of each piece and then let me go to work.  Sorry I don’t have the after to show you yet but you can start to get the idea.

Stopped in a local rug store to pick up samples and came across this beauty.  Check out those colors!

Of course spent a good bit of time at the fabric showroom (I’m starting to feel like I need to make a donation to their coffee station) and here are just a few fabrics that caught my eye…..

These next two have me wanting to design a little girl’s room.  Can’t you just picture it?!?!


And my favorite part of the week is checking in on projects and seeing what progress has been made!  I’ve dubbed this project “Bungalow Blue” and I cannot wait to show you the before and afters.  I love visiting this house…it has such a bright, happy feeling to it.

The artwork for the fireplace has been ordered and once it arrives all that is left to do is accessorize.  Just to give you an idea of how long the process takes, we started working on this house in October and should finish up next month.  As we all know, design doesn’t happen overnight!

Alright, time to get this week started.  Make it a good one.


Posted in fabric, my design | 6 Comments

Kitchen cabinets….painted or white?

Good Morning, friends.  I want to thank you for your warm welcome back.  I’m so happy YOU are here.

Here’s a Monday morning pop quiz for ya.  Which do you prefer….colored cabinets or white cabinets?













 Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Have a great day!

Posted in kitchens | 15 Comments

Before & After: My family room chairs

Hello.  I’m scared to ask if anyone is there.

I received this text last night from my step-mother…..

Yikes, has it really been that long???  I am happy to be back.  I’ve missed this place and have thought about it a million and one times.  Thank you for sticking with me.

Recently, I had my old family room chairs slipcovered.  I’m very excited that they are done!  Now I know how my clients feel when they’ve waited for install day.  Fun stuff.

Before I show you the “before” pictures, here is the back story on these little guys.  They were just that, little.  I needed 2 petite chairs to place by my fireplace for additional seating and since our family room is narrow, finding the right scale was challenging.  Then one day my neighbor put these 2 chairs in her garage waiting to be picked up by the goodwill.  Of course seeing a couple of distressed pieces of furniture across the street piqued my interest so I asked her about them, and she said, “hey, do you want them?”   You know I said, “yes!” and just like Cinderella’s slipper, they were the perfect fit and FREE!!!



If you look close enough, you will see that they aren’t exactly the same.  My seamstress, removed the attached backs and made down-filled loose back cushions and reworked the bottom cushions.  She also tailored the slipcovers so the arms on each chair would match. (I wanted them to be more like the chair on the left)

And what would a design decision be without agonizing about it forever?!?!  I promise there was plenty of that to go around.  I ultimately chose a Khaki seersucker by Shumacher.  You can see it a little better in this picture……..





I’ve also been working the gallery wall, which is mostly a collection of landscape paintings which I’ve picked up at antique stores.  I need just one more small little picture to go on the left to complete it.  Oh, so close.

My next big project is selecting a fabric for my sectional sofa slipcover.  It will be off-white so I need it to be durable, forgiving and reasonable (I need 40 yards!).  That is going to be a bit of a challenge, right?  Any suggestions?

  THANK YOU so much for stopping by!





Posted in before & after, my house | 11 Comments

Colorful Rugs

Often I’m asked to source rugs for my design projects that are durable, kid-friendly and pet-friendly.  When my client’s are looking for something softer than natural fiber rugs, my next go-to source is Dash and Albert.  Their indoor-outdoor rugs are the perfect solution…soft on the feet, scrubable, easy on the budget and colorful.  I am so excited about a new line of rugs they are about to launch in partnership with Bunny Williams.  Take a look at these beautiful patterns and colors.  Hard to believe they are indoor-outdoor……awesome!!

Do you love these pillows and throws as much as me?!?  Pretty space.


Moss green….great color!





How cute with these rugs be in a nursery?




I’ve used this pattern often and now it’s available in coral!

Blue.  Enough said, right?!?


Did you see a favorite?!?  Lots more on their website.

Yikes is it already February 5th???  Have a great day!

Posted in rugs | 6 Comments

The Plantation Shop

How about a little Monday morning furniture shopping?  I recently made a quick trip to Amelia Island to visit The Plantation Shop.  Wow…is all I can say!  They receive containers of French and English antiques on a monthly basis, and while that may sound expensive their prices are really good.  Enjoy!

This cute side table is going in a client’s living room.

My pretty Mom doing a little pillow shopping :)












Be sure to check out their facebook page for even more inspiration.

And thank you for kind comments about my newly painted foyer.  You make my day!

Hope your week gets off to a great start.




Posted in antique store, antiquing | 8 Comments