Friday, October 31, 2014

Home for the Holiday Showhouse 2014

Is Halloween too early to talk Christmas? I was thinking the answer was yes, and had planned to wait until next week to share my news, but then I saw Target's shelves are stocked with Holiday goods and I'm pretty sure I saw a Christmas Tree lot setting up on Piedmont Road, so I figured if they were getting in the holiday season a tad bit early, so could I.

The truth is, I've had Christmas on the brain for months now, because for the third year in a row the company I work for, Bell Kitchen & Bath Studios is designing the cabinetry for the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse.

No holiday season in Atlanta would be complete without a beautiful show house, adorned with festive decor and holiday cheer.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, each room in the house will be decorated by a different designer. But the cherry on top of this show house is that in addition to the beautiful decor and creativity, the house will also be decorated for the holidays. The halls will be decked, Christmas music will be played and the rooms will be full of inspiration. What more could you ask for?

This year's show house is located in the heart of Buckhead, off Habersham road. The house is a new construction project built by Sheehan Built Homes, here is a rendering of the house:

Show houses are always fast paced and hectic, but this one has been a fun project to work on and I've enjoyed watching it come together over the last few months. I'm just as excited as everyone else to see the finished space come to life, all decorated and festive! 

Here's some info for anyone interested in checking it out:

The house opens for tours Wednesday, November 19th and goes through Sunday, December 7th

Wednesday - Saturday: 11:00 - 5:00
Sunday: 1:00 - 5:00

2865 Habersham Road
Atlanta, GA 

General admission will be $25 at the door.
Tickets purchased before November 19th will be $20. 
Tickets can be purchased online here or from various outlets including Bell Kitchen & Bath Studios Alpharetta showroom. 

To get you in the holiday spirit, check out these images of some of our past Holiday House Kitchens:

This kitchen was from the 2012.....

And this one was from last year's house, 2013.

Now, don't you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Me too...Christmas (or Bourbon...) will do that to ya. 

If you are anywhere near Atlanta you really should put this show house on your holiday season to-do list. I can assure you, you won't be disappointed! Happy Halloween and a Merry Christmas, folks!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Yesterday was The Cow Spot Blog's 3rd Birthday.

...3 Years...1,095 days...147 posts...

 Each week a new post, a new project, a new discussion. 

As I reflect back on this 3rd year as a blogger it's hard to believe all the projects that have been completed, all the topics we've covered and all the life that has been lived. 

Birthdays are the perfect time to look back and remember so let's talk year 3 highlights:

There have been milestones....
Fun facts....

Top 5 posts this year:

Top 5 posts of all time:

It's been a whirlwind year full of hard work and fun projects and I really appreciate each of you for tuning in each week! Cheers to birthdays, cows and readers with a sense of humor! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Man Caves & Man Crates

This post is for all you Cow Spot reading dudes out there. I was contacted by a company called Man Crates to create a design board for their Man Cave Makeover Campaign. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to revisit our outdoor kitchen a year later.

To me, a man cave is to a man what a giant walk in closet with an island, a chandelier and a whole wall of shoe storage is to a woman.  Or maybe that's just this woman. Regardless, this is their happy place, a space all about them and their hobbies, friends and weird boy obsessions. Because our house is on the smaller side, there really wasn't a room available to dedicate to a man cave for Brent. So we decided to turn our back deck into an outdoor kitchen/man oasis. For those of you new to the party blog we DIY'ed ourselves an outdoor kitchen last year. Long before we actually began working on the project we created a design board to organize our thoughts.

Brent was the driving force behind this project. He was very specific about certain things he wanted, all of which were very much man - grill, TV, pizza and the outdoors.

There was a specific rhyme and reason for every single element on the board. Let me show you around...

  • We got The Big Green Egg for a wedding present from Brent's coworkers and this gift kicked off the idea for the Outdoor Kitchen. 
  • After honeymooning in Italy, Brent came back bound and determined to have his own pizza oven. 
  • Brent's Dad had given him the grill the Christmas before and it fit perfectly within the design.
  • We loved the organic look of cedar siding with concrete countertops mixed with stack stone. The various textures are not only aesthetically pleasing, but hold up extremely well to the elements.
  • Extra storage was a must for all of Brent's grilling tools, of which there are many. 
  • And of course no man cave is complete with out a ginormous freaking TV (complete with surround sound of course).
Here's where we started:

And a lot of dust, tears and sweat later here is the finished product:

And we can't forget the icing on the cake.......the TV and it's house:

Over the past year we have enjoyed the heck out of this space. Georgia football has been watched, ribs have been smoked and pizzas have been made. This space is truly the gift that just keeps on giving. Speaking of gifts, I wish I would of known about Man Crates last year when we completed the project because their "Grill Master Crate" would of been the perfect present to christen our outdoor kitchen.

Man Crates truly is God's gift to anyone challenged with the task of purchasing a gift for a man. Man Crates has created a wide variety of themed crates, including the Personalized Whiskey Crate, Retro Gamer Crate, The Bacon Crate, NFL Bar ware Crate and for you Walking Dead fans out there the Zombie Annihilation Crate. You simply pick the crate that best suites your man and the crate will be shipped with a crow bar to open it up! A man's dream....just like this post.

To read all about our Outdoor Kitchen project, check out the various posts below:

All photos are my own.The design board was made with Olioboard - check out more of my boards here

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I'm not sure if it's my profession or my personality, but I have a hundred little thoughts flying through my head at any given time. These thoughts pertain to projects I'm working on, things I want to buy, ideas I want to remember, items I love, etc... As a result I have 10+ windows open on my computer pretty much at all times. This happens innocently enough, I'll be perusing the web looking for one thing when I come upon something else that interests me, of course this something else is totally unrelated but I want to remember it so I just keep the window open so I don't forget about it. It seems logical to me but it drives Brent crazy, especially when I let my little habit sneak over to his computer.

I understand that it's a wacky approach, but sometimes I don't have time to process or dig into information I find but want to be able to get back to it later. Trouble is, most of the time the windows get closed before it's all said and done and I still don't have the information. This was the story of my life until I discovered my new favorite online resource - Keep. I know we all need another social media outlet like a hole in the head but this site has been SO useful to me.

Keep is a lot like Pinterest, in that you can "keep" images you find online and save them in a category within your account  - "interiors",  "recipes","fashion", etc...However, it's different (and better in my opinion) because you can add the "keep it button" to your dashboard/task board and keep literally ANYTHING you come upon online.  Once you keep it you can click on it at any time and it will take you directly to the source. I can't tell you how many times I've found something that interested me as I've searched Pinterest for something specific like lighting inspiration, only to click the picture and get directed to a bloggers page with no information listed as to price, availability, sizes, etc...While seeing an image can get the creative juices flowing and evoke inspiration, sometimes you actually want to buy something you see.  But if you can't find the information on the item, the whole concept can become very frustrating and kind of useless. Because Keep focuses on the specific contents of a room (a chair, a light, a pillow) or details of an outfit (shoes, skirt, necklace), this never happens.

Like Pinterest, Keep has a homepage and a search bar so you can peruse what's trending or search for something specific. I do both, but I use it most often as a database to store my finds. Since discovering Keep, I use it daily. We are in the thick of trying to make a lot of decisions around the house - lighting for the office and hall, hardware for the house doors, cabinet hardware for the office cabinets and of course I'm trying to get my Fall/Winter wardrobe together while keeping up with my Birthday/Christmas wishlist (Brent's too) and search for random inspirations/items for my work projects at the same time. I'm able to do this successfully, and often all in the same night, thanks to Keep.

I know this is kind of a random post, but I thought if it was improving my life, some of you might find it useful too. So is the're welcome in advance!

Photo from 

Thursday, October 2, 2014


This is not a "It's October let's eat candy corn and talk about spooky things" kinda post. Nay, this is a post about the emotional roller coaster that is regret.  Wow, The Cow Spot gets deep, eh? Don't worry, I'm talking about shopping and if you shop, a little or a lot, you know what kind of regret I'm talking about...
Photo from Google.
We've all been there: You're out shopping, minding your own business when something fabulous crosses your path. You deliberate with yourself, until finally deciding to pass. It was too expensive, too big, too small, excuses, excuses. Then, the inevitable happens, you begin to think about said item, thinking turns to dreaming and before you know it you are full on obsessing. You head back to the store to get it and.... it's gone. Dun.Dun.Dun.

While I've been shopping for years, practically since I could be rolled around in a stroller, this type of regret is new to me. With clothes and accessories, you may miss your size or the exact item at one store, but chances are with the internet at our fingertips, no piece of clothing is THAT far out of range.  However, with furniture shopping, especially at antique/thrift stores, estate sales, heck even Homegoods, it's a whole different story.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I have images of  my regrets on my phone so I can visit them any time I want. Allow me to introduce you to the items that haunt me and my interior design dreams:

Meet THE cutest little black leather ottoman:

This charming little ottoman sat at a local antique store for months. I admired it every time I visited the store. The proportions were so good and the tufted leather and bamboo legs were perfect, but for some reason I could never pull the trigger. Then, one day I stopped by and it was gone. Almost instantly I felt the regret. UGH, now every time I picture the perfect ottoman for our living room, this little ottoman is all I can see. AND I CAN'T FIND IT ANYWHERE! Every time I go back to the antique store I look for it, but as antique stores go, their merchandise is often one of a kind. 

 Marble coffee table:

This one is still hard to talk about. Literally Five white marble circles sitting on a golden base make up this beautifully, quirky coffee table. So, if it was love at first sight, how did I let it slip away you ask? One word: Brent. He was never impressed and didn't see the vision for this perfect specimen of a coffee table; sometimes even he can sprout devil horns and a tail and ruin my fun. To this day he doesn't regret us not owning this piece. Me however, I regret it every time I look at our upstairs den and am reminded that there should be a beautiful coffee table sitting in front of the couch. I'm working on forgiving him for this mishap. 

Washed blue/white pottery:

I spotted these jugs at the Scott Antique Market back in June. The colors were so beautiful and I love them all clustered together like that. Of course, they were pricey and while I could get one, I couldn't get nine, so I just left them. I'm torn on this one. Sometimes I regret not just buying one of them, but then I'm like - "No, that was smart of you. One day when you are a millionaire you can buy frivolous pottery in large quantities, but for now, in this place in your life and with your lack of a green thumb you made the right decision." I have to give myself lectures sometimes, but....they sure are beautiful....
Golden boot:

This golden boot is SO good and I have no one but myself to blame for not owning it. I was shopping alone when I happened upon this golden boot. It's an umbrella holder - how adorable, right? I usually have no trouble talking myself into shoes but for whatever reason I didn't buy it. Later the same day I instagrammed the above image and realized we were meant to be, me and that boot. So, I go back to the store to buy it and...yep, you guessed it, someone had already snatched it up. I was meant to own a golden boot. I'm disappointed in myself every single time it rains and I realize my umbrella is in my car, outside, instead of in a golden boot by my door. 

Oh are a beast.  But on the glass half full side of life I have to wonder, does everything happen for a reason? Are there even better treasures awaiting me on my hunts?  Fingers crossed!

What about you all, anything you found and loved and let slip away? 

Unless otherwise noted all images are my own.