Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Adding a Little Cracked Pepper to Our Outdoor Kitchen


We took a nice long break from our work on the patio project. It sounds so dramatic to say we got burned out, but I think we did. Not only is this project big, but it's messy, time consuming and expensive! Most free weekends last spring/summer were spent working on this project and by early fall we were TIRED. So, we took a long winters rest and now we are starting to feel motivated to get started up again. But before we crack into the heavy lifting we feel compelled to correct a mistake (ish) we made in terms of color. You may remember we opted to paint the back fence/wall the same color as the house (a light taupe) and the brick + front facing fence the same color as the trim (white).


While we liked the look, the white brick is not so white anymore from the smoke that comes from actually using the pizza oven. Yes, the pizza oven is functional even though it's not pretty and we have used it numerous times and each time we do the white brick gets less and less white.


It just looks dirty and it's obvious it's only going to get worse the more we use the outdoor kitchen. So, we decided painting the brick a dark color was the way to go. I wanted something dark, but not jet black. After bringing home a few samples we landed on Cracked Pepper by Behr. It's a deep charcoal with a hint of blue. While Croix napped on Sunday afternoon, I got busy and painted most of the brick. I left the meticulous painting (edges) to Brent, so you can still see bits of the white popping out but I think I like this direction....


What do you guys think? 

All photos are my own. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Fake Plants and the People Who Love Them


I love plants but they can be tricky, tricky little beasts. I've gotten better at tending to my plants over the years but I still struggle to keep some of them alive. My two biggest areas of struggle are my succulent wall and any plant/flower I try to keep on our coffee table.


The succulent wall is hard because a.) succulents in general are just such divas, water them too often they die. Don't water them enough, they die. And b.) my succulents are housed way up high above the built-ins in my living room, so climbing up to them, water in hand and tiny boy child wanting to assist is a task all on it's own. As for the coffee table, the only issue here is Croix likes to touch, move, knock off, rearrange and play with any and all the things on the coffee table. So, putting anything with actual dirt and or fragile petals/leaves atop it is just a bad idea.

Lucky for me, I was recently contacted by Silk Plants Direct to try out one of their products. A fake plant that looks real, is not fragile and requires zero upkeep sounded like an idea I could get on board with. The website is full of great options in a range of sizes, price points and variety of plant. I finally I ended up choosing this plant with my coffee table in mind. When it came in the mail I was luke warm about it. The container was a little more country-eque than I prefer, but I fluffed up the leaves and arranged them to hang down around the planter like they do in the photo on the website. Once on the coffee table I was pretty happy with it.


While I was on the whole fake plant train I happened upon some great fake succulent options at Hill Street Warehouse here in Atlanta and at Scotts Antique!


Both had tons of options and you could buy them individually to create the fullness and arrangement you were looking for. I picked up a few and added them to my succulent wall.


Now, the wall is a nice blend of real and fake plants and I'm pretty happy with it.

Gone are the days when fake plants automatically equal tacky. There are and will always be cheap (looking) options out there, but there is a whole world of fake plants on the market that just make sense to incorporate sometimes. As is always the case, make selections for your home that works best for your lifestyle and maintain the overall vibe you are going for in your decor. In my season of life right now, faux plants are a lifesaver and I'm a fan!

All photos are my own. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Junior League Tour of Kitchens 2017


One of my very favorite projects is going to be on this year's Junior League Tour of Kitchens! 

Photo from Junior League Atlanta's website
For those of you unfamiliar, The Junior League of Atlanta hosts this event each spring. 14 kitchens are on display for self-guided tours throughout the Atlanta area. Bell Cabinetry & Design, the company I work for, has featured kitchens on this tour for years, and while we are always excited for our projects to be included, I am especially excited for everyone to get to see this year's house.  

As a designer, I see a lot of pretty spaces, and have a lot of fun clients, but this house and the family behind it are special. These homeowners have incredibly good taste and have been collecting pieces from all over the world to incorporate into their home. They wanted to create an environment that mixed old with new and they did so beautifully. Every single element was selected and collected with purpose and loads of consideration.  The house is layered with details and pieces that have heart and depth. Everywhere you turn there is a conversation waiting to happen; whether it's because of the age of an individual item, the story behind the find, or the fact that certain pieces from current stores like Restoration Hardware can sit alongside elements from centuries past and work so beautifully together.  The kitchen sits as the true heart of the home and is striking with white shaker cabinets, a pewter countertop on the island (!!!!), a Scagliola Stone hood and french limestone on the floors. 

Photo my own. 
It's a stunner for sure and a home you definitely want to check out while you have the chance. The event will be later this month - March 25th and 26th. You can buy tickets here or at the door the day of the event. Our kitchen will be open on Saturday from 10:00 - 4:00 and I will be hanging out all day so please stop by and say hi! 

The full write up and more pictures are in this month's Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine on stands now. 

Unless otherwise noted all images from Junior League of Atlanta.