Before and After: My Dream Kitchen

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I have loved hearing all of your feedback about my home renovation reveal in the December issue of Traditional Home. Now let’s dig into some of my favorite details from my project, starting with the Kitchen.

As you all know, I love to cook, so of course, my kitchen is one of the hardest working rooms in my house and designing it was definitely a labor of love.

The “after” is full of amazing Thermador appliances, fabulous storage solutions, and all wrapped in the most calming shade of blue! But let’s talk about the transformation from drab, dark, dated and dysfunctional to my dream kitchen.

Ok, I’m cringing revisiting my kitchen before photos. The colors were dated with a sort of mauve and celery green speckled granite, glazed cabinets, celery walls, dark stained trim and a very 70’s pass-through over the sink into the sunroom. I honestly can hardly remember it looking like this even though I lived it in for TWO YEARS!

The overall layout of the kitchen before is actually not all bad, the U-Shape kitchen is very common and considered one of the most functional kitchen layouts. But this old space didn’t provide enough of a work surface for my cooking or my daughter’s baking. And with the upper cabinets stopping below a soffit, and having fixed shelving inside, they didn’t provide ample storage for all my china, serving ware and small appliances. It was definitely time for this space to go!

First, we gutted everything, and eliminated a laundry closet behind my range. This allowed me to extend the kitchen an additional 3 feet and to make room for  a massive island!

Seeing this photo of the space all the way down to the studs was still prettier to me than the before. After two years in this drab space, this looked like amazing progress to my eyes.

Just getting sheetrock on the walls made the kitchen look large and fresh. This is when things started to get super exciting!

Cabinetry was next and I was dying for the interior window to go in over the sink. Remember the old pass-through before? …

How could you forget, right?

My solution for a more classic style was adding an all wood oval window between the kitchen and the sunroom. This interior window now looks like it’s always been here. It feels architecturally appropriate for this 1960’s home and it’s many people’s favorite feature in my kitchen, including mine.

I love having a view out through my sunroom and to the pool beyond. And the gorgeous Kohler sink and faucet make this area even more lovely.

Everything in my kitchen design is so relaxing, and better yet, functional. I changed from the U-shaped layout to an island layout that provides me with so much more workspace. And in the 9′ long island I have included fun details like Thermador refrigerator drawers, microwave drawer, and warming drawer, plus baskets for fruits and veggies, a paper towel holder and a baking drawer that holds my dry ingredients like flour and 3 types of sugar.

And you can’t see it from here, but on the sink side of the kitchen are 2 dishwashers, which means my sink almost NEVER has a dirty dish!

Now after seeing how gloomy my previous kitchen was, you can see why I went with a bright white, pale blue, and polished nickel color palette! But before we go a few last details…

Remember my old and very odd refrigerator in the before? It was tucked under the entry stairs and accented with beauty mold around it like we wanted to highlight it, ha! It was next to a desk space that was a catch all for everything that made it’s way into the kitchen. And let’s not forget to mention that retro intercom system and gigantic doorbell hanging on the wall.

The after of this same wall is now my fantastic Thermador 30″ refrigerator column, 24″ freezer column, and an 18″ wine column.

And to the right of these is where you can find my steam oven with lots of storage above for baking sheets and small appliances and pulls outs below for anything else I want close at hand. Tucked into the wall where that old refrigerator was, this is definitely my favorite new gadget in the house!

My previous kitchen had a teeny tiny range with a microwave above that didn’t allow me to cook fabulous, big meals for my  family. The wall ovens were functional but equally dated. I needed to replace all these black appliances with some new, top-of-the-line Thermador pieces that work hard for my family and me.

Let’s get up-close and personal with my amazing new range from Thermador. This 48 inch professional series dual fuel range has 6 burners, a griddle, and 2 convection ovens! I can make literally anything and everything my family and friends would ever want to eat here. And the griddle can be switched out for an indoor grill. We created this custom hood with local craftsman. It houses a Thermador vent insert inside and has stainless steel straps on the exterior and is painted in my dreamy blue cabinet color called Slinky by C2 Paints. And here you get a great look at my marble subway backsplash Speartek, Daltile bistro floors that are actually glass tile even though they look like marble, and lacquer-look white Dekton countertops.

So there you have it…the sad before and the fabulous after of my new kitchen. I’m in love with everything about this space and I can’t stop singing its praises! I can honestly say, this kitchen has everything I could want. And I know my daughter and I will be cooking and baking in it together for years to come!

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about my kitchen transformation. What’s your favorite part and what questions do you have? And to see more of my home renovation pick up the December issue of Traditional Home Magazine. And be sure to check out all the online content from my year-long renovation column with Traditional Home on their website. There are all sorts of tips, details and inspiration there for designing your own dream kitchen and dream home.








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Shopping Guide: Thanksgiving in my New Home

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As you all know, I love to host my family and friends for dinner parties, and Thanksgiving is no exception! I’m so excited that I am finally able to share my newly renovated home with all of you, especially my dining room and breakfast room with Thanksgiving being next week! I love my yellow and pink floral wallpaper and pink velvet chairs, and I can mix in my different china collections. If my new dining room has you inspired to take your Thanksgiving in a bolder and more colorful direction, here are a few pieces that I think will give you the same look!







  1. Lizzie Table Runner in Mineral: You could say that I’ve been dreaming up this color scheme since I started designing my fabric line! My Lizzie fabric in mineral features the same bold yellow and pinks as my dining room wallpaper.
  2. Geo Placecard Holders: I love adding personal touches to each setting, like a hand written placecard in one of these beautiful geometric holders. They come in an assortment so there is some added interest to your table!
  3. Gold Bamboo Serving Spoon: I love the bamboo motif on the handle of this beautiful 24K gold-plated serving spoon for all of our side dishes in timeless style!
  4. “Bamboo” Serving Bowl: Taking another cue from the bamboo motif and the natural floral elements in my dining room, this white ceramic serving bowl will be a beautiful addition to the table to hold different side dishes!
  5. ‘La Cite’ Pitcher: Let’s bring back cocktail hour with a glamorous glass pitcher with a 24K gold design! Or fill it with water or iced-tea to relieve you from having to fill everyone’s glass and enjoy your meal!
  6. Cape Recycled Glassware: These lovely glasses are handcrafted in Africa from 100% recycled glass with the slightest tint of green to go with the floral designs! Being eco-friendly and chic make this glassware set a must!
  7. Bamboo Salt & Pepper Shakers: Beauty is in the details and these salt and pepper shakers with a bamboo motif are certainly no exception!
  8. Gold Rimmed Bubble Glassware Collection: These bubbly Old Fashioned glasses are the right mix of whimsy and classy with a gold rim!
  9. Tobi Fairley Tommye Napkins in Buttercup: If you can’t tell, I’ve been dreaming about this dining room color scheme long before it became a reality! My Tommye leopard print in bright Buttercup yellow pair perfectly with the fun floral table runner!
  10. Jadeite Pedestal Server: I love collecting vintage tableware, especially jadeite. I can’t wait to serve some of the amazing desserts my daughter and I will bake on these gorgeous pedestal servers!
  11. Gilt-Edge Shell Napkin Rings: Napkin rings are really like the jewelry for your dining table, so why shouldn’t they be fabulous? Adorned with rose quartz and brass these feminine rings will pop against the bright yellow napkins!
  12. Pink Brushstroke Dinnerware: This dinnerware set is pretty in pink and ready for dinner! Both dishwasher and microwave safe and large enough to hold the generous portions of Thanksgiving, your hubby won’t even notice the slightly feminine tone!
  13. Torta Gold-Plated Cake Server: This stunning crystal handle and 24K gold-plated stainless steel cake server may have my guests reaching for dessert first!
  14. kate spade new york Malmo Gold 5 Piece Place Setting: The essentials are key to a good tablescape, starting with your flatware! This set in a fashionable gold finish will add a dose of chic style to your place settings!
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The Wait is Over: The Big Reveal of my Home in Traditional Home Magazine!

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It’s here! It’s finally here! I’m so excited to finally share my newly renovated home with all of you and it’s all dressed up in it’s holiday best.

That’s right, my home is featured in the holiday issue of Traditional Home that is hitting news stands today and I can’t contain my excitement! I’m so thankful that all of you have followed me on this journey through the many re-designs, construction, installation and now I get to show you all of the beautiful photographs.

We have so much to talk about: the color story, how I’ve adjusted the layouts, the plumbing, tile, flooring, furniture and every little detail. All of that will be coming in future blog posts. But for today, let’s just revel for a bit (shall we) in the color and the pattern and the excitement of the big reveal.

I’m obsessed with my fabulous entry with classic black-and-white checkerboard floors, large scaled Cole & Son wallpaper, and one of my Tobi Fairley for New River Artisans stair runners! My Rothesay lanterns hangs down to light the way into the Dining Room, and the pink and gold Christmas tree sets the tone for all the delicious pink velvet on my freshly recovered dining chairs.

One detail that I don’t want you to miss that made a huge difference in the entry are those pediments I added over the doorways. Architectural detailing does so much for the character of this entry way. I’ll show you what I mean in a future before and after post, you’ll be amazed at the difference.

But just for a minute lets go back and linger on that tree…

Okay, now for the dining room…

I know what you’re thinking, “Pink! How on earth did you get your husband to agree to an all pink and floral Dining Room?!” But to be honest, as long as there is good food on the table and comfy chairs, he doesn’t care what color the walls are, or the ceiling for that matter! And he even admits the pink is really growing on him.

And have you seen the stunning pink and chartreuse Clarke & Clarke floral wallpaper wrapping this room, topped with a light pink ceiling courtesy of C2 Paints.

My inspiration for this room started with the gorgeous pair of yellow Jan Showers lamps and evolved from there. There is so much to love in this room if you are a color-lover like me. I can’t decide which detail is my favorite but the pink and yellow color palette is definitely one of the freshest I’ve used. 

The Dining Room isn’t the only space with a pop of chartreuse. Can you catch a glimpse of my study that’s across the entryway in the background? Let’s take a closer look.

I couldn’t bear not to include my Elle chair from CR Laine in my home. It’s named for my daughter and in this luxe leopard print, it feels iconic. And it’s only part of the fabulous pattern mixing in this space. Throw in that graphic original painting by Jane Booth and this room has a lot of wow!

Bookshelves line the walls in the study painted in a moody blue-grey and were added to house my collection of design and architecture books. The walls upholstered in a Clarke & Clarke check, with matching drapery and wing chairs create comfort and charm in this space.

Accents of chartreuse show up in the contrast welt of the wing chairs, my collection of original art (the piece on the left a Christmas present from my amazing hubby!), and on the monogrammed sofa pillows. This study is the favorite room in the house of many of our guests. I think that’s because its quaint and warm. My husband loves to hang out and watch the big game in here, but that may be because it’s just a few steps from the Wet Bar (wink)!

Yes, step right out of the study, and into the Wet Bar for cocktail hour! The same grey-blue covers these cabinets with a beautiful F. Schumacher wallpaper and beveled marble subway tile backsplash. And I love my “mini art” collection (all tiny in size) that I have collected all over the country from Hawaii to Napa Valley to Memphis and locally from Little Rock artists too.

Just a few steps away, my living room may start with a soft grey color palette, but I quickly turned up the volume with accents of bright cobalt, wild leopard print, and deep plum accents for an inviting place to entertain family and friends during the holidays.

If you’ve been following my journey through my New House Diaries blog posts, then you know that my living room is very long, so I created multiple seating areas throughout – all with a line of sight to the TV per my husband’s request!

This room, once covered in 1970’s dark paneling, feels SO good with natural light coming from 3 sides. And I am crazy about how the fireplace and hearth turned out. Covered in Dekton solid surface material, and then with a bit of a throw back to the 60’s and 70’s origin of this room I added gray velvet seat cushions on the long hearth for function. I think they give a nod to the “conversation pit” trend from around the time this home was built.

Another stunning piece by Kansas City artist Jane Booth makes this room come alive with cobalt over yet another seating area. We can seat over 20 people in this room for holidays and entertaining. And in the photo below you see how this long room covers so many functions with a desk tucked in the back where many mean games of family scrabble have already taken place.

From the cool grays with that punchy cobalt in the living room, we transition back to softer shades in the kitchen. Situated right in the middle of my house and the hub of all the activity, everything takes a calmer turn with the Kitchen color palette. The cabinets turned out just a I envisioned in a lovely shade of blue from C2 paint. I can honestly say the kitchen is my favorite room in the house!

The vintage-style bistro flooring is definitely a highlight of this room. It’s actually a glass tile from Daltile with the look of marble. I am so happy with the look and function of this flooring, especially because it fits the age and architectural style of my home so well. But what I upgraded from the “Brady-bunch” era of this home is that stunning oval window over the sink. Remember when that was a giant pass-through that looked dated and drab? Now that area is anything but!

As you will see when I remind you of the floorplan changes I made, the extra 3 feet of length I added to the kitchen made the space extremely functional and allowed for the great new island.

Lots of baking, food prep and serving happens on the island and it’s all illuminated by those handsome, oversized pendants by Hudson Valley Lighting.

My luxurious Thermador appliances are certainly the focal point of my new kitchen. And finding the perfect range hood for my pale blue cabinetry was hard, so I had one custom made and painted to match. I love how the powdery paint color and the stainless steel banding look together.

The breakfast room is crisp, white and simple, and looks gorgeous as an extension of the kitchen. And you may recognize the photograph by Kristen Hatgi that I used in the Hampton’s Designer Showhouse in 2014. I loved that piece so much I couldn’t let it go, so I designed my breakfast room around it. The photograph hangs in the high traffic area from my bedroom to the kitchen, and is the first thing I see when coming in from the garage, so I enjoy looking at it many times everyday.

You may have seen a glimpse of the finished upholstered door between the dining and breakfast rooms in the previous pictures. And you may remember the “in progress” photos of it from my Instagram feed when I was deciding on the perfect color for it.

I settled on a pale blue vinyl that perfectly matches my kitchen cabinetry, with polished nickel nailheads and pushplates. I would say this door is the item that gets the most attention from our guests. It really is charming. I mean who wouldn’t love an upholstered swinging door with an oval window in their home?

Next door in my Master suite, light blue, Kelly green, and timeless black-and-white create this serene retreat for my husband and me. After a long day, my bedroom has always been my location of choice to unwind. And now that I work from home, this is where I find myself most often during the day, working at my bedside desk with a lovely view out the window and down our pretty street.

The digitally-printed Chinoiserie wallpaper from Fromental, the black-and-white Lucy bed from my collection for CR Laine, and green Barclay Butera wing chairs (do you remember these from my previous home?) cover this space in blissful colors and interesting textures to ease my mind.

And just through those Kelly green double doors lies the most relaxing Master Bathroom.

With black and white and pops of green, this stunning bathroom is all mine! A chic Greek Key border–thanks to daltile–lines the room and highlights my ultra-relaxing new Kohler VibrAcoustic tub (seriously…it plays spa music y’all!) and the high-performing white beveled subway tiled shower!

I’m thrilled to begin and end my days here! That pretty little round window we installed adds gorgeous natural light to this previously dark space. And thankfully, the shower is almost double its original size. This black-and-white color scheme is such a classic, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it and it certainly won’t go out of style.

And speaking of relaxing, my guest room definitely fits that description too. It’s black and white and pink all over! Well, blush to be exact, but you get the idea. Yes my guest bedroom took a seriously chic and feminine spin with blush upholstered walls, headboard, rug, and bedding.

I wanted my guests to feel like they were staying in a glamorous five-star hotel, so I indulged in upholstering the walls in my Tobi Fairley for Duralee collection Isabella Damask and covered the headboard in my velvet Faux Bois. I think the faux fur pillows and leopard print x-benches help bring the luxe to this relaxing space!

Just down the hall from the guest retreat, the design is decidedly not pink. Turquoise, white, and cobalt blue are the colors my pre-teen wanted, and that’s what she got!

The striped ceiling (her idea) and ikat draperies are perfect as she grows from a pre-teen to a teen. She and her friends have plenty of room to spread out from her queen bed to her built-in daybed with a hidden trundle. This room seems to constantly house teenage girls for all of their slumber parties and I couldn’t be happier about it!

And when my house gets overly quiet, I can bet that my preteen is tucked away in her daybed with curtains drawn, headphones in and her favorite episode on youtube or Netflix playing on her ipad.

And here’s one last space that you haven’t seen.

My sunroom (off the kitchen) was originally planned to be another living space and it certainly does double duty as that thanks to my comfy Taylor sectional from CR Laine.

And it’s the way to this cute powder room which works perfectly for my design team and clients by day and also for our family and friends on nights and weekends.

But now that I moved my design studio into my home, the sunroom’s main job is playing office for my team and me.

How great it is to work from home in this sunny space with all the windows that look out onto our pool and the golf course beyond? And what’s even better is that I am home when my family arrives at the end of the day!

And just for fun, here’s a look back at my pool that lies just beyond the sunroom. No matter if you come in the the front door or the back, the story in my new house is definitely pink!

All of this fabulosity was captured by my photographer extraordinaire, Nancy Nolan. Without Nancy, you would never be able to experience all the nuances and layers of my work in such vivid color and composition! And she even captured our sweet baby Beckett who was a tiny pup last year when we photographed the house.

So what do you think? Was it worth the wait? The good news is I have barely scratched the surface of telling you about all the choices I made throughout the renovation!

So for more, be sure and check out the latest issue of Traditional Home for the full spread, and the fun article on my family and our favorite holiday traditions. And for a refresher on the before and during of this process, revisit my Transformations section of the Traditional Home website for all the articles and photos.  Then stay tuned for more details from me coming right here on the blog. And I will finally release all the videos of the process soon too. Trust me, there isn’t a detail that we won’t discuss.








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Shopping Guide: Glamorous Thanksgiving

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I’ve been dreaming about a glamorous Thanksgiving with a tablescape dressed in moody hues! Sleek and sexy dark metallics paired with black, with plenty of votives and white calla lilies make for a perfect evening in my book! I’d love to serve an elegant meal surrounded by family and friends at this dazzling table. Let’s take a look and what this fashion-forward Thanksgiving could look like!








  1. Ita Cheese Plate & Forma Spreader: I’ll start this dinner off with wine and cheese served on this elegant polished agate plate. Both natural and chic, this server will add some sparkle to my table.
  2. Waterford Corra Tablecloth: Setting your table starts with a good base, so a fabulous tablecloth is essential. This dramatic wine colored linen/cotton tablecloth will set the mood.
  3. Vera Wang Wedgwood Polished Noir 5-Piece Place Setting: Stainless steel place settings in a polished black finish are the fashion-forward element your table is looking for!
  4. Crystal Votive Holders, Set of 3: Line the center of your table with these sleek cube crystal votive holders for a warm sense of high-end style!
  5. Juliska Emerson Side Plate: Beautiful white ceramic stoneware side plates, with a fabulous pewter-glazed trim, are just edgy enough for this tablescape! And, they are dishwasher, oven, microwave, and freezer safe – does it get any easier?
  6. Apilco Reglisse Dinner Plates, Set of 4: I love how dramatic each setting looks with a matte black (and scratch resistant!) dinner plate! These plates are on the larger side to hold up to those generously sized Thanksgiving servings!
  7. Silver Heritage Bottle Opener: Everyone will want to serve drinks with this alluring crystal handled bottle opener with a pure silver edge detail!
  8. ‘Pewter’ Stoneware Soup Bowl: This warm pewter-glazed stoneware will hold everything from soups and salads to pastas and even dessert! And when you’re guests have gone home, just pop them in the dishwasher to make clean up a breeze!
  9. Classic Serving Set: The shiny mirror finish on these teardrop-shaped servers gives them a classic look that you will enjoy for years to come! These will fit seamlessly into your décor any time of year.
  10. Mode Living Positano Linen Napkins, Set of 4: I want to add a little feminine touch against these sleek, modern elements. A lovely floral linen napkin ties together the color scheme!
  11. Amulet Napkin Ring: These napkin rings are to die for! These brass napkin rings in a silver finish will add plenty of sparkle to each setting with its faceted face!
  12. Tri-Corner Bowl: Beautiful curves meet with 3 gentle points on this serving bowl to elegantly serve all of your special sides to your loved ones!
  13. Carine Red Wine Goblet: These gorgeous red wine goblets feature an organic-inspired textural finish that will add plenty of interest!
  14. Waterford Crystal London Smoke Decanter: Cocktail hour and after dinner drinks will be a fabulous way to end a perfect evening with this decadent crystal decanter.
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Book Review: From Classic to Contemporary by Cullman and Kravis

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You all know how much I love design books. I can’t get enough of them! I even have a new library in my recently renovated home where my collection of design and architecture books live and they are alphabetized so I can get my hands on the perfect book at a moments notice.

I love to scour design books to find new inspiration, to fill my weekends lingering on innovation and creativity and I use books in all of my designs as accessories for a collected look that’s functional too!

Today I’m excited to share From Classic to Contemporary a new design book that is sure to become one of my favorites. This is the third book by the distinguished design firm Cullman and Kravis; you might recognize them from the 2017 AD100 list! This amazing firm out of New York City focuses on mixing traditional interiors with contemporary art to create fabulous interiors, which are comfortable without being overly formal. And friends, if you love color like me, then you will LOVE their work.

As you can tell from the cover, this book is a collection of their most extraordinary designs. Throughout the book, you will see several traditional design elements such as detailed crown molding, ornate antiques, and elegant chandeliers. These classic components are contrasted by contemporary art with clean lines to give these spaces a fresh look that is right up my alley!

Here’s just a little sneak peak at what’s inside the book! I love this study in bright sky blue and bold red. The traditional carpet introduces all of the colors that are echoed in the beautiful bulls eye art above the sofa. Yes, please!

And is there anything more chic than an all-white living room? Cullman and Kravis add pops of color in the art mixed with the metallic elements in the art and coffee tables for sophisticated style. I love the exposed wood backs on the settees to mix in a more natural element. This design is more modern than the previous study space, but carries out the idea of a formally comfortable space.

And I’m in love with this kitchen! The octagon motif on the ceiling, the crisp white cabinets, and the serene green accents are fabulous! It features all of the modern appliance luxuries for anyone who loves to cook while maintaining a cozy aesthetic with dark wood floors and exposed hinges.

I’m already feeling so inspired and cooking up some fresh ideas for a few upcoming projects! What do you think? If you want to get a better look at these interiors and the rest of Cullman and Kravis’ amazing designs, get your copy of their book (or gift it to the design lovers on your list this holiday season) here- From Classic to Contemporary: Decorating with Cullman & Kravis






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