Posts Tagged ‘#SP’

Love, Baking, and Mother’s Day

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Not much “feeds” my soul like being in the kitchen. I have been cooking since I was less than 10 – and today cooking is my therapy and an escape from the whirlwind of my design and consulting business. I loved cooking with my mother when I was younger and still today on holidays, and now my own daughter loves to cook and bake with me! It’s a way that the three of us can connect and make memories. We enjoy getting into the kitchen and cooking for our families because food is definitely a way we Southerners show love to those important people in our lives!

This weekend is Mother’s Day, and I know all three of us will be in the kitchen creating treats for each other, like we always do. But this year, Ellison and I have a fabulous new kitchen for our culinary creations! For my home remodel, I put Thermador at the top of my shopping list for all my appliances. They give me the functional and fabulous tools I need to concoct amazing dishes, food gifts, and meals for all my family.

We took advantage of my gorgeous new kitchen to create a Mother’s Day video for Thermador, showcasing how much fun we have together when we’re cooking and baking and hanging out at home! I am clearly not as cool as she is, but I’m just glad that my almost seventh-grader still wants to be with me, especially in the kitchen.  Just click here to see what kind of craziness we serve up when we’re together!

I wish all of you moms out there a very special Mother’s Day and I hope you’re making amazing memories with your little ones (and not-so-little ones) in the kitchen, too!








Instagram Inspiration: A Cook’s Dream

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We’re just two weeks from Thanksgiving and the fun of cooking for family and baking for the holidays – something I absolutely love! It’s my stress relief and the way this Southern girl shows her love. Having my new kitchen this year is going to make it an even more fabulous experience and I can’t wait to get in there with my daughter to whip up treats like the mini bundt cakes she made above. She’s quite a baker all on her own!


If you’re following me on Instagram, you know I’ve found a lot of cooking inspiration from Blue Apron. The meals they’ve sent have taught me new techniques and ideas that I’m going to try for my holiday cooking!


But what really has me excited about getting into the kitchen are all of the fabulous new Thermador appliances we’ve installed, like my gorgeous new range above. I may be their brand ambassador today, but I’ve been a long-time believer in their brand and appliances. In fact, I grew up eating the delicious meals and treats my mom created on her Thermador range! Making pancakes is so much fun on the stove-top griddle – it’s the kind of Thermador innovation that a real cook like me loves!


If my daughter continues to make delicious treats like the chocolate lava meringue cupcakes she made above, though, I’m going to have to break out another great machine in my kitchen…


Thank goodness I’m a huge fan of juicing! It will help me keep some balance in this fun and crazy holiday season! What are your favorite traditions and dishes for the holidays? Let me know in the comments section below.

Happy Cooking!



New House Diary: Floor It

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New House Diary

By the time you read this, I should be back into my new house because yesterday was moving day! It’s been so much fun to watch the last few details get nailed down and put into place as we hit the home stretch over the last few days. I have never seen so many hard-working people helping me get this house ready and pull off my move.

One thing in my house that is a serious workhorse this week (and will be for years to come) – but rarely gets the glory – is all of the lovely flooring. We have traipsed dozens of boxes, appliances, sofas and more across them already and they are just getting started supporting all our activities in our newly remodeled home.

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The beautiful black-and-white Emser Tile in my entry literally made me jump up and down – it’s just that pretty! It’s called Times Square so it reminds me of my favorite city and I just love this classic look. It’s clean and sophisticated, and it will really make a statement for guests as they enter my house. ProSource has been a fabulous sourcing partner to help me find the perfect look for each room and they have the best vendors who have been such a joy to work with!

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If you’ve been paying attention to this regular column of mine, you may have also seen a  hint of what the floors in my kitchen and wet bar just might be, too!

IMG_6489A little like another of my favorite places, this floor is reminiscent of a Paris Bistro. And though it looks like marble, it’s glass. This cool new product from Daltile looks great and doesn’t show anything, especially dirt and lint. I LOVE it!

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And upstairs in the guest bath, these grey marble hexagon tiles from Speartek give the room a soft glow. It’s another classic look that really makes an impact, even if it isn’t the first thing you’ll notice in this room.

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There are so many pretties on the floors of this house, I can’t decide my favorite, but in the running is definitely the fabulous Daltile mosaic floor in the master bathroom! Don’t you just love that classic Greek key motif around the border?! It is such a stunning design and turned out even better than I imagined!

IMG_6494And don’t forget all the gorgeous AND eco-friendly wood floors from Shaw in a warm color called “Wheat Penny.”  They cover a lot of my home. With our allergies, pets, and kids, I definitely wanted the old, dirty carpet that came with the house out of there and sleek and beautiful hardwoods in its place. Now just walking up my stairs and seeing hardwoods span the length of the house and into my yoga room makes me feel more calm and relaxed. Namaste Shaw Flooring!

So what do you think about my new floors so far? Do you like the classic look of black and white that runs through much of the house? Give me your comments in the section below!







New House Diary: Selections for Fixtures

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New House Diary

Ready or not, I am moving into my house in just 4 days! This has been an amazing process and I can’t wait to get into the new spaces and really enjoy how they function now! Plus it will now be time to really dig into the interior design for my house since we have the “bones” of the house just like we want them. For many of my clients, I finish both of these phases at once, but for my own project, I decided to take the construction and interiors phases separately. It was the only way I could stay sane while running my busy design and consulting businesses AND remodeling while taking care of my family and myself. Whew!

So stay tuned for more inside scoops on how I’m decorating the new home. I expect to complete most of it this summer so I can photograph it all this fall. But this week, before the decorating begins, I want to talk more about the fundamental selections that make my new house function so well – like the hardware and fixtures.

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As you can see from the photo above, they may not look as “sexy” as the fabrics and paint colors, but things like a great tub can really make your house into a fabulous home. I’m actually test-driving my new Kohler VibrAcoustic above, and when I tell you how cool it is, you’ll understand why my smile is so big! This tub uses sound vibration technology that moves the water with sound waves, which can also be combined with airjets for massage. You can even stream your own music through the water with Bluetooth. Isn’t that amazing? Talk about a “Calgon moment” – this tub is going to help me get rid of all my stress from the day. And I especially love a tub that is deep like this one at 22″ because it’s perfect for soaking away stress!

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I also chose Kohler’s Artifacts series for the fixtures on the tub. I love their sleek look, which will really complement the decor in the master bathroom. I also used these fixtures for the master bath’s sinks.

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In the kitchen, I really wanted an apron-front sink, and I found the perfect one with Kohler’s Dickinson design. It’s enameled cast iron and it’s 8 inches deep, so it will really be perfect for the cooking and cleaning up that we’ll be doing in my fab new kitchen. I have always had a double bowl sink in my previous homes, but have admired single-bowl versions in friend’s homes and in magazines. Now that I will have 2 dishwashers and no need to pile up one side of the sink with excess dirty dishes (which makes me crazy anyway!), why not go for the lovely single-bowl option? I will let you know very soon how I like it.

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To accommodate all those pots and pans, I wanted a high gooseneck spout for my faucet in the kitchen and Kohler’s Parq was my first choice! I really like the chic design and (spoiler alert!) chose it in the polished nickel to complement other design selections in the kitchen .

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Another fun fixture selection that I’m excited about is Kohler’s Poise entertainment sink for my wet bar. It’s a stainless steel sink that has a cutting board that fits right over it! This will be perfect for cutting limes, lemons, breads, cheese, and anything else we need when we have friends and family over.

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And in the powder room, we’ll actually have Kohler’s San Souci toilet, which works with just the wave of your hand! Isn’t that cool?  I love this option because it keeps germs at bay for my family and our guests because no one has to touch a handle for flushing the toilet. This is every mom’s dream, especially since this is the bath we use for all our guests visiting our backyard and swimming pool!

Technology has come a long way for the home, and these fixtures are so important for how your home functions for you and your family. Plumbing fixtures may not be the first thing that guests notice when they come into your home, but they make ALL the difference in working for the way you live!

Let me know what you think about these fixture selections in the comments section below, and tell me what types of sinks and hardware you prefer for your home!







New House Diary: The Kitchen Appliances

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New House Diary

I’m only two weeks from move-in day! I am so excited to soon be back in my house – and the room I can’t wait to get into is the kitchen. It is coming together even better than I imagined it could be! I’m ready to jump right in there and learn how to use everything including my new steam oven! Baking and cooking are stress relievers for me, and I’m in my happy place when I’m with my daughter creating fun and fabulous treats for the family.

So selecting appliances was like being a kid in a candy store for me! I’m lucky enough to be the brand ambassador for Thermador and I’ve learned a lot about their fabulous products and their company over the last year. When it came time to make my selections, I knew I would be purchasing Thermador without question. The hard part was deciding which of their products would be best for me.

Pro Series Range

For the range, I chose Thermador’s 48″ Professional Series Pro Range Grand Commercial Depth Range. The key for this great appliance for me was that it is duel fuel. I like to for my cooktop to be gas because the amazing Star Burners give me a lot of flexibility in the heat source, from an extra-low simmer to a quick and fast boil. But I love an electric oven because I find that I get a more even bake with it. For the range top, I also purchased the grill insert that switches out with the griddle for all the times that it’s not outdoor grilling weather. And I had a local metal worker create a custom hood with a Thermador ventilation insert and blower to perfectly vent my new commercial grade range no matter if I am using the star burners, griddle, or grill. It’s not only functional but gorgeous, too!  I can’t wait to show you the finished look!

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In addition to the 2 ovens under my range, I am also installing a steam oven in a wall cabinet. I’m so excited about the steam oven – it’s going to be perfect for everything from healthy steamed dishes to creating perfect crusty bread!


I also selected a 30-inch convection panel-front warming drawer for the island, and Thermador‘s new built-in MicroDrawer Microwave. I can fit a 13×9 pan into this fabulous microwave and it has 10 cooking modes. I love how it sits flush into my cabinetry and will give me even more space on my counters since I don’t have to have a freestanding microwave sitting out on them or taking up valuable upper cabinet space.


For refrigeration, I love the flexibility of Thermador’s Freedom Collection. It allows me to select refrigeration columns based on how my family eats and cooks. I use a lot of fresh ingredients and I wanted the fridge section to be bigger, so I chose the 30-inch Fresh Food Column, combined with a 24-inch Freezer Column. They’ll have panels that match the cabinetry in the kitchen, which I love for a seamless and chic look. And for our wine storage, I chose the 18-inch wine preservation column. All 3 of these pieces will fit perfectly in a row. I can’t decide if I am more excited about my refrigerator or wine column!

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In the island, I’ll also have Thermador’s brand new under-counter refrigerator drawers that will allow me to store drinks and other food in an easy-to-access place. Thankfully my project took a few months to complete and in that time period, Thermador launched their under-counter refrigeration. It was a category that I was reluctantly going to have to purchase from another vendor but Thermador came to my rescue just in the nick of time!


For quick clean up, I chose 2 of Thermador’s amazing Star Sapphire dishwashers, which will also have a panel front that matches the cabinetry. Yep, we use a lot of dishes and cookware when my family and I fix meals and I hate to have dishes in the sink. This dishwasher can do a full clean cycle in only 20 minutes, which is incredible! And with 2 of them running at once, we should never have a dirty dish for long. The Star Sapphire dishwasher also has the largest capacity for wine glasses that you can find out there today, a “time remaining” power beam, and a flexible third drawer that can be adjusted to fit whatever you need to clean.

Wow! Now you can see why I’m SO thrilled to be getting into this fabulous new kitchen with all of the hard-working appliances that I’ve chosen! I may go into a frenzy of baking for a few weeks, so keep your eye out for my kitchen creations on Instagram starting in May. And watch this space as I reveal more of my new house selections in the coming weeks. It will take me a couple of months to finish my decor but my kitchen will be hard at work even when all my interiors aren’t quite complete.

Happy cooking!