Monday, November 28, 2011


Here's some creative Christmas designs for your Cyber Monday! I love finding beautiful typography and illustrations in unexpected places! 

This is the bookeyed suzanne font that Abode Love and I have been drooling over ever since we purchased bookeyed jack (I really love all the tart workshop fonts)! We know have both bookeyed fonts and are forcing it onto all our designs! I love the sweet, winter illustration paired with the delicate type - such a great way to warm up a chilly day!

I love seeing different types of mediums used in marketing rather than just graphics. This watercolor illustration is so simple, but perfect for this seasonal campaign - just the right amount of color and detail to not over power the message! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

INSPIRATION BOARD: melrose's master bedroom

I just posted my inspiration photos and now I wanted to share my official design. So far we have successfully updated the paint color (wall and ceiling), hung curtains and rods, purchased a dresser for myself, replaced the fan, and arranged few knick knacks, but the main issue is the furniture. It is in desperate need of a new home (yard sale!). It was Brandon's furniture as a child and has made it's way to Auburn, to his frat house, to Montgomery, and now to Homewood so you can imagine the war wounds it has incurred since then! 

I am not a huge fan of matchy-matchy furniture sets - nothing against them, just not my style. I like to find separate pieces that work well together so you have variety in the room. And this way you can add pieces that contrast one another so it doesn't end up seeming "too dark" or "too masculine/feminine".

Brandon got it stuck in his head that we needed all wood furniture for some reason so that is where the search began. I love the upholstered, tufted headboards that are so trendy right now, but apparently that would not cut it with B. After much research and deliberation, I settled on this beautiful, modern sleigh bed with carved rosettes. Our bedroom is not very deep, so I am still anxious to see how the exaggerated sleigh headboard fits in the room. We had to order the one without the footboard to leave walking room for the dresser. 

Here is a simple layout of one side of the room to illustrate the new bed and decor. Due to my industrial design background, I have to make sure everything fits and coordinates perfectly so this is to scale!
sorry for the image of the quilt, Serena & Lily no longer makes that so I had to use the only miniscule pic I could find

Yes, that is Brandon's skull mount above the bed. I thought the space looked too symmetrical and since the headboard is straight across, I thought it needed something above it to balance it. The large white frames above each nightstand will be 30" square and display a wedding picture in each. They will be similar to the ones I made for above my bar except with a large matt and small picture. And above each frame is a small, gold gilded convex mirror. 

For the rest of the room, I created an inspiration board with the other items I have in mind for the room. I can't wait for it all to come in so I can begin arranging it all!
ONE: restoration hardware empire rosette sleigh bed
TWO: trio of antlers
THREE: brass lion door knocker
FOUR: west elm striped sheets
FIVE: coral ikat fabric for euro shams
SIX: round wooden mirror
SEVEN: serena & lily gold quilt
EIGHT: haven's harbor nightstand
NINE: cape comber bachelor's chest
TEN: restoration hardware empire rosette dresser 

Don't worry, this isn't all ... I am leaving some stuff to the imagination! I will be sure to post B&A pictures once I have it all in place. Also making it's way into the bedroom and on my nightstand are a few of these gorgeous books I posted about earlier. 

follow my pinterest board for quick updates too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I have been gathering inspiration photos for Melrose's master bedroom for awhile now and I wanted to share a few. I picked a dark gray paint color for the walls since the room has a lot of natural light. We have a large window and double doors that lead onto the back porch. Plus, I knew I wanted to accent the room with lots of white, cream, and gold to brighten the room as well. Other than those decisions, I have started from scratch! 

After moving in our current furniture I knew the layout of the room, but I needed decor inspiration. My toughest decision has been deciding on what type of finishes will not clash with the dark gray walls. I knew if all the furniture was dark then the room would look like a black hole. Here are some designer rooms that I have saved to reference while designing this room.
 lots of white with gold frames
 painting with light?
 simple, but sophisticated 
 our walls are similar to this color ... 
 beautifully designed ... 
 white matted photos with coral
 I like this layout a lot 
 I am obsessed with this room - the large photograph, matching fabric on bed and curtains, crisp, white decor, shag rug ... should I go on?
 dark walls with white furniture
 the artwork in this room is fabulous - who knew a white canvas could be so dramatic?
I'll post my layout mock up and inspiration boards next so you can see the correlation between inspiration and reality. Decisions, decisions! What kind of furniture do you pair with your darker rooms?

Monday, November 21, 2011

FANCY CHICKENS: correction!

In honor of Thanksgiving I thought I would post about one of our main attractions ... 

This past weekend we were in my hometown for my little bro's engagement party and we had a chance to visit with all the new additions. As I have posted before, my parents have just recently increased their  chicken family to 2 different breeds. It is fascinating to see the reds intermingle with the blacks and for Bob (the rooster) to govern over all of them. He is actually a kind, mild rooster and will take his share of bread and feed it to the hens rather than eating it himself! After all, it is the season for giving and sharing.

Well, our neighbor raises chickens as well so we hopped the fence to see what he had in store. Apparently, his chicken family consists of 5 different varieties of chickens! And some are super fancy! I was bewildered by this one breed and kept wanting to "pet" their fluffy head pieces. They are polish chickens and here is a brief description about them:

Polish are a very special and unique breed of chicken with their huge bouffant crest of feathers and v-shaped comb. They are tame but their behavior can be a bit wacky since their crest limits their vision. When in a flock with more aggressive breeds, Polish will tend to be on the low end of the pecking order. Egg laying is varied in this breed - some lay well and some very poorly. In short, Polish are sweet, beautiful exhibition birds and can be good layers in the backyard flock, but they're not reliable.

These are actually back views of their heads if you can believe it! How crazy is that? Here are some front views I snagged from the interwebs:

No wonder they can't see very well! If my eyebrows were that huge I wouldn't be able to see either. I only had time to take a few other pictures. Maybe next time I am home I can take some better ones and capture all the breeds.
I loved these black and white striped ones, dominque

This breed (silver laced cochin) of chickens are huge! And you can't tell in this shot, but their feathers actually cover their legs like chaps and swish when they walk. They look like this:
photo from the web

It was all so amusing! Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving week! 

***Our neighbor actually has 12 varieties of chickens! I don't know how I missed the other 7 but here is a complete list for those interested:
White Crested Black Polish
Silver Laced Cochins
Silver Laced Wyondotts
Barred Plymouth Rocks
White Plymouth Rocks
Buff Plymouth Rocks
White Leghorns
Blue Andalusia
Rhode Island Reds

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I know several bloggers have posted about the trend of incorporating deer (or any other massive animal's) antlers in home decor, but my post involves a personal encounter. Brandon loves to hunt - deer, pheasants, birds, you name it! And I love when he hunts because it gives me a free weekend of shopping and home re-arranging without him watching! 

Well,  a few weekends ago Brandon shot the big one. I say that because he is very generous when he pulls the trigger ... he likes to wait until he knows it is bigger than his last kill and will make a good "trophy." This is the first deer he has shot in the five years I have known him if that tells you anything. Here is a picture of him with his new bff. (I hope no animal lovers take offense to this post - we do eat the meat and donate some as well)
pardon the phone pic

I have started to decorate Melrose with a few natural elements, but I am not a huge fan of turning her into a hunting lodge or log cabin. I like them in the perfect place. Using antlers, or other natural elements, strategically in a room can be so chic and sophisticated. Especially since they provide substantial depth and height while still being neutral enough to not overpower a room. They are also a great way to offset a room that seems too feminine or glamourous. 

Now that Brandon has noticed I like rustic, natural items, he is gung-ho on displaying his new bff in Melrose. Which I am fine with, only in my style of course! There are 2 options when mounting a deer (that I know of): skull only or a classic shoulder mount. Now, first off I despise the shoulder mount, but after seeing these photos I second guessed that decision.

I think these shoulder mounts were executed in the perfect manner. The last photo with the mount of the black wall is exquisite. All of the rooms are still subtle and neutral without looking like my husband's dream vacation. Although these photos can be convincing, Brandon decided on a skull mount which I am anxious to see. This is what he showed me it will be similar to:
I am possibly thinking about removing the plaque so it is just the skull. These mounts are definitely not as massive as the full head, but can be more discreet when displayed. I like that the antlers are so organic and are not a symmetrical element. There are many more animals you can mount than just deer - one day I hope to have moose or elk antlers (hint, hint Brandon). Check out these beautiful photos:
 hat rack anyone?

love the bleached skull on the white wall and the saturated brown antlers provide just enough contrast against the starkness of the room
What do you think? If you want antlers on a smaller scale, check out these mini collections of mounted antlers.

Ballard Designs and Home Decorators have great options for achieving this look. You can also find real antlers on Etsy as well. 

Another natural element I have become fond of for home decor is turtle shells. Again, the brown and caramel tones are a perfect neutral to mix in with current decor. I am on the hunt for a large one in good condition to display in Melrose somewhere. Here are some inspiration images I have found through the design world.
 naturally chic paired with a pop of gold
 I want this size!
Brandon's skull mount is scheduled to make its appearance in the master bedroom above the bed so I will keep you posted! The master is currently undergoing a full overhaul so stay tuned for B&A pictures! (if the furniture will hurry up and get delivered! I have all ready received two late shipping emails!)

Do you have any natural elements currently displayed in your abode? Or are you a fan of this style? Please share!

all photo sources can be found through my pinterest board

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Now that it is finally cooler around Birmingham, I wanted to share some of my new favorite fall items that get me in the festive mood. Let me say, I do like cool, fall breeze weather - not freezing, takes you 15 minutes to get bundled up for outside weather! But, I am excited about sitting around a fire at Melrose! [as soon as we get a chimney sweeper over there!]
sources also available through my pinterest

ONE : chunky cowl scarf
TWO : great lakes trapper hat - I think I need this for our Christmas trip to DC!
THREE : jcrew quilted vest (but in navy blue)
FOUR : report 'belzer' boot - I am currently sporting these and I love them, the height is fantastic!
FIVE : steven 'pembrook' bootie - doesn't everyone need one tall boot and one short???
SIX: nestle sugar cookie creamer - loving this in my morning cup of joe right now!
SEVEN : madewell silk blouse
EIGHT : h&m fur vest

Do you have any new fall favorites? Please share!


So ... lets just say it was a combination of Halloween (candy) and tailgating for AU football that made this detox not such a great idea last week. Don't get me wrong, it definitely flushed me out, but I did not obey the "eat reasonably" rule to loose any substantial pounds. 

Overall - I think it is worth trying because it tastes good and helps detoxify your body. During my research I read that several ladies drink it on a normal basis to help their bodies stay slim. 

If you have better results than me, please share! I'm not giving up though - I will try again and succeed!