FALLing In Love Again

It’s my favorite time of the year.















So even though it’s not yet sweater weather in Alabama and might not be for a while it is time to start planning Thanksgiving decor and pulling out the favorite soup and bread recipes. I just had a hot cup of chai latte. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.  🙂

Happy Friday and Happy Fall Y’all!

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A Book Review

I have had the pleasure of reading for review the latest publication from my friend, Steve Mouzon.



Steve was the town architect for The Waters in Alabama, a TND (Traditional Neighborhood Design) community in which I live and work. He is one of the pioneers and movers and shakers in New Urbanism- a cause near and dear to my heart.

Steve’s new book,  New Media for Designers + Builders is an electronic book. It was written in Apple’s iBooks Author, which for the first time allows e-books to be what they’ve always wanted to be: beautiful, highly interlinked with the outside world, and full of interactive fun. You can read it on an iPad. There’s also a Kindle version in the works, which may be complete by the time you’re reading this.


I am having one heck of  a time trying to decide how best to describe this book to you since I have never seen one quite like it. I will tell you this, it will never be deleted from my bookshelf. It is a reference tool like no other that will prove to be invaluable to anyone who designs: Planners, architects, engineers, landscape architects, interior designers, and other creatives. It’s also for anyone who builds: developers, contractors, homebuilders, and tradespeople of all stripes, plus allied disciplines like real estate. In short, it’s for those who work more often in the world of bricks-and-mortar than clicks-and-orders.

This one book answered more questions for me in a shorter amount of time than all of the hundreds of hours I have spent over the last five years trying to figure out how to best fit  myself into this new world that we find ourselves in. It breaks down all of the different channels of the new media and explains what they are, how they work and why they might be important to your business. If you are familiar with that particular “channel”, say twitter, then you can simply skim or skip. If, however, you have no idea what a tweet is or why you should be on Linked In or why you might need to be blogging then you can spend hours if need be clicking on live links that take you as deep as you want to go into the subject.

If you, like most of us, have been baffled by the changes in our industry and have struggled to even recognize the “new normal” landscape, read the book. One comment made by Steve that I think is dead-on is that if you are waiting for the glory days of 2005-2008 to come back you are already out of business. It will not look like that again so you better be evolving to fit the new paradigm.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. Recognizing this in 2008 is what led me to design my line of fabrics and furniture. Embrace the change and you never know what is around the corner. Steve has great stories of his own to tell about this.

Another thing that I have always struggled with is branding. I know that those who have done the best job of branding themselves have made a lot more money than I; but it has always been so important to me that I give a client a space that reflects them, not me. So, I could just never make the leap. Steve saved me. He and Josh Miles discuss the difference between branding and causes; and how what we really want is to be remarkable. I love that. I loved it even more when I read this quote, “brands might be seen as ‘high-cost remarkability with handcuffs’.” YES!!! That is exactly how I felt. I don’t want to do the exact same thing all the time for every single person but still I do have a niche’ and within that niche’ my goal is to remarkable.

You have to read the book. Period.

To purchase go here.

Steve is a much sought after speaker on a variety of topics. He can be reached at

Phone: 786-276-6000

Email: steve@mouzon.com

Physical Address:

1253 Washington Avenue

Suite 222

Miami Beach, FL 33139

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How Did You Make Those Lamps Float??

A little background on Friday’s  bedroom reveal. If you missed it go here to catch up. I was so pleased with how the wall sconces turned out but getting there was no small feat.

I found these great lamps at Tuesday Morning for $9.99 and knew instinctively that they would be perfect but then had to put on my engineer’s hat (which doesn’t always fit real well) and figure out how to retrofit them since I didn’t want them to just hang over the headboard.





At first I planned to hang them by this really beautiful antique chain from the canopy but the lights flopped down since they are bottom heavy so it was on to plan B. Then C. 🙂

In the end I had Jim at Gowan Iron (who made the bed for me)  clip off the hooks that were on the top and craft what amounted to a very heavy duty plate hanger that hugged the back of the lamp at the top and bottom.



The bed projects out from the wall 6″ so I had an extension bar welded to the back of the “plate hook”. We made this as small in diameter as possible because we had to make a slit in the bed hangings for this bar and for the cord to pass through.


Then we had a plate made that would screw into the wall that also had an extension that would slide over the other extension and be secured by a little screw.

That multi-talented man of mine (OK, I confess, he is the real brains behind figuring out how to make all of this stuff work) then secured them to the wall.



They fit like a glove. (Thank  you Jim)

And voila! Lights that float on scrim.

floating lamps


Don’t get any ideas about having Jim make some for you. He told me in no uncertain terms that he would kill me if I ever walked in the door with lamp shades again.

I sent him a text the next day saying I would like for him to make 6 more pair more me.

tee hee. Wasn’t that MEAN???

What magic tricks do you have? Let’s talk.

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The Best Reveal Ever!!!

As you know we have been working on a master bedroom renovation in one of the historic areas of our city.



I love, love, love this family. They have waited so patiently for this much deserved retreat taking care of the family areas, the children’s rooms, everything but their own private get away. We laughed as they told stories of the ah, interesting,  no, horrifying places that med students call home sometimes. I always especially love to create a beautiful haven for them.

Sooooo, The Lettered Cottage went to take a peek at the final product and what resulted is a post that will lead you into the weekend with a grin on your face that will not stop. My cheeks hurt.

Love ya Layla and LOVE YA  J and A.  Colleagues and clients who become family… it doesn’t get any better than that.

Y’all are now rock stars!!


Now! Jump on over to The Lettered Cottage and get your grin on. 🙂

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It’s Reveal Time.. Finally!

What a great day we have had! It started out with a photo shoot (more about that soon!).



We literally ran from the shoot to another city to set up the law office we have been talking about for months. Miracle Man ( the man can hang anything that will stand still) immediately set to work on my prize possessions- two windows out of the old Biltmore Village school in Ashville, North Carolina that we re-purposed as mirrors.

jinks law1

As Steve measured, furniture was being hauled in. ( yes, that rug is going 🙂 )


I am stacking the windows/mirrors one on top of the other with the bottom one  turned upside down. When complete it will form a very dramatic 100″  tall oval.


Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the room Leon was getting started on the grass cloth.



Love it. Love the chandeliers.

We originally planned to pull the plaster off this wall also to expose the brick but it was not possible so I chose to add the texture of the grass to add some weight to this end of the room to balance the brick on the other.

If you have been following me for any length of time you know that my love and passion is taking any building old or new and adding character to it through the use of architectural antiques, unique finishes or whatever I can imagine to take it from the ordinary to something very special. This was one of those projects. Lest you forget, this is what we started with.

Forever design blog

This was the sketch that I drew as we dreamed of what it might become.

forever design blog

And even though the draperies are still on the workroom table and we are still missing a few pieces of furniture this is how it looked an hour ago when we left. As I told the owners, I was giddy.

I LOVE salvage!!!

Really wish I were a better photographer. 🙁

It is so close I can taste it!

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Florida Bound But No Beach Bummin’!


August was our fabric debut month on the Florida panhandle and The Writer and I had a blast!

Here we are clowning it up with the Karen, Cassidy and Lindsay the Lovely Ladies of Lovelace Interiors  in Destin. They are so cute. Get a move on girls. We have houses to finish!



Moving on down the coast I got to work with this cutie on a couple of little girls’ bedrooms. That is always fun!

Yeah Libby Baker! Can’t wait to see what you decided on.


I have no idea what happened to my fun picture with favorite architect Geoff Chick. sad. However, I pulled this picture of his office from his web-site because you simply can’t miss out on this.


Yep Folks, you saw it right. That is, indeed, a porshe’ parked in the middle the office right beside a Le Corbusier chaise.

Now, the morning that we were there the car had a surf board tied on top of it and Geoff strolled in in shorts and flip flops but then that’s how they  roll on 30A.  I consider Geoff the head of my Dream Team. After all, our first house together was an award winner.

And his wife…………. we don’t have enough time for me to tell you how much I love this Chick. No pun intended.

She was mad at me for taking this picture because “she looked so awful”. Yeah right!! In my dreams I look that awful.

Love you Shawn. smooch.

In case you are unaware she owns the most adorable children’s store on the beach:Fritz and Emme at Rosemary.


Thanks dear, dear 30A for reception. You inspire us to greatness.



p.s. So sorry I missed out on seeing fellow Auburnite, Erika Powell . She was still out on maternity leave. Enjoy those babies while you can Erika. Trust me, time flies.

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August Project Updates

There are several projects that have progressed quite nicely since our last visit. Each involved steps that you might relate to.

The first, a master bedroom renovation, involved finding just the right bed to create the romantic get-away that these two deserved.

We started out with this one.

millage bed2]

But it was too expensive.

Then we moved over to this one.
millage bed2

But we couldn’t get it in time.

So I considered this one.

millage bed 1

But it just didn’t “feel” quite right.

Are you catching a pattern here? I felt a bit like Goldilocks trying to find one that was “just right” for Baby Bear. haha

In the end…. I designed my own borrowing elements from each


and had  my local fabricator make it for me. Win, Win, Win!!!!

Support the local economy. Get it when you need it. Get it at a fair price. It doesn’t get any better than that. And that, after all, is what a designer SHOULD be bringing to the table. By taking these extra steps I able to bring the project in on time and on budget (except for some add-ons that the client asked for in the end like framed pictures of the children).

Besides, getting your hands dirty is a lot more fun anyway.

A peek behind the magic curtain…






And before you know it..(only a sneak peek mind you. Patience is a virtue.)


We have a special, surprise reveal planned for you very soon. Keep checking back. You don’t want to miss it!!

What projects are you working on?

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Happy Labor Day… three days late.




Too pretty not to share, this was our neighborhood Monday night as we celebrated Labor Day with the fireworks presentation that was rained out July 4.

I had no idea it had been so long since the last post. I apologize and will get my little self in gear and get you caught up on the whirlwind called August.


Until then, enjoy this beautiful weather and tell me what I have missed out on in your world… especially if it involved pretties!




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