Saturday, December 31, 2016

A dead alligator???

On September 24, I shared about a blow-up alligator that kept the local ducks from making a mess in our pool. Alex did his job well, and made our lives easier. If one can become attached to a plastic toy, I must admit I was fond of the "critter."

Early one morning as my husband and I were listening to some strong wind outside, I thought I heard something strange, almost like a snap. I brushed it aside, not thinking too much about it. Later that morning when we opened the shades I noticed something missing in the pool. Alex was gone.

Heirloom gardening

While growing up, pulling into my grandparents' farm held promises of time with family, wonderful meals, and among other things, enjoying the beautiful plants my grandmother so lovingly grew.

I remember the apple orchard, picking pecans in the fall, but the variety of beautiful flowers hold a special place in my memory.

I once told some friends that my grandmother had 2 green thumbs!  Her flower beds were not filled with manicured scrubs, but with gorgeous flowers of all sorts and colors. If I only had photos of those flower beds, I'd love to "visit" them once again.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Virtual visit to Charleston

One of our favorite resources when building our southern home was to visit actual historic properties, whether living museums or home tours. It simply isn't possible to do such research on a consistent basis if we do not live near a city with historic properties.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas decor from days gone by

I grew up in a home with a few real trees, but mostly artificial trees to keep our allergy problems at bay during the month of December. There was a trend during my childhood where people actually bought aluminum trees and had revolving light wheels that illuminated the tree. Now retro, then trendy!  

Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas at the dormers

While building, we tried to think ahead to how we would use spaces in our home, which allowed us to make some decisions about what was needed in different areas.

In order to place candles in the dormer windows during the Christmas season, we needed a few things:

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


I am collecting an ever-growing list of vendors/artisans/professionals that are known for their above-average quality of work and customer service. Most of these are people I know and have done business with. I feel comfortable recommending them.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Large front doors and wreaths

Each year in our previous homes I have grabbed a wreath and wreath hook to add to my front door. It was that simple!

Not in this house!  YIKES!  Our new doors are over-sized, both in height and thickness. It is no longer simple, or so I thought.

We have had problems finding a way to hang Christmas decor on the doors.

I tried to find someone who could make an over-sized door hook for me, but had no luck. I purchased some hooks, trying to straighten, then bend again, but didn't have the right tools for the job.

Last year, after Christmas without door decor, I was planning to contact Wreath-Pro about a custom size, but they seem to be closed now. (Hope it's temporary.)

Finally I discovered one gal who used a command hook on the inside of her door to hang wreaths by a ribbon. Worth a thought!  (Thank you, Google!)

Gift to a city

Once there lived a wealthy lady by the name of Ima Hogg. She built a spectacular mansion in Houston, TX on the banks of a bayou.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"Recycling" - new life to child's bedroom

I doubt either one of us ever gave any consideration to turning our son's bedroom furniture into an adult guest room, but that is what happened. (See Going around in circles)

Although the room is still a work in progress, here are some photos:

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"Investment pieces" ( furniture ) part 2

(continued from previous post)

Pulling it together

Living room

**As I shared, the fabric on the wing-back chairs was worn on both the ottomans and the chair arms. Yet, we didn't feel the need to invest in new furniture since the frames were still in great shape.

"Investment pieces" ( furniture ) part 1

When starting out together as a young married couple, my husband and I never knew we would someday be able to build our dream home. None of us can see what is ahead of us, so we can only make decisions today with the limited knowledge we have at the present time.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Face Lift for dining room chairs

When it's time to recover the cushions on your dining room chairs, there is a "trick" that might make it easier. (Shared with us by Shar de Marsais of Red Door Decor)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Southern gals love pearls

What is more classic than a pearl necklace? 

While Southern ladies may love their homes, many also share a fondness for pearls. Delicate pearls come in various shades and shapes, yet every pearl necklace I have ever seen has reminded me of a stylish elegance that I greatly admire. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cabinet hardware - adding back plates

To help decide if I wanted back plates on the hardware in this room, I purchased a single back plate as a test. Having this visual helped me see a depth that is difficult to visualize in this photo.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Closet lighting

Some friends and I had a brief discussion about closet lighting. I'll admit that I like the idea of opening a closet door and having instant light. How handy is that!?!?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Cabinet hardware - back-plates? yes or no

 A "Magic Question" can be whether or not you want back-plates behind cabinet  knobs.

I added back-plates behind my bathroom and kitchen knobs because these cabinets are used frequently. I thought of it as protection for the cabinets.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Humor - hiring contractors

Be careful who you hire for remodeling or building projects. All contractors aren't equal.

Click on this link to see some BAD results.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Can a house have enough storage?

Even though I am inclined to think the answer is "NO!" I do realize that well-planned storage, plus not hoarding, can help us all utilize our storage wisely.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

a GRAND inspiration

The iron gates of Philip Simmons are nothing if not GRAND! His work was incredible, his talent was and still is envied, and his legacy lives on indefinitely.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ducks in the pool, oh my!

When I looked outside to see a pair of geese swimming in our pool, I was unnerved, to say the least. We had already chased some birds away that were walking around the patio and pool deck, acting like they had found a new place to play.

While the birds are beautiful, they make huge messes that I had grown tired of cleaning up.

ORGANIZE your product manuals

After years and years (and years) of searching through a drawer full of product manuals, I accidentally discovered what to me was a PERFECT organizational system for this wealth of information.

SAVE those owner's manuals

Product manuals can get misplaced, trashed, lost during construction.

Ask the builder about a good spot for collecting manuals.

After the paint dries...............................

Monday, September 12, 2016

The stressful task of hanging art

Does hanging wall decor have to be stressful?

Ignoring the task is a great temptation and so much easier. But is that the best solution?

Monday, September 5, 2016

Making a perfectly, perfect bed every day

This is not an advertisement - I get no advertising dollars from this company

The Facebook ad claimed,
"Hate making your bed? The duvet cover like you have never seen before" 
I clicked on it, like a few random ads I'd clicked on before this one. Most usually leave me bored and with a "whatever" response.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Success desperately needed here


My husband always tells the kids and I to “keep sucking until you do succeed.” (credit: Little Rascals) I’m wondering how long I have to “suck” before the “succeed” part kicks in.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


When listing our previous home with a real estate agent, we chose to stage it ourselves. We did ask the agent if the staging was workable before putting the house on the market.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Electrical outlets in drawers

While building our new home, we only lived 10 minutes away. I was at the house almost every day, which can be both good and bad.

Bad? I had a great deal of investment in the outcome of the project, and it took more time than I possibly should have spent on it. Maybe that is not all bad. I am not sure.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Mrs. Whaley's garden

If I could return to an earlier time in the history of Charleston, it would probably be when Mrs. Whaley was tending her garden. A legend in the city, her garden was for invited guests only.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Magnolia blossoms after rain

Displaying IMG_20160529_135018721_HDR.jpgSpring and early summer along the Gulf Coast has turned from drab to vibrant. I love the beauty of old magnolia trees, especially when they are in bloom.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fan light transoms

Displaying IMG_20160529_135018721_HDR.jpg
Antebellum homes are wonderful resources when planning a historic-style home. While I would have loved to spend a day photographing favorite pieces in a few of my favorite houses, we didn't have that privilege.  Instead, we paid brief visits that involved short tours of the homes, and used our cameras to help us grab a few details that we noticed during our limited time.


When planning our home, we worked to find design elements that would have looked at home in the 1800s or early 1900s. We didn't insist on exact replicas, only items that were reminiscent of a time period in history.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"Energy Efficient" appliances

While I readily admit that I am not an appliance expert, nor am I an energy expert, I do wonder about the "energy efficient" label on newer appliances.

I've had an HE washer and matching dryer for a few years. Now we have an energy efficient dishwasher in our new home.

Door knobs vs. handles

I've always loved the idea of having door handles instead of knobs in my home. When we built this house, we choose handles. I'm sure there are pros and cons of both, and this morning I discovered another pro for door knobs.

Avoiding expensive plumbing repairs

While owning other houses, we learned a few random lessons that followed us while planning our new home. Simple changes can sometimes be made that hopefully save money in the future.

Plumbing can leak. Be prepared in case of future problems. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Grand daughters and hair bows

We have a new grand baby, a second precious little girl. The mother of these angels loves to use hair bows, so (in my opinion) the baby "needed"a holder for her future hair bow collection. Since I was making the holder to match the colors in the baby's room, big sister needed a holder that matched her room as well.

Don't forget storage for books

Charles William Eliot (1834-1926) is credited with sharing that "Books are the quietest and most constant friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors. and the most patient of teachers."

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Blinding light

I'm not sure this will be useful for anyone, but just in case..........

With the wood-stained front doors having glass inserts, it has been difficult to get an even sheen on the stain inside of the doors. There has been an ongoing problem with the finish at the top corner of one of the doors. However, we can only see it after the sun sets and the lights are on inside the room.