Inspiration in the Studio

Magnificent Master Retreat!

We’ve been working hard lately (and clearly not keeping up with the blog).  Well, these photos of a recent project just had to be shared. When one of our favorite clients came to us with a vision for their master suite, the creative energy started to flow!

What makes this space so special?  

The beautiful natural stacked slate wall.

The engineered solid stone free-standing bathtub.

The reclaimed wood barn door.


The quarter sawn oak cabinets in a beautiful gray stain.

The LED lighting throughout the space.

The engineered stone sinks.

The quartz countertops.


The incredible charm of reclaimed wood floors and bookcases.

The luxurious linens and fabrics on the bed.


But, most of all, it’s the fantastic people who had the vision and allowed us to help them bring it to life!

Builder / Contractor :: Scott Daves Construction

Photography :: Tad Davis Photography

Southern Studio in Vegas! Design and Construction Week!

What a week!  Martha and I traveled to Las Vegas and enjoyed a few days of design inspiration. This year, the NAHB International Builders Show (IBS) combined efforts with the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) for what is now known as Design and Construction Week!  Let’s just say that it was a feast for the eyes….and we’re happy to share our highlights!


The possibilities in cabinetry today are endless and we were excited to see the creativity flowing from some of our favorite lines.  Open shelving, glass details, functional storage, painted finishes in a variety of colors (Martha loved the yellow island), and designs for specialty spaces are the trends we noticed.


The new pumice finish (a beautiful warm gray stain) from Dynasty Cabinetry was a favorite find! It’s available in several wood species….love it.


We always make sure to focus on function before we begin the aesthetics of any design. Well, the functional options we now have in bathroom cabinetry should make everyone happy!  Check out the fabulous new cabinetry and storage options from the new Jacquard Collection by Kohler (I promise the configuration options, finish selections, and attention to detail are unbelievable….even electric outlets on roll-out shelves)!  We were really excited to see the new “medicine cabinet” by Decora too (notice the slide-out feature).


Countertops continue to evolve with beautiful new finishes. We loved the Ocean finish from Silestone! Caesarstone had some unique countertops options too.  The embossed texture of the Motivo Collection has endless possibilities! The Concetto Collection was amazing….imagine the character of semi-precious stones blended into a luxury stone surface (beware, it does come with a price tag but it would be worth the splurge to make a serious design statement).


We loved the variety of ways we found LED lighting being used. Check out the glass countertop lit with LED.  And the beautiful glow created in the back of these wine cubbies!


Our favorite sinks were a “sustainable blend of natural materials” (think jute and concrete) to make the perfect lightweight concrete vessels for the kitchen and bath. The NativeStone Collection by Native Trails was amazing.


We were thrilled with the natural textures of the new introductions by Daltile.


All types of hardware (door hardware, cabinet hardware, bath hardware) become the jewelry of every house. We can’t wait to use the many new options from Emtek. The crystal is seriously stunning!


We were so impressed by the many architectural grill options available. The creative ideas were flowing on how we could incorporate these unique details into kitchens, wall screens, outdoor spaces, and kids rooms….lots of brainstorming happening!


We also enjoyed the many new options in building materials….especially windows and doors. My favorite are the sliding and stackable doors like these from NanaWall and Kolbe. With outdoor living so popular in our culture, these doors join our indoor living spaces with the outdoors beautifully (but, once again, a definite splurge)!


With so much cultured stone being used in construction now, there are many possibilities.  We noticed a definite shift to the cleaner lines and smaller profiles of rough-cut stacked stone.


We spent a bit of time exploring the over-the-top design of the many casinos….travel is always a great source of inspiration! We especially want to thank a few of the fantastic people who helped make the trip extra special….our Delta and Brizo Faucet rep (Brizo is one of my all-time favorite faucet lines) and the team at Houzz (this site is amazing for anyone building or remodeling and we were so thankful to spend time with them).


As the saying goes, “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas!” We hope that this does not hold true for our experience….we can’t wait to bring our favorite finds back to our clients!


One of Our Latest Projects! Great Clients. Great Builder.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. I think the saying is appropriate for this project. We were fortunate enough to work with some wonderful clients throughout the construction and furnishing of their beautiful home. Kudos to Alan Blankenship, an incredibly talented builder with Blankenship Custom Homes!

Love this keeping room….cozy and comfortable!  I actually stopped by recently and found myself lingering a bit too long in that swivel chair.

This is a dream kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances. Notice the beautiful finish on the hood!

The finishes in this dining room are stunning….the faux finish walls and exquisite window treatments.

Now this is an office! Not a bad place to spend the day.

And, the bathrooms…let’s just say details are key!

Thanks, John and Lauren for sharing your home!  When we first met many months ago, we knew we’d be spending a lot of time together. I have to say, we’re missing you these days. Enjoy it all!

Photography by Dustin Peck

Inspiration in the projects in Cary and Raleigh!

2012 is off to a great start and the creativity is flowing in the studio! Some days the studio is an absolute mess (well, an organized mess) while we’re developing a design. Today is one of those days…

We’ve been working on some wonderful projects, including a recreation room in Cary. I love the warmth and especially the cinnamon leather…can’t wait to see how it all comes together.

A bathroom remodel is Raleigh is shaping up beautifully. Adding a little bling of glass and metallic mosaic tiles to a classic black and white palette is making me happy…

Where do we get our inspiration? Well, this wall of beauty in our office certainly helps. Check out the color and pattern and texture in these fabulous fabrics and area rugs.

A special thank you to my better half for making it happen….the amount of uncompensated technical and carpentry work the man does for us is unbelievable.

It’s a fun day in the studio. One day, I’ll share the ugly side of the business, but not today.

Design Inspiration on the Web!

During these chilly and dark winter evenings, I’ve found a new design obsession. For years, I’ve spent hours reading magazines and tearing out beautiful spaces and creative ideas. Organizing and then finding my favorites again has always been frustrating. I think the days of piles of magazine clippings are coming to an end (although I’ll never give up the magazines). Like everything else, the web is taking over.

Anyone who is considering building or remodeling their home (or just has a passion for design), needs to be on these sites!

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows you to organize and share

all the beautiful things you find on the web.

Houzz is a leading destination site for home design

enthusiasts — professional and homeowners.

You can follow me on Pinterest here or find Southern Studio on Houzz here.

Beware, you can quickly get sucked into these sites….the ideas and inspiration are endless. It’s an addicting guilty pleasure that goes well with a glass of wine! Enjoy.