Inspiration in the Studio

A Completed Project on Lake Gaston (another favorite)!

For the past 18 months, I’ve been working with the most fantastic clients (and now wonderful friends) to bring their dream of a second home on Lake Gaston to life. I had the pleasure of working closely with Sid Cutts with Corbitt Hills Construction on the project.  I cannot say enough about Sid’s attention to detail and craftsmanship. Several weeks ago, we spent the day photographing the project and I wanted to share the results. I’ll do my best to give you a virtual tour… we go….

The exterior facade is gorgeous with handcrafted detailing in the columns, shutters, and gables.


The foyer of the home is open to the adjacent lodge room and dining room.  Notice the stunning front door and beautiful light fixtures by Currey & Company.


The lodge room has a beautiful view of the lake and includes more quality detailing in the built-in cabinetry and ceiling detailing. Check out the curved leather sofa…the perfect conversation space!


This kitchen is a dream! The large center island is the perfect gathering spot. We decided to stack the cabinets to the 10′ ceiling height to maximize storage and make a grand statement. Mixing the finishes on the cabinets gave added visual interest. We worked closely with Lake Country Kitchens to create the perfect design. The kitchen backsplash is a combination of tiles, including natural stone and handcrafted decorative tiles and mosaics. What do you think?


The keeping room is open to the kitchen and breakfast nook. Notice the beautiful floors throughout this home! They are fabricated from reclaimed wood and custom finished specifically for this home.


I could live in this master bath.  The barrel vault welcomes you to the walk-thru shower. It’s the perfect master shower combination…two personal showers on each end so there’s no need to adjust settings.  The walk-thru center space (which, unfortunately, you can’t see) includes an arched window, a rain can shower head and body sprays. It’s the ultimate shower experience!


Here’s a detail of the beautiful tile work. Laura Olmstead with Triangle Tile and Stone helped us create the perfect combination of materials and design. Notice the pebble shower floor in the photo above.


The lower level is the perfect spot for entertaining. The wine storage cellar has a gorgeous door accented with wrought iron. The rustic furnishings (and a pool table not shown in the photo) are made from antique wagon wheels and reclaimed teakwood. Sid did a fabulous job crafting the “awning” over the bar. We used engineered cork plank flooring for it’s aesthetics and durability.


The girls have the perfect sleepover hangout in this bunk room! We made sure their every need was met, right down to the reading lights in their personal cubbies. Oh, to be a kid again!


Although the home is a beautiful creation, I always try to remember that nothing man-made can ever top the beauty of nature. Check out the peaceful morning on the lake.


As with any quality custom home, it takes a lot of talented craftspeople and vendors working together to make it happen!  Thank you to all the friends I met along the way….

The Living Series: Living Green

It’s not easy being green. -Kermit

Well, Kermit, we’ve come a long way!  I spend so much time working to create homes that are beautiful, but with that comes a responsibility to honor and protect the resources used to create those homes. Many vendors and suppliers are introducing new products that are conscious of our environment, increase energy efficiency and conserve our natural resources. They have made my job easier, but we have to educate and implement the technology.  This is the first installation of The Living Series and will focus on green living in our homes.  It’s just a simple checklist to spark the thought process.

Think Small

  • Bigger is not always better.  Large homes with unused spaces naturally require more energy and resources.
  • Create multi-functional rooms.
  • Develop plans that maximize livability (think function for every nook and cranny).


  • Install compact fluorescent bulbs in lighting that is used most often.
  • Install motion detectors.

Energy Efficiency

  • Install programmable thermostats.
  • Use ceiling fans to circulate air.
  • Install weather stripping to seal windows and doors.
  • Install tankless water heaters.
  • As an added bonus, the recently introduced stimulus package includes a 30% tax credit for new windows and doors that increase energy efficiency.  Be careful, as the guidelines are specific (click here for details).

Water Conservation

  • Install low-flow plumbing, especially shower faucets (technology is so great you won’t even notice the difference).
  • Install dual flush or low flush commodes.
  • Pay attention to appliance efficiency, especially dishwashers and clothes washers.
  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth (call me lazy, but this is my biggest challenge).

Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds)

  • Choose paints and sealants with low VOCs.
  • Huge advances have been made in carpeting technology; choose one that emits low VOCs and creates a healthy home for your family.

Use Local Materials & Natural Resources

  • Instead of importing materials from far-away places (and wasting energy getting it to the job site), use materials that are readily available locally.
  • Consider easily renewable natural materials, including cork and bamboo.
  • Recycle and reuse by giving new life to old materials and furnishings.


  • Use drought tolerant plants.
  • Control sprinkler systems to only operate when necessary (it makes me crazy to see sprinklers operating in the rain).

Interior Furnishings

  • At a recent ASID meeting we had the pleasure of listening to a presentation by the Sustainable Furnishings Council.  They are a great organization that focuses on green products in home furnishings.  Check them out.

If we all make a few small changes in our habits and educate ourselves on the available green products, we will ensure a better world for our children and grandchildren.

"Fashion Passionates" in Charleston

I just returned from a fabulous trip to Charleston, South Carolina!  Brizo, the exclusive designer plumbing line by Delta Faucet, hosted a wonderful group of designers and showroom consultants for two days during Charleston’s Fashion Week.  Brizo (Greek Goddess of Dreams and Protector of Mariners) invited us to attend product training and research development, led by their Industrial Designer, Seth Fritz.  It was fascinating to get a peek into the world of product development and actually have someone listen (pleasant surprise)!  Brizo faucets are considered fashion statements for the home and therefore, they are big sponsors of fashion designers!  I’m looking forward to seeing which new products actually make it to market (I already have a bathroom designed in my mind using one of the prototypes).  The meetings were followed by an incredible evening of runway shows filled with models, make-up, and gorgeous clothes.


A few of the beautiful fashions….male and female!


I always like to watch the many photographers and their cameras hard at work.


My absolute favorite showroom consultant from Ferguson, Robin Campbell, and an awesome Brizo Sales Representative, Ginger Bunn (celebrating her 29th birthday)!


As an added bonus, my daughter, Jackie, was able to join me on the trip (spring break came at the perfect time).  She and Robin were practicing their modeling poses.


Below are a few bathrooms I have designed using Brizo products.  Don’t you love the crystal finial detail?


This wall-mount Tresa faucet works beautifully in so many designs….another one of my favorites!


Thank you, Brizo, for a hosting a superb event!