Inspiration in the Studio

The fine builders of the Southern Living Custom Builder Program!

Last week, I returned from the annual conference of the Southern Living Custom Builder Program. It’s no surprise that our housing market continues to be a challenge (in case you haven’t seen the news in the past two years). This group of builders are absolutely some of the finest and their perseverance in this market absolutely amazes me. It was a fabulous weekend of networking and education.

It takes a team of talented individuals to create a quality custom home….architect, builder, interior designer, and of course, homeowner. My presentation at the conference focused on balancing the design and selection process with the budget, which is always a challenge. During the design break-out session there were some wonderful discussions regarding interior design and construction. It made me realize that every member of the team needs to work closely together to achieve a successful project (the ultimate goal).

Here are a few of the fine people who were present at the conference…Todd Wilson and his beautiful wife, Kelly, of  Wilson Design and Construction in Valdosta, Georgia. Not only is Todd a top-notch builder, he is also an excellent home plan designer. Check out his designs with Southern Living House Plans.


I am fortunate to work with Jeff Sanderson of Whitney Blair, located on the Carolina coast.


Brent Warren is the Manager of the Custom Builder Program and is the link between this team of builders and the Southern Living offices in Birmingham.


I have to include special thanks to my husband, Dan….who just happens to be one of the hardest working employees (well, really a volunteer) of Southern Studio.  He also provides excellent technical support to a technically-challenged wife!


As we prepare for another predicted snowfall tonight (I’m wondering if spring will ever arrive), just wanted to share some of the beautiful spring flowers we saw in Alabama! Enjoy.


On the the Southern Living Custom Builder Program Conference

Tomorrow I’m heading south to Point Clear, Alabama! I’ll be attending the annual Southern Living Custom Builder Program Conference. The Custom Builder Program consists of an excellent group of builders from across the south who are passionate about building custom homes with distinct southern charm. Everyone loves Southern Living, so the energy at the conference is contagious. I’ve been honored over the years to work with several of these fine builders, so it’s always a great weekend to catch up.

On Saturday, I’ve been invited to speak at the conference! The topic you ask? Well, in custom home design, it’s all about The Balance: Great Design, the Selection Process and the Reality of Budgets. It’s a difficult balance, but with the right team and proper planning, it can be a rewarding experience with beautiful results!

I hope it’s warm, so I can enjoy a morning run along Mobile Bay! I absolutely love the trail…bay on one side and beautiful homes with live oak trees on the other side.

Mobile Bay

I’ll share more details next week. Right now I need to wrap up the loose ends in the studio.