Inspiration in the Studio

Not a Bad Monday at Work...on Sunset Beach!

Over the past several weeks (well, actually months), we’ve been working on a fabulous project on the coast. So much time is spent reviewing details on blueprints, but there’s just some things that can’t be put on paper. Like this view from the kitchen windows (I might actually enjoy washing dishes with this view).

Or, this view from the dining room (full views from the sound to the ocean..unbelievable).

It was an absolute thrill to climb that ladder and see the real space. We still have many decisions to make to bring the design together. It’s a good thing we are working with wonderful homeowners that have great vision (just a little pressure…I really don’t want to let them down). One day I’m going to count the hours it takes to complete a well designed custom home, but for now, I’m just going to enjoy another Monday at work.

Kudos to the Whitney Blair team for another amazing custom home design…now, all we need is a roof!

A Home for the Holidays!

Last week I enjoyed a beautiful week on the Carolina coast with LOTS of food and family fun! I’m lucky enough to own a cottage (and I mean cottage) on the coast and manage to find time to work while I’m there. After the turkey was gone, I spent a gorgeous afternoon checking on a few projects. It will be a few weeks before they’re complete, but it was so exciting to see the progress and results of months of decisions and hard work. Please excuse the photo quality….only had my iPhone with me.

I absolutely love the sleek mosaic tile backsplash and leathered granite in this classic kitchen (if you knew this client, I promise you would want to be invited to dinner).

In a different house, this is what greets you as you walk in the front door. Whitney Blair is known for signature trim detail and the coffer in this foyer is a perfect example.

This classic bath with crema marfil marble countertops and coordinating tile backsplash is going to be perfect. Notice the detail on the cabinetry too!

And, a timeless kitchen with custom cabinetry by the amazing Kirk Riffel with Creative Cabinetry. I cannot say enough about Kirk’s talent!

As you can tell, I have a great appreciation for all of the craftsmen I work with every day. Tile is always one of my favorite design elements and Southeastern Tile is one of the best….and supplied all of the tile in the photos above.

In a few more short weeks, these homeowners are going to be enjoying their new homes for the holidays! So exciting….

Team Effort Produces Winning Results!

The past couple of weeks have been exciting! It started at the ASID Carolinas Fall Conference in Asheville, North Carolina. I was thrilled when I won Second Place in the 2011 ASID Excellence in Design Awards for a Singular Space.

Last night, Whitney Blair Custom Homes won the Diamond Award in the Brunswick County Parade of Homes for the same home!  A double award winning home for the homeowners, Jerry and Melodie!

It continues to amaze me how many people contribute to these projects. Jeff Sanderson and his team at Whitney Blair Custom Homes, Kirk Riffel with Creative Cabinetry and many other talented individuals. This is what happens when a team works together to combine individual elements like these….

to create a space like this….

{Photo by Chris Campbell}

Once again, it’s the details in every design that make the difference. We try every day to bring the vision of our clients to reality….and this gives us motivation to keep working on the details!

Another Project Complete. Just in time for Thanksgiving.

While working on the coast, I was able to visit some wonderful clients who recently moved in to their new home in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. The house is in the perfect location, overlooking the golf course and close to the beach. I don’t want to wish my life away, but retirement sure does sound good!

Here’s the group…..three couples who have become friends during the construction of their homes, along with the Whitney Blair team.


Another beautiful kitchen by Kirk Riffel with Creative Cabinetry….custom cabinets beyond compare.


I wanted to share a few details in the house that are personal favorites. Since this “retirement” home is relaxed and casual, the formal dining room was eliminated and replaced by an oversized dining area adjacent to the kitchen. The long banquet table is accented by two lantern-style chandeliers.


I love the crushed glass used in the mosaic tile of the backsplash (sorry for the poor photography).


Sometimes it’s the simple detail and use of color that has the greatest impact. In the adorable granddaughter’s room the walls are a beautiful raspberry color accented with wainscoting and peg details. A favorite trick is to add impact by painting the interior doors….the drama of black!


Melodie and Jerry, thank you for a wonderful start to the Thanksgiving holiday! It’s hard to believe that you hosted a beautiful cocktail party just TEN days after moving in to your home. Here’s to many years of happy retirement memories!

Parade of Homes on the Carolina Coast!

It’s that time of year again…Parade season!  Each year brings new challenges and this year was no exception. One thing that never changes is the energy that is created when a team of professionals works together to stretch the limits of design and architecture.

For many months, we’ve been working hard to push the creative limits on this fine home located in Ocean Ridge Plantation on the North Carolina coast. Whitney Blair Custom Homes is responsible for the fine craftsmanship! Jeff, Lisa, Dino and the entire team…you are the best!

I had to share a few of my favorite details. Check out the unique design of these gorgeous built-ins! We decided that black was the classic accent color of choice and used it on the backs on the bookcases and inside the coffers on the ceiling.


Gorgeous black cabinets in the master bath by Creative Cabinetry with classic marble countertops.


Gotta love the classic design of the slipper tub. The interior doors were painted black, which really pops the crystal door hardware. It reminds me of my grandmother’s home and is absolutely one of my favorite details!


The sunroom is accented with a tin ceiling, beautiful wainscotting, and (yes, again) black paint on the walls. Using black in interiors can be scary, but when well designed it can successfully add incredible drama.


The fun and creativity never ends. Back to work on more beautiful homes…enjoy!