Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shelter skelter

The house we are building will NOT have a basement. 
This has been a hot debate between Dave and myself.
I'm for the basement, and he's against it. All of his family and most of our friends agree with me, but Dave has his reasons and here's why...He prefers to have a cozier home rather than a lot of extra unused space.

I'm not sure if I totally agree with him, but recently, there has been a shift towards quality versus quantity when it comes to home design. Basically, it all boiled down to this. Dave said, and I quote, "You can have a nice kitchen OR an unfinished basement."
Since I prefer "cuteness" in the kitchen over studs in a basement,
I went with his first option. light of the tornadoes that hit Alabama in April, I was still unsettled about giving up on the basement thing. Dave made a deal with me that calmed
my fears, "If we lose the basement, I promise that we will build a storm shelter underneath our house".

After the tornado hit north of Birmingham in April, our family went to
Pratt City to see the devastation.  It left us speechless!!! There are no words to describe what we saw that day and I think it changed all of us and gave us a new respect for the power of tornadoes.
Pratt City, north of Birmingham
Pratt City, north of Birmingham

Our shelter will be an 8'x8' structure with reinforced concrete walls and ceiling with a 
steel door. It will be big enough to hold our family of 5, our dogs, my niece and nephew and some of their friends.

In the shelter we will have the following items:
• Food and water
• A battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries
• Personal hygiene items and prescription and non-prescription medications
• At least one change of clothing
• Copies of identifying documents
• Bedding

I'll admit it, the thought of going down into the shelter leaves me thinking that it will be claustrophobic, damp & smelly, but if it looks like this one pictured below, I may use it as another one of my "private reading hideouts" or possibly even a wine cellar. (BTW, since I do not drink wine, I may use it to store my drink of choice, Diet Coke).
This storm cellar looks like it would be on a cruise ship.   Eureka Storm Cellars

Our good friends and future neighbors, 
Tim & Tammy, built a storm shelter in their home. 
The hatch door is in the floor of their pantry.

 In their storm shelter, they have shelves with water and canned foods.

They also have a cable line so that they can bring a television 
into the shelter to track the storm. Luckily for them, they have only had 
to use this space once, and it was on April 27, 2011.

Even though a basement would have been a nice extra, the storm shelter will give our family the security to withstand anything that Mother Nature throws our way.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ole Yeller

Yellow, or as we say in my neck of the woods, "yeller". This color has always haunted me. Now I'm not saying that I dislike the color, but here's the deal. My sister always told me I was a "yella baby" and my sweet mother, Beebs, quickly defended me and said I didn't have "the jaundice" but instead it was a certain yellow dress that I always wore that my sister remembers.

This weekend, I found myself in a sea of yeller when I went to "Bid Day" to see my niece, Caroline, pledge her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta.

My precious niece, Caroline, and her boyfriend Hayden Gunter
That cake was too cute to slice!

Caroline looks fantastic in yellow, because she has olive undertones and unfortunately, I have fair skin that burns easily.  When it comes to fashion, the color "yeller" doesn't make my "whole FACE sparkle". I do not own anything above my waist line in this shade. That's right, I am a "Spring" and Caroline is a "Summer".

I know you all remember "Color Me Beautiful" where they bring out the fabric samples and hold them up close to your face. When they whipped out that mustard yellow and held it up to me, I could instantly tell that me and "yeller" weren't going to have a close relationship. Instead, I discovered that "my signature colors" are bright shades of blue, grass green, watermelon and salmon. And guess what, subconsciously I have always naturally gravitated towards my signature colors and steered clear of anything close to "mellow yellow".

A few posts ago, I introduced you to one of my design crushes, Kay Douglass of South of Market. In my book, this designer has her finger on the pulse! If she told me to paint my entire house yellow...I would do it in a minute!

Kay Douglass of South of Market

Kay Douglass's lake house at Lake Rabun, GA
Kay Douglass. (I love her window treatments so much that I have some in my own house)
Kay Douglass. (Her dining room is "out there" but I love it!)
Kay Douglass. (I love the punch of color)
Kay Douglass
South of Market (I think I could work with this)
Even though yellow makes me a tad nervous, I love the way Kay uses yellow as an accent on top of a background of white. Her use of yellow doesn't make me feel like I would look sickly if I walked into one of her rooms. It feels fresh and crisp with almost a "Spring" type effect to it.

While we are on the subject of yellow, there is one more design crush I would like to introduce you to, Lee Kleinhelter. She owns a hip shop in Buckhead called Pieces. It's modern, funky and fresh. Like, Kay Douglass, Lee thinks outside of the box and when she does, she hits it out of the park. Check out how Lee loves to use yellow.

Lee Kleinhelter
Lee Kleinhelter's bedroom
Lee Kleinhelter

The way these 2 designers take yellow and use it to add a little punch makes me think maybe I should give this color another chance. Even though I personally cannot wear this color, I do think it to adds a little "pizazz" to your home and gives it that something extra that will make your "whole HOUSE sparkle"!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Brewed Awakening

My husband, Dave, LOVES to drink coffee a latte!  
(Sorry for the puns, I couldn't resist)

Here is his morning routine, 6 days a week: 

He wakes up at 4 a.m. and goes into the office. 
He then runs or works out at Iron Tribe Fitness, and then heads to get coffee. 

At about 6:30 a.m., 
you'll see Dave reading a book and drinking his...

 "small dark" at Homewood's very own O'Henry's

 or "Grande Americano with no room" at the Mountain Brook Starbucks

or on vacation in Cape Cod, he'll have a "French roast" at his all time favorite coffee hangout, Chatham Cookware.

Dave loves to use his time at the coffee shop to catch up on work, read, chat with friends and just sit outside and watch the locals. One time he got so chatty at O'Henrys with Vern Yip from HGTV fame, that we were late picking our daughter up from Camp Skyline.

When I was putting together ideas for our new home, 
I came across a space that had Dave Gray written all over it.
It really is a breakfast nook, but I thought it had a "coffee house" appeal that Dave could make his own special hangout. For a brief time, we thought we were going to have to eliminate this space from our design, but our architects, Joel & Melissa Williams, fought to keep it in because it was such a perfect place for Dave to read and work on his computer.

I love the idea of 2 smaller tables in the "breakfast area"...
you can always push the 2 together if you need to create one big table.
Another option is going with one long table, 
which would allow us to reuse our existing table. 
Lee Kleinhelter

I can see it now...Dave sitting at his "coffee nook"...
headphones plugged in listening to David Gray...typing away on his iPad with a big cup of Joe...

That sounds like the perfect jump start to any day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Movie Maniac

I love to go to the movies. If I like a particular movie, I will watch it over and over again until I can quote every line in the movie. There are some movies that I have seen over 25 times, and each time, I find something different that I haven't seen before.

My niece, Caroline, is the exact same way. When she was younger, we watched Legally Blonde three times, back to back.  She and I have this unusual bond, and I consider her to be my "movie guru". To us, there is nothing better than a "Chick Flick" movie marathon on TBS on a rainy Sunday afternoon. BLISS!


1. The Parent Trap 
 When this movie first came out, I went to see it with my nutty friends, Meg and Anne. We were, by far, the oldest people in the theater.

I loved this movie so much that I was inspired to name our daughter after Natasha Richardson's character...Elizabeth James. To add even more to my geekiness, I even cut my hair like Natasha's was in the movie. Can you say, "NERD ALERT"!
Hallie's living room in Napa in the Parent Trap

Hallie's house in Napa in the Parent Trap
Annie's home in London
Annie's home in London. Love the orange foyer.

2. Somethings Gotta Give
Living room in Somethings Gotta Give
this kitchen has set the bar high
Diane Keaton's die for!

3. The Holiday
 (This movie set is my favorite of all time)
Cameron Diaz's living room. I WANT EVERYTHING IN THIS ROOM!!!
I am speechless!
This kitchen is DELICIOUS!
there are no words...
This house would fit in perfectly in Hollywood, AL

I love the chaises!

It's hard to believe this was built on a sound stage
4. Father of the Bride I & II
This movie started it all for me

5. It's Complicated
(this movie was set in fabulous Santa Barbara)
Meryl's front porch
I could eat this kitchen up!

This garden is too pretty to mess up
I love me some Foxgloves
Check out those boxwoods


 1. They were all directed by Nancy Meyers.

2. The movies all have some tie to California, all except for Somethings Gotta Give which was set in the Hamptons, almost Cape Cod.

3. Each movie set is a feast for the eyes and steals the show.

The common thread through each of Nancy Meyer's movies are that the movie sets are all exquisitely art directed. In each of her movies, Nancy used set designer, Beth Rubino. Beth is a trend setter and a genious when it comes to creating spaces that everyone wants to emulate...including me. (I hate to say that I'm not too interested in the storyline...I'm there to see some cuteness!)

There is one of Beth's rooms that leaves me speechless...the dining room in Somethings Gotta Give. That wall of Ironstone platters blew my mind! It set me on a feeding frenzy to collect as much Ironstone as I could get my hands on.

(I'll talk more about that obsession in another post).

The plate rack that rocked my world!