Hardware seems like a finishing touch, and it is. But it was important to me that all the finishes in our new home be in harmony with each other. I don’t want matchy-matchy, just a thoughtful blend of metals and materials to create depth and layers in our new space. I actually started looking at door and cabinet hardware before we even broke ground. These details were the jumping off point for many of my other interior finish decisions. In keeping with my love for all things chic and glamorous I am naturally drawn towards hardware with golden tones and a satin finish. But, that’s not to say that gleaming polished nickel doesn’t make my heart skip a beat as well. I love the warm undertones of polished nickel, the edginess of matte gunmetal and the depth and patina un-lacquered brass takes on over time.
The styles and finishes in door and cabinet hardware are limitless. Minimal to flourished, edgy to traditional, you can literally find anything your heart desires if you take time to explore all the options. Hardware can really impact not only the overall aesthetic of a space, but well crafted hardware can impact the way you live in and enjoy your home. Think about how many times per day you turn a door knob or grasp a kitchen cabinet pull in your home, those everyday experiences can be elevated to a whole other level when using high quality hardware.
Although I haven’t made all the final decisions for our Dream Home hardware, I have narrowed the choices down from the thousands I have considered to only an outstanding few that meet the criteria I’m looking for. Check out my hardware round up below, I have choices for each space in our home and would love feedback on your favorites! After all, hardware is jewelry for the home, and we all like picking out jewelry, don’t we?
Front entry doors are one of the most seen and used elements of a home. They are where you greet guests, hang holiday wreaths and pose the kiddos for the first day of school. I think choosing the right front door can set the tone for an entire home and give guests a glimpse of the homeowner’s personal style. I have somewhat of a love affair with front doors. The very first time I visited Paris, I spent half a day just walking the street taking hundreds of pictures of the grand Parisian doors that fill the city. And it doesn’t stop there, I have been know to stop a car in the middle of the street just to catch a glimpse of gorgeous front doors tucked away behind entry gates.
When I started looking for front entry doors for our new home I was a little overwhelmed at all the possibilities. I knew I wanted double doors, at least 8 feet tall with a possible 2-foot transom above, but that was about it. Wood, steel, iron, I had to explore all the possibilities before I could make a final decision. At this point, I am still trying to decide between a set of solid mahogany wooden doors with glass lites and a custom arched transom that ties in to the door design, a set of sleek steel doors (there are various configurations I’m considering), or a more edgy slim profile iron design with an “X” pattern. The three looks are totally different, but equally beautiful and I have to make a decision pronto because framing is underway!
Here are inspiration images that I’m using to get my creative juices flowing. Comment below and let me know your favorite. I’m excited to get these babies ordered and installed!
I am already gearing up for spring in my home and around our EH Headquarters. I love freshening up my décor by swapping out dark lamps and throw pillows for lighter, brighter ones that welcome spring’s fresh vibe. Some of my favorite spring colors include blush pink, turquoise and light gray. Of course, gold is a year round staple for me and looks gorgeous combined with happy spring colors.
At the moment, I am totally obsessed with our new collection of hand blown glass lamps. They each have a unique inclusion pattern that consists of golden flecks and are the most perfect colors to get your home ready for spring!
Our new pillow collection brings my original art to life in various shades of spring and have the most perfectly plush down inserts. All our fabrics are printed in the US and our pillows are made to order right here in Arkansas! I am a huge fan of the Smoke Pillow in luxe velvet, the design has so many gorgeous colors and the velvet is perfect for a sumptuous snuggle sesh. Our linen pillows are also perfect for a spring refresh, with gorgeous soft colors and original prints.
Incorporate a few of these beauties along with fresh flowers and spring will surly find it’s way into your home!
Windows are such an important part of a home! Their style, color and proportions play a huge role in the overall exterior and interior look and when you are building a new home, windows are one of the first things chosen. We started working on our window order before foundation was even laid. Oftentimes windows are custom made and take anywhere from 6-10 weeks to be fabricated and delivered to the jobsite. When I started researching what type of windows I wanted for our new home, I was really surprised at how many options and price ranges there were. Basically, for my purposes, I was looking at these 4 types of windows; double hung, casement, stationary and steel.
Double hung windows tend to have a very traditional feel and you often see them in federal and colonial architecture. You can easily spot double hung windows by their center rail and double sashes, which enable the window to be open by sliding the sashes up or down. Double hung windows are generally slightly less expensive than casement windows, and oftentimes we will see homes with casement windows on the first floor and double hung windows on the second story
Casement windows have a cleaner look than double hung windows because they are free from the center rail that separates the top and bottom sash like on double hung windows. Casement windows have a cranking mechanism and hinges on one side that allows the window to open like a door. So from the outside of the house, casement windows appear clean and sophisticated.
Stationary windows are often used when a design calls for large, oversized windows that are in an area of the home that doesn’t require the windows to operate (stairwell, second story of a vaulted great room, or maybe a large picture window). From the outside of a home, a stationary window has the same clean look as a casement window.
Steel windows are all the rage right now. Basically instead of having wooden jambs, casings and muntins, steel windows have all steel and glass components. They are super low profile and have a clean and fresh look. They are the most expensive option and many times designers and builders will incorporated one or two special steel window/door configurations into a home with the rest of the windows being traditional wood or clad.
Because my husband and I travel a lot and don’t have time for a ton of maintenance we decided to go with clad windows with all wooden interiors. Which basically means, the exterior of the windows are maintenance free, have an amazing warranty and the glass on the windows has multiple layers, to insure the best energy efficiency possible. The interior of the windows are all wood and can be painted any color I wish to match my trim.
Once we decided on the type of windows we wanted to go with, I had to tackle the sizes and various muntin/hardware options that are available. Let me tell you, I literally fretted over muntin sizes for a week. The muntins are the small strips that separate the glass panes of a window and range in size from 5/8″ to 1 1/4″. We had to decide what width we wanted the muntins to be as well as decide how we wanted the glass divided in each window (2 over 3, 2 over 4, etc. ). This got a bit complicated, but I am glad I spent the time to research and look at images of window configurations I like as well as drive around to see different options in person. It was time well spent! At the end of the day, windows are a substantial part of the materials cost for a new home, so taking the time to research and look at all the options is important and well worth it.
Decorative trays can add instant interest to a tabletop, display all your favorite treasures and corral clutter like nothing else. They are a designer’s best friend and can be one of the most beautiful and practical accessories in a home. I personally have decorative trays for various uses throughout my house. In my master bathroom I love to have my perfumes, lotions and potions beautifully styled in a tray on my vanity. In my family room, the brass and malachite tray that sits on my coffee table holds some of my most precious vintage glass, of the moment coffee table books, fresh flowers and a candle that gets lit every night as I come in from work. I even use a tray in my laundry room to hold glass jars filled with wooden clothespins, laundry soaps and sewing notions. Basically, I use decorative trays all throughout my home, and I love re-styling them often to fit the season and my interest at the moment.
Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks to achieve a perfectly styled tray!
– Look for a tray that complements your room, but doesn’t blend into your tabletop.
– Create levels with books.
– Don’t be afraid to add a decorative box within the tray.
– Adding fresh flowers or a plant is always a YES!
– Trays are a great place to display a small collection of vintage accessories
– Add a candle, you won’t be sorry.
MY FAVORITE EMPORIUM HOME TRAYS
Limed, smeared, slurried, painted… the possibilities are endless when it comes to exterior brick treatments. It seems that every Pinterest Board and Instagram account I follow are filled to the brim with images of stunning light hued brick exteriors surrounded by lush green landscapes and accented by the all coveted black steel doors we dream about. I probably have thousands of images stockpiled for my masonry crew to reference once they start to lay our brick. But, not until it came time to start picking brick styles and choosing between washes, smears, paints and coats did I truly fall down the brick rabbit hole. There are literally SO. MANY. OPTIONS. And I’m excited to share all my research, tips and tricks for achieving the perfect chic brick exterior we are all craving at the moment.
I love a lime wash; it has an old world Charleston vibe and instantly gives an exterior a feeling of provenance. Lime wash is a traditional brick application that was originally created to protect ancient monuments. Once the mixture is applied over the brick, it creates a tough coating that resists satins and mold. Many times, the lime wash is additionally sprayed with water before it dries too much which reveals more of the original brick color in various areas. Lime washes always create a historic look that gives a home instant character.
This look is achieved by tactfully smearing a combination of mortar and cement onto the brick leaving some areas exposed reveling the original brick. This decorative application creates a textured look and is more often than not used on high end and historic properties. Once again, this look has more of an old world charm and creates an aged look instantly.
Slurry Mortar Wash
A slurry wash is achieved by applying several thick layers of loose mortar over the brick. This creates full coverage of the masonry, but still allows a slight glimpse of the brick texture to show through. From far away a slurry wash has a stucco like appearance. Colored powders can be mixed in the mortar to achieve a custom color, which sometimes varies from section to section once the wash is applied to the brick. You can also use a pre-mixed mortar color, which insures color consistency.
Insider tip: if it rains, the mortar soaks up the water and takes on a bit of a transparency and lots of tonal variations. Some people love this as it really adds to the old world elegance, but if you are looking for a uniform color for your exterior, this might not be the application for you.
Parkinson Building Group, At Home in Arkansas
This application is seen a lot today. It creates a uniform look with consistent color, while allowing the full shape of the brick to show. My favorite version of painted brick is when a king size antique or tumbled brick is used and the mortar is allowed to protrude out of the joints just a bit. Word to the wise…you have to make sure the brick is properly prepared for the paint and do your homework on breathable masonry paints. If this application is done right, it has vintage charm while still reading clean and contemporary. I LOVE it!!!
After exhaustive research, multiple visits to the brick suppliers, hundreds of pictures and days of driving through neighborhoods stalking brick applications; we have decided to do a painted brick. Although the architectural style of our home has a bit of a Modern Tudor feel, I tend to lean a bit more contemporary when it comes to finishes and want a uniform color on our home. I love a chalky matte paint on brick, it’s what I continually gravitate towards and will be the perfect compliment to our exterior design.
After the craziness of our holiday season each year, I long for a calm, clean space to rest and recharge for the new year ahead. When I think of calm, serene spaces, I always gravitate towards tonal whites, creams and neutrals. Layered, monochromatic rooms recharge me and are a palate cleanser for my sometimes over stimulated visual compendium. I love to surround myself with plush bedding, serene upholstery and sumptuous rugs and try to keep artwork, accessories and lighting, visually calm and quiet as well. I’ve collected my favorite serene and dreamy winter white rooms to get my creative juices flowing as I begin to choose elements for our new master bedroom design. I know I could just jump right into each one of these gorgeous spaces and get right down to the business of successful R&R! I say lets all treat ourselves this year with a personal space that calms, relaxes and restores us! I think we deserve it.
Dana Wolter, Birmingham Home and Garden
Jose Solis Betancourt & Paul Sherril, Architectural Digest
Kerri Rosenthal, Lonny
Mark Cunningham, Mark Cunningham Inc.
Mark D. Sikes, House Beautiful
Scott Carson, PHX Architecture- Luxe Magazine
Architect Jeff Dungan & Designer Richard Tubb, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles
We are launching a new series called Dream Home! 5 years ago Garrett and I bought 5 acres in an absolutely gorgeous gated neighborhood. Our lot is filled with large oak trees and overlooks an equestrian center, where the horses frolic in the fields. I have literally dreamed about this land and the beautiful home that would one day sit on it for years. You know what I’m talking about, the home you think of every time you see a Pinterest image that makes your heart flutter or open a glossy magazine only to find the most perfect example of the vaulted great room that you thought only existed in your imagination.
To say that I was excited to break ground and start construction is an understatement. I am over the moon and can’t wait to share all my inspiration sources, the process of how I designed each part of our new home the products I am most excited to use!
Each week I will cover swoon worthy architectural elements, new and sought after construction materials and the classic design principals and trends that guide each design decision I make. Follow along each Friday and watch our Dream Home come to reality, I can’t wait to share it all with you!
Here’s a sneak peak into a few of my inspo boards and images of our land and our progress so far!
Our wooded lot the week before we broke ground!
Dozers day 1
Week 2 cutting in the long driveway
Week 3, foundation starts
Week 4, more foundation work
It’s Atlanta market time and we are so excited! We just love seeing all our customers and friends pop into the showroom to hang out and see all the Emporium Home goodies. Atlanta has a special place in our hearts, we took a leap of faith when we leased a tiny temporary space 4 years ago, and now we have a gorgeous permanent showroom in Building 1 of AmericasMart in downtown Atlanta. I get excited for each new market because not only do we get to introduce new products to the line, but I also have the opportunity to create our showroom vignettes and overall scheme for each market and I always try to do something fresh and different each time. This winter it’s all about neutrals, metallics, original artworks and of course our signature natural stone and mineral lighting. The showroom has a chic, cozy vibe this week, we are sipping on cranberry orange mimosas and listening to all our favorite jazz songs, we are in heaven!
I sometimes have to pinch myself when I come to market, I get the opportunity to be surrounded by all our products, beautifully displayed to our exact vision. But, getting to spend time with our customers is the best thing of all, talking design trends, inspiration and learning about their latest projects is a dream come true!
Happy Market Week!
I have to admit, I am one of those ladies that starts shopping for Christmas presents in October and have my tree up, fully decorated with loads of coordinated packages underneath by December 1st. I just can’t help myself; I love the Christmas season so much! I remember as a teenager I would save the money I earned teaching dance classes so I could buy each of my family members the perfect gift, and would take care to wrap each one of them in gorgeous art papers, big fluffy bows and personalized gift tags. So, of course, the tradition continues! I loved coming up with 4 gift-wrap themes this year: Geo Glam, Vintage Va-Voom, Cabin Chic and Christmas Classic. Each theme has it’s own unique personality and could totally be expanded on!
Geo Glam: I used gorgeous art papers in metallic marble and stone texture and then adorned each gift with cream velvet, gray satin and gold glitter ribbons. All topped off with an agate slice and selenite stick, the outcome is as glam as it gets.
Vintage Va-Voom: I am constantly collecting vintage Christmas items and last year I scored an entire stack of vintage Christmas Cards! They are totally awesome and make for the perfect present toppers. I used Rose gold, white and copper wrapping paper and coordinating gold and cream ribbons to accent the gorgeous cards.
Cabin Chic: I have to say, anything miniature and tiny makes me giddy, and these tiny trees and miniature copper reindeer are no exception. I found some great antler art paper and masculine plaid to pair with my velvet, satin and leather ribbons. I topped everything off with the tiny trees, reindeer and cedar sprigs and love how it all turned out!
Christmas Classic: It doesn’t get more Christmas classic than red and white. A few years ago my daughter, Brighton, carved an awesome linoleum block of Santa. I love using it year after year to create unique prints and this year I made custom wrapping paper with it. I wanted to let the prints take center stage, so I tied a simple red and white stripe twine bow and topped it off with two sparkly jingle bells. For the classic red wrapped gift, I created a pom pom topper with fluffy white yarn, and the result is precious!
Happy Wrapping, Joyful Gifting, Merry Everything!