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Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big believer in the adage: a clear space, a clear mind. But even more than that, I want it to exist in a space that seamlessly blends form and functionality. Practically, given that I work from home, I need my home to double as an office;  and given that I’m a fashion and lifestyle blogger, I need my office to also function as a studio. My home has to be everything for me at once. (A lot to ask, I know.).  

Aesthetically, I want my space to be a never-ending opportunity for creative expression. I’m constantly rearranging furniture—swapping this couch for that chair and back again. I’m always adding new art; replacing this decoration for that one; moving one of many coffee table books from shelf to table and back again. So, last year, I decided to take the ultimate plunge and remodel the house. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years—ever since we moved in, actually. And in all honesty, it turned out better than I could have hoped.    

As part of our reset, refresh, and renew month, each Thursday, I’m going to take you through a tour of each renovated room. We’ll start today with my recently renovated basement studio. So take your shoes off and come on in. (During the early part of the pandemic, we ran A Day in the Life: Home Tour series over here on the blog. If you’re interested in before pictures of my basement, you can check out A Tour of My Refinished Basement as a “before” reference.) 

Remodeled kitchen

What was so appealing about this house was the fact that it had a finished, walkout basement complete with a guest bedroom, bath, and full kitchen—total privacy and convenience for anyone who comes to visit. So, let’s kick things off with my remodeled basement kitchen. A total transformation, here, with new custom cabinetry, floating shelves, and a subway tile backsplash. Given that my floors are blue/purple stained concrete, I went with a neutral base: whites and grays, which really makes the brushed gold hardware and faucet pop.  

remodeled kitchen

Remodeled kitchen. Cabinet paint Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray. Wall paint Dorian Gray. Floating shelves stained Soyabean.

custom cabinets

Custom cabinets from Webber Colemen

Remodeled studio

My home doubles as a studio for both the blog and YouTube. Lights, camera, action all day, every day. (Or at least it feels like it.)  Just wanted to give you a quick little glimpse here of behind the scenes. ‘Cause this is where I spend most of my time when not photographing on-site out and about Athens.   

home studio

Home studio leather lounge chairs from West Elm.

Remodeled den

Alright, my favorite part of the basement:  the den. The biggest change here was simple but profound. We painted the stone fireplace in white, the firebox black and replaced the gas logs with functional ones. (Believe it or not, it went unused for six years.)   Such an unbelievable difference this all made. And I can honestly say that the fireplace really stole the show this Christmas when all of my kiddos gathered to celebrate Christmas Eve. We went with new paint throughout, rearranged all of the furniture and artwork, and transformed a room the kiddos kinda-sorta liked being in into one in which they love. A huge win.  

Remodeled fireplace

Remodeled fireplace

Remodeled den

Remodeled den, stained concrete. 

remodeled den

Remodeled den (cont.)

Webber Coleman Woodworks 

A special shoutout to Webber Coleman Woodworks, who led the renovations in their entirety. I was introduced to a family-run cabinetry shop here in Athens through my daughter-in-law, who also had her kitchen renovated through Webber Coleman. I can’t recommend this team highly enough.   The quality of their work is exceptional, and they hit every deadline on time. (And for anyone that has gone through a renovation, that actually might be the most important thing.). Make sure to follow Webber Coleman on Instagram, especially if you’re looking for inspiration for your own home projects. 


In case you missed it

Our new YouTube video—5 Fashion Mistakes (and how to fix)—is live and watchable below.      

if you’ve been following along on instagram over the last few weeks, you have seen glimpses of my backyard and patio. well, today as part of my day in the life series, we are taking a look at my backyard with our latest project: how to design your backyard. 

it’s been in the works over the last few years and we will always be making some changes here and there, but i am really happy it’s come together just in time for this gorgeous, mild spring we are having in Athens. and with everything that’s going on in the world, i feel fortunate to have an outdoor space to soak up the spring and enjoy a glass of wine.

outfit of the day 

today’s outfit is perfect for spring, a t-shirt style dress (similar here) from Ann Taylor with a side tie wrap detail that adds just the right amount of sophistication to make this dress a great ootd if you’re headed out and about. and you all know how much i love stripes of all kinds, so this dress really ticks all my boxes.  for those of you interested in last week’s black knit shirt dress it’s back in stock. read little black dress for spring and summer.

a black necklace and bracelet tie into the thin black stripes of the dress. and a pair of metallic sandals finish today’s ootd. metallics work as neutrals, they add little pop of shine to an otherwise restrained ensemble. 

similar dress | similar dress 2 | similar dress 3 | similar dress 4 | similar dress 5 | similar dress 6 | similar dress 7 | similar dress 8 | similar dress 9

 

how to design your backyard

we moved the grill to this upper patio, where we have a fire pit table. it really expands our living space and with the umbrella, it’s a great spot to sit any time of the day. i have gardenias in the two urns flanking the doorway. citronella plants are arranged between the patio chairs to ward off the mosquitos. ceramic garden stools are so great to use for extra seating or as side tables. 

planter 1 | planter 2 | planter 3 | urn planter | fire pit | umbrella | armchairs | string lights | dining table | dining chair

boxwood, jasmine, and lamb’s ear along the back of the house.

on the landing leading to the lower patio, we have planted dahlias and a lemon tree in urns and containers. 

urn | planters

this lower patio features a bistro table with two chairs and a concrete bench. it’s a nice conversation spot. we have container plantings and new solar string of lights that add a twinkling ambiance to the evening. if you have space, it’s good to create separate little nooks here and there, for conversation, eating, and relaxation. 

oscar loves playing with his toys in the backyard! this is the herb garden before we got to work. ugh! it was so overgrown. but i love to grow herbs that i cook with on a regular basis and add to my cocktails.

a southern patio 

i love water features as part of garden design and so i have a birdbath nestled in my herb garden. it’s so entertaining to watch the cardinals swoop in for a drink or to ruffle their feathers in the water. 

planter 1 | planter 2 | planter 3 | urn planter | fire pit | umbrella | armchairs | string lights | dining table | dining chair

the herb garden AFTER we put some muscle into it. the rosemary was so overgrown. now i’m trying to shape it into a topiary. wish me luck.

 

a day in the life

i hope you enjoyed suggestions on how to design your backyard.  in case you’re new to the blog or missed some of our entries into a day in the life series, make sure to check all of them out below. 

back by popular demand:  today we’re continuing our a day in the life series with a tour of my recently refinished basement.   it’s been a longstanding project over the past year.  and it all began when the basement was flooded last summer.  what a mess:  our carpet was ruined!  but out of lemons we made, well, you’ll see in just a moment.  but i gotta say, i like the finished product better than lemonade. 

whenever i post an entry into our a day in the life series i get a lot of questions and comments about my home decor.  i’ve tried to pull as many links to what you see here.  if you like something i’ve missed, make sure to let me know in the comments below! 

home office 

as some of you know, my middle son came down to visit me earlier this spring from NYC before the city implemented quarantine.  he couldn’t go back for obvious reasons, and he’s been working remotely from Georgia ever since.  here’s a view of the home office he’s helped me put together. 

simple yet effective, and i’m just loving the truck painting we picked out.  for those of you who have virtually toured my home over the past few months, you’ll recognize my affinity for animal paintings, particularly dog ones.   

blouse | tee | jeans | sandals 

truck art | leather desk collection

 

 

living room 

after the flood, we completely rethought our downstairs aesthetics.  i wanted something simple and maintainable but with a contemporary feel.  once the carpets were completely pulled, and all that was left was bare concrete, it occurred to me:  why don’t we just refinish the concrete itself?

yup, those purple floors are in fact finished and stained concrete.  and how striking they are.  purple may not be for everyone, i get it.  but they’ve opened up a world of decorating possibilities to me.  just take a look at my cow artwork?  how fun!  and once that was in place, adding faux fur and leopard print pillows was easy.  the cascading effect of breaking out of a design box can be profound.  and i urge you to explore it in your own way.      

blouse | tee | jeans | sandals 

cow painting | cow painting 2 | end table | faux fur pillow | leopard pillow | leopard pillow 2 | faux fur throw | planters

 

outfit of the day

on a normal spring day, you’re going to catch me in a tee and pair of jeans.  i’m sporting Talbots today, and the striped tee breaks up my neutral base established by my olive blouse.  it’s the perfect over-shirt for those spring days you need to layer.   and it goes with just about everything.  

a day in the life

i hope you enjoyed the virtual tour of my refinished basement.  in case you’re new to the blog or missed some of our entries into a day in the life series, make sure to check all of them out below. 

as part of our new beginnings theme for the month,  i want to take you on a tour of my living room. both my dining and living room have been a work in progress since mr. style and i moved into this house, and i’m thrilled to share it with you now as it has finally come together in the hopes that this will give you some design inspiration for your living room.

we spend a lot of time in the living room; it’s the main point of entry and welcomes people into my home. recently, i turned my formal dining room into my home office.  because the living room has an open floor layout, i can include the dining area there.

i like an open layout that naturally leads from one room to another. but whatever type of layout you have, your home is a reflection of you and should be a comfortable place for everyone to get together and enjoy spending time. 

let your decor reflect who you are 

last week, i took you on a tour of my home office and my personal closet. in both tours, you got a sense for decorating aesthetics. i lean toward mixing modern and classic design styles. my fashion sense comes through in my home decor – like the paint color in my closet (pink!), or the bold use of color and and animal print in my home office. 

in my living room, i mix modern fixtures with classic furniture shapes. i like the juxtaposition of styles. mixing styles is a forgiving way to decorate your home: it lets you choose pieces you like without having to strictly adhere to a specific style.

sideboard | coffee table | dining room table | dining chairs

when you style mix, it helps to have a central theme that ties it all together.  i’ve used the color blue to tie my living room together—from the blue leather sofa and the sapphire velvet chairs, to the classic blue china patterned vases and blue-hued painting.

design inspiration for your living room

if you’ve been following the blog for any length of time, you know i love to read.  in fact, i participate in two different book clubs. (and if you’re not already a member, make sure to join our Facebook group book club with style!) so, it was important to me to have ample space for my books. the dining room built-ins are a perfect spot for my book collection.

sideboard | coffee table | dining room table | dining chairs

i love, love, love my built-ins. i’ve even leveraged them for my home bar, which is decked out with this set of barware in bright gold. the gold accents run throughout, from the bar area to the gold-edged lucite lamp on the credenza, to the gold modern chandelier over the dining table. 

outfit of the day

today’s outfit is a great casual look that can transform to business casual in a flash with the addition of a blazer and neck scarf. winter white jeans lead the charge today. a long sleeve stripe shirt adds pattern and pop of color with its three red stripes. the red pop is carried through to my suede d’orsay flats. for added contrast, my neck scarf features a classic floral pattern. throw on a tweed blazer and you are set to go!

tee (Talbots) | similar tee | similar tee 2 | similar tee 3 | similar tee 4 | blazer (J.Crew) | jeans (Talbots) | scarf | flats (J.Crew)

today, i’m going to give you a tour of my home office.  as a lifestyle and fashion blogger, it’s where i spend most of the time when i’m not on a photo or video shoot.  as part of our new beginnings theme for the month, i’m hoping today’s post will inspire you all to have a stylish home office—and a stylish home more generally. 

our homes are our sanctuaries from the madness that is the world around us, so why not make them an extension of ourselves.  why not make it the most comfortable place where our friends and family can gather around and simply be and enjoy each other’s company?  

have a stylish home office

on Sunday, i gave you a glimpse into my personal closet.  how to design your home office—or any room in your house—is a totally personal decision and a function of your own aesthetics.  with the advent of Pinterest and other design boards, it’s easy to compile a gallery of inspiration that can serve and guide us on everything from a refresh to a full-blown remodel.

personally, i’m a fan of clean clines and simple design techniques—like contrasting classic and modern design patterns—to create a space i want to be in.  and of course i’m not immune to applying my personal fashion sense to my design one.  animal prints anyone?  if you share similar aesthetics as i do, i’ve compiled several widgets throughout this post of similar home office items like desks and lamps. 

turtleneck | boyfriend jeans | belt | shoes | earrings 

a day in the life of a lifestyle blogger

it may come as a surprise (or it may not), that as a lifestyle blogger, i actually spend most of my day in front of my computer doing everything from scripting photo and video shoots to answering emails from you.  so, most days, i prefer to be relaxed and comfy while i work.  and what’s says “comfort” more than a pair of boyfriend jeans. 

today, i’m featuring a pair of boyfriend jeans from J.Crew.  i’ve been all about J.Crew this winter, and they’re having a great flash sale today.  so head over and see if you can find a good deal and let me know in the comments.  

i’ve paired the jeans with a turtleneck from Everlane.  i’ve been totally obsessed with with turtlenecks this winter. i even posted a how to wear a sweater/turtleneck dress last week in case you missed it. 

turtleneck | boyfriend jeans | belt | shoes | earrings 

home is where the heart is 

home is where we spend most of our time:  it’s where we can get away from the craziness of everything from traffic to geopolitical happenings.  it’s where our family convenes for the holidays and where friends come over for a cup of coffee and chat. 

what’s your home like?  how have you designed it?  have you built a fashionable office?  or do you spend most of your time in the living room in your favorite chair reading a good book?  are your kiddos still at home or are you an empty-nester like me?  have you transformed their rooms into something else entirely or have you left it the way in which they grew up?  let me know in the comments below about everything from your home design choices to what home means to you. 

turtleneck | boyfriend jeans | belt | shoes | earrings 

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