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Editor's Notes


Happy Holiday Memories


Happy Holiday Memories

Though some of my family’s traditions have remained the same, we are always creating (or trying to create) new ones. But one thing hasn’t changed—my memories of past holidays that always come to mind this time of year. Some of my favorites (in no particular order): 1. The year my grandmother caught my hair on fire at our Oxford, Miss., Christmas Eve candlelight service when I was a teenager. Oh I got so mad! Now, I’d cut all my hair off to have her back just one more time. 2. The goofy gifts my brother, sister, and I received from far-away relatives. My step-grandfather always sent ballpoint pens with HIS name on them. My great aunt favored the free gifts that came with her QVC orders. 3. Each Christmas Eve, my grandfather, Claude, read the...

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A Fool-Proof Thanksgiving Feast


A Fool-Proof Thanksgiving Feast

Next week, my family will attend two family Thanksgiving dinners. Celebrating Thanksgiving twice is a first for us, and I’m really looking forward to it. Over the years it’s gotten harder and harder for the group to come together, so spending some much-valued quality time with our extended family is one of many things I’m thankful for this year. For our first holiday meal, the menu leans toward a more traditional dinner. Oven-roasted turkey, sweet potato casserole, creamed spinach, dressing and pumpkin pie. My husband grew up in Mobile, so the dressing will be an incredibly delicious oyster dressing (recipe below). In case you haven’t finalized the menu for your own Thanksgiving feast, here are a few recipes courtesy of Bay Appetit, a compilation of...

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Rose-Hued View

Ahhh...October—time for football, cooler temperatures, trick-or-treating and plenty of pink everywhere you look as it’s national breast cancer awareness month. This week, in honor of families and friends affected by the disease, we’re highlighting some of our favorite pink rooms. Depending on how your eyes see the hue—blush and bashful, or just pink and pink—it’s a color you likely either love or could very well live without. Personally, I love certain shades of the color but am not a universal pink lover. Pops of coral, an unexpected pink furnishing or walls painted a sophisticated blush anchored by masculine décor are realistic uses for me. Head-to-toe hot pink? Not so much. Here are some rooms that get it just right in my opinion....

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Giveaway: 'The Southern Cook'

When sitting down to the familial table, chances are there’s a favorite home-cooked dish or two making up the menu. Comfort food such as grandmother’s macaroni and cheese or a celebratory dessert reserved for holidays always fits the bill. While the actual food may feed the body, reminiscing about pies dropped, batter burned and successful (or failed) epicurean challenges like Coq au Vin nourishes the soul. Cookbook author Margaret Agnew chronicles her own family’s history through food in her latest book, "The Southern Cook" (July 2013, Parragon Books). Recipes such as her mother’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Coastal Gumbo, below, are just a couple of samplings from the more than 150 classically Southern dishes worthy of tailgate parties and...

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Weekend at the Gardens: Welcome Home

In little more than a week, Birmingham Botanical Gardens kicks off Antiques at the Gardens (Oct. 3-6). Last week Cindy Allison won two tickets to the event plus a copy of Bobby McAlpine’s book, “The Home Within Us: Romantic Houses, Evocative Rooms.” This week, one lucky winner will take home “The Welcoming House: The Art of Living Graciously” by interior designers Jane Schwab and Cindy Smith in addition to two tickets to the event. Schwab and Smith, the owners of CIRCA Interiors & Antiques (located in Birmingham and Charlotte), paired for their first book together which hit bookshelves this past spring. Within the book the authors impart wisdom regarding room flow, utilizing exterior areas in addition to interior...

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Defining Design

A few months ago my family had some major life changes, among them a move. Closets were cleaned out, boxes packed haphazardly (Can’t wait to organize that on the other side. Yikes!), and items large and small were given away, sold or tossed depending on condition. Now everything is still in the same spot it’s been—storage. Three major moves in just six years have helped me learn what furnishings I love to live with and which ones I can do without. I have abandoned green walls, embraced my love of contrast (specifically black and white or white and dark wood) and I'm now welcoming a desire for bold punches of color and interesting patterns. To that end, here are a few images that are defining the direction of our next home’s design. I love the...

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AIA Design Awards: Residential Winners 2013

This year's American Institute of Architects (AIA) Birmingham Chapter Design Awards had 46 entries and 16 awards. Of all the fabulous winners and beautiful projects, we wanted to highlight the residential winners. Simply click on the link for more information about each project.  Be on the lookout for 2013 entries on exhibit at the Alabama Center for Architecture (ACFA) located at 109 Richard Arrington Blvd S. Congratulations to bDot Architecture, Inc., Williams Blackstock Architects, Appleseed Architecture, Appleseed Workshop and Adams Design Associates, Inc.! Residential   Winner: Merit Award bDot Architecture, Inc. Residence 4149...

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A Bit of Sass

Don't you love this cheeky and unexpected punch of orange tucked behind this greige patterned drape? I do! Picture via Pinterest. (are you following us yet?)   Source: sfgate.com via BhamHome&Garden on Pinterest    

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2013 Historic Hollywood Home Tour

The Holly Oak Garden Club’s 2013 Historic Hollywood Home Tour is quickly approaching! While I had the opportunity, I took the time to get a sneak peak of what is to come. The owners of this year's featured homes did a wonderful job revitalizing their homes, while still preserving as many historical features as possible. With so many charming characteristics, the houses are undeniably beautiful. Join the tour Sunday, April 28, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and enjoy the spectacular architecture these homes have to display. Tickets are available at Sweet Peas Garden Shop, Harmony Landing, Hunter Cleaners, and Arceneaux Gallery. They are $15 in advance and $17 the day of the tour. If you'd like to purchase tickets Sunday, they will be available at any of the featured...

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Out & About: Oak Mountain Emporium

It is a rainy Wednesday, and what better way to spend it than shopping? This afternoon I took a trip to Oak Mountain Emporium, a venue for a diverse group of venders. What I found surprised me! Not only do they carry a large selection of antiques and collectibles, but also a wide variety of jewelry, art, and shabby chic decor. I am drawn to the combination of various furnishings and the unique pieces they have to offer. Whatever your taste may be, you can certainly count on stumbling upon a piece to cherish. Take some time, and enjoy the array of items they have to offer. I love the way they covered a classic chair with this modern fabric.   These masks would make great pieces of art to add to a narrow wall.   Spruce up a porch with these...

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Summer Ready Spaces

Spring is here and summer is on its way. Prep your outdoor space for parties with these tips from Erin Brady at 1stdibs. Large Spaces Use a rustic table to add a homey, intimate feel. A French butcher-block piece like the one to the left is a perfect prep space and companion for an outdoor grill.    Medium Spaces Bring the indoors out with a rolling bar cart like this mid-century Paul McCobb piece. Look for features like open shelving and extra leaves, so that guests feel free help themselves while you’re at the grill. Small Spaces   Choose lightweight stackable chairs like this cherry red Luxembourg side chair, below, from ABC home or Tio Chair from Massproductions. Or, if you’re working with a really small...

Posted at 01:06 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Blooms Abound


Blooms Abound

After a long and dreary winter, spring has finally arrived! Walk around Birmingham and enjoy the blooming red buds, Cherry Laurels, Tulips, and the many shades of green. While there is more to come, it certainly won’t last long. Take a moment and enjoy what the season has to offer! CALLING ALL GARDENERS Dust off your trowels and spruce up your green space with plants from these local sales. Birmingham Botanical Gardens 2013 Spring Plant Sale April 5-7 (starts today!) former J.C. Penney at Century Plaza 7580 Crestwood Blvd. • Birmingham, AL 35210 Ruffner Mountain for their Native Plant Sale April 14th 1214 81st Street South • Birmingham, AL 35206        

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Writing on the Wall

There is power in words. Things that have been said cannot be unsaid, and things that are written seem inherently true simply because someone took pen to paper. I think that in these uncertain times, economically and politically, people are clinging to words more than ever before. I see it everywhere from quotes tattooed on arms and legs, to misattributed directives taken from celebrities and historical figures, then hastily thrown up on Facebook to make a quick but decisive point about the world around us. The use of quotes is found more and more within interior design. People want to be surrounded by letters because letters intimate intellectuality, which can be interpreted as security: “I think therefore I am.”  I believe that the sale of chalk board paint is...

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Q & A: Mary Catherine Folmer, Cotton + Quill


Q & A: Mary Catherine Folmer, Cotton + Quill

BHG: You went to school at Auburn; what did you study? If not directly related to your business now, did it help you along your journey to what you're doing now? MCF:  I studied and received my degree in  Industrial Design from the College of Architecture, Design & Construction.  My degree in Industrial Design served as the basis for all design.  It gave me the knowledge I needed for design methodology and craftsmanship.  While studying at Auburn, I had the opportunity to study abroad on multiple occasions which now serves as the inspiration for Cotton + Quill designs.  It also opened doors for opportunities to work with different types of companies including Johnson & Johnson, where I designed point of purchase displays as well as...

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Pretty in Pink

Today's "Pin of the Day" on our Facebook page highlights this cheery look.  Personally, I love it. The shade of pink reads sophisticated, not saccrine. Emerald green, navy blue, ochre yellow are all hues I've seen and liked in living rooms, too. I'm curious as to what you think: Is a bright sofa in a neutral room a do or don't? Just right or too bold? Tell us!     Source: theglitterguide.tumblr.com via BhamHome&Garden on Pinterest  

Posted at 09:04 AM | Permalink | Comments

Won't You Be Mine?


Won't You Be Mine?

Heads up everyone—Valentine's is a week from today! To be honest, it's not a big thing at our house. However, this year may be different because the Strawberries and Cream Cake I came across from the blog Gimme Some Oven is too cute to resist. (I'm betting it tastes as good as it looks, too!) What a sweet (haha) way to tell your special someone they rock. Sharing a slice with the kiddos after school would be a fun way to make them feel special, too. Click here for the recipe, and tell us: Do you embrace or avoid the red-letter day?

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Master Suite Retreat


Master Suite Retreat

These days everyone seems to want a master bedroom “retreat”, a truly adult room where they can relax. I recently installed a master bedroom project for a sweet young couple in Ross Bridge and it has quickly become one of my favorite bedroom projects. Stuck in a rut with their décor — a collection of inherited items and college castoffs — our design goal was to add to a few of their antique treasures, such as her grandmother’s bed and chest of drawers. The end result would yield the beautiful master suite this couple longed for. A beautiful custom wall treatment in a delicate damask pattern was the starting point and inspiration for the room. The wall sets an artistic simplicity and an understated and elegant tone for the entire...

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At the Table... Again

It's been a week, and the perfect dining space is still on my mind. Some of it has to do with the great giveaway that goes along with it. (Have you entered yet? Check out our Facebook page where you'll find daily opportunities to enter to win a signed copy of Bobby McAlpine's best-selling book The Home Within Us: Romantic Houses, Evocative Rooms as well as Bay Appetit, a compilation of 150+ of the most popular and time-honored recipes from the past 40 years of Birmingham Home & Garden's sister publication Mobile Bay magazine.) Stop the presses! I've found it! I've discovered my ideal dining design.     Source: washingtonschoolhouse.com via Leighton on Pinterest     How gorgeous is that?!...

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At the Table

Recently I've been pinning a number of dining spaces. Dining rooms, eating areas off kitchens, formal, casual—they've really run the gamut. While growing up in my parents' home, we had family dinner every night. It is a tradition I hope to continue in my own family. Eating together isn't just about the food, the company or the decor, it's a combination of all. Scroll down for a few of the rooms that are inspiring me to first get in the kitchen and cook, then sit with my family for a supper that's about more than just food. Speaking of food, though, make sure to scroll past the (fabulous!) images for a few dishes from Bay Appetit, sister publication Mobile Bay's compilation of recipes from Mobile Bay magazine. Growing up, some of the most fun...

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Floored by Flooring

My husband and I have been on an ongoing house hunt for about six months now. We both have our certain criteria—he wants the finished basement that he can convert to a Man Cave, I want a big kitchen with plenty of counter space and we both want a fireplace—maybe two (one in the bedroom, please). One thing that I absolutely insist on is hardwood floors, because let’s be honest, wall to wall carpet can get kind of disgusting after a while especially if you have kids, of which I have none, but I do have a husband with many friends who don’t always take off their shoes. Besides, do you really want to be that person who stands by the front door harping at the guests to take off their shoes? I didn’t think so. But lest you think my home is a great...

Posted at 08:28 AM | Permalink | Comments

M is for Monogram


M is for Monogram

Oh, I do love a monogram. This affection has grown over time, it wasn't inherently part of me. I really think I came to appreciate the symbols as I do during the brief time my husband and I lived in his hometown. Mobilians really love a monogram, and they use them beautifully. While there, I learned one of my favorite aspects of a monogram, is that there can be truly interesting stories behind them. Case in point: During a family holiday meal several years ago Nana, my husband's grandmother, had silver engraved beautifully with the letter D. Her last name began with an H. It made for great dinner conversation and I learned more about my new family. Another example is a friend who used a blended monogram on a banner at her wedding reception. That was a new one to me, and...

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