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Take the Party Outside

Doug Davis, interior designer at Tracery Interiors, may live in a 530-square foot cottage, but with a side yard readymade for entertaining, his little abode on Montevallo Road lives large.

photography by Major Adam Colbert

When it’s time for a party, Doug Davis’s kitchen becomes prep central, and the garden becomes party central. Doug’s cottage fits his busy lifestyle as a single guy and frequently traveling designer, plus it is convenient to his office—less than one block away. The recently renovated bungalow was built in 1942, and is one of the original buildings in Mountain Brook Village. The interior features three rooms and a bathroom. The “L” shaped layout allows the cottage to appear larger than it seems at first glance.

“Instead of seeing the house all at once when you enter, it rambles around the corner, making it feel bigger,” says Doug, “and the side garden helps.”

Framed by hedges, the garden is a natural space for summer evening parties.

“I really enjoy gardening and being outside in this outdoor room I’ve created. It’s a shade garden that’s cool, quiet, and tucked back away from the busy street. It’s a nice, private little space and doubles the size of my house,” Doug says.

Doug keeps a consistent white color scheme throughout his cottage interiors and exteriors, establishing an easy starting point for party decorating.

“When we style events, we like to use natural flowers, cut from the yard, and really make everything relate to the surroundings,” Doug says.

Doug focuses on functionally upfront and uses durable materials such as indoor-outdoor fabrics and allows ample room for preparation, serving, and a bar.

“We design a place for everything and customize for our clients and our own parties,” says Doug.

For this event, Doug continued his white color scheme by using white serving pieces and a mismatch of painted white metal and wood outdoor furniture. He draped elegant white tablecloths over tables filled with trays of easy to prepare, pick-up appetizers.

His sleek and compact kitchen still offers plenty of room for prep, even at only 80 square feet. Paige Schnell, principal of Tracery Interiors, prepared the food for Doug’s evening event. Menu items included cheeses, berries, and procuitto-wrapped asparagus. Separate tables were used to serve wine, and beer and water were served in a galvanized tin tub. “I don’t cook very much, but Paige Schnell, she is a great chef,” Doug says.

Doug hung lanterns on surrounding hedges and sprinkled them throughout the landscape to add sparkle and make the space come to life. As it grew dark, strings of white lights and lanterns lit up the grounds adding drama to the outdoor party.

Guests included interior designers, store owners, bloggers, and friends of Doug such as Paige Albright, Paula Coldiron, Marianne Strong, Rachel and Frank Craige, Ryan Davis, Paul Romjue, Megan Brasher, and his friends at Birmingham Home & Garden. Thanks Doug!


cabinetry: Sharp Remodeling Specialty-Glenn Sharp 205.369.1836. countertops: honed carrara marble • backsplash: Kenny & Company 205.323.5616 • hardware: Restoration Hardware 205.967.1901 • appliances: Viking and Subzero Allsouth Appliance Group Inc. 205.942.0408

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