diner-inspired holiday place cards

Diner-style holiday place card

Tis the season of entertaining. And while we may have extra time off work to polish the teak-handled flatware and iron the poinsettia linens, all that holiday prep and socializing can feel so heavy! You can lighten the mood at your table with these fun place cards inspired by 50s diner signs, designed for my blog by Cindy Tomczyk of Paper Parasol Press. Download and print your own cards for free here (choose from two color palettes).

Diner-inspired holiday place cards with vintage silver tableware

Thank you to one of my favorite Atlanta antique stores, City Issue, for lending me midcentury table props! You can take my Shop Spy photo tour and read an interview with owner Jennifer Sams here.

what real men want for the holidays: part 2


I’ve bought the typical wallets, pint glasses, and even the cufflinks that I know will languish in a drawer. But what do men really want for the holidays? I asked two more creative guys in my circle to give us some out-of-the-box ideas. Read on for their wish lists and buying info! (And catch up on part 1 of the series here.)


Davis Petterson’s over-the-top personality is in sharp contrast to his gentle percussion for his band, the Ghosts Project. He’s an old friend who’s overflowing with enthusiasm for fellow artists, and we have an unspoken barter: he buys his wife gifts from my shop, and I buy cocktails at his local gigs. Let’s see what this music man wants to unwrap for himself!


1. Black and tan polka dot belt by Jon Wye // 2. Gift certificate to Nadine’s Triple Crown salon // 3. Waxed canvas drumstick roll-up bag by Tackle Instrument Supply Co.  // 4. The Hope Conspiracy: The Art of Chris Hamer by Urbnpop // 5. Hellboy library edition vol. 1

Up next, see the wish list a modern architect built!

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what real men want for the holidays: part 1


It’s hard to buy for guys. Lots of blogs and magazines make manly gift suggestions, but they’re usually steered by women’s ideas of what men like (cufflinks, wallets, and cedar-scented potions galore). I decided to go straight to the source, asking four creative Atlanta men for their real wish lists. Turns out they want museum memberships, wooden coffee makers, and lots of other products beyond the beard. Their picks surprised and inspired me, and I hope you’ll feel the same. Away we go with the first two contributors!

Photo by Jess Smith of Lady Flashback

At the holiday Indie Craft Experience, the prints of ranch homes in my booth reeled in the dapper Cameron Adams. We connected over midcentury architecture, and he introduced me to his Atlanta street style blog. While he expressed no interest in snapping my picture, I’m going to take this as a challenge instead of a snub. Coming in 2015: more daring hair and outfits! (Just teasing, sweet Cameron.) But enough about me — let’s find out what this southern gentleman wants for Christmas!


1. Cyclist’s leather trouser strap by Brooks England // 2. 1960s mohair sweater from Rusty Zipper // 3. Vintage gold-foiled barware from Montage // 4. Museum of Design Atlanta membership // 5. Photographer Slim Aaron’s midcentury book about pretty people making a splash

On the next page, see the wish list of a marketing man who’s choosy about his coffee and socks.

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modern ‘hood: cliff may’s rancho estates

Orange and gray modern ranch

If I ever build a house, I’ll drop a stack of Cliff May home photos on my architect’s desk for inspiration. In southern California, May was a pioneer of building characteristics that we think of today as the hallmarks of midcentury modern ranches — clean lines, open floor plans, and an indoor-outdoor feel. So on a recent trip to Los Angeles for Andrea’s work, we spent an afternoon in Long Beach cruising May’s Rancho Estates tract neighborhood, built in 1953-54.

The Rancho homes have opaque facades and high privacy fences that reveal little about their interiors. If you’re nosy curious like I am, you can mine real estate sites such as Rancho Style for photos of light-soaked rooms, swanky pools, and lush courtyards. Although I had to imagine what modern treasures lay beyond the walls, I gleefully shot the sculptural plants, rock gardens, colorful gates, and vintage cars visible from the street. Unless otherwise noted, all photos were taken by me from public property.

Photo via ranchostyle.com
Photo via ranchostyle.com
Photo via ranchostyle.com
Photo via ranchostyle.com

Charcoal and yellow ranch home

Modern concrete and stone courtyard with red gate

click for 6 more home photos!

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dear home: master bedroom makeover

master bedroom with gray bedding

I finally finished my bedroom’s facelift last week! As often happens with dramatic overhauls, it started with one piece. Over the summer I had the succulent poster I co-designed with Leah Duncan framed to hang over my bedside table. Problem was, the color palette wasn’t jiving with anything else in the room. We were overdue for new bedding and accessories anyway, so I did a revamp using black, white, gray, and pops of yellow and turquoise.

Succulent poster designed by Finely Crafted and Leah Duncan

Below is my side of the bed. We already had the Heywood-Wakefield furniture and vintage ceramic lamp. I’d been wanting a tray so I can set down my earrings, ponytail holder, etc. before I hit the pillow. I styled it with a mini blush planter by Sea & Asters and brought over a Kostick bronze star sculpture from the living room. Geometric patterns to contrast with the botanical art were a must, and I was lucky to receive this complimentary Pendleton wool lumbar pillow from Robin Cottage! The gray braided duvet cover and shams are from West Elm, and the yellow Sketch Grid pillowcases are Room Essentials from Target.

Modern bedside table

Below is Andrea’s turf. The two bedsides used to be mirror images, so I wanted to play with asymmetry by giving him an art cluster and a different lamp. The bird print is his own photograph, hung with gold gem magnets by Lynn Lunger (aka Una Odd). When I told Lynn that we always need cute magnets for our Lustron’s metal walls, she added a couple freebies to my order! The Minerals print at top right is by Happy Red Fish, and The Last Summer is a painting reproduction by Kiki and Polly. The hanging planter is by Cathy Terepocki, whose ceramic jewelry I carry in my shop.

Modern bedside table with art cluster

Art cluster

Turquoise and black ceramic planter with succulents

see my revised vanity, an amazing navajo rug, and other photos after the jump!

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