A little bit country

Dreaming of buying a country house where we can escape on the weekends, summers, and holidays. I’d plant a large organic garden, grow rows and rows of colorful perennials (lavender!), relax by the pool and/or pond, and do my best Eva Gabor Green Acres impression (caftans, obviously). My Pinterest board is overflowing with images of this idealistic simple life and simultaneously making me feel claustrophobic in our Five Points bungalow. All photos linked HERE.

Beach House Style

Chango & Co

Chango & Co

Pencil Shavings Studio

Pencil Shavings Studio



I created a BEACH HOUSE Pinterest board recently because that's sort of my "if you build it, they will come" ... but more like "if you pin it 1,000 times, it'll come to fruition."  I'm not asking for an oceanfront monstrosity with a yacht club membership, just a sandy little beach shack - that's all. Something quaint with a vaulted ceiling in the common area, white paneled walls, painted floors, seagrass rugs, slipcovered sofas, lots of rattan, no to be too specific. You see, I'm a Pisces so I literally need a beach house so I can be close to water. It's v important for my mental stability. Note the houses I've pinned are definitely not shacks, what are ya gonna do? Scaled down versions of them would be ideal. 

I found THIS cottage during a late night Zillow scroll session recently. It's cute!  Vaulted ceilings, pine floors (I think?), private dock on a wide canal, etc.  Just imagine it cleared of all the kitschy colorful beach paraphernalia and making way for my shell addiction. NICE. 

Here's a short list of what I would <want to> do: 

  • Paint all the walls, trim, and cabinets white and whitewash the ceiling
  • Add a simple subway tile kitchen backsplash and replace counters with quartz (painting cabinets white - or maybe a really light grayish blue) + polished nickel hardware, plumbing fixtures
  • All new appliances in kitchen
  • Wallpaper the bathrooms (in vinyl for durability)
  • Replace the ceiling fans unless they are absolutely needed in the bedrooms
  • Replace all the mini blinds with bamboo shades or plantation shutters
  • Add a long table to the screened in porch for outdoor dining
  • Rip out the counters in bathrooms and add pedestal sinks for more room
  • Add an outdoor shower with enough privacy - like THIS
  • Create an outdoor fire pit seating area with pea gravel and pavers overlooking the canal
  • Landscape with salt-tolerant perennials, shrubs, and trees that will thrive in the ever changing NC coastal climate (think pittosporum, Japanese holly, reed grass, liriope, dianthus)

Until then, I'll just be pinning my heart out and nurturing my water sign by taking long hot baths. 

Can I just live in a Nancy Meyers film set?

Three years ago, we renovated and expanded our 1926 bungalow - doubling its size to almost 3,000 square feet.  When we moved back in after 9 months, I was totally unprepared to furnish and decorate all the new rooms, spaces, nooks and crannies, etc. I was already overwhelmed and exhausted from running a brick and mortar and online children's store, plus my design business was growing and I was doing quite a few children's rooms. I put my own home on the back burner  and I'm almost happy that I did (almost). So, as we moved back into this new/old house, I started slowly collecting things that I loved, adding a layer here and there, and subtracting a layer sometimes when it felt not right, but ultimately creating a home that represents me, my family and our lifestyle...comfortable, eclectic, free of clutter but full of collections (if that makes sense). I keep a list of the things that I want for my home (or maybe my next home)...not specific items usually (though there are definitely some pricier fabrics I'd like to introduce and a few more custom furniture pieces), but more ideas of what makes me happy and what makes my home feel homey. Here's my running list in absolutely no particular order, just like my brain: 

mossy clay pots, butcher block counters, black matte hardware, white dove walls, vintage paintings, seashells, colorful flat weave rugs, wicker/rattan anything, grasscloth walls, white linen pinch pleat drapes, thin black french return curtain rods, lemon trees, all white bedding, extra long colorful bed bolsters, wall lamps, pleated fabric lampshades, large round mirrors, vintage hemp rugs, linen throws, hydrangea bushes, brass lanterns, white slipcovers, lavender, antique pine furniture, narrow benches, relaxed roman shades, myrtle topiaries, stocked bars....and so on and so forth...

When I was adding to this list earlier today (i.e.: lemon trees, antique pine furniture, vintage hemp rug to create a new upholstered headboard), I was simultaneously watching the movie It's Complicated. What a master Nancy Meyers is at both romantic comedies and film sets that have so much eye candy you have to stop, pause, rewind, fast forward, pause, rewind again...so gorgeous. Her set designer is truly a genius at creating magnificent rooms with layers and details that make me swoon. If I had to pinpoint my favorite decor style, it's definitely Nancy Meyers-esque. Photos of some faves below - and I didn't even include The Parent Trap (from 1998 and still timeless decor in those sets) or The Holiday (that cottage!, LA house!!, girls starry tent!, Jude Law!)...so much goodness.

It's Complicated /  Hooked on Houses

It's Complicated / Hooked on Houses

It's Complicated /  Hooked on Houses

It's Complicated / Hooked on Houses

Home Again / Architectural Digest

Home Again / Architectural Digest

Home Again /  Architectural Digest
Home Again /  Architectural Digest
The Intern /  Architectural Digest
The Intern /  Architectural Digest
The Intern /  Architectural Digest
The Intern /  Architectural Digest
Something's Gotta Give /  Modern Country Style

Something's Gotta Give / Modern Country Style

Things I'm loving right now in no particular order

I'm sensing a theme in the items below - they look like fall to me. The humidity is melting my brain and the mosquitoes are 100% immune to my organic essential oils mix that has kept them partially at bay this summer. I want cool nights, fires, stiff bourbon drinks, long sleeve dresses, ornamental cabbages, and so on.

Even the preserved butterfly in lucite is like a remnant of the summer just waiting for cooler weather. Football games (to tailgate not watch), old fashioneds (sp?), and cool nights on the porch with a soft linen blanket that my child will most definitely wipe something on -- this is what I need.

North Ridge Home Tour: BEFORE & AFTER

For the past 8 months, I've been working to turn this house into an inspiring, relaxing home for a busy family of five. My designs blended California cool with a bit of boho and a lot of cozy comfort. We were about 80% done with the children's bedrooms when their dream home went up for sale (you know - the kind that you stalk and think "if that house ever goes on the market..."). Long story short, they decided to take the plunge and will be moving to a new house, which means the one we just redecorated will hit the market this week!  I'll link the real estate listing when it's ready, but for now take a look at these before and after shots (by Eve Hobgood).


pyle living room
We recovered the ottoman in a vintage rug found on Etsy. Custom carpet by Eatman's Interiors.

We recovered the ottoman in a vintage rug found on Etsy. Custom carpet by Eatman's Interiors.

Family Room Before

pyle living room before.jpg



Study Before

pyle study before.jpeg



Guest Room Before

pyle guest before.jpeg

BOYS ROOM (Ooops - I didn't take a before)


girls room



pyle eloise before.jpeg



playroom before

pyle playroom before.jpeg

I have so many more photos of this gorgeous house, but I might need to break them up into another post. One of the most important things we did was paint the walls White Dove by Benjamin Moore. The house felt so dark before and the white completely transformed the rooms making them feel bigger and brighter. I really can't say enough great things about White Dove. It looks good everywhere - interior, exterior, trim, walls, ceiling, on furniture, etc. Imma believer in the magic of this color (or lack of).

Our House

My good friend Jamie (of Furbish fame) featured our home on her blog ISUWANNEE back in May for the Real Raleigh Series. Here's a few extra shots from Anna Routh that weren't included.