The piece that started the whole thing…



This humble concrete turtle is actually very important.  He (we’ve been calling him a he) is the embodiment of a lot of the concepts we integrated into the 2009 Southern Living Tarpon Run Idea House. 

Paige and Doug were shopping in Birmingham last fall when Paige got the call from Southern Living, officially inviting Tracery to design the interiors for the Idea House.  They stopped later that day into a small vintage store in Cahaba Heights and found the turtle on the front steps.  He was chipped, a little dirty and mossy, and overlooked by everyone (he didn’t even have a price tag!).  

They bought him immediately.

He lived for a few months on Doug’s desk in our Birmingham office until finally Paige took him and packed him in with accessories to travel to Texas.  She and Anna Kay placed him on the coffee table in the Family Room, right in the center of all the action.

So what does this turtle say about our design concept for Tarpon Run?  First, he’s vintage, like a lot of pieces we used in the house.  Paige has said before that antique furniture and accessories are the ultimate in recycling and green living and the turtle proves that even the humblest of items can be re-purposed.  Second, he’s imperfect–we almost always prefer a finish that has some texture and age to it.  Our style has never been about polished perfection–finishes that have some character live better and feel more comfortable.  Turtles are common to Port Aransas and Mustang Island, so we liked the subtle reference this piece made to the area.  And of course, the turtle has a certain amount of whimsy.  We don’t like to take rooms too seriously and we think this little guy adds just the right amount of fun to the coffee table arrangement.

In the coming days we are going to be sharing more design details from Tarpon Run and showing you a few areas that the magazine wasn’t able to feature (it is a big house after all!)  If you haven’t already bought a copy of the August issue of Southern Living(on newsstands TODAY) or visited the Idea House website, we invite you to do so in order to get a feel for what we created in the home.

6 thoughts on “The piece that started the whole thing…

  1. My favorite “blog” so far!! It was written so well. I love your attention to detail. I hadn’t even noticed the turtle on the coffee table. All of you do such wonderful work! I’m looking forward to more re: details of the THE house.


  2. I just came across your blog. Absolutely amazing. I had to feature this blog on my own: Tracery Interiors brings such a breath of fresh air to the world of design. Bravo!


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