A very discrete bar

We’d like to take credit for this fun little feature in the living room of a Mountain Brook, Alabama home we designed, but it was actually the idea of our client!  We’re lucky to work with folks who tend to be pretty creative in their own right, making ideas like this along the way so much fun!

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At first glance, this noble french antique is just a great foundation piece for the corner of this elegant formal Living Room space.


Open the doors however and it reveals a surprise:

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The interior of the cabinet is the perfect place for liquor bottles, decanters and Double Old Fashioned glasses.  An antique clock graces the top shelf, creating a beautiful vingnette when the doors are open to guests and preventing the view from looking too much like the inside of a cabinet.  The drawers below hold stirrers, napkins and coasters.

This little trick is easily reproduced in a cabinet of any size and a fun way to both store and display barware.

[The armoire is a French antique from Les Trois Marches in Mountain Brook’s English Village and the portrait is a Russian piece from the Loretta Goodwin Gallery in Birmingham.  Links to the websites of both establishments can be found in the ‘Places We Shop’ section in the left sidebar on this blog page.]

A place for everything


Sometimes true luxury is found in some very utilitarian places…think about it:  what’s better than a customized, well thought out place for everything in a home?  We enjoy working with homeowners to really concentrate on how they live and where they want to keep all of their belongings, so that their home ends up functioning as great as it looks when complete.

Here are two of our favorite well-planned and well-organized spaces from some of our recent projects:


When we started working with designer, author and well known Twitter personality John Bryan Hopkins (The Foodimentary Guy, @Foodimentary) to design a kitchen and pantry as part of a massive renovation project he and his partner undertook on their 1920’s Spanish Colonial Revival in Homewood, Alabama (designed in conjuction with Dungan Nequette Architects); function and well-thought out storage were at the top of the list.  In this pantry space, a wall of open shelving purposefully blurs the line between storage and display.  A bone china sink (Herbeau through Kenny & Co.) on a wooden stand provides a decidedly european farmhouse charm to the space, as does the umber-stained terra cotta tile floor.  The two-sided commercial refrigerator opens into both this space and the adjacent kitchen.  [photos above by Colleen Duffley]


No matter how large a home, storage is always a matter worth thoroughly exploring.  Though this Tudor Revival home in Mountain Brook, Alabama we helped to design a renovation for and furnish was quite large, the owners still wanted to take advantage of every available space for storage.  In low headroom beneath a staircase, we captured space for a small pantry.  The space is just tall enough for the lady of the house to walk inside, creating a charming place to store extra dishes and serving pieces.

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The best part?   We concealed the door to the space in a wall of pecky cypress paneling visible from the main kitchen.  When the door is closed, the pantry discretely goes away!

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