Auburn and Lake Martin site visits

Hey, it’s Doug…I actually started writing this post yesterday morning as the tornado sirens started going off here in Birmingham.  The power eventually went out and after a day of scary storms I never got back here to finish the post.  Luckily my neighborhood is okay (and so is our shop here in Mountain Brook) but other parts of Birmingham–and of course our neighbors in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere–were not so lucky.  We’re all sending lots of Tracery love out to our friends throughout the Southeast who were effected by yesterday’s weather.

Okay, so on with what I wanted to show you yesterday.  On Tuesday, Paige and I met up in Auburn to check in on a project of ours that’s nearing completion.  Some clients of ours who we’ve worked with previously contacted us a couple of months ago with an interesting challenge:  they were in the process of purchasing a large, almost-finished home in Auburn, Alabama and needed our help completing the project so that they could move in.  We started by addressing the home’s interior architectural issues, selecting new paint colors, changing out some tile in places, and selecting right around FIFTY light fixtures (this very large didn’t have any when our clients purchased it!).  Once we had the finishes and fixtures under control, we started to select new furnishings to complement pieces the family already owned.

The home is about two to three weeks from completion and is really starting to look great.  Here a few shots we took yesterday…

This beautiful limestone fireplace was already in the home...we had the walls repainted a custom color to match (they had been a minty green) and added an antique iron chandelier. A pair of chairs will eventually settle in front of the fireplace to create a cozy spot to hang out at one end of this kitchen space.

We thought it would be really fun to do a HOT PINK ceiling in the daughter's bathroom to contrast the existing black and white tile. We love how this turned out!

We showed you this crystal chandelier a couple of weeks ago after our buying trip to Atlanta. It's in place now in the Master Bedroom and looks great!

Many of the home's bathroom vanities were stained a pretty bad shade of "cherry" when our clients purchased this home. We are having all of them repainted in charcoal grey to fit into the home's new color scheme.

After we left Auburn, we headed to Lake Martin to attend a job site meeting a new construction project we are designing the interiors for.  The exterior of the home is really starting to come together, although the interior is a few months from completion.

A view of the home from the Motorcourt...the exterior siding is a custom blend of three different stains that we worked with the home's architect to develop

The lakeside facade of the home

The view of Lake Martin from the home's dock...ahhhhh!

spring things

At our Rosemary Beach studio and shop it’s been clear for a couple of weeks now that spring has finally arrived.  The streets of Rosemary Beach are once again busy with visitors who have come to enjoy the beautiful beaches of the Scenic Highway 30A area.  Paige, Anna Kay and Bess have enjoyed meeting so many blog readers who’ve stopped by our shop already this season…if you haven’t made our way yet, please be sure to stop by and say hello when you do!

At our other design studio in Birmingham, one of the coldest winters anyone can remember is finally giving way to a beautiful spring.

Inspired by the soft pink hues of the tulip tree blooming in Doug’s front yard, here are a few rooms from our portfolio which display the soft colors of springtime.

This bedroom in a home we designed at Lake Martin is full of the soft pink and white tones that signal the start of spring.  The pink linen drapery bring subtle color the white-painted planked walls.  The Oly Studio bed features rafia-upholstered panels which partner with the jute rug to add texture to the space.  Coincidentally, the subject matter of the Justin Gaffrey piece Paige and Anna Kay selected to hang over the bed is one of our favorite spring flowers–daffodils.

Pink and white figures into the color scheme of this Auburn, Alabama home as well.  We’ve shared these photos on the blog before, but we thought they were too pretty to not include in this post too.  [photos by Colleen Duffley]

In the Master Bedroom of this same home, pale blue create a peaceful feeling that reminds us of the clear springtime sky.  [photo by Colleen Duffley]

Pale springtime pink just tinges the edges of the antique Italian carving Doug discovered and placed on the mantle of this Mountain Brook, Alabama home.  [photo by Colleen Duffley]

Colors inspired by spring don’t have to be subtle.  In the children’s play area in the Southern Living Idea House we designed, stripes of pink, green and blue create a playful and fun atmosphere.  Bedding, pillows and beanbags in the same tones create a unified feeling in the space that’s inviting any time of year.  [photo by Laurey W Glenn for Southern Living]


If you haven’t already left a comment to be entered to win a journal from our shop, covered in a fun Thomas Paul print, make sure you do.  The contest ends Sunday, March 28 at 7pm central.  Have a great weekend everyone — enjoy the spring weather!

add color

Yesterday, we showed you a sublimely neutral space.  Today we thought we’d go in the other direction and look at some of the most colorful spaces we’ve designed.  We’ve featured a few of these images before on our blog, but we’re presenting them all to you again today.

One of the most iconic rooms we’ve designed is from a home in our hometown of Rosemary Beach, Florida.  Paige took the opportunity to do something unexpected in the home’s laundry room and had the cabinets painted bright red!

To punch up the red paint, matching red subway tile brings the color up onto the wall.  Glossy black trim, windows and doors create more visual punch.  [photo by Michael Granberry]

Color doesn’t have to be bold to have an impact.  In the Kitchen of an Auburn, Alabama home, Paige and Anna Kay chose a fresh french green for the cabinets.

Pale countertops and a healthy dose of beautiful stained wood floors–repeated in the long grain butcherblock island countertop–balance out the green and create a warm and inviting space.  [photo by Colleen Duffley]

An otherwise neutral room can sometimes be transformed with just one element of bright color.  In this Rosemary Beach bathroom, Paige selected cobalt blue glazed tile for the wall behind the bathtub.

Blue and white is a time-honored scheme but here it’s presented in a fresh and unique way.  We love how the sleek lines of the bathtub are accented against the bright tiled wall.

In a Watersound, Florida home the color scheme throughout is decidedly neutral.  Pale leather chairs, chocolate brown accents and linen-colored walls create a serene space.  One bright piece of artwork though, placed over the fireplace, creates an exciting accent to the scheme.  In the foreground, a simple grouping of green apples freshens up the tablescape.

[photo by Michael Granberry]

We love an all white room for its crisp peacefulness — but add a bright accent and an all white space comes alive instantly.


In this Alys Beach, Florida home, Paige and Anna Kay added colorful quilts and shams from Anthropologie which instantly make the space fun and fresh.  A lime green silk shade tops a lamp by Stray Dog Designs, which is available through our shop.  [photo by Michael Granberry]

How do you add color to your home?  Are you brave enough to paint cabinets a bright color, or does a pillow, piece of artwork or colorful quilt at the foot of a bed add enough for your taste?  Tell us, we are having so much fun hearing from everyone this week as our Comment Contest continues!  Remember you can comment once per day to be entered to win.

gas lanterns

Though we are an interior design firm, we spend a lot of time thinking about the details that make exterior spaces special too.  We work on a lot of new construction and renovation projects, often hand-in-hand with the building’s architect to ensure a smooth transition between the inside of a project and the exterior.  We very often weigh in on exterior color and materials selections and of course, the selection of exterior light fixtures.


[We selected a copper gas lantern for this Homewood, Alabama residence — photo by Eric Marcus]


One of our absolute favorite ways to provide light and ambiance to an exterior space is with gas lanterns.  Gas lanterns come in a variety of sizes and shapes and suit nearly every style of project.  We’ve specified gas lanterns for contemporary coastal residences and for very traditional in-town projects.  Regardless of the project, the gentle glow and authentic nature of these fixtures always says ‘welcome.’



[Uplighting placed in the landscaping and a pair of gas lanterns make the entrance of this Auburn, Alabama home warm and dramatic — photo by Colleen Duffley]



[On the same Auburn, Alabama home we selected this slender copper fixture which features a distinctive glass hurricane–photo by Colleen Duffley]



[A row of tall copper gas lanterns against crisp stucco on a Rosemary Beach, Florida house for which we designed the architectural interiors — photo by Michael Granberry]


The costs associated with running a gas lantern are higher than an electric fixture, but we think the effect created is well worth the expense.  Gas lanterns don’t always put out as much light as traditional electric fixtures, so we often pair them with uplighting or small fixtures hidden above openings or in rooflines adjacent to the area that needs to be lit.


Tracery is proud to carry Bevolo lanterns, which are handmade in New Orleans following centuries old designs.  If you’re interested in these fixtures for your home, contact us for more information.

Beautiful Baths by Tracery

Yesterday we shared some details of an amazing bathroom in the 2009 Southern Living Tarpon Run Idea House, and today we thought we’d show a few more beautiful baths from our portfolio.  Bathrooms are such a great place to take a chance and choose an unusual color or finish you wouldn’t necessarily want to use in a larger space.  We’ve designed everything from lavish Moroccan style oasis to sleek contemporary retreats–always with an eye on the details and fixture selections that can make a bathroom truly unique.


This Master Bath in a renovated Spanish Colonial style home in the Hollywood neighborhood of Homewood, Alabama features a room devoted solely to an iconic soaking tub from Waterworks.  The Tub Room connects the Master Bedroom to an area with vanities, a shower and toilet compartment.


Architect Louis Nequette had the brilliant idea to wrap glass around the two sides and abovethe Master Bath vanities, bathing the area in natural light.  Tiny mosaic travertine tiles are used in similarly sized niches in the steam shower on the opposite wall.  [photos by Colleen Duffley]


In the Master Bath of a Rosemary Beach, Florida villa, Paige selected handmade Moroccan tile to bring color and interest.


The white rectangular vessel sinks and soaking tub bring a crispness to the space and serve as a wonderful contrast to the hand-made irregularity of the tile’s surface.



[photos by Michael Granberry]


In the Master Bathroom of an Auburn, Alabama home the mood is much more classic and subdued.  Pale blue walls and crisp white cabinetry makes this space feel fresh and relaxing.


The paneled wall separates His and Hers vanity areas and provides a focal point from the Bedroom.


[photos by Colleen Duffley]


In the Guest Bathroom of a renovated 1929 Tudor Revival home in Mountain Brook, Alabama, we used one of our favorite materials:  white Carrara marble.  Paige designed a tile ‘rug’ for the room and then selected white marble moulding to case the shower door.  Doug detailed white paneling that maintains a period-appropriate feeling in the room and which conceals a ‘secret’ closet door in a panel.

 Bath 4

Rather than design a wall of cabinetry, we placed a rectangular washbasin by LaCava atop a painted wood cabinet and then added a free standing dressing table with a skirted white chair.  An antique iron pendant fixture completes the room.

[photos by Ryan Davis]


Every one’s talking about the saffron-colored barn door in the Southern Living Tarpon Run Idea House, which separates one of the Bedrooms from an adjacent Bath.  Beyond, a contemporary tub sits below a delicate crystal chandelier. 


Flannel grey walls blend beautifully with another white Cararra marble floor.  Paige and Anna Kay selected a piece of local photography to hang above the tub.

[photo by Laurey W. Glenn for Southern Living]

pretty things

The talented photographers that we work with do a great job capturing the interior environments we create.  They also, from time to time, capture beautiful still life images of accessories, flower arrangements and even exterior details of our projects.  Today we thought we’d share some of these lesser known images from the Tracery portfolio…no more words, just pretty pictures.  It’s Friday, after all!  Have a wonderful weekend!









Jones 002













[all photos by Colleen Duffley except #3 by Karim Basha, #5 Brian Gassell, #8 Ryan Davis and #9 Michael Granberry]


Do you make the bed everyday?  We admit, we don’t always…but we do appreciate the way a well made and well dressed bed looks.  Here are some of our favorite beds from the Tracery portfolio:



For this home in Watersound, Florida, Paige selected a bold chocolate and white fabric for the headboard.  She paired it with graceful glass lamps topped with chocolate painted shades.  A chocolate brown linen coverlet and skirt ground all of the fun fabrics at the top of the bed and a neutral rug ties the whole look together.



Crisp but simple white bedding is punctuated by shots of bright green in this Alys Beach, Florida home.  The custom green linen headboard and four bright pillows is all it took to make this bed fresh and unique.



The pale blue color scheme of this Master Bedroom retreat in Auburn, Alabama is reflected in this display of bedding.  Elegant floral euro pillows create a strong foundation for the bed while a series of rolled pillows keep things comfortable.  A simple white silk coverlet completes the composition.



Everyone always loves this Guest Bedroom we designed for a home at Alys Beach.  We again started with a foundation of simple white bedding–this time with white headboards too, but then added very colorful quilts and shams.  Our favorite recycled aluminum side table serves as a fun nightstand.



Sometimes one pillow is all  you need to make a statement.  For this Guest Room in a Mountain Brook, Alabama home, Paige and Doug designed this giant neckroll and had it upholstered in the same fabric that makes up the bed’s coverlet.  A linen tufted headboard completes this room’s serene and restful feeling.



Fresh greens and browns make this Watersound, Florida bedroom feel fun and bright.  The striped roman shades complete the look.  When beds have to go in front of windows, we find that a open metal headboard can work well to allow light to still come in the room.



We spruced up this Birmingham, Alabama Master Bedroom with a new diamond-quilted coverlet and then added creamy leather hassock stools to the foot of the bed.  The peaceful monochromatic scheme of the space is enlivened by a richly colored rug.



When the owners of this Mountain Brook, Alabama home asked us to design a room for some very special overnight guests–their grandchildren–we responded with tall custom headboards upholstered in a citron green velvet on linen damask.  Cuddly taupe blankets warm up the foot of the bed and fun pillows embroidered with subtle dove silouhettes add another punch of color.  The windows are treated with a roll-up citron green roman shade that filters soft light into the room, and then with a room darkening linen shade above that.


[photography credits, from the top:  Brian Gassell, Eric Marcus, Colleen Duffley, Eric Marcus, Ryan Davis, Michael Granberry, Ryan Davis, Ryan Davis]