Keeping room

We designed a home for one of our clients in Mountain Brook.  We love the keeping room.  The light and color is so inviting and warm.  The stone walls with the steel windows, linen, limestone, reclaimed teracotta floors, antiques, iron chandelier, recleaime wood beams.   it just feels real.  It is real.  Real is one of our favorite words.  You can not fake real. 

Don’t you just love real.



Under Construction: Alys Beach

Happy Monday!  I meant to get this post up this morning but I was in jury duty (I was not selected)  and I just had a minute to sit down and catch up.  We wanted to show y’all a new project (well… new to you, we have been working on it for quite a while) .  It is a home for a family in Alys Beach.  It is currently under construction.  It is going to be a REALLY cool house.  We are working on drawings of all things interior, as well as paints, plaster, wood, tiles, stone, cabinets, lighting, plumbing, appliances, custom furniture… just to name a few.  AK and I made a trip(trip is a strong word for the 1 mile distance between this home and our studio) to the site on Friday and wanted to share a few photos.  It will be fun to see the home come together and share the process with you.  We are working with Jeff Dungan of Dungan Nequette Architects on this home.  It is a fun, collaborative process with this design with really fun clients…. and Alys Beach… what can I say.  We love designing at Alys Beach…. the white background and natural materials is a dream for any designer.  So take a look around…..

a great setting... is a great way to start!

This is the future kitchen and living room. That is the terrace beyond...

This is the future living room windows.

The beginning of the tower. How cool are the oval windows??

View from the top terrace. Sunset anyone?

So just imagine all white… We will post more pics soon!

Have a great week!


Tracery comes to NYC

Hey everyone, Doug here…blogging to you from high above the Meatpacking District at the Standard Hotel in New York.  I’m sitting here looking out the window at the Empire State Building reflecting on what a great visit we’ve had (I’m eating some late night Oreos from the minibar too!).  We are so excited to be working with an incredible client on a super chic office space on Fifth Avenue, in the heart of New York’s Midtown.  We can’t wait to show you the finished product…coming later this spring; but for now here are a few pics of the space, newly framed up and ready for sheet rock.



The views out of this space are AMAZING…we’re collaborating with Louis Nequette of Dungan Nequette Architects to create a space that’s light and bright and full of glass that allows everyone in the space to capture and enjoy what’s beyond the windows of this breathtaking 17th floor space.  The next time we show you pictures, this space will look MUCH different…fumed oak floors, crisp white paint on the walls and exposed ceiling and butt-jointed glass panels at the perimeter offices will all come together to create a space that’s slick and sharp and perfectly suited to the fast paced and innovative company that will call this place home.

New York always inspires us…there’s so much great design around every corner!  Tomorrow we’ll be sharing some images of things we saw during our trip that we found particularly inspiring so check back then for more.

Give away!! “30A Style”

Happy Monday friends!  We are excited that the new coffee table book  30A Style is available now!  It features 22 homes along 30A in Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Seagrove, Seaside, Watercolor, and homes along our rare coastal dune lakes. Two Tracery projects are featured in the book including our own Paige Schnell’s home.  There are so many projects by so many great architects and designers featured in 30A Style.  Here are few:  Tracery, Dungan Nequette Architects, Urban Grace, McAlpine Tankersley Architecture, Gary Justiss Archietct, Suzanne Restor Watson, Susan Massey and so many more.  To celebrate this book by Lynn Nesmith with photography by Jean Allsopp we wanted to GIVE 2 AWAY!   The books will signed by the author and photographer….pretty cool, huh? 

Here is how to enter:  Just leave a comment about why you love 30A or if you have never visited then why you want to visit 30A!  You have until 6pm Tuesday March 15th to enter.  We will select and announce our winners on Wednesday March 16th.  

We have two guest judges who will select their favorite comment.  Lynn Nesmith (the book’s author) and Mike Ragsdale ( of   So comment away! 

 If you want to purchase the book.  It is located at both our shops and online {here}.

Also, come to our book signings:  This Wednesday March 16th 2-6pm at Rosemary Beach, Wednesday April 6th 2-6pm Rosemary Beach, and Tuesday April 12th 1-6pm in Mountain Brook.

Good Luck!

[exterior colors] in the woods

Now that Halloween has passed, summer has certainly transitioned into Fall.  At our Rosemary Beach studio and shop, the temperature has started to drop (this is a beautiful time of year to visit the beach, by the way) and in Birmingham, the trees are turning fall colors and the leaves are crunching underfoot.  We’ve been talking about starting a new blog series for a while now that focuses on exterior color selection–a service we frequently provide in addition to interior design.  Today we thought we’d kick off this series by highlighting some exterior colors we’ve selected for the homes at Silverock Cove, a development about an hour north of Birmingham located on beautiful Smith Lake.



The design of the homes and amenity buildings at Silverock focus heavily on the beautiful natural setting of the site.  When choosing colors for the exterior of the buildings, we selected colors that would blend with the woods, rocks and water while still defining the architecture of the homes (which were all designed by Dungan Nequette Architects).



The grey green body color of this home is repeated on the window trim. Using the same color for both elements respects the simplicity of the home's architecture while darker eaves and fascia provide definition at the roofline. Untreated wood porch elements will weather naturally over time.



On this home, dark brown windows and trim give depth to the color scheme.

We generally find that in a wooded setting, darker windows and trim help buildings recede and blend into their surroundings rather than stand out.  Imagine if the homes pictured above had bright white or cream windows.  The darker tones also feel more rustic and relaxed in a wooded setting.



Charcoal grey trim and windows ground the lighter body color of this lakefront home.


There are over 50 homes at Silverock Cove–with more on the way–so of course we didn’t paint every house a shade of green or brown.  The home pictured above, the first in Silverock’s Phase III actually has a very light body color, which stands in a pleasant contrast to the surrounding woods.  To keep the house from feeling too light though, dark charcoal trim–and eventually windows–keep the color scheme grounded in the wooded setting.  The base of the home will soon receive a stone veneer which will further connect the house to the natural site.


Red window sashes provide a pop of color to this otherwise sedate home

It’s still possible to use color on a home set in the woods too without it seeming out of place.  On the home pictured above, an otherwise quiet color scheme is enlivened with red window sashes that give an unexpected pop of color–and fun–to the home’s exterior.

All of these homes show that when thinking about exterior colors for a home in a natural setting, simple palettes of brown, grey, green and even autumnal red can give distinction to a structure while still blending with nature.



[all photos courtesy Silverock Cove]

Tracery in Birmingham Home & Garden

Our work at Silverock Cove, located on Alabama’s Smith Lake, is featured in this month’s Birmingham Home & Garden Second Homes issue.



The feature outlines some of the amenities at Silverock (which was master planned and designed by our sister company Dungan Nequette Architects) including the Pool House, which we furnished.

[click to enlarge each image]





The story also features the interior of a home we furnished for one of Silverock’s founders, Carter Hughes.  The furnishings are natural, comfortable and durable–musts for a lakeside home.  Sourced mostly from our shop, the pieces are complimented by artwork from Birmingham’s Loretta Goodwin Gallery



[all images courtesy Birmingham Home & Garden, article text by Cathy Still Johnson, photography by Jean Allsopp]

New Orleans & Baton Rouge

Hey, it’s Doug.  I was in one of my favorite places last week…New Orleans…and I wanted to share a few photos I took while I was there.  Of course, I left my good camera at home in Birmingham, so you’ll have to bear with my iPhone photos (I really hope the new one that’s supposed to be out this summer has a better camera!)

I’m actually getting ahead of myself, because before I went to New Orleans I stopped by a project in Baton Rouge that we are providing design services for.  Our sister company, Dungan Nequette Architects, works with the nationally renowned college housing developer Capstone Development to create beautiful traditional neighborhood developments for college students all over the country.  We collaborate on several aspects of the projects with DNA, including selecting all of the exterior colors schemes for the buildings and designing the architectural interiors for the Clubhouse buildings that anchor the developments.  I was in Baton Rouge to inspect the progress of the Clubhouse at The Cottage of Baton Rouge, which happens to be the largest Clubhouse that’s been built in a Cottages development to date.  It’s equipped with some amazing features, like dual Club Rooms, a spa-like bathroom complete with Sauna and Steam, a Fitness Center that rivals any health club, pool tables, a study center, a room just for video games… definitely nicer than any place I lived in college!

[the exterior the Clubhouse building — those shiny new cedar shingles will soon be treated with a bleaching agent that will make the building appear to have been built years ago]

Inside the Clubhouse there’s just bare sheetrock walls right now, but soon custom designed trim and millwork and lots of horizontally-installed spruce planking (which will also be aged and bleached) will create a warm and inviting space.  I worked with architect Louis Nequette and the team at Dungan Nequette to design an exposed ceiling in some of the spaces (pictured  in the main Club Room, above) which add an interesting contrast to some of the more refined finishes found in the building.  The furnishings will be an eclectic blend of pieces–including some subtle hints of LSU purple and gold (I never thought I’d say that!)…we’ll be sure to post some more photos of the finished product later this summer.

I left Baton Rouge and drove an hour (okay, two hours with traffic) to New Orleans, where I spent an evening and the following morning doing a little shopping and researching spaces for some upcoming projects we have in the works elsewhere across the country.

At first, I thought I’d found Tracery’s Creole cousin when I saw this sign hanging on Tchoupitoulas Street near my hotel, but it turns out the word actually means ‘loft’ in French…the sign advertises the sales office for a new condo development nearby.  I spotted the sign on my way to dinner at the amazing A Mano, a great Italian place tucked in the Warehouse District.  Paige had eaten there last summer and texted me the name of the restaurant telling me I had to try it.  I was not disappointed…my meal was the perfect end to a long day of dusty jobsites and long car rides.

Do you think I enjoyed my Tagliata with Arugula?  I was close to licking the plate…well, until I tried the Panna Cotta with Strawberries and Balsamic with Sea Salt.  The sweet berries and big chunks of salt…YUM…I’ve been craving it since I got home!

The next morning I went for a walk down Magazine Street with a big cup of coffee, checking out some of the local shops and enjoying the amazing architecture that is absolutely everywhere you turn.

[the yellow stucco facade of a convent along Magazine Street– I love the angels between the second and third storeys]

[I was ready to move into this house I found along St Charles Avenue.  It’s perfection, right down to the working shutters, subtle color scheme and amazing boxwood and ivy front garden…and those urns brimming with more ivy?  Yes, please!]

Before I left, I stopped by a few antique shops in the French Quarter we like to visit whenever one of us is in town.  Despite my obvious love for whites and neutrals, I think one of my favorite things about New Orleans is the COLOR…there are few other places where you could get away with such outrageous combinations!

I wish I’d been able to stay longer, but luckily I’ll be back in the area a few more times this spring and summer as the Cottages project wraps up. New Orleans, though relatively close, is so different than Birmingham (or even our office in Rosemary Beach); I find it so refreshing and inspirational to visit a city that exists in such contrast from the places I see everyday.  I came home with a lot of great ideas, and a bag full of beignets for the ride back!