the 3/50 project


If you have been following our blog for a bit then surely you have noticed the ‘3/50 project’ badge to the left of the screen.  Hopefully this has enticed many of you to click-it and educate yourselves a little on supporting local business. These are the times that it is crucial to support mom & pop shops and restaurants in your area so that they are not succumbed to the doom & gloom of our present economy.

Grab your cup of coffee and settle in for a light lesson on how to ‘save the brick & mortars our nation is built on’…

“3-what three independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared? Stop in. Say hello. Pick up something that brings a smile. Your purchases are what keeps those businesses around.

50-if half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent business, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.* Imagine the positive impact if 3/4 the employed population did that?!

68-for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll & other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. 

1-the number of people it takes to start the trend….you.
Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy.”
*all information from 3/50 project website.

We take much pride here at Tracery in our work as Interior Designers and all of the hard work that has gone into creating and maintaining Tracery the Design Firm. Many of you need to know that we also take much pride in Tracery the shop, the home base, the face, and most importantly: the Local Buisness. We have felt the need to support local businesses for years now. We love to take advantage of local resources for art, antiques, fabrication, etc. in all of our interior projects. We also LOVE to support local restaurants – who doesnt?! 

Tracery is extremely lucky to have two amazing areas to call home:
-SoWal: aka South Walton County and the communities along Scenic Highway 30A including our home Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Seacrest, Watersound, the up & coming Prominence area, Seagrove, Seaside, Watercolor, Grayton, Carillon, Gulfplace and Blue Mountain Beach.  Even if you are only familiar with a few of those areas then you understand how lucky we are!
-Birmingham:  Homewood, the Lakeview Design District where our Bham office is located, historic Mountain Brook, Crestline and English Villages -each unique and full of great shopping, dining and more!

We love the local businesses that we all support on a daily basis and have decided that it’s time to let you all in on a few of our favorite local spots in both areas. Stay tuned-many of Tracery’s Local Loves to come….

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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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.

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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!









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

sunburst mirrors

It seems like sunburst mirrors are everywhere right now–in all the shops we visit, in every magazine article we pour over and on all our favorite design blogs.  We love these pieces for their dramatic presence and timeless style.


A small antique sunburst mirror brings big style to a cozy entry space we designed for a cottage in Birmingham’s Redmont neighborhood.  Paige and Doug found this piece at one of our favorite shops, Henhouse Antiques.



In a conference area we designed for a Birmingham law firm, a dramatic silvered-wood sunburst mirror steals the show.  [photograph by Colleen Duffley]



In the guest suite of a Homewood, Alabama house, a dramatic double sunburst mirror from the homeowner’s extensive collection of antiques hangs over a demilune chest.  Doug collaborated on the interiors for this space with designer (and homeowner) JB Hopkins.  [photograph by Colleen Duffley]


What do you think?  Is this trend one that we’ll keep seeing a lot of, or is it destined to be retired for the next big thing?  We love reading your comments, so don’t be shy!

Outdoor Rooms

Summer is here–maybe not officially–but it’s after Memorial Day so we’re calling it that!  In honor of warmer weather, here are a few of our favorite outdoor rooms from our portfolio:



The rooftop pool at the Private Residence Club in Rosemary Beach is amazing, especially at sunset.  Looking across the rooftops of Rosemary you can see all the way to the Gulf.  We created lots of space for lounging and enjoying this exclusive retreat by filling the space with casual and versatile teak furniture.



This private courtyard at Alys Beach is a great place to relax poolside and get away from the rest of the world.  We outfitted the tile and coralstone bench with comfortbale pillows and then added ceramic garden stools and a metal table to create a comfortable little nook to read or enjoy a poolside beverage.



We’ve showed you this treetop retreat before, but it deserves another look.  Nestled on top of Red Mountain in Birmingham, this space features an outdoor kitchen and fireplace and groupings of very cool aluminum and teak furniture for dining or conversation.



A fun light fixture enlivens this outdoor dining room in the historic Hollywood section of Homewood, Alabama. 


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Sometimes an outdoor space can be as simple as a great place to take in the view.  This quaint porch swing in Watersound, Florida is the perfect spot to enjoy Camp Creek Lake.