Catherine’s Market


We know, we know…we tell you all about a project and show you photos of the progress along the way and then you don’ t ever get to see the end results.  Well, at least not for a while, anyway.  Unfortunately, that’s the nature of how a project wraps up.  There are always last minute details to finish, and pieces that didn’t show up on time you have to wait for.  And then a photographer has to be scheduled!

Fans of Tracery on Facebook may remember seeing a few photos of the nearly complete Catherine’s Market at Russell Crossroads, near Lake Martin in Alexander City, Alabama.  We designed the interiors for the Market with our sister company Dungan Nequette Architects and selected the fixtures and finishes for the building.  The Market opened just before Christmas last year and now, eight months later, we have photos of the finished product to show you.  We promise, it’s worth the wait because this is the coolest market you’ve ever seen (if we do say so ourselves!). 

Jeff Dungan, the architect of the building, envisioned a structure that told the story of an old agricultural structure which had been converted to a retail space.  The building is designed from the outside to look as if it was added on to over time and slowly converted from a barn to an upscale market.



Doug made several trips from Birmingham down to the Lake to get that red color right, but we think it turned out perfectly!  The stain was actually hand brushed over the entire structure in multiple coats in order to create a weathered and authentic patina.


Inside, the Market is fresh and bright.  Clerestory windows light the space along both side walls and a cupola in the rear of the space provides even more natural light.  Not only are the clerestory windows an authentic touch, but they conserve energy during the day by requiring less artificial lighting.






Catherine’s Market is operated by Rick and Lynn Little, well known in Birmingham for their extremely successful V. Richard’s store in Forest Park.  Rick and Lynn have incorporated their same upscale products and services at Catherine’s, and we wanted the interiors to reflect that.  Sophisticated choices such as imported Italian glass dome light fixtures, highly-polished charcoal grey concrete floors and hand-glazed tile keep the interior of the Market from feeling too rustic or kitschy.  We did pay homage to the barn concept through the use of whitewashed planking on the walls and hand crafted light fixtures over the Meat Counter, made from old buckets.




White enamel refrigerator cases and a vintage-inspired grey green accent color give the market’s interior instant history and charm.


A full service deli counter provides by the pound salads, baked goods and breakfast and lunch fare.  The entire Tracery crew has eaten at Catherine’s on several occasions and we can all attest the food tastes every bit as good as the market looks!



Adjacent to the deli area, a dining area with wrap-around windows provides beautiful views of the Russell Crossroads development.



We selected retro-inspired aluminum chairs for the dining room to maintain the market’s fresh and vintage interior aesthetic.



Elsewhere, a white-washed antique oak floor gives distinction to the wine area.


[all photography by Eric Marcus]

for more information on Catherine’s Market, visit their website [here]

A look around the SpringHouse Restaurant at Russell Crossroads

As promised, here’s a first peak inside the SpringHouse Restaurant we’ve just completed.  The SpringHouse is a collaboration between Russell Lands and renowned southern chef Chris Hastings.  It’s located in a new town center development that Russell Lands is creating near Lake Martin in southeastern Alabama, near Alexander City.


Jeff Dungan, of our sister company Dungan Nequette Architects, designed the SpringHouse to look like a collection of old stone farm buildings.  The main portion of the building, shown here, houses the Dining Room.  The huge lawn you see in the foreground is designed for outdoor events — we’re co-hosting something here later this summer and think it’s going to be the perfect place for a early evening lawn party!



The Waiting Hall is the first thing guests see upon entering the building.  Displayed throughout the room are images we collected from Russell Lands’ photo archives.  We love to display collections in big groups like this and with nearly every person entering the building stopping to check the photographs out, so far it’s proved to be a very popular feature of the design!  Built-in benches and comfy leather chairs create a cozy spot to have a drink  and wait for a table during the busiest times of day.  The hostess stand you see here is actually an antique English church pulpit we found at Robert Hill Antiques in Birmingham.



We worked with our friends at The Loretta Goodwin Gallery in Birmingham to select artwork that is all created by Alabama or Georgia based artists.  In the Waiting Hall is a beautiful piece by Alabama artist Janet Lucas.  The stone walls, which continue from the exterior, were built with materials quarried locally.




Each corner of the main dining room features an L-shaped banquette, creating intimate areas within the larger space.  We selected oversized burlap shades to hang over each banquette area to make these little corners feel even more special and distinct.  The small, rural-themed painting here is by Millie Goesch.  The wall sconces which are placed throughout the main dining room are all antique.  Village Firefly in Mountain Brook Village helped us locate fifteen distinct pairs — we thought mixing up the fixtures would be more fun than just using the same one thirty times.  We selected the cream leather chairs to bring some lightness into what could have been a very brown space.  We think their sleek silhouette is a sophisticated contrast to some of the more rustic elements in the space.



A view of the Dining Room from the Balcony area.  A huge stone fireplace defines the space — and the SpringHouse chefs prepare a specialty dish inside the fireplace each day.  The smell of woodsmoke and wonderful food cooking on the fire really adds to the experience of dining here!



A view of the Balcony dining area and Upstairs Bar.  There is an identical bar on the first floor as well.  The feeling up here is great because you really feel tucked up in the timber framing of the building.  During the winter season, the Balcony will serve as the main dining area.



The views from the double stacked porches on the back of the building are amazing!–you can see for miles across beautiful rolling hills.  Russell Lands is in the process of adding a stable and riding trails and by the end of the summer, horses will graze in pastures just beyond the edge of the porch.  On the Downstairs Porch there are two corner fireplaces, one featuring a grouping of teak furniture that’s the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail on a  summer evening.


One of our favorite things to do in a great restaurant is to check out the restrooms!–and we kept that in mind when we designed the ones at The SpringHouse.


We chose this great glass tile from Kenny & Company because its tones reminded us of the lake.  A huge concrete trough sink features motion activated bronze spouts — no handles!  The driftwood twig mirror (from our shop) is another fun reference to the woods and lake.  We’re still on the hunt for a vintage taxidermy fish for the mens room!


Hidden in the lower level of The SpringHouse is an underground tunnel that features private wine storage for guests.  At the end of the tunnel is a round, brick-walled private dining room.  We aren’t completely finished outfitting it yet, but we are sure it’s going to a favorite spot for special dinners when it’s complete!



And yes, we havebeen lucky enough to try the food and it’s AMAZING.  We are so excited and pleased with the way this project has turned out, and we hope that you’ll have a chance to visit the lake soon and check out Russell Crossroads and The SpringHouse soon.