Monday morning miscellany

Something I don’t say often enough… thanks for reading and for your comments!  To answer a few of your questions…

Painting Cabinets and updates on my kitchen project:

How to paint your cabinets varies depending on your wood species, but in my case the cabinet doors are maple.  They are European (frameless, no face frame shows) meaning a majority of what you see in my kitchen is covered with door and drawer fronts.  I am having the doors and drawers sprayed (matte lacquer) by a cabinet shop.  The bodies/boxes of the cabinets will be brushed (and smooth foam roller rolled) by my favorite painters in the world, Bryan & Bobby.  They went back and forth on whether they would use an oil based or latex based paint, I guess I’ll know when they show up at my door.  (I’ll let you know.)  Half my kitchen had green stained maple cabinets and the other side had clear stained maple cabinets.  The kitchen is much too small for two different finishes and it has always driven me crazy.  I’ve never tired of the green, I just never liked the clear maple.  So, I’m going with green paint on all cabinets.  I like green.  I thought about gray, I thought about white, I thought about a gray-green, but really I just gotta stick with what I love… and that’s green.  My counters are 2cm Uba Tuba granite.  It isn’t what I would have picked.  Would I love to have something else?  Yes.  But I’m leaving it.  If I had a money tree I’d have new countertops.

I’ll do a full post once this little project is completed, but here’s a photo I took after some serious crowbar work yesterday.  We couldn’t get those false drawer fronts in front of the sink to come off, so they (cabinet shop) will spray lacquer those in place.  The taped up cardboard are my paint samples, I bought a quart of “Dried Thyme” & “Rosemary”, I liked the darker “Rosemary”.  This wall is where we removed two wall cabinets and ripped out the soffit and will be adding T&G (tongue and groove) vertical wall panel (it will be painted white) and open shelves.  We’ll add recessed lights (and under-cabinet lights beneath the lower shelf) and obviously patch the ceiling.  I wonder what my engineer was thinking about at this moment…

A couple of you asked about my watch:

Michael Kors Jet Set in “horn” I almost returned it, glad I didn’t.  (My husband thought it was a bit too fancy for me, but it’s growing on him.)  The ‘horn’ band looks kinda like onyx… I love.

Someone asked about my Toms:

Mine are Ash.  I love them.  Sloaney mentioned she’d like the pink sparkly (seen above)  Tiny Toms for her birthday.  {DaddyBoy, you asked.  There you have it, a hint.}  I really like these and these too.  Surely you all know by now, but for every pair you buy they give a pair to a child in need.  And they are comfortable.

Sambo Mockbee: (no one asked about this, but I want to tell you)

Carol (Sambo Mockbee’s daughter) graduated in Interior Design with me from Auburn University.  Her father, along with D.K. Ruth, started a program for Auburn Architecture students- Rural Studio.  It takes the students out of the classroom and into the field.  They design and then actually build their designs for very deserving people in desperate need of shelter in West Alabama.  It is a big deal.  Auburn University is very proud of Sambo Mockbee.  He passed away our junior of college but his legacy lives on.  Carol’s brother-in-law has been making a documentary “Citizen Architect” on Sambo and the Rural Studio of Auburn University.  It will air this evening on PBS, so if that video trailer above interests you be sure to tune in tonight!  I think you will all be encouraged by the compassion behind the Rural Studio.


  1. I love it all… especially that trailer. I wish I had PBS… we don’t get a single channel and I’d rather do nothing but watch that show tonight! I love you, your kitchen, your watch, and your shoes… not sure how I’m the first commentor… but glad to be! xoxoxo

  2. I love that your KWID fabric is still up with all the renovations taking place! I can’t wait to see the after.

  3. Ah I have the Toms in ash … they are quite comfy, and my little man loves his mini me versions. They are a lot easier for him to walk in than his little converse… which in deed caused lots o’ bumps on his head from falling.

    Can’t wait to see finished kitchen – nothing like taking out a good ol’ crowbar :)

  4. I almost commented on your last post that I had that watch but I wasn’t 100% sure it was the Micheal Kors and didn’t want to look like an idiot. LOL! I bought the horn and the tortoise I loved it so much. I love those snow leopard Toms and you’ved now convinced me to order a pair. I think Sloane def needs those sparkly princess pink toms they are too cute!

  5. yay! finally an answer to the mystery watch question. i’ve debated whether or not to be a weirdo stalker and ask….glad i hung in there!
    my girls love their toms too
    can’t wait to see the kitchen finale!

    ps, not that i’m saying whoever did ask the watch question is a weirdo stalker…i’m really not saying that at all :)

  6. have the watch. LOVE it.

    have the uba tuba. not a fan.

    can’t wait to see what you do with your kitchen!! :)

  7. Great post! As an Auburn girl myself I will be watching tonight! Can’t wait to see the kitchen post!

  8. Wahoo!! Reminds me of my little spiff-up!! SO excited for you and MARLA, too!!! Good stuff!!

  9. Know you are excited about the kitchen reno! Thanks for letting us know about the PBS special, looks awesome and inspirational. Will definitely be tuning in. –Gretchen O.

  10. Thanks for the tip about the Rural Studio documentary, Erika! I work in B’ham for a charitable foundation and we do a lot with Cheryl Morgan and the AU Urban Studio so I look forward to watching this tonight.

    Hope the Baloney sammich gets her Toms. Every little girl needs a pair of sparkle shoes. ;)

  11. Thanks for the heads up about the documentary. I’d heard about this program before but didn’t know a lot about it. Also, can’t wait to see your finished kitchen (I’m sure you can’t too!)

  12. I cannot wait to see the finished kitchen! Yay for budgets, too: bi love that this will be a realistic change.

    I also love my MK watch, got it for a steal at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.

  13. Erika…I am new to your blog and love it! Just wanted to let you know that I have sage green kitchen cabinets as well and LOVE them. They are always a welcome to surprise to everyone who visits and I never get bored of them. :)

  14. I’m curious about the cabinet paint (latex vs. oil). We always specify oil based for millwork and latex for walls, so I didn’t even know latex was an option for millwork. What’s the deciding factor between the two?

  15. I will be watching PBS tonight! I have worn a MKors gold watch for 2 years and I get compliments on it every day, it’s better than a bracelet.

  16. Love it all!! We are starting a kitchen reno this month on a very tight budget so it will be a lot of fun following your posts. i can always learn a thing or two and be inspired from your expertise!

  17. love your blog, I happenned to noticed that all the Auburn women are so stylish! Must be an admittance requirement…..(I am sooo kidding about the requirement’m sure the MKH watch search will be hitting an all time high in google search – you are an amazing person (as well as Darcy). Awesome! Looking forward to seeing the finished kitchen.

  18. great minds think alike, i have that same watch!! sloaney will be stylin’ in those sparky shoes. how is it true that she is almost going to be ONE!?? thinking about you and your sweet family.


  19. i love a good renovation and i can’t wait to see how you transform your kitchen. i love open shelving so i’ll probably be wishing i would’ve done some when i see yours!

  20. Can’t wait to see the finished kitchen. I love the green. It’s so fresh and cheerful.

  21. LOVE the Toms and your watch….was at a friends wedding and all the guys had on Toms…just wondering, are they true to size? LOVE your blog and your sisters.

  22. you do realize you are going to cause a design upheaval, right?! Seems everyone is painting everything grey these days. I have a feeling SW Rosemary green is going to become the new it color. I know you aren’t trendy, which is probably why everyone loves what you do so much! Can’t wait to see the end result! Oh, and a word about small kitchens…I prefer them, even mine with its limited counter and storage space..and I love to cook. Go figure!

  23. My favorite thing about this post is the long-neck in the foreground of the picture of Chance (I just love throwing around first names of people I’ve only actual met in blog world :)). Both me and Jeremiah would need an arm-load of them if we’d been ripping out walls and cabinets with crow bars. I wish I wore watches…because I think I’d wear one like yours.

  24. Can’t wait to see the finished kitchen and I wish I got that PBS show up here in New England. Will have to search for it online once aired.

  25. Love all the detail you provided! Can’t wait to see the finished project. And, the watch is very pretty indeed!

  26. i can’t wait to see your kitchen, erika! i love seeing snippets of your house and work – double exciting :)

  27. There are so few things in the world that we really know for sure, so I like it when someone can come right out and say, “I like green.” And why not? Green is great. Can’t wait to see the finished product as you do kitchens oh-so-well.

  28. I’m not usually a watch person, but yours is going to haunt me. And darn it, I don’t have a birthday or an anniversary coming up! Can’t wait to see how your kitchen turns out.

  29. I love my TOMS. So comfy! I wore them all summer long. How cute are the little pink sparkly ones!?!

  30. Great post, looking forward to the progress of your kitchen.
    You are a #1 designer and shouldn’t feel the watch is too fancy,
    it’s a bit classic and bit glam.
    Best wishes,

  31. OK, I have been checking out your site for quite awhile now and love your esthetic but guess what made me write to you? That Michael Kors watch! I have been coveting that watch, was down in Fort Lauderdale for business last April and went and tried it on, hemmed and hawed, and didn’t buy it. Now I know you have great taste!!! P.S. Your daughter is adorable. I had 3 in 4 years and they are all in their 20′s. Savor every minute with your little pooky.

  32. I can’t wait to see the afters on your kitchen. I have the same maple cabinets and I have been itching to paint them since we moved in our house (5 years ago). I did change the my countertops to honed black granite (looks like soapstone only more durable). But the hubby is NOT budging on the cabinets (the quotes we have gotten are just out of this world). I will be tuning it to see the finished product!!

  33. geez, I thought you were just getting some shelves! can’t wait to see the result

  34. Hi Erika: Just stumbled upon your blog and was interested by the renovation pic. Now that’s what I call a kitchen renovation ;) hope your green cabinets turn out as you envision them, can’t wait to see the finished product. I think they will look great, my kitchen paint is green and I wouldn’t change it, I get so many compliments! I am sure you will too!

  35. hi,,just recently added u to my list of blogs on….have to say this is a very graceful,inspirational and very nicely put together blog…congrats…hope to keep up to date w/ all the posts….thank you

  36. Yes!! Such a great program! The Hale County Animal Shelter is amaaaazing. (Almost as amazing as Peanut Robinson) My mom is really involved because she is from that area and has a huge heart for animals. As do I. I want to step outside my element and do something like that.
    Let’s meet somewhere in Alabama and design another animal rescue center!! !

  37. Erika, thanks so much for posting the info about the Sambo Mockbee film. I hope I haven’t missed it tonight. One of my high school friends, Ruard Veltman, studied under Sambo Mockbee and participated in a rural studio project.They built a chapel from recycled materials near Scottsboro, Alabama. Can’t wait to see if they are featured in the film.

  38. love love love the watch and baby toms!

  39. Brandi Campbell says:

    regarding Citizen Arch: Wow, now that’s what I call interior design (design from the heart). …LOVE this major Paradigm Shift and that man Sambo for what he is doing!

    also secretly love you and your twin sister.

    Looking forward to seeing how you 2 use your superpowers to maximize your impact:)
    Keep it up,

  40. I too have the Toms in ash, they go with everything! Also caught the docu on PBS last night. I am from about 20 miles away from Rural Studio. Knew about some of the things they have done, but not to the extent they were shown last night. Also great to know about the man who started it all!

  41. Love your Blog/website. Totally OFF topic: Have you seen the site ?????? Photos from real catalogs (West Elm, Pottery Barn etc.) are hilariously “re-captioned” about a couple “Gary & Elaine”. Cracks me up. It helps to have a slightly off center sense of humor. Worth the time to go through the archives….and a good way to start each day.

  42. Cannot wait to check out this show and I cannot wait to see your kitchen with the newly painted cabinets! We are saving up to get new cabinets hopefully in the next year – I, too, am not in love with our granite but I can’t fathom spending that kind of money when in terms of the value to our home it won’t add anything to it, if only we all had our own little money tree!

  43. I love the watch. I noticed it in the previous post. I think I need one for my birthday.

  44. love the watch! i have it too and all but sleep in it :) this is so random but i’m re-doing our master bath…in a 1962 ranch style…. as i was digging deep into your archives i came across your pics of darbys disco to delightful bathroom and the ideas you had for it. do you have any after pictures? i would love to see pics of that paint color and tile up and finished!

  45. Tara McClendon says:

    EZ you and I are watch twins! I got mine several months ago and Jonathan has called me “TT from the Block” ever since! :) Don’t you love it?! Hope you’re all doing well…if you’re ever up my way please drop in on a sista. You know where I live! PS Sloaney’s glittery shoes are the cutest things ever!

  46. I have the same watch and looove it. Actually, the hubs got it for me for Mother’s Day and left it on my pillow as a surprise. I slept on it all night not even knowing it was there. That is a sign of a tired mama :)

  47. Jennifer Gambill says:

    Can you tell me the name of the fabric in your kitchen…? Love the pattern and color… Also, is that a “workable” shade…? Thanks for your ideas and inspiration.. I love reading your blog…

  48. I watched the PBS Citizen Architect last night,,,,what a wonderful program, Sambo Mockbee was a true visionary.

  49. Add me to the list of “looking forward to the reveal.” I love green, too. Always have. When we lived in quarters at Fort Bragg, I painted our white cabinets green. LOVED them (however those in the housing office did not share my affection!!).

    So, looking forward to the finished product.

    Love your work. Love your style.

  50. Erika,
    I am currently in the process of redoing my nursery for the upcoming arrival of our baby girl. We already have 2 little boys and wanted a fresh start for our daughter. I have picked out the fabric I would like to use but the problem is finding the style bumper I want created. I remembered yours for Sloane and another client and it is exactly what I want. My mother does sew but I don’t know where to start to tell her what to do other than showing her your pictures. I didn’t know if you used a local semstress and if she allowed others to send her stuff? I am in Alabama – about 2 1/2 hours away and could try to make that work if there isn’t a pattern or something to follow for the box style bumper. I know this is your job and how you make a living so if you would require a fee for referral we can make that work. Thank so much for any help or advice you can offer.

  51. these photos remind me of you Erika!

  52. i watched it the other night on PBS. Carol lives in Oxford but I didn’t realize she was his daughter until seeing this film! She is a neat person and hearing her father’s story was so inspiring!

  53. LOVING this re-do. More pics of your kitchen, please! And of that sweet Bologna sandwich, too. She is precious beyond words :)

  54. Hi Erika! I am dying to see what you do with your kitchen! xo, grace

  55. Great documentary that you shared. It is so nice to see young people helping those that need it the most. And they have the chance to gain new skills in the field. They all have my respect.

  56. Really cool!

  57. Had to belatedly comment to let you know that I suggested that watch to my hubby for anniversary gift, he ordered from Amazon, and I’m currently wearing it! Have only worn a few times thus far but have already received two compliments from other women. I have a Gucci silver watch that was a “push present” years ago but wanted a watch with gold accents to wear with gold jewelry — but nothing too fancy or expensive — and this fit the bill perfectly. Thanks for the rec!

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