no subject

Isn’t that a clever blog title?  I’m sorry I can’t think of anything other than “this is another random blog post”, which is dumb.  Especially considering last week’s blog post title was “hi”.

I had intentions of blogging on Monday, but the week got the best of me.  A client friend once told us a story about a time she could not form a sentence.  She was a week or so postpartum and was attempting to have a very basic conversation with her husband.  She couldn’t put words together to make any sense at all.  This tends to happen when you have a lot going on.  All that would come from her mouth was, “my words are not good.”  We love that line so much we use it daily.  Our client actually sent us this quote framed in a pretty little silver frame for Christmas and there are many days that I’m tempted to strap it to a sweatband and wear it on my forehead.

My words are not good, but here goes a blog post.

I had a little photo shoot at my house this week.  Not only are my words not good, but neither is my house.  Okay, my house is not that bad, but being in the business makes me extra critical of my own space, which has a serious case of cobbler’s children syndrome.  Nothing like a photo shoot to kick my rear into high gear and order a few things I’ve needed for a while.  I finally committed to pillows.  I love green, so it’s probably no surprise that’s the common theme here.



On more than one account I mistakenly called that Schumacher fabric “opium leaf”  and then joked about eating the pillow once it arrived.

Unrelated, I bought Sloane some moccasin booties last week.


Then I introduced her to painting.  And made the mistake of using the term “finger paints”.

finger painting

So the next day we took our party outside.

outdoor painting

(Table from Target, stool from Ace Hardware) If you look closely you’ll see that she took the colored paint brushes and placed them in their respective paint colors.

Yesterday over my morning coffee I was standing in a daze waiting for the caffeine to kick in and looked over at my rolling pins.  They make me happy.  I also like that my corbel brackets multitask.
rolling 2

rolling pins


Two of the rolling pins are Sloaney’s, but she shares with me.  I share cookie and pizza dough with her, so it works out well.

That’s all for this week, sorry about my words.


Good morning.  I figured I better document the garden progress… because everything is growing, growing, growing!  I don’t think I linked to the source for my hydroponic garden system last time I posted, I ordered this system (comes with everything you need – even the coconut fiber (growing medium) except the metal poles and the seeds).  I love it.  I’ve thrown in a couple of pictures of my Garden Helper and a shot of my blooming Confederate Jasmine, wish this blog was a scratch-n-sniff kind, smells like heaven!
mommas helper

beadhead smile

photo 4

photo 2

photo 3

zapotec 4.29

tower of greens

tomato tower - zapotec


growing greens

lettuce - over exposed but pretty

cuc squash zuc

cherry tomatoes

confederate jasmine

photo (56)

I couldn’t figure out what was happening to my strawberries, then one day I caught her…

strawberry picker

my kitchen intervention (details)

TGIF!  I’m back from Vegas.  KBIS was great, I’ll post on that next week.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your very kind comments on my kitchen!!!

There were a few questions I’ll answer before I start in with the details…


Someone asked: if you had another $1,000 to spend what would you spend it on?

What a great question, I have thought about this all week… and of course I can’t narrow it down.

A) I would buy a new dishwasher (I saw a Bosch on clearance at Lowe’s last week and was so tempted).

B) I would buy a new range.  A dual-fuel downdraft one. This one, which I actually already own (it’s in my office), so maybe I’d spend the money on a propane tank (we don’t have natural gas here at our house) and pay movers to move the range from my office to my house.

C) I’d buy a casement window and replace that squirrelly door that swings into the kitchen counter


1x6 v-groove pine

Why did you choose tongue & groove wall paneling over a tile backsplash?

Mostly because I prefer the look for my house.  And… it was less expensive.  I may have said the boards were 1x4s in the first post, but they are actually 1x6s.  The white trim color was already in my house, I just had the painters match it.  The 1×6 pine paneling can be purchased from any hardware store or lumberyard.

How do you secure the shelves to the wall?

After taking the old wall cabinets down we took the sheetrock off that wall and ran the wires for the under-cabinet (undershelf) lighting.  (There are new puck lights in the bottom shelf that illuminate the countertop.)  We then sheathed the wall in 1/2″ plywood, which acted as blocking – a secure material that would help support the shelves.  It also helped the the shelves dead end into a wall on the right, the shelves are actually hollow and straddle a strip that was applied to the two walls (back and side) and the farthest left bracket is secured into a stud. The brackets aren’t just decorative… I didn’t want the shelf to ever sag and so they support some of the weight as well.

tracery brackets

NOTES shelf bracket

The brackets and shelves?

I actually found the brackets when I saw this publication in Food & Wine featuring my friends at Tracery Interiors.  As you may notice, I turned the brackets so the longer side was beneath the shelf instead of against the wall.  I did this because I felt like it would give me more clearance/space on the shelves… and I preferred the look of the bracket when turned on its side.  When I saw the publication I emailed Doug (@ Tracery) and inquired about the brackets.  He gave me his cabinet shop contact info, but I first contacted my local cabinet shop.  My cabinet shop identified the brackets right away, they can be purchased from a cabinet supply source (I wish I knew what it was, but I don’t).  I let her know how many I wanted and they painted them to match the shelves, which they also made.

Is dust a problem on the open shelves?

The dishes and glasses on those shelves are mostly used everyday.  Of course when I climb up on a barstool to get one of those cake plates off the top shelf I usually take a swiffer cloth with me and dust a little… but because we use the dishes so often dust doesn’t have time to settle.


Where is your microwave?

In the pantry!  That open cabinet to the right of my kitchen sink (where I keep my cookbooks) was actually supposed to house the microwave… but I don’t like seeing it, so I moved it to the pantry.  Which works great for us, and keeps it out of sight.

lenox butlers pantry

What are your white dishes?

I registered for those when Chance and I married, they are Lenox Butler’s Pantry.


More details are noted on the photographs below….

NOTES wide angle pantry doors open

NOTESbase cabinets

NOTES shelf details

NOTESshelf detail skewers and julep cup

NOTESat the sink

NOTES shelf detail glasses

NOTES shelf detail dog creamer

NOTES shelf detail birds eye

NOTES shelf detail cake plates copy

NOTES calendar corner

NOTES overstock barstools

NOTES locker etc

NOTES nancy thomas plates

NOTES cooler bottle opener and sloaney height

NOTESfridge wall

NOTES antique soap dish

NOTES roman shade fabric


The roman shade fabric was a splurge… I loved it.  It is a to the trade only fabric, but if you are interested you can contact us for pricing. (allison(at)urbangrace(dot)com)

Thoughts on painting cabinets…

As I mentioned in a previous post I removed the doors and drawer fronts and had my local cabinet shop (the same cabinet shop that made the shelves) spray lacquer them.  I then had my favorite painters (Bryan and Bobby) paint the cabinet boxes with an oil-based satin finish paint.  Now, if I had gone with white cabinets I probably wouldn’t have used an oil-based paint.  White oil-based paint tends to yellow over time.  I would suggest a very high quality water-based (latex) paint.  My sister used Coronado’s Rust Scat paint when she painted her kitchen cabinets white.  It claims to be an “acrylic enamel” paint.  I’ve used it before and the quality is great.