Wednesday, August 25, 2010


When I truly love something, I tend to like it just as much five, even ten or twenty, years later as I did when I first obtained it. But as I've moved between homes, or felt the need to give rooms some new life, my treasured things have found themselves repurposed, regrouped, and reused. Of course, such repurposing makes economic sense, but it's amazing how an item can feel casual in one setting and formal in another, fresh and modern in one space and familiar and traditional in another.

Take the things I've pulled together for one of my guest rooms. The accent pillows, a tan and black toile that reverse to a matching stripe, were originally made for the living room of a small townhouse I rented years ago. The larger of the two pillows were, for a time, slipcovered in denim for the sofa in the study of my last house, but then sat unused in a closet for years.

The drapes for this room are repurposed many times over. They were originally paired with a floral valance and roman shades- custom made for a friend's living room. She gifted the panels to me when she redecorated, and they hung in my old dining room for over a year. When I had new drapes made for that room, these moved to a guest room. At one time, the large tassels I will use to accent these panels were used to tie together guest towels.

The coverlet, a housewarming gift when I bought my first home, is Ralph Lauren--the quilted tan fabric and black edge detail pair up very nicely with just about any style. In my old guest room, I had this coverlet paired with an abstract floral print fabric and chocolate sheeting.

Finally, the rug, bought nearly a decade ago at a discount store, will add a splash of pattern to the floor--just as it did in the guest bathroom of my old home and the foyer of the rental it was first displayed in.

For the money I have invested in these pieces, it would be almost impossible to pull together something so cohesive from scratch. But using things that were never intended to be used together--bought for different spaces and at different times, I believe I'll end up with a guest room that works.

A Timely Start...

This blog is starting at an opportune time. I have, as of this writing, exactly two months and five days to get my own home "DONE." Not that any home is ever truly done, but the goal is to have every room presentable and finished looking in time for a large Halloween party. This is no small task, as we have 15 rooms spread over 4,000 square feet. At the beginning of the summer, almost all of those rooms were builder-white and empty. Slowly, paint has gone on the walls, details have been added, and a plan has fallen into place as to what it shall look like in two months.

It's an ambitious plan to have every room painted, new furniture delivered (not to mention packing up and moving everything from the old place), and a short list of carpentry projects done, but I'm confident it will be done. In fact, I predict it will be done early. And some of these projects will unfold here. Stay tuned!


I'd like to welcome everyone to my new online adventure--Southgate Residential, a Place for All Things Home. I've toyed with the idea of creating a blog dedicated to design for a while now, and have finally decided to "bite the bullet." What will be found here? I'm unsure of the answer. It will serve as a home for things that inspire me, intrigue me, and fascinate me (and hopefully inspire, intrigue, and fascinate those who find themselves here.)

As a bit of background, I have a lifelong love of residential design. When other children might have been collecting comic books, I was amassing a library of house plan magazines. I doodled (admittedly crude) floor plans from the time I was in elementary school, and  by high school actually had projects built from my ideas. I studied architecture and interior design in college, and have spent the last decade working for well respected residential architecture firms on everything from modest "stock" plans to multi-million dollar estates and high end renovations.

So, welcome! I hope you will enjoy what you find here.