A Special Visitor

Monday, August 1st, 2011

I felt a little distant, absent, disconnected from all of you last week, but for a good reason.  You see, someone special had contacted me several weeks ago, requesting a holiday photo shoot at my house, and if you saw my tweets on Thursday and Friday, then you know it was Matthew Mead.  When Matthew Mead calls, well, everything else gets dropped to accommodate.

I’ve been a fan of his work for so many years and seeing how he makes everything so beautiful, I was feeling the pressure to recreate the magic at his level.  I didn’t sleep for a week, I might have showered once.  I was running around getting everything ready, pulling out Christmas décor, ordering last minute greenery (thank you Lynch Creek Farm!) and making other nervous gestures.  Sleep and basic grooming took a backseat to recreating the holidays in July.  Yes, I stunk and looked like a hag for a week, and I owe my husband a huge thank you for understanding my craziness and for the wisdom to not mention my appearance.   

candlesticks and ornaments

Matthew arrived on Thursday after landing in San Francisco and texted he would be at my house shortly.  I was biting my nails.  Would it all be OK?  The door bell rang, and there he was, on my doorstep.  He entered, he saw it all, and he smiled, and eased my troubled and weary mind. 

I said nervously, “Should we start prepping now?”  He replied in his rather relaxed demeanor, “No, let’s work tomorrow.  Let’s go antiquing instead.”  So we did.  Yes, it’s true, I spent an afternoon antiquing with Matthew and having dinner with him too.  I can honestly say, he’s the kindest professional I’ve ever met in this business. 

Matthew is one of those people that reminds me of this Mark Twain quote, the latter half of course. “Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions, small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.”  I shared my visions, ideas, and dreams for the future and he was so encouraging of them all.  And he taught me a trick or two while I watched him work.  Thank you Matthew for being who you are, for filling our world with inspiration, and for being such a supportive and talented fellow.  

kate and matthew mead

Matthew and I were so pleased with the success of the shoot, and I know you’ll love it too.  Look for it in October on newsstands, and follow Matthew’s Holiday Magazine blog to get the latest on its release, and also his new product line. 

Now it’s back to business as usual today with a tiling project in our dining room, I can’t wait to show you!  Oh, and the cabinets are finally installed at our Alma House, just a few more touch ups and some hardware and I’ll have a new laundry room to show you there too. 


cg kate signature




Oops, I Did It Again

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

You asked for it, so I did it!  Y’all liked the photo tour from last week’s townhome model crashing so much, I went and checked out some more.  These are the models for single family dwellings recently staged, and the homes are under construction in my town.  Being the looky loo that I am, I popped in to take a peek and snap some photos.  Here are a few of the highlights from the best spaces.

The first model I toured was decorated in shades of black, brown, cream and red, not the typical color palette I’m drawn to because black and red together are tricky, but I have to give these home stagers props for pulling off a few wow factor rooms. 

First, this family room in cream and brown with pops of red and black.  That graphic rug completely makes the space, and I love the mixture of large scale and small scale pattern on the pillows, with a few solids and a stripe pillow thrown in too.  The large scale botanical repeats on the window panels while the trim on the panels plays off the solid red pillows.

family room model 2

Opposite the family room is this kitchen with dark mahogany cabinets.  I’m loving the glass front upper cabinets that reach to the ceiling and provide additional storage and display. 

mahogany kitchen


Are you drawn to bold wallpapers but nervous about the commitment?  Follow this cue and use it in the powder room!  It’s the perfect opportunity to add that wow factor in a small space and less expensive too.  Can anyone source this wallpaper?  Because it’s completely fabulous.  A well executed stencil could achieve the same effect.

brown link wallpaper powder room


Read the rest of this entry »