| gathered | from little to big boy bathroom


A few short weeks ago, my boys’ bathroom was full of color, energy, and lots and lots of letters.  It took me awhile to gather all those letters and frames.  The Anthropologie sale room, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, craft stores, estate sales, and flea markets slowly but surely provided letters of varying sizes and styles perfect for an alphabet wall.


But it’s been five years.  My oldest boy has outgrown alphabet walls, though I’m not sure how that happened! The alphabet wall still suits my youngest, but frankly, I’m ready for a change as well.  


I took down the shower curtain . . .


. . . and removed every letter.

They’ve gone on to a new (and loving) home.


I’m left with bare walls. They are simple and pretty.


But, they’re far too quiet for two mischievous little boys (and their design-loving Mama)!


I have an idea up my sleeve, that will suit these two perfectly.

| Adventure + Nature + Red Canoes + Black Labs + Plaid |

are just a few things of the things that have inspired me.


I’m looking forward to showing you some of my inspiration soon.

For a peek at what’s in store, follow @huntandgatherhome on Instagram. Say, “Hello!” and let me know what you think!

What would you do with this blank bathroom canvas?


Choosing a Couch: Vintage or New?

Whew! As this busy summer winds down and school ramps up, I find myself needing some down time in the late afternoon to recharge for my evening routine. It’s been pretty obvious that the rest of my family needs some time to regroup and refocus, too, which is why I think we all end up on collapsing on the couch shortly after five each day.

Our down time may only last 15 minutes, but its an essential part of our day that allows us to relax, disconnect from the outside world, and reconnect with each other. I’d love to tell you that the couch we congregate on each afternoon is a lovely vintage piece that I scored at an estate sale for an amazing price and recovered in designer fabric. But I can’t, because it’s not. Our couch is brand-spanking new – the only new piece of furniture in our house.

It took me awhile to come around to the idea of buying a new couch, but what finally sold me was the thought of snuggling up with my boys reading, watching football and family movies, and the comfy cushions. Mostly the comfy cushion. As much as I loved our vintage  green couch, those cushions just weren’t cutting it anymore.

So, about a year ago, my husband and I started saving and we bought ourselves a couch for Christmas.  Hello, adulthood.

I thought about our couch conversion recently when helping a young family choose a couch for the living room in their new house. They’re into Mid-Century furnishings and were torn between vintage and replica options.

After discussing their lifestyle and intended use of the space, it was clear that a vintage style new couch would best suit their families needs.  Playing off their freshly painted walls, I recommended dark blue upholstery to contrast with the gray walls and pick up the blue in the adjacent living room.  Darker colored couches also have the added benefit of hiding dirt, spills, and stains, making them friendly for families with toddlers or teens.

I narrowed my clients’ couch choices down to the following options (all in dark blue, remember).  They took a weekend to check out each model in person, verifying both style and comfort.  A couch is a worthwhile investment and its wise to choose a model that will last until it’s a true vintage!


Younger Furniture | The Louie Sofa


This is great quality piece with tons of fabric options in a true mid-century style.  The tufting on the back cushions is my favorite detail.

Younger Furniture | The Michael Sofa

Michael Collection 1

More contemporary that the Louie model, this lengthy sofa also features thicker lines and a more formal style.

West Elm | Peggy Sofa


Mad Men, anyone? West Elm has some stylish and well-priced options, and the Peggy looks especially striking in the Chenille Tweed, Nightshade fabric.

Dot & Bo | Graham Sofa


Here’s another fun option similar to Peggy, but with two seat cushions instead of three.

West Elm | Axel Sofa
img49oI threw in this leather option just to give them a little something different in a more masculine style.  The Axel would make a striking contrast with the pair of grey tweed Mid-Century chairs that my client already owned. You’ll notice it has the same lines as the Louie sofa and a bit of industrial influence in the metal legs.


Which couch is your favorite?  My clients chose Younger Furniture’s Louie couch. It’s currently in production, but I’ll post pictures soon.

And don’t worry – my green vintage couch moved to the back office where it receives a little less wear and tear but a lot of love.


Introducing . . .

. . . Hunt & Gather Home in film!

Early this summer I was preparing to launch Hunt & Gather, LLC, including converting the blog to a website. I struggled to cram my thoughts and dreams into a concise paragraph of 175 words. “If only they could see what I’m thinking,” I complained. “Let’s make that happen,” my husband replied.

A resourcefully creative high school teacher with an entrepreneurial mind, my husband contacted a talented former student, Elyse Reed of Reed Cinema, about filming a short promo video for Hunt & Gather Home. Elyse was on board with our goal for the video from the beginning, and filming with her was a delight. From corralling our kids to tromping through old buildings to climbing on ladders, Elyse brought the spirit and intent of Hunt & Gather Home out of my head and onto the screen.

The art of old house living . . . 


Thanks & Thoughts

Thanks to all of you who offered words of excitement and encouragement as I announced the official opening of Hunt & Gather Home: Vintage Design & Historic Preservation Consulting. Your words mean so much and I look back over them often to remind myself that I’m not crazy for pursuing my dream (or maybe that I am crazy, but plenty of good people support my craziness)!

I have several projects in the works – both design and preservation – that I hope to share soon on the blog. The ironic part about turning a design blog into a business is that you’re left with less time for blogging!  If you’re not already following Hunt & Gather Home on Facebook and Instagram and want to stay current with my work, click on over and start following today. I will also have a fun little addition coming soon to the website, so stay tuned….

As my household heads back to school, I find myself waking early to take advantage of a morning hour to myself, to ground my thoughts and produce my best work. I look forward to sharing it with you soon.



| Gathered | A Modern Mid-Century Kids’ Room

It’s been fun to see the modern Mid-Century paint colors we chose for our Alabama client (and friend) come alive on the walls of her family’s new home.  We’ve been receiving updates via text message and email.  The transformation looks amazing and is just what we’d hoped. Before | After blog update coming soon!

While the freshly painted walls are drying and the family is moving in, we’ve been working on design boards for the kids’ room.  Being the wonderful mother she is, Holly wanted to tackle her kids’ room first in order to help them adjust to the move and have a special space all their own.  Her two young children, boy and girl ages 4 and 2, will share a bedroom and have a fun playroom where their imaginations can run wild. We decided to tackle the bedroom design first and created a few design boards for inspiration.

Holly and her husband had already made two important design decisions for the room: the construction of  built-in, double bunk beds for the kids and the choice of navy and hot pink comforters. With these two elements in place, we began the fun job of filling in the details.

Since the room has wood floors, Holly requested a rug.  We knew this would be the main design element that would tie the room together and set the mood for the space. We wanted a rug with a gender-neutral pattern and fun colors.  We found several great options, which you’ll see on the design boards below.

After the rug, we knew the room needed one other stylish yet serviceable piece of furniture: a dresser or chest-of-drawers.  Given the size of the wall and the vertical nature of the bunk-beds, we chose a chest-of-drawers.  In keeping with the furniture in the rest of the home, we recommended a fun, Mid-Century inspired piece from West Elm, or a similar vintage find.  Though only one piece of furniture in this room will actually be Mid-Century in style, when combined with our rug options, it will help create a fun, vintage-modern look in the room.  Small Mid-Century accessories like a lamp and reading lights will add to room’s modern mid-century vibe. In this room, a little will go a long way.

Each design board goes a little further to recommend art prints, storage options, drapery, just-for-fun whimsical linens, personalized throw pillows and additional design ideas for further defining the space. We love putting together design boards as a tool for helping homeowners define their vision for a project and tweak their space. We definitely have a favorite board for this project, but the homeowner is still trying to decide!

1-Luther Kids Room 2-Luther Kids Room-001 3-Luther Kids Room-002 4-Luther Kids Room-003

What do you think? We’d love to know which design board is your favorite.


A Bright Sadness


This blog has been quiet for the past 40 plus days. This unintentional yet symbolic correspondence with the season of Lent and new life of Easter has not been lost on me. I’d be remiss if I didn’t take the time to record what’s been going on in my head and heart for past weeks and the new path that’s before me.

I don’t know how many of you observe Lent or what your observation of the season looks like. Some of you may give things up while others decide to take something on. Whether sacrificial or charitable, the heart of our decision is the intent to prepare ourselves for Easter, and to be different and changed when we arrive.

It took me a week or so to decide what to do to prepare my heart this year. I have plenty of bad habits to give up and could list numerous good things to take on, but action of either kind didn’t feel right. Feeling the need to make some changes in many areas of my life and not knowing exactly what those changes should be, the concept of trust began to run through my mind. I headed to our bookshelf to look for others’ wisdom on the topic.

I chose Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning. Manning’s descriptions of trust found early on in the first chapter of his book struck a chord with me and lingered throughout the Lenten season. The words below are paraphrased from Manning’s (and Henri Nouwen’s) writing:

Trust is our gift back to God, which demands a degree of courage that borders on heroic.

Trust was the heart and center of Jesus’ teaching.

Trust will not dispel the confusion, illuminate the darkness, vanquish the uncertainty, and redeem the times, but uncompromising trust in the love of God inspires us to thank God for the darkness that envelops us and to risk a journey into the unknown, letting go of self-made props and believing that God is with us and will give us what we most need.

These words became real to me over the past several weeks of uncertainty, hope, and difficult decisions.

Halfway through reading Ruthless Trust I brought home a copy of The Little Way of Ruthie Lemming following a library trip with my boys. I thought it would be a fun, light read after finishing Ruthless Trust, and decided to peek through the first chapter that evening out of curiosity. I’m not sure if it was my love for Louisiana or the author’s writing style, but I was immediately hooked and couldn’t put the book down. What I expected to be a light-hearted, quick read became a soul-searching tear-jerker, meeting me in the middle of my Lenten journey.

The Little Way of Ruthie Lemming introduced me to the beautiful concept of bright sadness. In the Orthodox Church, Lent is called the season of bright sadness, because it is a time of simultaneous celebration and mourning. Unaware of this spiritual concept before reading The Little Way, I realized this was exactly what the current Lenten season had been for me and was reassured that I was on the right path. The book gave me the words to describe the climate of my heart, one of joyful mourning, knowing the hard decisions it was time for me to make and trusting that God would be present as I moved forward. With this knowledge, the joy and peace I expected to arrive at the end of the process entered into my period of darkness.

Now on this side of Easter, having walked through my darkness and made the hard decisions, my heart is changed. I am thankful for those that walked beside me – authors, family, friends –  listening to my frustrations, speaking words of encouragement, sharing hope. Through you I experienced God’s grace.

As I emerge from this bright sadness into a new beginning, I am hopeful of what is to come. May this blog also bring a new life to my passion for preservation, Louisiana culture, and old-house living; there is a bright sadness in the process of bringing new life to old things.

I hope you will join me on this journey.


Going Grey: Choosing a Paint Color

Happy Thursday! Thanks for all the Facebook feedback after my last post.  Grey is such a popular color and it’s fun to hear what shades all of you have chosen for your own homes.  Two colors many of you mentioned were also colors I’d considered for our living room:  Chelsea Gray and Revere Pewter (both Benjamin Moore).


(via Southern Living)

I’ve had the above photo pinned for quite some time now. I just love the deep warmth of the lighter gray walls (Revere Pewter) as it contrasts with the island (Chelsea Gray). Both colors give off a vintage vibe and I love that they pair well with a variety of accent materials such as copper, oil-rubbed bronze, natural wood, gold, silver, and marble.

Knowing Chelsea Gray was darker than I desired, I choose to start my paint search with Revere Pewter. I’d  heard so many great things about the color, I was sure it would be perfect before I even opened the sample can. This would be the easiest paint choice ever.


Chelsea Gray


Revere Pewter         

Wrong. I loved Revere Pewter when I first painted it on our walls, but as it dried, it got much darker than I desired. Still a lovely color, but not what I was going for. After seeing Revere Pewter on the wall and observing the contrast between trim and wall color, which was greater than I expected, I knew I’d need to go lighter than I thought to obtain the seamless look I wanted. I took a second look at my inspiration pins and realized the wall color was barely darker than the trim, so I headed to Lowe’s and Home Depot to look for a paint color that would fade gently into the background and let my furniture make a statement. With more direction and focus, I grabbed a handful of light gray paint color cards even crossing over into the tinted white color section. When I got home, I held each color up against the trim in various location in my dining and living rooms, easily crossing out all but two options.  I set those two cards on the edge of my dining room table and left them there for a week so that I could monitor them at various times of the day to make sure they worked in all kinds of light.

I also searched online and found the following colors that helped guide me to the right shade and intensity:



Cloud Nine (Benjamin Moore)

While I monitored my paint cards and pondered over Pinterest recommendations, I made one last-ditch effort to make Revere Pewter work.  I took it to my local Sherwin Williams store and had them lighten it by 75% by adding white to the original color.  Again, I came home, sure that I had made the world’s best paint color even better, but again was not pleased with the results when I painted it on my walls. It just looked purple.

By this time, I was starting to warm to one of the colors that had been sitting on my dining room table for the past week: Silver Birch by Glidden, picked up hastily at Home Depot.


Silver Birch, Glidden

I decided I liked it enough to buy a sample. When I painted it on my walls, it looked nearly white, but as it dried, it took on a subtle warm-grey tint that just slightly contrasted with the trim.  I let it dry fully and then continued to monitor how it looked in the morning, noon, and afternoon light, and most importantly in the evening with artificial lighting.  I was pleasantly surprised that I loved the color variations throughout the day.  As different light hit the wall, Silver Birch ranged from a white to a warm grey, but never took on yellow undertones.  Sold!


 The physical work of painting lies ahead of us, but the hard part of choosing a color is done!  If there’s anything I learned from choosing a color, it’s that natural lighting makes all the difference.  What works in one home might not in another simply due to lighting. The paint-card-on-the-table was a great trick that worked well for me.  It required some patience, but it really helped me to see how paint colors varied throughout the day before I purchased and painted a sample on my wall.

I can’t wait to show you the final results of the room.  We’re planning a paint party within the next few months – anyone care to join us?


Going Grey

It’s a long story, but when my husband I decided to move back to our hometown four years ago, we were lucky enough not to have to hunt for a house we loved. It was one of those “perfect timing” things that led to our house never actually going on the market. We sort of fell in love with it at first sight during the restoration and claimed it for our own. Because of our relationship with the previous owner, we were able to have input on many finishing details, consult about certain aspects of the rehab project, and even help out with a few tasks. A win-win for all involved.

Of course, we were fortunate that the previous owner also had good taste, so most of the chosen paint colors were ones we also loved. The dining and living rooms were painted a calming neutral called Canvas Tan (Sherwin Williams). When we moved in, the only furniture we owned to outfit these rooms was a dining room table and a couch. The color has worked well as we’ve collected additional pieces and defined our style over the past four years, but the time has come to make a change.


We’ve decided to go grey.

While Canvas Tan is a fantastic neutral that I will keep in my paint color arsenal, it’s beginning to feel too yellow to me. I’m craving walls that disappear with a grey that is warm, but barely noticed. Both living and dining rooms receive plenty of natural light, which we take advantage of by leaving the curtains open most of the day. In searching back through my pinterest board, I came across the following photos that capture the look and feel I’m hoping to achieve.

02-pretty-little-things-living-room-0414-lgn-83250734   via Country Living


via  Coco Lapine Design


via Country Living




via Vintage Whites

Choosing a warm, pale grey that acts as a quiet canvas will enhance the architectural details of our old home and the vintage pieces we’ve had fun collecting over the past few years.  It’s a small change that I’m hoping will make the perfect difference.  Check back soon for a reveal of our pale grey paint color candidates, our completely informal and unscientific process for narrowing down our choices, and, of course, the big winner!




…and make it your ambition to  a quiet life, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands…

These words, found in Thessalonians 4:11 -12, have been running through my mind lately anytime the conversation turns to resolutions.  There was a time when I made resolutions for myself and strictly stuck to them.  Giving up carbonation my sophomore year of high school just to challenge myself?  Check. Being a nazi about how many miles I ran a week? Done that too.  All in the name of personal improvement.

But in recent years – since getting married and having kids – it’s so much harder for me to stick to personal goals, I suspect due to my somewhat serious case of mom-guilt that makes me feel like a jerk when I spend time on myself.  I know I’m not alone here, but lately I’ve been thinking about personal goals – for my career, for my health, for my family, for this blog.  I’ve resisted the urge to write them down and make them specific.  I prefer to keep them swirling around in my head.  Goals, I call them. Goals, not resolutions. Resolutions are too strict and permanent.  They have no room for the twists and turns and unexpectedness of life.  I would feel like a failure for breaking a resolution, but a goal can always be re-routed and carried over to the next year. Life happens, you know?  Goals have room for grace.

So what does all this have to do with design? I keep asking myself the same question.  Why did I start this blog? Is it important? Is it making a difference?  My answers to those questions trace back to those opening words.

lead a quiet life

Believe it or not, my goal for this blog isn’t merely to showcase our design work. Sure, that’s part of the purpose, but not the main goal.  What I hope you really glean is the feeling of comfort and quiet that our rooms tend to generate. If anything, I hope our work emanates peace and tranquility – a quiet life – in the midst of the everyday chaos we all experience.

mind your own affairs

In terms of blogging, I struggle with this one.  I fully realize that following and commenting on other blogs, sharing via social media, and virtually “connecting” with others will grow this blog.  But, you know what?  It feels so insincere and fake to “connect” with the underlying purpose of increasing my own blog traffic. I feel a little self-promoting even sharing posts on my personal Facebook page.  I secretly hope people will stumble on this blog, feel a connection, and start following and commenting.  Maybe that’s unrealistic. Do any of you struggle with this?

What I think I’m getting at is that I desire for our work and our words to be sincere.  That we will not get caught up in design trends, but listen to our clients.  That we won’t provide content that is popular for the sake of a few more “likes” and “shares” on Facebook.  That we will continue to be true to ourselves and that beauty will flow from that truth.

work with your hands

Literally and symbolically.  One of the most satisfying parts of this adventure is the search – the hunt, if you will. It requires us to get off the computer, get out and about, discover new places, meet new people, and experience life. We take great care to get to know our clients and source pieces that fit each of their lifestyles. Often, we get creative – remaking,  reinventing, repurposing the old into something new.  It’s life-giving to each piece, to the project, and to our spirits. And finally, putting a room together for the first time really is invigorating and exciting.  To see all the things we’ve collected  come together, to work out a room so it is both practical and pretty: gathering. This is what we love doing.


So somehow, in some little way, I hope this blog makes a difference.  It is my goal that it inspires you (and me) to look for peace, joy, and love amidst the craziness of life.  It is my goal not to focus on blog stats, but to be true to myself and sincere in content.  It is my goal to do more working with my hands – to delve into the real relationships that the hunt brings about and to gather graciously so that all feel welcome.


Before We Move On

Cheers! It’s 2015, and we at Hunt and Gather Home are looking forward to what lies ahead in the new year.  The last few months of 2014 were busy with our regular jobs, family, and the comings and goings of everyday life. Throw in a few design projects and that makes for two busy Mamas with little time to blog!  So, before we move on to the hope and excitement of the nascent year, we want to share with you a super fun holiday project that really capped off our 2014.


Last summer, my (Megan’s) mother asked us to help with the design of her screen porch enclosure on her nearly 100 year old home.  The porch, a 1930s addition, needed to be raised off the ground due to the roots of a large Magnolia tree nearby that were making the marble slab floor unlevel. My mom decided she would also like to enclose the porch to provide additional living space for large family gatherings. To sweeten the deal, we’d also get to help decorate the newly enclosed porch for the neighborhood’s Holiday Tour of Homes.  We jumped at the opportunity – who doesn’t love a southern porch and Christmastime in the South?


The structural work on the porch was finished in mid-October, but we began working long before by scouting out the perfect finds to transform this dingy back porch to a cozy, comfortable family room.  Though the idea of a screened-porch in Louisiana was quite lovely, the reality was that the screen trapped dust from the yard, mixed with the summer heat and incorrigible year-round humidity, and created a space that no one could enjoy, save for a few rescue kitties.  Seeking a way to continue to enjoy the beautiful courtyard environment and retain the feel of a porch, wall-to-wall windows were installed on three elevations.


A gas-burning fireplace was installed on the center left wall to evoke the sense of family and gathering.  We scouted out several antique salvage mantels at Snow’s Antiques, and finally decided upon this beauty, which we trimmed up to fit the space perfectly and then painted Narragansett Blue.  The walls are wide vertical wood planks painted white.  During painting the joints were scraped clear of paint with an expired credit card to create a coastal/cottage/camp vibe. The beadboard ceiling is original and required only a good cleaning and a touch-up of the Haint Blue paint.


And those floors.  We couldn’t have dreamed up anything more perfect.  After looking into several flooring options – herringbone wood-look ceramic tile, “new” wood flooring stained to match, painted wood flooring, and reclaimed heart-pine laid on a diagonal – my mom finally choose the reclaimed pine. At the last minute, she chose NOT to lay it on the diagonal for fear the room would be too busy. The wood was not stained, but its natural color merely enhanced by a sealer. What can we say? Lovely choice, Mom!


The floors really are a breathtaking feature of the room, but my absolute favorite feature is the salvaged cypress French doors Mama and I found at the Washington Antique Mall during the fall antique fair weekend. The patterned glass matched the glass in an existing interior door in the house, and the patina of chipped paint in just the right colors to match the kitchen and fireplace mantel was too perfect to pass up. At $200 for the pair, only a slight shaving down to fit the existing door frame, and a quick cleaning with a damp cloth, these beauties will make you choose salvage material over new any day.



With the walls, floors, and ceiling finished, we switched our focus to staging the room.  My mom wanted to pull in existing furniture from around the house and a bring a few antique pieces from storage before shopping for anything new.  We moved the small, round kitchen table out of the cramped breakfast room and into the new space.  In its place in the breakfast room we placed a freshly (spray)painted and recovered antique wicker settee to provide seating without bulk.



Three other antique wicker pieces were moved from storage to the new family room:  an oval console table, a round side table, and a wicker rocker.  Placed about the room, they enhance the back porch feel of the space.



When it was finally time to shop for a new couch, chair, and rug, we decided to pull in some modern elements.  The linen couch is super plush, yet stylish with its curved and rounded arms and nail head trim (don’t worry – we used Scotchguard).  The oversized grey flannel chair is one of my favorite finds.  The fabric and plaid/houndstooth pattern suggest mid-century style, while the shape, size, and feet are completely modern.  The rug was a Target find – fun, yet practical for a piece that’s sure to get plenty of wear and tear.



All decorative elements in the room were pulled from other places in the house or from storage.  The best place to shop is usually your own house! We had fun grouping my mom’s collection of Louisiana artist Lorraine Gendron’s painted wood cutouts in the room and even borrowed a few of her Christmas ornaments from one of our favorite local shops, Southern Chic, to decorate the tree.



We had a fabulous time with this project and, from personal experience, I can tell you that the family thinks it is fabulous, too!  My two boys LOVE the “new porch”  just as much as the rest of us. It’s the first place we all go when we stop by to visit or share Sunday lunch.  It’s funny how enclosing a room can actually make a space feel more open and people more connected.