Home Tour / Will + Misti Staley

I recently went to visit Will and Misti on a road trip and was able to stay at their home for the night. They moved to Helena a few years ago to start a non profit called Thrive which encourages economic growth in the Mississippi Delta region. Since they have been there Misti has started a company called Reclaimed Helena.  They bought this home in downtown Helena and restored it to what it is now, a home with loads of character full of family heirlooms and pieces from friends. 

Our piano came with the home.  We need to have it tuned and a few of the keys don't work, maybe now that we are having a child we will get it working so he can take piano lessons.  

We have a kind of folk art gallery in our hallway.  The piece in the middle is by Sammy Landers a folk artist from Arkadelphia, AR.  The found object Box with Horse is by Daniel Davison.  We traded art years ago, maybe 2005, when I painted portraits of his sister, Katie's, dogs to look like Napoleon and his wife.  It creeps a lot of people out, but I love it.

Our bedroom picture was also taken on our Reclaimed Helena photo staging day.  You can see the RH Coffee Table used as a Bed End Table, the Breakfast in Bed Table and our Wood Art Piece on the wall.  We have our soon to be baby boy's crib in our bedroom for now.

We both love the original claw foot tub in the bathroom.  We painted it black and re-guilded the feet.  We will tile the floor in a black and white hexagon tile this year.

We spend a lot of hours in our art studio.  It's nice to sit at the drawing desk and watch the birds in the backyard.

I always have something brewing, growing, or fermenting on our counter top.  This week it's sprouts and NORA tea, some weeks its kombucha, kefir, or kimchi.

This photo was taken during our Reclaimed Helena photo staging day.  We took these photos for our website and our Kickstarter campaign.  I would love if everyone reading this would watch our Kickstarter video.  It gives you an awesome look into Helena.  Become a backer and support the Delta, any support amount matters.  $50 or more and you receive a custom wood piece.


Will + Misti Staley



Will is Co-Founder and Creative Director for Thrive, a non-profit design firm set in rural America.  www.thrivecenter.org

Misti works as a freelance artist and is the Creative Director for Reclaimed Helena.  www.mististaley.com  www.reclaimedhelena.com



WS / Little Rock, Arkansas

MS / Douglasville, Georgia


Current Town:

Helena, Arkansas


Favorite Book:

WS / The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

MS / So many!  Current read Wild by Cheryl Strand


Favorite Movie:

WS / A tie between Forrest Gump and A River Runs Through It

MS / I am Sam- It makes me cry every time!


Favorite Band:

WS / Cut Copy

MS / Bjork


Favorite TV Show:

WS / Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown

MS / Jeopardy


Favorite Restaurant:

WS / Southern Gourmasian - Little Rock, Arkansas

MS / Taste of Thai- Douglasville, Georgia


Favorite place you have traveled to:

We love traveling! We met while traveling through Europe.  Will's group basically followed around Misti's group because we actually had plans of where we were staying.  After Europe I would visit Will in NYC and he would visit me in Atlanta.  We would also each fly to a certain city and meet up there for a few days.  Our entire first years of our relationship involved traveling.  It is hard to pick just one place that was a fav.  Will's favorite is Barcelona, Spain - Misti's is Kyoto, Japan.


Next destination on your list to travel to:

I, Misti, would love to visit Thailand and India.  Will would rather spend a few weeks on the beaches of Greece.  That's fine with me too!  Ha!


What you like about your city:

Helena is such an exciting place to be right now.  Helena was called "Little Chicago" in the 20s and 30s.  Helena had it all.  It was a booming metropolis set on the Mississippi River.  Around 1970, industry left and so did many of Helena's residents.  Over the last few years Helena has started making a comeback.  Living here offers so many great opportunities for people our age.  Opportunities that would have never been available when we lived in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.  We both serve on lots of boards and community groups, own our own businesses, and are super involved. Most importantly - we've made friends with people of all ages here in Helena and they support us in ways we could have never imagined before moving here. We feel like we have joined a team.


Reason for moving into current home:

I can't believe that we own a home!  It is also unbelievable how affordable it is to own a home in Helena if you enjoy putting a little work into it.  There are so many great, old homes to revitalize.  We qualified for a low interest home loan that also included money for all of our construction improvements.  We put tons of sweat and elbow grease into our home from tiling our kitchen, to turning our upstairs into an entirely separate apartment that we can rent out for regional festivals - like the King Biscuit Blues Festival.  If you love old homes and have dreamed about fixing one up, your should move to Helena!


Design origins:

We have received so many beautiful pieces in our home from family.  We love that each piece has a story behind it.  Our dining table was given to us by Will's parents.  Will has memories of many hours of math tutoring at that table when he was younger.  Our soon- to-be, baby's crib was Will's sister's crib when she was a baby.  We hand painted our dinning room wallpaper.  Mrs. Netta, who owned our home before us (That is one great thing about Helena, everyone refers to homes by names of people who have lived there in the past) was also an artist.  She hand painted dark green into each leaf on the wallpaper to match the dark green she had painted below the chair molding.  We continued that legacy and painted out a lot of the 1990s background busyness with light green, painted a lighter green drybrush over that and added highlights and shadows to each flower and leaf.


Favorite or most meaningful piece in your home:

WS / The butcher block top in our kitchen.  I grew up with it in my kitchen when I was younger.  My parents bought it from a butcher shop when they were first married.  All butcher shops used wooden butcher blocks and would have to change them out after a specific number of years.  It has so much character and history.

MS / I love the stemware cabinet in our dining room that Will's parents gave to us.  It is two separate pieces that they found at garage sales in McLean, VA.  They stacked them using an old door in-between.  It is beautiful.  And of course, the Wolf range that my parents bought for us as a housewarming present/Christmas gift and I joke around that it is my birthday present for the rest of my life.


Biggest challenges with your space:

Our ceilings are 12 ft.  Will is 6'5" and likes to utilize all of that height.  I'm 5'7", bring on the step stool, or in some cases the ladder!

Dream house and city:

WS / A modern home in Mexico or Spain on the beach with a terra-cotta tile roof.  A hammock and an instant knowledge of fluent Spanish. 


MS / I love our house, so maybe something totally different.  Ultra modern, full of glass walls, but antiques and older pieces mixed in.  Maybe California or someplace warm, minus mosquitoes/bugs.  Close to an international airport.


Watch Reclaimed Helena's video and support their kickstarter campaign at:



View Misti's artwork at:



Learn more about Thrive at:


Playlist / Evening Bike Ride

This is my part time therapist. Nothing clears my head like this two wheeled beauty. I love getting on this bike and riding through the city. It makes me feel alive. It helps me know there are other people besides the ones in my circle. I see the buildings that i never see because I fly by them in my car. I discover streets I've never seen. This bike connects me to my city.


This is the playlist I listen to when I need an evening bike ride. It also works for porch hangs, and fire pits, and hikes but it's most useful for an evening bike ride through the city when its about 8:30 and 65 degrees out. 

Home Tour / Chris + Katie Torres

Chris and Katie are one heck of a creative team. They own a photography business called 6 Of Four and a letterpress business called Farmwood Press and have two kids and manage to have one of the most peaceful homes I've been in. Not sure how they do it, but I'm thankful they took the time to snap some photos of their home. 

The painting in the entry was from a local artist and it's of the area around her parent's home in Canada. 

Their tv stand piece is a cedar chest from Chris' family

This roll top desk was a gift from Chris to Katie


The beams in the keeping room off the kitchen are ones Katie's grandfather pulled out of old barns in Iowa

The rocking chair in their room was Katie's graduation present from her parents

Their daughter's bed was Katie's as a child

Their daughter's bed was Katie's as a child


Chris and Katie Torres



We own 6 of Four. A photography company in Atlanta focusing on weddings and portraits. A majority of our weddings are outside of the city in Highlands or Sea Island. We also own Farmwood Press. A letterpress company that keeps us getting our hands dirty and in the raw creative process.



CT / Marietta, Ga

KT / Dallas, Ga


Current Town:

Mableton, Georgia


Favorite Book:

KT / Bread & Wine

CT / Anything by Seth Godin


Favorite Movie:

KT / Spanglish

CT / Lord of the Rings Series


Favorite Band:

KT / The Lone Bellow

CT / Nickel Creek


Favorite TV Show:

KT / Currently, SUITS

CT / Mad Men


Favorite Restaurant:

KT / King + Duke

CT / Ecco


Favorite place you have traveled to:

Thailand. We have family that live there as missionaries. We went in 2008 and were able to photograph families that had lost everything from the tsunami. They didn't have any history of their families left. We went to some of the islands that were hit hard. Our cousins have been working with them to rebuild their homes and communities. We photographed each family. Then we printed and framed the portraits and hung them on the walls of their primitive homes. It was a great experience to give them a piece of their history back.


Next destination on your list to travel to:

We have been married for eight years and our goal is to take a trip to Europe for our 10th anniversary. We keep debating on which region because we want to see so much. We have a few more years to figure it out while we save for the trip.


What you like about your city:

KT / I love the growing and transforming food scene in Atlanta. There is a lot of innovation here and a great healthy and organic scene. That is huge for me in a healthy and thriving area. 

CT / I love the diversity. From down home deep south roots to people who have transplanted here. Making the city a unique tapestry of people and cultures. 


Reason for moving into current home:

We needed spaces for both of our businesses. We considered and looked into commercial spaces for both companies. With five year commercial leases, build out costs and utilities times two....it just wasn't a wise financial decision. We were also in a place where we needed to plant our roots as a family. We finally settled on moving a few miles outside of the perimeter and building our home. We were able to have our work spaces in our basement and be able to work from home while we are actively raising our family. Not always the easiest, but it is the best of both worlds.


Design origins:

A lot of our home has been pieced together from family pieces, yard sales, Scott's, antique stores, the Mart, or World Market. Most of our inspiration comes from a mix between French Country and Katie's roots of Iowa in a farmhouse feel. Some of the beams in the house come from her family in Iowa. We have a lot of dreams of what we would like to do with our home but we have a strict and small decor budget. It will be a slow process to make it what we dream of but that's just fine. With a family and other priorities in life, it can be a slow process. 


Favorite or most meaningful piece in your home:

KT / My rolltop desk. Chris is the best gift giver. I have always wanted a roll top desk. Something away from my work desk. A home base to write letters, thank you notes, pay bills, document our children's lives. A place to keep just for me. Last year for my birthday, he surprised me with the desk. I was afraid he might be trying to find one for me. I didn't want him to get the wrong style. It's a big item and I wanted a very specific one. He, of course, did a far better job than I thought he did. He found the perfect one for me. Such a gift of love as he searched until he found it. Much of the gift was not only the desk but his dedication to finding the right one.

Biggest challenges with your space:

Our windows are a huge gift that we didn't really envision in the building process. We knew there were windows but didn't think through how big they would be or how tall. They have added so much light to our space. As photographers, it's a dream space to document your children and family. They are also something that perplexes us for window coverings. If we want to cover them at all. We've covered the front of the house but the back of the house faces woods and we haven't covered them yet. We love the natural light coming in through them they way they are now. We are taking our time in figuring out what to do with them. 

Dream house and city: 

A home perched on cliffs overlooking the Pacific ocean in the North West.. A home with open air to feel inspired and alive and open doors to guests who need a place to rest and feel safe.

Home Tour / Daniel + Tes Davison

Daniel and Tes are friends from when they used to live in Atlanta and Daniel is the brother of Kate, who's home I posted a few months ago. Daniel and Tes always had the best style in every home they've had. As I've known them over the years, this home is the most minimalist and best curated space I've seen from them yet. They recently moved to Chicago for Tes to pursue her PhD and have made this apartment their home real quick. Daniel is an insanely talented video director and editor and you can see some of his work here


Photos by Kyle Wheeler

I adore this typewriter. Daniel got it for me for Christmas last year. I spend so much time writing on a computer, sometimes it is really nice to type things up on this. I use it a lot actually, for writing letters to friends, journaling, and musing.

My mom gave me (Tes) this antique steamer trunk, and the Ferris wheel erector set my grandfather built.

My mom gave me (Tes) this antique steamer trunk, and the Ferris wheel erector set my grandfather built.

We call this piece of furniture the “yellow thing.” It was one of our first major furniture purchases after we got married. We found it at Atlanta’s Lakewood Antique Market (when it still existed!) and fell in love. It is from Mongolia and was purportedly used in a kitchen as a countertop ­ it has wonderful marks and dings, and the color is also original. When we first bought it we lived in a 900 sq. ft. apartment and the kitchen had no real countertop, so that is what we used it for as well! The white mirror on top is a beautiful antique that my mom gave me.

Our bedroom is really basic, and we like it that way. We would prefer not to have this cord exposed, but hey, we rent here. This bedspread is from Pendleton Woolen Mills, and the painting is an original piece by my brother, Steve Hash. He gave it to me when I graduated with my B.A. (yeah, it took me 11 years to finish that up).

Our coffee table is an old cart from a factory in Philadelphia. I found it on Craigslist and I won’t tell you how much (little) I paid.

Daniel always wanted a Stereoscope so I got this for him for his birthday a few years back. The person selling it didn’t realize that it is from the Paris 1901 World’s Fair!

I love these chairs in our living room. They are vintage Burke’s. I found them on craigslist for a ridiculous price. At some point I will have the cushions recovered (or find the time to do it myself).

We love our dining set. The table was made by our old friend Aldo in Philadelphia. He scavenged the wood from a church that was being torn down in our neighborhood (Northern Liberties) and welded the legs. The benches are made from beams that Daniel scavenged in the surrounding area, and he and Aldo assembled them.

Daniel made this desk himself. The map is from Future Maps in the UK and really beautifully done, it is magnetized so that Daniel can map all of his travels through the years. I got it for him for his birthday this past year.

This is one of Daniel’s original pieces of art. It’s really old. He made the frame out of salvaged wood when we lived in Atlanta.

Daniel’s grandfather’s brass knuckles.

Tes’s opium bottle collection.

These three hang in my office, and each has a special spot in my heart. The top is a very old wax mold of Aristotle. I found it in a junk shop years ago and bought it for like $1. That was before I went back to school for Philosophy. The middle painting is one of my absolute favorite things. When I was in Athens, Greece in 2003 (a trip with Daniel and friends) the trash collectors had gone on strike and so the streets were filled with trash ­ and of course we all went digging around in it for treasures. We weren’t the only ones scavenging, there were some locals with wheelbarrows trash picking to try to re­sell the goods. I saw this piece in one fella’s wheelbarrow and convinced him to sell it to me for 2 euro. I packed it around Europe and then home - totally worth it. The bottom photo is another all­time favorite. I found it at Lakewood Antique Mart in the outside vendor area in boxes of junk set out for folks to pick through. I don’t remember how much I paid for it, but it was cheap. I feel like it is perfect in my office, it captures my ever constant pensive mood when working. I didn’t find out that it is a photo of James Joyce until one day in a meeting with one of my favorite philosophy professors at Temple University, Kristin Gjesdal - I was looking around her office and spotted the exact same photo on her bulletin board and asked her about it. Somehow it became even more special after that.


Daniel and Tes Davison



TD/ Currently working towards her Ph.D in Philosophy at the University of Chicago. After years of denial and working in more creative fields she finally gave in to her nerd-side and maintains that even the philosophical life is rad.

DD/ Music video director and editor. Sometimes a drummer.



TD/ Born in Sisters, Oregon | Raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

DD/ Born and raised in Douglasville, Georgia.


Current Town:

Chicago, Illinois.


Favorite Book:

TD/ I hate the favorites game because I can never pick just one, esp. when it comes to books! I also never find time to read anything fun anymore, I haven’t read a “new” novel in a long time. Anyway, a few are: East of Eden, Narcissus and Goldmund, Hatchet, We Need to Talk about Kevin (I just couldn’t put it down), Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and everything else written by Nietzsche.

DD/ A Peoples History of the United States, Man on a Raft, Walden.


Favorite Movie:

TD/ Dumb and Dumber, The Princess Bride, Dr. Strangelove, Pierrot le fou, The Red Balloon, Roman Holiday, Casablanca.

DD/ Fargo, Deadman, Donnie Darko, No Country for Old Men


Favorite Band:

TD/ Blonde Redhead, Portishead, Radiohead. As for non-head bands: Isis, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Fever Ray.

DD/ Radiohead, Wovenhand, Puscifer, Deftones, Hope Sandoval, and godspeed. 


Favorite TV Show:

TD/ I don’t care much for TV, but Seinfeld always wins. Twin Peaks, Sherlock Holmes (the British 1980’s series). 

DD/ Twin Peaks


Favorite Restaurant:

TD/ Hattiesburg – Leatha’s BBQ | Atlanta – Taqueria Del Sol | Philadelphia – Barbuzzo | Chicago – Longman and Eagle, Publican Quality Meats, Mary’s Grocery.

DD/ Atlanta - Daddy D’s BBQ | Philadelphia - El Camino Real | Chicago - Publican Quality Meats. 


Favorite place you have traveled to:

TD/ We’ve both done a lot of traveling, Daniel more than I. One of my favorite places I have ever been (still) is the Amalfi Coast in Italy in 2003 with a pack of amazing friends. New Zealand is also at the top of my list, D. and I went there on our 1st year anniversary. Thailand, well, Thailand is simply fantastic, the Phi Phi Islands in particular. I also always adore a simple trip to Mexico or Puerto Rico – I was born to be near the sea with a taco in one hand and a cerveza in the other. Paris is my favorite city, I don’t care how cliché it is, and Berlin is also supreme in my book.

DD/ New Zealand, The Alps/Switzerland, Yosemite Nat’l Park


Next destination on your list to travel to:

TD/ I would like to go to India, Africa, China or South America – but I’m known for saying I’ll go pretty much anywhere anytime.

DD/ A deep trek and camping trip in the Andes in Chile. 


What you like about your city:

Chicago rules. We were extremely hesitant to move here (we just relocated from Philadelphia about 8 months ago), the only reason we came is because of the University of Chicago. Our other option on the table was Southern California, which made the idea of moving to the middle of the country even more unattractive. But we went for it, and we unanimously agree that Chicago is one of the best and most overlooked amazing cities in the country. It is beautiful, clean, has tons of art, music and great food. But the best part about Chicago is the lake – it is spectacular! We go jump into it or just sit by it almost every single day if the weather permits. The winter here almost killed us, and will probably almost kill us about 7 more times before we leave, but we are happy with the decision to come. Chicago rules.


Reason for moving into current home:

It is big (2 offices are a must), affordable, in close proximity to the University, and has concrete floors, white walls, vintage details and lots of windows. We really didn’t have much to choose from here in Hyde Park, a lot of the apartments available when we were moving were old and gross with creaky floors and either loud babies or loud college students. We got lucky when the University had a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, recently renovated apartment in one of the buildings they own which is rented to graduate students only. We won’t live here long, but it was a nice score for the first year. We are actually currently under contract on a 2 flat property in Pilsen - stay tuned for that renovation project. 


Design origins:

TD/ Daniel and I definitely both really like the vintage and antique vibe. Both of us have collected weird things since we were kids, dumpster dove, shopped at thrift stores, estate sales, and antique stores etc. for as long as we can remember. I think this plays quite a large role in how our home décor aesthetic has developed for each of us respectively. We like things with character. We don’t like to shop at mainstream stores and have what everyone else has in their home – this isn’t something we even consciously stay away from, it’s just how we naturally go about it. I don’t look at home décor blogs, I don’t read home décor magazines, I pretty much just do what I like. Often I see things that inspire me, but I don’t seek ideas out (say, on pinterest) unless I am having trouble with a particular space. My mom always kept our home immaculate and well-organized, I have her to thank for the minimalist side of my design aesthetic, and my dad likes anything different, old, weird, and collects things – I guess I fall somewhere in the middle of those two. I think traveling and being inspired by different cultures also plays a role. Lastly, I am the craigslist queen – I find the best vintage shit all the time for ridiculous deals - it’s all about knowing how to search.

DD/ I’ve been a collector of found treasures for as long as I can remember. When I was a teenager, I used to go out at night with my mom and/or sisters when our town had a “throw anything away day”, and we’d come home with a bunch of rad stuff. During this time I also constantly explored and rummaged abandoned houses and factories. I usually used what I found in some sort of mixed media collage or art project. I think that period was the defining moment when I realized that I really liked old, worn, and unusual objects. They have stories, they’re like little windows into the past. When Tes and I got married, we went to estate sales pretty much weekly, and filled up our house in Atlanta with way too many treasures, furthering my appreciation for the old, worn out, industrial, primitive. When we moved to Philadelphia, we downsized greatly. The first place we moved into was a tiny studio apartment. This marked the most recent change in our design appreciation and aesthetic: minimalism. We’ve continued to shed pieces of our collections as we’ve moved around (6 times in the last 4 years!) and are finally getting close to an actual place of minimalism. I’m not really interested in ever being full on minimalists, though. We’re too nostalgic and like our relics too much.


Favorite or most meaningful piece in your home:

TD/ My favorite things are always connected with memories. The Ferris wheel erector set in my office is one. My grandpa Sim collected antique sets and built them himself. By the time I was in my late teens he had a ton of them on display in a room in his house in Estacada, Oregon. When he passed away many of them were put in a museum. My mom gave me this one as a keepsake. I love the cube on our wall. Daniel brought that home one day when we lived in Philly, he had found it on the street, and we decided it needed to be hung up. I love the plaster deer head on our living room wall, we got that in Greenwich, CT a few years back. I also love our dining set - handmade by our friend Aldo and Daniel. 

DD/ I love our curio cabinet in our living room. It contains lots of little treasures that we’ve collected over the years. Whether it be the brass knuckles that my grandfather gave me when I was a kid, or the antique taxidermy baby alligator that Tes got me from a flea market in Berlin, each piece has a story. I also love my office. It’s bright and open, and is very minimally decorated. I made my desk out of wood that I grabbed from a 100+ year old house that was being torn down in my neighborhood in Philly (dining room benches are made of wood from the same house).


Biggest challenges with your space:

Walls. We lived in a huge, open loft in Philly and had grown quite accustomed to the open space. This apartment is all broken up into rooms, and it took some adjusting to figure out what should go where in the new space – but it works. Also, the kitchen sucks! It is updated and nice, but has no character, and again, is enclosed by walls. 


Dream house and city:

TD/ I have three, 1) A modern but rustic cabin in the mountains which is made almost entirely of glass. 2) A flat in Paris or Berlin. 3) A modern, concrete home in Puerto Rico or Mexico, walking distance to the beach. At some point I plan on having at least one of the above in addition to my U.S. home-base. 

DD/ Cabin in the Alps and/or a concrete home in the caribbean, with a treehouse guest room. I’ll take both.

Home Tour / Nick + Kendall Stowell

I first met the Stowells through the Billy Reid shop here in Atlanta where Kendall is the store director. This home tour was a little different because I was able to put some of my items in their home for a photo shoot that happened earlier this month for the AJC. If you are interested in any of the items, please feel free to contact me through the site. Many thanks to Kendall for taking the photos. 

The vase with the dried hydrangeas was given to me (Kendall) by one of my friends who passed away

This is a  map of Atlanta I found for the Stowells. Kendall gave it to Nick for their anniversary last year. 

This is a corner of their house where I put most of my items. On the mantle is a map of Scotland dated from 1776 ($498) behind an Eastlake style wall mirror ($275). In front of the fireplace is a set of brass fireplace tools ($275). Next to the window is a vintage Replogle floor globe ($298). In the corner is a Globe Wernicke three stack barrister cabinet ($650). On top of the barrister cabinet is a hand painted duck decoy ($98).  On the floor is a vintage Persian rug ($375). 

Art deco style brass collapsable fire screen ($295). 

Kendall's favorite coffee table books

In the back is a wooden Spanish printers block that says Dril Fuerte ($155). Next to that is another printers block ($48). In the front is a rotating desk calendar ($95). 

Kendall's grandparents record player

Set of three midcentury brass candlesticks ($125). 

Milk glass collection from grandparents


Kendall + Nick Stowell



Kendall works for the Florence, Alabama based shop, Billy Reid, on the Westside as well as some interior design and styling work. Nick is a lobbyist and works in the government relations department for Equifax in Midtown.



We are both originally from Atlanta.


Current Town:



Favorite Book:

KS / The Great Gatsby 

NS /  Into the Wild


Favorite Movie:

KS / Breakfast at Tiffany's

NS / Garden State


Favorite Band:

KS / The Beatles

NS / LCD Soundsystem 


Favorite TV Show:

KS / Currently: Downton Abbey, Veep, and Girls

NS /  Game of Thrones


Favorite Restaurant:

KS / Sotto Sotto

NS / The Optimist 


Favorite place you have traveled to:

Our favorite trip was probably to Rome and Positano, Italy for our honeymoon--it was the perfect mix of two very different places, and we just fell in love with the Italian culture. We just went with some friends this past fall to the British Virgin Islands and rented a catamaran that took us around all of the islands--it was amazing. Neither of us had ever been to California before this past year, but we fit in San Francisco and wine country last summer and Los Angeles last month--we were surprised how much we loved LA.


Next destination on your list to travel to:

We would love to get back to Europe since it's been almost 5 years. Denmark, the Netherlands, and Eastern Europe are on the top of our list.


What you like about your city:

Atlanta is one of the most underrated cities in our opinion. We love all of our eclectic neighborhoods and how full of trees and green space it is. Our restaurant scene is one of the best in the country--we are so lucky, except that seems to take most of our money! 


Reason for moving into current home:

In Atlanta, location was everything to us. We were much more concerned about being where we wanted to be than space. Inman Park was never a neighborhood we thought we could move into because things rarely make it to the market. When we saw our little victorian, 1896 house for the first time, we knew we had to have it.


Design origins:

Our taste is very similar. If it had to be pin down as a genre, it would be a mix of modern, classic, vintage (basically an oxymoron!). 


Favorite or most meaningful piece in your home:

KS / My favorite piece is probably my grandparent's old "media console"--it used to house their records and eight-tracks. I stripped it and painted it to update the piece to more of our taste, but it has a lot of meaning to me.

NS/  Vintage Atlanta map my wife gave me for our anniversary--from the fine vendor Brick + Mortar. 


Biggest challenges with your space:

Storage! These old homes do not have it.

Dream house and city:

A big loft space in SoHo or the West Village in New York

Shop Tour / Peter Nappi

I first came to the Peter Nappi studio when the good folks at Ledbury had their pop up shop in their space. I was mesmerized by it from the moment I drove up to it. Their studio is tucked away in the Germantown neighborhood in an old pump house. You can feel the history of it as soon as you drive up. Inside they have an amazing mix of antiques that are for sale and of course some of the most well made shoes you can find. Across the street they also have another space full of unique antiques which you can see at the end of the photo series. 

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Were there any challenges with the space:


The space had been vacant for 40 years before we moved in, so you can imagine what we were up against. It was originally the boiler room of a huge meat packing plant, and the pumps housed in our space were anchored into the ground on 4-by-5-foot concrete piers—about eight of them. Getting them out and leveling the floor was a huge undertaking. We ended up pouring more than a half foot of concrete. And then of course we needed bathrooms, lighting, electricity...it was six months of hard labor. Actually, I can’t believe it didn’t take longer.     


The history and evolution of Peter Nappi:


I come from a line of Italian shoemakers dating back to the 1800's. In 1904, my grandfather Peter Nappi immigrated to the United States from Tuscany, bringing the family tradition with him. He was loved as much for his generous spirit and dedication to family and friends as he was for his incredible craftsmanship. I’m continually inspired by what he stood for, and by the way he approached both life and work. In 2009, in honor of him, my wife and I officially launched the Peter Nappi brand and opened our flagship location in Nashville. Everything we design is handmade in Italy.


How did the idea of selling everything in the store come around:


We figured we'd outfit our space with authentic, unique pieces that spoke to the same aesthetic as our line, and make them available to people who were interested.  We just couldn’t imagine using pressed plywood display shelving to showcase something we put our hearts and soles into (pun intended). Everything in the Studio had to have the same depth of character as our footwear.   


Where do you source your things:


Before we opened, we went to Les Puces and brought back a container. Since then, we've built relationships that allow us to keep our showroom fresh and offer a wide assortment of pieces from Italy, Sweden, France, and Belgium as well as the US.    


Where does your design inspiration come from and how do you stay inspired:

We find our inspiration everywhere! Travels with family, a conversation with a colleague, browsing design blogs, or just going out for a run. I think the trick is to consistently take three steps back and ask the big picture questions that guide your brand. For us, they’re “is this authentic? Is it timeless? Does it have character?"  


There are a lot of great brands out of Nashville (you guys, Otis James, Imogene+Willie), are there any new ones that you are excited about:


Nashville seems to be a hotbed of creative talent right now. Everything from clothes to food - it seems something new pops up every day. It’s an amazing energy to have around you, and we're thrilled to be a part of it. The brand we're most excited about is Nashville itself (the city, not the TV show). Five years ago, when you talked to anyone about Nashville, they'd instantly think country music or fried chicken—not that either of those are bad things, but it was a pretty one dimensional image. Now you mention Nashville and, yes, people think of country music, but also great rock music like the Black Keys, Kings of Leon, and Jack White. People think of fried chicken but also of amazing James Beard-level chefs like Tandy Wilson, Tyler Brown and Sean Brock. Having all this talent in a very personable, community-centric town is bound to lead to some amazing things. We always say a rising tide carries all boats. It’s definitely hide tide in Nashville.


Favorite place to eat in Nashville:


City House, Rolf and Daughters, Mas Tacos, Josephine's,  Pinewood Social, Catbird SeatHusk, Burger Up, Marche...theres so many incredible places you could eat at a new great place everyday for a month.


What are you reading now:


Every morning, Dana and I both read from Jon Courson's Application Commentary. No better way to start the day. Also WWD and FN (trade pubs) and New York Magazine. Just started Richard Branson's Like a Virgin.   


Favorite place you guys have traveled and where would you want to travel to:


Italy, of course. We're creatures of habit - we like to visit the same places. Each time you get to know things a little more intimately. You feel a little more at home. You get more immersed in the culture, the people, the "realness" of the place. Dana's been wanting to go to Pantelleria - a tiny volcanic island between Sicily and Africa - ever since I met her. I’m sure someday we'll venture there.       


Who would be on a playlist for the shop:

Robert Francis, RL Burnside, Fleet Foxes, Louis Armstrong, Jessie Baylin, Leagues, Dean Martin… We like to mix it up.

Home Tour / Bob + Lori Butler

Bob and Lori moved up to Nashville last year from Atlanta and have quickly made Nashville their new home. After renovating several homes in Atlanta, Bob bought this brick ranch and transformed it in seven weeks into what it is now. 


Bob + Lori Butler




BB / St Albans, NSW Australia

LB / St Marys, Georgia


Current Town:




Favorite Book:


BB / Fear & Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard    

LB / The Glass Castle


Favorite Movie:


BB / Jacobs Ladder

LB / Bridesmaids


Favorite Band:


BB / Starflyer 59

LB / Josh Garrels


Favorite TV Show:


BB / Breaking Bad

LB / Arrested Development (RIP)


Favorite Restaurant:


BB / Miller Union

LB / Does Chick Fil A count?


Favorite place you have traveled to:


BB / Warrumbungle

LB / Costa Rica

BB + LB / Fiji


Next destination on your list to travel to:


BB/ Moranbah

LB / Italy


What you like about your city:


The optimistic attitude and the friendly people.


Reason for moving into current home:


We liked the neighborhood, the size of the lot and the wooded back yard. Also has very convenient access to the city.


Design origins:


Mid-century case study houses and the Australian bush houses.


Favorite or most meaningful piece in your home:


BB / I don't really have a favorite or most meaningful thing, but rather, I just enjoy a cohesiveness overall with the many things we have collected in our house.

LB / Two things come to mind:  the black and white self portrait Bob took of us while we were dating and the glass candy dish that had belonged to my grandmother


Biggest challenges with your space:


No carport or garage at the moment…


Dream house and city:


Not sure at this point but somewhere in southeast Australia or by the beach






Home Tour / Ryan + Marta Burleson

Ryan and Marta are friends from Atlanta that moved to Nashville which seems to be a recurring theme in my life. This home is special to me in that they have used several pieces from Brick+Mortar to furnish it.  In the living room they used an old marble accent table, upstairs they used a handmade Afghan area rug, and in the bedroom they used a Paul McCobb chair, all from Brick+Mortar.  Much like Chelsea and Tec's home, they mix modern and old really well. They live in an old home in East Nashville and have made it into a warm and inviting place. They added the upstairs with Marta acting as the contractor and our friend Bob Butler (who's home I'll feature in the next couple of weeks) doing the addition. Like most of the homes I have featured, the thing I like about this one is that it is personal. They didn't just go to Ikea and they didn't just hire random people to work on their home. There's a story to most everything in the home. 


Ryan + Marta Burleson



RB / Music Journalist

MB / Account Director



RB / Panama City, FL

MB / Montreal, QC


Current Town:



Favorite Book:

RB / "Mao II" by Don DeLillo

MB /  Fountainhead. And at the complete opposite spectrum, I really enjoyed The Meaning of Marriage


Favorite Movie:

RB / "When Harry Met Sally"

MB / Amelie


Favorite Band:

RB / My Bloody Valentine

MB / Changes all the time. Been listening to Dustin O'Halloran lately. Good for cold winter days.


Favorite Restaurant:

RB / Wherever the nearest steak and asparagus meal is being served + McDonald's (tie)

MB / Silly Goose in Nashville is my go-to.


Favorite place you have traveled to:

RB / Scottish countryside, Paris, Mexican beaches on the Pacific

MB / Buenos Aires, Morocco, Southern Portugal, Maui, Paris, Swiss Alps, San Francisco & surround area

RB + MB / Banff


Next destination on your list to travel to:

RB / Spain, Portugal, Cuba, Thailand, Argentina, Pacific Northwest

MB / Cuba, South Africa, Southeast Asia


What you like about your city:

Nashville is growing so very quickly right now, so none what follows may be true in 5 - 10 years. But, generally speaking, we love that Nashville is a manageable size yet full of cosmopolitan things to do. (We will regret using "cosmopolitan" later.) Ryan's always thought it's the country's best kept secret in this sense. All sorts of friendly, welcoming, and ridiculously talented people live here, mostly in harmony. And though Nashville can feel one-dimensional at times, it's a far more diverse city than people give it credit for. We also love that we get all four (weather) seasons and that we inhabit the same county as Kelly Clarkson and T. Swift. And the same neighborhood as Fran's Eastside, Village Pub, Silly Goose, Margot's, Mas Tacos, Holland House, Edgefield Sports Bar & Grill, and Barista Parlor.


Reason for moving into current home:

We knew we wanted to be in East Nashville and concentrated our search here. The old floors, tall ceilings and the backyard were what sold us us on this house. Also, the previous owner started remodeling the kitchen and bathroom but left plenty of opportunity for us to put our own touches on the house. He was also planning a second floor addition but had to move before starting it. We inherited the architecture plans and added the second story ourselves. Overall, it's been a really great starter house.  


Design origins:

Marta speaking here. I lean towards mid century, but definitely like to mix and match. My overall goal is for our home to feel warm and reflect our life. My favorite homes are those filled with unique furniture and artwork from people's travels. It takes time to build that kind of home, but we're working on it!


Favorite or most meaningful piece in your home:

RB / Every morning I get up, let Humphrey out and feed him, brew coffee, and sit down on our blue couch downstairs to read for a half hour or so. This is really the only time during the day that I spend in the living room, but it's my favorite. I'm not the same 'me' without this distraction-less coffee/quiet/reading-something-in-print time. It orients me for the day ahead. And the room is perfect for it.

MB /  I second the blue couch downstairs. I also love our clawfoot tub upstairs. It's the best place to unwind, read, pray, and listen to music in the house for me. The little wood tray is perfect for the glass of wine that typically accompanies me to "tub time".


Biggest challenges with your space:

Nothing major, no. Over time, we've realized that stairs collect dog hair. We'd consider a 1-story house in the future.


Dream house and city:

RB / As long as I have access to my records, music gear, good coffee, one good, low-key bar, and good people, I'm happy wherever. Access to water is nice too. Otherwise I leave this sort of thing to Marta.

MB / Dream house for me is open, warm, with wood floors, lots of greenery, a place for a hammock and is located on a quiet street with good neighbors.


Home Tour / Tec + Chelsea Petaja

Tec and Chelsea were kind enough to let us into there home a few weeks ago. They live in a simple old home in Nashville that is filled with character. It's full of light but still homey and they mix modern with old perfectly. 


Tec + Chelsea Petaja



TP / Photographer

CP / Paper Goods + Hand Lettering



TP / Traverse City, MI

CP / Lawrenceville, GA


Current Town:



Favorite Book:

TP / Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

CP / Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott


Favorite Movie:

TP / The Darjeeling Limited

CP / Dumb and Dumber (only because I'm not a big movie person and this is the movie I've seen the most number of times)


Favorite Band:

TP / Phosphorescent

CP / Sufjan Stevens


Favorite TV Show:

TP / any NHL game

CP / The Office


Favorite Restaurant:

TP + CP / Rolf + Daughters in Nashville


Favorite place you have traveled to:

Capri, Italy


Next destination on your list to travel to:

We both agree that Iceland is next on the travel wish-list agenda!


What you like about your city:

Nashville is young and full of creatives.  People think of it as a music town, which it is, but there's so much more here, too.  Visual artists, writers, furniture makers.  It's a rare thing to be surrounded by so much creativity in such a small town and we don't take it for granted.


Reason for moving into current home:

We knew we wanted an older home with character and we knew the neighborhood we wanted to be in.  There wasn't much out there when we were looking, so when our realtor got wind that this house was about to be listed, we went and looked at it and put down an offer before it was even on the market.  Though it's a tiny home, it's perfect for us and this season of life we're in.


Design origins:

I (Chelsea) like to pretend that I like neutrals and whites exclusively, but my home is filled with patterns and bright pops of color.  I'm not sure where that came from, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the room I dreamt of as a child--black and hot-pink checkered walls, black and white striped floors and a hot pink bedspread.  I guess I've always been one for subtlety.  


Favorite or most meaningful piece in your home:

I think we'd both agree that the antique chandelier hanging in our living room is our most meaningful piece.  Tec surprised me with it as my wedding present and it was hauled all the way down here from Michigan.  Regardless of the type or style of home we ever live in in the future, that will come with us and be on display wherever we go.


Biggest challenges with your space:

We both work out of the home; Tec has a studio in the back yard (a former garage that he and my dad converted into a studio the summer we moved in) and I work out of our one spare bedroom.  Our one bathroom is located as a jack-and-jill, right between the two bedrooms and the only way to access it is through my studio or our bedroom.  So yeah... A studio desk that sits right next to the one toilet in the house isn't ideal for times when I'm working and we have company over.


Dream house and city:

We dream of an open, modern farmhouse, on land but in the city.  Surprisingly, finding an acre or more of land within city limits is harder than you might think...


Home Tour / Zach + Rhain Brown

I first met Zach and Rhain when they lived in Atlanta. A few years ago they moved up to Nashville into a bungalow full of original details and character. They made it into a space that reflects who they are and did it up right for Christmas. 

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When it's nice outside, you can find us on our front porch pretty much every afternoon/evening when we're at home.

All of the doors are original. The house was built in 1920, so the doors are so substantial and the hardware is just so cool!

The patterned chair was my Granny's, and my Grandpa made the ottoman to match. We recovered the set & now it fits perfectly in our house.

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love how warm & cozy decorations make our house.

The dining room set (table & chairs, buffet, china cabinet, and sideboard) was my great-great grandmothers. It was likely built in the late 1800's, which is the reason it's lasted all of these years. 

Finding window treatments that didn't completely cover up the beautiful original windows & trim was a little difficult, so my mom and I made these for the dining room.

We got to be a part of the renovation process when we bought our house. We were able to choose paint colors, bathroom flooring & tiling, lighting, and a handful of other details. Our chandelier & these pendants are from Rejuvenation.

You can see the detail in the woodwork of the dining room chairs here. The lamps atop the buffet were made by my Grandpa in the early '60's. They're made of walnut, and they are perfect!

This is another part of the the dining room set. Its original use was a china cabinet, but we use it as a bookshelf. The candlestick holder was my Granny's, and it's solid brass. She picked it up in Turkey while my Grandpa was stationed there. 

In the living room and dining room, we have several Vanity Fair prints hanging. My mom has always been a collector of these prints, and over the years, she's gifted a handful to us! That's an elk antler that my sister's neighbor was so kind to give me!

We spend a lot of time in the kitchen when friends are over. We both are drawn to kitchens in most houses. I cook a lot, so I love that it's open and cozy at the same time.

Before renovation started, this brick wall was enclosed behind walls, which is so SAD! We were both so excited when the builder told us about it, and were obviously in LOVE with it the first time we saw it in person.

The trunk belonged to my grandma, Mom-Mom. It was in her bedroom, full of afghans and blankets. Every time I open it, the smell takes me back to being a kid at her house.

These chairs were made by my Grandpa, Pepaw, in the early 1960's. We had them recovered, and I love them! I picked the mirror out of my parent's neighbor's trash (with their permission, of course). My mom and I made the window treatments.

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Zach + Rhain Brown



We own and run The Majestic Photobooth Co. We design and manufacture classic-style photobooths for rental and sale. We also create customized photo activations for corporate and marketing events.  Zach is in charge of operations and marketing aspects of the business. Rhain works with Zach on marketing, but primarily handles day-to-day business to keep the company running - bookkeeping, compliance, customer service, and many more behind the scenes tasks. Zach also plays guitar for the band A Thousand horses. 



ZB + RB / Lawrenceville, Georgia


Current Town:



Favorite Book:

RB / Harry Potter

ZB / A Farewell to Arms


Favorite Movie:

RB / The Princess Bride & classic Christmas movies

ZB / Lord of the Rings


Favorite Band:

RB / Jeff Buckley & The Beatles

ZB / Kings of Leon


Favorite TV Show:


ZB / The Apprentice


Favorite Restaurant:

RB / DeSano Pizza Bakery

ZB / Trader Vic's


Favorite place you have traveled to:

We took a trip to Spain last year for our 5th anniversary. Neither of us had ever been to Europe, so it was really exciting! We saw so much beautiful & interesting architecture, drank a ton of Spanish wine, and were almost always confused by the language. Granada & Seville were my favorite cities that we visited.


Next destination on your list to travel to:

I really would like to take a 2 month trip to Europe...a staycation, where we basically just relocate our life for a couple of months. We'd rent an apartment in a "homebase" for the entire time, so that we could work, cook, and carry on with our normal day-to-day routines. We would take day trips and weekend trips to explore other cities! Maybe 2014 will be the year for this!


What you like about your city:

Nashville is such an exciting place to be right now! It's growing so much, and it's cool to be a part of that. We love our neighborhood (Lockeland Springs) in East Nashville for all the unique craftsman and Victorian houses and for the walkability to lots of great bars and restaurants. Not to mention, we can go Honky-Tonkin' downtown anytime we want!


Reason for moving into current home:

Location was a big deal for us when we were house hunting, and our house is in the perfect location for us. The first time we saw the house, we both fell in LOVE with all of the original dark wood trim, doors and windows inside the house. The floors are original pine, and they're also so beautiful! It really was/is the perfect house for us!  


Design origins:

We inherited so many beautiful pieces of furniture, so most of our decor is kind of inspired from those pieces. We love rich, warm, inviting spaces, so this has shaped a lot of our design decisions. Also, we both tend to prefer a mostly masculine aesthetic, which is reflected throughout our house. Anddd, Dumbledore's office has always been an inspiration to us. (no joke!)


Favorite or most meaningful piece in your home:

RB / This is so hard! There are so many pieces that I love! I think I'd have to say the mid-century modern lamps on our buffet and the two chairs in our office. My grandfather, Peepaw, made all these pieces in an Air Force base wood shop, while he was stationed in Colorado in the early 60's. They're made of cedar, and they craftsmanship is just beautiful. Unfortunately, he passed away before I was born, so I never got the chance to meet him. It's special to me to have these beautiful works of art that he created with his own two hands...in my own home! I also think about my then 13-year old dad, bouncing around, using this stuff, and it brings a smile to my face!

ZB / I love the mid-century modern chairs that were built by Rhain's grandfather. We reupholstered them and they're perfect for sipping a Manhattan and listening to some music.


Biggest challenges with your space:

Not particularly. It's a pretty practical and straight-forward space!

Dream house and city:

An old castle that's been remodeled to have all the proper amenities...and that has a library. So...basically, what I'm saying...Hogwarts is our dream house. ;)


Playlist / Train Through Norway

This summer a friend and I went to Oslo. Even though I only spent a few days there it's one of my favorite places in the world. Theres something a little mysterious about the place and the scenery is stunning. We took the train from the village we were staying at into Oslo and the ride into town was so peaceful. You would pass the greenest fields and then go through hills and then pass by the fjords and fishing villages. It reminded me a lot of the pacific northwest. This playlist is what I wish was playing as I rode that train. 

Stuff I Like / Deyrolle

Deyrolle is one of the most intriguing shops I have been in. I went to Paris for the first time last year with my buddy Patrick and this was one of the first places he took me. I'm not sure if it's the shop itself or if it's Paris but there is something special about this place. The shop was opened in 1831 and since 1881 has been at the same address; 46 Rue du Bac. They specialize in taxidermy and natural history publications and everything they print and make is beautiful. On the bottom floor they have loads of home goods and then when you go upstairs its like you entered into a safe Jumanji. You can buy anything in there from a beetle to a giraffe. I feel like in Paris there is a deeper appreciation for art and food and conversation and books and all the things we tend to rush and pass over. That appreciation almost spills over into this shop. You can see and feel the appreciation for the craft of taxidermy and the history of the company. (excuse the pictures, they are all with my iphone and taken on the sly since they dont allow pictures there)

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Home Tour / Kate Davison + Jesse Hayes

Credit where credit is due. There would be no Brick+Mortar without Kate Davison. When Kate lived in Atlanta she had a space at a local antique shop and she wanted out and a couple of friends and I wanted to try it out so she let us take over. Fast forward a year and somehow Brick+Mortar is still going and Kate is on the blog. Kate and Jesse live in a flat in The Mission and have a great mix of antiques, family heirlooms, and mid century pieces. And it all works really well together. All photos were taken by Colin Price

You enter into the house through the living room, so we needed it to be inviting, as well as a well-organized space for foot traffic. The custom sectional sofa was a perfect fit and serves as a guest bed when needed. 

Jesse had the brilliant idea to keep a white theme with the mantle in the living room. It was a little too proper for our taste, so we tried to pare it down and keep it simple. It’s a collection in the process, but includes a gifted Jonathan Adler piece, a plaster cast of an old Clorox bottle and a bust of Napoleon Bonaparte. 

The print on the wall is a Kime Buzzelli drawing, an artist from Los Angeles. 

The vintage bookshelf was a thrift store find. The shelves hold Jesse’s collection of design books and his record player, as well as Kate’s history and English books (including a Bickford-Smith copy of Jane Eyre). The Jonathan Adler salt and pepper shakers were a Christmas gift from Jesse to Kate. 

The corner gallery wall in the living room incorporates pieces of both Jesse and Kate’s. The Castro Theatre print is from a local artist’s collaboration, Lab Partners. The portrait was hand drawn by artist, Andrei Bouzikov. The Napoleon print and the hand- lettered French perfume box were both gifts from Kate’s siblings. 

The dining table was a craigslist purchase and we painted the lower edge of the table with a band of white to break up the heaviness of the piece. We really enjoy the mix-matched chairs that we have collected. Jesse’s great grandfather painted the dog portrait that was placed in the dining room. 

You can see the layout of the flat in this picture. Each room is connected to the next, straight into the bedroom, which is accessed through the kitchen. 

Oh the kitchen! We (mainly Jesse) spend a fair amount of time here making drinks, cooking dinner or hand washing dishes, as we don’t have a dishwasher. The floor runner was a purchase from Crate and Barrel and the knives on the wall were a product of several trips to swap meets and antique fairs. 

This ledge serves as a mini coffee bar for us in the morning. The light fixture was crafted by Jesse using various Edison bulbs. 

One of Kate’s favorite things about the kitchen is the open shelving. We have collected so many jars and bottles to store food and supplies in. The vintage decanters were a Christmas gift to Jesse from Kate. 

The cutting board in the shape of the state of Georgia was a housewarming gift from Kate’s SFBFF. 

We decided to let the original wainscoting serve as our headboard in the bedroom. The “handsome men” above the bed were an Etsy purchase and the brass lamp was Kate’s great grandfather’s. The hardware on the nightstand is from Anthropologie. The flour sack was an estate sale find, lovingly made into a pillow by Kate’s sister. 

The dinosaur bookends were a handmade Christmas gift from Kate’s sister, a prized possession for sure. 

The chest was handmade in Argentina and was given to Kate by a man that was hauling it out to the trash back in Georgia. 

The original soapstone sink and the six foot long wooden dowels in the bathroom was one of the many selling points of the apartment. 

The claw foot tub and the rainfall shower head are truly a favorite. We decided to just use clear shower curtains as to not block the wonderful light that the bathroom gets during the day. 


Our garden space is a rarity in San Francisco. We have really enjoyed the extension of the apartment and it makes you feel like you are a world away from our busy little city. 



Kate Davison + Jesse Hayes



KLD / Executive assistant

JJH / Graphic designer



KLD / Douglasville, GA

JJH / Fullerton, CA


Current Town:

San Francisco


Favorite Book:

KLD / Jane Eyre

JJH / Fahrenheit 451


Favorite Movie:

KLD / Gone With The Wind

JJH / North By Northwest


Favorite Band:

KLD / Radiohead

JJH / Jawbreaker


Favorite TV Show:

KLD / Downton Abbey

JJH / Seinfeld


Favorite Restaurant:

KLD / Subway (yep, no shame)

JJH / L'Ardoise SF


Favorite place you have traveled to:

We love to camp, so most of our trips revolve around a campfire. We have visited Big Sur, Yosemite and Angel Island, a small island in the San Francisco bay that is only accessible by ferry… but Yosemite is the most awe inspiring and we keep planning trips there, so I suppose that would be our favorite. 


Next destination on your list to travel to:

KLD / I would travel nonstop if I could, but if I had to make a short list Machu Picchu would be my first choice, followed by an extensive list of places including France, Iceland and Seychelles.

JJH / London and Japan.


What you like about your city:

We love the diversity, the weather and being in such close proximity to so many beautiful places. One of our new favorite things to do on the weekend is take the motorcycle down the coast on Highway 1.


Reason for moving into current home:

For anyone that doesn't know, finding an apartment in San Francisco can be a competitive nightmare. Crazy rent prices, countless applications, apartment viewings with lines out of the door and the high chance of someone offering more rent in cash than the listing price just to score the space. We viewed the apartment just out of curiosity because it was literally around the corner from my last place. We were both smitten the minute we walked in. Fifteen minutes after meeting the landlords, they said we would be perfect and asked when we could move in, which is totally unheard of in this city. And of course we couldn't ask for a more perfect apartment. The light is perfect. The location is perfect. And the original details are so amazing. 


Design origins:

Jesse and I have similar tastes overall, although he tends to like the midcentury modern feel a little more than I do; however, our combined collections, as well as the pieces we have purchased together are a perfect mix. Southern girl. West coast boy. 


Favorite or most meaningful piece in your home:

KLD / I moved to SF from Atlanta almost two years ago and I pretty much brought everything super important with me, besides my dogs and my sister. I have my great grandmother's trunks, my grandmother's library table and my mother's wardrobe, just to name a few. I wanted to surround myself with familiar treasures, as this was going to be my home away from home. This approach has totally helped with my transition, so whenever I get a little homesick, all I have to do is look around me. 

JJH / It was really important that I had a creative work space in our new home. I wanted a place where I could work on my freelance design work, as well as my music. One of my favorite pieces in the house is my desk, which was made by a friend here in SF www.jeremiahcollection.com. I collect vintage black and white photos and we have a pinboard covered in photos behind my monitor. It's my favorite corner of the house. 


Biggest challenges with your space:

We have only lived here for two months, so we haven't quite tackled all of the challenges yet, but we are enjoying the many projects at hand. One issue that continues to vex us is that the bedroom shares a wall with the kitchen and has exposed gas and water pipes. Their placement makes having any furniture on that wall pretty much impossible. 


Dream house and city:

Easy. An english country house with loads of natural light please.


Home Tour / Sam + Lesley Graham

I first met Lesley through her sister and knew of the Graham's home only through photos. They were generous enough to let us come in and photograph their home and we wanted to focus on pieces that had history and were important to them. They have some amazing family heirlooms and Sam creates hand crafted leather goods so we focused on those things. Although their home is really well designed, I think the thing that makes their home so peaceful and comfortable is that they surround themselves with things that matter and not just things that look good. It helps that all the things that matter to them also look good though. 

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This trunk is a WW2 relic. Sam's Dad's belongings were shipped in it. It withstood a good bit of water damage after their home was hit by Katrina but I love its history. We now keep lots of blankets in there.

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We just recently painted this wall black to make the TV less obvious. That dresser was an estate sale find and a gift for Mother's day. I love its stylish good looks and that it holds tons of DVDs and our cable box and DVD player.

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The ceramic hardware is original and one of the reasons I really wanted it. 

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We just finished this gallery wall. It's a collection of mirrors, antlers, and some new pieces by Sugarboo Designs, a local company. It's one of my favorite walls in the house.

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Our china cabinet was built by my Great Grandfather and Grandfather. It's made of walnut and SUPER heavy. It is so precious to me and holds just about everything. I'm so thankful that my family is creative and has given us some pretty amazing heirlooms.

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These panoramic photos were of Sam's Dad's fleet in WW2. People are always shocked to find out that Sam's Dad could have fought in that war and it's a wonderful reminder to us as we leave the house of the men and women fighting for our freedom.

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Sam started making leather goods right around the time that Matilda (our oldest daughter) was born. Magnolia Leather Works specializes in rugged leather goods and if it were up to Sam, I'm pretty sure he would only make retro cowboy-style holsters. He can make just about anything, it's really amazing.

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This is a collection of tools and holsters that Sam has made. Each piece is really a work of art.

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The girls' bathroom was something I started dreaming up as soon as we started our renovation. We added the entire upstairs and spent most of our budget there. My wonderful grandfather helped us build this sink table and the floor came about after tile was no longer an option. If I was going to do vinyl, I wanted it to be obvious and kind of wild. People love these birch floors. I wanted it to be a bathroom that would work in their teen years too.

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Sam made this awesome barn door gate for our stairs to keep our baby from harm, it also doubles for hiding laundry that gets left on the stairs all week. When working with the architect I really fought to have stairs at the entrance (we had a few options). I'm glad I went with my gut because I love how pretty they turned out.

This photo was shot by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn for HGTV.

This photo was shot by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn for HGTV.


Sam and Lesley Graham



SG  / Marketing

LG / Blogger



SG  / Pascagoula, MS

LG  / Marietta, GA


Current town

SG+LG/ Marietta, GA


Favorite book

SG  / The Forever War

LG  / Celebration of Discipline


Favorite movie

SG  / Star Wars

LG  / Clueless


Favorite TV show

SG  / Walking Dead

LG  / Currently Scandal


Favorite restaurant

SG  / Williamson Bros BBQ

LG  / Sun in My Belly


Favorite place you have traveled to:

SG  / Mexico / Scotland

LG  / Edinburgh/Costa Rica


Next destination on your list to travel to:

SG  / New Zealand

LG  / Tulum + Sweden + Amsterdam + New Zealand (can't pick just one!)


What you like about your city:

We love the historic charm + small town feel that's not far from the city. We also love the square and being able to walk to shops and restaurants or to grab coffee. Our neighborhood is tight knit and old-fashioned and we love that.


Reason for moving into current home:

We feel like this house chose us. When Lesley was almost 9 months pregnant we took a tour of the house, which her Dad was originally going to flip and fell in love with it. The kitchen windows sealed the deal. We started renovating a month later and the rest is history!


Design origins:

Our house was built in 1910 on a former pecan farm. We wanted this sort of modern farmhouse feel and that set the tone for most of the design decisions.


Favorite or most meaningful piece in your home:

SG  / My mom made a bunch of quilts...actually she started a bunch of quilts, but passed away before she could finish them.  One of her best friends from college finished the quilts for us.  They're my favorite things in the house.

LG  / I would say it's a toss between the black and white needlepoint Sam's Mom made and the china cabinet built by my Grandfather and Great-Grandfather.


Biggest challenges with your space:

Luckily we've handled most of the main challenges but now I think the biggest challenge is tackling the mini projects with two little ones. :)


Dream house and city:

I don't know that Sam and I would agree here. He would say "somewhere with a lot of land" and I would love to live in Big Sur. We'd probably agree on Charleston or Savannah. We like the south.


Featured Item / Vitascope Projector

About six months ago I went to an estate sale and was fortunate enough to meet Jamie and Maurice. They were planning a move to be with their kids and had an estate sale to clear out their belongings for the move. When I met Maurice we talked for about an hour and I could have spent all day with him. He worked for Howard Hughes for decades and he was the first person to put movies on airplanes. His career gave him a passion for film and he accumulated a basement full of cameras and projectors. When I first went down to his basement it was beautiful and almost shocking. Shelves and shelves of cameras and projectors in pristine condition. All documented and never used. He knew everything about every piece. He took me around the basement and talked to me about every piece I asked about. He remembered where he got every one of them and knew all the specs for each one. That day I bought about ten pieces and then came back when the sale ended and bought the rest of his collection which was about three hundred pieces. I sold most of them but have about twenty left after I kept some for myself. This is one of the cooler pieces. It's a Vitascope projector which was one of the earliest film projectors and it still has the original cloth wrapped cord. For purchase in the shop now by clicking here

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Home Tour / Billy Jack + Sara

I first met the Brawners over Instagram months ago but was finally able to meet them in person a couple weeks ago when they came to Atlanta. They are some of the best folks you could meet and they are the kind of people you feel like you've known for years when all you know about each other is through social media. They have a great apartment in Austin and have made it into a reflection of who they are.

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Billy Jack and Sara Brawner



BJB / Caretaker/Photographer/Designer/Barista

SB / Nanny/Event Planner



BJB / Martin's Mill, Texas

SB / Wimberley, Texas.


Current town

BJB+SB/ Austin, Texas


Favorite book

BJB / Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl by N.D. Wilson

SB / The Fruit Of Her Hands by Nancy Wilson


Favorite movie

BJB / Into The Wild

SB / Currently, The Warrior


Favorite band

BJB / James Vincent McMorrow + Andrew Peterson

SB / Iron & Wine


Favorite TV show

BJB / The Office

SB / The Office


Favorite restaurant

BJB / Currently, Fabi + Rosi

SB / Elizabeth St. Cafe


Favorite place you have traveled to:

BJB / Morocco

SB / England

Together / Oregon Coast


Next destination on your list to travel to:

BJB / Argentina

SB / Iceland


What you like about your city:

Austin is nice. We really like Barton Springs and the breakfast tacos. We have an incredible group of friends here, and being close in proximity to family has been nice as well. This is actually Sara's first time to live in a city, so she's really enjoying that.


Reason for moving into current home:

We organize community events (happy hours, holiday parties, etc.) for our building and, in return,  get discounted rent. Basically, we plan parties with someone else's money and get to live in a place that we otherwise could never afford. We chose our specific unit for its high ceilings, windows, and spare bedroom.


Design origins:

My family is pretty creative. My mom and sisters put quite a bit of thought and effort into their homes. We both really enjoy a simple and clean aesthetic. We like to host folks. We like for things to make sense, to be practical. We like nature, so our home is kinda woodsy. Is Simple Woodsy a style?


Favorite or most meaningful piece in your home:

BJB / It's tough. I feel like quite a bit of our stuff has a lot of my heart and soul in it (as goofy as that sounds). I'd say the mountain-scene painting that we found at a thrift store in Portland. I like it because it's beautiful and reminds me of a trip that was also beautiful.  That trip was a game-changer of sorts for our life and marriage. It was also somewhat challenging to fly home with it.

SB / A three-way tie: The dining table because BJ built it and it's so fun to eat around it with friends.The aspen stumps because we got them in Denver (where we met) and because we used them in our wedding, and now they serve as such practical pieces in our home. The side-table-stump by our couch. BJ found the stump in a riverbed in Tulsa, put it in a freezer for three months to kill all the junk, and attached some legs to it. It's awesome


Biggest challenges with your space:

It's a recently built apartment building, so there are challenges regarding that. Ugly light fixtures. Ugly built-ins. Ugly carpet in the bedrooms. As well as a lack of freedom to do all that we would like to do with the space if it was truly our own.


Dream house and city:

We talk a lot about this. Currently we would love to live in the country. We'd like a good piece of land and a modest house: big kitchen, big dining area, big living area, porch(es), small room for us, 2 big rooms for our boys and girls to share, and a guest room. (If you want me to be more specific, then I can send you the sketches of our dream home and you can picture it in the Texas Hill Country, East Texas, New Mexico, North Carolina, or Oregon.)


Playlist / Dancing With The Huxtables

So this playlist was inspired by that scene in The Cosby Show when the family gets together to lip sync and dance to "Night Time Is The Right Time" by Ray Charles. It got me thinking what it would be like to be one of the Huxtables. I love my family and would never want another one, but hypothetically, if I were to be born into another family I would absolutely want it to be the Huxtables. If I were a Huxtable I would learn life lessons everyday and go to school and have my friends over and eat meals with my family. And we would dance. A lot. I'm a horrible dancer but I will dance at every wedding or party or Bar Mitzfah or prom that you invite me to, so this hypothetical life with the Huxtables sounds amazing. 


This playlist is for all those moments when I am a Huxtable and I'm dancing with my family. 


Hallelujah I Love Her So - Ray Charles

Night Time Is The Right Time - Ray Charles

ABC - Jackson 5

You Cant Hurry Love - The Supremes

Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye

I Want You Back - Jackson 5

Heat Wave - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas

I've Got A Woman - Ray Charles

Little Bitty Pretty One - Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers

Mess Around - Ray Charles

Respect - Aretha Franklin

Superstition - Stevie Wonder

Do You Love Me - The Contours 

Got To Give It Up - Marvin Gaye

Think - Aretha Franklin

Stuff I Like / Take Away Shows

If you know anything about me, you would know that Sigur Ros is one of my favorite bands, and I could listen to them pretty much anytime of the day. When I saw the Take Away Show they did I loved them even more. And I loved Take Away Shows even more. I think with that show, I realized the genius of the idea of Take Away Shows.


The idea is to take a band out of their normal performance element and have them play a song. While there is something to be said about the acoustics of playing within a venue, I think there is also something to be said about the experience of music. And for me, sometimes the experience trumps the technicalities and I think this applies to all art forms.


I first figured that out when I saw The Annunciation by Henry Tanner. I had heard about it for years from my dad (Tanner is his favorite), and had seen it for years as a print in my parents home but when I saw it in person at the Philadelphia Museum of Art it made sense. There was an emotional response to seeing it in it's home and the real colors and the bumps of the paint. I didn't know anything about brushstrokes, or color choices, or anything like that but I got it. More so than I ever did seeing the print in my parents home. 


Appreciating art based on emotion and not technique is ok, because I think art in any form can be appreciated largely on emotion. That emotional response does come, in part, to good technique, but that emotional response is part of the beauty of art. Techniques are important, dont get me wrong, but I think there is another side to appreciating art and I think that side comes across with Take Away Shows. It takes music out of it's normal context and let's you experience it in a different setting.


When I saw Sigur Ros play that Take Away Show somewhere underground in Paris it made sense. The acoustics probably would have been better if they played in a symphony hall somewhere but there is something about taking a musician out of their normal context that lets you experience music in a different way and helps you appreciate it in a different way. There is something a little eerie and moody about being underground in Paris and to put Sigur Ros down there to play a song is perfect.