July 2008


Most people who live on the Gulf Coast will recognize the name “Hopkins’ House”. It was a North Hill restaurant and former boarding house, founded in 1949 by Arkie ” Ma” Hopkins that served Southern cuisine to patrons seated at large communal tables. The fried chicken served on Sundays was the best in town. It even made the prestigious pages of Gourmet Magazine.

Over the years, Hopkins’ House was frequented by a number of celebritiy diners, including singers Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and Miss America 1965 Vonda Kay Vandyke, who made repeated visits with her husband. Old Hopkins\' House

After the 1986 death of Ma Hopkins, her son Ed took over the business. Losing money and balancing the duties of his law practice, he decided to close the restaurant in February 2004. In July of 2005, new owners bought the run down former restaurant and commenced turning it back into a single family home. This is when we came into the picture. Over the next year, we helped the dedicated homeowners redesign and rebuild the previous restaurant kitchen into a modern kitchen that still retained the charm of the original architecture of the home. I am excited to show off the pictures!!

Original brick fireplace in center of room. We utilized this to configure a butlers pantry on one side.

Original brick fireplace in center of room. We utilized this to configure a butlers pantry on one side.

We used same brick chimney and made a butlers pantry on one side with double sided glass doors

We used same brick chimney and made a butlers pantry on one side with double sided glass doors

Overview of kitchen

Overview of kitchen

Breakfast bar with original sign

Breakfast bar with original sign

Butlers side of brick area

Butlers side of brick area

Useful storage at end of island

Useful storage at end of island

Modern convienences fit right into new design

Modern convienences fit right into new design

I have to admit…not my favorite design idea for a bath but in recent months there has been occassions where we really needed the targeted storage that a medicine cabinet provides. Especially in spatially challenged baths. It is important to get a good one. I like Robern for several reasons. There are many styles to choose from, they have the new “cold” storage varieties, and there are frames you can by from other manufacturers that work really well with Robern. I have posted a pix of inside and outside of one we recently used. The frame is stationary and the glass opens. The inside back is mirrored as well as the inside of door. Also, take a look at this extra, extra small bathroom and see how the use of tile on all surfaces…yes i mean walls, ceilings and floors has given this bathroom closet an extra dose of flair.

Awesome lights highlight this very much used medicine cabinet

Tile on all surfaces is a clean contemporary look

The "before"

The "before"

Altmans new faucet line

These are cool, sleek and modern! It is not that easy to find really great contemporary faucets. These are some of the nicest I have seen in awhile.

Today is my birthday! Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a nut about my birthday. It generally starts at the beginning of the month and if you are lucky it ends sometime before the end of the month! No worries on forgetting it because I will remind you! Let the party begin!

I have a great (or so I think) idea about birthday gifts amongst good girl-friends.. tonight everyone laughed at me but I actually think it has merit…for a friends birthday…give a gift…but not a new gift..something that you already own..could be something you received and does not go with your decor…could be a piece of jewelry..could be a wonderful book..could be a sweet treat from your pantry…don’t worry that you are regifting…because you are! And we all have too much stuff anyway! What a great way to be “green”,recycle and even save a buck or two but more importantly…how much fun could the opening of the gifts be!! And, this would stimulate your creativity.. Maybe even some friends might pass around same gift over and again!  Let me know what you think. Can we give up that part of our ego that says you must buy a new gift for someone??

It is late and maybe need to reevaluate in morning if really a good idea or not…but something really appeals to me about it..and how much more meaningful?? Did I mention, we all have too much stuff anyway!!!!

I am going to visit all of my job sites today and relish in the excitement of ideas coming together and enjoy the beautiful spaces that my clients are going to call home very soon. I love what I do, even on the “bad” days and am so thankful for the fun and interesting projects I have underway at the moment!! If I am lucky, I will spend the afternoon with friends and the evening with family. I love birthdays!

The details matter. I love to find the “everyday” home fixture that either is sleeker than the norm or is useful in an unusual way. Ok, I love to challenge the status quo…I admit it. But here are a couple of electrical “gizmos” that you might find…well, kind of cool. I credit the Aspire outlets and switches to an electrician on one of my jobs that found this for my client. Whoo hoo! They look even better in person! Perhaps not for the traditional home but great for modern and  transitional design. Check it out!

Aspire switches and outlets

Here is a great idea…for those areas you must have electrical such as an island but do not want to cut into your wood cabinetry. It is a large diameter but worth it in right situation. Doug Mockett

And yet another idea to avoid all the cuts in a gorgeous backsplash….use plug mold outlet strips. There is a downside to this if you keep your small appliances plugged in but if you want to really emphasize the backsplash this will allow you to do it without any visible outlets. Switches will need to be planned as well so they are placed in another area.

Plugmold can also be used on islands to have a handy strip of electrical outlets without cutting into side panels. If you plan your overhang correctly, it will snuggle right up against it!

Plugmold

I also really like using CFL bulbs in recessed can fixtures. They last forever and you can now get them dimmable!

Earth Easy

20W R40 Dimmable Reflector Flood ALTO
Price: $22.95
This 20 watt, R-40 dimmable reflector flood is ideal for recessed and track lighting fixtures, indoors and outdoors. Light output is comparable to a 75-85 watt incandescent.
It will provide diffused, soft, white light, generate less heat than will an incandescent flood, and is suitable for use in wet locations (when used base up).


This jaclo rain head is incredible. I am dying to use it in someone’s bath.

Create a soothing symphony of color within the privacy of your own shower. JACLO’s new Dream Light Rain Canopy in rectangular, square, and round shapes, enables you to experience revitalizing color while fulfilling a daily ritual. The futuristic design of this lit Rain Canopy features LED lights, which illuminate the falling water. The lights can be programmed to turn on manually with the flip of a switch or they can start automatically whenever the shower is turned on. The light intensity is fixed. All Dream Lights feature a full rain spray and each canopy can be customized with fixed color combinations. Finally, you can enjoy the ultimate in chromatherapy by allowing white, blue, amber, red, green, or warm white light to wash away your daily stressors.

Dream Light Rain Canopies are available in three sizes:
Square 16″x16″
Round 16″ Diameter
Rectangle 16″x20″