Christmas At Callanwolde

If you are counting there are nine more hectic days until Christmas. If that’s not pressure enough add Christmas dinner and shopping for the entire family into a very short window. Yes, I am that person. The last minute shopper (the night before Christmas kind) and if possible I will order a complete dinner from a local organic market, throw a little flour on my face for visual effect, and once again I will look like the Christmas version of “Wonder Woman.” Who wants to shop when there are simply too many holiday activities to fill up my calender? It’s my favourite time of the year, and even if I have the family entourage in tow I’m going to see all the holiday homes which includes Callanwolde in the Druid Hills area of Atlanta. I believe in making the most of this “wonderful time of year.”

I’m obsessed with visiting holiday home tours, (which is a very good thing since I’m a design blogger). I want to see how the other half lives (and decorates), in this case the former home of the Charles Candler, son of Asa Candler-the inventor of Coca Cola. If you live in Atlanta then you have undoubtedly heard of the Candler family, if not rubbed elbows with a distant relative. This 1920’s mansion is resplendent in walnut paneling, stained glass windows, intricate mouldings and fireplace reliefs. It’s design nirvana.

When I lived “Intown,” I was a frequent visitor to  this 27,000 square foot mansion, and occasionally took art classes there. Any excuse to get inside (as if I need a reason) I walked over the sculptured lawns through the formal gardens and nature trails, and like most daydreamed that one day I would be the lucky inhabitant. Unfortunately, I’m just going to have to settle on infrequent visits. So yesterday, the family and I traveled to see Christmas at Callanwolde. The tour didn’t disappoint with rooms resplendent in holiday finery created by some very talented interior designers who graciously allowed me to take pictures. In an ideal world I would have the mansion all to myself, but…I’m not that famous yet. I was still able to get just enough Christmas design goodness on film to share…so come on in…



 The Music Room interior was designed by Lynne Coker from Birmingham. She scoured the U.S. for just the right pieces…and I loved the shades of deep corals in rich fabrics. Photo-Vicki Gladle Bolick


Designer/ Lynne Coker-Photo/ Vicki Gladle Bolick

The piano was draped in holiday style…


 Designer/ Lynne Coker-Photo/Vicki Gladle Bolick

All that glitters is gold…


 Designer/ Lynne Coker

The mouldings are original to the mansion, as is the wall covering. I wasn’t able to capture the entire room because of crowds, but it was breath-taking.


 Designer/Lynne Coker-Photo/Vicki Gladle Bolick

Topiaries and richly decorated presents in luxurious fabrics were the perfect backdrop in this century old mansion…


 Designer/Ann Wisnewski-Photo/Vicki Gladle Bolick

Mohair pillows in rich tones….


 Designer/Ann Wisnewski-Photo/Vicki Gladle Bolick

A detail from the fireplace relief…of course what fireplace wouldn’t be complete without a wing-back chair and a luxurious faux fur throw.


 Designer/ Ann Wisnewski-Photo/Vicki Gladle Bolick

Rich browns & teals were the perfect hues for this holiday room…


 Designer/Ann Wisnewski- Photo/Vicki Gladle Bolick

A closer look at the original fireplace relief…


 Designer/ Nate Nardi-Photo/Vicki Gladle Bolick

“Tea time” underneath a canopy of fabric and twinkle lights…


 Designer/ Robin LaMonte-Photo/Vicki Gladle Bolick

Cobalt blues, greys, creams against the walnut paneling. Stunning.


Designer/Robin LaMonte-Photo/ Vicki Gladle Bolick

The chairs were the perfect mix of modern fabrics with old world lines…


 Designer/ Robin LaMonte-Photo/ Vicki Gladle Bolick

A closer look at my favorite chairs. I loved the juxtaposition of new against old.


Designer/Robin LaMonte-Photo/ Vicki Gladle Bolick

A quiet corner in the library…


Designer/Robin LaMonte-Photo/Vicki Gladle Bolick

A quiet reading nook…


Photo/ Vicki Gladle Bolick

An upstairs room…decorated with just the words “Believe.” And I do.

I hope you enjoyed this holiday tour, and I want to give a huge round of applause to the Designers who did such an incredible job transforming Callanwolde into a such a stunning home over the holidays. It would have made the Candlers proud.

As always, don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Instagam, Facebook, Twitter & Google+ for more inspiration and design happenings….

Until next time…


An Ace Up My Sleeve :: Ludovica & Roberto Palomba

I’m going to let you in on a little secret; I love modern design. Unfortunately, I have found myself conforming to societal pressures of liking certain genres of design that leave me feeling as if I have sold out. As a former designer and someone who in a past life traveled in rarefied circles, I have learned to appreciate and savor most styles of design. Occasionally, I find myself sitting in a quiet corner of our house immersing myself in books and images of design that inspires me.

A couple whose work simply challenges my imagination is that of legendary Architects & Designers Ludovica & Roberto Palomba. They are people I follow on a daily basis, and when they followed me on Instagram one day (out of the blue), it was simply one of the greatest days of my humble existence. They are cultured, talented intellectuals who transform objects and interiors into breath-taking works of art. Whether they are planning architectural or design exhibits across the globe or lending art direction to such brands as Bosa, Flaminia or Iris & Schiffini they have a combined talent which spans across global design. They are architects, designers and modern day visionaries. Ludovica & Roberto are also “The Ace Up My Sleeve,” today. Even if you aren’t a fan of modern design, you will soon agree that there is great beauty in their designs and artistic set creations. It seemed almost disrespectful to write with my usual dry humour, so I left out the project and home life updates; I simply couldn’t mention the mundane in the same breath as these incredible talents. They work and live in Milan, and reside in the 17th-century oil mill in Salento, which is a minimalist’s dream. Soaring ceilings and stark white walls provide a dramatic backdrop to sleek furnishings and their unique brand of style.

I hope you take the time to simply savor these images, and appreciate the incredible designs of this powerhouse couple…


 Photo/ Francesco Bolis

The home of the Palomba’s…


 Photo/ Franceso Bolis

 Modern design highlights the 17th century architecture in the Palomba’s residence.


 Photos/ Franceso Bolis

The incredible architecture and furnishings blend together seamlessly.


via @palombaserafina

A restaurant design….


Photo @palombaserafina

Roberto Palomba for Swan, design by Palomba Serafina.


 Photo @palombaserafina

The “Bruce” sofa designed by Ludovica.


Photo @palombaserafina

This street design is by Ludovica and the outdoor furniture by Roberto Palomba for Driade. I simply love the juxtaposition of the centuries old building and the modern design of the furnishings.


via @palombaserafina

Design by Lud0vica Palomba for Ceramica S’Antagostino…

I hope you enjoyed just a taste of the incredible world of the Palomba’s and for more of their daily life and creations you can follow them on Instagram @palombaserafina.

As always,


Operation :: Kohler Master Bathroom

Next week we begin the total gut of our soon to be utterly fabulous Kohler master bathroom. Our contractor called yesterday and gave me a hard date (next Thursday). So now I’m in panic mode, once the tile is installed there is no time for second guesses, or thirds. We have the tile selection picked out, well sort of. That was until Mr. B. decided that he may not want to go with my idea of a bathroom encased in Carrera. Say what? He’s actually interfering with my dream bath selections? Let’s face it men are in and out of bathrooms unless you are John Stamos, who looks like he spends a lot of quality time in front of the mirror perfecting his pouf. Not so much for Mr. B. for reasons I won’t go into on this post. So it was back to the tile showroom (this morning), I’ll budge on the flooring, but I absolutely will not on the walls and counter-top surfaces, for one thing Kohler supplied us with a positively gorgeous vanity top. Then combine that with the fact that I have dreamed of Carrera subway tile since I took my first baby steps, and you can understand my frustration. In all honesty I’m more concerned with the shower niche in the master bathroom than making any last minute material changes. Yes, I am agonizing over every detail, because unless we move out of state I’m going to be at Casa B. for quite a few more years. So I want it to be a space that I am going to enjoy spending a lot of quality time in…and I can’t wait.

I humoured Mr. B. by making the last and final trip to the tile showroom and with our time constraints I have a feeling that I am going to win this design battle. As most designers know there is a lot you can do with different size tile in the same material, in our case Carrera. So with Herringbone, 12″x24’s,” and subway, the latter of which is going to be an “offset joint” pattern giving the most timeless look, and Herringbone tile on the floor and in the shower niche (I think), I am back to making another flooring decision. In this case, I may have to keep him happy because I want a boat next year. Fair trade off wouldn’t you say? So these are some of the flooring options I’m willing to consider to make my boating dreams a reality in 2015. P.S. As of this moment I have made a decision for the master bathroom floor tile, it was between the two below and I went with honed limestone. Also, stay tuned because next Friday, I’ll give you sneak peek into our progress…


Yes, I found the “one,” it was a difficult choice but instead of the herringbone Carrera, I decided on the limestone…the showroom lighting was not conducive to photos…


via homedesignideas9.jpg

When I was considering Carrera this was one of my favorites, I was obsessed with the hexagonal tile…



Yes, this was almost a reality  including the tub deck encased in Carrera…


Designer/ Steven Gambrel

If I had an unlimited budget, I would have flown in Mr. Gambrel on a private jet and given him free reign on the “Master-bath Project”…



After seeing the inspiration photos, I’m having second thoughts about the limestone…


Finally, having a functional niche will be a dream come true. Top image-via Lisa Ferguson, Lower image-via

Next week I’ll be in Kohler, Wisconsin for their Bloggers Conference, and I’ll be reporting back on all the latest and greatest in product design from Kohler.

As always don’t forget to follow us on social media for more design inspiration…

Until then.