The HGTV Urban Oasis 2014 :: Part 1

About a month ago I received an invitation from Scripps Networks to attend the Local media day for the HGTV Urban Oasis 2014 at the Mandarin Oriental in Atlanta. Of course, I RSVP’d and left it up to the gods that day whether or not I would make it out of the house. As luck would have it the forecast called for rain, hmm….galoshes or Tory Burch wedges? Well, those of you who guessed the wedges know me so well. After changing several times, I wondered should I go? I’m late anyway (surprised?), but then I would miss an opportunity to see the Urban Oasis without having to fight the crowds. So did I make it? Yes, my dominant design gene kicked into hyper-overdrive (as did my car) and off I went into the sunset storm clouds. It was so worth it, I came back laden with over a hundred usable images taken in just less than 30 minutes, and an overwhelming desire to re-do our home in merchandise from All-Modern ( and you’ll soon see why. Let me give you a little background on the “Oasis.” First of all it’s located in the luxurious Mandarin Oriental ( in Atlanta; the name alone evokes an era where bellman held open polished brass doors, and white gloves epitomized a high standard of service conducive to sumptuous living. The Mandarin caters to the enjoyment of comfort and pleasure, and the lucky winner of this home will have 24-hour room service and concierge, and if that doesn’t entice you to win the sweepstakes then perhaps living in a $1.5 million 2000 square foot residence will. Located on the 37th level, you are greeted with sweeping vistas of Atlanta and impeccable design by Jack Thomasson, HGTV Urban Oasis Home Planner and Lindsay Pumpa, HGTV Urban Oasis Interior Designer.
Location, location, location. Right in the heart of Buckhead, but don’t let the address fool you because even though the Mandarin is nestled amongst Highrises, the location of the residence assures sweeping views of one of the greenest cities in the US. Fully furnished with pieces from AllModern the Urban Oasis combines the convenience of city living with modern and streamlined design. With privileged access to the residence with Jack and Lindsay as my tour guides, I was not only impressed with the views but the thoughtful design. From the completely hidden walk in pantry to the open concept floor plan this residence is perfectly equipped for entertaining at home or quiet evenings by the marble faced fireplace. This striking residence was designed to be a true “oasis” for the lucky winner. For contest details visit

Now for the pictures…P.S. We are now adding video so let me know if you like our newest addition to The Ace of Space Blog…since I visit a lot of show-homes, I thought it would be an easy way to give my readers a 360 view of the spaces. So enjoy…

For our video preview of HGTV Urban Oasis just hit play in the video above and enjoy the scenery!


Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

Marble mosaics create a focal point, and the waterfall island sets the tone for this streamlined and modern space.

UA-kitchen5-1Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

A close-up…


Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

Casual dining highlighted by a pair of hammered sconces…

UA-kitchen5 (2)Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

An open space concept with 11 foot ceilings, create a feeling of spaciousness in this sleek and sculptural space.


Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

Rich textures against a neutral backdrop…

UA-kitchen8-1Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

The stunning tufted rug grounds this space highlighting the neutral palette. The sculptural elements and furnishings are from AllModern.

UA-kitchen5 (2)Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

Impressive views from the windows and hallway…

UA-kitchen10-1Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

If I were sitting on the sofa, (which I was) this would be the perfect spot to enjoy a fire, a glass of wine and toast to my incredible luck at winning this striking space (yes, I’m a dreamer).

Until tommorrow…I’ll share the rest of this luxurious Oasis.

As always don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & starting this week YouTube. Do you want The Ace of Space delivered directly to your mailbox (you know you do) then subscribe today!

As always,



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The Ace Around Town – “Tastemaker Series” :: Julie Couch




It rained harder than I’ve ever heard it last night in Georgia. I fully expected Noah’s Ark to float past our house, and wouldn’t have been surprised if our street turned into a shipping channel. A flotilla of vessels floating past Casa B. In fact, it was one of those nights that I was thankful that I didn’t succumb to true rural southern architecture and buy a house with a tin roof. However, it was the perfect night to put the finishing touches on this post, and introduce you to our latest “Taste-maker”. Did you think we stopped? Not a chance. Now that school is back in session, my “Tastemakers” are back creating great design. Combine that with the fact that I just can’t decide who to feature (because there are so many fabulous designers in the South), and you have a stalled series. Making decisions is not one of my strong suits, in fact before I walk out the door most days I will have changed my shoes a few times (or my outfit). Don’t even get me started about our living room, which goes through a full transformation at least once a month if not a complete change in the floor plan (Mr. B. thought he walked into the wrong house last week).

Fabulous design doesn’t happen overnight, although some designers are so talented that they probably could. Such is the case with my latest “Taste-maker.” Since I spend countless hours immersed in design, I first became aware of Julie when I stumbled upon an interior that she designed which featured occasional chairs in the most heavenly shade of blue, the seat-back in a Quatrefoil design. The image ended up on my Pinterest board, and Julie’s name in a mental note of someone I should watch. So when I started the Series mid-summer, there was no hesitation to include her, if she would agree (we were honoured when she did). Once you look at the pictures, I can imagine collective nods of appreciation throughout the ranks of my followers. Although, she and I never met and only corresponded via e-mail, I can imagine she eludes southern charm combined an obvious eye for the chic and stylish and you have a winning combination. Her interiors may hint at the traditional, but the result shows a flair for creating that sometimes elusive timeless feel, one she tailors precisely to the client’s wants and needs. A true talent who was born with a discerning eye that often escapes many in the industry. It marks the difference between the designer and decorator. There is no mistaking the sheer raw talent in our sixth “Tastemaker,” Designer-Julie Couch. So without further ado, and with a drumroll-I would like to introduce you to the latest subject of “The Ace Around Town Series.”

logoforinterviewsWhat made you chose design as your profession? Was there a defining moment?

JC- Even in High School I knew design was what I wanted to do. I went around in circles, had a sales job after college, and then returned to design school in my mid-twenties when I realized I just couldn’t be happier doing anything else.

logoforinterviewsYou run a successful design firm in Nashville, what advice would you give to someone else in the business who is just starting out?

JC- Simply do good work! Take any design job that comes your way. My first design job was for my best friend’s mom and paid $20. per hour. I was thrilled to do it, and did my best. I knew that to be a great designer I needed experience. So my advice would be to swallow your pride and do the work!

logoforinterviewsWhat designer (s) inspire you?

JC- I LOVE Windsor Smith, Nate Berkus, and Bobby McAlpine. Each are absolutely genius in their own right.

logoforinterviews Favorite design style? 

JC- If I have to choose just one style, I would choose minimal, impactful pieces that include lots of white upholstery, natural wood, and iron accents. Meaningful fine art is a must for any home.

logoforinterviewsHow would you describe your design aesthetic?


logoforinterviews What is your favourite piece of furniture in your home?

JC- A custom campaign style bed I had made almost a decade ago for my master bedroom. I never tire of the classic and graceful lines.

logoforinterviewsWhere will we see you in five years?

JC- Hopefully I’ll have more sweet babies and a few signature lines including lighting, rugs, and furniture collections.

logoforinterviews What is a little known fact about you, that you can share with my readers?

JC- My favorite time of the day is before 7AM while I’m cooking scrambled eggs for my little boy-Gus. All while he sips coconut milk and dances to the radio…

logoforinterviewsThanks so much, Julie and quite frankly if you designed my home, I would be dancing every day too…

Now are you ready? Because here are some portfolio pictures that need no further words…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

The perfect blend of pattern and the lamp…well…I DIE. 


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

Serene, chic, Southern style…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

Simply divine dining…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

Put it in neutral…


Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

Cheerful & oh so chic…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

This is THE picture that I first saw and when I fell in love with Julie’s designs…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

I know the “devil is in the details,” and Julie does it so well…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

I had to include a photo of Julie’s favorite piece of furniture. This stunning custom bed with a John Robshaw block print.

If you are visiting or reside in Nashville, and want to see her curated collection of merchandise visit her new shop at 1205 Linden Ave., they are open 10-5 Wednesday-Saturday. More of Julie’s fabulous portfolio can be seen at and you can visit her blog at

This week we’ll be sharing our personal all access tour of HGTV’s Urban Oasis 2014 decorated by Lindsay Pumpa. As always don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook for more design inspiration.

Until tomorrow,



 P.S. Pardon our dust as our blog is under construction. Some of our blog features are not fully operational (our apologies). We are excited for a whole new look and new features coming in October…so until then we’ll still be posting five days a week.

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IKEA :: The “Ace” Picks The Good Stuff

As a design blogger I receive a lot of inquiries to review products, we may do some but we don’t do a lot. It’s a highly selective process, and if I do one, I feel obligated to do all. So when IKEA sent me an early preview catalog to look at, it sat on my desk for a little while (a few weeks that turned into a few months). I’m not an IKEA girl, although I will say that I know several high-end designers who have used some of the product, and the result has been flawless. I let you in on a secret- Ikea is a designer’s shortcut. Yes, some of the biggest names who have access to some of the fanciest stuff will mix in a little IKEA. I am a big fan of mixing high-end and low-end, so after hearing a little buzz in the design community about some of the new product introductions at IKEA, I did a little “browsing”…and I was fairly impressed. I know I can be a hard sell but after touring many custom design studios my reservations were mixed with a little old fashioned design snobbery. So this is where the “eating humble pie”moment happens. There is something about IKEA that frankly tugs at you a little, the store is downright cheerful. Since we do have a store in Atlanta, I have gone there on the rare occasion when designing kid spaces at the behest of my clients. Frankly, it’s a little on the fun side; a kid in a candy store moment combined with brilliant marketing (plus they have mouth-watering Swedish meatballs in the cafeteria). There are seemingly endless possibilities in mirrors, case-goods, rugs & accessories, even lighting. Oops..I forgot to mention that the chandeliers in my daughter’s bedroom came from the eponymous Swedish retailer, and they look pretty good. A secret that most designers won’t share is that given the opportunity we have and will use IKEA. In fact, I once saw a world-renowned designer in the frames section with her entourage in tow (she had 3 shopping carts full of RIBBA frames), and I literally tripped over a display in the store when I saw her. It was partially because she was in IKEA, and also just because I have a design crush.

So I thought I give my readers a short-cut to the good stuff, some of my picks that I have used (frames in the dozens) and others that I think have possibilities, one of the newest introductions is the storage from the PS2014 Urban Collection, the options are endless, and in a mudroom it’s virtually foolproof. On a side note:  I had a personal tour of the HGTV Urban Oasis Dream House in Atlanta yesterday, and it was fabulous. I have all fingers and toes crossed that I would be the lucky winner of this luxurious residence decorated by HGTV’s Lindsay Pumpa, who is great fun by the way. I’ll have several posts next week dedicated to some really great design and fabulous furnishings by AllModern. As part of the press, its always an incredible honour to see behind the scenes and share the design vision and personal photos with my readers. You’ll see the space firsthand before the show airs on HGTV mid-Sept.





Of course if you want to see the PS 2014 storage units in action, I’ve included a photo (below) showcasing this versatile grouping in action. Don’t you think the GADDIS baskets above are pretty swanky? I’m going to get a few for my office in black because I love them that much…


The PS2014 Storage from IKEA… 

and I’d like to end on a little design wisdom from Albert Hadley that I love, it’s all about mixing high-end with low-end. Even Albert did it.


Have a great weekend, and see you on Monday with another fabulous “Southern-Tastemaker”-Julie Couch…

Until then,



As always don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for more design inspiration. Do you want “The Ace of Space Blog” delivered directly to your mailbox? Then subscribe today. (Our links in the sidebar).

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