Master Bedroom Redecorate: Before


This month we’re celebrating 4 years in our 1955 brick ranch. When we moved in we quickly painted and decorated our living room, kitchen, guest bathroom and master bedroom. Each room has undergone a few changes through the years but generally have stayed the same. I’m ready for a change. Specifically, I’m tired of the brown and blue in our bedroom.

I’m dreaming of the white, airy, clean hotel rooms that I saw behind Jason on Skype while he was in Sweden last summer. We don’t have a white wall anywhere in our house. OK, not totally true—we do have 2 small walls in the unfinished laundry room that are still builder’s beige. But generally, every room in our home is painted. And now I’m craving white. Fresh, minimalist, feather-light white.

Update on the MCM Post-Flood Rebuild


At the beginning of the year, our friends’ house was torn down. (Remember, it had been destroyed in the May 2010 Nashville Flood after having standing water 4 ft. above the foundation level.) The new house must be built up off the ground and follow all sorts of ridiculous FEMA regulations. Construction started last week:

The house basically has an above-ground unfinished basement. They’re not allowed to use this space for any habitable living space. Half of it is graveled and the other half is paved for a garage and storage area. And possibly a roller rink?

If I can get their permission to do so, I’ll keep you posted with the design and interior development. If not, I’ll just kept tabs on the exterior changes.

(CBB 3.0)

Do You Know About Publix?


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Back in the days when I lived in Erie, PA (from age 10 to 20), I was blessed to have a great grocery store called Wegmans nearby. Despite the poorly planned brick floors in the produce department, I loved Wegmans for the bakery, huge selection of teas and fresh produce, diverse international section, quality generics, good prices and the bulk candy section. Moving to Nashville, TN in 2004 required that we find our new favorite out of the unfamiliar grocery store chains. Which brought us eventually to Publix.

Except for the legendary bulk candy section, my favorite tea and the cart rattling brick floors, Publix has everything that Wegmans had. And actually Publix brand products are even better. The quality seems the same goodness to me but the packaging is beautiful, minimalist, and I believe greatly influenced Target brand’s recent redesign. Publix is quickly making me forget about Wegmans.

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I call this blog My Mid-Century Modern Life because there are many aspects of my life that are modern (which I love) and there are many aspects of my life that are reminiscent of my grandparents’ generation (which I love). Sometimes the modern and mid-century collide into a beautiful blend (homes, fashion, graphic design). Publix is an excellent example of the mid-century modern meld.

Publix brand is fresh and clean. It is high tech and modern in every way that a grocery store can be. But it also has the charm and class of a different era. The decor has some vintage mid-century imagery but what I’m really talking about is the employees. From their retro aqua aprons to their exceptional customer service. Publix employees are genuinely friendly and kind. They often ask if we need help finding anything. I have had real conversations with the woman behind the produce counter and the man behind the seafood counter about where I got my hat, our cookout plans for the weekend, the photo shoot I just had with my very pregnant sister-in-law, a hot sauce that goes great with fried catfish. It’s as if they actually take pride in their jobs and truly like people. To top it all off, they always offer to help me out to the car with my groceries which involves a chatty grocery bagger pushing the cart our to my car and loading all the groceries into the trunk for me. I usually decline unless it’s a nice day and I know they’ll enjoy getting some sunshine. Someday when I’m wrangling kids, I’m sure I’ll take advantage of this offer.

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Publix exemplifies how mid-century values can set a modern supermarket chain apart from the rest.

What about you? Do you know of any other places with great customer service that reminds you of a simpler time? What’s your favorite grocery store?

Phone Photo Friday


The days are getting longer and lately I’ve been catching the sunset on my way out of the office. Breathtaking!

Retro Renovation Love


I got a ping-back notice that my Hall Closet Turned Home Office (AKA Cloffice) was mentioned on Retro Renovation today. RR is the flagship of mid-century home blogs. I’m flattered! I had no idea that my little blog was on their radar. If you’re a new visitor here after seeing our recent renovation project on Retro Renovation, WELCOME!



On Saturday I had the privilege of snapping some last minute pregnancy pictures of my brother- and sister-in-law. They were going to have a photographer friend of ours do some portraits but it never worked out and we’re down to the wire (2.5 weeks to due today) so I offered my free but mediocre photography skills. I was happy to try out my new Nikon in a portrait setting and I’m pleased that a few good ones emerged. Not bad for a point and shoot.

I played with some different photo treatments in Photoshop. Mama-to-be requested some black & white and some without her face in the shot. (Full term pregnant women are always a bit self-conscious about looking puffy in the face. I think Ginger looks radiant!) Photographer friends – feel free to offer your constructive criticism on my skillz (or lack of skills).

I think she looks so lovely in this one:

They’re silly. I’m glad I captured this moment because I don’t think it could be reproduced. Their house is always full of laughs and I know they’ll be super fun parents.

This is one of my favorite shots because Dan didn’t know I was taking it. I was setting up for the next shot while Ginger when to change clothes.

This is the only shot that I actually had a vision of creating the night before. I think it works and captures them fairly well. Daddy Dan, the thinker, a man of few words, a planner. Mama Ginger, always rubbing her baby bump and speaking sweetly to her daughter, lovely and content.

Marty can’t wait to have another master to lick…

Jason and I are so excited for them and excited to meet our niece. It’s been really cool to see how Dan and Ginger have grown so much the past 9 months in maturity and spiritually. I know that they will be great parents. I’ve been so encouraged and inspired by how positive Ginger has been through the entire pregnancy. She hasn’t had any complaints and has enjoyed every moment of carrying a baby (except maybe for that couple of hours early on when the mid-wife said she couldn’t find the heartbeat, but that all worked out). Her pure love and joy for their baby girl is contagious. Or maybe it’s just that as her auntie, I already have a lot of love and joy for her, too.

We love you guys and are looking forward to walking with you into this new adventure!

My Favorite Tea


If you know me well you know that I’m a tea drinker. I have been since I was young, thanks to my mama. I prefer black teas and for the past 10 years or so, my favorite tea has been Republic of Tea Mango Ceylon. I have never gotten sick of it. The problem, though, is that it’s not sold many places. Since I ran out recently I’ve been trying other teas. I saw this Mango Black Tea at Trader Joe’s the other day. It looks like it might be a perfect replacement and it was cheap!

It’s good but it’s a lot more tangy/fruity than my favorite. Oh well. It was worth a try. I suppose I should just start ordering it online.