An Affair of the Heart

My love affair with Jeffrey Bilhuber began when I was a much younger woman.  And even now, my heart skips a beat and my pulse quickens when I hear his name mentioned. . . .  Did you just say Jeffrey Bilhuber???  I’m sorry, what were you saying??  Could you say that again??? Because, the truth is that to this day, I want to hear anything Jeffrey has to say, I want to see anything he has done, and I want to know everything he wants to tell me.  Did I get all Kathy Bates in Misery on you???  I know.  I  try to keep that tamped down. But, but . . .  the truth is that I am absolutely DY. Ing. that he is coming to Birmingham (!!!!!) to Antiques in the Gardens in two weeks (Oct 7)!!!  I […]


Here is why there is no blog post this morning…. Yep…My evening project was putting together three kitchen stools. Here is the finished product. Not too shabby. Of course what happens with me is that the first one I attempt to put together takes  about two or three attempts before I get it right and then the rest move relatively smoothly. Got two done tonight but the last one will have to wait because we were missing a couple of parts from the box but customer service assures me this will be taken care of. xo Martha

Birmingham Home & Garden Mag – What to Wear Now


Big news!!!  I am so excited to partner with Birmingham’s own Birmingham Home & Garden magazine for a fashion feature, What To Wear Now, in the September/October issue on stands now! Y’all know by now that my first love and occupation (now that I have retired from the practice of law) is interior decorating.  I have been a fan of BHG from the get-go, but I really began taking note some seven or eight years ago when Cathy Still McGowin took the helm as Editor.  And now, I can’t wait for each edition because I know it will be amazing!  The truth is that Birmingham has major design chops, with architects and designers recognized and respected across the country.  Cathy does an amazing job of getting in the door to bring us Birmingham’s best and most beautiful homes. […]

Fab Design Friday: Roberta Freymann’s Amanda


For this issue of Fab Design Friday, I want to take you back.  Back to Boston’s very ’80s ballad to Amanda, back a couple of years to the Roberta Roller Rabbit fad, and to a back issue of Elle Decor. It probably has not been four years since we all got a little swept away with Roberta Freymann’s Roberta Roller Rabbit trunk shows full of crazy kaftans and kurtas for cover-ups – until we all realized that while the fabrics were gorgeous, the traditional cut of the tops and cover-ups was perhaps less than flattering.  And, since then, outside of buying pjs for my kids from the website once a year, Roberta Freeman was pretty much off my radar. Last month when I was in East Hampton, I tucked in the Robert Freymann […]

ladies of luxembourg gardens | #fdf: tory’s hip pad in paris


after being at the playground at luxembourg gardens in paris for less than 30 minutes, my son declared, unsolicited, that “paris is better than disney world!!!!”  booyah!!  oh, yea!  oh, yea!!  score two points for outdoor activities and non-tech entertainment!!!  too bad we had to travel half a world away to get there. but, luxembourg gardens were better than disney world for me, too. because, honestly, my first thought is not to throw on my new chloé frock to take the kids to play on a tuesday afternoon.  i think i was maybe more blown away by the ladies of luxembourg than any other venue in paris.  ooh-la-la! la-la! la-la!!   so very stylish. . . i hooked you up with a few photos below so you can feel their beat. xo, cg   […]

the amazing doors of paris . . .


the doors of paris are absolutely jaw-dropping, yet, certainly something easily missed.  henning (can’t believe i can’t remember his last name . . . but he was always just “henning”), an older gentleman with a rounded face and bright, smiling eyes and the director of the hollins abroad paris program for almost a quarter century, used to admonish daily the young of ladies hollins to “look up!”  with that, he would scold:  when walking the streets of paris, you must not fall into the trap of regarding the ground in front of you as you walk along.  rather, look up!  behold the beauty of paris, which can only truly be appreciated in the view above the asphalt. this morning, as i ran out to grab some croissants and a baguette at the corner bakery while my children […]

#frf . . . kips bay show house


today’s installment of fab room friday takes us to the granddaddy of all design events, the 2015 kips bay showhouse, which opened yesterday in new york city.  each spring for the past forty-three years, the best designers in the land vie for a spot on the chosen list of this storied event to test their mettle.  if they are lucky, and also extremely talented, they get an opportunity to demonstrate to the city, the states, and the world their own personal design alchemy. this year, mark d. sikes wins my prize for the most captivating and inspiring of all the rooms.  first, i cannot get over how crazy good the checks are.  as a child, my mother, a colonial williamsburg-o-phile, decorated the walls and furniture of our den and kitchen with the same checks, large […]

#frf . . . ode to lavender

agreed.  it’s a dicey call. . . it could go horribly wrong.  it not only takes guts, but precision.  but when it is good, it is amazing. . . lavender at once renders a room more regal, more refined, more complex, more ephemeral.  it’s crazy. . . that it does all that.  but it really does.  and, it sets my mind on fire . . . whenever it is done right, that is. when i had my very first home, i put a ban on all things purple and lavender.  and then i came across an amazing lavender chesterfield in a shelter mag one day that stopped me dead in my tracks.  like paul on the road to damascus, my eyes were opened to the beauty of a world i had previously shunned. […]

the basics: white denim | bonus: in the news


i can’t imagine not having them.  but, do you have a pair of white jeans that are actually flattering?  me either. here’s the deal:  you HAVE to own them.  and you WANT to wear them.  but, when you go to put them on, you feel like your legs have def looked better, right?  there has to be a trick or a key or a headline that i missed on the subject of hitting the right note with white denim. wish i had the answer to this one for you.  i am still looking myself.  but, here are some things that i have learned: if your white jeans are too tight, i.e., they pucker on the side seam, your legs will look heavier than they are.  white (and lightly colored) denim seems to be much more […]

#frf . . mark d. sikes


mark d. sikes has taken the design world literally by storm in about five years flat.   while others may toil away for years seeking meager notoriety, mark, a virtual “no one” some five years ago, has since seen his personal residence twice published in three years, once in house beautiful (see the story here) and once again after a major re-design in veranda (see the story here).  mark developed his design chops over the course of two decades by first starting out in retail visual merchandising for banana republic and gap stores.  he worked his way up the ranks to eventually helm the store’s visual impact strategy.  he entered the design world when he transitioned to head pottery barn’s visual merchandising and marketing and help overhaul the brand. lucky for us he […]