Shannon Berrey

Sleeping in the Garage

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I saw this image on Pinterest and thought it was the exterior of a beautiful little French boutique. I was so intrigued and I wanted to see the inside! 

Believe it or not, it used to look like this:



It started out as a modest 550 sq ft storage shed in the back yard when the Evans bought the property in Birmingham, Alabama. They knew instantly they wanted to turn it into a guest house/office. They made a few changes--a new roof, new windows and added an additional 250 sq ft. to the front of the space, just to name a few.  



Working with a yellow, gray and white color scheme throughout, it feels much bigger than it's actual square footage. As soon as you walk through the oversized sliding doors, you enter the office area.  Architect/homeowner Anna has the perfect spot for rolling out blueprints on this large table and an inspiration corkboard big enough for multiple projects. A wall of filing cabinets tucked under windows offers storage as well as a great drafting spot.   



The back of the building houses the guest suite which offers a kitchenette with a wall of shelves installed right on top of the windows. 

I love the way the sunlight lights up the glasses and dishware. The floors in the kitchen are painted with yellow and white stripes while the bedroom offers wall-to-wall sisal.  



A workspace, a bedroom, a seating area, a kitchen and a bathroom -- a beautiful, yet smart use of 800 sq feet wouldn't you say?


{all images via Southern Living}


Nature inspired dining chairs: Golly Bard

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I have had a few emails about the fabrics that I used in my dining room, so I thought I would share my wonderful sources today. I first was introduced to the talents of artist Golly Bard on Poppytalk. Her family gave Holly this nickname as a little girl and it's stuck. Her studio is in a beautifully restored church in Virginia that she shares with an interior designer.  



She works directly from nature; more often, she simply starts painting from memory or her imagination.  Her influences have a certain obsession with natural history, nature science and anatomy, but, not in a harsh, educational style. Her paintings are light and sweet, with a whimsical feeling.





Show me a slice of wood and I am a happy, happy girl. The variations of the colors, the repetitions and explanation of it's age in the rings...I find them simply beautiful.

I knew that I wanted to use her mossy logs somewhere in my house and when I found out that she had created fabric on Spoonflower with her designs, I was thrilled! I sent off for samples of several designs:



I am saving the delicate fern fabric {middle} for another project. I wanted to use both the nests and the logs in my dining room -- I know it's crazy to use both, but it works. Because these are big, bold designs, I wanted to find a smaller coordinating fabric.




I love this Helicopter Herringbone {zoomed image} by artist Rachel Gilbert Cornish {babysisterrae} also on Spoonflower. I remember playing with these little seed pods as a child in the backyard. We would throw them up as high as we could and watch them twirl softly back down to our sandpile. They are so sweet illustrated individually, but the way she designed this fabric, it made the prettiest herringbone pattern. I knew this would be the perfect compliment to the mossy logs for dining room chair slipcovers.

I found my vintage end chairs about a year and a half ago. I love their silhouette and they were in fairly good condition. So good, that they sat untouched all this time. But, the vintage fabric was starting to shred on the seat and finding the Golly Bard fabrics inspired me to recover them.




The mossy logs went on the exterior of the slipcover.



   And the helicopter on the inside seat and inside back. I love the way the green in the helicopter fabric pulls out the mossy greens of the wood slices.



 I don't have a slipcover tutorial because I make a pattern specific for the piece I am covering. I first make a pattern out of another inexpensive fabric. *tip - for my pattern fabric, I always try to use a fabric with stripes or a plaid because it makes lining up the pieces so much easier. Then, I pin, snip and mark as I go.  



 Then I transfer the pattern to the 'real' fabric. Cut out the pieces, sew them together and pull them over the chair, tucking into the seams for a nice snug fit.






On the other 6 chairs {that I painted green last year} I recovered the seats with a staplegun using the Birds Nest fabric. I love the green paint with the green eggs. 




I think all of the fabrics are so pretty together! A huge shout out to Holly and Rachael for creating such beautiful fabrics. You inspire me!




Following her dreams: A New York retreat

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Pretty gorgeous, right? It's been my experience that a beautifully landscaped yard generally means that the home beyond the flowers is as equally beautiful. Such is the case with this 1830's home of artist Kathryn Windley in Milan, New York. 

Kathryn got burned out and longed for a simpler life. She left her career as art director for a fast paced ad agency and bought the home back in 1998. Now she has a sunny studio in the homes ground floor addition.

Kathryn's oil painting depicts the homes 20-acre property. 


I love walls of bookcases! Don't invite me over and leave me in your living room of books by myself because I will read all the titles before you return with my sweet tea. You can learn so much about a person through the books they read. Agreed?!    

There is a laundry list of favorite things happening in this bathroom. The mirrors slide, barn door style to expose a recessed medicine cabinet. The chunky white sinks sit atop a countertop made out of a big thick slab of wood. Hand towels are conveniently held by undermounted towel bars. And don't get me started on that cast iron tub looking into that fabulous yard.  

Look closely at the reclaimed pine that covers the fireplace and you can see the hinges of the hidden storage, behind which the TV is stored. 


To see more visit Country Living.


images via Country Living, photography Mikel Vang 


Abby's studio

Monday, March 26, 2012

Are you familiar with the artwork of Abby Kasonik? Her beautiful aquatic series is quite ethereal.

  She used to work out of her Charlottesville basement, but last year she built a new backyard studio that reflects her love of 19th century Virginia schoolhouses and churches.


It's so bright, so open and so inspiring. It's the perfect backdrop for her meditative art.

This cottage is an artists dream--the huge worktable to spread out all of the paints, the built-in storage to hold the finished and yet to be painted canvas, and the light....can't you just breathe in all of that delicious light?! And let's just talk about how simply lovely the space is.The reclaimed timbers play beautifully against the pristine white of the ceiling and the large paper lanterns.



A kitchen tucked in the corner has an old trunk that was outfitted with barnwood and wheels to create the perfect mobile island.  

There was no skimping on the size or number of windows that flood the space with light and are framed with curtains made from dropcloths. And did you catch the upstairs sleeping quarters? Who needs the big house? I would *live* here perfectly happily. 



To see more of Abby's portfolio, check out her website.

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Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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