22 March 2009

The Lettered Cottage and a Few Other Interviews!

 image 

I love blogs that tell the story of a house – from the less-than-desirable beginnings to the oh-so-beautiful reveals!  Those kind of blogs are so fun to follow,  watching the homeowners struggling with their choices, broadcasting their mistakes, and then finally, proudly showing off the finished product.   And even more impressive about these renovations, is that all the labor is usually done by the blogger and  her DH (dear husband to you and me) –  amazing.   The Lettered Cottage is just that blog – it tells the story of a cozy cottage in Alabama being transformed before our very eyes.    

 

But there’s a lot more to The Lettered Cottage than just the cute house - add into the mix a practicing interior designer who specializes in online-renovations:  you email her photos of your house and then she sends you back a plan, with photoshopped pictures of what your new room will look like and she even includes sources for all the furniture you need to buy!   She’s been blogging for just under a year, and she’s one of the most popular out there – you can’t help but love her infectious spirit and boundless energy.   She adores the coastal style – all beadboard with burlap and linen and touches of blue and black, with seashells and baskets mixed in with stripes and tortoiseshell blinds.  She especially loves the look of  letters and numbers and has a company that specializes in her hand-made products.     She’s a rising star in Alabama and on the blogosphere as well, and soon, hopefully, hopefully! on TV. 

 

image

 

Her name is Layla, and yes, she was named after Eric Clapton’s Layla – so you can guess how young she is!   She’s as beautiful as she is talented and I was thrilled when she asked if she could interview me – beyond thrilled!    I’m always bugging Layla with questions about her photoshop skills – she’s become quite adept at it – so I leapt at the chance to pay her back for all my bothersome emails.     But mostly I admire and adore her (who doesn’t?)  -  so I am so happy to be a small part of The Lettered Cottage for a day.   The interview is here – be sure to check it out – the questions were thought provoking and interesting, just like Layla!  

 

 

 

Here are a few pictures of the transformation of Layla’s Lettered Cottage:

 

image

BEFORE:  The Lettered Cottage’s kitchen as it was when Layla and her musician husband Kevin bought the house.   OK – so what would YOU do with this?  How would you remodel this kitchen?

 

 

  image

 

AFTER:   Well, you could do what Layla did – put in new hardwoods, nice and dark, take off the cabinet doors and paint them black.   Then add a crown to the upper boxes and put decorative corbels along the bottom.   Install beadboard, new hardware,  and accessorize!  I can just hear Layla now:   “I’m going to put in stainless appliances and a new countertop next!”  There’s always something she has plans to soon do.   Take your time - I think it’s beautiful just like it is – and an incredible makeover, don’t you agree?

 

 

image

A close up showing the new corbels and recently installed beadboard.  I love how Layla accessorizes – with baskets and white dishes and her beloved letters and numbers!  The corbels cost just $9 each – but the change they madeto the room is enormous!

image

The other side of the kitchen has a hutch which she redid with new hardware and a lime green interior.

 

image

This could be a picture from a magazine – it is styled so perfectly!

 

image

BEFORE:    Seriously –what would you do with a room that once was a bathroom and measures just 6’ x 6’?   Look at it as it was when Layla bought her house – before she turned it into the Reading Room! 

 

 

image

AFTER:  How cute is this?   Layla calls it the Reading Room, I would probably take naps here!  Notice how she painted the walls in white and taupe stripes which help to visually widen the tiny room.   Instead of a door taking up precious space, Layla uses burlap curtains, inside and outside.   She added bamboo shades for texture and the bedding is perfect!    Of course she has a list of things she wants to add – a chandelier, a quilt – but to me,  I just ADORE this room!!!!!!!   (Layla this would make a cute nursery?  haha!!!)

 

 

image

BEFORE:   The living room with old white carpet and knotty pine, which of course, Layla will turn into an asset.   She looks so busy here – plotting and planning!

 

 

image

 

AFTER:    Look how gorgeous the pine is painted white!   It really adds such a cottagey and beachy feel to the house.   And the piano adds a touch of glamour – remember, her husband is a musician who travels the country with his band.    The large mirror reflects the media cabinet which is painted black and accessorized with baskets.    The hardwoods were stained dark brown, but Layla was recently hinting she may make them a little lighter brown to match her tortoiseshell blinds. 

 

image 

Another view of the gorgeous paneling and such a cute lamp!!!   

 

 

image

I love her shades – she gets hers from Bed Bath and Beyond.  I get mine at Target!   I think I like hers better than mine!

 

 

image

This isn’t the first house Layla and Kevin remodeled together.   Check out her blog to see the mid-century styled house they just moved from.  The transformation is amazing, for sure.  Also, when you visit her blog, be sure to see all the before & after pictures of her virtual and real-life design jobs she’s done.    Thank you Layla so much for the including me in your blog – it is such a thrill for to be a part of the The Lettered Cottage.

 

image

AND:   just in case you need more of Cote de Texas (I know you are just dying for more!) – read my interview with Click 2 Houston’s Lauren and Owen here.  Lauren Freeman and Owen Conflenti anchor the morning news on the local NBC channel here in Houston.   Lauren recently gave birth to a precious little boy and she shows us his nursery – not to be missed, people!   You HAVE to see his Fortuny-laden bedroom.    Only in Texas!    Thank you Lauren and Owen for including Cote de Texas

 

 

image

 

AND- wait, there’s more!!!!!    Southern Accents magazine – my absolute favorite - (someone please kill me if they ever stop publishing), recently started a column called “Miss Gracious Living” and yep! – they interviewed moi (here), the most gracious host and southern belle of all times.   Stop laughing!   I really came up with some good tips for this one - I am giving out helpful hints on entertaining (gotta love that one!) and housekeeping, all done very graciously, of course.  In all seriousness, editor Karen Carroll pleasantly surprised me (shocked would be a more accurate word) when she asked me to be the first Miss Gracious Living!    As you all know, Southern Accents is my bible, so I was more than happy, make that ecstatic, to be included in their online site.   Alas, good things must end, and I had to graciously relinquish my title to Courtney of Style Court and return to my slob-filled life.    My reign was short – but walking around knowing that I, Cote de Texas, was Miss Gracious Living, made me just a little bit more polite and soft-spoken for awhile.    Thank you so much Karen, for including me, I hope I didn’t disappoint!!   As an aside, Southern Accents web site just gets better and better.   It’s become a wonderful addition to the magazine and a must-read for me.   If you haven’t visited it in awhile, take a look around, I think you’ll be very pleased with it!

52 comments:

  1. Oh I have seen The Lettered Cottage and it is just amazing what she has done. Her home is just gorgeous. I especially loved her kitchen transformation. Just gorgeous. I also am really impressed with your accomplishments. How wonder to be asked to be Miss Gracious Living. That is such a fabulous compliment and opportunity. You should be very proud. Great job. Hugs, Marty

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't had a chance to read and post to your previous outstanding post before you go and post yet another exciting post!

    The Lettered Cottage transformation is so inspirational and it is so exciting that you highlighted. TLC might have been a popular blog but now thanks to you Layla's blog will be moving to a whole new level.

    You are the best!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been to Layla's blog many times (and follow yours too!) and agree with everything you said. Her style is fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your reign may have been short - but once Miss Gracious Living always Miss GL. They'll just refer to you as Miss Gracious Living March 2009! Off to check out Layla's blog now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Miss Gracious Living is perfect Joni!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for turning me onto The Lettered Cottage, everything is so lovely.

    I meant to leave a little comment sooner about you being Miss Gracious Living and I completely forgot. I love seeing my favorite bloggers in the pages of my favorite glossies.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just discovered Layla's blog last week - through your blog! I LOVE it. She's beyond adorable and her house is so cute. I cannot believe what she has accomplished mostly through hard work (oh, and wild talent helps).

    I loved your interview. And I love your stance on kitchens!! I thought I was the only one who still thinks they should be separate. (I am a good cook but the messiest on earth.)

    I'm so happy for you! I can't wait for your book.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a transformation -it's lovely! I love that it was done inexpensively as well -hope for everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  9. throw that nasty old carpet out in that dirty old parkin lot at Walmart! yeehaw!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love both of your interviews and all of your answers!!!
    Fun getting to "know" you better! A Southern girl after my own heart... and your aunt too!
    Take Care!!!
    CT

    ReplyDelete
  11. Miss Gracious Living you are! Congratulations on on the fabulous, fun and well deserved press!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dear Miss Gracious -- and that you are, Joni Webb!! When you stopped to help me with my blog, I was truly taken by your gracious willingness to share knowledge. You're funny and so talented as well. I enjoyed reading both interviews. (I'm a fan of Layla's, too. ) Take Care! -susan

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Joni,

    You keep getting more and more popular! While your blog doesn't necessarily bring in the money (as you mentioned in a previous blog), it does afford you plenty of well-deserved notoreity and who knows where that will lead? The next thing you know, you will be hosting your own talk show! Keep me on your guest list!

    ReplyDelete
  14. A great blog of info Joni.. thank you, I am always surprised in each reading, you never cease to amaze your readers with useful information & idea's.
    Leslie
    lmf blog

    ReplyDelete
  15. Joni, Thank you for introducing me to Miss Layla! WOW!!!!!

    Also, WONDERFUL interviews of YOU!!!! You are far too humble, Miss Joni!!!!! You are blessed with sooooo much talent....I'm just happy that you share it with all of us! Thank you!!!

    HUGS~

    ReplyDelete
  16. Just popped over from the Lettered Cottage to say how much I enjoyed reading your interview! Very entertaining...great questions, great answers!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Joni, we'll always consider you the Queen of Gracious Living. I love Notting Hill's idea...maybe we'll have to do a pin-up calendar for MGL!
    Cheers,
    Karen Carroll

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think laya is a great talent! Thanks for showcasing her work. And congrads to you! That is wonderful, I will be watching for it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just hopped over to "The Lettered Cottage". What a talented young woman! And how sweet of you Joni to share her with us! We wish her every success.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh my gosh!!!! I just came by to say thanks for coming by....but this post,oh its to die for, love all the black..people are so afraid of black furniture but you know it works when you see a home like this one!!! Thanks..hope you will stop by often!!!Chrissy

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hey, Joni, I just love Layla too, in fact I'm heading down there today for a shopping day with the girl. Can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
  22. * Wow Joni, you're a CALENDAR GIRL now! "Proud congrats"!........ And Layla's talents are soooo REFRESHING & EXCITING to see~ what a doll she is, too!!! Soooo happy you gave her the attention she deserves~~~ I will definitely follow this delightful talent's blog!!! Thank you BOTH for a MOST ENJOYABLE READ this 6:30 a.m., beginnning a new week!!! Best, Linda

    ReplyDelete
  23. Love to see the before and after transformations! Congratulations Joni on your media mentions, you are great!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Such a wonderful transformation! Thank you, I loved this post with my coffee this morning.

    And that was a beautiful photo of you in that interview! Miss Gracious Living. How appropriate is that!
    Have a great day Joni,
    xo
    Maria

    ReplyDelete
  25. Miss Gracious Living and Layla's Lettered Cottage are my two most favorite blogs and bloggers! What a creativecyber brain trust with this combo!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I loved reading the Lettered Cottage interview! You should do a post called 'Joni's Top Interior Design Tips' (the one from the LC interview was about carpet in master bedroom - two color wool (I assume a wilton weave) in the bedroom, but no where else), or I should write them down every time I see them...they are fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Cute cottage - too bad Layla insists on looking like a pron star with those eyebrows and lipgloss with the harsh outline. Someone show her how to do makeup!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow. Porn star? That was a bit harsh. I mean... granted... She gets annoying with the whole "look at me, I am so cute" vibe and her picture plastered all over her page.

    But porn star? Geesh...

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love this re-do! She has great style. :)

    J&J

    ReplyDelete
  30. My Goodness Miss Joni .. . .

    Is it possible that the MostPopularGirl just got even MORE popular??! Everyone's lining up with their microphones and calling your name !
    I do agree with you - that Alabama girl does a great job with her renovations -
    Jjjjj

    ReplyDelete
  31. Layla - Please note that she insists that her blogs/photos are copyrighted and you need to ask permission to use - yet she talks of photocopying a book to give to a friend!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Love Layla's style. And her enthusiasm is infectious.
    Big congrats to you, Joni on all the recent media mentions! The Southern Accents piece is especially cool! You're a great example of hard work paying off in sometimes unexpected ways. Thanks for being such an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  33. You are so funny, and cute, and talented! Couldn't be happier for you! Southern Accents is my bible, too, along with Western interiors and House Beautiful! And that Layla, cute and talented, as can be, too - who are those tacky people criticizing her!?

    ReplyDelete
  34. SO great!!! Love Layla's blog & will have to go check out the other one. Also, how exciting Miss Gracious Living?!!!
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  35. My living room was very similar to yours in the before photo...great transformation! I enjoyed watching the rooms unfold.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Methinks you need a glittered sash that reads.."Miss Gracious Living" to wear each and every day!! My Southern Accents is lying on my desk, as yet unopened...but I can't wait to read your wonderful article!!! Well deserved, I must say!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Joni, Will you try this again? Renae Moore got it to work. Enter this when you add me to your blog list: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/hillcountryhouseblogspot

    It should then just show up on your list as Hill Country House, but with updates! It was so much fun to see it finally working on her site. Thanks so much!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. HI Joni
    I read your column “Miss Gracious Living” in Southern Accents....it was so gracious....just like you. Congratulations!!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Joni, I feel so close to fame after reading this blog post! How exciting. You can't get any better than Southern Accents. I'll get right over there and read this interview! And you are so humble about it! I'm afraid I would have made it the title of my post (or maybe the title of my blog), and I would never let anyone forget it! Congratulations! laurie

    ReplyDelete
  40. What a talent Layla is- thanks for tuning me in to her site... congrats on all of your mentions, you deserve it- your blog is always tres magnificent!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Joannah

    http://2gbmemory.net

    ReplyDelete
  42. You see, this is why I need a 12-step program - Blogaholics Anonymous!

    Adding her to my blogroll...

    ReplyDelete
  43. Layla is very talented and it goes to show that vision and paint does wonders!

    Congrats on your interviews-it's so fun to read about you! It's always such a treat to read your posts-it's like getting my favorite magazines in the mail!

    ReplyDelete
  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Is that REAL knotty pine? It looks so.

    And all you could come up with was to slap a coat of paint on it?

    Shame on you. What a waste.

    Can the paint be removed w/o damaging the knotty pine? No? Double shame.

    It is time for those w/ the talent to lead the rest of us in working WITH a now fairly rare real knotty pine wall board.

    It would have been better to have removed it and sold it to someone who could put it to use. And then have your fun w/ a texture roller brush.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Joni,
    You are an inspiration to us all. Your talent is infectious and spreading all over the US and probably beyond. Every time I come to Cote de Texas I learn something new. Congratulations! Your wit and humility make us love you even more. I love you.....humm.....is that too much?
    Hugs,
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  47. Joni,
    Thanks for the sweet comment. You're always so gracious and kind. The clock you were asking about is in the Ballard catalog. I just love Ballard. They're just so ... dependable! Everything I've ordered from them has been perfect. But I bet you know that. Have a great day Joni and thank you for being such an awesome blog neighbor!

    ReplyDelete
  48. In response to Jane's comment-

    Jane- You're absolutely right. I have seen a millon people frame cute photos from old childrens books, but you have helped me to remember that it probably isn't something that should be done. Thanks! :-)

    Also, I just added the "copyright" disclaimer to my blog after several other bloggers recommended I do so. Who knows if it will make a difference or not! :-)

    I'm just a "go with the flow, dive in head first" kinda gal! :-)
    And I do apologize if I offended you in any way.

    Layla
    The Lettered Cottage

    ReplyDelete
  49. As for the "Anonymous- Porn Star" comments...all I can do is suggest you guys visit www.GreatDay.com.
    I think that may help.

    And I apologize for offending you as well.

    Joni- why do people visit blogs if they don't like them? I will NEVER understand this...I mean, who has that much spare time? :-)

    Layla
    The Lettered Cottage

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Joni:
    Finally catching up - don't ask! I'm so happy for you "Miss Gracious Living"! Of course, I loved all your tips & must say it sounds like your daughter has a keeper! Congratulations! Thanks for the Lettered Cottage - loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Joannah

    http://2gbmemory.net

    ReplyDelete