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MAKE IT BEAUTIFUL : Vol. V
Feel the Breeze
A few years ago I met Ragan Cain, a wonderful lady from Birmingham, Alabama. She loves design, traditions, beautiful things, color and stripes as much as I do, or maybe even more.
Ragan was instrumental in bringing me to Birmingham for the Antiques and Garden show, which has turned out to be one of the premier antique shows in the country.
While in Birmingham, Ragan and her husband asked me to come see a new house they had just bought, a 1950’s ranch styled sitting on 9 acres in Mountain Brook.
When I pulled up the long driveway of “Breeze Hill Farm” and saw the house for the first time I was reminded of my grandparents house I had visited almost every weekend of my childhood. When I walked in I was taken with the charm, the details, and the character in all of it. It looked like it had been untouched for the last 70 years, but also looked like it had been loved.
Most young couples would have wanted to gut the house and make it all look new and neutral, but that’s not what Ragan wanted. She wanted to decorate it and fill it with all of the things she had collected and acquired over the years. I was completely on the same page and not too long after that we started decorating.
I was inspired by Ragan’s love of color and pattern. I was also inspired by the color and textures of the natural setting of the farm. A green and blue color palette was soon formed along with touches of happy pink and sunshine yellow. We had a hay day with fabrics, patterns, trims and wallpapers... Ragan never said “no” she just asked for more, and if there’s one thing I’m good at it, it’s “more is more!”
This was one of those dream projects. It was so inspiring and fun to just create sheer beauty and to work with a client, that’s now a dear friend, who appreciates the past and understands the importance of the present as they look to enjoy their home into the future. Every design decision on this project was dictated by the house itself. It’s like it just told us what to do.
Enter Veranda magazine, who recently told the story of the house so beautifully in the newest issue on stands now. I think the new editors of Veranda were taken initially with the southern setting and the fresh and youthful approach to the decorating, but in the end I think it was all about the love story, the same story that moved all of us from the start. The story of a young couple falling in love with an unlikely suitor, a quirky, yet charming 1950’s ranch. A house so loved that it would have been impossible to remove any of it’s character, the most obvious thing to do was to dress it up, love on it and look forward to the next chapter.
There are so many people to thank. Thank you Ragan and Brad. Thank you Steele Marcoux and the entire editorial and writing team at Veranda. Thank you Amy Neunsinger for the photographs that perfectly capture the essence of this house and the project. Thank you Jimmy Laughlin for your distinctive and elegant architecture updates. Thank you Shoppe Birmingham for the abundance of plants and Marigold Designs for the abundance of flowers. Thank you to the entire MDS team, but mostly thank you to Breeze Hill Farm. All of us are so fortunate to be apart of your story and to get the opportunity to “feel the breeze.”