Comments : 63

Hi friends, hope you had a nice weekend and it wasn’t as frigid where you are as it has been here…brrrrrr! Thankfully today the cold is breaking and we are to get to a balmy 50 degrees, works for me!

So I am starting a new series, The Bluff Diaries and this is chapter 1 of many many more to come. As many of know by now we are going to be building a new southern home in beautiful Palmetto Bluff which I am quite excited about.

This is very much in the premature stage of the entire process, as we are just now signing with the architect, but are actually one step ahead of the game as we saw a home we really liked last time we were there and are taking those plans and modifying them to suit our needs. This will really speed things up and if we are lucky and get our permits quickly, we might be starting to build in May. You know both my hubby and I do have not patience so our fingers are crossed.

If you are like me and get a little giddy over things like a blank room and getting to decorate it, a new kitchen and baths, then you can understand that my mind is racing with possibilities. So here are some very premature thoughts on what I am thinking for the house. Once we start building I will do more regular posts on this series so stay tuned the best is yet to come……


Main flooring throughout house– I am likely going to go with? wood but might just be tempted to go with a tile that looks like wood, they have come so far and honestly it is hard to tell them apart. The tile is indestructible and cheaper, while having the beauty of wood, here are some examples of what I like and I bet you can’t even tell which is wood and which is tile!


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OK which are wood and which are tile?

Surprise….they are all tile if you can believe it, crazy I know!


Rugs- I want rugs for great room and dining area and am possibly going to go with sisal but if I do opt for a more traditional rug it will be a washed out oushak, a favorite. These are from Safavieh….

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If I do sisal for living/dining area I would probably opt for one with a pattern like these, love this!


For the stairs sisal is a must…

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Bedroom flooring– Though you see a lot of homes with wood throughout the entire home in PB, I really like wall to wall in the bedroom, it just makes everything feel so cozy and warm.

I may do this with a one foot border of wood exposed around the perimeter of the room, which is another popular look, Below are some of the wall to wall carpets I really like, I favor the idea of a subtle pattern/style then keeping the rest of the room very soft and tonal……

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Bathroom flooring- I love marble and used it in all the bathrooms in this house, so will do the same in P.B. It is classically beautiful, stands the test of time and honestly just makes a bathroom feel so luxurious. I will likely use? all neutrals as in whites and creams and might do one in Celeste Blue and white if I? can get a deal on it as it tends to be pricey…..

Celeste blue and Thassos-

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How interesting could this be for a beautiful powder room floor! (Tilebar)


This could be pretty for a powder room or master bath (Tilebar)


I love white and cream together, we already have this floor from Tilebar but it would not stop be from doing a guest bath in it again:)


Then of course there is the simple understated elegant of beautiful marble herringbone floors, did my sons bathroom in this pattern and love it today as much as I did 4 years ago…..


Outside porch- We are going to have a very large covered porch that runs the entire lenght of the house and I have a feeling it will be a space we use a lot. I love the idea of using a lighter colored brick in a herringbone pattern. Practical, classic and elegant.

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So that about covers my ideas on? flooring, these ideas are petty solid and when I love something I commit to it (even if its just in my mind at this point). I hope that once we start the actual building process, it will go expeditiously, as I will want to get busy making decisions and getting things lined up to minimize delays!

I have also started a Pinterest board entitled “Bluff Diaries” for all of my evolving inspiration for this house, at the wee beginnings but its a start! Click here to follow along.

Next few “chapters”? will be on paint, lighting, kitchen ideas, baths, I will break it up by subject until the actual building begins. Thanks for stopping in….have any ideas? Do tell! Until next time…….

PS If you missed my Seven on Sunday post click here


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Love all your ideas for new home! Looking forward to watching it get built 🙂
You mentioned bedrooms with a wood border, haven’t seen it yet. Would love to see examples, maybe a future post? I love the look of wood in bedroom, but with a large bed, so much is list. Your idea sounds great and practical!

Your choices are all so pretty! The wood tile is such a smart choice. Real wood does not fair well in a home near the water. The tile will hold up beautifully. I live on the bay near Pensacola, and my entire home is travertine. Besides people swimming and tracking in, the foundations near the water have a high moisture content. I have seen many beautiful wood floor buckle and warp, even with moisture barriers installed properly. I am so excited to follow your build! I know your home will be wonderful! You will make so many memories there, with your boys!

I love the look of sisal, but I’ve heard that it can not be cleaned. Do you know of a synthetic that is better suited for family living?

I love the rug with the pattern too. We put a very similar one in our family room a few months ago. (It was from a high end manufacturer- all wool, very expensive. A word of warning: the strands that form the pretty shapes, texture and color contrast in the carpeting pick. They are not as tightly woven as the other loops which are almost flat. Now I have several areas with large, loose loops sticking up because they were pulled somehow. We are empty-nesters with only one old dog. (We take off our shoes inside.) I am quite disappointed and would not select this carpet again as beautiful as it is.

Love the light colored brick…wish I had a spot for it! Definitely a sisal stair runner for both looks and safety. I too use the motto that all choices need to stand the test of time!

So excited you are allowing us to share your new inspiration ! You have such wonderful ideas!

I am also building right now and lighting and tile are two areas that always pull at one’s budget…the look vs. the cost. Your eye is pitch perfect and any captions indicating lighting or tile brands are greatly appreciated! Your posts are so well edited and always lend at least one significant idea or take-away which is greatly appreciated.

Good luck with this process. We all enjoy coming along for the ride! – I think your use of brick herringbone is ingenious…that’s a large area to cover and the herringbone pattern will give you texture and pattern that is hard to beat for the price. Well done!

I wasn’t a reader of your blog when you built your first home so I’m looking forward to seeing your posts on PB. I’m about to start a major remodel (much smaller scale project than yours) and your first PB post already helped with all the beautiful floor options.?

We built our beach house last year. We used the wood looking tile and we love it. No scratching from the sand. We also opted for indoor/ outdoor type rugs because of traffic and easy maintenance. How exciting for you guys!

Love all of your ideas.
We are building a farmhouse in Round Top Texas. We used red pine that was salvaged from an old house in Galveston Texas built about 1880. It is rock hard…indestructible because if its age. It is stunning. The two inch planks with some as long as 20 feet, were large beams originally that were black on the outside. The beams still had square nails in them. When the wood was milled recently, the nail holes were left in it. So the lines that the nails left are repeated now and then. A truly one of a kind floor. So you do have many options available for flooring including using old, salvaged woods.

Can’t wait to see how it all comes together! Regarding the wood tile. They are beautiful and durable but hard on the back and legs to stand on for any length of time. Also, the fact that every tile is the exact same size is a dead giveaway that they aren’t real wood. Especially since the lengths are nearly always very short. If they try making them longer they don’t install well. That said I’m considering them for my southern home as well since real wood is a problem on a slab, which is what I have.

It will be absolutely gorgeous with all these wonderful ideas shared here. I’m learning so much about design through your blog. The idea of using wood tiles sounds practical and beautiful! Although I think it would be a harder surface to walk on. Looking forward to your “chapters”!

All of your ideas look beautiful, I have porcelain tiles that look like wood in my kitchen and hall and I just love them……everyone who see them believe it’s real wood……
The best part it’s so easy to take care of….
Thanks for sharing your ideas all of which are gorgeous….

Having lived by “water” for the past three years….that wood tile will be worth it in gold!! franki

I love you all of your ideas, your home in Palmetto Bluff is going to be beautiful! Thank you for sharing this exciting project with us! Have a wonderful afternoon. By the way, so glad you set up a Pinterest Board!! Hope you’re feeling better!

Hello Tina!

Your ideas are beautiful.

Have fun planning. Good things are in store for you.

Cathy R

So excited about seeing all of the future pictures on this project. Love the carpet and rugs choices but I have to question too if they are Teddy friendly. We have a Golden Retriever too and I had a hard time getting her fur out of the Sisal we had. We no longer have that rug…There are so many beautiful options to choose from..Have fun researching!

Tina, the wood looking tiles are beautiful but in addition to the negatives posted above, have you considered how easily one can “slip” on tile? Especially ifor this is to be a home with future children and/or retirement?
Just a word of caution from someone who’s been there, done that.

If you haven’t committed or still searching we used Harrison design architects out of Atlanta for our new VA home and they are top notch, Greg Palmer was our architect. Check out their book. Love your options. Like the wood looking tile set chevron for a vacation house! Good luck! Look toward to following!

Wow!!! Congratulations on your new home, how exciting. Since it has not been that long since you went through the process of a new build you will be an expert at this whole process. Love all of the flooring and the tile/wood is fabulous, a friend of mine has it in her home in the gray barnwood look and it is truly amazing. We had it in a condo we stayed in Hilton Head and I fell in love with it there. As you said it is pretty indestructibly. It will be so fun to follow along on your journey.

How EX-IIIIIGGGGHHHH-TIIIIIING (in a falsetto opera voice)!! Love it all!

OK, question about sisal stair runners, which I love and want to do too: To your knowledge, is there a way to securely install them without putting tons of tack/staples into the stairs? We have a 200+ historic house and I don’t want to ruin the stairs if someday we want to remove the runner.

So excited to follow along with your PB building. Your present home is so amazing and I can’t wait to see the direction you take with this home. Your taste is so elegant, refined, and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your ideas and promotions.

We just moved to a community outside Charleston, SC, called I’On. It was designed to be a “mini” Charleston, is about 15 years old, and located in Mount Pleasant. After 30 years of living near Old Town Alexandria,VA, we are enjoying the more relaxed lifestyle for retirement. It has been a challenge to adapt my family antiques and furniture to smaller rooms at a time when styles are in transition. I’m excited to see what you choose since I don’t want to part with all of my treasures, but I do want to update some of my decorating ideas and add some more causal modern furniture along with my camel back sofas and mahogany furniture.

Best wishes and have fun!

Gorgeous choices and I would expect nothing less. My daughter has the tile that looks like wood in her bathroom and I must admit it does look very nice indeed. Looking forward to this newest journey.

The small tiles for the bathroom remind me of the inside of the Taj Mahal.
We recently put in plank wood floors in all the bedrooms and the library. It is very pleasant underfoot. Not as cold as tile. The French abhor wall-to-wall so it wasn’t even an option, and we’re so far south that the coziness factor isn’t a big issue.
We are renovating a future tourism rental in historic Carcassonne, which requires either restoring ancient tiles or, where that isn’t possible, installing something new that will complement the ancient. It’s really hard to choose! I’m going for lots of encaustic tiles and azulejos for the kitchens.

So I started Pinning so many of the pics and then was elated to see you were starting a PB Board! My heart is fluttering over the thrill of your posts to come. So in my wheel house!! I have been to PB and just love it. It would be our downsize and retire home if our girls were not staying on the west coast (San Fran & LA). So I am resigned to just many vacations there with my hubby and the girlfriends.

Thank you!!

Tina, I came on bored late, so missed you building your home. I am so excited to be on the blog now, to follow you getting to build the new home. I always tell my husband I have this house in my head I want to build, and he says it will have to be with my next husband!!!! so I am thrilled to live vicariously thru you, building one!!! I love you blog!!! Best of luck with all you choices!!! Linda

What an exciting time for you. Your ideas are beautiful. I’m excited to follow along or your journey and can’t wait to see what’s next.

Yay, a new home!! I love tile, and at the coast it would be pretty indestructible!I love your blues and grays of your gorgeous home, but since you have a new palate, I’d incorporate some new colors. Corals and grays are gorgeous together! Post lots of pics!!

Hi Tina, I’m thrilled you’ve started a new series, “The Bluff Diaries”. I didn’t see the pictures from your first house but am so excited to see all the pictures you post while making your decisions for your PB house. You are so kind and generous to take the time to share your experience and knowledge of interior design with all of us. Your website and blogs are my slice of peace and dreams in this hectic world. I scan my many emails and read your email first daily. I’m so excited for you and thank you for sharing your journey with your readers. Danielle

So much fun seeing your ideas for the new home. Just a thought re the tile that looks like wood…they are usually porcelain, which is nice because they wear like iron, but the hardness is a killer on the legs. Thanks for updates.

Well I really thought I could tell which was wood & which was tile… Wrong! How exciting for you to pick everything from scratch. Looking forward to future posts .

So many fine choices for consideration…
Your taste is admirable .
I will happily follow your “Bluff Diaries” !

Tina, Beautiful choices. You will so love building a southern home. I grew up in Pennsylvania but have lived my married life in the suburbs of Atlanta. We just finished building a modern farmhouse and used many of the ideas you have pinned. I did however have to bring some of my roots here to the south. We used Pennsylvania fieldstone and Pennsylvania blue stone every where we could. I love my 12″ heart of pine floors with set nails. Wouldn’t be so good for PB. I used the wood look tile in two bathrooms and love it. Reasonably priced too! Southern homes are so unique and charming. We have family building on Sullivans Island. You must go check out some of those homes if you are able. Can’t wait to see your progress! ENJOY! Already following Bluff Diaries!

Tina, so excited to start this journey with you. I love houses and house plans. Design and building is such a fun process and you obviously have a natural talent for it!

Hi Tina ~ Can’t wait to see your choices for Palmetto Bluff. I’ve had the opportunity to live in both Hawaii and Florida where I have used a sisal rug so thought I would share my experiences with them. That is ~ I didn’t really care for them except for their casual look. I found that drink spills or any spills with liquid soaked right through to the floor underneath ~ and if they weren’t cleaned up thoroughly, they caused some mildew and discoloration to the rug fibers. I had young children at the time so spills were a common occurrence and became a problem. The kids also did not care for the roughness of the rug texture for sitting on if they sat on the floor (which may not be an issue for you). Whatever you decide, I can’t wait to see your choices. This promises to be an exciting adventure with you!

Tina, I love your choices so far, and thanks so very much for taking us with you on this journey with you! It will be a pleasure as always, I know!

What a wonderful post. I feel like a kid in a candy store looking at all the wonderful choices. I started following your new Pinterest board and could not help myself-I tnink I repinned at least 1/2 of the pins!

Thank you Tina for providing such wonderful home decor inspiration. It has left me drooling! I cannot wait for more. I feel excited for you!

Hi Tina! All of your choices are beautiful! I would agree on the issue of tile being hard on your feet and legs. We recently installed bamboo flooring in our Florida home and love it! Also, if allergies are an issue, the pollen season last a lot longer in the south, so having wood flooring in our bedroom helped tremendously! Some Irene’s of ours built a gorgeous house in Kiawah, and their kitchen cabinets are some of the prettiest I have ever seen….. A very lovely aqua color with granite that has some aqua tints in it. As my late decorator always preached to me…. Living in the south with lots of light calls for decor that is light in color. You nailed it with your selection!

Omigosh, I CAN.NOT.WAIT. to see more! It all looks wonderful so far! Tina, you have a great eye for detail, are level-headed and know what you want. That is a very valuable (and scarce) combination, and I just know this vacation home will turn out to be homey, lovely, and just right. So happy for you!

Love all the beautiful ideas!! Great taste as always! My only free advice from a lifetime Deep South “Southerner”… You have to have a screened porch. You will use it! ( with fans). Cannot wait to read along with the upcoming chapters of the ‘ Bluff Diaries’!! Julie L

Hi Tina,

i love your blog, taste and generosity; and best wishes with this new venture. I thoroughly enjoyed following your last build and was struck by your generosity in answering peoples’ queries. I look forward to following this new build. I live in Australia so unfortunately can’t enjoy your shop.

I would just like to add to a couple other comments on tile floors. I put tile through my entire home and although it looks beautiful, the pain it has given to the legs is enormous. I realize you are putting in soft elements as well but for me, 61 years with developing severe arthritis, I deeply regret my choice. Just need to say…Cork now comes in many new styles that look like wood planks. This may be worth exploring as cork comforts the body well. I don’t know if there are water issues though.

Best wishes with whatever you chose. I’m sure it will be beautiful and well considered.

Kind regards,


I did miss this post and I am so glad I read today’s post which was the clue to your second home! I am thrilled you are building in the low country – we moved to this area 1 1/2 years ago and couldnt be more satisfied with our choice. I cant wait to see your take on the Southern low country vibe!!!! Palmetto Bluff is so beautiful! The colors and style and “feel” down here is much more relaxed – and healthy – than the franticly busy, crazy and sometimes very formal way of life that we left. Not that I didnt love all that, but this is…..bliss.
I already love all your ideas. Just put in a sisal runner on the staircase to our second floor office and guest room. LOVE IT!

PS As to screened porch comment by another reader. I agree! You really do need screens because of the bugs (mosquitos and gnats) but there is a wonderful way to have that without darkening the rest of the house. Retractable screens or phantom screens that retract to an invisible place but come down at the press of a button when you want to be outdoors all year – which you can be!!!!

Hi Tina,
I’m sure your new home will be beautiful. I have a family room with a slate floor and ceramic tile in my bathrooms. We have installed radiant heat under the floors just to take away the chill that comes with any stone or tile floor. I had a sisal rug once in my family room. I love the look but they are a maintenance nightmare. I now have a wool rug with the look of sisal and it is very durable.

Hello Tina, love your blog and I am excited to follow along
As you build your new home.
I have tile floors, also, and since they are very cool, I would
suggest radiant floors. Would also suggest TANKLESS hot
water for an ENDLESS supply of hot water. I visit a home
often with the tankless, and it is awesome that everyone
can have a HOT shower, and can run dishwasher AND wash
clothes. Check it out! Looking forward to your posts!

Hi Tina, please, please, pretty please share your source for the blue and cream marble basket-weave tile flooring. This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for!

Thank you so much,

Karen in CIncinnati
[email protected]

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