sneak peek: night owl

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i first fell in love with night owl paper goods when i came across their eco-chic cards printed on wood, and now i always love seeing what new things they’ve cooked up. so today it’s a real treat to have a peek into partner alan henderson’s birmingham, alabama home. we were expecting something with a bit more of a “modern yet folksy” look (that’s night owl’s tagline, afterall), but we totally fell in love with the natural palette sprinkled with botanicals and clean spaces with lots of natural light. click here for more images (i can’t wait to see what they end up doing with visions of their dream garden), and here for more from night owl paper goods. and don’t forget, you can find for all our – nearly 200! – sneak peeks here! safe travels to all as you make it to your homes for the holidays! [thanks, alan!] -anne

[above: The front porch opens right into the living room, no entry hall in the house. The sofa was our first major furniture splurge, the Harrington by Todd Hase in a cream mohair that we’ll keep forever. Lindsay had the curtains made with $3/yard tattersall fabric from a shop in Mississippi.]


Our living room opens to a porch that extends across the entire front of the house. The desk overlooks the garden.


One of a pair of bookshelves in the living room that Lindsay has had since college. We’re obsessed with amber glass.


You might have seen our kitchen in Cottage Living. We simplified the space by swapping out busy granite counters for Alabama white marble. This is why we bought the house–for this room and all its windows.


The botanical photographs are by our friend Melissa Springer. The map is actually pieced together from cheap prints that Montgomery artist David Braly aged and put together for us. Phoebe Howard really upgraded this space with wallpaper and good wool curtains–it’s our first grown-up dining room.


The chair fabric is Ikat from Hickory Chair. Unfortunately, it’s discontinued.


The bedroom isn’t done–the chaise came from Phoebe Howard in Atlanta and needs to be recovered, we loved the shape of it.

This is our office, I found the desk in the early 90s at a department store in Lexington, KY that was going out of business, and Lindsay had my amber glass bottles turned into lamps. The office upstairs, showing the original coal-burning fireplace. The banding on the walls is an homage to David Hicks.


Lindsay’s drawings from architecture school hang in our office. The computer desk came from Plexicraft in NY.


This is a classic four-square parterre, and it’s always changing–Lindsay and I had over 100 basil plants last summer, and heirloom tomatoes. This year we had whiteflies and hungry caterpillars. Next year it will be all about herbs and zinnias. Lindsay has someone building architectural tuteurs in the center of each square.

Sara

I love this house! I’m from England and it seems to have a very British vibe to it. It’s more traditional than the usual sneak peeks which sometimes I can’t imagine myself living in. This house I could just move on in!

Natalie

It’s so warm and elegant! I love it! Where did you get the beautiful yellow striped rug in the first picture?

sally

….a very charming Southern home….i love the warm colours….especially love the aged maps piece in the dining room….

kathy

i agree – that yellow striped rug is gorgeous. i would appreciate knowing the source; please and thanks much!

L.J.T.

I like the sofa on top of the yellow and white striped bed. MIght work as a daybed/guest bed. Do you know the source?

Lindsay

Thanks so much for your comments! We got the wool striped rug at Williams Sonoma Home, it’s insanely cheap on sale right now. Click on sale then rugs from wshome.com

VisuaLingual

What a beautiful home! I love that it’s more traditional that the typical D*S sneak peek; it’s a great change of pace and wonderful bit of eye candy!

Lindsay

LJT: that daybed is the Brooke Banquet from Todd Hase NYC. It doubles as a twin guest bed (unless you’re 6’6″)

Molly

You have such a beautiful home! I am looking for a bed just like the one in your bedroom. Could you please tell me where it is from? Thanks!

catherine

I LOVE the checked curtains they have in the living room. It really warms up/cozies up that neutral space. Any ideas what the fabric is?

jess

wow, your garden is beautiful! i’ve been day dreaming about amazing, structured gardens for the past couple of months. maybe i’m watching too many period films?

maile

i love love all the white and the basic colors of this house, that along with its little touches of contemporary. I love your bar stools in white, i have been trying to find chrome ones but have had no such luck. Can you name your source please? Thank you!

cmullin

I absolutely love your home…I aspire to have this feel in my own home someday. I love the bar cart in the dining room. Can you tell us about it?

Josephine

Did you say the bedroom ISN’T done??? Looks pretty damn good from this end! Nice work guys ;-)

Lindsay

About the bed: we got it from Niermann Weeks (through a decorator friend), we went without a decent bed at all for about 10 years to afford it. Try Charles P. Rodgers for good less $$$ options

Lindsay

Someone asked about the bar stools: Knoll’s Jamaica bar stool–they may look white in the photo, but they’re all chrome

elle

oh how i love the framed artwork in the living-room!!!!! Those very large botanicals, absolutely spectacular!!! Please, can you tell me where you got them? Thanks!

rena

absolutely amaaaazing house. so old school without being stuffy and with a modern minimalism to it. just be-a-utiful. thanks for sharing

noreen

i just love all the symmetry in these pictures (especially in the living room) what a lovely home! :-)

erin lang norris

WOAH this is one seriously awesome sneak peak.

I love how it’s so different than the usual sneak peaks. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of those too! But this is an entirely different feel altogether.

You guys did a fantastic job and I really love the lamps made from your amber bottles!

I wish I could think about my space in this sort of way, but I feel that my thinking is often swayed by all of the interior photos I come across online. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to remove them from my head when I’m trying to think on a different level (like this one!)

Christina

wow — beautiful! Not at all surprising, as this beautifully designed abode is home to some truly creative artists. Check out their line of paper goods … you will never hit a card store again! (PLUS-They’re in Birmingham, AL!!!) My very different Christmas cards were everyone’s favorites this year! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!

anthropoet

Crisp, clean and inspiring for the new year. (I have the same Ikat fabric on a chair in my living room). This home has great flow – the kind that really clears the mind and opens up those creative channels. Obviously creativity is in plentiful supply in this environment. Thanks for sharing.

Jesselyn

I can’t help but echo what everyone else has already said – What an absolutely gorgeous home!

Allison

Would you mind sharing the maker of the other sofa (with the bolsters)? Lovely home!

RebaJonez

i agree with a post from above; this is such a nice departure, design-wise, from the contemporary take on mid-century modern often featured. LOVELY home.

debra

EVERY ASPECT OF THIS HOME IS AMAZING!
yes the computer desk is great, mix of old and mod is a perfect blend. design*sponge please consider more of this look. maybe i am too old for your audience, but this is a livable home.

Annabelle

Oh I agree with you all! Especially the coffee table in the opening photo. Lindsay, where did you find such a wonderful piece?

Phyllis

Need to know: Where did the botanicals (large green leafed prints) come from?
Lovely to look at, special to see!
PH

courtney

Sneak Peek is one of my favorite features on Design*Sponge, and this is by far my favorite sneak peek home. So simple, and livable, yet refined…absolutely lovely. I would LOVE to see more sneak peeks in this style!

Carole

Can you share more about how the map was made and what type of prints were used? The prints almost look like aerial photos from the pics. Thanks!

naomi Duffey

I had a problem with caterpillars and whiteflies with my tomatoes, except for the one planted among the wormwood (artemisia absinthium), which also smells wonderful. I did not attempt to make absinthe from it. The whiteflies did like the wormwood, did not bother the tomato, and the scent seemed to keep away the hookworms.

Lily

H-E-A-V-E-N-L-Y!!!! What a gorgeous home you’ve made for yourselves! Makes me weep for the oddly shaped rooms, lack of good trimwork, and non-existent wall space of my house. Sigh.

Anna

Beautiful Alan and Lindsay! Need I remind that a serious professional (editor of Cottage Living no less) is involved here?!

Liza

where can buy the big green framed leaves 2nd photo? gorgeous, love them. beautiful. thank you! Liza

Lindsay

Yes, I was the editor of Cottage Living, but Time Inc. decided last month to shut us down. I’ve since taken over our sister pub, Coastal Living. Look for changes there next year!

Thank you all SO MUCH for your kind words. Many of you have asked about the botanicals: I’m going to give away my big secret: they’re actually framed posters!! Go to allposters.com (search “gunnera.”) Keep it entre nous. You can barely tell from 2 feet away.

Laura

Amazing home! I love the reference to David Hicks… his daughter’s house in the Bahamas is fabulous too…

preeti

Wow! completely agree with everyone else. what a beautiful home, grown up, chic and yet very homey. I love the garden and yes the house has a very English feel to it–I too grew up in England and it definitely feels that way.

Lupin

Such a lovely serene colour palette – those posters look so great in that setting, really striking and just goes to show how you don’t have to break the bank on art to make a room look fabulous!

Anne

Oh my goodness! This home is simply stunning! I adore the dining room, those chairs!!

furniture Houston

My favorite elements are the large windows and the amount of light that comes into the room. You can do a lot of wonderful things with that natural light! :)

Katy

I believe the dining room chair fabric is a Duralee. I had it in a red colorway. Maybe that color is discontinued?

LIMOM

Gorgeous. One of the loveliest homes you’ve posted. I call this style, “Domino reader grows up”. Young and funky grows up and realizes that they need comfort, warmth, texture. They also need to display all that fabulous stuff they’ve accumulated on travels and at flea markets over the years. Love the window treatments throughout. Art is woven beautifully throughout the space, particularly in the dining room. On the other hand, the kitchen is so space that the lamp and table serve as art, genius.

rachel

i think what really adds to your wonderful taste in furniture and color is the beautiful bones of your home, looks like a home that PB would use for a photo shoot. You are so lucky! Dd

Elaine

Incredible! My favorite sneak peek by far! (And the others are pretty incredible too)

Devon

I absolutely love your house and your garden. What inspiration!

If you are ever in a DIY-blog kind of mood, could you let us know how one ages maps? I thought your aged map was entirely too gorgeous.

Lindsay

Devon: I wish I could give you a step-by-step how-to on the maps! But I think it’s actually just tea or coffee applied with a sponge (I didn’t do it myself). I’m loving that a couple of people get an English vibe–I’ve never thought of it that way. LOVE THAT!

susy

Good Lord. This is beautiful.

I am torn between completely renovating my entire apartment or jumping out a window.

jdw

i think i’m the only one who think this, but . . . it’s nice enough, just has the look of trying too hard.

Glass Bottles

Great pics, your place looks absolutely amazing. You definitely do have an infatuation with the amber bottles, you should learn to make essential oils and use the bottles for storage. They will provide a terrific scent to the redone rooms you have.

Annie

My favorite sneak peek by far. Looks so beautiful and comfortable. Thank you for sharing.

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