interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: lucy allen gillis

by anne

good style must run in their family. after rinne allen’s sneak peek that was a huge hit (see it here if you missed it), we now have a mega peek into her sister lucy’s place. lucy and her husband jim moved back to her hometown of athens, georgia in 2006 after some time in charleston, sc and new york city where lucy attended parson’s and worked for hable construction. back in georgia they renovated a 1940s cottage which is the star of today’s sneak peek. there more than TEN more images after the jump, and if that’s still not enough for you, don’t miss additional images (including some before shots and more detailed descriptions) RIGHT HERE. keep your eye out for work from lucy (and rinne) in selvedge magazine and all their various collaborative projects that promote where they are from. [thanks so much lucy and rinne!]anne

[photos by rinne allen]

[above: Assorted birds old and new. Photos are from Rinne’s developing bird series, the wire and crystal sconce is placed upside down, on rinne’s suggestion, I just love them. I think they are the perfect mix of old rusty metal and shiny crystal. I like them even more since they are missing crystals! They are also a chelsea flea market find that was packed away in a box that I recently discovered. The vase holds cuttings from mom’s prized pussy willow plant, which I am trying to root.  ]

The anchor of the room is this 19 th century french settee from our aunt suzi. She is an interior designer, furniture designer, antiques dealer, you name it- she can do it! She is a large part of the reason my sister rinne, and I know anything about design. The settee is covered in hable construction‘s outdoor fabric in ‘tumbleweed’. It is so durable and I love the large scale & abstract pattern. I worked for the hable sisters for many years in nyc and then from here in georgia when I moved from manhattan. Rinne is their photographer and we do some fun freelance things for them, so there is a lot of hable in our house! I love those ladies and their dedication to beauty and utility and I try to incorporate those tenants into my everyday life.

The portraits were a total find in a garage antiques shop in Maine, where our family spends a good part of the summers…I treasure them. The red table is suzi’s design, the rug was another Maine find. Pillows are a mix of hable and vintage. Textile on the back of the sofa is from matta, a company I just love based in nyc that makes amazing clothing and accessories…it was actually a scarf but I scooped it up to go in this space. Side tables from Target years ago, lamps are hand-me-downs from mom.

The den. We spend 99% of our time in this room which opens up to the kitchen. It is small, but really cozy. Almost everything in here is a vintage or thrift store find. Some favorites include the new hable bird pillows, antique embroidered hemp panels used as valences, artwork and one of our two English Cocker spaniels over by the door, June.

The art is mostly Rinne‘s work- her black swan and pasture mingle with a print from Karen Gelardi and a cut-paper silhouette Rinne made of our dog, June, for us for Christmas last year.   Vintage Eames chair is a recent acquisition from Agora, a great place to find things here in Athens.  Suzanne’s “Lyon” chair covered in a Sister Parish fabric.   I love the dried tropical flower head in the background- it inspired me to integrate the same color green in this room. An Andrew Wyeth book sits on a thrift store coffee table I had lacquered. Wyeth is a huge inspiration for me…his subtle use of watery, earthy color is just dreamy.

The downstairs guest room.   I also love this room.   The beds are antique loaners from my mom. I am hoping we can acquire them through common law some day {hint, hint}. A mix of antique linens mingle with John Robshaw and pillows from Les Indiennes. I have a minor textile addiction, so I am always picking up remnants, bedding, and towels. Rinne and I write and photograph for the lovely British mag, Selvedge, so that fuels our interest even more. The art is a mix of vintage prints and new work.   Above the French bamboo table is a glorious crawford gillis pastel and passion flower by our friend Chatham, which were both wedding gifts.

This might be my favorite piece in our house, besides family heirlooms and photos. It is from lisa’s great shop, hawthorne house, and was a wedding gift from my parents. The coral color is just unbelievable in person and totally pops against the aqua walls.   Accessories include blanc de chine figurines and folk-art ceramic bird candle holders. My Mom gave me the antique mirror a few years ago and the light fixtures are original to the house. The blue pom poms, beaded star, and leather “L” hanging from them were all gifts from Rinne.  [Right] I love this vignette. I love folk art and primitive pieces. Jim and I both have a thing for orchids. This is by another dear friend, Mary Hardman. The frames are random flea finds and the wooden grain measures and wonderful painted trunk are both from Maine. The crazy red & silver stool made of spools was a chelsea flea find in NYC. I carried it back on the plane with me on a recent trip.

Upstairs guest room. The head-to-toe pine paneling is original to the house and gives this guest room a cabin-y feel. Checks, plaids, & stripes adorn the bed: a homespun Amish quilt is layered with a brightly graphic quilt from my mom’s collection. Pillows from garnet hill and hable add color, and the red lacquer lamps from ikea, and printed and striped rugs from anthropolgie and habitat, respectively, add punch to the predominantly black & white color scheme. The old iron bed has been around for ages.

CLICK HERE for the rest of lucy’s post after the jump!

Upstairs bath. The cute claw-footed tub came with the house! The ship needlepoint was a b’day gift from my dear friend Liz in NYC.   Paper flower and colorful plastic lei were both gifts from Rinne. [Right] Antique dental cabinet in our tiny bathroom. This was a very small and narrow space.   I literally went to Scotts looking for some kind of industrail metal cabinet and a woman had just acquired this from an estate. It houses some of my favorite linens- a mix of brahms mount, hable, towels from erica tanov and good old tj maxx.   We had big plans for a luxurious bath and closet when we renovated, but budget constraints would not allow it. This cabinet allows us to store and display, and the glass door means it really doesn’t take up too much visual space.

My little corner in the bedroom which includes one of Rebecca’s wood fired vases, which I love and collect. A hable goose pillow (‘goose’ is my nickname…).   Two unframed sepia sunprints Rinne and I made together sit on the corner shelf, as does a wishbone sculpture from Butch Anthony that I got at the first alabama adventure weekend we went to a few years ago.

Mexican otomi hangings we got on our honeymoon, round gold mirror from an estate sale.  A great faux painted bamboo chest and a collection of many of my favorite things on the dresser.

[Right] The guest bath. We re-did this one totally over. The floor was falling in, none of the plumbing worked.   I obviously love black and white. It is such a crisp, effortless combo.   Shower curtain from John Robshaw, storage bushel from hable, and assorted vintage storage items. I swear, I am also obsessed with storage items. I looove antique wire baskets, bins, and industrial things.

[Right] One thing we could do when we renovated was move the sink out of the original bathroom, and so I designed a pair of vanities and had a great woodworker here make them. The mirrors are actually by two’s company and were on sale in a local store here. I love anything metallic and think the shimmer brightens up the space.

Our bedroom.   The back of the house was added in 1970, so there are these great, huge sliding windows that face the back yard & garden in our bedroom and in the den.   This is the most neutral room in the house…I think it is a nice to have a really serene and realxing bedroom.   I love to mix pattern upon pattern in here; even in creams and whites, it is so striking.   The screen is a loaner from my mom and dad…I love it’s washed out colors. The pale green side table is another one of suzi’s designs that was a christmas gift in high school.   Great copper lamp on loan from Rinne, hable storage boxes, matta area rugs.

Bedding is a mix of vintage, Garnet Hill, Brahms Mount, hable and John Robshaw. We are always changing it because our two dogs have free reign and it tends to get muddied by their paws often.

[Right] The two large pieces flanking the window are part of an antique japanese screen I found in Maine last summer.   The entire design is actually made from embroidered metallic thread. They totally have holes and are pretty old, but I love them and think that gives them more character.

Part of the reason I like all things old- clothes, textiles, furnishings- is because they have a story. It is so fun to imagine who has owned them and where they have been. I honestly prefer for things in our home to show a little wear. It is not uncommon for a textile to have a tear, a piece of furniture to have a chip missing, or something to have a crack. I actually feel a wee bit uncomfortable to have too many new things in our home.

The kitchen, as seen from the den area. As I said earlier, I do not like many new things. That being said, If I am going to buy something new, it often comes from Ikea.   I think that many things from there work really well with a lot of the old, unique pieces we have.   We kept the long, galley format of the original kitchen and updated the cabinets, corian countertops and re-did all of the lighting.   I especially love the brass knobs and our pot rack with our collection of copper pots, they contrast in the best way with the stainless appliances.   Antique rug found in another great garage antiques store in Maine.

The central hall. Antique rug from Lisa. We re-built these bookshelves and it made all the difference.   They now house ever changing collections of curio and books.

The dining room, which opens onto the living room.   This is a constant work in progress for me! I really do not like the wall color, but cannot decide what to paper it with…I want some more pattern in here! In my dream house with an endless budget, there would be wallpaper, textiles, and patterned rugs everywhere!! The light fixture is a recent fave found at a local antiques shop. It is quite rusty and dirty, but still shiny at the same time, which I love. The chairs are a mix of vintage metal & lucite from the chelsea flea in nyc, and an updated windsor-style recently acquired from jayson home and garden in chicago. We searched & searched and finally found something we liked and that was comfy for my husband jim, who is on the tall side. The cloth was made out of hable‘s espresso bead fabric for our wedding.

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  • wow.. that’s a great interior design.. even I’m not an interior designer (I’m a graphic designer) I’m really understand what’s is the meaning of beautiful – and all the pictures above is beautiful !

  • LOVE.
    love the central hall, the kitchen mmmm …….

    what paint color is in the downstairs guest room? I’ve been looking for a good light blue and that one is SO pretty.

  • what don’t I love in this post??! every photo is dreamy. I love the cozy kitchen (the rug!) and bedroom with blue walls, antique beds and modern lighting. I think the owl lamp is my fave though.thanks.

  • Oooo, wow! from me too.
    I love every room.

    I’ve been feeling pretty uninspired lately but not any more. I need to get to work.

  • I got a tip for you all, take a look at Rune Johansens pictures from his book, Hiv Mannskjiten. I just posted some of the photos on my blog.

  • I want to know how I enter some contest to get my home to look like this!! If I were to wake up in the morning and wish my home to be perfect for me this would be it!!! I appreciate this more than you know but unfortunatley I am a bit envious!!

  • This is one of my all-time favorites. I have it bookmarked for inspiration — the layering of textiles bring such warmth into the house and creates a look that I love. Beautiful job.

  • Great house. Where did the striped rug in the upstairs guest room come from? I have had the tumbleweed sofa bookmarked since it first appeared in March, 2008! I love that fabric; glad to hear it’s an outdoor fabric and thus should be able to stand up to kids and dogs if I ever get to recover something with it. Thanks for sharing your house!

  • i don’t get overly giddy about most sneak peaks- but this house is just lovely. *so* unpretentious, it’s precious. and not in the saccharine sweet way. in the not easily found way. thank you!

  • Wow! This post was GREAT. I could oogle over these pictures for a long time. In fact, I did that from the office a lot today. So inspiring. I want to go home and start decorating!

  • if i did not happen to be lucy’s sister and i stumbled upon this peek, i would love it anyways!
    but since, i am her sister, i will say that lucy has, handsdown, one of the best ‘eyes’ ever…she has the rare ability to pull together many different colors/styles/textures/
    & objets and make harmony. and, most importantly, in a comfortable, inviting way.

  • Can i just say I look SO forward to Mondays…sneak peak day!!! I have honestly gone back to look at this one three times!!!! It is AMAZING!

  • WHY am I the only person on earth that owns a 110 year old house that DOESN’T Have an amazing fireplace like that. Sighhh…

  • I am just blown away by the creativity expressed in this home.
    Such originality. I will return often for inspiration. Thanks so much!!

  • What a treat!!!! I have not had the chance to see my friends Lucy and Jim’s house in person so what could be better than this post?! It is packed with effortless style and wonderful personality just like them :)

  • Lucy, it was so much fun to see your wonderful home online… I wore out the up and down arrow on the computer looking and reading, looking and reading… having been with you at home just made me enjoy it more … only thing missing was Jim in the kitchen!! Thanks for sharing and being such a big fan of Hable…

  • Can you let us know what paint color the yellow in the first couple of pics is? Beautiful home! My fave ever on design sponge!!

  • Can you tell me what color blue you used in the guest bedroom with the twin beds? I am still looking at this home, and it’s Tuesday. I will be looking at it all week, for sure.

  • thanks so very much for everyone’s kind words!! we are so happy and honored to share our house with you, and to have this great forum to discuss it….many thanks to grace and anne and my sis, rinne, for the lovely images

    elizabeth and stephanie: the paint color in the downstairs guest room is palladian blue by benjamin moore. it is a wonderful color…we used it in our bedroom in our last home.

    meredith: the paint color in the living room is waterbury cream by benjamin moore. again, we have used it before. it has a lot of depth and really changes with the light

    andrea: the striped rug upstairs came from habitat in the uk. i lugged it back in my suitcase! they unfortunately do not ship here :(

    bridget: i am still looking for the paint color on the fireplace…i did it myself on a whim. i know it is dark grey from benjamin moore…

  • hello!!! I’d also love to know where you purchased the white lotus-like pendant lamp in the guest bedroom. I used to have one and I miss it. Beautiful home, congratulations!!!

  • I enjoyed Lucy’s home tour soooo much – loved it all. Does she have a blog? Gorgeous!! THank you!!

  • wonderful house! saw the paint colors for the blue and cream, what is the paint color for the light yellow? thank you :-)

  • adding to my post: I think the light yellow is the waterbury cream? if so, you’re right, it does change (nicely) with the light.

  • hi guys, thanks so much again for all the kind words…

    zoe:the light IS the one from ikea! i spent forever looking for one and could not find something i liked, so just put that one in there for now.

    beth: yes, the yellow is the waterbury cream.

    chi-girl: stay tuned as my sister, rinne, and i are working on the blog thing as we speak! we will let grace know when we get everything up and running!


  • Lucy!! your home is beautiful!! Love the hallway! We can not wait to visit y’all!!

  • LUCY~ ULTRA FAB!you are so talented and colorful and what a wonderful home! ive been there and its just as pretty in person! wish i could move in! mom and i are looking at it tonight once again…so nice xx

  • Central hall is gorgeous. The dinning room is depressing. Overly mixed and matched with the chairs and the colour scheme is once again, depressing.

  • WoW! Beautiful home. I wish I could copy it all. Love the floor. What sort of wood is it? And the finish? Stained or varnished?

  • absolutely gorgeous! i love all the colour combinations, and everything flows so nicely. i could definitely see myself living here! the portraits in the living room are beautiful!

  • I would love to know what paint colors were used in the photos of the bathroom/hallway