interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: night owl

by anne

i first fell in love with 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 for more images (i can’t wait to see what they end up doing with visions of their dream garden), and 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!]

[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 Leton, 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.

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

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

  • 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

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

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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

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

  • 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!

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

  • 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!)

  • 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!!!

  • 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.

  • 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.

    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.

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

  • Sneak Peek is one of my favorite features on Design*Droits-Humains, 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

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