Thursday, July 22, 2021


by Maura McEvoy and 
Sasha Burwell
Photography by Maura McEvoy
Text by Kathleen Hackett
Vendome, $50.00
May 2021
Reviewed by Teresa Hatfield
Author, Splendid Sass

The homes in The Maine House have seen many a family and their lives and dreams. If I ever needed a place to go relax and feel close to nature, this is it. 

The creators of this book spent several years traveling through Maine, the bays and inlets, the dirt roads, and sea towns. Home renovations are last on the list, living life is first. 

I have chosen my favorite images to share with you below. Enjoy the 250 color images here, and take it all in. 

About The Creators

Maura McEvoy spends her summers on the Maine coast. Her work has been seen in House Beautiful, Town & Country, Conde Nast, Travelers, Outside magazine, and Martha Stewart Living

Basha Burrell sails her way each day. Her clients include, L.
L. Bean, Garnet Hill, and Misha & Puff. 

Kathleen Hackett spends her summers in Maine. She is the author of Brooklyn Interiors and the ghostwriter of over a dozen books on cooking and interior, contributing to Elle Decor, AD, and Veranda. 

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Friday, July 16, 2021


I have a special treat for you today, so grab a cup of tea or coffee and ENJOY!

I met designer Cindy Cantley several weeks ago in her lovely shop, Cantley and Company, and could not wait to share her work with you. Cyndy is an interior designer in Birmingham, AL. and she designs the projects, and her husband Keith Cantley custom makes all of the bespoke cabinetry in the company’s local shop in Adamsville, AL. I know that you will love the images below of their beautiful work.

Under each group of photographs is a description of the work.  ENJOY!

Chadwick Kitchen/Pantry:

This project consisted of original cabinetry designs in the kitchen, butler’s pantry, master bathroom, and half bath. The custom cabinetry throughout this project show that cabinets are not just for the kitchen. They can be made to for whatever lifestyle a person might have. The designs were created to show that cabinets are not just for the kitchen and with the perfect college game day in mind– being that the house is located in Tuscaloosa, AL.

• In the kitchen, the island was made to accommodate a multitude of platters and dishes of game day treats as well as a place to gather around the food and watch the game on one of the two TVs that are built in to the fridge and freezer wall cabinet systems.

• The butler’s pantry offers a plethora of prep space for game day beverages and storage for any leftovers, if there are any. It is also a nice, peaceful place to fix coffee the morning after an exciting night of cheering on your favorite team.

• The half bath provides a stylish space for guests to take a break during commercials. The curved cabinet sink base both saves space in an already smaller area of the house and proves that even a half bath can be as beautiful as the rest of the house.

• The master bathroom is an oasis after a long day of rooting for your team. The dual his-and-hers sinks–separated by a beautiful archway and elegant vanity table– give husband and wife there own space to unwind and get ready for bed.


Irwin Kitchen/Pantry:

The homeowners wanted to create a kitchen that accentuated the architecture of their 1920s cottage and prove that a bigger kitchen is not always better. They also wanted to create a pantry that added in more modern spunk to their historic home in the Crestline neighborhood in Birmingham, AL.

• The La Cornue oven, cabinet style, and china display shelves help give the kitchen that charming cottage feel that the rest of the house has.

• The all white color scheme helps open up the space and makes it feel bigger, which helps show the idea that a massive kitchen is not always the way to go.

• In the pantry, the navy accents from the kitchen are carried over and used as the cabinet color, which in addition with the uniquely patterned wallpaper on the ceiling, gives the space that more updated feel that the homeowners were looking for.

Nelson Kitchen/Pantry:

The homeowners wanted to create a bright, fresh French bistro style kitchen inside of their beautiful 1918 Tudor home in the Highland Park neighborhood of Birmingham, AL.

• We chose a cream and gray color palette to bring in the light rustic feel the owners desired.

• The overall neutral color palette leaves room for bright pops of color and subtle patterns to freshen up the space.

• Corbel brackets in the cased opening, leaded glass windows and natural brass hardware embrace the old charm of the house while stainless steel appliances and glass dome pendants give the kitchen a more modern, updated touch.

 Statham Bar/Pantry:

The owners wanted an update to the bar and pantry areas of their house. They desired better and more bar prep and storage space, in addition to a more organized pantry system. The owners wanted to make the space feel more cohesive with the rest of the classical, French styling of the home, which is located in beautiful Mountain Brook, AL.

• The antiqued mirrors and leaded glass give the space the older French charm the clients desired.

• The closed shelving helps keep the pantry from looking like there is too much in the space. The cabinets provide space for organization behind closed doors.

• The addition of the built-in, counter-to-ceiling cubbies in the pantry allow for dual storage and display for the owners’ wine collection. And, the ladder makes the full height of the cabinets functional, as well as nodding to the ladders that were frequently used in older stores to tie in the classical charm.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021


Decorating With French Country Style
by Shauna Varvel with
Alexandra Black
photography by Luke White
Vendome, $50.00
May 2021
Reviewed by Teresa Hatfield
Author, Splendid Sass

You are in for a delightful treat as you navigate through the pages of this stunning book. Pouring through each page of the 200 images was an amazing venture into more contemporary homes. 

Provence Style, featuring Shauna’s eighteenth-century Rhône valley farmhouse, Le Mas des Poiriers, is laden with photo after photo of beautiful rooms filled with the loveliest furnishings, textures, fabrics, art, linens, and accessories. This book is a must have!

Below are several of the breathtaking gardens and interiors showcased here. 

About the Author

Shauna Varvel began her career in a public relations capacity with Ester Lauder in New York and Tokyo. After years renting summer homes, she decided to renovate her beautiful farmhouse. 

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Thursday, May 27, 2021


Legendary Dinners
by Anne Petersen
Prestel, $40.00
May 2021
Reviewed by Teresa Hatfield
Author, Splendid Sass

I have added several of the reviewed or gifted interior design books to my recipe book collection, and Legendary Dinners by Anne Petersen will proudly join them. From JFK, Coco Chanel, the Apollo 11 Crew, Truman Capote, to Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, the twenty dinners not only share beautiful images, but the recipes themselves. 

The tablescapes are stunning, and the food extraordinary. Those invited to these dinners include celebrities, politicians, businessmen, and famous wives; the Who's Who in the world. A celebration of history, if you will, and a must have for your collection.

Below are several images from this wonderful book.  ENJOY!

Anne Peterson studied journalism in Munich and Paris and is now editor-in-chief of Salon, a leading German designer and lifestyle magazine. She lives in Hamburg with her husband and four children.

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Monday, May 24, 2021


Patina Homes
by Steve and Brooke Giannetti
Photography by Lisa Romerein
Rizzoli, $50.00
May 2021
Reviewed by Teresa Hatfield
Author, Splendid Sass

When I was asked if I would like to review Steve and Brooke Giannetii’s new book, Patina Homes, and authors of Patina Farm and Patina Living, my answer was YES!  I have been following the lives and careers of these two talented geniuses for years. 

In their new book, Steve and Brooke have included much from their past while building the new home, which is, in my opinion, a piece of paradise.  The modern, classical, and industrial mix home, in Ojai, California, is filled with unfinished furniture, plaster, gray hues, lime finished wood, beautiful tiles inside and on the terra cotta laden rooftop, sitting on five acres of beautiful land. The windows appear to be painted canvases, with their beautiful scenery and perfect landscapes. This is what you create when the husband is an architect and the wife is one of the most wonderful designers. 

Also in the book are images of the shop that Steve’s family have run for years. The beautiful molds and plaster pieces are stunning. From column capitals to decorative architectural pieces, there is so much to love. 

Every day I wait for the precious Instagram posts with Brooke and the farm animals and beautiful foliage. From watching the baby goats and cattle, to the doggies and cats, it is a treat!  

I can’t say enough about this lovely couple. They are just that talented! 

Below are several images of the homes they have created. ENJOY!




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