big and small

August 18, 2017

The romance of a cabin in the woods has always had a certain allure to me…fresh, cool air, long range mountain views as far as the eye can see, the sunset in the colors of a subdued rainbow…the magic of it all has lured me again and again to visit cute little rustic retreats and mega mountain mansions in the sky.

The idea of a place of serenity and refuge finally became so irresistible that I dove in head first to building my...

July 18, 2017

Last weekend, we made the 3 hour drive from DC to Wintergreen, VA to meet with our contractors and do our own low voltage electrical wiring. It was a really full weekend with more work than leisure but my daughter and I managed a girls-only dinner where we talked about boys and school and a movie on the lawn where we cuddled in a blanket on what ended up being a really chilly summer night in the mountains. It was one of the hi...

July 11, 2017

I wish we all had free access to the awesome software that Joanna Gaines uses in Fixer Upper. It would be amazing to see 3D images of a space before making any changes or buying furniture. But, that's just not an option for design enthusiasts like me. I'll bet it isn't for you either!

I have loved design forever. I didn't want to choose it as a career but I've taken my fair share of classes. Many years ago, I moved in...

May 20, 2017

For those who have been following along, you will notice that we have made major progress on our custom vacation rental. I'm thrilled that the house has finally come out of the ground. 

The purpose of our visit was to walk through the interior of the house to show the builder our furniture layout so that he can accurately place the HVAC and electrical wiring/outlets. We thought this would take an hour or so but it took nearly 5...

March 21, 2017

About a year ago, we renovated our home. It was the kind of renovation that requires you to move out for several months. Serious. We took the house down to the studs and rebuilt every room except the kitchen and the master bath - both of which had been redone several years ago. The renovation was well worth it!

Here are a few highlights:


The fireplace is the focal point of the room. We choose the warm, neutral stacked s...

March 11, 2017

Are you building or renovating a home? Well, me, too! If you're anything at all like me, it feels just a bit overwhelming. Once you've found the contractor, the lot, the plans (not necessarily in that order) and the building process has started...then what?! Most of us are not onsite swinging a hammer so it feels a little abstract. I am not one to sit on the sidelines and wait for the contractor to give me a week to make an im...

March 7, 2017

I've been blogging for a few months and there is one house that's missing from all of my posts...mine! Welp, that changes today. Why? Because my husband has created a masterpiece that I'm really excited to share. No, it's not mountain modern nor a project in a flip, but it's serious eye candy. So let's dive in!

Everything that you see in this closet is custom made by my handy husband (with a little input from me, but it's...

February 23, 2017

Let's face it. You are unlikely to find everything you want in an existing home. Whether it's your primary home or a vacation home like the one that we are building, nothing compares to getting exactly what you want (that goes for everything in life!). Here are 5 reasons why I think that anyone who is considering home ownership should at least think about building.

1 - Financing is comparable to traditional financing - Most peo...

February 15, 2017

Let’s be clear, I am a design enthusiast, not an interior designer. Yes, I’ve taken a class or two and decorated a handful of houses, but I’m not a professional (I just blog like one - ha!). Hey, that’s ok! I work in institutional investment management and I love it! In addition to building and decorating a new vacation home and rental for my family in Wintergreen, VA, I have a number of finishing touches to make to our curren...

February 2, 2017

Let's face it. There are a myriad of flooring choices - carpet, tile, wood, concrete and more! For our vacation rental, we quickly narrowed our search to wood floors for the main living and sleeping areas. Why?

  • Wood floors complement the overall style of the house

  • Wood is typically the flooring of choice in comparable homes in our area making our home competitive for rentals and a future sale, if we ever decided to lis...

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@2015 Q. Monique Allen

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