In Good Taste: Creative Tonic

Remember when “Southern decor” meant an overload of needlepoint, fake florals that weren’t fooling anyone and displaying so much of Grandmother’s silver that you couldn’t even see the buffet below it? 

Well, (thankfully!) those days are no more, and the duo behind Creative Tonic, Courtnay Tartt Elias and Lila Chumbley Malone, is doing its part to create Southern homes that incorporate all the elegance and tradition we love in Southern design while making it up to date and fresh, fresh, fresh! 

This kitchen is just one very elegant example. 

We love the texture these barstools add to this marble kitchen (and are partial to them because we have these Serena & Lily beauties too!). 

And the statement lighting is just one of many elements that blends these open spaces while still making them feel distinct from one another. 

But Creative Tonic isn’t a one-note team. These two are pros at creating spaces that fit their owners’ wants and needs. 

Elias in particular is known for her use of color, and this dining room is just one example of her keen eye and understanding of something that can be a bit tricky.

Symmetry in a bedroom can make it feel so serene–

And we probably don’t have to tell you that we’re a little partial to the UNC pennant that’s a perfect part of this decor! 

If the clothes make the man, we’re pretty sure that the closet makes the clothes… This one is utter perfection! 

Talk about powdering your nose in style… This bath might be small on space, but it is big on taste! 

A pretty pale lavender is the perfect complement to this marble bath–and brass accents add to the warm feeling. 

All we know is that the fabulous team behind this Houston firm is taking Southern style to a whole new level–and we couldn’t love their good taste any more! 

What Black White + Kuhl is Saying about The Secret to Southern Charm:

While the book release date is not until April 4th, I was lucky enough to get an advance copy from Kristy to read and share with my book club. We plan to meet for dinner in a few weeks and share our reviews and discussion highlights in an upcoming post. This is the second book in the Peachtree Bluff series (Slightly South of Simple was the first) telling the story of Ansley her three daughters. I can’t wait to find out what happens to these women as their story of love, loss, relationships and second chances continues! —Michelle Black White





10 Favorite Kitchens with Marble Countertops

marble kitchen countertops
Matthew Quinn Design via Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles


When it comes to kitchens, styles change.  But when it comes to standing the test of time, linoleum, tile and even granite and quartz may come and go, but we think marble is one surface that stands the test of time.

marble countertops
Matthew Quinn Design


Everyone warned me. I’ll admit it. I was told by everyone from the manufacturer to the installer that marble is not the most durable surface for a kitchen counter. But, when you get right down to it, some things in life are as much about aesthetics as they are about function.

marble countertops
Anne Decker Architect


So I did it anyway. And, it’s true. It gets etched. But what’s the point of having a beautiful kitchen if you can’t cook in it without being stressed? Plus, twice a year they come buff and re-seal it so it’s as good as new.

kitchen marble countertops
Architectural Digest


And a little etching adds character!

kitchen marble countertops
Urban Grace


Marble pairs fabulously from everything from wood floors to tile, and goes perfectly with every color.

marble kitchen countertops
Urban Grace


Isn’t this island amazing?

marble kitchen
Karr Bick Kitchens & Baths


And what could be more classic than an oriental rug with marble?

kitchen marble countertops
Sage Design


So pretty.

marble countertops
Karr Bick Kitchens & Baths


Marble and copper, such a pretty combination.

kitchen countertops marble
Liz Godwin Interior Design via Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles

Click on each image Below to Learn More About the Product:

Thanks for stopping by today.  We always love it when you do!

books slightly south of simple

Resolving to read more this year? Pick up your copy of Slightly South of Simple, the first novel in my Peachtree Bluff series, and preorder book 2, The Secret to Southern Charm, releasing April 3! I have the best readers in the whole wide world! Thank you so much for your support. 


For more inspiration visit our Instagram and Pinterest

and see our Top Ten Posts of 2017 here!










Marble Mania in Every Room

living room with wingback and marble coffee table
River Spencers


Happy Super Bowl Monday, friends! We are watching the big game while writing this post, so no comments as of yet on who won–or really even any comments on the commercials, although what we’ve seen so far has been pretty great.

Kourtney Kardashian living room
Architectural Digest 


You know we love marble countertops

marble fireplace in living room
Architectural Digest 


But now we feel like the beautiful stone is everywhere we look! From a gorgeous fireplace…

marble lamps in an office
Alyssa Rosenheck Photography


To a fabulous desk with matching lamps…

Saarinen table in dining room
Architectural Digest 


To a Saarinen table turned super swanky, we are loving the marble infusion that seems to be taking place in some of the world’s most beautiful rooms.

marble hood
d2 Interieurs


Countertops are luscious. But a marble fume hood? That’s taking things to a whole other glamorous level!

Marble shelves in kitchen
Sage Design 


And these shelves? Talk about something fabulous to do with your remnants! (Well… It might take a little more than your remnants. But it’s a good justification anyway.)

Marble farmhouse sink counter and backsplash
St. Charles of New York 


Marble farmhouse sink? Yes, please!

marble bathroom
Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles


Oh, and this shower… This mosaic tile is one of our favorites, a fun twist on a classic favorite.

marble tiles
Sarah Bartholomew Design 


These tiles are positively luscious.

marble accessories - Anthropologie


Accessories are a great–and much more cost-effective–way to add a little luxe to your tablescape. 

copper and marble trivet
Copper and Marble Trivet


In fact, this trivet is a luxe touch for a countertop or party for under $20! In a variety of prices, shapes, sizes and rooms, marble is always a luscious touch. It’s no wonder marble mania is taking over!

Are you a marble fan? 

Hoping your Monday is great. Looking forward to seeing which team wins!

More about my new book, SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE

Also, if you want to know a little more about my new novel, SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE (Simon & Schuster, April 25, 2017) take a peek at the video below! (It’s only like 90 seconds. No major commitments here!)

Marble Backsplash

diGiulio kitchen via Architectural Digest

In herringbone pattern, a sleek tile, or an incredible slab, we love a marble backsplash.  One look at these amazing kitchens and we think you’ll all agree.  Wishing you an amazing Monday!


In Good Taste: Marianne Simon

Design by Marianne Simon Interiors, Bellevue, WA

With the holiday decorating and shopping in full swing, it’s one of those times of year when it begins to feel like maybe more really is more.


Kitchen Organization:Part 2

Eric Piasecki Photography

 Happy Monday, friends! We hope you survived the cold this weekend! We had a fun weekend in NYC despite the temperatures, and are happy to be starting a brand new week back in North Carolina. Back to reality — and back to our New Year’s resolutions! This week’s goal: kitchen organization. It’s the heart of the home, the place where we spend most of our time. So shouldn’t it be perfectly organized? We think so! And after a glimpse at these fabulous photos, we think you’ll agree!


Design Chic

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