1999 and 2016

Patience please.  I have to share a bit of background.

The year 1999 had several milestones. My dad passed away.  I turned 40. I opened Signature Designs, Inc. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have some incredible clients over the past seventeen years.  However, there’s one that will always have a very special place in my heart. The first client that called and said we want to get started on our project.  I had been to the home they were living in to look at “freshening up”.  However, the project they were ready to start was a new home they were buying in order to be closer to their children. I met them at the new house where they gave me a deposit and I went straight to the bank.  I will never forget the day I opened the Signature Designs, Inc. bank account.  My dad had passed away in May.  Although he had fully supported my career as an educator, musician, visual merchandiser and product developer.  He often said, “son, I just wish you could have your own business”. Unfortunately, he wasn’t physically with me when I walked in the bank but his spirit was very real. He and I were both overjoyed!!!

Jump forward from June 1999 to December 2014.  I was shopping at Jody’s in Tupelo, MS.  The employees think I just hang out there but occasionally I actually shop.  Should you be in the area you’ll want to hang out there, too.  Not only do they have beautiful things the staff and designers are equally as beautiful inside and out.  That day, to my surprise, I ran into the client mentioned above.  After pleasantries and holiday wishes she made her way out of the store.  After a brief moment I look turn around and she’s back.  She alluded to my success and made mention that she wasn’t sure I would have time for them. I assured her I would always have time for any project they were working on.  She responded that she would call me after the new year…but she never did…well…not shortly after…it was November.

She asked if I could come by the next time I was in Tupelo.  Soon after, I went by.  The house was still exactly as I had left it in 1999. Everything meticulously in its place and spotless clean.  The new project was to make the family room more family accessible.  Since 1999 the immediate family has grown from 5 to 7.  Since the grandchildren are no longer using the “thinking chair” there was a need for more comfortable seating. Simply, she asked for a new sofa and new flooring in the family room, kitchen and master.  I made a few suggestions and told her I would return with more thorough ideas. However, because of the windows and doors the options were extremely limited.  So, I called with a much more comprehensive plan.  Like, a LOT more than they were thinking.  No, really.  A LOT…an idea that would require them to move out for at least six weeks…at least!!!

Here’s what we did…

Photo 00148

This was the formal sitting room and dining room we did in 1999.


Now, it’s the Family Room.  We created the design scheme from the Obsorne & Little chinoiserie draperies. The Anna French wallcovering under the chair rail is new, as are the hickory floors, rug and sofa.  Everything else is lovingly repositioned.


Who knew getting a new sofa would call for such drastic measures.  However, Pearson always come through. Their Personal Choice option allowed me to configure the sofa for their space and desires.  The comfort and craftsmanship of Pearson is unparalleled in the industry.  The client is looking at retirement or at least working from home due to this fabulous sofa.


Pierce Cabinets created a cantilevered console to support the audio/visual components. The three drawer console provides shelving as well as storage.  The Sunset Travertine console will be the future home of the perfect piece of three-dimensional art.

Photo 00147

This was the family room we did in 1999.


Today it’s a spacious dining room for intimate dinners or extended family, special occasion gatherings. What a great place to enjoy making memories. This shot gives you a better look at the amazing hickory floors from Kaiser’s Floor Fashion.



The timeless Decorator’s Walk draperies create the perfect backdrop for a new sideboard created by Pierce Cabinets. This and floors are the only new additions to the room. I love how yesterday and today blend. A classic fabric married to a modern lacquer finish, dressed with a sleek pull and topped with a dramatic Quartzite by Cambria…I try not to boast but I’m very proud of this.  I know I’m not popular at Pierce Cabinets because to say this finish is difficult is an understatement.  However, after all the cussing, sanding, swearing, painting, repeat, repeat, repeat…I think they were pleased, too.


A secretary in a dining room?  Why not?  The perfect place for plates and silver for the casual supper.


The kitchen and breakfast area also received the floor makeover.  Plus, a facelift with a new wall color and this “accent” wallcovering from Thibaut.  I mean, come on, if you’re going to accent…really ACCENT!!!  When I saw this paper I was immediately drawn to it.  I knew it would never be an entire room but I also knew it had all the colors of the two adjoining rooms and well…was just downright cheerful!!!

Photo 00149

This is the master bedroom as seen in 1999. I didn’t photograph this room because I didn’t think we made significant changes.  Until I looked at this photo.  We did keep the paint color but like the rest of the house changed the trim to the wall color.  We carried the hardwood throughout the first floor and we did a rug.  I’m really sad I didn’t get a photo of the rug for you.  Trust me, it’s spectacular.  But what I did photograph is the makeover of the dressing room.


OMG…Pierre Frey…OMG!!!

Again, when I saw this I knelt down.  No, it’s not for an entire room…especially if there are other fabrics and textures to coordinate. The Jim Thompson showroom in Atlanta shows it with a entry console and a great lamp.  For a room where all the furniture is quiet…YES…all day long…YES!!!  And, just like in fashion. When go bold…go all the way.  The mirrors were the existing vanity mirrors.  They are like the perfect earrings to this red carpet gown.  Who are you wearing…Pierre Frey with Versailles Mirror accessories. And, the award goes to…

The “at least six weeks” became nineteen…with them being out of the home twelve. We’ve said we won’t do this again…not in this house.  So, I have to say it’s been joy unspeakable to do it twice.  My appreciation for the opportunity of designing for the clients is second only to the friendship and love that has grown over the years.

The lesson for today is…

Timeless design is never out of style!!!

Patty and Robert…your house is and always has been lovely.  I send you best wishes for many more good times to be had by all!!!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. PK says:

    Tim, you are like a good Cruzan Rum, you just get better as you age! Beautiful home. – pk

  2. Judy Sproles says:

    Tim, I so enjoyed this!!
    Judy Sproles

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Marcia Jefferis says:

    Absolutely beautiful!

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