Category Archives: Blog

Of Interest – A Porch – 3 Views



Here is a porch we began last summer. I designed this table and Zack Jester built it. ( The wood is all reclaimed and the cypress is perfect for an outdoor space – the top and the benches are made from the same wood. There are two demi lune ends that attach under the table and increase the seating capacity. This is a great space with lots of entertaining options.


Here is the seating area now with the table pushed off to the right – next to the outdoor serving area. The wicker dining chairs can be pulled up into the conversation area and the table can be used for serving.


Here is the table the way it usually sits…….ready for dinner every night that weather permits – which this year has been really often – given our mild winter and the wonderful heat that comes from the fireplace!



Of Interest – Happy Mother’s Day



My Mother – Charlotte Korn 

This photo was taken by my father on board the SS Michelangelo in 1964.


My sisters Lee and Charlotte 


My daughter in law Neil Gregory and Seamus


Zuzu with Seamus 


And for all of the other Mothers in my life……Mothers of baby children, growing children, grown children and four legged children……I honor you this Mothers Day!


Of Interest – Traditional Home Magazine


How exciting – we are published in the current issue of Traditional Home magazine!

This photo shoot took place in the fall of 2010 – on two of the prettiest fall days we could imagine here in Virginia.  The photographer was Gordon Beall who I greatly admire.  Gordon is professional, creative, accomplished, focused and has a wicked sense of humor.  He brings so much expertise to a photo shoot.  You can read about Gordon here

The client, Meg,  is an old and dear friend of mine.  I met her when she was beginning to work on this house 19 years ago and our friendship grew from our work together. She is an artist and scholar – a dedicated wife and mother – and lots of fun to hang out with.

The shoot had all the right ingredients……amazing house, lovely weather, fun people, good food, pretty flowers…… was such a special moment in time.  I was lucky to have my assistants Ti and Megan as well as the Traditional Home editor Eileen Deymier  – who is such a pro at styling a photo shoot.  My great friend Jean kept us fed and amused and was constantly searching outside for interesting branches, leaves and flowers for the shoot.

We all felt that it went really well – and you can see that the shots are amazing.  The article with photos and copy can be found in the Press section of this site. Found here. I am over the moon excited about this lovely article and grateful to Traditional Home Magazine for providing us all with wonderful homes and  fabulous designers to read about month after month.

After the shoot Meg and I enjoyed one of our favorite pastimes……..Tequila!  It just seemed like a good idea at the time!





I thought you might like to see more photos of this amazing house. These photos were not in the magazine and were taken by me – or Kip Dawkins – my favorite Richmond photographer. (see more of Kip’s work at

The Entrance Hall…….When you open the front door this is the first thing you see.



A wonderful old sofa surrounded by fabulous art. The stairway coming down that opposite wall is so effective – you stay in the entry while traveling upstairs – you can look down on the compass painted on the floor and up to all that awaits on the landings.


Here is a detail of the carpet.


Here is what you look up to – the ceiling over the entrance hall!



The Kitchen Desk area……..Between the kitchen and the dining room there is this desk. The cabinetry matches the kitchen and the top matched the original kitchen counter tops. Meg loves blue and has a wonderful old blue painted chest in her family room that she treasures. She had the idea to paint these cabinets in a blue to match that chest and I asked Jeff Ragland with HJ Holtz and Son to do it for me. As you can see he did a fabulous job. ( I love the pleather tops anchored with nailheads – they kind of make the desk area look more like a desk and less like kitchen cabinetry.


The Kitchen Desk Area


Here is the blue chest – peeking out from behind this amazing table in the family room.


The wall opposite the desk……gobs of storage!

The Home Office…..At the back of the house there is this home office. It’s a place to work, escape, relax, get organized……..and a visual treat!


Guest Bedroom…..This guest bedroom and it’s adjoining bath are much more monochromatic than the rest of the house. The palette is quiet and subdued and so effective. I have used a Nobilis wood grain wallpaper here and I had it hung horizontally – I love the effect. In the bath I picked up the faux bois theme with a woodsy Cole and Son wallpaper.


Here is a photo of that same Nobilis wallpaper hung vertically – in another color.


Master Bedroom……..Here is a bed that I designed and had built by our fabricators. I love the sleigh style and the upholstered platform. Charlotte is right at home and looks even more lovely than usual (if that’s possible) surrounded by these colors! These incredible antiques from Kim Faison ( just make the room. There is a desk, a coffer and several bible boxes in this photo. They are all great pieces individually – but together they make this room so interesting……and add a level of patina which is so pretty. The painting is by Bernard Martin. (




Of Interest – Living with Dogs


I came across this book looking for inspiration the other day – it has long been a favorite of mine. It speaks of how important dogs are in our lives – how they influence not only how we live but what we collect and how we spend our time.


Living With Dogs Book Cover

In my work life I have been lucky to know many special dogs. I have noticed over the years that when the camera comes out – so do the dogs…….I don’t know why – but they do! They make an interior shot so much more interesting – they just infuse it with their personalities!

Here are some photos of the dogs I look forward to seeing when I visit their homes……I will add to this because there are many more – I just need to photograph them!










Billy Ray


Ranch Dogs – L to R – Ginny, Annie, Jody, Mac


Here is Miss Rhoda Linskey of Newport Beach California!



Other dogs in my life…….

My first dog (child)!


Chisholm – Choonie – 1974 – 1982


TI with Scout on her wedding day!


Hero and Mouse in Central Park


Pasha and Deeba

more soon….


Of Interest – The Office


I have ALWAYS been lucky when it comes to business associates.  I had a wonderful partner for many years – and I have had some fabulous women who have been design assistants over the years.  They are all friends and I treasure each of them.  Here is my current team……


Ti Hensby – Design Associate


Megan Lowden – Lowden Design Consulting – Consultant


Lizzie Cox – Design Assistant


Of Interest – The Studio


My office has evolved as my business has grown. I think it’s at it’s best right now so I’m posting some photos of my design studio.

We have lots of space – well appropriated – thanks to Megan’s planning and one great trip to IKEA!

Here are some views…"office_4_final"

Of Interest – The Rest of the Family


Here is an article from the July issue of R.HOME Magazine.  It features my son Jamie Gregory and his wife Neil Bowen Gregory and their loft in downtown Richmond.  I am so excited to have them in Richmond and am anxious to welcome my first grandchild any day now!  I hope you  enjoy their loft!

While we’re on the subject of my children, here’s the rest of my family…

This is my oldest son Ernie Dettbarn and is wife Sarah.  Ernie is a successful and hard working Realtor.  Sarah is a special, caring Nurse specializing in Cardiac Critical Care.  They live here in Richmond in a darling house with their dog Boozie and are so much fun to be with. This year they will celebrate their 4th wedding anniversary.

This is my daughter Lindsay Dettbarn.  Lindsay lives in New York City ( I love to visit) and works in management for Equinox Fitness – she loves it all – the city and the job!  She is really talented and so incredibly fit and just plain wonderful.  Brains and Beauty!!

This is my baby Charlie Dettbarn.  Charlie lives in Charleston, South Carolina ( I love to visit) where she works for Merrill Lynch as a broker’s assistant.  She is obsessed with music in general and Widespread Panic in particular and is about the coolest 25 year old girl I know……and she will always be my baby!

Here is my favorite photo of them together…I had to embarass them just a little!

Of Interest – Best Friends


Here is a photo of my dogs Sabrina (black) and Winnie (Beagle).  Sabrina was found by my daughter Lindsay in a box by the side of the road in August of 1996.  She was with two litter mates and we guessed them to be barely 6 weeks old.  Lindsay found homes for two but brought the smallest one home that night until we could place her……obviously we placed her in our home – with our very old arthritic Lab Lucky……they became great friends and she totally won my heart.  Several years later – Lucky had passed away – I saw Winnie’s photo on a cash register in a cooking shop – I had gone in to buy a soup pot and ended up with a Beagle that day.  The photo caption said “please rescue me and save my life.”     She was full grown – but malnourished and very sick – she had also been bitten by a snake and her face was swollen.  We guessed her to be a year or two.  That was the summer of 2000.   Winnie and Sabrina became best friends……as you can see!  They were just the best dogs – easy going – helpful in the office – where they slept all day!  Sabrina died in December of 2010 and Winnie died in April.  They both had cancer and went quickly after being diagnosed.  I once posted this photo on my website and said that they were the standard by which I judged real beauty – inside and out – and they were just that.

This is Prunella Gregory (Prunie).  She is about 2 years old.  She was found with 3 other dogs in a dumpster in southwest Virginia – they had been thrown away.  I rescued her and she is in the process of rescuing me right back!

Please adopt and contribute to your SPCA and any other rescue organization you know of – there are so many pets out there that need loving homes.  We – their owners – get back so much more than we give.