Inspiration

a tour of the historic tennessee brewery

The historic Tennessee Brewery in Memphis was built in 1890. During its peak production years, it churned out 250,000 barrels of beer per day, making it the largest brewery in the South. It ceased production in 1954, and it became home to a scrap metal company until 1981. It was saved from the wrecking ball by the current owner in 1999. Despite his many efforts to revitalize the building, it has remained empty and he decided it would be demolished at the end of the summer if he hadn't found a buyer for it by that time. In order to help sell the building, a group of local businessmen decided to showcase its potential by opening a beer garden in the building's courtyard for six weeks. The Brewery Untapped features food trucks, acoustic musical acts and fundraisers for local nonprofits, and has attracted tons of patrons. You can read more about the efforts to save the building here. For more really interesting details about the Tennessee Brewery's past, I highly recommend this article from the Commercial Appeal.

Here are some photos from our afternoon at the Tennessee Brewery:

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Isn't the white-washed brick lovely? The windows and arches are really incredible as well. 

 We have been so inspired by the efforts to save the Tennessee Brewery, and we hope this neat old building's story has a happy ending. Memphis has so many abandoned architectural gems. It would be such a big win for our city if they were able to save this building and turn it into a sustainable investment. 

beginnings of a white house

When it comes to painting the interior of a house, I tend to be attracted to polar opposites -- bright colors and creamy whites. When Jonathan and I bought our first home, the very first thing we did -- even before the furniture was moved -- was paint the rooms yellow, orange, turquoise and mocha. The colors felt beachy and were exactly what I wanted after two years in a bland apartment. After a few years of staring at those loud walls, I started to feel boxed in by my color choices. Jonathan hates to paint, but I convinced him that a switch to an all-white house would be a good idea. I started by painting our red adirondack chairs the white we selected (Dover White by Sherwin Williams), and a few weeks later, we started on the house. The hallway, living room, dining room, sunroom and bathroom were all Dover White by the time we finished. The space felt much bigger, and having a single color throughout made touch ups so easy. When we listed our house for sale less than a year later, the white walls were a huge selling feature because they were ready for any color and they looked fresh and classic. They made our 1,100 square foot cottage seem big, which isn't easy to do!

After all that paint work, it has taken me almost a year to convince Jonathan that we needed to paint our new house Dover White. Our new house, which was built in 1984, lacks the charming details of our 1950 cottage, but I knew white would still be a great choice. It makes any house seem timeless and more open, and it brightens dark spaces. Of our 3,000 square foot house, we knew the kitchen -- formerly painted a periwinkle blue and finished with a shiny, "Venetian" plaster -- would be the worst room to paint. We weren't fans of the color or the finish, and we spend quite a big of time in our kitchen, so we decided that's where we would begin. It was a monster project that involved lots and lots of sanding, even more cleaning, one coat of primer and two coats of Dover White. Because we are a bit crazy, we also painted our hallway at the same time. It was actually already painted a very boring flat white, and it looks so much better now that it's Dover White. Once I finish painting the frames on the gallery wall, I'll post some new photos of it. Here are some photos of the kitchen:

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There are some things about this kitchen that we probably wouldn't have chosen ourselves, but overall it is a really efficient space that works well for us. 

it's been that kind of week...

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The inspiration isn't flowing this week. When I have those moments, it always seems like a good time to take a step back and reflect on what's important in life.

Our pastor sends an e-devotional that I read on an almost daily basis, and he included this quote in a recent email. It's a powerful statement that applies to everyone. I hope it inspires you today.

Beach Inspiration on a Winter Day

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While the majority of the country is suffering through weather conditions that only a polar bear would appreciate, Southern Californians are enjoying their shorts and flip flops. While this hardly seems fair, at least we can enjoy these photographs and pretend that we can feel the sun's warmth on our legs and sand between our toes.... Oh spring, you can't get here fast enough. Stay warm, my friends!

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Photos taken by my mother during a visit to her childhood home of Palos Verdes, California.