Cognac Leather

At 3A we love adding natural textures to our designs. Whether it is a jute rug, woven baskets, or an upholstered leather piece, it adds interest and warmth to a space. One of my favorite natural materials that is a hot right now, is cognac leather. It is rich in color yet neutral enough to go with just about any design scheme.  Not to mention, it is great material with kids as it can be easily wiped clean.

A recent e-design we completed, which we incorporated cognac leather pillows.

A recent e-design we completed, which we incorporated cognac leather pillows.

Here are a few inspirational rooms that have included a little cognac leather, along with, a few items to help you achieve the look at home.


Until next time!

Resolve to Love Where You Live

According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of New Year's resolutions fail by the second week of February.  But what if that didn't have to be the case?  What if you made a resolution that would not only better your life but also the lives of your family and friends and all who enter your home? 

80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February.

Okay, maybe that sounds a little deep, but it's something we firmly believe.  What if you made a resolution to finally tackle that room you've been putting off?  Or that wall that you've stared at for over a year and still can't decide what color to paint it?  Having a beautiful home isn't just about the aesthetics but more the quality of life it brings.  As designer Laura Nelson put it,

I realized what an emotional effect it has on people to change their surroundings, to give them a space that speaks to them and improves their day-to-day life.

So what's holding you back? 

Money.  That's what we often hear.  But when you think about it, investing in your home only requires a small investment but yields big results. 

For those that just need a little guidance or a few finishing touches, our Ask My Designer service is perfect.  And it starts at $75--that's about what you'd spend on a meal out for two.  Our full room E-Designs start at $450.  Let's think about what else we spend hundreds of dollars on without blinking an eye and the length of that investment.  


When you look at the money issue that way, it seems like a no-brainer, right?  Your home is where you spend the majority of your time aside from your workplace.  Why not enjoy it?  Why not sit down on your sofa and look around and like what you see?  Why not leave your master bedroom door open because you're not afraid of a guest looking in?

Whether it's starting from scratch--from paint colors to hard finishes to lighting, we've helped clients starting out with only blue prints and walked them through the entire design process.  Or maybe you just need an extra pair of eyes (in our case, two) to help bring your Pinterest board vision to life.  We are here to listen to your needs, wants and ideas and put our years of experience to work to make your room, your home truly yours. 

So let's stop being the 80% and start making resolutions that will actually change our lives for the better.  Resolve to love where you live.  We'd love to help you get started!





Trending: Natural Wood Cabinets

For the past few years gray, white, or two-tone cabinets have been all the rage. As we see in fashion, design styles fade for the next up and coming fad.  In this case, enter natural woodcabinets. For the most of us, when we think of natural wood finished cabinets we think of generic builders grade cabinets that have a yellowish varnish to them. However, after seeing the kitchens below you may change your perspective. 


Here is another view of the same kitchen.




The cabinets above are made from alder wood that have a thin gray stain applied to them, which warms up the cabinets while still letting the grain show through.


The cabinets featured in the modern kitchen above and in the kitchen below are made from white-oak.


With the right stain/finish, natural cabinets can look sophisticated and add a nice warmth.  As we have seen in the images, works in all kitchen styles from traditional to modern.

Until next time!

Rollins' Floral First Birthday

My sweet Rollins turned one last October.  Now that she's 15 months old, I guess it's time I finally share some of her first birthday party details with you guys.

Like all of my parties, I like to pick a theme that isn't super commercialized so I can personalize it a little more.  Auden had a pumpkin first birthday since she was a fall baby and was often called "pumpkin."  Since Rollins is also a fall baby, I had to think of something else.  I decided a simple floral theme with watercolor touches would be just perfect for our sweet girl.

chalkboard first birthday with flower garland

I used greenery from our yard and some Dollar Tree flowers to make all of the floral swags.

One of my favorite details from the party was this floral photo wreath (idea sourced by Jessica).  I used images from her first year, converted them all to black and white and used Persnickety Prints for printing them.

They have a lot of great options, but I chose the 3" press print with thick border and matte finish.  I couldn't have been more pleased with the quality and customer service.

persnickety prints 3 inch floral photo ring

Jessica helped again by allowing me to use some jasmine from her yard to adorn the table and big balloon by Rollins' highchair.

This birthday poster I made hung above the food table, detailing her first year milestones.

first birthday poster with flowers

I kept the menu simple and fresh with cold subs, fruit, a cheese and cracker tray, pasta salad and spinach dip with pita chips.

floral first birthday food table
floral first birthday dirty iced cake

Everything is prettier with a bow, right?

styled sub sandwiches with bakers twine
cheese and cracker tray with fresh herbs

Of course, it's not a Reutter party without some custom sugar cookies.  I loved how the sweet monogram and flower details turned out.  Christa Lynn's on Etsy did a great job making my vision a reality and was very reasonably priced.

floral first birthday monogram sugar cookies
floral sugar cookie with monogram

For the main treat, my mom and I tried our hand at a dirty iced cake.  And I have to say,  I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.  I love when family and friends can lend a hand in helping with a celebration.  It creates even more memories to cherish.  Much like my wedding (where the flowers and decor were done by me and my friends and family), this too will be a memory I'll never forget.

I ordered the light cherry wood cake topper from Alexis Mattox Designs on Etsy.  I threw on some fresh flowers, and there you have it.

dirty iced cake with flowers

Along with custom cakes and cookies, I also love a good signature cocktail.  I decided on a Rosemary Greyhound for the taste and look (I wanted it to match the decor).  But since the party was for Rollins, I added her nickname to the moniker, calling it a "Rolly Rosemary."

Rosemary Greyhound Recipe*


Rosemary Simple Syrup

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 6 sprigs of rosemary


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • ½ ounce rosemary simple syrup
  • 4 ounces grapefruit juice
  • sprig of rosemary for garnish


  1. Simple Syrup: In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, dissolve the sugar into the water for about 5 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil or crystals will form. In a heat safe container, pour the warm sugar water mixture over the rosemary sprigs and let it steep for at least 1 hour. The rosemary simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 10 days.
  2. Cocktail: In tall glass filled with ice combine the vodka, rosemary simple syrup and grapefruit juice. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

*This recipe is for a single cocktail but we just multiplied the amounts enough for our needs. 

I was so glad I finally got to use my vintage French Arcoroc champagne glasses I scored off Craigslist!

I ordered a 5" white buttercream cake from Publix for her smash cake.  Auden had one from there too, and she loved it!  I wanted to keep it simple, so I'm just added adorned it with a few flowers.  The pink glass cake stand was a TJMaxx find a few months before her party.

floral first birthday smash cake pink glass stand

Rollins in her birthday outfit.

floral first birthday wooden highchair

We don't call her sweet cheeks for nothing.

floral birthday wooden highchair

After getting into her true birthday suit, she was ready for the cake!  Her baby's breath crown didn't last long after daddy put the cake in front of her, so I'm glad I saved some money and made it myself with a little floral wire, scotch tape and babies breath clippings.

This is one of my favorite shots of my sweets enjoying her first sweets.

smash cake photography

I'd say this picture sums up how she feels about it pretty perfectly :)

smash cake photography
smash cake photography

She delicately ate away at the icing for a good 30 minutes paying no mind while the party carried on.  :)

rollins floral first birthday

The cleanup crew was anxiously waiting for a taste themselves.

After she indulged a bit, we moved her into the living room for prime view of her one year video.

I made one for Auden and it's something we all still love watching, so I knew it was a must for Rollins as well.  Between the music and the memories, it's almost always a surefire cry session every time I watch. 

Here's the 3A Girls at the celebration...just missing Jessica's oldest.

For the favors, I did mini canvases a paint brush and paint pods to carry out the watercolor theme.

mini canvas and paint party favors

We're so happy to have been given these last 15 months with Rollins and cannot wait to see her life unfold.  I could not have dreamed up a better addition to complete our little family!

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