A Birmingham Retreat... (Part 1)

Last weekend I had the pure pleasure of visiting Birmingham, Alabama for the first time. And what made it even better was having the keys to this incredible condo, right in the heart of Mountain Brook Village. It's owned by John and Janet LeGrand, who spend about 5 days a week at their farmhouse in Northern Alabama, then head down to their city retreat for the other couple of days. Dreamy. Even dreamier, I spent two nights here...

This condo is meticulous. Every square foot has been given much thought and care. John is a self taught carpenter, Janet is an architect and together they know design. Gus the Goat hangs to the left of the archway and is actually a mountain goat from Mongolia that Janet's father shot. It was a passion of his and Gus now stands guard.

The living room painting is by Jinni Thomas, which the couple recently found at the Karan Ruhlen Gallery in Santa Fe. John immediately felt a connection to it, which is an important factor when choosing any piece of artwork. Wanting something with a pattern, they bought the yellow chairs at Lee Industries in North Carolina (as well as the couch) to help tie in the yellow and golds of the painting. 

The entryway had me at hello. As John and Janet create masterful works with upcycled wood and paint (they're currently taking a break from the shop), you'll find their absolutely stunning, modern art pieces throughout the condo (It's impossible to pick a favorite). There is a small dish at the entryway filled with the best smelling potpourri (via Saks Fifth Avenue) I've ever had the chance to experience. John wanted that first moment you open the front door to be a good one. It is.   

What may be hard to convey through these pictures is the incredible layout of the condo. There are no hallways and it's all a bit unexpected and charming. The sunroom is one of my favorite rooms as it's an inviting space, not to mention flawlessly put together. 

John was inspired by a lamp he saw at CB2 and set out to make his own version. He glued together some pieces of pine and added red cord and paint. The lamp shade he had custom made by Fenchel Shades

I love these Merino wool blankets I had read about but had never seen before. John and Janet have one in their living room, another here in the sunroom. They are from Nordt Family Farm in Virginia. And the pretty pillows are from Thomas Paul. 

John continues his craftsman domination with this wonderful coffee table that is the perfect scale for the small sunroom. He had one antique milk crate already and found a matching one on Etsy. Next, John cut blue stone to the dimensions he wanted and rigged it all together, painting and distressing to his color preference. The zigzag rug is via West Elm. 

John and Janet bought this rope pendant from Bungalow Classic in Atlanta. As the sun fills the room each morning, no extra light is needed. It's a pretty special place to begin the day...

The bowling pin lamp on the desk was found in an Atlanta shop and the desk itself John made from Ipe wood, then paired it with custom legs he had made by Modern Legs in Erie, Colorado. 

The bookcase leads into the sunroom where my eye was immediately drawn to the custom made lamp. John used collected driftwood he had found in Oregon and paired that with some leftover scraps of wood. Then he painted and sanded- his usual magic. The bookshelf itself John carefully crafted from sinker cypress wood, which John informed me are found logs that have been sunk- common in Louisiana. Sigh, it's all just so good...

Please be sure to check back in tomorrow for Part 2 of the Birmingham Retreat. 


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach