New Heartwood Project!

Blackwell Park is our new project! Geared towards those families who want a luxurious lifestyle but less hassle - less yard to mow, closer to downtown amenites, closer to the school systems! Pick a lot and custom build your new home!

Vessel Sinks

Vessel sinks are very popular! Our Marble Uniques vendor provides us with some great marble bowls as shown in the bottom picture. On our lastest reno project - we used a vessel sink in the main floor half bath. It provides a beautiful natural beauty and calmness to the bathroom.

When considering a vessel sink - it is important to remember to adjust the vanity height to that of a counter top height. A couple benefits - you don't have to bend down to reach the bowl, and the bowl keeps the mess off of the counter!

Remodel Success

We just wrapped up a remodel project last month! Here are some pictures of the front entry way - dated a year apart from each other!

Such a great project! The Shelton Residence turned out beautifully! Looked like it was meant to be a Heartwood Home! We are so happy for the family as they are now enjoying their new home and wonderful community!!

Here is a letter from our friends!

"While searching for the perfect design/build team we found an abundance of qualified builders and designers interested in creating our dream home. The decision was simple. Jeff and Wendy with Heartwood Custom Homes were simply the best. They listened intently to our wants, needs and concerns and made it all work within budget and on time. Wendy’s eye for design matched perfectly to our taste. Jeff’s attention to detail and level of quality surpassed our expectations. How many people can say that?
We immediately recognized the talents of Jeff and Wendy while touring their award-winning home during the 2008 Luxury Home-a-Rama. Their winning entry was absolutely beautiful. Equally impressive was their dedicated and talented team of professionals who helped Heartwood Custom Homes create numerous masterpieces, including our own home. These folks are true craftsmen who are committed to excellence. We are thankful that we found such a great team to work with on our dream home and we look forward to living here for many, many years!"

Existing Home Buyer Tax Credit

Buyers who have owned their current homes at least five years would be eligible for tax credits of up to $6,500. First-time home buyers - or anyone who hasn't owned a home in the last three years - would still get up to $8,000. To qualify, buyers in both groups have to sign a purchase agreement by April 30, 2010, and close by June 30.

Senator Johnny Isakson, R-GA., a former real estate executive claims 'this is probably the last extension''.

To read more, the L.A. Times has a great article by Jim Puzzanghera and Richard Simon and Alejandro Lazo.
click here

Drapery Street

My go to window treatment gal has a been recognized for a prestigious award (see article below)! She decorated our Willows Model Hearth Room (Home-a-Rama 2008 winner). The picture above shows the hearth room with selections she used. It was a combination of printed linen with rushed silk insets-platinum and hemp. The pictures don't do it justice!

I love to include her on many of the design concepts I do! She does great work!

Drapery Street Wins International Design Award

Window Fashion Vision magazine recently announced the winners of its 2009 Design and Workroom Competition. Drapery Street of Carmel, IN was awarded in the Debut Designer category within the Envision Design Competition for their creative window fashion design, fabricated by Drapery Street.

“The judges, as well as all of us here at Vision magazine, were greatly impressed by the quality of entries we received for this year’s competition, making the judging process even more difficult for our judges who had to select just 30 winning designs out of the hundreds submitted,” said Grace McNamara, president and CEO of Grace McNamara Inc., publisher of Window Fashion Vision magazine.

The Window Fashion Vision Design and Workroom Competitions have been held annually for the past 23 years and are open to window fashion designers and workrooms worldwide. This year, more than 200 entries were submitted from designers and workrooms located throughout the U.S., Canada and Japan.

Judging was by a panel of 10 industry experts. Awards will be presented at Vision09: International Window Coverings EXPO (IWCE) in Atlanta, Georgia on May 13, 2009. For more information on Vision09, visit http://www.windowcoveringexpo.com/.


Jennifer Jacob, Associate Editor


Noir Furniture

Noir Furniture has their finger on the pulse of furniture trends! Each piece is unique and different, but threaded together with the needle of quality. So excited to be carrying this new line!

Naked wood is the new furniture trend! These three coffee tables are great examples of natural wood. Used as a room’s anchor, these tables can be the unexpected factor in traditional and or modern design. – i.e. a linen slip covered couch. They are destined to be conversational pieces!


The Colonial Sleigh Bench just commands attention with its powerful lines. This piece would be great in a large open hallway!


Ahh! The Abacus Relax Chair! Just the name makes you want to purchase it if that’s what it intends to do! Love the Chippendale look! Would look best with a twin mate next to a window and a stack of books!


Use any one of these desks in the middle of a room or up against a wall next to a window. Great for completing a clean simple look!


Pottery Barn Decorating Class!

October 25th
Learn how to throw a holiday party in style! Or how to cater to a small festive get together!

Class size is limited!! (participants receive 10% off featured merchandise in class) Hurry and sign up for the Keystone location -

(317) 815-3740


Chairs Chairs Chairs

Okay - chairs are my new passion. Love the revival of the Wing- the Bergere, the Chippendale , the Parson, the Queen Anne, the Pouf.......You get the idea.

One my favorite lines to offer is Aidan Gray - they do a fantastic job blending classic frames and construction quality with modern flair. Hats off !! My clients can't get enough.

Two examples are here - The Annabelle Bergere ( Upper Right ) in a past issue of Domino and the Grange Library chair. I love to use these in pairs nested with ottomans to create a cozy conversation nook. Perfect scale and quality with the limed finished oak, goose down seats and a choice of natural linen upholstery.


The Wait Is Over

If you still mourn the loss of Domino in the mailbox- help has arrived with the launch on Lonny. This online design magazine if a home run. It is a page turner full of tips and inspiration from today's most talented! Love the online format making everything handy - archived - not to mention the green effect and the promise to uncluter my bookshelves.

Enjoy !


Eccletic Dining Room

Dining Eclectic at Heartwood Custom Homes

While more and more of my clients ask for floor plans with less formal dining room space - many of us , like me , live in a home with formal dining space- so don't be afraid to mix it up. Blend your garage sale finds with family treasures or wedding china with a new lacquered table.

In this design , I started with soft color walls - and a solid dark floor - you'll see the designed paneled mill work all painted out white, a circular tray ceiling treatment and wide planked diagonally installed hardwood. I dropped in a contrasting wood floor border to frame the directional change - something you'll find in traditional older homes.

Layering in pieces I began with a fabulous 70" round high gloss lacquered table found as a warehouse bargain- mid century. Paired this with antique Chippendale chairs I rescued and refinished from a yard sale and more sturdy bench made parsons from TLS by Designs. One of my favorite furniture manufacturers with great attention to detail http://www.tlsbydesign.com/ . Add cool lighting - these particular pieces are from Corbett - brought in to work as sparkling gold jewelery. Don't forget to add an unexpected item - a la the funky lacquer mirror which ties back to the heavy carved Chippendale chairs and the black lacquered modern table.

Have Fun and Rules Be Gone !!!


Everything Home Loves Bella Chic Interiors

Bella Chic Interiors

Just had to give a shout out for one of my favorite haunts in Carmel - Bella Chic Interiors - locating in the Carmel Arts and Design district-http://www.bellachicinteriors.com/. Owner Julie, has a great concept- Extreme Makeover for furniture- refurbishing old furniture into today's one of a kind statement pieces. Not to mention her terrific prices - helping us all to add some spice to our space without blowing the budget.

The shot above it typical- the before reno furniture unloaded off the truck and ready for the face lift. You buy the pieces early - as they don't last long - often there are more sold tags then available.

I bought the dining table in the fore ground with the companion benches. The table is perfect dimension to be used as a sofa table- under a plasma TV or as a long console- the it transforms with a butterfly leaf to a standard dining table- I figure the benches work with the table or alone at the foot of a bed .... - All for $499!!! Dreaming of the paint finish to use - something fun - Can't wait to share the makeover pictures!!!


Unexpected Twist

Today - writing as a mom - Ever have one of those stop in your tracks -tickle that life can change in an instant moment. We'll here's mine.

Last night - rounded up the gang for a dinner out to celebrate summer. All is bubbling along- appetizers are plenty and greasy - kids are filled to the gills with free refill strawberry lemonade- wine is chilled and just right .... when out of the corner of my eye- I see a flash and then a yelp for help. Unknown to me , the kids moved off the tick tack toe board to other games- the Blink Game - where brother and sister were taking turns making each other blink. Brother had swiped the utensil roll- and with a flick of the wrist had impaled sis - as the knife flew out of the paper roll and into sisters forehead.

What they tell is you is true- head wounds bleed alot - and we had a pumper . Needless to say we cleared the dinner guest around us . A good Samaritan nurse came to our aid and organized compression while I began to swoon. She calmly got myself and my family back in check, controlled the bleed and sent us on our merry way to the ER. A quick bit on Bondo glue and all is well and good- she is now a real Harry Potter look alike.

So - kiss the kids - give the extra squeeze, take the time , stare into their eyes, tuck in your ornery teen - as you truly never know.


Parade of Homes Final Weekend Home Tour

Join Us This Sat and Sunday
June 13 and 14-
Indy's Parade of Homes

Heartwood Custom Homes
Builder of the Year

13369 Winter King Court- Carmel , In
Home #10 on the tour

For more info http://www.heartwoodhomes.com/ . Tell a friend - get inspired - get the economy moving - be a recession buster as we move Indy out of the recession and you secure the best interest rates in history.


Parade of Homes June 6-7 and 13-14

Come Join me at 13369 Winter King Court - Glen Oaks of Carmel this weekend and tour my flagship home. This beauty is featured in the upcoming Spring Parade of Homes - sponsored by the BAGI - ( Builders Association of Indianapolis) . This never been lived in model is now ready to welcome you home.

We've been busy readying for you. Doors open at noon- so don't be late. Click the title and link to see preview photos. If you have early bird questions drop me a line.

See you there


Fantastic Kitchens by Heartwood Custom Homes

Heartwood Custom Homes Flagship Model Home

Receives National Recognition

Heartwood Custom Homes

Just had to share my first centerfold- HA- HA !! Fantastic Kitchens April 2009 , is featuring our kitchen and bar this month. This magazine is sponsored by Subzero/ Wolfe appliances and features designers from around the country and their work. They selected the Heartwood Custom Home's Kitchen and Bar - Recently winner of Best of Show in the 2008 Luxury Homearama Home Tour in Zionsville, Indiana.

I am blessed with a fantastic work group at Heartwood- Jeff Langston , my wonderful husband and business partner, Julie Baker , our team leader of design development & drafting and fantastic vendors who make this work both fun and inspirational- CONGRATULATIONS!!


This kitchen has one of my favorite things - a large-over sized 1 level island with room for plenty of seating. In this case, I chose an acid washed Italian cream marble with a special laminated edge fabricated by Marble Uniques - Paula Ryden http://www.marbleuniques.com/ to be the perfect compliment to the Alder stained island cabinets.

Heartwood Custom Homes

Accent with plenty of light and reflective surfaces - crystal hurricane lanterns, glass front cabinets with interior lighting standard or to the ceiling , and plenty of tile splashes. If your dishware is shy - select glass to hide- seeded- ribbed - frosted or many of the thousands of patterns. Mathew Barker at Westfield Lighting and Amanda Smith at ICC Flooring are the BEST! http://www.wesfieldlighting/ and http://www.iccfloors.com/

Heartwood Custom Homes

Heartwood Custom Homes

Consider paneling your appliances for a built in look. Panels can be made for nearly every brand - dishwasher, refrig, refrig drawers- They allow the eye to travel the room and create a seamless and expansive effect.

Heartwood Custom Homes

Small appliances need a home and you can work to create zones within the kitchen - this one for beverages hot and cold - features the brew express coffee center - one of my favorites- http://www.brewexpress.com%20/ and refrig drawers for bottled water, chilling wine, or soft drinks.

Ready to Call this one home??

It's a beauty sitting on 1. 5 acre estate with 9,800 sq feet inside and unbelievable outdoor living areas. The home is available - drop me a line or link to my site - http://www.heartwoodhomes.com/. Locals can tour Tues - Sunday 12 - 5 or by appointment.

Special thanks to Clark's Appliances and David Smith - http://www.clarkappliance.com/ , Julie Braunecker of Shamrock Cabinets and the innovative product development team at Subzero /Wolfe whose products inspire http://www.subzero.com/

Staged to Sell - Master Bath Before and After

As promised - Just finished up staging the Master Bath - and under our $250 budget!!!! Thanks to all who commented earlier this week at the challenge. You'll see your ideas incorporated in the after shots. Couldn't have done it without you and the fabulous team at Heartwood Custom Homes . Thanks to all ! Enjoy !!!


Heartwood Custom Homes


Heartwood Custom Homes

Heartwood Custom Homes

The Approach

The original bath had great bones- tons of natural light - ample size - and a monochromatic palette of creams - tile, paint, Italian marble counters and soft spa green glass mosaic tiles. The challenge was to create drama and overcome prospect buyers concerns for how to pull it all together and not get lost in the champagne haze.

Given the budget of $250 - the bones stayed and we layered for drama and cohesion.

This new bolder - more contrasted color way creates more visual interest and drama-The chocolate towels - dark bronze mirrors- espresso bench - pop in comparison to before.

Textures are contrasted - layers of crusty old dark pieces- shinier antique mirrored pieces - washed beach glass- pebbles- metal hurricanes sconce candles-

Finally the green was blended with the use of multi color green grasses, beach glass, patterned towels.

Heartwood Custom Homes


Hobby Lobby - my all time favorite for mirrors - wall hangings - catch the 50 % off sale week and you are golden. New vanity mirrors were listed $90 - got for $45. Amazing!!! Just shop the flyer - to get posted on their weekly sales http://www.hobbylobby.com/

Target / Kohls/Steinmart- The Triplets- A stop to any and you re sure to find a lamp, window treatments, accessories and bath towels, bedding. You just can't beat Kohls BOGO- Buy one get one sale-!!!! Not to mention the blessing of strip malls - each within a stones throw from my home.

Enjoy For more on this home go to


Staged to Sell

Here's your chance to play designer

Over the Next Few Weeks - We'll be Staging a Luxury Home together. We've been hired to stage this home to sell. It's in a great estate like area - mid price range for the hood - $950,000. This home is listed for $900,000.

Assignment : Master bath retreat!!
Budget - $250

Great Bones
Large natural light space

Niche style jacuzzi tub

Large his and her vanities with marble stone tops

New Antique Bronze finish plumbing and light fixtures - Goldy champagne

Stone floors with inlaid glass

Zen- green accents
Walk In Luxury Shower with jets and multi shower heads

Task -
Don't hold back , mind the budget and send in your thoughts by Wednesday. Keep accent colors, art, mirrors, plants, linens - in mind. Be as specific as you can be, if you have a link to a source - bring it on!!

I'll post the finished room by Friday and we'll move ahead to the next room.
Happy Home - Happy Life !!


Built In Coffee Maker Ideas

Love the smell of coffee to wake you from dream land- Thought you never could afford a built in coffee maker - Look no further - check out http://www.brewexpress.com/. Under $400!!! I love them and have been designing them into clients homes over the last 2 years. Great for masters - kitchen - bars- wherever. They work just like your current machine- only built into the wall- so they are off the counter and out of the way. They are easy to use and retro into existing wall studs for remodeling projects or new construction.

Photos shows you one I installed in a recent projects- Master bath -

Just remember to have a trash near by for grinds - and if the use is away from the kitchen you may also consider a space for coffee accessories ( sugar- cups- spoons ) .
Cheers !


Jumping In

I am jumping in. Leaving the comfort of anonymity to have a chat with the universe- Everything home is my passion. Fell in love with it and my husband years ago and he miraculously steered our ship toward a new home design and build business in Carmel , Indiana. East Coast friends and fam had trouble swallowing it all - leaving behind my successful marketing / sales career at Roche Pharma , the Baltimore Fells Point restaurants, uprooting the kiddos and everything familiar for an uncertain future- getting the picture.

Well 10 years have passed- and I have loved every minute - the good , the bad and the ugly. I am now the proud designer of the "Best In Show" Luxury 2008 Homearama Home. Go Figure - Its a 10,000 sq ft beauty capturing the essence of my New England roots - available for purchase and remains open daily 12-5 except Tuesdays. Check out www.heartwoodhomes.com for more info.

I'm hoping blog readers will find this a friendly place to land for news on home design and building trends , tips for decorating and staging, seen thru the eyes of busy mom who earns her living - takes the risks- in the world of design.