Keep going! Your fire matters!!


Social Media. Two words that meant nothing ten years ago. And now that the honeymoon period has worn off,  I think most people have a love-hate relationship with it. It’s great for marketing. It’s awesome when you connect with someone you wouldn’t have otherwise ‘met’. It’s an easy outlet for self-expression. But it’s also draining and time consuming. And when it makes you question your own abilities, it’s just not fun anymore. But rather than allowing some stranger on the internet dictate YOUR goals and motivation, take a stand for your passion. If the fire is there, keep it burning!! Your Maker didn’t put those skills in your toolbox for them to rust.

So you know how Chris Harrison always says “this is the most dramatic season ever in Bachelor history” and you laugh because….well, if you watch trash TV like I do, you know every season is basically more of the same thing.  But this home tour REALLY IS one of the most dramatic I’ve ever come across. It’s a beautiful mix of modern with a splash of farmhouse and a huge helping of love. The interior is meticulously designed by House of Jade Interiors (one of my favorites!!!) for a lovely family of eight. Come on in! I know you’ll love it as much as I do. In fact, you’ve probably seen it all over Pinterest so here it is in one tour! Yay!



Modern Farmhouse Home Tour

White brick, wood accents,  black doors and windows make this home a classic favorite  while the symmetry of the exterior creates a feeling of comfort.  I love to share homes here not so we can dream about living somewhere different, but so we can take little tidbits of inspiration and incorporate it into our own space.

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Welcome back to the Southern Romance Home Restoration Series! To get you all dialed in, in case you missed the first and second post, I recently had the opportunity to enjoy a true southern getaway touring a completely restored 1906 Arts and Crafts bungalow in southern Alabama. And I saved the best for last! The moment you step out back you immediately feel wrapped up in the comfort of a time when life was slower and the days probably felt longer.

My trip was a bit of a last minute whirlwind and not knowing what to expect, I was a bit surprised at this whole experience. Truthfully, I didn’t really ‘get’ why we were going to look at screens on this beautiful home. What’s so special about screens? That is until Esther, CEO of Phantom Screens, took us to the back porch and with a remote in hand she suddenly transformed the entire space with the click of a button. We all stood stunned and wide eyed. What a sight that probably was!

Back Porch Southern Style Phantom Screens

The concept is genius, really. Retractable screens are hidden dropping down only when you want to keep the bugs out. You can’t even spot the housing for the mechanism in the photos!

Back Porch Southern Style Phantom Screens

The screens truly transform the space into another living space for the home!

Back Porch Southern Style Phantom Screens

Hidden is both a screen and a clear vinyl layer shown here (can you even tell? It’s there but feels and looks like there’s nothing there!) for those brisk winter days or those chilly summer evenings. THIS completely changed how I viewed screens. These aren’t any ol’ screens!!

Rempy Shokar headshots

Southern style back porch phantom screens

Dine al fresco!
Back Porch Southern Style Phantom Screens

Or enjoy a nap!

I’ll be honest, I thought I would tour this home, enjoy a little get-away, share the home with you all and call it a day! Instead, I saw first-hand how awesome and transforming these screens are AND more importantly, I got to know the hearts of the people who are Phantom Screens. I learned more about Esther De Wolde, who has a story every aspiring entrepreneur should take note of. While navigating what can often be a cut-throat world, Esther has managed to grow a business while caring deeply for people.

Complete source list:

Rempy Shokar Head Shots
Aedriel Moxley
Fox Hollow Cottage

Lipford Construction

Landscaping Design:
Azalea Street Designs

Kitchen Island & Other Design Selections:
Thistlewood Farms

Window Screens:
Phantom Screens

Plant Material for Exterior:
Southern Living Plant Collection

Lighting: either original vintage fixtures or
Progress Lighting



Dining room:
Book: 120th Anniversary Archive Edition by York
Pattern: AV2804

Book: Nantucket by York
Pattern: NK2027

Paint: Benjamin Moore (colors below)

Doors, trim, baseboard
Oc-132  grand teton white in a semi-gloss finish

Ceilings and space above trim edge
Top half of hall guest bath walls
Bottom wainscoting board in hall guest bathroom
Oc-132 grand teton white

Kitchen Cabinets
oc-132  grand teton white in a pearl or satin finish

2142-50  gray mirage (it is an antique greenish-gray)

Mary’s pantry & Laundry room

HC-116 Guilford green (bm colour of the year!)  

Living room, Dining room & Middle bedroom
CC-250 seaspray

Front parlour (front bedroom)
HC-111 nantucket gray

Master bedroom & master ensuite
CC-680  raindance 

Ceiling – 2054-70 clear skies
Deck – HC-163 Duxbury gray

Welcome back to the Southern Romance Home Restoration Series! To catch you up, I recently had the opportunity to enjoy a true southern getaway touring a completely restored 1906 Arts and Crafts bungalow in southern Alabama. In Part One of my series I introduced you to this beauty and showed a few ‘before’ photos. Let’s be honest, this house was a hot mess but clearly chalk-full of potential. Esther of Phantom Screens saw the potential and in dedicating a year and a half of her life to this project, I can only imagine she views it as one of the best investments she’s ever made. I can’t wait to show you this little gem of history just waiting to be polished to it’s original state!

“This house has so many stories to tell – the original features and details are simply one part of it. The home is virtually unchanged.
It truly is a time capsule of multiple generations.”

– Cartledge Blackwell,

Architectural Historian of the Mobile Historic Development Commission 

Southern Romance 1906 Before & After True Fixer Upper Front Porch Beauty

Come on in!

Welcome Home Arts & Crafts restored bungalowAs you enter the home. the expansive ‘dogtrot’ style hallway extends through the home with the bedrooms on the right and the sitting room, dining room and kitchen to the left. The ‘dogtrot’ style hallway was common in the 19th and early 20th century with the purpose rooted in cooling occupants being the southern climate is hot and sticky. Historically this style of home was two separate homes under one common roof with the kitchen and dining on one side and the living space on the other side. This style home often had full width porches front and back. The transoms also helped with air flow throughout the home as well as allowing light to pour in when the doors are closed.

Arts & Crafts style bungalow gentlemen

To the left you’ll find the Gentleman’s Parlor with many of the Morgan-Ford’s original furniture including evidence of fallen cigars on the luxurious velvet settee. To think a hundred years later and men are still looking to create their own ‘man cave’ in homes today. Some things never change!



After entering the home you’ll find the living room to the left. Beautifully restored pocket doors open up to reveal the dining room.

Dining Room 1906 pocket doors Southern Romance Phantom Screens home

image Fox Hollow Cottage

Rempy Shokar headshots

Southern Romance dining room




Rempy Shokar headshots

Home boasts so many modern conveniences like the drop-down ironing board hidden in the wall.

Preserving the original wallpaper of the home framed images showcase the homeowners who loved and lived in the home


Preserving the original wallpaper of the home, framed in the original trim, images showcase the homeowners who loved and lived at 257 Rapier Avenue (Mobile, Alabama)

And now, a peek at one of the best parts of the home- the back porch!

Southern Style Back Porch

Check back for all the details on creating a YEAR ROUND!! space no matter where you live and a complete source list including wallpaper and paint colors!

southern romance before and after

I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days in a state I had never been, to tour a home I absolutely fell head-over-heals in love with. Even though I was born and raised in New Mexico,  I have always felt drawn to the sweet comfort of traditional homes. Maybe it’s the romantic in me, but old homes tell a story a new home doesn’t have the maturity to tell. When  Esther De Wolde, CEO of Phantom Screens, added #67 ‘Restore a Southern Home’ to her bucket list, I’m sure she had no idea just how much her heart would forever become tangled up with everything that makes the south what it is- the people, the history and, of course, the beauty.




Rempy Shokar headshots

Built in 1906, The Morgan-Ford House on Rapier Avenue is a classic Arts and Craft style bungalow that had been sitting pretty for many years waiting for just the right woman to come along and give her the care she’d been missing for many years. Located in the Oakleigh Garden Historic District in Mobile, Alabama, the Morgan-Ford house boasts large front columns with the original stained glass transom nesting above the front door with beautifully carved wooden corbels. The porch welcomes you home with the kind of ‘slammin’ screen doors’ Taylor Swift sings songs about. Be sure to scroll through the whole post to see what this beauty looked like when Esther met her.

Original 1906 stained glass transom Southern Romance Phantom Screens Home


I can just imagine being curled up with a favorite book rocking away in that chair watching the neighbors pass while soaking up the sweet southern charm of the oak-lined street.

the details at the Southern Romance home in Mobile, AL

(The original house number and doorbell!!)


Southern Romance 1906 Before & After True Fixer Upper Front Porch Beauty

I learned so much during my visit to Mobile, including the significance of painting porch ceilings blue. There’s a variety of reasons why southern folks do this, but it seems to be mainly because they’ve been that way so long it’s the only way to do it. Some believe it fools wasps and spiders because they think it’s the sky while I also learned some think it extends daylight and wards off evil spirits. When blue paints were first used on ceilings they were milk paint with lye mixed in. Lye acts as a repellent which means insects wouldn’t nest on the porch ledge or ceiling. This paint would easily chip so after a fresh coat of paint, there would also be a fresh coat of lye. It’s interesting to know the ‘why’ behind the long held tradition but I just think it’s charming and pretty.

Southern Romance Complete Home Restoration 1906 Before & After

The gas lamp on the front porch flickers with charm reminiscent of a simpler time I think we all pine for.



Phantom Screens Southern Romance Home

What a vast expanse of pure southern goodness. This porch is the epitome of the south.

Charming front porch swing restored 1906 home in Mobile, Alabama

And a front porch like this beauty isn’t complete without a swing!

1906 Restored bungalow BEFORE ...the after is AMAZING!

When Esther first discovered the Morgan-Ford house the exterior was overgrown but in fairly decent shape. The interior of the home told a different story.

Before Southern Romance Home Restored 1906 Bungalow- the

The bars on the windows didn’t ooze a welcoming vibe and the porch just needed a little sprucing up.

14-28175-251Stepping inside is quite a shock as the exterior doesn’t mimic this level of….how should we put it? In dire need of TLC.

Southern Romance home the

Even through the muck and grime you can see all the potential peeking out in this home.

With the help of Danny Lipford and his team, Lipford Construction, Esther documented her love story in a series of videos. After I watched the first one, I was hooked! Check out the full series of videos here. I was humbled by the opportunity to tour this home and learn more about Phantom Screens, but what struck me the most is how God shows His love so often through relationships. I got to know the other ladies touring the home and I felt the heart and  determination and dedication of Esther and the people on her team.


Be sure to check back for the reveal of the interior and how with lots of elbow grease and determination, Esther and her crew created the best of both worlds- classic style, timeless design and modern conveniences like appliances that simply make life easier and retractable screens that make  Southern living that much sweeter.

SOURCES// Photography- Rempy Shokar Headshots, Aedriel Moxley