Discovering Elegance: The Birmingham Home and Garden Inspiration House at 2717 Vestavia Forest Drive, Vestavia Hills, AL
Last year I visited my first Birmingham Home and Garden Inspiration House and decided then and there that I wouldn’t miss another one. As most of you know, I love home decor and enjoy seeing what’s new and unique in the designer scene. I love wandering from room to room finding ideas to implement in my own home. This year I came home with several ideas. Join me as we tour this stunning architectural masterpiece – a dwelling that seamlessly marries timeless charm with contemporary luxury.
The BH&G Inspiration House of 2023
Welcome to the Birmingham Home and Garden Inspiration House of 2023 at 2717 Vestavia Forest Drive. As you approach this breathtaking property, you are immediately struck by its striking facade. The house boasts a perfect fusion of traditional Southern design and modern elements, with a charming front social patio and elegant landscaping inviting you to explore further. The mixture of natural stone, painted brick and wood, coupled with an inviting seating area, hints at the grace and sophistication that lies beyond.
This apple tree espalier is the first thing that caught my eye as we approached the house. It adds great texture to the wall with the lovely sound of water from the fountain. It is both welcoming for a social chat on the patio and soothing to the soul if you wanted a minute of solitude.
A World of Design Brilliance
Step inside, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of design brilliance. The interiors have been meticulously curated by a team of talented architects and interior designers who sought to create an environment that not only inspires but also embodies the epitome of comfort and refinement. Each room is a gallery of artistic talent. The list of designers can be found in the magazine of course, and at the bottom of this post.
From the small, but striking entryway, adorned with opulent lighting and a tongue and groove ceiling, to the airy and open living spaces, each room boasts its own unique personality. The rich textures, plush furnishings, and artful use of colors create a harmonious atmosphere that exudes both warmth and elegance. Many rooms are decorated with soft colors that make a smart transition from the all-gray or all-neutral palette that many of us are growing bored with.
One of the highlights of the Inspiration House is undoubtedly the gourmet kitchen. A chef’s dream come true, it features top-of-the-line appliances, custom cabinetry, and an oversized island that serves as the heart of the home. It’s a space where culinary masterpieces are born, and where friends and family can gather to create lasting memories. My favorites are the pot filler, microwave drawer in the pantry and the pop-up electrical outlets.
Just off the kitchen is a bar and pantry. I loved the decor and the idea that this could also be used as a coffee/cereal or snack bar for the kids.
If I could totally redesign my kitchen right now for the sole purpose of adding these lovely little design secrets, I would! Where have these pop-up electrical outlets been all my life? We just finished adding new countertops to our kitchen. Why didn’t somebody slap me into this century with these perfect additions?! I currently hide all my electrical outlets with cutting boards or accessories, because I don’t like having electrical holes showing in my backsplash! Oh well. Maybe by the next remodel we won’t need outlets at all! I’ll just speak and the mixer will blend all my salad dressings.
The beauty of this dwelling extends outdoors, where the meticulously landscaped gardens and outdoor living spaces offer a serene oasis for relaxation and entertainment. A covered patio with a cozy fireplace invites you to enjoy crisp evenings under the stars, while the sprawling lawn and manicured flower beds add a touch of natural splendor.
Take a closer look at the support post with corbels. We loved that the corbels mirrored the design in the porch railing.
Entertaining will be a breeze on this back deck. There’s an outdoor cart for drinks or food, seating for 8, and out of the picture the lawn is a great place for corn hole or other lawn games.
What makes the Inspiration House even more extraordinary is its commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency. Equipped with cutting-edge technology, eco-friendly materials, and energy-saving systems, (like a tankless water heater) this residence sets an example for responsible and conscious living without compromising on luxury.
But beyond the physical features, what truly makes the Birmingham Home and Garden Inspiration House special is its ability to evoke emotions and spark creativity. Each room has been thoughtfully designed to inspire homeowners to recreate a piece of this beauty in their own homes. This was brought to life by the designer Candy Whitaker with White Peacock Designs. She greeted us as we entered an upstairs bedroom where she had brilliantly married treasures from the past with modern bedding and draperies.
For those with a passion for design and architecture, the Birmingham Home and Garden Inspiration House is a must-visit. It is a place where creativity meets functionality, where sophistication meets comfort, and where dreams of an elegant home become a tangible reality. So, take a step into this world of elegance and let the Inspiration House kindle the spark of imagination within you. Subscribe to the magazine and their email list so you won’t miss the 2024 Inspiration House.
My personal ideas to try at home:
- Display beautiful urns and pottery beneath consoles or desks. No picture, but Stock and Trade Designs had placed large urns beneath a sideboard. It brought texture and interest to room.
- Add books on topic to specific areas – like books about whisky or infused cocktails on the wet bar.
- Add tall florals to glass vases for centerpieces – with a twist – set them off center.4. Use a gold chain hung from tea cup hooks in the ceiling to display multiple pieces of framed art.
5. Place a large wooden bowl with a wooden scoop filled with laundry detergent on the laundry room countertop. It smells divine and makes adding detergent to the washer so easy!
6. Replace sleeping pillows with a large bolster pillow.
7. Add live flowers to my shower shelving. Why have I never thought of this before? It’s the perfect place for plants that don’t need a lot of light, but do like lots of moisture. And it adds such a nice touch of life to the shower.
And the shower tile is gorgeous! We loved the herringbone pattern. (If I ever replace my shower!)
8. Search for a mirror with antiqued glass. These were displayed in the last two year’s inspiration homes and I’d love one somewhere in my home.
9. Use old silver pieces for houseplants
10. Topiaries aren’t just for outdoors. How fun to add a live ivy plant to a bedroom.
11. Add a touch of Asian influence to a room with corner screens (Pictured Above)
12. Make a statement with outdoor posts by adding custom-designed corbels (Pictured Above)
13. Bring peace and tranquility to the front of the house with an espalier and a fountain added to the seating area. (Pictured Above)
Other ideas I loved
- Did I mention that I loved the pop-up outlets in the kitchen?!
- microwave oven – drawer in the butler’s pantry
- My hubby loved this idea – We plan to add a lovely little reading/mudroom off the foyer
- dog kennel in the laundry room
- fun play and entertainment room in the basement, complete with a pool table, arcade games, small frig and sink for refreshment
- pot-filler (I’ve always wanted one!)
- Lego-like mirror off the rec room (I’m sure there’s a better description, but this made me smile
- a closet turned into a small office
- artwork displayed on a closet/office shelf
- fuzzy stools for fun added seating
- hanging lamp over a nightstand
This house was open to the public for the month of July on weekends, Thursday-Sunday. As per the publisher of the magazine, who was also a delight to meet, they have already begun the design work on next years’ house. Be sure to subscribe to the magazine so you don’t miss next year’s inspiration house. And as an added bonus, there’s always a charity that benefits from the ticket sales. This year was Lifeline Children Services.
Becky Umphrey, Vestavia Hill’s Forest Creek Development; Principal Designer
Jennafer Collins, Green Space LLC; Landscape Designer (Pictured Above)
David Smelcer, Smelcer Design; Home Design
Hiltz-Lauber and Rugko, Designer; Entry and Stairway Design
Ashley Ayer, Ashley Ayer Interiors; Great Room (Pictured Above)
Nicole Roby Designs; Kitchen, Breakfast Nook, Powder Room, Butler’s Pantry
Christopher Rankin and Barbara Williams, Stock & Trade Design Co.; Dining Room
Mary Catherine Folmar, Cotton & Quill; Designer of Textiles in Powder Room, Laundry and Mudroom (Pictured Above)
Michelle Mote, Hollywood Outdoor Living; Covered Porch and Outdoor Dining (Pictured Above)
Christopher Collection; Primary Bedroom, Primary Bath, Loft
Kim McBrayer, Space Cadets; Primary Closet
Candy Whitaker, White Peacock Designs; Upstairs Bedroom, Bath and Closet
Dorm Decor; Twin Bedroom and Jack n Jill Bath
Bill Aroosian, Bill Aroosian Designs & Habitation Home; Bedroom and Jack n Jill Bath
Swag Designs; Downstairs Den
I hope you enjoyed this tour of the 2023 Birmingham Home and Garden Inspiration House. It’s obvious to me that these folks worked very hard to make it perfect. They already had interested buyers who wanted to keep most of what the designers had chosen. I can see why!