Living Well

My New Favorite Read


Do you ever walk into a room, or look at a picture of a room, and become invigorated by what you see?   That’s exactly how I feel when I look at the work of Cindy Smith and Jane Schwab.   Jane and Cindy are the talent behind Circa Design Firm based in Charlotte, NC, and the renowned retail collaboration – Circa Interiors (the retail store has locations in Charlotte and Birmingham).  Something in their interiors or in their store always catches my eye.   Every time.

Imagine my excitement when I learned this talented design duo had written a book, The Welcoming House.   I couldn’t make it to Circa fast enough for their book signing.

Cindy, Jane, and myself at Circa in Mountain Brook Village. Note: Notice all of the pretty things in the background? See I told you; Something always catches my eye.

While I have met Cindy several times and think so much of she and her daughter, Whitney, who lives and runs the store here in Birmingham, I was thrilled to finally meet Jane.  Jane was just as warm and gracious as I pictured her to be.  Warm and gracious.  Two good words….  Not only to describe these two ladies, but their work as well.  I also discovered Jane was staying the night with my next door neighbor, a dear friend of hers from college (small world).

Why do their interiors resonate with me and make me want to study every little detail that never seems to be forgotten?

There are a lot of reasons.  I love how they mix old and new, formal and informal, and while a room may have been installed in one day, their homes always look like they have evolved over time.  I also think this quote in their book sums it up just fine:

“In design and decoration, pretty is wonderful, but it’s far from everything.  Practicality and function always come first, because if a room doesn’t work, who will use it?”

 Not only are their interiors gorgeous and inviting, but their rooms are useful.   Yes, they are pretty AND functional.  You want to sit down and stay awhile.   Real Homes For Real Life.   Remember?   My new mantra that I think every homeowner should be able to claim.

This homeowner for sure claims it.


Don't you want to curl up in the chair and read a book?


What a beautiful patio!


The perfect master suite!

Be sure to visit Circa Interiors or to buy your copy of The Welcoming House, as it is filled with great advice for all.  In the meantime, I will leave you with a few pictures of my favorite things in their Birmingham store right now.    Have a great day, everyone!




This little man needs a new home in my house.


Photo Credits: (1) The Welcoming House (2) Dana Wolter Interiors (3,4,5,) The Welcoming House (6,7,8) Dana Wolter Interiors