By Madoline Markham
Photos by Morgan Hunt
If you have been inside The Cottage Basket in downtown Homewood, you know it’s filled with gifts and accessories that are as colorful as they are thoughtful, so it should come as no surprise that the same characteristics are just as evident in owner Shelli Morrow’s home.
The Morrows had lived on Kenilworth Drive in Edgewood for years but a few years ago were looking for a quieter street where they wouldn’t have to worry as much about car traffic for their kids Graham, Harper Kate and especially for Ellie—who has special needs and is the joyful heartbeat of their family, Shelli says. That’s when Shelli and her husband, Mike, a builder, decided to design a new home on a section of Grace Street he was developing, and Shelli tapped her background in interior design to create just the right home for their family of five (plus a dog and a bunny).
Throughout the building process, Mike would walk around the house with a clipboard and write down Shelli’s vision for design details as she spoke them aloud. More than anything, Shelli wanted their home to be warm, cozy and welcoming, exuding Southern charm in its decorative elements. Her use of colors and textures gives each room its own character, with many pieces from Ballard Designs, Gabby and her own store.
Many of the elements in the home come with their own story too. The wood that was once the exterior of an old cottage on an adjacent property is now the ceiling of Mike’s office and areas of their son Graham’s room. A moldy, dark antique door Shelli found in Bessemer hardly deterred her from cleaning it up and having ceiling tiles and hardware added to act as a pantry door.
Any detail you notice throughout the home (and there are many!) speaks to Shelli’s love of anything with meaning behind it, from the shelf she designated for each child’s artwork and birthday plates in the sitting room to a family portrait wall in the guest room—warm, cozy and charming in each and every nook.
Shelli wanted the glass front doors to feel airy but not look too industrial, and she added planters to each of them make them feel more homey.
Shelli created a heritage wall with family photos she inherited from both her mom and dad’s families and placed them in acrylic frames she found at Target next to the bed in the guest bedroom. The round mirror above the bed is one of many mirrors in the home Shelli purchased through The Cottage Basket.
The design for this cheery bedroom started with a blue and white wallpaper by Serena & Lily, and Shelli added coordinating bedding pieces, an elegant light fixture by Gabby and her wedding invitation—which was already framed with a navy matte.
Shelli envisioned this main living room to be open and airy with a coffered wood ceiling and lots of light streaming in from the porch. She also added bookshelves to display meaningful photos and art by local artists and her family.
Girl’s Bedroom I
Shelli wanted this room to be a happy cheery room for her daughter Ellie, and it showcases Ellie’s love of pink and giraffes.
Girl’s Bedroom II
Harper Kate’s room boasts a feature wall with green and yellow floral wallpaper and a bright pink desk that pops against it.