By Madoline Markham
Photos by Lauren Ustad
Carrie Pittman Hill is no stranger to white canvases. For years she’s created expressionistic acrylic and watercolor paintings, defined by striking textures and a near-neon color palette, on them. But last year she found an extra sophisticated, extra large white canvas with a unique set of clean lines in the form of a new home.
Carrie and her husband, Alan, stumbled on their Cahaba Heights new build the first day it was on the market and fell for how natural light filled its open floor plan. They also liked its tall height up on a hill that makes it feel like a treehouse and that it was on a quiet street and yet very accessible to get to Cahaba Heights businesses and everything else nearby.
Once they had a contract on the home, it was already about 85 percent complete, but there was still room for the Hills to select finishing touches for it. While the builder had originally had dark hardwoods in mind, Carrie really wanted a light wood that would give the space a more beachy look and ended up selecting a light red oak that gives the main living areas an even more airy feel.
After they moved in, Carrie setup the home’s basement as her art studio and started filling the living spaces with a combination of antiques and traditional elements that her mom had given her an appreciation for alongside more contemporary pieces she also favors, mixing textures wherever she could.
Not long after she started that process, she started to curate her own art and lifestyle pieces for her newly opened shop, CANVAS on 28th Street South in downtown Homewood, so she filled her home with pieces you can now find in the shop too: her paintings, Too Pillows by Birmingham designers, Christina Cohn Ceramics pottery out of Nashville, Southern Infused Olive Oils and Favor Candles.
There’s often pieces of her art on display in her own home, but Carrie rarely keeps her own art for herself. “There’s something really special about letting a piece go to someone else,” she says. “I’m often like the cobbler’s son who has no shoes. Art is the last thing I incorporate, and instead I start with rugs and sofas and books.”
This white floating table with nail heads from Chelsea Antiques greets you upon entry to the house and sits atop hardwoods in a herringbone pattern and a Kars Turkish rug from Eighteenth Street Orientals.
This round white leather table that Carrie found on Mountain Brook Trading contrasts with the charcoal grey banquette and velvet Too Pillows adjacent to it.
Carrie “commissioned” this statement painting for herself to act almost like a wallpaper for the powder room at the front of the house.
A lumbar pillow with a velvet panel made by Too Pillows—a Birmingham line designed by two sisters that Carrie sells at her shop—makes a statement on top of neutral bedding from White House Interiors and cane bed from Restoration Hardware. Turquoise lamps from Southeastern Salvage add a pop of color on either side of the bed too.
Most of this open white kitchen was already designed when the Hills bought the house, but they selected the white vent hood to coordinate and added acrylic bar stools.
Carrie likes to add pops of metallic colors to her paintings like this one that you see on your way to the home’s second floor bedrooms.
Wooden beams and a shiplap fireplace frame this open space off the kitchen that draws in lots of natural light.
Behind the Scenes
- Builder: Baxter Custom Homes
- Rugs: Eighteenth Street Orientals
- Select Furnishings: CANVAS by Carrie Pittman Hill