Thursday, March 29, 2012

Going Coastal




I just spent a few days at the North Carolina coast, my first visit of the season, and I am already ready to go back. There is something so incredibly relaxing about being by the sea. I am heading to Myrtle Beach this weekend for a High School soccer tournament with my daughter, not exactly the excursion I am dreaming of. Did you know that Kelly Wearstler is originally from Myrtle Beach? Her mother was an interior designer and antiques dealer. She moved to Hollywood thinking she wanted to be in the movie business and quickly decided this wasn't for her. She got her start in interior design by decorating the house of real estate developer, Brad Korzen, whom she married in 2002. Just a little fun fact.

 The over-the-top gorgeous photo above is from the front porch of Steven Gambrel's Sag Harbour cottage. I wonder if it is from his new book "Time and Place" which, by the way, is getting great reviews. I am kinda' of a design book junkie and a big fan of Gambrel's style, so can't wait to pick up a copy for myself. 

I love driftwood! Can you imagine the tree that this piece came from? I also thought the shutter details were really spot-on....just a beautiful organic vignette!

Here are just a few images that have me dreaming about a coastal dream house:







{Rosemary Beach - McAlpine Tankersley}








Have a wonderful weekend!


Photobucket

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Entertaining




For today's Friday entertaining I wanted to share this kitchen I discovered here. This chic space packs a lot of design umph into a small space. I would love to talk to the designer to learn more about this kitchen. That incredibly gorgeous limestone topped island, the ceiling and that nailhead detail in the background have me weak at the knees. I also love the warm grays, browns and creamy whites mixed with the stainless steel of the professional appliances.

As for entertaining, I imagine that I am visiting with my three favorite college roommates and after a long day of shopping in the city, we return home to my stylish friend's home. We sit at the island {on those chic little benches} and watch while our talented friend makes us dinner. 


She serves us on handmade honeycomb ceramic plates like these from dbO Home made one at a time by a husband and wife team based in Litchfield County, Connecticut.  Follow their blog here.

We celebrate spring with recipes featuring fresh ingredients from the garden.



Life is good!

This is the second post in my new series called "Kitchen and Dish". I'll pair an interesting kitchen with one of my favorite recipes and maybe an unusual floral arrangement, placesetting, tablescape or venue.

Have a nice weekend!


Photobucket

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Atlanta's Westside Urban Market


When I was growing up in Charlotte, we used to call Atlanta, Hotlanta, now, some thirty years later, I still think this great city of style is living up to my twenty-something nickname. My sister and I had so much fun, particularly exploring the area around Atlanta's waterworks also known as the Westside Urban Market. We called Sid Mashburn's shop from the highway on the way into town and inquired about a restaurant we had heard was good but just couldn't remember the name. We knew it was close to Sid and Ann Mashburn's his and her shops. The only detail we could give the person that answered the phone was that you walk through a really cool shop to enter the restaurant and that the spaces within the dining area are divided into little rooms with floor to ceiling curtains. 

"It's Bacchanalia." What? Can you spell that please?

I looked up the restaurant reviews on my iPhone and was amazed at the incredibly positive reviews. We drove straight there..oh, and stopped by the really cool Anthropology across the street for ten minutes just before it closed. Leave it to Anthropologie to do their homework and find the coolest spot in Atlanta. Check out the Anthro building in the picture below.

To get to Bacchanalia you have to walk through one of the most amazing culinary markets called Star Provisions. They have individual speciality markets for cheese, wine, beer, meats, seafood and bread, a kind of foodie dream market, and reflective of the markets you find in Europe. I have always fallen hard for stylish tabletop displays and the store part of Star Provisions is like a mod general store with interesting, unusual styling and creative displays featuring chic tabletop and kitchen goods. Lots of creamy white pottery and natural wood accessories.

Just look at the eye-catching Spring window display that has vintage wooden utensils mounted like art 'growing' beside the freshly planted daffodils. Love the deer!







On the front porch before you enter Star Provisions is a local farmstead offering unique, organic produce from local farms in Georgia. Just look at this asparagus! Much of the fresh produce available at the farm stand and the individual markets forms the basis of the gourmet menu at Bacchanalia. I love the 'local farmstand' logo...I am really quite smitten with the whole concept of the Local Farmstand, Star Provisions and Bacchanalia. The dinner at Bacchanalia was absolutely beyond amazing...no wonder the online reviews were over the top.




Loved the whimsical display on the farm table that greeted us as we walked through Star Provisions towards our table at Bacchanalia.



Our table at Bacchanalia.

I should mention that Bacchanalia is the kind of restaurant that you might visit to celebrate life's special anniversaries and birthdays. We didn't know that when we reserved our table and you might say we were just a little bit out of our league. I am so glad we stumbled upon this one-of-a-kind dining experience to celebrate my sister's birthday and our cherished annual road-trip. It was one of my favorite meals {and experiences} ever!

Bacchanalia is owned by husband and wife Chefs Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison and its seasonal menu relies entirely on organic ingredients, many sourced from Anne and Clifford’s farm. It is consistently ranked as the best restaurant in Atlanta and has been the recipient of the coveted James Beard Culinary award. The chefs recommend the five course prix fix menu for $85...it was worth it. The individual courses are quite complex with unique flavor combinations and unbelievably beautiful presentations. Hint: You wanted to take a picture of everything that you ate. The fourth course is a cheese course and might have been my favorite, hard to choose, but i ordered the Roasted, Raw and Pickled Beets with Pine Nuts and Chervil. A sweet and savory dish that {i think} had a little serving of gelato mixed in with the beets. For the main course, i ordered Jamison Farm Lamb, it was prepared five different ways and is easily the best main course I have ever eatten.

They overheard that it was my sister's birthday and sent us home with a little package...a pair of homemade cupcakes from Star Provisions.



You would love Ann Mashburn...I am struggling to find the right words to describe her chic clothing that is bright and modern yet traditional...a kind of 'Jackie O.' uniform. Great looking espadrilles for Spring, crisp cotton shirts, stylish dresses with simple lines, great detailing and lots of great accessories.






I love to see how Anthropologie recreates itself in every new market and thought this store was uber-cool!


If you go through this faux boxwood covered arch towards Sid Mashburn you will arrive JCT, where we ate on Saturday night. We liked this little enclave of stores and restaurants so much that we came back the second evening for more. We didn't get to visit several of the places on our must-see list like Jimmy Stanton's store Room & Board or the new Jonathan Adler store.


Heather Clawson of Habitually Chic visited Ann Mashburn recently and wrote a nice post here with lots of great pictures and Sid Mashburn here.


Bungalow Classic, a store I was dying to visit after pouring over their website and seeing some of the homes they sponsored in Atlanta Homes Magazine. We got there on Saturday night just before they closed. I love their casually chic interiors - think linen slipcovered upholstery with the newest modern silhouettes, graphic pillows, cool lighting and reclaimed wood furniture. If you know me, you could just look at the exterior of the building and know I would like everything in there...and I did!



I pulled this simple vignette from their Facebook page to share with you. You'll just have to go visit their incredibly chic store in person to get the whole vibe.


Photobucket

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Entertaining


Something about this interesting kitchen ignites my sense of imagination.

 I have chosen it to be the debut photo for my new Friday entertaining series called "Kitchen and Dish". I'll pair an interesting kitchen with one of my favorite recipes and maybe an unusual floral arrangement, placesetting, tablescape or venue.

I would imagine this is a chef's kitchen and the 'organized clutter' reflects the chef's love of collecting and entertaining. This chef has a seasoned cast iron skillet and loves to share his methods with his guests while he cooks. His table is eclectic, mixing vintage finds with silver and french linen.

For tonight's dinner the chef prepares:



Doesn't this look delicious! The recipe features savory ingredients that have big impact like rosemary and goat cheese. It would be easy to prepare and allow the hostess time to socialize with her guests. I would keep it simple and serve this with a big salad dressed with a homemade herb vinaigrette.


I love this image of old silver and pearl handled flatware. It embodied how i like to entertain...use interesting things and present them in a casual, familiar way. I can easily see handing this tray over to a friend and having them set the table or simply placing the tray on the table and serving family style.



This natural arrangement could have been pulled together by a savvy gardener and would be so pretty in the entrance hall to welcome guests. It is the creation of Saipua Ryhanen and Nicolette Camille Owen, two boutique floral designers from Brooklyn who come together to teach at the Little Flower School

If you like arranging flowers, you will love this article from the NY Times about this talented duo. Here's a little snippet from the article:

Owen and Ryhanen encourage deli-flower shoppers to buy in tiers: bulky, real-estate-hogging items like cherry blossom branches, heather and lilies to create form, structure and a foundation (first tier); showy “face” flowers like tea roses and hyacinths to give a bouquet focus (second); and a gestural, attention-getting element like anemones or tiny undeveloped carnation buds for a sense of finish (third). “The face flowers you usually want to do in clusters of two or three — don’t spread them around, but do stagger their heights,” Owen says. “In placing them you want to avoid any suggestion of eyes, headlights, ears, antennas, arms or boobs. The massing rule also applies to color: like tones together.” Above all, as Ryhanen always tells her students, resist the impulse to build a pyramid: “Asymmetry creates movement....(read more here)


Tonight's dinner is served in the orchard in the late afternoon.

The lovely image above is from one of my favorite new sources of inspiration Kinfolk Magazine. I just subscribed so I could get the gorgeous quarterly soft bound volumes in the mail.

My favorite guilty pleasure is to sit in the sunshine on my front porch and flip through the pages of my newly delivered design magazine.

"Kinfolk is a collaborative effort to encourage a more natural approach to entertaining. It's the marriage of 
our appreciation for art and our love for spending time with family and friends."

Have a wonderful weekend!

Photobucket

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shopping Atlanta: South of Market


One of my favorite places to shop when I visit Atlanta or Charleston is South of Market. Coming from such a traditional environment where I live {Winston Salem}, I am just totally blown away by the graphic displays, bright colors, Belgian inspired furnishings and interesting art. I know the term 'eye candy' is grossly overused but it is the only thing I can think of that describes the SOM shopping experience.

My favorite Galbraith and Paul textiles are everywhere. Galbraith and Paul fabrics are all hand blocked. The pillows on these two Verellen chairs are in 'smokebrush' the same pattern I have selected for my living room curtains but in a grayish-blue colorway. I love the apricot color of these cushions especially with the utility canvas throws in the background and that interesting chandelier.



Vibrant colors and great graphic fabrics are combined with Belgian upholstery. Organic materials like rustic, raw woods, driftwood and linen bring warmth and texture to the setting.


You see neat old signs and typography everywhere when you visit the flea markets these days. I never really know what to do with it once you get it home. I like this large "U" used as art in this grouping.


Charts are all the rage right now in the collectors world. These framed botanical charts have great color. I like the way they float in glass with a simple, modern black frame.





South of Market is masterful with scale. This Galbraith and Paul linen covered shade was big and gorgeous. I envision it in a modern, coastal home with high ceilings.


These wingback chairs were made from braided leather. Old machine gears are painted white and framed and make a graphic art presentation.


I love the color of these gray gourd lamps...they almost came home to live with me. 



This set of eight French chairs was priced as a set. They were absolutely amazing with oversized nailhead trim and a rich gray patina. I can only imagine how spectacular they would look pulled up to a dining table in a fabulous mountain home with barn wood and beams. I love them paired with this rich new green.


Old parquet floor squares are hung in a grid above a fresh white sofa. I love the texture they bring to this clean, modern, bright vignette.


Galvanized bucket lampshades hang by thick textural rope. A pair of old French dormer windows with a lovely gray patina are made into mirrors.



I saved the best for last...my favorite thing in the store was this pair of framed Suzani quilts.


Note to self...think BIG, don't be afraid to create your own art, have fun with your home!


Photobucket