Charcoal : Who Knew?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Charcoal is no longer just reserved for grilling.....   As mentioned in my previous post, Charcoal Ice Cream is all the range this summer. I happened to find a parlor here in Atlanta, Queen of Cream, offering their own homemade recipe -- Black Pearl. To my surprise, their flavor is actually vegan, with a coconut base, swirled with caramel and bittersweet chocolate. Well, its delicious and I've been dreaming about getting back to Queen of Cream before Black Pearl rotates off their menu at the end of August.

But, have you noticed? Charcoal is turning up in an assortment of lifestyle needs.....  I've been using a bar of Charcoal Soap from Mama Handmade Bath + Body, it has done wonders for my skin. I use it on my face morning & night and it continues to help promote clear skin, particularly after the exposure to hot & humid Atlanta weather.

*Additional links below.....

Neel Reid Restored

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Oh J O Y ! Absolutely ecstatic over seeing the complete restoration (image above) of a historic Neel Reid designed home in Buckhead, commissioned in 1925 for Mr. Cam Dorsey. You might recall my previous post from April 2014, sharing the heartbroken news of the home's total destruction from a fire.....  Owners Gerry and Patty Hull vowed to rebuild the home in a true reflection of Reid's original vision and turned to Atlanta based firm D. Stanley Dixon Architect to fulfill the task.

The August issue of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles features exceptional exterior and interior images, paying particular attention to the significant architectural details.....  Plus I've included photos from that fateful day in 2014 and the back cover jacket of my copy of James Grady's Architecture of Neel Reid in Georgia, highlighting the home.

ABOVE : Exterior view from Habersham Road / BELOW: Completed restoration

Architecture of Neel Reid in Georgia / James Grady / 1973

August Covers

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

  • Donna Hay : Watch Donna make the cover dish, Pasta w/ Peas & Torn Prosciutto, here
  • Imbibe : Read more here for a round-up of Summer's Best Blender Cocktails


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

It's no secret that the landscape of Charlottesville, Virginia is steeped in history and tradition. An impressive and significant mark left by Thomas Jefferson is influenced throughout the architectural masterpieces that remain today -- see more from Architectural Digest and the Jefferson designed home, Edgemont.

Having attended Sweet Briar (located just south of Charlottesville) with dear friends who graduated from St. Anne's-Belfield, I was already familiar with the charm of the city's engaging vibe surrounded by the peacefulness of the Blue Ridge Mountains. What I've taken notice of recently, is others have recognized it too and more & more are calling Charlottesville home. Perhaps it's the draw to the crossroads of where classic meets contemporary.

Vogue magazine is turning a spotlight on Charlottesville.....  In June, the magazine highlighted the opening of a social club, Common House, within the former Mentor Lodge, a circa 1913 building located downtown. The August issue features the Charlottesville home of Marina Rust (images above & below), a longtime contributor to the magazine and noted style-setter. In 2014, Marina and her husband Ian Connor, purchased an 1816 Georgian brick home as an idyllic getaway for their family to escape the hustle and bustle of their New York City lives. It's become a destination that Marina confesses is harder & harder to leave!

A couple of Charlottesville trailblazers that I've previously discussed include Christy Ford and husband & wife, Roderick Coles and Abby Kasonik.

Christy's creative reach is extensive.....  Co-founder of The Scout Guide, an insider's guide to navigating cities around the country and alongside her mother, she's the owner of the decor shop & interior design firm And George. Read more here.

Roderick is an antiques dealer and the proprietor of The Curious Orange Store, offering an interesting assortment of period finds. Abby, is an accomplished painter, whose work has been shown at galleries throughout the East Coast. Read more here.

*FYI, Sweet Briar graduate and friend Hopie Avery writes The Scout Guide's NC Triangle Edition, covering Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill. Read more here.

Whitespace Gallery

Monday, July 24, 2017

Perhaps it's the contrast of fine and familiar that lures you down the pea gravel drive.....  Or maybe the hint of a secret only divulged to you when you arrive.....  Or the attraction to a new neighborhood experience when you thought you knew every inch of the streets.....  Whitespace Gallery is that destination.

Owner Susan Bridges founded Whitespace in 2006, occupying an original 1893 carriage house on the the grounds of her Inman Park Victorian style home. The gallery has become a mecca for sophisticated and curated work of both emerging and seasoned artists. In addition to the carriage house, Susan has converted the lower level of her home into Whitespec and an original "summer kitchen" has been revamped into Shedspace, lending both locales to artist installations.

My photos are from the opening reception of the current show, Luminous Animals, which ends this week so I highly recommend making the stop-in. Mark your calendars now for the next opening reception, Friday August 4th, 7-10pm.

*Thursday July 27th, 7pm -- It's movie night at Whitespace with a showing of Robert Altman's Nashville.

*Owner Susan Bridges (left) with Megan Schaeffer (right)

Shirley Coastal

Friday, July 21, 2017

You might remember my post from 2012 discussing a picking trip my mother and I took to the Savannah area. Marie, one of my BFF's from Sweet Briar, graciously offered us her Tybee Island beach house as our base. The locale allowed for easy accessibility to Savannah, Hilton Head and Beaufort, plus being beachside was an added bonus!

Marie grew up spending her summers on the island and values the importance of passing down the tradition to her family and friends. Her vintage charmer sits on a private dead end road to the ocean, considered the first “neighborhood” on Tybee, with the landscape remaining quite untouched and the homes retaining their original designs. When we stayed 5 years ago, a smaller island home, positioned adjacent to Marie's house, came up for sale but eventually languished on the market due to the lack of buyer interest. In 2016, knowing that the house had good bones, just in need of a TLC infusion, Marie and her husband purchased the bungalow, along with Marie's cousin and his wife Natalie. The home doubles as a family retreat and a vacation rental investment.

I reached out to Marie for a little more insight into what they fittingly named once the renovation was complete, Shirley Coastal.....  Design choices, her personal Tybee Island recommendations and rental info for this low country cottage and images included, plus, just giving a glimpse of the previous interior before Marie and Natalie got their hands on the project.

"Natalie and I wanted to bring the cottage back to life and clean her up. So many places here are kitschy and beachy, with pink pelicans and lots of sea shells. We wanted the home to feel like old Tybee -- white, clean, and a place that gets sandy but no problem because its nothing fancy anyone can ruin. The color palette outside is white with a very simple greenish-blue shutter. White, bright, clean and fresh was the goal. We then wanted to add some pops of color and some texture and some vintage pieces to mix with new finds."

"The large palm painting is by one of my besties in Statesboro. She is a super talented music teacher and artist. Check out her Facebook page The Painted Wren. We sent her some photos of things we liked and this was her interpretation!"

*BEFORE // Shirley Coastal Seating Area

*AFTER // Shirley Coastal Seating Area

*BEFORE // Shirley Coastal Kitchen

*AFTER // Shirley Coastal Kitchen.....  The original beadboard was left intact, just refinished with a bright shade of white paint.

Marie notes that her favorite piece of furniture is the rattan headboard for the king bedroom, providing texture and color to the room without being fussy or fancy. Whitney Walsh, a designer and one of Marie's best friends from high school who now resides in Charleston, found the headboards and helped execute the design scheme. Whitney expands on the interior's decor.....

"I happened upon the rattan headboard while looking for some other stuff in a consignment store I frequent in Mt Pleasant. It was not on my shopping "list" for the cottage but I couldn't pass it up because it was exactly the "look and feel" I wanted for the cottage. Once I found that, other pieces fell into place and I started to really get a feel for the space I wanted to create! The dresser was a total score from a friend of mine who "paints up" good vintage pieces. The rattan basket lights and mirror are favorite go-to's of mine. We wanted the bunk room to be simple and easy for kids. Clean white beds, fun bedding, vintage rattan dresser from another favorite spot in Charleston (Indigo Market) and a navy textured lamp I scored at Target. The living space and kitchen we wanted to to feel cozy but open and fresh. We did the sectional sofa in a light but durable fabric and added fun pillows. The rug, coffee table, baskets and lanterns add the texture to the space. The blue metal stools are easy to clean and add a pop of color. We wanted a large piece of art to complement and bring our blues together. We talked to an artist friend (Ashley Wren of The Painted Wren) who was able to bring our vision of palms in blues to life! Lastly, the front porch wicker is the other favorite that I found for the cottage and I think it creates the perfect welcome!”

The lure of Tybee for Marie is.....

*I grew up coming here and see tons of folks I grew up with on the beach and at Mass throughout the summer.

*It is still super quirky (some may say un-refined). There are no big chains, everything is mom and pop owned.

*I can bike everywhere and give my girls a summer retreat they will never forget. Watching sea turtles hatch at sunset, teaching the girls to body surf and become strong swimmers, eating boiled peanuts at the beach, kayaking early in the morning when the blue herons are feeding and the world is still quiet, playing bingo at the American legion with $1 Pabst Blue Ribbons sitting between a neurosurgeon on vacay at his Tybee home and a local who works at the IGA grocery, eating local tomatoes on white bread with mayo and season salt, puzzles on the porches during rain storms and card games such as Spite and Malice, biking to get snow cones and ice cream. I only have these babies for a bit and these are the things I hope they recall from their childhoods.

Marie's Tybee Island Recommendations.....

-Sundae Cafe >> Seriously best seafood on island, located in a gas station parking lot. You would never know it was there, but can’t get in without reservations.

-80 East (sister to Sundae Cafe) >> Also in gas station parking lot, burgers and beer done well.

-The Breakfast Club >> Best breakfast hands down. The owner was the chef at JFK Jr's wedding on Cumberland Island. There is a line always out the door from 7am when it opens to 1pm when it closes.

-Seaweeds >> Best snow cone and ice cream on the island. My dad likes the Sugar Shack too.

-A-J's >> On the back river which has the best view hands down. I’d eat anything fried there if that was what I was in the mood for.

-The Crab Shack >> Quintessential island vibe, complete with alligators and a cool marsh view setting.

*Shirley Coastal Rental Info HERE

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