Knack Studio

For years I've been following the work of Barb Blair in Greenville, South Carolina. First it was her design blog, then studio, then her vendor space in Antiques on Augusta. Now, it's her picturesque storefront situated in the Village of West Greenville.

After many emails back and forth over the years, it was so nice to meet Blair face to face last month. Her space borderlines on magical as it's bright and welcoming and full of interesting finds. She curates items that are, according to Barb, "unique, small batch and exclusive to this area." 

Barb is well known for her furniture design business. She finds used, neglected furniture pieces and brings them to life with colorful paint, wallpaper, stenciling, spray painting, new hardware or designs. Her intention with each creation is to "make a unique piece that you can design a whole room around." Her book, Furniture Makeovers shares some of her trade secrets with easy, inspiring DIY projects...

So much good stuff...including the lovely ceramic dishes made by Crave Studio just up the street, Love tote bags designed by Greenville artist, Annie Koelle and custom carved whales by Tennessee artist, Gene Claiborne. 

I fell a bit in love for these cutting boards as well, hand made in Greenville from reclaimed lumber and flooring. 

I took an extra moment to read these fabulous dinner napkins by Sir/Madam that showcase Shakespeare sonnets and vintage love letters. Makes me want to create my own...would make such a fun gift. 

Barb took the time to show me her sizeable workshop in the back of her studio. What a lovely space to share, work and entertain in. Go visit Knack Studio next time you're in Greenville, or contact Barb directly for her beautifully curated goods or design skills. Lucky for the rest of us, she ships nationwide...


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Ceri Hoover

As autumn is upon us, I'm on the lookout for the perfect brown leather bag. When I saw these beauties online the other day, designed by Ceri Hoover of Nashville, Tennessee, I had to learn more...

Ceri's background is in interior design. A couple years ago, after crafting her own cute clutch, Ceri received rave reviews from friends. So she decided to go all in and design an entire collection of bags for the wholesale market. 

Ceri launched her business in 2013 and is now in 100 boutiques nationwide. She feels her bags are sexy, not flashy. Ceri, "They resonate with women from 16 to 60. People want classic design and nothing I design is overstated." 


Many of her functional, classic bags include her signature look of mixing cowhide with a camel colored leather. The bags have a relaxed, edgy style that feels natural and unforced. Her collection is slowly expanding to include a men's line as well. I can't wait for that... until then, check out Ceri's entire shop, here.


Photos: Ceri Hoover      Content: Sweet Peach



Jessica Durrant

A love of travel and maps goes hand in hand as it's hard not to love one without the other, right? As a huge fan of both, I was instantly smitten by these watercolor maps by Atlanta illustrator, Jessica Durrant. 

Jessica, whose work has been featured in Target, One Kings Lane, Gilt and more, has a deep passion for her craft. Much of the collection follows her love of fashion and wandering the globe, in search of those moments that instill awe and gratitude. 


What I love about these world maps is they are available in sizes ranging from 5" x 7" to 36" x 48". Plus, it's hard not to love anything watercolor these days. Maybe I need to take one of her watercolor classes too... Find all of Jessica's daydream inducing works in her Etsy shop, here. 



Hotel San Jose

Whenever I travel, I seek out the small, independent, boutique hotels with lots of personality and Hotel San Jose in Austin, Texas. 

This cool locale came into existence in 1936 as an ultramodern motor court before it was transformed into the 40 room bungalow-style hotel it is today. Owner and entrepreneur, Liz Lambert had the vision (she also owns the scrumptiously good Hotel Saint Cecilia, El Cosmico and Hotel Havana). 

Liz enlisted the very talented sustainable design firm, Lake/Flato in San Antonio to help bring her incredible vision to life. Concrete floors, minimalist decor and locally made furniture all help create a cool, Texan vibe. 

These fab chairs I quickly recognized, from artist Jamey Garza of Garza Marfa. 

Besides fun pluses like hippie blankets, kimono bathrobes and Malin + Goetz products in the rooms, all dogs are more than welcome at the hotel. Gotta love that...

And then there's the popular local joint, Jo's, located in the hotel parking lot, where you can find good coffee, beer, tacos and more. It's all a part of the many reasons why boutique hotels are worth every penny. Next time you're headed to Austin, check out the Hotel San Jose, here.


Photos: Hotel San Jose     Content: Sweet Peach


The Grifter Glove

Grifter USA, based in Washington DC, has crafted some very cool glove options for the active guy. The Rangers gloves peaked my interest as they're made with distressed bison skin and American Cone white selvedge denim from North Carolina. 

These are made to fit snug and are popular with motorcycle riders. The fabric back allows the glove to breathe while the bison leather is some of the toughest protection you'll find. 

Check out the entire Grifter shop, which includes more gloves, hats and tees, here. Manliness required...


Photos:       Content: Sweet Peach


The Zombie Apocalypse

If zombies really are the mindless, dangerous, flesh-hungry undead, how will you survive an outbreak? 

Ryan McArthur of Design Different has a plan. These Zombie Safe Zone maps highlight which cities are most prone to an outbreak and where to flee in case of an all out, panic stricken attack. 

Each safe zone has a natural abundance of water, fish and forestry that is isolated to help you survive. This map is a must for any who fear the flesh eating undead. Plus, it's fabulously stylish. Learn how to best protect yourself, here. And please, if you flee, don't look back... 


Photos: Design Different      Content: Sweet Peach


The Reading Nook

Working as a producer in reality TV is anything but glamorous. Our days are minimum 13 hours, 6-7 days a week. So when I'm in the middle of shooting a series, I miss reading. My current book, by Paul Theroux, is sitting on my hotel bed, and is sadly, largely ignored until the series draws to a close. So, as an ode to what I yearn for, here are some cozy, relaxing reading nooks to daydream about...


Photos: Simon Maxwell;; Ngoc Minh Ngo;  Remodelista; Latte Lisa;  Dream Home; Design Hunter UK; The Lettered Cottage     Content: Sweet Peach


Josephine House

I recently read an article about Josephine House in Austin, Texas and I was intrigued to learn more. It's a cozy, eye pleasing cafe located in the Clarksville Historic District. Situated in a picture perfect cottage from the 1930's, this sister restaurant to Jeffrey's is owned by Larry McGuire of McGuire Moorman Hospitality.

This beautifully designed space looks so fun to visit. The central dining room has a painted farmhouse table with George Nakashima chairs and walnut tables.

The perfect touch is the small marble bar for coffee or cocktails. I can easily envision myself and my friend Vanessa at this bar, ordering our favorite drinks and being happy to just be exactly where we are- soaking in the scrumptious food and decor.

The restaurant is an ode to Josephine de Beauharnais (first wife of Napolean Bonaparte) who had a passion for roses, which she collected from all over the world. I love the whitewashed shiplap walls... 

Chef Alex Manley and her team switch up the menu daily, always highlighting quality, local ingredients. Options are healthy, with lots of freshly picked vegetables. Every Monday night is steak night with a pre-fixe menu that includes wine, salad and dessert. What a perfect spot to stop and stay here to learn more. 


Photos:; Michael A Muller       Content: Sweet Peach



Tea & Pastry...

If you're a friend of mine, you know I have an affinity for tea towels. I often carry them in my back pocket for photo shoots and always stop in my tracks when I happen upon a pretty one...

Deva America of Gainesville, Florida is a triple threat. She is a wax artist, vintage curator and textile designer. Her root vegetable tea towels are now on my new favorites list. These are hand printed on 100% cotton fibers with water-based inks. 

Deva collects lots of vintage home decor items and her textile designs reflect that passion. She has created over 50 tea towels to choose from with lots of luscious colors and retro inspiration. Plus, they're well priced at $10 each. 

Deva has also created quite the buzz with her beautifully curated pastry stands. These are made of various vintage plates that she has collected over the years. Such a sweet idea for a tea party or gal get together- or even a wedding. Unique, memorable, stylish. I told you she was a triple threat... 


Photos: Fresh Pastry Stand       Content: Sweet Peach


The Old Try Southern Signs...

The Old Try is one of my favorites. Their southern prints are some of the best I've seen and now, they've expanded their shop to include wooden state signs. 

Micah and Marianna Whitson were born and raised in the South. Their intention is to 'connect people to a place they go to in their dreams, or a place they could never convince themselves to leave.' Repurposing old wooden pallets, the pair collaborated with a Charlotte based woodworker to create these sturdy and cool art pieces. 

Each one-of-a-kind, handcrafted piece is made on demand at $135. And if you like the wooden signs, definitely check out Micah and Marianna's entire online shop to see their amazing prints that showcase the best of the South. 


Photos: The Old Try      Content: Sweet Peach