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Thursday
Sep122013

A Birmingham Retreat... (Part 2) 

Yesterday, I posted about a Birmingham condo owned by John and Janet LeGrand that I had the privilege of staying at last weekend. The space is so wonderful, I wanted to share even more pics today...

The dining room is located in the center of the home, which until I saw this layout in person, I realized is actually a very cool thing. As the dining room is the communal space to share food and stories and laughter, I love that it is in the very center of things. John built the table from white oak and made the top with white Portland cement. John smoothed it out to give it a whitewash look, then stained and distressed it. The rug is from Bungalow Classic in Atlanta. 

From the dining room, you can access the guest bedroom. From the living room, you can access the master bedroom. Then both bedrooms share a bathroom, which is a very smart use of space. Janet found both the table lamps and headboard for the master at Bungalow Classic. 

The bathroom is a wonderful mix of whites and grays with a heaping dose of natural light. I love the tile work...and the shower curtain, via West Elm. The lovely mixed media wooden artwork is by Rachel Austin of Portland, Oregon. 

The kitchen is truly a work of art, recently remodeled by Janet and John. Last year, I posted all about it. See the entire post, which includes before and after pics, here. 

What makes the condo even more special is how it is situated in this beautiful courtyard, just steps from Mountain Brook Village. I could eat, drink and shop 30 seconds upon leaving the front door. During my visit, John informed me that he's currently working on a greenhouse and root cellar for his farmhouse. He showed me a few pics of the project and it looks incredibly cool. I'm crossing my fingers I get a chance to blog about that too. A big thanks to John and Janet for letting me stay at their incredible Birmingham retreat. I feel so lucky...

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Sep112013

A Birmingham Retreat... (Part 1) 

Last weekend I had the pure pleasure of visiting Birmingham, Alabama for the first time. And what made it even better was having the keys to this incredible condo, right in the heart of Mountain Brook Village. It's owned by John and Janet LeGrand, who spend about 5 days a week at their farmhouse in Northern Alabama, then head down to their city retreat for the other couple of days. Dreamy. Even dreamier, I spent two nights here...

This condo is meticulous. Every square foot has been given much thought and care. John is a self taught carpenter, Janet is an architect and together they know design. Gus the Goat hangs to the left of the archway and is actually a mountain goat from Mongolia that Janet's father shot. It was a passion of his and Gus now stands guard.

The living room painting is by Jinni Thomas, which the couple recently found at the Karan Ruhlen Gallery in Santa Fe. John immediately felt a connection to it, which is an important factor when choosing any piece of artwork. Wanting something with a pattern, they bought the yellow chairs at Lee Industries in North Carolina (as well as the couch) to help tie in the yellow and golds of the painting. 

The entryway had me at hello. As John and Janet create masterful works with upcycled wood and paint (they're currently taking a break from the shop), you'll find their absolutely stunning, modern art pieces throughout the condo (It's impossible to pick a favorite). There is a small dish at the entryway filled with the best smelling potpourri (via Saks Fifth Avenue) I've ever had the chance to experience. John wanted that first moment you open the front door to be a good one. It is.   

What may be hard to convey through these pictures is the incredible layout of the condo. There are no hallways and it's all a bit unexpected and charming. The sunroom is one of my favorite rooms as it's an inviting space, not to mention flawlessly put together. 

John was inspired by a lamp he saw at CB2 and set out to make his own version. He glued together some pieces of pine and added red cord and paint. The lamp shade he had custom made by Fenchel Shades

I love these Merino wool blankets I had read about but had never seen before. John and Janet have one in their living room, another here in the sunroom. They are from Nordt Family Farm in Virginia. And the pretty pillows are from Thomas Paul. 

John continues his craftsman domination with this wonderful coffee table that is the perfect scale for the small sunroom. He had one antique milk crate already and found a matching one on Etsy. Next, John cut blue stone to the dimensions he wanted and rigged it all together, painting and distressing to his color preference. The zigzag rug is via West Elm. 

John and Janet bought this rope pendant from Bungalow Classic in Atlanta. As the sun fills the room each morning, no extra light is needed. It's a pretty special place to begin the day...

The bowling pin lamp on the desk was found in an Atlanta shop and the desk itself John made from Ipe wood, then paired it with custom legs he had made by Modern Legs in Erie, Colorado. 

The bookcase leads into the sunroom where my eye was immediately drawn to the custom made lamp. John used collected driftwood he had found in Oregon and paired that with some leftover scraps of wood. Then he painted and sanded- his usual magic. The bookshelf itself John carefully crafted from sinker cypress wood, which John informed me are found logs that have been sunk- common in Louisiana. Sigh, it's all just so good...

Please be sure to check back in tomorrow for Part 2 of the Birmingham Retreat. 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Sep102013

Yoni Alter

If you have a space in your home or office that could use a bit of color, may I suggest these art prints by Yoni Alter. He creates a myriad of bold city illustrations, both national and international, but I'm privy to the South...

Yoni is a son of an architect and grandson of a structural engineer, so shapes and buildings are in his blood. He picks a handful of iconic buildings to best visually represent each city he illustrates. All are accurate to scale and a thoughtful combination of bright, poppy colors. 

Peruse Yoni's Etsy shop if you get a chance. He has some really great designs for international cities as well as a few showcasing his play with shape and color, like this one, called Cityscape. 

 

Illustrations: Yoni Alter       Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Sep092013

The Carr Amp

Have guitar, will travel...and hopefully with an amp as nice as this one. These are some incredibly stylish amps made by Carr Amplifiers that range in price from $1150-$3350. 

The founder, Steve Carr, in Pittsboro, North Carolina wanted to create amps that are as functional as they are inspirational. As stated on their site, "Discerning guitarists continue to enthusiastically embrace the tone, reliability, and versatile nature of our amplifiers. Perhaps it's because we view guitar amps as being as much an instrument as the guitar itself, and we truly believe that an amplifier should become a personal extension of every player."


As I'm sadly not musically inclined, I can't tell you the key differences between one amp and another. But I can tell you, the Carr amp is revered for its high quality components, thoughtful design and as I've read time and time again, their incredible tone and versatility. Plus, they look good. Learn more about Carr here.

 

Photos: Uncrate.com; Carr Amp     Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Sep062013

Soma Goods 

My friend Bradley texted me a couple of weeks ago and told me how I needed to meet with Jen Soong of Soma Goods. She, along with a refugee community of women artisans, create pretty pillows using upcycled global fabrics, many of which are Indian saris. I arrived at her Decatur, Georgia home last week...

Jen is a very kind and generous soul. It was clear from the moment we met that she created this company to do good. Her mission is three fold- to help the planet (by reusing fabrics), to help women (she employs refugee women in the Atlanta community to sew the products) and to help the community as a whole (at least 10% of each sale goes to her non profit partners, Fugees Family and Global Village Project). She's a gem.  

Jen "I hope to appeal to people who care about the world but also love an artful home." Her pillows come in four sizes; 12 x 16, 12 x 20, 18 x 18 and 20 x 20. She's also happy to custom make any pillow using your own favorite piece of fabric.

As sari's are often only worn on special occasions, there is a plethora of extra ones available. She finds many donated from within her community. Sari's are usually 5-6 yards in length, so the women artisans are able to make 10-15 pillows from just one donated sari. They also utilize upcyled fabrics from Africa, Japan and China. 

Jen and her team also handcraft scarves and accessories, just click here to learn more. What I love about Jen is she has a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of ideas. Having a desire to create a space for local artisans to share their wares, she also created Root City Market in Atlanta (the next one is Saturday, September 14) I can't wait to go... she's an artist doing good in so many ways. From a text to a visit at her front door, I had no idea what I would find. It looks like a new friend and a ton of inspiration...

 

Photos: Josh Meister; August & Jean Photography; Sweet Peach        Content: Sweet Peach

 

Thursday
Sep052013

PeachDish

A couple of weeks ago, I was delighted to find out the Atlanta based company, PeachDish was planning to send me a few ready-to-cook meals. The idea is they send you all the ingredients you need to make dinner, along with an easy to follow recipe, and for just $20, you have a three course meal for two.  

On a Thursday afternoon, I received a small box at my doorstep. Inside was a recipe card for Mediterranean Chicken, Parmesan Asparagus and Fresh Plums for dessert, plus ingredients. Sounds perfect. I called my friend Bob and made it for both of us...

The great thing is you have everything you need without going to the grocery store. The only downside I found was that everything was packaged in its own piece of plastic- every tomato, every herb. Athough I understand why it's necessary, I easily get turned off by excess packaging. The first meal sent had salt, pepper & olive oil. I emailed Founder, Hadi Irvani to let him know I already had those ingredients. I was happy to discover the second package eliminated the excess. Having just started their company in February, the PeachDish crew has proven to be innovative, professional and attentive to a customer's wants and needs. That's important. 

Tina Adams is the resident Master Chef and she works hard to create original dishes which have incuded Hangar Steak with Ratatouille, Cilantro Slaw and Tilapia Tacos and Pan-Seared Trout with Sauteed Corn. And lots of fresh veggies...

My Mediterranean Chicken meal took about 20 minutes to prepare and it was very good. Bob and I enjoyed all of it and licked our plates clean. I was surprised how happy I was to receive that box of food at my doorstep. As someone who doesn't cook too much, I hate the grocery store. To not go, but still eat well is rather dreamy. 

For dessert, PeachDish often offers fresh fruit. This time, they sent really delicious plums and Bob and I added raw honey and put them in the broiler for a few minutes...so good. That's the trick with them- if you have extra items in your cabinet, you can take the meal up a notch or two.

I'm happy to say that Hadi at PeachDish has been so kind to send me one more three course meal to try. It's set to arrive at my doorstep sometime this afternoon. As each week the menu changes to a completely different three course meal, I can't help but be excited. I want to open my very own box and find out- What's for dinner? 

Learn more about PeachDish, which ships to 48 states, here. 

 

Photos: Peach Dish site, Sweet Peach       Content: Sweet Peach

 

Wednesday
Sep042013

A Tybee Island Beach House

In my life, I don't feel like I'll ever need a huge house, a fancy car or high end decor, but I do want a beach house. It's just one of those things that would be so fun to decorate, to visit...to say to my friends, "Let's go to the beach house this weekend..." Which is why I'm lusting over this seaside abode in Tybee Island, Georgia.

I've always pictured my beach house to be much like this- bright, white walls, lots of natural light and pretty, colorful items here and there. The entire home was designed by Joel Snayd of Rethink Design Studio in Savannah, Georgia. (an impressive group, made up of SCAD graduates

Through the use of color and the layering of textures, Joel and his team create a sense of calm in a space that feels equally inviting and inspiring. The gorgeous green bedframe is a lucky vintage find, the bedspread is from Home Goods, the night stand in lower left pic by West Elm. 

The soft blue paint is perfect for this beachside retreat, along with the nautical inspired lights. And I personally love any jar of collected seashells...

For the countertops, Joel chose a Carrera marble and painted the kitchen cabinets in Sterling 1591 by Benjamin Moore. The dining chairs are from Crate & Barrel, the cherry red bar stools via Overstock, and the inviting farm table comes from Hickory Chair. Learn more details about this fabulous beach house here, and check out Joel's very cool Etsy shop, here.

 

Photos: Richard Johnson     Content: Sweet Peach

 

Tuesday
Sep032013

Roadhouse Relics

A neon sign is inherently a pretty cool thing- but when you have master craftsman Todd Sanders at the helm, it becomes a valuable work of art. 

At his Austin, Texas workshop Todd Sanders creates custom neon art pieces, many with a retro feel. He began this artform back in 1997 and has been at it ever since, continually inspired by old books, magazines, antique road signs and oddities. 

Todd begins each piece with a sketch, then using tried and true sign making techniques, (which means no computer), he handcrafts the metal into shape then adds paint. He finishes by incorporating weathering techniques to give many of his signs that worn, vintage feel. 

As each piece of art is meticulously made by hand from start to finish, Todd ensures there is no one quite like the other...

Todd's workshop and iconic gallery, Roadhouse Relics is located in a renovated fruit shack in South Austin. It's a little treasure of a place and a place I hope to visit someday. I just imagine it to be a really good place to spend an afternoon...

 

Photos: Roadhouse Relics, Twelve21gallery.com, Camille Styles, inwardfacinggirl.com    Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Sep022013

Happy Labor Day...

Colorful village, by Annasee

Saturday
Aug312013

Sweet Peach on Instagram

While on a recent trip out west, my nieces gave me some much needed encouragement to set up an Instagram account. I had been avoiding it, as it was just one more thing to create and manage. But they persisted and I gave in. Now I can't stop taking pics or perusing the incredible images posted from around the world. It's just such a fun way to communicate as I'm always thinking in pictures anyway...

So thank you Kristen and Cassie, I wouldn't have done it without you! To follow Sweet Peach on Instagram, just click on the images above or on our new follow sweet peach on instagram icon to the right. And let's follow each other...