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Friday
Feb222013

K2 Studio

When I visited Asheville, North Carolina last month, I discovered a new place to love. K2 Studio is this amazing home decor shop to peruse. You'll be surpised at how many unique items there are, as well as how bad you'll want to redesign your entire home after just one visit. 

You'll find all variations of home furniture and accessories here. I especially liked the set of three lights made of olive buckets and a chicken feeder.  

When you walk inside K2, you'll most likely find the owner, Kim Hubbard. Kim is passionate about design and works with many local artisans to create unique pieces for her customers. I think that's what I loved most about her space- all the items I've never seen before.

On my second visit to K2, I had the pleasure to sit with Joyce Hunter, the Sales Manager to learn more about the shop. Joyce describes her and Kim's design philosophy as "eclectic, organic and local." You will find that almost half of the items in their shop come from local artists, including this gorgeous poplar and reclaimed mahogany table handcrafted by Ronno Cooke of Morganton, NC. 

Much of K2's furniture comes from the fabulous Younger Furniture of Thomasville, North Carolina. They make stylish pieces that don't break the bank. As Joyce shared, "We stay within a price point that is reasonable for everyone. We don't have $10,000 sofas." Plus, K2 offers dozens of incredible fabrics to upholster your favorite find. 

It was hard to pick my favorite item in the shop but it may just be this black and white pendant with a classic, vintage style. I want, I want...

Joyce's current favorite accessory is this grouping of 10 flexible vases. As she shared, "I can put anything in them and it looks good. It's just fun." 

Original artwork is found throughout K2. "Horizontal Oak" is an oil on canvas painting by local artist, Rachel Clegg.

I immediately recognized the work of one of my favorite Southern artists, Heather Knight of Asheville. She's so incredibly talented. Her wall tiles and ceramic bowls always stop me in my tracks to admire and wish and wish into my life. 

I found my favorite bit of inspiration on the way out the front door. I loved their strip of chicken wire on the ceiling that they've strung with white lights. Joyce told me that it's bare now as they usually cover it in Spanish moss, tree branches and found items... such a great idea. I think I'm gonna steal it. Learn more about K2 Studio here and next time you're in Asheville, pop in and say hi. Then plan to stay awhile...

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Feb212013

The Tiny House...

I'm a fan of Small Space, Big Style on HGTV and love the whole idea of a tiny house. I'm always trying to minimize my things and feel inspired by those who can do so in such a grand, disciplined way. 

Because of the economy and the need to downsize, tiny houses are not as uncommon as you'd think. There are blogs and tv shows and workshops...all about how to keep it sweet and simple.  

Handy (and tall) brothers, Adam and Aaron Leu recently built and sold their tiny home creation for $27,000 to a couple in Kentucky. 

Their tiny house creation is just 21 feet long and 130 square feet in living space, yet has all the amenities one may need to eat, sleep work and kick back. 

The brothers added pinewood flooring and custom made the cabinetry and countertops with 3/4" maple plywood. 

I like Adam's thoughts on designing for a minimal lifestyle, "The idea is that it is possible to live small. When you see how the majority of people live in the world, you realize that we're the ones that are different." Even if you prefer a bigger home, there are lessons to be learned on letting go of your stuff and being smart about utilizing your space. Here's some good tips on living small via Apartment Therapy. 

The loft is also covered in pine flooring and holds a queen size mattress.

Learn more about the work of Adam and Aaron here. Also, if you have some time, peruse tinyhouseblog.com, Tiny Texas Houses and Tumbleweed Houses for more info on how to make or buy your own tiny house. 

 

Photos: tinyhouseblog.com; tallmanstinyhouse.com; Apartment Thearpy    Content: Sweet Peach

 

Wednesday
Feb202013

Hayley Gaberlavage

Painter, Hayley Gaberlavage has found her niche in the art world. As she shares on her site, "In my paintings I comtemporize the out-dated." The subjects in her figurative work are of the everyday American, often older, without finesse. 

Yet, to me, the subjects all feel a bit fabulous too- the kind of people you want to sit and have a drink with and hear what they have to say.

Hayley explains her process, "With a sentiment for bygone attitudes and appearances, my acrylic on paper, canvas and panel paintings shimmy in two directions: towards the decorative, where I explore a longtime infatuation with design, and in a sociological portraiture where innocence is equally dispersed amongst irreverent youth and the blue collar Americana of my Alabama youth." 

Hayley resides on Magazine Street, an artsy ave in the heart of New Orleans. Colorful characters abound and she is grateful to never lack inspiration for her craft. 

I think I like her painting of Miss Hazel the best. Learn more about Hayley and her "contemporary, humorous, Americana and slightly southern style" here. 

 

Photos: Hayley Gaverlavage, Julia Millay Walsh    Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Feb192013

LilyJack Creations...

I've been trying to think what I like about the winter but I can sincerely say, 'nothing.' I want it to be spring more than anything. I don't want to shiver at night. I don't want to wear a heavy jacket anymore. i want there to be birds tweeting and flowers growing, and more importantly, I want to spend some time on my porch rocking on my cute rocking chair...

LilyJack Creations is a family owned and operated business in Summerfield, North Carolina. They make rocking chairs and a bevy of other types of chairs that are sturdy and comfortable, with a modern touch.  

Ken Johnson has been making his chairs for over twenty years. He harvests local cypress wood along the Cape Fear River. Ken, "It can take the moisture, it will not rot. It will not decay, and insects don't like it." The chairs also slide apart, making them easy to store or carry. 

I particularly like his newer models with a cup holder, but all his chairs can get this added accessory if you so desire. He offers six different colors for your chairs or the choice for you to choose a custom color yourself.  

I like to call this yellow one on the left the Double Wide...but Ken calls it the Jack Austin Double. It has a seat width of 40" so it is able to seat two comfortably. There is an option to get this as a rocker as well...

Take a look at the LilyJack site to see all the options Ken has available, which includes tables and children's chairs. Yay spring, it's almost here....

 

Photos: LilyJack Creations      Content: Sweet Peach

 

Monday
Feb182013

ColsenKeane

Every man could use a good leather bag, particularly one with a classic desgin that only gets better with age. That was the motivation behind the creation of ColsenKeane leather goods, created by Scott Hofert of Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Scott set out to make bags that would hold the things that men use on a daily basis. He wants these bags to be practical and useful. As Scott shared on Bearings, "I often tell out clients that this bag will not really be theirs until they spill some coffee on it or have to run through the rain with it. In other words, use it. Let your life, schedule and reality make their mark on these pieces." 

Scott crafts all manner of leather goodness, which includes satchels, notebook holders, iPhone holders, belts and iPad covers. And he loves to custom design a piece for your specific needs. Just send him an email here.

I particularly like his MicroWallets, offered in tan, brown and black. They have a simple, clean design that exudes a manly sophistication. The wallets hold 6-8 plastic cards, 7-8 folded bills and are small enough to keep in your front pocket. No need for a bulky, unattractive wallet, these handsome holders help a guy keep it simple...

For an overnight stay, Scott's Minimalist Toiletry Case is the perfect way to carry along your bare essentials...in style, of course. 

See all of Scott's creations here, all of which are lovingly handcrafted with great passion here in the South...

 

Photos: Colson Keane      Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Feb152013

Shrubs

Throughout the South, you may be starting to see shrubs offered as one of the ingredients on a cocktail menu. They are my new favorite addition as they're fun to try and even more fun to make at home. 

Shrubs are nothing new as their origin began way back in the 15th century. They came about in America in the 17th century when refrigeration was sparse and many wanted to find ways to preserve their summer berries and fruit... 

The three main ingredients in a shrub are vinegar, sugar and fruit. Stirred into a drink, they offer incredible flavor. As stated on Serious Eats, "A proper shrub has a flavor that is both tart and sweet, so it stimulates the appetite while quenching thirst." 

There are many ways to make shrubs. I chose the cold process method as I read the fruit flavor would be more intense. You can use any fruit as long as it's ripe with great flavor. I decided on blackberries, which seem to be plentiful at the market right now. Wash and prepare the fruit, then slightly crush with a wooden spoon. 

Cover the fruit with sugar. (For every one cup of fruit, add one cup of sugar) Stir to combine, cover and place in your fridge. 

After a minimum of several hours (I waited several days), take out your bowl of fruit and strain it. You'll notice a bunch of sugar settle at the bottom, but that's okay, it will soon dissolve. Next, add one cup of vinegar (Following the rule of one to one- so if you used one cup of fruit, use one cup of vinegar here) I used Champagne vinegar as I found here a great list of shrub flavor combinations for your desired fruit.

Whisk to combine, place in a mason jar with your own label and keep in fridge for up to six months. Shrubs mellow with time so you'll get a different taste on day one then you will on day 121. They go great in iced teas or you could add this shrub to soda water to make your own blackberry soda...

Or....since it's Friday, I decided to add mine to my favorite liquor, bourbon. I added a little ginger beer and some fresh basil. Damn. That's a good Friday cocktail. Learn more on how to make your own shrubs here (they make excellent hostess gifts too).  

*Research online to find which bars in your town are making their own shrubs. In Atlanta, I really like the concoctions served up at Family Dog and Proof & Provision. Find some fun home recipes here from Atlanta based, Shrub & Co. 

 

Photos: Sweet Peach, Richard Perry- NY Times, Shrub & Co, sweet-travel.blogspot.com    Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Feb142013

Valentino

When I was pondering what to blog about for Valentine's Day, my friend Tiffany answered my question in one phrase, "What about Valentino?" Valentino is a puppy that Tiffany and her husband, Jeff were about to rescue in a few days time. They had just seen this one photo of him with a heart shaped nose and the name Valentino was born, as well as a love for this little guy they had yet to meet. 

Valentino was being fostered by Christine Totten after being rescued by Amanda Liston and her partner, Terry King of Carolina Care Bullies. Amanda and Terry rescue dogs, focusing on pit bulls on death row in North Carolina shelters. They have so far placed 250 pit bulls into permanent, responsible homes. Many have a negative idea of pit bulls, which is often fueled by the media, but the many pits that I've met over the years are truly sweet, loving dogs...and they love to clown around. 

So, here's how it all went down. Last Saturday morning, Valentino, to the left, was unbeknownst to him, about to meet his new family which included Mischa, to the right, sporting here a fashionable winter scarf. (Tiffany and Jeff adopted Mischa from the same organization 8 months ago) 

Mischa waited in the car...then the two met and Mischa wasn't sure what to make of it all. Was this pup going home with her? After all, she's a spoiled child that gets lots of love and attention and occassionally gets to wear fabulous accessories...  

Back at home, Tiffany showed Valentino around as she walked him inside and out on a leash. Valentino found comfort in a good chew toy as Mischa paraded around the house, letting little V know whose house it really is. Until...

Mischa realized that Valentino was the most amazing play friend ever. As Mischa is just a year and a half old, she has a ton of energy. As I saw her last week with my two dogs who have arthritis, back problems and no real desire to leave their dog beds, she was none too pleased with their lack of enthusiasm. Valentino, on the other hand, could play for hours and hours on end...and they did, almost four hours straight. And that was just day one. 

They have since bonded beautifully. Mischa loves her little brother. She licks him incessently and watches over his every move. 

So Mischa found her Valentine in a cute four month old aptly named Valentino- so lucky. She's not even two and she's already got love all figured out. (amazingly, the happy pair were rescued from the same animal shelter and happened to be fostered by the same caregiver) I hope this offers a little inspiration to rescue your own dog someday...and check out the site of Carolina Care Bullies. They give those on death's door the best gift of all. A chance at love. 

 

Photos: The Santiagos, Carolina Care Bullies    Content: Sweet Peach

Wednesday
Feb132013

Design by Tobi Fairley 

I like this room for many reasons, but particularly because there is so much to take in...yet it's not overload. It's more of an adventurous, balanced design that you can really appreciate and learn from...

The design is by Tobi Fairley of Little Rock, Arkansas. She designs homes all across the country, but particularly here in the South. This is Energy House, part of an energy efficient, showcase home she designed near Hot Springs, Arkansas. I love the wall art, particularly the mismatched frames Tobi found, repaired and painted orange. Tobi, "Rather than being used to frame art, the frames are the art." 

Tobi began her design by choosing the color palette. She reupholstered vintage chairs with vibrant orange linen for a bold, visual impact and used aqua to add softness. 

Since this was an energy efficient home, much of the furniture was upcycled. Tobi, "People are always looking for ways to take older things and make them fresh again. That's a lot of what drove my design for this space." She added, "Nobody else is going to have your grandmother's furniture painted chartreuse. That is going to add so much personality to a space." 

Such an inspirational space. To see more of Tobi's home interior makeovers, peruse her portfolio...

Or check out her newly launched home design shop which includes fabrics, lighting and pillows that embrace lots of scrumptious, vibrant color. 

 

Photos: Nancy Nolan;  Tobi Quotes: Traditional Home Magazine    Content: Sweet Peach

 

Tuesday
Feb122013

Dwellings/ Lost & Foundry

A hidden gem in Asheville, North Carolina goes by the name Dwellings. It's a home store on a small side street in Biltmore Village that offers oodles and oodles of scrumptious design. 

Today, I'm going to focus on one of the five vendors in the space, Susan Chancey of Lost & Foundry. You may remember her from the entry I did on Screen Door. She continues her design prowess inside Dwellings, but here she has freedom to be a little riskier. Susan, "It's like a science experiment for me as it allows me to express my taste more, push the envelope a bit more." 


Susan calls this, "My pretty space." And in just 600 square feet, she offers endless inspiration for our own homes. It's a mix of industrial, fanciful and edgy or as she describes it, "crisp, modern vintage."

As it's a popular space, her wares are constantly in flux. Which makes it fun for visitors who like to check in to see what's new and exciting in design.  


The one unifying element in Susan's space is lots and lots of pillows. Some are pretty and fabulous while others are quirky and fabulous. She is very conscious of her price points as all of her pillows are under $100. I particularly love the two deers dancing a sophisticated dance... Find here at Spitfire Girl. 

Susan offers a few Kantha quilts she currently covets as well as these amazing industrial mirrors. She had found this cog in a warehouse in Philadelphia and along with the help of Robert Ogden, crafted unique and appealing pieces.

Susan offers some great tables too. The one to the top left was a barn door she found at a yard sale in Asheville and had fashioned into a table. The one with built in swivel seats is an amazing piece (and one she has the mold to). It's refabricated from the original tables of the TastyKake factories in Philadelphia. Made of heavy cast iron and reclaimed wood, this table will endure as a very cool and unique conversation piece. 

A native of Mobile, Alabama who spent 25 years in Birmingham and has now found her home in Asheville, Susan is a Southern girl through and through. She has been in the home decor business now for 12 years and has a keen eye for design. As she shared, "I'm constantly trying to figure out what's coming up, what's on its way out." For the sake of you and I, I hope she continues that quest for a long time to come... 

*Next time you're in Asheville, be sure to stop in to see what Susan has gathered at her Lost & Foundry locations of Dwellings and Screen Door.

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Feb112013

Pizza Pancakes

When I saw these Pizza Pancakes and smiled, it reaffirmed that I'm an American, as I love carbs and unusual food combinations. Birmingham, Alabama native, Stephanie Parker created these savory cakes that work best served at lunch or dinner. Stephanie, "The inspiration came from when my mom would make cornbread cakes in the skillet. Instead of cooking the cornbread in the oven, she would make little pancakes from the batter and fry them in the skillet." Sounds like a manly meal...


 

 Photos: Stephanie Parker       Content: Sweet Peach