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Entries in Georgia (152)

Thursday
Jul022015

Athens Road Trips!

In the upcoming Sweet Peach Sweet Spots paper, Athens edition, the women who helped curate the paper- Kristen Bach, Rebecca Wood and Rinne Allen of Beauty Everyday, share some of their favorite nearby road trips. Below are some of their favorite getaways. These spots are a mix of good food, picturesque sights and fun locales to dig around for low cost treasure. I like that I have some new spots to check out. Thank you gals. In their own words...

 

Neat Pieces is one of our favorite junk shops. It's housed in an old downtown strip and is layered with treasures. Building after building, we love to meander through and see what we can find. It is always worth the trip and...

...is just a few miles away from one of the most picturesque covered bridges around. 

 

A great way to spend a Saturday is browsing for plants at one of Georgia's best nurseries and...

...eating good BBQ on the way home. Just to note, Paul's is open only on Saturdays. 

 

Everyone knows how photogenic Madison is but we also love the tiny town nearby called Bostwick, especially in the fall when the cotton fields come in and the little town holds its annual cotton festival.

 

At Georgia's biggest flea market there is truly something for everyone, from plants to antiques to tacos! Located just six miles from downtown Athens. 

 

Athenians head to this nearby river when they want to cool off. You can bring your own kayak or canoe, or rent one and float on down...

 

Images: beautyeveryday.com; roadtrippers.com; Online Athens    Content: Beauty Everyday 

 

Wednesday
Jul012015

Condor Chocolates

As if there was not enough reason to visit Athens, Georgia, brothers and business partners, Nick and Peter Dale recently opened a chocolate shop in the historic Five Points neighborhood that's a must-see. It's called Condor Chocolates and it's a homage to the birthplace of their mother. 

Peter and Nick's mom is from Ecuador and they have visited the country countless times over the years. Their ties to this region has given them a strong appreciation for the flavor and quality of Ecuadorian chocolate, which Peter describes as "sometimes a bit spicy but rounded out by notes of fruit and citrus." At Condor, the brothers showcase producers that are growing the country's traditional cacao variety called nacional. Inside the shop you'll find all sorts of tasty concoctions including bars, truffles, hot cocoa, sipping chocolates, gelato and more...

The few times I've had a chance to visit, I've ordered the popular truffles. The dark chocolate with sea salt has my heart but I'm a fan of the Bourbon, the Caramel and the Honey Lavendar. I'm sure I'd be a fan of more, I just keep ordering the same ones because they're so good...

The shop is open and bright and you can watch the chocolate making process from the counter. Plus, they have a few select gifts you can buy, many from Ecuador. A chocolate shop sounds fun no matter what but this one is quite special- not only for the owners attention to providing quality produced chocolate, but for caring about the visitor experience and sharing it all via stellar interior design and product packaging. (The package patterns were sourced from local artist David Hale and fabric engineer, Susan Hable) Condor Chocolates is well worth a visit next time you're in Athens, just click here to learn more. 

 

Images and Content: Sweet Peach 

 

Tuesday
Jun302015

Starlite Showroom

In preparation for the unveiling of the next Sweet Peach Sweet Spots edition, I'll be posting quite a few stories on shops in Athens, Georgia. Starlite Showroom is one of my new favorites as it's full of well curated vintage finds at great prices. 

Mark Opel and Dan Beynart opened Starlite this past March. They met playing semi pro baseball and realized quickly their combined admiration for vintage home decor and mantique shopping. Mark has been an antiques dealer in Athens for ten years and Dan has owned local businesses there for years. Together, they realized they could make a good team, as long as they could find the right spot....

With a lot of vision, the pair decided to renovate an old mechanics shop and used car store they found on Broad Street. The space, with half a dozen rooms, initially was a complete mess. It took the pair three months to renovate it, tearing down paneling, rewiring the electrical, adding centralized heat and air and repainting the entire place. Luckily plumbing and contracting is something they both have done on the side and were able to do all the grunt work themselves.

Subsequently, they have low rent and low overhead so they've passed on the savings to us. Their prices are much better than you'll find in many other southern cities- with the large, vintage maps starting as low as $80, the working General Electric AM tube radio is for sale at $81....the ceramics are priced to move and the lattice side table is just $174.

As deer and antlers remain popular sale items, you'll find a plethora of choices here. I particularly liked the large velvet deer painting for just $23. 

As the boys know how to restore antiques as well, all items in the shop are home ready. It's an incredible find and so happy I was directed to it by the women who helped me curate the upcoming Athens Sweet Spots paper- Kristen Bach, Rinne Allen and Rebecca Wood. Next time you're in Athens, you'll have to pop in and check it out. (It's good to note they accept consignment and select items from dealers as well.) With a philosophy of showcasing well-curated retro home goods at great prices in an open, uncluttered space, Mark and Dan have created a shopping experience you're really gonna dig...

 

Images: Sweet Peach     Content: Pamela Berger

 

Friday
Jun262015

Betsy Eby

As I slowly upgrade my house, the one area I wish to improve upon is art. I'm saving up for an Ashley Woodson Bailey print and then I think I need to seriously consider this pretty piece- from Columbus, Georgia based artist, Betsy Eby. 

I loved reading that Betsy is a classically trained pianist. As stated on her site, "The layers and gestures of her paintings evoke musical spaces and rhythms while drawing on patterns found in nature." This makes me think of my dear artist friend, Kathryn Kolb who believes any photograph or piece of art that 'works' also works mathematically. For at the heart of both mother nature and music, is math. 

Betsy's encaustic paintings call upon an ancient method that utilizes heated wax, resin and pigment, all of which are applied thinly with various brushes and tools. The blowtorch liquifies the wax and fuses each layer. She's such a talented one. I look forward to the day I can hang her art in my home...I shall believe it be. 

 

Images: betsyeby.com    Content: Sweet Peach

 

Thursday
Jun182015

The Grey

Someday soon, I need to make a visit back down to Savannah, Georgia. Not only has it been too long since my last stay, but I keep reading about new, incredible spots to visit. Like this one, The Grey, an old art deco Greyhound Bus Terminal converted into a gleaming and gorgeous new restaurant. 

Parts and Labor Design undertook the preservation/conservation effort as well as the stellar interior design which is a mix of old and new. Chef Mashama Bailey is at the helm (formerly of Prune in NYC) and one can expect a mix of elevated southern, soulful food here, like Sizzling Smoky Pig and Catfish Tagine.

The space is divided into four zones; the oak paneled bar in front, the main dining area in back, then two private dining rooms. 

The Grey is now officially on my to-do list, much like Hugh Acheson's new spot, The Florence. So many spots, so little time...but at least they're on the list. 

 

Images:  Emily Andrews; davelandweb.com; The Grey     Content: Sweet Peach 

 

Friday
Jun052015

Playing Cards by Karla Pruitt

I was lucky enough to hear from one of my favorite artist's recently, Karla Pruitt of Athens, Georgia. The last time I featured Karla on Sweet Peach, we shared her gorgeous wallpaper and art prints. So I was smiling ear to ear when I saw her latest creative endeavor...playing cards. 

Karla designed her first card set from a few of her prior patterns for a beach trip but after receiving much fanfare, she realized the retail potential. Karla, "The biggest challenge was finding the time to draw out all the numbers and characters. It's almost like creating 52 little pieces of artwork." 

I love it when an artist finds their niche in the market place. I've never had a set of beautifully designed playing cards and I can't wait to order some. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Karla raised enough money to design two different packs that incorporate original hand painted patterns and illustrations. 

These Windsor Playing Cards showcase the loveliest floral pattern while featuring a regal queen, king, jack and some mischievous corgi joikers. 

Her second option is just as eye catching and fun. The Islet Playing Cards are comprised of queen flamingos, seagull jokers and king alligators. The remainder of cards show off more of Karla's illustrative skills as the back of the deck is covered in banana leaf prints and colorful geometric designs that happily remind me of my favorite vacation spot- anywhere tropical. 

I just can't love them enough. Karla's cards are so beautifully done and what an inspiration it is to have an idea, fund it on Kickstarter and then produce them for all the world to see. To add a pretty card pack to your purse or coffee table, just click here. And thank you so much for sharing with Sweet Peach Karla! It just makes me wonder... what's next? 

 

Images: Karla Pruitt    Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
May122015

Soulflowers

I'm a fan of any retail on wheels, particularly one as sweet as this. According to its founder, Ayla Gurganus, Soulflowers is "a floral cart striving to pedal petals with purpose- the purpose being to cultivate community while adding a bit of sunshine to someone's day."

Ayla's purpose began with an old tricycle, gifted to her by a close friend. It needed some TLC  but she fixed it up with a new paint job and accessories, then designed the pure white, modern cart that her husband subsequently built. 

Based in Atlanta, Ayla is springing up throughout the city with her pre made bouquets both large and small in tow. Her current arrangements range from fresh cut ranunculus and peonies to a wildflower mix. I absolutely love this flower cart and will be an enthusiastic customer first chance I get. To find out where Ayla is pedaling petals to next, just follow her on Instagram, here. 

 

Images: Soulflowers.info      Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
May082015

Very Fine South  

Laura Shope of Very Fine South has a great aesthetic. I first started to see her beautifully made, minimally chic bags around Atlanta spring of last year. Since then, I've been a stalker of sorts, always wondering what she's up to as her work marries high quality with killer design. The cool thing is she just launched a new line and sent over a few pictures to share on Sweet Peach. Introducing the ENSO collection...

Enso is Japanese for 'circle.' As Laura shared, "In Zen Buddhism, the enso symbolizes strenth and elegance. Each piece in the ENSO collection incorporates a full circle in its design. Known for thoughtful simplicity in their design style, Japanese tradition was a naural inspiration of form." The Circle Clutch is made from buttery soft leather, available in six different colors and is fully lined.

Laura wisely subscribes to the 'form follows function' approach to design. As a student at Georgia Tech, she was greatly influenced by the works of Charles & Ray Eames, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Raymond Loewy who were designing to not only fulfill a need, but to do so in a way to bring pleasure and simpliticy into the lives of everyday people. Laura, "The simple and elegant designs that the early mid-century is known for have always made the most sense to me." 

The timeless, classic quality to her pieces that still feel modern is what I love most about her work. I mean, the Cutout Tote, what's not to love? The cutout circular handle allows you you to hold it in your hand or fold it over and slide your wrist through. Dual functionality is always a good thing...

Besides the four pieces in her Enso collection, Laura has a couple limited edition pieces that I just had to share. This includes the stunning Springbok Clutch made from the soft mohawk hair of the South African antelope...or the Deerskin Fringe Clutch made of buttery soft deerskin. They each represent original, handmade works that are truly the show stopper of any outfit. I want, I want, I want... To continue to drool and pine over Laura's goregous works of wearable art , click here.  

 

Images: Claudia Bost for Very Fine South      Content: Sweet Peach 

 

Monday
Apr272015

Lord and Lady

I love a well made skinny tie, particularly one with as much style as this one. Megan Cash of Lord and Lady began crafting ties while attending SCAD in Savannah. Then, little by little, good word followed by good word, a business was born...

Today, her online shop includes all sorts of manly made goods, such as bow ties, pocket squares and cuff links. I particularly love these Auburn cuff links, not because of their sport affiliation, but for how good they'd look with a white shirt on a summer day. I'd have to hug a guy in these...

I recently spotted Megan's bandanas over at one of my favorite Atlanta shops, Crafted Westside. These multi purpose bandanas are super soft with a timeless, rustic design. I keep thinking about that indigo one...  See Megan's entire shop, which includes many more manly options, plus a women's jewelry line, here.

 

Images: Lord and Lady     Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Mar242015

Bobo Warehouse Sale #2

In case you missed the first giant warehouse sale, Atlanta based Bobo Intriguing Objects will be opening their doors to the public once again, this Friday and Saturday (3/27, 3/28). I got a sneak peek last week to take some pics for Sweet Peach and this sale may be even better than the last. So many ridiculously good finds- like these wooden letters and numbers, sold separately at just $30 each. 

As they say over at Bobo, think of it as a super-luxe estate sale. Inside the 20k square foot space, you'll find wall to wall unique, cool and quirky conversation pieces- and everything is priced to move. Many items are discontinued, less than perfect, samples and one-offs. 

Their silver collection is designed and made by Bobo and all of the pieces are inspired by old hotel silver. These serving domes are about as fun as serving domes get, priced well at just $85 each. 

Iron medicine cabinets, wooden planters made of azobe wood, natural horn desk accessories and barware collections...statues, baskets, frames, mirrors, cribs, lights, birdhouses, signs. It's never ending and the best part is each piece feels like it's one of a kind. 

I'm particularly excited that my good friend, Clarke Titus from Rough South Home now has his workshop situated in the back of Bobo. At this sale, you'll see a bit of his latest handiwork in stools, tables, benches, chairs and even some prototypes and one-offs, many at deep discounts. Don't miss this. 

Big glass vases for $10 each...rustic glass cloches for $35 each...it's just too fun to peruse this space. And if you can make the trip, the sale is two days only: Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 from 9am- 6pm. For more details, click here. Just arrive early and ready to load up, items will move fast and furious...

 

Images and Content: Sweet Peach