Entries in Nashville (26)


Otis James, Spring 2014

When I think of Nashville, I think of Otis James. To me, he represents that innovative, artistic spirit that I can always feel when I visit the city. Plus, he just makes the most luscious manly apparel and accessories for the modern man with a touch of classic nostalgia. It's just all so good...

For spring 2014, Otis is offering his latest collection of fabrics for his trademark bow ties. These handcrafted gems come with hand printed labels and are each individually numbered. 

I bought my dad one of Otis' brawler caps last year and I have to say, it was probably my favorite gift I ever got him. He appreciated the handiwork (the way they used to make 'em) as well as the high quality look and feel of the fabric. Which is why I'm thinking of getting this slugger hat for him next. It's a throwback ball cap with a hand stamped racing flag logo and paisley handkerchief cotton lining. Only 50 were made so it makes for a special gift. 

One of the most fun accessories to add to a guy's wardrobe is a pocket square. It's such an easy way to add a sophisticated flair, either inside a jacket pocket or as a backpocket hanky. I mean, there's always a need for a hanky, why not make it stylish? 

A good tie bar is hard to find. As men often wear them wrong, there are two simple rules to follow- Tie bars should be 3/4 of the width of your tie and be worn between the third and fourth button of your dress shirt. These vintage tie bars are the perfect size, plus pretty darn cool. I love their old school feel and that hatchet is just the coolest thing ever (sold out). Yet, there are so many great ones to choose from as items and fabrics are constantly in flux at the Otis James shop. Check out all the goods, here.


Photos:      Content: Sweet Peach



Nashville based artist, Lisa Garcia is making me feel nostalgic. Her handmade wall hangings make me pine for those macrame plant holders my mom had in the 70's. Macrame is back in trend and I particularly like Lisa's unique twist to the artform. 

Lisa uses metal and a wool blend fiber for her pieces, which all stand on their own as one of a kind. Lisa, "It started as a hobby and an exploration of materials but has since grown to be one of my main undertakings. With each piece, I experiment with texture, weight and shape and the results are what I consider to be a modern take on folk fiber art."

Each one is just so lovely, it makes me want to have a crafting night with friends...hmmm, maybe someday soon. In the meantime, find inspiration and some lovely home decor ideas in her Etsy shop, Sonadora. 


Photos:  Rory Mohon; Lisa Garcia/Sonadora     Content: Sweet Peac


Anna Forkum

Last week, my friend Christine sent me a link to a lovely home she photographed in Nashville last year, owned by Interior Designer, Anna Forkum. She thought it may be a nice fit for Sweet Peach and of course, she was right. It's a gem.  

What I appreciate with any interior designer's work is a home that feels personal, unexpected and thoughtful but also a bit untamed, lived in and loved. Anna achieves that in spades. I love the laundry room area which includes a collection of her daughter's art. Anna, "I find junk store frames and paint them all the same color. Then add as she produces!" The indestructable stainless steel table works perfect as an art space for her daughter and all the little ones who come to visit.   

Just as stunning as each room is the photography taken by Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson. Christine, "What we wanted to capture in Anna's home is her use of dark, deep rich tones and European styling. It's sophisticated yet there's a playful element at work in her choice of furniture, art and her mix of patterns, textures and color." 

When I asked Anna how she wanted her home to look and feel, she replied, "To be restful and recharging for ME...I know the colors and patterns are not for everyone but it energizes me. I have filled my home with things that I love, which is constantly changing as I try new things and colors. Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist - the ideas in my head are exhausting and the day is too short to get a tenth of them out. I see the possibilities in so many things." 

Anna offered all of us some great advice if and when we work with a designer, "Make sure they ask you how YOU live, what do you need and want out of a space or even if you need it!" I'm drooling over this gorgeous staircase with that incredible rug and mix of interesting, engaging paintings that I'm sure Anna got from here and there over the years...each one with a story to tell. As Anna shared, "Beautiful spaces do take time." 

Oh how I want these bathrooms. The wallpaper to the left is from Graham and Brown. When you have a room soaked in natural light, it's so nice to play with color.  

This porch pendant came via West Elm, which Anna is ready to paint when it's time for a fresh look. I love her mix of colors and textures- particularly the use of pink. Such flirty fun on a southern porch. Thank you Anna and thank you Christine and Owen. I'm inspired and grateful and thinking which room to redecorate next...

**Be sure to check out ReFresh magazine in May to see new additions and finds inside Anna's home


Photos: Anthony-Masterson Photography   Content: Sweet Peach


Sweet Gum Co. 

The amount of time I take to blog each day is probably fairly equal to the amount of time I take to browse other blogs- finding inspiration and new connections. I have a running list of bookmarked sites that evolves each day but one of my mainstays is Local Milk, a food blog by Tennessee native, Beth Kirby.

Beth's blog is full of incredible recipes with equally incredible photos. Beth also curates a small shop of southern handcrafted (or found) kitchen items, called Sweet Gum Co. Above are ceramics by Trish Riley of Chattanooga, Tennessee that are each one of a kind and meant to be put to use each day. 

The cutting boards come via Joseph Huebscher of Huebscher Woodworks, also based in Chattanooga. Joseph rescues downed trees to transform the right cuts into stunning, functional pieces. For these impressive boards, he utilized reclaimed live edge pecan (left) and reclaimed black walnut sapwood (right).  

I love the idea of visiting a coppersmith one day to learn more about the craft- and who better than Ben Caldwell in Nashville, whose work is nationally recognized and includes all manner of utensils and dish ware for the home. I particularly love the relish spoon and antler point gravy ladle

And I know it's way too early to think about fresh honeysuckle- but this post has motivated me to buy a honeysuckle plant this spring, if only to harvest the blossoms in the summer to make Beth's recipe, Honeysuckle Biscuits with sea salt peach butter and honeysuckle mint vinaigrette. Speechless... In the meantime, peruse her blog and southern shop to be endlessly inspired and hungry. I bet after a bit of browsing, this site will be one of your mainstays too...


Photos: Beth Kirby/ Local Milk & Sweet Gum Co.       Content: Sweet Peach


Ruthie Lindsey

Once again, Instagram is my portal into the world of beautiful, inspiring artists. Perusing Local Milk's instagram posts yesterday, I stumbled upon Ruthie Lindsey Design. Perhaps I'm a bit late to the party but at least I made it. Ruthie has been a designer in demand for quite some time, residing in East Nashville and living and breathing all things aesthetically pleasing. 

Once I found Ruthie's site and blog, I spent a bit of time reading her story. It's haunting and beautiful, deeply sad yet deeply hopeful. She's an incredible spirit and although I do not know Ruthie, I feel connected and inspired. It's amazing what journeys we all go on and if we can find a way to stay the course, through the deep pains and struggles, love still has the power to catch us, to save us and surprise us. 

Through her own struggles, Ruthie discovered she was an artist. After experiencing the loss of her father, being bedridden from surgery and dealing with years of pain, she was ready to do more. She suddenly felt a passion to make her home beautiful and personal and through her budget finds and natural eye for great design, her home became all that she envisioned. And more- as soon thereafter friends and friends of friends wanted her help in designing their own rooms and outdoor spaces. Her interior design career began and many took notice, including Taylor Swift, who shot the album art for RED at Ruthie's house. 

The great part is, after reading Ruthie's story, is seeing all the love and support she has surrounding her. In finding her passion, Ruthie shares through her instagram and blog, some amazing pictures that exude so much joy and creativity. I love it. Especially this incredible backyard party she had that is now getting my ass in gear to create my own porch party sometime this year. I've been thinking of it for years now and as Ruthie says, "just get up and go do life." What am I waiting for? 

So, I hope this post makes you curious enough to check out Ruthie's work and daily musings and finds. Besides her interior decorating services, she also does wardrobe styling, set styling and flower arranging. So much creativity has erupted from her being. This past year she has seen life from a whole new angle and as she shared, "I'm experiencing beauty spilling out of brokenness everywhere I turn." Thanks for the inspiration Ruthie. I'm excited to be your new Instragram follower... 


Photos:; Sarah Dobbins;  Beth Kirby       Content: Sweet Peach




Over the holiday break, I spent as much time relaxing as I could, which included Instagramming, of course. One company that caught my eye in one of the pics was Soberdough of Nashville, Tennessee...

Veronica Hawbaker has loved to cook for as long as she can remember. As she shared, "I love experimenting and mixing flavors to find something that is totally unique and delicious." With an entrepreneurial spirit and a son who was eager to delve into the business world, the pair teamed up to create a unique product that has quite the universal appeal- beer bread. 

The best part is how simple it is. You take their beer bread mix, add a bottle of your favorite beer to it and bake it. That's it. As so many craft beers have unique flavors- from dark porters to pale ales, as well as specialty components like basil, blueberry or pecan, you can vary the bread taste to your liking. Sounds fun to me.

The beer breads are based on a family recipe of Veronica's. After lots of trial and error, she has taken that recipe and perfected six different breads, including a flavor of the month (this month is Cranberry Orange). 

Veronica and Jordan have also taken some time to share a few combination suggestions on their site. A pale ale goes well with the Rosemary bread, Cinnful Raisin is excellent with a dark porter or a Belgian ale, while their Pumpkin Spice bread pairs quite beautifully with any pumpkin or brown ale. Yum. I think I need to buy a sampler pack and try it all. Check it out for yourself, here. And Happy Weekend everyone...


Photos: Soberdough site    Content: Sweet Peach


Tucker & Bloom

Good shoes are important on a man, but so is a good bag. David and Case Bloom, a father and son duo from Nashville have combined their talents to offer some beautifully, well constructed bags that are first and foremost, functional and durable. 

David Bloom learned traditional bag making skills from European artisans in the early 1970's, and he hasn't stopped since. Over the years, David has designed bags for Perry Ellis, Valentino and at one time, he spearheaded the travel line for Coach. His son, Case is tech savvy and has been essential in allowing his father's line to thrive online. From top right, The Tokyo Duffle Bag, Canvas London Duffel Bag, Cosmo Baker North to South Messenger Bag and the Canvas Swiss Laptop Backpack.

A black leather laptop bag with an orange nylon interior is a handsome choice. It's the kind of bag that will endure for years to come and if you ask me, is an amazing gift. 

This cowhide messenger bag, along with so many of David's bags, is extremely roomy and built to last a lifetime. In fact, all of their bags, (via their shop, Tucker & Bloom) come with a lifetime guarantee. Peruse the shop to see over a dozen more choices. Any man who loves practicality, durability and some classic style will be quite the happy man with one of these draped across his shoulder...


Photos: Tucker & Bloom      Content: Sweet Peach


The 2013 Southern Living Idea House

Ever since my nieces made me join Instagram, I've been a bit obsessed. I check it at least 3x a day as it offers an amazing glimpse into people's daily lives- the people I know and love as well as many more that I don't know from around the world. I was particularly excited when I saw some gorgeous home pics on Nan McCollum's account (of Firefly in Thomasville, Georgia). When I asked her where she was, she replied "the new Southern Living Idea House in Tennessee." Perfect to blog about...

An enormous undertaking, the Southern Living Idea House team was assembled which included interior designer, Phoebe Howard and Historical Concepts as architect. For the 2013 home, the team decided to- in their words, "design, build and decorate the ultimate Southern farmhouse on the grounds of Fontanel, former home of country legend Barbara Mandrell."

The living room is the first impressive room you'll find, made of wide plank wood floors, spruce planked walls and wood beams that were salvaged from an 1890 Tennessee barn. Phoebe created a soft color palette too, which, as she shared, "reflects the surrounding sky and hills." 

As I just started a remodel of my kitchen, I'm acutely aware of what others now do in their own kitchens. This one is almost completely symmetrical, so it offers a nice sense of balance while the wood counter is a warm, inviting touch. 

Off the living room is a small and cozy study where Phoebe preferred filling the bookshelves with lots of books rather than knickknacks. (The paint color is Palm Leaf by Sherwin-Williams.) This guest bath utilizes lovely Ann Sacks moss green tile with a carrara marble sink and granite vanity top via 

For some reason, I've never had a nice bed frame and I've always wanted one. This grand spool bed is a bit of Southern fun, first made popular in the mid 19th century. The master bath, which also includes Ann Sacks tile, is absolutely stunning with this nook and painted dresser located between it and the bed. The large mirror is meant to reflect the natural light that is so well received in the bedroom. 

Perhaps my favorite part of the home are the two 'Bunkies' that are on the edge of the property. These pair of guest homes mimic each other and include a porch, bedroom, kitchenette and full bath. 

Phoebe chose a pretty blue and white palette with paisley wallpaper and tufted headboards for the 'Her' Bunkie- inspired by the work of fabric designers, Peter Fasano and Elizabeth Hamilton. This is just a glimpse into the entire compound. Click here to see a full tour, which includes video and more detail. (The Vintage Farmwife has great pics too) And thank you Instagram (and Nan), I love to be inspired...


Photos: Laurey W. Glenn   Content: Sweet Peach


David Arms

David Arms is a visual artist, born and raised in Tennessee. He's resided in Nashville ever since his early twenties and found a love for painting after he had married. David smartly nurtured this emerging talent and has created quite the portfolio- and following, ever since. 

David is a man of faith who has a strong connection to mother nature- which you see throughout his works. He spends his days drinking coffee and listening to classical music while working in his studio that is rich in natural light. I've always wanted to be a painter because of this exact idyllic picture...I know it's easier to think the grass is always greener but in David's case, maybe it's at least a little bit true.

David uses many symbols in his acrylic based work including nests, birds, eggs, fruit, vessels and hummingbirds. As he shares, birds are the everyman symbol, "We live our lives doing many of the same things- we build our homes, we have our young, we provide for our young, we do everything to protect this home and the family in it. It should be our place to feel safe and protected." 

Lucky for us, we can go visit David's Gallery at the Barn in Leiper's Fork. What I love is how homey and inviting the space is, a mix of old and new, found items and thoughtful art. As described by writer, Emme Nelson Baxter, "The interior space boasts an Amish poplar floor, beams from a tobacco barn, metal schoolhouse lights and walls of bead board with vestiges of paint and paper still adhering." 

The barn resides on a large pasture so you are immersed in mother nature everywhere you turn. If you're in Tennessee and find yourself in that part of town, visiting David's Gallery would be a wonderful way to pass an afternoon on by... 

I love this quote that David shares on his site. It is from one of his favorite books, "Jayber Crow" by Wendell Berry; "I can remember those early years when it seemed to me that I was cut completely adrift, and times when, looking back at earlier times, it seems I had been wandering in the dark woods of error. But now it looks to me as though I was following the path that was laid out for me, unbroken, and maybe even as straight as possible, from one end to the other, and I have this feeling, which never leaves me anymore, that I have been led." 

See David's entire portfolio, here. 

Photos:      Content: Sweet Peach


Otis' Lady Tie, take 2

I must confess, I'm one of Otis James' superfans. Anything he does, I tend to love. The first version of his handcrafted lady tie I blogged about earlier in the year. Wanting to improve and embellish, he introduced a new style just this month. 

The latest lady tie has a flirty shape with a lighter feel. This allows verstatility as a bow tie, a necktie, or a pretty, playful hair tie. 

The new ties are made with either a high end cotton, linen or soft wool. Click on Otis' site to see all the lady tie offerings. 


Photos: Otis James site      Content: Sweet Peach