visit at home
It dawned on art director Mandy Keener that our Spring Fashion Stylebook resembles work by one of her favorite artists, Rex Ray. With a few other original pieces of art, from block and concert prints to acrylics and mixed media, she shows you how to dress up your space with a little artsy flair.
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Hello Travelers, itâs me, the Traveling Designer and I want to do something a little different this month.Â Â Itâs February, so that means a shorter month and not as much time for travel. Plus, it’s Valentineâs Day month, so I am sure you have been in search of the perfect locales to spend time with your sweetie.
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There are so many times that I forget the little treasures that we have right here in Little Rock. Yes, Little Rock is home to <a title=”Central High” href=”http://www.nps.gov/chsc/index.htm” target=”_blank”>Central High School </a>of Civil Rights fame that you may want to visit while you are here. But we also have manyÂ other perfect sights for a “staycation” or romantic dinner.Â I think that I will remind us locals of whatâs right under our noses and for those of you who live out of town, this can be your perfect guide to our wonderful city.
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Our gorgeous capitol building is a replica of the Nation’s Capital and is wrought with wonderful history. But, first things first.Â Letâs talk about where to stay if you come to visit Arkansasâ capitol city. And for that matter, even if you live here, itâs sometimes fun to be pampered and to have a small get away just a few miles from home. My top two overnight spots are the historic <a title=”Capital hotel” href=”http://www.capitalhotel.com/site/index.php” target=”_blank”>Capital Hotel </a>and renowned <a title=”Peabody Little Rock” href=”http://www.peabodylittlerock.com/” target=”_blank”>Peabody Hotel</a>.Â These two places are known for their white glove service and luxurious accommodations.
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At the Capital, you can expect nothing less than top notch service.Â Whether you are on business or you and your honey are looking for a special getaway, the recently renovated interiors under the direction of New York designer <a title=”DKDA” href=”http://www.dkda.com/” target=”_blank”>David Kleinberg</a>, is always accented with fresh flowers and a great turn-down service that will make you feel like you are nestled at home! The staff is always there smiling and willing to help you with anything you might need including an upgrade to one of their enormous, but extremely affordable suites. I seriously think some of them are bigger than my first house!
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If you get hungry, you can mosey on down stairs to the hotelâs restaurant, <a title=”Ashley’s” href=”http://capitalhotel.com/Ashleyswebsite/” target=”_blank”>Ashleyâs.</a> The cuisine is fine southern cooking with flair and the atmosphere is traditional and sophisticated, but not too stuffy.Â Chef Lee Richardson will make sure your dinner is a delicious combination of farm to table vegetables and organically raised meats that is sure to impress. Much of his fresh fare comes from the gardens of Arkansasâ own <a title=”P. Allen Smith” href=”http://www.pallensmith.com/” target=”_blank”>P. Allen Smith </a>and other local growers.
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And if itâs not a formal affair you wish for, visit the <a title=”Capital Bar and Grill” href=”http://capitalhotel.com/CBG/” target=”_blank”>Capital Bar and Grill</a>.Â Youâll get the same great service with a more laid back atmosphere and can dine casually on southern favorites like the Capitalâs famous pimento cheese and soda crackers.
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My other favorite hotel in Little Rock is of course the historic Peabody hotel. Arkansasâ only 5 star hotel, the Peabody was founded in Memphis, Tennessee, but lucky for us, one of the three Peabody hotels is located right here in Little Rock! And if the luxuries of the hotelâs interiors donât do it for you, the ducks walking the red carpet will.Â Your kids will love these cute friends that welcome you in the morning when they make their way to the fountain.Â And when you are not downstairs, their motif appears on all the little details in the hotel to remind you of their presence. In the evening they make their way back to their very own palace at the hotel.Â Pampered ducks, donât you think?
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And the Peabody is home to another great restaurant <a title=”Capriccio” href=”http://www.peabodylittlerock.com/dining/” target=”_blank”>Capriccio</a>.Â Southern hospitality is a must here in Little Rock and these two hotels get it right.Â Good thing they are located right across the street from each other in the downtown area.Â Good luck choosing which you prefer!!Â The good news is you canât really go wrong with either.
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And while you are downtown, jump on one of our trolleys and take a tour around the River Market.Â You will find quaint shops and eateries there and a fun and exciting atmosphere.Â I am quite fond of <a title=”The flying Fish” href=”http://flyingfishinthe.net/” target=”_blank”>The Flying Fish</a>, a super casual catfish eatery.Â And across the street is one of my favorite steakhouses,<a title=”Sonny Williams” href=”http://www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com/” target=”_blank”> Sonny Williams</a>. The cozy atmosphere, great wine list, and delicious cuts of meat make this a great place for a special occasion.
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Just down the way from the River Market, is the <a title=”Clinton Library” href=”http://www.clintonlibrary.gov/” target=”_blank”>Clinton Library</a>. So if you are intersted in learning more about Arkansas’ favorite son, head down for a tour.Â You will learn everything about Bill Clinton from his Childhood through his presidency.Â So even if you aren’t on his side of the political fence, it is certainly a great lesson in Arkansas and American History.
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While downtown, Little Rock offers much in the way of cultural experiences too.Â The <a title=”Arkansas Arts Center” href=”http://www.arkarts.com/” target=”_blank”>Arkansas Arts Center </a>is beautiful and has both permanent and traveling exhibits that are must-sees.Â Also, the <a title=”Arkansas Rep” href=”http://www.therep.org/” target=”_blank”>Arkansas Repertory Theater </a>has stellar performances of both classic theater, musicals and more modern performances.Â The actors for the Rep’s shows are cast in New York City, but often also include some of Arkansas’ finest talents, so the experience is both high quality and charming all at the same time. Or if you are more about the Orchestra, <a title=”ASO” href=”http://www.arkansassymphony.org/” target=”_blank”>Arkansas has a wonderful Symphony </a>with regular performances at the Robinson Center Music Hall.
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In the Spring, you can make your way across the River and take in an <a title=”Arkansas TRavs” href=”http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/index.jsp?sid=t574” target=”_blank”>Arkansas Travelers Baseball </a>game at our stunning new Dickey-Stephens complex.Â The travelers are a farm team to the California Angels, so there is some great talent that comes through our hometown baseball team.Â And nothing’s better than baseball, a hot dog and a beer on a sunny Spring day, right?
Ready to venture to other parts of town? You can head over to the Hillcrest area.Â It is a quaint part of town with a more Bohemian atmosphere. Residents usually walk to all the destinations in this neighborhood, so it has a bustling atmosphere with hip restaurants and cool shops.
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At <a title=”Ferneau” href=”http://www.ferneaurestaurant.com/” target=”_blank”>Ferneau</a>, my friend Chef Donnie Ferneau, will not disappoint.Â Probably my favorite restaurant in Little Rock, you can’t go wrong with his fabulous steaks, the Tomato Bisque and for me it’s always the Ahi Tuna.Â Donnie serves award winning cuisine and he also works with Arkansas farmers to incorporate many local ingredients into the Ferneau menu.Â And Ferneau has a well curated wine list with a few that aren’t on the menu, so be sure to ask about their special wine selections!Â From Ferneau, you can spend time walking in Hillcrest. There are shops, other fun restaurants, art galleries and more in this laid-back part of our city.
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Over in the Riverdale area you will find Little Rock’s “Design District”.Â If you are looking for great interior design finds be sure to check out <a title=”Bear Hill Interiors” href=”http://www.bearhillinteriors.com/” target=”_blank”>Bear Hill Interiors </a>collection of Baker Furniture and other gorgeous lines.Â <a title=”Mertinsdyke” href=”http://mertinsdykehome.com/” target=”_blank”>Mertinsdyke Home</a> is more contemporary and cool furnishing and they have recently added vintage to their list of offerings.
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If you are more into Antiques, just across the street is Marshall-Clements with an impressive selection of Fine European Antiques and Collectibles.Â For those do-it-yourselfers, <a title=”Cynthia East” href=”http://cynthiaeastfabrics.com/” target=”_blank”>Cynthia East fabrics </a>has a wide selection perfect for whipping up your own draperies or a gorgeous textile to have your chairs recovered in. Before you leave the area, <a title=”Khaki Hockersmith” href=”http://kakihockersmith.com/” target=”_blank”>Khaki Hockersmith</a>, designer for President Clinton, has her shop here too with a small, but beautiful collection of wares.Â And if you get hungry during all this shopping, I suggest a trip to The Pizza Cafe. They have quite possibly the best Patio and Pizza in town and it’s nestled right in the middle of all these fabulous designer destinations!
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If sushi is more your style than pizza, you have to check out one of my favorite Sushi restaurants anywhere.Â <a title=”Sushi Cafe” href=”http://www.sushicaferocks.com/” target=”_blank”>Sushi CafÃ© </a>located in the Heights, another quaint Little Rock neighborhood located just up the hill from Riverdale, has the freshest sushi and lots of other great menu items.Â Â With happy hour every day, itâs a fun place to visit after work.
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If it’s a little something sweet that you crave, <a title=”Cupcakes” href=”http://eatacupcake.com/” target=”_blank”>Cupcakes on Kavanaugh </a>is a short walk up Kavanaugh Boulevard in the Heights.Â They bake gourmet cupcakes in an adorable little shop.Â They have even opened up a second location in West Little Rock, Cupcakes on the Ridge, for those of us who live farther west.
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And on your way to Cupcakes from the Sushi Cafe, stop in and say Hi to one of my best friends, Molly, at <a title=”Molly’s” href=”http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mollys-Paperie/271910293458” target=”_blank”>Molly’s Paperie</a>.Â She has the best stationery and adorable gifts.Â And the Heights is full of other wonderful places.Â If you are there around lunchtime, stop in one of my other favorites, <a href=”http://www.boulevardbread.com/” target=”_blank”>Boulevard Bread Company</a>. Boulevard is like a little piece of Italy with delicious cheeses and meats. And they make delicious sandwiches, panini’s and salads that you can enjoy on a pretty day on their patio.
Alright ladies, here’s what you have been waiting for, where to shop!!
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While still in the Heights, I suggest stops into Kristin Chase, with lines like American 525, Finley, and Lilly Pulitzer, and for a bit more hip clothing, <a title=”Tulips” href=”http://www.tulipsarkansas.com/” target=”_blank”>Tulips</a><a rel=”attachment wp-att-14020″ href=”http://tobifairley.com/blog/?attachment_id=14020“></a> carries Juicy Couture for moms and kids and lots of the latest and greatest lines of ladies apparel and jewelry.
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Heading a bit farther west, Barbara Jean is one of my top go-to spots for clothing, shoes and makeup.Â Â The ultimate luxury shopping experience, <a title=”Barbara Jean” href=”http://www.barbarajean.com/” target=”_blank”>Barbara Jean </a>treats you like a queen while you shop for the latest looks straight off the runways of New York.Â And their shoe boutique is the best in Arkansas.
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Just a hop, skip and a jump up the street is something for the men.Â <a title=”Baumans” href=”http://www.baumans.com/” target=”_blank”>Baumans </a>is my husbandâs favorite place to shop and he IS a shopper.Â Baumans is definitely the best men’s shop in Arkansas with lines like Zegna, Peter Millar, Feragamo, and even casual brands like 7 jeans. And owner Wayne Ratliff and the rest of his amazing crew will make sure you find everything you are looking for. They have gorgeous ties and pocket squares, which is what I like to buy for the men in my life.Â No matter if you are classic, European or casual in your attire, Baumans Fine Men’s Wear has something you will love.
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If you make your way to Little Rock’s premier open air mall <a title=”Pleasant Ridge” href=”http://www.schickels.com/” target=”_blank”>Pleasant Ridge Towncenter</a>, you will find many more great shops and places to dine.Â Forsytheâs ladies Apparel is my go to place for everyday wear.Â Work, play and those special outings can be dressed by Robert, Stephanie, and the girls at Forsythe’s.Â And their “shop within their shop” Kristen Todd, is a costume jewelry mecca. If you stop by here, tell them I sent you and they will take great care of you!
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Other must see shops at Pleasant Ridge include <a title=”Cobblestone and Vine” href=”http://www.cobblestoneandvine.com/” target=”_blank”>Cobblestone and Vine,</a>which is one of my favorite home furnishing stores. Cobblestone has a European flair but carries some of my favorite lines including Hickory Chair.Â Â You can also find great children’s clothing at <a title=”Cupcakes and Caterpillars” href=”http://www.cupcakesandcaterpillars.com/” target=”_blank”>Cupcakes and Caterpillars </a>and the <a title=”The Toggery” href=”http://www.toggerykids.com/” target=”_blank”>Toggery</a>.Â And pick up lunch or dinner at Panera Bread, Bonefish or Cheeburger Cheeburger. Or if you prefer to cook, the Fresh Market is located right here in Pleasant Ridge too.
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So there you have it, a great start to a tour of Little Rock.Â There are more treasures that I promise to bring you in a future post. I hope if you live here, you will get out this Spring and support these local vendors. And if you are coming to town for one of <a href=”http://tobifairley.com/services/” target=”_blank”>my design camps</a> or another reason, please use this guide to help you have a fantastic stay here in our gorgeous Southern town.
Now I am off for a whirlwind of travels both in and out of the country in the next few weeks. So stay tuned for more exciting adventures. And until we meet again, Happy Travels!
(King’s New Privy Garden at Hampton Court Palace)
At Home in Arkansas
had the pleasure of meeting one of Britain’s premier gardeners, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, at a presentation hosted by the Little Rock Garden Club. The gardener, as well as noted author and historian, wowed us all with his work at London’s Hampton Court Place. His longtime friend, and Arkansas native, P. Allen Smith was also there.
Plenty of tea and shortbread was on hand as the two gardeners signed their books. There were also plenty of proper English-style hats in the crowd.
During the presentation, Todd showed us his a few of his sketches…as well as the finished product.
Todd designed these towering floral sculptures to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the accession of HM The Queen to the throne. They feature tens of thousands of living plants.
A few more images.
In with the oldâ¦In with the new: Inviting French Antiques into a Contemporary Home
French antiques donât just belong in traditional interiors. Open any design magazine today and youâre sure to see a modern bathroom lit by a Baccarat crystal chandelier, a contemporary sectional placed next to an Empire buffet, or a clean, all-white room reflected in a Louis XVI gilded mirror. In more modern settings, antiques can help to warm up an otherwise stark space, making it more approachable and inviting.
Here are some tips on how to incorporate antique pieces into your modern interior.
1.Â Â Â Straight As an Arrow
Choose a style of furniture that is straight lined and simple over more ornate or carved furnishings. Louis-Philippe and Empire period pieces from the early 1800s are a perfect option. Their simple design with scant embellishments blends effortlessly with a modern backdrop and allows the grain of the wood to make the statement.
These homeowners appreciate clean-lines, but they werenât afraid to add a touch of Louis-Philippe with this secretary in their living room.
Insert Photo (LP Blog01, Empire Blog01) [caption: This Louis-Philippe period chest (c. 1830-1848) has simple lines but warm burled wood.
[caption: This Empire period chest (c. 1800) dates from the time of Napoleon Bonaparte and shows off some flashy bronze hardware against burled walnut drawers.]
2.Â Â Â Keep it Simple
Sparsely displayed antique accessories add interest and personality to what can come across as an icy interior in a contemporary home. Try introducing architectural elements such as a hand carved stone fragment or a centuries-old church frieze into your space. Other objets dâart that work well are Napoleon III inlaid boxes, gold leafed bronze mantle clocks, and antique leather books. Just remember one rule of thumb â âless is more.â One large-scale item on a desk or cocktail table will be more adventuresome and dramatic than multiple smaller items.
Insert Photos (Clock [caption: a Bronze Dore Empire Clock, a 17th century Hand Carved Marble Fragment from a Church, Antique Leather Books, A Napoleon III Exotic Wood Inlay Box)
3.Â Â Â Over the Top
If youâre feeling really daring, try juxtaposing your Ã¼ber modern space with some sparkle or bling. Integrating one single ornately carved chair, a glitzy crystal chandelier, or a gilded frame will serve as a counterpoint to its minimalist arena. The lone presence of an antique piece will resonate against its austere surroundings. Just remember to use lavish pieces sparingly so as not to detract from the sleek look youâre trying to achieve.
Insert Photo (Camille Blog01, Camille Blog02) next to Tip #3 [caption: This whimsical teenagerâs room with fresh colors showcases a Louis XIII period chair from the mid 1600âs amongst the hip window treatments and bedding.]
Insert Photo (Bathroom Blog01 [caption: A turn-of-the-century bronze and crystal chandelier adds some sparkle and interest to this sleek bathroom]
However you choose to feature your French antique pieces, remember that introducing an element of antiquity can help add personality and individuality to your space without compromising its contemporary look.
Lynlee Critz, stylist extraordinaire! Remember her post on fall fashion trends (click here)? Well, she’s back for an encore! As a wardrobe stylist based in NWA, Lynlee regularly shares her fashion know-how with her clients, editing their closets and cluing them in on the latest trends. That makes us extra lucky to have her join us not once, but twice–this time with her favorite holiday looks. Grab a pencil and paper and take note of what she has to say. If you do, you’ll be the style envy of everyone at the party.
Thanks for “shopping” by Lynlee. The floor is yours!
Festive Holiday Fashion
I’m a girl who can hardly wait to put up the tinsel and holly, so it is a joy to share some of my favorite holiday fashion picks with you.
The most influential word of the season is definitely “sequin.” Whether itâs a fabulous embellished blazer, a black sequined legging and a white menswear inspired poplin or a micro-mini and sheer tights, you can achieve the perfect holiday frock without dipping too much into your gift fund! The key to perfecting this look is mixing those sparkly pieces with the edgy accents you already own. Some of your fall staples can translate beautifully into your holiday party ensembles. Shop your closet for a black boyfriend blazer, motorcycle jacket, white button down, jumpsuits, booties and tights. You can pair a sequined blazer with a white tee, your boyfriend jeans from summer and an edgy booty. Or, make a basic black boyfriend blazer transition into holiday by pairing it with a silk jumpsuit and a fabulous rhinestone statement necklaceâ¦another must have of the season. Personally, I canât get enough of rhinestone baubles, especially vintage bracelets. They just give your wrists the right amount of frosting for the holidays. And last but definitely not least, top off a cocktail dress with a studded motorcycle jacket; itâs such an unexpected new take on traditional threads.
Have yourself a very sparkly Christmas with great style and all the trimmings!
Fayetteville resident Lynlee Critz is wardrobe stylist and personal shopper for Not a Thing…to Wear, with offices at Maeâs Emporium in Fayetteville.
When it comes to holiday decorating, there’s a style for everyone… Here, a few looks to get those ideas flowing.
Chandelier garland by Pottery Barn; Poinsettia saltshakers by Siecle, available at Ellen Golden French Antiques in Little Rock; Etched mercury vases by Pottery Barn; Ornament by Waterford, available at Foster Cochran and Fifth Season in Little Rock; Wreath by Williams-Sonoma
Cypress table tree by
Waterford; Centerpiece by Tipton Hurst in Little Rock; Nutcrackers by Williams-Sonoma Home; Candle by Seda France, available at Cobblestone & Vine in Little Rock; Plaid linens by Williams-Sonoma Home; Dinnerware by Williams-Sonoma Home
Martini glass & cocktail stirrer by Match, available at Cobblestone & Vine; Vase ornament by
Pottery Barn; Dove diffusers by Gianna Rose Atelier, available at Cobblestone & Vine; Lantern ornaments by Christopher Radko; Sparkle tree & blizzard accessories by Chiasso
For more information, visit http://design-sherpa.com/.