Strawberry shortcake, strawberry ice cream, strawberry pie… we can’t stop thinking about strawberries! It’s a good thing, too, because this weekend is Cabot’s Annual Strawberry Festival, where we can revel in all things related to this deliciously sweet and juicy fruit. An ideal spring getaway with food, entertainment and vendor booths to keep everyone in the family happily fed and entertained. For information, visit juniorauxiliaryofcabot.com. How can you resist?
The At Home staff is getting ready for one of our favorite events of the year! On Thursday, April 11 at Next Level Events the ASID South Central Chapter, Little Rock District and PPG Pittsburgh Paints will be upping the ante on this year’s Wine & Design event. With the theme “Casino Royale,” the evening will include games, networking, food and fun for the design-minded.
Interior designers, architects and vendors will join together with the general public to socialize and network, while manufacturer representatives have the opportunity to show us their newest and most inspiring products. This event is a must for lovers of all things interior design! And if those aren’t reasons enough to attend, the event benefits Our House Shelter for the Working Homeless.
Want to attend with a friend? We are giving away two tickets to the event! Simply “Like” the Wine & Design Facebook page, then leave a comment here telling us your favorite card or casino game! We will pick one winner at random next Monday, April 8th.
Congratulations to Dolores Diaz Davis, who was the winner of the Wine & Design tickets! Dolores, please be on the lookout for instructions from us on how to claim your prize!
It’s Week 1, Day 2 of our Spring Guest Blogger Series, and none other than local blogging sensation Jerusalem Greer, of Jolly Goode Gal, is here to set the scene for a delightfully beautiful Mother’s Day Brunch! Jerusalem, whose own blog is a mountain of colorful vintage and craft-inspired ideas, is also the proud winner of the Before & After category of our Arkansas’ Best Contest! Check it out soon in our July issue, and keep reading here for a snippet of Jerusalem’s sensational style. You’ll be charmed through and through.
At Home is smitten with the table you set for us, Jerusalem. Thank you!
Spring is the time of year that is filled with celebrations of the heart â weddings, births, graduations. And sort of in the middle, squeezed in between the goodbyes of graduations and hellos of weddings, there is Motherâs Day. A day that should be filled with all things lovely for all the hard working motherâs, but a day instead that is often filled with (well intentioned of course) hastily purchased gifts and predicable lunches.
Well this year, why not instead take the reins, and throw a Vintage Garden Inspired Motherâs Day Brunch for all the wonderful mothers in your life? Why leave loveliness up to chance?
Here are a few key ingredients when planning your dÃ©cor for a Vintage Inspired event such as this:
- Remember the adage: âEverything old is new againâ â A vintage sheet made into table cloth brings color and a sense of comfort, while vintage vases & creamers look all grouped together add a touch of whimsy. Antique silverware finishes the look by adding the perfect touch of elegance.
- Mix & Match â The clean lines of new tea glasses sit perfectly beside the more intricate pattern of the vintage juice glasses. Delicate vintage tea cups sit on hand-painted pottery snack plates.
- The Unexpected Can Be Delightful â Handmade crepe paper flowers and pink napkins are mixed together in the vintage vases instead of a traditional (and more expensive) floral arrangement. Simple to make, they can be used over and over, or passed on to your guest as a party favor.
- Speaking of Party Favors – Don’t forget, everyone likes a little gift or two or three, especially mothers! Hand-crafted signs reading âBloom Where You Are Plantedâ help provide a color and texture for this table setting. Chopsticks in festive colors and small candies in pink boxes are additional party favors for each guest, along with a sweet note card and fancy tissues all tucked into the tea cup.
By showing each guest that you are their biggest fan, and by having the forethought to plan a lovely brunch, lunch or tea experience for the mothers in your life, you will be showing just how much you care with style!
The lucky (and randomly-selected) winner of a Pheasant Press gold foil letterpress print is…
Commenter #10: Shannon!
Congratulations! We will be contacting you soon to ensure a speedy delivery of your prize.
If you love local, handmade handiwork–and if you’re looking for something special for your special someone in anticipation for Valentine’s day–definitely check out the heART of the Bar handmade art market this Saturday, from 10am to 2pm at South on Main! There will be live music, midday cocktails, and bruch yummies aplenty!
For a complete lists of the artisans and vendors who will be showcasing their products, visit the event’s Facebook page.
Don’t miss this chance to find the perfect Valentine gift for your Arkansas sweetie!
I am thrilled to write my inaugural post for The Traveling Designer with Tobi Fairley. With this exciting blog series I will bring to you all my favorite finds, shopping destinations, delicious meals, chic hotels and behind-the-scenes design news from around the globe. Iâll take you inside industry events, designer showhouses, furniture markets and much, much more.
So letâs jump right in with one of my favorite places in the worldâ¦New York City.
I had the great pleasure of designing a tabletop in April, along with 30 other designers including Philip Gorrivan (table shown above), for the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Spring Gala. I donât know about you, but I jump at any chance I get to trek up to the Big Apple and get a little taste of city life.
My home base is usually the Carlyle Hotel. The hotelâs style was created over the years by design greats like Dorothy Draper and Mark Hampton and is still very chic today.
It is perfectly situated on the Upper East Side at 76th and Madison Avenue. Itâs conveniently located near great restaurants, and itâs a stoneâs throw away from here.
The Carlyleâs own restaurant and bar is a local hotspot for drinks and afternoon tea.
And speaking of restaurants, I rarely make a trip to the city without a visit to a few of my favorites including the Kelly Wearstler designed CafÃ© BG at Bergdorf Goodman. Itâs the perfect spot for lunch!
Other favorites are Park Avenue NYC which changes its interiors and menu seasonally, and Sant Ambroeus, a see and be seen locale serving three delicious Italian meals a day and where I sat next to her on my last visit.
From Pantone to Eddie Ross, everyone is saying the hot colors of the season are turquoise and orange. Eddie set the tone with his window display for Bloomingdaleâs New York around the time of my visit.
This seasonâs color trends of turquoise and orange were right on the mark showing up this spring and summer in New York fashion and design windows alike from Coach to Crate and Barrel to Gucci.
And speaking of turquoise, I bumped into Marjorie Skourus (designer of this fabulous turquoise chandelier) who was launching her gorgeous line at a cocktail event with the Dennis Miller Showroom at 200 Lex, one of the two New York to-the-trade design centers.
Design openings and events like DIFFAâs spring Dining by Design happen in the city daily. For the design industry there is never a lack of inspiration or new product ideas in New York. I was invited to two exciting design openings while in town.
First my friend and Arkansas native Brad Ford brought me to the new Rose Tarlow showroom opening at the D&D Center. It is a beautiful showcase of Roseâs designs mixing natural wood tones with neutral fabrics for a timeless and sophisticated look.
And speaking of fabulous, I had the pleasure of attending the Juan Montoya book signing at Frette linens on Madison and 66th Street. Juanâs gorgeous new book is a must-buy.
With his unassuming and kind personality, you would never know Juan designed one of the most popular rooms (I agree) at the 2009 Kips Bay Showhouse.
The Mark Hotel is newly opened and designed by famed French designer Jacques Grange.
The black and white marble floors are stunning.
serves the best Kumquat Mojito ever. Be sure not to miss their rosemary popcorn. It is de-lish! The Jean-Georges restaurant inside is impossible to get into, with at least a month wait for reservations. Iâm hoping to dine there my next trip.
In all its simplicity, Maialino is a feast for the eyes, and the Italian-inspired fare left our taste buds soaring. And remember, you must save room for a bite of the olive oil cake, more moist than any butter cake youâve ever tasted. I promise itâs worth the calories.
Well, there it is, my latest trip to the Big Apple in a nutshell. I hope you will check out some of these great places on your next visit. And Iâll be back soon with lots of exciting tips, trends and topics from other exciting cities. Iâm off to pack now for another excursion. Until we meet again, Happy Travels!
Hi Travel Enthusiasts! I’m back with another fun trip to a fantastic city.Â This week…the Windy City. Ahhhh, itâs one of my favorite destinations. So much to do, so much to see and itâs an easy flight from home, so thereâs no excuse not to visit often. I feel certain this will be my first of many Chicago excursions here on The Traveling Designer. If you are thinking about a weekend get-away there, here is everything you need to know to put together a fabulous two day excursion to Chi-town.
First things first, hotels. I recently had the pleasure of staying at the luxurious Peninsula Hotel for a little anniversary trip with the Hubby. It is spectacular to say the least and with all the hotels wanting to attract guests, you can find some really great deals out there. I think it was the complementary upgrade to a corner suite along with the yummy bottle of red wine and chocolate-dipped strawberries sent up from the concierge that made this one of my favorite hotel experiences ever. And when I hopped on twitter to brag about the service, the Peninsula tweeted right back with a grateful thank-you.Â Seriously? All this service and social media tooâ¦Iâm in love with the Peninsula!
And if the room wasnât fabulous enough, there is this handsome little bar just off the Peninsula lobby perfect for a martini or a glass of full-bodied red. Itâs dark and cozy and a place you want to sit and stay a while, especially when it’s cool outside and you can enjoy the fire. Of course there are some less expensive places to stay in Chicago.Â A fun boutique hotel I am fond of is the Raffaello Hotel that is located in this same area of town.
A short walk from the Peninsula is fabulous designer shopping at Branca, the quaint boutique of renown interior designer Alessandra Branca. A feast for the eyes both inside and out, Branca is full of curiosities and collectables and itâs a lovely stop just before lunching at nearby RL.
And if you haven’t already picked it up, you should buy Alessandra’s gorgeous new book, New Classic Interiors.Â It is a great read and the photography is gorgeous!
RL, the chic restaurant in the Ralph Lauren flagship store, located just off the corner of Michigan and Chicago Avenues, is a favorite destination of mine for both lunch and dinner.Â The scallops I had on my recent trip are quite possibly the best I have ever eaten and the great RL wine list had a plethora of lovely whites to pair with my yummy seafood lunch. You just canât go wrong with RL.
Conveniently situated across the street is the perfect place to purchase my 5-year-old daughter a souvenir.Â And if you happen to bring your little girl with you, afternoon tea is fun in the American Girl cafe.
If you donât care for hoards of excited young girls, steer clear of this hopping retail establishment. You can instead opt for a visit to the historic Water Tower or head to the top of the John Hancock Tower observatory right next door to see exquisite views of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago. The Hancock Tower and the other famous Chicago Skyscraper, the Willis Tower (formally known as the Sears Tower), were both designed by the famous architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and are major Chicago attractions. If you don’t do heights well, just run over to the Drake Hotel, a few steps away from the Hancock instead, for an afternoon cocktail and a rest of your aching tootsies.
Once your feet are up for more walking, you can hit some of the best shopping in the country all within walking distance down Michigan Avenue.Â The magnificent mile has anything and everything that you could want. Some of my favorites destinations include Neiman Marcus, Saks, and the famous corner location of Crate and Barrel.
Just a bit off Michigan Avenue is another great design destination.Â The Jonthan Adler store is a feast for the eyes with Jonathan’s inimitable graphic style visible from the front windows.Â Loaded with fun gifts that I picked up for my staffers and many things I wanted for myself, I could hardly tear myself away from this cheerful little shop! This funky backgammon set brings back memories of playing with my family as a child and may just come home with me on my next visit.
And when you have had all the shopping you can stand, hop in a cab and head off to the cultural parts of Chicago.Â The Chicago Art Institute can keep me busy for hours.Â On this most recent trip I was lucky enough to catch the Matisse exhibit.Â One of my favorite artists, Matisseâs work was breathtaking in the extraordinary exhibit that was housed just off the new modern wing of the Institute.
And I can never go to the Art Institute without a trip down to the basement to see the Thorne Miniature Rooms. If you are an interiors enthusiast, you just must see the 68 delightful mini versions of historic and modern interior spaces conceived by Mrs. James Ward Thorne and meticulously built by craftsmen of her choosing. There is even a great book that chronicles these fantastic little dollhouse-like versions of rooms.Â I can hardly wait until my daughter is old enough to appreciate them so I can take her there.
And a hop, skip and a jump from the Art Institute is the famous Bean at Millennium Park.
What is it about this whimsical chrome sculpture that makes me keep coming back to it?Â I canât depart the Windy city without at least laying my eyes on this shiny bright beauty if only for a second. And by the looks of the crowds that are always there, I am not the only person enamored with it.
There are many historic building worth seeing in Chicago, but it is a new one that has my fancy at the moment. The Elysian hotel is definitely a highlight of Chicagoâs new design and architecture scene. The newly opened hotel and residences are a sight to behold. I was lucky enough to get to tour one of the private residences and all I can say is WOW. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City movie when Big takes her to the amazing condo and opens the door to reveal glorious windows and phenomenal views.
As if I havenât already given you enough tips for food and drink, there are great restaurants and bars in the Elysian that are high on the list of chic places to hang out or to see and be seen.
It’s a good thing that I am recommending all this walking in Chicago, because I can’t stop telling you about Chicago’s food. My husband and I met a blogger friend for a casual Chicago pizza lunch at the famous Giordanoâs Pizza, conveniently located next door to the Peninsula hotel. I have to say this might have been my first experience with real Chicago style pizza and I was quite impressed.
But donât eat too much pizza on your next trip because you need to visit another landmark Chicago eatery.Â Garrett popcorn is a legend in Chicago and it even made Oprahâs O list.Â I have never been there when a crowd wasnât lined up down the street and around the corner.Â But when you get a bite of warm caramel or cheese popcorn (or both) in your mouth, you will decide it was definitely worth the wait.
Art gallery hopping is a great way to walk off some of those popcorn calories. I found a great little art and antiques district on Superior Avenue. I was quite fond of Gallery KH, especially the abstract works of Carolyn Cole.
And no trip to Chicago is complete without dinner at Spiaggia. The favorite restaurant of President and Mrs. Obama might be a bit 80âs in the dÃ©cor department, but there is nothing dated about the menu.Â The food is consistently delicious at this famous Italian eatery thanks to Chef Tony Mantuano. Be sure to get a reservation for your next Chicago visit.
So there you have it. More than enough to keep you busy on your next trip (or three) to Chicago. I hope you will visit some of these well-known and not-so-well-known spots in the Windy City.Â I can assure you they will not disappoint.
I’ll be back soon with another exciting adventure from one of my favorite destinations. Until we meet again, Happy Travels!
This week is the 5th Annual Home Expo benefiting Arkansas Children’s Hospital. It’s a 3-day event sponsored by Kitchen & Bath Concepts, and all proceeds and donations raised go to the hospital. Over the past two years, proceeds have totaled more than $30,000.
We encourage you to stop by to meet and mingle with fellow design aficionados and to have a look at new kitchen and bath products, all while supporting a wonderful and worthy cause. Design pros and renovation resources will have booths in the showroom and offer info on appliances, surfacing, cabinetry, energy-efficiency and more. Plus, At Home in Arkansas will be there with bells on–and we’d love to meet you!
Here’s a rundown of the events, which take place at Kitchen & Bath Concepts showroom at 9805 W. Markham St., Little Rock, 72205.
A Night Out, For Children’s Sake
Thursday (that’s tomorrow!), September 9, 6-9 p.m.
Hors d’ oeuvres, drinks and a silent auction with the opportunity to win gift certificates, interior design makeovers and kitchen remodels
(By invitation only. Contact Kitchen & Bath Concepts at 501-225-5221 for an invitation.)
Friday, September 10, 9am-6pm
Saturday, September 11, 9am-3pm
How’s this for a win-win of great causes:
an affordable, sustainable house, built for a low-income-qualified young family as part of a revitalizing effort of a downtown Little Rock neighborhood, and completely designed and constructed by University of Arkansas architecture students.
And beautiful to boot! We told the tale of how this house was built in Fayetteville and trucked to its Little Rock site in our feature Modular on the Move, and you can hear the full story next week in a special event at the Arkansas Arts Center.
Art of Architecture Lecture
“Reaching Out: Little Rock and the Fay Jones School of Architecture” by Jeff Shannon
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
5:30 p.m. Reception; 6:00 p.m. Lecture
Arkansas Arts Center Lecture Hall
Join Jeff Shannon, Dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture, for this lecture as part of the 2010-2011 Art of Architecture series. We’ll be there! Hope to see you.
In case you missed it:
From editor in chief Diane Carroll: “I have to admit that weâve been a little giddy around the office when weâve noticed that Eddie Ross is commenting on our Friday Favorites. So imagine our delight when we found out he was coming to LITTLE ROCK for an event sponsored by the Fine Arts Club of Arkansas. This is one blog post all our fellow Arkansans should seeâand you only have a few more days to buy your tickets. Iâll see you there!” (You’re Invited: The Art of Entertaining from Eddie Ross)
From advertising coordinator Laura LaRue: “Such a fun idea that can really add a lot to your home during the holidays!” (“DIY Leaf Wreath for BHG” from Twig & Thistle)
From art director Mandy Keener:Â “I love how cozy this is with the colors and styling…and those socks would make my day.” (“Ideal” from Design Love Fest)
From account executive Kathy Condrey, who is inspired by these elegantly neutral spaces:
From associate editor Paulette Pearson: “I’m in the process of moving to a lovely little historic house with wood floors, a fireplace and a screened in back deck. Only problem is, my bedroom closet is tiiiiiiny. This post, showing out-of-closet storage, gives me hope.” (“Closet Case” from Elements of Style)
In case you missed it:
It’s a big week on our social calendar! One of our favorite design & entertaining pros, Eddie Ross, is visiting Little Rock for a special luncheon on Oct. 28th at the Governor’s Mansion, sponsored by the Fine Arts Club.Â And then a few days later, it’s Halloween of course!
How about a few design tips that combine these two fun events? Courtesy of Eddie Ross, some Halloween party decor inspiration.
Love these Ric Rac pumpkins as a centerpiece or mantle decor.
Or these glowing perforated pumpkins to line the staircase or a foyer table.
Check out these fun glitter placemats to showcase your party treats.
And finish your table with spooky-cute batkin rings.
Love these ideas? Head here for all the project how-tos. We’ll keep you posted on Eddie’s visit to Little Rock and his holiday decor tips–which we’ll share in future posts as well.
In case you missed it: