Summer has officially arrived and it is HOT!
If you live in Nashville or anywhere in the South, you know that come mid-June the weather is going to suck the life out of you. With temps rising above 90 degrees and 100% humidity, many of us will be shutting-in like it’s the dead of winter. But instead of heavy snowfall, it will be sweat running down every inch of our bodies in the most unattractive way possible. And guess what?! This is only the beginning.
So what to do? Beat the heat and find a pool!
Photo Credit: Kelly Golightly
Instead of standing in front of the AC vent all summer long, embrace the great outdoors and jump into a refreshing body of water. One, of course, that serves cocktails, fresh towels, has divine lounge furniture and is bug free – also known as the glorious hotel pool. For all you nature folks, more power to you for choosing the lake and river. But for me, humidity, bugs and water moccasins are not my ideal way to cool off. Swimming should be a carefree experience, not a battle against nature.
When searching for the right hotel pool, do your homework. Recently, I stayed at the Atlanta Hyatt Regency downtown. Although the hotel was nice, the outdoor pool was not. The pool was on the lower level of the hotel and was completely shadowed by the surrounding buildings. Most of the day the pool was without sunshine. And a pool without sunshine is a very sad thing. So research, find photos, look for a place that has a lot of style, and ask the hotel about all of their poolside amenities and policies. A pool that prohibits alcohol would be just as bad as the lack of sunshine.
Not a hotel guest? Although hotel pools are for “guests only”, you might be surprised that many of them offer day specials to the general public. For instance, the Omni Nashville Hotel Pool gives access to the pool Monday through Thursday if you buy one of their spa packages. In New Orleans at the Le Meridien, the hotel opens their rooftop pool to the public on Sundays from 11am to 5pm for $10. And in Atlanta at the W Hotel, you can buy one of their weekend day tickets.
So wherever you are this summer, and for however long, find a gorgeous pool that serves fantastic cocktails and beat the heat in style.
Below are my favorite hotel pools in the south. Enjoy!
Nashville: Omni Nashville Hotel
Rooftop swimming pool with beautiful views of downtown Nashville. Enjoy the lounge, cabanas and the seasonal bar & grill. And for all you locals, buy a spa package and enjoy the pool M-TH.
Atlanta: W Hotel Wet Deck & Wet Bar
Atlanta’s only all-weather rooftop pool and bar. Sip as you dip into the zero-edge pool and enjoy the panoramic views. During the summer, you can purchase a weekend day ticket and enjoy games and cocktails on Saturday, or chill pool side and do a little yoga on Sunday. Tickets are $18.
New Orleans: Le Meridien
Relax in a rooftop cabana, order a delightful lunch and enjoy the warm Louisiana sunshine.This hotel has beautiful views and luxurious amenities. Sundays are Adult Swim, which means the pool is open to the public for $10 from 11-5pm.
Dallas: Joule Hotel
Looking for an exciting swim? Experience the glass-fronted pool that cantilevers eight feet beyond the hotels structure. Enjoy your meals and cocktails poolside, or bask in the sunshine while lounging in their luxurious modern furniture.
Miami: Delano Hotel
7000 sq. feet of pure luxury in the glorious South Beach Miami. Enjoy a swim in the deep end or dine in the shallow end of the pool. Direct access to the beach, a decadent assortment of cocktails and a long list of outdoor amenities. This is the perfect modern oasis.
Alys Beach: Caliza Pool
Although located in South Walton Florida, you will think you’ve been transported to an exotic oasis. The Caliza pool area has a 100-foot saltwater pool, a shallow family pool, a 75-foot lap pool, a spa whirlpool, private cabanas, beautiful outdoor furnishings, and an open-air restaurant/bar – a breathtaking experience that is worth every penny. The pool is only available to Alys Beach vacation renters and home owners. But! The restaurant and bar is open to the public for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
Much apologies for the lack of posts this week. I have family visiting, and I have not mastered the concept of working from home with house guests (especially when I’m having too much fun). Anyways, if you missed my 12th & Broad piece last week, here’s a chance to catch up. Enjoy lots of fun decor ideas for spring parties.
Photo via Style Me Pretty
Spring has finally sprung! And, all I want to do is throw an outdoor party. For the last few weeks Nashville has experienced warmer days, lots of sunshine and gorgeous crisp air. After the crazy winter weather we had last month, this change in season is greatly welcomed.
This weekend is Good Friday and Easter (aka Passover), and whether you celebrate the holiday or not, it’s a great time to celebrate the new season with friends and family. After being cooped up all winter, I think entertaining al fresco is a must. Dining outside is pretty much my favorite way to entertain. The atmosphere is casual, everyone is at ease and there is no rush to leave – exactly how sharing a meal with your loved ones should be.
Photo via Kinfolk and Pinterest
Below are a few décor tips on how to throw a great spring party. Instead of going with the same style, year after year, try something new. I guarantee your friends and family will appreciate the new look.
DON’T: Please, for the love of all that is holy, back away from the elementary hallmark pink, yellow and blue that is used every year for spring décor. Back away! Leave those childish colors to the Easter baskets.
DO: Apricot, Tangerine, Blush, Coral, Lucite Green and Sage.
These colors are fresh and flirty. Still whimsical, but modern and grown-up.
Photos via Pinterest
DON’T: Since we are on the topic of childish décor, let’s leave the bunnies, baby chicks, and little lambs to the kiddos as well. There is no need for a giant plastic rabbit to ever be incorporated in your decor, nor a faux grass runner on your dining table, or cheap throw away signs that tell everyone spring has arrived. Just don’t.
DO: Keep the décor simple, fresh and let nature be your inspiration. There is no need for imitation, use the real deal and the results are timeless and beautiful. Flowers and greenery, seasonal fruit, handmade place cards, pretty linens and nice dinnerware is all you need. Simple is always better.
Photo via Burnetts Boards and Ruffled Blog
DON’T: Tulips and daffodils are beautiful but they are not the only flowers growing in the spring flower bed. There are numerous varieties, in all sorts of shapes, colors and sizes. Do not limit your décor to two types of flowers because they are the poster-child of spring.
DO: Choose a sunny citrus floral arrangement with lots texture. Instead of the traditional single-variety tulip, create a mixed variety of florals in shades of dusty oranges, coral pinks and sage-greens. The colors are stunning together and will be perfect for a spring table.
Photos via SF Girl by the Bay and Brit + Co
COCKTAILS + DESSERT
Whether you are hosting an intimate brunch or a traditional Easter lunch, always have cocktails and dessert. These two items on the menu are what make a party, well, a party. They make a lot of smiles, and they bring a festive element to the décor.
DON’T: Mimosa bars have had their fun but it’s time to try something new.
DO: Try a delicious Guava Sangria with a Touch of Sage, Honey Paloma, French 75 (similar to a mimosa, but so much better)
Photos via SB Chic, Design Love Fest and PDX Food Love
DON’T: Overly sugary sweet desserts in bright (chemically dyed) colors.
DO: Try a lightly sweetened but decadent dessert, like an orange sherbet cake, a naked strawberry shortcake or mandarin orange tea cookies.
Photos via Design Love Fest Pinterest Boards
If you missed my 12th & Broad post Valentines weekend, here’s a chance to catch up. Enjoy and have a great weekend!
Photo via Glitter Guide
The famous bar cart – serving beautiful libations and serious style in the home and workplace for decades.
Popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s, this vintage gem is finding its way back into the home and office. The resurgence of mid-century décor, fashion and home bars began as AMC’s hit series Mad Men dazzled us each week on the television. This year, you will be seeing a plethora of modern and vintage bar carts in home décor. Accompanied with beautiful bar and glassware in stunning designs. The demand for this functional and swanky home accessory is at its peak once again, making it one of the hottest items for 2015.
From industrial to Hollywood regency, there are lots of styles this year for the bar cart. No longer are you limited to vintage shops and high dollars, the bar cart can be found in numerous stores in a wide range of prices. Whether you choose a simple or over the top design, this home décor accessory will bring a lot of style to any space. And if you are not sold on aesthetics alone, these beauties are very functional as well as stylish. Versatile, mobile, time savers that showcase your treasured high-balls and limited edition whiskies.
Bar Car Must-Haves:
1. Daphne $499 2. Luiza $310 3. Threshold Bar Cart $129
4. Wooden Bar Cart $498 5. Ivanna Bart Cart $325 6. Three Tier Cart $179
7. Josef Bar Cart $499 8. The Coleman Bar Cart $1,199.00 9. Workshop Bar Cart $699
Once you’ve chosen your bar cart, you’ll need to learn the art of stocking the bar. Otherwise you’ll end up with a haphazard liquor collection, mismatched glassware and a short supply of bar tools giving you an aesthetic reminiscent of a frat house. One of my favorite bloggers, Design Love Fest, has a gorgeous tutorial on “Setting Up Your Bar“. There is no point in purchasing a beautiful cart if you’re not going to set it up properly. If you desire the swankiness of the 60’s, you’ve got to dress up that cart and give it the attention it needs.
Glassware and Bar Accessory Must-Haves:
1. Orb Metallic Barware $9.95-49.95 2. Noctua Wing Corkscrew $28-32
3. Lusa Glassware $78 (set) 4. Hemingway Print Price TBD
5. Gold Cocktail Picks $18.95 6. Sculpters Glassware $16-78
*Psst! You can’t go wrong with Cocktail Kingdom. It’s an excellent one stop barware shop.
Now that you know where to buy and how to set-up a sexy bar, it’s time to make a damn good drink. Enjoy the Long Kiss Goodnight, a refreshing winter cocktail created by the talented Prairie Rose (author of Bit By A Fox ) for Design Sponge’s Behind the Bar .
Photo by Kristina Gill
The Long Kiss Goodnight by Prairie Rose
1 1/2 oz Bourbon
3/4 oz Grand Marnier Liqueur
3/4 oz Blood Orange/mandarin/clementine juice
Pomegranate seeds for garnish
In an ice filled shaker, combine the first three ingredients. Shake until well chilled. Strain into a large, chilled coupe glass. Top with champagne and pomegranate seeds.