Have you been to Milk & Honey in Chattanooga? If not, I’d say you should hop in the car and head to Chattanooga, TN. immediately. But guess what? They are coming to Nashville!
Milk & Honey is a sweet shop created by the restaurateurs, Mike and Taylor Monen (owners of Taco Mamacita). Known for “where pure gelato, craft coffee and fresh fruit popsicles are made from scratch daily”. Aka, where one goes to find heavenly dessert bliss. If sugar and caffeine are not your thing (crazy talk, I know), they also have a divine breakfast and lunch menu that will make your taste-buds swoon. Locals, and myself included, rave about the Farmhouse Biscuit – M&H breakfast sausage, Benton’s bacon, tomato jam, egg, arugula, white cheddar, caramelized onions and shallots on a homemade buttermilk biscuit.
And don’t get me started on the handmade, locally grown gelato. The Counter Culture coffee is so good, it’s sinful. Everything at M&H is made in-house, using as many local ingredients as possible, and the menu rotates seasonally.
One of my favorite things about this little shop, besides their incredible desserts, is the décor. A warm mixture of classic and modern styles, with a dash of humor. Upon entry, you are met with “Order here, honey!” in vintage typography. The cheery space is lined with retro bar stools, high-back booths and penny tile, reminiscent of an old-fashioned soda shop but with a twist.
I won’t forget the first time I stepped into M&H. I was immediately welcomed by the southern charm and delightful energy. I grinned from ear to ear as I glanced around – sleek furnishings, an indoor/outdoor bar, vivid high-contrast colors and not a single piece of barn-wood in sight. Yes, I said it. You know it’s true, the rustic-industrial epidemic needs to end. It’s for this very reason, I crushed on M&H so quickly. They were quite clever in how they introduced farm-to-table in their design while retaining a space that is both contemporary and chic. It’s a refreshing aesthetic, and I can’t wait to have one in Nashville.
So when and where is the big question, right? Milk & Honey Nashville will open in Summer of 2016 in the Gulch. Originally slated for spring of this year on Church street, the Monen’s decided to move to the Gulch for a larger space and open at a later time. The Nashville location will be three times larger than the one in Chattanooga, as it will serve as a restaurant and gelato shop. The Monen’s finalized a deal to open their Milk & Honey concept in a roughly 5,000-square-foot space at 214 11th Ave. S. in MarketStreet Enterprises’ new Gulch Crossing building.
For those of you who cannot wait a year, make that trip to Chattanooga. The drive is so worth it!
Photo Credit: Coco + Kelley and Barrington Blue
Whether your interior is modern or traditional, there is always room for the rich texture and intricate designs of a Kilim. Kilim, pronounced kee-leem, is one of the oldest woven textiles in history, dating back to 3000 BC. They are a pileless slit-woven rug with bold geometric patterns and colors made mainly from vegetable-dyed wool. The no-pile construction was designed specifically for high traffic areas and to last for a considerable amount of time. Many “vintage” kilims you find today are actually antiques – some are well over a century old. Although these textiles come mainly from Turkey, they are also found in the Balkans, North Africa, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and various regions in China. Each country has a variation of pattern and color, but the traditional craftsmanship, symbols and flat-woven technique are consistently the same.
Common symbols found in Kilim rugs and gorgeous pillows from Leif Shop
Kilim rugs have stood the test of time. Global trends have come and gone, and yet Kilims never seem to go out of style. Their exotic designs represents a world gone by – nomadic dwellings lined in bold, bright colors enriched with deep heritage and traditions. Although many of us love our modern conveniences, there is something very alluring about the nomadic life. Kilims have a siren-effect, calling us to take part in their unfamiliar world and ancient stories. No matter what your style may be, these tribal designs will magically find a place in your home.
Rug from Chairish, Chair from One Kings Lane and Shoes by Artemis
Once a Kilim rug has run its course, artisans will then use it for upholstery. They will crop the areas that have thinned and torn, and use the remaining portions to cover chairs, sofas, and stools. Or create pillow covers, handbags and even shoes. It’s incredible that after a century, a textile can simply be trimmed, applied to a piece of furniture or an accessory and then continue for many more years looking as beautiful as ever. I don’t know how it happens, but when a kilim goes from a rug to upholstery, it becomes textile porn. Yes, it’s that good.
Stool and Chair from Dot & Bo, Sofa by Urban Outfitters and Dutch home featured on The Style Files
Kilim upholstery is one of my favorite design elements to use when designing a space. The pops of pattern and color in small applications allows you to bring in bold patterns without overwhelming the space. Add a few Kilim pillows to a modern leather sofa and you immediately have warmth and texture. Place a Kilim chair in a traditional living room and awaken a sleepy space. Wear a Kilim handbag with a neutral dress, and voila! Instant panache. The options are endless, and best of all, every piece fashioned from a vintage Kilim is one-of-a-kind.
Pillows by Barrington Blue and Handbag by Artemis
Many of the items I have featured in this post are made from vintage Kilim, so the designs will vary and the availability will be limited. If you find something you like but the item is sold out, don’t fret. Many companies that sell Kilims will give you the option to be notified when the item will be restocked. Just remember the designs are vintage, so no two items are exactly alike.
All Seasons Garden & Brewing Supply Co is one of my favorite Nashville stores for gifts, gardening and home goods. A family-run enterprise, All Seasons is the quintessential mom and pop shop. Chock-full of eclectic handpicked treasures, creative displays, and the most incredible customer service.
When I owned my home décor store many years ago, I rarely had time to shop for myself. And when I did, I found that many of the Nashville shops were uninspiring. The products were all the same and the element of surprise was lacking. My husband, a home brewer, had mentioned All Seasons to me numerous times. And like a good wife, I completely ignored him. I knew they carried a plethora of beer gear and gardening supplies, but what did that have to do with my hunt for a good gift shop? Well, all I can say is that I am bummed that I didn’t go in sooner. All Seasons was exactly what I was looking for – a charming local shop that provided high-quality products and service, with a passion for discovery, healthy-living and sustainability.
Co-owner, Emily Thompson, is an incredible buyer and has quite the knack for blending nature and interior style. Her eye for scouting unique goods and turning them into beautiful displays is what makes the gift and gardening portion of this shop so special. With brilliant attention to detail, every portion of the shop has something to dazzle you. An enchanting style mixture of vintage, modern, and rustic goods with an excellent selection of uncommon plants and trees.
Although Nashville’s retail scene has changed dramatically for the better, All Seasons is still on my top 5 local places to shop. It’s one of those places that you become a regular. If you haven’t had the pleasure of shopping in this lovely store, please make a point to stop in soon.
HERE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:
1. Air Plants & Tiny Succulents: Every shape, size and species that you can imagine, they have in abundance.
2. Hanging Planters: From modern to traditional, they carry a wide range of unexpected planter styles that hang from the ceiling and uncommon wall hooks.
3. Wall Art: Fun, graphic art that has a bit of cheeky humor. My current favorite wall hanging says “Kiss My Grits”.
4. Plants for the not-so-green-thumb: If you are a serial plant killer, this is the place for you. All Seasons has a large variety of hardy plants that can survive almost any kind of neglect.
5. Gifts: Decadent candles, sculptures that happen to be planters, hanging mobiles, books, home décor, lighting, wall-mounts – there is a lot to see here.
I’ve been on a green kick lately. Specifically, emerald green. I’ve been implementing the color into so many of my current designs and I just adore it. It’s vibrant, unexpected and has so much classic appeal. A win-win in my book.
My dear friend, Audra Harvey, and I were discussing how perfect a vibrant green goes with grays, blacks and whites. And how lovely it is to use a bold color that is strong but not overwhelming. After our discussion, I moved my black-white entry rug into the dining room and decided to finally paint my dining table base emerald green. I have had the perfect green paint for two years, and a million Pinterest photos screaming for me to take the green plunge. And yet, I just couldn’t get myself to do it. What can I say, I have commitment issues when it comes to my home. ha! But when I saw the black and white contrast in the gray room, I knew I had the perfect opportunity to use a bright green. After painting one section of the table, I was smitten. My only regret is, I wish I had done it sooner.
Photos via Sage Atelier, Intimate Weddings, Burberry, Traditional Home, Domaine Home, Apartment Therapy, Honestly WTF, Brabbu, Enter My Attic
Recently, I was given a tour of the newly renovated rooms of Loews Vanderbilt for a 12th & Broad post. And let me tell you, they are fantastic! The rooms are a moody modern design with a nod to the music scene. A style mixture of fashion, old school rock n’ roll, and country music with the comforts of a modern boutique hotel. The touches are subtle, and yet the story is strong.
The design concept behind the room renovations was Traveling Artists. Designers from Simeone Deary Design Group started with a picture of Elvis Costello – inspired by the idea of quieter moments of songwriting and jamming with the band in a hotel room. The lifestyle of a musician on tour is not easy – long hours, months on the road, and the comforts of home lost on generic hotel rooms. More often than not, artists bring items with them to cozy up their hotel stay and give the place a vibe that is uniquely their own. From scarves over lampshades and blankets on the walls to travel memorabilia and décor pieces that bring inspiration. The idea is to forget that one is temporarily living in a box and instead, enjoying the luxury of an intimate space inspired by home and the romance of music. The new rooms at Loews Vanderbilt have captured this concept well. A creative home-away-from-home apartment.
“The design is characterized by details from an artist’s clothing, typically a personal declaration of independence, grit from their worn guitar case, and distressed leather from their cowboy boots. There is a rawness, casualness and coziness to the design reminiscent of their intimate spaces where they strum their guitars and create new song lyrics. Comfortable, lounge seating, textured upholstery, and a stripped down dark interior make up the vibe of the guest rooms.” – Simeone Deary
What I loved most about the rooms is the unexpected details. Instead of going with a loud “theme” and skimping on the décor (a common practice of hotel trickery), Loews Vanderbilt chose a different direction. Quite the opposite actually. Mix & match pillows (inspired by blankets and ponchos), high-style lighting, custom furnishings, nail head studded draperies, one of a kind guitar straps on headboards, luxurious flooring, modern wallpaper, blackout shades, and found-object artwork. The attention to detail is refreshing, and the overall concept is a lot of fun. Not overly styled, just enough personality to make the space feel unique. The hotel understands that today’s tastemakers want more than a room. They want a luxurious location where they can hang out with friends and enjoy the cool amenities.
With the beautiful renovations of the lobby, the wonderful addition of Mason’s restaurant/bar, and now the newly styled rooms, Loews Vanderbilt is definitely making a name for itself.
Photos – NASHVILLE, TN – FEBRUARY 25, 2015: Loews Vanderbilt Hotel Nashville.
Credit: Photographs by Bruce Buck