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.
Photo Credit: Rough Southern Home
These days it’s hard to find home décor and furniture made in the U.S, let alone in your region. But over the past few years, makers and designers specializing in lighting, furniture and home accessories are popping up all over the South. Not only are they regionally made, they are all handcrafted using the highest quality of materials and the designs are exquisite.
Here are 8 Southern companies that are making waves in the home décor industry:
1. Holler Design: Home furnishings inspired and designed from traditions of the “South” with a modern, clean-line aesthetic. Each piece is locally sourced, designed and handcrafted on the family dairy farm of designer, Matt Alexander, in Tennessee.
Where in the South? Lascassas, TN
Favorite Home Goods? Beam Stool
2. Alabama Chanin: Founder Natalie Chanin, is a former NYC stylist, who left New York to return to her southern roots in Alabama. She now runs a textile manufacturing company, a café, a community center and is world-renowned fashion designer, textile designer and author. And! When she’s not too busy, she’s designing home goods that have the same richness as her textile lines. Decadent and yet, delightfully simple.
Where in the South? Florence, AL
Favorite Home Goods? Grapefruit + Watercress Candle and Facets Stripe Pillow
3. Southern Lights Electric: Vintage-industrial inspired light fixtures handcrafted by designer Adam Gatchel. Adam uses a combination of old and new techniques, as well as materials. His work can be seen in numerous restaurants and hotels across the country, including local establishments Pinewood Social, Barista Parlor, and Rolf & Daughters.
Where in the South? Nashville, TN
Favorite Home Goods? The Sputnik
4. Garza Marfa: Minimal, modern furniture with a subtle southwestern vibe. Designers, Jamey and Constance Garza, moved from LA to the creative Texan town Marfa and began designing contemporary furniture with leather and steel. Their designs are inspired from their surroundings of the high plains desert of the Trans-Pecos.
Where in the South? Marfa, TX
Favorite Home Goods? Saddle Leather Round Chair and Saddle Leather Cot
5. Rough South Home: A collection of handmade and one of a kind modern-rustic furniture, lighting and home accessories made from repurposed industrial finds. He has recently added small batch collections of tables and chairs made from local hardwoods and salvaged metals. Clark Titus is all about giving objects a second chance and designing furnishings that make a strong statement.
Where in the South? Atlanta, GA
Favorite Home Goods? Pullman Chair and Warehouse Light on Rope
6. Ann Ladson: Ann Ladson has been working with her hands for as long as she can remember. As a pastry chef, audio engineer, floral designer and metal worker, Ann has had a fascination of the material exploration of art and science. She designs jewelry, hardware, vessels and utensils – all made by hand with impeccable craftsmanship. Ladson has a beautiful understanding of composition, form and finish.
Where in the South? Charleston, SC
Favorite Home Goods? Brass Finishing Spoon
7. Moran Woodworked: A furniture company that cares about their environmental impact, as much as the design of each piece they create. They are committed to responsible selection of materials and a modern approach to design. Michael James Moran and Celia Gibson are interested in the balance of form and function, and honoring the natural beauty of wood through high quality craftsmanship.
Where in the South? Charleston, SC
Favorite Home Goods? Charred Conical Lamp
8. South of Urban: Modern, sustainable furniture designed by local designers in Atlanta. Most of the materials used are salvaged, reclaimed, and recycled. The rest of the materials are eco-conscious and within close proximity of the city. The furniture collections have a minimal, mid-century aesthetic.
Where in the South? Atlanta, GA
Favorite Home Goods? 1301 Z Lounger
Recently I stumbled upon the lovely company, The Wild Standard. The Wild Standard is the producer of fine handmade, limited edition flags from Austin, TX. Every flag is cut from unprimed, 100% natural duck cotton, torn by hand and then locally screened, stitched and grommeted. The company was founded by two friends, Tara and Linsey, who live in two different cities in two different states. They collaborate via phone, email and video-chat and believe some of their best work has been when each is in their own studio.
The Wild Standard produces a minimal modern aesthetic to the classic Americana style. The flags have a classic, timeless appeal (a strong attribute to good design) that allow them to fit into numerous décor styles. Flags have a design history for bold and powerful statements that can be seen from afar, evoking strong thoughts and deep emotions. They are deeply rooted in powerful imagery and can be quite striking in home décor.
Last month, The Wild Standard introduced a new flag design, Nashville. It is simple and quite beautiful. Not overly designed like so many “Nashville” products that scream lower Broad. It’s sophisticated, “subtly calling out the heritage of country music, and Southern style the city is known for”. The Nashville flag is a well-designed product that I, and many locals, would be proud to have hanging in our homes.
1. Nashville Handmade Cotton Flag $120
“Drape this decorative, boldly illustrated cotton flag on empty walls as a minimalist ode to Music City. The vintage-inspired letting does Nashville right, subtly calling out the heritage of country music, and Southern style the city’s known for”. Designed by Ben Kocinski .
2. 1924us Snake Warning Flag $154
“This decorative, boldly illustrated cotton flag makes an important lesson known. Not all snakes rattle before they bite, so we gotta pay attention, stay vigilant and hold on tight”.Designed by 1924us.
3. The Wild Handmade Cotton Flag $154
“Hang this cotton flag to bring a little bit of the wild outdoors inside. This simple decorative flag evokes the complexity of the great blue yonder with two little words – unspoiled forests, starry skies, raging bonfires, and unforgettable moments.”
4. Atlanta on the Rise (pre-sell only at Foster ATL)
“This here is our flagship, designed and produced for our friends at Foster. Great set of folks pioneering the creative citizens of Atlanta”.
Photos via The Wild Standard , Foster ATL and In Honor of Design