April 2020

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26 | H O M E F EAT U RE Interior designer Robin Selberg works with Mike Murphy Builders to reinvent her Germantown home to keep pace with her family’s needs.

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At Home’s culinary guru Jim Norton shares the making of his dream workspace in his Jackson, TN, estate.

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home & design 26 HOME FEATURE Staying Power

34 DESIGN A Chef's Kitchen 54 IN THE GARDEN Azaleas

56 EXPERIENCE THIS Inspiring Beauty

food & drink 42 ENTERTAINING Hello, Spring!

58 DINING OUT Porch & Parlor

61 IN THE KITCHEN Spaghetti Squash Chicken Pad Thai

for you 62 HEALTHY YOU Respiratory Exercise


in every issue APRIL 2020

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MANAGING EDITOR AUBREY ANN MONGER | aamonger@athomemms.com

GRAPHIC DESIGNER GINNI JONES | gjones@athomemms.com




ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE GAIL HARRELL | gharrell@athomemms.com




HOW TO REACH US 320 SOUTH WALNUT BEND, SUITE 11 CORDOVA, TN 38018 | 901.684.4155 ATHOMEMMS.COM At Home Memphis & Mid South doesn't accept unsolicited manuscripts. To inquire about freelance opportunities, send a letter, resume and three writing samples to—Editor, At Home Memphis & Mid South: 320 South Walnut Bend, Suite 11, Cordova, TN 38018. SUBSCRIPTIONS Call 901.684.4155 or subscribe at athomemms. com. Annual subscription rate: $19.95. Single copy price: $4.99. At Home Memphis & Mid South is published 12 times a year. Postmaster: Send address changes to At Home Memphis & Mid South, 320 South Walnut Bend, Suite 11, Cordova, TN 38018. We make every effort to correct factual mistakes or omissions in a timely and candid manner. Information can be forwarded to Trip Monger; At Home Memphis & Mid South, 320 South Walnut Bend, Suite 11, Cordova, TN 38018 or to tmonger@athomemms.com.


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here do I start? What do I say? By the time you read this, I hope this nightmare will be over, but right now it is real. We have all been told to stay home and many of our businesses are hurting. Our lives have changed in the blink of an eye. BUT there is no doubt we will be back and we will be better than ever. I, for one, need Jenny Craig on speed dial after being stuck at home and eating pretty much everything from leftover Halloween candy to a butter and sugar sandwich. Yes, that happened. Times like these call for us to look on the bright side, or go crazy. Families have been forced to stay home. We have been forced to actually participate in our children’s education, forced to play games, engage in conversation and eat meals with our family at home. Many of our local restaurants have offered pick up, and that has been a real treat and treasure. People still have birthdays and occasions for gifts and our local gift stores have generously offered to ship things to us while we stay in the comfort of our homes; clothing retailers have done the same. I love the quote from Mr. Rogers, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” We are seeing scary things in the news but we are also seeing helpers in our restaurants, gift stores and clothing boutiques. Even though they are frightened, they are willing to reach out and make our lives a bit easier right now. Our police, firefighters, first response teams, nurses and doctors are just as frightened as we are, yet they are out there risking their lives for us so we can stay comfortably in our homes, our safe places that we strive to bring you lovely photos of each month. We look forward more than ever to continuing to bring you the beautiful home features as well as the rest of the articles we enjoy sharing with you. In closing, I pray for all of our safety and health. In scary times like these, not only should we look for the helper, but let’s all try and be that helper. May God bless us all & may he continue to bless America.

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STAYING POWER Interior designer Robin Selberg reinvents her Germantown home to keep pace with her family’s needs.

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R obin and David Selberg have lived

at the same Germantown address for almost 20 years, but the space they call home now is quite different from the one they moved into back in 2001. Over the course of three renovations the couple has transformed the house into the perfect home base for them and their three young adult children.

The house flows so perfectly, though, that you’d never guess it has had three facelifts; and that’s the real beauty of it. Michael Murphy, Jr., of Mike Murphy Builders, who was at the helm of the latest project, says that’s a feat not easily accomplished. “Part of the challenge is when you walk in, not to be able to tell what happened when. Anybody can knock down a wall or add an island, but to have it not be obvious that it was three separate remodels is a different story.” The Selbergs’ love affair with the house started shortly after they attended an open house there. The two older children had just started school at St. George’s and a few friends had moved into the neighborhood, but Robin and David weren’t necessarily looking for a new home. That status changed quickly when they toured the house and were wowed by the acresized lot on which it sits. They bought the place and right away replaced carpet with hardwood floors, installed new front doors and made a few other changes.

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our years later, their family had grown to include three children and it was time to remodel to accommodate their new set of needs. This second project included a sunroom, a new laundry room, a master suite and a friends’ entry. By 2018, Robin was ready to embark on yet another renovation, this time focusing on the kitchen. “It still had the original cabinets and tile floors from when it was built in 1978,” she recalls, “and we just knew it could be better.” Robin had big dreams, but wasn’t sure they were achievable until Murphy came into the picture. She wanted to open up the kitchen area and convert a small, seldom-used dining room into a pantry, but she didn’t know if a redo on that scale was possible. “Once Michael drew it all out, I saw it and I knew we had to do it. That was a big turning point for us,” Robin says. After a structural engineer confirmed that a large wooden beam entirely in the attic space would support the new open floor plan, it was full speed ahead. “The house has eight-foot ceilings so you don’t want beams sticking down,” explains Murphy. “We knew we weren’t changing the ceiling height, so the challenge was how to make it as big and open as possible without anything showing.” Soon the beam went up, the walls came down, the space originally meant to be a formal living room became a larger, more useful dining room, and a deluxe walk-in pantry took the place of the old dining room. As a professional designer, Robin had definite ideas about what she wanted.

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“We knew we wanted to have an island in the kitchen and once we found out we could open it up I kept asking Michael how big he thought we could go with it. Once Michael laid it out and I saw how it maximized our space I knew it was perfect,” she says.

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She also knew she wanted it to have an open

and airy feel, and what it would take to create that feel in a space with relatively low ceilings. “There couldn’t be a lot of upper cabinets. We went back and forth with Burton Crawford of Crawford’s Fine Cabinetry. Even though you see a lot of kitchens without wall cabinets in magazines, you don’t see that done around here very much. My husband even doubted, but I was adamant.” The kitchen plan included floating shelves in place of cabinets on one wall, but even those were vetoed at the last minute. “We had them made and the workmen were about to drill the holes to install them when I said, ‘No, don’t put them up.’ I’m so glad I stopped them because I really like the clean look,” says Robin. Her list of kitchen must-haves also included wide shiplap walls. David, however, was in favor of tile for the backsplash behind the range, for ease of cleaning. Robin searched and searched for the perfect tile, but never found one she loved. A photo of shiplap in a chevron pattern did catch her eye, though, and now the unique treatment makes a striking statement. Decked out in blue with fancy black marble countertops, the cabinets make the biggest visual

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impact in the kitchen. Robin admits that she is bucking current trends, but she’s confident in her choices. “My style is eclectic; I like what I like. The trend right now isn’t a lot of color, but I’ve always liked color. I had red cabinets before.” Since her new cabinets were custom made, the color options were limitless. “I had about three different colors that I was going between for the cabinets; one was a little more green and one was more blue. I ended up going to Memphis Paints to look at the Farrow & Ball paints. I walked in and they had a new display, and there was Hague Blue. I knew it as soon as I saw it!” On the one wall that has upper cabinets, the cabinets, the trim, the walls and the ceilings are all painted the same crisp white. The continuity of color is a trick of the design trade that makes the room feel larger. While she likes her vibrant kitchen, it may be the new pantry that Robin loves the most. It features plenty of storage, along with counter space and electrical outlets—the perfect spot to keep the coffee maker, blender and other small appliances handy yet out of plain view. “I tell all my clients who are remodeling a pantry to be sure they have power available and a countertop in it. Without a countertop it’s not as user friendly.”



he most recent renovation didn’t stop with the kitchen. A downstairs bathroom received a dramatic redo from top to bottom. The original tub area is now a spalike oversized shower with black and white marble subway tile. Black hex tiles on the floor give the room timeless appeal. A custom vanity designed by Robin and topped with the same dark marble used in the kitchen completes the look. While the final product is a stunner, Murphy admits he wasn’t certain about Robin’s countertop choice at first. Undeterred, Robin knew it would be perfect; she loved the matte finish and thought the dark color would be the most practical option for the way her family lives. The project also included a few tweaks of earlier remodels. As part of the 2005 renovation Robin had a built-in desk installed near the home’s rear entrance, but she never used it as she thought she might. Now, in its place there is a handy bench with storage underneath and coat hooks above.

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Murphy describes the powder room as “night

and-day different” from the way it used to look, despite the fact that the floor plan for the space remained the same. The half bath is a knockout with bold floral wallpaper and a unique vanity. Says Robin, “It was a table that I had bought for $50 on an online marketplace.” After a few modifications and a coat of paint in her favorite shade of green, the piece has a new purpose adding flair to the design. The Selbergs have put their personal stamp on each part of the house over the years, truly making it their home, and they intend to stay put and enjoy it for the long haul. “Michael’s sister is a Realtor, and when we finished this project she said, ‘You know, I could sell this house in a minute.’ I’m not planning on going anywhere!” Robin laughs. “Germantown is getting built out. There’s not a lot of spots for new houses to go up,” says Robin. “We 32 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • April 2020

love living in Germantown; it’s convenient. We didn’t want to move from Germantown, but we needed our space to be different. I think that’s the way of the future in Germantown. I’m all for remodeling to get what you want.” And Murphy is in full agreement. “You’ve adjusted the house with your family’s needs. You keep making the space you have so much more usable and efficient.” After two decades and three major projects, it would seem that the Selbergs might be done with home remodeling. When asked if that’s the case, Robin says without hesitation that a new separate garage is next up on the agenda. Life changes, floor plans and designs change, but it’s a safe bet that the Selberg family’s address will remain the same for years to come.

“I love a new house, but there really is something about remodeling and how the house feels afterwards. There’s always something surprising.”

—Robin Selberg

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a chef 's kitchen At Home’s culinary guru shares the making of his dream workspace

To say that Jim Norton’s kitchen has come a long way would be a massive

understatement. The original portion of the historic Oakmont estate in Jackson, TN, was built in 1860 as a log cabin. Even 15 years ago, when Norton and his partner Robert Walden purchased the much-expanded home, it lacked a fully functioning kitchen. He recalls, “The lady who lived in the home previously didn’t cook. She really didn’t have a kitchen. It was like a caterer’s kitchen; there was no stove. The only stove was in the master bedroom behind two folding doors. There was a 1950s-era unit with a tiny cooktop, a very small oven and a sink.” Out of necessity, the homeowners created a galley-style kitchen with an adjacent eat-in area. It served its purpose, but they soon realized it could be better. Norton and Walden love to entertain and have parties often, from intimate get-togethers for close friends to the annual Patrons Party for the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation, a soiree for 250 they’ve hosted for the last decade. Norton realized that large gatherings always seem to produce a bottleneck around the kitchen, so when they were having some other home-improvement projects done, it seemed the perfect time to reimagine the kitchen and remedy the situation.

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Norton purchased the sconces that now flank the window years ago at an antique show in hopes that he would someday use them in a remodeled kitchen at Oakmont.

Traditional plays well with contemporary in the backsplash and flooring, both in an eye-catching herringbone pattern.

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“To expand the kitchen we knocked out a couple of walls from an adjacent bedroom. We got rid of the bedroom and made it part of the kitchen. Now there are four ways in and out of the kitchen,” says Norton. “This year was the first Patrons Party we’ve had with the new kitchen, and it made all the difference.” Norton masterminded the extensive kitchen redo, using his combined talents for a stunning finished product. In addition to being a renowned master of entertaining who has hosted celebrities and appeared on national TV cooking programs, Norton is an interior decorator by trade. Several major elements drove his design process. The new kitchen had to be large enough to accommodate crowds and the layout had to facilitate conversations. “When we have dinner parties everyone always wants to come in the kitchen and talk to me and watch while I’m cooking. The old kitchen wasn’t conducive to that at all. So I wanted a nice large island where people could sit on the other side. My cooktop is in the island so I can cook and have people sitting at the barstools and we can look eye to eye.”

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The overall aesthetic was also important. Norton explains, “I wanted something that was fresh, that was current, but it also had to match and flow with the rest of the house, which is very traditional. We tried to bring in elements like the cabinet color, which is very current, but the actual cabinets are traditional with raised panels. The countertops are carrara marble, which is timeless to me. But to make it a little more edgy, we did the backsplash in a herringbone pattern with gold accent bars running through it. That gave it more of a contemporary vibe. That kind of goes with our house. We’ll have a piece of 18th-century furniture with a very contemporary abstract painting hanging above it. So I wanted the kitchen to reflect that, as well—the new blending well with the old.” One of the room’s most notable features is the large built-in refrigerator. It’s the product of one of Norton’s favorite tricks of the kitchen design trade, a gem he graciously shares with At Home readers. “You can get a large refrigerator without spending $12,000 or more. We purchased two single-door refrigerators; one is a right open and one a left open. We put them together and built the cabinets around it. It ends up looking like a massive commercial refrigerator at a fraction of the cost. The trick is the trim kit that you put around the two refrigerators. You can purchase the Subzero trim kit for around $300. It adds six to seven inches in height so it gives not only the large appearance, but also the tall appearance that Subzeros have.” From marginally functional to a cook’s dream, Oakmont’s new kitchen is a masterpiece only a true expert could envision. April 2020 • athomemms.com | 39

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SPRING! Event Design & Story by Ginni Jones | Photography by Annabella Charles

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After what seems like quite

the long winter sheltered indoors, spring is finally here! And there’s no better way to celebrate than to invite all your loved ones over for a fun spring brunch.

SETTING THE TABLE It was about time to bring some bright colors to the table, so as always, I turned to my favorite ladies at Social to get the most beautiful pieces in order to create a perfect tablescape for this brunch. I already owned a few pieces I wanted to mix in with my new goodies from Social. I love the blue wine glasses, hand blown in Poland, from Estelle Colored Glass. Estelle has every color imaginable and they are the perfect “gems” for a festive table. I found the white oblong platters on a recent trip to Nashville. They reminded me of Easter eggs, perfect to display appetizers. For china, I picked out some gorgeous pieces from the vast Herend collection available at Social. We paired the Princess Victoria dinner plate with the Fishscale salad plate in light blue and the combination turned out stunning. Layered below was a textured bronze charger also from Social. For napkins, we kept it simple with a white linen fabric piped with a scallop edged. And lastly, I couldn't leave without these exquisite glass and gold dragonfly salt and pepper shakers. Yes, they are probably the smallest detail, but they are the perfect mix of modern and vintage that I was looking for as inspiration for this spring tablescape! April 2020 • athomemms.com | 45


WHAT'S FOR BRUNCH? Picking out the menu is always one of my favorite parts of hosting. I really wanted to highlight the season, so I tried to incorporate as much spring produce as possible. Also, since the menu featured brunch, I wanted to keep the food light and fresh. I love mixing mini bite snacks and platters, so I made two crostinis and a colorful crudite platter. The spring pea crostini, perfectly toasted bread layered with pea and basil pesto, fresh burrata cheese and prosciutto, was definitely a crowd favorite. The second crostini was an edamame and radish version, made with edamame, mint and ricotta cheese. The crudite platter is so colorful and easy to create! Simply chop up fresh veggies like carrots, cucumbers, broccolini, spring peas and radishes and layer them around dips. Here I used a spicy avocado hummus and a tomato basil hummus.Don’t forget to add fresh pita slices (they’re even better toasted).

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THE FLOWERS You can’t welcome spring without fresh flowers! Coral and orange ranunculus paired together are always stunning. Add a bit of wax flower and tuck them into glass mini globe vases, and they add the perfect pop of color scattered around the table.

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CREATING YOUR OWN I can’t take all the credit for creating this fun and seasonal tablescape; I will be the first to admit I learned everything from my mom! She has been hosting and entertaining ever since I can remember. Whether it was a simple birthday dinner with our immediate family or our annual Christmas Eve Soups & Sips party for a crowd, she hosts every holiday with style and grace. Here's what all I have picked up from Lili Jones over the years: First, keep it simple. Don’t try to make something extravagant and then get frustrated when something doesn’t turn out exactly the way you wanted it. It’s important to not stress yourself out; you want to be present at your gathering and enjoy the time with your loved ones! Two, never forget to add something fresh! Whether it’s fresh flowers on the table or greenery from the yard placed in a vase—or even sprigs of herbs tucked under food on a platter—you always need a fresh element. Thirdly, my mom is always reminding me to use what I have. I am constantly looking for new decor, but I’ve learned to be creative with what I have before I buy new. If you do purchase, shop locally. And lastly, don’t forget the music. For our family, it is most likely Dave Matthews playing (quite loudly) over the speakers around the house. Or, we can’t forget how when we all gather in the kitchen and grab hands to pray; without fail, every time my mom sings “The more we are together, together, together…”. Whichever you prefer, just don’t forget the music! April 2020 • athomemms.com | 51

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"I will be the first to admit I learned everything from my mom! She has been hosting and entertaining ever since I can remember. Whether it was a simple birthday dinner...or our annual Christmas Eve party for a crowd, she hosts every holiday with style and grace".

Ginni Jones

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vergreen azaleas make up the backbone of spring color in the Mid South. These plants are long-lived and as such can often outlive the gardener who plants them. They are unsurpassed in longevity among flowering shrubs; plants in Magnolia Gardens in Charleston, SC, originally planted in 1848 are still growing today. Azaleas transplant well and are easy to grow and propagate.

Story by Dale Skaggs, Director of Horticulture at Dixon Gallery & Gardens Photo Courtesy of Curt Hart recommend that before planting, gardeners amend soils with conditioner (ground pine bark), red sand and leaf mold if it is available. These amendments acidify the soil and provide good drainage, which is what azaleas need. Always plant them high or in slightly raised areas; never in low spots because poor drainage is one of the biggest problems in growing them.

The diversity of the azalea is staggering. The blooms en masse are so showy and come in so many vivid colors that they can be overpowering and clash with neighboring plants. It is important April is a spectacular month for spring color locally, and azaleas to try to coordinate the colors with other plantings much as are a huge contributor to the riot of color. When talking about an artist or painter would, and to be aware of bloom times. azaleas, most Mid Southerners are referring to the evergreen The bloom time coordination might seem obvious, but I have hybrids, not the deciduous species native to our woodlands. Many made the mistake of buying in-bloom plants from nurseries that people are surprised to find that, botanically speaking, azaleas are brought them in from the gulf coast during the spring, only to rhododendrons. The scientific name Rhododendron is also used discover the following year that the flowering time in our area as a common name associated with plants that are evergreen and can differ by a few weeks. native to more mountainous and hilly regions. They are beautiful, In the Mid South, some of the best performing azalea cultivars but because of our soils, heat and humidity, rhodies don’t grow are hybrids. Time-tested performers abound in the Kurume, well here. Glenn Dale, Back Acres and Kaempferi hybrids. A few select The difference between rhododendrons and azaleas is generally members of the South Indian (Indica) hybrids are hardy enough discerned by the leaves; rhododendrons’ are larger in size and for us like ‘Mrs. G.G. Gerbing’ and ‘Delaware Valley White.’ The tougher in appearance, resembling a small magnolia leaf in shape. Satsuki group of azaleas, generally smaller in stature, work well From a scientific point of view, the difference is determined by here and flower in May. Encore azaleas have become widely the number of stamens of each of their flowers. Azaleas generally available recently. With taut blooms that continue all season have five per bloom and rhododendrons contain ten or more. until the fall, and I’m sure they are good plants. Personally, I think a pink or lavender azalea flowering in the fall seems out of We can leave the stamen counting to the botanists—gardeners are all about the flowers and show. Fortunately, numerous azalea place, but maybe they will grow on me over time. varieties work well in this region, and they are easy to grow. Many April-flowering azaleas in the Mid South are Kurumes. Azaleas like a fair amount of shade and well drained, slightly Although they have smaller flowers, they make up for this in acidic soils, both of which we have plenty of in older, established quantity of blooms. This Asian group was relatively unknown in neighborhoods. They do not like competition from shallow-rooted the western world until the 1920s, and credit for its introduction Story: Adapted from an but article inour Virtuoso trees such as maples and magnolias, mostoriginally hardwoodspublished like to gardensLife goes to the late legendary Dr. E. H. “Chinese” Photos: Courtesy of Regency Travel, Inc. oaks are fine shade providers for azaleas. I always Wilson. 54 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • April 2020

The Kurume and Glenn Dale azaleas are cold hardier than the Indian varieties. I know of only two Southern Indian hybrids that work well around Memphis, and they grow as far north as New England: ‘Mrs. G. G. Gerbing’ (white) and ‘George L. Taber’ (light pink). Even the untrained eye can see similarities between the flowers and the foliage of these great Mid South performers. Glenn Dale azaleas are another popular group with flowers as big as those of the Southern Indians, and all are cold hardy. Bred by B. Y. Morrison at the USDA in Maryland, they are another staple for local gardens. The common ‘Fashion’ (salmon pink), ‘Glacier’ (white), and ‘Amy’ (pink) are all members of the group, which has 454 cultivars. In terms of design, planting in drifts or groups looks so much better than planting individuals. One design trick is to use white azaleas to blend and soften strong colored ones. My dear friend and local garden designer Tom Pellett has used a combination of Rhododendron poukhanense, ‘Herbert’, ‘Gwenda,’ and ‘Martha Hitchcock, because they overlap bloom times, giving a long season of color that blends together nicely. Consider the diversity of size, form and leaf color in your designs because for most of the year, that is what you will see. Fortunately for the gardener, azaleas have fibrous roots and are easy to transplant, so if you don’t get the placement right the first time, you can easily relocate them to correct the problem. In terms of plant health issues azaleas are generally carefree; however, the two typical problems I see on azaleas growing in the Mid South are both easily remedied. Chlorosis of the leaves, where the veins remain green while the leaves turn yellow, is generally a sign of iron deficiency. Before you rush to use Ironite, I recommend that you check the pH of the soil. Azaleas

prefer acidic soil and if grown in less than optimal pH often have trouble absorbing iron. If you adjust the pH and still have chlorosis, go ahead and introduce iron. The second problem is caused by an insect called lace bug. This pest, with lacy long wings, will cause the upper surface of a leaf to look dusty because it will have so many tiny spots. I have found the easiest and safest method to control these insects is with imidacloprid, sold to homeowners as Bayer Advance Tree & Shrub formula. One soil drench in late March or early April will keep these pests in check for the balance of the season. Azaleas provide easy-care, lowmaintenance color in Mid South gardens, and if you plant the right size in the right place you should be fine. Remember that after these plants flower, you will want to cut them back and fertilize them to increase next year’s bloom count. I like to gently control the shape so that they look natural and maintain lower branches. This keeps them much healthier than pruning with gasoline-powered or scissor-type hand shears. We generally mulch them when we cut them back. The South is known for azaleas and they are part of the mix that makes this time of year so special. Since our climate and soils are perfect for these plants you should include them in your own garden. They will appreciate over time and give you joy for many springs.

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Under the stellar leadership of visionary

director Jeff McManus, the dedicated team from the Ole Miss Department of Landscape Services has cultivated a pristine campus where aweinspiring beauty awaits around every corner. McManus’ landscape handiwork draws visitors from around the country to see the flawlessly painted scenes he and his team produce season after season. Their attention to detail and hard work have been recognized time and again— the University of Mississippi has garnered such prestigious honors as being named the “Most Beautiful Campus” by USA Today, The Princeton Review and Newsweek and two Green Star Awards for “Best Maintained University” from the Professional Grounds Maintenance Society. His staff’s passion for gardening has created a welcoming environment that has turned Ole Miss into a “must see” destination. The Oxford-Lafayette County Economic

Development Foundation and Chamber of Commerce will present its award-winning Annual Landscaping Camp on Memorial Day weekend, May 22-23. “We’re excited to feature Jeff McManus, the guru behind these outstanding accolades," boasts Rosie Vassallo, director of the camp. "McManus is celebrating his 20th anniversary as Landscape Director for Ole Miss and will be rolling out the green carpet to show participants how to achieve the most beautiful yard in the neighborhood, with less work.” It seems everyone craves their own little patch of paradise as today’s lifestyle features more time outdoors. This year’s camp, the fourth annual installment of the two-day event, will include sessions on low-maintenance practices, given by professional landscapers, and exclusive tours of the beautiful Ole Miss campus, the exquisite landscape of prominent local residents and the Farmstead on Woodson Ridge, known for its vibrant flower farm.

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EXPERIENCE THIS Here's a sneak peek at what’s in store for this inspirational weekend...


“An attractive exterior works as a welcome, creating a positive experience, as it has for Ole Miss,” explains McManus. “Curb appeal is not only important for homeowners, but also for colleges and universities to help with recruiting top students, faculty and staff.” "Studies show that when an undecided prospective college student visits a campus, the landscaping is one of the key determining factors in making their decision,” he adds. "In today’s competitive market, great organizations do the little things well to recruit and retain great people. Our Ole Miss landscape staff not only does the continuous task of landscaping, but in the big picture, they are an aid in recruiting top students who will go on to write great novels, direct NASA, play in the NFL, run for political office and research the cure for HIV.“


Splendor awaits this year’s campers who will visit the lush outdoor backdrop of the home of Dickie and Diane Scruggs. The spectacularly landscaped space includes visual monuments, extraordinary wind chimes and a chicken coop, to boot. Each adds to the grandeur when touring this magnificent home inspired by McManus.


“Container gardening can turn a bland pathway into an exciting destination,” says innovative landscaper Greg Pinion. Pinion serves the City of Oxford as superintendent and creates a landscape that draws visitors in and makes them feel at home. In addition to a “how-to,” presentation, Pinion will share his secret solution on keeping pots watered during hot, dry weather.


Flowers add color to life’s precious moments. “From planting the seeds to arranging the stems, growing a cut flower garden can be simpler than you think, with a few helpful hints,“ explains Kathrine Sharp, owner of Farmstead Florals. Sharp will enlighten campers on the best flowers to grow and how to create a beautiful, thriving garden.


“Just like with humans, there are three basic needs for wildlife,” explains Steven Tucker, MSU Extension Agent and wildlife specialist. “Those needs are food, water and cover. Our manipulations to the landscaping around our homes and throughout our community may fill one or more of those basic needs, which can increase the interactions with humans and wildlife. Exclusion, habitat modification, and repellents can be useful tools to reduce the damage caused by wildlife.” During his presentation, Tucker will discuss some of the most common issues that he has solved over the last 25 years. Title sponsors for the camp are the University of Mississippi, Inn at Ole Miss, Visit Oxford, Stages MS Magazine, Grace Realty Group and North East Mississippi Electric Power Association. For additional information, go to oxfordms.com or call 662.234.4651. April 2020 • athomemms.com | 57





Story by Lesley Colvett | Photography by Steve Roberts 58 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • April 2020



orch & Parlor opened its doors in mid-February as the fourth restaurant in the Flight Restaurant Group owned by Russ Graham and Tom Powers. The exquisite menu features the finest prime steaks served with Southern flair. Situated in Overton Square at the corner facing Madison Avenue, the building dates back to 1908. Porch & Parlor offers a fabulous view of the popular intersection and bustling part of town. “This location is a great fit for the idea and the concept that the owners Russ and Tom were looking to do, which is a steakhouse restaurant,” says Jake Wise, managing partner of Porch & Parlor. “Russ and Tom had the opportunity to build this restaurant from scratch,” Wise says. “While this is a steakhouse...you can also come and sit at the bar and have a full dinner, or just a cocktail and an appetizer. The main dining space features tables, and the parlor is adjacent with big leather booths and bookshelves. We have a place for any occasion you are looking for,” he adds. Gorgeous lighting illuminates the woodwork and cabinetry at the bar, providing a warm, amber glow. Penny tile on the bar floor lends an early 1900s feel. “Rich leather, dark wood, gas lanterns and amber lights reflect the Great Gatsby and belle époque era,” Wise says. The high-back booths are made of English leather and are complemented by warm, brown walls and rich woodwork custom created by Chris White and his team. The spacious bar features a 13-foot arch with a carving of a bear’s head at the top, an homage to Natch, a black bear that was the mascot for the Memphis Turtles baseball team in the early 1900s and one of the original residents of the Memphis Zoo. The outside patio is a lovely setting for cocktails or dinner with a fabulous view. During the winter built-in heaters warm the area. The fare goes beyond “traditional” steakhouse standards. “We serve some of the best beef in the country,” says Wise. While prime beef takes center stage, the menu also includes favorites from the Flight group’s other restaurants: Flight Restaurant & Wine Bar, Southern Social, and Coastal Fish Company. Familiar favorites borrowed from its sister restaurants include sea bass, scallops, shrimp and grits, and specialty oysters. According to Christopher Abbott, who has been a part of the Flight Restaurant Group for the past seven years and is the floor manager for Porch & Parlor, one of the most popular appetizers is the Butcher’s Bacon Rack. Large enough for several diners to share, it features five types of bacon presented artistically. Eduardo Murillo, corporate executive chef with Flight Restaurant Group, came up with the idea. Abbott adds that the Parlor Tasting entree is also popular and gives guests the chance to enjoy smaller portions of three premium cuts of beef: USDA prime, American Wagyu, and Japanese A5.

“With our restaurant group, it is all about dining and hospitality. This is more than just dinner...it is about service, the memory you are going to create, and hospitality with our guests,” -Jake Wise

2125 Madison Ave., Memphis, TN 38104. | 901.725.4000 | www.porchandparlor.com April 2020 • athomemms.com | 59

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SPAGHETTI SQUASH CHICKEN PAD THAI Happy spring! If you’re like me, you love this time of year! The trees are beginning to get their leaves, flowers are starting to bloom, and it’s just about time to start enjoying the pool, which means it’s also time to shed a few of those winter pounds! This recipe is a delicious way to enjoy an incredible dish but with very little “carb guilt.” And trust me...if you like traditional pad thai, you’re going to love this. Recipe Courtesy of Jim Norton

INGREDIENTS 1 large spaghetti squash ¾ cup tamari Check out Jim Norton on social media! thenortonrecipe.com Facebook @thenortonrecipe Instagram @the_norton_recipe

1 ½ Tbsp. minced garlic 3 Tbsp. sugar or sugar substitute 1 ½ Tbsp. grated ginger root ½ tsp. black pepper 1 large yellow onion, diced 3 ribs of celery, thinly sliced 8 oz. sliced baby bella mushrooms 16 oz. bag of coleslaw blend, cabbage/carrots 2 lbs. chicken tenderloins, cut into 1-inch pieces 3 green onions, chopped ½ cup salted peanuts, chopped ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes Olive oil

P reheat oven to 400˚. Slice squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Lay cut side down on a baking sheet. Add about ½ inch of water to the bottom of the baking sheet. Roast squash in the oven for 40 minutes. Once the squash is roasted remove and let cool slightly. Using a fork, scoop the flesh from the squash creating strings similar to noodles. Set aside in a large bowl. In a small mixing bowl, add tamari, minced garlic, sugar, grated ginger root and black pepper. Whisk to dissolve sugar and set aside. Over medium high heat, add 1-2 Tbsp. of olive oil to a large skillet. When the oil is hot, add diced onion, sliced celery and baby bella mushrooms. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add coleslaw blend and continue cooking to wilt the cabbage, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer mixture to the large bowl containing the cooked squash. Set aside. Using the same skillet, add an additional 1-2 Tbsp. of olive oil and return to medium high heat. Add cubed chicken to the hot skillet. Drizzle with a little tamari from the bottle and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stirring often, sauté chicken until fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, add the vegetable mixture to the skillet with the chicken. Pour prepared tamari mixture over the chicken and vegetables. Add chopped peanuts and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine. Heat thoroughly. Transfer completed dish to your desired serving bowl and top with fresh chopped green onions. Enjoy! April 2020 • athomemms.com | 61



Respiratory Exercise

our breath is your most important asset; it is the difference between life and death. Yet little attention is given to the importance of developing a healthy respiratory system. Much focus is placed on heart health, brain health and gut health. However, chronic lower respiratory disease is the third leading cause of death for women and the fourth leading cause of death for men, just behind heart disease and cancer. Alzheimer’s ranks fifth for women and seventh for men in the top 10 list of leading causes of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control. With the recent outbreak of Coronavirus and the increased awareness of the flu and pneumonia, I’ve become more curious about ways we might protect ourselves with daily breath work.

For months, I’ve been reading and studying the Wim Hof Method of breath and cold immersion. The methods of Dutch extreme athlete Wim Hof are highly researched; one of the most interesting bits is how he has been able to fight infection using his breath. Breath plays a vital role in transporting oxygen throughout the body. All bodies—humans, plants and animals—are composed of cells. Organs including the heart, liver, brain and kidneys are an assembly of cells, tiny living organisms that play a vital role in daily life functioning. The better our cellular activity, the healthier our bodies. Physical activity and metabolic energy depend on cellular ability. Ultimately, breath comes down to an exchange between carbon dioxide and oxygen. It seems so simple, but it’s a pretty complex process. The way we breathe has a significant impact on our body’s ability to function optimally. Research has been conducted on the ways we can use our breath to control the fight, flight or freeze sensations of the body. Breath techniques are

Story by Michelle Johns

regularly taught as a coping mechanism to calm anxiety, panic attacks and stress. At a cellular level when we take in oxygen, it travels through the mouth and/or nose through the lungs, into the alveoli where it makes its way into the bloodstream. The oxygen either attaches to hemoglobin (red blood cells) or it dissolves directly into the bloodstream. Carbon dioxide, the waste given off in the exchange of breath, is also carried by the hemoglobin. Ideally, carbon dioxide and oxygen should be the only two particles attached to the hemoglobin; however, other gases such as carbon monoxide make their way from the environment to our hemoglobin, which can crowd out the oxygen. As support for the power of breath, I want to share a bit of research. In 1998 the Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to three American scientists for their discovery of nitric oxide’s ability to expand blood vessels, a phenomenon called vasodilation. Nitric oxide (NO) simply makes the blood vessel walls relax, thereby increasing blood flow. In 2002 a research group from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, discovered that NO is formed and released in human sinuses. Their clever research discovered that blood is oxygenated 10-15 percent more when you breathe through the nose compared to breathing through the mouth. When you breathe through your nose, NO flows with the inhaled air into the lungs where it makes the blood vessels in the alveoli expand. This allows a greater volume of blood to pass, whereby more oxygen can be taken up. The human immune system uses nitric oxide to kill bacteria, fungi and parasites, and to defend against tumors. In high concentrations it is toxic, but the right amount is good for the body. Interestingly, it’s the research of NO that led to the development of Viagra. Currently, breath is being explored as it relates to AIDS, dementia, sickle cell anemia, osteoporosis and malaria. For more information, I consulted my friend and peer Taylor Somerville of Symmetry, a local expert on the ways we use our breath for optimal daily performance. Here’s what Taylor had to say about breath:

“Dysfunctional breathing” has a negative impact on every system in our body. Dysfunctional breathing is when our breathing exceeds the metabolic demands of our body or, to further simplify this, breathing more than our body needs or requires. If you are breathing out of your mouth at rest, you are breathing more than your body requires. 62 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • April 2020

When we aren’t breathing properly, we reduce carbon dioxide in the blood, impairing the release of oxygen from our red blood cells and leading to constriction in our airways and blood vessels. This adversely affects blood ph levels and reduces oxygenation to our muscles and organs, including the heart and brain. If we are mouth breathing, we are also losing the first line of defense in our immune system. The nose is made for breathing. It is how we filter and clean out our air. When we use the nose for its intended purpose we release nitric oxide into the sinuses. This sterilizes the air we breathe, allows for bronchial dilation (opening the airways) and assists in ventilation-perfusion, which improves oxygen uptake into the system. Nasal breathing is more efficient than mouth breathing. It allows for the proper amount of carbon dioxide to be released, allowing oxygen to travel from the blood to the tissues more freely. Without the proper amount of carbon dioxide in our system, oxygen won’t release from hemoglobin, so our muscles and organs become starved. This is known as the Bohr Effect. The first step in changing behavior is through awareness. As you go through your day, become aware of your breath. Are you breathing through your nose or your mouth? When you become stressed, how does your breathing pattern change? If you catch yourself mouth breathing, shut your mouth and breathe through your nose. It is important to learn to breathe properly. Correct breathing will improve many areas of your life such as sleep, anxiety, asthma, allergies and even digestive issues. Shut your mouth and save your life. Breath has proved to be one of the most important agents in the way the body regulates itself. Look for more information on breath in next month’s article. It will be worth the read.

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sources APRIL

HOME FEATURE Special Thanks: Robin Selberg, 901-461-9793 Mike Murphy Builders mikemurphybuilders.com DESIGN Special Thanks: Jim Norton, thenortonrecipe.com Darren Lykes Photography darrenlykes.com ENTERTAINING Special Thanks: Ginni Jones, ginnijones1@gmail.com Social, social-memphis.com Estelle Colored Glass, estellecoloredglass.com Annabella Charles Photography, annabellacharles.com IN THE GARDEN Special Thanks: Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Dixon.org IN THE KITCHEN

Special Thanks: Jim Norton, thenortonrecipe.com HEALTHY YOU

Special Thanks: Michelle Johns mjohns@transformingwellness.com DINING OUT

Special Thanks: Porch & Parlor, Porchandparlor.com EXPERIENCE THIS

Special Thanks: Rosie Vassallo, rosie@oxfordms.com ON A GOOD NOTE

Special Thanks: Agape, agapemeanslove.org April 2020 • athomemms.com | 65




Story by Emily Adams Keplinger | Photos courtesy of Agape

Agape Child and Family Services is celebrating its 50th year of helping

children and their families in the greater Memphis area. When the organization began in 1970, in partnership with the Churches of Christ, the focus was mainly on working with foster care and adoption. That remained Agape’s aim for the first 25 years. “We were founded as a Christcentered ministry dedicated to providing children and families with healthy homes, and we remain true to that purpose today,” explains David Jordan, president and CEO of Agape. “We go into areas that have high levels of incidents of children coming into foster care—places like Frayser, Hickory Hill and Whitehaven. It is a two-generation paradigm where we serve parents and their children simultaneously, with an overall goal of poverty reduction.” The statistics in Memphis are true of most urban communities. For those living in deep poverty, fewer

than five percent expect to ever live a prosperous life. However, the efforts of Agape have been moving that needle. Agape is addressing systemic barriers such as education, jobs, safety, housing stability and transportation, that prevent families from having better options. “It adds up to confronting the toxic stress that many of our families live with daily,” says Jordan. “We’ve developed a ‘cradle-to-career’ approach. We seek relationships with our families through churches and in schools. Through churches, we are able to connect with people who are viewed as key leaders in their communities. Our staff learns families’ needs, then steps in to give food, offer counseling and help secure jobs paying $15 an hour or more to enhance their chances of upward economic mobility. The efforts also include mentoring students through the schools.” Jordan continues, “We have help from more than 100 collaborative partner organizations and services. For instance, we work on issues of

David Jordan

early childhood development with the University of Memphis, addressing emotional development in children from birth to age five, to get them ready to start school. And we are in 16 schools, addressing matters that negatively impact students’ performance, to obtain higher academic outcomes. Among the 1,000 youth with whom we work in grades K-12, 80-85 percent are attending school at acceptable levels (up from 30 percent prior to Agape’s efforts), performing on par with or better than their peers.” As Agape continues to cast its net wide, its staff members serve as “connectors” by helping families find the services they need to live happier and more productive lives. “It is war every day,” says Jordan, “But we’ve made a generational commitment, symbolic of the time it takes for a child to become an adult. We want our human services-based work to be a model that can be scaled into other communities to bring about positive transformations for families.”

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