Page 1

Travel: Cuba 2017 Walk through VESTA’s “Best in Show”


36 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

January 2017 • | 37

sig2_Jan_2017.indd 37

12/23/16 12:09 PM

4 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

January 2017 • | 5


27 HOME: Enjoy a walk-through of Southern Serenity

Homes' masterpiece “The Serenity” and witness the craftsmanship that helped earn this home “Best in Show” at the 2016 VESTA Home Show.

38 DESIGN: Fourth generation builder Katie Clark shares

her new and fresh take on bathroom design.

6 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

January 2017 • | 7


58 52

F O R YO U 18

healthy you New Years, New You?


on a good note Agape North

HOME & DESIGN 22 at home with Brittany Spence, Forrest Spence Fund 27 home feature New Construction: Vesta Home 38 design Master Bathroom Suites 44 style marketplace Bathroom Decor

T R AV E L & C U L T U R E 46 getaway Big Cedar Lodge 52 travel Cuba


58 experience this Dogwood Canyon Park 64 social pages Mid South Happenings 70 arts Drew Holcomb

FOOD & DRINK 72 dining out The Kitchen at Shelby Farms Park 74 happy hour Hot Buttered Rum 76 in the kitchen Loaded Potato Soup

IN EVERY ISSUE 12 | PUBLISHER'S NOTE 81 | SOURCES 8 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

38 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017










HOW TO REACH US 320 South Walnut Bend, Suite 11 | Cordova, TN 38018 901.684.4155 | FAX 901.354.4886 WEBSITE:

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


10 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

January 2017 • | 11

publisher’s note Welcome 2017! We jumped through hoops, pulled our hair out, said a few bad words, thought a few may more, cried, and finally laughed, but managed to get this January issue out in time. Although that is pretty much the truth, we have enjoyed bringing you new decorating ideas, travel options and entertaining ideas and are looking forward to more in the new year. I read the quote below just the other day and it sums up perfectly my prayer for the new year: “Treasure the smiles, good times and memories. Leave behind the disappointments, hard times and enemies. Hold onto faith, hope and belief, and may your New Year be filled with love, joy and peace.” Wishing you and yours a very safe, peaceful and prosperous 2017.


12 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

January 2017 • | 13

14 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

January 2017 • | 15

16 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

January 2017 • | 17

healthy you

New Year… New You?


Text by Michelle R. Johns Health Promotion Specialist, Certified Health Coach and Yoga Teacher, RYT 200.

Happy New Year! Did you make a New Year’s resolution? I never make them, however, the New Year always brings a breath of fresh air with a psychological feeling of a new start. I seem to aapproach pproach everything as a new beginning. Regardless of whether wee have made an official declaration or spoken a word, we w always flock to gyms, fitness clubs, boutique workout studios, and even the great outdoors this time of year, driven by the desire to lose weight. By mid January, we seem to return to our old habits and patterns, often because we are too busy to keep up the discipline required to truly affect change.

like running, cycling and swimming, to name a few. Aerobic activity increases the heartbeat to keep up with the movement. At minimum engage in aerobic activity three times a week for a total of 150 minutes.

Physical activity isn’t necessary just for losing weight; scientific evidence supports it as necessary for living a quality lifestyle longer. People who exercise a minimum of 150 minutes per week at moderate to vigorous intensity benefit the most. As the number of minutes and intensity of engagement increase, so do the benefits, which include lowered risk of diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, cancer, musculoskeletal issues and depression.

Flexibility and Neuromotor (balancing) Fitness are also important aspects of physical activity. Guidelines recommend doing stretching and balancing exercises two to three times a week for a total of 60 minutes.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines physical activity as “any bodily movement produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle that increases energy expenditure above a basal level.” You must increase your heart rate and engage your muscles to a noticeable degree for physical activity to achieve health-enhancing results. Vary your exercise routine by engaging in the following types of activity: Aerobic (endurance) Activity – physical activity exercising the large muscles of the body by moving in a rhythmic manner 18 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

Muscle-Strengthening Activity – increases both muscular and bone strength. Resistance training like weight workouts and impact exercises like jumping jacks and burpees strengthen muscles and bones. At minimum engage two times a week and work all the major muscle groups of the body.

Quality Over Quantity Research shows that the intensity of the workout matters. For example, walking two miles at a pace that never increases the heartbeat does not provide the same benefits as walking the same distance at a quicker pace. Vigorous activity is the most beneficial. To gauge whether your activity is vigorous, try these tests. You should be able to speak while exercising, but you should need to pause to take a breath after a few words. Muscle and bone strengthening activity is vigorous if you are able to complete seven to 10 repetitions before “maxing out.” If you can only complete four or five reps, you need to lighten your weights.

Time Research indicates that short bouts of activity at higher intensity for the total amount of time per week are equally as effective as long sessions of activity at the equal intensity. If you work all day, you have a family and obligations outside of work, fitting in physical activity may present a challenge. Try 10-minute exercise intervals spread throughout the day for a total of 30 minutes a day. Following are a few of my personal tips: • I work different muscles on different days. • Monday: Upper body workout. I take a set of five-pound weights into the office with me and put them under my desk. After a couple of hours at the desk, I stand and do three sets of 10 bicep curls. A couple of hours later, I stand and do three sets of 10 shoulder presses, etc. • Tuesday: Cardio day. After a couple of hours at the desk, I step away and climb a few sets of stairs or take a brisk walk for 10 minutes. • Wednesday: Lower body workout. With a set of 10-pound weights, after a couple of hours at the desk, I stand and do three sets of 10 squats. A couple of hours later, I do three sets of 10 lunges, etc. All people ages six and above need a good daily dose of exercise. The more you exercise, the more you build your tolerance for frequency and intensity. Two of my favorite types of exercise are hot yoga and interval/ cross training (Orange Theory). During a hot yoga class I sweat, which detoxes my body, and I strengthen and stretch muscles and tendons. Orange Theory interval training is a good combination of aerobic and musclestrengthening activities. *Before increasing your physical activity level, talk with your doctor. Ask about the types and frequency of exercise that may be right for you. January 2017 • | 19

20 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

January 2017 • | 21

at home with At Home With

Brittany Spence of the

Forrest Spence Fund Text by Ruthie George | Photos courtesy of Brittany Spence

The Forrest Spence Fund was founded in 2007 in the memory of Brittany and David Spence’s first child, Robert Forrest, who developed complications shortly after his birth. He was soon transported to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis. The compassion and love that surrounded the Spences gave them hope and helped them survive their difficult journey. Because of this experience they were inspired to found the Forrest Spence Fund so that they could assist other families throughout the Mid South. This month we sat down with Brittany Spence to gain some insight into her life and her organization. At Home Memphis & Mid South: Tell us a little about your background, both professionally and personally. Brittany Spence: I am from Hendersonville, TN, and the youngest of three children; I have two older brothers. I attended the University of Tennessee Knoxville where I received a master’s degree in elementary education with a minor in psychology. I met my husband David at UT, and we have now been married for 13 years. I initially worked in elementary education in the city and county school systems, and then transitioned to youth ministry at Independent Presbyterian Church, working primarily with junior high students. After our second son was born I made the decision to stay home full time to raise our family. As the Forrest Spence Fund grew I took on the role of executive director and I have enjoyed watching it grow over the last several years to what it is today. We have since added two more children, so my life stays pretty busy raising three children and running the Forrest Spence Fund. AHMMS: What do you do when you aren’t working? BS: Play with my kids, hang out with my husband, read, exercise and travel. 22 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

AHMMS: What are your plans for the future? BS: I hope to continue to expand the work of the Forrest Spence Fund and grow our work into other areas like Nashville and other surrounding cities. I look forward to continuing to raise my three children and I’m excited to see where life takes us. AHMMS: What inspires you? BS: I’m inspired by people, particularly people who overcome incredible obstacles in their life. Whether it is illness, personal loss, poverty or brokenness I am inspired when I watch people persevere and put the broken pieces back together. AHMMS: What is your favorite thing about your job? BS: Coming alongside families as they walk the journey of childhood illness. Hearing how our support has impacted families in a positive way. AHMMS: What advice could you give to people who want to succeed in their dreams? BS: Place people around you who can help you accomplish your goals. Anchor yourself in the Lord and make faith and family a priority in your life. Have a good support system. Seek the advice of others who have gone before you down a similar journey. AHMMS: What are your favorite places in Memphis and the Mid South? BS: Shelby Farms, Mud Island, the Greenline and our farm in Hardeman County. AHMMS: What is your favorite memory from building your organization? BS: Watching families succeed, connecting with people whom I would not otherwise have known, and seeing people get involved with the Forrest Spence Fund because they believe in what we are doing. AHMMS: What is the main inspiration behind the Forrest Spence Fund? BS: Our son Forrest. His life had more of an impact in the 55 days he was alive than many do in a lifetime.

January 2017 • | 23

24 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

January 2017 • | 25

26 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

home feature

Next-Level Family Living VESTA Home Show Highlights the Best of Intergenerational Design

Text by Jordana White | Photography by Anna Leppert and Ginni Jones January 2017 • | 27

home feature


ow in its 33rd year, the West Tennessee Home Builders Association’s VESTA Home Show always highlights the best of the best in terms of construction and design innovation. Last year’s show, built around multi-generational floor plans and cutting-edge technology, was no exception—and the Serenity home, built by Greg Bridgers of Southern Serenity Homes and designed by Kim Clark, stood out as a shining example of how dreaming big results in a stand-out finished product. With four bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths and just under 5,000 heated square feet beneath its roof, the Serenity is certainly a large and gracious house, but there’s more to it than just that, Bridgers explains. “Energy efficiency is one of those things that are at the forefront for a lot of buyers these days,” he says, so the Serenity home is equipped with tech-shield roof decking, Carrier energy-efficient A/C units and both closed-cell flash coat and blown-in fiberglass insulation from Quality Insulation. Combined with whole-house LED lighting that even extends to the exterior flower beds, the show home guarantees owners an “unbelievably low” monthly utility bill, boasts Bridgers. Of course, as the focus of the VESTA show suggests, housing aging family members is also a growing priority for today’s buyers. As Clark explains, “The Serenity included a very nice, very comfortable suite for an in-law dwelling,” on the opposite side of the home’s main-floor master. “The living area, bedroom and kitchenette were designed to function as a complete living area. Included in the space are a separate front door and garage for extra privacy; this amenity in particular makes the space feel like its own home within the home.” While practical considerations bring buyers into a house, Bridgers and Clark both know that design and details are what truly make it sell. To that end, the home’s English architectural style is accented with brick by Acme Brick, Hardie Plank fascia, friezes, soffits and two solid-iron front doors, equipped with Schlage electronic locks for a good dose of security and reassurance. Adding to that reassurance is the fact that many of the home’s features, including those front door locks, the garage doors, thermostat, alarm system and even the media room projector, can be controlled directly from the future owner’s phone. The home is also distinguished by special interior design features—the entire first story is equipped with five-inch solid white oak plank flooring, allowing rooms to flow seamlessly into one another. When it comes to a large house like the Serenity, says Clark, this kind of flow “is always something to pay close attention to.” Consistent flooring certainly helps, but Clark built on that flow by maintaining a strong neutral palette of Sherwin Williams paint in all of the Serenity’s public areas, creating “interest and drama” through the use of standout details like tiling, marble installations and unique light fixtures. 28 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

home feature

January 2017 • | 29

home feature The home’s kitchen backsplash is an example of upscale tiling at its best; combined with custom cabinetry from Batesville Cabinet Company and Thermador appliances including a commercial-grade, 48-inch freestanding double oven, 36-inch built-in refrigerator and exterior vented power hood, the space is truly, as Bridgers says, “to die for.” And while it’s tough to compete with a top-of-the-line kitchen, the den is also quite a showstopper, with its tongue-and-groove ceiling composed of 1’x4’ and 1’x8’ planks stained to perfectly match the room’s built-in bookcases. Not to mention the fact that the bookshelves surround a 50-foot woodburning fireplace with a solid limestone mantle!

30 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

home feature

Marble helps bring a neutral palette to life, Clark says, so it’s not surprising that the Serenity’s master bathroom features genuine marble flooring that, together with the domed ceiling and chandelier, creates a spa-like atmosphere. The adjacent master suite lives up to the promise of the bathroom’s dramatic ambiance; the closet alone is the size of a standard bedroom, and soothing gray-lavender walls are made more dramatic by the addition of polished nickel, crystal and marble accents.

January 2017 • | 31

home feature

32 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

home feature

January 2017 • | 33

home feature

While Clark stuck to a “calm and livable” palette in the first floor living spaces, when it came to the game room and second story children’s rooms, things got a little more playful. “The bedrooms are all full of life,” she says. “The boy’s room is red and olive while the girl’s room is a bright pink. The game room walls are plum with a metallic silver ceiling and beautiful mirrored tiles at the bar; the carpet is a very deep gray with a silver twist and is very, very plush. The room is very dramatic.”

34 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

home feature

That type of drama and “wow” factor elements are the name of the game when it comes to a show home. Given the size of the Serenity home and its technological enhancements, Bridgers and Clark were able to create an unforgettable example. After all, says Clark, “Because of the amount of space in the home, we had more freedom to use a variety of spectacular products to add interesting and memorable details.” Adds Bridgers, “I have always done my best to listen to what the buyer is asking for. Building homes like the Serenity is my passion; you create something that you can go back to for years and be proud of what you left behind as a legacy.” 

January 2017 • | 35

home feature

Home Feature Sources Cabinets

Garage Flooring

Sheetrock and Paint

Batesville Cabinets Company

Deas, Inc.

Davis Painting and Drywall







Incognito Closets

Absolute Comfort



Professional Security Home Solutions 901-854-2221

Concrete & Driveway Bowman’s Works Inc. 901-465-5797

Counters Granite & Marble Products 901-386-6167

Electric Otto Electric 901-795-8876

Fireplaces Wells Building Supply 901-861-1728

Flooring Cordova Floors 901-870-5001

Framing/Carpentry Southern Classic Construction 901-326-7608

Garage Doors Quality Insulation 901-367-3141 36 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

Insulation Quality Insulation 901-367-3141

Iron Doors Acme Brick 901-755-9400

Landscaping Southern Landscaping 901-461-5707

Lighting/Appliances Ferguson Enterprises 901-759-3820

Masonry/Brick Acme Brick 901-755-9400

Plumbing All About Plumbing 901-466-3636

Roofing Roofing Supply Group 901-866-7663

Storm Shelter Express Shelters 901-692-3804

Tiles J and D Tile 901-850-8431

Windows 84 Lumber 901-861-1910

Stone Floors/Face Stone Memphis Stone and Stucco 901-737-1235

Mantles and Hearths Christie Cut Stone 901-382-6242

Log Mantle Burrus and Company 901-569-1228

January 2017 • | 37

design design design

2017 Design Trends for the Bathroom Text by Jordana White | Photography by Anna Leppert 38 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

design design

When it comes to appointing a home’s bathrooms, function can get in the way of beauty, especially when tricky issues like space constraints and frequent usage get in the way. In order to help you make your bathrooms the spa-like retreats you covet, At Home Memphis and Mid South sat down with Windsor Homes builder Katie Clark to discuss the ins and outs of bathroom design.

by Anna Lattimore January Design 2017 • | 39

Photo by Michael Boatman


40 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

At Home Memphis & MidSouth: What are some key elements to successful bathroom design? Katie Clark: Cabinetry is obviously hugely important. Space is usually a limitation, so you need to have an efficient cabinet design that designates how you are going to actually use those spaces and minimizes clutter. There are so many creative ways that cabinets can be designed to help you organize; it’s just a matter of finding what fits best for you. AHMMS:  How does bathroom design relate to other spaces in your home? KC: Having a consistent design and style throughout your home is important. If your home has a strong Craftsman style, you wouldn’t want to have an over-the-top contemporary bathroom. You can get away with a certain degree of blending some styles together, but as a general rule, you don’t want the spaces to fight with each other. AHMMS:  What elements must stay constant, even with space limitations? KC: Master bathrooms were not always built to be the spacious retreats we see today. In an older home, space can be a real constraint. Whether you are in a large or small bathroom, use your space efficiently and choose a color palette that is light and clean so it doesn’t close in the room. AHMMS:  How does a shower mosaic add to the effect of the room? KC: Though they take up little area, they add so much to a bathroom. Having that strip of tile, glass, stone, whatever material it may be, gives the room character and context. This is an area of personalization. A lot of times clients may keep the same tile throughout all bathrooms, but let kids pick their mosaic. I love this idea because it gets them involved in the project so they are able to differentiate the space and make it their own. January 2017 • | 41


42 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

AHMMS: What kinds of lighting do you recommend for a bathroom? KC: It is important to have multiple types of lighting because the space is used differently than a bedroom or kitchen where traditional can or LED lighting is sufficient. I typically recommend a combination of LED can lights for normal daily use, task lighting (vanity lights or sconces) and something decorative, space permitting. Placement is also important—lighting should not be directly overhead because that will create shadows when you are applying makeup or shaving. AHMMS: How can you compensate for lack of natural light in a bathroom? KC: Use an appropriate amount of artificial light. Different bathrooms need different numbers of lumens; a powder room doesn’t need the same amount of light as a master or secondary bathroom. Too much natural light can be an issue as well. I recommend using blinds or plantation shutters to control the amount of light and provide much-needed privacy. AHMMS: What do you consider to be the focal point of a solid bathroom design? KC: Just about anything can be a focal point; the key is to not make one out of every element, or it will become visually overwhelming. AHMMS: What trends are you seeing in bathrooms? KC: One trend I am seeing a lot of is the use of natural elements— bringing the outdoors in. Using stone or stained wood accents can add earthiness while still complementing a traditional or contemporary design. I am also seeing a lot of ADA features being used, even if the individual does not have a handicap. As a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, I help people prepare their home to age with them. There are so many products now that enhance safety, but are still aesthetically pleasing. January 2017 • | 43

style marketplace

Victoria & Albert “Pescadero” Soaking Tub call for price Ferguson Bath Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Memphis, TN 901.759.3820

Vandal Floor Mirror, $895 Erdos at Home, Memphis


“Godmorgon” Vanity, $679 Ikea, Memphis

44 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

Hayward Pendant Lamp, $1,295 Erdos at Home, Memphis

Triplicate Hook, $48 Anthropologie Saddle Creek, Germantown, TN

Bailey Island Floor Basket, $229 Ethan Allen, Memphis

January 2017 • | 45


Rustic Resort Retreat The Big Cedar Lodge

Text by Claire Peeler | Photos courtesy of Big Cedar Lodge

Nestled in the Missouri Ozark Mountains lies the Big Cedar Lodge, a wilderness resort ideal for outdoor adventure seekers or couples in need of a remote, relaxing weekend. Spend the afternoon at the resort’s one-of-a-kind golf course, walking one of the many nature trails, or horseback riding with family. Relax and unwind in a remote log cabin, a luxurious spa, or one of an array of charming eateries. Just a short drive from the Mid South, this rustic resort is the perfect destination for any getaway.

46 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017


The Great Outdoors If you and your family seek to escape to the great outdoors, Top of the Rock, a premier outdoor family destination, is the perfect choice. Top of the Rock offers a world-class golf course—the first-ever par 3 course to be included in a professional championship. Its breathtaking layout incorporates vistas of the beautiful Ozark surroundings at every stroke. Top of the Rock also offers the Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail, Native American Heritage Museum, End of the Trail All-American Wine Cellar, restaurants and more. Additionally, Big Cedar Lodge just announced the opening of another wilderness destination. Dogwood Canyon features a working mill as well as a restaurant, an extraordinary treehouse that was featured on Animal Planet, stables, and plenty of opportunities to explore the Missouri Ozarks. January 2017 • | 47

getaway Dining Out Although Big Cedar Lodge offers many dining options, one way to start your day off is by enjoying a delightful meal at Truman’s Coffee and Café. This quaint restaurant resembles a 1920s Tudor-style shop and is one of the original buildings on the property. The charming café offers indoor or patio seating for guests to enjoy a wide variety of coffee drinks, fresh pastries or a hearty meal to prepare for an action-packed day at the resort. Truman’s Coffee and Café is also open for lunch and dinner during the summer.

Arnie’s Barn is an homage to the late golf legend Arnold Palmer. The barn was originally located in Palmer’s hometown of Latrobe, PA. It was disassembled and moved to Top of the Rock as a tribute to the renowned champion. This rustic restaurant overlooks the resort’s golf course practice facility and offers a oneof-a-kind view that golfers and non-golfers alike can admire. The cuisine consists of Mexicanstyle food. Another unique eatery at Big Cedar Lodge is the Osage Restaurant. Not only are guests offered delectable Americanstyle cuisine here, they also get to enjoy an Ozark Mountain view in the dining room of this original establishment. Diners are encouraged to linger after their meal and enjoy the original artwork and Native American artifacts inside the restaurant.

48 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

January 2017 • | 49


50 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

A Good Night’s Rest Located just 10 miles away from Branson, MO, Big Cedar offers a wide variety of lodging options on the resort property; there’s no need for visitors to commute to the nearby city. Accommodations include oneand two-bedroom log cabins and cottages for guests who seek extra privacy and luxury. Several lodges feature comfortable rooms as well as suites with extra space for family.

Relax and Unwind The architecture of the 18,000square-foot Cedar Creek Spa is a treat in itself. Wooden ceilings, natural stone floors and antiquestyle chandeliers accent the building’s design. The spa holds 11 private treatment rooms, each featuring its own cozy fireplace. Saunas, hot spas, steam rooms and an indoor grotto pool are just a few features available to guests in search of a tranquil weekend.

January 2017 • | 51




Text by Terry A. Beaty, CEO Regency Travel, Inc. Photos courtesy of Regency Travel and

The History: Today and Tomorrow For over 50 years the largest Caribbean island has been a mystery to most U.S. citizens. Located only 90 miles from the southern Florida coast, Cuba has become a desirable destination for the curious traveler seeking to remove the veil of mystery and set foot on this forbidden island. Off limits to U.S. travelers for the past five decades, now a series of one-on-one exchanges is quickly changing formerly closed Cuba into a tourist mecca. In the last decade, the opportunity has presented itself in the form of “People to People” trips offering a rare chance to experience the authentic art, music and cuisine of this island nation. Cuba is a study in contrasts. Though developing rapidly, the country is still steeped in historic architecture and customs that plague this quick development with delays. Educational exchange travel affords the opportunity to have face-to-face discussions and experience the true spirit of the people of Cuba. 52 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

travel People to People educational programs are not like most typical Caribbean vacations. Void of free time, itineraries require participants to take part in organized activities to gain insight into the lives of Cubans and their daily routines. Special emphasis is placed on music, art, architecture and agriculture. A day in Havana, the country’s capital and leading commercial center, might include a visit to an artist’s workshop and a performance of music, opera or ballet. Peppering the streets of Old Havana are street musicians, mimes, acrobats and costumed locals. The performers provide an endless array of entertainment in this crumbling city where most of the buildings were built between 1900 and the mid 1950’s. Colonial architecture and Art Deco buildings make the history and colors (pink, green, yellow and blue) come alive in sidewalk cafes, bars, and on the many public squares filled with old men playing cards or chess. The colorful characters lend the city an atmosphere of rhythm and calmness at the same time. Sipping rum and smoking giant cigars appears to be a national pastime and seems to perpetuate calm. Live musicians are everywhere and certainly keep the tempo at a steady beat. Cuban music has influenced all types of styles that have spread all over the world. Beautiful and friendly people are everywhere. They enjoy conversation and love talking about their life in Cuba. Naturally, politics enters into every discussion. The locals seem to be anxious for open relations with their northern neighbors. It is obvious that the influx of new tourists has given many of these proud people a feeling of hope and excitement for the future of Cuba.

January 2017 • | 53

travel THE HISTORY Cuba began with the landing of Christopher Columbus in 1492. The Spaniards came shortly afterward and invaded the island. Ultimately the indigenous peoples who inhabited the island either died or were killed. Spanish influence developed and colonization of the island occurred during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Spanish remained in control until the 19th century. Sugar transformed the quiet island into a major port and pushed out tobacco as the main crop. Prosperity was everywhere. Cuba remained loyal to Spain but that changed as the 20th century approached—Cuban nationalism took hold of the people. The United States became involved in 1898 during the Spanish-American war, which resulted in the expulsion of the Spaniards, at which time the U.S. became Cuba’s big brother. Nationhood flourished in 1902. The growth of prosperity continued and militarism, though held back, started to advance. Corruption, violence and political manipulations changed the social order. The economy began to weaken and authoritarianism took hold. Dependence on the U.S. and Spanish economies created demands for radical reforms as the world depression forced revolts by groups of Cubans and small army units. This resulted in the expulsion of President Gerardo Machado y Morales in 1933. A few leaders began to emerge and eventually Dictator Fulgencio Batista became the head of state. A coup d’etat ended his tenure on March 10, 1952; civil war and destruction of the military followed. Fidel Castro took power following a revolt against the U.S.-backed government and proceeded to convert Cuba into a one-party Communist country. This government was propped up by the U.S.S.R. until 1991 when the Soviet subsidies ended. The cold war between Cuba and the U.S. started to thaw when Fidel Castro transferred his power to his brother, Gen. Raul Castro, in 2006.


In 1982, Old Havana and its fortifications were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later Trinidad and Camaguey, founded by Spanish colonists, were also included, along with several agricultural sites on the island. UNESCO provided funding and support of Cuba’s infrastructure to save crumbling architecture by restoring and rehabilitating buildings and monuments. Then came worldwide attention to the island and its artistic history and Latin lifestyles. The desire to visit Cuba grew exponentially and a huge influx of tourists from Europe and Canada began to fill jumbo jets coming to this Caribbean treasure. Hotels built by the Spanish and Dutch stayed booked solid and the island profited from a new economy based on tourism. 54 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

The opening of the borders between the United States and Cuba created a greater demand for additional lodging. Many development projects are underway to meet this new influx of tourists. Sheraton and Marriott have announced plans to expand here. Iberostar and Melia Hotels have started projects and have five-star properties in Havana and other Cuban cities. The elegant Parque Central in the very center of Havana offers spacious rooms and suites and is centrally located to nightlife, shopping and restaurants. The Melia Cohiba and Melia Habana are out of the center of Havana but are both newer and internationally acclaimed hotels. Jet Blue and Delta Airlines offer direct flights from the U.S. to Cuba and provide assistance for persons travelling to obtain a tourist card, which is Cuba’s tourist visa, and the OFAC certification (Office of Foreign Assets Control) which requires each traveler to fit into one of 12 categories of travel to Cuba. (For additional information regarding the OFAC license, refer to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.) Opening the skies to Cuba will create an even greater demand for hotel rooms. Naturally, the prices will rise on the limited supply of accommodations. AirBnB is now listing properties in Cuba and several cruise ships are making weekly stops in one or more Cuban ports. Carnival Cruise Lines and Ponant Cruises have a variety of itineraries to attract passengers. These additions are just the beginning, with more changes coming soon. Especially exciting is the new wave of family-owned restaurants called Paladares, located in private homes or deserted buildings, affording unique dining options in lovely settings that were previously not available. More than beans and rice, the restaurants offer a variety of cuisines plus excellent service; they have dramatically changed the food scene in all of Cuba, especially in Havana.  January 2017 • | 55

travel Beautiful historic cities and attractive beaches, as well as a tropical interior, make the island a mecca for adventurers, art lovers, historians or beachcombers. Many visitors find the exchange with the locals the most alluring part of visiting Cuba. The restoration of colonial architecture is advancing rapidly and new construction is springing up all over the island. Planning is essential for any successful trip and a good travel advisor is especially important when considering Cuba. Individuals can now visit without a required group program. Tauck Tours, Abercrombie & Kent, Insight Cuba and Globus Tours offer a myriad of options for independent travel. Packages generally range from four to 14 days. Plan early as accommodations are limited.

“TENGO HAMBRE; QUIERO JAMA.” I AM HUNGRY AND WANT FOOD. Much of Cuban cuisine has strong ties to Spain as it is the first and last Spanish colony in the Caribbean. Of the throngs of Spanish immigrants who passed through the trading port of Havana, many were from southern Spain, hence Cuban food has its roots in Andalucia. After the 1959 revolution, Cuba suffered food shortages due to the imposed embargo, causing many of the top chefs and restaurant owners to leave the island. Due to this, Cuban food is rather basic, although it is natural and colorful. The plantain (a member of the banana family) is cooked as a vegetable in most recipes. In chicharritas, plantains are cut in slices and fried. In tostones, slices of plantain are mashed then cooked. Ajiaco is a hearty soup made with potatoes, plantains, corn and beef or chicken. It is served with congri, which is black beans, rice and spices. Empanadas de carne are delicious meat-filled pies. Popular Cuban desserts include helado (ice cream) or flan, a creamy baked pudding served with caramel sauce.   

TRADITIONAL CUBAN DRINKS A refreshing cocktail, Canchanchara is made with honey, lemon juice, rum and ice. In Cuba, Pina Coladas are served with fresh ground cinnamon on top. The Chorote is made from cocoa and spiced milk. 56 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

The Cuba Libre, commonly known in the United States as rum and Coke, is said to have been invented in Havana around 1900. As the story goes, in 1898 when Col. Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders arrived in Cuba during the island’s war for independence, they brought along a supply of Coca-Cola, which soon became a popular beverage among Cubans. The legend continues that while celebrating victory at the American Bar in Havana, a Captain Russell of the United States Army Signal Corps ordered a Bacardi with Coke and a lime. Other soldiers followed suit, and soon everyone was enjoying the new cocktail. In keeping with the celebratory spirit, Russell proposed a toast, “Por Cuba libre!” in celebration of a free Cuba. However the story goes, the drink is still enjoyed over 100 years later.

WEATHER IN CUBA The best time to visit is from December to May, when the days are generally dry and sunny and skies are blue. The wet season begins in June and hurricane season lasts from August to October.

CUBAN CIGARS Classic, hand-rolled Cuban stogies are world renowned. From discussions with growers in the tobacco fields to demonstrations by master rollers who display their skills in the factories, a People to People educational program gives a firsthand view of the complete process of manufacturing cigars— Cuba’s most famous product. Terry Beaty has personally escorted five trips to Cuba since 2006. To inquire about a travel program to Cuba, please call Regency Travel, Inc. at 901.682.9065, go to or stop by Regency’s office, located in Laurelwood Place at 416 Perkins Extended in East Memphis. January 2017 • | 57

experience this

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park Text by Claire Peeler | Photos courtesy of Big Cedar Lodge

58 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

During the winter months vacations may seem far away, but who says you have to wait until the weather warms to take a break? Located just south of Branson, MO, lies Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, the perfect quick escape to enjoy the simplicity of nature. Fishing in clear waters, walking or biking trails through the Missouri Ozarks, taking a guided tram tour, and horseback riding across untouched landscapes at Dogwood Canyon can provide just the downtime you need.

January 2017 • | 59

experience this

60 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

Fishing The perfect way to relax is by sitting near Dogwood Canyon’s serene, springfed river and fishing for one of nature’s most beautiful freshwater creatures— rainbow trout. All are invited to enjoy this activity; no license or trout stamp is required, and the park rents tackle and rods. Dogwood Canyon offers multiple guided fishing excursions and fishing school to give less experienced anglers some extra practice before going it alone.

Hiking & Biking Dogwood Canyon Nature Park features over six miles of walking trails where guests can hike limestone bluffs, see picturesque waterfalls and stroll over man-made bridges. Biking trails offer more outdoor adventure, and the park has coaster-brake bikes available for the whole family to enjoy.

Wildlife Tram Tours The preserve’s two-hour Wildlife Tram Tour provides a laid-back circuit of the area via a comfortable, open-air tram. The tour rambles over hillsides, past waterfalls, and even to a beautiful pool stocked with some of the park’s largest trout.

Horseback Riding Horseback riding at Dogwood Canyon is a unique experience that allows both beginners and expert riders to experience the park via a unique means of conveyance. The new Little Indian Stables, named after a nearby creek, has 24 stalls and gives guests the opportunity to meet their horses before the journey begins. Skilled riders lead one- or twohour-long guided trail rides to explore the scenic Ozark Mountains.   January 2017 • | 61

experience this Education Center and Treehouse Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is managed by a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the canyon’s natural environment. Because of this, educating visitors about conservation and preservation is a vital part of this park’s function. Dogwood Canyon provides guests the opportunity to learn more in the unique Conservation & Education Center. The facility is actually a treehouse that was featured on Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters. This one-of-a-kind learning experience is located near The Mill and Canyon Grill Restaurant.

62 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

Mill & Canyon Grill Restaurant During a long day of outdoor activity, a great meal is in order, and Dogwood Canyon’s new restaurant offers hearty fare. The Mill and Canyon Grill Restaurant, located on picturesque Indian Creek, features rustic, chic design. Lunch, including soups, salads and sandwiches, is served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The neighboring General Store is the ideal place to pick up a souvenir to take home.

For more information on activity pricing and offers visit

January 2017 • | 63


Junior Cotillion

For over 85 years, Junior Cotillion has introduced its members to society while also making substantial monetary donations to charitable causes. This year the 2016 Junior Cotillion class’ contributions benefitted the Girls Inc. organization. Junior Cotillion members also volunteered for a day at the Girls Inc. Youth Farm. The Junior Cotillion presentation and Holiday Ball took place at the Peabody Hotel Downtown on December 18th.

64 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017


January 2017 • | 65


IKEA'S GRAND OPENING Photos by Darin Harrison

On December 14 at 9:00 a.m. Ikea opened its doors to the public for the first time in Memphis. Customers began lining up for the event two days ahead of time. The new Ikea location is located on Germantown Parkway and features over 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 room settings, three model home interiors, a children's play area and a restaurant. The store's rooftop is also home to Tennessee's largest solar array.

Maniso & Everett Harrison 66 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

January 2017 • | 67


Natalie Brown Adam Boucher October 15, 2016 Dixon Gallery & Gardens Parents of Bride: Angie & Randy Brown Parents of Groom: Barbara & Brad Boucher 68 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017


SOURCES Ceremony & Reception Venue: Dixon Gallery & Gardens Rehearsal Dinner: Crescent Club Planner: Gracie Leathers Photographer: Christen Jones Videographer: Sammie Sue, Samantha Coyle Florist: Le Fleur Caterer: Cindy Krag Baker: Lee Sanders Hair/Makeup: Jena Bruback & Kasey Acuff Dress: Maggie Louise Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaides Invitations: RSVP Stationers Rings: Blue Nile Tent & Rentals: White Door Events DJ: Tiger City Entertainment

January 2017 • | 69


Inspired by Life Text by Ruthie George Photos courtesy of Lindsay Bailey


emphis-based Americana band Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors has been on a musical journey for the past 10 years, and the road winds on. According to frontman Drew Holcomb, he and his bandmates love inviting their fans to love their songs—and the journey. Holcomb started out as a solo act after moving back home to Memphis. Before long, he began cobbling the band together, member by member. He and Nathan Dugger met while Dugger was still a senior at a local high school. The two began playing together on the weekends and kept up the partnership even after Dugger enrolled at Belmont University in Nashville. In the meantime, Holcomb married his girlfriend Ellie. After their first year of marriage she quit her teaching job to go full time on the road with her new husband. Eventually the Holcombs and Dugger were all living in Nashville. Nathan invited fellow Belmont student Rich Brinsfield to join the group as bassist. Fate played a part in bringing the final original band member to the Neighbors. Holcomb recalls, “Our drummer at the time, Jon Radford, we met at a radio show and he offered his services. And the first rehearsal felt great. That was the lineup for six years.” The roster has evolved with time. Ellie eventually left the band to pursue her own music and to be home more with the Holcombs’ kids, and Radford also went on to follow other 70 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

interests. But Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors rolls on. “We have put a group of other musicians together to travel and record with us,” Holcomb says. The lineup isn’t the only thing that’s changed since the band’s beginning—the sound has improved as the musicians have grown, learned and gotten better at their craft. The bedrock has stayed the same, though, according to Holcomb. “At the heart, we are still just a bunch of folks who love music and songs—and inviting our fans into the journey.”

Holcomb draws inspiration for his music from everyday life: people, places, stories, books, movies and conversations influence his writing. His newest works will be showcased in an album set to release in the spring. A tour in support of the new album is in the works, as well. Even knowing that life on tour includes interviews, radio station visits, sound checks, meet and greet sessions, trying to sleep on a moving bus, and existing on take-out food, Holcomb says the band still looks forward to the experience. They enjoy trying to see some of the world outside the bus windows, but it isn’t always easy. By the time the tour is over, though, Holcomb says the band will be quite happy to be back home. “Life at home is much more about family, quiet, community and taking time to reflect enough on the world around and in you to keep creating,” he explains.

“There is nothing better than hearing an audience sing along to something you wrote.” —Drew Holcomb While music drives him to create and share, Holcomb is also passionate about his family, reading and exercise. He loves playing golf and relaxing in his spare time. He laughs, “It’s not exactly a rock star move, but I don’t care.” Holcomb’s advice to those considering a career in the music business? “It isn’t for the faint of heart; you have to give it at least five years, and maybe 10 years, before you make it to the place you want to be in life.” It seems the road has finally led Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors to that very place. January 2017 • | 71

dining out

Home-Inspired Simplicity

Text by Ruthie George | Photography by Justin Fox Burks


he recently renovated Shelby Farms is home to one of the area’s most innovative new restaurants. The menu at The Kitchen at Shelby Farms Park is driven by carefully sourced local ingredients. The culinary vision behind the bistro delights guests with scrumptious simplicity. The Kitchen at Shelby Farms Park was born from the desire to create a restaurant that would evoke the best memories of guests’ home kitchens: a center of connection and conversation; a place for people to gather and enjoy the experience.

True to its creative concept, The Kitchen at Shelby Farms Park has been described as a “home-away-from-home” dining experience, thanks to its comfortable atmosphere and friendly staff. Diners enjoy delicious cuisine, warm surroundings and an expansive view of newly expanded and renamed Hyde Lake. Bar seating accentuates each side of the entryway, and frames the view through the interior dining space, exterior patio, and towards the lake. Bar counters and dining tables were handcrafted from Memphis-sourced reclaimed heart pine. A chef ’s table allows diners direct visual access to the wood-fired pizza oven and food prep area. A welcoming blend of contemporary and rural design elements that are enhanced with locally sourced materials elicits memories of a farmhouse. 72 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

The Kitchen obtains its food supply from American farmers, in keeping with the owners’ belief in the power of good food and drink to connect family, friends and even a community. Founders Kimbal Musk and Hugo Matheson’s stated mission is to “pursue an America where everyone, everywhere has access to real food.” Musk and Matheson also oversee a non-profit called The Kitchen Community that builds Learning Gardens to connect children in underserved areas to real food. Several local schools already have Learning Gardens, and plans call for 100 to be established in the Mid South. The Kitchen’s signature menu items include hand-cut garlic fries, tomato soup, pasta Bolognese, and sticky toffee pudding. Other customer favorites are sweet corn ravioli with chanterelle mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and basil; wood roasted okra with tartar dressing; and deviled eggs with cherry tomato relish and cumin. The Kitchen works with Shelby Farms Park to host special events. The restaurant also has facilities for private parties and events.  

The Kitchen at Shelby Farms Park 415 Great View Drive East #101 Memphis, TN 38134   To make reservations visit or call 901.729.9009. January 2017 • | 73

happy hour


74 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

INGREDIENTS • 1 tsp. cinnamon • ½ tsp. nutmeg • ¼ tsp. cardamom • ¼ tsp. kosher salt • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened • 2 cups dark brown sugar

DIRECTIONS 1. Cream together the butter, spices and sugar. At this point you can roll up the mixture with parchment into a log. Cover well and refrigerate or freeze for later use. The mixture will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator; in the freezer it will last a couple of months. 2. In a mug add a tablespoon of the butter and sugar mixture. Top with a couple ounces of rum and roughly ½ cup of hot water. The ratio of the ingredients can vary with personal preference. If possible, enjoy this cocktail near an open fire.

January 2017 • | 75

in kitchen inthe the kitchen

Loaded Potato Soup By Jennifer Chandler

On a cold January day, nothing warms you up like a steaming bowl of soup. This creamy potato soup is super easy to prepare and will please everyone at your table.

Excerpted from The Southern Pantry Cookbook by Jennifer Chandler Photo by Justin Fox Burks, food styling by Jennifer Chandler 76 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

Garnish your potato soup just like you would a baked potato—loaded with crispy bacon, shredded cheese and scallions. • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter • ½ cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion) • 2 pounds small red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces • 4 cups chicken stock • 1 cup heavy cream • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper • ½ cup crumbled cooked bacon (about 6 slices) • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese • 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced scallions or chives, optional In a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and stock. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Lower the temperature to medium and simmer uncovered until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and cook for 5 more minutes. Place half the soup in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add the pureed soup back to the pot and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, garnished with crumbled bacon, cheese and scallions, if desired. Serves 6. Cooking tip: If the soup is too thick, you can thin it by adding a little more chicken stock or milk. January 2017 • | 77

78 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

January 2017 • | 79

80 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

Sources 22 | AT HOME WITH special thanks - Brittany Spence Forrest Spence Fund

27 | HOME FEATURE VESTA HOME SHOW Builder - Southern Serenity Homes Designer - Kim Clark See full sources on page 36

38 | DESIGN Windsor Homes Builder - Katie Clark Cabinets & Vanities Batesville Cabinets, 662.578.7300 Counters Tops Unlimited 901.854.9794 Tile Flooring Solutions, 901.755.5574

80 | DINING OUT special thanks - The Kitchen at Shelby Farms Park 901.729.9009

90 | ON A GOOD NOTE special thanks - Agape North, custom screen printing and embroidery January 2017 • | 81

on a good note

Agape North Designed for You How one Memphis apparel brand is building bridges between local organizations and students in need Text and photos courtesy of E. Brooke Watson

Not all superheroes have a thing for capes. In fact, you can find some with a school uniform in hand.

that separates us from others is this idea of tangibly seeing who you’re giving to,” Williams says.

It’s a cold, foggy Tuesday morning, and in front of the Soulsville Charter School in Memphis, Agape North team members are prepping an excited group from their most recent partner organization for an upcoming donation experience. There’s a thrill in the air, and it’s not just from what the outdoor temperature last read.

It’s a statement that resonates with truth as Soulsville sixth graders light up when they meet a local business group responsible for a generous donation of shirts. But these aren’t regular uniforms; the shirts the students are receiving are coveted prizes earned in conjunction with monthly honors including “Mathematician of the Month,” “Community Award” and “Most Empathetic Student.”

With the slogan “Designed for you, created for others,” this cause-based clothing company wears its heart on its sleeve, in the truest sense of the phrase. Founded just six years ago, Agape North’s mission is to connect businesses that want to give back to their communities in an accessible yet personal way. The principle is simple. Every time a church, business, school or other organization orders apparel, they can simultaneously donate uniforms to students and schools in need. “We make it easy,” says Agape North CEO and co-founder Joe Williams. “A lot of people have a good heart and want to give, they may just not know how. We’ve created a way for people to be introduced to a school in their community that they may otherwise not get to experience. A simple way to plug back in.” The best part? Agape North allows partners to experience the beauty of giving from start to finish. “The number one thing

Thunderous applause from dozens of delighted students echoes around the cafeteria, an overwhelmingly positive response to the question of whether school uniforms are a welcomed “prize” for preteens. After doing research in the early days of Agape North, Williams and his team discovered some interesting details that drove their mission home. “We found this big shortage of kids that were skipping school and being truant, or not fitting in, or only having one or two shirts that they can wear. We started asking ourselves, ' If we can provide one uniform free, what would that look like?'” That simple question continues to have a momentous impact on involved schools and, consequently, their students. While new uniforms bolster school pride and enhance classroom attentiveness, they also meet a legitimate need for many students and their families. And judging by 2016’s records alone, with 21,072 uniform shirts donated to 54 schools, it’s clear that Memphis businesses are more than willing to help meet that need. In keeping with Agape North’s mission to love kids while setting them on a path upward, its CEO hopes to continue to be a source and outlet for creative giving in the Memphis community. “It’s very simple,” says Williams. “We just tell others to buy the apparel that you’re going to buy; if you buy from us, we help you give. We just take the guesswork out of the equation.”

82 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

January 2017 • | 83

84 | At Home Memphis & Mid South • January 2017

Profile for At Home Memphis & Mid South

January 2017  

January 2017