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Historic Living in Nashville ATHOMETN.COM

Chattanooga’s Design Duo | Preserving the Past Knoxville’s S&W Grand


of Eric Stengel Architecture

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54 Historic Living in Nashville INVOKING THE CLASSICAL LANGUAGE

42 Chattanooga’s Design Duo SISTER ACT

Chattanooga entrepreneurs Jo Beth Richards and Carolyn Rose Gardner created the Daisy Studio t-shirt company to provide colorful, Southern-inspired shirts for girls and women of all ages. With plans to expand the line to include loungewear like yoga pants and hoodies, Daisy Studio will soon be dressing Tennesseans from head to toe.

Take a look into the construction of this 18th century style Georgian home located in Nashville. From hand-carved details to hidden modern gadgets, the house blends tradition and functionality so well you’ll never know it was built in the 20th century.

78 Knoxville’s S&W Grand A NEW TWIST ON HISTORY

46 Preserving the Past HANDMAKING A HOME

Built in 1935 on what was then called Millionaire’s Row in Jackson, Norbert and Sheryl Putnam’s home artfully blends history with personalized decor. “I love anything handmade,” says Sheryl of her design style. 6 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

When siblings Stephanie and Brian Balest renovated the S&W Cafeteria building in Knoxville, they undertook an extensive project that breathed new life into the space. But don’t expect a cafeteria here—the S&W Grand features a menu inspired by old and new favorites as well as an interior that pays tribute to the building’s past and the restaurant’s future.

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22 FASHION: NOW AND LATER Go from hot to cold this month with fashions that easily transition with September’s fickle weather.

24 FRESH FALL COLORS It’s time to make room in your makeup bag for fall’s great new hues. From lipstick to nail color, there’s nothing dull here!

26 LIFE LINES At Home Tennessee’s Mandi Gaskin gets together with four of her best girlfriends from days gone by to reminisce, wipe up dried macaroni and cheese and realize that some things—like their friendship and love of boys—just never change.

28 FALL INTO FITNESS As the weather gets cooler, there’s no excuse not to get outside and enjoy activities like biking.

80 two) or just browse the many museums during your stay.

34 LIVING HISTORY Visiting one of the state’s historic house museums is like stepping back in time. View period architecture, learn about Tennessee’s past and enjoy narrated tours of beautiful gardens and interiors with a trip to these historical favorites.

38 WHERE STORYTELLING IS ART You’re sure to return from Jonesborough with plenty of stories to tell. Fabulous dining, thrilling entertainment (think ghost tours and theatre) and charming bed and breakfasts make Tennessee’s oldest town the perfect destination for the whole family.




With about 33 percent of Tennesseans diagnosed with high cholesterol, it’s important to learn about prevention. Start today with lifestyle changes including healthy eating habits, regular exercise and a general knowledge of this common health problem.

At Home Tennessee’s MiChelle Jones takes readers on a trip back in time with an inside look into some of history’s great houses. From Andrew Jackson’s wallpaper to the modern conveniences that are commonplace today but were luxuries in the 1900s, learn the stories behind these great homes.

TRAVEL 32 CULTURE AND ART IN KANSAS CITY Immerse yourself in the sounds, sights and flavors of Kansas City this September. Explore the city’s beautiful gardens, enjoy a jazz show (or 8 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

paint or choosing the right siding for your needs, there are a few things to look out for when working on your older home.

70 GARDENING GETS COOL AGAIN Just because you can’t sow gardenfresh tomatoes doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to fresh produce. Now is the time to plan your fall garden and prepare for winter.

FOOD 80 SWEET TREATS ACROSS TENNESSEE It’s At Home Tennessee’s birthday and we’re crazy for cupcakes. This tasty look into the state’s sweet treats will appeal to any sweet tooth.

84 THAT’S AMORE Celebrate the cuisine of Italy with a “That’s Amore” party complete with delectable recipes, detailed decor and, of course, plenty of wine!




Historic homes have personality, but it’s safe to assume that they will also need a little extra care. Whether it’s determining the safety of your home’s


September 2010 • Vol. 9 No. 6 PUBLISHER/EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Margaret Monger -

EDITORIAL CREATIVE DIRECTOR Nikki Aviotti Hodum- MANAGING EDITOR Lindsey Phillips Abernathy - SOCIETY EDITOR Lesley Colvett - EDITORIAL/PUBLISHING ASSISTANT Hallie McKay EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Aaron Dalton, Mandi Gaskin, Terri Glazer, Andy Pulte, Jordana White CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Heather Hornbeak INTERNS Kelly Kriegshauser, Elise Lasko COLOR MANAGEMENT Charles Reynolds - WEB MASTER Donna Donald -

ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Virginia Davis - Hilary Frankel - Janna Herbison - Robert Philips - Carrie Russell - Virginia Steele - REGIONAL SALES Melissa Hosp -


HOW TO REACH US 671 N. Ericson Rd., Suite 200, Cordova, TN 38018 TOLL FREE 877.684.4155, FAX 866.354.4886 WEBSITE BEAUTY INQUIRIES WEBSITE INQUIRIES At Home Tennessee does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. To inquire about freelance opportunities, send a letter, resume and three writing samples to - Lindsey Phillips Abernathy, Managing Editor, At Home Tennessee; 671 N. Ericson Rd., Suite 200, Cordova, TN 38018.

SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE Call 877.684.4155 or subscribe online at Annual subscription rate: $19.95. Single copy price: $4.99. At Home Tennessee is published 12 times a year. Postmaster: Send address changes to At Home Tennessee; 671 N. Ericson Rd., Suite 200, Cordova, TN 38018. We make every effort to correct factual mistakes or omissions in a timely and candid manner. Information can be forwarded to Lindsey Phillips Abernathy; At Home Tennessee; 671 N. Ericson Rd., Suite 200, Cordova, TN 38018 or by e-mail to

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publisher’s note

My Boys of Fall


y favorite season has finally arrived. The cooler breeze, the colors of the leaves and my hair not frizzing in the humidity are just a few reasons why fall makes me so happy. Of course, the biggest reason for my smile this time of year is football and for me it starts with Thursday night football dinners. I have been a fan of the sport as long as I can remember and Friday night lights have always started with the Thursday night feeding of the troops. Growing up with three brothers playing the game, my mother always fed our high school team every Thursday night. I remember all the players over at our house eating and sharing stories about the practices that week. Now that I have a son who plays, I get the honor of carrying on the tradition. Some fellow team moms recently shared a video with me that any fan of the game has to love. It’s Kenny Chesney’s “The Boys of Fall.” This song and video say it all as it tells about the bond and unmatched friendship these boys share. I have watched it several times but not yet without tears shed. My boys of fall are my son’s junior class teammates and I am blessed with them each Thursday night during our season. They come in, smelling similar to a wet goat but with huge smiles. Practice is over for the week and it’s time to relax, fill their bellies and pump each other up for the big game the next night. The prep work and gallons of Febreze needed when they are gone are well worth the joy it brings me. Although I have to be careful not to be seen, I sometimes have to peek around the corner and just watch and listen; I am often brought right back to my high school days and feel I am surrounded by my brothers and their teammates. One of the fondest memories I have of my father was when he was surrounded by the team; the boys affectionately referred to daddy as “the big cheese.” I don’t think I ever saw him happier. Even today, when I am with my brothers and high school football is mentioned, the conversation always leads to Thursday night dinners and the stories remembered. I can only hope that years from now my boys will have such rich memories of this special time. Good luck to all the boys of fall and a special thanks to my boys for allowing me to remember such a special time. I look forward to hearing stories of how they are continuing the tradition when it’s their turn. Maybe then they will appreciate all the pictures they reluctantly let me take!

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contributors’ page

Lesley Harris Colvett is pleased to rejoin At Home Tennessee magazine. Her 10year career in magazines began promptly after graduating from the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Journalism as editor of RSVP magazine, where she covered countless parties in Memphis. Most recently, she was one of the founders of by invitation Kansas City, a social magazine in Kansas City. Lesley is proud to bring social pages to Tennessee!

Stephanie Alexander is a wedding and event planner and owner of You’re Invited Events in Nashville. Stephanie specializes in social events throughout the state of Tennessee. Helping her clients carry out their vision and truly making each event unique is her passion. She earned an MBA from the University of Memphis and a BBA in marketing and Spanish, and her extensive business background allows her to approach each event with the client’s budget and timeline in mind. Stephanie is also an avid entertainer, chef and baker and loves expressing her creativity through do-it-yourself projects. You can learn more about Stephanie by visiting her website at or her blog at

Becky Fox is a certified personal trainer, nutrition consultant and owner of the Knoxvillebased personal training and boot camp company, Fox Fitness. Becky enjoys helping individuals lose fat and tone their bodies through fun, efficient and challenging workouts. She has written for various publications including the Knoxville News Sentinel. Becky is an Optimum Nutrition sponsored fitness model who can be seen on the covers of Power Systems and Magazine Blu. You can learn more about Becky by visiting

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contributors’ page

Stephenie Ward is a registered dietitian who partners with clients of various medical and fitness backgrounds at Germantown Athletic Club. Her clinical experience includes pediatrics, cardiovascular disease, lifecycle changes, diabetes, obesity, eating disorders, osteoporosis and athletes desiring improved athletic performance. Outside of work, Stephenie enjoys training for triathlons, playing the violin, cooking and spending time with her family of five.

Mel Headley has owned Handyman Connection in Memphis since March of 2000. The business specializes in worryfree small-to-medium-size home improvement, repair and remodeling services performed by professional craftsmen who are licensed, bonded and insured and have a minimum of 10 years experience in trades such as carpentry, painting, window and door repair, tiling and remodeling work.

Marty Marbry is West Tennessee Regional Manager for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, a position she has held since 2005. She works with 21 counties developing tourism opportunities, creating and implementing strategic marketing plans and working with local, regional and national media to inform about the importance of tourism to the local and state economies. She also serves as the department liaison.

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Birthday Wish List September is At Home Tennessee’s birthday, and we wanted to share the celebration with you! We’ve chosen some great birthday gifts that are on our wishlists and should be on yours too.

Sarah Blaine cuff available at Taylor Jewelry, Jackson 731.668.0057

Anemone Mezzo Vase available at Anthropologie

Kim Michie Yoga and Pilates bag available at Cambria Cove 20 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

Lîƒżking forward to Fall At Home Tennessee prepares for cooler weather.


Fashion: Now and Later Get mileage out of your wardrobe with pieces that stay chic no matter what the season.

Lindon shirt by BB Dakota available at Elle Boutique, Knoxville 865.675.2901

Ivy Jane dress available at Signatures Boutique, Jackson, 731.668.8188

Tory Burch clog available at Joseph’s, Memphis 901.767.1609 22 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010


Marc by Marc Jacobs bag available at Mam’selle, Jackson 731.668.2420

Nanette Lepore dress available at Ella, Memphis 901.507.0507

Nolita denim jacket available at J.Crew

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Chanel Long Lasting Eyeliner in “Cassis”

Estee Lauder Pure Color Eye Shadow in “Pretty Penny”

OPI “Just a Little Rosti at This”

Fresh Fall Colors School is back in session, the leaves will change soon and crisp weather is just around the corner. Put away your hot pinks and pastels, and get ready to explore all the new colors fall has to offer. Going darker is a trend that never goes out of style in autumn, so embrace it! With so many great nail colors, make sure to experiment with wine colors and brown hues. Darken your eye and lip colors too, with great greys and plums. You really can’t go wrong with any of these amazing products this season! TEXT Nikki Aviotti Hodum

Glominerals Eye Shadow in “Silver Mist” Bibbi Brown Black Velvet Lip color in “Black Maple” and “Black Raspberry” 24 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

Barielle “Cowl of the Wild”

September 2010 • | 25


Life Lines Life throws many curves, but At Home Tennessee writer Mandi Gaskin finds they are much easier to navigate when you have a little help from your friends. TEXT Mandi Gaskin | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy Beth Morgan,


eing an adult is overrated. And this never became more evident than this weekend when I returned to Mississippi for a reunion with my girlfriends of college past. A past when days consisted of classes mingled with mid-day naps, when the night life started at 11 p.m., and when the biggest worry of your life was if that cute guy from economics was finally going to ask you out (he didn’t). Now almost 10 years have come and gone as my girlfriends and I greet each other enthusiastically in between peeling two-year-olds off the stairwell (them) while frantically searching for missing pacifiers on the floor (me). There are five of us, and this time the baggage that we brought is not the latest Vera Bradley design but five boisterous children ranging from 10 months to two and a half years. We are like brave zookeepers, determined to create some order despite the troop of monkeys that surrounds us. We laugh as we make a meager attempt at conversation over a blaring Elmo’s World, all while trying to catch up on our lives that have scattered across three states. By the time dinner was served (hotdogs, pasta shells and carrots), bath time concluded in a watery mess and bedtime gloriously rolled around, we all came together like weary soldiers covered in smashed carrots, dried shampoo and God only knows what else to finally have some “us” time. I looked at the faces of my girlfriends as we talked alone for the first time all day, and even as I noticed lines of exhaustion on their faces, I also saw the shining light of youth and wonder in their eyes that brought me back to a time when we were just girls. Before we were someone’s wife or mother, we were five girls who shared scandalous secrets, cried in each other’s arms over a boy that we were sure was “the one,” and had endless conversations about how each one of us would carve out space in the world to call our own. We sat with the whole world at our fingertips ready to take on whatever was to be thrown our way. Over the years we have celebrated weddings and births, climbed corporate ladders, moved across the state or the country, dealt with heartbreak and joy and have been on more diets than anybody cares to count. And I am

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not so naïve to think that in that time we are the same people or have the same relationships that we did in college. We don’t. In many ways we couldn’t be more different now. Beth is an up-and-coming photographer making waves in the industry while Shea is perfectly content staying at home with her two children. And while I am trying to become the next Oprah Winfrey, Courtney and Kellie are trying to find balance between being moms and still going after their dreams. But what we have is a history that bridges the space where common threads used to hold us together. And that is how we are able to sit here now, 10 years later, and rekindle the same connections that we had in college. Though our conversations have changed from term papers, frat parties and boys to diaper rashes, stretch marks and, well, boys (some things never change), I can still rest assured that Beth will blow her entire budget on the latest Marc Jacobs bag that I will invariably try to mimic, that Kellie and Shea will have no idea who Marc Jacobs is and that Courtney will be the reasonable voice to bridge the gap between us all. Even with all the time that has passed, I know these girls inside and out. And that is something that I will never find with other girlfriends who come along in life because there is something so special about someone knowing you for better or worse and loving you in spite of that. We talked for hours on end that night after the kids were asleep about the joys and woes of marriage and motherhood, and also reminisced about those blissful days of eating pancakes at 3 a.m. just because we could. At the end of the weekend we each said our goodbyes as we went back to our lives as wives and mothers. And as I was driving home I caught myself smiling at the thought of those five innocent girls who grew up to be five beautiful women, still sharing secrets, crying on each other’s shoulders and just trying to carve out a place in the world to call their own. Mandi Gaskin is a wife, a mother and a writer who counts on her friends to keep her sane. Read about her funny life adventures at

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Fall into Fitness Cooler weather makes September a great month to get outside with loved ones. Try bicycling in your neighborhood or get toned with these easy moves from Becky Fox of Knoxville’s Fox Fitness.

Bicycling Basics

Sugar: The Unsweetened Truth

Beginning Bicyclists As the weather begins to cool, bicycling is a great way to get active and get outside with your family. Not only does it increase cardiovascular endurance and burn calories for weight loss, but cycling also strengthens and tones your lower body, especially the quadriceps, glutes and calves, says Becky Fox of Fox Fitness in Knoxville. This exercise is also low-impact, so people who can’t put too much stress on joints due to current or past injuries may be able to ride as well. When you first begin bicycling, start slow and ride about two to four miles; gradually add distance as you feel able. “Ideally for exercise you should be riding for 30-45 minutes, so find the right number of miles so that you stay on that bike for the entire workout,” Becky says.

TEXT Stephenie Ward, registered dietitian, LDN, Germantown Athletic Club

The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar daily, nearly 400 calories from added sugars. (Added sugar includes sugars and syrups added to foods during processing or preparation, or those added at the table.) The recent increase in intake is due to the increased consumption of soft drinks, desserts, fruit drinks, jellies, candy and some ready-to-eat cereals. These things account for the largest source of added sugars in the American diet. The following problems have been linked to high intake of added sugar: insulin resistance, weight gain, blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol, chronic hyperinsulinemia, low vitamins, minerals and fiber. Customizable Cardio Bicycling is a low-impact exercise that’s Also, individuals who exceed 25 percent of total calories great for all ages and is easily personalized to the individual’s from added sugars have a reduced intake of calcium, wants and needs. When choosing your bike, Becky says you vitamin A, iron and zinc. must first decide where and why you’ll be riding. “(The bike) Here are a few tips to avoid eating too much sugar. really depends on what type of biking you’d like to do,” she These pertain to people who do not require monitoring says. “If you’re interested in hitting some trails a mountain of their carbohydrate intake because of diabetes. bike would be great, or if you are looking to go long distances 1. Limit your discretionary caloric intake. The USDA on the road a road bike may be another great option.” On the recommends that if you consume a 2,000-calorie diet, you should limit your discretionary caloric intake to no other hand, there are bicycles like cruisers for those people more that 267 calories, 18 grams of fat and 32 grams of just wanting something more recreational, so contact a local sugar. Alcohol falls under the category of daily discrebike store for help when selecting a model. tionary calories. (Most Americans consume more than Suit up Play it safe and always wear a helmet when bicycling. 30 to 42 percent of total intake.) 2. Move more. If you burn more calories than your dis“Obviously, there are some risks involved with cycling such cretionary intake, allowance will increase. as falling off the bike, but the benefits usually outweigh the risks,” Becky says. “Just always be safe when riding by wear- 3. The World Health Organization recommends that individuals consume no more than 10 percent of total ing a helmet and paying attention to your surroundings.” calories in the form of added sugars. Becky recommends comfortable clothing, but those who are 4. Reduce the amount of soda and other sweetened more serious about the sport can invest in apparel specifibeverages you drink. cally designed for cyclists, such as padded shorts. Bicycling 5. Choose more whole food snacks, such as raisins, gloves are also a good addition to your get-up as they allow bananas and peanuts, rather than refined-grain snacks, you to grip handlebars, protect your hands and even keep them warm when riding in cold weather. To start, tennis shoes such as candy bars. 6. Select low-energy density foods, such as fresh vegetaare perfectly fine but if you want to take it up a notch, clip-in bles and fruits, lean meats, skim milk and other unproshoes are available and will increase the use of your hamstrings. And don’t forget to hydrate—purchase a water bottle cessed foods. 7. Use discretionary calories to sweeten healthful food and a holder to attach to your bike for easy access. choices such as whole grain cereal and plain yogurt. 8. Remember that sugar is still sugar – whether it is from Other Alternatives As with all exercise, it’s important to honey, beets, agave syrup, brown rice syrup or another cross-train to prevent injury and muscle imbalances, Becky source. says. With bicycling, the upper body does not receive a 9. Read labels. Food labels do not differentiate between proper workout so make sure to incorporate some upper natural and added sugar. But if a food contains no fruit body strength training—especially of the arms—into your or milk, the sugar column listed on the nutrition facts routine. And if you go outside to hop on your bike and find foul weather brewing, hit the gym for a spinning class, a great label is all added sugar. alternative to riding outdoors. See Sources for Details 28 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

Resistance Bands


Resistance bands are a great piece of equipment. They are lightweight, easy to store and inexpensive. Bands are also great to have when you travel and are easy to pack, so there’s no excuse not to get your workout in even when you are on the go. Below are some great exercises to get you started with your resistance band. Complete 12-15 reps of each exercise, circuiting through the workout three times. TEXT Becky Fox | MODEL Becky Fox

Back Row Works: Upper back, Rear shoulder Place band securely under both feet and cross in the front. Feet should be about shoulder width apart. Slightly bend the knees and lean forward from the hips making sure to keep the head up and chest out to avoid rounding the back. Start with arms straight and the slowly pull band up keeping elbows out to your sides. Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together in the back. Return back to start and repeat.

Band Curl Works: Biceps Place band under both feet and be sure to stand up tall keeping knees slightly bent. Starting with hands down by the side and palms facing forward, slowly curl band up toward your chest stopping a few inches from your chest. Slowly lower band to start and be sure to control the band all the way down. Repeat.

Band Squat Works: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings Place band securely under both feet. Holding the band handles, bring hands close to shoulders with palms facing forward and band behind your arms. Slowly lower into a squat making sure knees don’t go past the toes. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Slowly lift back into standing pushing through the heels. Repeat.

Lunge and Shoulder Raise Works: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings, Shoulders Stagger feet and place band under front foot holding handles at your sides with palms facing the sides of your body. Slowly lower into a lunge making sure the front knee does not go past the toe. At the same time, lift your arms straight out to the side keeping only a slight bend in the elbows. Return to start. Complete a full set with one leg forward and then repeat on the other leg. September 2010 • | 29


Combating High Cholesterol September is National Cholesterol Education month, so what better time to re-evaluate your lifestyle and start making healthier choices? Learn cholesterol basics and the information you need to prevent health complications. TEXT Hallie McKay | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of


ccording to the Centers for Disease Control, one in every six adults in the United States has high cholesterol. As the leading cause of heart disease, high total cholesterol nearly doubles an individual’s risk for heart failure. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States, which is home to 34.5 million people with high blood cholesterol. In Tennessee alone, 33 percent of the population has been diagnosed high blood cholesterol. But how much do you really know about this silent killer? Simply stated, cholesterol is a fat-like substance produced by the body and found in some foods that serves vital bodily functions such as the manufacturing of bile acids, hormones and fat-soluble vitamins. It is when blood cholesterol levels are elevated that this essential serum becomes hazardous to your health. “High blood cholesterol can lead to coronary artery disease, heart attack, peripheral vascular disease and stroke,” says Dr. David Wolford, a cardiology specialist at the Stern Cardiovascular Center in Germantown.

The Components of Cholesterol Guidelines set by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) recommend everyone over the age of 20 years have a “fasting lipoprotein profile.” “For individuals with a family history of heart disease, earlier checking of cholesterol levels and ratios should be conducted,” says Dr. Wolford. A fasting lipoprotein profile is a blood test that measures total cholesterol, lowdensity lipoproteins (LDL), high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and triglycerides. The results of this blood cholesterol screening are then compared to accept30 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

able ranges set out by the NCEP. Total cholesterol is a measure of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and other lipid components. “A number less than 200 is a desirable level corresponding to the decreased risk of heart disease,” Dr. Wolford says. “Anything over 240 puts an individual at higher risk for heart disease.” Although total cholesterol numbers are helpful, more crucial information can be gathered from the HDL and LDL levels of blood cholesterol. “It is usually the ratio of LDL and its components to the HDL and its components that is the most important predictor for the development of atherosclerosis (the deposition of cholesterol in the vessel wall),” Dr. Wolford explains. HDL is considered “good” because it carries cholesterol away from arteries and back to the liver where it is passed from the body. Generally, HDL levels of 60 or greater is a desired range. “Anything less than 50 (for women) or 40 (for men) puts an individual at major risk for heart disease,” Dr. Wolford says. LDL or “bad” cholesterol is responsible for the buildup of plaque along artery walls. Over time, plaque causes hardening of the arterial wall and can cause restricted blood flow to the heart. The optimal range for LDL levels is less than 100 with 160-189 being high. The final component of a blood cholesterol screening includes the number of triglycerides. As a form of fat in the body, triglycerides can greatly influence an individual’s risk of heart disease. A healthy range for triglyceride levels should be less than 150. “Elevated triglycerides can be due to obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, excess alcohol and a diet very high in carbohydrates” says Dr. Wolford. “People with high triglycerides often have low HDL levels. This unfavorable ratio is often

seen in diabetics.”

Treatment by Prevention Responsible people who get regular cholesterol screenings can delay progression—and even sometimes remove the effects of high cholesterol entirely— through early detection and lifestyle modifications. “The best treatment honestly is prevention,” says Dr. Wolford. “Once the disease process of atherosclerosis develops, all of our efforts turn to slowing down the progression of the disease through diet, exercise and lifestyle modification.” Get Active Physical activity and weight management are lifestyle modifications that lower LDL levels, increase HDL levels and reduce triglycerides, in turn lowering the risk of heart disease. “Everyone should receive at least 30 minutes of moderate to rigorous aerobic activity most days of the week” says Sonia Smith, a certified personal trainer and healthy behavior coach through the Cooper Institute in Dallas. “Whether running or jumping rope, an individual should perform at 50-85 percent of their maximum heart rate.” In regards to intensity, Smith says you should be breathing hard and sweating, yet still able to hold light conversation. In addition to regular cardio, which raises HDL levels, Smith incorporates strength training for lean muscles that help lower total cholesterol as well as LDL levels. Strength training is easy to do and includes any weight-bearing activity such as push-ups or lunges. Know What You Eat Perhaps most crucial to lowering cholesterol is what we put in our bodies. Lora Lyons, an AFPA certified nutritionist and wellness consultant

who works with patients to lower their cholesterol, recommends keeping a food diary to make people aware of what they are eating. “The top three problems I see consistently with high cholesterol clients are: too much of the wrong kind of fat; not enough of the good fat; and a lack of fiber,” says Lyons. Saturated fat is among the most harmful types of fat. Those trying to lower their cholesterol should stay away from products such as red meat, dairy, hydrogenated oils and processed or packaged foods. Lyons says saturated fat intake should be minimal. Instead she says to look for healthy types like monounsaturated fats (found in foods like extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, nut butters and olives) and omega 3 fats (found in cold water fish, flax and avocados as well as many other foods). The final ingredient to a healthy diet is a substantial amount of fiber. “On average, men need 30-40 grams of fiber daily while women need just 25-30 grams,” says Lyons. Foods rich in fiber include whole grains, nuts, apples and beans. “Think of fiber as the ‘mover,’ the part of your diet that cleans and moves toxins out of your body,” Lyons says. “The proper amount of fiber can also help rid your body of excess cholesterol.”

Medical Intervention When lifestyle modifications fail to lower cholesterol, lipid lowering medications are used for high-risk patients. “Once cholesterol levels are beyond the therapeutics of medical management, intervention may be required,” says Dr. Wolford. “Historically, this was coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), but currently the majority of patients can be treated with balloon angioplasty or stenting.”

You Are What You Eat


Looking to lower your cholesterol? Try this sample menu from Lora Lyons, an AFPA certified nutritionist and wellness consultant in Memphis.

Breakfast Flatout wrap filled with egg whites and your favorite vegetables (or salsa) and a side of fruit (Lyons generally recommends berries at breakfast.) “I like to mix one egg with egg whites,” Lyons said. “Buy the eggs enriched with Omega 3 fats.” Breakfast on the run Fat free plain Greek yogurt mixed with your favorite berries, a small amount of flaxseed oil, cinnamon and vanilla extract.

Lunch Extra large salad filled with vegetables that encompass as many colors of the rainbow as possible. The deeper, darker, richer colors represent elevated antioxidant levels, Lyons says. Add protein to your salad appropriate to your body size. Last, add a small amount of healthy fat. Leave off the cheese and bacon because these are saturated fats. Go for avocado, walnuts or olive oil-based salad dressing and watch portions. Ask for dressing on the side, or simply ask for extra virgin olive oil and vinegar. Lunch on the run Whole wheat turkey sandwich (hold the mayo and try a small amount of hummus for creamy texture, mustard and any veggies you like) with fruit and raw veggies like celery, cucumber, carrots and sweet peppers.

Dinner Start with a lean protein appropriate to your body size and fill the rest of your plate with complex carbohydrates like roasted vegetables or green salad. Limit or omit starchy carbs from dinner, or make sure starchy carbs (potatoes, breads, corn) are the smallest portion on your plate. For example, try grilled salmon, tuna, chicken or pork tenderloin and pair squash, zucchini, onion and grape tomatoes tossed in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar roasted in the oven until slightly tender. (Half a baked sweet potato is also an optional dinner addition.) September 2010 • | 31

travel Raphael Hotel lobby

Culture and Art in Kansas City Kansas City offers entertainment for all types of travelers, from art and museum lovers to jazz and barbecue enthusiasts. Prepare for a vacation filled with culture, history and gorgeous scenery and don’t forget to check out the annual Art Fair this month. TEXT Aaron Dalton | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of


o you enjoy classical music, ballet or opera? Then you might want to start planning your trip now to Kansas City for fall 2011. That’s when Kansas City is scheduled to open its dramatic, curvaceous new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (kauffmancenter. org). There’s a palpable excitement in Kansas City these days as the Kauffman Center’s shell takes shape and the building joins the city’s skyline. An all-star team of architects, theater designers and acoustics experts are collaborating on the project with hopes that the Kauffman Center will instantly catapult Kansas City into the front ranks of performing arts centers around the country while adding momentum to the city’s efforts to revitalize its urban core. Kansas City has spread a long way from that core. The city has sprawled onto the surrounding prairie, offering high quality of living at relatively low cost for those who crave a suburban lifestyle. For visitors, most of the attractions are in the city’s historic area, but there are a few gems further out like the Powell Gardens in Kingsville, Missouri ( The 915-acre gardens feature beautiful modern architecture designed by Fay Jones (an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright), as well as an impressive Heartland Harvest Garden that showcases literally thousands of kinds of edible plants. You can sample a few delicious fruits or vegetables at one of the garden’s tasting

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Raphael Hotel (left) and Aaron Dalton (right)

stations while getting ideas for your garden at home.

Gondolas and Fountains Back in central Kansas City, make the Raphael Hotel ( your home base. A chic 1920s-era apartment building that was converted into a boutique hotel in 1975, the Raphael is fresh off a remodeling spree that has preserved its historic charm while tastefully updating the furnishings. On the lower level of the hotel, you’ll find the Chaz restaurant, perfect for a light breakfast or a late night jazzy dinner with live music Tuesdays through Saturdays. When making your reservation at the Raphael, you may want to ask for a room overlooking the beautiful Spanish-themed Country Club Plaza shopping district that starts practically right outside the hotel’s front door ( Developed back in 1922 as one of the country’s first planned shopping districts, Country Club Plaza offers a number of restaurants alongside shops like Tiffany, Williams-Sonoma and the local Halls department store all scattered among more than a dozen blocks worth of European-style fountains, statuary and landscaping. In September, Country Club Plaza hosts a popular annual Art Fair, and strings of lights add to the ambience by outlining the buildings from Thanksgiving until early January. Feeling romantic? A company called Ambiance on the Water offers gondola rides on the burbling waters

Powell Heartland Harvest Garden

of nearby Brush Creek to cap an evening on the Plaza. Think of it as an inexpensive and accessible alternative to Venice!

All that Jazz Kansas City boosters like to point out its wide boulevards and many fountains in comparing the city to European capitals like Paris and Rome, but the fact is that Kansas City has a thoroughly American feel. After all, this was one of the 20th century’s hotbeds of jazz! During the Prohibition era, Kansas City had a reputation as a wild and exciting city where you could find liquor without too much trouble and stay out all night if you liked listening to swinging beats at one of more than 100 jazz clubs. Round-the-clock jam sessions featured great performers like Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Big Joe Turner and Mary Lou Williams. You can explore the exciting history of that era at the American Jazz Museum ( and then experience the music first-hand at the adjoining Blue Room club (entertainment nightly each Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday starting at 7 p.m.).

Lots of Good Art to See in K.C. Don’t let your ears have all the fun, as Kansas City has plenty of visual treats, too. The city is home to the fabulous – and free! – Nelson Atkins Museum of Art (nelson-atkins. org). The whimsical giant badmin-

travel ton shuttlecocks on the museum’s lawn are fun, but you’ll find the true treasures inside at the just-opened Egyptian exhibition, the extensive American Indian galleries (opened last year) and the comprehensive Chinese and Japanese collections. The Nelson-Atkins also contains a particularly good American art collection, including a number of wonderful paintings by Thomas Hart Benton, who taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and lived in the city for a number of years. Whether you’re already a fan of Benton’s work or you’re just discovering this great American artist, I’d suggest taking an hour or so to visit and tour Benton’s home and studio, now a state historic site (

Barbecue Fit for Royalty As far as the local cuisine goes, Kansas City is known far and wide for its barbecue so be sure to taste the tender and succulent gigantic Crown Prime Beef Short Ribs served at Fiorella’s Jack Stack BBQ (jackstackbbq. com) during your trip. If you have a sweet tooth, pay a visit to André’s Confiserie Suisse, a purveyor of delightful Swiss pastries and chocolates that also sells some of its wares over the Internet ( Andre’s also serves a fixed-price lunch that seems quite popular with the locals. Finally, visit the Crown Center where Hallmark has its headquarters. There you can tour the Hallmark Visitors Center (hallmarkvisitorscenter. com) for a fascinating free look at the history and products of one of the most iconic and successful American corporations. Mr. Joyce C. Hall, the founder of Hallmark, started from humble roots as a picture-postcard peddler but rose to become leader of a great corporation that employed thousands of people, earned millions of dollars and made its mark on the world. You could say much the same for the city that he chose to call home.

September 2010 • | 33


Hunt Phelan

Falcon Rest Mansion

Living History Take a step back in time this month by exploring some of Tennessee’s historic house museums. View period architecture, antiques, family heirlooms and gorgeous plantation grounds all while learning about the state’s rich history and the lives of the families who occupied the notable houses. TEXT Nikki Aviotti Hodum and Lindsey Phillips Abernathy | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Hunt Phelan, Falcon Rest Mansion


ring Tennessee’s rich history to life this month by visiting some of the state’s many historic house museums. Narrated tours and restored interiors and exteriors will teach you about what day-to-day life was like when these impressive homes were occupied by their original owners. Read on to learn about a majestic mansion near you. Blount Mansion Built in 1792, Blount Mansion ( was the home of notable politician William Blount, his wife Mary and their family. The property also served as territorial capital of the Territory of the United States South of River Ohio, of which Blount was governor. The grand home reflects this prominent position. At Mary’s insistence to live in “a proper wooden house,” the mansion was one of the few in the area constructed from sawn lumber instead of logs and also features nails from the family’s North Carolina nailery and glass from Richmond, Virginia. On your tour of the home, expect to see a 1790s-era governor’s office and even view the mansion’s cooling shed, which was excavated and rebuilt on the property in the 1950s. Tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning on the hour. While you’re there, consider purchasing the Historic Homes of Knoxville Combo Package and tour Mabry-Hazen, Crescent Bend, Marble Springs, James White Fort and the Ramsey House. 200 West Hill Avenue, Knoxville, 865.525.2375, Falcon Rest Mansion Built in 1896, Falcon Rest Man-

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sion was originally the home of Clay Faulkner and his family. After Faulkner’s death in 1916, his wife sold the house. The structure was then sold multiple times through the years and was for a period of time a hospital and home for the elderly known as Faulkner Springs Hospital. When the hospital closed, the mansion sat empty for more than a decade until Joe Grissom purchased it in 1983 and began the restoration process. Then in 1989 George McGlothin purchased Falcon Rest in an auction and spent more than four years restoring it to the Victorian mansion it had once been. Now, guided tours are offered every day, guests can dine in the Victorian Tea Room and even stay in the Falcon Manor bed and breakfast. 2645 Faulkner Springs Road, McMinnville, 931.668.4444, Hunt Phelan Built between 1828 and 1832, Hunt Phelan was owned by George Wyatt and designed by Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument, U.S. Treasury and part of the White House. Sold to Elijah Driver in 1850, Hunt Phelan was passed down through his family until the present day. The current owner is the great, great, great grandson of Elijah Driver. Hunt Phelan has been used to entertain multiple presidents, as well as for the headquarters of Civil War generals Leonidas K. Polk and Ulysses S. Grant (after the Battle of Shiloh) and as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Current owner Bill Day restored the house and attempted to make it into a museum, but it is now a small hotel and restaurant. 533 Beale Street, Memphis, 901.525.8225,

Just Jackson

September 2010 • | 35

travel Mabry-Hazen House Located on Mabry Hill in Knoxville, the Mabry-Hazen House ( was built in 1858 as a private home but served as headquarters for both the Union and the Confederacy during the Civil War. During your tour of the Victorian-style home you’ll view family heirlooms spanning three generations, from silver and crystal to antique furniture and you’ll learn stories about Knoxville’s rich history. On Sunday, September 5 the Mabry-Hazen House and its surrounding six acres will be the site of the annual Boomsday, Bluegrass and Barbeque celebration. Ticket sales are limited to 200, and they sell out fast. The event includes music, tours of the home and a fireworks show. While you’re in the area be sure to stop by Bethel Cemetery, the resting place of 1,600 Confederate soldiers, just down the road from the house. Visit the Mabry-Hazen House from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, or on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tour only Mabry-Hazen or purchase the Historic Homes of Knoxville Combo, a package that includes Blount Mansion, Crescent Bend, Marble Springs, James White Fort and the Ramsey House. 1649 Dandridge Avenue, Knoxville, 865.522.8661,

Oaklands Historic House Museum Dr. James and Sallie Maney first built the Oaklands Plantation as a oneand-a-half story home shortly before 1820. A few years later, they added a two-story addition to the home and continued the addition in the 1830s. From 1857 to 1860, renovations were made by the Maneys’ son Lewis and his wife, including a front addition, a large spiral staircase and many arches and columns, all designed by architect Richard Sanders. After the Civil War broke out, the Confederates defeated the Union army on the grounds of the plantation and accepted the surrender of Murfreesboro in the Oaklands Mansion. In order to pay debts, the property was sold in 1884 to Elizabeth Swoop and subsequently went through a number of owners. The mansion was vacant for a few years until the City of Murfreesboro bought the plantation in 1958, planning to demolish the home to build low-income housing; however, a group formed the Oaklands Association and promised to restore the home and open it to the public if it was turned over to them. The house opened to the public in the 1960s, and offers tours Tuesday through Sunday (check for times). There are also rental facilities available for weddings and special events. 900 North Maney Avenue, Murfreesboro, 615.893.0022,

travel Travellers Rest This historic structure was built in 1799 as home to the prominent Overton family in Nashville, but has worn many hats throughout its history, from Confederate headquarters during the Civil War to an Arabian Horse Farm in 1929. Even the grounds of Travellers Rest are steeped in history—during construction of the basement, owner Judge John Overton learned that the land was the site of a Native American burial ground when workers unearthed multiple skulls. This realization earned the home its original name, “Golgotha, land of the skull,” which Overton eventually changed. Today, guests can tour the home, attend events at Travellers Rest or rent the venue for special occasions. Visitors also have the option to tour the historic grounds, which originally encompassed 2,300 acres but is now just nine acres. The grounds include a formal garden added to the property in the 1920s as well as an herb garden. If traveling with a large group, sign up for the Magnolia Lunch Tour, which features a lunch at the Overton Educational Center served by costumed staff. 636 Farrell Parkway, Nashville, 615.832.8197, Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum Visit the WoodruffFontaine House during various holiday seasons to view

the elaborate period decorations, or book a narrated tour and enjoy the French Victorian architecture and impressive elements of this circa 1870s structure anytime. Built by successful businessman Amos Woodruff, the house has always been a popular site for weddings—Amos’ daughter Mollie was the first to marry on the grounds and today the site is available for special occasion rentals as well as business events and luncheons. Noland Fontaine was the second owner of the home, which remained vacant after the death of his wife from 1929 to 1961 when the Association for Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities restored it. The home even has a hidden door that tour guides often open for visitors, behind which are signatures and notes from the people who built the structure. If you’re visiting with a group of 25 or more, choose the “Tea and Tour” option and enjoy tea and sweets before your tour. The Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., with the last tour starting at 3:30 p.m. 680 Adams Avenue, Memphis, 901.526.1469,


Where Storytelling is Art A rich history, modern day entertainment and culture (with a little mystery thrown in) all make Jonesborough, Tennessee’s oldest town, a fun-filled destination. When you get home you will have a great story to tell. TEXT Marty Marbry | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Jonesborough Visitors Center


on’t let the description “historic Jonesborough” mislead you into thinking that this is a sleepy little hamlet. Jonesborough, Tennessee’s oldest town, has always been on the edge of making history. As you walk along Jonesborough’s well-preserved Main Street, you can almost hear Andrew Jackson subduing a gun-toting Russell Bean, or see Elihu Embree as he works to produce the Emancipator, the first newspaper to promote the emancipation of slaves. Tucked away in the mountains of Northeast Tennessee, Jonesborough offers history, outdoor adventures and a yearly festival that is really worth telling a tale. This is the perfect destination for relaxing, exploring and maybe even creating your very own interesting story. Where to Stay Originally built as a private residence in 1797, the Eureka Inn ( became the place for fatiqued travelers to rest and swap stories when the Greek-Revival style struture opened as a hotel in the early 1900s. Each of the Eureka’s 15 rooms is now uniquely decorated in the style of the late 1800s including period antiques and elegant reproductions. Bed and breakfasts also dominate the accommodations landscape of Jonesborough. With more than 11 historic properties ( to choose from you may find yourself extending your vacation. Most are located within walking distance of shopping, dining and entertainment. If you’re feeling a little mysterious, you can even stay at the local Mystery Theater. Where to Eat Olde Towne Pancake House (423.913.8111) offers 15 varieties of delicious pancakes (the peanut butter pancakes alone are worth getting up early for), omelets and other home-cooked favorites. Breakfast is served all day, but Olde Towne also has a lunch menu and great Sunday 38 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

dinner. Known for “American Dining with a Cuban Flair,” the Dining Room (423.753.6400) is Jonesborough’s newest restaurant, and has already been named one of the Top 10 Tri-Cities restaurants by the local press. You can join everyone else in town and enjoy the signature Cuban sandwiches, stacked sandwiches and paninis, delicious salads and fresh homemade soups. There are special dinner menus on Friday and Saturday. Reservations are recommended. For years Bistro 105 (423.788.0244) has been a favorite Jonesborough dining establishment. Serving up delicious fresh-made soups, salads and sandwiches for lunch and hand-cut filet mignon, fresh seafood, pasta and entree salads for dinner, this restaurant specializes in fusion cuisine with influences from many cultures. Be sure to sample the wild mushroom soup, fried green tomatoes and apple walnut cake during your visit. Where to Play Nestled next to the Eureka Inn, the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre ( presents a year-round schedule of shows that entertain theatre goers of all ages. No matter what your taste is—drama, comedy, music or dance — there is something playing at the theatre for you. Tickets go quickly, so hurry over to the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center and purchase them in advance. At Wetlands Water Park Jonesborough ( you can splash around a rain tree, water bubblers, tumble buckets and a zero depth wading area, or brave the 80-foot or 200-foot enclosed fiberglass flume. For the younger daredevils there is a children’s otter slide. If you are feeling a little laid back then head to the Lazy River, rent a tube and spend the afternoon floating your troubles away. The facilities also include a sand volleyball court, showers and a full service café. Wander around the dark streets of a town rich in

travel buildings pre-dating the Civil War and your guide will amaze you with little known details of its haunted history. Voted one of the Top Five Ghost Tour Companies in the country by Haunted America for the past four years and counting, Appalachian GhostWalks ( will take you on a historically accurate, educational and entertaining journey through time. Where to Shop What could be better than a free decorating class and yummy chocolates? Maybe spending the entire afternoon strolling through Gracious Designs (423.753.5247) on Main Street. This unique shop offers specialty items like beautiful one-ofa-kind lamps, adorable baby collectibles, designer dinnerware, gourmet goodies and local artists’ crafts. It is a store where good friends, good ideas and great home décor all come together. As you walk through this charming building, built in a late 1800s as a general store, expect to see books by local Southern authors and name brands like Vera Bradley Home, Mary Carol Garrity Home and Oscar De La Renta Home. If you’re looking for the most comfortable chair in the world, head to Mauk’s of Jonesborough (, the exclusive dealer of Ekornes Stressless chairs and sofas. The showroom features almost 20 chairs in different sizes—you may not want to get up when you sit down. The second level houses outdoor and office furniture, Uwharrie chairs, Howard Miller clocks, Tilley hats, Byers’ Choice figurines, Willow Tree collectibles and much more. Don’t miss the Jonesborough Art Glass Gallery. The old Main Street telephone company is now renovated to accommodate crafts and artwork from more than 200 different artists from across the country. Shop the Jonesborough Art Gallery (423.753.5401) for one-of-a-kind pieces by American artists. September 2010 • |39

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September 2010 • |41

at home with

Sister Act In 2009, Chattanooga-based sisters Jo Beth Richards and Carolyn Rose Gardner joined forces to create Daisy Studio, a t-shirt company inspired by strong women and their Southern identity. With lines for women, girls and a new loungewear addition in the works, this design duo produces tees for any taste. TEXT Hallie McKay | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Daisy Studio


isters Jo Beth Richards and Carolyn Rose Gardner create bright floral designs for their Chattanooga neighbors at Daisy Studio, the duo’s newly-established design company. Begun in 2009, the joint venture has already proved gratifying in more ways than one for these young entrepreneurs. Offering fun, feminine styles for children through adults, the women look to those around them for inspiration. “We are so in awe of our friends and family, particularly our mom, and all that they do,” says 22-year-old Jo Beth. “They take care of kids, work and even manage to look beautiful all at the same time. They provide the drive for us to create chic, easy and comfortable tees for all women.” The Daisy Tee line mostly consists of t-shirts; however, the women say plans are underway to expand the line with stylish loungewear including hoodies and yoga pants. “Our designs are based on things we would like to wear, or our friends and family would like to wear,” says Jo Beth, the creative mind behind Daisy Tees. Growing up in a creative home gave Jo Beth and 25-year-old Carolyn Rose a life-long passion for artistic expression. “We’ve always had an outlet for creativity,” says Jo Beth, who graduated with a BFA in painting from the University of Tennessee. “At an early age our mother had us doing paint by numbers and when we were older we were always enrolled in some type of art class.” An intense desire to create seemed a foretelling 42| At Home Tennessee • September 2010

direction of the future, so upon graduation Jo Beth joined forces with her business-savvy sibling to put a plan into motion. “It’s wonderful working as sisters,” says Carolyn Rose. “It’s comfortable because we know each other so well. It isn’t always the easiest, but we are in tune and able to easily bounce ideas off each other and grow from each other.” Carolyn Rose, newlywed and mother of one, is the company’s marketing and design consultant. Her years of experience in retail and degree in business from UT provide support for ideas at Daisy Studio to become a reality. “My father probably gave me the best piece of advice when he told me, ‘You have to work hard and believe in your product.’” Just by the titles of their designs, it is clear Jo Beth and Carolyn Rose believe in what they’re doing. One of the more popular designs, the Steel Magnolia tee, is a perfect example. Named for the inherently strong yet beautiful nature of the flower, the design represents Southern grace in the women who inspire them. “In the South we grow our women strong,” says Carolyn Rose. Along with floral design tees, the girls also provide custom monogramming, holiday design specials and bags. To check out their selection go online to or if you’re in the Chattanooga area, shop Cynthia Howell Stationary. See Sources for Details

at home with

Good Questions 1. I can’t live without.... Carolyn Rose: Concealer. Jo Beth: Mascara and Thai food. 2. For creative inspiration I go to.... CR: The beach. JB: The library/bookstore. 3. The food I crave most in Chattanooga... CR: Cajun fries from Five Guys. JB: Mojo Buritto’s Mini Macho Nachos. 4. Favorite Designer... CR: Tory Burch. JB: Diane Von Furstenberg and Marc Jacobs. 5. Favorite flower... CR: Tea Rose. JB: Daisies! 6. When I’m not working I’m.... CR: Taking care of Dallas, my one-year old boy. JB: Practicing yoga. 7. Best thing about living in the South... CR: The food. JB: The people. September 2010 • | 43

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A 100-year-old Chinese rug and marble ďŹ replace make a historic backdrop for the Putnam’s new and old furniture pieces.

Handmaking a Home


The 1930s home of Norbert and Sheryl Putnam, located in Jackson, Tennessee, is a unique blend of old and new. From the historic architectural elements of the house to the handmade and carefully picked dĂŠcor throughout the interior, the creative couple has turned their space into a work of art. TEXT Lindsey Phillips Abernathy| PHOTOGRAPHY Heather Hornbeak


The neoclassical Georgian home was built in 1935 on Millionaire’s Row.


rom the curb of Northwood Avenue in Jackson, Tennessee, Norbert and Sheryl Putnam’s neoclassical Georgian style home is stately and classic, reminiscent of the 1930s when it was built. The two-story brick home’s bright blue front door and shuttered windows look out over a lush, well-manicured lawn and a brick path winds its way toward the avenue, once known as Millionaire’s Row. But open the front door and you’ll receive an unexpected greeting and not just from the couple’s sweettempered black poodle Sophie. The interior of the 4,000-square-foot home radiates creativity and personalization, immediately giving visitors the feeling that they’ve known Sheryl and Norbert for years. The decor, made up of furniture (both antique and new), artwork and personal mementos combine with the home’s historic architectural elements to create an atmosphere that inspires the couple on a daily basis. That inspiration Norbert and Sheryl derive from the home is important. Norbert, a celebrated music producer and musician who has opened for the Beatles and worked with legends such as Elvis, Joan Baez, Neil Young, Dan Fogelberg and Jimmy Buffett, has a recording studio in the basement. Sheryl works from home as well, designing everything from clothing to her popular 48| At Home Tennessee • September 2010

“prayer pockets,” which are small pockets often made out of vintage fabric and attached to rosary beads, many from the 19th century (though the materials can differ). The pockets contain a scroll, so the wearer can place written prayers, poems, wishes or ideas inside. Sheryl has a showroom located downstairs in the sunroom where the light is best and multiple upstairs rooms are dedicated to her craft. Throughout the house mannequins, lace, vintage fabrics and yarn blend with Norbert’s instruments and the multiple accolades he has earned during his time in the music industry, bridging the gap between the couple’s work supplies and traditional decor. “(The house is) an eclectic mix,” Sheryl says. “It’s art, it’s paintings, it’s music, it’s a studio, it’s yarn. It’s a creative environment.” Built in 1935 by Dr. Alexander Dancy, the Northwood Avenue home is the newest Sheryl and Norbert have ever owned. Before they married 20 years ago, Norbert was already restoring old structures, even earning Restoration of the Year awards in Maury and Williamson counties. Together the couple has renovated five homes and two buildings including a 1925 Masonic temple in Grenada, Mississippi, for which they won awards. For two years, Sheryl ran an antique store out of the temple. “You can restore and breath life back into (old



50 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

(left) Sheryl and Norbert enjoy the home’s outdoor seating area. (this page) The grand piano holds a special place in the couple’s heart.


feature structures) to hopefully pass them on to someone else who will do the same,” Sheryl says of the couple’s love of these projects. “I want my grandchildren to be able to see examples of workmanship of houses from other eras. We don’t build them like that anymore.” Most recently, the pair lived in an 1880 Italianate home in Grenada, which Sheryl credits as the muse that inspired her to start Sheryl Putnam Designs. “When you live in an old house you don’t own it,” Sheryl explains. “You’re the caretaker for that period of time. You feel like the house gives back to you. Unless you live in one and love it you don’t understand.” When they relocated to Jackson, a central location for Norbert’s work travels and the couples’ grandchildren, Norbert and Sheryl were in the market for another home approximately the same age as the Grenada house. Instead, they found something they didn’t even know they were looking for. “We came up here to Jackson and we were looking for another really old, 1870, 1880 house, but we couldn’t find one,” Norbert says. “We came to this house and there was something very special about it. It’s located on Northwood Avenue, which is one of the most famous old streets in Jackson. It represents the best of the end of the deco period. We have these huge 100-year-old trees that tower over the houses.” Although they were initially worried to live in a “new” home, as Norbert jokingly calls it, the couple was immediately pleased that the house required no repair—the heating and cooling systems ran well, and to top it off, the home had plenty of space for both Sheryl and Norbert to work comfortably, as well as lots of natural light, which is critical when Sheryl is designing. As they’ve done in their other houses, the couple hung lace on the windows to let in as much of the light as possible, giving them gorgeous views of their yard and outdoor seating areas. “The house lent itself very well to adapting the outside in,” Sheryl says. “It gives us enough room for both of us to work here. It was a good feeling house for that.” The monochromatic color scheme also made the home ideal for displaying the Putnams’ extensive art collection, an eclectic assortment encompassing a variety of artistic styles from a signed multimedia print 52 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

of Salvador Dali’s “Tristan and Isolde” to local pieces made by friend and Belle Meade-based painter Hayden Pickel. Norbert often rearranges the art, and has even moved furniture out of the house to accommodate the pieces, he says. In every way possible, the home is a blend of old and new, much like Sheryl’s own design philosophy— “I like taking old pieces and making them modern with how you use them and blending them with life today,” she says. In the living room, for example, Sheryl and Norbert have incorporated a 100-year-old Chinese rug and a small sideboard from the deco era that they’ve converted into a bar, as well as a new leather sofa. A grand piano that holds special significance for the couple occupies one corner and a bass fiddle leans in the other. The home itself provides beautiful hardwood floors and an impressive marble fireplace.The living room opens into the sunroom, a mecca for vintageinspired designs created by Sheryl. Upstairs the master bedroom is outfitted in a walnut French deco armoire set made between 1900 and 1920. Bits of Sheryl’s creations and inspiration are everywhere, from the prayer pockets hanging in shadow boxes on the wall to a vintage corset displayed with them. The decor changes constantly as Norbert and Sheryl add new items and layer, a method they’ve used for years when decorating their homes. “You start layering the pieces you had and when you travel you add a piece here and there,” Sheryl says. “When we walk in and sit in the living room everything that surrounds us and embraces us has to do with us. It’s either part of something you’ve made or something your children have made.” And the house is uniquely them. While Sheryl refers to the surroundings as a muse, it seems as though the home itself has become one of her works of art as she and Norbert continue to live, collect and create. “It’s pieces,” Sheryl says of the design. “As we age and get older and come through life, you’re made up of so many pieces. I think it’s reflective.” “You’ll look around and you’ll say, ‘I know these people,’” Norbert adds. See Sources for Details




Invoking the Classical Language Two years of hard work and painstaking attention to detail certainly paid off in this Eric Stengel-designed Nashville home. Eighteenth century Georgian architecture and an interior that blends historically accurate features with modern-day necessities marry together to create a true Tennessee masterpiece. TEXT Jordana White | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Eric Stengel Architecture



t took two full years for architect Eric Stengel to construct a historically accurate, yet modernly equipped, 9,000 square foot 18th century Georgian-style home in Nashville. His clients liked the Georgian brick look, and Stengel had a passion for classicism; when the two came together, something far greater than just a lovely home was created. According to Stengel, his specialty is “the classical language of architecture;” thus, when a client requests a specific style of home, like Georgian brick, he “uses that style to express the classical language.” In order to truly understand the design and construction of any of Stengel’s projects, it is crucial to first understand the “language” he speaks. As Stengel explains it, “The classical language of architecture is a set of rules giving form to the sacred geometries of nature. It is the ‘mother of all arts,’ putting man’s presence in harmony with the natural world.” A home built classically needs to pay tribute to order, proportion and harmony. While a home built in the 21st century would certainly have newer features representing a modern cultural identity, the structure would still show elements in tune with older houses, if both were designed by an architect adhering to the tenets of classicism. Nowhere is this more evident than in Stengel’s Nashville masterpiece. A typical Georgian home constructed in the 18th century would have been built from brick and stone. 56 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

Stengel wanted to stay true to the period and used brick, limestone, slate and copper to build the home. While not necessarily typical for the time period, they were all elements that were periodically familiar. And in order to properly represent the “green” awareness of mpodern times, Stengel used inert, low-energy production materials that will last for a century or more. With an exterior so painstakingly designed to accurately reflect authentic classic architecture, the task of appropriately decorating the interior was certainly formidable. Carolyn Kendall, owner and lead designer with Alcott Interiors in Nashville, was up for the challenge. While she knew that it was important to her client to have a fine, historically designed and furnished home, she also knew that, “in designing any house, whether it is an 18th century Georgian or a contemporary, (it is critical to make sure) it is comfortable and reflects and fits the family that lives in it.” She took care to use historically authentic color palettes and appropriate furnishings, choosing hues that might have been used in an 18th century Georgian that still felt modern and mixing antiques from different countries to give an interesting, historical look. At the same time, historical features that might cause discomfort were appropriately altered. “We used antiques where we could,” Kendall says, “but we also blended them with new upholstered sofas so the family could enjoy the scale and comfort of new pieces. Often antique sofas can be scaled a bit small,



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feature for today’s males especially, and also can be a bit fragile for teenagers such as the ones who live in this home.” So the designer made the choice to put the family’s comfort ahead of 100 percent historical authenticity. Kendall also made sure that the home was equipped with all the latest appliances and fixtures, and that it was wired for the family’s audio visual needs. “All of this is done very discreetly so when you are in the home your eye notices the beauty of the home and not the gadgets,” Kendall says. One of the most beautifully dramatic features of the home is the grand entrance, with a 23-foot ceiling over a presentation stair ellipse. According to Stengel, this room had particular significance to the homeowner because of the tradition the design represents. Stengel’s client is Catholic; to pay tribute to the family’s belief, he constructed the entryway using both elliptical and circular designs, reflecting the shift in church architecture in Italy in the 17th century. These features “gave the room special meaning for my client, in addition to being aesthetically pleasing,” Stengel explains. While the homeowners have their treasured spaces, others involved in the construction and design of the home have favorite elements as well. Kendall is particularly fond of both the home’s living room and morning room, obviously for very different reasons. The living room, she says, “is elegant and soothing with the wonderful blue glazed paneled walls and a soft palette of shades of blue, gold and brown.” Mixing beautiful silks and velvets with special pieces like an inlaid tea table from the 1800s, antique paintings and a gilded bronze chandelier adds to the luxurious yet comfortable impression. Special details like the brown marble custom fireplace, contrast beautifully with the color scheme, keeping the space appropriately balanced. The morning room, on the other hand, is “a cheery place, with its sunny palette of gold, terra cotta and flesh tones,” says Kendall. A sky light and 60 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

mosaic floor pattern were specifically designed to mirror each other in both color and design, creating a uniquely bright harmony in the space. Windows dressed in silk embroidery fabric with tassel trim, and carefully arranged furniture (an antique daybed, candlestick and French chest add aged character while still being inviting enough to sit on and enjoy a fire) “make the room perfect for reading or having a nice chat with a friend,” Kendall explains. Thus the breakfast room honors the family’s need for both formal and relaxed living spaces, one of the designer’s main goals. For the builders charged with bringing Stengel’s vision and design to fruition, something entirely different sparked their excitement for the home. With modern technology, construction is all too often left to machines and computer programs. Because of the fine detail involved in the room-by-room construction of this home, Stengel’s crew did use electronic files and tools to “rough-cut” many of the details, but they were then finished with handheld tools, allowing his craftsmen to practice a skill that has been almost completely lost. Considering all the carefully appointed details in the home, and all the architect’s time afforded to the task, it might seem like constructing a classically designed house is an almost unattainable dream. Not so, Stengel says. Classical architecture is a language—the same rules can hold true regardless of the materials used. The beauty of the “language” is that the same effect can be produced using high quality brick or more modest lumber. As evidenced in this Nashville home and in other projects around the world, when the harmony of classicism is invoked, the result is an invaluable, timeless elegance. See Sources for Details

home and garden

Mount Vernon


Great Houses: Behind the Scenes The homes of history’s great men and women offer an intimate glance into their personal lives as well as an educational opportunity for visitors. Join At Home Tennessee for a behind-the-scenes look into some of the South’s most notable historic homes and learn the stories of the people who loved them. TEXT MiChelle Jones | PHOTOGRAPHY Steven Brooke


hether you’re planning to travel far or are looking for a quick getaway just down the road, historic homes make great destinations. The South is home to any number of historic houses, from presidential residences to the estates of agricultural titans to the homes of writers and artists. They evoke a sense of time and place that beckons visitors to come in and stay awhile. One good source for scouting out some of the jewels of the region is Great Houses of the South (Rizzoli, $55), a coffee table book combining photographs (some reproduced here) of interiors and grounds with essays that put the homes and their original households into historical context. The book highlights 39 houses in 11 states and the District of Columbia, giving would-be travelers plenty to choose from as time and wanderlust allow. Colonial Williamsburg With costumed interpreters popping in and out of village shops and taverns, a soundtrack of fifes and drums and a backdrop of brick government buildings, Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg is a favorite among history buffs. Fall is a particularly 62 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

good time to visit; when leaves are in full color there is a respite from the blistering, humid summer months. A trip during the holiday season will be full of the sights and smells of an 18th-century Christmas. The Governor’s Palace is a mustsee at any time of year; it’s set in a small park with an outdoor kitchen and food storage areas, an herb garden, and formal gardens that include a maze, an overlook and access to the lake. Tours begin at the ornate palace gates, then move inside to rooms that range from official, public spaces to the private domain of the governor and his family. Here, as in other large homes of the era, the rooms are elegantly but not heavily furnished. Bedrooms have four-poster beds with toile canopies and curtains and coordinating carpets. Chandeliers hang from the ballroom’s coved ceiling and large portraits at one end of the room depict George III and his wife Charlotte. Despite its popularity with the public, Colonial Williamsburg is sometimes considered the “elephant in the room” in historical circles, says Laurie Ossman, author of Great Houses of the South. This is because many of the buildings are 1930s reconstructions built on the sites of the

original structures. Should visitors feel less of a historical connection because buildings like the Governor’s Palace are 20th-century reconstructions rather than actual survivors of the past? Ultimately, pilgrims have to make the call for themselves, and Ossman offers some things to keep in mind. “Every generation tells the story of George Washington in a different way, or the story of the Crusades in a different way,” she says. “We always project ourselves onto history.” The rebuilding of Colonial Williamsburg was a pet project of philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr.; he and his wife Abby Aldrich Rockefeller moved into a building on the site in 1936. Their home, Bassett Hall, was originally built in the mid-1700s for a member of Virginia’s House of Burgesses. Today the house is furnished as it would have been in the late 1930s to mid-1940s and the neighboring Visitor’s Center tells the story of Williamsburg’s rebirth. The Hermitage The homes of the first, third and seventh presidents of the U.S. are among the many dwellings associated with defining figures of American culture included in Great Houses of the South. Most people know at least

home and garden a little something about Mount Vernon and Monticello, but Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage may be a mystery to all but Tennessee residents and fans of Old Hickory. “You can sort of think of Jefferson at Monticello as the gentleman farmer and George Washington even, but for some reason Jackson to me is more of an action figure guy,” Ossman says. “To try to picture him worrying about the wallpaper is a really different image of Andrew Jackson.” Finding such a grand house and learning that Jackson wasn’t necessarily the rough-hewn backwoodsman he’s often portrayed as are the biggest surprises for visitors, says Marsha Mullin, vice president of museum services at the Hermitage. The structure was the second presidential home to be designated as a museum. (Mount Vernon was the first.) Because of this early transition from private home to museum, most of the furnishings in the Hermitage are original to the house, including the aforementioned wallpaper. French in origin and depicting murallike neo-classical scenes, the wallpaper was chosen by Jackson’s beloved wife Rachel and he had it reinstalled after the house was enlarged. Changes are made to the Hermitage—and to other historic homes—as new information about the inhabitants, the contents and history in general is discovered. This fall, for example, a new audio tour centered on Rachel Jackson will join the two current tours (including one for children that’s narrated by Paul, Jackson’s parrot). Previously, a cache of Jackson papers at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville revealed original bills of sale and other documents about Jackson’s purchases for the house; these guided decisions during a major restoration of the Hermitage 15 years ago. Fortunately for visitors, the Hermitage, Mount Vernon and Monticello have all been able to preserve some aspects of the houses’ original settings. Mount Vernon’s rocking chair-lined piazza still affords a commanding view across the Potomac and Monticello’s tree-filled mountaintop location obscures views of modern life. The Hermitage’s extensive grounds (which include gardens, fields and numerous outbuildings) give viewers a sense of what it might have felt like in Jackson’s day.

Reynolda House While Great Houses of the South features plenty of grand estates, the book also includes quirky Victorian cottages, fashionable townhouses and charming bungalows. An example of the latter is Reynolda House in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the home of tobacco baron Richard Joshua Reynolds. “Reynolda House is … recent enough that perhaps it doesn’t fit into our notion of historic,” Ossman says. The house has a number of elements that seem to be at-once modern and part of a technological time capsule. Cork floors and warming tables in the kitchen, an elevator, en suite bathrooms in gleaming subway tile— these are familiar enough to seem less than luxurious until one remembers that the house was built between 1912 and 1917. One reason Ossman and photographer Steven Brooke included the house in the book is that it reflects the influence of George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate (located around three hours east of Winston-Salem in Asheville, North Carolina). The decision to build an entire village and not just a mansion ensured that Reynolda would be self-sustaining, with its own dairy, power plant and school for the children of the estate’s workers. Most of the outbuildings of Reynolda Village are now occupied by shops and restaurants, but the house remains as it was—with some updating by later generations of the Reynolds family, including a streamlined 1930s soda fountain. The reception hall/living room is open to the second floor with a scene-stealing staircase and a mauve, green and orange color scheme inspired by Michel Fokine’s ballet Scheherazade. In addition to being a historic home, Reynolda House is also an art museum with a permanent collection including Frederic Church’s “The Andes of Ecuador” and Thomas Hart Benton’s “Bootleggers.” A modern addition on the grounds houses changing exhibitions.

See Sources for Details

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home and garden

Returning to Belmont Mansion One beautiful historic Southern home Laurie Ossman and Steven Brooke couldn’t cover in Great Houses of the South is Belmont Mansion. Located on the campus of Nashville’s Belmont University, the house is full of impressive furniture—about 40 percent of it original to the house—and artifacts belonging to one of the region’s most fascinating historical figures, Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham. Adelicia, as she is fondly called by the mansion’s staff, is generally referred to in Nashville as Adelicia Acklen, because she was married to Joseph Acklen when Belmont was built as a summer home. The house was expanded upon as the family’s fortunes, based on the Louisiana cotton plantations Adelicia inherited from her first husband, grew. (Joseph signed a prenuptial agreement, a practice that was unusual but not unheard of, particularly in the South, according to Belmont Mansion’s John Lancaster.) By 1960, the house had been expanded to 19,000 square feet and was the largest home in Tennessee (a distinction it held until 1988, when Barbara Mandrell built Fontanel). Belmont Mansion is filled with impressive elements like colored and etched window panes, gas lighting and, as Lancaster describes it , “a cantilevered staircase” to the second floor that’s “mirrored and reversed by a free-flying staircase” accessing the roof and cupola. Adolphus Heiman, the architect responsible for the staircase, also 64 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

home and garden designed Tennessee’s first suspension bridge, which spanned Nashville’s Cumberland River. Five original cast iron gazebos dot the front lawn as well as reproductions of some of the many statues that once stood on the grounds and at the corners of the roof. An original carpet covers the parlor floor and Joseph’s elaborate travel kit is displayed in an upstairs bedroom. The home’s ballroom was turned into an airy grand salon following Adelicia’s 1865 European tour during which she purchased statues and paintings and was presented to Napoleon III and his wife. Belmont Mansion is a relatively young museum; its association was formed in 1972 and the house was opened to the public in 1976. This means there is still restoration work to be done and items to be located and brought back into the house. Work continues in two bedrooms—one was Adelicia’s—and the formal dining room. Although Belmont Mansion wasn’t part of Ossman and Brooke’s book, it was featured in 2009’s At Home in Tennessee (University of Louisiana Press, $49.95). See Sources for Details

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home and garden

Preserving Your Pad From window sills to exterior siding, education is key when renovating historic homes. Here are some top tips to consider when making renovations to your oldie but goodie that will preserve your home for many years to come. TEXT Mel Headley | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of


hether it was the unique architecture, compelling story or induction into your neighborhood’s historical society that drew you to your historic home, chances are it probably requires some extra TLC. Every neighborhood has its own rules and regulations in place that you must consider; there are also safety hazards to be aware of when making renovations. These tips will keep you in-the-know about caring for your historic jewel. Be Cautious of Lead Paint New lead-paint laws put in place by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may discourage you from doing renovations to your historic home due to added costs and time. Because of their excellent adhesion and drying and covering abilities, lead compounds were an important component of many historic paints; lead-based paint was used extensively on wooden exteriors and interior trim work, window sashes, window frames, baseboards, etc. As of April 22, however, anyone who performs

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renovations or repairs that will disturb lead paint surfaces in properties that were built before 1978 must be certified and follow lead-safe work practices. Unfortunately, lead-based paint is not only dangerous for the environment but also people, potentially causing developmental problems in children and neurological damage in adults. You can hire a trained and certified testing professional to check for lead paint or you can conduct an inspection yourself with an EPA-approved take-home kit available at paint stores. If you live in a home with lead-based paint, be cautious of lead-based paint that is peeling, chipping or cracking from walls, window sills and railings. You should be cleaning floors, window frames, window sills and other surfaces weekly. If you have small children around, they can easily get this debris in their mouth. Frequently wash their hands, bottles, pacifiers, toys and any other miscellaneous items they can access. And don’t let craftsmen wear their shoes in your home because they can be tracking contaminated soil. If you are repainting your home or performing a renovation involving lead paint, make sure

you understand the proper procedures for handling lead paint. It is dangerous, for example, to use a belt sander, propane torch, high temperature heat gun, scraper, or sandpaper on painted surfaces that may contain lead. Before beginning any lead-based project, put on protective gear and evacuate everyone from the work area. Choose Your Siding Wisely Replacing the siding on your home is an important decision because it can not only be a costly investment, but it can also considerably affect your home’s curb appeal. Most historic homes have wood siding, but wood has a tendency to weather, resulting in water damage and decay. There are three options when replacing your siding: wood, fiber cement and vinyl. Each option has pros and cons. If you plan to live in your home for years to come, fiber cement may be your best option because it lasts a long time and comes pre-primed with good quality paint. Maintenance is also simple and—hopefully—all you’ll have to do for the next 20 years is wash it. If you are looking to sell your home in a few years, however, you can simply replace the bad boards with wood and paint.

home and garden This will be the least expensive repair. Vinyl may take away from the historic look of your home, but it is a reliable, durable product. For more information on what will work best for your home, talk to siding contractors about their experiences and ask to see finished homes. Keep in mind that the cost of the materials is not final. Ease of installation, colors and longevity of the product will all be factored in to the price as well.

Ask Permission If you are making structural changes to your home, a building permit may be necessary. Check with local authorities for guidelines before you get started on a project. If you live in a historic district, the building permit also assures that exterior changes to your home are in line with neighborhood rules. Historic district requirements, for example, can hinder you from using a specific siding option on your older home. General contractors will usually take care of the paperwork involved with these permits, but other independent workers may not. As a result, the permits may become your

responsibility. Be sure to thoroughly research the rules so you don’t irritate your neighbors! Set a Budget and Enlist an Expert Consider your options and set a budget. Even the best-laid budgets can go bust. Chances are your remodeling project will cost more than you expect. Before you set your heart on high-end ceramic tile, find out how much you have to spend and make sure you have a cushion against cost overruns. For must-have items that could wipe out your savings account, explore home improvement loans and other financing options. Make sure your subcontractors are licensed, bonded, insured and have a written guarantee on their workmanship—look for a contractor who has experience with historic homes in your area. Checking their references is a good way to ensure their credibility. Do not begin remodeling without a written contract. Make sure everyone agrees in writing on the work that will be completed and how long it will take. Also, be clear on the types of materials that will and will not be used.

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Gardening Gets Cool Again When this time of year rolls around, many vegetable gardeners are continuing the harvest of their hard-earned warm-weather bounty and preparing for the end of the growing season. But don’t put away the gardening tools too soon—fall is a great time to sow a variety of veggies. TEXT Andrew Pulte, gardening expert and faculty member, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee and Richard Gualandi, University of Tennessee graduate student | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of


any gardeners consider autumn a good time to enjoy the fruits of their labors and wind down after a busy season, but fall can be a productive season as well. Some aspects of vegetable gardening in the fall can be challenging but choosing the best crop varieties and observing a few simple tips will help stack the odds of success in your favor. Choosing the Best Varieties Vegetable crops are typically designated as cool or warm season. Most common vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers and squashes are warm season crops and do best when planted in the late spring to summer, but there are plenty of cool season crops that will typically live through frosts and light freezes. These include kale, spinach, lettuce, collard greens, broccoli and cabbage. These crops also come in many varieties, some of which may be better suited for fall gardening. Using trusted sources like the University of Tennessee Cooperative Extension Service can help you choose the most appropriate cool season crops and the particular varieties best suited for your conditions. Other gardeners and experts at local independent garden centers are also great resources. Timing Your Planting One of the challenging parts about creating a successful fall garden is deciding when to plant. If you plant too early, excessive heat can impede growth of cool season crops and planting too late won’t allow plants to mature before the onset of killing winter freezes. To ensure success, fall crops should be al70 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

lowed to mature no later than two weeks after your local first frost date. In Tennessee this can vary across the state, but it is usually between October 15 and November 1. Once you determine your average first frost date, you will need to know the minimum amount of time required for your crop and/or variety to mature. This can be found on the seed packet. A safe rule of thumb is to add 10 days to the amount of time required and then count back from two weeks after your local average first frost date. For example, with a crop that requires 45 days to mature and an average first frost date of October 15, you would count back 55 days from October 29, giving an appropriate planting date of around September 14. The Little Things Although cool season crops are well-suited to autumn conditions, establishing the fall garden can still be tricky. Many environmental factors are less conducive to seedling establishment this time of year, so a little extra attention goes a long way. Try planting seeds slightly deeper than normal to retain moisture prior to germination and be extra vigilant about watering and pest and disease scouting. Also, an extra boost of nitrogen fertilizer can really help get things going after seedlings start putting on leaves. But be careful: don’t apply too much too close to the frost date as this can decrease cold hardiness. Starting plants from seed is not your only option—many garden centers are now selling fall transplants. Transplants are normally sold in four or six packs and have been grown for you to relocate into your garden. These can be an easier alternative to establishing plants from seed.

Around the Garden: September • Fertilize roses one last time. • Create a landscape plan for fall planting of trees and shrubs. Most of the planting should wait until late October and November, but supplies will be at their peak in garden centers. • Plan spring bulb gardens and purchase bulbs now while the selection is best, but wait until October to plant. A variety of bulbs can have different heights and bloom times, so create your gardens accordingly. • Divide, transplant and label perennials. As these plants die back in the fall, it is a great time to divide older plants. Complete divisions by mid-October to allow the roots time to establish themselves before winter. Be sure to keep newly divided plants watered. • Collect seed from perennials and annuals. • Plant late-season annuals like pansies, snapdragons, Dianthus chinensis, ornamental kale and cabbage for fall through spring color. • Seed cool season grasses like fescue in your lawn. You should do your seeding by mid-October but you can fertilize as late as midNovember. • Get Bermuda grass or Zoysia lawns ready for winter by increasing the cutting height this month. This helps buffer these grasses from cold damage. • Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, etc. • You can still plant cool season crops including leaf lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, Swiss chard, parsley and radishes this month. September 2010 • | 71

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A New Twist on History Knoxville’s S&W Grand, located in a recently renovated circa 1900 art deco building on Gay Street, pays tribute to the structure’s past as well as the people who loved it. Enjoy American cuisine with a twist, inspired by both old and new favorites. TEXT Lindsey Phillips Abernathy | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of S&W Grand


pon entering the S&W Grand in Knoxville, it’s hard to believe that just a few years ago the restaurant’s Italian terrazzo floors were under water on the first level and the winding, red-carpeted staircase was in ruins. But that’s exactly what Tennessee restaurateurs and siblings Stephanie and Brian Balest saw when they first laid eyes upon the three-story space in 2007; at that time the building had been abandoned for more than 20 years. “When we first saw it there was ankle-deep water on the first floor,” Stephanie says. “It had had tons of marble and beautiful woodwork and mirrors and brass railings and all of those things had been stripped out of it. At one point the back wall of it had collapsed.” Many Knoxvillians knew the familiar building as the old S&W Cafeteria, a popular chain out of Charlotte, North Carolina, that operated in the Gay Street location from 1936 until the early 1980s. It was that three-story, art deco building that Stephanie noticed immediately upon moving to Knoxville six years ago, after spending 10 years in Europe. And after she and Brian opened their first restaurant, the Northshore Brasserie, also located in Knoxville, it was that S&W building and only that building which Stephanie wanted to transform into a second restaurant venture. As it turned out, it was meant to be. During a Knoxville Heritage event Stephanie met developer and S&W building owner John Craig, who suggested the Balests open another Brasserie downtown to help with the area’s revitalization. “I don’t know if Knoxville is big enough for another Brasserie,” Stephanie told Craig. “There’s one place that if it was even possible that I would make an attempt at (a downtown restaurant)—that’s the old S&W building.” “I actually own that building,” Craig said. And even during that first tour of the space, Stephanie says there was an air of grandeur about it. “The original floors and the staircase were still 78 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

there and those were pretty much the only things left,” she says. “But you could still make out what it was and it still had that feeling of this grand space. That’s kind of how we came up with the name.” Restoration of the building began in 2008, with the Balests and building owners painstakingly reproducing as many of the S&W Cafeteria’s details as possible, including the 4,000 Malaysian Capiz shells that had to be installed one-by-one, custom peachtinted mirrors, light fixtures and woodwork. The only features original to the building are the floors on all three levels and the staircase. “We tried as much as possible to reproduce as closely as possible through photographs and the owner actually had the original architectural plans for it,” Stephanie says. The floor plan was altered a bit to include two bar areas and to move the kitchen upstairs; S&W Cafeteria cooks worked in the basement. “For the back wall of the main bar we actually had them salvage the old ceramic block from the original kitchen which was in the basement,” Stephanie says. “That was kind of an homage to the poor kitchen guys who worked underground.” The Balests and building owners also incorporated an elevator, booth seating and an additional kitchen on the banquet level to replace the old dumbwaiter. Upstairs, a private banquet space that can accommodate more than 200 guests overlooks Gay Street. “That third floor was always used as a community space,” Stephanie explains. “People got married there; people went and had their awards ceremonies there.” Even executive chef and restaurant co-owner Shane Robertson’s menu is a throwback to the old days, with some innovative twists on dishes served at the S&W Cafeteria and some modern-day items unique to the new restaurant as well. One popular dish inspired by the cafeteria is an old classic—liver and onions. The S&W Grand serves veal liver with potato hash, country green beans and brown gravy.

food “We kind of thought to put that (liver and onions) on the menu not really thinking we would sell a lot of it but we actually sell a ton because you can’t find it anywhere,” Stephanie says. “A lot of people grew up eating that.” Other popular dishes include the Pig and Biscuit starter, Oysters Rockafella and Beef Stroganoff. The Flat Top Pastrami “Pittsburg Style” sandwich is a tribute to Stephanie and Brian’s roots. So next time you’re walking down Gay Street, stop into the 190-seat S&W Grand, order a bite to eat and imagine a time when waiters like Slim, an S&W Cafeteria employee so popular people waited just to sit in his section, could balance an impressive amount of trays on his arms (“or at least that’s what they tell me,” Stephanie says). Enjoy a huge burger named for the beloved employee— you won’t be the only one. According to Stephanie, older Knoxvillians who remember the space when it was a cafeteria have come in, making comments like “We used to come here every Sunday,” or “I sat here on my first date.” And while the new restaurant is a sit-down eatery and not a cafeteria (though it does offer a lunch buffet Monday through Friday), expect to be wowed by the thoughtful menu and attention to detail—the space is, in fact, grand. “It’s been a great experience being able to be part of watching this old building come back to life and seeing people’s reactions when they walk in here and start reminiscing,” Stephanie says. “It’s something unique we have here in Knoxville.”

S&W Grand 516 South Gay Street Knoxville, TN 37902 865.566.9800, Monday - Thursday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday - Saturday: 11 a.m. -11 p.m. Sunday: 10:30 a.m. -9 p.m.

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The Cupcake Collection Magpies

Sweet Treats Across Tennessee It’s At Home Tennessee’s birthday month, and we’re taking a trip across the state to sample these popular treats! TEXT Elise Lasko | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of John Black Photography (for Magpies), The Cupcake Collection, Madison Flournoy (For Naticakes) and Muddy’s


n honor of At Home Tennessee’s birthday, we’re taking a look into some of the delicious bake shops popping up all over the state. Peek inside these kitchens to preview unique flavors and find out why owners believe cupcakes have become so popular. Chattanooga Cupcakes: Chattanooga •Unique Flavors: The Domino Effect (a chocolate cake with white truffle frosting and chocolate shavings) and Italian Cream (an Italian cream cake with coconut and pecans baked in topped with cream cheese frosting and chopped coconut and pecans). •Owner’s Favorite: Italian Cream, according to owner Sonya Reagor. •Most Popular: Red Velvet, Chocolate Overload, Very Strawberry and Key West, a yellow cake with key lime filling topped with key lime buttercream icing. •On the cupcake trend: Reagor says practicality (less mess with no one having to cut the cake), variety and the fact that cupcakes make great gifts are part of the reason for the current cupcake trend. 500 Broad Street, 423.702.5351,

chef Linda M. Hurst. “Our Knoxville, an orange cake with vanilla buttercream, is popular especially around game days when everyone is in the Big Orange mood … The number one seller is our Chicago.” •Unique Flavors: City-named cupcakes like Paris, a strawberry cake with strawberry icing; New York, a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream icing topped with an Oreo; and the New Orleans, a red velvet cake frosted with cream cheese frosting. •Chef’s Favorite: The German chocolate Cincinnati cupcake, says. Hurst •Savory Sweets: “Salty cupcakes are a savory addition to our city-themed cupcakes,” Hurst says. “I created them to appeal to those customers out there who do not like sweets. I like both sweets and salty items so coming up with them was easy. Our salty/savory cupcake called Santa Fe is a spicy jalapeno cornbread with butter, cream cheese and ranch seasoned ‘frosting.’ We pipe on the frosting to look sweet. You’ve got to tell your brain ahead of time to expect savory goodness. They go great with stews and chili or as an appetizer.” 5201 Kingston Pike, Suite No. 3, 865.588.4558,

Cities Cupcake Boutique: Knoxville •Most popular: “We actually have five of our city-themed cupcakes that are best-sellers,” says executive pastry

The Cupcake Collection: Nashville •Most Popular: Sweet Potato, Strawberry and Red Velvet cupcakes. •Unique Flavors: Strawberry Lem-

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onade (a strawberry and lemon cake swirled with strawberry and lemon icing); Caramel Apple (an apple streusel cake with creamy caramel on top); and Germantown Chocolate ( a rich chocolate cake filled with chocolate mousse and topped with coconut pecan icing and chocolate ganache) offered only on select Tempted Tuesdays. •Owner’s Favorite: Coconut Crème. “It was the single most favorite cake my grandmother made for me,” says owner Mignon Francois. •On the cupcake trend: “They are an affordable indulgence,” Francois says. “You don’t have to feel guilty since you can’t ruin a diet over a classic cupcake. They are easily customized and everyone can get their favorite kinds.” •Homemade Treats: “I think the greatest charm is that our cupcakes taste homemade because they are,” Francois says. “Our bakery is housed in the family home. We try to greet all of our guests as if they are coming over to the Francois’ for cupcakes.” 1213 6th Avenue North, 615.244.2900, The Cup: Knoxville •Most Popular: Red Velvet (a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting); Tuxedo (a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream topped with an Oreo); and Confetti (a French vanilla cake


Muddy’s with vanilla buttercream topped with pastel confetti sprinkles). •Unique Flavors: The seasonal special Summer Crush (an orange cake with cream filling and orange buttercream frosting) and Cuppa Coffee Cake (a sour cream coffee cake with cinnamon streusel topping) are out of the ordinary flavors offered at this bakery. •On the cupcake trend: “They are individual portions allowing people to indulge in their personal favorite flavor without having the waste or calories of a full cake at home,” says owner Meredith Layton. “They are also reasonably priced for a ‘pick me up.’” •Community Cup: “A unique feature of our business is that we offer a community outreach program where we choose a local charity to be our ‘community cup’,” Layton says. “We choose a feature flavor to represent their charity for a month and a portion of the proceeds from their cupcake flavor is donated for that month.” 5508 Kingston Pike, 865.909.9401, cravethecup. com Gigi’s Cupcakes: Memphis (other locations include Nashville–the original location opened by Gigi Butler– Cool Springs, Hendersonville, Chattanooga and Murfreesboro) •Most Popular: Wedding Cake, Scarlett’s Red Velvet and Midnight Magic Chocolate Chip. •Owner’s Favorite: Hunka Chunka Banana Love, a banana nut cake with dark chocolate chips baked in with a banana buttercream frosting dipped in ganache, says Memphis owner Mari-

lyn Weber. •On the cupcake trend: “I think people love cake and cupcakes are just so cool,” Weber says. “You can have bites of different kinds of flavors.” •Secret Ingredient: “Gigi’s are baked with love,” Weber says. “That’s what makes them so special!” Iveycake: Franklin •Most Popular: The Break Up (a red velvet cake) and Cheat Day (a chocolate-cream cheese-ganache-dipped treat). •Unique Flavors: Two Faced (a chocolate cake with cream cheese icing); Big Dreams (a strawberry cake with pink cream cheese icing); and Gold Digger (a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing). •Owner’s Favorite: Owner Ivey Childers says it’s a toss up between the banana walnut Crazy Ex cupcake and the lemon blueberry I Miss You treat. •On the cupcake trend: “We all have memories of homemade cupcakes growing up,” Childers says. “The only thing new is that now it has turned into a creative, lucrative industry, but the love for cupcakes has always been around.” 100 4th Avenue North, 615.595.4353, Magpies Bakery: Knoxville •Unique Flavors: Chocolate Mocha (a chocolate cake with mocha icing); Mango; Lemon Raspberry (a vanilla cake with lemon and raspberry layered icing topped with a raspberry); and Marble. •Owner’s Favorite: “Classic Coconut September 2010 • | 81

food is my default, but lately, it’s been the Banana Puddin’ cupcake, which was one of our SuperDeluxe flavors for July,” says owner Peggy Hambright. •Most Popular: “Our customers’ favorites change all the time,” Hambright says. “We add three new flavors to the mix every month (SuperDeluxe Flavors) and showcase them at our First Friday Tasting parties. Our customers try them and vote on their favorites.” •On the cupcake trend: “I’m not sure, but we sell more minis than regular size cupcakes,” Hambright notes. “They’re the perfect two-bite pickme-up. I think when folks splurge, they like the idea of having something tiny, yet super-delicious.” 846 North Central, 865.673.0471, Muddy’s Bake Shop: Memphis •Most popular: Prozac (a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream); Capote (a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream); and Frankly Scarlett (a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing). •Unique Flavors: Tomboy, a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing and Strawberry Fields Forever, a strawberry cake with strawberry icing. •Owner’s Favorite: “I adore bananas, so my personal favorite is the Chocolate Chimp,” says owner Kat Gordon. “It’s a chocolate cake base with banana buttercream icing.” •On the cupcake trend: “Cupcakes are single-serve items, so they’re easier and often more budget-friendly than sliced cakes to serve at weddings and events,” Gordon says. “They’re also fun and provide a range of mix and match flavor combinations.” •Baking Local: “We’re a full-range home-style bakery with cakes, pies, cookies and brownies…so everyone can find something for their sweet tooth,” Gordon says. “Also, we use cage-free eggs, organic whole milk and as much local produce as we can. We rely on our customers to spread the word.” 5101 Sanderlin #114, 901.683.8844,

82 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

food Naticakes: Franklin •Most Popular: Vanilla Bean, Opera Cake, Chocolate Salted Caramel, Dulce de Leche. •Unique Flavors: Key Lime, Southern Caramel, Banana Split, Orange Creamsicle and Cotton Candy. •Owner’s Favorite: Chocolate Salted Caramel, says owner Nicole Sloane. •On the cupcake trend: “A cupcake allows you to feel indulgent, yet without feeling guilty,” Sloane says. •Sweets on a Mission: “Our mission is ‘making life a little sweeter,’ from our delicious cupcakes,to our mission of helping children through the Natalie Wynn Carter Foundation, the namesake of our business,” Sloane says. Naticakes exists to provide revenue and awareness for this foundation, named after Sloane’s late niece. 328 Main Street, 615.807.1133, Whipped Cupcakes: Chattanooga •Unique Flavors: “We love to try new flavors,” says owner Bridget Huckabay. “Lately we have done Elvis (chocolate, banana, peanut butter), Root Beer and S’More.” •Owner’s Favorite: “Sometimes simpler is better and I really love chocolate with a simple cream cheese icing,” Huckabay says. •Most Popular: Peanut Butter, Mint and Red Velvet. •On the cupcake trend: “Well, to me it seems like the perfect little luxury,” Huckabay notes. “Not too big, not too expensive and they seem to make everyone happy. We have not had one grumpy customer!” •The Full Cupcake Experience: “We are really trying to provide a whimsical experience from the moment you walk through the door until you have taken your last bite,” explains Huckabay. “Our goal is to use as many local ingredients as we can. We use no trans fats, [we use] organic where we can, but always natural.” 149 River Street in Coolidge Park, 423.305.7755

September 2010 • | 83

That’s Amore Good food and romance take center stage at this month’s “That’s Amore” party. From a love-themed dinner game to thoughtful favors, this celebration proves that the best bashes are all in the details. TEXT Stephanie Alexander, event planner| PHOTOGRAPHY Rachael Royster Melton



his month I decided to feature a dinner party at which I was a guest recently. I normally write about the parties I throw, but I thought it would be fun to highlight a party that a friend of mine organized. The theme of this dinner party was “That’s Amore.” Since “amore” is the Italian word for love, the whole focus of the dinner party was good food, great conversation and, of course, love and romance. Rachael, the fabulous party hostess, custom designed her invitations and personalized them for each guest. She knew she wanted the focus to be Italian food, so she incorporated that into each invitation. For example, my invitation asked me to bring a “primi piatti.” (The definition of primi piatti is “the first course of an Italian meal, though they follow the antipasti and include pasta, rice, gnocchi or polenta with sauce or soups containing pasta or rice.”) Rachael divided out the entire meal so that each guest had an assigned dish to bring. This is a great way to involve guests in the dinner, and it keeps the hostess from having to produce an entire four or five course meal. It’s a win-win situation for any party! Rachael also asked each guest to bring their wedding album to share that evening.

Sample Menu Signature Drink Peach Bellini Antipasti Rotolini al Peperoni con Ensalata di Olivio Antipasto Platter Marinated Grilled Vegetables

Insalata Caprese Spinach Salad Heirloom Tomato Salad Pane Italian Bread Assortment Primi Piatti Tortellini with Vodka Sauce Gemelli with Gorgonzola and Parmesan Cream Sauce Secondi Piatti Spinach Black Bean Lasagna Piatto Principale Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin Dolce Tiramisu Layer Cake Chocolate Mousse

Fabulous Florals I created a very simple floral arrangement for the food table for this dinner party using two different mixed bouquets (including hydrangeas, rich red roses, yellow snapdragons and red gerbera daisies) from Costco. I placed them in a rustic stone container to keep with the Italian theme of the meal. When you’re pressed for time, ready-made bouquets from your farmer’s market or local warehouse store are great to mix and match. Always be sure to trim the ends of the stems and cut at an angle. This helps the flowers absorb water. Also, strip the stems of any leaves that fall below the surface of the water. This will not only keep your water clean, but it will also help your flowers last longer. September 2010 • | 85


Caprese Spinach Salad (brought by Rebecca Tharpe) Fresh spinach Fresh mozzarella balls, chopped Fresh basil Cucumbers Tomatoes Oil and Balsamic Vinegar (to taste) Salt and pepper (to taste)

1. Toss all ingredients together.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Peaches (brought by Lori McAdams) 2 lbs. heirloom tomatoes 1 large peach 1/3 c. white balsamic vinegar 1 garlic clove 2 Tbsp. brown sugar 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/8 tsp. sea salt 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped 3 oz. goat cheese ½ c. toasted pecans

1. Mix white balsamic vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, EVOO, sea salt and basil in a small bowl. Set aside. 2. Slice tomatoes and peaches into bite- sized chunks and place on a platter. Top with goat cheese and toasted pecans. Drizzle the vinegar mixture over the platter. 3. Sprinkle with cracked pepper before serving.

Gemelli with Gorgonzola and Parmesan Cream (brought by Stephanie Alexander) Yield: 4 servings 2 c. milk 2 ½ Tbsp. unsalted butter 3 ½ Tbsp. all-purpose flour pinch of ground nutmeg salt and pepper (to taste) 4 oz. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled 1 lb. dried Gemelli or ziti ½ c. grated Parmesan cheese


1. Pour the milk into a saucepan over medium-low heat. When the milk is a little more than warm, turn off the heat. 2. In another saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and flour, vigorously stirring them together with a wooden spoon until the butter melts and the flour is incorporated. 3. Once the butter is fully melted, cook and stir for two minutes longer. Then gradually add the warm milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Add more milk only after the previously added milk is fully incorporated. 4. When all of the milk has been added, cook, stirring often, until nicely thickened, 3-4 minutes. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and stir for a few seconds. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm. 5. Bring a large pot of water 3/4 full of salted water to a boil. 6. Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease a baking dish or small ramekins. 7. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook only until half-cooked, 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and transfer to the dish. Add the warm sauce and the gorgonzola and stir gently. 8. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. 9. Bake until the top is golden, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Source: Williams-Sonoma Italian Favorites cookbook

Tortellini with Vodka Sauce (brought by Katy Meyer) Yield: 4 servings 1 lb. 3-cheese tortellini 1 jar of your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce 1 c. Parmesan cheese 1/2 lb. pancetta 1 c. julienne sundried tomatoes 2 Tbsp. olive oil 2 Tbsp. roasted minced garlic (from a jar) 1/2 c. heavy cream 2 shots vodka September 2010 • | 87


1. Cook tortellini for about 5 minutes in boiling salted water. While the tortellini is cooking, cook the pancetta with one tablespoon of the roasted garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil. 2. Mix the cooked pancetta into cooked ravioli and set aside. 3. Place sundried tomatoes, a tablespoon of garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot. Cook for three minutes. 4. Add the tomato sauce to the sundried tomatoes and then add the vodka. Bring the sauce to a light boil over medium heat. 5. Reduce heat to low and add cream. Simmer five minutes so that sauce is thoroughly heated (the sauce should be an orange color.) 6. Stir in a cup of Parmesan. Simmer another five minutes. 7. Mix the tortellini into the sauce until coated. Serve immediately.

Spinach-Black Bean Lasagna (brought by Rachael Royster Melton) Yield: 6-8 servings 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 (15-oz.) container ricotta cheese (can substitute with cottage cheese) 1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro 1/2 tsp. salt 4 c. (16 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, divided 2 (16-oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained 1 (2-lb.,13 oz.) jar pasta sauce 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 9 pre-cooked lasagna noodles

1. Stir together first 5 ingredients and 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese; set aside. 2. Mash beans with potato masher or fork in a large bowl; stir in pasta sauce and cumin. 3. Spread 1/3 bean mixture on bottom of a lightly greased 13-x 9-inch baking dish. 4. Layer 3 noodles, half of spinach 88 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

food mixture and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese; repeat layers (beans, noodles, spinach, and cheese). 5. Layer last 3 noodles and spread with remaining bean mixture on top. 6. Bake, covered, at 350° for 1 hour. 7. Uncover and top with remaining Monterey Jack cheese. Bake 5 more minutes until cheese melts.

Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin (brought by Rachael Royster Melton) Yield: 6-8 servings 3 (3/4 to 1 lb.) pork tenderloins 1/2 c. soy sauce 1/2 c. dry sherry 1/2 c. honey 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar 1/4 c. vegetable oil 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice 1 1/2 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary 1 Tbsp. minced shallots 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger

1. Trim tenderloins of all fat and silverskin. Place them in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold them without crowding. 2. Combine soy sauce, sherry, honey, vinegar, oil and orange juice in a medium bowl, whisking until wellblended. Stir in the rosemary, shallots and ginger. 3. Pour the mixture over the tenderloins. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours. 4. Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan. Remove the pork from the marinade, shaking off any excess. 5. Place the tenderloins on the grill and cook, turning frequently, for about 15-18 minutes, or until an instantread thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 155° F. 6. Transfer to a platter and allow meat to rest for 10 minutes before carving. 7. Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. 8. Slice the pork into 1/4 inch-thick slices, spoon the hot marinade over the pork. Source: Charlie Palmer’s Casual Cooking, September 2010 • | 89


Chocolate Mousse with Whipped Cream, Chocolate and Strawberries (Brought by Stephanie Alexander) Yield: 6 servings 1 (12 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chips 2 ½ c. whipping cream, divided 1 tsp. vanilla extract Garnishes: Fresh whipped cream, chocolate shavings, strawberry slices

1. Microwave morsels and 1/2 cup cream in a glass bowl on high, 1 minute or until melted, stirring twice. Stir in vanilla and blend well. Cool 5 minutes. 2. Beat remaining whipping cream (2 cups) at medium speed until soft peaks form; fold cream into chocolate mixture. Cover and chill 2 hours. 3. Pipe or spoon into dessert glasses and garnish. Source: The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

Tiramisu Layer Cake (Brought by Heather Large) Cake 1 (18.25 oz.) moist white cake mix 1 tsp. instant coffee powder 1/4 c. coffee 1 Tbsp. coffee flavored liqueur Filling 1 (8 oz.) container Mascarpone cheese 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar 2 Tbsp. coffee flavored liqueur

90 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

Frosting: 2 c. heavy cream 1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar 2 Tbsp. coffee flavored liqueur


Garnish: 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder 1 (1 oz.) square semisweet chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) pans. 2. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Divide 2/3 of batter between 2 pans. Stir instant coffee into remaining batter; pour into remaining pan. 3. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. In a measuring cup, combine brewed coffee and 1 Tbsp. coffee liqueur; set aside. 4. To make the filling: In a small bowl, using an electric mixer set on low speed, combine mascarpone, 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar and 2 Tbsp. coffee liqueur; beat just until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. 5. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the cream, 1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar and 2 Tbsp. coffee liqueur until stiff. Fold 1/2 c. of cream mixture into filling mixture. 6. To assemble the cake: Place one plain cake layer on a serving plate. Using a thin skewer, poke holes in cake, about 1 inch apart. Pour 1/3 of reserved coffee mixture over cake, then spread with half of the filling mixture. Top with coffee-flavored cake layer; poke holes in cake. 7. Pour another third of the coffee mixture over the second layer and spread with the remaining filling. Top with remaining cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour remaining coffee mixture on top. Spread sides and top of cake with frosting. 8. Place cocoa in a sieve and lightly dust top of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls. 9. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. September 2010 • | 91

See and Do


Hodges- Harrington

Historic Home Tour Nashville’s historic Whitland Neighborhood hosts its Sixth Annual Home Tour this month. Visit homes of various architectural styles listed on the National Register of Historic Places and participate in activities like cooking and gardening classes during this two-day event. TEXT Hallie McKay | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of the Whitland Area Neighborhood Association


ashville residents and visitors are invited to take a stroll through Tennessee’s historic Whitland Neighborhood on Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September 26. Nestled among tree-lined boulevards, quaint family-style housing prevails in the Whitland neighborhood. In its sixth year, this gem of heritage tourism features various architectural styles ranging from the grand Tudor mansion to the quaint English cottage. “Every year, the Whitland neighborhood looks forward to sharing the rich history and diverse architecture of our neighborhood with the Nashville community,” says Amy Dennison, cochairwoman of this year’s tour. “Many of the homes have been updated to reflect modern-day styles, but homeowners have worked hard to preserve the charm and character of the original property. The blending of new and old distinguishes the neighborhood.” Located just south of West End Avenue between Bowling and Wilson Avenues, the neighborhood’s dedication to preserving a sense of historic integrity is impressive. Whitland joined the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. Since its establishment dating back to the late 1800s, the Whitland neighborhood has been host to several notable figures in Tennessee history. While touring the eight charming locations included in this year’s tour, patrons will become acquainted with stories like that of Charles Dickinson, a prominent Nashville attorney who was killed in a duel with Andrew Jackson in 1806. 92 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

Unique to the 2010 home tour is a chance to participate in local Whitland neighborhood experiences that include cooking classes, gardening seminars, author readings and much more. For children, a tour of Fire Hall No. 17 and supervised playtime at Blakemore Children’s Center make for an educational yet fun afternoon. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Green Hills or Harris Teeter in Belle Meade. For further information, check out the tour website at Tickets are also available the day of the tour at any of the participating homes. All tour proceeds benefit the Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity and the Whitland Area Neighborhood Association.

2010 Tour Locations •The home of Steve Curnette and Helen Wunderlich, 224 Carden Avenue •The home of Joel and Charlotte Covington, 225 Leonard Avenue •The home of Bob and Nancy Wahl, 207 Craighead Avenue •The home of John and Karen Bonner, 3706 Whitland Avenue •The back porch of Michael Hodges and Penny Harrington, 223 Carden Avenue •The condominium of Mara Thompson, Richmeade Condominiums •Blakemore Children’s Center, 3604 Whitland Avenue •Fire Hall No. 17, 3911 West End Avenue


September 2010 Through September 4 TN Walking Horse National Celebration Historic Celebration Grounds, Shelbyville 931.684.5915, Through September 12 Shakespeare in the Park 2010: Love’s Labour’s Lost Centennial Park Bandshell, Nashville, 615.255.2273, September 1 She & Him Ryman Auditorium, Nashville 615.889.3060, September 2-4 Bluegrass Reunion Summertown 931.964.2100, September 3 Zoo Brew Memphis Zoo 901.276.9453, September 4-5 Franklin Jazz Festival Historic Downtown Franklin, September 4-5 Music & Heritage Festival Downtown Memphis September 5 Boomsday Festival Downtown Knoxville 800.727.8045, September 7 ArtSavvy – McCoy Tyner Germantown Performing Arts Centre

901.751.7665, September 10 Fall Fest Antique Preview Party Belle Meade Plantation, Nashville 615.356.0501, ext. 40 September 10 - 11 Pixies Ryman Auditorium, Nashville 615.889.3060, September 10-11 7th Annual Wings Over the Big South Fork Air Show Scott County Municipal Airport, Oneida 423.663.4556, September 10-12 Home Decorating and Remodeling Show Nashville Convention Center 800.343.8344, September 11 Zoo Rendezvous Memphis Zoo 901.276.9453, September 11 11th Annual Cotton Festival Town Square, Somerville 901.465.8690, September 11-12 25th Anniversary Celebration of Fall Fest Belle Meade Plantation, Nashville, 615.356.0501 September 12 Central Gardens Home Tour

94 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

Central Gardens Historic District, Memphis September 12 McCoy Tyner Germantown Performing Arts Centre 901.751.7500, September 12 The Black Crowes Ryman Auditorium, Nashville 615.889.3060, September 12 Stomp in the Swamp Lichterman Nature Center, Memphis,901.767.7322, ext. 121 September 12 Grandparents’ Day in the Garden Memphis Botanic Garden 901.576.4100, September 14 Sustainable Tourism Green Certification Workshop Casey Jones Village, Jackson 615.741.9004 September 17-18 Darryl Worley’s Tennessee River Run Pickwick Landing State Park September 18 Cooper-Young Festival Cooper-Young, Memphis 901.276.7222, September 18 Cornfest 2010 Kiwanis Park, Union City 731.885.8330

September 19 Peanut Butter & Jam Sessions – Dandelion & The Raindrops Germantown Performing Arts Centre 901.751.7665, September 21 A Fine Wine Affair Oaklands Historic House 615.893.0022, September 23 Taste of Autumn in Gatlinburg Gatlinburg Convention Center 800.568.4748 September 24-25 Southern Fried Festival Downtown Columbia 888.852.1860, September 25 Harvest Fest Memphis Zoo 901.276.9453 September 28 Tuesdays on the Terrace Wine Tasting Memphis Botanic Garden 901.576.4100, September 30 International Bluegrass Music Awards Ryman Auditorium, Nashville 615.889.3060, October 2 Stomp Out Breast Cancer Rocky Top Wine Trail, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge 866.453.6334,

96 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

sources 28 Fall Into Fitness Fox Fitness, Knoxville, 865.243.5361,; Germantown Athletic Club, Memphis, 901. 757.7370 42 Sister Act Daisy Studio, Chattanooga, 54 Invoking the Classical Language Architect—Eric Stengel Architecture, Nashville, 615.292.8140; Interior Decorator—Alcott Interiors, Carolyn Kendall, Nashville, 615.385.2873,; Landscape Architect—Alan Ray Associates, Nashville, 615.226.0405; Contractor—Mullowney General Contractors, Nashville, 615.665.2850 62 Behind the Scenes: Great Houses Colonial Williamsburg— Williamsburg, Virginia,, (800) HISTORY; The Hermitage—4580 Rachel’s Lane, Hermitage, Tennessee 37076, 615.889.2941, ext. 220,; Reynolda House—2250 Reynolda Rd., Winston-Salem, N.C. 27106, (888) 663-1149 reynoldahouse. org; Belmont Mansion—1900 Belmont Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37212, 615.460.5459, 68 Preserving Your Pad Handyman Connection, Memphis, 901.405.3150, 84 Thats Amore Event Planner—You’re Invited Gifts, Paper and Events, Nashville, 615.353.5520,

September 2010 • | 97


The Pains & Passions of Old Houses Best-selling Franklin novelist Robert Hicks talks old houses, historic preservation and walk-in closets. TEXT Robert Hicks | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Robert Hicks


hat’s with you folks and old houses?” my friend from California asked. Ironically, the “you folks” he was referring to were a fellow Tennessean and myself. I say ironically because, more often than not, most of my fellow Tennesseans seem as glad to bask in the creature comforts of a McMansion as my California friend who’d asked. So, with that understood, my words are addressed to that dwindling few among us who still forgo houses that are warm in the winter and cool in the summer, who are forever damned to long for closet space and luxury hotel-like bathrooms. I feel both your pain and your passion. Some 30 years ago, as I was trying to make what was left of my circa 1795 cabin in the green hills and hollows of the Bingham Community in Williamson County actually feasible for human habitation, a girl in my life asked me about things like closets (she wanted them larger), bathrooms (she wanted them larger) and a pantry (she wanted one). As she explained all this, I realized that we were traveling two very different roads. Besides, I reasoned, how many pairs of jeans would I possibly ever need? These days, the pain is far more obvious to me than it was in my twenties. I would give my eyeteeth for a walk-in closet and a warm house in winter. Yet my passion for these old piles remains undiminished, more than 30 years later. Who among my friends in their spiffy McMansions can say that or will ever understand? To explain our passion for old houses to those without that zeal is like trying to explain why you love antiques to someone who considers them nothing more than “dead people’s stuff.” Yet, as unexplainable as that passion may be to the passionless, it is nevertheless alive and well in our hearts. When the time comes for us to leave these piles that we have patched and propped up for so many years and move to some place 98 | At Home Tennessee • September 2010

that “makes more sense,” a real part of who we are is diminished and lost. As a child I would leave our summer cottage near Black Mountain, North Carolina, and hike up to the cabin of the then-elderly W. D. Weatherford. I loved talking with Mr. Weatherford and visiting his cabin – itself seemingly propped up with books. I have often claimed that watching Daniel Boone with Fess Parker “in living color” every week instilled my passion for old log houses. While I’d be lying to say it had no impact, the truth is, those countless hours that a lonely little boy spent in the company of the elderly sage up at his cabin reading books makes for a stronger argument as to how I ended up in my cabin, “Labor in Vain.” I tell you this now because on one of those long-ago afternoons I realized that Mr. Weatherford’s library contained a lot of books on ante-bellum Greek Revival houses. How could he be interested in a big old frame house when he had the best house in the world? He sat there thumbing through a book and then looked up and told me a secret. As much as a log cabin was my dream, Mr. Weatherford had always longed to live in a white frame, ante-bellum Greek Revival house. “So why didn’t you?” I asked. “My beloved wife never would let me,” he answered. Why would Mrs. Weatherford deny him such pleasure? Then with a wink he added, “She was always afraid that if I ever got to live in such a house, I would forgo eternity rather than leave.” His words made no sense to that little boy. But, with time, I’ve come to better understand the passion we have for those old houses of our dreams. The piles of books in his cabin were as close as Mr. Weatherford ever got in this life to that house. Yet I am confident he basks for eternity in a white frame, ante-bellum Greek revival house. I can only hope that in heaven they come with walk-in closets, hotel-like bathrooms, and just maybe, if we’ve really been good, a big ol’ pantry.

July 2010  

Chattanooga’s Design Duo | Preserving the Past Knoxville’s S&W Grand

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