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REAL LIFE

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REAL STYLE

SPRING + SUMMER 2019

LIVING A LAYERED LIFE Interior designs that reflect the texture, pattern and breadth of real lives

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P U B L I C A T I O N

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N A N D I N A

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D E S I G N


Pulling a room Pulling a roomtogether togetherjust justgot goteasier. easier. From floor to the ceiling in between, Surya hasa variety a variety From the the floor to the ceiling andand all all in between, Surya has of accessories to your fit your unique style. of accessories to fit unique style. ACCENT FURNITURE BEDDING BEDDING ACCENT FURNITURE

LIGHTING LIGHTING

PILLOWS PILLOWS

RUGS RUGS

THROWS THROWS

WALL DECOR DECOR WALL

SURYA.COM SURYA.COM

@SURYASOCIAL @SURYASOCIAL


from the

Spring + Summer 2019

VOLUME 3, NO. 1

PUBLISHERS

I have always loved the concept of life as a tapestry, multicolored threads woven over time in a beautiful design that tells a story. Our own dimensional layers are like those richly hued threads in a tapestry, and how they are

Jim Victor Owner/CFO Sue Shannon Owner/Principal Designer

woven together tells the story of our lives. Just as the personal layers of

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

history, experience, and relationships create more interesting lives, the

Susan Victor Owner/Principal Designer

layering of texture, contrast, and color in design can make a room feel richer and more nuanced. “Living a Layered Life” can have multiple meanings, as the many articles of

ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR

Shelly Marshall Schmidt

N Home suggest. Maybe you are adding a new layer to your life – like a new baby. If so, our nursery design article is a perfect starting point. If you want your home to reflect your multidimensional life, check out designer Jessie LaFalce’s Art of Accessorizing tutorial. We showcase a real Southern trailblazer, celebrated Shrimp, Collards, and Grits author Pat Branning and her multilayered life as a female radio celebrity and journalist during the ‘60s and ‘70s in Atlanta. Our cover story features a family home that illustrates how intentional design can create a home that is kid-friendly and

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Courtney Malone Shelly Marshall Schmidt Lindsey Yeoman P U B L I C AT I O N E D I T O R

Kathleen Huff Cunningham

show-stoppingly beautiful. MAGAZINE DESIGN

With nostalgia, I recall how my own life was often chaotic and full of the competing demands of family and career. Now that I see my children having

Emily Barton Samantha Bodie

their own children, I relish the complexity and beauty of the many layers we all have in our lives. From newlyweds to busy families to midlife re-inventors, this issue of N Home reflects layered lives and the beautiful homes that tell their stories. Cheers to Real Life, Real Style! Susan Victor svictor@nandinahome.com 803.649.0616

AT L A N TA

6170 Roswell Road Sandy Springs, Georgia 404.521.9303

AIKEN

158 Laurens Street Aiken, South Carolina 803.649.0616

www.NandinaHome.com

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Contents SPRING + SUMMER 2019

6 Creating Character Designer Michele Merritt develops character and style for a family in Hammonds Ferry, South Carolina 18 Blending Lives This couple turned to designer Susan Victor to create a beautiful, yet livable home in Aiken, South Carolina 24 Cover Story Real life means real style in a family-friendly makeover 36 Bringing History to a New Home Designer Jessie LaFalce creates a classic home layered with sentimental favorites and unexpected touches of modern 52 Before & After: Renovation Success When this master builder’s home needed a facelift, designer Susan Victor helped the process go smoothly

4 Put A Hex on It Incorporate this six-sided shape into your home décor

34 What’s N Trend Report The Nandina design team weighs in on their favorite trends for Spring + Summer 42 The Art of Accessorizing Understand the importance of accessories in the home and how to utilize them

12 Meet the Designer: Michelle Merritt Learn more about Aiken lead designer, Michele Merritt 14 Ooh Baby, Baby Tips for creating a stylish and functional nursery 48 An Interview with Pat Branning Delve into the remarkable life of this broadcaster, publisher, writer and storyteller

56 Color Report : White Hot Crisp, clean & modern, white décor could be just what your home needs

Don’t miss the Fall + Winter N Home issue, full of Real Life, Real Style inspiration See details for our free subscription on the back cover

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Interior Design • Furniture • Accessories

AT L A N TA

AIKEN

6170 ROSWELL ROAD SANDY SPRINGS, GA 404.521.9303

158 LAURENS STREET AIKEN, SC 803.649.0616

www.NandinaHome.com

@nandinahome


No, we’re not talking about casting magical spells or causing harm with a simple charm! While geometric patterns are a popular trend right now, the hexagonal pattern has attracted our particular interest. There’s something effortlessly chic about a six-sided symmetrical shape, especially when it’s repeated in upholstery or carved out of wood. Whether your personal style is modern, transitional, or glam, there are many innovative ways to incorporate this shape into your home. 4

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O U R

FAV O R I T E S

C U R R EY & CO MPANY // D O U B L E HEX W AL L S CO NCE

SCALAMAND RE // H EXAD D I CTI O N FABRI C

UTTE RMO ST // MAGD A MI RROR

Mixed materials highlight the double hexagon shape

Linear detailing elevates this fabric and evokes a honeycomb effect

A simple yet stylish accent mirror creates a honeycomb design

L O L O I R UGS // H O L L O W AY

VI SUAL CO MFO RT AND CO . // BRAD FO RD H E XAGO NAL FLUSH M OUN T

Natural elements combine with a hexagon pattern to create a rustic conversation piece

There’s something so luxe about the mix of black and bronze

WO R L D S AW AY // Z A N E SIDE T AB L E

SURYA // LAYLA LAMP

Vertical lines emphasize the hexagonal shape

Lucite and silver transform this lamp into a modern accent piece

CE NTURY FURNI TURE // CASA BE LLA H E XA G ON AL CH AI RSI D E TAB LE A sturdy yet stylish side table

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creating

CHARACTER Story by Susan Victor // Design by Michele Merritt Photography by Shelly Marshall Schmidt

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The original art above the fireplace in the sitting room and the portraits of the Littles' daughters hanging above the dining room table are from their client and renowned Albanian Artist, Joseph Kote. Their extensive art collection was often the starting point of the color palettes for a room.

When Lee and Kevin Little built their home in Hammonds Ferry over a decade ago, they were making a calculated risk that a new traditionally designed neighborhood would ultimately fit the free spirited and eclectic life they currently live. At its inception, Hammonds Ferry was developed to mirror a traditional neighborhood with uniquely designed homes featuring front porches, green space, walkable streets, and neighborhood retail and restaurants. The developers had designed Hammonds Ferry based on an original 1890s city plan created to connect the community to the Savannah River. The Littles’ home was one of the first ten homes to be built in the community. It was the location fronting the river that attracted them more than the actual concept of a planned neighborhood, that at first glance might appear to be too contrived or one-dimensional. As business partners in their own successful law firm and parents of two active young girls, this busy family is anything but one-dimensional! “I often think about how risky that original decision was and how fortunate we have been,” reflected Lee. “This neighborhood reminds me of the Augusta that I grew up in. We know our neighbors, and our girls have grown up playing in the green parkways in front of our home. We consider our neighborhood to be as much our home as we do the actual structure we live in. We are exactly where we are meant to be!” 8

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The homeowners' love of adding just a bit of whimsy to each room inspired their choice of animal print chairs by Lee Industries for the living room. An added bonus is that they make a perfect backdrop and resting spot for the real animal love in their family, their dog “Markie”.


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As with all families and the homes they inhabit, things change. When the Littles moved into their home, they were busy young attorneys just starting a family. They both envisioned a house that was warm, inviting, and representative of their unique personalities; they just didn’t have the time or the resources to make it happen immediately. Said Lee, “Kevin and I love the design process, so developing the character and style of our home over years versus months fits our personalities. We want to have the ability to bring our love of family, art, and travel into our interior design one layer at a time.” They had lived in their home for more than six years before they began their fruitful partnership with Nandina Lead Designer Michele Merritt. “Kevin and Lee were one of the first clients I had when I joined Nandina as a designer,” recalled Michele. “I think our first appointment five years ago was to talk about doing some drapes in one room. We immediately were on the same page! I love their zest for life, the many interests they have, and their devotion to having a home that reflects their personalities.”

“Kevin and I love the design process, so developing the character and style of our home over years versus months fits our personalities. We want to have the ability to bring our love of family, art, and travel into our interior design one layer at a time.” Lee Little, homeowner

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Every year the Littles rent their home to Masters Golf Tournament ticket holders. “We are huge supporters of the positive impact the Masters at the Augusta National brings to our North Augusta community!” exclaimed Lee, “As business and homeowners we feel so fortunate to be able to introduce the world to our hometowns of Augusta and North Augusta each year.” Michele explained that each year a new design project is implemented right before the tournament in preparation for the rental. “It’s exciting how Kevin or Lee will come up with an idea of an area they want to change or improve, or a piece of art or artifact they want to incorporate into the design – everything from a painting by a client who also happens to be a renowned international artist to a series of antique family lanterns or a watercolor Kevin has whipped up in his spare time. They love it if we throw in something quirky or unexpected, maybe a cowhide used as a dining room tablecloth, or animal print chairs that perfectly color match their precious dog Markie’s coat. No idea is off-limits.” As Merritt describes it, “This is a home that reflects over a decade of a family’s life. I have the privilege of listening and co-creating something meaningful for them, yet in the end, it is a home that expresses their journey, not mine.”

Kevin Little’s sketch book, guitar, and collection of historic lanterns are artfully displayed in the study, in front of a simple silver bar cart.

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L I F E P H I L O S O P H Y ? Life is crazy and filled with so many wonderful and unexpected surprises. I like to bring this wonderment to my design projects, and yes, a little surprise here and there too. Each project evolves from the vision my client brings to me. All of my life experiences, surroundings, fashion, and feelings converge to become a pool from which I pull to mold and fulfill their vision. Boundaries? Let’s just say I don’t mind stepping to the edge and even crossing over it sometimes!

W H A T I S Y O U R P E R S O N A L D E S I G N S T Y L E ? I’d have to say I’m a bit of a conundrum, a mixture of all, but concentration of none. Makes my head spin! But then I step into my own home, which is a lot tamer than most would think. At home I’m surrounded by things I love, things that have a connection and/or history with me or those I’ve loved. New and old, there is more often than not a story to be told, memories that make me smile. That’s not to say there aren’t a few odd surprises around!

N E V E R - F A I L D E S I G N T I P ? Usually a harmonious balance can be achieved, but when you subvert that balance, the end result can be something extraordinary. In other words, don’t be scared to take a chance; the reward is often greater than the risk. Works in life too!

FAV O R I T E C O L O R R I G H T N O W ? A deep emerald green, very mysterious, bold. Add some sheen, a touch of brushed gold and blush ... very cool! F U N F A C T ? Having gone back to school and successfully completed a grueling four-year degree in design, I decided to give myself two years off to sail the islands by myself. To that end I moved to South Florida, immersed myself in the necessary safetyat-sea courses (including self-defense), got a captain lined up to start me on my way until I was proficient enough to be on my own, and after a long search, found the boat of my dreams, a beautiful Trintella 42.

MEET THE DESIGNER

Michele Merritt Photography by Shelly Marshall Schmidt

Michele Merritt and her husband Steven moved to Aiken to raise their daughter in a town with a true sense of community. As her daughter’s dependence on her lessened, she joined the Nandina family, and today she is a Lead Designer at Nandina. Michele graduated cum laude with a degree in Interior Design from George Washington University’s Mount Vernon Campus, and her experience has encompassed yachts and retail spaces, as well as commercial and residential projects. An avid horsewoman, Michele has successfully weaned herself from a habit of collecting horses, and presently lives on a farm with “just one horse and an adorable donkey.” Her home is an amalgamation of styles and her life – her love of the outdoors, of art, and always a bit of whimsy. The ocean is her respite, and summer often finds her traveling north to her family home on Martha’s Vineyard, returning to Aiken recharged for the next challenge. 12

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Long story short, I found out at the closing that I would be unable to get proper USCG documentation needed to sail in foreign waters, because there were title issues. As a result, the whole thing ended up in court. The time I had allotted myself for an adventure ran out, so I took the money, bought a house on the water with a dock (A girl can still dream!) and another horse that I named Distant Shore. It wasn’t the adventure I dreamt of, but I met so many wonderful people and learned so much about myself I like to think it was the adventure I needed.


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Ooh Baby, Baby Story by Susan Victor // Photography by Courtney Malone, Susan Victor and Lindsey Yeoman

Nothing adds greater change to life like a new baby. First you are living one way and then within a blink of an eye everything around you becomes something altogether dierent. From the moment a baby enters this world until your young man or woman leaves to start an independent life, there is not a corner of your heart or your house that doesn’t feel their presence! Oh, but what a wonderful presence it is!

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The blush pink of Baby Elliotte’s nursery provides a calm oasis and is the perfect backdrop for her Grandmother’s renowned fashion sketches from the 40’s.

FOLLOW THESE NO-FAIL TIPS

“Let me love you a little more before you’re not little anymore.”

F O R C R E AT I N G A N U R S E R Y T H AT SWEET DREAMS ARE MADE OF:

Designing a little baby home within your house

No. 1 Choose a specific style or theme to help

for this new member of your family is one of the

narrow your focus and create a cohesive design.

most creative outlets of love. A nursery is the one place that you can throw design caution to

A nursery theme can center around a color palette (pink and gray, blue and green, beige and white), a design style (think bohemian, modern

the wind. This room doesn’t have to flow with

farmhouse, shabby chic), or a traditional baby theme (animals, trains,

the rest of your home. It can be as colorful or

sports, ballerinas), or a combination of any of the above. The key is to

calm as your heart desires; it can be gender-

choose what makes your heart flutter. In this feature, Baby Claire was the

neutral or over the top gender-specific; or it can

second baby and the first girl. Inspiration for her nursery update was a

be juvenile or so mature that any stylish adult

wallpaper of riotous fuchsia flowers found on Etsy. For Baby Ray, who is

would happily camp out there for a couple of

the first baby coming home to an apartment versus a home, the theme

hours or days. You are going to spend many

mirrored his father’s love of the outdoors and hunting. Baby Elliotte, who

midnight hours in this room, and there is no

is the first girl after three very rambunctious boys, came home to a newly

sweeter time than to be in the space you cherish

designed family home with her own private space that reflects her special

with the new love of your life!

status and her mother’s desire for serenity and five minutes of peace!

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No. 2 Identify a focal point. Most often the focal point is the crib, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be an accent wall of wallpaper or a color change with paint. It can be a changing station with a photo gallery wall artfully arranged above it. How about a quiet corner in front of a window that features beautiful drapes framing an unusual rocker and stylish lamp? In Baby Elliotte’s nursery, the focal point is a collection of original fashion sketches from the 1940s, created by her great-grandmother, a famous costume designer. Custom-designed wallpaper from Etsy was used on a feature wall in Baby Claire’s nursery to add personality and make a dramatic change from the room previously inhabited by her big brother Cole.

No. 3 Invest in the necessities. There is a whole industry built around babies! When it comes to outfitting your baby’s nursery there are some fundamentals: CRIB First and foremost is a crib. Think of the crib as an investment piece. Most babies will stay in their crib for two to three years. If you plan to have more children, you can recycle and get years of use out of one crib. In addition, many cribs today can convert to a toddler bed, which extends the life of this one piece of furniture even longer. Make sure your crib meets all U.S. government safety standards and that the style has some staying power. A C O M F O R TA B L E C H A I R You cannot underestimate how important it is to invest in a comfortable chair. If you plan to nurse your baby, selecting a chair with substantial arms and a supportive back can make all the difference in the world. It can be as simple as a small club chair or a rocker or glider that provides soothing motion to baby and mother alike. The chair doesn’t have to be a nursery-specific chair; in fact, a chair that can be used in other areas of the home once your baby has become a little boy or girl is a wise investment. 16

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C H A N G I N G TA B L E There are two routes you can go with a changing table. You can invest in a good dresser that will grow with your child and then just add a custom changing pad to the top that removes easily when no longer needed. Or, if you have the room, you can purchase a freestanding changing table. SOFT RUG If you have hardwood floors you will need to consider a soft area rug that is easy to clean. A natural fiber rug like sisal or sea grass might be trendy, but it’s also very rough on little knees and bottoms, and not so friendly for cleaning up accidental messes of all sorts and sizes. Wool or cotton is more forgiving! G O O D L I G H T C O N T R O L W I N D O W T R E AT M E N T S Don’t hesitate to invest in good window treatments. Drapes with blackout lining add softness and warmth to the room as well as great light control if you are trying to hang on to that afternoon nap as long as possible.


No. 4 Devote areas of the nursery to specific needs. Think nursing station, changing area, reading nook, toy display, clothes storage and hamper. A nursing station will have a comfortable chair, low light for late nights, a generous storage table that will hold nursing pads, pumps, additional bottles, and ideally, an area to hold water for Mom! The good news is that many areas can perform double duty, such as a changing station that also acts as clothes storage, with a couple of bins nearby for dirty clothes, dirty diapers, and the myriad supplies you need to keep on hand. Baby Ray’s nursery has a small corner devoted to a nursing station that features a multipurpose Lee Industry rocker, a plush rug, and art that is a nod to his father’s love of hunting and the great outdoors.

No. 5 The Added Extras! This is the area where you get to let your inner design maven out. C R E AT I V E S T O R A G E S O L U T I O N S Corralling the clutter will be a major challenge. These little dudes can create more stuff than seems humanly possible. Baskets, crates, buckets and boxes will become your best friend. Make them beautiful! W A L L PA P E R Don’t be afraid of the commitment you feel you must make for wallpaper. It doesn’t have to be a marriage, it can be a short-lived romance! Today there are stylish, colorful and very durable self-stick wallpapers on the market. The wallpaper featured in Baby Ray’s apartment nursery is a custom-designed, self-stick wallpaper found on Etsy.com. BEAUTIFUL TEXTILES + PLUSH STUFFED TOYS Observing SIDS prevention requires the need to keep cribs free of anything besides our babies, but it doesn’t mean the end to stuffed animals and one-of-a-kind baby blankets. It just means you have to be more creative with display. Shelving, hooks, and baskets provide a beautiful way to display these sentimental keepsakes.

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Blending Story by Susan Victor

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Photography by Shelly Marshall Schmidt

Design by Susan Victor, Principal Designer, and BethAnn Connor, Associate Designer

Susan Gross and Fred Tucker had known each other as friends for years. They both lived in Naples, Florida, and they ran in the same circles. But after both lost their spouses to illness, they found themselves on a friendly date to ease the loneliness. After a few more outings, they realized that maybe they could be much more than just friends! Susan laughs when she describes their surprise when their old friendship began to bloom into a full-fledged romance. “I think it took us both by surprise. We both had lived full lives with happily grown children, great marriages and good careers. We weren’t looking to fill some void left by not having enough; we had each been so lucky in life. But isn’t that how love is sometimes? We were just gobsmacked by how it snuck up on us!”

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Susan Gross wanted a blue and white palette that would showcase her collection of stoneware and bring light into the main room of the cottage. SPRING + SUMMER 2019

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As their new life unfolded they began spending more and more time in Aiken, South Carolina, where Fred had family and Susan loved the warm, welcoming community and the vibrant downtown. At first it was a vacation spot, and then they invested in a condominium. The longer and more frequently they stayed in Aiken, the more convinced they became that this small Southern town was the place to put down roots. “We wanted to create something that represented just the two of us, not because we wanted to forget our previous lives and how rich those lives were, but we really wanted to have a home that was ours together,” explained Susan. It took a little time but eventually they found the perfect newly renovated, cottage style ranch in the heart of town. It had a small backyard that would accommodate their Greyhound rescue and the character of an older home, which is almost impossible to recreate. Susan and Fred had worked with Designer Susan Victor on and off for years, selecting pieces for their condo and doing small renovation projects. “I had always felt comfortable with Susan, but following our first conversation about the house and the direction I wanted to take the design, I was 100 percent confident we were going down the same road,” said Susan. “She had listened to me and understood my vision, and I knew she was going to be my partner in this very important project. Fred and I want a home that is beautiful, yet livable, a place that is not offlimits to us, our friends, or our dog – sophisticated yet comfortable, cheery and warm and enveloping. We want our friends to walk in the front door and feel our happiness and desire to linger.”

Victor custom-designed a piece of furniture that was then constructed from old pine to use as an island in the small kitchen.

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The great room is a beautiful blend of grass cloth and natural cypress paneling. Custom-made drapery from Schumacher fabric is the perfect backdrop for the room. SPRING + SUMMER 2019

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A serene guest room features custom bedding and drapery fabricated in the Nandina Workroom.

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Gross purchased her first original piece of art, an oversized portrait of a woman titled “Supplication” after saving for months for the $1,800 price. It was the start of her love of collecting art pieces that have meaning to her which are sprinkled throughout the cottage.

Only a couple of items were nonnegotiable in the plan of the interiors – her art collection and a couple of Fred’s family pieces. “My art has great meaning for me, and when I see it throughout the cottage it evokes many memories and makes me feel centered. I didn’t start collecting art until I was in my late thirties. The very first piece of original art I purchased was around $1,800, an oversized portrait of a woman titled Supplication that now hangs in our living room. It took me months to save the money, and I had to beg the artist not to sell it. At the time, I was a

“Every room has something in it that delights me.”

single mother of two boys, and I had to pull myself up by the bootstraps and keep going every single day. She (the woman in the painting) represented where I had come from, but not what I was going to be!” For Fred it was an antique trunk that had belonged to his father and had traveled with Fred to boarding school as a young teen. Somehow the trunk disappeared, and by his twenties he had no idea what had become of it. Years later, a close friend went to a yard sale and found an old

Susan Gross, homeowner

trunk that looked familiar. He lifted the lid and inside was Fred’s father’s name engraved on a plaque. Without hesitation Fred’s buddy purchased the trunk and returned it to Fred. “That trunk has great meaning for Fred, and it belongs in our home!” exclaimed Susan. What are Susan’s favorite design elements in the house? “Every room has something in it that delights me,” she began. “The blue and white palette of the living room that is such a perfect backdrop to our collection of pottery, the custom-made island for our kitchen, the pops of emerald green in the den and dining area, and of course, my art. When Fred and I walked through the door after the interiors were complete, I thought, ‘WOW, this was worth it. They got us, they really got us!‘" SPRING + SUMMER 2019

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Real S tyle REAL LIFE MEETS

I N A FA M I LY- F R I E N D LY M A K E O V E R Story by Susan Victor

//

Design by John Ishmael

Photography by Shelly Marshall Schmidt

When Je and Mitzi Solomon realized that they wanted a home that simultaneously reflected their love of art and design and their need for a relaxed and comfortable space for their four young children to grow and explore, they turned to designer John Ishmael to guide them through the process of melding real life with real style.

A Francois & Co. hood and Visual Comfort pendants set off a mosaic marble tile backsplash in the kitchen. An antique wooden beam added during the renovation gives the house a bit of history. 24

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This glamorous room boasts a Currey & Company crystal chandelier, a modern pedestal table from Vanguard surrounded by Lee Industry dining chairs. The oversize buffet lamps, a find of the homeowners, add unexpected whimsy to the room.

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“Corralling all of the design styles that I love into a cohesive beautiful home was a challenge. I felt like John and I were always on the same team – collaborators and creators. He guided Jeff and me to take chances, and the final product feels like us . . . our style, our life.” MITZI SOLOMON HOMEOWNER

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This house is bursting with character and life. Is the design an extension of the family that lives here? SUSAN VICT OR (SV):

JOH N ISH MAEL (JOH N):

The homeowners, Mitzi and Jeff Solomon,

had lived in the house for several years, but they had not changed it much from when they had purchased it. The house was pretty generic on the inside, but had a nice layout and sits in a perfect neighborhood for their rapidly growing family. At our first meeting they both described a creative design for an atmosphere that would reflect and embrace their fun and fabulous life together. Mitzi and Jeff were involved in every step of this design. SV: Can you describe what this renovation project involved? What role did you play in the construction as well as the unique design elements? JOH N:

The whole project started with the basement. Initially I

was tasked to take an unfinished basement and create a family entertainment area and playroom for their four children. This meant adding major supports so we could open up the space. It also required additional plumbing for a beautiful bar in a corner of the adult space and designing a functional, fun playroom that could be kept open to the adult area or be closed off with a modern sliding barn door feature. We quickly decided the main floor needed an update to match the cool factor happening in the basement, so we added some history to the house with reclaimed wood beams installed on the ceiling of the great room and over the entrance into the kitchen. Then of course, they said, “Oh, and while we are at it, let’s redo the kitchen and add a show-stopping hood that transforms the entire space!” At this point everything was out of the house, so we decided the top floor needed some help as well. We added hardwood floors, transformed the master bath into a luxurious retreat, renovated the kids’ bathrooms and made the busiest room in the house – the laundry room – into a functional and beautiful space.

The downstairs represents a masterful use of space for multiple activities. It houses a gym, adult den, bar, and children’s play area, all seamlessly in one area. How did you and the Solomons achieve this unique space? SV:

JOH N:

The basement involved everyone. The gym was initially

intended as a guest room, but when you have four small children, working out at home becomes a necessity, not a luxury, so the guest room evolved into a home gym. Jeff came up with the idea of the glass wall and it worked out perfectly, adding a modern element and opening the space to light. The original basement was cut up and closed off. Taking out walls and adding rustic beams for support opened the room and made for a perfect space for impromptu family gatherings.

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The Solomons’ art informs many of the design directions throughout their home – like this painting that sets the palette and moody calmness of the master bedroom. SPRING + SUMMER 2019

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As an accomplished artist yourself, you must have been over the moon with Jeff and Mitzi’s taste in art and their personal collection. Describe how the art fit within the design and became a focal point in each room. SV:

JOHN :

Mitzi and John have an incredible art collection

that represents every aspect of their lives – from the collected pieces they have invested in over time and their kids’ masterpieces to Jeff’s artwork created pre-children to fashion sketches from the ‘30s and ‘40s by Mitzi’s grandmother, a celebrated window dresser in demand by major New York City department stores. Add to these a few very special pieces the couple inherited, such as a framed Elton John “Blue Eyes” costume! This very personal collection transformed a beautiful design into a unique home that completely reflects the “cool factor” of this couple.

OK, how about the master bathroom? What a showcase! Were the Solomons on board from the beginning with such an eclectic show-stopper? SV:

JOHN :

Ahh, the master bath. It had always been a big

room. The builder didn’t think much of the space and you could tell. Mitzi really wanted a retreat, and we all wanted a bit of drama. By the time we got to this room, both Jeff and Mitzi knew me a little better and were very comfortable when I said, “Let’s try something a bit different.” I think they wanted to be nudged to step outside the box. Many clients say they want different and unique, but will stop short when it comes to making selections. Not Mitzi and Jeff! We custom-designed the vanity and used reclaimed barn wood to wrap the cabinets. Choosing the bathtub took a day of traveling through showrooms and climbing into tubs to see how they fit! Beauty was important, but so were comfort and the relaxation factor. The tile selection was also important. We didn’t want a white marble box, so we opted for a bit of drama with the painted tiles behind the vanity and the dramatic dark shower with brass fixtures. The antique cabinet was a perfect addition and a great companion for the abstract art.

The master bathroom vanity was designed by Ishmael and constructed from reclaimed barn wood and sits along an entire wall of painted tile. Brass fixtures and an antique chest add another dimension to this richly designed and functional room. “I wanted this bathroom to make a statement, to become something different than a sterile ceramic and marble basic bath,” Ishmael said.

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The main floor of the house is a perfect blend of sophisticated modern and family comfort. What design elements allowed you to create such beautiful harmony? SV:

JOHN :

We knew we wanted the main floor to be comfortable

and functional, a reflection of this family. Mitzi and Jeff wanted a fresh, modern feel with some rustic elements that add character and pass the test of time. The antique hand-hewn beams and a Francois and Company hood in the kitchen give a timeless feel to the interior of the home. The traditional staircase railing throughout the house was replaced by a modern metal railing to open up the space. The lighting in each of the rooms was selected for a blend of glam in the dining room to rustic in the great room, and a fun mid-century feel in the kitchen. That sounds a bit eclectic, but it works well in this home. We wanted a ‘wow’ at the front of the house in the dining room, so we added wallpaper and drapes and a big round table with a dramatic chandelier that sets off the room. Mitzi found a one-of-akind pair of oversized lamps that make the room! The living room originally had some very traditional built-in shelves flanking the fireplace with a very traditional mantel, so we pulled those out and tiled the floor in the alcoves to add some character. To make the mantel fit in, we painted the accent wall above the fireplace dark and intense. But we still needed companion pieces of artwork. I decided I would try to paint something myself to finish off the space. Art is so personal and in the back of my mind I was afraid that if Mitzi and Jeff didn’t like the pieces they might feel some obligation to hang them. Mitzi cried the day I hung the finished paintings. I actually breathed a sigh of relief.

SEE MORE

Go to www.nandinahome.com to see extended coverage and video of this family-friendly, stylish home. 32

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“I have four small children and I want a home that is beautiful, but not precious and untouchable. I believe that if you design with intention you can have a home that is both stylish and livable even with young children! This home belongs to all of us and I want my children to love growing up in it as much as Jeff and I love living in it.” MITZI SOLOMON HOMEOWNER


The multipurpose basement was the starting point for this amazing home transformation. Reclaimed beams replaced load bearing walls to open the space to accommodate a large TV area, game table, and pub style bar. Ishmael used brick to cover one wall for texture and then applied a shiny modern penny tile to the adjoining wall at the bar to infuse a bit of glamour. The modern sliding barn doors separate the adult portion of the room from a children’s playroom – allowing everyone to be together in the same area. A glass wall encloses the home gym so that it is possible to work out and still keep an eye on the children.

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W H AT’ S The Nandina design team weighs in on their favorite trends for Spring + Summer 2019.

S U E S H ANNO N, PR I NCI PAL DES I GNER

JOH N ISH MAEL, PRINCIPAL DESIGNE R

Currey & Company // Kallista Chest

Surya // Zeus

This stunning Kallista chest from Currey & Company perfectly displays a rich deeply saturated hue of blue. Its soft black exterior shell encasing drawers of deep blue with gold accents is definitely not your Mama’s '80s dresser!

If you love color especially a color as vibrant as the 2019 Pantone color of the year “Living Coral,” don’t be afraid to use it in an area rug. This richly hued hand knotted wool rug from Surya could be the foundation of any room – and act as art right under your feet!

J E S S I E LAF ALCE, LEAD DES I GNER

Currey & Company // Water Lily Chandelier

This Finial Company

We are seeing large floral patterns in rugs, fabrics, wallpaper and even lighting design. The Water Lily Chandelier by Currey & Company is a fabulous example of floral done in a most unexpected way. Large flowering blossoms in gold leaf set in a frame of trailing branches make this chandelier a show-stopper in any room.

SUSAN VICT OR, PRINCIPAL DESIGN E R

I’m loving the mix of clear acrylic or Lucite and matte gold! Be sure to invest in quality when choosing acrylic. Custom-made drapery panels are heavy and can cause cheaply made hardware to bend.

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B E T H A N N CO NNO R , AS S O CI ATE DES I GNER

MEGAN AGUILAR, DESIGN ASSIST AN T

Bungalow 5 // Jepson Bar Cart

Philips Collection // Chamcha Wood Console

This bar cart from Bungalow 5 is unique and unexpected. Not only is it a beautiful statement in a room, but it’s also functional. Cheers!

Bringing the outside in will always be timeless! This stunning wood console brings a beautiful organic element into a room.

A I M E E R U S C H , DES I GNER

Currey & Company Figuier Mirror I love to bring nature inside the home and this Currey & Company fig leaf mirror is a beautiful way to do it.

J ANAE ADAMS, DESIGN SH OWROOM & WORKROOM MANAGER

Thibaut // Mari Wallpaper In keeping with 2019’s print trends, you’ll notice that neutral tone wallpapers are quite bold and graphic. It’s a work of art and a conversation piece within itself.

MICH ELE ME RRITT LEAD DES IGNE R

Lusk Studios // Panel

HAR LI E B EDDO M E, DES I GN ASSIST ANT

Romo // Lomasi Wallcovering Incorporating florals in a bold black and white color way will ensure a touch of contemporary flair and won’t disappoint.

What is old is new — or at least a mixture of. I'm loving that traditional elements are being used in new and creative ways. Case in point, Lusk Studios gilded textile art panels ... each one-of-a-kind and stunning! SPRING + SUMMER 2019

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The great room reflects the life history that the Balls have lived. Bookcases hold curated collections of photographs, books and a series of ceramic hand painted birds from the renowned Wolf Studios, located in Jackson, Mississippi, their home for over twenty years. 36

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BRINGING HISTORY TO A

HOME Design by Jessie LaFalce, Lead Designer

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Story by Susan Victor

Photography by Shelly Marshall Schmidt

Little did Karen Ball imagine when she stayed with her grandmother in a small house in South Jackson, Mississippi, that she was less than a block away from the family home of the man she would meet in her twenties, marry, and build a life with.

With a strong faith as her foundation, she chalks up her good fortune to unexpected blessings. Like how she and young Chris Ball met at a friend’s wedding while they were both living in Dallas, even though they had both grown up in Jackson. How their first date was to the opera, which was music major Karen’s passion – and also Chris’s. How after Chris left Dallas for his residency in Birmingham, Delta Airlines started a $40 standby flight from Dallas to Birmingham that a young music teacher could afford to hop, in order to foster a budding new romance! A Currey & Company Karison Credenza and a Bruce Andrews Beatrice Swivel in Robert Allen green velvet add just the right touch of contemporary to the traditional design of the room. “I love a traditional aesthetic, warm and layered, but with an unexpected touch of modern,” says Ball. SPRING + SUMMER 2019

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“My only nonnegotiable design request was that I wanted apple green and royal blue in the kitchen and great room areas. Jessie hit it out of the park when she showed me the green leather counter stools and the royal blue velvet for the sitting room sofa!� exclaimed Ball. 38

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As a young newly married couple, Karen thought they might start their lives elsewhere in some exciting new region, but after finishing his residency in obstetrics Chris felt a strong pull to return to Jackson and carry on the family legacy by joining his father’s practice. Karen and Chris raised their family, became an integral part of their community, and built their dream home in Jackson. “I love Jackson and our Mississippi roots, and they will always be part of our lives, but we were ready to make a change and explore something new – get out of our comfort zone and add a new layer to our history,” she commented. Although they initially thought about settling inside the Atlanta perimeter, they found the perfect neighborhood just north of the perimeter and started the process of building. “After working with a designer on our home in Jackson, I knew I needed a real partner to help me downsize and create a home that felt just as special as the one we were leaving. I began doing a lot of research online and kept coming back to Nandina. I loved the breadth of their work and their philosophy about design,” Karen said. “On one of our trips to Atlanta we went to Inman Park where the Nandina showroom was located at that time. I fell in love with Jessie and Harlie and thought we would make a great fit. However, I wasn’t used to the area and kept hearing all the nightmares about traffic, so I tried to find someone closer to the house.” Karen started working with another designer, but as the months went by, things just didn’t click. She then decided that no matter the traffic or the distance, she wanted to work with Jessie and the Nandina team. Once again an unexpected blessing occurred. Nandina had relocated to Sandy Springs, just a stone’s throw from where they were building their new house. “At the first meeting with Jessie I brought a huge stack of photos of everything in our home in Jackson that I hoped we could incorporate into this new house, all the while thinking, ‘I bet Jessie shoots most of this down,’ ” Karen added.

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The master bedroom is an oasis of soft gray, white and light steel blue with custom Eastern Accents Nicola Gray duvet cover and pillows combined with custom drapery and pillows from the Nandina Workroom.

Jessie admired Karen for being so prepared, responding, “Yes, yes, definitely yes!” to the photos. “When I looked at the stack of keepers, I was afraid we were going to have more than would possibly fit,” she recalled. “Karen and Chris have a great aesthetic, and their things represent a full collected life. I couldn’t wait to help them tell their story.” Karen wanted their new Atlanta home to represent their traditional classic style layered with unexpected touches of modern, a look that could stand the test of time. Jessie loved the idea of blending the traditional layers with strong, vibrant colors and modern accents. “I think the great room is a perfect example of a layered traditional look with the unexpected addition of a modern credenza from Currey & Company with a velum wrapped face that looks like a piece of abstract art,” explained Jessie. In the end Karen is still counting her blessings. “Jessie and I developed not only a great partnership in the design of my home, but also a friendship. Best of all, Chris and I have a new home that feels full of our life. The house doesn’t make the history, the lives do!”

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DESIGNER TIP

In the dining room LaFalce combined the Balls' traditional Queen Anne dining table and chairs with a sisal rug and bold lime Thibaut Meadowshall wallpaper to update the feel of the room. New head chairs upholstered in a combination of mohair and Schumacher Les Gazelles floral adds just the right punch.


The foyer is a picture of symmetry and light. The Balls' beloved Cuban Havanese “Javi” (short for Javier) finds a comfy spot on the back cushion of any sofa in the house.

The sitting room off the kitchen features Karen’s much loved sofa reupholstered in royal blue velvet that takes front and center against the subtle Romo Mikado wallpaper with its tone on tone silver Birch pattern.

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layered art

fresh greenery

books personal elements photographs decorative boxes

varying sizes of objects lidded objects hide remotes

AFTER - LIVING ROOM

A Q & A W I T H J E S S I E L A FA L C E A B O U T

the art of ACCESSORIZING Story by Susan Victor

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Design by Jessie LaFalce, Lead Designer

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Photography by Shelly Marshall Schmidt

Even in the most modern of interior designs, if the walls are bare and there is nothing present that speaks to the personality or character of the inhabitants, the space can feel cold or uninviting. Accessories and art are often an afterthought by homeowners, or the budget doesn’t allow for those finishing touches. However, just like an incredible scarf thrown around the neck of a little black dress, accessories often become the pièces de résistance of the overall look of the room. 42

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Understanding the importance accessories play in creating the feel of a home, Susan Victor asked Jessie Falce, Director of Design of Nandina Atlanta, to describe how she helped guide newlyweds Cam and Lisa Thompson in the art of accessorizing their first home. Q

Lisa and Cam Thompson are a newly married couple just starting to build a life together. Describe their style and how working with you as their designer impacted how they began the process and drew up a long-term plan that fit their budget.

A

Because this young couple is newly married, neither had any experience articulating their design style preferences, and we had to do a bit of digging. The first design concept was a hit for Cam with its classic modern furniture and art with bold color against an otherwise neutral palette, but it was a definite “miss” for Lisa. We went back to the drawing board and a few days later presented a design that had Lisa grinning from ear to ear. Cam wanted Lisa to be happy, and he was willing to shift his desire for pops of color toward Lisa’s more neutral preferences for a soft, monochromatic scheme of ivory, gray, and soft sand. For accents, only shades of gray-blue are used throughout the home in art, rugs, and side chairs. The result is a soothing, intimate, comfortable home designed for relaxing and quiet entertaining. I would define the resulting style as “Classic Traditional Cottage with a Modern Edge.”

BEFORE - LIVING ROOM

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Q

Their first big investment was in the basics. That didn’t leave a lot left over for layering in their personalities and character with accessories. As you worked with them and demonstrated how artfully accessorizing can change the whole feel of a room, how did you make decisions on what to bring in to fit their personalities and style?

A

When I choose accessories, art, pillows and accent furniture for any client, my process is the same. It is difficult to describe because rather than selecting by aesthetic, I select pieces emotionally. When I work with clients on the design of their home, how they will feel in the space is as important as what the space will look like. The emotional quality has as much bearing on the design as the aesthetic quality. That’s how I was able to focus on what would make Lisa feel happy with their design concept. I asked her to describe to me how she wanted to feel in her home at the end of her long work day. Then I selected colors, finishes and shapes that would capture that essence for her. The aesthetic evolved from that thought process. The same holds true for the accents. The feeling I am trying to capture is projected into selecting items from our vendors. In this case, I reached for anything that gave me a sense of quietude, but every now and again, I’d find something that gave me a little zing – something small with a modern edge to it. For example, the framed painting in the living room is definitely modern and abstract, but the colors blend seamlessly with those in the living room rug. This was a strategic choice on my part. In order to create a sense of calm in a space, you want the eye to flow smoothly as you look around the room, not jump sharply from object to object. To achieve a state of calm with accents, choose fluid, rounded shapes and images; a grouping of several items in one neutral color; and add items that are soft to the touch, like comforting cashmere throws or a lidded box covered with hair-on hide.

Q

Often when designers come into a home for an accessorizing makeover, we leave everything in place and let the client experience it in total. What were Lisa and Cam’s response to the makeover?

A

They loved it! In fact they kept about 80 percent of what we had brought in. Accessories and art should layer in over time, and the Thompsons felt this idea would give their home that added dimension of character while allowing them the freedom to bring in special finds or meaningful pieces as their lives unfold.

Q

Describe some specific areas that ended up being home runs.

A

The sunroom is one of my favorite spots in their home. It is so simple: four cane-back chairs, a beautiful rug, a full wall of soft, gauzy, linen ivory sheers. It’s a soothing, airy, serene spot to relax and read or share a drink with friends before dinner. I want to believe it’s one of Lisa and Cam’s favorite parts of the house as well!

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BEFORE - SUNROOM


AFTER - SUNROOM

layered books + boxes

asymmetrical placement

plants

colorful ceramics

unique side tables

pets - "real life"

Jessie’s Top Accessorizing Tips

PAY AT T E N T I O N T O S C A L E + C O M P O S I T I O N Scale of the pieces and how they are composed are critical to the overall look of the room. One single item too large for an area is just as glaring to the eye as too many small accessories scattered around on every surface. Think like an artist, arranging items to make a still life vignette.

SHOWCASE COLLECTIONS Collections are beautiful especially if they are grouped together. Five blue and white porcelain pieces spread throughout a house make no impact, but grouped together in the middle of a table they become a collection statement.

INTRODUCE CONTRAST AND TEXTURE Mixing metal, wood, glass, stone and even fur or feather accessories can add texture to a room and keeps the design from feeling one-dimensional.

DEVELOP AN EXPRESSIVE DESIGN Let your personality shine through in the art and accessories of your home. Showcase your hobbies, your travel , your family treasures or your quirky collections. The design of your home is a window into the personality and character of you and your family. In one of my own homes, I hung a collection of oil portraits of random strangers that I found at flea market and estate sales. Some were framed, some weren’t. Each subject had a name and fictitious personality that I created, and as a collection on one wall they made a whimsical, colorful statement. In addition, it provided a glimpse into my philosophy of not taking things too seriously!

L AY E R I N A R T + A C C E S S O R I E S O V E R T I M E + A L W A Y S E D I T, E D I T, E D I T Bring in art and accessories over time as you find meaningful pieces that will add character to your home. As you add new accessories, develop a ruthless attitude toward editing - keep only the items that tell a story, and leave space around objects so that you can see the individual beauty of each piece. Even richly layered collections that look meticulously curated have been very carefully edited.

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I would define the resulting style as “Classic Traditional Cottage with a Modern Edge.” Jessie LaFalce LEAD DESIGNER

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FOOD

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M A G A Z I N E

G O O D TA S T E

H O M E A N D E N T E R TA I N I N G

NEW TRENDS

F O O D, W I N E , R E S TA U R A N T N E W S , R E C I P E S , T R AV E L , E N T E R TA I N I N G , H O M E flavorsmagazine.com

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T H E S H R I M P, COLLARDS AND GRITS JOURNEY A N

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W I T H

Pat Branning

SPRING + SUMMER 2019


Often our first impression of a person is completely upended when we dig deeper and find the true essence – a person multidimensional and rich in character, a source of inspiration. This was my experience when I interviewed Pat Branning, celebrated author of the Shrimp, Collards and Grits Series. Pat is the perfect example of a person who has chosen to live a life that is a tapestry of richly layered experiences, roles, and accomplishments, but not without setbacks. At first meeting, she comes across as a true Southern lady – polished, polite, and accomplished. Then, as her story unfolded, I realized she also embodies other attributes: she is tough, tenacious, and talented. Fortunately for us, Pat has been gifted with a creative voice that speaks to the generation of women who struggled if they wanted to live a life both conventional and unconventional by old standards. And with that voice, she makes us believe women can be many things – wife, mother, professional – as she has done. Just look at her impressive pedigrees of broadcaster, publisher, writer, and storyteller, all rolled into a perfectly amazing human being!

SU SA N V I C T O R ( S V ) : You started your career in broadcasting at a time when it was a male-dominated career. What were those early years like, and how did you make a name for yourself?

Back in the early ‘70s, everyone who was anyone came to WSB-Atlanta to be interviewed. Politicians, authors, actors and actresses came from across the country to be on the station hailed as the “Voice of the South.” Bob Van Camp, the station music director who also played the organ at the renowned Fox Theatre in town, served as my coach. I’ll never forget the hours of practice it took to become the female voice for WSB.

PAT:

Commercial recording became a big part of the job, but it was the interviews that required endless hours of research. I’d do so much homework that I’d know more about the person than he or she knew about himself or herself. I’d write twenty or fifty questions on little three by five cards, throw some away and add more, then spend hours getting them in the right order. I had to know my questions and be prepared to throw them all out if I had to. Everything was live, with no room for mistakes or the forbidden “dead air.”

"As the only woman on the air, I was listened to and judged very closely. Any error in judgment, any inaccuracy or blunder would not be tolerated. There were always talented men waiting in the wings to take my place."

Pat Branning

As the only woman on the air, I was listened to and judged very closely. Any error in judgment, any inaccuracy or blunder would not be tolerated. There were always talented men waiting in the wings to take my place. In an era when women never reported the hard news of the day, it didn’t take long before that became my goal. I wanted to be among the first. After many months of asking and being rejected, the day came when the Martin Luther King Jr. funeral was to take place in the heart of the city. I was amazed to be the reporter selected to provide coverage at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. I was the only woman there in a crowd of male reporters from all over the world. There were many barriers to break back then and WSB gave me the opportunity to do that. SPRING + SUMMER 2019

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SV: How did you make the transition to publishing, and what inspired you to develop the Shrimp, Collards and Grits Series?

After I was married, we moved to a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina, just outside Beaufort, where life moved as slowly as a wisteria vine. It felt like life there had come to a screeching halt 100 years ago. We were one of the early developers, creating a golf course community along six miles of the Intracoastal Waterway. Gullah people, the descendants of slaves, were my neighbors, a proud people who knew how to live off the land. They’d leave blue crab and collard greens on my doorstep – whatever was in season. Why, Ms. Dora could shoot a raccoon out of a tree and skin it faster than anyone in Beaufort County. Stories would jump out and grab me everywhere I went, and once in a while someone would come along and steal my soul. I could not help writing about them, this magical place, its people, and way of life.

PAT:

I worked as a broadcaster at the ETV station in town, WJWJ, but wrote stories every chance I got, never for a moment thinking they would become content for a series of books (Shrimp, Collards and Grits) that came along decades later. We left that island and spent a decade living in other places, but the pull of the Lowcountry was so strong that we finally returned to make our home once again on the coast. No country clubs or fancy restaurants existed at that time, so we had to entertain each other in private homes, and believe me, those ladies could cook! I started compiling all the recipes I learned and managed to get my favorite ones into a small spiral bound book titled Shrimp, Collards and Grits. I printed a thousand copies and St. Helena’s Church kept them under the stairwell until time for the November bazaar. When it nearly sold out in a single day, I decided I would write a bigger book where I could include some stories in honor of Beaufort’s Tricentennial celebration in 2011. It sold 20,000 copies in just a year and a half. Never did I think I’d write another book, but people started asking when the next one would come out. And that’s how it all began. My corner of the South will always be known as the land of shrimp, collards and grits – a land of gracious plenty, where everyone is darlin’, strangers say “hello” and someone’s heart is always bein’ blessed.

You have developed Shrimp, Collards and Grits into more of a lifestyle brand. How would you describe Shrimp, Collards and Grits, and what are your goals and dreams for it today? SV:

My son, Andrew, came to me one day and said he would like to be the publisher. He studied it and figured it out. Courage is the word that comes readily to mind when I think of just the two of us taking that big step into such a competitive space. Just like that, the two of us. No fanfare, no fancy launch parties, no one else. The public response was all we needed to know we should keep going. From unique adventures behind the gates of Southern plantations, visits with characters often overlooked, to the optimum updates on food and spirits, rest assured that our standard for the best storytelling continues. I believe where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art. There must be a spiritual connection between the writer, the subject and the story. Therein lies the difference. We are more than ink on paper. Shrimp, Collards and Grits is an experience.

PAT:

We began by making Shrimp, Collards and Grits into a series of books, books that are a compilation of history, storytelling, art and artifact, recipes (because in the South, cooking and eating are a revered art form next to godliness!) When a new book is completed and hits the market, we retire the previous book. It is shocking to me how the Shrimp, Collard and Grits Series books have become collector’s items. In addition to publishing, we expanded our reach by creating an online presence. For us the Shrimp, Collards and Grits Series is an opportunity to work closely with the South’s finest artists, storytellers, photographers, and have adventures we only dreamed about previously. Working with some of the best talent in the region has added an entirely new dimension to our layered life. Our latest book, Southern Traditions, is our most popular publication to date. We include the art of entertaining along with the stories, recipes, and fine art. With the use of extraordinary words and images, each publication is dedicated to being the voice of one of the last remaining, culturally rich regions of our nation. We will continue to embrace the new, but celebrate roots that run deep.

"My corner of the South will always be known as the land of shrimp, collards and grits – a land of gracious plenty, where everyone is darlin', strangers say 'hello,' and someone's heart is always bein' blessed."

Pat Branning 50

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THIS IS MY

NEIGHBORHOOD AIKEN, SOUTH CAROLINA

“I am passionate about providing my clients a home not just a property.” DEIR DR E STOK ER VA I L L A NC OU R T

Vice President, Meybohm Real Estate • Uncompromising service • Consummate professional • Extensive local market knowledge • Integrity • Commitment to client’s needs and desires • Ensures client’s transition into the community • Client relationships that last beyond closing

DEIR DR E STOK ER VA I L L A NC OU R T 803.640.4591


AFTER - KITCHEN

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BEFORE + AFTER

Renovation SUCCESS

Design and Story by Susan Victor

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Photography by Shelly Marshall Schmidt

After 20 years, the most meticulously cared for home can need a facelift even if that home happens to belong to a master builder, owner of a highly respected design/build operation that has produced beautiful, high-end custom homes for more than two decades. With excellent resources and expertise readily at hand, the renovation process should be fairly easy. However, starting a renovation project can be almost paralyzing, especially if one of the homeowners is chomping at the bit, and the other one, who is not in the business, wants to make sure the final product will be worth all of the disruption. Such was the case for Marcia and Todd Gaul. Todd Gaul is a man of action who makes rapid-fire decisions while moving from one building site to the next, managing staff and carefully navigating the unique personalities and demands of hundreds of clients. He has mastered the formula, with a successful business and respected reputation to show for it. But when it comes to his own home, he wisely defers to his wife Marcia as the one whose happiness with the final product is paramount. “Many builders build themselves a new home every few years,” shared Marcia. “However, when we built this home in 1999, we planned to spend the rest of our lives here. Although we love everything about this house, after nearly 20 years we felt it was time for a home makeover. Looking back at the old photos, I’m shocked that we didn’t do something sooner! We had ideas for every room on the main floor, including a total kitchen renovation, but we just couldn’t agree on where to start, what to prioritize, and how it was all going to come together.”

BEFORE - KITCHEN A two-toned paint application to the cabinetry using white and Benjamin Moore Nantucket Gray lightens the newly renovated kitchen without doing a standard all-white approach. Marble mosaic backsplash adds interest, and oversized Gabby Home island pendants become the focal point of the kitchen.

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AFTER - DINING ROOM

The dining room makeover was anchored with a rich Phillip Jeffries grasscloth wallpaper and a new Currey & Company antique silvered chandelier. Lee industries head chairs add sophistication to this glamorous room.

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Todd was ready to pull the trigger on the renovation, but Marcia wanted a more clear vision of the total project. Recognizing that they were at an impasse, Todd thought calling in an outsider would speed things along. “Marcia and I have known Susan for over a decade and I have been the builder on many projects where Susan and the team from Nandina were the designers. We have an easy rapport and respect each other’s work and teams, and I knew Susan could help us negotiate a plan and get the process going,” he explained. Marcia and Susan made the transition from friends to design collaborators without a hitch. “Marcia was able to tell me exactly what she loved and how she wanted the house to feel once the renovation was complete – brighter, updated, comfortable, and welcoming,” said Susan. “She was always open to little design surprises like introducing color into the kitchen cabinetry or large-scale pendants over the island. She actually loves the process of design. From finding fabrics to debating over the perfect accessory for the bookshelves, she is all in!” Susan also found a bonus in working with Todd’s team at Designer Builders, especially his inhouse architectural designer Genevieve Balogh. “Genevieve is an expert in the elements of kitchen design and surface selections. I feel very comfortable deferring to her expertise, and learn from her in the process,” Susan added. The Gauls praised the end product of the renovation. “Throughout this entire process, working with Susan and her associate BethAnn gave us confidence that our design changes and color choices would look great and highlight the beautiful bones of the home that Todd and I love,“ said Marcia.

BEFORE - DINING ROOM

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“Working with Susan and BethAnn gave us confidence that our design changes and color choices would look great and highlight the beautiful bones of the home Todd and I love.�

Marcia Gaul, Homeowner

New custom cabinetry flanks the massive stone fireplace. An original oil by Augusta artist Doug Larson was commissioned by the Gauls and reminds them of their love of the South Carolina wetlands. A Visual Comfort Choros two-tier black and brass chandelier provides perfect scale in the soaring two-story room. SPRING + SUMMER 2019

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SCHUMACHER

//

DECONSTRUCTED STRIPE

C U R R E Y & C O M PA N Y / /

BUNGALOW 5 //

WALLCOVERING

FA R O U C H E P E N D A N T

TA N S U C O N S O L E TA B L E

COLOR REPORT

White Hot

Crisp, clean & modern, white décor is just what your home needs to BUNGALOW 5 //

brighten it up for Spring and Summer!

K A N O S I D E TA B L E

W O R L D S A W AY / / VERO MIRROR

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UTTERMOST // GUERINA LAMP

VA N G U A R D F U R N I T U R E / / KNICKERBOCKER CABINET

C E N T U RY F U R N I T U R E / / S Y LV I E C H A I R


DESIG N I S I N T HE DETA I L S

Home Design & Construction: Designer Builders

EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE OF A CUSTOM HOME BY TODD GAUL Building Client-First Relationships • Uncompromising Quality

Todd Gaul, President & Owner

9 3 5 D O U G H E R T Y R OA D, A I K E N S O U T H C A R O L I N A

803.642.8340 • www.designerbuilders.com


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Profile for Nandina Home & Design

N Home - Spring + Summer 2019  

A biannual lifestyle magazine designed to motivate, educate, entertain, and ultimately inspire you to transform the space you call home into...

N Home - Spring + Summer 2019  

A biannual lifestyle magazine designed to motivate, educate, entertain, and ultimately inspire you to transform the space you call home into...