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March/April 2021 ISSUE 77 • FREE Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Chamblee, Dunwoody and Westside



Featuring Celebrity Designer Vern Yip


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Contents 12 Editor’s Letter [ SIMPLY NOW ]

15 News: Divine Design The Drawing Room channels individual style at Buckhead Village

18 Travel Near: Lights, Camera, Weekend Exploring the other “Hollywood of the South”

20 Staycation:

26 Pets: Out of Paw-ffice Treat your pet to a staycation at one of these local boarding spots

Fashionable masks for springtime


42 Beauty:

68 Review: High Off The Hog

Scent Staples

DAS raises the bar in barbecue

Three local pros weigh-in on capturing the finest family photo

How to build a fragrance wardrobe for any occasion

70 Drinks: Simply Appealing


46 Tastemaker:

Hitting the Mark

24 Approved: Face Forward


28 Kids: Snapshot Savvy

Head out for this culture-filled drive to Summerville, Georgia

The director of kid experience on the importance of playtime



32 Home:

Jess Wardell



Road to Paradise

22 15 Minutes With:

Photos: 55: Sara Hanna, 32: David Parham, 46, 68: Joann Vitelli


A West Buckhead family moves its California-casual style to a new home in Brookhaven

38 Tastemaker:

Elevate your bar cart

Starting Anew

72 Foodie Journal:

Kellee Kendell turned a hair salon accident into the impetus for a beauty line

Kimpton Sylvan Hotel’s chef shares pro tips for outdoor entertaining


Ray of Light

48 On Stage:

Interior designer Whitney Ray brings her signature style to home projects

Atlanta’s Great Showman Bert Weiss of The Bert Show celebrates 20 years on-air

Garden Party


79 Events: Places to go and things to do

82 Charitable: A No Kid Hungry fundraiser at Kyma

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Chamblee, Dunwoody and Westside MARCH/APRIL 2021 | ISSUE 77 P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355 simplybuckhead.com For advertising rates, call: 404.538.9895 Publisher and Founder


Joanne Hayes Chief Financial Officer

Sonny Hayes [ E DI T ORI A L ] Managing Editor

Karina Antenucci Senior Contributing Editor

Jennifer Bradley Franklin Creative Director

Alan Platten Contributing Home Editor

Giannina S. Bedford Copy Editor

H.M. Cauley Contributing Writers

Carly Cooper The author of our Foodie Tastemaker column, Carly has been writing for Simply Buckhead since its inception. A Cricket Wireless content strategist, Atlanta  Magazine contributing editor and mother of two, Carly is the ultimate multi-tasker. When she’s not writing, you can find her sampling the city’s newest restaurant hotspots then burning off the calories on the BeltLine. She’s currently dreaming of the day when she can return to travel, lounging on the whitesand beaches of the Caribbean, wandering the streets of Paris and exploring the temples in Bali.

H.M. Cauley Rebecca Cha Carly Cooper Jessica Dauler Caroline Eubanks Mickey Goodman Angela Hansberger Taylor Heard Nicole Letts Amy Meadows Claire Rhulin Ginger Strejcek Jewel Wicker [ PHO T O GRA PHE RS ]

Sara Hanna David Parham Joann Vitelli [ SALES & ADVERTISING ] Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Cheryl Isaacs Account Executive

Michelle Johnson Graphic Designer

Layal Akkad [ DIGITAL ] Website Development Management

BHG Digital Director of Audience Development

We welcome all contributions, but we assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. No portion of this publication can be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. Copyright © 2021 by Simply Buckhead ®. All rights reserved. Printed by Walton Press, Inc. Distributed by Distributech and Distribution Services Group.


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Mike Jose Legal Counsel

Scott I. Zucker

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A fly on the wall of our recent cover shoot at the historic home of celebrity interior designer Vern Yip would have heard clapping and exaggerated calls of “Who’s a good boy?” and “You’re so handsome!” While the TV personality and author, known the world over for his flawless taste and affable personality, did look dapper, the crew and Yip’s husband, WAG-A-LOT owner Craig Koch, were encouraging the couple’s loveable Great Pyrenees named Lars, one of their five rescue pups. The wellProducer: Jennifer Bradley Franklin behaved dog happily posed for some Photographer: Sara Hanna shots alongside his famous dad, giving Photography assistant: Chris Rothman Simply Buckhead readers a glimpse into Hair and make-up: Richie Arpino the family’s elegantly curated abode. Wardrobe: Yip’s own

Orchids Ikebana Terrariums Custom Designs Classes

Containers & Unique Gifts made by Local Artists

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Read Simply Buckhead online at

For information, email us at advertising@simplybuckhead.com or call 404-538-9895



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March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



[ E DI T OR ’ S L E T T E R ]


tlanta is in full bloom, and not just its landscapes.

Homeowners continue to spruce up their spaces, new hotels are opening, businesses are getting creative and warmer weather has us all headed out to enjoy everything from great patios to easy road trips. Spring is a time of renewal, and it certainly feels that way across the city. As our personal worlds revolve around our homes, the March/April cover feature highlights the incredible interior design talent in our midst. These experts offer their insights into the latest “wow” trends to consider during renovations and redecorating. Guiding the way to more beautiful spaces is also our gracious cover star, Vern Yip, who has appeared on TLC’s Trading Spaces and is one of the judges on HGTV’s Design Star. Jennifer Bradley Franklin chats with him about his sage design wisdom and tips on making your home a haven. The real estate market is flourishing alongside home design, and local realtors provide insight into the area’s most coveted neighborhoods, too. While fresh starts and new innovations are embraced, we also celebrate iconic mainstays and the resilient. I had the pleasure of speaking with Bert Weiss of The Bert Show, celebrating its 20th anniversary this month, for the On Stage column. His story of determination inspires. So does beauty brand owner Kellee Kendell’s. Jewel Wicker interviews her about how she turned a shocking experience into a positive one. I believe we have much to spring forward to this month and beyond. I hope you enjoy the season and this issue alike.


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Karina Antenucci Managing Editor

N E W S | L O C A L S A L U T E | T R AV E L | 1 5 M I N U T E S W I T H | A P P R O V E D | P E T S | K I D S



Road To Paradise P20

Discover some of Georgia’s offbeat attractions on a sightseeing trip to Summerville.

Step into a storied wonderland of wit and whimsy at Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden.

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Ginger Strejcek

The Drawing Room owners Seth van den Bergh and Daniel Zimmerman offer a curated collection of unique furnishings and fine art at their Buckhead Village showroom.



east your eyes on a curated collection of global finds at The Drawing Room at Buckhead Village. The newly unveiled showroom and gallery ignite designer goals with an eclectic mix of mid-century furnishings and modern art. Punchy pieces range from a sunny yellow Gigi Radice lounge chair for $6,600 to Luigi Bevilacqua Leopardo silk velvet pillows for $1,600 a pop. The treasure trove comes courtesy of owners Daniel Zimmerman and Seth van den Bergh, who co-founded The Drawing Room as an interior design firm

in 2018. The dynamic duo is now presenting their artisanal acquisitions labeled the “TDR Collection” at the 1,200-squarefoot storefront, which also doubles as headquarters central. “Our mission is to offer our clients the opportunity to create experiential spaces with bespoke furnishings, unlike what they can find anywhere else in the city,” says Zimmerman. “Having a physical space to showcase TDR’s vintage and custom pieces is essential to our vision.” “We’ve been really well received because there’s nothing

like what we’re doing at Buckhead Village and in the city in general,” adds van den Bergh of Peachtree Hills. “The collection of furniture that we’ve curated represents the strongest designs from Italian powerhouse designers of the ’50s and ’60s. We’re offering a fresh perspective on what vintage can be.” n THE DRAWING ROOM 3017 Bolling Way N.E., Suite 234 Atlanta 30305 678.662.6761 thedrawingroomatl.com

NEWS CLIPS ARTISTIC HUB AT UPTOWN The creative arts are flourishing in Buckhead, thanks to an innovative collaboration between Hambidge Center and Uptown Atlanta, the mixed-use development by the Lindbergh Center MARTA station. Four storefronts along Piedmont Road have been reimagined as the CrossPollination Art Lab with a suite of galleries, performance spaces and studios to unite

visual artists, dancers, writers, poets and musicians. Spanning 12,000 square feet in an industrial-chic setting, the community hub focuses on small-group experiences designed around art and conversation. The Lab is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. hambidge.org/about-art-lab

BOUTIQUE STAY IN BUCKHEAD For cushy creature comforts with a mid-century vibe, rest

easy at The Kimpton Sylvan Hotel at 374 East Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead. Catering to business and leisure travelers, the boutique hotel opened in February and has been sleekly revamped from a 1950s residential property, boasting 217 rooms with amenities aplenty, inside and out. Guests can savor continental American classics at the supper club restaurant, sip craft cocktails in the

garden bar and wind down at the rooftop lounge. Owned by the InterContinental Hotels Group, The Sylvan also features a pool, fitness center and ballroom for weddings and special events. thesylvanhotel.com

LUSH LASHES AT LUMIÈRE Get ready to bat those lashes, ladies. The recently opened Lumière Lash Lounge at 3872 Roswell Road in the Buckhead Court Shopping

Center offers custom lash extension services, from natural to dramatic, with pricing starting at $275. “Our clients are in awe of what a big difference a little bit of lashes can make. We just help enhance what was always there,” says founder Kayla Nguyen, a young entrepreneur whose success as a freelance beauty provider led to the posh new space. lumierelashlounge.com

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




Mickey Goodman

Connecting the Radio Generation Musical memories

Left: Volunteer DJ Ed Rosenblatt of Sandy Springs records a show on Radio Recliner. Above: Mitch Bennett came up with the awardwinning concept.

l For more information, visit radiorecliner.com.

Personal Power


Twenty years ago, leaders at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church in Sandy Springs wanted to help the Latino community in the area and asked educator Maritza Morelli if she would develop a summer program for preschoolers. “I started with one volunteer teacher, 17 kids and me,” says Morelli. “We named it Los Niños Primero (Kids First).” “By 2019, we had 30 certified teachers, eight coordinators for our year-round programs, 140 youth volunteers, 800 kids and families, and multiple partners. Despite the pandemic, in 2020 we served 212 kids remotely and had virtual Saturday school for another 100.” The organization also provided students with full backpacks, computers, IT assistance and an app that

Susan Bonds-McCulloch (left) helps a client select clothing for an upcoming job interview.

Appearance counts Despite the obstacles of the last year, the Sandy Springs-based Dress for Success Atlanta chapter helped more than 800 women receive professional attire for interviews and learn the skills needed to land and retain a job. Since its inception in New York in 1997, the global organization has empowered more than 1.2 million women to achieve economic independence. “Every woman we take out of poverty brings six others with her,” says Executive Director Susan

Kids First Education is key

Somerby Senior Living facilities in Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama. “Volunteer DJs choose their own names, select 12 to 15 songs and add commentary, which is pre-recorded by a Luckie producer,” says Bennett. “We now have listeners in every state and South Korea who call in requests or make dedications.” The unique concept won the 2020 Mercury Award for “Best Use of Audio.” Somerby Sandy Springs resident Ed Rosenblatt, a.k.a. DJ Windjammer, especially enjoyed writing the chatter between songs and telling jokes. “I listened to a lot of songs before I selected my favorites from artists like John Denver, Michael Bolton and George Benson,” Rosenblatt says. “I dedicated Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ to my 14 beautiful granddaughters.”

Early on in the pandemic, Mitch Bennett, the chief creative officer at the Luckie PR firm, began worrying about the loneliness experienced by people living in senior residences. “They were locked down, unable to leave their apartments or even share meals,” he says. “They needed a way to connect and unite.” Bennett had an idea: why not create a radio station for the radio generation? He packaged his idea and presented it to Luckie’s client, Bridge Senior Living, with facilities in 16 states. The company jumped at the opportunity. The result was Radio Recliner, a free station run by and for residents, including those in memory care and hospice units, and coordinated by life skills directors and producers at Luckie. The project began at Bridge’s

Maritza Morelli, executive director of Los Niños Primero, received the Latin American Association’s 2020 Inspiration Award for her service.

Bonds-McCulloch. “It impacts the whole community by providing purchasing power.” Board member Claudia Nowak, co-owner of Hal’s in Buckhead, focuses on fundraising and events.

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

“Despite the necessity for a totally virtual event, we were thrilled to raise $100,000, the same amount we raised in 2019,” she says. “DFS is particularly important now because so many more women need help.” In past years, women who were referred through the organization’s agency partners were fitted for two outfits. “They were also offered workshops, advice from professional women and additional services once they landed a job,” says Bonds-McCulloch. “Those who attended our six- to eightweek course had a 90% success rate of getting and keeping jobs.”

allows teachers to communicate with parents by translating instructions into Spanish. “This year, 80% of our students’ parents lost jobs or had reduced hours. Fortunately, we were able to help them with rent,” says Morelli. For her achievements, she received the Latin American Association’s 2020 Inspiration Award, and Los Niños Primero was honored for its service to the community at the 2019 Martin Luther King celebration in Sandy Springs. In addition to providing academics, the arts and sports for kids aged 3 to second grade, Los Niños Primero helps high school seniors complete college applications and apply for scholarships. “I grew up knowing education would open doors, and that is my gift to all our kids,” Morelli says. l For more information, visit losninosprimerousa.org.

Currently, volunteers select and bag clothing specifically based on a woman’s size and the jobs she is applying for. Since the office is closed to clients, women pick up the clothes and take classes online. “If organizations want to help, we need fundraisers rather than clothing drives,” says Bonds-McCulloch. l For more information, visit atlanta.dressforsuccess.org.

Want to nominate a volunteer, company or nonprofit that makes Buckhead, Chamblee, Dunwoody Sandy Springs, Brookhaven or the Westside a better place to live? Please contact: editor@simplybuckhead.com

Come Ride the Wave at Kids Camps, Private Birthday Parties, Kids Yoga, Balloons and Kids Clothing Oodazu is a seriously rad, multi-activity, yoga and party venue for kids! From our giant ripslide, yoga classes, gaga ball, climbing walls & towers, and more. We have activities for all ages, including our baby play space! Check out www.OODAZU.com to view our event calendar as well as Camps and Activities to sign up. OODAZU, 800 Miami Circle, Suite 130, Atlanta GA 30324




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March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Wilmington is set on the Cape Fear River, inland from the Atlantic Ocean.

IF YOU GO Stay ARRIVE Wilmington arrivehotels.com/wilmington

Eat Courtesy of Wilmington CVB

Manna mannaavenue.com PinPoint Restaurant pinpointrestaurant.com Savorez savorez.com

Do Airlie Gardens airliegardens.org


Exploring the other “Hollywood of the South”

efore Atlanta became known as the film capital of the South, there was Wilmington, North Carolina, or as it became known, “Wilmywood.” Hundreds of movies and television shows used the charming town as the backdrop, including “Dawson's Creek,” “One Tree Hill,” Empire Records, Iron Man 3 and A Walk to Remember. I visited as a teenager when the soapy dramas that made it famous were still on television. But I returned as an adult to see what else the city had to offer. Wilmington is located on the Cape Fear River, a few miles inland from the coast and six hours from Atlanta. It was established in 1725 as Brunswick Town, North Carolina’s first capital. It became a significant port, bringing goods to and from nearby farms and plantations and constructing ships. I learned even more about Wilmington’s history at the Cape Fear Museum that covers the area’s past from the prehistoric age to the present. Fascinating exhibits include a replica of a giant ground sloth skeleton and a jersey belonging to sports legend Michael Jordan, who went to high school in Wilmington. Movie fanatics can see real-life places from the big screen using the Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website. I got to see Joey’s boat from “Dawson’s Creek” and the bench from “One Tree Hill” on a pre-pandemic film locations tour.


After getting my first tastes of the city, I checked into ARRIVE Wilmington, which opened in 2019 on the former site of The Wilmingtonian, a hotel that often hosted actors and film crews. It’s the second location from the ARRIVE brand, after the Palm Springs original, and brings in similarly stylish and playful modern design to the boutique hotel. The city has an incredible culinary scene, which I didn’t expect. I had dinner at PinPoint Restaurant, which has been praised by Southern Living and Food Network. I indulged in fresh vegetables from local farms and cornmeal-battered fish on a bed of grits. On the two-block walk back to the hotel, I stopped for a nightcap at New Anthem Beer Project, one of a dozen craft breweries in town. In the morning, I hit the ground running, crossing the river to see the Battleship North Carolina. I’d heard that it can get toasty below deck, so I wanted to explore the tunnels of rooms before the sun rose fully. Built in 1937, the ship was a part of America’s fleet during World War II. The hull was damaged by a Japanese torpedo and was decommissioned, permanently docked in the Cape Fear River. Visitors can see the small bunkrooms, commanders’ offices and even the onboard dentist’s office. I worked up an appetite after navigating through every corner of the sprawling ship, so I chose Savorez, a cozy Latin restaurant near Wilmington’s stretch of historic homes. The seared tuna tostones, jerk shrimp to-

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

New Anthem Beer Project newanthembeer.com Wilmington Filming Locations wilmingtonandbeaches.com/ famous-film-tv-locations

Right: Airlie Gardens is a botanical garden that has appeared on screen.

Above: PinPoint Restaurant creates stunning dishes with seasonal ingredients. Right: Battleship North Carolina is permanently docked in the Cape Fear River.

stada and yucca fries were delicious. After cooling off back in my room, I went for an early dinner and cocktail at Manna, a New American restaurant a block away from ARRIVE. I sipped a cucumber gin concoction and ordered seared scallops and a perfectlycooked steak with sweet potato gratin. Before starting the long drive back to Atlanta the following morning, I detoured to Airlie Gardens, a 67-acre botanical garden created in 1886 by the Pembroke Jones family. I was captivated by the majestic 500-year-

Courtesy of Wilmington CVB


Caroline Eubanks

Cape Fear Museum capefearmuseum.com

Allie Wilson


Battleship North Carolina battleshipnc.com

old oak tree in the middle of the property and the Minnie Evans Bottle Chapel, named for the folk artist who worked at the gardens for many years. I didn’t spot a single celebrity during my time in Wilmington, but nonetheless, left with happy memories. n



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S TAYC AT I O N Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden in Summerville is a timeworn testament to the late folk artist.

Above: The eye-popping expanse is jam-packed with Finster's found object assemblages.

Head out for this culture-filled drive to Summerville, Georgia


eorgia is home to so many unique places that it’s perfect for sightseeing romps, especially when spring is in the air and the compass is pointing northwest to Summerville. Just a 1.5-hour drive from the hustle and bustle of Buckhead, this sleepy little city earned its name as a popular summer resort in the 1800s. A century later, it became the heavenly haven for worldrenowned folk artist Howard Finster, who poured his heart and soul into creating an outdoor wonderland that’s dazzled visitors for decades. Paradise Garden is not only a gem in itself, but getting there is also half the fun. Hit the brakes in Cartersville for Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site. Stretch your legs at this 54-acre archaeological treasure, where Na-


Ginger Strejcek

tive Americans planted roots on the banks of the Etowah River from 1000 to 1550 A.D. A designated National Historic Landmark, it’s the most intact Mississippian culture site in the Southeast. Scope out the artifacts in the museum, from beaded adornments to hand-carved effigies, then scale the earthen mounds, three of which are accessible via designated stairs for a sweeping view of the grassy grounds. Enjoy a picnic and nature trail by the river. Next, head 30 miles north to Calhoun for a quick detour to The Rock Garden. Tucked in a sun-dappled sanctuary behind the Seventh-day Adventist Church, this local tourist attraction features an elfin village of more than 50 hand-built stone structures, including diminutive replicas of Cinderella’s castle, the Roman Colosseum and the cathedral of The Rock Garden in Calhoun unveils an enchanting village of wee wonders. Navigate the lot along cobblestone paths and pintsize crossing bridges.


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Photos: Ginger Strejcek

Road to Paradise Explore a ceremonial complex of Native American ritual and burial mounds along the Etowah River in Cartersville.

Notre Dame. The whimsical wonders are crafted from pebbles, shells and other assorted materials in a volunteer project led by Dewitt Boyd. Lush greenery, pretty blooms and a meandering stream set the scene. From there, it’s another 30-mile skip west to Summerville to explore Paradise Garden on a self-guided tour. Serendipitously spread on a 2.5acre parcel in a quiet neighborhood, this museum is heralded as Finster’s greatest artistic feat, imaginatively rendered by his visionary brush and eclectic stockpile of stuff. Step into a mirror house on stilts above a brook. Poke around relic-filled tool sheds and peek at encased curio displays. Stroll through an elevated open-air gallery, decked with floor-toceiling art and mementos. Meditate in the chapel. Ponder the sky-high bike tower, squatty bottle house, painted Cadillac and cryptic sarcophagus. In the Mosaic Garden, thousands of found objects, utilitarian to decorative, are embedded in concrete shrines. Other sculptural oddities sprout up like maniacal mushrooms on the verdant grounds, crisscrossed by a kaleidoscopic maze of walkways paved with bits and pieces of glass and tile. The crowning glory is the five-story World Folk Art Church, fabricated to resemble a four-layer, 12-sided wedding cake. The hodgepodge of man-made ornamentation bears witness to the

life mission of the self-taught artist. After retiring as a Baptist minister and jack-of-all-trades, Finster settled in Summerville, erecting the Plant Farm Museum in his backyard in 1970 as a roadside tribute to inventors. Over the years, the swamp-drained land grew in scope and stature, evolving into his own Garden of Eden as he was led to spread the Gospel through creating thousands of sacred art paintings. In the ’80s, Finster famously collaborated with R.E.M. on album cover art, and the video of the group’s debut single “Radio Free Europe” was filmed in the garden. In 1994, a portion of Paradise Garden was permanently installed at Atlanta’s High Museum. With so much to see en route, day-trippers can recharge their batteries with an overnight stay at one of Paradise Garden’s quirky guest cottages (available through Airbnb), turning the road trip venture into a weekend getaway. n

DETAILS Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site gastateparks.org/etowahindianmounds Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden paradisegardenfoundation.org The Rock Garden calhounsda.com/rock-garden

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March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 





Amy Meadows


ess Wardell is a former teacher. Her husband, Corey, is an accounting professional. They never expected to work together in any capacity. But in mid-2019, serendipity intervened. Corey and a group of colleagues were working on a project that focused on children and families, and they wanted Jess’ professional insights, which she had honed by receiving a master’s degree in elementary education and spending more than seven years at the head of a second grade classroom. Soon, she was immersed in the project. And now the mother of three is thrilled to be the director of kid experience for Kefi, a modern-day family club that opened in 2019 and serves as a gathering spot for kids and parents. A new concept for the Atlanta area, the 30,000-square-foot Buckhead facility is getting rave reviews from the community, thanks in large part to the notable play strategy developed and implemented by Wardell and the team at this center. How does Kefi work? This is not a run-of-themill play place. Those are great, and I’ve been to them, but this is more than an attraction. Our goal is to make life easier for parents and more fun for kids. It’s not just a place for kids to play; it really is a place for families to come in and balance “me time” and “we time.” Kids enjoy a one hour and 45 minute block during which they can play in a meaningful and intentional way, and their parents can visit two parent-only spaces where they can work, read a book or drink a hot cup of coffee at their leisure. How have you approached the development of Kefi’s play programming? I wear the hat of former teacher and mom, and I was able to speak to some of the logistics about the ways kids play. My niche is understanding how kids interact with each other as they grow and develop.


Every space we’ve designed and every game we create is done with intention and focuses on how we can help foster child development. What has been the most rewarding part of your job? For me, it has been so eye opening to see how kids’ needs are continuously evolving and changing. Little ones have even more developmental needs [than I realized]. Watching our families in real time experiencing Kefi and what it has to offer, and being a member myself with my kids, I have learned so much about the importance of meaningful feedback. Our Playsmiths are trained to provide authentic feedback about the kids to their parents, to explain what they notice about each child and how they play. And nothing is more rewarding than the chance to help families. That’s my personal goal—to serve and love others to the best

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

of my ability and make their day better. Why is this the right time for a concept like Kefi? This pause in our lives has been intense. Kids have dealt with a lack of social interaction, and parents need a chance to take a moment for themselves. The world has been in a period of transition for half the time we’ve been open,

and we restructured our business to meet the needs of the people we serve. We keep our rooms at capacity of up to 10 children, kids are required to wear masks, and when a play block ends, everyone leaves at the same time so we can deep clean. We try to be proactive so we can support our families and give them the experiences they need right now. n

KEFI 3637 Peachtree Road N.E., Suite D Atlanta 30319 404.937.3352 playkefi.com



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A P P ROVE D Outdoor Research Essential Face Mask Kit ($20) This is like the Sporty Spice version of a face mask, perfect for your outdoor adventures. Originally created for essential workers, this water- and stain-resistant mask is now available to the general public. The roomy design lets you breathe as if you’re not wearing a face covering at all, and the nose wire adjusts to REI create a custom fit that prevents 1165 Perimeter glasses from fogging. A small Center West zippered plastic bag comes with Atlanta 30338 three optional filters that can be 770.901.9200 inserted into the mask. rei.com

Burberry Vintage Check Cotton Face Mask ($120) If luxury face masks with a traditional look are what you desire, British fashion brand Burberry has a chic face mask crafted in the company’s signature vintage plaid pattern and tucked into a matching travel pouch. The fabric is enhanced with an antimicrobial substance that inhibits the growth and reproduction of bacteria, mold and mildew. Burberry donates 20% of the sales to COVID-19 funds.

Face Forward No longer just an everyday safety tool, masks have become a fixture in our wardrobes. Why not make a fashion statement instead of donning the same-old covering? Each of these stylish versions melds form and function to make your spring mask selfies extra likeable.

Burberry 3393 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.231.5550 burberry.com


Jessica Dauler Tory Burch Printed Face Mask, Set of 3 ($35) This set of three lovely floral, Oprah-approved masks was created by iconic lifestyle designer Tory Burch. Smart features on the spring-forward set include a moisture-wicking fabric, contoured nose wires, an interior pocket to hold a filter and ear straps that can be adjusted to create a custom fit. One hundred percent of all sales of these masks are donated to organizations to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Golden Goose Logo Star Camouflage Face Mask ($65) The brand that introduced one of the most popular sneakers of the decade adds this camouflage mask to its line of statement pieces. Branded with the signature star logo, the mask’s knitted soft stretch fabric adjusts to the contours of your face and remains sleek without added bulk. Over-the-ear straps are comfortable and barely noticeable. Intermix 3031 Bolling Way N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.816.8190 intermixonline.com

Tory Burch 3500 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.816.3261 toryburch.com

Johnny Was Reusable Silk Charmeuse Mask Face Covering Set ($40) If you love vibrant floral designs and fine silk, then these bohemian-styled masks are a must. Traditionally, silk fabric face masks are gentler on your skin and more breathable than multi-layer cotton, not to mention more sophisticated and a cool contrast to your leather jacket. Each set has five masks featuring a pleated silhouette and an interior pocket to place an additional filter. Plus, for every Neiman Marcus 3393 Peachtree Road N.E. pack sold, the company Atlanta 30326 donates a pack to 404.266.8200 essential workers. neimanmarcus.com


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


Photo: Erik-Jan Leusink / Unsplash


OUT OF PAW-FFICE Treat your pet to a staycation at one of these local boarding spots STORY:

Taylor Heard


hether you’re venturing outside the city for spring break or merely looking to win a hypothetical pet parent of the year award, look to these local dog- and cat-boarding businesses to give your pet the self-care weekend they deserve.

Bark & Board Situated in Brookhaven near Dresden Drive, this neighborhood spot is an easy choice for pet owners looking to give their furbaby the royal treatment, with private boarding offerings for both cats and dogs across the 11,733-square-foot facility. The deluxe suite ($57/night) provides pups their own sizable, 5-by-8-foot climate-controlled space with a cozy Kuranda cot-style bed; the presidential suite ($65/night) comprises all the creature comforts, such as a personal cable television and 24/7 webcam to large windows that welcome ample natural light in the 6-by-6-foot plexiglass-enclosed room. Feline guests checking in for the weekend or opting for an extended stay are given their own private “kitty condo” ($25/night) with windows primed for bird watch-


ing, multiple lounge-worthy levels and ledges, and toys galore­. Did we mention classical music is played throughout each condo?

Barking Hound Village Located on Pharr Road, the Buckhead-based biz recently revealed a renovation that caters to the city’s most discerning dogs, with its 2,500-square-foot facility now offering only 41 deluxe suites (from $48/ night) with high levels of comfort and privacy. Translation: It’s a not-so rough life for four-legged guests that enjoy a private, enclosed space with a comfortable bed, cozy blanket, fresh water and other little luxuries upon request. Owners can view their loved ones on the highdefinition web-cams and in photos sent daily via email or text that keep them “pup-to-date.” Playful guests will go for the two indoor-outdoor play areas, and when your pooch inevitably winds up not wanting to leave, the Unlimited Play doggy daycare package (30 days for $385 for one dog) can keep the good times coming.

Puppy Haven With two locations in Chastain/ Sandy Springs and Brookhaven, this locally owned pet-boarding site

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

is the spot for treating your bestie to a tail-wag-worthy getaway. Its cage-free suites with walls and doors ($60/night) render plenty of personal space (5-by-5-foot), an elevated cot and lambswool bedding. Puppy Haven offers a premium house brand of nutritious bites ($4/ meal), plus the on-site concierge staff can tend to any special needs specific to your pet. When it’s time to get some exercise, pups are placed in socializing groups based on size, personality and activity level before they’re free to explore the two indoor and one outdoor play areas, complete with safe-play equipment and pools designed especially for dogs. n

DOG DAYS BUCKHEAD’S NEWEST UPSCALE DOG PARK OPENS THIS SEASON Expanding its pawprint in Atlanta, Fetch Park is set to cut the ribbon on its new Buckhead Village District location this spring. The off-leash, membership-based dog park that doubles as a hip, fullservice watering hole for dog moms and

DETAILS Bark & Board 2600 Apple Valley Road N.E. Atlanta 30319 470.602.7803 barkandboard.com Barking Hound Village 50 Pharr Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.410.1476 barkinghoundvillage.com Puppy Haven Multiple locations puppyhavenatl.com

dads has become a mainstay for owners since its flagship location opened in Old Fourth Ward in 2018. Mirroring the original setup inspired by an old-school minor league baseball field, the Buckhead outpost will feature ample greenspace in the form of durable, mud-free field turf, as well as cooling stations and a bath area. Owners can enjoy shaded seating, Wi-Fi, several Ultra Bright outdoor TVs and a vintage Airstream serving up local and imported beer, wine and spirits. Prices start at $30 per month or $10 for a day pass. fetchpark.com

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March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



PHOTO FASHION: 10 TIPS ON WHAT TO WEAR 1. Coordinate, but don’t match, outfits. 2. Choose flattering pieces you won’t mind seeing yourself in for years to come. 3. Consider the season. Pastels in the spring and jewel tones in the fall can create a cohesive look for photos. 4. Mix textures and fabrics. 5. Stay away from neons, large logos or bold patterns. 6. Consider matching your clothing to colors in your home decor where your pictures will be displayed. 7. Can't decide? Stick to the basics: Creams, grays and browns are yearround neutrals. 8. For children, a snug outfit is better than one that’s too big. Alice Park

9. Shoes are optional on a warm day. 10. Pinterest is always a great idea source.

Snapshot Savvy


Giannina S. Bedford

Three local pros weigh-in on capturing the finest family photo


family photograph is something to cherish for years to come, but getting it done right can be challenging. We asked three local family photographers for their top dos and don’ts to create a portrait that displays your brood’s best.

Brookhavenbased Ashley Berrie has been photographing babies, children and families in Atlanta for more than 10 years. Here are her tips for phenomenal photos.

DO: Make sure everyone in your family is on board with the shoot. Build up your photography session as a time for fun. n Plan your outfits ahead of time. Lay out the looks, top to bottom, days in advance. n Plan something fun for after the session, like a meal or ice cream. Remind the kids of the treat during the session, and they will often show their excitement for the camera. DON'T: Don’t forget about the location when planning outfits. High heels in a field isn’t advised


but would be perfect for walking on the sidewalk in a city setting. n Don't plan your session during your spouse’s favorite team's game or during your child's naptime. It will show if they aren't happy to be there. n Don’t use oversized bows, head pieces or accessories that will overpower the image. ON LOCATION: “I love shooting at The Duck Pond in Peachtree Heights East, Little Nancy Creek Park and Tanyard Creek Park. I also love using a family's outdoor area at their own home. This can be more meaningful and often more convenient for families.” ashleyberriephotography.com

Alice Park has been taking pictures of families professionally for more than 15 years. Her Buckhead studio is located at the Shops of Miami Circle. Here, her bit of photo wisdom.

DO: Choose outfits that reflect each family member’s personality. n Allow your family to connect with your photographer. The most authentic expressions and photographs

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

stem from that connection. n Relax, have fun and trust the photographer to capture timeless photographs.

DON'T: Don’t stress about a session that did not go entirely as planned. The best is usually captured in between the chaos. n Don’t allow your digital images to sit on your hard drive or mobile device. Print, frame and create tangible family keepsakes that your family can enjoy for years to come. ON LOCATION: “My favorite locations are my clients’ homes. There is something special and meaningful about capturing them on their favorite front porch swing or under the tree where they host tea parties or in the spaces that bring them joy. Other favorite spots are the Swan House, the High Museum or Ansley Park.” aliceparkphotography.com

Jina Watson is based on the Upper Westside and has been dabbling in family photography since 2012. She officially launched her business, Jina Lee Photography, in 2014. Here are her words of advice.

DO: Have fun! Don’t worry about where to place your hands or awkward smiles you think you may have. The photographer’s job is to help guide you. n Bring snacks and/or favorite toys for little ones. The youngest members of the family can be a little shy or can get tired of picture taking quickly. n Let the photographer work on getting smiles and laughter from the kids. Sometimes parents focus so much on getting their children to cooperate that when we finally do get a smile from them, the parents’ faces aren’t always chipper. DON'T: Don’t forget to take things out of your pockets (dads!) and hair ties off your wrists (I’m looking at you, ladies!). n Don’t be late. Many photographers book clients back-to-back, especially during peak seasons. When one client is late, it can cause a ripple effect on the rest of the day’s clients. ON LOCATION: “One Buckhead gem is Lenox Park. It’s a bit hidden as it’s masked by office buildings and apartments, but once you get inside, it’s very reminiscent of Central Park [in New York City]. You have a few bridges, a lake and even some nice boulders.” jinaleephotography.com


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March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead




Design Decadence P32

Suzanne and Drew Markleys’ showcase kitchen is the central gathering spot for their family of five. Photo: David Parham

“We love the open floorplan of the main living space. Even if we’re all doing different things... we’re still all together.” —Suzanne Markley

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Above: The spacious main floor flows seamlessly to the outdoors through glass pocket doors. Below: The Markley crew is happily settled in a Brookhaven new build that offers plenty of space for each member of the family.

Hitting the Mark A West Buckhead family moves its Californiacasual style to a new home in Brookhaven STORY:


efore Drew and Suzanne Markley got married, they purchased and moved into a newly built craftsman in west Buckhead. It’s where they brought home their twins, Parker and A.J., in 2012 and their newest family member, daughter Elliott, in 2018. As their brood grew, Suzanne kept her eye on the real estate market, looking for a larger abode that might better fit their family. The urgency to move kicked into high gear during the quarantine last spring when Suzanne, a principal at tax


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Giannina S. Bedford   PHOTOS: David Parham

firm Ryan, was forced to work out of her son’s closet and Drew, who works in commercial real estate lending, out of the master bedroom. “It became abundantly clear that we had to go,” says Suzanne. “We are the classic example of the family that quarantine broke. We could not possibly stay.” The Markleys jumped full force into looking for their next home. Although Brookhaven wasn’t at the top of their list initially, they became enchanted with the community after some exploration. They were sold when a new home, still under construction, came on the market in Ashford Park. With a similar layout to their craftsman, the more transitional sixbedroom, six-and-a-half-bathroom residence boasted an office and basement, both of which were lacking in their previous home. “I remember walking in here and saying that we could literally drop our furniture in this house,” Suzanne says. “All the finishes were completely my taste.” Built by Bedrock Homes, the 5,500–square-

foot residence with modern lines features wood-paneled accent walls, custom built-in bookshelves and statement-making light fixtures. Situated on a corner lot, it offers panoramic views of the outdoors through floor-to-ceiling windows that also welcome an abundance of natural light. The Markleys saw the home in May 2020, quickly made an offer and closed on the first of August. “It’s my dream house, and I absolutely love it,” says Suzanne, who used her discerning eye and lots of Instagram research to decorate in her West Coast style. “The move almost killed us, but it was all worth it.” Since settling in, the Markleys have relished every square inch, from Drew’s private office overlooking the picket-fenced front lawn and the kids’ basement playroom to the large kitchen and family room that opens to the backyard. “When it becomes acceptable to host things again, I feel like this house will function in that way so well. It feels like it was made for entertaining and easy flow,” Suzanne says.

Above: The Markleys’ newly built home features large windows offering vast views of their Brookhaven neighborhood.

Below: The home’s entry leads into an open dining room with a wood-paneled bar.

Right: Serena & Lily bistro-style stools and a Turkish runner adorn the uncluttered white kitchen.

“It’s my dream house, and I absolutely love it.” –Suzanne Markley

ent things like working on a puzzle, cooking, watching sports, playing board games, etc., we’re still all together,” Suzanne says. “Our house lends itself to quality family time, which we are trying to enjoy while our children are still young enough to want to spend time with us.” Each area of the main floor complements the other with the Markley’s curated, casual style. Up the main stairs, past the entryway’s picture-perfect French tufted window seat (sourced on Etsy from a seamstress in Poland), the bedrooms show off a more individualized style. A.J.’s room, which boasts the best view through the large picture window, features an oversized University of Alabama flag on the wall and bunk beds crafted by his mom and dad. (Suzanne and Drew, who have a passion for DIY projects, also made the wood table on the outdoor patio.) Across the hall, Elliott’s colorful nursery shines with a Hygge & West wallpaper of French blue birds and cornflower clouds, Suzanne’s repainted childhood dresser and


The kitchen, outfitted with textured subway tile backsplash, quartz countertops and an island with a custom wood base, is a main gathering spot. Suzanne is “obsessed” with the Thermador range and the walk-in pantry’s appliance counter that provides easy access to all her kitchen tools. The kitchen also has a coffee bar and adjacent mudroom that catches the kid clutter on the way in the door. The living room, furnished in a custom sofa from Interior Define, Target accent chairs and Anthropologie rug, faces the patio and backyard where the Markleys hope to add a pool in the next few years. The main living space also includes a zinc-topped breakfast table surrounded by colorful Anthropologie chairs and an open dining room furnished with a no-fuss wood dining table from Nadeau. Nearby, a bar area with a soapstone countertop showcases crystal barware and two paintings Suzanne recently purchased from Gregg Irby Gallery. “We love the open floorplan of the main living space. Even if we’re all doing differ-

The French-tufted window seat with pillows from Hackner Home is the Markleys’ favorite place to welcome the day with a cup of coffee.

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


H OM E SUZANNE’S TOP DIY DECORATING TIPS 1. Curate your Instagram feed with designers/stylists/bloggers who reflect the style you want for your own home. Let the inspiration take you from there.  2.  Make a moodboard. The two easiest ways are to paste items into Google Slides or screenshot items on your phone and move them into a dedicated “album” for the room or space you’re working on. It’s so much easier to tell if pieces work well together when you can visually see them next to each other.  3. Focus on texture. Finished spaces should feel layered with varied patterns, materials and textiles. Scan your room and make sure there are natural stopping points for your eye.  4. Add plants. Houseplants are high impact visually with proven health benefits. They also add texture, bring the outdoors in, are beautiful to look at and keep you and your space grounded. 5. Don’t be afraid to call in the experts for major decisions or big ticket purchases. Many designers will work on an hourly basis. We were looking for a piece of fine art for our entryway and felt very overwhelmed by the decision. We worked with art advisor Colleen Lane, and she helped narrow down our options so we felt comfortable and confident in our investment.  Above: The spacious master was a big upgrade from the Markleys’ previous bedroom.

a rug from Jungalow. Next door, Parker’s room is the smallest—per her request to be closest to her parents—but arguably the one with most panache. Blue polka dot decals adorn a wall where an art work of flowers that Suzanne had growing up hangs. Parker’s queen bed is topped with a Serena & Lily quilt and Pottery Barn Teen shams, and flanked by hot pink nightstands that belonged to Suzanne in college. “We want all of our spaces to reflect bits and pieces of our personality, and Parker’s room is as colorful and fun as she is,” Suzanne says. At the end of the hall is the master retreat, furnished in a four-poster Restoration Hardware bed and three McGee & Co. woven leather ottomans. The sprawling bedroom is more than double what the Markleys had at their previous home, and the couple was wooed by its vaulted ceilings. The luxurious bathroom also sealed the deal with its walk-in shower and standalone, Wyndham Collection tub. “You can find me here four nights a week,” Suzanne says. The Markleys’ journey to their new home may have started during a tumultuous year, but they’re convinced it was meant to be. “It felt like home right after we moved in,” Suzanne says. “It felt like we were supposed to live here.” n


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Left: Oversized vanity mirrors accentuate the master bathroom’s high ceilings. Below left: Parker’s vibrant bedroom features an accent wall with watercolor polka dot decals by Urban Walls. Below right: The nursery’s colorful touches include Julia Rothman-designed wallpaper, a colorful throw and Jungalow rug.

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March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




Giannina S. Bedford This amber-colored glass cake stand by Estelle Colored Glass will become a family heirloom. Hand-blown in Poland, it measures 7.5-by-12 inches, fitting a 10-inch cake perfectly. Available for $225 at East Fork’s Westside Provisions District showroom or online at eastfork.com.




ongtime Buckhead resident Terry Furuta has more than four decades of experience in the floral design business. She has been practicing ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, for more than 25 years. Ikebana, which originated in Japan more than 600 years ago, is more than just decorative. It’s seen as a spiritual process, or meditation, that helps develop a closeness with nature. Furuta is a certified professor

of the Ikenobō School of Ikebana, having taken classes from masters in both Atlanta and New York, and her award-winning work includes designing arrangements for the United Nations, Mitsubishi and New York’s Waldorf Astoria. This summer, she will open a shop at Corso Atlanta, a luxury senior living development in Buckhead, and plans to offer classes she hopes will make this ancient practice accessible to people of all ages. Here, she shares insight into ikebana and her role as its ambassador in Atlanta. What are the main principles of an ikebana arrangement? In the Ikenobō School, there are three main components of an arrangement represented by different stems of flowers: heaven, man and earth. The

space between the flowers is equally or more important than the actual flowers in an arrangement because the flowers represent the flowers growing in nature. Can any kind of flowers be used? You can use any kind of materials in the more modern freestyle arrangements, but in traditional ikebana, you only use seasonal flowers or what is available outside right now. What are some personal benefits of practicing ikebana? When I first started to learn, we only used seasonal materials, and my teacher made us go out and pick our materials. We couldn’t go to the store or wholesaler. It has given me an awareness of what’s growing around me and an appreciation of nature. With the meditation part of

DESIGN NEWS n The Works, an 80-acre adaptive reuse project on Atlanta’s Upper Westside, has debuted two design-centric tenants: Bobo Intriguing Objects and Basik Spaces. Formerly operating a wholesale to-the-trade business for a decade, Bobo’s new iteration is Atlanta designer Mark Sage’s first direct-to-consumer retail concept. The 7,000-square-foot space offers a collection of home decor, one-of-a-kind furniture pieces and art from around the world. A frequently changing featured artist wall spotlights the work of different artists throughout the year. The Works is also home to Basik Spaces, a new lifestyle


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

brand from designer Tomas Frenes, whose career includes working under fashion designer Gianni Versace. The 1,500-square-foot location showcases home furnishings, art, apparel, personal items and gifts. theworksatl.com n Jennifer Balcos Gallery has moved from East Andrews Drive to a 4,300-square-foot showroom at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center. The gallery has also launched three new artists in Atlanta, including Californiabased Nelson De La Nuez, whose pop art is a favorite of the celebrity set. jenniferbalcosgallery.com

it, because of each stem having a meaning of where it’s placed in the arrangement, you can’t think about anything else. How is ikebana different from a traditional Western-style flower arrangement? In a Western arrangement, we want the flowers to look straight at you. In an ikebana arrangement, the flowers are talking to each other. They aren’t going to face the front; they are going to face each other. It makes it more interesting and natural. You can feel the life in the arrangement even though the flowers have been cut. You get the feeling they are communing with each other and with you. For more information about ikebana and Furuta’s classes, visit terryfurutadesigns.com. n

Tackle Your Real Estate Goals This Year The Spring Market is just around the corner, if you’re thinking of buying or selling, or just want to start the conversation, let’s schedule a time to chat. Jimmy Hutchinson approaches real estate with an athlete’s mindset. He lives by the mantra “opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” As a former SEC Champion football player at Auburn University, he’s a firm believer that hard work, preparation and determination earn results – it’s made him a top producer in the Atlanta market, handling over $30 million in sales in 2019 alone. As a lifelong Atlantan raised in Marietta, his intimate knowledge of the city and array of contacts are key assets for his clients.


Jimmy Hutchinson jimmy.hutchinson@compass.com M 678.763.3499 O 404.668.6621 jimmyhutchinson.com


Sell your home faster and for more money with Compass Concierge. From painting to flooring and everything in between, Compass Concierge helps you easily prepare your home for market by advancing the funds for home improvement services. No upfront costs or interest—ever. jimmyhutchinson.com/concierge Rules & Exclusions apply. Compass offers no guarantee or warranty of results. Subject to additional terms and conditions. Jimmy Hutchinson is a real estate licensee affiliated with Compass, a licensed real estate broker and abides by equal housing opportunity laws.

TA S T E MA K E R Who are your role models and why? First and foremost, my mother. While we joke that she doesn’t have a creative bone in her body, she is where I learned my drive and determination. Charles Ford, my favorite professor in college [at Samford University], was a stickler but taught me to take my time and get it right. What inspires you? Before last year, I would have said travel. Experiencing a different culture and exploring somewhere new are the ultimate luxuries and have always been where I pull inspiration. I also treasure my design books and magazines. Sundays at my house are spent poring over the latest pages with a cup of coffee. Lastly, I have to say Instagram. I have found an entire new world of inspiration in the last year by going down the rabbit hole. What are your go-to shopping spots? For one-of-a-kind pieces, Foxglove Antiques and A. Tyner Antiques. Every time I visit, I find something unique. Bungalow Classic is classic for a reason; they never disappoint with their furniture selection. I purchase almost all of my bedding from Gramercy. For accessories, I always find what I need at Huff Harrington Home. B.D. Jeffries is another one of my favorite places because I always walk away with something I didn’t know I needed.

Interior designer Whitney Ray brings her signature style to home projects STORY:

Jennifer Bradley Franklin

Ray of Light A

tlanta native Whitney Ray’s childhood foreshadowed her interior design career. “Some of my most vivid memories are of lying on the floor of my grandmother’s house and reading her shelter magazines,” she recalls. “I was amazed that people created beautiful homes for a living.” As a partner at Buckhead-based Wyeth Ray Interiors, she’s carved out a business designing stylish, bold and livable spaces. Here, she shares her inspiration, local spots to source key decor pieces and more. How has working for noteworthy firms such as Beth Webb Interiors and Wolf


What is your home like? My home is a reflection of the things my husband and I love. It’s a mix of comfortable upholstery, black and white modern art and antique finds. It’s edited and polished but very casual. Typically, we have a revolving door of friends and family coming through; our home is the hub that everyone congregates in, and I love that. I have a book obsession that spills into every room of the house.

Design Group shaped you? I learned to respect the process and the importance of connections, and to have confidence in myself. I’m thankful I was in environments where a woman’s strength was valued. What’s your signature style? I tend to favor neutral spaces with minimal, intentional color. I prefer to use texture and organic finishes over a lot of patterns. Whether a client’s taste is traditional or modern, I place balance and scale as the most important priorities. Nothing excites me more than contrast, not just in color but in the furniture itself. We recently finished

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

a modern high-rise condo and incorporated the client’s incredible antique Biedermeier [furniture] collection. The juxtaposition is beautiful. I want my designs to have a feeling of comfort that is both personal and modern. How did you come to launch Wyeth Ray in 2017? I wanted to go out on my own but was nervous to take the leap. My business partner, Joel Kelly, was looking to expand his business but to personally focus on architectural design. He asked me to partner with him on a new interior design business, and Wyeth Ray Interiors was formed. Joel has 20 years of industry experience as well as business experience. Partnering with someone as knowledgeable as Joel, who is willing to both guide and share, is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

What are you looking forward to in 2021? Wyeth Ray is working on a modern, new construction project designed by architect Scott West, as well as another modern home designed by Plexus R+D. Both should finish in the spring, and I can’t wait to see them completed. One of the most important lessons I learned from Beth Webb is collaboration is key in this industry. There are some incredible architects and builders in this city, and I look forward to more collaborations in the future. n WYETH RAY INTERIORS 448 East Paces Ferry Road Atlanta 30305 404.591.2324 wyethray.com

FA S H ION | B E AU T Y | W E L L N E S S | TA S T E M A K E R



Starting Anew P46

“Our mantra is: ‘From the hair follicle to the nail cuticle, we’ve got you covered.’” —Kellee Kendell

The Founder of ReKendell Hair & Body Systems with her moisturizingoil-blend beauty products. Photo: Joann Vitelli

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


FA S H I ON “I was trying to think of outfits that would flatter everyone, which is why I chose the nipped waste and A-line silhouette.”

“This one was inspired by Chanel—the classic pencil skirt and blazer, but I wanted to reinvent it so it has its own unique shape with a nipped waste and ruffle detail on the pocket.”

Southern DRAW

“This one was inspired by the idea of coming together at a fashion show and what the girls would be wearing on the way to Atlanta Fashion Week.”

How artist Stephanie Gentry turned her passion into a profession


hen Atlanta-based fashion designer and illustrator Stephanie Gentry was told by her former boss, “If you can’t find work, make it for yourself,” that’s exactly what she did. She hasn’t looked back since. Though the Chamblee-born creative grew up drawing, she first went head over heels with what’s become her signature artistic style— fashion illustrations—during her time at SCAD’s Atlanta campus, where she spent countless, and oftentimes sleepless, hours perfecting the intricate art of illustrating human figures via foundation figure-drawing classes. While she dabbled in other areas to discover her niche, Gentry says she just kept being drawn back to fashion illustration for its whimsical and creative nature. “About five years ago, when I was trying to figure out what it is that I want to put out in the world, I did a lot of work with a life coach that helped me home in on


the ‘why’ for my brand. Fashion illustration was really speaking to me.” These days, Atlantans can spot Gentry at the city’s most stylish events, where she is hired to provide live fashion sketches for guests and deliver each one in under 10 minutes. The energetic entrepreneur has become a staple at fashion-forward fetes, such as Star 94.1’s Little Black Dress Party, held last year at Buckhead Theatre; Global Runway Atlanta’s annual fashion show, presented each spring at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; The Blog Societies’ annual conference in Atlanta; and RAGTRADE ATLANTA’s annual fall fashion show at Georgia Freight Depot, which sparked her next big career move. Her latest artistic undertaking is a partnership with RAGTRADE that’s resulted in a full-blown collaboration with the local e-commerce brand. Dubbed ‘Street Style’ Capsule Collection by RAGTRADE x Stephanie

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Gentry, the cozy-chic collection boasts a series of T-shirts and hoodies from $23 that flaunt fashionable sketches by Gentry and are available online through RAGTRADE. “I’m always inspired by architect Frank Gehry. That’s where I got the inspiration for a lot of the layering and ruffle details,” she says, noting that the inspiration behind each sketch is meant to highlight photo-worthy moments eventgoers might experience at Atlanta Fashion Week. Another major focus of the collection is diversity, something that’s extremely important to both Gentry and RAGTRADE. Women of all races, body types and clothing styles are featured in her illustrations. While the typical style of fashion illustrations often exaggerates the human figure as elongated and thin, Gentry gives the women in her sketches fuller figures to ensure inclusivity throughout her work. “One of the big things [RAGTRADE founder Angela Watts and


Taylor Heard

I] have been consistent about from the beginning is being really inclusive with the illustrations,” she explains. What else fuels Gentry’s creative passion? One look at her Instagram feed and the answer is clear: fashion designers, from Chanel and Dior to Iris van Herpen. “Fashion, to me, is like art, so when I see how someone else expresses their art, it inspires me to find my own,” Gentry says. The advice she’d give to budding artists looking to kickstart their career is much like the words her boss told her years ago: “Figure out what art means for you and how you can channel that into the world.” n

DETAILS Stephanie Gentry Art stephaniegentryart.com RAGTRADE ATLANTA shopsatragtrade.com

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18|8 Fine Men’s Salon • Benchmark Physical Therapy Brookhaven Orthodontics • Emory Clinic European Wax Center • GNC (General Nutrition Center) Injectable Xpress RX, Inc. • Intown Pediatrics The Joint - The Chiropractic Place Julian’s Cosmetics and Skincare • Massage Heights Nail Talk & Tan • Saks Salon • Salon Red • Town Dentistry Vein Clinics of America • Vida-Flo: The Hydration Station


26 Thai Sushi & Bar (Opening Soon) • The Flying Biscuit Café HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern • Lucky’s Burger & Brew Marble Slab Creamery • Moe’s Southwest Grill Newk’s Express Café • Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub Red Pepper Taqueria • There Restaurant and Bar Tropical Smoothie Café • Urban Wok

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Brookhaven Convention & Visitors Bureau

Sarai Mateo

President & Co-founder

www.townbrookhaven.net Conveniently located on Peachtree Road adjacent to Oglethorpe University.

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue (from $80) Appropriately described as “sunshine in a bottle,” this unisex perfume uses Italian red mandarin and blood orange and Spanish bitter orange, along with sandalwood, cedarwood, black pepper and jasmine, for an uplifting, fresh scent. Nordstrom Multiple locations nordstrom.com


Acqua di Parma Colonia Club Eau de Cologne (from $120) It’s easy to love this classic cologne by the Italian fragrance house that’s been producing rich scents since 1916. It leads with top notes of neroli, mint and citrus, and deepens with woody vetiver and musk.



pring in Atlanta means a proliferation of flowers and their accompanying alluring scents. That delicious variety has us considering the need for a personal assortment of fragrances. “We don’t wear the same clothes every day, so why would we wear the same fragrance every day? The dictate of the perfume industry is that wearing one single fragrance is passé,” says Joan Tanis, national training and events director for Maison Francis Kurkdjian, a luxury French fragrance house. Here are some top recommendations for how to build a fragrance collection.

Start small. Don’t get overwhelmed at the prospect of purchasing a bunch of new fragrances. “I would begin with an everyday scent, something

that is light and wearable, like the classic white T-shirt of your wardrobe,” says Tanis. She suggests adding a “dressier” option. “An evening fragrance can make you feel sexy and confident,” she says. “For some, this may be an oud scent (a musky aroma derived from agarwood) and for others, this could mean something with floral or spicy notes.”

Personalize. “You should wear what you connect with, what smells good on you, regardless of scent categories. However, an eau de toilette may be more appropriate for daytime or work in warmer climates. The intensity of an eau de parfum can be nice for nights out or cooler weather,” says Eduardo Valadez, director of marketing at Diptyque Paris that has a store at Buckhead Village. Similarly, Tanis doesn’t believe fragrances should be relegated to a specific season, since any time of year will have events that necessitate variety. “You

may not wear certain fragrances regularly but there are specific times you want distinct sillage,” she says, referring to the French word for the perfume trail left in the air, similar to a boat’s wake.

Feel free to experiment. If you’ve been wearing the same signature scent for years, give yourself time to sample new ones. “Have fun with fragrance! And never judge a fragrance, regardless of concentration, until you try it on your skin,” says Valadez, since fragrances will react with an individual’s unique body chemistry. Testing a fragrance over a few hours or even a couple of days can help you decide. “Give it time to see how it makes you feel while you are wearing it,” says Tanis. Many brands offer discovery sets with a variety of fragrances from the line. These travel-sized bottles can be a smart way to find what resonates most before purchasing a larger version. n

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Fragrance Wardrobe ($275) These sets, available for men and women, include eight elegant, individual spray bottles of different fragrances from the French perfumer. Saks Fifth Avenue At 0.37 ounces each, they’re 3500 Peachtree Road N.E. the perfect size for travel Atlanta 30326 and give instant variety to 404.261.7234 saksfifthavenue.com your scent collection.


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Bluemercury 37 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.467.9100 bluemercury.com

Lake & Skye 11 11 Eau de Parfum ($98) This sheer, crisp perfume is like a vacation for the senses, evoking the uplifting vibes of a day spent on the ocean. Billed as a “musky blend of white ambers,” it’s a great everyday, unisex scent. Tootsies 3167 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.842.9990 tootsies.com

Diptyque Paris Eau Capitale Eau de Parfum ($188) Inspired by Paris in the spring, this lively fragrance smells of luxurious roses, fresh bergamot, spicy pink peppercorns, cinnamon and earthy patchouli. Diptyque Paris 3010 Bolling Way N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.846.0602 diptyqueparis.com

















4 STUDIOS THAT’LL HELP YOU GET IN SHAPE THIS SEASON Feeling unmotivated by at-home and solo workouts? Four boutique fitness studios offer outlets for all of that pent-up energy with different types of workouts to suit your fancy. Whether you choose one or mix it up, they’ll help get you in top shape in no time.




With the success of its SoulOutside launch, including at SoulCycle’s Buckhead location, the cycling studio has opened 30 outdoor locations across the country. The 45- to 60-minute al fresco rides behind the Shops Around Lenox locale are ongoing this spring. With “silent disco” headphones on, the outdoor experience is just as music-forward as its indoor spin sessions. The studio promotes moving and grooving over competition on leaderboards—a welcome attitude for those who are new to the saddle. Feeling extra fancy? Check out SuperSoul, a concierge service that gives you priority status for booking your favorite classes and bikes up to six weeks before regular booking opens, and extra all-access-pass type privileges. Class packages start at $145 for five classes; SuperSoul is $3,500 for 50 classes within 12 months.

There’s a reason why celebrities such as Meghan Markle and Nicole Kidman rave about Stellar Bodies. Each 50-minute class is based on the Lagree Fitness Method, a low-impact, body-strengthening workout following core Pilates principles, offering up to a 600-calorie burn. Rewards of this full-body, Megaformer-machine workout include cut muscles, increased cardiovascular endurance and great EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), which leads to an elevation in metabolism. Read: you’ll burn off that almond milk latte. Late last year, Stellar Bodies opened its third Atlanta-area location at The Works in the Upper Westside (others are in Buckhead and Midtown). Autopay packages start at $80 per month for four classes.


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

YONDER YOGA  BEST FOR: YOGA Sometimes, you’ve got to let it all flow. At Yonder Yoga in Buckhead and the Westside, you can burn 500 calories in the popular 60-minute Flow classes that focus on movement and breath. In a 93-degree heated room with added humidity, the vinyasa-based power yoga combines strengthening and balancing postures with stretching for a full-body workout with flexibility benefits. Yogis can also enjoy gentler classes such as a Restorative Flow with deep stretch and guided meditation in a room heated to 85 degrees. If you’d like to step up your asana game this year, Yonder will offer teacher training programs and retreats, with dates and locations to be determined. The autorenew class packages begin at $125 for one month of unlimited classes. AKT  BEST FOR: DANCE CARDIO Is dancing your thing? Then get ready to bounce at the Dance fitness class at AKT’s Perimeter location. The heart-pumping workout combines choreographed dance moves and strength-training intervals for a highenergy, pure fun experience that will


Karina Antenucci

burn-baby-burn those muscles as well as more than 700 calories in 60 minutes. For those wanting a full-body strengthening workout without the chassés, AKT also offers Bands, Tone and Circuit classes that incorporate tools such as bands, boxes and foam rollers. Good news on the horizon: A Buckhead AKT location is slated to open this fall. Memberships start at $79 per month. n DETAILS AKT Perimeter 1110 Hammond Drive, Suite 5 Sandy Springs 30328 770.852.0958 theakt.com SoulCycle Buckhead 3400 Around Lenox Drive Atlanta 30326 470.381.4770 soul-cycle.com Stellar Bodies Multiple locations stellarbodiesatl.com Yonder Yoga Multiple locations yonderyoga.com

George Matlock: A CBD Success Story & Understanding the Endocannabinoid System For years, George Matlock suffered from severe neck and shoulder pain. An active runner and tennis player his entire adult life, George assumed these pains were a byproduct of his active lifestyle. However, when the pain turned into trouble sleeping and numbness in his fingers and feet, he turned to his doctors for help.

Taking Control of His Well-Being After years of physician visits, adjustments from chiropractors, and treatment from physical therapists, the pain became worse. That’s when he was diagnosed with arthritis. Medication in low dosages didn’t help and increased dosage levels left George in a fog. Then, after a recommendation of CBD from a friend and renowned oncologist, George began to do his research.

George Matlock, Owner, Your CBD Store™ – Buckhead

After finding a local Your CBD Store , George talked to the staff and explained his symptoms. They were knowledgeable and helpful. Finally, someone was trying to help with a natural option. ™

From Pain to Purpose George turned to CBD for relief from the constant pain and discomfort. It’s at this point that George uncovered his mission in life, which is to help people. He has since opened his first Your CBD Store™ right here in Buckhead. “It’s time to take CBD out of the dark and start having open, real conversations,” says George Matlock. “It’s not just a job or a career for me now. It’s my mission. I want to help people like me.”

What is CBD? Cannabidol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive, naturallyoccuring compound extracted from hemp plants. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” Sunmed™ Water Soluble Hemp Supplement



Shops Around Lenox 3400 Around Lenox Drive, Suite 213 Atlanta, Georgia 30326 404 390 3552 | blobuckhead@blomedry.com


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Understanding the Endocannabinoid System

CBD oil has been proven to be a safe and effective way to reduce certain symptoms associated with certain neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. In fact, science and medicine are constantly finding new and amazing applications for CBD concerning treatments. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a crucial system within the body that helps maintain a certain balance throughout. In fact, it’s the largest system of receptors that interact with our body’s physiological processes. Endocannabinoids help regulate immune activity, appetite, and memory formation, among many other functions.

Balance of the Endocannabinoid System can: • Reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptors • Reduce inflammation • Reduce muscle spasticity • Reduce seizure activity • Prevent neurodegeneration

CBD Products & Your CBD Store™

The Endocannabinoid System & You

Whether you need help with wellness, stress, sleep, or even if your pets suffer from similar issues, a consultation with our staff might be the solution for you. Our products come in a large variety of applications, such as topical oils, creams, gummies, and even honey sticks. We make it easy to begin your CBD wellness journey. Visit our store at 2221 Peachtree Rd any day and we will be happy to provide a free consultation and product samples. Is your story similar to George’s? We’d love to help and we’ll see you soon. Your CBD Store™ – Buckhead 2221 Peachtree Rd Suite V, Atlanta, GA 30309 470-428-2635 | www.buckhead0142.cbdrx4u.com www.yourcbdadvice.com

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 





Jewel Wicker

PHOTO: Joann


Kellee Kendell turned a hair salon accident into the impetus for a beauty line


ellee Kendell was working in the healthcare industry when a traumatic experience at a hair salon ignited her passion for creating accessible, natural beauty products. The Buckhead resident launched ReKendell Hair & Body Systems about five years ago with the company’s signature product, Pure Hair Oil, a moisturizing blend of 12 oils based on an at-home treatment she used when her hair fell out due to the salon trauma. Kendell has continued to expand her business. Last year, the beauty brand launched a men’s line with oil blends specifically designed for nourishing beards to prevent itching and flaking. It also began to produce a hand exfoliator and moisturizer to counter the dryness people were experiencing as a result of increased hand washing. A foot care line is cur-


rently in development as well. “Hopefully, God willing, it will launch in the summer. Our mantra is: ‘From the hair follicle to the nail cuticle, we’ve got you covered,’” says Kendell. Tell us about the experience that led to the founding of ReKendell. I went to a hairstylist who essentially gave me a [perm chemical] treatment that took all my hair out. It started coming out while I was in the salon. After I got home, it was going down the drain. I called him up and was pretty emotional. He was very apologetic; however, he did not offer any solution for it. It got progressively worse that day. I ran into an Aveda salon, and they were wonderful. The hairstylist gasped when she saw my hair. She said, “You may very well need to get to a dermatologist because your scalp has been

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

burned. I’m going to need to shave you.” That was very traumatic for me. It was one thing if you cut your hair off yourself. It’s another thing when you lose it. How did you discover a treatment to heal your hair and scalp? A friend of mine has a [natural] solution for anything. She said, “Keep me on the phone and go to the health food store.” I started out with four oils: sunflower, avocado, wheat germ and extra virgin olive oil. I started using these oils and became obsessed with them. I started researching and studying oils and their properties. My hair was back; it was short, but there were no patches within seven weeks. When you were designing your first product, what were you aiming for? What I wanted to create was a [hair] product that was as pure as possible. I

wanted it to be non-greasy and one that absorbed [into] the hair and did not sit on top. I gave it to anyone I could possibly give it to. My home became a lab. The results were phenomenal [for all hair types]. It creates body, fullness [and] overall healthy hair with no chemicals. How has your late sister inspired this brand as well? When my sister was going through chemo and radiation, her hair was so dry and brittle, and her skin was almost scaly. She felt discomfort and embarrassment. There is a need and a purpose for [products that help with severely damaged hair and dry skin.] n REKENDELL HAIR & BODY SYSTEMS rekendell.com






Home-Grown Talent P50

“I’ve always been an artist; I never took classes.” —Amy Rader

Goliath Supremus butterflies are the focus of “Miss Ross,” a work by artist Amy Rader that celebrates the ultimate diva, Diana Ross.

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Atlanta’s Great Showman Bert Weiss of The Bert Show celebrates 20 years on-air STORY:

Karina Antenucci


orning radio found Bert Weiss, not vice versa. Initially, the host of The Bert Show wanted to be a sportscaster. During college at San Diego State, the New York native who had moved to California as a child began working at a country radio station as a research assistant. “There was no sports department, but just having station letterhead could get me access to a sporting event,” says Weiss, who was 20 at the time. Little did he know, the innocent farce would lead him down a career path that includes celebrating the 20th year of his nationally syndicated, Atlanta-based morning show this month. “I asked the host of the station’s morning show to put me on air, did one segment and fell in love with it.” Weiss left college to pursue his radio career, which took him to Dallas and Washington D.C. before coming to Atlanta to helm The Bert Show for Q100 in 2001. The lifestyle and entertainment show airs each weekday from 5:30 to 10 a.m. and features a cast of four sharing their real-life moments and struggles, in addition to national entertainment news and celebrity interviews—and serving up a boatload of humor. It also launched a podcast in 2014. The Sandy Springs resident attributes the show’s long-lasting success and resilience to its cast’s relatability and vulnerability. “We are as real as we can be. We talk about our problems, the highs and a lot of lows. People have related to that and grown with us through the years,” says Weiss. “I’m super proud that the team has kept it going at such a high level.” It was Mariah Carey who launched The Bert Show into the national


spotlight almost two decades ago, but not how you may think. After Weiss promoted the high-profile interview non-stop, the songstress was a disappointing no-show. Two hours later, he was in the middle of an interview with a local cancer patient when Carey finally called in. “I said, ‘Mariah, I am so sorry, you are two hours late.’ We hung up and I continued my interview. It made national headlines. Nobody hangs up on Mariah Carey!” Later, she came back in-studio to finish that interview. Another infamous moment that put Weiss on the national map was a 2004 call with Usher’s former girlfriend, Chilli (Rozonda Thomas), in which she admitted the couple broke up because he was cheating. An on-air rebuttal by Usher, who had called in, ensued. “We gained fame for our brutally honest interviews with celebrities. I got into an on-air fight with Usher because he said our interview with Chilli was the reason they broke up,” Weiss says. Other less-dramatic notables on the show have included Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Michelle Obama, Jimmy Carter, Chris Rock and Justin Bieber, for whom Weiss has a fondness. “We were the very first radio show to interview Justin. I’ve known him since he was 15 years old,” he says. It hasn’t all been a smooth ride.

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Since the show’s inception, radio has changed significantly as the industry has battled competition with satellite radio, Spotify, iTunes and podcasts. It has had to replace some original cast members and continually pivot with content. In 2010, it became syndicated, no longer serving just a local audience but a national one of 25 cities with differing interests and opinions. One mainstay on the show is its philanthropy, including the nonprofit, Bert’s Big Adventure, Weiss established with his now ex-wife in 2002. The organization takes chronically and terminally ill children and their families on a vacation to Walt Disney World and runs year-round support programs. The whole Bert Show cast attends the trip, and the families’ stories are shared on-air.

Talent for Podcasting Weiss launched his boutique, talentdriven podcast consulting network, Pionaire, in January. His first client is “House of Kim with Kim Zolciak.” pionairepodcasting.com

After two decades, the Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster has never quite gotten used to his morning show schedule. “I still hate mornings,” he says of his phone alarm going off at 4:30 a.m. “I’m working on sleep health right now. The goal is seven hours and a daytime nap.” n

THE BERT SHOW thebertshow.com

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March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Amy Rader’s butterfly works fly out of the studio STORY:

H.M. Cauley


isual artist Amy Rader grew up in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, dubbed the “Hit Recording Capital of the World” for the scores of musicians who flocked there to record their work. Though that industry has faded, the town on the Tennessee River is still known as a hotspot for creative types. “My mom always took me to music festivals, Renaissance festivals, art festivals—there was a lot going on,” says Rader. “And it had an influence on me [creatively].” That influence started at an early age, Rader recalls. “I’ve always been an artist; I always loved to draw and paint. I never took classes; I just knew how to draw, do photography or work on sculpture. By high school, I was using oil paints.” The one thing Rader, whose work is now repped by Jennifer Balcos Gallery in Buckhead, didn’t know was how to make a living as an artist. “But it was all I cared about. Art was my obsession.” That fascination blossomed when Rader received a full scholarship to the Art Institute of Atlanta in 1993. She earned a degree in visual communication and started her professional life as a graphic designer. But the urge to express herself on canvas didn’t fade. “I bounce back and forth between fine art and design work,” she says. “It’s hard to explain to people that

HOME-GROWN TALENT fine art doesn’t mean you have an intown studio without heat or air conditioning, and that you’re covered in paint all the time.” In reality, Rader’s three-story house has her graphics office on the top floor and her art studio on the bottom, where she focuses on creating mixed-media works that tell a story with beauty and depth. “I like layering the story and the subject matter,” she says. “I tend not to do things that are too heavy. I love animals, curiosities and unconventional textural materials.”


Rader’s love of butterflies, in particular, has increased her popularity. Working with interior designers has helped her creations find homes in private residences as well as buildings such as the Icon Buckhead apartments on Peachtree Road, but the “butterfly” series of portraits, in which faces are layered over with wings, has caught on through social media. Since incorporating different shapes, colors and sizes of preserved butterflies that she orders online, the pieces have, well, flown out of the studio. “I call it ‘the butterfly face,’ but

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

it’s a combination collage, photo, mixed media and real butterflies over the face of the work,” she says. “It’s complicated; it takes about 50 steps to finish each one.” Connecting with clients over social media has an additional perk, Rader says. “I love working directly with homeowners. I can go in and get a vibe for what will work by taking a quick tour. And I can deliver art right to their homes.” Being confined to her home and studio since the pandemic took hold last year has made her productive in

ways she never considered, Rader says. “My art has started selling like crazy. It’s been the strangest year of bad and great things!” n

DETAILS Rader Designs raderdesigns.net Jennifer Balcos Gallery 51 Peachtree Hills Ave., Suite 419 Atlanta 30305 404.441.5745 jenniferbalcosgallery.com

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March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




andy Springs author Chris Swann became hooked on writing at age 13 when his social studies teacher assigned a project: create a diary from the point of view of a real-life character who lived during the American Revolution. “I enjoyed doing it so much that I decided to become a writer,” he says. “My teacher encouraged me.” He grew up reading mysteries such as Encyclopedia Brown. “Crime stories always lure readers into worlds they may not normally see, which is the kind I enjoy as a reader,” he says. Swann’s dream was to write a mystery of his own, but life happens, and he became an English teacher, completing his Ph.D. in creative writing at Georgia State University in 2005. Teaching is a profession he loves and he is currently the head of the English department at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School where he has taught for 25 years. Although he wrote off and on through the years, Swann didn’t publish his first novel, a literary thriller like those he enjoyed as a kid, until after he turned 50. Shadow of Lions was an immediate success, and he was honored as a 2018 finalist for both the Townsend Prize for Fiction and Georgia Author of the Year. The book was also named on the Southern Book Prize Long List, as well as Southern Living magazine’s Best Southern Books of 2017. His latest novel, Never Turn Back, was published in October 2020 by Crooked Lane Books and is set in Atlanta. The amazon.com editor’s pick for mystery, thriller and suspense is about family, vengeance and how actions can echo through the years with irreparable consequences. The plot revolves around a single traumatic event, the murder of Ethan and Savannah’s parents in front of them, and the differing repercussions it had on them, including being raised by their uncle Gavin, a criminal they had never met. To keep the action immediate, Swann wrote Never Turn Back in first person, present tense, considered by writers to be more difficult than writing in third person, past tense. “I’ve read a lot of good books, including the Sherlock Holmes series,” says Swann. “Whenever Watson narrated the story in the present tense, it came alive. I was going for that.”


Building Mysteries TEACHER-TURNED-NOVELIST CHRIS SWANN IS NEVER TURNING BACK Swann receives continuing support from the faculty, students and administrators at Holy Innocents’ who hosted the launch for his first book. “It was a thrill because more than 150 people showed up,” he says. “My publisher, Algonquin Books, sent me on a multiple city book tour, and when the paperback came out, I organized my own so I could make bookstore connections and hang around to talk to readers.” Those connections proved to be vital during 2020 when the launch for his second book had to be virtual. Most bookstores responded positively and helped him connect with book clubs where he sets up Zoom readings. “It’s a very different experience,” he says. “I miss the back and forth with readers one-on-one, but there is a bright side. I have the advantages of reaching a lot more people,

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

and when I log off, I can head into the kitchen and eat dinner. Going forward, I think it will be a combination of the two.” Often asked for advice from emerging writers, Swann tells them that the only reason he became a published author was because he didn’t quit. “There were so many times it would have been easy,” he says. “I have a job I love, a wife who is my best editor and two great kids, but I persisted,” he says. “Keep at it. Go to writers’ conferences, join writers’ groups and interact with other authors. Don’t try to write the next Harry Potter series. Do your own thing. There is no silver bullet. Just stay the course. And don’t think you are going to get rich and famous.” Swann’s third novel, a murder mystery, is set in western North Carolina and will debut this fall. n


Mickey Goodman

NEVER TURN BACK ($18.56) is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


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AT-HOME STYLE ICONIC PROPERTIES, INTERIOR DESIGN STARS AND CHIC SHOPPING Home is where the heart is, but for most of us lately, it’s been where everything is. From working and schooling to exercising and staying entertained, home—whether it be a pocket-sized condo or a palatial estate—has become our haven. Fortunately, Buckhead and the surrounding neighborhoods are a mecca for inspiring structures, design

Sara Hanna

talent and shopping to help make your abode just right for your lifestyle. Read on and prepare to be inspired.

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead




Jennifer Bradley Franklin   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

ern Yip seems equally at home in a variety of places: in front of a global television audience with previous stints as a celebrity interior designer for TLC’s Trading Spaces and as a judge on HGTV’s Design Star; behind a drawing board creating a host of decor items such as bath towels, pillows and fabric; and at the computer writing design books. Perhaps his favorite place to be, though, is at the eclectic, elegant dream home in Buckhead he shares with his husband, Craig Koch, their two children and five rescue dogs. Built in 1925 and set on a tree-lined residential street, the house was admired by both men separately long before they met each other. “Shortly after we got married, it became available; it was just fortuitous,” Yip explains. “For me, it’s perfect in every way.” He loves the character that comes with an old home, with its history, wavy glass and architectural details. They renovated and updated the property to suit their needs, with an addition that fit nicely on the double-sized lot. Yip, a trained architect, drew the plans and oversaw every detail of the project himself. “We were faithful to the proportions, scale and architectural influence of the original structure,” he says. “It’s old and new, and it’s 100% us.” Yip’s journey to becoming one of the most recognizable faces in the interior design world wasn’t a linear path. Born in Hong Kong, he moved to Virginia as a toddler. “I was like

most Chinese Americans who grew up with parents telling them, ‘You’ve got two choices: You can be a doctor, or you can be a doctor,’” he laughs. Aiming to please his family, he joined the pre-med track at the University of Virginia, studying economics and chemistry. Two weeks before leaving for medical school, he confessed to his mother that, instead of becoming a physician, he harbored a secret dream to be an architect and designer. She wholeheartedly gave him her blessing, and Yip went to Georgia Tech for his MBA and master’s in architecture, scoring a post-graduation job at Atlanta’s Thompson Ventulett Stainback & Associates. “I ended up staying because I fell in love with the city,” he says. In 2000, he won the prestigious Southeast Designer of the Year from ADAC, had a string of high-profile media coverage and equally high-end clients when producers from TLC asked him to audition for a new television concept. “They explained the premise to me. I told them that I felt I was probably the wrong person for it,” Yip recalls. The prospect of being given a scant $1,000 and two days to transform a room didn’t sound like a great time. He went reluctantly for a screen test, convinced he wasn’t interested. After continued encouragement from producers, he took the job and quickly became a fan favorite for his clear vision, straightforward approach and dynamic personality. He realized that, while wealthy clients could afford to hire top-tier design help, such services were out of reach for most Americans. “I see a lot of universality in the rules of design. They’re applicable to people with tiny budgets and with large budgets,” Yip says. “Most of all, I loved that I could really improve somebody’s life by improving their space. That was extraordinarily meaningful.” n

s ART: Jackson

Fine Art

“We are so lucky to have one of the world’s best fine art photography galleries right here in our own city. It’s phenomenal to have that resource. Anna Walker Skillman, who owns the gallery, couldn’t be warmer and kinder. She’ll help you build a foundation of understanding. There’s really great fine art photography at all price points, which makes it accessible.”

FRAMING: Myott Studio + Artifacts “Once you get fine art, you have to present it well. It makes a huge difference, and Myott is an artist himself. He makes these incredibly beautiful frames with so much love and care.”

FABRIC: Lewis & Sheron Textiles “They are a great resource for the end consumer for fabrics. They’re an institution [serving Atlanta since 1944]. I love how customer service-oriented they are and what a great selection of things they have.”

s DINING ACCESSORIES: Star Provisions “I’m always impressed by the selection of kitchen and dining-related things they have. They offer a unique selection of curated items that nobody else carries.”

t FURNITURE: Ballard Designs “I love to pop into the new store [at The Works at Chattahoochee]. It’s so beautiful, and they do a great job of merchandising. I love that they have things in a broad price range so that it’s attainable for a lot of folks, and you can get all your categories [of decor] there.”

VERN YIP’S VACATION AT HOME: DESIGN IDEAS FOR CREATING YOUR EVERYDAY GETAWAY Released in 2019, the prolific designer’s latest book offers insight you can use. Yip draws from tried-and-true design principles used by luxury resorts and hotels to give readers clear steps to create a home that doubles as an oasis, leaving residents relaxed and rejuvenated. Available wherever books are sold.

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Nicole Letts


f you’re among those longing to spruce up your space, it’s smart to rely on skilled practitioners. We tapped six interior designers, home experts and gallerists for their predictions about interior design’s biggest trends for 2021. Here, they share their thoughts on how to get the looks they think will be en vogue this year.

Jennifer Balcos Gallerist, Jennifer Balcos Gallery jenniferbalcosgallery.com TOP TREND: Pop art, with its bold

colors and cheeky subjects, will be increasingly popular this year, Balcos says. “With 2020 being such a tu-


HOW TO IMPLEMENT IT: “The Good Life” by Nelson De La Nuez, available at Jennifer Balcos Gallery. Price available upon request.

six to eight kids can go to school led by a private teacher.” Room for six to eight middle schoolers means adjusting spaces to fit your family’s needs for education and beyond.

Jim DeLany


Builder, Paces Builder Group

Kingdom Woodworks custom cabinets, kingdomwoodworks.com

pacesbuildergroup.com TOP TREND: Multi-functional spaces,

multuous year, art is playing a huge role in adding joy to any household. Pop art will be on the rise as buyers strive for fun [in their homes]. It has been around since the ’50s, so it crosses many generations and can resonate with any audience.”

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

particularly related to working (and schooling!) from home, are on the rise and will continue to be a huge trend. DeLany explains, “Home offices, study nooks and education pods built into basements or bonus rooms will continue to expand. People are interested in being able to have education or school pods at home where


Steve McKenzie Designer, McKenzie Design stevemckenzies.com TOP TREND: If you’re not looking

to undertake a renovation, turn to furniture to refresh your space instead. “I think the Marengo Secretary designed by Thomas O’Brien for Century Furniture is a perfect example of a flexible piece that can multitask. Styled after antique secretaries, with an updated finish and hardware, it is perfect to be your work-from-home piece by day and a beautiful accent piece at night,” says McKenzie. “I also think the pressures of 2020 have heightened a return to the comfortable feeling of days gone by.” As a result, look for more traditional furniture designs this year. HOW TO IMPLEMENT IT:

Marengo secretary, $6,597, shop.centuryfurniture.com

Kevin O’Gara Blogger and designer, Thou Swell thouswell.com TOP TREND: Color is king, and

according to O’Gara, it’s back and better than ever. “I see rich, saturated rooms being a big trend for 2021. People have been relying on their homes to provide interior escapes, and creating more layered environments with sophisticated color combinations is a significant way to enjoy a more engaging home,” says the designer, who has launched his own line of rugs. “Lean into bold-hued jeweltones and complementary color schemes this year.”


Anatolia rug, $198-$2,664, kevinfrancisdesign.com

Anna-Louise Wolfe Designer, Anna Louise Wolfe Ltd. Co. annalouisewolfe.com TOP TREND: When asked what will

be trending in 2021, Wolfe says without hesitation, “Yellow is making a comeback! Rich, mustardy and buttery yellows that remind us of rooms by John Fowler and Nancy Lancaster, who first created the English country house style. Over the past decade or so, people have moved away from yellow and preferred more gray or cooler palettes, but I see people wanting to add warmth and color back into their homes.” HOW TO IMPLEMENT IT:

Yellow Temple Jar, Williams Sonoma, $395, williams-sonoma.com

Emily West Gallerist, Anne Irwin Fine Art anneirwinfineart.com TOP TREND: Like O’Gara,

Anne Irwin Fine Art owner and curator West says 2021 will bring a movement towards color in art, too. “I think that we will see everyone [leaning] toward things that bring them brightness and joy. We are certainly noticing increased interest in bold pieces where color is key,” she says. HOW TO IMPLEMENT IT:

“Sling” by Lori Glavin, $2,000, available at Anne Irwin Fine Art

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




uckhead’s reputation as an exceptional neighborhood covers considerable territory, from shopping and dining to employment centers and schools. Its allure has long been a magnet for homeowners who refurbish existing properties or start from scratch on new building plots. It also draws those who appreciate uniqueness, a quality found in a number of properties that can brag on their pedigree like no others. Here are five favorites.



conic doesn’t always mean historic. When a former owner is Atlanta’s own Tyler Perry, the house immediately has significance. In the case of this sprawling mansion on Buckhead’s west side, its significance increased when recently purchased for $15 million by TV personality and comedian Steve Harvey. Built in 2007, the 35,000-square-foot French Provincial on 17 gated acres along the Chattahoochee is believed to be one of the city’s biggest and priciest homes. Along

with seven bedrooms and 14 baths, it boasts a bevy of amenities worthy of a first-class resort: infinity pool, gym, tennis courts, theater, spa, wine cellar, a ballroom, a beamed billiard room, an indoor resistance pool, a batting cage and lavishly landscaped terraced gardens with skyline views. The foyer, with its horseshoe staircase, leads to a great room with windows soaring two stories. A two-story library and a lower level with groined ceilings are among a few of the highlights.



ne of the unique features of Buckhead’s housing stock is that it’s dotted with homes designed by Philip Shutze. The renowned architect and Georgia Tech grad left his Neoclassic thumbprint most notably on the Swan House, now part of the Atlanta History Center. His career spanned 40 years, starting in the 1920s. One of his earliest creations was the Calhoun House, the anchor of what was originally a 100-acre estate that fronted West Paces Ferry Road. Also known as Tryggveson and The Pink Palace, the 12,000-square-foot Historic Register house was completed in the early ’20s with a red pantile roof and a pale pink facade. Renovated and refurbished by various owners through the years, the house now has six bedrooms, an in-law suite, a ballroom, exercise room and pool house.


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead


his 1913 mansion, originally part of a six-plusacre estate with stables and a separate servants’ house, was on the forefront of Buckhead’s shift from rural to residential. Its wood-frame construction showcases a Neoclassical design marked by four Ionic columns supporting a pediment above the second story. The wide front porch leads into more than 7,600 square feet with five bedrooms. The design is credited to Atlanta architect A. Ten Eyck Brown, who also created the Fulton County Courthouse. Owners in the 1930s recruited Shutze to update the interiors, and a rotunda and elegant rear entrance were added. Spotswood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.




hough it began life in 1930 as a private residence, this brick and limestone mansion on the corner of West Paces Ferry and Habersham roads is now the headquarters of the Watson-Brown Foundation, an educational nonprofit that settled there in 2009. The 2.5-story house is another Shutze original created in the English Regency style with three unique exterior features: a boxwood garden in the shape of the Goodrum monogram, a sunken garden with a koi pond and a serpentine garden, so called for its curved wall border. A rear entrance has a semicircular porch flanked by two-story bay windows. Although the National Register property is no longer a residence, it is maintained by a curator who offers tours by appointment, so home-lovers can see the interior close-up.




his brick classic looks like it’s been part of the Buckhead landscape since the Colonial times, but it’s a newcomer dating back to 1963 when it was designed by architect James Means for the Haverty family of furniture fame. Its brick exterior, composed of reclaimed materials from the first Federal Reserve building downtown, mimics the James River building styles in Virginia. Other recycled elements include the rear porch columns salvaged from a Charleston house and heart pine floors from a home in Athens. A cobblestone courtyard leads into the seven-bedroom, 5.5-bath abode on a twoacre lot. Other features include a state-of-the-art kitchen with a marble island, veranda with a dramatic stone fireplace, an outdoor kitchen, pool and black-and-white, zig-zag floor tiles in the foyer. The house also starred as the Southeastern Designer Showhouse and Gardens in 2017.


nother landmark property that dates to Buckhead’s early days as a country destination is this 1912 home at the corner of West Paces Ferry and Castlegate Drive. Dubbed “Villa Lamar” for the first owner, Congressman William Bailey Lamar, the stucco, Italian Renaissance house was set on 200 acres Many elements of the original structure survive, including the red tile roof, a porte cochere, a solarium, herringbone oak floors, oak paneling and boxwoods in the rear garden. The design is credited to George Totten, Jr., best known for his work on various federal buildings in Washington, D.C.; this house is believed to be his only project in Georgia. It’s said he drew inspiration from Rome’s Villa Medici and recreated the arched entry from that abode. The formal, terraced gardens were the creation of the Philadelphia landscaping firm Meehan and Sons. The expansive acreage was subdivided in the late 1950s, but the house earned National Register status in 1988.

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


Chamblee - Atlanta Fine Homes Dunwoody - Berkshire Hathaway

Buckhead - Harry Norman Realtors



he events of the last year have highlighted the importance of home. It’s the place where we feel safe, peaceful and complete. Many have discovered that it might be time to find a new home sweet home, whether we need more (or less) space or want to be closer to friends and family. Whatever the reason, it’s important to arm yourself with as much information as possible before venturing into the market. We’ve asked some of the top real estate professionals to give us the 411 on the area’s most coveted neighborhoods.

renovated properties are selling at a premium, and prices range from the $800,000s to $10 million. DID YOU KNOW? Buckhead has some of Atlanta’s most beautiful, traditional and well-established neighborhoods. Mature trees and gardens planted close to 100 years ago combine with outstanding classic architecture to give the area its distinct look and feel.


Shanna Bradley

BUCKHEAD One of the most noteworthy neighborhoods in metro Atlanta, Buckhead is known for its affluent reputation and exceptional residential, commercial and entertainment offerings.


Travis Reed Harry Norman, Realtors harrynorman.com THE STATE OF THE MARKET:

The Buckhead real estate market remains solid and continues to strengthen. However, home inventory is low, so listings sell quickly. WHAT YOU’LL FIND: The single-family home market in Buckhead typically attracts family-oriented professionals. New homes and completely


Ansley Real Estate ansleyatlanta.com THE STATE OF THE MARKET:

The condo market in Buckhead is healthy, and new developments are nearing completion, such as Graydon, a new 22-story luxury tower. As with single-family homes, condo inventory is low, making this a very competitive portion of the market. However, although the luxury condo market saw a 43% increase in available inventory during the fourth quarter of 2020, sales in this sector have slowed down by almost 20%, leaving more options on the market. WHAT YOU’LL FIND: Condos in Buckhead offer something for every lifestyle and budget. No matter where you are in your housing journey, you’ll find something to suit your needs, particularly since prices range from the low $100,000s to well over $10 million. For instance,

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead


condos available at St. James are on the market in the mid-$200,000s, while residences at The Charles range in price from $1.9 million to more than $3 million. DID YOU KNOW? Buckhead real estate holds value well, so it is a sure investment, according to Bradley.

BROOKHAVEN The most populous city in DeKalb County with more than 55,000 residents, Brookhaven offers locals the chance to be close to Atlanta and its amenities without being in the city limits. It offers an ideal mix of city and suburban living.

Amy Meadows

and townhomes being very popular. The average price point for a singlefamily home is well above the metro Atlanta average of $300,000. DID YOU KNOW? In some locales, such as Ashford Park, older and established neighborhoods have been torn down and replaced with new construction, giving the area a suburban feel.

CHAMBLEE Offering a small community feel not far from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta, Chamblee features a charming downtown with shopping, dining and an array of walkable mixed-use developments.



Andy Peters

Natalie Blalock

The Peters Company, Keller Williams Realty

Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty





The Brookhaven real estate market is very brisk with a strong demand for the area, including both the gentrified areas (such as Town Brookhaven) and the historic side of the city (such as Lynwood Park). Like most desirable spots in Atlanta, listings are selling in days, not weeks. If it’s good, it’s gone. WHAT YOU’LL FIND: Brookhaven boasts a very diverse group of residents that has broadened and evolved over the last 20 years. Homebuyers have access to an array of options, with single-family homes

Chamblee is an up-and-coming real estate market compared to Brookhaven, but it is very strong right now. Inventory is low, making it a seller’s market, but homebuilders are purchasing lots for new construction projects thanks to affordable land prices. WHAT YOU’LL FIND: Single-family homes and townhomes are the key buyer options. Perfect for families and active adults, the area’s homes range from the $300,000s to the $600,000s, with pockets of upscale


Buckhead - Ansley Atlanta Brookhaven - Engel & Völkers

Midtown West Midtown -Engel & Völkers

residences listing for up to $1 million. Many of the homes on the market today are new townhomes in the $450,000 to $500,000 price range (in communities such as Townsend at Ashford Park and The Collection at Perimeter Park). For those looking for resale options, many singlefamily homes have been renovated or are ideal fixer-upper projects. DID YOU KNOW? For buyers who feel as if they have been priced out of the surrounding suburban Atlanta neighborhoods, Chamblee is a perfect option. Many who move to Chamblee get more for their money compared to neighboring areas.

WEST MIDTOWN & UPPER WESTSIDE Once Atlanta’s industrial hub, West Midtown, also known as the Westside, has been transformed into a hip, urban locale with cultural hotspots, live music venues, retail, restaurants and more. THE EXPERT:

Christa Huffstickler Founder and CEO, Engel & Völkers Atlanta evatlanta.com THE STATE OF THE MARKET: West

Midtown and the Upper Westside are experiencing explosive growth as homebuyers gravitate towards this emerging side of town. Due to its relative affordability, strong development and proximity to some of the city’s best dining, retail and

entertainment, the area is popular with young professional couples. The market moves very quickly, and the neighborhood is growing rapidly. WHAT YOU’LL FIND: There’s great diversity of product in this area. From condos to townhouses to singlefamily homes, there’s something for everyone. In particular, townhomes are very of-the-moment. A generous number of townhome communities in the area are reasonably priced and have great potential for appreciation. Overall, the average price point is approximately $425,000. Single-family homes tend to lean more towards the upper $400,000s range, while townhomes and condos tend to stick closer to $425,000.  DID YOU KNOW? Thanks to the exceptional growth of the area, homebuyers and residents should expect construction to persist for the next few years. However, with that growth comes the chance for a strong return on investment.

SANDY SPRINGS Bordering Buckhead, Brookhaven and Dunwoody, Sandy Springs is one of the area’s best-known business hubs. It also boasts a closeknit community of residents who appreciate the neighborhood’s modern Southern charm. THE EXPERT:

Kathy Rubenstein Beacham & Company, Realtors beacham.com


The Sandy Springs real estate market mirrors many of its neighboring communities: The market is strong, but inventory is low, so prices are increasing in this seller’s market. WHAT YOU’LL FIND: Single-family homes are the most prevalent home type in Sandy Springs, although there are townhomes and condos throughout the city. Developed as a bedroom community for commuters to Atlanta, Sandy Springs is replete with families; however, singles and active adults are attracted to the area as well. The average sales price for a single-family residence is around $750,000, while condos and townhomes average nearly $298,000. The sales price is often driven by access to highly rated school districts and the proximity to the Buckhead intown market; singlefamily homes inside the perimeter typically have a higher price tag. DID YOU KNOW? Buyers often find that they get more for their money in Sandy Springs in comparison to other intown neighborhoods just a few miles away within the Atlanta city limits. Additionally, property taxes for similar homes tend to be lower in Sandy Springs, which still offers a high level of city services.

DUNWOODY One of the metro area’s most prominent northern suburbs, Dunwoody is a mecca for shopping, dining and entertainment. Although not a city until 2008, Dunwoody has been home to residents for more than a century.


Lindsay Levin Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties bhhsgeorgia.com THE STATE OF THE MARKET:

The Dunwoody real estate market is competitive. Home inventory is down 37%, and residences stay on the market for 32 days on average. Updated and move-in ready homes are the most sought-after. WHAT YOU’LL FIND:

Dunwoody is primarily a singlefamily home market featuring residences built between 1960 and the early 2000s. Brick colonialstyle homes are popular, and the average home sale price is $455,000. A concentration of townhomes and condos can be found close to Perimeter Mall and the area’s bustling business districts. The diversity of offerings make it perfect for a population diverse in age and ethnicity, including families, young professionals and active adults. DID YOU KNOW?

Dunwoody is one of the largest commercial real estate markets in the Atlanta area, but its unique style, which includes commercial areas that have preserved their original Colonial Williamsburg aesthetic, gives Dunwoody a small-town feel.

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Giannina S. Bedford


tlanta is known as a highcaliber interior design city, boosted by the Buckheadbased Atlanta Decorative Arts Center and the numerous architects and designers who call the city home. These influential creatives are leaving their marks, not only on the local interior design scene, but the international landscape. Here, we highlight a handful of established and burgeoning names from our community.

Karen Ferguson doesn’t limit herself to a particular style, basing her design on clients’ particular taste.


Joann Vitelli

KAREN FERGUSON HARRISON DESIGN Karen Ferguson’s award-winning designs earned her the 2019 Southeast Residential Designer of the Year award, presented by ADAC and Veranda. With a bachelor’s degree in furnishings and interiors from the University of Georgia, she launched Buckhead-based Harrison Design’s interior design practice in 2000 and remains the firm’s director of interior design in Atlanta. Her expertise stretches from space planning to selecting custom finishes and furnishings. Recent projects include a rustic-yet-modern lake house in Blue Ridge and a refresh of a classic Hawaiian cottage in Maui. “Inspiration is all around and, in my case, comes from many different places, including nature, art and travel,” Ferguson says. “I do not have a signature style because I work with all different architectural styles and customize interiors for each client’s unique taste. I encourage all my clients to avoid trends and focus on a timeless design.” harrisondesign.com

VERONICA FL AM VERONICA FLAM ATLANTA A native of Monterrey, Mexico, and now a Buckhead resident, Veronica Flam takes her inspiration from European trends and master designers such as Ferris Rafauli. She opened her first studio in San Pedro Garza García, Monterrey, in 2000 and has since expanded her brand to Mexico City and Atlanta. Her showroom at AmericasMart features furniture and accessories from high-end European and Latin American brands, and as a designer she strives to keep

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

clients’ lifestyles top of mind. “My only signature design style is that it has to always look comfortable, cozy and very elegant,” Flam says. “For me, quality is the most important thing. I believe in quality goods, and once I understand what the customer wants, my job is to get the right design in the look, colors and concept in each room of the project.” One of her favorite recent projects includes outfitting a penthouse at the Solaris Residences in Vail, Colorado. veronicaflamatlanta.com

IMANI JAMES IMANI JAMES INTERIORS Imani James discovered her passion for interior design more than 15 years ago while decorating her own home. She’s since studied design at the British Academy of Interior Design in London, the Istituto Marangoni in Milan and the Paris American Academy in France. Her globally influenced, high-end residential projects use internationally sourced materials and combine today’s trends with classic silhouettes to create livable luxury. Her work earned her the Black Interior Designer’s Network AA Top 20 Interior Designer Award in 2017.

“My signature design style includes a timeless, classic foundation emphasized with statement-making artwork,” says Buckhead-based James. “While I am fond of luxurious fabrics such as velvet and silk, I also appreciate the durability of other textiles that are a better fit for a family-friendly environment.” To stay up-to-date on design developments, James attends international design trade fairs and exhibitions, and draws inspiration from her many travels. A recent project involved the multi-phased renovation of a 1980s Buckhead residence that was inspired by a trip to the South of France. imanijamesinteriors.com


TISH MILLS KIRK TISH MILLS INTERIOR DESIGN Tish Mills Kirk has spent two decades creating spaces that reflect her clients’ personalities. “My look is one that has both balance and a sense of peacefulness whether the style is transitional, modern or contemporary,” she says. Based in Buckhead with a second office in Charleston, her firm works on projects stretching from the Southeast to the West as well as internationally in China and Africa. A native of California, her West Coast roots come through in her harmonious designs, which have garnered 24 American Society of Interior Designers Design Excellence Awards and been featured in numerous publications, from Elle Decor to The Wall Street Journal. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Mills also studied at the American Feng Shui Institute. “I’m inspired by so many different things but would say that travel is at the top of the list,” Mills says. “I love to be outdoors and in nature, so walks on the beach [or in the] woods are also good sources.” harmoniousliving.net

clients a sense of beauty and joy. One of her favorite recent projects was the transformation of a galley kitchen in a 1920s bungalow into an eye-catching, open kitchen with more functional space. “The homeowner called me after hosting her first get-together and said she had never envisioned herself entertaining in her kitchen until now,” says Reynolds. “Hearing how much joy it brought and seeing her not just live [in] but love her space is my entire motivation for design.” A North Buckhead resident, wife and mother of three, Reynolds’ passion for design can be traced back to childhood. As a little girl, she loved to critique architecture and drag her parents in to tour model homes. She launched her firm in 2015 with encouragement from family and friends. “Nature is my biggest inspiration,” she says. “What better example of the use of color and texture than what is all around us in nature?” shannonreynoldsinteriors.com

COURTNEY SHEARER THE DESIGNERY Courtney Shearer has been creating statement-making kitchens and baths for more than a decade. After earning her degree in furnishings and interiors at the University of Georgia, she gained experience at Bell Cabinetry & Design where she rose to director of design. In 2020, she founded The Designery where she works with clients to make the

This living room by Tish Mills Kirk showcases her peaceful and balanced design ethos.

creative process stress-free and fun. “I love a kitchen remodel. It’s both a challenge and a joy to dig deep to make the most-used room in the home come to life,” says Shearer, who resides in a Peachtree Hills bungalow with her husband and two sons. “The name of the game is to make every inch count, capitalizing on all of the functional potential, while simultaneously improving aesthetics that the house, as a whole, will be better for.” Shearer has been honored with several accolades, including the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s inaugural Top 30 Under 30, and most recently was the cover winner for the 2020 Rising Stars by My Home Improvement. the-designery.com

renamed Stewart Mohr Designs, has worked on a multitude of projects, from Palm Beach estates and highrise condominiums to beach and lake getaways and even a luxury yacht. He counts numerous Buckhead homeowners among his clients. “I pride myself in not having a signature design style. I am not interested in design repetition. I enjoy creating unique projects,” Stewart says. “This philosophy has been a great path in my design growth and development.” His work has been published in House and Garden, Veranda, Metropolitan Home, The New York Times and other notable publications. He’s also served as a contributor to numerous books. “I love creating something I have never done before,” he says. “Because of working with such a variety of clients and associated styles, there is no project I think I cannot do. I love a challenge, and it always creates an interesting result.” stewartmohrdesigns.com

BILL STEWART STEWART MOHR DESIGNS Bill Stewart considers his most successful projects those that combine his creativity and professional eye with his client’s style and personality. A graduate of the University of Florida, Stewart established his residential design firm, William Stewart Design, in 1985. The ADAC-based firm, later

Courtney Shearer’s firm, The Designery, specializes in custom kitchen design.

SHANNON REYNOLDS SHANNON REYNOLDS INTERIORS Shannon Reynolds loves projects that require her to think outside the box and maximize the potential of a space. She applies her creative eye and business acumen—garnered from a former career in pharmaceutical sales—to craft interiors that give

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 





High Off The Hog P68

Wooden barrels, rusty butcher cleavers, a simple, no-fuss menu. DAS is 0% pretense, 100% authentic.

Stephen Franklin built DAS BBQ with the notion of making Georgia "the most inclusive, creative barbeque experience in the country." Photo: Joann Vitelli

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



HIGH OFF THE HOG DAS raises the bar in barbecue STORY:

Rebecca Cha   PHOTOS: Joann Vitelli


othing says “self-care” quite like taking myself out for good barbecue. Knockout ’cue is the stuff of my dreams, but oddly, I’ve found it tough to hold on to an Atlanta favorite. Sure, I’ve fallen hard for a couple places, but they’ve either burned down or closed forever overnight—no warning, nothing. Still, hope springs eternal, and maybe that’s why I felt giddy driving down to the Westside’s DAS BBQ, built in a former Pizza Hut on Collier Road, that foodie friends couldn’t stop raving about. The colossal propane tanks-turned-smokers parked out front are a dead give-away: I’m in the right place. On my way in, I amble by cords of stacked, aromatic hickory wood, perfuming the air. Inside, the counter service-only space is cozy and rustic, and features a large interior window through which waiting customers can view meats being prepped and smoked. DAS’s owner, Stephen Franklin (no relation to Aaron Franklin from Franklin Barbecue in Austin), describes the decor as “industrial outlaw,” but to me, it’s more roadside tavern: wooden barrels, old butcher cleavers on the walls, a single menu and zero pretense.


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

A handful of DAS BBQ-branded tables are inside with more seating on the patio. The set-up and flow through the two spaces exude positive feng shui. Franklin came to barbecue after several years in marketing and has never looked back. His eyes light up as he describes his dream of making Georgia the most “inclusive, creative barbecue experience in the country.” Franklin is a local—he grew up in Decatur—and that comfortable hometown confidence spills over into his business approach and management style. He is charming, knowledgeable and as engaging as any boss you’d ever want, a quality he shares with Stephen Sr. who’s often on site helping out. Right: Cue the queue! Folks line up for DAS's smoked wings, Germanstyle potato salad and zingy jalapeñolaced cream corn.

As junior tells it, he came up at his father’s side, watching his dad smoke whole hogs in the backyard. Whether it’s nature or nurture, barbecue is in Franklin’s bones. We began the evening with a rack of St. Louis-style ribs, approaching the experience like a fine wine tasting, letting each bite sit on the palate for a bit, breathing in the fruit and earthiness. Fragrant and tender, mopped with something akin to Carolina-style sauce, each succulent rib had a rosy smoke ring (telltale sign of prime ’cue), glistening black

Left: Meat and greet. Say hello to some of the Westside's finest brisket, Brunswick stew and barbeque ribs.

Above: Where there's smoke... DAS's popular outdoor patio overlooks the colossal propane-tanks-turned-smokers. Right: Platter up! The Elgin, Texas-sourced hot sausage (a breathe-easy 500 on the Scoville scale), bark-rich pulled pork and in-house-made sides.

As Franklin tells it, he came up at his father’s side, watching dad smoke whole hogs in the backyard. Whether nature or nurture, barbecue is in Franklin’s bones. crust outside and the concentrated flavor of sweet jerky. Next up was the smoked chicken. Marinated in vinegar, tamari, apple juice and special seasonings, then smoked for just south of two hours in the rotisserie, the pristine white meat had a lovely hickory scent and a meaty chew but was rather dry. I swore off white meat poultry years ago, and I stand by the belief that if He had it to do all over again, God would make chicken and its kin entirely dark meat. Just tastes better, period. By contrast, the pulled pork butt was hog heaven: tender, mouthwatering chunks of pork with coveted nuggets of crusty tar-black bark. Both the peach barbecue sauce and the “high octane” red sauce (made with brewed espresso and molasses) complemented the meats perfectly. Top-notch side dishes are made in-house daily. The collards are a family recipe: Longcooked in cider vinegar, apple juice and a hint of Tabasco, they were a table favorite. Mac ’n’ cheese is rich but not cloying, the large pasta shells commingling perfectly with the tangy, creamy cheddar sauce. We couldn’t get enough of the German-style red potato salad flecked with sweet, intense red onion and snappy diced celery. But the king of sides was the chunky, spicy cream corn: fresh yellow corn, loads of cream and shaved parmesan, and a heavy dose of bright green jalapeño that the little ones might wrinkle their noses over. For drinks, we suggest one of the refreshing local craft IPAs on offer such as Scofflaw or Monday Night. We’d been told to come early for items that sell out fast and heeded that advice for our next trip. Smoked wings were a prior-

ity, as it seemed they were for plenty of other folks lining up early this particular late Sunday morning. Tender and meaty with deep smoke flavor and ruddy, orange-red burnished skin (reminiscent of tandoori), it was easy to see why the wings sell out before the lunch rush. We followed that with the brisket, a favorite of the local barbecue community. Both the rich, marbled point and the meaty flat had a poppy-red smoke ring just beneath the blackened bark—clean, juicy, not-at-all greasy. Also notable are the Elgin, Texas-sourced sausages, available hot or mild. I reckon the hot was about 500 on the Scoville scale (in other words, even kids can handle it), the tangy spices and mild cheddar bits rendering a superbly well-balanced bite. The mild was, to our jaded palates, the equivalent of a prom wallflower: timid and shy and just aching to let her hair down (in other words, folks, go with the spicy). The Brunswick stew, a long-cooked comfort food made with pork shoulder, corn, tomatoes and spices (usually lima beans, too, but none here, thankfully), is worth the trip alone. If sweets are your thing or you’ve got kids in your party, don’t pass up the addictive white chocolate banana pudding or the homemade brownies. But for my money, I’m happy to stick to the basics, which, in this case, are anything but basic. And with the recent opening of another location on Memorial Drive, it’s pretty much a guarantee that DAS BBQ—lucky for me, for us—is here in Atlanta for the long haul, well on its way to hitting institution status. n

Still hungry? The decadent white chocolate banana pudding will definitely have you waving the white flag.

DAS BBQ 1203 Collier Road, Atlanta 30318 404.850.7373 dasbbq.com Prices: side dishes (in regular, pint or quart): $3 - $23, meats: whole, half and sandwich: $7 - $28 (sausages $5/ link); wings: $9/$18 for half dozen/dozen; desserts: $3 - $5. Recommended: Smoked ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken wings, beef brisket, Brunswick stew, mac ’n’ cheese, cream corn. Bottom Line: Earnest and authentic, counter-serviceonly joint offering top-notch traditional barbecue dishes to loads of quality ‘q aficionados.

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


D R I NKS cane sugar and lavender from a 25-acre organic farm in New Mexico, located in the fertile woodlands along the Rio Grande. It’s not only a pleasant addition to a drink; it is packaged in a classic apothecary bottle. Available at Adelina Social Goods.

Spiritless Kentucky 74 ($35.99) Started by a founding team member of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival and two friends, Kentucky 74 was developed with all the familiar notes of bourbon —oak, vanilla, caramel—but without the alcohol. Using a reverse distillation process, the extraction left after removing the alcohol retains the oils and tannins of full-proof bourbon, mouthfeel and all. It makes a terrific spirit-free old fashioned and the stout bottle looks gorgeous on a bar cart. Available at spiritless.com.

King Cube Specialty Cocktail Ice ($10 per 12-Pack)



Angela Hansberger


home bar cart need not be all function and no form. A small collection of supplies can make a wide array of drinks and be a focal point of your home. With a little attention and a few fundamental accessories, your bar cart can become both aesthetically pleasing and a helper in streamlining drink preparation. Whether you’re a tippler who doesn’t know a Manhattan from a martini or a home mixologist who crafts homemade tinctures and tonics, these products add swagger to your bar cart.

ASW Distillery Drambino Sampler Pack ($35) Prepare your cart for a taste test through four different expressions of whiskey with ASW’s Drambino box. Four 100-milliliter bottles are neatly packaged inside: Fiddler Unison Bourbon, Resurgens Rye, Duality Double Malt and Tire Fire Single Malt. The diminutive bottles take up minimal space and allow for an in-depth taste journey of whiskey.

Q Mixers Tonic Water ($5.99 for a 750-ml bottle) The stylish bottles and bold flavors of Q Tonic Water make a pretty backdrop on a bar cart set up for gin and tonics. These mixers are super bubbly and available in bold flavors beyond standard tonic and light tonic such as elderflower, Indian (with strong quinine from Cinchona bark grown in the Andes, perfect to stand up to the stron-

gest gins) and grapefruit, and are crafted to enhance fine spirits as well as the look of your bar cart. Place the tall bottle next to a bowl of fresh herbs, spices and citrus. Available at major retailers including Target.

Perfectly clear ice cubes are one of the best things about the cocktail experience at a swanky bar. Local ice makers at King Cube cut flawless, glass-like cubes from giant blocks of ice that are slowly frozen using a directional freezing technique. Add a two-inch cube to a couple of ounces of bourbon, and you have a stunning instant cocktail. The larger surface area means cubes melt slower than small ones and won't water down your spirit. Many of Atlanta’s finest drinking establishments use King Cube, and now you can add them to your home bar. Available at area package stores. n

Shaker33 (from $29.95) With its sleek, revolutionary design and option of frosted or black, Shaker33 serves a dual purpose. It is leak-proof when shaking cocktails up to 24 ounces, with an easy to open, lockable lid, allowing you to shake with one hand without worrying about spillage. Get frozen fingers when shaking cocktails? This one chills your drink but not your hands. The built-in dual flow strainer eliminates the need for a separate tool to pour the perfect beverage. Available at shaker33.com. Rialto Coupe Glasses ($28 each) Designed for everything from water to cocktails, this collection of colorful glassware is made by hand by artisans in Turkey. In colors of cream, pale sage and saffron, their creation was inspired by the floating arches that adorn Venice, Italy’s bridges, including the iconic Rialto, the oldest spanning the Grand Canal. Sipping and preparing drinks with these lends both beauty and a conversation topic. Available at Adelina Social Goods.

Los Poblanos Lavender Simple Syrup ($16) This herbal syrup adds a delightful springtime floral sweetness to cocktails or lemonade. It’s handcrafted with pure


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

DETAILS Adelina Social Goods 1235 Chattahoochee Ave. N.W. Atlanta 30318 404.565.1930 adelinasocialgoods.com ASW Distillery 199 Armour Drive N.E. Atlanta 30324 404.590.2279 aswdistillery.com



by Old Edwards

Live a Life of Adventure and Wellness with fun amenities, community gardens, mountain trails and a 12-hole, par-three golf course, in the beautiful Norton area of Cashiers, North Carolina. Schedule a tour and view Cottage plans & Estate lots today. GlenCoveLifestyle.com | 828.393.0328

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Culinary News & Notes 


Claire Ruhlin

Kimpton Sylvan Hotel’s chef shares pro tips for outdoor entertaining



Andrew Thomas Lee

t Buckhead’s new Kimpton Sylvan Hotel, outdoor dining is the name of the game. Among the hotel’s three food and beverage concepts are two indoor-outdoor spaces, both opening this spring: Willow Bar, a garden lounge, and St. Julep, an open-air rooftop lounge. Chef Brandon Chavannes, formerly of St. Cecilia, shares his advice for effortless entertaining outdoors. What’s important to keep in mind when setting the mood outdoors?

What are some common mistakes in outdoor entertaining?

People naturally tend to gravitate towards one area at gatherings. If you’re entertaining outside, try to place snacks and beverages in different areas so people move around organically and mingle with one another. This will create a more relaxed environment and allow people to break away without feeling obligated to stay in the center of the goings-on the whole time.

People try to do too much. Keep it simple so you have time to focus on being a good host. No matter what, there's going to be plenty to do. Keep drinks full, introduce people to each other and even pass around a few dishes. Hosts often get sidetracked by trying to create some giant, ornate spread and consequently lose sight of the hospitality.

How do you make an outdoor gathering feel special?

Any tips for those with a smaller outdoor space?

Roasting whole ingredients, like a fish or a large joint of meat, is a surprisingly easy way to bring a sense of occasion and drama to a backyard party.

Plan and prep your menu up to a week in advance. All the little knick-knacks and tools that you need to put together a party really add up, and with

all the distractions, they tend to get left lying around, cluttering your setup. When space is a premium, you want to keep extra stuff out of the way. What types of cuisine lend themselves to outdoor dining?

Middle Eastern food is a go-to for me. Kofta, baba ganoush and other Middle Eastern staples are great for the grill and leaving out on a table to snack on. I also love making a big paella for a summer night dinner party with the perfume of saffron and pimenton lingering about. n The Kimpton Sylvan Hotel 374 East Paces Ferry Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 877.984.6548 thesylvanhotel.com

FOOD NEWS Storico Vino is the latest concept by Michael Patrick, Pietro Gianni and Stephen Peterson, the owners of Storico Fresco and Forza Storico. It’s now open in Buckhead Village and bringing the feeling of an Italian wine bar to the neighborhood. storico.com/vino


Hoping to learn a thing or two about cocktails? Kyma’s Manager and Beverage Connoisseur Andrej Pop is sharing his secrets with the restaurant’s “Mixology Experience” classes, held Tuesday


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

through Thursday. A ticket comes with three cocktails per person and a lesson on mixology. buckheadrestaurants.com /restaurant/kyma

Dunwoody gets a new food hall this spring when The Hall at Ashford Lane is expected to open on Olde Perimeter Way. The Atlanta location follows in the footsteps of its Tampa, Florida, counterpart, The Hall on Franklin, with nine restaurant stalls offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails. explorethehall.com

Award-winning chef Jonathan Waxman combines Italian-Californian cuisine with Southern ingredients with his latest restaurant, Baffi (Italian for “moustache”), which opened in West Midtown’s Stockyards development this winter. Here, Waxman shares his famous kale salad recipe, also available in his cookbook, The Barbuto Cookbook: California-Italian Cooking from the Beloved West Village Restaurant.

Kale Salad Serves 6 8 ounces kale (leave the stems intact) 6 fresh basil leaves, patted dry and rolled like a cigar 2–4 salt-cured anchovies, rinsed and deboned 2 cloves garlic, peeled, green shoots removed, and smashed 1 egg yolk, at room temperature 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard Sea salt 1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar 1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil Freshly ground black pepper ¹⁄ ₃ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese 1 tablespoon toasted breadcrumbs Wash the kale well and dry in a salad spinner. On a wooden (this is important advice—plastic is impossible) cutting board, julienne the kale as thinly as possible. Place the kale in a salad bowl. Keep cold. Clean the board and wipe it dry. On the cutting board, finely mince the basil. Add the anchovies and garlic, and continue to mince until you achieve a paste. In another bowl, combine the basil and garlic paste with the egg yolk, mustard, 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt, red wine vinegar and the lemon juice. Use a whisk and mix well. Drizzle in the oil, whisking continuously, until you achieve a broken emulsion. Pour 4 oz. of the dressing over the kale, enough to coat the leaves well (reserve the rest for another day). Using as much force as possible, crush the kale and dressing. This will release the enzymes from the kale to interact with the dressing’s acid and salt. Add a pinch of salt and a few turns of pepper. Sprinkle with the cheese and breadcrumbs. Toss well, taste for seasoning and serve within an hour. Letting it sit for a little while does wonders for the flavor.

Baffi 976 Brady Ave. N.W. Suite 110 Atlanta, 30318 404.724.9700 baffiatlanta.com

Jen Davidson



Providing professional landscape design and installation, irrigation design and installation, hardscape design and installation and outdoor lighting.




TA S T E M AKE R FUN FACT Pascarella buys and sells sports cards on eBay. He once purchased a Luka Doncic card in mint condition for $20 and sold it for $2,000.

[Hopkins] and Anne Quatrano did to pave the way for us younger, likeminded individuals. How has your cooking changed throughout your career? For a long time, I was so focused on being this high-end, fine-dining chef. Over the years, I realized I should go back to my roots and double down on what I’m good at: Italian cuisine with a twist. I like trying different pasta shapes no one has ever heard of. You have to learn what people want. Decatur is more out there—people are willing to try oxtail, dandelion and foie gras. In Piedmont Heights, we stay true to what Italian food is but put a little Southern approach on it. Why is it so important to you to use local ingredients? They are so readily available now. I get 50 emails a week from local farms. Our purveyors are using local farms, too. The Italians have been cooking local their whole lives. They go in their backyard and pull what they need.



Carly Cooper

t’s the age-old story of a boy who embraces his heritage by cooking with those who came before him. In this case, the boy—now man—is Pat Pascarella, executive chef and owner of Grana in Piedmont Heights and The White Bull in Decatur. Born to a family of Italian immigrants in Connecticut, Pascarella learned his way around the kitchen from his mother and grandmother. He attended culinary school, trained under James Beard Award-winning chefs in New York and Miami, and


ate a path around Italy. He owned and operated a restaurant in Connecticut for eight years before moving to Atlanta in 2017 as executive chef at The Optimist. “I wanted to get to know people, the city and how things work here,” he says. A year later, he opened The White Bull, putting a spin on traditional Italian fare and focusing on farm-to-table ingredients. In March 2020, he expanded with Grana, which he describes as a “Southern-style restaurant focused on Neapolitan pizza.” (Grana is also known for its see-and-be-seen rooftop patio facing Piedmont Avenue.)

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

After working 18 to 20 hours a day for months, Pascarella is finally seeing the fruits of his labor. “The White Bull did a good job of putting my name out there. Grana is putting us on the map,” he says. We spoke to him to learn more about his cooking and his plans for the future. How’d you end up in Atlanta? My first choice was Italy. My wife said no, and my two brothers-in-law live here. I came to visit 10 times in 20152016 to see if this was where I wanted to be. Ford Fry was really starting to hit his stride. I liked what he, Linton

What would you do if you weren’t a chef? I’d be a farmer. I really enjoy the land, pigs, cows and chickens. I love the science behind all of it. I love that when you grow something, you need to replenish the soil. In the next three to five years, I’d like to buy a farm. It’s the best way to make sure I have [fresh] tomatoes through November and basil the whole year. I’d live there. When my wife and I are in our 60s, we want to open a small bakery (she’s a pastry chef) with a sandwich shop that does finer-end dining at the end of the night. What do you do for fun these days? I love to fish. I also love to drive around with my wife, looking at houses and farmland. I’m trying to find the balance between work and being at home. We have a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. I like to play soccer with them or do whatever they’re into. What’s next for you? I have another four to six concept ideas in my computer just waiting for me to find locations. I’m thinking about bringing thin and crispy New Haven-style pizza to Atlanta. How cool would it be to do a Sicilian-style seafood restaurant or a Roman-style vegetable and pasta spot? n

GRANA 1835 Piedmont Ave. 30324 404.231.9000 granaatl.com

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


FEATURED RESTAURANTS  A sampling of great eats in and around Buckhead BY: Wendell

Brock, Rebecca Cha and Angela Hansberger


Hanna, Joann Vitelli

10 DEGREES SOUTH After 15 years on the scene, this Roswell Road establishment is a highly original destination where food and wine from the tip of the Southern Hemisphere are celebrated with flair. Before we could pose the server with a query on the peri-peri, we got the hard sell on South African reds—particularly the Rupert & Rothschild 2009 “Classique.” The big, full-bodied R&R was the perfect match for the luscious, spicy food that followed. We wager that nobody makes bobotie (the South African national dish) like 10 Degrees South. The dish consists of tantalizingly sweet curried ground beef topped with a custardy crust. It’s time to get your head out of the sand and indulge in the kind of stuff our parents enjoyed when “Continental” cuisine was in vogue. Appetizers: $10-$16 Entrees: $21-$38 10degreessouth.com

ARNETTE’S CHOP SHOP Arnette’s will dazzle you with its no-expense-spared interiors, cosmopolitan wine list and, of course, its meat. Chicago-sourced ribeyes, strips and tomahawk steaks are the main attraction supported by a top-notch cast of appetizers and sides, from decadent roasted marrow and wagyu beef tartare to classic wedge salad and

Dauphinoise potatoes. (There are also oysters and caviar, if you don’t mind shelling out a few extra bucks.) Favorite items include the 50-day, wet-aged cowboy ribeye; the bliss-inducing lobster spaghetti; and the shaved prime rib sandwich, a real scene-stealer. Don’t forget to ask about the members-only knife club. Appetizers, salads and sandwiches: $9-$25 Shrimp, oysters and caviar: $13-$150 Hearth-roasted shellfish, fish and steaks: $13-$140 Desserts: $8-$12 arnetteschopshop.com

BIG SKY BUCKHEAD The laid-back cattle ranch decor in this West Village hotspot is the perfect foil for top-notch Tex-Mex-meets-DeepSouth eats. Specialty cocktails served up by fresh-faced mixologists combined with events such as Wednesday trivia nights, game-day viewing parties and weekend brunches with all-you-candrink mimosas make Big Sky Buckhead a favorite urban escape. Best-in-class dishes such as the Big Sky Nachos, Goose Island IPA wings, Original Burger and Buffalo Chicken Sandwich are good enough to brand this place in your memory forever. Good to know: Big Sky is a cashless establishment, so don’t forget your alt-currency. Also, free

Eclipse di Luna’s paella del día is brimming with shrimp, chicken, chorizo and authentic Calasparra rice.


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Arnette's lobster spaghetti is a masterpiece of fresh, luxurious flavors.

on-site parking spots are limited, so consider carpooling or ridesharing. Starters: $4-$12 Salads, sandwiches and tacos: $11-$13 Entrees: $15-$19 Brunch items: $12-$15 bigskybuckhead.com

ECLIPSE DI LUNA At the tail end of Miami Circle is one of the most convivial joints in town. Head over for happy hour Monday through Thursday when most drinks and tapas are half price, and there’s live music. Yummy small plates of habanerospiced ahi tuna ceviche, smoky sundried-tomato mac and cheese (made with three different cheeses) and refreshing Granny Smith apple salad are some of our favorites. Still hungry? It’s hard to pass up the succulent balsamic-y spare ribs and flavorful, crunchy calamari. If you’re with family (or a family of friends), consider the exquisite saffron-infused paella, made with authentic Calasparra rice. Tapas: $2.95-$14.95 (most in the $5-$8 range) Large plates (for two or more): $20$24 eclipsediluna.com

F&B Like its predecessor, the much-loved former Brasserie le Coze, F&B delivers timeless Provençal fare in a classic brasserie atmosphere. The menu is bolstered by comfort dishes portioned with hunger in mind, but it’s also fortified with lighter salads, sandwiches and soups. Classics such as steak frites and skate wing with a brown butter sauce are deeply satisfying in their rustic charm. Mussels come piled high in a white wine and shallot broth, along with crusty French bread for sopping. The drink menu is built on interesting French wines and remarkable cocktails such as the well-balanced, bourbonbased Line of Destiny. Appetizers: $6-$18 Entrees: $11-$42 Desserts: $6-$8 fandbatl.net

HEARTH PIZZA TAVERN Sandy Springs is lucky to be home to Hearth Pizza Tavern, where worldclass pie is served up in a cozy corner of the Exchange at Hammond. Pizzas such as the Ring of Fire and The Cure would earn three Michelin stars if there were a pizza rating, and other menu items aren’t far behind. If you’re eating

carb-free, go for the Tavern chopped salad, piled high with Italian meats and cheeses, or dig in to hot, crispy Brussels sprouts or zesty roasted cauliflower. If those don’t tempt you, then the steaming bowl of PEI mussels or an oozing, medium-rare Angus beef burger will be your best bet.

Pure Taqueria has tacos and homemade salsas for every palate and dietary restriction.

Openers and salads: $6-$12 Burgers and sandwiches: $10-$12 Pizzas: $7-$19 hearthpizzatavern.com

HOUSTON’S Houston’s probably won’t make the list of any highfalutin, big-city critic. And yet the Beverly Hills-based chain, which has had an Atlanta presence since 1978, has a devoted following, thanks to its consistently good, all-American food; its commitment to customer comforts; and its flagrant disregard for culinary razzle-dazzle. While the gooey spinachand-artichoke dip and the Famous French Dip are the stuff of legend, we are crazy about the Thai steak and noodle salad, the crispy-skinned rotisserie chicken and the warm, five-nut brownie with vanilla ice cream. At Houston’s, every table is bolted to the floor so it won’t wobble, servers bring chilled glasses so your drink never gets tired and the napkins have buttonholes so the white-shirt crowd can save its ties. We can only hope this classic sticks around for a few more decades. Starters and salads: $4-$20 Burgers and sandwiches: $18-$20 Entrees: $25-$45 hillstone.com/houstons

PRICCI Opened in 1991, Pricci is the Italian jewel in Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s crown. This Buckhead institution still aspires to (and delivers) exceptional service, superlative Italian cooking and a vibe that’s both elegant and inclusive. Nothing says buon appetito like silky burrata Pugliese (cream filled mozzarella), tangy parmesan and anchovy-rich Caesar salad and aromatic steamed cozze (mussels in tomatogarlic sauce). Barbera-braised short rib ravioli, pecorino-sauced cacio e pepe and pizzas of all varieties are favorites, but if you’re extra peckish, order the Dutch-imported 16-ounce veal chop. Mangia bene, but don’t forget to try Pricci’s world-class tiramisu.

Brookhaven oasis. After 6 p.m., head up to the adults-only rooftop bar for killer Lunazul tequila margaritas and sumptuous soft tacos complemented by more than a half dozen chile salsas. Downstairs in the bright and sunny dining room, families and hipsters gather for silky fondue-like queso con todo, sizzling cazuela bowls, hearty sandwiches such as the torta de carne y chorizo and myriad Tex-Mex specialties featuring the freshest seafood, meats and vegetarian options. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more cheerful and accommodating waitstaff. Appetizers and taco platters: $4.79-$15.99 Classics, sandwiches and specialties: $8.49-$22.99 Desserts: $5.09-$8.49 puretaqueria.com


Sandwiches, salads and veggie mains: $5.99-$17.50 Entrees: $13.25-$20.75 Desserts: $6.50-$8.75 rthomasdeluxegrill.net

Open 24/7 and bedecked with ’70sstyle disco lighting, beaded curtains and groovy plastic walls, this Buckhead favorite feels like a throwback to the days when the health food craze was in its genesis. Whether you go for the sizzling bone-in hot wings or Dr. Joe’s Mango Salad with a side of raw cashew “cheese,” R. Thomas lives up to its promise to “treat carnivores and vegetarians with equal respect.” More menu favorites include the quinoa-rich Thai Express bowl, the classic Thomas Burger with sprouts and guacamole, the curry coconut seafood linguine, Southwestern-style R.’s Quesadilla and an unforgettable peanut butter chocolate pie.

YUZU Chamblee is to Atlanta what 1980s SoHo was to Manhattan: edgy and on the verge, which is why traditional, sedate Yuzu is such a welcome respite in its midst. Veteran restaurateurs Anna and Kenny Kim run their dining room with efficiency and grace. With a flash of his Masamoto knife, Chef Kim delivers top-notch sushi and sashimi such as chu-toro, escolar and salmon, as well as mouthwatering rolls (we highly recommend the special spicy rainbow roll and the crunchy dragon roll). With dishes such as tempura udon, charred salmon skin salad, Japanese ceviche and an impeccable teriyaki chicken, there’s something for everyone at this authentic sushi bistro.

Breakfast: $9.75-$14.75 Appetizers: $4.50-$17.50

Appetizers, salads: $4-$14.50 Special plates: $13.50-$17.80 Sushi plates, rolls: $8.50-$16.50 Dinner entrees: $13.50-$15.90 yuzusushiatlanta.com

Appetizers and salads: $8-$26 Pizza and pastas: $17-$27 Entrees: $24-$46 Desserts: $6-$15 buckheadrestaurants.com

PURE TAQUERIA Nestled in the heart of Brookleigh Marketplace, Pure Taqueria is a true

Note: Prices and menu items may have changed since original publication.

Hungry for more? Yuzu's baked salmon skin salad is crunchy and rich without being too heavy or fishy.

Visit the Simply Buckhead website to read all of our Restaurant Reviews! simplybuckhead.com

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


E V E N T S | S C E N E | C H A RI TA B L E



Ginger Strejcek

[ F E AT U R E D E V E N T ]

Ruth Carter’s diverse designs range from the sumptuous ’70s suiting of I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (right) to the fantastical tribal fabrications of Black Panther (left).

MOVIE MAGIC Ruth Carter’s iconic costumes on view at SCAD FASH


f Ruth E. Carter’s name doesn’t ring a bell, her work certainly will. The Academy Award-winning costume designer has been making movie magic for more than three decades. That includes transforming Oprah Winfrey into voting rights activist Annie Lee Cooper in Selma, outfitting Denzel Washington in the title role of Malcolm X and suiting up the late Chadwick Boseman as King of Wakanda in Black Panther, which scored her the Oscar in 2019. Cinephiles can ogle more than 60 costumes showcasing her legendary career in “Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design,” on view through Sept. 12 at the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film. The epic exhibit also features garments worn by superstars Angela Bassett and Eddie Murphy, among others, along with sketches and ephemera that illustrate the elaborate design process behind the scenes. Period pieces such as Steven Spiel-

berg’s ​Amistad and the 2016 remake of the Roots miniseries, both in her vast repertoire, are steeped in historical research. Nicknamed Ruthless for her dedication on Spike Lee films, Carter hopes the exhibit will “inspire a new generation who are already expressing the need to project a profound personal connection of diversity in storytelling and to do it authentically in a way that connects with their creative self.” “Ruth harnesses the power of “RUTH E. CARTER: AFROFUTURISM IN visual communication to share COSTUME DESIGN” narratives of culture, race and politics,” adds co-curator Rafael Through Sept. 12 Gomes, director of fashion $10 (under 14 free) exhibitions at SCAD FASH. SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film “This is a very collaborative 1600 Peachtree St. N.W. work that celebrates exquisite Atlanta 30309 works of wearable art and 404.253.3132 world-class film making taking scadfash.org place in our city.”

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Atlanta Science Festival is offering a mixture of virtual and in-person events ITP this year.


[ FA M I LY ]

Full STEAM Ahead GET SCHOOLED IN SCIENCE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM Amping up the wow factor in the interworkings of the world, the Atlanta Science Festival will ignite curious minds March 13-27 with 93 scheduled events, both virtual and in-person. The fact-fueled fun ranges from an app-based scavenger hunt and guided nature walks with scientists to cooking and coding workshops, a conservation game and science-themed plays. “Our giant celebration of science helps kids, families and adults see the

science in their everyday lives,” says Meisa Salaita, Ph.D., executive co-director and co-founder of Science ATL, which engineers the festival in partnership with local schools, museums, businesses, civic and community groups. “How we ‘get together’ may be a bit different in 2021, but I believe that the collective experience we have had facing this pandemic has served to highlight just how important science is in our lives, and what a difference it can make.”

Launched in 2014 with an annual outreach of 50,000, this year’s showcase will forego the Exploration Expo wrap at Piedmont Park due to COVID concerns but will continue bringing people together through the wonder of science.

ATLANTA SCIENCE FESTIVAL March 13-27 atlantasciencefestival.org

[ S HOP P I N G ]

Retail Therapy

HERMARKET is a community and marketplace for woman-owned indie brands, with monthly pop-ups, virtual experiences and brand partnerships.

BROWSE AN OUTDOOR MARKETPLACE AT BUCKHEAD VILLAGE Score some sweet finds from local vendors at the HERMARKET pop-up along Buckhead Avenue. Held the third Saturday of the month during the Sidewalk Shop & Strolls at Buckhead Village, the outdoor marketplace supports women-owned indie brands with a curated selection of offerings from apparel, jewelry and accessories to health and beauty products, home decor and food. “Our markets are truly an experience for shoppers to discover new brands as well as shop their favorites,” says Jazlin Pitts, who


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

cofounded HERMARKET with Kia Perry to boost female entrepreneurship through community connections and retail collaborations, some of which have led to product placement in Target, Saks, Urban Outfitters and Free People. “Indie brands are not only a different buying experience but offer more clean, ethical products for consumers who are conscious about what they’re putting in and on their bodies,” says Perry. After perusing the goods, visitors can also enjoy live music and coffee in The Veranda.

HERMARKET POP-UP March 20 and April 17, noon-6 p.m. 3035 Peachtree Road Atlanta 30305 thisishermarket.com

March 20 spruillarts.org/artisticaffair Enjoy an evening of entertainment from the comfort of home at this annual benefit for the Spruill Center for the Arts. Starting at 6:30 p.m., listen to live music, watch art demonstrations, bid on unique local works in the silent auction and find out the winner of the Bob Kinsey Award, given to an individual who exemplifies a dedication to Spruill and a passion for the arts. Lucky guests might score a raffle prize as well.

SPRING GARDENING LECTURE SERIES VIRTUAL CLASSES March & April nfmg.net/communityclasses.htm Get planting this spring with free gardening classes by the North Fulton Master Gardeners. Packed with practical tips from the organization’s green-thumbed members, the seasonal series ranges from growing perennials (March 14) to starting a veggie garden (April 18). Participants can also enjoy a virtual stroll through the 30-acre John Ripley Forbes Big Trees Forest Preserve in Sandy Springs (March 7). Tune in at 2 p.m. on Zoom or Facebook Live. Registration required.

BOURBON GALA & AUCTION June 6 Rustix Manor, 503 S. Holly Springs Road, Woodstock 30188​ ehbourbongala.org Suit up in seersucker, floral frocks and fancy hats for the Enduring Hearts sixth annual benefit to support pediatric heart transplant research. The Southern-style celebration features a live watch party for the Kentucky Derby, silent and live auctions, music, VIP cigar lounge and Van Winkle Family Bourbon raffles. Early Bird tickets ($250 single, $475 couple) include hors-d’oeuvres, an open bar, a tasting menu and dinner.

March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Niko Karatassos, Rebecca Embelton, Piero Premoli

Joe Razenbach, Alexander Kaufman, Rachel Simononis, Jacqueline Horak, Scott Spencer, Liz Morrison, Alina Feder Photos: Lionel Hamilton


Shane Hoff, Courtney Gams Mit Amin, Angela Ramson, Rich Valladares


David Williams, Janette Davis Rachel Simononis

uckhead’s fashionable foodie set turned out for a fundraiser to support No Kid Hungry, a campaign to end childhood hunger. The event, hosted at Kyma this winter, raised $16,000, and its 100 tickets sold out in just two days. Guests feasted on a Greek tasting menu including the restaurant’s signature woodgrilled octopus, fresh fish, lamb chops and a decadent selection of Greek desserts. Planned and hosted by Rebecca Embelton, the event featured auction and raffle items including restaurant experiences from Kyma, Atlas, Storico Fresco, Le Colonial, Char Korean Bar & Grill, Girl Diver and Little Alley Steak, as well as a golf outing at Atlanta Country Club, training sessions at Pepper Boxing and with Morgan Findlay, and a diamond and orange sapphire ring from Alan Ensari. Revelers continued the fun with an after party at Saville Studios, hosted by artist Kate Saville.

Chris Thompson, Nayef Hanbli, Eugene Tutunikov


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Sonny and Joanne Hayes


POOCH SMOOCHES The Markleys share some love with their 1-year-old sheepadoodle, Gus.

PHOTO: David


March/April 2021 | Simply Buckhead


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2941 Mobile Road, 4BR/3.5BA, 192+ Acres AMAZING ACREAGE!!! With almost 200 acres, this mountain estate comes with endless possibilities and offers mountain views, gentle topography, two small lakes, entrance to property on two paved county roads, City of McCaysville water, all utilities in place for development, long paved driveway entering the property along the lake and coming up to a 3,832 sf ranch-style home with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, metal building for storage and easy access to downtown McCaysville, the Toccoa River for kayaking or canoeing, Cohutta Wilderness for hiking and biking, or the Ocoee Whitewater Center for whitewater rafting. Whether you use the current developer plans or keep as a private estate, this property will not disappoint!!


Gorgeous Moss Creekdesigned timber frame home with multiple design awards and write ups in several architectural and lifestyle magazines including Pinnacle Living and Custom Wood Homes. Conveniently located only 10 minutes to downtown Cashiers, this amazing five bedroom, five-and-a-half bath home is perched above Trillium Links and Lake Club’s 17th tee and enjoys golf course frontage plus beautiful views down the fairway and to the mountains beyond. Loaded with luxury features—too many to detail here—you must see this home to appreciate it! Offered fully decorated and furnished with a few exceptions. Contact me for a detailed list of the home’s custom specifications and for information on the club’s amenities.


Mary Abranyi 828.226.9818 mary@bhhsmmr.com MeadowsMountainRealty.com

The acquisition of a new home - or the renovation of an existing residence - is one of the most intimate and enriching creative endeavors a couple or individual can undertake. It becomes a rare opportunity to take a deep dive into personal values and aspirations, and to consider how these can manifest through aesthetic preferences for their environment. A true transformation of a house into a home involves great art – art that speaks to the heart and soul. Such works can act as the cornerstones of, or anchor, a home. For those lucky enough to live here, Atlanta is the undisputed cultural capital of the South. Buckhead is the epicenter of collecting art in this part of the country, in part because it is home to the highest concentration of prestigious galleries in this region. The Buckhead galleries are driven by owners who have devoted decades investing their time, energy, passion, intellect - and their personal resources - to advance an advocacy on behalf of artists and collectors alike. The Buckhead gallery community and its passion for art is inseparable from the long-term cultural vision for our region. For these reasons, when people consider acquiring great works of art, Buckhead should be the first place they look.

Above: Thornton Dial Boukil, Bamana Boli Below: Steven Seinberg R i g h t : To m S w a n s t o n













In my thirty-five years of guiding homeowners across America as they enter or expand their involvement with collecting meaningful works of art, I have learned that the best direction I can offer them is to be open, fearless and dynamic about staking a claim in their own visual experience of the lives they are creating. I strongly urge that they begin with works they truly love – and with the strongest work with which they can comfortably live. Such art will invariably integrate beautifully into the home, and enhance furnishings and décor, too. The bottom line is this - it is just as easy to “decorate” a home with great art as with inconsequential or “purely decorative” art. The stronger the art the more likely it will be to hold interest for decades, or a lifetime. It is my view that the greatest art is always found in excellent galleries, owned and run by those who live their lives in advocacy for great art – and for true service to their buyers/collectors. A truly remarkable gallery is equally committed to its artists, collectors/clients and to its community. No great city exists without a well-developed gallery community. A thriving gallery community is a key part of the allure of visiting and living in Atlanta. I invite you to visit us at 764 Miami Circle to see some of the most beautiful art available in the world today. And while you are here, check out all the galleries on Miami Circle, which is undeniably ground zero for collecting serious art in Atlanta.






( Bill Lowe, Owner, Bill Lowe Gallery)

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Simply Buckhead March/April 2021