This kitchen channels both Spanish and Mexican styling with colorful walls, shelves and pottery. The large metallic mirror hanging over the range is a statement piece that brings more light and space to the room. Designer Emily Severinsen chose a deep orange wall color and carried it through to the pottery, which holds a variety of kitchen utensils. The green tea color on the range hood and cabinets is a refreshing contrast against the bold, rustic metal tile backsplash and cultural artwork. Natural elements like the sabino wood kitchen island and wooden ceiling beams add a country look, while the black modern stools rejuvenate the space. The oversized antique mirror makes the kitchen feel larger and more open.
While hosting dental clinics at orphanages and community centers in Guatemala, Smile Squared’s founders realized that many of the children had preventable dental issues, and some didn’t even have access to a toothbrush. For every toothbrush sold, the company now donates a toothbrush (made of sustainable, biodegradable bamboo) to a child in need. Smile Squared has donated toothbrushes to children in all 50 states, as well as 24 other countries.
As African people moved around the globe, traditional African designs took on new shapes in new worlds. This Mustique print by Malene B for Oluwa and Celestin (https://www.oluwacelestin.com/collections/malene-b/products/malene-b-mustique-pillow-in-white) is a perfect example. Though inspired specifically by the Caribbean, the importance of African heritage in Caribbean culture can be been in the design. According to the designer, ”The pattern design, Mustique, was inspired by my mother’s home country, St. Vincent & The Grenadines. Mustique is one of the islands in the Grenadines. My brand aesthetic is modern tropical and the brand inspires you to embrace island living anywhere."
Atlanta designer Julie Holloway calls her signature style "bomoco" for its blend of bohemian, modern and country. There are plenty of design tips to incorporate into your own space, from the soft pastels of an Oriental rug that soften the seagrass rug underneath (and dispense with the need for a rug pad) to the whimsical art dead-center above the headboard to the imaginative mix of old and new in the acrylic chair combined with a rustic wooden desk used as a nightstand here.
For late season color, it’s tough to be New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis). This native plant hails from the Eastern part of the country; choose Western ironweed for gardens in the Great Plains and West. Purple flowers start opening in late summer and linger into fall, providing a late season nectar source for butterflies and other pollinating insects. Watch for migrating hummingbirds to visit this bloomer. Goldfinches and sparrows feast on the seed. Use ironweed in the back of the border or wildlife garden. Grows 4 to 7 feet tall by 2 to 4 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 5-8.
Blue-and-white ceramic pieces can give a mantel a country chic yet glam look, like this mantel decorated by Yuni Min. She centered the mantel with a tidy collection of her hardback books. When the pages face front, you don't have to worry about purchasing new books with pretty spines. The bindings bring a bit of color that tie into the pottery. Add a wreath over the mantel (Min made this one) adds more dimension to the focal point.
Christmas cactus are succulents, not cacti. They need warm temperatures and bright light; after their holiday flowers fade, reduce the amount of water you give them. You can enjoy your potted Christmas cacti as a houseplant or move it outdoors in the spring, after all danger of frost has passed. Give it bright light, but not direct sun, and in some parts of the country, as the daylight hours naturally lengthen and then shorten again, new buds will form. Some gardeners may need to put their Christmas cacti into a completely dark location for 12 hours a day, for several weeks, in temperatures from about 50 to 55 degrees F., to stimulate new buds.
Solar lights were some of the first photovoltaic-paneled products to go mainstream, so salute those small stake-lights that still stoically line garden paths all around the country. But that’s not all solar illumination can do. Inflatable solar lanterns offer an entirely different type of lighting and more versatility for the user. From functioning as lovely floating pool lights for evening swims to roughing it with campers who need some evening illumination, inflatable solar lights are shining near and far.
STATE Bags’ founders – a husband-and-wife duo who also created the Country Roads Foundation to support kids in New York City – noticed that countless children in the city were carrying their possessions around in trash bags. They formed STATE to address the issue by donating a backpack filled with schools supplies for every bag sold. The biggest impact happens at the company’s Bag Drop events: motivational rallies where children leave with both a new backpack and a renewed belief in themselves.
Indigo has a centuries old history in Africa. In Nigeria alone, you can find the world’s oldest dye pits, where traditional indigo dyeing is still being practiced today. Relief indigo prints were a strong part of commerce, resulting in some of the earliest exports from African countries. Today, Indigo still has a place in the world of exports. The stunning blue shade that results from plant-based dyes from the indigofera and lonchocarpus cyanescens plant varieties is an evocative one. And it looks stunning on this Indigo Butterfly Chair (http://www.osxnasozi.com/product/indigo-gold-butterfly-chair) from xnasozi. A mid-century modern piece where a West African art form helps to make a modern, cultural statement.
This has got to be the neatest family in the country! Angela actually used a white sofa and white rug in the kids' playroom. Her use of white in this room balances the dark walls beautifully and doesn't allow the red to feel too serious or moody. True to form, this playful space features more black and white pattern, however this time on the ceiling with stick on appliqués: a fun way to get kids involved with designing their own spaces. This entertainment/homeschool/play area, also boasts a computer station tucked away into an alcove for homework without the distractions.
A mother and daughter gingersnap empire that has been featured on ABC World News Tonight, CNN and The Today Show, Susansnaps is the brainchild of mother Laura and daughter Susan Stachler. Laura was looking for a cookie that would help with nausea when Susan was battling cancer. Her cookie research led to gingersnaps which the now cancer-free entrepreneur Susan produces with her mother in a variety of flavors (Cocoasnaps, Pnuttersnaps, Citrussnaps, Alohasnaps and original) in their cheerful red, white and black combo storefront and bake shop in Sandy Springs (next door to Calyroad Creamery, another great local foodie destination). Susansnaps ships all over the country, but why not stop in at the cute brick and mortar shop to try the free samples and pick up some bags of this locally produced delight?
On a trip to Uganda, one of 31 Bits’ founders discovered that the women in the country were making incredible jewelry out of old paper, but they lacked a way to sell it. That inspired her to team up with four friends to sell the handcrafted jewelry back home, and in turn provide the women with an income. 31 Bits also cares for its artisans holistically through counseling, health education, finance training and business mentorships. Shop their colorful Bitsies collection for the little ones, or their wide selection of statement necklaces and stylish bracelets for yourself.
A slightly surreal but oh-so-satisfying experience, the Alpharetta MiniMe Factory is one of only a few places in the country where you can have a 3-D ceramic replica made of yourself in 3- to 9-inch versions. Housed in a generic strip mall, there is little indication from the outside of the strange delights that await inside the MiniMe Factory. Super personable owner Reza Gian Nourali will direct you to the 3-D/360 photo room where image capturing technology and 100 cameras and scanners will record you from every angle. Pick your favorite version of you (or your pet or up to 4 people) on the video screen and then wait 3 weeks for your likeness to arrive in the mail. Guaranteed, you will be unable to resist staring at your tiny self and contemplating who and what you can have rendered in miniature next.
Once the center of the American slave trade, Charleston is a city always contending with the good and bad of its history even as it has transformed into a food-centric and sophisticated Southern city where wealthy New Yorkers and Hollywood types flock for the easygoing pace and refined lifestyle and have scooped up homes at a ravenous pace that has threatened to price-out locals. Charleston is consistently named one of the country's top cities by glossy travel magazines and websites beguiled by its idiosyncratic beauty and charm. Homes, gardens and the people of Charleston are exceptionally gracious (especially so considering the 7 million tourists who flock to the city each year), furnishings lean toward the traditional but there is experimentation galore when it comes to the arts and food. There are endless options in high-end lodgings from the nouveau luxe Hotel Bennett to the bespoke, chic Zero George whose epic porches are the local answer to Prozac.
From mud cloth to indigo and colorful wax prints, textiles featuring traditional African patterns, or inspired by them are finding a place in trendy, modern spaces all over the globe. Designers, artisans and creatives alike are finding that textiles obtained by way of the African continent, from countries such as Mali, Uganda, and Nigeria, offer strong graphic and geometric design along with vibrant, striking color stories. In spaces with a contemporary look, these designs are stylish and impactful while adding a global touch to the decor. Actor and designer, Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire, The Deuce) has taken notice of the power of African prints and created his own home furnishings line that incorporates them. ENITAN Vintage (http://www.enitanvintage.com/) offers storied pieces, where vintage and antique European seating is reimagined through Akinnagbe’s extensive collection of African textiles. “I wanted to preserve many of these pieces where I could, using influences from the Continent that also transcend space and time,” remarks Akinnagbe about pieces like this Victorian settee that’s upholstered in a fuchsia African Dutch Wax Print fabric.
One of only two such tracks in the United States (the other one is in Los Angeles and there are tracks in Germany, France and Great Britain), the Porsche Experience Center is a thrill-ride for grown-ups that allows drivers 21 and over to test out a variety of driving experiences and obstacles on a safe, enclosed track where a coach is always in the passenger seat to offer guidance and driving tips. The majority of Porsche Experience Center drivers come to have an incredible day driving, but some new Porsche owners also visit for practical tips and training on how to enjoy their new baby. "This is a bucket list" item says Ivester, with birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions celebrated with the gift of an extreme driving experience. Each closed track is different in topography so Porsche lovers come from all over the country and world to try out Atlanta's unique circuit. The Porsche Experience Center is open to everyone as long as you have a reservation at one of the many experiences on-site, from lunch at Restaurant 356 to the Simulator Lab to a driving experience.
"Our playground" is how Hapeville's Porsche Experience Center coach Chris Ivester describes the incredible 1.6 mile closed track experience at Porsche's North American headquarters in the shadow of Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport. "We love our noisy neighbors because nobody complains" says Ivester of the low-flying planes coming in for a landing on Hartsfield's flight path which tend to drown out even the sound of turbo engines and peeling tires. One of only two such tracks in the United States (the other one is in Los Angeles and there are tracks in Germany, France and Great Britain), this thrill-ride for grown-ups allows drivers 21 and over to test out a variety of driving experiences and obstacles on a safe, enclosed track where a coach is always in the passenger seat to offer guidance and driving tips. The majority of Porsche Experience Center drives come to have an incredible day driving, but some new Porsche owners also visit for practical tips and training on how to enjoy their new baby. "This is a bucket list" items says Ivester, with birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions celebrated with the gift of an extreme driving experience. Each closed track is different in topography so Porsche lovers come from all over the country and world to try out Atlanta's unique circuit. The experience is custom, from the car selected to the course chosen. Some of the possible 6 driving modules include the Launch Pad, where G-forces kick in as you test a car's pick-up power by flooring the gas for the kind of drag-racing thrill not recommended on normal roads. The Kick Plate is where you can experience the skidding-out thrills of black ice where a combination of polished epoxy and water jets (oh, and sudden pop-up fences to make things even more challenging) gives the sensation of losing control so you can practice regaining it. The one-mile Handling Circuit mimics the feel of driving a twisting country road, only you are solo on this one, able to test our tight turns and experience the fun of owning the road. For car freaks and even novices, this is a one-of-a-kind experience.