I Heart Animals...

Artisans Christy and Joe Wernert of Graphic Spaces in North Carolina are behind these wonderful wooden critters. They've handcrafted these eye catching bookends in ten different styles that you can mix and match. In each piece Christy and Joe utilize a variety of woods such as walnut, birch, cherry and maple to create one of a kind bookends that are as well crafted as they are smile inducing. I have to admit though, I'm obsessed with that little crochet owl...

Bee Things from Dallas, Texas has some adorable graphic prints for kids. You can find the pelican here and the long eared owl here, both for $25 each. And why should your kid have a plain brown bag when you can buy this ten pack of fashionable monkey snack sacks? ...too cute!

Our Little Messes have some of the dearest totes, journals, bibs and burp cloths but I have a strong affinity for this wallet size owl crayon tote. How can anybody not want to create something colorful and imaginative with this in their fingertips? All ages welcome...


Photos: Graphic Spaces, Bee Things, Our LIttle Messes. Content: Sweet Peach


Window Sill: Tiffany Santiago

I'm excited to introduce a regular feature I will simply call, Window Sill. I think a lot of our personalty shines through in our home sills. I'll be taking pictures of various window sills in the South that catch my eye but am also always asking for readers to share a picture of their own window sill with Sweet Peach. The only thing you need to send is your digital picture along with three adjectives that best describe yourself. The picture above is from my good friend, Tiffany Santiago and showcases her kitchen window sill in Asheville, North Carolina. Tiffany's descriptors: 

Rascally, Empathetic, Instinctual. 

I love that she taught me the word 'rascally' and it fits her to a tee. I adore my little rascal to the north. Thank you Tiffany! 


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Virant Design

While in Asheville, North Carolina in the spring, I interviewed architects and married couple, Tom and Yumiko Virant of Virant Design. I first saw pictures of their modern home (recently sold) posted on the Modern Asheville site, which were beautifully photographed by David Dietrich, and wanted to meet the savvy duo behind this truly stunning home. 

I soon learned that Tom and Yumiko met studying architecture at Virginia Tech. They moved to Chicago after grad school and while Yumiko worked for a small but detailed architectural firm, Tom worked for various firms and took this time to delve into construction. In their work relationship, this divergent experience appears to balance them beautifully. As Tom explains, "I would not question her schematic design abilities and she doesn't tell me how things are built."  

Tom and Yumiko are part of the Design/Build movement. Their mentors are Jersey Devil, a Design/Build collaborative that started in the early 70's. It's a back to the land mentality as these architects and craftspeople believe in designing and building their homes or structures while also maintaining a strong environmental conscience. The founding members of Jersey Devil helped define exactly what Design/Builds are from an architect's perspective. This approach certainly has its advantages. As Tom explains, "It's a package deal. We tend to build what we design and we design what we build, not to mention we can do unusual and custom details because the architects are the ones swinging the hammers."  

When designing a home, I love how Yumiko explains what she most wants to hear from a client, "I want them to tell me how they want their space to feel, as opposed to how they want it to look." Yumiko loves how this home feels cozy and big at the same time and also has a flow. She adds, "It never feels crowded and always feels like exactly the right size." The home, which her and Tom completely gutted and then rebuilt on the same foundation, is 2100 square feet with 800 square feet in decking. The Virant design aesthetic is modern, clean and Japanese influenced. Yumiko's family is from Japan and she spent her summers there as a child. She shares how in Japan everything has a design aesthetic, for whether it's packaging for food, road signage or toys, how something is presented is always thoughtfully considered. She continues to be attracted to pretty things and quiet spaces. 

One of my favorite features in modern homes like this one are the windows. Tom taught me a new word, as the long narrow windows atop a high wall are referred to as a clarestory. Allowing in much natural light, these windows fulfill a function as well as being aesthetically pleasing. Tom makes a good point, "If you design and build something that is attractive, people will be more likely to maintain it properly." Their work is certainly beautifully designed and maintained and offers endless inspiration. I look forward to sharing more homes designed and built by Virant Design in some upcoming posts. Thank you Tom and Yumiko! 

For more details on this modern home renovation, click here. 


Photos: David Dietrich  Content: Sweet Peach


Kill Me With Cuteness


As soon as I saw this penguin on Lori Nichols' Etsy shop, I was smitten. Then I read the description and I just had to share. Alabama artist, Lori Nichols makes these adorable wool critters inspired by nature and her three girls. Pig Jo , available for $38 is pure smile inducing while Penguin Peggy (already sold) is based on a drawing made by Lori's 9 year old daughter, Zoe and 75% of the proceeds of Penguin Peggy will go to her college fund. What a wonderful mother daughter team effort and it helps teach Zoe where there's a will, there's always a way. 

My niece Kristen would love this cat. His name is Oscar and can be found here for just $42. Hilda Mae, an adorable pink wool bunny makes you want to snuggle while Wolf Walter appears up to no good is priced at $48 and don't forget sweet Clarence the Raccoon, just $38 here


Photos: Lori Nichols. Content: Sweet Peach 



Home Pride

I have always loved the look of a vintage map. They resonate cool and can fill up an empty wall space in no time. I bought my Georgia map from Kudzu Antiques in Decatur, GA for just $30. Thrift stores and antique markets would be the first place I'd look- but there's also this southern retailer from Etsy:  

Cathode Blue from Virginia Beach sells this eye catching US map for $115

Or this fun Rand McNally map that includes one of my favorite states, Alaska for $215. 


For some state pride, a fun idea are these custom made pillows from Diffraction Fiber for just $30 each. Another way to show love for your part of the country are these beautifully designed art prints from JHill Design. They range in price from $22-$65. I bought the Georgia print for my home as I loved the colors and ode to Martin Luther King. 


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach, Cathode Blue, Diffraction Fiber and JHill Design 


Welcome to Sweet Peach


Hello! Welcome all to my design blog, Sweet Peach. I created this blog with the intention of showcasing and promoting the wonderful artistry and home decor of the South. These entries will include artist and shop profiles, gardens, porches, home decor, Southern recipes, pets and kid design and of course, since I have a travel bug, some entries outside the South in my 'On Location' series. I look forward to receiving your input and molding this blog into something that is as inspirational as it is useful. Thank you for taking this journey with me. Let's start down the path and see where it takes us...


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach






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