Perry, GA: A charming town known for its hospitality and Southern charm. When renowned interior designer, James Farmer, asked me to partner with him on a spring event in his hometown of Perry, GA, I immediately got on board. The visit was filled with smiling faces, beautiful florals and of course, a tour of the famously photographed Farmdale, James’ personal residence.
Traveler tip! A Place to Call Home is James’ store and is filled with items you see in his designs. It’s in the heart of Perry, GA about 30 minutes from Macon, GA and only minutes off of 1-75. Two stores that spoiled me while I was there are The Sugarplum Tree (the best children’s clothes selection!) and MeMe’s Boutique.
High Point, NC: I had an exciting opportunity to collaborate with two reputable brands, Wesley Hall and Elegant Earth, at the Spring High Point Furniture Market earlier this year. If you haven’t been, High Point Market is known for hosting one of the largest and most significant furniture trade shows globally. It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest products, sit in something before you order it and discover new companies. It’s open to the trade only but if you’re working with a designer, they may be willing to take you!
Traveler tip! Emerywood is a well-known and historic neighborhood about 10 minutes from HP Market. It’s recognized for its historical significance and is home to many well-preserved historic treasures. The tree-lined neighborhood includes a variety of architectural styles, including Colonial Revival, Georgian, and Tudor.
Pinehurst, NC: The most charming village known for its Hallmark-like downtown, golf courses, and relaxed Southern atmosphere. Pinehurst is known for its beautiful residential areas with well-manicured lawns, tree-lined streets, and historical homes. I love taking a leisurely stroll through these neighborhoods to really appreciate the local architecture and peaceful town.
Traveler tip! In the winter the Carolina Hotel offers a Spa Escape Package for a night at the hotel, spa treatment and breakfast at their famous breakfast buffet. I do it every year – it’s the perfect way to get through the winter blues! Visit Villaggio Ristorante for dinner, The Roast Office for coffee, The Villager Deli for lunch and Old Sport and Gallery for the best sport memorabilia shop.
August, GA: My first time to The Masters did not disappoint! My husband and I went on Wednesday to the practice round which offered a more relaxed atmosphere, and allowed us to interact with the players and take in a camera. While you’re still not able to use your phone to take pictures, cameras are allowed during the practice round so I was able to capture the day.
From the perfectly manicured course to the hushed cheers of the patrons, it’s an experience like no other in the world of golf and a bucket list experience for me!
Traveler tip! Swing by the merchandise shop first thing as items go quickly, especially the kid’s clothes. All food items are still around $1!
Raleigh, NC: Earlier this year I drove up to the capital city of North Carolina to tour a new build. It was a successful collaboration with Raleigh-based builder, John Sanders, and interior designer Katherine Connell to showcase a home they build in 2017. The classic architecture included elements like columns, symmetrical facades and traditional materials. Timeless features included elegant moldings and a well-thought-out floor plan.
While the architectural style is classic, the builder incorporated innovative design solutions and modern amenities like built-in porch ceiling heaters and a golf simulator room. It’s a home that meets today’s lifestyle needs while retaining a beautiful, timeless aesthetic.
Travel tip! Check out Acquisitions, LTD. for an amazing selection of European antiques and seasonal home decor.
Downtown Charleston, SC: A historic and picturesque city in South Carolina known for its well-preserved architecture and rich history. It’s my favorite place to visit and this year I’ll go a total of 4 times – once to feature private gardens in The Battery with the talented Mary T from The Itinerant Gardener, once for a getaway with my husband and two other times with my kids.
Traveler tips! The Dewberry and Hotel Bennett are great for a romantic getaway and the Embassy Suites at Charleston Harbor is perfect for families. Visit Shem Creek for a kayaking and restaurants, eat at Millers All Day for breakfast, walk streets South of Broad and visit the South Carolina Aquarium with kids. Airbnb’s are limited to a small area in Charleston and can be very hit or miss. We don’t go to Charleston without eating at Lewis’ or Home Team for BBQ.
Nantucket, MA:A charming island off the coast of Massachusetts, famous for its cobblestone streets, historic homes, and scenic landscapes. It’s as idyllic as it sounds with fluffy hydrangea blooms, local restaurants and shops and a “you can’t go anywhere too fast” sort of feel. I loved stopping by to see Alice Walk’s storefront and browsing all the shops in town.
Traveler tips! Stay close to town so you can walk to the shops, restaurants and marina. Parking is difficult downtown so either plan to walk or rent bikes! We did like having a car though because we were able to easily explore the island. A few places we loved that weren’t right in town were Millie’s for dinner, Discovery Playground at Hinsdale Park and Island Kitchen for breakfast.
Saint Simons, GA: Located next to Sea Island, GA, Saint Simons is a more laid-back, local town with some of my favorite places to eat and shop. Two Friends is a must if you’re in the area! They have the prettiest selection of women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry and home decor. It’s not too far from THE best BBQ spot right next to the small private airport – Southern Soul. It’s been featured in Garden & Gun and many other magazines. Sit outside and watch airplanes takeoff and land while you enjoy a pulled pork platter and banana pudding.
Travel tips! There isn’t a lot of public beach options so if you’re renting a house, I definitely recommend having one with a pool. If you’re traveling with kids, there’s a large playground along the coastline by the pier of the downtown. Grab lunch at The Porch then drive over to the pier to get some outside play time!
Sea Island, GA: This year’s trip to Sea Island was extra special because I had the opportunity to work with Atlanta-based designer Mary Mac Interiors and Atlanta-based architect C. Brandon Ingram to feature a full renovation project. This home tour deserves its own blog post but for now, you can see my highlights on Instagram here and in video below.
Travel tips! For a romantic getaway, stay at The Cloisters and enjoy the adult only pool looking out to the marsh. For families, either ask for a Beach Club room or book a Cottage (it’s what they call the homes). If you have access to the beach club and spa and exercise facility, you’ll be set!
Bingo on Saturday nights is a fun tradition. No ticket required and boards are $5 at the door. Grab dinner beforehand at Tavola and end the night at the River Bar & Lounge for dessert and drinks.
Hilton Head, SC: A true beach community with expansive beaches perfect for riding bikes! This might be my favorite beach because there’s so much space on the beach for kids to play and you can bike for miles on the hard sand. It’s become a place our family continues to return to because of it’s low-country views and serene tree-lined streets.
Travel tips! Stay in Sea Pines for access to less crowded beaches, golf courses, large sidewalks for biking and walking and Harbour Town. The newly updated Quarterdeck has a great rooftop oyster bar and expansive views. There’s also a large playground in Harbour Town for kids.
If you can get access to a boat, I recommend taking it over to Palmetto Bluff for lunch and a little shopping. It’s about a 35 minutes boat ride and the views to and from are breathtaking.
Plus more! (Image 1) In Chapel Hill I toured a home with interior designer, Betsy Anderson, who transformed a historic, classic home in the heart of Chapel Hill into a family keepsake with tailored blue, green and white palette. (Image 2) Disney with 3 young kids, why not! We seized an invite from family to tag along on a Disney trip and had a family-fun packed 3 days in Disney! (Image 3) I had an amazing opportunity to host an event with Trish Hunt from Millstone Nursery featuring Elegant Earth, Monrovia and many more at the AtlantasMart this summer.