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The food editors at Southern Living magazine have uncovered and updated a treasure trove of heirloom recipes and gathered them together for generations to come in Southern Living Heirloom Recipe Cookbook: The Food We Love From The Times We TreasureThis cookbook is filled with over 200 classic Southern recipes and old-fashioned treats along with time-tested tips from the Southern Living Test Kitchens staff over the past 40 years. It’s also filled with vintage photograph that will make you feel like you might be going through your mom’s or grandmother’s old cookbook but with today’s preferred versions. For example, if you’re going to make a classic southern cake, then make the most requested recipe in Southern Living’s history: the Hummingbird Cake. Its preferred version calls for a 1/3 less oil making it just as the cookbook states: as yummy as the original, higher-fat version.

The introduction and the many “A Note from Marian” throughout are by Marian Cooper Cairns who first appeared in the pages of Southern Living magazine at the ripe old age of eight, holding a homemade popsicle made in a Dixie cup. Fast forward a few decades later, and she’s on staff in the Southern Living Test Kitchens, following in her mother’s footsteps, in the same job her mother held for ten years. Also, throughout are wonderful fresh and humorous stories from notable Southerners—writers, musicians, actors, and authors—as well as the tasty trivia about the origins of so many of our regional favorites. Don’t miss the one by Kim Cross who thinks her friends are setting her up to fail when she makes her very first casserole and her friends give her ingredients like frozen broccoli and cream of mushroom soup.

It’s not the high-glam cookbook that you’d expect to come out of New York City but a good Southern cookbook that you’d expect to purchase at a Southern church bazaar that hopefully has a classic dinner on the ground underway.

Heirloom Recipe Cookbook cover


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Trendy Kitchens

I met Matthew Quinn, the iconic kitchen and bath designer, at the Sub-Zero/Wolf showroom in Atlanta recently where he spoke to an intimate group of media contacts and bloggers to discuss today’s kitchen design trends. According to Quinn, it really starts with EuroCucina, an international kitchen and bath show in Milan every other year; the most recent show was April 2014. Quinn shared that EuroCucina was the place to see top design trends in one place, but it takes a week to walk the show since it literally has a mile of showrooms and is attended by over 300,000 global attendees. Before the Internet, blogs and instantaneously news coverage, it would take trends seen at EuroCucina a few years to hit the world…now we see them almost immediately.

So how are physical spaces evolving in the kitchen?

It’s more open and it’s growing. Kitchens are becoming larger as we want bigger kitchens whether we cook or not. It’s where the party ends up, right?! And the larger kitchen spaces include an expanded keeping room or adjoining areas.

Designer Barbara Westbrook, Westbrook Interiors, Atlanta, Ga.

The charming detailing of early American farmhouses set the tone, but enhanced with modern amenities. Designer Barbara Westbrook, Westbrook Interiors, Atlanta, Ga. Photo courtesy of Sub-Zero/Wolf.

We want more windows. Other wall spaces may be sacrificed for more windows. We want more light and more nature light.


Designers added a custom-built storage cabinet, raising the height of wall cabinets, and increasing the size of the island enabled them to preserve a wall of windows and keep abundant natural light throughout the space. This is an excellent example of a well- designed kitchen. Note the countertop symmetry with matching faucets, unique pendant lighting and artisan element with the metal-and-wood bar stools. Designers Adrienne Fulmer and Linda McDougald both from Postcards from Paris and Scott Johnston, Johnston Design Group; both firms located in Greenville, S.C. Photo courtesy of Sub-Zero/Wolf.

The ceiling design has become much more important. This is especially true in rooms where we spend most of our time. In the past, homeowners spent a lot of money on the ceilings in the formal dining and living rooms that were rarely used. Now they are spending money on ceilings in the kitchens and breakfast rooms where they spend most of their time. These ceilings can range in design from groin, coffer, radius vaults and the addition of beams and other natural elements.


The ten-foot ceiling in refreshing white and ocean blue stretches from the kitchen through the breakfast room, family room and study in this Long Island Sound home. Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances were integrated including a pizza oven. Photograph by Tim Lee Photography. Photo courtesy of Sub-Zero/Wolf.

Lighting has become much more important. Lighting can make a home especially by adding more unique lighting in the kitchen. To get more light, consumers are prone to add more can lights but Quinn likes the addition of sconces and library lamps especially around the kitchen hood or other unique areas in the kitchen. Other unique lighting can be achieved by adding an artisan element.


In this Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio-designed kitchen for the 2014 Atlanta Symphony Show House, Matthew used a Circa Lighting chandelier but attached it to a support beam using a artisan-made arm making the beam that was once a challenge is now an interesting visual element.

Although Quinn’s work and the Matthew Quinn Collection series take him across the world, his kitchen design work is primarily focused on the Atlanta market, Florida (especially anything on the coast) and New York. The Atlanta design trend is about 30% traditional, 20% modern and 50% transitional. Atlantans like to play it safe with their kitchen designs but are willing to take risks if they can see it. They are more conservative and more conscious about resale. Atlantans like to take a trend and make it their own by adding their own personal twist. They want to make it unique and exclusive regardless of their budgets.

One thing that Quinn likes to do to get a client’s sense of style is to ask them: What is your favorite restaurant and your favorite hotel? This will gleam a sense of their style. Funny enough he also likes to go into their closets to see what colors they like to wear and get their own sense of style through the clothes they wear.

Quinn recommends when working on a new kitchen to start with architecture, then flooring, then countertops, then cabinets and appliances.

Architecture: Designers like Quinn are taking the angles out of kitchens. Kitchens are becoming square in its design, making for a cleaner and simpler look. In his kitchens he’s achieving a design that’s more ‘grounded.’

Flooring: Consumers want their floors to speak volume vs. simply selecting a prefab material. Hardwoods are still very popular but flooring is being installed in interesting patterns especially in smaller, unique spaces. The use of reclaimed woods allow consumers to tell a story.

Countertops: Keep in mind that countertops can be unique and exclusive with the backsplash as the same material as the countertops. And backsplashes aren’t just for behind the stove but the material can be used on that entire wall to make a more dramatic visual element: think tile walls to slab backsplashes. Surfaces are subtle. With countertops consider waterfall, stone sink, marble, granite, quartz and quartzite and integrated stone sinks. Also consider the various edge details available with whatever material is selected.


This is an excellent example of a waterfall countertop. This home in Irvine, Calif. has a grand 14-foot center island with the simple feel of a contemporary baker’s table cut from Calcata Vagli stone that anchors this open space. Designer Courtney Lawrence Ziething, CC and Company, Newport Beach, Calif. Photo courtesy of Sub-Zero/Wolf.

Cabinets and Kitchen Stove Hoods: When you think about a kitchen design you want to consider drawers, wall cabinets and doors. And Sub-Zero makes a full line of drawer cabinets including refrigerator drawers, freezer drawers and more. The interior of cabinets are just as important as the exteriors. Microwaves can be integrated into a drawer or cabinet. Specialty drawers include all sorts of various options including china holders, pot lid racks for cookies sheets and pot lids, spice holders, silverware dividers, and more. White kitchens will continue to reign. It’s timeless. But materials like exquisite veneers are very popular and have an exotic look.


This kitchen incorporates an interesting wood hood over the 60” Wolf Dual Fuel Range plus unique lighting anchored on a natural tumbled stone wall. Designer Courtney Lawrence Ziething, CC and Company, Newport Beach, Calif. Photo courtesy of Sub-Zero/Wolf.

Don’t forget the details: Modern kitchen cabinets typically have no hardware while traditional and transitional incorporate handles and even uniquely designed knobs and handles ranging from adding the homeowner’s initials to an artisan element.

Kitchen stove hoods are still a strong design element for homeowners but the material used now range from metal, brass, copper, pewter, stainless, painted and even combinations of materials and then perhaps a handmade element is added. Painted metal hoods are achieved by a powder-coated process available in hundreds of colors that’s adheres directly to the metal.

Appliances: The importance of appliance integration needs to be in contrast to other commercial appliances. Although Quinn prefers to integrate all the appliances sans the range and ovens depending on local area’s building codes, but an all white kitchen might incorporate a double stainless and/or stainless and glass Sub-Zero refrigerator to give the space a dramatic element that breaks the use of a lot of white.


Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances were selected to complement the timeless design of this white kitchen. The stainless-steel finish creates a sophisticated, professional-looking kitchen where friends and family gather to partake in and celebrate cooking. Durable materials and finishes were chosen for a house filled with teenagers and dogs. Designer Cynthia Carlton, Cynthia Carlton, Associates, Los Angeles, Calif. Photo courtesy of Sub-Zero/Wolf.

If a client wants two wall ovens, Quinn might be quick to suggest placing the ovens side by side so they are symmetric and within a client’s reach vs. one being too high and one being too low. He’ll even go as far as taking the client’s elbow height measurement so the ovens can be placed accordingly for ease of the client’s reach.


This contemporary kitchen showcases side-by-side ovens in this Tucson, Ariz. home. Color and texture were derived from materials consistent throughout the house. Designer John Senhauser, John Senhauser Architects, Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo courtesy of Sub-Zero/Wolf.

The continued popularity of television cooking shows is also making kitchens more chef-oriented. Homeowner’s that love to cook want their kitchens to say just that: ‘I love to cook.’ And they do this, for example, by beautifully showcasing their knives, pots and pans, spices and even the new stainless and glass refrigerators.

This kitchen blends traditional cabinetry and hardware, whimsical touches like the black and white floor tile, a black and white paneled vent hood and retro bar stools with state-of-the-art appliances.

This kitchen blends traditional cabinetry and hardware, whimsical touches like the black-and-white floor tile, a black-and-white paneled vent hood and retro bar stools with state-of-the-art appliances. Designer Gary Striegler, Craftsman Builders Inc., Fayetteville, Ark. and Tom Greenway, Verser Cabinets, Rogers, Ark. Photos courtesy of Sub-Zero/Wolf.



The black-and-white color scheme works perfectly with the stainless appliances to give the kitchen a clean but not contemporary look. The swivel bar stools and pendant lighting make this kitchen feel like a real diner in New Orleans where the homeowner grew up.

So my final takeaway on Quinn’s kitchen trend presentation is to hire a professional kitchen designer that will collaborate with the architect, lighting experts, and local artisans to make your new kitchen uniquely yours.

Matthew Quinn is co-owner of Kitchen Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio at Matthew Quinn Collection at ADAC in Atlanta. Design Galleria specializes in kitchen, bath and closet design for projects spanning the globe.  The Matthew Quinn Collection is a showcase of unique decorative hardware and an information center for products such as sinks, tubs, faucets and hoods sold around the globe through various distributors and retailers.

Matthew Quinn and Womack Interiors Kitchen

This Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio kitchen by Matthew Quinn was a collaborative effort with Womack Interiors of Atlanta, Ga. for this gorgeous 2012 Atlanta Symphony Show House. The hood, lighting and contrasting dark cabinets and marble countertops make this a killer combination. Photo courtesy of Womack Interiors.

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Now that spring has sprung it’s time to check out the wonder and magic of the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Imaginary Worlds, showcasing 28 giant topiary-like structures that are bigger and better than ever with nine new characters joining the cast of topiary characters that have been re-positioned and refreshed. Along with the new exhibit the side of the Great Lawn features the works of Philip Haas in his series of four portraits busts called The Four Seasons that tower more than  15-feet tall each. This work is inspired by the 16th century creations of Italian Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo. I had the opportunity to tour the Garden recently with Garden’s President Mary Pat Matheson. Travel with me through my pictures but plan to take a tour of your own. Exhibition scheduled until October.


The unicorn from the 2013 exhibit has been re-positioned and refreshed with new plants and flowers including Christmas Tree, Splash Select Pink, Crèam and Pony Tails.


Unicorn Close-up

A close-up of the Unicorn shows the detail of its face and mane.



To increase awareness of global amphibians populations declines, frogs from the Gardens Amphibians Conservation Program were selected as inspiration for these frog sculptures.




This is one of four giant Frogs at home in the native Conservation Garden.


Atlanta Skyline from Garden

A beautiful Atlanta skyline is visible from the Frog sculpture in the Conservation Garden with pond.


Bull Frog

A bull frog sculpture rests in the Garden’s lily pond. While actual bull frogs exist in the gardens they are not indigenous to Georgia.


Bull Frog in Pond

Look closely as a real bull frog peeks out for a picture.



The Perennial Garden host the Orangutans, resplendent in gloriously shaggy coats of orange-brown sedges. One ape “hangs” from a Japanese Snowbell Tree, while its companion sits sedately within a flowering tapestry of summer colors that complements their fur.


Four Seasons Maquettes

The four maquettes were modeled for Philip Haas’s monumental sculptures “The Four Seasons” adjacent the Great Lawn. Haas’s portrait bust reimagine the paintings of celebrated 16th century Italian Renaissance master Giuseppe Arcimblado.


Philip Haas's "Spring"

Philip Haas’s The Four Seasons: Spring


Philip Haas's The Four Seasons: Summer

Philip Haas’s The Four Seasons: Summer


Philip Haas's "Autumn"

Philip Haas’s The Four Seasons: Autumn


Philip Haas's "Winter"

Philip Haas’s The Four Seasons: Winter



Atlanta Skyline from Gardens

Another beautiful Atlanta skyline from the Conservation Garden before entering the east side of the Conservancy.



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What I loved about the 44th Annual Atlanta Symphony Associates’ Decorators’ Show House & Garden is that it allowed me into a home that I’ve driven passed for years longing to see the inside. This Italian Baroque-styled home was built in 1926 for Frances and Joseph Rhodes of the famed Rhodes furniture family and named The Pink Palace from its original stucco color, inspired by the pink dogwoods lining the grand driveway. I loved this house so much from afar that my husband affectionately called it “Casa Wendy.” But with new owners it’s been renamed Palazzo Rosa.

Through the years it was inherited by their adopted daughter and then sold to several families, became a special events facility, used for a music video, as well as a backdrop for an album cover and fashion photo shoots, and countless magazine articles. In 2013 it was listed for a cool $7 million dollars. Its history includes being use for numerous fundraising events including its third time as an Atlanta Symphony Show House. See Behind the Scenes of The Pink Palace.

So when I was invited for a media preview on Friday, I jumped at the opportunity to see the home. I heard it had beautiful hand-painted walls from that time frame and the media coverage from its media partner Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles showcased 25 area decorators teased me to the fact that this would, of course, be a very expansive home with lots and lots of rooms to see. It did not disappoint me.

There is so much to take in that you’ll have to experience it for yourself. It’s is all so beautiful with the addition of modern comforts but the history of the home isn’t diminished. My personal favorites this year were the master bathroom, the loggia living with small kitchen (the old pool house area), the guest retreat bath and dressing area, the guest retreat terrace, solarium garden and kitchen. The pool area called the loggia and terrace was a very busy work in progress on Friday but it looked like it was shaping up nicely and quickly for the preview event on Friday night. But the real standout throughout the house was the lighting. It was the home’s eye candy.

I’d allow two to two and a half hours for parking, the shuttle and a slow-paced tour of this large home. Open April 26 – May 18, 2014, Tuesday – Wednesday: 10 am – 3:30 pm (last entry); Thursday: 10 am – 7:30 pm (last entry); Friday – Saturday: 10 am – 3:30 pm (last entry); Sunday: 1 pm – 4:30 pm (last entry) and closed on Monday. The house is located at 541 West Paces Ferry Rd. NW, Atlanta with free parking at The Piazza at Paces, The Medici Building at 3290 Northside Parkway, Atlanta. Admission: $30 at the door or at participating retail outlets. For more information go to

The solarium garden by Lila Pryor Frank Interiors, Huntsville, Ala. and AllysonK Designs, Atlanta, Ga., adds a very soft and feminine touch while inviting space to the garden area that flanks the right side of the home. They were inspired by classic Italian gardens with their design.


The loggia living area designed by Michael Habachy, Habachy Designs, Atlanta, Ga. is reminiscent of a luxurious lounging area of the 1920s. You can envision Hollywood movie stars at the pool and at the loggia bar mixing drinks. Loggia kitchen and bath by Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio, ADAC, Atlanta, Ga.


Loggia living room with handmade screen by Michael Habachy, Habachy Designs, Atlanta, Ga. Michael calls it “Palm Beach with a modern twist.”


The new chandelier that hangs in the loggia living area has a very 1920′s Art Deco-style.


The modern kitchen by Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio at ADAC in Atlanta, Ga. features a quartz-leathered countertops, state-of-the-art appliances including a matte black-and-brass CornuFé range which resembled ranges from when the house was built. The island cabinetry even has an integrated water and food bowl for pets (not pictured). Homeowners are assured not to trip on a pet bowl again.


The guest retreat bath and dressing room by Bryan Alan Kirkland, Bryan Alan Kirkland Designs, Atlanta, Ga., with Michael Grant Jones is pretty in purply-pink and white. The glamorous bathroom features a claw tub with built-in fireplace with purple flames. This is a bathroom that guests would never leave.


The breakfast room by McLaurin Studio, Marietta, Ga. and Clay McLaurin Studio, Atlanta, Ga., features this beautiful and airy chandelier that might be reminiscent of candles used during the home’s original time frame.  For this room, the designers focused on the warmth and beauty of nature using bright corals and deep yellows.


A branch-lite chandelier in the master bedroom designed by Traci Rhodes Interiors, Atlanta, Ga. Traci says, “The one element that I feel is most important in a space is light. Light brings warmth and life as it moves across the walls during the course of the day.”


The romantic dining room with original wall murals is the home’s centerpiece and Melanie Turner Interiors, Atlanta, Ga., drapes organza around the chandelier to represent how a chandelier during the home’s original time frame might have been treated when closing up the home for long periods of time. The dining room chairs are a combination of fabric and pleather.


The grand hall by Laura Walker, Verde Home by Laura Walker, Atlanta, Ga., features this architectural-industrial chandelier.



The upper hallway by Michel Smith Boyd, SmithBoyd Interiors, Atlanta, Ga., features this sculpture that’s the perfect inviting touch to the master bath.


The large master bath by Design Galleria and Studio at ADAC, and interior design by Clay Snider Interior, both in Atlanta, Ga., used a clean mono-chromatic color palette.


The master bath’s reproduction chandelier, fireplace, mirror and impressive art collection makes this modern bath feel like you’ve step back in time. The bath was designed so that both occupants could view the fireplace.

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With a Southern Twist is all about good living in today's South. A true Southerner, the author's passions include food, home design, travel, restaurants, shopping, and entertaining. It is a fun blog about one of her most beloved regions of the country, shared through personal experiences.