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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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Spring Place Cards

These are super cute Spring place cards for adults and kids. Fill a decorative cup (I found these at Southern Season) or baking cup with pastel paper filling, a Peep marshmallow candy and a few pastel Peanut M&M’s. The Paperie section of Sam Flax in Atlanta has a large assortment of 2 x 2 inch papers in solid colors, florals and other patterns that are perfect for a place card; and they were only .12 cents each. Apply a fork tooth pick with glue dots or tape. It’s easier if you write the name on the cards before applying the toothpicks.

Here are the supplies that you’ll need:

  • Peeps Marshmallow Candies
  • Peanut M&M’s Pastel Colors
  • Decorative Cups
  • Paper Filling in various pastel colors
  • Fork Toothpicks
  • Glue Dots
  • Sharpie

Easter Place Cards

Place Cards attached to Toothpick

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Maker’s Mark® unveiled an impressive art installation by renowned artist Dale Chihuly in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Bourbon Revolution at the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Louisville, Ky. last month. Maker’s Mark, the pioneer of handcrafted bourbon, pays tribute to the vision of the founders of Maker’s Mark bourbon, Bill Samuels, Sr., and his wife Margie Samuels, with the unveiling of this original glass artwork titled: The Spirit of the Maker. Created especially for Maker’s Mark by Chihuly, an innovator who also revolutionized a genre: the art of glass blowing, it’s the first of Chihuly’s work to be on public display in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The Spirit of the Maker is now on permanent display and can be viewed along with Maker’s Mark historical artifacts during regular operating hours: Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. For additional information visit the Maker’s Mark website at or contact the distillery Visitor Center at 270.865.2099.

The Spirit of the Maker - 1

Dale Chihuly’s hand-blown glass art installation called “The Spirit of the Maker” at the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky

The Spirit of the Maker - 5

The installation, made entirely of hand-blown glass elements, is a remarkable kaleidoscope of colors, shapes and forms. Visuals include deep browns and vibrant ambers emblematic of the Kentucky whisky, crystal blues reflective of the water from the Distillery’s limestone spring-fed lake, as well as and rich crimsons and reds evocative of the signature red wax that has become an international symbol associated uniquely with Maker’s Mark bourbon.

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Escape winter with the thoughts of spring bridal showers, Easter, Mother’s Day, a girls’ lunch and more. My friends at Lenoxa market leader in quality tabletop, giftware and collectiblestantalize us with creative spring decorating ideas and remind us the spring is just around the corner even though for most of usno matter where we liveit still feels like winter. Here are some fun ideas to get you ready for spring including a whimsical gift bench, ingenious veggie topiaries, clever chalkboard placemats, and a gorgeous formal dining tablescape.

The Gift Bench – Forego a gift table with this fun gift bench decor idea, where the guest of honor will sit, with her gifts within easy reach for the “opening ceremony.”

Make it look amazing by asking your guests to wrap their gifts in a theme like a butterfly theme for example (shown below), and make it easy for them to be creative by including a few theme elements into the invitation like a feather butterflies in your theme colors in the envelope with their invitation.

Bridal Shower Bench

For a fun spring event like a bridal shower or engagement party forego a gift table for a gift bench where the guest of honor can sit and open gifts. China pictured above is the Lenox Butterfly Meadow and Organics Collection.


Veggie “Topiaries” – Vegetables served with dip are a bridal brunch staple. Instead of putting out an ordinary basket of mixed veggies, try creating an edible vegetable centerpiece that not only serves as a tabletop appetizer but embellishes the overall look of the table.

Simply fill your crudité vessel or bowl with rock salt, then arrange your vegetables in the center, allowing them to stand up straight in the rock salt. Serve with a flavorful dip on the side.


Veggie Topiaries

Fresh vegetables do double duty as tabletop decor with these easy-to-made veggie topiaries that look too delicious to eat but will invite guests to do just that. China pictured above is the Lenox Butterfly Meadow Dessert Bowls.


Chalkboard Placemats – A great casual dining DIY project is to make chalkboard placemats. It greets your guests to the table with a placemat place card. Click here to download the DIY instructions.

Reversible Chalkboard Placemats

Pictured above is the Lenox French Perle Dinnerware in White and Ice Blue resting atop a complementing-colored charger painted with chalkboard paint and personalized as a placemat place card.


Fine Dining – Formal dining today is often about creating a luxurious and relaxed environment where your guests can feel at ease as well as a sense of escape. When someone is coming to your home for dinner, they’re gifting you with their time, one of life’s most precious commodities. Reciprocate by generously layering fine china such as Gilded Tapestry and mixing design elements such as mineral crystal, wire sculpture and art glass in with luxe organic textures such as orchids, apricots and shimmering dried seed pods.

Finish by lighting the entire table with votive candles placed in glass and crystal cups and bowls. You’ll create a table that feels like an escape, a place to be inspired by great conversation and wonderful food. Simply by doing these few simple things, you and your guests will have lovely memories of a special evening for years to come.

Lenox Tablescape

Lenox Gilded Tapestry Dinnerware and Eternal Gold Flatware create a luxurious tablescape for an elegant spring dining.


Decorating tips by entertaining expert Michael Tavano. For more ideas go to


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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.