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The Cayman Islands

by Colleen Guilfoile Richmond

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Comprised of three unique islands, the Cayman Islands promises an unprecedented tropical escape with a diverse array of activities to enjoy both on land and beneath the crystal-clear cobalt seas. While its stunning underwater scenery, impressive culinary offerings and immersive attractions continue to entice water sport enthusiasts, gourmands and sun-worshippers alike, the warm and welcoming nature of Caymanians, known as ‘Caymankindness,’ adds to the vacation experience, providing a distinctive atmosphere that can’t be found anywhere else in the Caribbean.
You can choose to stay in a luxury rental villa with amenities such as sleek infinity pools, private docks and in-home spas to fitness centers, movie theaters and even a rooftop helipad to first-class accommodations offering an array of unparalleled choices– from secluded villas to luxurious hotels and resorts – it’s no surprise that traveller’s turn to the Cayman Islands for a tropical getaway. Those looking to experience the destination’s hottest new resorts are invited to check-in at Kimpton Hotels’ first Caribbean property, the 266-room Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa. The boutique-style property boasts six beachfront bungalows, four restaurants, two pools and a full-service spa. Claiming the most luxurious penthouse in the Caribbean featuring 19,00-square feet of indoor and outdoor living space, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman offers guests an isolated oasis, perfect for indulging in the lap of luxury.

Rightfully heralded as the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean,” the Cayman Islands’ epicurean scene is as diverse as it is delicious, with over 200 unique restaurants from gourmet five-star establishments to rustic seaside chicken shacks. Gastronomes looking for an unforgettable epicurean jaunt can savor masterfully prepared cuisines featuring farm-to-table organic dining at The Brasserie, to restaurants led by world-renowned chefs, such as Blue by Eric Ripert. For a truly immersive experience, gourmands can indulge their taste buds on The Flavor Tour, a guided dining adventure that features local ingredients presented in the distinct styles of Camana Bay’s signature restaurants.

Hailed as one of the world’s best sailing and boating destinations, the Cayman Islands offers premiere service marinas dedicated to assisting boaters with docking facilities and general maintenance. Grand Cayman offers four marinas including Cayman Islands Yacht Club, Barcadere Marina, Kaibo Marina and Harbour House Marina. Travelers looking for world-class harbors should look no further than the award-winning Barcadere Marina, which has raised the standard for marinas in the Cayman Islands and provides top-of-the-line services and amenities. For mixed-use marina docks, boaters are encouraged to dock at the Cayman Islands Yacht Club, which features full amenities for private craft, commercial operators, sail and jet boats.

Boating enthusiasts looking to spend the afternoon experiencing unparalleled views of the Cayman Islands aboard a spacious private luxury sport yacht should head to Cayman Luxury Charters, where guests can partake in a wide variety of activities including swimming with friendly southern stingrays at Stingray City and exploring nature’s majestic Bioluminescent Tour. All this has the making for a quintessential afternoon at sea.

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Savor Blowing Rock
by Lynne Lear

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When spring blooms in the High Country the charming mountain town of Blowing Rock comes alive with a celebration of food and ferments. SAVOR Blowing Rock, now in its twelfth year, is a festival devoted to culinary delights, wines from North Carolina and around the world, craft beers and locally distilled spirits. Originally named The Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival, it was envisioned in 2006 by renowned artist Bob Timberlake and Chetola Resort owner Kent Tarbutton, based entirely on wine and food and being one of the first festivals of its kind in the state. As North Carolina craft beers emerged as a powerhouse beverage and the NC Department of Agriculture named April “Craft Beer Month”, they were integrated into the festival. Charles Hardin, President and CEO of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce notes, “In 2016, distilled spirits were added to the experience and the focus was broadened from an exclusively wine and beer focused event to one that embraced all of the beverages that the state has to offer. The name was changed to “Savor, a Celebration of Food & Drink” to more accurately reflect the beverage variety available as well as a renewed focus on the culinary component.”
Beginning on Thursday, May 3rd the festival kicks off with an array of seminars around town formulated in conjunction with Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte. Thursday evening is the official opening of the celebration with “TASTE!”, which is a culinary compilation showcasing many of the Blowing Rock and High Country restaurants. Wine, craft beer and local liquors are served up with live music in the main tent. This year sees the addition of a new event, “Black & Gold Night” in the reserve tasting tent - everyone involved in producing the dinner is an Appalachian State University faculty member, student, alumni, or friend. In attendance will be AppState chancellor Sheri Everts, Football Coach Satterfield, an alumni chef, and many student athletes.
Friday finds more seminars throughout town, Sip ‘N Stroll tastings in the town’s fine retail shops and then winemaker and beer pairing dinners in several area restaurants. One dinner of note will be held at Rowland’s at Westglow Resort & Spa with special guest Trent Moffet, a very talented and personable winemaker from Napa and Oregon.
Saturday burgeons with activities beginning with The Globe Gravel Challenge bicycle race and Chetola Resort’s Corkscrew and Brew 5K. The afternoon brings The Culinary Village in the main tent and the Reserve VIP wine tasting in the reserve tent. As if that weren’t enough, the afternoon will also hold the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show’s Derby Party which will feature a Kentucky Derby theme married with Cinco de Mayo.
Sunday closes the festival with one final event – Jazz and Bubbles at The Inn at Crestwood Resort & Spa.
For those who have never attended this festival, it will be a terrific new experience in the village of Blowing Rock. For those who have attended in the past, this years’ experience will be the best ever!
More information on the festival and specific events is available at savorblowingrock.com or by calling the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at 828.295.7851.
Cheers!

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The Sanctuary
By Tony Prado

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reating an Artist’s Canvas on the Internet:
Jason Harris’ The Design Network Brings Design Home to All by Allison Parker

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Ever feel so overwhelmed with so many amazing choices or ideas when looking to decorate? Need a place to find the special niche item to fill a corner nook or a designer to help showcase the “you” in a particular project? The Design Network (www.thedesignnetwork.com) is a beautifully laid out playground for the interior designer in everyone! From a special option to design an empty room to artist inspired “pin” boards to actual designer pieces to complete your vision, The Design Network is the place to set your heart free.
Furnitureland South co-owner and CEO of The Design Network, Jason Harris, is always looking to make interior decorating and furniture shopping accessible and fun for all. Having grown up with a family in the furniture business, Jason is no stranger to the business. His father Darrell, started Furnitureland South in 1969 and it has been a successful business in High Point, NC as well as a destination point for furniture connoisseurs from all around the world.
When asked about the inspiration to create The Design Network, Jason shares a portion of it was the energy he felt in the High Point Market during its international trade shows in April and October each year. He describes “Down town High Point comes alive from the empty furniture warehouses to a pop up smorgasbord of interior delights for designers, consumers, and anyone interested in the design world. From paintings to specialty fabrics, everything is alive with energy and a party atmosphere.” Wanting to keep that momentum going year-round, Jason had a vision of connecting to people everywhere through a broadband media platform. He notes “With folks trending to alternative viewing medias beyond cable tv such as Roku and Apple TV, it was an outlet to create a media hub for designers to showcase their creations. It makes designing a project easily accessible to the average person who may not be able to experience the High Point Market.” He jokes “I didn’t really know the extent of how much I was getting into, but I love the way it’s growing and able to showcase so many talented artists and designers.”
The foundation for The Design Network organically stemmed from Furnitureland South. With over 1.3 million square foot of showroom space, it is the largest retail furniture showroom in the world. Over 160 talented furniture experts and designers work with consumers and designers each day at the High Point location. The company will ship with ‘white glove service’ to any here in the nation with their own trucks. What a treat to be able to visit this amazing place and what joy to see hand-picked treasures delivered with ease. Building on this design experience in house to an e-commerce platform was a key goal with The Design Network. Accessibility to the unique items and decorating advice from anywhere in the world is a beautiful way to expand the market and excitement.
Jason is happy to share “Consumers can review product boards or even hire a designer to help them in their artistic designs.” He was looking to creative a wholistic experience. He notes “We wanted to focus on implementing the 3 C’s: Content, Community, and Commerce within The Design Network.” Designers can upload product, videos, and user generated content as well as create their own avatar, links to social media and the like. Over 4000 talent designers across the nation are available for consultation and/or have product available through The Design Network.
Balancing his dream for the network and budgeting was key to keeping project on task. Jason explains “All of the ideas and plans require that initial investment and we tried to keep ‘bootstrapping’ each area of discipline so that all investments were diligently thought out.” Sourcing software engineering to make the website user friendly and accessible was one key area that Jason felt was up most important. As well, content direction was another focal point as he wanted to keep the presentations mindful of the what the end consumers were looking for-quality furniture or design services to assist them in their projects.
When asked about the types of shows and how they are selected, Jason describes “We usually consult with an artist about their ideas and let them have creative reign. Episodes usually run five to a series. Many artists have their own videographers, production teams, etc. that can collaborate with The Design Network Team to merge with our graphics and animation.” Shows include a wide variety from Your Dream Kitchen with Rebecca Robeson, Design(ish) with Genevieve Gorder and upCycled with Mia Malcolm. The shows all focus on a different genre within the design arena which make for always interesting watching! While Jason notes “Entertainment is always first, we want to be sure that the viewers see the products they are looking for as well as an opportunity to purchase them.”
Looking towards 2018, Jason revealed some gems to come within The Design Network. The group recently added in a new content director from Los Angeles who brings a wealth of new knowledge to the already brilliant team. Jason is also looking to develop new shows as well as bring back some of the more successful topic shows to re-engage those viewers. Jason’s objective is to always be moving forward and to be providing the best content possible for consumers.
With so many items going on within The Design Network, it was great to learn that Jason strives for balance in his family life as well as The Design Network. The avid entrepreneur and UNC Chapel Hill grad shared that he and wife, Jenny, love to spend as much time as possible with their 5 children. A tidbit he shared was that he and his wife met while in college at UNC! Their oldest is carrying on the Tar Heel Blue tradition as a freshman at UNC this year. With kids ranging from 18-6, the couple is busy with a lot of family activities. Jason enjoys golfing and running to keep fit so he can keep up with all the momentum that the new business adventures bring.
Keep an eye on The Design Network (www.thedesignnetwork.com). While we found some teasers about what’s in store for 2018, you can never be too surprised and delighted at what’s new each time you tune or click in!

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Kensington
By Brianna Melanson

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The trend of filling an entire wall with framed pictures, much like what you would see in an art gallery or museum, either in rows or asymmetrical, continues to be sought after in decorating a modern home. Julianne Taylor, Creative Director of Taylor Burke Home, thought, “What if we turned that idea into a wallpaper?” After the success of Julianne’s Shanghai wallpaper designs for Mitchell Black, she was invited back to design a second: the Kensington Collection. The collection was launched at the renowned High Point Market in October 2017 and is expected to be in hot demand this season.

Wallpapers “Parliament,” “Sheffield,” “Foxcroft,” and “Earl’s Court” of the Kensington Collection is a “literal translation” of her observations of her friends’ London flats where they would have framed photographs of their ancestors and pets as well as prized possessions such as hunting gear hung on their walls. In the “trompe l'oeil take,” the pictures depict British guards, war medals, hunting scenes, and noble steeds. Some of the pictures are black and white to make the scene appear aged and realistic. Julianne says, “You also get this reference to an old English manor home or pub somewhere in Ireland. People say that they’re using Kensington for a men’s locker room in this resort or a boy’s room, etc.” It is a very strong, masculine print and different from what Julianne typically designs.

Behind the frames are dark plaid fabric backgrounds, acting as what would be the wallpaper where the frames were hung. Plaid has recently become part of everyday fashion from capes to flats reminiscent of historic kilts and equestrian style. Julianne explains, “When you see plaid attire and riding boots, you see traditional. And these design elements in fashion always translate into home decor.” Each plaid pattern is available in three carefully chosen colorways; there are many deep navies, greens, reds, and grays. Julianne notes that we will be seeing more daring color combinations in the interior marketplace this year. Meanwhile, the photos and background are one 2-dimensional image where you don’t even need to find decor to hang up. The wallpaper is the room’s art and completes the environment. It is especially great if you want a gallery wall, but want to save money, are struggling to find matching pieces or don’t feel like hanging up and figuring out how to organize a bunch of pictures.

These peel and stick wallpapers are simple to install and remove if you want to switch things up or start a new trend for the season. The Shanghai Collection had a pineapple pattern inspired by an Asian piece of hardware yet, reminiscent of Charleston, Julianne’s home. Hints of Charleston return in the Kensington Collection with framed images of shells and coral in the patterns “Brighton” and “Portsmouth” as another approach to the gallery wall. This will give definition to your nautical rooms or beach house for this upcoming summer. The wallpapers work wonderfully as an accent wall or to fill a small office. It pairs perfectly with elegant, cream colored furniture, or tufted leather chairs. Don’t be afraid to change your walls because just like a coat of paint, wallpaper instantly changes the vibe of a space which can ultimately be refreshing for you and your guests.

Julianne also makes a point that big abstract flowers are making a comeback for spring 2018 if you are looking for something brighter. One of her best selling patterns is the “Wallflower” from the Shanghai Collection will still be trendy this year. You will probably recognize it from Instagram as it was used in the dining room of the 2017 Charleston Designer Showhouse with a gorgeous custom Iris Apfel piece against it.

We will see wallpaper designs keep getting bolder and more vibrant. Perhaps we will be seeing other wallpaper companies try the gallery wall. Julianne Taylor loves that she is able to express herself through this outlet and definitely wants to create more with Mitchell Black in the near future.

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The Camera & The Horse
by Colleen Guilfoile Richmond

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Equine art has long been popular . The beauty of the majestic animal has been immortalized in every art form as far back as the cave man. One who captures the beauty of the horse, and the sport of polo like no other, is the beautiful Irina Kazaridi.
Irina Kazaridi is a fine art photographer, specialized in equestrian and polo photography. Irina has been an artist since childhood where she studied art in St. Petersburg before going to the European Institute of Design in Milan. When she was living in the south of France she often went to Saint-Tropez to see her friends playing polo. It was at this time that she decided to make a series of photos, polo would be her new project.The beauty of the sport of polo and horses have long inspired her. She has traveled the world attending all the main polo tournaments from Palm Beach to Dubai to capture the most beautiful form of the horse. Her collection of Art Photographs have been displayed in different exhibitions and galleries from Europe to Argentina.

Irina has photographed all of the top players in the world as well as the elegant horses and beautiful families that surround them. She has brought them to life. She brings into focus moments of pure joy, sadness, triumph, terrific victory and defeat. These are the moments behind the game that generate the passion of the players and depict with stunning clarity the close relationship between man and his horse.

Through her lens she share’s the wonderful journey around the world of polo, following the nomadic players and journeying from Argentina to Palm Beach, from Spain to France, from Dubai to England. From the action on the field to the breathtaking emotions and the dedication behind the scenes, Irina captures the poignant moments in the human aspect of the game in the world’s top polo destinations.

Her collection Polo & Horses has traveled quit a bit, in the last couple of years, there were exhibitions in Monaco, Moscow, Cannes, St.Tropez, Barcelona, Sotogrande, Geneva, St.Moritz, Deauville, Chantilly, Palm Beach and Buenos Aires.
She has photographed the top polo destinations, the best polo horses and the people that surround them. And created the beautiful book Polo & Horses the Book of Art Photographs.

When asked what her future plans are she replied,

I believe the creation of a book for the photographer is a very special chapter in ones’ career.
At some point it’s good to make a reassessment of things in order to understand, what I want to keep and what to change in my work. For sure, polo series will remain one of my favorite projects and will be continued. On the other hand I would love to dedicate more time to study equestrian photography.

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Cameron Silver’s Decades
By Brianna Melanson

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In order to fully comprehend today’s fashion, one must understand and study fashion’s history. As Cameron Silver says, “You can’t be modern until you know your vintage.” That is the argument in Silver’s book Decades: A Century of Fashion which has already become a classic coffee table book and required read since its release in 2012. Silver has built his name through his own boutique Decades in Los Angeles and as Fashion Director at H Halston at Dillards and the QVC exclusive brand H by Halston.

As you can imagine, the writing of Cameron Silver’s intelligent and beautiful book was a challenge. He states, “Several years went into the writing of the book and the research of the photography. My publisher wanted to create a perennial, which is why this book is going into its third printing.” Each chapter is a different decade of the 20th Century that discusses the historic relevance and fashion icons, and showcases the modern aspects of the time. For instance the 1920s chapter jumps into Coco Chanel and the 1960s chapter will comment on the Space Age. Cameron claims his aesthetic is characteristic of the 1970s. All of the essays are thought provoking and include intriguing contributions from or interviews with celebrities, fashion editors and famous designers. Not to mention the stunning photography and iconic fashion pieces that Cameron shows can still be worn today. He wants to change the reader’s perspective and show them how “there is nothing new in fashion.” Modern fashion is simply reviving the old in a different way. There is a wealth of information in his book that every fashionista should know if they want to truly embody a brilliant fashion designer or fashion savvy individual.

Like his thesis, his boutique Decades, now 20 years old, only sells vintage that looks current and that is carefully curated from people with vivid stories. It is one of Cameron’s favorite things to be able to tell shoppers stories of the pieces they find and see how the shopper brings the clothing back to life when they try it on. Whether it is 10 or 100 years old, you would still look in style right now. The shop has both authentic vintage and what Cameron calls Neo-vintage, such as Alexander McQueen, clothing that is no more than 10 years old and already a classic.

Though following trends are fun, they are out of style before you know it. Cameron is a firm believer in investing in a wardrobe that’s timeless. For spring, Cameron reveals, “I think we’re finally having a backlash on disposable fashion.” We won’t see as many clothes that we will regret wearing a year later. You can save for quality pieces that you will never get sick of. He adds, “In a world where clothes are overly acceptable or rentable, it’s nice to own things that you can rely on for decades.” As Fashion Director of the Halston brands, Cameron is a fan of their essentials line, especially the T-shirts which are comfortable stand-alone pieces that can be worn often. Cameron says, “Halston created an everlasting, elegant way of dressing which is what we’re continuing to do at a more affordable price point. It’s contemporary, it doesn’t look retro, but we’re not doing things that you’re over with already.” However, Silver says we are also in a “liberated” fashion era where it is now acceptable to wear day fabrics at night and vice versa. Cameron personally likes that fashion is becoming seasonless. It’s okay to wear bright colors in the gloomy winter or whenever you feel like it. Cameron stresses the significance of color. Add a pop of color in your shoes if you’re wearing all black. If you are to buy anything vintage, let it be a scarf which can instantly turn a plain outfit fabulous. Every woman can rock a scarf and there is no specific season to wear them. This spring’s fashion, should still be wearable next spring and springs to come.

At Cameron’s recent Decades book signing at Capitol in Charlotte, he sold a woman a Scaasi strapless blue sequin dress she look phenomenal in. She had no where in particular to wear it to, but when you find something that looks and feels great, buy it and find a place for it later. While he has had many memorable red carpet gowns for celebrities, he adores being able to help real women find red carpet worthy pieces. He was extremely impressed with Charlotte’s sophisticated, unsafe fashion. We greatly appreciate this compliment from the “king of vintage.” Perhaps we are a step ahead in understanding that the history of fashion is our guide to modern fashion. Cameron will not be writing another coffee table book for awhile, but he has other writing projects in mind that we can get excited about.

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Creative License -“Playing Outside the Box”- Artist and Designer Marissa Frandsen
By Allison Parker

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