Vine Garden Market comes to Antiques at The Gardens
The brainchild of Bryce Vann Brock and Kelly Revel, Vine Garden Market is a shop on St. Simons Island, Georgia, that combines a retail space, landscape design firm and event planning services. It's a one-of-a-kind concept that organically grew from their time working together at Sea Island Resort.
Before the appearance at Taste in Spades presented by Bradley on October 7 at 10 a.m., they spoke more their style. Brock and Revel will also be part of the Designing Women panel discussion at 11:30 a.m. Their talk at 10 a.m. is included with General Admission; the panel discussion is $35 and includes lunch. For the full schedule for this year's Antiques at The Gardens presented by Regions, and to purchase tickets, visit bbgardens.org/antiques.
How did the work you were doing at Sea Island Resort evolve into your own business?
BVB: At Sea Island, we had the landscape department and the container gardening and the wedding team and we started noticing a common thread between clients. Up until that point, all of those different businesses were under different management, but we pulled them all under one. KR: We found ourselves in client meetings where we would be discussing a landscape project and that would go into different events that they wanted to host - a dinner party or a wedding for a daughter. And that would evolve into, "Let's go take a look at my backyard." It was a very difficult concept to brand in the beginning. But now, our whole brand is surrounded by celebration. After a couple of years, it began to catch on and it's been successful.
Were you aware of anyone else approaching this unique concept prior to you? Have you noticed it imitated since?
KR: No, and that's been the problem from day one with all people involved with us: lawyers, accountants, business advisors. When you're looking for real estate, you try to find a comp in your market. And there's just not one for us. That's a good thing, and it's a challenging thing at the same time.
How did all of these components evolve together to form Vine Garden Market?
BVB: We knew that we wanted landscape design to be a component, but we knew that we had to have a brick and mortar. We started with a pretty large retail space and quickly realized that our services were going to be more lucrative than the retail market. As the event planning and landscape design grew, we focused more on the garden market just having containers and plant material.
What is the line between clean contemporary and Southern charm and how do you guys walk it?
BVB: The older Kelly and I get, the more desire we have for simplicity in our lives and in our look. And I don't think that's necessarily gone with the trend for Southern traditional. So it was hard to wrap the two together, but as we got more established and our client base got more trusting, they started allowing us that freedom to marry the two together. It's actually pretty simple: using the traditional materials - like in landscaping, using the boxwood or in a garden using hydrangeas - but then pairing them with something a little less fussy, a little cleaner. Like an agave with the boxwood.
KR: Even though we're on a small island in Southeast Georgia, our client base is well-traveled. They are the demographic that has seen a lot of the trends that don't necessarily hit us as soon as it would in California. So Bryce and I try really hard to get exposed to those trends and bring them here in a more subtle way. We want our designs to still have a Southern feel to them out of respect to where we are, but it doesn't have to be the old-school traditional designs that have been around forever.
Public show hours for Antiques at The Gardens are Friday from 10-5 p.m., Saturday from 10-5 p.m. and Sunday from 11-4 p.m. General admission tickets are $15. Proceeds from the largest annual fundraiser for Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens benefit educational programming at The Gardens including its flagship program, Discovery Field Trips, which has provided a free, curriculum-based science education to 10,000 Birmingham and Bessemer schoolchildren each year for more than a decade.
Barbara Westbrook to share 'Art of Gracious Living' at Antiques at The Gardens
Atlanta-based interior designer Barbara Westbrook launched her own design firm in 1992 after honing her craft under the tutelage of Gandy-Peace. Her work has been featured in Garden & Gun, House Beautiful, Country Living and Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, among others. Her new book, Glorious Rooms, is available now.
Ahead of her visit to Antiques at The Gardens this October, she spoke about her style.
What most influences your style?
My love of antiques came from my childhood. My mom loves antiques, and I grew up shopping with her at antiques stores - not that I always loved that, but I got an education. I do like modern things, too, because of who I initially worked with here in Atlanta. I worked with Charles Gandy and Bill Peace, who had a more contemporary, modern look. Now, a lot of it comes from travel. You find inspiration on a trip to Italy. Sometimes it's artwork or photography or something like that. And I find the architecture itself inspirational, because I feel like your interior design should be informed by the architecture of the space that you're working on.
You've been described as the "South's most inviting designer." Why do you think you earned that moniker?
Our color palette usually has a very warm overtone. It's not usually pastelly. We might use a lot of white, but it's not usually pale, pastel colors. I think when you walk through a space and the colors are warm and inviting, there's a welcoming feeling. And I think our spaces are, even in a more formal space, the pieces aren't so precious that you don't feel like you can sit down and relax. We hear a lot that our work is very warm and inviting and restful. I like dramatic spaces and I like to play with scale, but at the same time people want to use every room in the house nowadays, and I feel like it's important to make sure that they can use every space. There's no formal living room that's off limits. Texture is also very important; we don't use a lot of slick silk or shiny fabrics. We use a lot of fabrics with texture like linen and wool and mohair and those kinds of things that I think give off more of a warm vibe than some of the more formal fabrics.
What's the most important room in the house?
The kitchen is very important. The kitchen, the breakfast area, the family room - those all sort of go in sequence. Most people have those spaces open to each other. The vast majority of people - even though they do want to use every room in the house - tend to gravitate toward one or two spaces.
What can we expect from your new book, Gracious Rooms?
It's a collection of ten of our projects, and I think it shows our range. There's a modern house, a couple of lake houses, a couple of formal projects where the client likes things a little more dressy. I think it also shows continuity in our work. You can see how we use textural fabrics. I'm also very aware of light and how light flows through a space; I like to take advantage of that. Each chapter has a design principle that we apply in our work. I wanted it to be a very helpful book, too. For instance, there's a chapter on paint colors and I show how to use different shades of paint.
Antiques at The Gardens returns to Birmingham Botanical Gardens October 5-8. Westbrook will be part of Taste in Spades presented by Bradley on Saturday, October 7 at 3 p.m. She'll be presenting the talk "The Art of Gracious Living" with a book signing to follow. The talk is included in the price of general admission. Public show hours for Antiques at The Gardens are Friday from 10-5 p.m., Saturday from 10-5 p.m. and Sunday from 11-4 p.m. General admission tickets are $15. Proceeds from the largest annual fundraiser for Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens benefit educational programming at The Gardens including its flagship program, Discovery Field Trips, which has provided a free, curriculum-based science education to 10,000 Birmingham and Bessemer schoolchildren each year for more than a decade. To learn more and purchase tickets for all events online, visit www.bbgardens.org/antiques or call 205.414.3950.
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