I love beautiful things…and TAIGAN is a distillery of the most wonderful home furnishings, menswear and quirky objects. When shopping for myself, my design clients or even my store, I hone in on form, quality and material……cherry-picking the best items one at a time!
Spring is the proverbial ‘new beginning’ – and for my partner Billy and me that prompts wardrobe re-thinking (especially after cold-weather sluggishness), house evaluation in daylight (thanks to savings time), and even re-merchandising REVIVAL (our home furnishings store) after winter sales have emptied the showrooms a bit.
In the season’s brighter days, elements sometimes appear worn, sleepy, or just tiredly boring!
Instead of starting from scratch every time, items are cherry-picked for replacement….keeping the best of the past while looking boldly into the warm days ahead.
What a great resource TAIGAN proves when seeking these great components to make our lives fresher for the new season! From TAIGAN’s ever-changing chattel, I’ve cherry-picked a “favorites collection” to crash into existing wardrobes, interiors, terraces, and even client design projects.
Spring forward on TAIGAN.
Rodney’s 20 Favorite Things
FAVORITE ITEM No. 1: Quirky Florist Stands
How oddly primitive FOUND’s French metal florist stands seem in all turn-of-the-last-century angles. While I’d fill each branch with flowers, greens, or petit bouquet for festive parties, I adore the simple, hauntingly sculptural quality. To be honest, I lust after every curatorial find at FOUND!
FAVORITE ITEM No. 2: Boot Leather Bag
What guy (or gal) doesn’t covet an authentic, hand-crafted carry-all made of well-oiled boot leather? When reading WALTZING MATILDA’s description, I started salivating over the artisanal leather-strapped bag — knowing that it’ll look even better after 30+ years of wear when my nephew inherits the piece. Cool.
FAVORITE ITEM No. 3: Buttoned Pocket Square
Stylistas are a different lot than fashionistas. We tend to gather, collect, and wear great core pieces — making them our own with the odd shoe, the turned-and-frayed cuff, or the perfect kerchief. ARMSTRONG & WILSON’s collection of fantastic linen pocket squares serves this purpose beautifully! And who can resist each square’s name? Shot of Whiskey, In the Wild, and Egg White!
FAVORITE ITEM No. 4: “Out of Africa” Cowhide Cuff
The best warm day style seems always to nod to colonial Africa! MOLLY JANE DESIGNS’ natural agate slab (edged in metallic band) adorns an adjustable zebra-printed hair-on cowhide cuff. It’s a perfect gift for the women in my life – whether the hand-made accessory is crashed against a classic white-blouse-and-jeans or layered with linens and cottons in a sort of “summer safari” update.
FAVORITE ITEM No. 5: Breezy Cotton Scarf
With summer’s heat paring down wardrobe options, this little “Malibu” cotton scarf from KRICKETTE is perfect to kick a simple jean-and-jacket into high style. What could be more perfect for men or women than a simple white scarf? (I love how it’s tipped in khaki!)
FAVORITE ITEM No. 6: Suede Driving Moccasins
100% CAPRI has must-have basic wardrobe components — always with a twist of luxury and color! I have dozens of ever-comfortable moccasins in suede, glazed, pebble-grain, and even alligator leather. This creamy tan suede “Moccasino” is perfect for my mono-chromatic summer whites!
FAVORITE ITEM No. 7: Satyr Drinks Table
Every well-dressed home should have a perch for drinks within reach of every seat! (Think: Martinis. Cellphones. Petite espresso cups). IRIS & COMPANY’s mirror-topped hand-finished “Satyr” table is a perfect attendant to sofa, chair, and even bathtub! And it is wonderful to know it’s made-to-order in America. Gorgeous!
FAVORITE ITEM No. 8: Antique Painted Armoire
How much storage can be had in AND GEORGE’s antique French Provencal armoire, circa 1800? Although large antique casegoods have been lately abandoned as a homes’ electronics storage, I embrace them for clothing, household linens, and myriad other items that need to be secreted away.
FAVORITE ITEM No. 9: Art of the House
I have been waiting with baited breath (along with legions of other design hounds) for the Spring 2014 arrival of Bobby McAlpine and Susan Ferrier’s book, Art of the House: Reflections on Design. This highly-anticipated follow-up to McAlpine’s first book poetically reflects upon the alchemy of architecture, interiors, art and color in which this design duo excels. You’ll be able to get your own copy from REVIVAL on Taigan in April!
FAVORITE ITEM No. 10: Antique Lead Roof Finial
Architectural fragments are a personal design favorite often re-imagined as sculpture, tables, and even lighting into my store’s chattel or my design firm’s interiors. AND GEORGE’s lead roof ornament is particularly gorgeous — perfect to create a still-life atop an entry chest or on an outside dining terrace.
FAVORITE ITEM No. 11: Gathered Mercury Glass
MAISON & Co.’s collection of 19th century French mercury glass bottle is intoxicating. Coated on the bottle inside with silver nitrate, these bottles can fill an entrance hall sideboard, scatter among quirky library shelves, or march along your party table with a bit of rustic-but-shiny glamour. How about a single overblown white peony in each bottle for a bit of spring garden?
FAVORITE ITEM No. 12: Antique Alligator Card Case
Antique English men’s furnishings are vestigial reminders of my days working for Ralph Lauren Menswear…..dapper accessories crafted of alligator and sterling silver. PETER ELLIOTT’s alligator card case is a sweet find that can double as a wallet!
FAVORITE ITEM No. 13: Antique Sunburst Mirror
A little giltwood flash is a favorite design gesture — even if crashed against a rustic wall, industrial loft, or unexpected spot. AND GEORGE’s antique Italian sunburst mirror would be especially perfect layered atop another grander mirror.
FAVORITE ITEM No. 14: Shapely Antique Fauteuil
Having an antique and home furnishings store of my own, I am continually drawn to pieces that work from cabin to castle. FOUND’s antique French oak chair fits the bill perfectly — especially wearing its fresh Belgian linen and nailhead. This 19th century chair mixes as easily with traditional Continental casegoods as it does with contemporary upholstery.
FAVORITE ITEM No. 15: Belgian Linen Napkins
I have stacks of humble Belgian linen napkins within reach of my home’s tables and counters. HUDDLESON LINENS’ gorgeous natural flax-coloured linen napkin is just begging to come to my house!
HINT: The more the linen napkins are used, the more luxurious they look!
FAVORITE ITEM No. 16: “Willy Guhl” Swiss Vessel
The mid-2oth century Swiss charm of Willie Guhl’s “Handkerchief” planters, circa 1950, are a sculptural favorite in my store and design studio. I am so excited to find another vintage one at IRIS & CO! Even empty, these vessels are beautiful.
FAVORITE ITEM No. 17 : Cast Serpent Andirons
MAISON & CO.’s cast iron “Serpent” andirons are just plain fun.
FAVORITE ITEM No. 18: “To Halston, Love Billy”
If you don’t know who Billy Baldwin was, you’re missing a key part of American mid-20th century interior design. Oh, how I covet owning any of Baldwin’s books, but to have one personally signed in 1972 to legendary American fashion designer Halston is an amazing treasure! NICK HARVILL LIBRARIES is the TAIGAN go-to source for out-of-print and rare books.
FAVORITE ITEM No. 19: Hand-Sculpted Porcelain Flora
The delicate hand-sculpted porcelain flowers found at FAR 4 are breathtakingly wonderful. I especially want the white matte porcelain dahlias and poppies to perch atop books and boxes for Spring!
FAVORITE ITEM No. 20: Diptyque Baies Grand Candle
Of course, my TAIGAN FAVORITES list would be incomplete without something from my own REVIVAL! For more than a decade, my store has proffered the lush French candles and parfum d’ambiance from DIPTYQUE. Baies is our best-seller, commingling essential oils of black currant and Bulgarian rose.
Nothing is better than finishing my day with the heady fragrance of Paris hanging in the air.
ABOUT Rodney Simmons
With a career rooted in retail and buying, Rodney Simmons’ journey has taken him through the New York fashion business for nearly 10 years into home furnishings and luxury gifts.Working as Director of Retail Development for JJ. Farmer, Montreal, and then more recently as a Director of Presentation for Polo Ralph Lauren Menswear, NY, Rodney has immersed himself with the best talents in fashion, interiors and presentation.
A culmination of that sojourn can be experienced at R E V I V A L, an antiques and luxury gift store located in Chattanooga’s Warehouse Row.
“It’s more than an antique gallery. We have uncommon goods encompassing centuries of beauty, ranging from a 14th century carved wooden Gothic sculpture to mid-20th century modern chairs,” expresses Rodney. “Some people are intimidated by living with antiques. It’s wonderful to show our clients how to crash the ancient with the modern.”
Indeed, alongside R E V I V A L’s antiquities, Rodney and his partner Billy Woodall carefully discipline the mix of upholstery, casegoods, lighting, and an assemblage of today’s finest luxury gifts:
- Simon Pearce hand-blown glass
- Diptyque candles and parfum d’ambiance
- Match hand-burnished Italian pewter
- Cire Trudon candles
- Juliska glass hand-crafted glass and ceramics
- Astier de Villatte hand-made terracotta
When opening its new store at Warehouse Row, R E V I V A L was noted by Garden & Gun magazine as among “the best new shops in the South,” May 2010. Even noted architect and interior designer Bobby McAlpine [McAlpine Tankersley Architecture and McAlpine Booth & Ferrier] noted in the pages of Architectural Digest that “The savviest, prettiest, loveliest design store in America is
R E V I V A L in Chattanooga, Tennessee. You might as well back your truck up to it,” January 2013.
Most recently, R E V I V A L has evolved a separate design form, Revival Interiors – visit www.revivalinteriors.net.
Since 2008, Jeremy Blume and Rob Forrester have co-developed Bearings, a digital lifestyle guide that tells the stories of those who are making culture more intriguing, enriching and rewarding. In 2012, their team launched the Bearings Shop which offers their original, hand-drawn illustrations – each letterpress print, screen print and wood engraving crafted in America.
The Bearings Collection
Our 20 items represent a variety of personal styles, but are all anchored in the Bearings ethos of quality, meaning, adventure and enrichment.
We like to travel light and just carry the essentials. This Sterling Money Clip from Corzine and Co forces you to choose only what you need. Plus, front pocket storage is safer.
Fly-fishing is a favorite pastime, but we don’t like bulky, traditional gear-vests. A small bag with flies, tippet, tools and a snack is all that’s needed for a day on the water, and Hardy is a godfather in the sport.
Charlie Trotter Meat & Game Book
Every outdoorsman needs to know how to properly prepare his take. Trotter is a renown chef, which helps ensure the finished product is feast worthy.
Charleston Bloody Mary
There’s nothing like a cold bloody mary on a sunny morning, but gone are the days of having to settle for bad generic mixes. Better ingredients make better drinks.
Adirondack Chair & Ottoman
The ideal chair for the lake or back porch, the Adirondack provides a generous recline, while still allowing you to take in the view. And James Broyhill II comes from a strong heritage in woodworking.
Work Style Wrought Steel Fire Pit
Winter or summer, beach, lake, ranch or backyard, a fire pit draws people together to share stories and build memories; an important part of the Bearings ethos.
Billy Pate Bonefish Reel
The story behind these reels is inspiring, which makes the product that much more special.
Oyster Signature Series Bamboo Fly Rod
The pinnacle for every fly-fisherman is a hand-made bamboo rod. They are an investment, but it will be a functional piece that you can pass down for generations.
Whiskey Shaving Set
A little bit of luxury in your own bathroom – you don’t know how good a shave can feel until you’ve lathered up with a brush.
The French know their wines, so it’s no surprise that they also make some of the best corkscrews. Beautiful and functional, Laguiole are the choice of oenophiles and sommeliers the world over.
Shark Tooth Cruiser Skateboard
Nashville’s skateboard shop will give you a well-crafted way to get around in vintage style and it supports mentoring urban youth.
We bought our first pair of Peter Nappi boots when the brand launched in 2011 and have literally worn them around the world. The italian craftsmanship is superb.
Olympic Salami Trio
Charcuterie is always great to have around the home for unexpected guests or to enjoy with wine while cooking dinner with your significant other.
With summer approaching, a quality pair of sunglasses is essential. Persol – an Italian maker since 1917 – has been one of our favorites for years.
Collecting vintage books is like owning pieces of history. In this case, it’s a glimpse into the styles of motorcycles that cruised the roads before 1961.
Beyond being useful in winter, the hefty Filson Mackinaw can be a canvas for your nights on the beach or a throw for a cool summer evening in the mountains. It’s a staple for your trunk regardless of season.
Olive Wood Cutting Board
This cutting board is handsome enough to leave out on the counter, durable enough to be a kitchen workhorse and the wood is soft enough to not dull a good knife.
And so it begins—spring—which means more time outside and in the garden, or just an al fresco lunch in the warmer southern climes, daffodils dancing around, and Easter approaching. But it also signals the beginning of wedding season for real, that season that gathers its revelers throughout March, April and May and crescendos in JUNE. This spring I’m shopping at Taigan, whether for wedding, bridesmaids, groomsmen, or even hostess gifts, I know I’ll find what I’m looking for.
A trousseau must have: the LFD—the little floral dress. Whether you’re honeymooning in the Florida Panhandle or St. Bart’s, this Sardinia Smock Sleeve Dress by Glamourpuss will take you from cover-up to cocktails.
The perfect bridesmaids OR groomsmen gift, this wee brass box can hold calling cards, earrings, cufflinks, or even change. Add a monogram and wedding date, done.
In with the Old by Peak of Chic blogger, Jennifer Boles, is already one of my go-to wedding/shower gifts. It’s a primer on the mainstays of decorating, full of fun watercolor illustrations and engagingly accessible information from the author. It’s peppered with inspirational and educational quotes from some of Boles’ favorite design icons. Confidence on paper.
This gold-colored, hand-blown pitcher by Cal Breed of Orbix Hot Glass is a work of art that pours, and one the couple is sure to use on all occasions as they remember you fondly.
For that bride-to-be who’s been to the Cordon Bleu, loves antiquities, and cannot wait to try out her new mad skills, this late 19th-century stockpot by Coppermill Kitchen will no doubt garner you one of her first dinner invites.
With its crisp Argentine graphic, and warm saddle colored leather, this La Matera woven belt makes a memorable and somewhat exotic groomsmen’s gift. As a matter of fact, I gave one to my groom and he has his on right now—he loves it.
For those who host your wedding parties or just invite you two to dinner, this New Orleans gift box from Sucré is a sweet way to thank them for their hospitality.
Every couple needs/wants that one piece that is timeless and fine to give their first digs a sense of gravitas. In a powder room or over a flea market find, this antique sunburst mirror will light up their life together.
Arm candy for groomsmen: Karen Hemphill Designs will monogram these aircraft aluminum/stainless steel cuff links in the round.
Brides love to show off their new initials. For a linen shower, or just because, commemorate the marriage with these punchy coral cocktail napkins with her monogram in white.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and a wedding picture even more. Give the couple this handsome link-patterned, enamel-and-plate frame to capture the day. You can’t have too many.
I can so see the bride leaving on her honeymoon with this fresh take on the classic carryall. with its sassy red trim. By 100% Capri, its 100% chic.
For a tropical honeymoon and beyond, these Turkish–T basic beach blankets do triple duty as beach towels, sarongs, or even tablecloths. I have one in almost every color. They make GREAT bridesmaids gifts too!
It’s just human nature to want to bring a bit of the outside into our homes. These Green Leaf placemats from William-Wayne & Co. do the trick, and since they’re wipeable, they’re perfect for busy newlyweds.
Give your groom this cool leather Aspen Carry On from Waltzing Matilda for the honeymoon, and then give him the other two sizes for birthday and Christmas.
A. Barclay’s light-blue Italian linen scarf is a honeymoon must-have. It keeps you warm on those chilly plane rides, and keeps you looking cool when you get there.
I think this Wonki Ware vase from Iris & Co. will make an arranger out of any new bride (or groom for that matter). Just fill with water and blue hydrangeas, and voila! Off-duty, it can hold pencils.
If you your want your flower girl covered in flowers (and why wouldn’t you?!), put her in this smocked floral print dress from Busy Bees. It’s just the thing for that informal outdoor wedding.
It’s a good sign from the Lettered Olive, Tara Guerard’s letterpress paper emporium. Finish your special day with this elegantly emphatic sentiment as you drive off into the sunset.
If ever there was a time to take note, and notes, it’s pre-wedding. Any bride would adore this creamy, dreamy journal from Karen Adams Designs.
This comes under the heading of “I wish I’d had this when I was a newlywed.” Contract or better yet, ask the parents to contract fabulous Nashville based Jonathan Savage for a two-hour interior design consultation. This could even be a group wedding gift for the right design-savvy bride and/or groom.